RV Rental Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How do I start my RV Rental Business?
- Does 1RVRentals.com rent my motorhome for me?
- What kind of RV rental paperwork do I need?
- How do I setup my rental RV on 1RVRentals.com?
- How much can I rent my RV for?
- How often can I realistically expect to rent my RV?
- What does it cost to list my rental RV on 1RVRentals.com?
- Can I rent my RV in the winter?
- How does RV Rental insurance work?
- What’s included with the rental? Towels? Pots ‘N Pans? Sheets?
- How do I keep my motorhome from being stolen?
- What if the renter damages my motorhome?
- What if the RV breaks down during a rental?
- Who is renting? What is the typical renter like?
- What is the best type of RV for rentals? What about my fifth wheel?
- What about renting older motorhomes?
- My coach is complicated. How can I be sure the renter understands it?
- Should I let my renters tow a car? A boat?
- Should I allow pets? What about children?
- What about smoking?
- What other related services can I provide to make extra $$ on my RV rentals?
1. How do I start my RV Rental Business?
Renting your RV is a revenue generating business. As such, you have a number of business decisions to make. Here are some suggestions to get started.
- Talk with an accountant about the best way to handle RV rental income and any tax consequences related to the rental income.
- Talk with an attorney about liability protection and the rental laws in your area.
- Review the terms of your RV loan agreement, your current RV insurance policy, and warrenties. Confirm any impact of renting your RV. Resolve how you will handle insurance. See Insurance below.
- Create a business plan. There are many local resources that can help you set up your RV rental business, including the Small Business Administration
- Acquire business process forms and software to run your rental business. Forms are available from 1RVRentals.com, in the Member Resources area, see Paperwork, below. MBA RV Rental Insurance also offers a comprehensive set of professional looking RV Rental forms, as well as software to assist in managing
an RV Rental Business.
- MBA RV Rental Insurance offers an excellent RV Rental Class: “Two-day rental operations training class open to all seeking Rental Business Education.” The school is taught by rental dealers currently in the RV rental business. Instructors have a combined 31 years experience in the motorhome rental business. For more information, see: MBA Insurance Rental School
- Advertise with 1RVRentals.com, yellow pages, or local newspapers.
2. Does 1RVRentals.com rent my motorhome for me?
Other sites claim they will rent my RV for me, what makes 1RVRentals.com different? What exactly does 1RVRentals.com do for me? What is consignment renting?
1RVRentals.com is a classified listing only. We create a web page for your RV on 1RVRentals.com, and promote the site, averaging over 10,000 site visitors per month.
We do not rent your RV for you. We do not get between you and the renter in any way. The advantage to you, the RV owner, is that no one is talking to your potential RV renters before you. The second advantage is that we take no commission on the rentals. You keep all the rental monies.
Other Types of RV Rental Services for Private Party Owners
Commissioned Marketing Agents. These companies assist you by marketing your RV, and conducting initial contact with renters. After the introduction is made, responsibility for the RV rental falls to the RV owner. The typical agent fee is 20% of each rental. Other services are Often included.
RV Consignment Shops. Consignment agencies typically take full control of your vehicle, and conduct the entire rental process. Fees are around 50% of the rental. Consignment renting makes sense for RV owners who are unable, or unwilling to perform the steps required to rent their motorhome, but still wish to earn some rental revenue. We know of some reputable consignemnt dealers. Call for more information.
3. What kind of RV rental paperwork do I need?
1RVRentals.com provides sample contract forms in the Member Resource Area available upon signup. MBA RV Insurance also provides a comprehensive set of Rental Forms to its members. 1RVRentals.com’s forms include:
- Rental Agreement
- Rate Sheet
- Reservation Form
- Insurance Binder – Standard verbiage that the renter’s insurance company must provide (may not be needed if you purchase RV insurance). See Insurance below.
- Passenger List – Who will be on board, who will drive.
- Startup Checklist – What to do before starting up the RV.
- Camp Checklist – What to do before camping in the RV.
