Outdoorsy vs RVshare for Renting an RV (Who You Should Rent From)

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When renting an RV, the peer-to-peer networks offer a large variety of RVs at a low discounted price.  Renting from your peers, similar to Airbnb, has so many advantages over large RV rental companies.  So which company should you rent from?  RVshare or Outdoorsy?  In this article, you will learn about both platforms, the pros and cons, and which is best to rent an RV from. 

But wait, why should you take my word for it? We have rented RVs for our family vacations and we rent our travel trailer out to other people in the sharing economy.  We actually rent on both RVshare and Outdoorsy because of the benefits to the owners on each.  

I am using my experience with both companies to write this showdown – RVshare vs Outdoorsy to help you decide who to rent from. I’ll spill the beans first and then you can dig in deeper to see all the comparisons between the two.

The main advantages of Outdoorsy for a renter are an easier-to-navigate website, lower overall fees, more comprehensive insurance coverage.  RVshare has the advance of a wider selection of RVs in more places, lower cost of insurance, and more responsive online customer service. Although we like Outdoorsy better, I would search both networks to find the right RV for you and then make your decision based on which is available.

Psst – If you wanted to know how to make money renting out your RV go here to RVshare VS Outdoorsy Owners Guide

This is part of our series on renting an RV for your next vacation. You will find many articles useful but these are the next steps:

Overview of Outdoorsy and RVshare

RVshare and Outdoorsy are both online platforms that are part of the “sharing economy” method of rental. Similar to Airbnb, private owners advertise and rent out their own RVs to other people. 

Both were established by couples who enjoy the RV lifestyle together and wanted to help support their RV lifestyle. 

Both companies are growing, rapidly especially with the heightened interest in contactless vacations and road trips. Many young families are not able to own and maintain an RV, so they can rent one at a greatly reduced rate through the sharing economy. 

These two platforms are similar to Airbnb and are the most respected sources for RV renters. (You will see other companies start to pop up and follow this model). Like Airbnb, renters can browse by location,  dates, and a variety of other features.  Then once you find something of interest you contact the owner to request a booking.  Sometimes you will find the “Instant Book” feature to the reserve without waiting for approval. 

I think that the biggest benefit of renting from the sharing economy is the low price, the locations, and the huge variety of RVs.  You can rent anything from the biggest to the smallest RVs in areas all over the US and Canada.

Want to see more examples of RVs to rent? Read more on the blog

We have a 35-foot travel trailer in rural western Colorado.   As part of the network of owners, I have a discount for Outdoorsy to offer – $50 off your first rental by clicking here. 

Although the two companies work on a similar business model, let’s see the benefits of each that we particularly like. 

Customer and Owner Reviews 

As with any company in the sharing economy, it is worth noting that your experience as a renter is both related to the individual RV owner and the company. (Airbnb is full of complaints but I have never personally had a problem) 

A review of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) information of RVshare and Outdoorsy shows that both have great overall ratings but still have some complaints on file. 

RVshare has had 91 complaints against it—mainly from renters about billing, insurance, and damage issues. Since 2019, RV share has greatly reduced the number of complaints and increased their rating to A+

When I looked at the most recent BBB profile, there were 59 complaints recorded. One notable grievance is by an owner concerning collecting the damage deposit from the renter.   However, Outdoorsy has a highly positive rating.

Also, many complaints from customers are related to damage deposit misunderstandings and inadequate walk-throughs.  As a renter, make sure to ask ample questions before picking up the RV, and don’t leave until you understand how to fully operate everything.  A thorough walk-through will take up to an hour to complete. 

Commissions and Fees 

Each company charges fees to the renter to cover the cost of running their business, which covers multiple services to owners and renters alike.  In addition, you will pay for insurance on the RV.  Also, it is common for the company to collect taxes on the owner’s behalf. 

RVshare adds a service fee of 10% to the renter’s total rate.  In addition, a daily charge for insurance will be added plus local taxes. 

According to Outdoorsy “ Service fees will vary with a number of factors not limited to the length of trip, time of year, availability, and the insurance offering.”  In general, the service fees for renters are 10% to 20% of the daily cost. 

