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.

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.

RV Rental Advice on TripAdvisor – Does it hit the mark?

CampfireCropI recently ran across a very helpful article on TripAdvisor, you can see the link here:California: RV rental – Is it right for us?” 

The article goes into great detail about the pros and cons of renting an RV and hitting the road; a very romantic idea and no doubt a vacation that many families have on their bucket list.

The opening statement simply points out that RV’s are not for everyone, and then goes into detail about cost, livability, and drive-ability.

I think this article does hit the mark, but there is more to the story. It should not just end with the facts. While this article can be very helpful to folks considering this option for visiting various national parks and campgrounds around the country, it doesn’t provide a solution.

As I read, my initial thought was, “wow, this doesn’t sound too appealing”. Why is this on my bucket list? After all, it is expensive and it can be a major drag driving, setting up, taking down, etc. A quick trip to the store, or a local restaurant, winery, etc. involves tearing down camp each time. That gets old for sure, but what is the answer?

If you’ve taken the time to search information about RV rentals, and read up on the pros and cons of renting an RV, then this kind of camping trip really is on your bucket list, and it should be. Everyone remembers their camping trips so this article is very valuable, but you need the rest of the story.

So, how does one get the best of all worlds; camping without the hassle, without the white knuckle experience, easy to drive, good gas mileage, inexpensive, and overall one of the best and most memorable of all vacations in the history of family vacations?

As you may have guessed, the answer came to me in a flash: Delivered and set up RV rental. What an idea! Drive up and start camping. I don’t think you can find a better answer to the downsides of RV rentals, and of course I have to throw a plug in here for RVPlusYou.

There are millions of RV’s sitting in storage, and millions of families who want the “great outdoors, camping experience”, but without the expense or hassle. This website simply aims to put those two parties together.

Of course there are many RV rental companies who will deliver an RV rental for you, about 450 in the US alone to be exact. 450 independent owners, 450 different websites, and 450 different markets and reservation lines to call and investigate.

The very cool thing about the RVPlusYou concept is that each of these RV rental companies can list on the site and sell their rental. Every one of these idle RV’s, whether in a rental yard or in a driveway, is located near a really cool campground, and each RV owner or rental company knows where that campground is. By sharing their RV and their experience on where to go in their local area, a real value proposition has been created and both parties benefit.

Motorhome woods CropAnother cool aspect of this concept is that our planet benefits as well by simply limiting the driving of big RV gas hogs. Use your fuel efficient car rental for the road trip, but still camp when you reach your destination. Spend a week in the big city at a fancy hotel, but still have the ability to camp and experience the great outdoors for the next leg of your journey.

Below is the closing summary in the article. As you read, ask yourself if RVPlusYou.com provides the rest of the story.

“RVs tend to work better when one is driving less and staying more.

RVing is a great way to see the countryside and to interact with people.  Folks staying in campgrounds and RV parks tend to interact more than those who “hide” themselves away in a hotel room. You can have wonderful times with your RV parked in the woods or alongside a lake, sitting around a warm campfire roasting marshmallows and enjoying family and friends.

However, if your plans call for a night here, a night there, with quickly covering many miles in-between, RVing may not be right for you. If you desire to spend time in large cities dining at exotic restaurants, staying in hotels will be more practical.”

California Travel Article on TripAdvisor

The smart way to upgrade, or purchase your next RV…

Kim's Airstream Rental, Palm Springs CA.
Kim’s Airstream Rental, Palm Springs CA.

You can fund your next upgrade or brand new RV without taxing the family budget. How is this possible? We all know how expensive it is to purchase, own and operate an RV-monthly payments, insurance, storage, fuel cost, maintenance and repairs. The list goes on, so how in the world can you upgrade or even buy a new RV without breaking the bank?

Answer: By sharing your RV with other families, for a fee, you can finance your next dream coach and all the associated costs that go with it.

Kim's typical party set up for his guests.
Kim’s typical party set up for his guests.

To be sure, it’s not for everyone. In fact only about 1 in 10 RV owners would actually consider renting their “baby” but without a doubt it is the smart way to purchase your next rig. And it’s not as hard as you think.

Peer to peer markets are blooming all over the world, and sharing your RV is just one way to make this happen. Example; RVPlusYou offers a turn-key solution for earning extra income from your RV, and it’s safe; your renters don’t drive or tow your RV!

In a recent blog post I outline the 5 key reasons why every family should own an RV. The first three reasons are a no brainer, and no doubt this audience already knows the benefits. However, reasons number 4 and 5 may surprise you: income, and tax benefits. I highly recommend that you read this post, and then visit RVPlusYou to learn more.

What about the RV rental business? The biggest difference between renting an RV from a private party on RVPlusYou, and renting from one of the big 3 RV rental companies (besides price) is amenities and service.

The big RV rental companies will find it difficult to compete with you on either price or amenities. So, do it right and you’ll be able to rent your rig all season long, or if you prefer, just a few times a year. Earn enough for your next trip, your next mortgage payment, or enough to cover your kid’s living expenses for college next month. Just make sure you do it right. After all, this is a well established, professional industry so treat your business as such and get the details right.

Speaking of details, nothing is more important than getting the details right when renting your RV to someone, especially a novice camper. By including those little things such as coffee, sugar, paper plates, or trash bags, you have just set yourself apart from all the other rental companies out there.

