By The Hospitable Team
Are you an RV owner looking for ways to make some extra cash? If you live in a scenic, outdoor-centered state or community, you may consider renting out your recreational vehicle on Airbnb when it’s not in use.
According to the data provided in the demographic report from the RV Industry Association, most people who own RVs only use them for 20 days per year. That means your RV is just sitting in storage for almost 95% of the year, collecting dust and depreciating, and you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to make some extra income.
While it may not be for everyone, renting out your RV on your property to adventurous travelers looking for unique Airbnb stays can be a lucrative side hustle. Wondering how to get started? In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on becoming an Airbnb RV rental host, getting more bookings, and earning more.
Airbnb for RVs: What Requirements Do You Have to Meet to Become an Airbnb Host?
Airbnb guests are interested in different types of places to stay during their trips, so Airbnb welcomes many different kinds of listings as long as they meet specific criteria, including the following:
- The rental space must be only used for lodging.
- If the space is a mobile home, sailboat, yacht, or other vessel, it must be semi-permanently attached to a set location and must be parked in a privately-owned space during the reservation.
Running an Airbnb RV rental can be a profitable side hustle to increase your income stream if you provide an excellent experience for your guests. If you have a nice RV, have all the amenities needed by guests, and your property is in a perfect location, you could make upwards of $1,000 a month or more.
But being an Airbnb host also involves a lot of responsibilities, so you might find it helpful to use vacation rental software like Hospitable.com. Then you’ll be able to automate routine tasks and manage all the major aspects of your STR business hassle-free.
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Benefits and Pitfalls of Renting Out Your RV on Airbnb
Before jumping in, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of renting out your RV. After all, starting an Airbnb is a big decision.
Here are just a few of the benefits of listing your RV on Airbnb:
- You can make some extra money while you’re not using your RV and potentially cover such expenses associated with owning an RV as maintenance costs, insurance, and storage fees.
- You can create a listing on Airbnb for free and pay a flat service fee of only 3% of the booking subtotal, much lower than on other RV rental sites.
- Listing your RV or camper on Airbnb is simple, and the platform will handle all the payments for you.
- You don’t have to host all the time—you can choose dates when you want to make your RV available for rental and take trips whenever you like without sacrificing your plans.
- You can have peace of mind knowing that Airbnb performs background checks to identify problematic guests and that your property and belonging are protected with AirCover for Hosts.
But there are also some pitfalls of renting out your RV, and you need to consider them to decide whether listing your RV on Airbnb is the right fit for you:
- You’ll have to invest time in communication with guests, updating your calendar and prices, managing your cleaning team, and maintaining your RV between rentals.
- You’ll need to learn quite a bit to make the most of renting your RV, from making your Airbnb listing stand out to providing excellent customer service to get great reviews that will help you earn more bookings.
- You may not be able to charge as much as you want—that depends on how popular RV rentals are in your area.
- You may have to deal with damages because not all guests will treat your RV with the same care you do, and besides, things break, wear out, or need replacing as people use them more frequently.
You may want to check out our article to learn more about the pros and cons of Airbnb hosting.
Airbnb for Campers: Ensure You Won’t Have Legal Issues
Now Airbnb allows hosts to list RVs, campers, and motorhomes as rental properties alongside vacation rental homes, apartments, cabins, boats, and more. But if you’re considering offering your RV as an Airbnb RV rental, research first to determine whether it’s legal. If you live in a rural area, you are unlikely to have any issues legally renting out your RV on your land and can avoid neighbor complaints.
But if you live in a city, you should ensure that your city’s laws and ordinances don’t prohibit renting out your RV on your property. Remember that some cities don’t allow people to live in RVs inside city limits, and some may prohibit using such camping structures as yurts, tents, or RVs as short-term rentals. Some cities also have rules determining where and how to hook up your RV.
You’ll need to check out local HOA and CC&Rs to ensure you won’t violate your neighborhood and housing complex rules if you rent out an RV in your yard. And you’ll need to obtain a permit from the local building department to hook your RV to such city utilities as water, sewer, or electricity. It’s better to double-check with the local authorities for any paperwork you may need to file.
Since your homeowner insurance won’t cover any vacation rental activities on your property, and AirCover for Hosts offered by Airbnb may not cover everything, you should consider getting dedicated short-term rental insurance. And keep in mind that you’ll also have to report the income you get from renting out your RV in your taxes.
You may want to check out our blog article to learn more about current Airbnb regulations by state.
How to Rent Out Your RV or Camper on Airbnb
While renting out your RV to Airbnb guests with a sense of adventure may sound simple, there are some important things you need to consider to list your RV and maximize your earnings successfully. Let’s take a closer look at each step.
Prepare your RV for short-term rental guests
First, you’ll need to remove all your personal belongings from the RV and make it guest-ready. Even though your target guests love the RV lifestyle, they have high expectations when choosing a place to stay. To attract potential guests and give them a memorable experience, you need to create an inviting atmosphere where they will feel comfortable and welcome.
You may consider upgrading some appliances or fixtures if your RV is older. And adding some personal touches like beautiful photos of the local sights, paintings, or a few cozy blankets can make your RV feel more like home. You must also ensure that your land is flat or near a good gradient, so it will drain properly and not get muddy during lousy weather. Make sure that your RV spot has some open areas that are easy for adults and kids to walk around and explore and has access to nature and other tourist spots.
