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If you are wondering if renting out your RV can be profitable, the answer is a resounding YES! In the right situation renting out your RV can be worth it. However, you need to make sure to avoid common pitfalls of the RV rental business. To get an idea of how much you can actually make we talk about our personal experience and dip into the expertise of over 40,000 other RV owners.
Let’s get started. So, how profitable is renting out your RV anyway?
With the right style and age of RV renting out your camper can be very profitable. Individual owners make between $1000 and $3500 a month in the camping season. Many owners pay off their rigs in an average of three years.
My family loves taking trips in our RV travel trailer. The freedom and flexibility it offers are second-to-none, especially with a large family like ours. The memories we have of past trips and our dreams for future trips truly keep us inspired.
We have never regretted purchasing our RV travel trailer. But, it’s not like the payments stop coming due during the times when we can’t travel. So, I decided to try renting out our travel trailer on Outdoorsy and RVezy. Since then, I have learned so much about the RV rental business. I am an active member of a huge RV owners’ group online. With 11,000 members, it is a robust source of support and education. It was there that I learned how to run the most profitable RV rental business and avoid the downfalls.
Camper vans, Class C motorhomes, and small to medium-sized travel trailers that are 2 to 10 years old make the most money. My 35-foot bunkhouse travel trailer sleeps nine. I purchased it for $14,000 and it rents for $125 a night from early spring to late fall. On average, we have bookings for 10-20 days per month. I can tell you – that an extra $1,250 to $2,500 every month is always welcome.
I have heard from many other RV owners that they enjoyed the easy income potential of renting their RV so much that they added two or three new rigs to their fleet!
In fact, we gathered information from RV owners renting on the peer-to-peer network Outdoorsy and RVezy to find out how much you could make with each type of RV. In addition, I interviewed RVezy to get the best tips for making the most money renting out your RV.
Are you ready to get started? Stick with us for information about the most profitable RVs to rent out, the average income you can expect, and some pitfalls of renting out your personal RV. And of course, we’ll answer the biggest question you may have about renting out your RV – how and where to list it.
The Most Popular Types of RVs To Rent Out
A 20 – 30 foot Class C motorhome or travel trailer that sleeps 4 to 8 people, is in excellent condition and 5 to 10 years old is the most lucrative RV rental for you as an owner. A camper that is a couple of years old has already lost value due to depreciation but still has low maintenance costs.
Having a type and style of RV that is in demand will make your new business profitable very quickly. Just by chance, my travel trailer happened to be very popular. The nice amenities, the bunkhouse in the back, and the separate room are features that many renters seek.
Here are the best RVs that will rent out all summer long.
Class C Motorhome
Class C motorhomes are the basic RV that you think about when renting an RV. Average length, 25 – 30 foot Class C motorhomes rent extremely well. The size is short enough to maneuver and fit in many campsites but large enough for a family to be very comfortable.
Camper vans are in high demand because they are built on a van chassis and are by far the easiest RV to drive. These are perfect for couples and small families that want flexibility during their road trips.
Camper vans are also quite popular due to their coolness factor. People are just excited to experience #VanLife!
Small or Mini Travel Trailers
Small R-Pods, pop-ups, and other lightweight towable travel trailers are all the rage. Since the small RVs can be towed with an SUV or light truck, they are highly desirable. People also like that they can have and use their own vehicle for side trips once they arrive at the campsite.
The benefit to you, the owner, of renting out a travel trailer is that there is no vehicle maintenance and no depreciation due to mileage. They are also much cheaper to purchase. You can buy a travel trailer at a fraction of the cost of a motorhome but still rent it out for over $100 a night.
Of course, the downside is the risk of an inexperienced driver towing your vehicle.
Bunkhouse Travel Trailers
Larger travel trailers are rented frequently by families and groups that want to camp together. The lighter travel trailers that can be towed by a half-ton truck will rent the best. However, I can say that my 35-foot travel trailer requires more than a half-ton truck, it is still quite popular.
