10 Critical Tips for Prepping your RV for your Next Rental

Maybe you fell head-over-heels in love with RVing after your very first trip in an RV rental.

Or maybe it took you a while to warm up to the motorhome way of life, and you finally purchased a rig of your own only after years of “careful study” (i.e., amazing camping trips).

Either way, if you have an RV of your own, we’re sure you’re no stranger to how much those dang things can cost over time. Between the payment, the repairs, and actually getting where you’re going (and enjoying the stops along the way), camping can quickly become a bank-account-draining hobby.

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That’s why many RV owners are turning to peer-to-peer RV rental marketplaces, like RVshare, to earn extra cash to fund their adventures when their RVs would otherwise be sitting empty. After all, most of us only use our travel trailers or motorhomes for about two weeks out of the calendar year — the rest of the time, it’s just sitting there collecting dust, depreciating in value, all while likely still costing you a decent chunk in maintenance and possible storage. Why not turn that lost time into gained money?

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Although renting your rig on RVshare couldn’t be easier, it’s true that there are certain extra steps you can take to ensure your rig is well-received and gets as many renters as possible. Going above and beyond the normal rental requirements can increase your ratings, which will get your listing seen — and rented — by even more new travelers.

But is renting your RV out to a stranger even safe in the first place? And what steps do you need to take to ensure your renters’ satisfaction?

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We’ll go over all of that and more in this easy guide to getting your rig set up for your next rental… even if it’s your very first one.

Should I Really Rent My RV?

We get it — it can be kind of scary to rent out your RV, handing over the keys to your precious vacation vehicle to someone you don’t know from Adam.

But the good thing is, when you’re renting on RVshare’s secure peer-to-peer rental platform, the person you’re renting to is anything but a stranger. Our website features a renter verification system to help keep your mind at ease when it comes to listing your own private bungalow on wheels out as a campervan hire. Plus, you’ll always have total control over who gets to rent your RV.

By listing your rig for rent on RVshare, you’re helping to grow a vibrant camping community, making RVing accessible to renters who might not otherwise be able to hit the road. RVshare is also an amazing way for campers on the market for their own rigs to try out a variety of different types of vehicles before they make the big purchase — because the peer-to-peer market means that travel trailer rentals and other non-traditional vehicle types are readily available. This generally isn’t the case at big commercial rental dealerships, where they focus on fresh-from-the-factory motorhomes. They may be easier for amateurs to drive and still under warranty, but they lack the character and coziness that makes RVing so special. It’s a pretty cool opportunity to share that with someone new to the camping lifestyle!

Even with Low RV Rental Prices, You Can Earn¬†ūüíį

As motivated as you may be to share the magic of motorhome and travel trailer camping with new travelers, let’s face it: having some extra cash to line your pockets with is also a nice perk!

But one of the main draws of the peer-to-peer marketplace, as opposed to nationwide RV rental franchises, is the relatively low per-night cost of an RV rental. Considering the percentage that renters can save, you might think that listing your rig for rent wouldn’t be very lucrative for you, or even worth the effort.

Well, we’re here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Even with the low prices most RVshare owners list their rigs at, they routinely report impressive financial gains.¬†You can earn up to $40,000 per year depending on the type of RV you have and how often you rent it!

We also offer rental insurance coverage at no additional charge to you, so you don’t have to worry about facing down an unwelcome financial surprise should any surprises happen. In fact, we’re the¬†only marketplace that provides a full slate of liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, all of which is backed by A-rated insurance carriers. You’ll also have a security deposit in place to immediately use for any minor or interior damages, such as stains or broken cupboard hinges.¬†RVshare even reserves the right to charge renters above and beyond the security deposit if necessary.

When you list with RVshare, you’ve got the chance to make a lot of money… and it costs you absolutely nothing to get started. You can list your RV for rent for absolutely FREE. When you do successfully rent out your rig, RVshare will take a small commission — the rates start as low as 15%. That cost helps us keep our platform up and running so you don’t have to worry about marketing, support, processing payments, or the security of your sensitive information. Pretty great deal, right?