- Return Checklist – a list of everything that needs to be done before returning the RV. Include the fees for noncompliance. Also mention that minor damage to the RV will result in forfeiture of deposit monies.
4. How do I setup my RV on 1RVRentals.com?
Setting up and maintaining your listing is easy. Help is always a call or email away if you have trouble.
- Click the “List My RV” link on the 1RVRentals.com home page and click on the button “Proceed to Signup”. You will be prompted to create an account.
- You now have a membership account and can login. Click the Member Login on the main menus. Enter your login and password and click the “Login” button. After a successful login your will be directed to the Member Home page.
- On the Member Home page, click Create New Vehicle button. You’re your vehicle number. After you have created a vehicle, you can upload pictures.
- On the Member Home page, click Upload Pictures. Select a good exterior image for your first picture. Then select up to 3 other pictures, depicting the interior, and any features you want to emphasize, such as slides, or amenities. Your RV pictures should be 300px wide. The floor plan should be 400px wide. The height is not critical. If you need help sizing or cleaning the pictures, email them to us, and we will clean them up and post them for you for.
- Also on the Member Home page, click Edit Rental Rates. Enter the rental rate for each date range.
We audit each listing before posting it to the live site. Within a day or two, your web page will be posted on the live site. Until that time, you (and only you) can view and change your listing on the Member Home Page View Listing, or Edit Vehicle Information. Call or email us with questions, or to expedite the process.
For a limited time, we are offering free setup for new rentals. Call or email us if you would like us to setup your page for you.
5. How much can I rent my RV for?
Rates for RV rentals vary by season, region, vehicle age, and amenities. Typical daily rental rates:
- Travel trailers: $50 to $175.
- Class “C” motorhomes: $125 to $250.
- Class “A” motorhomes: $150 to $300, or more.
6. How often can I realistically expect to rent my RV?
You should allow at least a half day turnaround to check in a returning rental, and prepare it for the next renter. Allow a couple hours for the training/checkout process for outgoing rentals. More time is needed for more complex vehicles. See Training below. If there is any maintenance required between rentals, a minimum of one extra day is required. For this reason, private renters will typically not book rentals “back-to-back” on the same day.
Fast turnaround on routine maintenance and repairs is important for meeting rental schedule commitments. Best Practice: Maintain a good relationship with local RV service people. Let them know about your business. They can provide good contacts, and help you grow your rental business.
More Best Practices: Consider outsourcing maintenance functions whenever practical. Mobile RV wash companies can expedite getting your rental vehicle clean quickly for the next renter. A local housecleaning service can handle an RV interior quickly and easily. Your time is valuable!
7. What does it cost to list my RV on 1RVRentals.com?
The cost to list on 1RVRentals.com starts at $19.95/model/month ($US) with substantial discounts for multiple rental models and annual payment plans. There is a onetime setup fee of $24.95 upon activation. We only charge the basic membership fee; there are no hidden charges, no commissions, and no surprises. You can setup your membership and models for free and only pay when you’re ready to activate your listings.
Learn more about becoming an 1RVRentals.com member on the Join Us page.
8. Can I rent my RV in the winter?
RV rental is a very seasonal business. Demand is high in summer, and drops off in late fall end early spring. Winter demand for RV rentals is low in most areas. Promoting your RV rental is key to achieving success with off-season rentals. Your 1RVRentals.com subscription is a good start.
Depending on the climate you are renting in, you may need to winterize your motorhome to insure that the pipes don’t freeze and break. Driving a motorhome or trailer in inclement weather is inherently more risky (and dirty!) than summertime RV’ing. Application of snow chains, negotiating high winds, and driving in low visibility are things to be avoided. Use good sense and caution in screening off-season renters. Be extra careful about monitoring destinations.
9. How does the insurance work?
For a private party, there are currently two options:
- Insurance Binder from Renter’s Auto Insurance Company. Require an “insurance binder” issued by the renter’s insurance company. The binder states that the renter’s auto insurance company is responsible (primary) for your motorhome, and any damage they do while in it. The binder must include increased coverages due to the value of the motorhome. A sample of the required binder verbiage is provided in the member resources area. Major insurance companies will provide renters with a binder for a modest fee. WARNING: Not all insurance companies will offer this service. You must be prepared to screen potential renters for their ability to provide the insurance binder. For that reason, commercial RV rental insurance is recommended.
