On our annual camping trip each year, my family is always impressed by the comfort and style of the RVs that share the national park sites with us. We sometimes wonder if purchasing an RV might be a good way to get the most out of our vacations.
But we worry about what we’d do with the RV when we’re not using it. We would struggle to store a large recreational vehicle. And we would have to deal with maintenance costs whether or not we regularly used the RV.
This is a common dilemma among RVers. According to The Wandering RV, families who own recreational vehicles spend an average of only four weeks per year using them. That leaves 48 weeks for the RV to sit idle each year.
Instead of letting the RV sit idle, you can rent it to other vacationers. With peer-to-peer rental companies like RVShare and Outdoorsy, RV owners can earn as much as $30,000 per year–or more! Not only can RV owners offset the costs of their vehicles, they can even use their RVs as a lucrative side hustle idea.
Read on to learn about how you can rent out your recreational vehicle on peer-to-peer sites like RVShare and Outdoorsy:
Can You Make Money Renting Out Your RV?
Yes, you sure can. Much like renting out a house to vacationers, you can rent out your RV to campers. According to the RVShare website a Class A RV can earn up to $60,000 per year. While a Class C can earn up to $38,000 per year and a Class B can earn up to $30,000 per year.
Not too shabby if your RV is sitting idle most of the year. Might as well earn some money from it.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Renting your RV?
The idea of covering the costs of owning an RV by renting it out is very appealing. The thought of actually making extra money above and beyond your costs makes this a no-brainer, right? And there are several solid positives to renting out your RV.
- Making money
- Reduced storage fees (since the RV will be out and about rather than sitting in storage.)
- Sharing the love of RVing with others
- Meet interesting people
- The RV will be maintained on a more consistent basis (rather than sitting for long periods of time)
- Low risk of something going wrong when renting through RV sharing sites
Of course, there are also some downsides.
- Stress or anxiety over what’s happening with your RV when you’re not there
- Learning to run a business (you’ll want to charge the correct amount, ask for reviews, etc) which will take some time and effort
- Preparing and cleaning the RV between guests
- Wear and tear on the RV, and added mileage
- Damage done to the RV when renting it to someone else
- It may be seasonal–depending on where you live
How to Rent Out Your RV
Renting out your RV means advertising the rental with pictures and a description. Setting your rates and schedule–and then finding a renter. Once you find the renter you’ll have to take payment and trust that the renter is responsible and will take care of your RV–and return it on time. This would be tough to do without RV marketplaces like RVShare and Outdoorsy.
RVShare and Outdoorsy take care of a lot of that hassle for you. They are a peer-to-peer marketplace that helps you list your RV and then finds renters who meet our criteria. They also handle payment and provide insurance to cover you in case of damage.
How Peer-to-Peer RV Rental Works
Like the peer-to-peer model of Airbnb, RV sharing connects owners with potential renters. These platforms allow owners and renters to feel confident about their rentals and enjoy the benefits of the P2P model.
One of the biggest benefits for RV owners is your total control over what you allow in your RV. You set your own rental rates–and both RVShare and Outdoorsy help you determine a fair price. You can also stipulate what you will and will not allow in your RV.
For instance, you can set rules about:
- pets (including charging a pet fee)
- mileage limitations
- minimum number of nights
Finally, you have the right to turn down any rental request. Refusing a rental request will not have any effect on your ability to rent in the future.
All rentals include a damage deposit. The platforms also provide you and your renter with appropriate insurance (more on that below.)
Your renter pays a deposit when you receive a rental request. On transfer day, you meet with the renter for a tour of your RV and to hand over the keys. This tour will be the basis of the return walkthrough to ensure there was no damage to your RV while it was in your renter’s care.
Sometime after the renter picks up the RV, their payment will be released to you. (The exact timing depends on the platform.) Payment is handled securely through each platform, and you and your renter can feel confident about the transaction.
This model is a win-win for owners and renters.
RVShare: The First Peer-to-Peer RV Rental Platform
Launched in 2012, RVShare began with a dream vacation. Married co-founders Mark and Rachel Jenney bought an RV after their wedding to travel the country for their honeymoon. They fell in love with the freedom of RVing. But once the newlyweds returned home, they realized their RV would sit unused for most of the year, unless they could rent it out. Not only would renting it help them to offset the costs of ownership, but it would also help introduce people to the joys of RV life.
After struggling to find renters, Mark realized there was no peer-to-peer marketplace for RV rental. So he decided to make one–and RVShare was born.
Getting Started on RVShare
RV owners get started by listing their RV on the site, along with photos and a detailed description of the amenities the vehicle offers. It is completely free to list your RV on the site. RVShare will only take a commission from completed bookings.