How to Make Your Motorhome Rental Shine

When you list with RVshare, learning how to rent out your RV is easy — we even offer a free one-on-one consultation to help get you started.

But learning how to make your motorhome or travel trailer rental really stand out from the crowd? That’s a different story! There’s a subtle art to upgrading your rig from a rental vehicle to a full-on luxury RV rental customer experience, and it’s as much about learning good hospitality practices as it is about professional staging for your listing.

Fortunately, even someone who’s never rented out anything before can get familiar with the tricks of the trade in short order. Follow these simple steps, and your rig will be the belle of the RVshare rental listing ball, under high demand and constantly earning you extra money to put toward your own adventures!

1. Start out with a killer listing.

You know how it might feel a little bit disconcerting for you to rent out your rig to a stranger on the internet?

Well, put yourself in the shoes of that stranger. It can be just as intimidating to plonk down a significant chunk of change on a rental vehicle you won’t get to walk through and test out before you make the commitment!

That’s why it’s important to take the time you need to make your listing as professional and complete as possible, with high-quality pictures and detailed descriptions of all of your RV’s many special features. We recommend setting your RV up with all the comforts of home and taking a professional photoshoot, if possible — but even if you DIY your pics, make sure you’ve got great lighting and include shots of both the interior and exterior. (Psst: here are more great tips to help you make your RVshare rental listing stand out!)

2. Schedule an appropriate amount of time for the meet-and-greet/key exchange.

Although your renters will be able to book the rig before ever meeting you in person, when the big day arrives, you have the opportunity to put them at ease with a warm welcome and a thorough rundown of your RV’s workings. Not only will it make them feel at home (and give them a chance to learn how things work before they’re in the midst of their vacation), it’ll also make¬†you feel more comfortable with the people who are about to drive away in your personal vehicle!

Many RVshare owners report meeting lifelong friends and travel companions through the rental process, too — after all, you already know you share a love of adventure in common. Nurture those potential relationships by not rushing the handing off of the key, instead thinking of it as a meet-and-greet. (You can even do this “getting to know you” part as a separate meeting before the start of the rental period!)

3. Welcome your renters and get them oriented with a hand-written guide.

Maybe your renters are in a rush to get on the road, or maybe there’s just way more information to convey than you could ever cover even in an hour-long conversation.

And honestly, even if neither of those things are true, everyone loves to sit down and peruse a travel guidebook, filled not only with essential information (in this case, instructions on how your RV’s systems work, emergency phone numbers, and other pertinent details), but also with fun travel advice and suggestions, like favorite destinations or roadside stops along the way.

Along with creating an RV rental guide for your rig’s temporary denizens, you can also leave a guest book for each renter to sign during her travels. This makes for an amazing keepsake for you, the RV owner… and also allows your renters to feel connected to all the other people who have shared amazing times and experiences inside the four walls of your travel trailer or motorhome.

4. Be sure to stock essentials like towels and toilet paper — and consider going the extra mile, too.

As an RV owner, chances are you started out as a renter yourself. Remember getting ready for that first trip? If you chose a rental that didn’t include essentials like towels and sheets, remembering to bring along all that “regular house stuff” probably added a significant amount of stress and hassle to your vacation planning.

Keeping your renters from having to deal with that is simple: just stock your RV with all the basics ahead of time. We recommend purchasing a dedicated set of sheets, bath towels, basic cookware, and other essentials and just leaving them on your rig indefinitely. (It’ll be helpful for when you want to take a trip, too!)

Really want to put a smile on your renters’ faces? Throw in a bottle of welcome wine or some chocolates to make them feel instantly at home!

5. Renting out a travel trailer? Offer to do the towing!

One of the coolest things about renting a rig on the peer-to-peer market is the opportunity to experience something outside of the typical Class A or Class C motorhome norm. Many renters turn to RVshare specifically because they’re interested in taking out a fifth wheel, pop-up, or teardrop trailer.