- RV Rental Insurance. The recommended insurance strategy involves purchasing commercial RV renter insurance. MBA Insurance www.mbainsurance.net offers plans that cover you, your RV, and your renters. Commercial RV Rental insurance replaces your current recreational RV insurance policy. MBA plans also simplify the claims process, and can remove the insurance binder requirement. Call MBA for details 800-622-2201. MBA is dedicated to the RV rental industry, offering classes in RV rental, reservation software, RV rental forms, and manuals. (1RVRentals.com has no affiliation with MBA)
10. What’s included with the rental? Towels? Pots ‘N Pans? Sheets?
Motorhomes and camper trailers are typically rented without supplies such as towels, cookware, or sheets. This is because local renters will often want to use their own supplies. Renters that are flying in will need supplies. As such, “Convenience Kits” which include these items should be offered by the RV renter. See Related Services below.
11. How do I keep my motorhome from being stolen?
Proper screening is a major key to successful RV Rentals. The MBA RV Rental Class mentioned in How Does It Work? Above, offers a comprehensive set of screening strategies to protect your vehicle. Some of the most important screening practices are:
- Avoid last minute rentals. The risk factor is significantly increased with same day rentals. Even next-day rentals should be scrutinized carefully.
- Meet renters in advance whenever possible.
- Validate renters’ driving and employment records.
- Collect all rental fees and a sizable security deposit in advance.
- Be a disciplined renter. Create, and live by your rental policies.
The incidence of true RV “conversion” (theft) is actually very low, and in most cases the RV is recovered shortly after it is reported stolen. For more information on conversion, call MBA RV Insurance 800-622-2201.
12. What if the renter damages my motorhome?
First, minimize the chance of damage with good renter screening and training practices, as indicated above. However, as the saying goes, “Accidents will happen.” Following are some suggestions to protect yourself.
- Proper insurance. See Insurance above.
- Take a large security deposit, and a credit card number in advance. We suggest a $500 to 1,000 deposit. The deposit can be used against an insurance deductible, or for incidental damages which do not merit an insurance claim.
- Proper renter training. Your renter should have a checklist that addresses what to do in case of accident. Your home, work and cell phone number should be on that list, with instructions to notify you as soon as possible if any damage occurs.
- Proper check-in techniques. Inform the renter before you agree to the rental that a formal check-in and walk thru will take place upon return of the vehicle. It is important that you be up-front about the things that trigger deposit forfeiture. “Normal wear and tear” needs to be understood.
13. What if the RV breaks down during a rental?
Your are required to make a good faith attempt to get repairs made and get your renters back on the road as soon as possible. The best practices for roadside repairs include:
- Keep the vehicle in good running condition to minimize the chance of mechanical failures.
- Be sure your renters have a cell phone. Instruct your renters to contact you first in case of a breakdown.
- If your renter is broke down, do whatever it takes, within reason, to get them off the road, and get the vehicle repaired.
- Consider purchasing a roadside assistance package.
- Before departing, be sure that your renter understands that you are not responsible for lost vacation time, or any living expenses incurred due to a mechanical failure of the vehicle. (The contract will contain that language, but reiterate it before they depart.)
- Establish clear policies about roadside repair
14. Who is renting? What is the typical renter like?
RV rentals are always popular with families, professional couples, group outings, and vacationing retirees. Renters tend to be fairly affluent, as the daily rental rates are often more expensive than roadside motels, or other forms of camping. Renters are often former owners, especially renters of larger motorhomes. 1RVRentals.com attracts some other profitable demographics:
- Business rentals – Corporations rent large, clean class “A’s” for marketing events. Movie studios rent many RV’s for “location” sets. We recently had an author do a book tour for several weeks.
- Government rentals – Politicians like to travel in comfort! They also rent for specific events.
