Renting Campervans and Motorhomes Privately

Renting Campervans, Motorhomes and RV’s Privately.

Airbnb has highlighted the opportunity to take advantage of privately owned property and this has turned into a great money making way of earning some extra cash from a spare room or vacant accommodation. Now you can rent campervans, motorhomes and RV’s privately.

Uber works well in offering cheaper taxis and has certainly disrupted the taxi industry.

This is the “sharing economy” where you can make money by renting out your stuff.

Private campervan and motorhome rental.

Private campervan and motorhome rental.

We have started to see various companies setting up to do the same for campervans, motorhomes and RV’s.

It is very appealing to campervan and motorhome owners who often are not able to use their campers all year around so renting them out helps cover some of their costs.

While the hotel and motel industry has seen this as a threat what it also appears to be doing is making holidays away more accessible so it could be said that this will benefit the industry as a whole.

We only book campervans, motorhomes and RV’s directly with the rental suppliers so that we can guarantee the standard of the vehicles especially for customers travelling a long distance for their once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Campervans.com

The companies that we use have full break down services and back up vehicles in cases where the campervan is no longer road worthy either due to mechanical failure or accident.

Privately owned vehicles generally do not offer these services.

Renting a motorhome privately.

Renting a motorhome privately.

However, I do support these companies as I believe that people who may try out a campervan or motorhome holiday in their own country or backyard it will convert them into life time campervannners and so when they travel further afield they will use our services knowing that they have the full back up of established companies.

We only have depots in the major towns and cities all over the world whereas privately owned campers can be found very close to where you live.

If you are considering renting a camper using an Airbnb style listing service we would suggest that you check that they offer the following to you as a renter.

What should you expect to get from companies that manage your campervans if you own a campervan or motorhome and want to rent it out?

Insurance:

The agent that you register your campervan or motorhome with must offer insurance to cover the campervan and damage to third party property.  Check the limits.

Travel Insurance:

Advise your clients that they should have travel insurance to cover their belongings as that won’t be covered by your vehicle insurance cover.

Security Bond:

Make sure that a security bond is held in case of having to repair any damage that may not be covered by the insurance policy.

Commission:

Everybody has to make a living.  Check the amount you have to pay for:

  • To list your campervan or motorhome.
  • The level of commission that you have to pay on any rentals booked
  • When do you get paid your rental rates.
  • Exchange rate that is applied to overseas customers who may pay in foreign currency.
  • Fees and charges for processing incoming and outgoing payments.
  • Is the commission paid to the agent only for the rental days or for additional services such as insurance?
Go Wild in a Camper.

Go Wild in a Camper.

Vetting the Renter.

Will you have any direct contact before the rental takes place with the people who want to hire your camper?

Will you allow dogs or other pets?

Many people like to travel with their dog.  Will your agent add an additional fee to cover extra cleaning or the possibility of some damage?

What Should You Leave in the Camper?

A fully equipped campervan that will allow renters to show up, take the keys and drive off knowing that they are well equipped for sleeping, eating and washing is the ideal option. However, this does mean extra work in laundering the bedding, filling the tanks with water and the gas bottles with gas.

How Well Should I stock the Kitchen?

Customers from overseas won’t have olive oil, salt and pepper in their luggage so perhaps it would be a good idea to leave the basics in the kitchen and ask renters to replenish as they are used up.

If you are hiring out to local people then they can bring bedding and stock the fridge from home.

Explore at your leisure in a campervan.

Explore at your leisure in a campervan.

Where Can I Park My Car?

Can you offer your renters a place to leave their car while they head off into the wilds in your camper? It makes is so much more convenient for them if you can.

Transfers to the campervan?

Do you provide a transfer service for your customers arriving from other parts of the country or from overseas?

Your clients may be arriving from just around the corner or they could be arriving by train, bus or plane. Think through how they will get to you. Prepare some detailed instruction on how they will collect their camper.

The handover.

Your clients may never have driven a camper before or they may be experienced in living in a motorhome. Either way it will take you about an hour to show them how everything works and where everything is.  Take some time to prepare a hand-over leaflet and an instruction manual to remind them what you have shown them.

Some people even provide short videos that can be accessed via the internet.  Some photos would help too.

Keep A Record and Take Photos:

It is in the best interests of both hirer and client to mark on a diagram where there may be damage to the camper before and after the hire.  It is also a really good idea to take photos of the campervan both inside and out before getting on the road. That way there is not dispute when the vehicle is returned.

 Motorhome-hire in all sizes

Motorhome-hire in all sizes

Breakdown cover.

So, what happens if there is a problem with the camper?  The agent should have roadside assistance arranged with a local breakdown recovery service.  You will need this in place for minor repairs or in the worst case for recovering the camper in the event of an accident.

Make sure you have a system in place to help your clients should anything happen to them or the vehicle.

Replacement Campers or Motorhomes:

What is the policy if the campervan or motorhome breaks down and cannot be fixed at the roadside?  Do you have a back up plan for your clients? Do you have a refund policy in the event that they will not be able to continue on their holiday?