But if someone’s never towed a trailer before, or if they don’t have an appropriate tow vehicle, that can be a serious barrier to entry and obstacle keeping them from experiencing that style of travel. Which is where you come in: you can offer to tow the RV to the renter’s destination and set it up — all for an additional fee, of course!

Offering this kind of service turns your rig from a vacation vehicle into a getaway destination, which is sure to help you rank highly when it comes to user ratings. For more information on providing this service (and other above-and-beyonds), click here.

6. Take advantage of RVshare’s “Instant Book” feature to keep your rig booked as often as possible.

It’s 2019, so chances are, you’ve booked a stay at a home-share site like Airbnb. Remember how much of a hassle it was to wait for your potential host to respond when you were in the midst of making your travel arrangements?

As much fun as travel is, planning for all your various accommodations and activities can be somewhat overwhelming. Nobody wants to wait around to find out whether or not their preferred booking will be approved — which just extends the planning period and makes it possible that you’ll have to change stuff around after you thought it was already settled.

That’s why RVshare released its Instant Book feature, which allows renters to see, evaluate, and rent your rig without having to deal with an extensive back-and-forth conversation.

Now, that might sound a little bit scary… but don’t worry! You can still communicate with your renters before the start date of their rental period, and it’s easy to cancel the rental if you deem it necessary. You can also create custom settings for how many days’ advance notice you need in order to get a feel for your potential renters, and adjust minimum and maximum numbers of nights for Instant Book rental periods.

Instant Book encourages renters to choose your RV over others because of its additional ease and convenience. What’s more, Instant Book rigs rank more prominently in RVshare rental searches, which means your listing will have the benefit of more eyeballs.

Have more questions about how to best utilize the RVshare platform to help you make money and keep your renters happy? Check out this post here on the RVshare blog — and don’t forget to take advantage of the free one-on-one consultation offered to all new RVshare listers!

RV Maintenance

Creating a beautiful listing and adding extra homey touches will certainly help increase your ratings and keep your vehicle rented. But none of that matters at all if your rig isn’t well-maintained in the first place!

It takes a little bit of time and elbow grease, but by creating a preventative maintenance schedule and staying on top of deep cleaning, you’ll keep your RV in good working order for many years and trips to come… which will benefit you as well as your renters.

7. Keep the maintenance and cleaning supplies you need on hand.

Scrub-a-dub-dub… every single time your RV goes on a journey, you’ll need to give it a thorough, deep cleaning in order to get it ready for your next renters. (Although honestly, this is a step you should take even when you travel in your RV personally. Keeping your rig’s appliances and systems squeaky clean extends their lifespans and also makes it much less of a hassle to get on the road when you’re gearing up for your next vacation!)

Serious cleaning calls for serious cleaning supplies, of course. And you don’t want to have to worry about running out to replenish them when you’re dealing with a tight renter turnaround… which you likely will be, if you’ve followed the advice above!

Here are a few of the RV cleaning supplies you’ll want to make sure you have stocked and ready to go to get your rig in ship shape in a flash:

  • Exterior RV wash
  • RV roof cleaner
  • Glass cleaner for windows and mirrors
  • RV polish and wax
  • Upholstery cleaner

Leaving these basic supplies on your rig will ensure you always know exactly where they are. Plus, your renters will have access to them if they have any spills or other minor incidents to clean up after while they’re on the road!

8. Make sure your RV parts and accessories are in good repair.

A healthy RV makes for happier renters — and owners, for that matter. So check your RV’s accessories and parts before and after each rental period (or personal journey) to ensure your renters won’t be stuck with broken equipment.

Certain RV components are more liable to wear and tear and require additional vigilance, including all moving parts as well as often-used accessories like RV sewer hoses. If you¬†really want to step up your game, identify those things you end up replacing most often and simply keep a spare stored in your RV’s closet or under-coach storage compartment. Then, you and your renters will always be prepared!