- NASCAR, and other sporting events. – RV rentals are extremely popular at NASCAR events. The vehicle sits in a parking lot though the event, so they are typically low mileage, low risk rentals.
- Emergency housing – We get a surprising number of calls asking about emergency housing for remodels, fires, or fumigations. Typically, these are “no-miles” rentals; the vehicle sits in the driveway while the house is being worked on. Special rates are often worked out, especially for longer rentals. Emergency housing is an excellent use for a fifth wheel trailer, which is otherwise a challenging class of rental motorhome. See Types of Rental RVs.
15. What is the best type of RV for rentals? What about my fifth wheel?
All classes of motorhomes are in demand as rentals.
- Class “C” The class “C” motorhome is the workhorse of the RV rental business, comprising a vast majority of motorhome rentals. The class “C” models are generally designed for families and quite often offer more sleeping capacity then class “A” motor homes. Most are built with a gas engine, but some newer models are coming out with diesel engines.
- Class “A”Class “A” motorhomes are very much in demand, and generally rent for more than class “C’s”. The challenge with class “A” rentals is the size and complexity. Good screening and training practices are particularly important. Many larger class “A” motorhomes are “diesel pushers”. This means that the engine is diesel, and in the rear of the vehicle. Driving a powerful diesel pusher is a memorable experience; and those memories can be quite costly, if bought by the day.
- Class “B” Class “B” motorhomes are van conversions, and always in demand. Van conversions are smaller, easier to drive, and can go places that larger motorhomes cannot. Yet they often sleep 5 – 6 comfortably.
- Fifth WheelsFifth wheel camper trailers are not the first choice of most renters, but they are being successfully rented. The towing vehicle needs to be a large pickup truck with a specialized hitch mounted in the bed. Here are some suggestions for renting a fifth wheel.
- Include the towing pickup truck in the rental.
- Limit rentals to individuals who have a pickup truck with the hitch in the bed. Validate that the hitch is compatible.
- Rent in situations where you can deliver the vehicle to a fixed location, and pick it up at the end of the rental period. Emergency housing, corporate rentals, or vacation rentals that do not require that the vehicle be moved during the rental period can be profitable on this rental model.
- Travel and Tent TrailersThere is constant demand for “towables”. The popularity, price and simplicity of towables make them a profitable rental vehicle. The fact that the renter drives his own vehicle simplifies the rental. The popularity of SUV’s makes towing easier than ever. Validate the compatibility of the renter’s hitch and wiring harness in advance. Make sure that you have the ability to get wiring or hitch modifications made locally. Larger travel trailers have trailer brakes which must be connected to the renter’s tow vehicle. Tent trailers are very poplular rentals. They are very easy to tow, and can be taken into campsites that conventional travel trailers cannot access.
- Toy HaulersToy Haulers are increasingly popular with renters who ride motorcycles or ATV’s. These “toys” can be driven into the back of the motorhome for travel. That space is reclaimed as “living space” when the motorhome is parked, and the “toys” are outside. How cool is that?
16. What about renting older motorhomes?
Older motorhomes can be very profitable rentals. Many owners keep their old motorhome when they rent, and use the rental revenue to pay for the new motorhome. Advantage of renting older RV’s include:
- Older models are simpler.
- Cosmetic infractions are less critical with age.
- Older vehicles can typically be offered at more competitive rental rates.
- There are typically no warranty considerations.
- MBA does not insure vehicles more than 10 years old. Renter will need to provide an insurance binder.
- Higher risk of breakdown. Keep the vehicle in good operating condition.
- Normal wear and tear will be greater.
17. My coach is complicated. How can I be sure the renter understands it?
Renters come is all sizes and shapes. If your coach is large and complex, you may prohibit “first timers” or limit your rentals to renters with Class “A” RV experience. Walk through some of the features of our coach in advance, and try to determine if your potential renter understands the features. Consider purchasing RV Safety Videos from RVSEF, the Recreational Vehicle Safety Education Foundation, www.rvsafety.org Regardless of how complex your RV, there are some common training practices that will insure safe and profitable rentals:
- Prepare checklists for each major system on the vehicle. Use the checklists during the walk through. Check off each system as it is explained to the renter. Consider a signature line at the bottom of each check list, for renter signoffs. MBA RV Rental Insurance offers sample checklists:
- Grey Water
- Black Water
- Electrical hookup
- Driver “cockpit” Controls
- Audio Visual system
- Awning – Note: Awnings are such a maintenance problem that many rental agencies remove or disable them. Train your renters how to deploy awnings correctly.
