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As an owner renting out my RV on both platforms, I wrote this article based on personal experience (with a little help from the experts too). Don’t miss this RVshare vs Outdoorsy showdown. You will find out which is the best RV rental company in 2021.
The good news is that the peer-to-peer network makes renting out your RV easy and quick to set up. You don’t have to worry about insurance, advertising or legal agreements. The online platforms, RVshare and Outdoorsy, will take care of all that for you.
I also made a handy fill-in-the-blank template to make it easy to list your RV. Get the Google Docs template here.
If you are an RV owner and would like to make extra income by renting out your recreational vehicle, the two major platforms are RVshare and Outdoorsy. Both serve as the largest clearinghouses for the rental of privately-owned RVs.
RVshare and Outdoorsy are both part of the peer-to-peer “sharing economy” mode of rental. Both were founded by RV-ing couples who wanted to share the RV experience with those who could not afford to become RV owners. Both companies are growing, thanks especially to millennial travelers and families, who are enjoying the benefits of RV life without the cost of ownership.
These two platforms are some of the most respected sources for would-be RV renters and are platforms for RV rental like Airbnb. In fact, both of their mental processes are like that of Airbnb—find something you like that works with your vacation dates and contact the owner to request a booking.
You can see the advertisement of our travel trailer on Outdoorsy and RVShare below (feel free to steal my rental description). You can click on the image below to see my listing on Outdoorsy or you can click here to see my travel trailer for rent
Don’t worry, if you are an RV owner, you can choose to pre-screen all your renters or use the “Instant Book” feature, similar to Airbnb. The instant book enables renters to book their vehicle without prior communication and has many advantages to you as an owner as well.
However, I suggest starting your rental business by pre-screening renters. You will likely be nervous the first time your rig leaves your driveway and knowing the first renters will help your nerves. Also, if you have a special rig or want to know about the driving ability of your renters you can ask all those questions before committing to rent to them.
I rent out my 35-foot travel trailer, which is large, requires a ¾ ton truck to tow, and is difficult to drive. So, I pepper each prospective renter with a bunch of questions – in a nice way of course. I don’t want them to damage their vehicle if the trailer is too heavy or long for them to tow.
Pro tip: If you are an owner or a renter for the first time, I suggest getting to know each other before the person arrives to rent the RV.
At this point, you are ready to rent out your RV but want to know if RVshare or Outdoorsy is the best place to rent your RV. Both offer many benefits for relatively modest fees and take care of a lot of the necessary things, including insurance and roadside assistance. Although each company has its pros and cons, there is certain strength for each company. After renting out my travel trailer on both sites, dealing with renters, customer service, and payments, I will tell you what I specifically like about each company.
Still, it is important to compare them, before making a decision with whom to rent your vehicle. Some of the information in the table is based on research but most are based on my personal experience on both platforms. So let’s get started with the
Which is the Best: Outdoorsy vs RVshare
|Description of Feature||Outdoorsy||RVshare|
|Commissions on the rental rate||20%||25%|
|Marketing||Facebook, Google, TV|
|Customer Reviews – average stars||4.88 stars||4.25 stars|
|Customer Service||best by phone||best by chat or phone|
|Average Bookings per Month||2||4|
|Average inquiries per month||3||6|
|When funds are released||1 day after pick-up||1 day after return|
|When the damage deposit is released||7 days after return||when you release it |
(or 7 days)
Convinced yet? You can start making money by renting out your RV on Outdoorsy today!
Biggest Pros of Outdoorsy
Outdoorsy describes itself as the “#1 most trusted RV rental marketplace in the world”. Count me in on this statement.
“Outdoorsy is the largest and most trusted RV rental marketplace. Renting your RV on Outdoorsy is made simple and secure with our unique benefits and offerings. Rent your RV with complete peace of mind.”Outdoorsy
Personal Coaching to List and Rent – Outdoorsy offers free 1-on-1 coaching sessions to help guide you through the process of renting your RV and making the most money.
Website and app: The website and app are easy to use, and you can communicate with renters directly. After using both companies, I like the website and platform of Outdoorsy.
Insurance: They offer $1M insurance policy on your rig and the renter can choose 3 different levels of coverage. You choose the added fees and the amount of the deposit.
Step-by-step instructions: Plus, they give you all the steps to take, such as pre-departure checklists, documentation, and return checklist. You print the checklist that they give you and fill everything out. (I can tell renters – sorry for the paperwork but it’s required)
Payment: One of the best points, is that Outdoorsy releases the full payment to your account only 1 day after your RV leaves your driveway. So, you have the money very quickly. The fees are slightly less, so you will keep more of your money.
Help for the Newbie: Outdoorsy not only has a great FAQ page, but they also send you a series of training and onboarding emails. Each email has a mini-training to help you get your RV rental business started.
