What if, during the times your RV was sitting empty and alone, instead of paying storage fees, you earned money from letting someone else use it? What if you could earn enough money by renting out your RV to pay for your motorhome?
When you use a peer-to-peer rental website, like RVShare or Outdoorsy, you can create a listing for your RV and rent it out to people in your area. This is similar to sites like AirBNB for stationary homes. You set the rules for your listing. You set your own price.
This can be an exciting idea, but also one that gives people some reservations. It’s worth learning more about how making money by renting out your RV works so that you can decide if it’s the right decision for you.
The Pros and Cons of Renting Out Your RV
As with any new venture, there are both pros and cons to deciding to rent out your RV. Before you make the decision, it’s a great idea to make a list of your own pros and cons. To get you started, here are a few things to consider when you are making your own list:
Pros of Renting Your RV
1. Making Money
The most obvious pro of them all! Who doesn’t more money? Another income stream can provide greater financial security.
Some people rent their RV out just a few weekends a year, while others rotate much more often. The income you make from your RV could be a side business or it could be something you do to pay off your RV so you essentially end up owning your RV for free. Setting a realistic goal for how much you’d like to earn and how often you’d like to rent, will give you a clear idea of what this money will mean for you and your life.
2. Introducing New RVers to the Joys of the Life
This can be easily overlooked in the beginning, but become one of your favorite parts of renting out your RV. When you think about it, you would actually be helping another family create memories. Watching someone come from their trip excited has a certain level of satisfaction, especially if the experience makes them want to rent again. The experience might even encourage your renters to buy one of their own.
3. Keeping Things Maintained
If your RV would normally sit in storage, there is the risk of it getting dirty and of the engine not running well. A well-maintained RV should be driven regularly. It’s not good for an engine to just sit idle, just like with any vehicle. There are so many working parts within an RV, and I’m sure you know that keeping them in use – to some extent – keeps them running. Renting out your RV keeps the motorhome regularly maintained and cleaned for the next renter to come in.
4. Running a Business
Renting out an RV is essentially running a small business. This is exciting! It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurship. Running a business is an adventure that can give you pride, confidence, and the ability to be your own boss.
Cons of Renting Your RV
1. The Worry
Of course, it can be scary watching someone else drive away with your beloved motorhome. This is probably the concern that stops most people from deciding to move forward with this. You don’t want to spend the whole time someone else has the RV worrying about it. You can’t control what they do or don’t do while they have it.
If you can change your mindset to consider what the worst that could happen would be, and then what you would do in that scenario, that can sometimes help make the decision. If someone completely wrecked your RV, you would file an insurance claim, and move on. That would be unpleasant, and hopefully unlikely, but if that were to happen, is that a risk you can accept in exchange for the benefits? If the answer is yes, for many people, that helps put the worry out of their mind, because they know they could handle the worst-case scenario if they had to.
2. Wear and Tear
The normal wear and tear of having other people using your RV. This means the possibility of scratches in your counters, the carpets being tread on, and the mileage being added to your speedometer.
3. Removing Your Belongings From the RV
This can be a little annoying and something to get used to. Every time you use your own RV, you’ll need to remove your belongings before someone else can rent it. This bothers some people more than others. It’s an opportunity to think about someone else using your motorhome. For some people, that’s fine. For others, they don’t enjoy the idea of sharing their space.
4. Running a Business
Yes, this was also on the pro list, but it definitely belongs on both. Running a business takes time and effort. You have to earn any money you make in this world, and this is no exception. You will need to create a listing, learn how to use the service you place your ad on, deal with customer service for your renters, make sure things are all in order, and handle everything else that comes with running a small business. It takes time and effort.
Potential Earnings From Renting Your RV
Now, to the part you’ve been waiting for! How much can you actually make?
RVShare says that you can potentially earn an average of $120 to $475 per day for your RV rental. List Your RV for Free on RVshare!
Outdoorsy estimates your average earnings on one complete rental at $420 to $840. Please note this particular estimate is for the entire rental, not per day. This is also only for short term rentals. Just think if someone decided to rent for an entire week or month!
The important thing you need to notice about this range, is that it is doubled. That is a wide range, and that is because they’re giving an average over all their listings. So this means RVs of different years, different classes, and in different locations. These factors will play a major role in how much you will actually make.
How Much Should You Charge?
The best way to narrow down what a reasonable price for your listing will be is to scope out similar listings on one of these services and scope out the competition. If someone else near you are renting out an RV in a similar class, model, and year, you can see what their prices are and what seems reasonable to you.
RVShare also makes it really easy for you as well. Check out their Earnings Calculator to get a better idea of what you could potentially make!
For the sake of getting a general range of what’s possible, these average numbers are still a great way to set an expectation range for what is possible.
When you use a service like RVShare or Outdoorsy to rent out your RV, there are certain costs that each of these services charge. These typically come as commissions, meaning they take a small percentage of what the renter pays.
If you were renting out your RV without one of these services, you would need to pay money to drive advertisements to a website to find renters for your RV. You would also have to set up a payment system. So, in exchange for the services provided by RV Share or Outdoorsy, they charge a commission on the rental.
These commissions can fluctuate depending on the listing, however, with RVShare it is typically around 25%, and with Outdoorsy it is typically between 20% and 25%.
If You Want to Rent Out Your RV…
Where should you start?
The first thing to do is research listings in your area. See how your RV compares and what the prices are.
Set Your Rental Policies
The next thing to do is consider what kind of policies you would like to set up. Do you want to allow smoking? Will you allow pets in your RV? Then consider what that will mean for your RV. For instance, if you decide to allow smoking you will have to deal with cigarette odors that can be pretty difficult to get rid of. And if you decide to allow pets, think of the dog and cat hair you might have to deal with. And heaven forbid that the animal isn’t potty trained! You might have to deal with potty or poop stains.
Whether you decide to allow pets or smoking, you will always want to charge a cleaning deposit. However, if you will allow them, consider charging a separate deposit for these two.
Check Out Other Listings
When you go to create your listing for your RV, make sure you look over successful listings on the site. What do they have in common? They probably provide a lot of relevant information. Get a feel for what you should include in your own by seeing what others have done.
Treat this like a business. That means taking your listing seriously. It also means providing a clean and well-maintained vehicle. Be professional when you talk to renters and it will pay off!
Approve Your First Booking!
Book rentals! Create a process for yourself for reviewing renters and then click approve on your first booking.
Get paid! This may be the best part.
Is Renting Your RV Worth it?
If you are curious about pursuing this, read the owners forums on sites like RVShare and Outdoorsy to compare with other owners renting experiences. The more information you have, the better. At the end of the day, if you are still interested, the best way to find out if renting out your RV will be worth it for you, is to try it. Just because you rent out your RV once – or even ten times – doesn’t mean you have to continue doing it forever. It’s all about what works for you!