For people who rent out a large camper, an additional service you might consider offering is delivery to the campsite. I have received requests to deliver all over the state of Colorado.
RVs That Should Never Be Used as Rentals
There are some types of RVs that make poor rentals. This can be due to a high purchase price vs low-income potential or to a greater potential for damage. After connecting with thousands of RV business owners and getting input on the best and worst RV rentals, here is what I’ve learned about RVs to avoid if you plan to do rentals.
Expandable RVs and Travel Trailers with Canvas Sides
Travel trailers that expand with canvas sides are popular rentals. However, the canvas is very expensive to repair when damaged. The units are relatively cheap to buy but the maintenance could be very high.
I regularly see folks ask on the RV forum if they should add a pop-up to their RV fleet – and the answer is always a resounding no.
New Luxurious Motorhomes
A brand new motorhome depreciates quickly due to mileage. Although some people will be willing to pay a premium to take a vacation in a luxurious motorhome, this will not be a popular model. People who don’t regularly drive an RV don’t usually want to practice on one that’s quite so pricey.
People generally want to rent the nicest thing they can afford and an older motorhome with a broken and worn-out interior will get negative reviews. In fact, some RV rental platforms only insure RVs up to 10 years old. On Outdoorsy, If your RV is older than 10 years, you must secure your own commercial insurance. RVezy adds an additional layer of screening for RVs older than 20 years.
Where to List Your RV for Rent
The easiest way to get started in the RV rental business is to list your RV on a sharing economy website. I have experience using Outdoorsy, RVShare, and RVEzy. All are free to list your RV and you do not have to commit to renting to anyone you do not approve. So I keep an active listing on all 3 platforms.
Related Content: Outdoorsy vs RVshare for Renting an RV (Who You Should Rent From)
I suggest listing on either RVEzy or Outdoorsy first to get set up. Download our swipe file here for instructions on getting your listing up quickly so you can start bringing in customers.
I have found that Outdoorsy is the best and easiest site to use for my RV rental business. You will get a welcome package and can schedule a coaching session with them.
I like Outdoorsy because it is super intuitive to use and you don’t have to commit to a big business venture. You could try renting out your RV once and see how it goes. This is how I got started, and how I became convinced that the effort of renting out my RV is totally worth the reward.
- Listings are free; you pay a 15% commission to the site when your vehicle is rented.
- Liability insurance with Liberty Mutual for up to $1 million is automatically provided on rentals (but vehicles must be less than 10 years old).
- Every renter must pass a driving history check.
- You always get the final say on who rents your RV.
- Payments are deposited directly into your bank account within 24-48 hours after your rig leaves your driveway.
- New owner training and personal business coach available
RVEzy is by far the best if you are in Canada and is quickly gaining popularity in the US. They make the process as easy as possible and have in-house customer service and insurance. So, when you call for help, you get a real live person, sitting in an office in Canada, complete with a Canadian accent.
- Listings are free; you pay a 20% commission fee to the site when your RV is rented.
- In-house insurance up to $1 million is required to be paid for by the renter
- Every renter must pass a driving history check.
- You can interview and choose which renters to accept
- Payments are deposited directly into your bank account. 50% after departure and 50% after the RV is returned to you.
- New owner training and welcome package. They will even notice and call to help you if your rig is underperforming.
See how much you will make with their income calculator on RVezy here.
Let us help you get up and running the easy way. Bookmark our Ultimate Guide to Getting Started Renting out Your RV (the smart way).
More Tips for Making the Most Money Renting Out Your RV
Use Eye-catching Pictures
The profile picture of your RV listing should be shot somewhere scenic that the renter can imagine themselves camping and having a great time. Many people use a picture of their own family at a campground to add that personal touch. A great picture can be inspiring.
But because potential renters are also looking to inspect the merchandise, it’s helpful to include the entire outside of your camper in the image. Then, add additional pictures of your RV from the inside to highlight all of the listed features.
