If you’re one of millions of RV owners in the United States, there’s a good chance your “home away from home” spends more time parked than out on a road trip.
Unless you’re actually living out of your recreational vehicle, it’s likely sitting empty at least some of the year.
So why not turn that downtime into cash by listing your RV with a rental company?
Just like rideshare and short term home rental services, the RV rental marketplace has expanded to include peer-to-peer transactions via services like RVshare.
RVshare allows users to browse, compare rates, and rent from RV owners instead of corporate fleets.
This gives RV owners a chance to help pay for their own vehicles or campers when they’re not in use, making RVing a more affordable experience for both renters and owners.
In this article, we’ll explore how to list your RV, camper, or pop-up as a rental and start making cash.
Think of RVshare as the Airbnb of recreational vehicles.
RVshare was founded in Akron, Ohio.
Today the company has raised over $50 million in funding thanks to Austin, Texas, based Tritium Partners.
It’s currently headed by Jon Gray, former CEO of vacation home rental service HomeAway.
Gray took over RVshare’s long-term strategy from co-founder Joel Clark, who now works under Gray as RVshare’s president.
If you’re interested in peer RV rental for your vehicles, create a listing with RVshare.
It allows renters to search for various kinds of recreational vehicles across the United States.
Users search by region and dates needed, and RVshare provides a listing of available vehicles.
If you’ve used Airbnb or HomeAway, you’ll recognize the identical search process.
Once you’ve decided to start renting out your RV with RVshare, you’ll need to create a profile at RVshare.com.
RVshare asks for your RV details first, requesting the RV type, make and model, and year.
RVshare accepts a variety of models, including drivable and towable RVs.
RVshare divides its search listings by class categories: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Travel Trailers.
The Travel Trailers category also includes pop-ups, truck campers, toy haulers, and fifth wheels.
If you own any of those models you can also list your vehicle or camper for rent on RVshare.
Much like Airbnb, RVshare stresses the details for its users, who can filter their search results by everything from engine type to wheelchair accessibility to pet-friendly status.
You’ll also need to provide as much detail as possible, not just the style of vehicle or camper.
And like AirBnB, you’ll need to upload multiple well-shot, detailed photos of your RV to create an attractive listing.
RV owners are encouraged to post as many clear, detailed photos as possible to best represent their RV.
To attract the most potential renters, you’ll need to market your RV to particular events or attractions in your area.
Is there a special event like a music festival coming up?
Do you live in a particularly outdoorsy area?
Including those details in your listing can help attract renters.
Because all listings are free, RV owners aren’t required to upload any payment or credit card information to RVshare.
However, owners wanting to give a little extra promotion to their listing can pay for a “featured listing” status.
Rates for featured listings vary.
But exactly how much RV owners make depends on two key factors: The age and type of RV, and the RV’s location.
The newer and nicer an RV is, the higher rate the owner will be able to charge.
And the more popular the location is to travel to (or out of), the more frequently the RV will appear in search results.
If you’re not sure exactly what you should charge per day for your RV, RVshare offers suggested pricing (similar to AirBnB) for your listing based on the make, model, and year of your RV, as well as the area your RV will be rented from.
For instance, if you’re near a popular national park, your rates can be higher than someone located in a less visited part of the country.
Likewise, if you own a luxury motorhome in a part of the country with a lot of seasonal tourism, you’ll likely be able to charge more per day.
RVshare offers several safeguards for RV owners, most notably a company rental insurance policy that protects owners from damage or loss.
RVshare offers insurance coverage that includes liability up to a maximum of $1 million, all with no fee for the owner.
However, RVshare does advise owners to check with their personal insurance company before listing their vehicles to make sure there are no policy restrictions on renting out their RVs.
During the search process RVshare puts the burden on renters, who must undergo a pre-booking inspection.
Owners also have the right to decline requests.
Once the rental request is approved, the vehicle will undergo another inspection before the rental begins, and another one at the end of the rental.
If any new damage occurred during the rental period, the renter will be charged.
Renters must also put down a security deposit for each rental (the price is determined specifically for each listing) that usually covers fees for damage.
And since RVshare offers automatic roadside assistance during the entire rental period, owners and users won’t have to worry if something happens under the hood.
The RVshare roadside assistance plan includes towing and repair via third parties, a feature RVshare offers to users for free.
This helps discourage renters from attempting repairs on their own.
Cruise America is a popular RV rental service that specializes in vacation rentals, but they offer a far smaller selection than RVshare.
Because Cruise America rents out their own standard size RV fleet, users only have a few options to choose from.
RVshare is a peer RV rental service, so users are paying to drive and live in someone else’s personal use RV.
In the world of recreational vehicles, that means you’re much more likely to find extra amenities and luxury features from an RVshare listing than from a standard Cruise America RV.
Cruise America also offers standard rates for its fleet of RVs, determined by both the length of time you’ll rent for, and the distance you’ll drive the RV.
Because RVshare features a variety of models across America with owner-set pricing, rates are vastly different.
It’s easier for users to find listing on RVshare that fit their needs and budget.
However, for some renters, the advantage of Cruise America is the uniformity of its fleet.
Renters know exactly what they’re getting up front, and don’t have to deal with an individual owner.
RVshare requires owners and potential renters to communicate with one another.
If a renter is looking for a more standard experience, Cruise America is more like renting a trailer with U-Haul.
Because RVshare emphasizes rental insurance, offers renters a variety of safety features like roadside assistance, and lets owners communicate with potential renters and even decline a request, the service has become a popular way for RV owners to defray the cost of their own vehicles and campers with peace of mind during the process.
If you own a recreational vehicle but don’t use it for part of the year, it’s worth exploring RVshare to create a potential listing.
Even listing your RV for just a few weeks or months out of the year could be lucrative, especially if you’re in a major city or live near a popular tourist destination or outdoorsy area.
With a company that covers the liability and features a national base of users, there are no brainers to let your RV start making you a little money.