Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out

 Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out

Have you ever thought about renting out your RV? 

I know that a lot of people in the RV Lifestyle community have. 

That's why we are putting together the most comprehensive guide and online course available on how to rent out your RV. It will cover all of the ins and outs of renting your RV from how to find clients, protect your investment, and make it as easy as possible.

Prior to the start of the peak rental season, an RV Rental Association survey expected good things for the summer (data isn't available yet on how it actually went). 

In the survey, 52 percent of the 109 RV rental operators responding anticipated taking in more revenue in 2019 than in 2018, and 34 percent believed it would be the same as last year.  That growth would follow a strong 2018 when 63 percent of RV rental operators reported higher revenue, versus 2017, including 16 percent who experienced revenue growth of more than 50 percent.

“The RV rental market is healthy and has the potential for more growth,” said Scott Krenek, RVRA chairman and owner of Krenek RV Super Center in Coloma, Michigan.

For owners renting out their RVs, when it goes right (and it does most of the time), things are great. You’re making some extra money to put towards payments and you’re introducing newcomers into the wonderful world of the RV Lifestyle. 

But when it goes wrong, then things can get ugly quick. Here are some pitfalls that you should be aware of when deciding if you want to rent out your rig. 

Pitfall No. 1: Things getting broken/extra maintenance

When you rent out your RV, you’re usually renting it to someone who doesn’t understand all of the nuances that come with RVs. From the electrical system and the plumbing to even just driving around with the size of it, there is a large chance that someone will unintentionally break something.  

Now, there is insurance and your renter will have a deductible (the standard on RV Share and Outdoorsy is $1,500) but with all the extra miles, times the doors are opened and closed, the claps are buttoned and unbuttoned – you should know and plan for the day that something breaks from extensive use. 

On the mechanical side, you’ll need to plan for extra oil changes, tires, and all the little things that will get worn down over time.  

Pitfall No. 2: Extra time spent cleaning and with renters

Renting your RV is a more intensive process than just money showing up in your bank account and handing off the keys. 

You’ll likely be responding to renters for a few weeks or even months before they show up to pick up the rig and you’ll spend about an hour or doing a walk-through, paperwork, and test drive of the RV before you let them take it (unless you’re comfortable with someone you don’t know taking your rig without you ever showing them how it works). 

You’ll also do a check-out process when they bring it back and then have to clean the outside/inside of the rig for the next renter. 

All of this can be 3-5 hours in total of your time that it takes for each and every RV rental.    

Pitfall No. 3: Not understanding insurance and getting kicked off your personal insurance

Now, this will only happen in a more extreme scenario but if there is a catastrophic event (i.e. your RV is totaled or broken enough that it is not worth being repaired) you need to understand how your insurance works through the RV rental site. 

For example, if your RV is hit by an uninsured motorist – it is not covered under RV Share or Outdoorsy. 

They will most likely kick it back to your personal insurance and because your personal insurance did not insure you to rent out your RV (they insured just you to drive it), you will be considered to be operating outside of their policy and they will drop you from their insurance.        

Pitfall No. 4: Potential RV theft

Another extreme example, but these things happen. 

An unscrupulous renter can just decide to NOT RETURN your RV. This is a bad scenario. And it’s even worse because it falls into a grey area where the RV is not considered “stolen” by the police because you gave them the keys. 

The technical term is “unauthorized use” and it can be messy. You can protect yourself by installing a GPS unit on to the RV and by properly vetting renters before they have access to your rig. 

Of course, we'd love to hear from our RV Fellow Travelers about anything you think might be missing. Just add it in the comments below! 


Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • Definitely Caveat Emptor.

  • […] up to the launch the RV Renting School course, we’ve taken a look at the pitfalls of renting out your RV and the best locations to rent out your RV. Be sure to check those stories […]

  • Good summary of renting RV’s. After renting RV’s for almost 2 years I’ve learned alot of this to be true. In my experience, to do it right you definitely need to spend a considerable amount of time. It’s been worth it for my family and has enabled us to pay for the RV’s and take a bunch of trips, but make sure to consider the time and plan for it.

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