The sharing economy is a game-changer at many levels. Gone are the days when high-ticket items like boats, RVs, and unused rooms in your house have to sit idle. Thanks to sharing apps like Airbnb, Outdoorsy, RVshare, RVezy, and more, these formerly untapped assets can make you extra money.
If you’re considering renting out your RV or just want to learn more, keep reading—we’ll cover the questions you should ask yourself, where to list your RV rental, and the pros and cons of renting out your rig.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Renting Out Your RV
Ask yourself these questions to determine if renting our your RV is right for you and, if so, what style of business you’d like to be in.
How comfortable are you with risk?
RV rental apps pride themselves on providing excellent insurance coverage for the rental period, but there are risks associated with sharing your RV with others. For example, your RV could get returned with minor tears, broken cabinets, floor scuffs, etc. You’ll have a security deposit to cover these damages, but it can still be frustrating.
What’s your budget?
You may need to stock your RV with amenities for your renters or catch up on your RV maintenance before you rent it out. Make a list of what you expect to spend before renting out your RV to see if it’s worth it to you.
What audience do you plan to cater to?
Some RV owners cater to NASCAR fans and music festival-goers. Others cater to first-time RVers who want to experience the joy of camping. By understanding who you want as customers for your RV rental, you’ll set yourself up for success when it comes to describing and marketing your RV for rent.
What platform(s) do you plan to list on?
We’ll unpack each of these momentarily—deciding on the one platform you’d like to start listing on is an important first step to getting your RV ready to rent.
How much do you expect to make?
This will depend on a wide array of factors that we discuss in more detail below. For now, it’s important to ask yourself if you view this as a side-hustle or if you aspire to grow a business as that point of view will impact your rental strategy.
Why do you want to rent out your rig?
Is it to help cover some of your RV expenses? Because you want to grow a business? Some combination of both? Answers to these questions will help you build your RV rental listing in the way that suits you.
Renting Out Your RV: Pros and Cons
Renting out your RV can be very rewarding but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Here are the general positives and negatives:
|Meet fun people|
|Make extra money|
|Help new people get into RVing|
|Cover RV repair costs|
|Gain small business experience|
|Get extra RVing amenities (i.e. linens, utensils, portable fire pits) that you might not otherwise get for yourself|
|Help fund the growth of a fleet of RVs (if creating a business)|
|Risk of damage|
|Regular maintenance costs|
|Can be time-consuming|
|Potential for unhappy renters|
|RV downtime if your rig gets damaged|
|More miles added to your RV|
|Less ability to travel in your rig whenever you want|
Where to List Your RV Rental
While you can technically list your RV for rent on your own webpage, it’s expensive to insure an RV rental on your own.
You also would have to build out your own payment systems, calendars, and marketing. That’s why it’s almost always better to list your RV rental on a peer-to-peer marketplace that’s built for RV rentals. These marketplaces provide the proper insurance, payment processing, calendar tools, and more to keep your business super easy.
These marketplaces are free to list on. They make money by taking a percentage of your rental income when someone pays to rent your rig on their platform.
Here are some options of companies that list RVs for rent:
Airbnb is unique in that it’s geared toward listing stationary RVs for rent. If you have an RV that naturally lends itself to a stationary rental, Airbnb can be your best option because stationary rentals are easier to manage and can generate higher profits.
How to list your RV on Airbnb:
- Go to airbnb.com.
- Click “Become a Host” in the upper right corner of the website.
- Follow the prompts to create your listing, add photos, craft your description, add payment info, set your calendar, and more.
- Set up notifications for booking requests.
With an exclusive focus on peer-to-peer RV rentals, Outdoorsy is worth considering for anyone looking to rent out an RV. Outdoorsy provides up to $1 million in insurance coverage, roadside assistance for rentals, and free coaching. It also includes services like a calendar, your own listing page, and a shopping page (where you can sell add-ons like s’more kits) to help you rent out your RV.
How to list your RV on Outdoorsy:
- Go to outdoorsy.com/list-your-rv.
- Select your vehicle type from the drop-down.
- Click “Get Started.”
- Follow the steps to set your vehicle details, create your listing page, and set your calendar and pricing.
- Launch your listing.
As one of the largest RV rental marketplaces, RVshare is an important platform to consider. RVshare uses creative marketing that connects your RV rental to camping-related attractions in your area. Like Outdoorsy, RVshare offers insurance coverage and roadside assistance for rentals on its platform.
How to list your RV on RVshare:
- Go to rvshare.com/list-your-rv.
