Share the W: Ways You Can Rent Out Your RV
Share the W: Ways You Can Rent Out Your RV
Tips for deciding which rental sites to use and preparing your RV for listing.
By: Jon & Nadia Bajuelo
How awesome would it be if you could cover the cost of storing your Winnebago, that RV accessory you’ve had your eye on, or even the monthly payments on your Winnebago? It’s possible to do just that by renting out your RV.
The last decade has seen a rise in peer-to-peer marketplaces – think Airbnb and Uber. It was only a matter of time before such marketplaces popped up for RVs. These platforms connect you as an RV owner with RV renters.
Estimates vary depending on who you ask, but the average RV sits around, parked and empty, somewhere around 80 to 90 percent of the year. Renting your RV is a way to put it to work for you when you’re not using it.
While our Trend doesn’t sit around parked for that amount of time, we’ve found ourselves traveling less during the pandemic. At the same time, people are traveling more by RV during the pandemic. Seems to us, it might be a good time to look a little closer at sharing the joys of our Trend and renting it out.
How to Rent Out Your RV
The majority of RV owners own a towable RV. With towables, you’ll need to connect with an RV renter with a truck (or SUV if it’s a light towable) that meets the necessary specs to tow it. However, some of the RV rental platforms offer additional solutions.
Some will allow you to rent your tow vehicle out along with your towable RV. Some even allow you to deliver your towable straight to the renter’s campsite. In some cases, the platforms allow you to rent your towable RV for a stay on your own property. For example, you might see this around Austin during SXSW. In a case like this, you could even rent your Winnebago on Airbnb rather than an RV rental platform.
Motorhomes could still be delivered to a renter’s campsite, but most renters will look at a motorhome to make their road trip dreams come true. With a motorhome, you’ll be handing the keys to someone who may want to crisscross a region, country, or often a nearby national park.
Where to Rent Your RV: Peer-to-Peer Rental Marketplaces
You’ve got options for renting your Winnebago. But, if you’re anything like us, you might be a little hesitant to rent out “your baby.” Of course, you might also feel a little less hesitant when starting to think about how much money you might be able to make.
So naturally, when looking at the available rental marketplaces, you’ll probably start with their insurance coverage and commissions rate.
Note: The information shared here and in the accompanying video below is accurate as of November 2020. We recommend confirming the insurance and rates before getting started.
Started in 2014, Outdoorsy has become one of the “big two” RV rental marketplaces for American RV owners. They make sure your baby will be safe with DMV verification of all RV renters and roadside assistance for RV renters. Free to the owners, during the rental period, is up to $1 million in comprehensive and collision insurance, while liability insurance is covered up to your state’s minimum requirement.
However, they have no insurance coverage available in the state of New York. RVs eligible for coverage must also be model year 2000 or newer. However, they do have a ‘Vintage Plan’ for liability should you have a vintage Winnebago.
Outdoorsy keeps 20% of all booking fees, and they provide a very clear breakdown of what that looks like in their free downloadable Owner Handbook.
The idea for RVShare was born in 2012, and it is the other one of the “big two” marketplaces for American RV owners hoping to rent their RV. They provide comprehensive and collision insurance and up to $1 million in liability insurance. They verify renters through their own process and provide them with roadside assistance.
RVs eligible for coverage must be 15 years old or newer.
Their commission structure is a bit different. They have a sliding scale ranging from 25% to 18%. Owners renting on the platform for the first time can expect RVShare to keep 25%.
RVezy is the major RV rental marketplace in Canada. They’ve expanded into the U.S. since their founding in 2016. American RV owners are protected, during the rental period, through AON insurance. All physical and collision damage is covered, plus up to $1 million in liability insurance. Roadside assistance is provided to renters, which are pre-screened for you. They must have a verified license for more than eight years, and qualify through an insurance check and driver’s license check.
RVezy keeps 20% of all booking fees. They have a very clear website, but be sure you’re looking at the information for American (vs. Canadian) RV owners.
RVnGo was founded in 2015 and is a marketplace for buying, selling, and renting RVs. Though not as well-known as the “big two,” they provide beefier insurance (they go beyond minimum required by your state) and they don’t take any commissions. RV owners keep 100% of their booking fees. They also provide renters with roadside assistance and verify renters for owners.
Campanda is well-known as an international RV rental marketplace. Unfortunately, to rent on their platform as a U.S. RV owner you would need to have your own self-drive rental insurance policy. It seems many of the American RV owners renting out their RVs on Campanda have fleets or are renting more than just their own personal RV.
A More Detailed Comparison
For more details and a comparison of each platform’s insurance coverage, commissions, and who is best set up for those of you looking to rent out a towable, be sure to check out the video we made for fellow GoLifers here. And, no matter what platform you decide on, be sure to verify that your personal RV insurance policy allows rentals.
How to Get Ready to List Your RV for Rent
Prep Your RV
One of the first things you need to do before listing your RV on a rental site is get up to date on your RV maintenance (outside and inside). You can use the maintenance checklist in your Winnebago owner’s manual. Also check the rental platform’s website. Depending on the site, they’ll either have a form you’ll need to fill out that outlines the required checks and/or day-of checklists you’ll go through with your renters that can help too.
Aside from making sure all maintenance items are in order, be sure to clean your RV. You want to make sure it’s nice and shiny for your renter. It’s like cleaning before company comes over (unless of course you usually shove things in closets and under the bed).
In the future, you could charge a cleaning fee to cover the cost of a cleaning service. During the pandemic, you’ll also want to adhere to any cleaning and sanitizing guidance provided by the rental platform and the CDC.
Take Pics of Your Winnebago
Pictures are a huge part of what will set your RV apart from all the others. There are a whole host of tips for taking pictures as well as other ways to make your listing stand out from the crowd, which we’ll be happy to share in a future article.
However, to get started, try to use exterior pictures you’ve taken while camping. If you don’t have any, try to avoid taking pictures in harsh sunlight, blurry pics, or dark pics. The same goes for pictures of the interior.
Decide on Your “House” Rules & Availability
All platforms allow you to decide when you want to rent your RV. Think about when you won’t be using your RV and when you’ll be available for walkthroughs and the handing over of keys with renters.
Aside from that, decide if you’ll want to limit the distance your RV can be taken from where it is picked up, if you’ll allow pets, and if you want to have any minimums on the length of the rental.
List Your RV
All you have to do now is list! Some people like to list with one service and others like to list on more than one platform. Once you list, be sure to keep an eye out for rental inquiries or bookings.
We hope you have fun sharing the W with fellow RV and outdoors enthusiasts. The overwhelming majority of owners have good experiences connecting with people on these platforms and sharing their RV with others. We’ve even heard of people who’ve become friends and of owners who rent their RVs because they get to meet new people!