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How to Rent Out Your RV

How to Rent Out Your RV

Lots of people have an RV they use only during certain weeks of the year – maybe during school vacations, family vacations, and such. Others travel in the summer, but not at all during the rest of the year. As a result, it’s becoming more common for RV owners to rent their rigs to others to make some extra money when they’re not in use. So, today we’re taking a look at how to rent out your RV – for those who might like to turn their part-time home-on-wheels into a side hustle.

Let’s see how it works!

Is Renting Out Your RV a Good Investment?

The answer is that it can be.

Our dear friends Alyssa & Heath Padgett rented out their 2016 Winnebago Brave four times back in 2020. From just those four rentals, they made over $5,000. Heath noted that their entire year’s payment on the rig was $7,000, so as a result of renting out their RV just four times they were able to cover a very significant percentage of the entire year’s payments on the Brave.

Heath and Alyssa Padgett's Winnebago Brave is a prime example of making money from renting out your RV!

Heath & Alyssa rented out their Winnebago Brave just four times and made $5,000, establishing that renting your RV out to other travelers can indeed be lucrative.

So, yes – renting out your RV can be a good investment, provided you have good experiences doing so.

Is the RV Rental Business Lucrative?

The RV rental business has become a very lucrative business. More and more people have become interested in RVing, but either don’t have the time to make the purchase of an RV worthwhile or can’t swing ownership of an RV financially, which is understandable.

For these travel enthusiasts, renting an RV is the perfect answer.

Also, many people think they might like to try RVing before committing to the purchase of a rig and all of the expenses that go along with ownership of an RV. Renting an RV is also a perfect option to give them an opportunity to see if they’d enjoy RVing as much as they think they would.

And finally, RVing, in general, has really taken off in recent years, and the RV rental business has certainly taken off in tandem.

So, the RV rental business can be very lucrative. The most popular rigs to rent are Class A RVs whose owners can make as much as $60,000 in a year of renting out their rigs. Some Class B and C owners earn between $40,000 and $45,000 when actively renting, while travel trailers can bring in up to $20,000 a year for their owners.

But, the average RV owner makes somewhere around $16,000 or so renting out an RV throughout the year.

Remember, though – location matters as well. RVs are rented in every state throughout the country, but some of the most popular areas for RV rentals are Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and California.

Do I Need Special Insurance to Rent Out my RV?

You do. In addition to the RV insurance you have as the owner of the rig, you need to have a special insurance policy that covers the period of time when someone is renting your RV.

There’s an RV rental marketplace to help with private insurance matters, but if you rent your RV using a peer-to-peer business like RVnGO, Outdoorsy, or RVShare, rental insurance on your RV will be provided as part of the package.

How Much Should I Charge to Rent My RV?

That really depends on a number of factors such as: what kind of an RV you have for rent; how old it is; the location in which you’ll be renting; whether you’ll be using a listing site, etc.

An RV parked near a river

Many factors go into pricing your RV rental including the type, age, and condition of your rig and the location in which you’ll be renting it.

If you take a quick look at RVnGO, Outdoorsy, or RVShare, you can search for rigs like yours, (Class A, B, C, travel trailer, etc.), and see what the average prices are for similar RVs in your area.

Prices have gone up lately, in accordance with the strong demand for RVs. But you need to take into consideration the type, age, and condition of your RV as well as your location and the going rates in your area.

How Do I Advertise My RV for Rent?

You can do this in a number of ways. You can rent your RV privately, on your own. (Just make sure you look into the insurance piece because you’ll need to make sure you have RV rental insurance.) If you choose to rent your RV on your own, you can advertise on Craigslist or Facebook.

If you use one of the listing services we’ve mentioned, you simply head to their site and sign up to have your rig listed. Be sure to read all the fine print, and take the suggestions of the rental service to heart – they know what they’re doing.

Let’s take a look at three of the most popular RV rental services:

RVnGO

RVnGO website

RVnGO is a peer-to-peer RV rental service that uniquely offers 100% of the rental fee to the RV owner.

RVnGo is unique in that 100% of the RV rental fees go to the RV owner. There are no listing fees and no transaction fees. Listing your RV is free and easy. You’ll provide information about the RV and photos, along with the dates when your RV will be available to rent.