Consider the amenities you want to include and ensure everything throughout the RV works as it should. Your guests will appreciate it if you provide such essential items as fresh linens, pillows, toiletries, and kitchenware. Airbnb also strongly encourages all hosts to provide these basics to ensure a comfortable stay. And as a nice touch, you could include some extras like coffee, tea, and cookies, or even prepare a welcome basket to greet your guests and make them feel cared for.
Technically, you don’t need to have electricity, water, sewer, propane, and air conditioning to rent an RV on your land. RVs are not traditional vacation rental homes and may not have all the amenities your guests are used to. But, offering these basic amenities will definitely make your listing more attractive. It can help convince potential guests that staying in your Airbnb for campers will be comfortable and enjoyable.
Take measures to ensure that staying in your RV rental is safe. Equip it with such safety items as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. Provide your guests with a well-stocked first aid kit to have the necessary tools if they have an accident during their stay. Create clear instructions for your Airbnb guests on how to safely operate the RV and hook up to city utilities. Leave contact details of the local emergency services.
Set your prices
This step requires a lot of thought. It’s up to you to decide how much to charge per night, but it’s essential to keep your prices competitive—they should be in line with similar Airbnb listings in your area. So it makes sense to compare the prices of similar RV rentals in your area and then set yours at a percentage higher or lower than theirs.
You can also use dynamic pricing tools to help you figure out how much you can charge for your RV rental and maximize your revenue. If you opt to use Hospitable.com to help you streamline routine operations, you can benefit from its integration with PriceLabs and Beyond, leading pricing tools that will help you push dynamic pricing to all your channels.
Create a listing on Airbnb
Visit the Airbnb website and click on the button “Airbnb your home” to create a listing for your RV. Write a detailed, engaging description of your RV, highlight its unique features, and mention all your amenities.
Make your Airbnb listing description accurate, and try to answer all your potential guests’ questions about your rental space. Provide information about the location of your RV, spaces that your guests are allowed to access, and details about the local attractions.
Use relevant words and phrases to help the Airbnb algorithm show your vehicle in the proper categories. Be honest in your description to attract the right guests with the right expectations but try to represent your rental space in a positive light.
Add high-resolution photos of the inside and outside of your RV. Choose beautiful photos that showcase the best features of your listing and its top amenities and give travelers a clear idea of what to expect during their stay.
Set your house rules and add check-in and check-out instructions along with directions to your property. Your guests will be able to access this important information directly on their Airbnb Trips tab.
Take care of regular cleaning and maintenance
For most Airbnb guests, cleanliness is a priority, so make sure your recreational vehicle is clean and well-maintained before each rental. Travelers expect a clean and comfortable living space, so it’s important to thoroughly clean your RV and replace any worn or damaged items during each turnover.
You can clean your vehicle yourself or hire professional cleaners to do this job for you. Provide your cleaners with a detailed cleaning checklist that they must follow during each changeover to ensure your rental space is spotless.
Ensure perfect communication with your guests
Effective communication with travelers via messages during the entire guest journey is crucial to providing them with a pleasant experience to increase the chances of repeat bookings. Remember that it’s not enough to respond quickly to your potential guest inquiries and provide your guests with fast answers to all their questions.
To make your guests feel welcome and cared for, you should also stay proactive during all stages of the communication process: before they book their stay, before check-in, after their arrival, and after check-out.
Being available to your guests 24/7 and creating personalized messages for each guest can be challenging and time-consuming. But you can automate most conversations with your guests using vacation rental software like Hospitable and ensure that your guests always receive the necessary information at the right time.
Hospitable combines intuitive Inbox tools with ChatGPT integration and can automatically generate draft responses to your guest messages, saving you hours. You can set messaging rules and determine triggers to build an automated message flow for each guest and communicate with them at clearly defined moments. Personalizing your automated messages using shortcodes and making each guest feel special is also easy.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
Market your RV rental on other platforms
To increase your exposure and reach more potential guests, consider listing your RV, motorhome, or camper on other STR listing websites, such as Vrbo and Booking.com. These big OTA platforms are great channels to expand your online presence and connect with travelers looking for unique places to stay during their vacations.
And if you opt for Hospitable, you won’t have to worry about manually updating your calendars and pricing on multiple channels. You’ll be able to efficiently manage all your listings from one location and be protected from double bookings.
The Bottom Line
Renting out your RV on your property can be a great way to meet new people and earn additional income when the RV isn’t used. But before you create your Airbnb RV listing, you need to check the local STR laws to ensure it’s legal.
Be sure to contact your local government to learn more about zoning regulations or permits that may be required for short-term rentals. It’s also important to ensure that your insurance policy covers rental activity and familiarize yourself with the basics of liability law.
If everything is OK, do your best to create an attractive listing with beautiful photos and communicate clearly with travelers throughout the guest journey to show that you care about their needs. This way, you can make our guests happy about their stay and increase your chances of getting 5-star reviews that will help you win more bookings.
Hopefully, our tips on how to rent out your RV on Airbnb will help you get started. But you may want to check out our post to find tips on running a glamping business on Airbnb.
Can you do anything to ensure your listing is included in the proper Airbnb category? In this article, we’ll talk about categories and how you can make the most of them.
One way to make your listing appealing to travelers is to design your Airbnb property’s décor around a popular theme to give your guests a unique experience. We’ll look at some pros and cons of themed vacation rentals. You’ll also find some amazing Airbnb theme ideas for your vacation rental.
One of the main reasons why a lot of travelers prefer accommodations in short-term rentals to staying in hotels is the unique experiences they offer. Let’s take a look at some unique rental properties listed on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. These extraordinary rentals attract travelers looking for cool experiences to make their stay memorable.