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Old 08-05-2020, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default The Rental Market - will it still be "seasonal"?

Class B (and RV in general) rentals seem hot right now, given the current state of affairs. I'm thinking of purchasing one to use and also to rent out to offset some of the cost. But, summer is almost over, and school (in one form or another) will be starting up. My sense is in normal times, it's a pretty seasonal market, but many things are different now. My family are avid tent campers, so for me personally, the point of having one would be like having a roving hotel room to take on all kinds of trips, not just camping. To clarify, I live in Southern California, so year-round camping, road trips, etc are the norm here anyway. Just wondering if the rental market will start to wane as we get into fall/winter like it might do in normal times, or will it be more year-round due to the pandemic?
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:07 PM   #2
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My guess is if kids go back to school, the market will drop off.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:07 PM   #3
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I wouldn't jump into this as a business opportunity.

you are starting at "zero"

the class B is the highest cost per square ( or cubic) foot of any RV class and users need some education on how to use the systems

The insurance would likely be costly and damage must be a consideration


if you think this is something you would want to do, go get a job at an RV rental place and benefit from the experience on their dime- learn the business



mike
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. It does seem possibly doable though, as I research the RV Rental sites and see how booked up things are. But, yes, I am a total noob!
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
the class B is the highest cost per square (or cubic) foot of any RV class and users need some education on how to use the systems
This is true, but there's a flip side... On outdoorsy, right this minute (in Northern California), I can rent my choice of Class Cs for $150 to $200 a night. But the pool of Class Bs to rent is pitiful, and the small handful of "true" class Bs (which I define as, "having a kitchen, toilet, and place to sleep") that are there are going for $350 to $400 a night.

I can bet that there'd be a market for class Bs (especially 4x4s) in the winter, to get to snow-play destinations, especially for an adventurous couple. I'm sure it would slow down in the winter, but wouldn't be nonexistent. I could also see people grabbing one to go visit the kids / grandkids for Thanksgiving, especially this year, since Covid is likely to still be A Thing this November. This may be all the more true in Southern California, which is currently Ground Zero for covid cases in the USA.

Having said all that, I honestly don't know how I would address the learning-the-systems issue when renting these things out. El Monte RV, where I rented a Class C from once, made you sit and watch a how-to video and then did a full walk-through with the unit before handing you the keys.

The safest thing to do would be to make sure you purchase a unit that you can afford to keep and will be happy to use even if it never rents out. Then, any rental income you generate is a bonus. It could be you rent it once, have a horrible experience, decide you're never doing that again, and continue happily using it. It could be you rent it out sometimes, it all Works Out, and you get some extra $$$. (It could be, after the first time you drive it, you love it so much you sell the house, the Lexus, and the kids, and disappear into the mountains for several years!)
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:06 AM   #6
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I think this is all spot-on. Thanks for this thoughtful reply.
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:39 PM   #7
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And then you have the possibility of this...

A member of one of my RV facebook pages rented out her EHGNA class B through Outdoorsy and the renter ran it under a low overpass and ripped everything off the roof... AC, Fan, solar panels, and awning. The renter's insurance will supposedly pay, but is it even acceptably fixable?
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Old 08-13-2020, 05:25 PM   #8
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Most likely, it is seasonal. It sure is here in New England. If you rent it out, you should be prepared for how to handle damage, getting parts etc. Think about how you would handle a situation where you have multiple reservations on the books. Perhaps one a week for the next four weeks. A rental comes back and you have damage to get repaired. If its bad enough, you may not be able to send out the next renter and would have to cancel their reservation. Would that matter to you?

You should be prepared that every renter will cause some damage. Mostly, it will be minor. Broken door handles, scraping the paint on branches at a camp site, if you have a sofa in back that lowers to a bed, someone will have something in the trunk and lower the bed onto that, damage to roof, damage to undercarriage, depleting the batteries, putting gas into the tank instead of diesel (assuming its diesel) etc, etc.

Point is, things will go wrong. Would you care? How would you repair it? How quickly would you repair it/how long would it be out of service while repairing. If there is an insurance claim, how good is the insurance and how many calls will have to be made to get them to cover it?

Also, think about the time. When a renter arrives, you have to arrange a time that works for both of you. You will need to walk through everything. Not sure how long that would take, but maybe 90 minutes.. especially if you do a quick test drive with them. Then there is the cleaning on the other end. If you are using it yourself, you would probably want to remove all of your personal items before they head out and put it back in when you want to use it.

The income side is nice, but I would just think about what it takes to get that income and if its worth it. There isn't too much that will go wrong when renting out a room/house on airbnb. There is a lot more that could go bad with a class b.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:41 PM   #9
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Default Thinking of doing the same thing....

Great idea Gsub - but here in SoCal. We're a biz savy couple, but RV newbies. The RV rental market has been extremely hot since the spring. The key asset is the 21' Travato and similars. We started looking for a rental and found that for a 3-4 week trip it was outrageously expensive - $350-$400 night if you included mileage, insurance. So it piqued our interested as we'd be using it for perhaps 4-8 weeks a year only. So now we're putting a biz plan together for rental around 9-12 months, recoup our cost and then sell it and start all over again. Fortunately there are a few business locally that are looking for "assets" with a generous cut of the proceeds - not just RVShare where you're on your own for maintenance and upkeep. We're going to talk to one of the groups tomorrow and i'll update on the ROI, and whether it's possible. Commenting on this string. It seems that there's two markets - a "summer family trip" and the "work from home couples". Both seem to be on the upswing for a while at least. The Travato - with the right electric upgrades/wifi/cell upgrade, could be a reasonable 1-2 week "get away from the house" opportunity for both markets. Thoughts?
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:25 PM   #10
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"...electric upgrades/wifi/cell upgrade..." For the rental market, it may be best to keep things low tech and simple to learn, operate, maintain and repair. Simple/inexpensive batteries, old school propane cooktop, limited electronics etc. may be best choice. Not as much functionality or fun as some of the new tech,. but much more practical for rentals and you won't be fielding tech support calls in the middle of the night.
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:48 PM   #11
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Friends in SoCal reserved a rental B (RV by owner type)

last night on pick up;
the awning was torn off by previous renter ( and just returned the day before- the owner said), with plywood over window and tape over the body damage, damaged from the awning coming off
and a list of features which didn't work anymore ( incl. check engine light)

Now starts the fight as the owner wants to charge for a cancelled rental which isn't acceptable to Renter and my Pal is out the money paid (for now )- and trying to find another vehicle ( which is why they called me)

This "opportunity" has gone wrong for both parties and I'm sure the owner is trying to get the van fixed to resume rentals, and collect on the damages.

I would want to be in either of their shoes

Mike
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