RVnGo provides $1 million liability insurance covering both the host and the guest, throughout the period of the rental. The insurance is underwritten by AAA carriers, and the daily insurance rate is paid by the guest as part of the rental.

RVnGO charges guests a 3% credit card fee.

Outdoorsy

Outdoorsy website

Outdoorsy is another very popular peer-to-peer RV rental service.

Listing your RV on Outdoorsy is free, but the company takes a percentage of your booking fee. They also provide a $1 million insurance policy covering both the owner and renter and they run a DMV check on every driver. Outdoorsy also provides 24/7 roadside assistance.

RVShare

RVShare website

RVShare is the longest-running peer-to-peer RV rental service, with a very large marketplace presence.

RVShare is the longest-running peer-to-peer RV rental service. Like Outdoorsy, it’s free to list your RV with RVShare, but the company takes a percentage of your rental fee as compensation. They also offer RV rental insurance and roadside assistance 24/7.

What Should I Do to Prepare My RV for Rental?

The first thing you’ll want to do to prepare your RV for rent is to take care of all repairs, minor and major. Have a professional inspection conducted and hang on to the inspection receipt as proof that you’ve taken this step.

Next, you’ll want to clean the inside and outside of your rig thoroughly and take detailed photos throughout your cleaned rig.

You’ll be providing things like your pots and pans, dishes, cutlery, etc. (Some RV owners buy a separate set of dishes, cups, linens, towels, and a few other things, and use those only for rentals.) You’ll want to also fill soap dispensers, and make sure everything throughout the RV is working as it should.

As a nice touch, you could include some extras like coffee & teas, candy, or even some homemade cookies to greet your renters.

RV kitchen with snacks welcoming renters

Leaving a warm welcome for your renters is a nice touch!

How Do I Teach the Renters of My RV How to Use It?

If possible, take a test drive with the renter to familiarize the driver with the operation of the rig.

Next, you’ll want to walk around the outside and the inside of the RV giving the renter instructions on the safe and proper operation of every part of the RV.

Pro Tip: Have someone film the instructional tour and send the video to the renters so they’ll have the entire tour with them throughout their travels. It’s a great and relatively easy way to help increase your renters’ comfort and satisfaction.

If the renters aren’t going to be traveling but are simply going to be camping at a campground or RV park within a reasonable distance of your home, you can offer to deliver the rig to their campsite as part of your rental service. You can set it all up for them, give them an instructional tour (which you video), and then pick up the rig at the end of their camping trip. They’ll simply drive their vehicle to the campsite, and you’ll be the only one driving your RV.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Renting Out an RV?

There are definitely pros and cons to renting out an RV.

In the “pros” category, you’ll be making some money to offset the expenses of the RV for you, and you may even save money on storage fees you’re not paying while you’re renting out your rig. You’ll also meet some nice people who you just might turn into regular RVers, thanks to the great experience they have renting your RV.

But, there are cons to consider as well. Chief among them is the wear and tear on your RV and the risk that it gets damaged. You’ll also have some increased maintenance costs to deal with over time.

You’ll also have to take the time and energy to sift through the requests that are sent to you and choose the people you’d like to rent your RV, and you’ll also have to clean the RV thoroughly after each rental period.

Finally, you’ll need to remove all of your personal belongings from the RV prior to renting it… and then put them back for when you want to use your own rig.

Would You Ever Consider Renting Out Your RV?

Now that you know the ins and outs, the pros and cons, and the potential financial benefits of renting out your RV, would you ever consider renting out your RV? Tell us why or why not!

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John

Saturday 4th of June 2022

Hi guys! Love your website! It is a wealth of knowledge on RVing. I am writing to you concerning your article “How to Rent Out Your RV” – Feb 01, 2022 We have a Forrest River Flagstaff Classic 826MBR travel trailer that we have started renting out this summer, and we have learned a few things.

