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Tips for Renting Your RV

Tips for Renting Your RV

Did you know that there are websites (i.e. RVshare, Outdoorsy) that easily allow you to rent out your RV when it’s not in use? I know I meet a lot of people that complain that they just don’t get to camp enough. If that’s the case for you, this is a great way for you to make money from your RV. You can use the money to pay the payments on your camper or save for your next trip. Here’s what you need to know:

 

RVshare

We recently started renting out our travel trailer on RVshare and have good experiences so I wanted to share what we learned. First of all for those that don’t know, RVshare is a website where you can list your RV for free for prospective renters to view. Renters will contact you through the site via email requesting a quote or more information on renting your RV for their chosen dates.

Pros

  • Features insurance coverage, ID verification of renters, and Roadside assistance which gives us peace of mind when renting.
  • Quick online deposits through Stripe made directly to your bank account within days of rental.
  • Able to decline a request at any time if you don’t feel comfortable renting to that person or the location they are going.
  • You are able to update your calendar to block off any dates you will be using the RV for personal trips or are unavailable to rent.
  • Allows you to meet new people and show them how fun the RV Life can be.

Cons

  • It can take a lot of time to communicate with prospective renters that don’t follow through with renting.
  • Takes a lot of time to clean and prep the camper for each rental.
  • Time to meet renters or deliver.
  • There is a chance damage could be done to your camper.
  • RVshare takes 25% fee for using their platform.
If you have the extra time to commit to vetting inquiries, cleaning, and delivering the RV, then this could be a good fit for you. I would also add that our current camper is not our dream camper so if something were to happen to it, we would be upset, but not devastated. If you have put your blood, sweat and tears in remodeling your RV or feel like it could not be easily replaced if it were to get damaged or even totaled, then you may not want to pursue this venture.

 

How to Have Successful Rentals

Are you ready to try out renting your RV? Here some of our recommendations on how to make your listing great so that you can get your camper rented often and with minimal stress.

 

1. Make it an All Inclusive Experience

Renters don’t want to be nickel and dimed to death and they don’t want to have to bring all of their blankets, towels, and kitchen products from home. You want to include amenities similar to that of a cabin or motel.  Include bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, and cookware for the interior. Also include everything they would need to tow and set-up the camper if needed. Check our free printable Inventory List we use to restock the camper in between rentals and our personal trips. We also provide the list to our renters prior to their arrival so they know what they should pack.

 

2. Make Sure Your Camper is Clean and Everything is Functioning Properly

I cannot stress this enough! Would you want to go into a dirty hotel room or stay somewhere where the A/C is broken? Of course not! Renters are paying good money to rent your RV and you should make sure it is in tip top shape. Extensively clean the interior and exterior prior to each rental and do a thorough walk through to make sure everything is in working order. Our RV Opening Checklist may help you determine what items should be examined.

 

Our travel trailer all nice and shiny to go out for a rental

 

3. Create a Quality Listing

In order for your listing to get viewed and therefore get rentals, you will want to make it detailed and include the following

  • Features/amenities of your RV
  • What items are included
  • Include measurements and weight of RV
  • What type of vehicle is needed to tow
  • Take photos with good lighting
  • Make sure there are multiple photos of each room and exterior from different angles
If the listing is descriptive and pictures show all aspects of the camper, it will make sure that the renters have no surprises when they pick up the camper for their trip. You can check out our RVshare listing here.

 

4. Respond Promptly to Inquiries

Renters are often reaching out to multiple owners at one time, trying to secure an RV for their trip. In this day and age, people expect an immediate response, so being the first to respond with concise answers to all of their questions, may just get you the “job.”

 

5. Make Sure Renters Have all of the Essentials

Prior to arriving make sure you renters know all applicable information needed to have a good trip. Confirm they have a tow vehicle that is able to handle your travel trailer or fifth wheel (if applicable). Also make sure they book a campsite that will fit your RV by providing them with the total length and width of RV and remind them where slides are located if any. If the renters are new to driving an RV make sure to advise them that there may be certain roads, bridges, and tunnels they can not take due to the size of the rig, so they can plan their route accordingly. We recommend our renters use the Copilot app for driving directions.

 

 

When your renters arrive to pick-up or when you are dropping off, make sure they have everything they need to have a successful trip.

  • Give them a thorough walk through of the RV
  • Show them how to work electronics, stove, hook-ups, etc.
  • If they will be driving the RV, make sure to give them a test drive to answer any questions they have prior to departure.
  • Have them fill out all necessary RVshare paperwork
  • Make sure they have keys, registration, and insurance documentation
  • Provide them with instructional videos or a manual on how to work everything
  • Give them your contact information and provide them with instructions in case of an emergency

 

6. Give the Renter a Warm Welcome

Consider leaving a welcome basket, hand written note, or small gift to thank them for choosing your camper to rent. My favorite things to include are s’mores kits with gourmet marshmallows, or if we know they have small children a small basket of activities like coloring books, travel games, glow sticks, and bubbles. You can also share your favorite podcasts or blogs for them to have a great trip like our Tips to Have a Successful RV Roadtrip with Kids. I want our renters to experience the best trip and love camping as much as I do!

