3 years ago we rented our first RV. It was a 30-foot Adventurer 4 motorhome. It was a beast powered by a Super Duty F350 truck. We rented that particular unit because it’s one of the only motorhomes with 4 seats in the cab. At the time, we had very young boys and wanted them in child seats.
FYI, since then, many new Class C motorhomes include a steel back to the dinette bench in the cabin area that adequately secures child seats.
That first RV rental was an epic road trip from Vancouver to Whitehorse. Thinking back it’s amazing we embarked on such an adventure with kids. We drove a few hours every day and camped at different campgrounds each day.
The next year we rented a Class C with the new child seat secure dinette seating. Instead of a road trip. we parked it at a campground on a British Columbia lake. We did the car camping thing for a week.
The 3rd year was the same – chilled out in the same campground with a similar motorhome, only this time we went for nearly 2 weeks.
This year we’re doing something different.
We’re renting an RV camper trailer.
Instead of renting it from a large RV rental service, we reserved and rented one from the Canadian Airbnb of RVs – RVezy.
The problem with the traditional RV rental outfits is they get fully booked up either the year prior (especially motorhomes) or by early Spring. While sometimes our plans are set by then, not always. This year our planned camping trip was last minute. And so I turned to RVezy to rent an RV.
In fact, it was only 2 days ago I secured our first rental on RVezy which is amazing because it’s June. Our camping trip is in August. I had 4 units to choose from in the area where we’re going. I’ll explain below why you may prefer to rent something close to where your camping instead of where you live.
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Is RVezy a good place to rent an RV? The Short Answer
I found it to be an excellent website marketplace to rent an RV. It’s easy to use. I trust it. RV owners were very responsive and kind. Pricing is transparent. Finding and securing a rental is fast. All-in-all it’s a great platform to rent an RV. Whether it’s equally good for RV owners, I can’t say since I don’t own an RV (obviously – otherwise I wouldn’t be renting one).
RVezy is only a few years old having been founded in 2016. For now, it serves Canada only in that only RV owners in Canada can list RVs for rent. Tourists visiting Canada can rent RVs from the site. Moreover, you can take your RV to the US.
The website and app function very similarly to vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO. You input your travel dates, location and other filters such as trailer or motorhome and scroll through listings. The resulting listings are super helpful because as long as you input your travel dates, the results are available. This gives RVezy an edge over renting an RV from someone on Craigslist where you never know if it’s still available.
Appeared on Dragon’s Den
Dragon’s Den is Shark Tank in Canada. RVezy founders pitched and landed a deal there. Here’s a clip:
Learn more about RVezy here.
What types of RVs can you rent (or list as owner) on RVezy?
There are many options for renters and income opportunities for RV owners. Here’s the list of the different types of RVs you can list:
- Travel Trailer
- Tent Trailer
- Fifth Wheel
- Micro Trailer
- Hybrid Trailer
- Class A Motorhome
- Class B Motorhome
- Class C Motorhome
- CamperVan or Conversion Van
- Vintage Trailer
- Vintage Motorhome
The RVezy RV rental process
After setting up an account, I spent 30 minutes or so combing through listings and getting familiar with the website. I found 5 excellent options fairly quickly. We wanted a camper trailer that was 22′ to 28′ long or so that sleeps 4 people. One very important criterion was that the owner would deliver and set it up at our campground. This is why I looked in the location near our campground instead of near our home.
I then filled out my profile. In my experience, having rented numerous vacation rentals on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, I believe it’s important to have a complete profile with photo. Owners must approve you and if they have no information about you, they’re less likely to do so.
There isn’t much to fill out for your profile – the usual stuff such as name and address. I think the key is adding a profile photo. Further into the rental process you also must provide your driver license info (for obvious reasons).
Step 1: Input location and date
A word about location. The location you input depends on whether you want to pick it up before you leave or have it delivered to where you’re going. We wanted our RV trailer delivered to the campground so I looked for available units as close as possible to the campground.
Inputting your travel dates is very important because it will filter out all unavailable RVs. This is a very nice feature so that you don’t waste time inquiring about RVs that are not available. It’s also nice having a built-in booking system for owners who don’t have to field unnecessary inquiries.
Step 2: Filter what you’re looking for and scroll available RVs
There are many filter options which is great. The only filters I cared about was that it was towable and the owner delivered/set up the unit to our campsite.
Step 3: Request to book your RV
One thing I found disappointing on the site was that owners didn’t include enough photos. Here’s a big shout-out to RV owners – include a lot of photos of both the exterior and interior. I’m particular about layout, beds, features etc. so I like to look at a lot of photos.
Step 4: Specify your RV needs
The final step in making an RV rental inquiry is checking off your add-ons (i.e. delivery) and introducing yourself. I recommend introducing your self briefly explaining where you’re going, who is going and so on. Don’t tell them your life story, but a couple of sentences give the owner some context about you.
Send out multiple requests
RVezy recommends and permits sending out multiple requests. This way you improve your odds of securing a rental. I sent out 5 requests and was approved for 4 of them within 24 hours.
I can’t tell you how excited I am that I don’t need to pack, tow and set up the RV. All we need to do is toss our clothes into the hatch of our crossover and our bikes on the bike rack and drive to the campground. Upon arrival, we unfold the chairs, set up the fire pit and enjoy ourselves.