Private Insurance In speaking with our previous private insurance company about the possibility of renting the trailer, their response was that they would not cover the trailer if we were renting it. Period. So I had to find a company that would, and I found Progressive, who’s rates were reasonable, and within $5 of what our monthly premium was at the previous insurance company. I also learned that with Progressive, they will only allow you to rent your RV on these 3 different services: 1. RVShare - www.RVShare.com 2. Outdoorsy – www.outdoorsy.com 3. Good Sam Rentals – www.rvrentals.com Keep in mind we are talking about our private insurance, not the insurance that is provided by the rental service for each rental that is booked. That is separate. I just list these 3, because as of April 2022, Progressive will only insure your trailer as a private policy (for you, not your rentals) and allow you to also rent your RV, AS LONG As its 1 of those 3 services. You talk about RVnGO as an option, but from what I know, Progressive will not insure your trailer if you rent on RVnGO. Moving on…..

Rental Insurance You mention near the top of your article “you need to have a special insurance policy that covers the period of time when someone is renting your RV.” Later you state “rental insurance on your RV will be provided as part of the [rental] package.” And you are correct, and from what we have found, that cost is paid by the renter, separate from what you are charging for the nightly rental, mileage, and any other service fees. For us, we will ONLY use these services (mentioned above), as they take care of the rental insurance, and I as the owner don’t have to worry about finding that specialized insurance. It’s already been negotiated between the rental service and their insurer(s). And I don’t have to pay extra for it, the renter pays for it. Less to worry about. And that seems to be how these services work across the board, to our experience so far. It only covers the rental dates, while your private insurance covers everything else. It should be noted that Progressive doe NOT cover any time when the RV is being rented. So owners can’t “double dip” file insurance claims for damage that happens during a rental at both Progressive and the rental policy provided by the rental service. That would be a big no-no, of course.

RV Service Charges vs Owner Payouts We have rented our trailer 3 times on RV Share, and also have an upcoming rental scheduled on Outdoorsy. We have also just set up a listing on GoodSam’s rvrentals.com, but don’t have a reservation booked yet. We want to let you know what we have found out about commissions between each. Each service charges the owners a commission for each rental reservation. It is a business after all. Nothing is free, and it would be silly to think otherwise. From our experience, the service adds up the total rental cost by night, plus any delivery charges, mileage charges, and any extra fees you charge for special services. We will call these “commissionable charges” (for lack of a better term). This DOES NOT include the insurance policy premium that the renter pays up front, NOR does it include any security deposit used to secure the rental. Those are “non-commissionable charges” (for lack of a better term). Adding up all of the “commissionable charges”, the rental service pulls their commission and pays out the rest to the owner. You state in your article that RVnGO charges ZERO commission, and that 100% of the rental fees go to the owner, however, with our service usage limited by Progressive, we will not be talking about them here. Also in your article you mention that with Outdoorsy and RV Share, “the company takes a percentage of your rental fee as compensation”, however you do not state what percentage each takes. Here is what we have found in our dealings with the 3 RV rental services we are capable of dealing with.

RV Share charges 25% commission, owners make 75% Outdoorsy charges 20% commission, owners make 80% GoodSam Rentals charges 5% commission, owners make 95%

I believe this is because Good Sam Rentals is owned and operated by the Good Sam umbrella corporation that is part of Camping World, Gander Outdoors, and they provide RV and auto Insurance, life and health insurance, travel assist, have a credit card, and provide RV loans. So GoodSam has many other revenue streams to offset the cost of running an RV rental service at only 5% commission, compared to the other 2 services that likely only have the 1 revenue stream and therefore have to charge more for their service, and it’s the owners that eat that extra cost. Please pass this to your readers that are reading about how to rent their RVs, as I think everyone likes to know the bottom line, so they can choose the service that is best for them.

John from Texas

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 5th of June 2022

Thanks for all that detail from your experience, John! Good to know.

karen

Sunday 6th of February 2022

regarding the rv rental conversation- we have 22 foot travel trailer - thinking that may be harder to coordinate this type of rental vs a class a or c because of all the hook up requirements - has anyone done this ?