- Select your vehicle type and enter your name and email.
- Follow the steps to select your insurance packages, build your listing, and create your profile.
- Hit “Publish.”
RVezy started in the Canadian RV rental market and recently expanded to the U.S. The company has a fun vibe that brings with it a cool group of renters. As with the other platforms, it provides robust insurance, roadside assistance, and more to give peace of mind while you rent out your RV.
How to list your RV on RVezy:
- Go to rvezy.com/owner.
- Select your RV type and year.
- Click “Get Started.”
- Sign up with your email.
- Follow the steps to pick vehicle type, set pricing, and create your listing.
How to Stock Your RV for Renters
Generally speaking, you should stock your RV with the same basic linens, utensils, entertainment, and outdoor camping gear that you’d stock for yourself.
That said, this is a personal decision that also depends on the type of rig you have. For example, it’s common for pop-up camper rentals to not include linens or extra amenities because renters are more open to bringing their own. Class A motorhome renters, on the other hand, will generally expect the rig to be stocked with everything they’ll need—apart from food.
No matter how you choose to stock your RV for renters, be sure to describe what you provide, in detail, in your listing description so your renters know what to expect. Fun additions like games, a s’mores kit, or a bottle of wine go a long way with reviews, too.
How to Make Money on Your RV Rental
The best way to make money on your RV rental is by focusing on the following.
Business or Side-Hustle?
Many people renting out their RV simply list the family rig because it’s a great way to help cover the costs of RV ownership. Others aspire to build a full-fledged business renting out a fleet of RVs. Both avenues are possible and the money you make will vary depending on which path you choose.
Photos, Photos, and More Photos
Every RV sharing platform recommends high-quality photos showing your rig, amenities, and action shots with real people (such as you and your family) enjoying the RV.
Write a Killer Listing Description
People want to connect with your RV, with you, and with the story of your rig, especially if you have a unique or vintage RV. By writing a listing description that sets your RV apart and highlights the special amenities you offer, you’ll be set up for healthy margins in your RV rental business.
Sell Attractions Near You
Be sure to highlight national parks or other camper-friendly attractions that your RV can travel to.
Take time to research pricing on similar rigs in your area to come up with your sweet spot that’s not too high and not too low.
Keep Your Availability Up
You’ll make the most money on your RV rental when you have the most availability during your area’s camping season.
Respond Quickly to Renter Requests
RV sharing platforms are generally set up so renters request approval from you before a booking is confirmed. Be sure to respond to these requests promptly and to ask questions before confirming the booking to ensure they know what to expect.
If you’re delivering and setting up your trailer for them at the campground, make sure to ask about timing and location. If you’re renting a trailer, make sure the renter is comfortable towing it and has a proper tow vehicle if they’re traveling with your rig.
Know Your Audience
What type of person would be most likely to rent out your RV? By knowing this person and marketing to them with your listing description, photos, and amenities, you’ll set yourself up to make the most money with your rental.
Common Questions About Renting Out Your RV
The RV sharing platform you choose will provide insurance during the rental period that your renter will pay for. You’ll still need personal insurance for the periods when you’re not renting out your RV.
Personal RV insurance doesn’t cover you during a rental period and it’s also important to confirm with your carrier that they’ll allow you to rent out your RV. If they say “no,” don’t worry, there are other carriers that do.
Renting out your RV can be profitable but it also depends on the route you take. Many RV owners rent out their family rig off and on to help cover ownership expenses, whereas others aspire to do it as a business.
Large Class A motorhomes command the highest nightly rates, but campervans stay booked more often because nearly anyone can drive them. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels tend to perform best when delivery is offered because few people have equipped tow vehicles for them.
The best RV to rent out is one where you find the target audience for your class of RV and appropriately market to those people.
If you have a new RV with amenities and keep it readily available for rent, this is an approximate annual range of what you could make, according to averages shared by peer-to-peer RV rental platforms:
Class A: $15,000 to $30,000 per year
Class B: $12,000 to $25,000 per year
Class C: $13,000 to $27,000 per year
Travel Trailer: $9,000 to $19,000 per year
Fifth Wheel: $11,000 to $22,000 per year
Pop-Up Camper: $6,000 to $13,000 per year
Renting out your RV can be a fun and profitable way to plug into the sharing economy. Peer-to-peer rental platforms offer you a safe, stable, and quick way to share your RV with renters who are looking for it. By following this game plan, you’ll set yourself up for success whether you plan to rent out one RV or build a rental fleet.