This is the place to help potential renters understand just why they should choose your RV–and it can be a little overwhelming. A good listing could be the difference between booking plenty of renters and hearing nothing but crickets. That’s why one of RVShare’s owner perks is the One-on-One Rental Coaching.
The platform’s team of rental coaches will help you set up your listing, answer any questions you have, and will offer any guidance you need to help you succeed.
Once you have placed your listing on RV Share, potential renters can contact you through the in-platform messaging system. This built-in messaging system allows you to have easy back-and-forth conversations with your renters if they have any questions. If they decide to book, they will hit the Request to Book button, and you will be alerted to their request. You may approve or decline once you’ve checked out your potential renter.
You may also choose to enable Instant Book, which reserves reservation requests immediately. This could get you more renters, although you lose the opportunity to check out potentials before they officially book your RV.
Protecting Your Property
RVShare takes your protection seriously and offers a number of safeguards to ensure that your RV comes home in excellent shape. That starts with the requirements for renters. Renters must be at least 25 years old, possess a valid driver’s license with at least three years of driving history, and they must pass a DMV check. The DMV check specifically looks for the following red flags:
- A suspended license
- A DUI in the past three years
- Two or more speeding tickets for going more than 20mph over the speed limit in the past 12 months
- Two or more negligent collisions in the past 12 months.
In addition, RVShare also offers automatic rental insurance to all renters. The cost of the insurance is included in the renter’s cost. However, the insurance costs vary depending on the type and value of your RV:
This rental insurance will cover nearly any kind of potential hazard to your RV, including:
- Tree falls on your RV
- Animal impact
- Backup accidents
So you can rest assured that even if something were to happen to your RV while in your renter’s possession, the cost to repair or replace it will be covered.
The RVShare Rental Insurance provides owners with $1,000,000 in liability coverage and comprehensive and collision coverage for the value of the RV itself up to $200,000.
When the renter books your RV, they pay a $1,500 security deposit, which is equal to the insurance deductible. So if you need to make a claim, the renter’s security deposit will cover the deductible, and insurance takes care of the rest. It’s truly a free insurance policy for owners.
RVShare also offers 24/7 roadside assistance with every rental. While this kind of protection can offer peace of mind to your renters, it can also help you feel confident that your renters will not get themselves into a jam with your beloved RV.
The 24/7 roadside assistance includes towing services, tire repair, delivery of emergency supplies, battery service, lockout service, and extraction and winching services.
Payment with RVShare
RVShare releases your payment for a booked rental on the first business day after the start of the reservation. If your renter’s reservation begins on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, then your payment will be released on the following Monday. (Provided the Monday isn’t a holiday.) RVShare securely deposits your earnings into your account.
You can determine your own rates, although the make, model, year, pet policy, and rental length can all help you figure out how much to charge.
In addition, RVShare gives you the option of delivering your RV to your renter. You can charge a premium for this service–and it can help you feel secure that a good driver (you!) is behind the wheel on the way to and from the campsite.
While listing your RV on RVShare is free, you will pay a commission on each reservation that you book. This commission will be about 25% of the rental fee.
You will also pay a commission on any other fees you charge your renter. This includes things like mileage overages or cleaning and dumping fees. You will charge your renter for those fees and can expect to pay a commission on them.
However, you will not pay a commission on any out-of-pocket expenses you have to pay, such as the cost of damages, gas, or missing items. Instead, RVShare reimburses you the full amount that you have to pay out-of-pocket. (Your renter will pay RVShare a 10% processing fee for these expenses.)
How Much Can You Make with RVShare?
Depending on what type of RV you own, RVShare claims that you can make up to $60,000 per year renting out your rig.
While not every RV owner will see that kind of money, many happy RV owners have not only offset the costs of ownership with RVShare, they make enough money from their RV rentals that they can meet other big goals.
RVShare owner Cornelius Garner explains how renting out his RV with RVShare inspired him to buy another RV to rent out, and allowed him to support his wife while she gets her small business off the ground:
RVShare owner Rory Richards speaks about how he has not only earned money by renting out his RV, but he has also gained a wonderful community of RVers with the platform:
Outdoorsy: Peer-to-Peer Rental in the US and Around the World
Much like RVShare, Outdoorsy helps RV owners find renters for their idle campers. But while RVShare is the largest peer-to-peer RV rental platform in the world, it only operates in the United States. Outdoorsy has offerings around the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.
Outdoorsy launched in 2015, and has a lot to recommend it for RV owners looking to make a little extra cash on their vehicles.
Getting Started on Outdoorsy
As with RVShare, Outdoorsy RV owners start with a free listing on the site. Put together a listing with excellent photos and a well-written description of your RV’s amenities–and you can start getting renters interested in vacationing in your RV.
