Across the country and even the world, RV owners enjoy their motorhomes, travel trailers, and RVs of all sizes. When you first set out to purchase you RV, you probably thought of all the adventures you’d have. And you might have also imagined all the exciting places you’d visit.
In fact, a recent survey of RV owners by Statista showed some interesting data. For example, you might not be surprised to discover that a large number of RV owners cite mini-vacations and the Great Outdoors as primary reasons for ownership.
But let’s talk about the other side of owning an RV. And that’s the financial burden you might be feeling.
The truth is that, as we’ll see in a moment, owning an RV can be a bleeding monetary liability. And you might also not be surprised to find an RV owner or two who are underwater. If this sounds like you, don’t worry.
Today, we’re going to take time to look at the common problems most RV owners face and a few resources to help. But we’re also going to look at creative solutions, like renting your RV, that can turn it from a monetary issue to a money maker.
Owning an RV, is it everything it’s cracked up to be?
When you stop to think about it, have you have asked yourself if owning an RV is a good or bad investment? Sure, there’s more than a few websites making big, bold claims about how incredible it can be.
And don’t get us wrong, owning an RV can be incredibly rewarding. From weekend trips in your state to full-time cruising the country, you have so many options. You can, literally, live your life as a tourist, if you want to. And even if that’s not for you, having an RV can still be very liberating and exciting.
RV Ownership Pitfalls
But let’s talk about the pitfalls of your RV. Do these sound familiar?
- You now have an increased financial burden of between $500 to $1000 a month.
- If you’re like most people, you might only use your RV about two to three times a year.
- You also have to pay the cost to store your RV in a safe place since most HOAs have rules against them.
- You have to find (and keep) a good mechanic who’s honest and reliable.
- You have to deal with various sorts of RV upkeep throughout the year
And this is simply a small list of everything involved when it comes to getting your own RV. Realistically, each of these problems comes with its own host of other issues or steps.
But let’s keep your RV in perspective
Still, let’s keep the positive factors of owning an RV in mind as we look at options for taking your RV from liability to money-maker. Consider these benefits:
- You can go anywhere in the world
Whether you want to drive the California coast or visit historic sites in the South, you have options. With an RV, you can go anywhere in the world you’d like to visit.
- You have your home with you anywhere you go
And when you travel, you don’t have to worry about less-than-desirable hotels. When you own an RV, you have your home right at hand, including your bed.
- You can travel more inexpensively than other people
And speaking of hotels and expenses. While you might feel like your RV is a financial drain right now (and we’ll take a look at solutions in a moment), the reality is that traveling and staying in hotels can be even more expensive.
- Your pets can come along for the ride
Plus, when other people travel, they have to worry about kenneling their pets. Or finding hotels that will accept their animals, often for additional cost. But you, as an RV owner, can enjoy bringing your furry friends along for the ride.
- You’re joining a community of RV owners
And let’s not forget about the community. When you buy an RV, you’re becoming part of a community of like-minded individuals who share your values and commitments. That’s huge!
- Your friends wish they had your RV
You might remember this feeling right after you purchased your RV. Remember what your friends and family said when they saw your brand-new RV? They probably had amazing things to say, and you probably felt awesome about it!
Could renting out your RV be an option?
Yet, you’re probably still thinking about the financial burden you might have been experiencing with your RV. After all, that’s why you came to this article, isn’t it?
And don’t worry, because we’re here to give you solutions. But not just any solutions; solutions that can take that money problem and turn it into a financial resource. And you don’t even have to give up all those benefits we talked about when it comes to your RV!
So, what could make this possible?
With the rise of “crowdsourcing” and other innovations fueled by the internet, impressive things are now possible. And in my cases, some of these weren’t even imaginable 20 years ago. But how does this apply to you and your RV?
You’ve probably heard of how much money services like AirBnB and Uber make for homeowners and car drivers. Have you ever wondered, however, if there’s something similar for RVs? What if you could take your RV, which you love, and flip it from a bleeding liability to something that was bringing in cash?
Enter sites like RVshare.com and Outdoorsy.com. What’s the story?
Rent Out Your RV?
If you haven’t heard of these yet, you’re going to be blown away at what’s possible with them. With each of these, you can list your RV and rent it out during the year for extra cash. In a moment, we’ll review the pros and cons of renting out your RV. But let’s stop and think about one amazing fact.
With these sites, you can possibly take your RV and make $20k over a single summer, just by renting it to people like yourself! And you don’t have to give up using it yourself either. Can you imagine for a moment the possibility of enjoying your RV, but never worrying about the financial strain again?
You can obviously see the benefit. And each site is easy to use to list your RV to rent out.
But to give you a balanced view on whether this is the right option for you, let’s look at pros and cons together.
As you can see, the rewards of renting out your RV are numerous.
- You can list your RV on these sites absolutely for free.