Other Tips & Tricks

  • Get a GPS unit to track your RV when it is being rented.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your renters.
  • If a renter has a question or problem when out with your camper, offer assistance right away, customer service is so important.
So are you ready to start renting out your RV? I’ll be honest, it took me a year to warm up to the idea. I created my listing last summer but never made it live until this year but I am so glad I did. Do you want to learn more about renting your RV? Check out RVshare for more information. If you are looking for other ways to make money from your RV, check out what other RV Entrepreneurs are doing.

 

 

Have rented your RV? I would love to know your experiences, good or bad, comment below.

 

 

The RV Sticker Club

The RV Sticker Club

I found a great new trend that I love being a part of the RV sticker club – sticker swapping for RV’ers.  I originally found this by chance on Instagram #rvstickerclub and love the community it builds. RV businesses, bloggers, vloggers, and traveling families are using stickers to connect with one another and you can too!  Here’s what we love about building our collection:

 

Community

The thing I love most about trading stickers is the community it builds among RV’ers.  I enjoy following others travels online however there is definitely a disconnect. Trading stickers with others adds a realness to their stories and I love having a part of that with us when we travel. In addition to trading online, you can also hand out or swap stickers with other travelers you meet on the road. This can be a great reminder of your shared experiences.

 

Fun

Let’s be honest it’s fun to start a collection.  I like to see what locations I can get stickers from, and what shapes and logos people have.  It’s also exciting to collect stickers from my favorite bloggers or businesses. In addition to collecting stickers from my sticker swapping, I also like to collect them as souvenirs from places we have visited.  This can be a fun activity even for full time travelers since the stickers take up very little room.

“The reason why everyone is having fun trading stickers is:

1. It’s a way to meet new RV like minded people.  

2. It’s giving us mail to receive. Not many people get mail anymore (expect bills and junk mail).  

3. It’s like getting Christmas cards at different times of the year.”

@ratrodsam – RV Sticker Trader

Recognition

In addition to online community, the stickers can provide a way to meet new people at the campsite.  The Crafty Voyager says “when giving a tour of their RV they show off their sticker collection that they trade with other RV’ers.” How exciting would it be when you are on the road to see another traveler with the same sticker as you, or better yet they have your sticker on their RV!  What a great conversation starter.

 

How to get started

Want to start your own sticker collection?  Join in on the fun, here’s where you should begin:

Choose a Name

If you are just starting out you will want to think of a name that reflects your family’s travels.  It could be a business, name of your blog, or use an existing Instagram handle.

Create a Logo

If your name isn’t related to a business or blog that you already have then you will need to create a new logo.  You can get really creative and personalize one that reflects you and your family, your interests, or location.  A easy tool to create logos is Canva. If you are not the creative type you can purchase a pre-made logo on Etsy or have someone make one for, an inexpensive option is to use Fivver.

Order Stickers

Once you have your design down, it’s time to order your stickers.  I recommend using Sticker Mule the stickers are vinyl and are durable and weatherproof making them perfect for placing on the exterior on an RV. The most common sized used are 3″- 4″.

Connect with others

Once you have your own stickers, you can start trading with others. You can find people to connect on Instagram #rvstickerclub. When we started, I simply commented on the sticker post or sent a DM to the person to request a sticker swap. If interested, they will give their mailing address and you will give them yours. You will then mail them your sticker and wait for theirs in return.  Here are the names of a few traders to contact to get you started:

You can also join our Facebook Group which is for those that love the RV Life and want to swap stickers & stories. I hope this community will allow us to learn more about each other and build a common place where fellow sticker swappers can find each other or learn more about the process.

Display your stickers

Once you receive your first sticker its time to display it!  There are so many ways to display your stickers, here are some of our ideas:

  • Photo Album
  • Scrapbook
  • Bulletin board
  • Picture frame
  • Interior wall of RV
  • Slide
  • Exterior Door
  • Water bottles
  • Cooler
  • Laptop
So there you have it, the reasons why you need to join the  Rv Sticker Club and how to get started. Love getting Happy Mail? Check out What Campers Love about Out of the Box Camping – a quarterly subscription box for RV Enthusiasts.  We can help you get your RV Life sticker collection started!  Request a FREE Out of the Box camping sticker here.  Let us know, what do you like to collect?

Opening Your RV

Opening Your RV

Yay, spring is finally here and it’s that time of year we have all been waiting for, camping season! Before you start cleaning and packing the camper there is some general maintenance that should be performed each year so that you can try to avoid any mishaps and enjoy your adventures.

Battery

Look at the age of the battery and test the voltage. Make sure its fully charged and posts are clean. Unfortunately ours did not past the test this year, even though it is only two years old. Luckily we found this out ahead of time instead of while on our trip, can you imagine the problems that would have occurred traveling 1000 miles and finding out the battery was dead?!