Outdoorsy owners can also automatically post their listings on Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages to reach even more potential renters. This premium feature, which is free to all RV owners listing on Outdoorsy, means that your listing will show up in Google searches for “RV rentals in [your area].”
Once a renter has requested a booking, you will be able to communicate via the in-platform messaging. This is also available on the Outdoorsy mobile app, meaning communication is as easy and seamless as text messaging.
You can also choose to offer Instant Booking for your RV, which allows renters to reserve your RV instantly. As with RVShare, Instant Booking could increase your reservations, but it does not give you the chance to check up on potential renters before making your decision.
Insurance and Property Protection
Outdoorsy centers the safety of its users and their RVs in all of their decisions. That means you can rest assured that you, your RV, and your renters are all protected by Outdoorsy’s policies.
This starts with the DMV license check for potential renters. The verification check looks for several issues to determine if a potential renter can be allowed to rent on the Outdoorsy platform. These issues include:
- having suspended license
- receiving more than two tickets in the past year for going 20 mph or more over the speed limit
- having a DUI
From there, you can count on the insurance offered through Liberty Mutual (in the United States) to protect you and your property. (Outdoorsy offers the same or similar protection internationally through other insurance providers.)
You may require a security deposit from your renter to cover the deductible for the Liberty Mutual Insurance policy. This can make insurance for renting out your RV essentially free for the owner. If your renter causes damage to your rig, you can use the security deposit for damage up to the deductible amount and the insurance policy will cover anything more expensive than that.
The Liberty Mutual policy covers a number of the common types of damage that might occur:
In addition, the policy covers up to $500,000 for comprehensive collision damage and up to $1 million for liability coverage during the length of the rental.
Additional Protections for Renters
Renters have the choice of three different insurance tiers: Risk Taker, Essential, and Peace of Mind. This insurance will protect the renter if anything should happen on the road. Owners are already protected from comprehensive collision and liability.
The renter protection, which is mandatory and has an additional daily cost, is in place to protect the renter if they should get into an accident that affects another vehicle/other property/another person.
The basic “Risk Taker” package only provides the state minimum of insurance protection, $15,000 in property damage protection, and minimal loss protection. This package also provides 24/7 customer support.
Renters who choose either the Essential or Peace of Mind package are also eligible for 24/7 roadside assistance. This includes towing, jump starts, mobile tire assistance, locksmith services, delivery of fuel and emergency fluids, and mobile mechanic service.
These protections are for the renter rather than the owner. However, it is important that you know what kinds of support your renter can expect.
Payment with Outdoorsy
RV owners can expect to receive their payment for rentals 24 hours after their renter has picked up the rig. This makes Outdoorsy a little more speedy on payment than RVShare.
Both platforms allow you to set your rates. Outdoorsy also allows owners to deliver and setup RVs for renters, which can increase your rental rate.
Outdoorsy takes 20% to 25% of the booking subtotal, which means you will keep 75% to 80%. The owner fees are provided on the reservation page for any given booking. You will always know how much to expect from your bookings.
Transfers are handled through the Outdoorsy platform, which means your money is deposited securely in your account. There is no need to worry about hounding renters for payment.
How Much Can You Make with Outdoorsy?
Outdoorsy estimates that a single rental can earn you up to $2,800 and that you can earn up to $32,000 per year.
Outdoorsy owners have made an impressive amount of money. Corey Leamon and his family made $8,500 in the first six months alone!
Read about how Corey earned $26,000 renting out his Class C RV here.
Full-time RVers Heath and Alyssa were also pleased with how much money they made on Outdoorsy. They live in their RV, and rented it out for the holidays. This meant Heath and Alyssa not only saved themselves the fee they would have paid to store it at an RV park, but they earned $680 for the the four-night rental.
Should You Rent Your RV on RVShare or Outdoorsy?
You are not getting the most out of your RV if it is collecting dust throughout most of the year. Not only are you on the hook for storage, maintenance costs, and depreciation, but your RV is not getting the use it deserves.
Renting out your RV on a peer-to-peer platform is an excellent way to earn some extra cash and be a good steward for the RV lifestyle. You can help potential RVers learn the joys of life on the road while reducing your storage and maintenance costs and fattening your wallet.
Both RVShare and Outdoorsy take safety and insurance very seriously. You can feel confident that renters through these platforms have been vetted, and that the platforms’ insurance policies will cover potential hazards.
By renting out your RV, you can introduce others to the fun of RVing while improving your own bottom line.
Have you ever rented an RV through RVShare or Outdoorsy? Tell us about it in the comments!