There are a ton of blog posts out there about the different aspects of full-time RVing. Tips for living on the road, how-to guides for renovating your RV or downsizing, travel guides for the best places to stay – you name it, and there’s probably an article about it. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is what happens when, for whatever reason, you have to say goodbye to full-timing? It’s a pretty sad day, to be sure, but there’s still hope! I’m talking about a way to make money with your RV!
Don’t Sell! Make Money With Your RV by Renting It!
The average RV sits unused for about 90% of the year. Now, if you’re a seasoned RVer, you know how much that can cost. Storage fees and maintenance alone can cost hundreds of dollars a month! Not only that; but it also pulls on one’s heartstrings to see their RV sitting idle and gathering dust. So, many families decide to do something about it. You have two options if you still want to hang onto your RV, but don’t want to watch it wither away in storage: rent it out via dealership consignment or a peer-to-peer network.
Is Dealership Consignment Right for You?
RV consignment through a local dealership or company is a popular choice for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of renting their RV. The dealership will take on your RV and handle the advertising, cleaning, storage, and all those other chores that renting out an RV entails. It’s great if you just want to wipe your hands and be done with it. However, there are a few significant disadvantages to this:
- You can pretty much kiss your RV goodbye for a while. Since the dealership has it on their lot (and has the keys), it can be tough to arrange a vacation in your RV. You’ll likely have to give advanced notice if you want to use it for a weekend trip, especially if it’s during travel season.
- Storage can be another problem. If you don’t have a place to store the RV, most dealerships will store your RV for free if you consign it to them. This is good news for families who would otherwise be stuck paying hundreds of dollars a month to keep it in a storage center. However, keep in mind that some dealerships will charge you their storage fee if your RV doesn’t rent out that month, and dealership storage can be pricey.
- Insurance can be iffy, too. Dealerships structure their policies differently; some offer insurance while your RV is on the lot; others make you purchase supplementary insurance. It’s important to know exactly how, when, and where you’re covered, so you can decide whether you need the extra coverage.
- One of the biggest issues with RV consignment is money. Sure, they advertise that you can make big bucks off your RV, but is that really the case? Oftentimes, the answer is no. Here’s why: on top of insurance costs and (possible) storage fees, dealerships charge anywhere from 50% to 60% commission on your RV! And, they usually take half of the mileage and generator fees, too! That’s a hefty price they charge for being a middleman.
What About Peer-to-Peer Rentals?
I first heard about this type of rental when I attended the RV Entrepreneur Summit back in February 2017. If you’re not aware of the gathering, it’s a conference held by Heath and Alyssa Padgett. It’s where I gained a lot of confidence to build my business and chase my RV dreams. It’s also where I met Joel Clark, the co-founder of a company called RVShare. You can check out his interview here.
RVShare is the airbnb of RVs. Simply put, it’s a peer-to-peer RV rental system where you can make money with your RV very simply. Thanks to the magic of the internet, RV owners and renters from all over the country can connect with one another. P2P rentals remove the aforementioned middleman, which is beneficial to both parties.Renting out your RV on a P2P network is slightly different than consigning with a dealership. Here’s why it’s the better choice to make money with your RV:
- You’ll still have total control over your RV. You can store it wherever you want – in a storage facility, in your driveway, in your cousin’s yard – wherever. You get to choose when you want to rent it out, and you can black out certain dates whenever you want to take a vacation.
- You get to work one-on-one with the renter. You’ll be able to run background checks and talk with the renter before you make your decision, so you can have full confidence that your RV will be treated with respect. A lot of RV owners end up with regular return customers, which is never a bad thing!
- You don’t have to jump through insurance hoops and read through pages of fine print. You can keep whatever insurance you currently have on the RV and you don’t have to worry about insuring it while it’s on some dealership’s lot. P2P networks offer up to $1 million in liability coverage while your RV is rented. It’s the renter’s responsibility to get additional auto coverage unless you want to offer it to them for a fee.
- You can manage the advertising for your RV, which may or may not be your cup of tea. You’ll create the listing, add photos, and set the rental rates and rules yourself. RVshare already has a strong web presence, but you’re free to link the listing to your Facebook, Instagram, or advertise it in any other way you want.
- Money is the crown jewel of P2P rentals and why so many people choose P2P over the alternative. You get to keep more income from your RV than you would with any dealership. RVshare, in particular, charges around 15% commission whenever your RV rents. Those costs go toward the services they provide, like liability insurance, free roadside assistance, and screening tools.
Start Making Some Cold, Hard Cash
So, there you have it, everything you could possibly need to know about how to make money with your RV. Renting out your RV is a much better alternative to selling it; you still have it for vacations, you can offset storage and maintenance costs, and you’ll make some extra income in the meantime! Have you rented out your RV using RVShare or another P2P network before? Tell us how it went in the comments!
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