- Prepare simplified explanations for each system, print them in large type, and have them laminated. These instructions are best done in your own words. Alternatively, portions of the owners manuals can be photocopied.
- Be sure to have the owners’ manuals for each system on-board. Show the renter where they are.
18. Should I let my renters tow a car? A boat?
It’s a judgment call. Towing a car (Affectionately called a “dingy”) is very desirable when traveling in a Class “A” coach. However, navigating a 35 – 40 foot motorhome is challenging enough without dragging another 15 feet of towed automobile behind. Also – the dingy is typically detached to backup, so the driver needs to be experienced RV navigation and towing. Configuring a car for towing requires a specialized, and expensive, towing bar. The renter many not be prepared to spend hundreds of dollars configuring their car for towing.
Boat towing is in constant demand. With the proper hitch and electrical connections, towing a small boat is not difficult. Larger, heavier boats will require trailers with centrifugal brakes.
Towing and tongue weight need to be considered, especially with Class “C’s”. Contractually, the towing rules need to be laid out. If towing is allowed, towing weight and tongue weight need to be specified.
For these reasons, most owners do not allow towing. If you decide to allow towing, an upcharge is certainly appropriate.
19. Should I allow pets? What about children?
Motorhomes are a great way to travel with pets and children. Unfortunately, pets and children can be hard on the interior of your rental motorhome. You must decide on a rental policy, and then decide how strictly you will enforce it. Pets are typically prohibited, children are typically allowed. The choice is yours. Consider an extra security deposits and even a daily surcharge for pets. A dog left untended in a motor home can do thousands of dollars of damage to the interior.
20. What about smoking?
Decide if your RV will be a smoking or nonsmoking vehicle, and advertise it as such. If you decide to go with nonsmoking, let the renters know about your security deposit policies if the vehicle comes back smelling smokey.
21. What other related services can I provide to make extra $$ on my rentals.
There are many related services which are typically offered to renters. Use your imagination, and check what other other owners are charging for. Start with this list:
- Airport Pickup
- Pet Fee – A reasonable pet fee is typically acceptable. Take an additional security deposit as well. A dog that is left in a coach against his will can cause a lot of damage. Screen the pet and pet owner thoroughly.
- Kitchen Convenience Kit – Include cookware, plates, silverware, basic spices, dish soap, etc.
- Bedroom Convenience Kit – To include sheets, pillows, blankets, and pillow mints.
- Bathroom Convenience Kit – To include towels, TP, soap, and shampoo.
- Milage – Most rental contracts include 100 free miles / day, with a per-mile fee, typically around $.30/mile.
- Generator Usage – The industry standard generator fee is $3/hr.
- Entertainment Kit – Put together a selection of loaner CD’s and Videos, and offer it for a fee.
- Bike Rack – Consider renting the bikes to go with it…or perhaps scooters. Scooters are very popular in campgrounds.
- Lawn Chairs
At the conclusion of a long trip, your renters will want to get home. There are services which you can offer to help them on their way. Offer these services for a reasonable fee. Present them as “services” rather than “penalties”. BConsider finding a retired RV’er in your neighborhood who might be willing to help out with checkin/checkout. Pay him fairly.
- Fluid Top Off -Many renters will find it inconvenient to top off propane, diesel fuel, and water.
- Tank Dumo – Many renters will get thru the entire rental period without emptying the grey and black holding tanks. Offer to take care of this unpleasant task for them. Again, be fair.
- Cleaning Waiver – Some agencies employ “RV Cleaners”, and offer a cleaning service which allows the renters to return the vehicle without cleaning it in advance.