Communicating with RV Owners
In your RVezy account is an “Inbox” tab where you can access communications with owners (or if you’re an owner, with renters). I found the user interface to be really easy to navigate. I had some back and forth with a few owners. Everyone was super nice making it a very easy process. I also found almost every owner to be very quick to respond to all inquiries… which leads me to another tip for owners – whenever possible respond to inquiries and questions quickly. Chances are, renters will book the first unit that meets their requirements.
Communicating with RVezy
I love how RVezy has a live chat option that is actually manned during business hours. I had one question for them and appreciate being able to get a response immediately rather than wait on an email response.
You can also call them or submit a traditional email support request.
A few important points for renters:
Where can the RVs go? You can take them anywhere in Canada and the US.
Is RV insurance included? Yes. Read the details at RVezy as the terms/coverage may change over time.
Is there a minimum rental duration? It’s up to the owners to specify this. There is no minimum rental duration specified by RVezy.
Can you make multiple booking requests? Yes and both RVezy and I recommend you do so to improve your odds of securing a rental.
Can you take a pet? That’s up to the owners.
Can you cancel your RV rental? Yes, but it depends on when you cancel. Read RVezy’s cancellation policy here.
RV rental tips for RV owners from a renter’s perspective
While my opinion is just one opinion, here are some tips for improving your odds of attracting renters to choose your RV. Renters often have several to choose from so you want make yours look like the best option (without embellishing).
Photos: Upload lots and lots of photos. Ensure they are high-quality photos. Renters want to see the inside, layout, storage, kitchen, bathroom – everything so they can compare. High-quality photos can make your unit look far better than poor quality photos. If you plan on renting out your RV as much as possible, hire a professional photographer. It’s a one-time cost that can help you earn far more money.
Add-ons: Offer attractive freebies or low-cost add-ons such as chairs, fire pit, propane grill, folding table – the more you offer, the less renters have to buy or pack. One particular add-on sought after by a renter could make all the difference. Keep in mind that some renters may be flying to the area which means they can’t take much with them.
Deliver and set up: If you don’t offer this, you will miss out on a lot of rentals, especially for trailer owners. Motorhome rentals will more often be picked up directly by the renters, but many renters opting for a trailer may not have a vehicle that can tow a large trailer.
Price: Price it competitively. Most renters compare prices so you have to be in line with comparable units.
If new, say so: If your unit is new, say so. The unit we ended up choosing is very new which appealed to me a great deal.
Features: If your RV has some great features, say so. The unit I chose has an outdoor kitchen. Fortunately, the owner stated that. I’ve camped enough to know that an outdoor kitchen is very, very handy. Other features to set out include bunk beds (kids love these), slide-outs, sofas, large fridge, etc.
Provide a good write-up: Don’t just dash down a sloppily written description. Take time to craft a well-written and enticing write up that informs what you have to offer. Put your sales hat on, but don’t overstate what you have. If it’s not new (2 years or younger), don’t say it’s new.
The Economics of buying and renting out an RV
As sites like RVezy grow in popularity (and I have no doubt they will because it’s a much-needed service), some people may consider buying an RV for the express purpose of making money from it plus end up with a free RV.
While there are literally over a million scenarios, let’s consider one simple scenario to assess whether this is a good side-business.
- New 23′ RV camper trailer: $30,000
- Down payment: $3,000
- Monthly payments: $250 ($3,000 annually)
- Amortization period: 20 years
- Other: maintenance, repairs, cleaning, insurance, etc.
- Revenue per week: $600
- # of weeks rented per year: 6*
- Total annual revenue: $3,600
- Total revenue over 20 years: $3,600 x 20 = $72,000
- Profit over 20 years: $600 x 20 = $12,000
*The number of weeks you end up renting it out is the unknown factor that can make a big difference. I chose very conservative numbers. Obviously, if you can rent it out for more weeks, you’ll make more money. If you plan on using it 2 to 4 weeks per year, you really only have 6 to 10 or so weeks left where you can reasonably expect to rent it out and that’s assuming you do rent it out. There is a lot of competition so just because you have a listing doesn’t mean you’ll secure rentals. The 6 weeks I set out is a huge assumption so please don’t rely on this. It’s merely an example. It could be more or fewer weeks each year.
As you can see, due to the down payment, you will likely lose money in year one. However, in year two, you’ll make a few bucks which means you end up with a free RV.
It’s not passive income
While it sounds like a no-brainer, keep in mind this is not exactly passive income. There is work involved such as:
- Communicating with rental inquiries.
- Cleaning and preparing the unit for each trip.
- Deliver/set up when requested (although most owners charge an add-on fee so it’s an opportunity to earn more revenue).
- RV maintenance – either you do it or pay for it which can encroach on profits.
In my view, it’s a no-brainer to list your RV if you don’t use all summer long and you don’t mind the work involved. I suspect it’s more work than you anticipate.
Personally, I would not buy one even if renting it out paid for it. We camp once per year for one to two weeks which only costs us $1K to $2K which is a very reasonable cost for a great vacation. I’m not interested in the work involved in an effort to end up with a free RV.
Wrapping it up
From a renter’s perspective, RVezy is fantastic. The prices are great. The selection is impressive. It’s an easy-to-use website. It instills trust as in I’m not worried that I’ll get ripped off. Best of all, I found the RV that meets our needs perfectly and managed to do so with two to three hours of effort.
I strongly recommend RVezy as a place to rent an RV. As for owners, if you have one and don’t use it much and you have the time to manage renting it out, list it, rent it and see how it goes. You can always stop renting it out if it’s not for you.