Own an RV, but don’t “have the time”, or enough money to use it? It’s a pretty common situation – you have big plans, high expectations, buy an RV and go on a trip ONCE (maybe twice) a year. RV is an expensive purchase, but it can and should pay off! Need an example? Doug and Becky Dempsey – a family that transformed their RV into a lucrative, growing business using RVshare! How? Read on, they’ve got some good advice to share with you.
Wanderlust vs Two Kids
When their family expanded, Doug and Becky Dempsey bought an RV hoping to maintain an outdoorsy lifestyle they enjoyed during dating years. They had two kids, enormous lust for adventure and the convenience of a fully-equipped RV. All they needed to do is hit the road!
Sounds fun, right? Well, it wasn’t easy as they’ve guessed. Kids were not used to sleeping away from home and the toddler, Grayson “just ran to the fire every time we’d start [one].”
Ambitious as they were, Doug and Becky realized that their kids were simply too young for those picture-perfect weekend trips.
So now they had this 32-foot long travel trailer, sitting in their driveway unused. “Looks beautiful, but we thought, ‘What are we gonna do with this thing now other than just sit here and look at it?”
Sounds like something that happened to you or your friends? Don’t worry, they found an awesome solution and you can try it, too.
Evolution from Capers to Business Owners
Becky proposed the idea of finding a way to rent out their RV until their boys are old enough to enjoy everything that camping offers. After a bit of research, they stumbled upon RVshare, which (not to be humble) completely changed their lives.
Never heard of it? It’s a peer-to-peer rental marketplace specifically for RVs!
“It seemed like the perfect fit for us, because instead of just sitting here doing nothing and costing us money, we figured, ‘Why not rent this thing out?’ Try to make a little extra money, not only to offset the cost of owning the RV but to even give us a little extra income to do with as we pleased,” explained Doug.
So, Becky created the listing draft. It didn’t include pictures and lacked information on insurance. “I saved the listing, not knowing I actually posted it, and the next thing I know, literally the next day, we started getting emails about people wanting to rent the RV,” shared Becky.
Just like that, a business idea was born.
The couple realized – if they want this to work, they have to take it seriously. So, Becky and Doug uploaded some pictures of their RV, updated all the necessary information and discussed details with their insurance company.
According to Doug, one of the things that make RVshare the best peer-to-peer RV rental platform is the fact that “the process is so smooth, just so easy” and people actually come to you. There’s no need to chase people around and advertise your RV – if they want to rent it, they contact YOU.
SIDE TIP: Planning to rent out your RV? There’s no need to contact big companies – RVshare offers their own insurance. Doug and Becky eventually chose to use it, too. It basically covers anybody, doesn’t matter who’s renting it, plus, you can sign it online! For more information, click here.
How Much Money Could You Earn?
Let’s talk numbers! “We’ve made just under $5,000 for the summer,” says Becky. “Gross, we’ve made probably close to $6,700.” Impressive, right? That extra income from renting their RV allowed Doug to work less at his regular job and spend more time at home with children. “It’s just been fantastic,” he admits.
Plus, you can always use the income to make minor repairs or pay off storage fees in the wintertime.
“I said to my husband when we first started doing this, ‘There is something here; there is bigger business,’” says Becky.
Want to try RVshare? Here’s some advice from Becky and Doug
Don’t be frugal. Invest in your RV and you’ll see how easily the money pays off in the long run. For example, Doug and Becky bought some linens, bug-proof covers for pillowcases and mattresses which have to be zipped up at all times.
They even included a cleaning fee and a binder that explains everything in detail, “Don’t remove the covers. Don’t remove the pillow case covers.”
Of course, it’s up to you how you manage the cleanliness of your camper, but Becky admits that these few simple rules help her feel way more comfortable about renting out their RV.
So far, their experience has been nothing but great, “We have found that nobody has really trashed it. We have never had any issues with that.”
Communication with Renters
How to make the renting process even easier? “I think, as the owner, communication is number one,” says Becky. Some renters have no clue about RV maintenance or understand terminology like “full site hook-up”. All they think about is this awesome adventure they’ll have! That’s why Becky prefers to talk about everything they should know in advance.
“We want to manage the expectations, so nobody’s disappointed and everybody has a really good experience – us and the renters. And that just comes from communication.”
An Opportunity to Meet Awesome People
Becky and Doug always try to stay in a friendly relationship with their guests. They see it as an opportunity – not only to rent their camper and make some extra cash but to meet new people or even make a few good friends.
They usually contact renters via social media and offer to book in advance before the season rush kicks in. “I have to say, everybody we’ve rented to, Doug and I are like, ‘we could totally be friends with those people.’ Everyone’s been wonderful. It’s just really been a great experience.”
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