What does ‘Good’ look like?

What makes an RV Rental listing “Good”? Why do some RV owners have more inquiries and rent more than others? What makes renters click on your listing vs. the competition?Danelle Pics

This post profiles what good looks like, in the world of private RV rentals by owner.

I’m going to focus on “Delivered RV Rentals” by owner, using one example from RVPlusYou. Why? Because i’m completely biased and I know it well. It’s an RV Vacation Rental, not a “car rental”. The RV owners on RVPlusYou deliver and set up their RV at your destination.

Other RV rental by owner websites include Outdoorsy and RVShare. These are great websites doing a great job, but these sites are “Vehicle Rental” sites, mostly motorhomes. Owners listed on those sites simply hand over the keys and say, “have fun”. It’s more about the RV, not the service.

The question comes up; “why do some RV owners rent more than others?” The answer is nuanced because it’s not just the listing, or the quality, or the price, or the service. It’s all of these things.

If you want to win bookings over your competition on websites like RVPlusYou, RVShare, or Outdoorsy, give this a read and think about where you can do better. The top 6 categories are as follows:

  1. Photos of RV
  2. Title and Description in listing
  3. Host photos and profile
  4. Service and responsiveness
  5. Pricing of RV
  6. Quality of RV

Profile of a “Good” RV Rental listing

Listing Details:  “Pismo Coast Village 38ft RV Rental”, by Danelle.

Danelle Profile

Click on the link above to see this delivered RV rental listing. Below is our analysis of one of the top 5 rental listings on RVPlusYou. Let’s go down the list:

  • Photos? – Check. Not great photos but it gets the job done. Photos are a must and this profile gets a B-. It shows the renter what they will get but does leave room for improvement. Without a doubt, she would get more ‘clicks’ if she had photos with: Better light/quality, landscape pictures for more visibility, set RV in location with ocean background, not street. Paint the picture for the novice RV camper.
  • Title and Description? – Check. A+. Renters know exactly what this comes with and details are in the description. Amenities are listed and her pricing is clear.
  • Host photo and profile – Check/Check. A+. Great pic of Danelle and her daughters. Sweet family description. Renters will know exactly who they are renting from. This host profile oozes TRUST!!! This is so important in a private rental transaction. It’s a big reason why she’s on top.
  • Service and Responsiveness – Check/Check. A+. I happen to have inside information on this. You can see it from her reviews but Danelle is also the first to respond to all rental inquiries. She asks questions of the renter to qualify and make feel welcome. She closes by inviting them to book. Perfectly handled because she cares.
  • Pricing of RV – Check. A+. Why does Danelle get an A+ here? She’s priced it low to start, gained renters and reviews, then moved the price up based on value: Service and quality = Fair price for both Owner and Renters, who return again and again.
  • Quality of RV – Check. She gets a solid A. Why not A+? Well, this is an older coach, but high quality and well cared for. The photos show off the quality which move renters past the “quality question”. Renter knows that this is a luxury RV and they’re willing to pay the extra money.

Whether you’re in this business part time or full, pay attention to the details. Ask yourself these questions:

  • If your competition responds in 5 minutes to an inquiry, vs. your 5 hour response, who will win that RV rental booking?
  • Is your host profile a recent photo of you and your family, or a fuzzy photo of your RV listed sideways?
  • Is your host profile blank, or does it reveal exactly who you are, giving renters peace of mind?
  • Are your photos crisp, clear, full of light with the outdoors in the background? Or is your lead photo an old dingy picture of a dirty RV on a side lot?
  • Does your RV rental listing explain exactly what the renter can expect from you and your RV? Or, does it leave details out forcing your prospect to find a different listing with more pertinent information?

Spend some time on your RV rental advertisements and you’ll have much more success, and fun!

 

 

So, this can happen…

Fridge mess

Going from a standard propane powered RV fridge with locking door to a full residential AC powered fridge in your RV does have a small learning curve. You can see the price we paid for this education. I’ll share.

The larger residential fridge was an appealing option when we went bought our new 5th wheel. After all, we’ll soon be living in this thing nearly full time.