9. After every trip, take the time to thoroughly inspect the rig for damage and repair issues.

We said it above and we’ll say it again: there’s no such thing as too much attention to detail. Cleaning out every inch of your RV between each rental period is essential, and it’s also a great time to perform routine checks for things like water damage and tire rot. That way, you won’t be scrambling to get things fixed immediately before an upcoming rental period. (Actually, ideally, you won’t be scrambling to get things fixed¬†at all if you keep up with preventative maintenance, which we’ll get to in just a second.)

Here are a few RVshare posts to help you get serious about keeping your rig well-oiled and shiny.

10. Keep up with your regularly scheduled maintenance to get ahead of any serious issues.

It’s a fact: pretty much every trip to the mechanic ends up being a whole lot more expensive than you expected. And even if you find a trustworthy RV repair person, it’s obviously much more ideal to not have to take it in at all.

Of course, no matter how careful we are, accidents happen, and wear and tear is a natural fact of life. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best to keep your rig in proper, working order… especially since taking the extra time to do so could save you an expensive trip to the repair shop!

The best way to get ahead of major repair issues is to perform the thorough checks we mentioned above and also to create (and stick to!) a preventative maintenance schedule. From automotive musts like tire balancing and oil changes to interior chores like inspecting your HVAC and RV refrigerator, it’s much easier to deal with things on an as-you-go basis than to suddenly find yourself faced with a huge problem… not to mention the huge repair bill it’s likely to bring along with it. Not sure about how to set up a preventative maintenance schedule? First, check your RV’s owner manual — and then check out this related post here on RVshare.

Don’t Forget About Your RV Holding Tanks!

No matter how much RV cleaner you keep in your cabinets or how thoroughly you scrub out your RV’s microwave, there’s one part of the RV cleaning and maintenance process that’s an absolute must: keeping up with your RV’s holding tanks. Even the most luxurious RV rental on the planet is pretty unattractive if it’s full of… well, you know.

Obviously, you’ll need to thoroughly empty and flush your RV’s wastewater holding tanks between each rental period — but you should do the same with the freshwater tank, too. Without regular deep cleanings involving diluted bleach, it’s easy for things to get pretty icky in there, and ideally, you want your renters to be able to drink from the tap!

Depending on how long your renters will be on the road, and whether they’re planning on staying at a developed campground or boondocking, you may need to brief them on how to dump and fill the tanks themselves, as well. If so, be sure you schedule extra time during your meet-and-greet or key exchange to thoroughly go over making the rig, well,¬†go, so to speak. (And if they’re only taking it out for a weekend, maybe skip it… they won’t need to worry about it, and dealing with the sewer is one of the things that most routinely freaks out brand-new campers!)

We also recommend taking the time to give your RV’s holding tank sensors a scrub, since that’s the best way to know your tank’s levels consistently and accurately. It might sound like an (incredibly) dirty job, but it’s actually super simple to make those sensors squeaky clean! Here’s our quick three-step guide on how to do it.

Professional RV Detailing

Whether it’s getting your rig back into rentable shape after a dust-filled trip to Burning Man or just setting yourself up for the very best listing photo shoot possible, you may want to consider occasionally getting your RV professionally detailed, especially if you’re serious about your RV rental business. Even the most devoted cleaners can miss a few spots, and professionals can get the job done in a fraction of the time you’d spend on your own.

Finding a great RV detailing service is just like finding a trustworthy RV repair person or a hidden gem campground: we recommend relying on the community! Reach out to other RV owners in your area to see who they use when their rig needs a serious spit-shine, and don’t forget to read the reviews of a prospective service on Yelp or Google. These reviews can give you a really good idea of what you’re getting into before you commit to spending any money… which is exactly what you’re trying to do for your renters by putting your RV’s best foot forward.

Although renting out your RV on the peer-to-peer market can seem scary and would be overwhelming to do on your own, having a platform like RVshare in place makes the process easy and simple — so you can focus on the important stuff: giving your renters the very best RV experience possible. That way, they’ll not only continue to come back to you and give you their business (and recommend you to their friends), but they’ll also help grow our RVing community. And just like when it comes to stories and s’mores around the campfire, when it comes to bringing more RVers on board, we say, the more, the merrier!

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