- You get dedicated, 1-on-1 support and training.
- Renters go through a thorough verification process.
- There’s also rental insurance coverage for peace of mind.
- You stay in control of your RV and can use it throughout the year.
- You share the RV-life dream with other, like-minded people.
- You avoid paying for all those storage costs during the year.
- In a single day, you can earn up to $300 or $400.
On the flip side, renting out your RV comes with few, if any, drawbacks. And both RVshare and Outdoorsy have gone to great lengths to minimize even these.
- You will have to move your personal stuff out of the vehicle when it’s being shared.
- There is some added wear and tear to your vehicle (which we’ll talk more about below).
- For some people, though not many, there is some stress about loaning out your RV.
- There’s a little time and effort involved to ensure your RV is ready to go for renters.
So, what are the common objections to renting out your RV?
As your source for everything RV-related, you know we’re all about giving you the full picture. This way, you can make the best decision for you and your family. Renting out your RV is no different than any other decision concerning your vehicle. So, let’s address some common objections to give you perspective.
Objection #1: Doesn’t your vehicle undergoes more wear and tear over time?
Answer #1: Although this is technically true, there’s another factor that many people fail to account for. And that’s the wear and tear that your RV undergoes simply by sitting in storage. That’s right! From pest problems to mold and mechanical issues to rust, letting your RV simply sit in storage is wear and tear all by itself.
Objection #2: Is the extra effort actually worth all the trouble? Can you really make money?
Answer #2: Yes, yes, YES. You can’t believe how easy it is to make extra cash to cover the financial aspects of your RV. Just like AirBnB, people are joining the “sharing economy” and making out very well. Even simply renting out your RV a few times a year can be enough to make a serious difference without a lot of work.
Objection #3: Do I need to be worried there’s hidden costs involved?
Answer #3: Absolutely not. Here at NextRV.co, we’ve thoroughly reviewed these services, and much like their counterparts in the home rental and car sharing world, there’s no hidden fees.
Objection#4: And what happens when you want to take your RV out yourself?
Answer #4: In our opinion, as RV lovers, this is one of the best parts about sites like RVshare and Outdoorsy. While you’re making money throughout the year, you still have the option to block out dates for yourself. This means you can still enjoy your asset any time you want.
Objection #5: What if it feels weird to rent out my RV to strangers?
Answer: A small number of people report feeling a little odd renting out their RV for the first time. But even in these cases, the feeling usually passes after the first guests arrive. And because there’s renter verification and both sites are all about safety, you’ll be surprised how quickly you get hooked on renting out your RV.
So, how does renting your RV work?
This is an excellent question!
Once you’ve decided that renting out your RV is right for you, you’ll want to take a few easy steps. And the first step you want to take is registering on RVshare.com or Outdoorsy. Although you could register on both at the same time, we recommend choosing one or the other to get started.
Both sides have a “list my RV” link that allows you to start the process. We also like that they both have a calculator for helping you determine how much you might make on a regular basis. This is primarily determined by your RV’s make and model, but also factors like your local area’s demand.
From there, you’ll be taken through a series of steps. On RVshare.com, these look like this:
- Basics – Where you enter your address and whether your RV rental will be a stationary rental or not.
- Insurance – At this step, you’ll select information pertaining to your RV’s value.
- Listing – Next, you’ll cover information related to your RV listing.
- Profile – And finally, creating your profile for the platform.
That’s about it!
Remember, you’ll want to make sure that your RV rental looks attractive and inviting. It really is this simple to start generating revenue from your RV, instead of having it suck down all your income!
Before you take your first RV renters, you’ll also want to complete two more steps. Because reputation is everything in the “sharing economy,” you want to ensure your RV rental is top notch. We’ve probably all stayed at a hotel or two that was… less-than-ideal. So, to keep those guests coming back and to help support higher rates, there are two simple tasks you can do beforehand.
- Bringing your RV up-to-speed
If it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned or properly maintained your RV, now’s the time to get it looking good. And guests very much appreciate the little things when it comes to renting an RV. Small upgrades like new curtains or better bedding can go a long way in making your RV inviting.
- Stocking your RV for your next renters
Let’s also spend a moment talking about stocking up for your RV renters. Although you don’t have to do this step, in many cases, it’s another little task that can go a long way. For example, don’t be afraid to put drinks and snakes in that fridge! You can also include other items like brochures for nearby regional outdoor attractions. These small details show your RV guests that their comfort, and their fun, is important to you.
Renting out your RV, financial liability to cash cow
As you can see, your RV doesn’t have to be monetary burden. And it’s outrageously easy to start generating cash by renting it out. You even have options that allow you to enjoy it throughout the year!
But we’d love to hear from you. If you’re considering renting out yours, what’s holding you back? And if you’ve rented out your RV, what was your experience like?