Exterior Wash & Inspection

Examine the doors, moldings, seams, seals, roof vents, and antennae.
Check interior, exterior, and trailer lights to make sure they are working properly. Clean the roof, sides and then awning and make sure there are no leaks. An inexpensive cleaning product that works great is Awesome All Purpose Cleaner.

Windows

Inspect windows. Lube window slides to ensure they move smoothly. Use the 3-in-1 RV Care Window Lubricant that is included in the Spring Box subscription box from Out of the Box Camping. For instructions on how to use the Window lubricant see this video from RV Education 101.

Appliances & Electronics

Remove the refrigerator vent cover (on the roof) and the AC shroud to make sure they are free of debris. Check the refrigerator vent and hot water heater on the side of camper to make sure they are clean. Examine the anode rod (if applicable) clean or replace if needed. Turn on refrigerator let it run for 1-2 days on gas and then electric to verify it’s working. Try all other appliances and electronics to make sure they are functioning properly. Including the heater, air conditioning, stove, microwave, television, etc.

Extinguisher

Change batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detector(s). Test to see if they are defective. Replace if over 10 years old. Verify fire extinguisher is installed.

Mechanical

Test brakes. Check tires for dry rot and thread wear. Check tire pressure. and spare tires(s). View under carriage, inspect frame, hitch, suspension, tongue jack, and stability jacks.

Slides

Use the slide(s) if you have them to verify they are functioning. Administer Slide out lubricant to ensure they slide smoothly.

Propane

Check for leaks. Fill tanks for the season.

Water

Dewinterize the water system and disinfect lines. Replace water filter if applicable. Clean the holding tank. Use Aqua-kem including the Spring Out of the Box Camping subscription box. For tips on how to take care of the your toilet system listen to this podcast from RVFTA.

To keep track of your maintenance, you can download our printable checklist RV Opening Checklist. Once you are finished performing your maintenance you can go ahead and start cleaning the interior, organizing, and packing the camper. Stay tuned for additional blog posts with our favorite tips on how to complete those tasks.  What ways do you tend to the maintenance of your RV?

What to do While You Wait For Camping Season

What to do While You Wait For Camping Season

Are you just sitting there wishing the snowy weather would disappear and that you can get outside and go camping? Me too! I like to think there are two seasons; camping season and non-camping season.  Non-camping season can seem like it lasts forever, especially when you are getting hit with arctic cold and snowy weather.  This year I have been trying to bring a bit of the camping lifestyle to my everyday life by enjoying some camping themed activities.  It’s really been helping me to get excited for the camping season and I wanted to share it with you!

1.  Plan out your Camping Trips for the Season

Nothing helps me get through the winter more then having an upcoming trip to look forward to.  Most campgrounds start taking reservations at the beginning of the year if not earlier, so its important to plan early to get the best sites.  Make time to research different destinations and campgrounds to determine where you want to go.  Take into consideration what availability you have in your schedule and your budget.  Book those trips and let the countdown begin.  For inspiration, check out a review of one of our favorite campgrounds – Camping on the Battenkill.

2. Listen to Other Peoples Adventures

T’here are so many great camping podcasts that are so entertaining.  I get a ton of great tips from the podcasts and ideas for organization, recipes, and activities to do while camping.  They also provide great reviews of campgrounds and products.  Some of my favorites are RVFTACampground of the Week, and Girl Camper Podcast.  Listening to these always gets me in the camping spirit.

3.  Do a Camping Themed Craft

Get all of your camping friends together and plan a camping themed craft night.  Make decor for the camper or something to display in your home to enjoy while you wait for camping season to begin.  One of the things on my list is to make a cute Burlap wreath like that is camping themed. There are also some great ideas for DIY firestarters  here.  Another craft if you have a Cricut or other vinyl cutting machine is to make fun camping t-shirts for you and your family or friends to wear camping.

4. Try out Some New Camping Recipes

It can turn into a disaster if you try a new recipe while camping and it doesn’t go right.  You may not have a back-up meal or a substitution ingredient, so I like to perfect new recipes at home before I take them on the road.  Check out The Campground Gourmet for some inspiration and to take your campground cooking to the next level.

5. Subscribe to your Favorite Subscription Box

Is there anything better then receiving some happy mail to brighten your day?  I love subscription boxes that are offered seasonally because they are easier on the budget than monthly subscriptions and it gives you plenty of time to enjoy all of the awesome items that come in the box. Out of the Box Camping is a quarterly subscription box for campers, glampers, and, RV enthusiasts.  Each season you will receive a box full of camping themed surprises.  The Winter Box is currently available and will help keep you warm & cozy while you wait for the spring to get here. See Why Campers Love the Out of the Box Camping Subscription Box.

So far these activities are keeping me busy this winter and I’m more excited for camping then ever!  What do you like to do to occupy yourself during the non-camping season?  Share your ideas in the comments.

Happy Camping!