John

Saturday 4th of June 2022

@TheRVgeeks, Correct, each of the sites has plenty of FAQ's, and some even have chat bots and customer service numbers to call to get your questions answered. We have a 30' travel trailer, and we have rented it a few times easily. You can search each rental service website for your particular model and see what other owners are renting theirs for, and set your rental price accordingly. In doing so, you will likely notice "Delivery" as an option. This allows renters the option of having a "hotel room" in an RV park or other destination. You deliver the trailer/RV to their desired destination, and you charge delivery mileage for that add on service. We typically charge $3 a mile, calculated using the mileage from your location to the destination (1 way). For instance, we deliver our to an RV park for a renter that is 100 miles away. That adds $300 delivery fee to their regular nightly rental ($125 a night). For a 3 day weekend rental that $375 for the rental, $300 for delivery, comes to $675 due from the renter, to the owner (less rental service commissions). That's not including the mandatory insurance premium that the renter pays on top of that, plus a security deposit. We also include in in our listing an optional $100 Set Up and Tear Down fee, that is an add on to the delivery option. If a renter opts to enable this service, not only do we deliver the trailer to them, we park and level the unit, make all of the electric, water, and sewer connections for them. Then when we come back at the end of the rental to pick up the trailer, we flush the tanks for them, pack everything up for them, and all the renter has to do is walk away happy. This is truly a "hotel room at an RV park" kind of service that we provide. Heck, we are delivering it anyway, why not hook/unhook everything for a little more?

We recommend Good Sam Rentals at www.rvrentals.com

We have found they have the lowest commissions (5%) out of all of the services, except RVnGO (0%). We can't use RVnGO due to our private RV insurance does not allow the use of that service, but we can still use Good Sam Rentals, RV Share (25% commission), & Outdoorsy (20% commission). Hope this helps!

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 6th of February 2022

Hi Karen! We're sure this obstacle can be overcome, as there are tons of towables on rental sites like https://www.rvngo.com/ and https://rvshare.com/. Without having personally rented a privately-owner RV (and never having rented out our own), we assume that someone wanting to rent a towable would have to meet the requirement of owning a vehicle both capable, and set up (hitch, etc) to do the job. If you're thinking about renting out your rig, we'd suggest checking out any FAQs on those websites to see how it works. But we can't imagine it's any more difficult than requiring renters to have a suitable tow vehicle.

Rich

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Out DP RV is our baby and could not picture letting anyone else use it as I know they would not care for it like we would. And I would be heartbroken if anything happened to it….

John

Saturday 4th of June 2022

@TheRVgeeks, That is what the insurance is for. Any damages are covered by the insurance policy that the service requires the renters to pay, on top of the regular rental fees. So you are not renting without a safety net. These rental insurance policies generally come with full replacement, which means if it costs more to fix than the value you set, they will replace the unit with same or newer model of same value.

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Yeah, we hear you Rich. It's definitely not for everyone... but, clearly, LOTS of people are fine with it!

John Schretlen

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Would You Ever Consider Renting Out Your RV? Actually, an interesting question. When looking to buy a Class A I was keen to rent a 45' DP for a month to see what features I liked and what I could do without. But nobody was willing to rent one.

I actually would consider renting out our unit (for the few months we don't use it) but because it would take a week to get all of our belongings out it would have to be for at least a month at a time.

Also, because a renter needs certification (Air brake endorsement at a minimum) and because it's a big rig I'd require a very large insurance policy and a double deductible down payment for any damage.

I think that there is a market to rent big rigs but it would be a niche market for people with heavy wallets. Probable similar to the Bugatti Chiron rental market as both cost about the same brand new.

If you look at the prices that travel trailers, vans and smaller RV's rent out for and then add the value-to-replace multiplier for Luxury Class A Motorhomes it would give an indication of basic starting costs.

Have the RVgeeks ever rented an RV (besides overseas trips)?

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Good points, John. Certainly, the larger the RV, the more likely it is to cost a lot to rent! But, keep in mind, that the "renter needs certification (Air brake endorsement at a minimum)" wouldn't apply everywhere. Yes, to own an air brake-equipped RV in BC you need an air brake endorsement on your license, that isn't true in most US states (where you can drive a 45' diesel pusher on the same class license you use to drive a Smart ForTwo!).

And as for your question... no, we haven't rented an RV other than when we're overseas... since we already HAVE one when we're not! 😉

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