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    What to Know About Renting Your RV

    For those seeking a trek on the wide-open roads, few options match the unlimited possibilities of an RV adventure. Whether you're an RV owner or a renter, there are several benefits to exploring rental options with an RV.

    • As an owner, share the joy of RV travels, help others make cherished memories, and help others make cherished memories, and maximize income when your RV is not in use.
    • As a renter, test-drive the RV experience and adventure, without the full financial commitment of purchase.
    • Ease into a post-military career as a “retirement vagabond,” and start checking off all the adventures you’ve been daydreaming about for years.

    If you’re ready to list your rig for rent or want to know what to look for in an RV rental, read on!

    interior of new RVPhoto from iStock.com/dreamnikon

    Preparing Your RV to Rent

    Part vehicle, part home-on-wheels, preparing an RV as a rental is a commitment and time investment to create the best guest experience and earn repeat business.

    • Ensure regular vehicle and engine maintenance checks, including checking and topping off all fluids, brake checks, electrical systems, batteries, and lighting.
    • Inspect and clean the exterior, including the roof, paying close attention to vents, seams, and windows for any cracks, leaks, or damage.
    • Tire maintenance, including tire pressure, tread wear, sidewall cracks, and spare
    • Plumbing systems checked, cleaned, and emptied, ensuring all drains and pumps are functional.
    • Propane system checked and filled as needed.
    • Cooling and heating systems checked, including appliances.
    • Shop and stock any provided amenities and comfort items, i.e., bedding, towels, pantry and kitchen items, outdoor living items, such as folding tables or chairs, and clean.
    • Check entertainment systems, such as satellite TV.
    • Consider a personal touch, such as a welcome kit, unique local souvenir, or trip tours and ideas for the local area.
    • Obtain any short-term permits and business licenses needed, along with insurance.

    Adhering to a meticulous prep schedule not only sets the stage for an exceptional guest experience but also keeps a rig in top condition for future adventures, making it well worth the investment and effort.

    interior of RV and kitchenettePhoto from iStock.com/Baloncici

    Writing the Perfect RV Rental Listing

    When it comes to crafting the perfect rental listing for your RV, Chris and Danielle Wingate of RVbyMilitary.com, a veteran-owned and operated business, know exactly what you need to make your listing shine and stand out from the competition.

    Try these eight battle-tested top tips!

    1. High-quality photos: A picture is worth a thousand words, and sharp, quality photos are the first impression a potential renter has of your RV. Make them count!
    2. Informative description: Provide a detailed description of your RV, including specs (Class A/B/C, a travel trailer, tow-behind, fifth-wheel, or pop-up), mileage, year and model, square footage, sleeping arrangements, and amenities offered.
    3. Detailed amenities list: Ensure you include a detailed amenities list of what's included in your rental offering, such as luxury bedding, a stocked kitchen, and bath items.
    4. Clear pricing and availability: Renters shop listings first with their eyes and second with their wallets. To entice renters, set clear pricing terms and availability, including any promotions, time-sensitive specials, or booking packages.
    5. Personal touch: Personalize your listing by sharing a little bit about yourself, your business, and what brought you to the RV world.
    6. Unique selling points: Use vivid language to show a renter what sets your rig and listing apart, whether it's eco-friendly features, a welcoming layout, or pet-friendly policies. Showcase what makes your listing unique.
    7. Responsive communication: Once your listing is advertised, stay on top of any booking inquiries with prompt communication. Answering any questions promptly and providing excellent customer service can help demonstrate and build trust with a potential renter and be the difference in winning their business over the competition.
    8. Video tour: A brief video tour provides an immersive experience to help renters visualize themselves in the space and also gives you the chance to create a personal introduction to your RV.

    As a renter, you can also use the above template as your playbook when you start looking for listings.

    Screening Potential Renters for Your RV

    Renting your RV comes with the unique challenge of evaluating applicants as both drivers and potentially as short-term tenants. Ask guests about their travel plans, experience towing vehicles, and any experience driving and operating an RV.

    Check a guest’s vehicle to ensure it has adequate towing capability if needed. Do guests know the basics of RV operation, including how to use a dump station, or would they benefit from a personal tutorial during your handover process?

    Additionally, many listing sites offer a robust verification process to help RV owners screen and verify applicant information, such as reviewing driving records. Some businesses, such as RVbyOwner, also offer comprehensive insurance packages for both towable and motorized RVs.

    If you will be renting your RV as a stationary residence, ensure you brush up on landlord basics, including how to prepare for new tenants, the federal Fair Housing Act, tenant screening guidelines, owner responsibilities, and how to manage your rental property’s finances. In addition, research any housing licensure requirements.

    RV parked on grass with shade and chairsPhoto from iStock.com/cookelma

    RV Rental Agreement and Insurance Coverage

    Clear expectations provide peace of mind for both owners and renters. Whether you partner with a rental-listing site or advertise independently, at a minimum, ensure the following items are included in your signed rental agreement.

    • Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, minimum driving age of 25, authorized drivers.
    • Basic rental terms, including price, duration, and any mileage limitations.
    • Travel plans and driving routes should include any cross-state or cross-country travel and any foreign country prohibitions, such as Mexico or Canada.
    • A thorough inventory of all items included in the rental.
    • Security deposit, to include amount, timeline, and conditions for return.
    • Emergency contacts.
    • Pet policies.
    • What to do in the event of mechanical issues. The process and timeline for damage or accident reporting.
    • Roadside assistance packages or towing coverages.
    • Proof of insurance coverage, including collision/comprehensive, uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, bodily injury and property damage limits, and deductibles.
    • Renter expectations for cleaning and responsibilities for emptying and filling tanks.

    Handover Process

    Once you’ve booked your listing, it’s time for a warm handover. Don’t let the excitement of getting on the road sweep you or your renter off their feet just yet without a good handover.

    • Conduct a walkthrough of the RV with your renter before handing over the keys.
    • Explain operation and safety features.
    • Provide a detailed instruction manual and review all systems.
    • Pay careful attention to pointing out fuel types (gasoline or diesel) and propane.
    • Document the RV’s condition together, with photos and videos, and identify any discrepancies or damages present.
    • Ensure both parties, owner and renter, have current contact information.

    person cleaning RV with hosePhoto from iStock.com/welcomia

    Post-RV Rental Procedures

    Close the books on a great trip with a clear expectation of post-rental guidelines.

    • Inspect the RV upon return, address any damage or issues and ensure all renter requirements are satisfactorily completed, such as cleaning, tanks, and refueling.
    • Security deposit release.
    • Provide a follow-up email or mailer thanking your renters for their business and asking them to review their experience. Consider offering a promotion or incentive for return business or a referral.

    For owners looking to maximize income and for starry-eyed wanderlusters seeking adventure and flexibility, renting an RV offers the best of both worlds. Drop us a line and let us know—where will an RV rental take you?

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    Kristi Adams


    Kristi Adams

    Kristi Adams is a proud Air Force spouse and served on active duty herself as a Space and Missile officer. She is an Associate Professor for the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and holds a Master of Real Estate Development degree from the university. She and her husband have profitably owned rental properties since 2004. When Kristi isn’t writing about real estate, she’s writing about travel and has been published in several books and national publications. Find more of her writing at Kristi Adams Media.

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