Is Your RV Making You Money?
Can I rent out my RV the same way one would with a rental property? Yes you can! As a matter of fact, doing so can generate enough income to cover your monthly RV expenses.
It’s no secret that owning and maintaining an RV can be quite a financial undertaking. On top of the initial purchase, there are registration, insurance, storage, maintenance and repair costs. Of course, you knew it was expensive when you bought it. Maybe your heart won the battle with your head. That’s okay, it was a lifelong dream and you could afford it, so you made it happen. Good for you!
Fast forward a year or two, to the day you finally come to the realization that although you still love your RV, you don’t use it as much as you used to. Certainly not enough to justify the huge monthly expense. You’ve considered selling it, but in the current market, a pre-owned RV is more expensive than buying a new one. That is tough to accept. What happens if you owe more than it is worth? Most RV owners couldn’t bear the thought of writing a huge check to sell their dream. The prospect of paying thousands of dollars a month for an RV that you don’t use isn’t much better. What else can you do? Simple answer, rent out my RV
How Do I Rent Out My RV?
Congratulations, you’ve decided to rent out your motorhome. But now what? There are a few different ways to go and your overall success (or failure), truly depends on how you choose to go about renting out your RV. If you are retired, have plenty of time on your hands, or already have friends or family that want to be your first customers, then you may want to rent out your RV on your own. This way all the money from rentals is yours. Of course, so are the risks. If the RV has a breakdown you could be getting calls at 2AM from irate customers in the middle of nowhere demanding immediate help. That usually amounts to expensive mobile service calls, refunds or even worse if you have to make alternate arrangements for stranded travelers.
Another way to go is to list your RV with an RV sharing website. These sites are basically RV rental bulletin boards. A good place for people who want to rent out their own RVs, but need customers. RV sharing sites generally charge a 25% commission and will process renter payments. Again, if a customer breaks down or even has the slightest quip with your RV, you will quickly find out that when it comes to disputes, the customer is always right. Good luck getting paid.
D.I.Y Vs. Professional RV Rental Companies
Professional RV rental companies have a big advantage over do it yourself renter. They do this every day, which means they have the experience and know how to avoid common mistakes. They provide the most comprehensive service, eliminate many of the risks and know how to get the you the best rental rate. By putting resources into marketing, professionals get you more rentals than you would ever get on your own or with a RV sharing site.
Commission structures for professional RV rental providers is generally a fixed 50/50 split. Most reputable providers have their own client databases, offer coast to coast service and have internal customer support departments. They are well equipped to provide assistance and they are used to dealing with those 2AM phone calls. If there is a major mechanical issue or a stranded customer, they have the ability to dispatch a substitute RV anywhere in America.
Allstar Coaches operates the nation’s most successful private motorhome rental program. they have been doing it for more than a decade. Vehicles enrolled full time in Allstar’s Rental Fleet Program average roughly 24 weeks of rentals per year. Most times the program generates enough revenue to offset, or completely cover the costs of RV ownership.
The Benefits Are Clear, What About The Risks?
I want to rent out my RV but am worried about damage. This concern is common. Even if your RV generates enough revenue to completely pay for itself, it is hardly worth it if some unscrupulous renter trashes your beloved motorhome. This is perhaps the most important factor when deciding between DIY or consigning it to a professional RV rental program.
If you are going to rent it out yourself, you will have to rely on your own instincts when it comes to potential renters. The risk is all yours. Rule of thumb, don’t rent your RV to anybody that you are not comfortable with.
Remember, RV “sharing” websites are simply bulletin boards which host a calendar, accept bookings and collect rental fees. RV sharing sites do not require anything from a customer except for a form of payment and they do not offer any real assistance or support.
Reputable RV rental agencies will not rent your RV out to just anybody. For example, Allstar Coaches has several trusted vetting processes in place. Specifically designed to detect “red flags” and protect owners, these procedures are very effective. Examples include pinging the DHS watch list, customer credit and background checks, driving history, assets or employment.
Would you like to read more about “How to Rent Out My RV”? Check out Part 2 of this series.