Everybody makes mistakes. It can be frustrating, but these mistakes can be turned into a valuable lesson for the future. This goes for renting out camper vehicles too. But there are blunders that can be avoided if you keep yourself informed before renting your RV out. We’ve compiled a list of common RV rental mistakes along with their solutions, so read on to learn how you can prevent them from happening!
1. Insufficient renter screening
Before you hand your keys over, RV owners should do a thorough screening of the renter. Checks like these are important because we want to prevent lending your beloved vehicles to risky drivers who may smash your car the moment they hit the road. Currently, there are numerous quick and budget-friendly options to check a person’s driving records so there is no excuse not to do so.
2. Incorrect rental rates
Having appropriate pricing should attract lots of bookings and garner repeat customers. But if you are not witnessing that now, that could be a sign to review the rental fees again.
This is by far the most common mistake we see, and it is understandable why so many rent operators struggle with this problem. To determine your base price, one needs to consider the following elements:
- Competition: Look for other RV rental listings in your vicinity and observe their prices to gauge if your pricing is in the benchmark. Depending on your location, hotels or vacation rentals could also be considered as your competitors too.
- Geographic area: This factor may affect the pricing depending on your location. If you are located near a national stadium, the surrounding accommodations may be overbooked and the prices surge during a specific event. During these occasions, you can slightly increase your rental fees because there is a high demand for accommodation.
- Make, model, condition of the vehicle: These factors directly impact the pricing. Renters favor newer models because older units are more likely to have roadside assistance issues and they might have to bear the repairing fee. Hence, owners with an older vehicle may want to consider dropping the rental rates to increase desirability.
- Seasonality: RV rental operators should adjust their rental rates according to the season (peak/off-peak), holidays, special events. When there is a higher demand for RVs, owners should increase the rates or even roll out special packages to further entice renters. On the flip side, rates should be lowered alongside additional discounts during the off-season. Changing up the prices according to the seasonality can earn you more money in the long run, so owners should always stay alert to the newest events happening in the area.
Aside from the base price, RV owners should also think about the add-on fees for the extra service/equipment provided. Price points should be referenced to other competitors’ rates because there are renters who book the vehicles according to the prices of add-ons like extra mileage.
3. Say no to unlimited mileage
There are listings that offer unlimited mileage as an add-on, but we recommend owners set a limit to the mileage used for the vehicle’s future. This is because mileage is the major factor that reduces the resale value of the vehicle. To illustrate, 20,000 miles is said to reduce the vehicle’s resale value by a few thousand each time. Therefore, extra mileage should be made payable considering the additional repairs (tire replacement, oil changes, replacing parts, etc) that owners have to bear.
Generally, RV owners offer a complimentary 100 miles per day alongside an additional charge of $0.35 per extra mile. These fees garnered from the extra miles will then be used for maintenance and to make up for the reduced resale value.
4. Not abiding by the law
No matter where you are, RV owners should be informed about the law before renting out their vehicle. Each area may differ in terms of the laws, so owners need to keep that in mind. The location’s vehicle rental laws, taxes law for rental operators, and the need for business licenses are examples of regulations that people have to follow if they wish to rent a car.
5. Lacking the necessary policies
If your vehicle is going to be pet-friendly, pet policies should be laid out before any mishaps happen. The pet policy should be detailed on the type of damage renters are responsible for, types of pets and breeds allowed on the vehicle, whether the pet has fleas and ticks, etc.
Aside from pet policies, owners should also create a cancellation policy for their rental business. This will smoothen the process when you face a last-minute cancellation and there are tons of existing policies that you can refer to online.
6. Lacking a maximum occupancy limit
The RV’s maximum occupancy limit should be matched to the number of seatbelts available in your vehicle. Setting this limit will protect both the renters and yourself from troubles. If the renters got into an accident and any of them got injured or even died due to the lack of seatbelts, owners like yourself will be charged for negligence. Therefore, it is crucial to set a maximum occupancy limit on the listing and ensure your renters comply with it.
7. Being shy about the reviews
The presence of positive reviews on a listing can be a huge deciding factor for renters. So if you haven’t garnered any reviews on your listing page, you might be missing out on prospective renters.
When asking past customers to leave a review about the overall renting experience, make sure you share the direct link to your listing’s review page to make the review process smooth for them.
Having a positive review can increase your listing’s credibility and it helps to gain the renter’s trust. Rents are getting savvier and they require more information about the product before deciding to purchase it. Reviews can also be treated as feedback for owners to check if there is room for improvement in their service too.
Renting an RV goes beyond a listing, so new RV owners are bound to hit a roadblock now and then trying to figure out this business. After reading this list of common RV rental mistakes, do keep them in mind to avoid them in the future.