With an upgrade to solar, more batteries, and a state of the art Go Power 2,000 Amp 3 in 1 inverter, we were set on the power front. But the feature we missed, the most simple feature of all, was a lock to hold the doors closed.

Residential fridge in RV
Residential fridge in RV – See bungee solution?

We thought the bungees would hold the doors back just fine, and they probably would have had it not been for the weight of the beer and eggs combined with highway 68 climbing out of Borrego Springs.

Three hours of drive time to San Diego, a hot closed-up RV on a sunny day: This was destined for ugly…

It was a smelly mess upon arrival. On top of that, I didn’t notice that a wayward beer had escaped the fridge and rolled behind the edge of the slide, so when I opened the slide I crushed the beer and successfully sprayed the entire living area with a warm and thoroughly shaken beer. Aaaarrrgh!

Lessons to learn:

  1. The manufacturers “Bungee solution” doesn’t work.
  2. Keep the food in your fridge secure, (common sense 101). Make sure it can’t slide around during travel.
  3. Keep the weight of lose items low. If it can’t be made secure and you’re going to keep heavy items in the fridge, make sure it can’t fall against the doors and leverage them open when turning, duh.
  4. Install a locking mechanism that will work on your fridge. Simple solutions will do, even a Velcro strap on the handles to aid the bungees.
  5. Keep eggs in a drawer or other secure location in the fridge. What was I thinking!
Cardinal 3250 Fifth Wheel
Borrego Springs RV Resort

We’re figuring out our new Cardinal 3250 Fifth wheel. First long trip is Canada in June 2017. Hope we figure out the big stuff by then.

In the fall we’ll be hitting the road to promote our new website, RVPlusYou. We’ll be recruiting RV rental managers to help RV owners earn extra income by sharing their RV.

By then our hope is that we’ve learned a thing or two. Stay tuned!

San Luis Obispo – Cheap Stays

Cal Poly commencement in June is just around the corner and unless you’ve already booked your hotel or vacation rental, it’s going to be slim pickings that weekend. This is one idea for a cheap stay, and within just a few miles of campus!

IMG_5652
RV rental available in San Luis Obispo

Why pay $600 per night to rent a house, or $350 for a hotel room? If you could spend under $200 per night or less and house your entire family for the big graduation day or other big weekend event, why not?

Luxury RV’s are not that expensive to rent, considering the cost of ownership or comparing it to a vacation rental. Many will sleep 6 – 10 and if you have full hook ups, you can use it like a vacation rental home.

So, if you’re trying to figure out where to stay for daughters big day, consider a delivered RV rental by owner. They’ll set it up and have it ready for you when you arrive, and many RV owners will even share their “stuff” with you; kitchen essentials, towels, linens, camping chairs, etc. You show up and it’s ready upon arrival.

Airstream red 1407 uw-76
Kim’s Airstream Rental, Palm Springs CA.

Check out RVPlusYou for more information. Most of the owners in SLO County will deliver to campgrounds like El Chorro Regional Park, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, and many other cool destinations and campgrounds, many of which have full hook ups.

If you’re unsure about what your accommodations might look like, check out the photos below or in these listings for a better idea, and congratulations to you and your new grad!

Time for the Wildflower Triathlon

Again, RVPlusYou will be a major sponsor for this epic event.

If you’re in to Tri’s you are probably already registered, or this event is on your bucket list. But if you don’t know Wildflower and you like to camp, bike, hike, listen to music, or you are simply alive and enjoy having fun with cool people. Plan to visit Wildflower, it’s fun for the whole family.

We’re going, and yes our little travel trailer will be up there providing a good night sleep to one of the participants. Below is our set up at Lynch last year for the Tri-Cal staff.

IMG_5747
Lynch campground Wildflower 2015

This year we’re renting over 20 locally owned RV’s to various athletes and families attending. Awesome that we have local RV owners sharing, renting, delivering, and setting up their RV’s at the campground for the participants to use. These world class athletes have traveled from all over the world to attend and compete! They’ll get a good night sleep too.