Perhaps the agent can assist and rent another vehicle from another owner close by.  It is worth investigating before you start your rental service.

Telephone assistance:

Your clients may want to contact you while they are on their holiday. Be prepared for calls to answer questions about the camper.

Payment processing:

Your agent will process the payment and pay you after the client has collected the camper.  Ensure that you have a secure payment system in place before you start.

Travel everywhere in style in a rented motorhome.

Travel everywhere in style in a rented motorhome.

Privacy Protection:

Make sure that the agent has a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)in place to keep your customers’ and your data and privacy protected.

How Do You Set the Daily Rental Rate?

Traditionally the rental rate goes up in the summer and school holidays and gradually decreases depending on the season.  Your agent will be able to advise on the best rates for the time of year that your potential customers will be renting.

Will you offer Discounts for long term hire?

Consider reducing your daily rental rate for rentals that are longer than 2 weeks. Your agent will advise the best reduction to add.

Calendar Management:

If you pre-book your campervan to rent out you must keep a close eye on the booking calendar. It seems obvious but there have been instances where double bookings take place. Don’t forget too to block out the days when you want to travel or when your friends and family have booked it out too!

Wild camp and see the real country.

Wild camp and see the real country.

Overseas travel.

Will you allow your customers to take the campervan out of the country. You will need to check the insurance options with your agent to make sure you are coved.

Limitations to Where your campervan can be taken.

You may want to put some areas off-limits either because you don’t want your motorhome to be taken off sealed or tarmacked or sealed roads and not allow travel on tracks or paths.

Will you let your customers take your campervan to a rock festival or sporting event?

One of the busiest times for campervan and motorhome rental is during rock festival season or when major sporting events are on.  For example Glastonbury in the UK, Burning Man in the USA or a Lions tour of New Zealand.

Think about what the conditions will be like for your camper.  Some owners levy an extra fee is the camper is going to a festival.

Cleaning.

What do you expect from your client?  Explain that you are happy that the campervan is returned in a good and clean condition with the toilet cassette emptied.  If this doesn’t happen then an additional fee will be levied to clean and empty the cassette.

As a renter you will expect to have to clean the campervan thoroughly before the next customer rents it out so expect the camper to be clean but as your customers have been on the road don’t expect it to be in pristine condition on return as they won’t have the facilities to get it as clean as you can with your vacuum cleaner etc.

3-berth Van-conversion with shower and wc.

3-berth Van-conversion with shower and wc.

What are the disadvantages of renting out your own motorhome?

  • The mileage will increase.
  • There will be more wear and tear on your camper.
  • People who rent may not look after your pride and joy in perhaps the same way as you do.

What are the advantages?

You will make money from your investment that may cover any depreciation due to increased mileage on the clock or a bit more wear and tear.

What are the Advantages for a Renter or Client?

Because the campervans are owned individually there will be a more personalised service and much more flexibility of where and when to collect your campervan.

You will need to make sure that you are legally eligible to drive a motorhome and that you are either old enough or not too old. In some countries there are restrictions that the insurance companies impose as to the age and experience of the driver.

If there are more than one drivers make sure you are all covered.

Travelling With Children:

You will have to make sure that there are child seats or booster seats available if your child needs one.  Make sure too that there are enough seat belts for every traveller in the campervan.

 Family Camper hire

Family Camper hire

Fees and Charges:

Make sure you know how much the bond is and how it can be taken before you set off on your hire. Check too the extra charges that may be applied for credit card payments.

There are fees payable to the agent. These should be clear before you rent your camper and should include local taxes.

Cancellation Fees:

Most agents charge cancellation fees. Make sure you know what these are and when they are applied.  Make sure too that your travel insurance will cover these.

Book Extras:

You may be able to drive your own car to the owner’s house and leave it there when you go on your road trip.  This means you could save money by taking your own bedding and tables, chairs etc or any of the chargeable extras.

If not ensure that you know what you are paying for and what you will get in the campervan.  Request an inventory of the equipment in the camper before you start your holiday.

Campervan Maintenance:

As a renter you will be responsible for the general maintenance of a camper. If you are renting a vintage camper then please make sure you know how to keep the fluids topped up and any other little quirks these campers may have.

Rent with friends

Chill out inside the camper.

Fuel and Fluids:

Your camper will come with a full tank and full gas bottles. It is generally accepted that you return the camper with a full fuel tank only.

Fines and Road Tolls:

The renter is responsible for both fines and road tolls.

Is it Always Cheaper to Rent Privately?

No it varies between countries, size and age of campers and length of rental.  To do the comparison you will have to check both options and do a straight comparison.  Don’t make the assumption that one is cheaper than the other until you have a like for like comparison.

Here are some useful links to blog posts about campervan rental:

Reviews of campervans and motorhomes on Campervans.com

Campervan Holiday Check list

FAQ’s for Campervan Rental

Top Tips For Renting a Campervan

Renting a Privately Owned Camper in the USA


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About Mary Galbraith

I have worked with campervan and motorhome companies for nearly 20 years hiring out vehicles on their behalf and run two sites www.campervans.com and www.budgetcampervans.com.

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