Author Topic: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?  (Read 663 times)

jeromedawg

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Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« on: February 04, 2019, 11:07:42 PM »
Hey all,

Just curious if anyone here AirBNBs or Rents out RVs (whether stationary or not) or small camper attachments (like a Meerkat, Mini Max, Little Guy, etc). If so, how have you done with it overall?

My neighbor purchased a Meerkat for around $20k and says he expects to net probably around $5-6k a year on it. Of course, I'm not sure if he paid up front in cash or if he took a loan and is trying to cashflow on it (we didn't get that far into talking about it). Just curious if anyone else here does something similar. He said when he lived in China he owned three sports cars that he purchased used, fixed up, then rented out and he did very well doing that as a side-hustle.

This sounds pretty interesting to me but curious what the pitfalls and liabilities are to watch out for and if those would generally make it not such a great idea overall.

jeromedawg

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 11:11:54 PM »
We also briefly talked about people who live on boats in the harbor and the same thought came to mind - buy a boat meant to stay in the slip, pay monthly dues for the slip, and rent the boat out to someone to live on only (and not to take out around the harbor or outside). Not sure how popular the idea is or how well it would work out but I knew someone from college who lived on a boat - I'm guessing rent is pretty cheap. I just don't know how worth it it would be as the boat owner. It seems like it would be relatively low maintenance though, since it's not like they would be taking the boat out, etc.

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 12:46:55 PM »
RVShare.com is more likely to generate rentals than Airbnb, although dual listing wouldn't hurt. If you're in a strong market, you could generate $10,000-$15,000 a year on rentals.

jeromedawg

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 03:22:49 PM »
RVShare.com is more likely to generate rentals than Airbnb, although dual listing wouldn't hurt. If you're in a strong market, you could generate $10,000-$15,000 a year on rentals.

Typically, how do you figure out whether a market is strong or not? Just by looking at similar listings and how much availability there is? I actually found my neighbor's listing and just by quickly glancing at it he's booked about half of Feb already, 11 days in March and 6 days in April... although, I'm not sure if he blocked those dates out for personal use or if those are actual rentals. From what I understand though, I think if he uses it for personal use it's mostly for 1-3 day trips, and the bookings I see are like 5-6 days in a row. This intrigues me a lot and seems like a pretty low maintenance and relatively low cost option to potentially cashflow a bit. It probably wouldn't be a lot but by virtue of fact that these things take up a single car space, it seems like a pretty decent proposition.

MaikoTsumi

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 01:33:21 PM »
In my unscientific opinion, areas with high concentrations of seniors.  Areas surrounding Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, Florida, etc. 

RVShare says you can make as much as $5,000 for pull behind, $15,000 for Class C, and $30,000 for Class A.  Take it with a grain of salt.

ixtap

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 02:03:40 PM »
We also briefly talked about people who live on boats in the harbor and the same thought came to mind - buy a boat meant to stay in the slip, pay monthly dues for the slip, and rent the boat out to someone to live on only (and not to take out around the harbor or outside). Not sure how popular the idea is or how well it would work out but I knew someone from college who lived on a boat - I'm guessing rent is pretty cheap. I just don't know how worth it it would be as the boat owner. It seems like it would be relatively low maintenance though, since it's not like they would be taking the boat out, etc.

There are often people asking to do this, but marinas and marine insurance are not interested in supporting this model. Heck, most marinas aren't thrilled about liveaboards at all.

Interestingly, some marinas have figured out an Airbnb type arranngement,, but around here the port wants 20%+, so not many folks are interested in participating
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 02:05:30 PM by ixtap »

Gerard

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 10:59:19 AM »
I was an airbnb guest on both a camper and a boat in southern California over the past month, and I note that both of my rentals are pretty heavily booked up for the spring/summer. My guess is that the competitive advantage is almost entirely in price -- my RV was in LA and was $50 (Canadian) a night. I'm not sure I agree that the target audience is older folks, unless your RV/boat are in rural/campground areas. I suspect you would be renting more to young folks and people who watch tiny homes shows. And maybe mustachians!

Wrenchturner

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Re: Renting/AirBNBing RVs or small campers?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 06:54:59 PM »
I'm an RV technician.  The Meerkat is a nice choice because it's simple, light and appears to have a cartridge toilet and manual water pump, although I'm not personally familiar with the manufacturers you mentioned.  If it doesn't have a grey holding tank, even better.  Motorhomes have the entire drivetrain maintenance that will add cost and risk.  Larger trailers require equalizer hitches and larger tow vehicles, plus larger campsites, and they're obviously harder to park.  Awnings are remarkably easy to damage and expensive to repair.  Keep in mind that service and everything else associated with RVs can be very expensive and parts often have to be ordered.  If you live in a freezing climate you have to winterize the water system.  There is a fair bit of maintenance required; resealing, bearing repacks specifically.  Build quality is not great typically and people that have a less than gentle side will probably break things: cabinet doors pulled off the stiles, plastic components that turn to dust with UV exposure, etc.

In my experience it's usually relatively young people that use small RVs and older folks usually go for larger trailers and motorhomes.

If you're risk averse you could ask your neighbor next year how his season went.  If you can't pull this off with a Meerkat you'll have a tough time with something larger.