If you’re a SLO local and want to visit for the day, it’s an easy 40 minute drive from Paso Robles, CA. Come out and enjoy the festivities! More information at Wildflower. If you’re an RV owner and you’d like to share your RV with an athlete next year, sign up at RVPlusYou! We’ll put a few bucks in your pocket!

Below is a slide show of a few pics from Wildflower 2015 and various RV rentals that will be out there again this year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RV Camping without RV Owning

RV Camping without owning, storing, maintaining, driving, or towing. Is this even possible?

Who hasn’t seen the movie RV with Robin Williams? I think most people view RV camping as the rolling box swaying down the highway that families climb into each summer to explore America. I’m fairly sure that this movie helped solidify that image.

Is it possible to experience RV camping without RV owning? YES! RVPlusYou has launched a new service that brings RV owners together with folks who want to camp in an RV, but don’t necessarily want to drive or tow.

Bodega Bay RV rental
RV rental by owner delivered to Bodega Bay

The fact is there are millions of families who will never own an RV, but would love to experience camping in comfort. They want to go RV camping, but without the hassle. RVPlusYou has the solution for these kinds of renters and the benefits to renting this way are amazing:

  1. No driving, no towing. Show up and it’s ready to go
  2. Low cost – Because you’re renting from an RV owner, they will generally rent to you for much less than the big box rental companies.
  3. All the stuff you need is generally there; camp chairs, plates, foil, salt & pepper, cooking oil, etc. You don’t get that with the big box companies.
  4. You get the local knowledge of an RV owner who knows their backyard. Pick their brain, reserve the best campsite at the best campground during the best season.

The service makes sense for millennials, seniors, and everyone in between. Some people don’t like to own “stuff”, some people used to own “stuff”, and some people are thinking about buying “stuff”. RV owners sharing their “stuff” makes sense and it earns them extra money to help pay for all that “stuff”.

I recently rented to a wonderful couple in their 80’s who are former RV owners. They’ve done it all when it comes to camping with kids and RV’ing. When they found out that they could re-live their camping days without all the hassle of towing or driving a big bus, they were in.

20160404_104643
Meet Sandra, Al, and Sydney (the furry one)

So, let’s go RV owners; share your stuff with others and some extra income while your doing it. Or, if you’ve been dreaming about RV camping with your family, check out RVPlusYou and see if an RV rental by owner, delivered and set up makes sense for you.

Absolute Best Camping Coffee

Whether you’re camping in a tent, or under the open sky, or in an RV; you won’t find a better way to make coffee in the outdoors.

Some very good reasons why you should replace all other coffee making contraptions and use the Moka Pot while camping:

  1. It’s completely portable, lightweight and easy to pack
  2. Makes excellent Americano style coffee; strong or weak, your choice
  3. Fast brew: Faster than brew or press
  4. No electricity needed
  5. Cleans up fast and made ready for next day

If you’re an RV camper like me, and you love coffee, like my wife, then make sure this little gem is part of your kitchen set. It comes in various sizes and makes delicious espresso style coffee. In my opinion, way better and faster than a french press and better than brewed. It doesn’t beat a true espresso but it comes very close.

Coffee potOne of the hard parts about making coffee while camping is that it usually requires electricity for a decent brew or espresso. Not a problem in an RV, but most people want coffee when they wake up. I wake up early and if you kick on your generator to brew some joe, you’re going to piss off your neighbors, or wake your kids, or any number of not fun things.

We figured this contraption out while traveling through Europe last fall. It’s really simple and has been around since 1933, an Italian invention. The quality of your coffee will be all about 3 different variables:

  1. Grind – How fine to grind. I suggest a 50% espresso blend with a 50% med-fine blend (just under espresso)
  2. Water – Quality and amount, to taste
  3. Coffee – Quality and amount, to taste

Play around with these 3 variables to get it just right, and since these pots are not expensive, go for the best: Bialetti. They are the original and make good quality pots.

As for size, they come in various sizes from single espresso (demitasse) up to huge. We have a 9 cup’er and it does fine for two strong cups of coffee. Backpackers might want the single or double for the weight.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it, and what tricks you may have stumbled across to make that perfect cup of joe!