Owners Group – One of my favorite places to get help and tips is the Facebook group with over 11,000 members. You can ask the community anything and they are all so helpful! It is for owners only so you can join after you list your RV.
What I like About RVshare
I first signed up on RVshare, and although I was nervous, I liked some of the benefits of RVShare right away. They also tout themselves as the most trusted and the largest RV marketplace. In 2012, Mark Jenney and his wife Rachel bought an RV for their honeymoon and founded the company. They are the oldest network and now has more than 60,000 RV owners across the US in the network.
Listing: My listing was easy to set up and the platform pulled much of the information from the VIN on my trailer. Although I still needed to complete the profile, it was easy.
Owner toolkit: The website features an owner toolkit with FAQs, tips and many more resources.
Booking rate: RVShare has a particularly good advertising strategy and their Facebook advertising is outstanding. I have had more inquiries and rentals from RVShare.
Renting instructions: RVshare has all the paperwork ready for you to complete. You do not need to figure out any of the legal stuff, just print and fill out the paperwork that they send.
Cancellation policy: Both owners and renters can cancel a reservation. You can set the cancelation policy for renters to be as strict or lenient as you want. Also, generally, RVShare collects fees for canceling but can waive those fees. I had a renter request to cancel due to COVID-19 and we were able to give her a full refund.
RVshare VS Outdoorsy showdown
Read more for the ultimate comparison of the companies and make sure to read my rental strategy at the end. If you are ready to start renting out your RV, here are the links to get signed up and start making money:
Create a listing for your RV at RVshare here
Create a listing for your RV at Outdoorsy here
Outdoorsy vs RVshare on BBB
When looking at Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews of RVshare and Outdoorsy, it is important to consider that dates and responses, as well as the substance of the complaints. In each case, the company and/or owner had the opportunity to respond and hopefully address the complaint.
RVshare has been accredited since 2019 and has an A+ rating and an average of 4 stars from customers. In 2020, RV share has had 90 complaints against it—mainly from renters about billing, insurance, and damage issues. It is worth noting that since its accreditation 2019, RV share has greatly reduced the number of complaints, though they still happen, and more than those for Outdoorsy
Outdoorsy has a somewhat more confidence-inspiring profile than RVshare (though it has its own share of complaints). In its most recent BBB profile, the customer rating was 4 ½ stars but there were 74 complaints recorded in the last year. Most complaints are from renters that did not understand the payment structure or fees.
Many complaints come from customers regarding damage deposit disputes and inadequate walk-throughs. Owners who wish to rent their vehicles through either of these platforms, therefore, should take these complaints to heart. The BBB reports can be a good guide to what not to do as an owner renting out your RV.
Pro tip: If you are handy at fixing things in your RV this can ease the tension for the renter when you do withhold a portion of the damage deposit. For example, I say something like “I am sorry this happened, but don’t worry, I won’t take this to an expensive RV repair shop. We will likely be able to do the work ourselves and order the cheapest parts we can.”
Owner Reviews and Complaints
Beyond the BBB, there are other forums for owner reviews and complaints about each platform.
Here RVshare comes out negatively with about 1/3 of the complaints reported left unanswered. The most common complaints are about a lack of responsiveness when it comes to insurance payment for vehicle damage, or removing a listing when an owner no longer is renting it out.
With Outdoorsy, by contrast, the reviews have been mostly positive. And even when there are negative reviews, they usually have to do with the vehicle (and therefore the individual owner more than the company). Outdoorsy encourages awareness of the person-to-person nature of the rental and advises owners and renters to contact each other personally to resolve issues when possible. This, in turn, fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect regarding maintaining the mobile property, whether by the owner or by the renter during the rental period.
As I said previously, it’s best to communicate with the prospective renter first, asking them many questions. Once you get the feel for the RV rental business you can choose an instant book.
Community Support for Owners
Both platforms have community support for owners as a FaceBook group. I am a member of both groups and find much of the discussion so helpful. Of course, you do hear more negative things because people are jumping on for advice to deal with a situation, but these groups are so helpful. Many of the posts go something like this – an owner posts “What would you do in this situation…”For example – I have a renter that has left the blackwater tank full or the renter is late to pick up the RV. It is not unusual to see 20-50 responses to one post. Everyone is helpful and supportive.
RVShare Owners group has 3k members who are very active. There are about 9-13 new posts a day.
Outdoorsy RV Owner Community on Facebook has 10k members who are very active. There are 12-20 new posts a day. Unfortunately, you cannot join unless you have a camper listed on Outdoorsy.
Commissions and Fees Each Company Charges
Each company requires certain owner fees to cover multiple services to owners and renters alike.
With RVshare, the fees are based on the value of the vehicle. As an owner, you can see your fee rates on the owner dashboard in the account information page. My commission fee is 25% percent of the rental amount, so I keep 75% percent of the rental price that I set.
In addition, the renters pay fees on their end. The fees are based on the value of the vehicle plus the cost of insurance.