Kim's rental delivered, ready for check-in
Kim’s rental delivered, ready for check-in

By truly hosting your guests with an RV rental that is delivered and setup in advance of arrival, you not only greatly reduce the risk of damage, you create the opportunity for new RV’ers to get outdoors!

RVPlusYou has great information and a checklist that will help you think about what to include with your RV rental. Remember, it’s the experience that you are providing and the amenities that you include may make all the difference between just an okay experience for your guest and a truly fantastic one.

Attention to detail, impeccable service
Attention to detail, impeccable service

What does a great listing look like? One of our newer RV Hosts, Kim, recently posted this listing. From profile, to pictures, description and details, Kim knows what it takes to satisfy his guests. There is complete support from the team at RVPlusYou along with helpful hints and their RV Rental Playbook.

Want to rent, earn extra income, reap tax benefits but don’t want to do the work? RVPlusYou has a solution for you: Concierge Service Providers (CSPs). All across North America folks who have experience as hosts are learning about the opportunity to become CSP’s, individuals who, for a fee, will deliver your RV rental, check in your guests, provide maintenance/cleaning, etc.

A turn-key solution to your next RV upgrade or new RV purchase is out there, and who knows, a new business opportunity may be born from your passion and willingness to explore more than just the open road.

RV Rentals Delivered: Why every RV rental company owner should read this…

There are over 400 independent RV rental companies operating in North America according to Woodall’s. Last summer I visited almost 50 of them and spoke to their owner/operators prior to launching RVPlusYou. One of the most revealing facts that I learned was the astonishing rate of growth in demand for RV Rentals delivered to the campsite. What?!!! No driving?!

A common misconception is that an “RV rental” equates to an open road vacation where families endure thousands of miles of trekking across great expanses of wilderness packing it all in over their two week vacation. It turns out that this is a false assumption, and there is a huge market for RV rentals delivered to the campsite.

According to the independent RV rental companies that I met with in Sept/Oct of 2014 while doing research for our start up, one big bright spot in the RV rental industry is ‘Delivered RV Rentals’, set up and ready for check in. “People love it,” says General Manager Angela Dudziak of Neff Brothers RV. “Their favorite destination is Lighthouse Point RV Campground at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH; where the family can ride roller coasters all day, then come back for hot dogs and burgers on the grill under a starry sky overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Erie.”

Beach camping in a delivered RV Rental, set up and ready for check-in
Beach camping in a delivered RV Rental, set up and ready for check-in

Who’s renting these RV’s? Well, everyone. It’s hard to pick one major source of market demand but Ryan Dore, owner of Adventure in Camping says they come from all over, “So. Cal., Bay area, We have families fly in from all over the US to Mammoth and enjoy the ease of our camping experience.  We even get some Europeans on their month long tours of the USA who love taking one week out of their vacation to camp in the Mammoth Lakes wilderness area. Our guests roll up in their compact rental cars right to the campsite”. says Dore. “We have it all set up and waiting for them upon arrival.”

From the Pacific Northwest, where I met Ted Swyers of RV-Northwest, all the way to Cherry Hill RV Resort just outside of Washington DC, most owners agree that delivery is growing. The GM at Cherry Hill, one of the most popular and convenient RV Parks in the DC area, told me they have several RV rental companies that deliver to their park. People are reserving locations and having the RV delivered. They arrive in a small rental car, see the DC sites and then move on to the next stop, mixing up their lodging options along the way. The ease and convenience along with the potential savings is hard to argue with.

Driving or towing a big rig does seem to be a major factor too. There are many people who don’t want to or simply can’t drive a big box down the highway. Some site fuel expense, or the inconvenience (impossible in some cases) of parking in cities. They, like many, are opting to keep the flexibility and fuel efficiency of their smaller car.

Demand for delivery is growing, and for good reason, which is why every RV rental company in North America, and indeed the world should consider the benefits of offering to deliver and set up their inventory. What are the most compelling reasons?dollar sign

The top three:

  1. Less damage – Novice RV drivers have more accidents. This is fact, and the more time your inventory spends in the shop, that’s fewer days being rented.
  2. Convenience – By renting to those select locations in your geographic market, you can control inventory and better serve customers.
  3. Higher average rental rates – By adding on delivery/set up fees, RV rental companies can effectively increase their ave rental rates per unit. Special events and tailgating are proof of higher rates for deliveries. If you currently provide delivered event rentals, you know exactly what I’m referring to.

So, if I’m right and there is an even larger market for RV rentals to be had, then its time to take notice. Is there a larger market to be tapped?

The RV Rental industry is tiny compared to the overall vacation travel and lodging market, approximately $350 million according to the RVIA. Compare that to the overall travel lodging market of $457 billion! How many have never been camping?

Roll all of this fun info around in your head and then combine it with the fact that over 50% of travel is now booked online! This figure is astonishing and one that the RV rental industry better take note of.

A tidal wave of opportunity is ready to be caught and ridden, especially for those already offering deliveries in their area, however in order to ride this wave you must be prepared to do offer three things: 1) offer delivery, 2) offer amazing hotel style service and amenities up the wazoo, and 3) offer your inventory, availability, and bookings online.

If your website is static and nothing more than a glorified brochure, start investigating options. Travelers expect information at their fingertips (yes, lots of pictures). They also want the convenience of booking on-line 24/7 with customer service waiting at 3 am.

If you like to travel, I urge you to consider a delivered RV rental; set up in advance at your location of choice and ready for your arrival. If you own an RV rental company, I urge you to investigate and do some homework on this largely untapped market. Growth opportunities abound!