Author Topic: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?  (Read 2281 times)

LiveSimply

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Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« on: February 27, 2017, 08:42:54 AM »
Hi!
I am brand new to this forum, so glad to have found this community!

I am looking at the possibility of purchasing a retro trailer and fixing it up to airBnB on my property. Here are the details: Me and my partner own our house (SFH) outright (no mortgage) and live in it (with roommates). We have a large yard with gardens and chickens. We have a semi isolated corner under a tree we have thought about parking a camper in for guests. We live in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado which is a quickly growing area with a large (and seemingly growing) tourism industry built largely around the many micro and craft breweries (New Belgium started here as well as many others) as well as being close to the mountains (climbing, rafting, hiking, etc.). We are a less than 5 min bike ride from many of the breweries and want to provide a couple of cruiser bikes and a map of recommended breweries and food spots for guests to tour.

We are looking at doing something like this camper in Austin: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14213692?guests=2&adults=2

We have found a 1971 camper for sale locally that has no water damage and is in good working order (with chemical toilet) but would need to be "all pinterested" out and painted. I am thinking of offering $5000 dollars if I decide it is a worthwhile investment.

I have carpentry and some plumbing and electrical experience and would do most or all of the work myself.

We have also considered living in it and renting the rest of the house during the slow/colder months.

I would love any feedback if people have experience with this sort of thing or have any opinions on this as an investment.

Thanks so much!

the_fixer

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 11:46:30 AM »
Here is someone in Ft Collins looking to rent a place to live in their vintage camper for $325
https://fortcollins.craigslist.org/wan/6000331784.html

You get money each month and do not need to spend that $5000. In the mean time you could look for a camper / trailer that is less money and learn more about the process.

$5000 seems expensive for something that does not need to be towed other than one time to your place. Looking at the local craigslist I am surprised by how much they are listed for.  Maybe look at swinging by some of the places where people pay to store RV's particularly budget outdoor lots as they might have some that people have defaulted on or know of some of their tenants that do not use them or would want to sell them cheap?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 12:04:30 PM by the_fixer »

LiveSimply

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 02:59:25 PM »
Thanks the_fixer, that is a great idea! I hadn't thought about looking for defaulted trailers at outdoor lots. I will look into that.

waltworks

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 03:04:06 PM »
What's the legal situation? Is parking the trailer there in the first place allowed? If so, are nightly rentals allowed? Do you need a permit/B&B license?

You'll do WAY better than $325 a month renting on AirBnB (we'll trade you a stay at our AirBnB here in Park City sometime!) because your location sounds awesome and Ft. Collins is a fun place. I'd guess you could clear $50 a night easily, quite a bit more during festivals/summer. Overhead costs and labor are significant, though (cleaning and washing starts to suck pretty fast) so keep in mind it's more of a lucrative side gig than truly passive income.

-W

LiveSimply

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 05:47:56 PM »
Thanks for the reply!

What's the legal situation? Is parking the trailer there in the first place allowed? If so, are nightly rentals allowed? Do you need a permit/B&B license?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, maybe not. As of very recently, you can legally have short term rentals here (need to pay for a sales tax license and lodging tax license), but as I look into it more, we may be in a neighborhood that is still undecided as to whether or not to allow this. Maybe this will change soon. It is probably not worth trying to do under the radar...?

Maybe we will just move into a trailer and rent the whole house...

waltworks

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 06:06:34 PM »
Under the radar can work if you are on very good terms with all of your neighbors and specifically inform them what you're doing/get their blessing in advance. Otherwise, no way would I try it.

Crap, for $5k, why not see if you like living in the trailer (you can pinterest-ize it while you try it out)? If not, even if you can only get half your money back, it's not much of a loss. If you like it, rent the darn house!

-W

calimom

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 09:04:48 PM »
I think it's a great idea and could be fun and lucrative. I have a 1955 vintage trailer, very small with no bathroom that lives in my back yard. It doesn't get rented out but is used for overflow guests, kids' sleepovers and sometimes just a little haven when I want some peace and quiet! Love the idea of saving these cool old trailers.

Check out Shady Dell in Bisbee, AZ for inspiration. It's a "hotel" comprised solely of vintage trailers include some Airstreams. I want to go there one day.

stevewisc

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 08:25:43 PM »
I just rented a place like you are talking about in San Antonio for around $60 a night it was great and was pretty often booked.  As for the regulations - do it until you can't and sell the place for six grand after your Pinteresting. 

goodfriendsmake

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 09:11:37 PM »
What's the legal situation? Is parking the trailer there in the first place allowed? If so, are nightly rentals allowed? Do you need a permit/B&B license?

You'll do WAY better than $325 a month renting on AirBnB (we'll trade you a stay at our AirBnB here in Park City sometime!) because your location sounds awesome and Ft. Collins is a fun place. I'd guess you could clear $50 a night easily, quite a bit more during festivals/summer. Overhead costs and labor are significant, though (cleaning and washing starts to suck pretty fast) so keep in mind it's more of a lucrative side gig than truly passive income.

-W
There are legal aspects to take into consideration.  There are county regulations that prohibit living in RVs or renting them out for short or long term use.  After the High Park Fire, in which 259 families were displaced, the county would only allow RV living if you 1)Started the homebuilding permit process and 2)Purchased an RV permit for $1000 and 3)Moved the RV around every certain amount of days or when asked to by the county.  All this was taking place on large lots from 35 acres and up, usually.  In town, the rules may be more stringent.  Families that were underinsured and therefore not able to rebuild faced huge uncertainty at every turn.  We spent our insurance money restoring the electrical, well, and septic systems and bought an RV.  We were always worried that we would be kicked out of the only place we had left to call "home".  If you google Gyorgy Vidacs you can find that he was an elderly HPF survivor who lost his home and died of a heart attack, at the time the county was cracking down on his shed he built to winter in.

Dixie_Amazon

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 07:23:46 AM »
If you start before the possible regulation change, you might be grandfathered in as an exception. Another thing to check on.

Cassie

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 01:38:21 PM »
We have a motor home on our property and have considered renting it on Airbnb. Havenít decided because it would need to be cleaned every time along with all clean linens, etc.

nbock

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 08:45:26 PM »
If RV regulations are an issue in your area, would you consider building a tiny home instead? According to my 10 seconds of internet research, Fort Collins is "Tiny house friendly". This would require a larger investment, but it would probably be more comfortable to live in than an RV, especially if you can design/build it yourself.

Good luck! Once you get your AirBnB up and running, you should share the link. I'm dreaming about moving out West and building a house for myself with and cutting the cost by building a rental guest suite. I'd love to check out your setup next time I'm in Colorado.

tips^up

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Re: Retro Camper (on our property) as an Airbnb?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 11:11:34 PM »
I've thought about this at our house in Colorado too.  We could plug in electric and hose...but how do you handle sewer?  Tow it to the local RV dump station (about 20 miles from me)?

My buddy had his bachelor party mountain biking in Fruita.  We stayed at a "fort".  It had been an Airbnb, homemade, awesome, off the grid, right next to 18 Road bike trails, outhouse...the owners told us some fancy people from California stayed there, found the outhouse appalling, sued them and called the Mesa County health department and got shut down.  Now they only let friends stay there free.  It was awesome, we had a blast that weekend.  It was only a couple years ago but I wonder if the fort is still standing?