Use an Enticing Description
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the words in your listing are what close the deal after the pictures hook a potential customer. Aim for a description that is interesting and unique yet also includes all of the amenities and features of your RV. This will help to catch people’s attention. Your description should allow them to see themselves having a great time on their vacation.
To help you get started with your description, you can download our free swipe file here. Simply make a copy of this file and fill in the blanks, then upload it to your rental profile.
Offer Delivery and Set Up
Delivery and setup is a great service to offer because many people want the exciting experience of camping without all of the work. When I first listed my trailer for rent, I had 10 requests for delivery within the first month.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to deliver and set up your RV, you will get more renters, earn more money, and reduce the risk of an inexperienced driver damaging your camper.
Many people charge a flat delivery fee of $50-$100 within 25 to 100 miles. You could also charge by the mile at a rate of $1 to $3 a mile.
One tip that Matt at RVEzy gave me about delivery is to make sure that the commercial insurance covers your delivering the trailer. Your personal insurance may not cover your RV if you are delivering it for a rental purpose. RVezy insurance will cover you the owner, during delivery in case you were to get in an accident.
These are only a few of my top tips for renting out your RV. I have also written a comprehensive list of tips and tricks for making the most money renting out your RV, which you can read here.
Final Thoughts on Whether an RV Rental Business Is Profitable
An RV rental business is lucrative, and starting one is quick and easy. I have found this to be a much better side hustle than flipping campers.
If you are looking for an RV for sale or already own one, renting it out can help you make your payments and even bring in some extra income. Most people earn between $1000 and $3000 a month in peak season. I have been able to make at least $1500 a month on an older travel trailer.
RV Rental Is a Business That Can Grow
Signing up on Outdoorsy and listing your RV there is the quickest and easiest way to get started – and to keep growing. When you use a reputable listing service for your RV rental business profit comes securely and predictably.
RVEzy is the next place you should list your RV. They are so beginner-friendly they will help you through the entire process. They will even notice if your RV is not getting enough bookings and a coach will reach out to your personally. Sign up with RVezy here.
Some people find that renting out their personal RV is so profitable that they decide to add one or two more RVs to their fleet. The business is easily scalable and doesn’t require an expensive storefront to run. You just have to have the space to park your RV when it’s home!
Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever. We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug! I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.
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Thanks for the information. I’m looking to get into the RV rental business just for passive income. I have experience in RV so your article was very informative. I ready run a IT consulting business so adding this later will create another income stream.
Where is the best place to buy the RV? I don’t have a place for storage. Any advice on this?
I have found it’s best to buy a used RV for renting out. You can look on Facebook groups, Craigslist and local newspapers. You can find a storage lot near you that allows RVs and boats.
Where are you located? I am in Chicago and wondering if buying a campervan would be a good idea. I am concerned that during the winter I wont get any traction. I am looking to make side income. Do you know how I can learn what the demand in my city would be? I tried looking at the calendar of other camper vans but saw a wide difference in bookings. Any suggestions on determining the demand in my area? Thanks
I am in Colorado. In the Western states, campervans are very popular. You could contact Outdoorsy customer service and ask them the most popular RV for your area.
You say that vintage rentals are a good investment, but then that your rv shouldn’t be over 10 years old. Can you explain?
Vintage rentals have an appeal to some but they must be in great condition and a type in demand, such as airstream. If you have a vintage camper, Outdoorsy or RVezy offer insurance. However, for most new business owners, the best approach is to have an RV under 10 years old.
Me and my wife are thinking about keeping our old travel trailer when we soon upgrade to a bigger one. Do you think this could be profitable as we would have to keep it at a storage unit, and do you think it would be hard to be able to deliver it for customers while also working a full time job? We would love to connect with you if possible!
Christian & Anna
Yes, I think it would be profitable depending on the storage costs but you would need to look at all the costs associated with keeping the RV. Used RVs tend to have a poor trade-in value, so renting out is a good option. The delivery of your RV would depend on your work schedule. You could offer delivery in the afternoon when you are off work.
Are there any revenue streams for the winter months?