Is Renting Out Your RV Genius or a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Does your RV sit unused for most of the year? If it does, the thought of renting it out may have crossed your mind. After all, earning some extra money rather than just spending a boatload to be an RV owner has its appeal. 

RV Rental company RVShare said the number of bookings for the Fourth of July 2021 doubled from the prior year. And the cost for a renter is up 5-10%. This means there is a lot of money to be made in renting your RV. 

But are the benefits worth the potential disasters? Keep reading to help you decide. 

Benefits of Renting Your RV

There are some benefits to renting out your RV. The main one is money. You can earn a lot of extra money by renting out your RV. Most people pay $50 to $200 a night to rent an RV. 

While the company you rent through will keep a portion of the fees, that’s still some huge earning potential. Even if you rented it out just one month out of the entire year, you could earn anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 (before rental company fees). Typically, the nicer your rig, the more you can charge to rent it out. 

Renting your RV could pay for your payments, insurance, and more depending on how often you rent it and how much you charge. Sure there are some risks. But getting to RV for “free” by making your rig pay for itself seems like a pretty sweet deal. 

Another benefit to renting your RV is to help other would-be RVers. Many people who are looking to purchase an RV like to try several types of RVs before buying. By renting your RV you can help someone decide which rig is a good fit for them. 

Most, if not all, rental companies are also free to use. You’ll only have to pay a portion of the earnings if someone books your RV. That means you don’t waste money listing your RV only to have no interest from renters. 

Drawbacks of Renting Your RV

Of course, money isn’t everything and there is definitely the potential for major headaches when renting out your RV. Many RVers have concerns that people will destroy the interior, crash the RV, incorrectly dump the tanks (or not dump them at all), or even leave it stranded on the side of the road somewhere. 

While these are valid concerns, there is some good news. Many people who actually rent out their RV through a company report mostly positive experiences. It is just like renting out a house. You’ll have some pleasant experiences and some not so good. 

Another obvious downside is if you are renting your RV out, you can’t use it yourself. You can solve this by marking your RV as “unavailable” during the times you plan to use it. You will be in control of your schedule at all times so this isn’t too big of a problem. 

You also need to consider that repairs take time. In the current market, repairs take a LOT of time. That means if someone ruins your RV, you could be out of commission for the entire camping season. That would definitely be an awful experience. If you’re handy, you may be able to fix some things by yourself, but still. This drawback cannot be overlooked.

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If you have concerns about damage, keep reading to learn more about what rental companies offer. You’ll also have a lot of protections and insurance when using a rental company to facilitate the transaction. 

What Protection Do You Have When Renting Your RV? 

First, you will have the final say in who you rent your RV to. If you talk to someone and they seem irresponsible or like they’ll throw an enormous party in your RV, you can simply tell them “no”. In addition, most rental companies screen potential renters to ensure they meet specific criteria. 

Another protection you’ll have as an owner is comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance, at least for newer RVs. RVShare, for example, only provides liability coverage on RVs older than 15 years which would be a definite no-go in my book. No way would I let someone drive my RV with only liability coverage!

For all RVs, you’ll be able to keep the damage deposit if things need to be repaired. If repairs exceed the damage deposit, you can file a claim with the company insurance for newer RVs. Most rental companies also offer 24/7 roadside assistance and towing. That means if your renter gets stranded on the side of the road, there are plenty of options for them to get help (as opposed to just abandoning your RV). 

If you decide to rent your RV, make sure you read the fine print. Not all RV rental companies offer the same protections. Read and re-read to make sure you understand everything for your specific situation before signing away your rig.

So Should You Rent Out Your RV?

You shouldn’t take renting out your RV lightly. If you’re like most RVers, your rig is your baby and you take wonderful care of it. You simply don’t know how people will treat your RV until it happens. 

From what I have heard, most people have fairly positive experiences overall. However, unfortunately, it usually takes just one negative experience to give you a bad feeling. I think there is definitely a market for renting out RVs. If I were going to do it though, I would purchase an RV specifically for that purpose and keep my primary rig for my own personal use. 

RV Share, the rental company found in the article, can be found here.

What do you think? Would you rent out your RV? The extra cash could certainly be amazing. But is the headache and fear worth it?

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Kathryn Mancewicz

Kathryn Mancewicz is an RV expert who has been a full time RVer since 2019. She has bylines for her RV related content on major publications including MSN, MSN Canada, and AOL. She has also been featured on Yahoo and quoted on KOA. Kathryn is also a regular RV content writer for Cheapism.