 

Post-Retirement Business Opportunity

Once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur.

I once had a conversation with a devout surfer who said he surfs everyday and had been since his teens. Wow I thought, that’s commitment… wait, what? This upper 40 year old guy (now retired) just finished telling me he had lived in Oklahoma over the past 10 years working in the oil industry. How… where…?

IMG_3275
Sunrise Avila Beach

The mind is an amazing place. We go there to work, play, create, and often times we go there to escape the demands that life requires.

Just because life sometimes gets in the way of our business plans, and we have no choice but to put off turning our dreams into reality, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop surfing.

Whether your surfing or creating business opportunities in your mind, when you’re ready to look at a post-retirement business opportunity, check out RVPlusYou.

When people ask us, “so who delivers the RV rental”? Our answer is, it depends on whether or not the RV owner is an entrepreneur or not. If he or she is a “hands on” person, then they are going to deliver and set up their own RV for their guests.Truck Pic

What if the RV owner doesn’t want to do it? Well then, the “retired firefighter” is the one delivering and setting up. We’re recruiting RV Vacation Rental Managers in every territory across the US and Canada. This person handles the details of booking, delivering, cleaning, and maintaining the RV asset, and then they share RV rental revenue with the RV owner. Check it out

The thing about creating a business is that anyone can do it, but not everyone will. The guy who’s been “surfing” while working in the Oklahoma oil fields is the guy who will.

Anyone who’s been “surfing” while working, and has recently retired, or those entrepreneurs who’ve been searching for the next cool business idea should look at this opportunity.

  • Low cost of entry – Your own RV can be put into service, or your neighbors, or both.
  • Excellent returns – At an average of $150/night rental fees, plus $150 delivery fees. There is money to be made and the RV Vacation Rental Manager earns 50% of the nightly fees plus 100% of the delivery and cleaning fees.
  • Enjoyable work environment – Delivering RV Rentals to beautiful destination vacation locations in the outdoors. Not bad.
  • Great customers – Campers are notoriously fun. First time campers are ecstatic about their upcoming experience. You’re facilitating that while getting paid.
  • Supportive franchise – RVPlusYou provides the turn-key business model, does the marketing, provides the listing and inventory software, a protection policy to cover the RV while it’s set up, and does all the billing.

20150717_141104

Not everyone who owns an RV can or will do the work. However, since all RV’s sit idle about 90% of their life, all of them should do some work.

Our savvy, creative RV owners and business partners put RV’s to work in a win/win/win business that allows these assets to be shared and enjoyed by more people, earning extra income at the same time. It’s time to take a look!

 

 

Discover Pismo Coast Village

One of the most sought after camping destinations on the central coast has to be Pismo Coast Village, a shareholder owned property with a prime beach location on the Central Coast of California.

IMG_6755
Pismo Coast Village – Common Area

With a long list of amenities, well kept campsites, and a location boasting great weather year round, this is atop most RV camper’s bucket lists.

When it comes to family RV camping, there probably isn’t another RV Park on the Central Coast that compares. The recreation department offers kids programs that run all week long during summer months and weekends during off peak times.

A heated pool, arcade, bike rentals, mini-putt golf course, basketball, ping pong, restaurant/grill and many other amenities will keep everyone in the family happy during your vacation or weekend getaway.

Want to store your RV and have it delivered and set up at your campsite? This service is popular among owners and visitors alike. For around $50 per month PCV will store your RV, and setup at your campsite is around $60. RV set up

Pismo Coast Village also allows RV rentals from local owners on RVPlusYou and other rental companies to be delivered and set up at your campsite. So joining friends and family for a weekend getaway or a long vacation is a convenient and inexpensive option for everyone.

Camping is one of those family activities that creates lasting memories, especially for kids. Being able to experience the outdoors on a camping trip in the comfort of an RV at a location such as Pismo Coast Village really is a treat, one that comes highly recommended.

Photo Gallery: Pismo Coast Village, Nov 20, 2015

This slideshow requires JavaScript.