Insurance Options

Insurance is an important part of both rental platform’s services for owners and renters alike.  Both RVshare and Outdoorsy have comprehensive insurance policies that cover up to $1 million in liability and physical damage protection. (That said, the Owner Protection policy supplements do not mean that you should not retain personal insurance for your vehicle – check with your agent)

The RVshare insurance options are standard, enhanced, and premier.  The insurance price is based on the value of the RV, type of RV, and length.   The rates range from $20 to $92 a day for motorhomes and $10 to $55 a day for travel trailers.  

Outdoorsy proudly states that Liberty Mutual is their insurance company.  (Rentals in the United Kingdom are insured by Lloyd’s of London!) Outdoorsy has three tiers of rental insurance named risk taker, essential and peace of mind. The insurance rates start at a minimum of $10-15 per day, based on the type of vehicle being rented.

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    Roadside Assistance

    Both rental platforms offer 24/7 roadside assistance to renters. RVshare features very comprehensive assistance services available, from tires to lockouts. Roadside service also includes the delivery of essential supplies, including oil, gas, and water. RVShare delivers this service through National Safe Drivers

    Outdoorsy also offers round-the-clock technical assistance made available through Coach-Net, which is regarded as the best of the three roadside assistance providers operating. This service is available with premium and ultimate (though not basic) insurance options. Coach-Net offers several forms of roadside assistance, and it’s contactable through an app. 

    Cancellation Policy

    Like Airbnb, both RVshare and Outdoorsy offer a selection of cancellation policies for owners to choose from.  You can see the type of cancelation policy that each owner has chosen when browsing different rental selections. 

    RVshare currently has three levels of cancellation policies—Flexible, Standard, and Strict. These Levels involve different refunds that renters are entitled (or not) to if they cancel within a certain time.  A flexible level allows for a 50% refund 30 days before the rental and strict will not allow a refund 30 days before the rental.

    All levels allow for the refund to the renter minus the RVshare fees. However, in certain circumstances, such as COVID I have been able to cancel a reservation for a full refund without incurring any fees. If the owner needs to cancel a reservation, the renter automatically gets a refund.

    With Outdoorsy,  RV owners can choose from three cancellation policies—Flexible, Moderate, and Strict, each of which determines refunds based on the timing of the cancellation. 

    Make sure you know the cancelation policy of the vehicle that you are renting before you agree to book. 

    Customer Service

    Both platforms offer 24-hour customer service by phone. 

    With RVshare, phone support for any problem you might encounter with the rental process is available at 1-888-482-0234. If you prefer email, you can contact RVShare using a special request form at the web address.  I have had very good experiences with both phone and online support from RVshare. 

    For Outdoorsy, the customer service number is (415) 930-4841. The customer service line is responsive and the best way to contact the company.  Although, I did have a long wait time during the peak rental season.  If you prefer other means of reaching customer service, you can do so by email at [email protected], or via live chat. However, when I emailed the support line I only received generic responses back so I suggest using the phone number. 

    Selection of RVs to rent

    RVshare seems to have an advantage in the huge selection and highly varied locations for rental RVs.  However, the Outdoorsy website is easier to navigate and has a better filter for searching exactly what you would like.

    We suggest starting your search with Outdoorsy to see what is available in your area.

    Conclusion: Which is better to rent an RV for Vacation—RVshare or Outdoorsy?

    So after taking all of these factors into consideration, should you rent an RV from Outdoorsy or RVshare? 

    The main advantages of Outdoorsy for a renter are easier to navigate the website, lower overall fees, more comprehensive insurance coverage.  RVshare has the advance of a wider selection of RVs in more places, lower cost of insurance, and more responsive online customer service. 

    We generally lean towards Outdoorsy so I suggest you search for RVs there first.  You can get a discount off your fist rental at Outdoorsy with our link for $50 off Outdoorsy here.

    Whichever RV rental service you choose, it is a great idea to take with you an RV Journal and planner to help you keep track of your journeys. I’d appreciate it greatly if you check out our Etsy Store and grab some.

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      We have more guides to hep you rent the perfect RV and avoid many costly mistakes on renting an RV. Read the next (or previous) articles in the series on renting an RV:

      Outdoorsy vs RVshare - Which is better to rent from? Answering questions of insurance, fees, roadside assistance, reviews and more
      Outdoorsy vs RVshare – Which is better to rent from?

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        Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
        Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

        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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