Outdoorsy commission fee for the owner is 20%, so you keep 80% of your rental rate. When I withhold the damage deposit less than 3% was charged.
For Outdoorsy, service fees for renters start at a minimum of $10-15 per day, based on the type of vehicle being rented. Renters also cover the cost of insurance and can get 3 different tiers of insurance.
How Each Company Markets
When renting your vehicle with RVshare or Outdoorsy, you will have your vehicle advertised for rent on other sources besides the platform itself. RVshare markets on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Bing, Google, and Yahoo. In addition, their blog is a marketing tool. I have had more successful bookings from RVshare because of their widespread marketing efforts. Below is an example of the Facebook ad that is in my feed since I have been on the site recently.
Outdoorsy, by contrast, primarily uses Facebook Marketplace for advertising. Owners have the option to opt-out but should consider that this service is free to owners and increases the visibility of your vehicle. Outdoorsy also uses email marketing strategies. Owners are also encouraged to create their own pages.
Payment to Owners
The payment process for both platforms involves both the transfer of rental fees and money earmarked for damage deposits.
RVshare offers a detailed process, by which renter payments are posted the first business day after the rental is complete but may take a couple more days to reach your bank account. Making sure that you have all of your necessary bank information in the system will help avoid delays
When it comes to damages, RVshare allots $1 million earmarked towards insurance and protection purposes. You can choose the damage deposit amount from the renter within a certain range, usually between $500 and $2000.
With Outdoorsy, the system holds rental fees for twenty-four hours after the RV leaves your driveway before releasing it into your account. I enjoy receiving the money in my account while my travel trailer is still out. A 2.98% processing fee is deducted from the damage deposit if you need to withhold any of that.
Outdoorsy boasts a $1 million insurance policy. You can choose the damage deposit amount from the renter within a certain range, usually between $500 and $2000.
Insurance is an important part of both rental platforms’ services for owners and renters alike.
With RVShare, renter insurance is included in the rental prices—and is very comprehensive. That said, the cost of rental insurance varies according to the size of RVs, with higher rates overall for drivables than for trailers. One significant drawback is that RVshare does not identify who their rental insurance company is. Plus, I have not needed to file a claim for insurance so I am not sure how it would go.
Outdoorsy proudly makes Liberty Mutual their insurer of choice, based on the company’s good reputation, for their U.S. rentals (Rentals in the United Kingdom are insured by Lloyd’s of London!) Their comprehensive insurance policy covers up to $1 million in liability and physical damage protection. The renter chooses from 3 tiers of insurance that have different deductible amounts.
That said, the Owner Protection policy supplements does not mean that you should not retain personal insurance for your vehicle.
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.
RVshare currently 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. If the owner needs to cancel a reservation, the renter automatically gets a refund.
With Outdoorsy, like with RVShare, RV owners can choose from three cancellation policies—Flexible, Moderate, and Strict, each of which determine refunds based on the timing of the cancellation. While there are advantages and disadvantages to all three, it is pretty clear which is best and worst from the point of view of the renter and owner.
It’s worth noting that I have been able to cancel a reservation for COVID with a full refund and no fees.
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 good luck contacting them on the chat and on the phone both with quick responses and resolutions.
For Outdoorsy, the customer service number is (415) 930-4841. You can do so by email at [email protected], or via live chat but both of these avenues left me frustrated. In fact, I initially did not list on Outdoorsy because I was receiving unrelated standard reply messages to my email. (Outdoorsy attributed this to the RV rush during COVID) However. the customer service line is reported to be very responsive, and its staff does not needlessly keep you waiting. After talking on the phone my issues were resolved quickly.
Update: Outdoorsy has worked out some of the growing pains and is better on the response time now.
Conclusion: Which is better for Owners to Make Money—RVshare or Outdoorsy?
So after taking all of these factors into consideration, which rental platform should you go with when renting out your RV?
Setting up your profile is a little time-consuming on either platform. You will need your VIN, make and model of the RV, your license and contact information, a description of the RV, and the mileage if you have a motorhome.
I created a helpful fill-in-the-blank template to get you started on your first listing. You can get a copy of the listing template in my Google Doc here.
It is also helpful to offer delivery if you can. I had 3 times as many inquiries for delivering my camper to a campsite. This also helps to reduce the damage to your camper and you can charge between $100 and $500 for delivery.
Outdoorsy has a better commission and fee structure, you receive your money more quickly and better insurance. List your RV at Outdoorsy with our owner’s link here.
The main advantage of RVshare for owners is the advertising and benefits to renters which lead to more bookings. Create a listing for your RV at RVShare here
Overall, between the two platforms, based on these factors, Outdoorsy is recommended over RVshare. However, the listing is free with both platforms. Once you create a profile and description of your RV, setting up another profile is quick and easy. My parting advice, therefore, is to list your vehicle with both.
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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