Few can deny the appeal of traveling by RV, but not everyone has an RV to call their own. So for many, renting an RV is a great way to get the RV experience without the expense and responsibility of RV ownership.
If you are an RV owner like me, chances are you’ve been approached by someone who asked if they could “borrow” your RV. I have been approached on numerous occasions and asked if I would consider loaning out my RV. Now we use our RV like a second home and prefer not to loan it out, but it always gets my wheels spinning “What if I did loan out or rent my RV? How would that work?”
I often recommend renting an RV to prospective RV owners. Until now I've known very little about renting having never rented an RV. I have always had questions and concerns related to liability, rates, agreements, and a whole bunch of other stuff associated with RV rental. I needed answers and the folks at RVShare were willing to help.
Since 2012, RVShare has been providing a way for families to rent any kind of RV they wanted, while at the same time turning RV owners into entrepreneurs. The company makes the process of renting out your RV as seamless as possible and they try to do the same for those renting.
They agreed to provide answers to many of my questions so I could pass it on to you. Let me start by answering the burning question...WHY?
Why Rent Out Your RV?
It turns out that there are two big reasons why you might consider renting out your RV. For starters, you can make money doing it. Secondly, it can be fun and fulfilling to share the love of RVing with others.
Make Money Renting Your RV
Yes, it is possible to generate an income by renting out your RV. In fact, many families would rather rent your RV instead of an RV from a big rental company. There are many cases where owners bring home the same amount of money annually as they do at their jobs.
How Much Can You Make?
The average owner on RVShare makes between $5,000 and $30,000 yearly. Here are some examples:
Take Denton for example. He’s made almost $68,000 in bookings so far. He’s a business consultant who started booking rentals within days of putting up his listing. He ended up with about a dozen for the year. Like many first time owners, his biggest concern was how his RV would be treated. Thankfully, renting through RVshare, he always gets his unit back in perfect condition. A word of advice he’d like to give owners is to make sure you have a good contract that explains all the agreements in detail.
Jose, a military man, decided to rent his RV because of how long it would go without use. He’s gotten 20 bookings in nine months and has made over $10,000 in that time. His main concern was privacy, but now says he has zero concerns. Jose says the feeling you get from helping another family create memories is amazing.
There is also no startup cost for owners. RVShare takes a 15% commission on the rental to cover operational costs. The rest goes to the RV owner.
Sharing the Love of RVing
If you’re an owner, you can rent out your unit directly to families looking to go on an adventure of their own. Many owners have found it extremely fun and fulfilling sharing the RV experience with others.
Rebecca rents her RV through RVShare and has this to say: “I have to say I have so enjoyed meeting the people who have rented my RV and feel as if they are now friends. They send me pictures and are so appreciative of the trips they were able to take in my RV. It is very fun helping people to have a successful trip and make lifetime memories.”
Jose says: “I feel great when a customer returns the RV and they have the best time of their life and you contributed greatly.”
So How Does It Work?
The way it works through RVShare is pretty straight forward. Owners list their RVs on the site, set a price and rental terms. Renters enter their search criteria (such as RV type, travel dates, desired rate, etc.) then search for RVs available for rent in their area.
Renters can select options from the smallest pop-up campers to the largest, newest, and most luxurious class A motorhomes. There are units available in practically all 50 states and in most cities. Rates start from just $10 per night and can go all the way up to over $500.
When a visitor finds what they like, they “request to book.” Owners then review the request and work directly with renters to agree on terms. Next, owners and renters meet, go over the RV features and rental terms, then the renter is sent on their way. Renters enjoy their awesome getaway and owners reap the rewards. At the end, renters return units to the owner and all is well.
What About Damage To My RV?
RVShare says their renters treat the rigs with the utmost respect and that owners need not be concerned about damage to their RV. However, mistakes happen and if there is any sort of blemish, the security deposit (and insurance) renters pay covers costs. There is nothing coming out of owner’s pockets. Owners also have the option to purchase owner insurance.
The optional owner’s insurance covers the RV owner for up to one million dollars if there happens to be any collision while your RV is in the hands of a renter. It also protects you against claims from third parties. If a renter happens to break down on the road, RVShare provides them 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, so they’re covered there as well.
How Is Money Exchanged?
As far as receiving payments, RVShare handles all payments and deposits securely. They try to take as much work off the hands of both owners and renters whenever possible. Funds are released to the owner’s bank one business day after the start of the rental.
How Much Do I Charge?
As the RV owner you are in complete control of setting your own rental rates. It’s recommend to keep rates close to the averages are in your area, but ultimately you decide what to charge.
As a rule of thumb, travel trailers go for around $75 to $175 per night. Class C RVs range from about $125 to $250 and class As are around $150 to over $300 per night. Most owners also include 100 miles per day with that rate and charge $1 per mile for any overages.
Do I Need a Business License?
No. There is no need for a business license or anything fancy like that.
What Do You Think? Is RV Rental For You?
Each time we visit popular National Parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches or the Grand Canyon we are surprised at the growing number of rental RVs filling the parking lots and campgrounds. I’ve personally met folks who’ve come from Europe and the Far East simply to rent an RV and visit the National Parks in the United States. So it turns out that there are lots of folks out there looking for RVs to rent.
So what do you think? Does your RV sit for most of the year feeling neglected? Do you continue to make payments on an RV you don't use as much as you thought? If you have a good quality RV in good condition and don’t mind sharing, then perhaps consider putting it to work for you.
Many thanks to RVShare for helping to shed light on this RV rental thing.