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4 Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out

| Updated Jun 20, 2023

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 have the most comprehensive ebook 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. Read through the post to see all about it at the end.

“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 quickly. 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! 


The Complete Guide to Renting Your RV

4 Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out 14 Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out 2An entire side industry has developed over the past few years: Rental companies that facilitate private RV owners who want to earn extra cash with their RVs.

Those companies – new ones are forming every day – list the RV, usually help in providing insurance, and offer marketing to promote them. 

RVers get to use their RVs when they want but, when the RV is usually in storage or sitting in the driveway, they then get to earn cash by renting it out. Some RVers, as you'll see in this book, even get to buy their RV with little out-of-pocket expenses because the rental fees more than cover their payments. 

Private RV owners are sometimes making five-figure incomes a year just by renting out their RVs. Some have actually started their own businesses doing so, buying multiple RVs and renting them all out.

It sounds too good to be true. But it is true! In this book, you'll learn how to do this yourself.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2019-09-15

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “4 Pitfalls of Renting Your RV Out”

December 04, 2019at2:16 pm, Josh Griffin said:

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.

September 24, 2019at7:00 am, Top RV Rental Companies | RV Lifestyle said:

[…] 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 […]

September 17, 2019at8:34 pm, Doug said:

Definitely Caveat Emptor.

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