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Old 04-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #1
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Does anyone have any insights on starting a RV rental buisness?

Hi all,
We are members and have a class A we call our own. We want to purchase 1-3 Class A &/or C motorhomes to rent.
Has anyone in IRV2 done this and do you have any recommendations and cautions?
Toni
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Check what your insurance rates will be for rental units. Are you going to buy new units or used? How many rental days will cover your costs? Who will maintain the RVs? Clean them when they return?

Rental of RVs isn't like renting a car or yard machine, they are much more complicated. It might take hours to explain how to set up and use the RV. All these things eat up time and make it a business that I think must be marginal. How come we don't see more RV rental businesses? I think there's a lesson in that.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Check what your insurance rates will be for rental units. Are you going to buy new units or used? How many rental days will cover your costs? Who will maintain the RVs? Clean them when they return?

Rental of RVs isn't like renting a car or yard machine, they are much more complicated. It might take hours to explain how to set up and use the RV. All these things eat up time and make it a business that I think must be marginal. How come we don't see more RV rental businesses? I think there's a lesson in that.
Yeah! What he said!
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:14 PM   #4
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The big renters such as Cruise America don't keep their rentals in service for long. They're always being replaced mainly because folks don't take care of them the way an owner would and also, people like a newer RV where they'd feel mechanically safe.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
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A timely topic to an episode of Judge Judy I recently watched. Long story short, the coach broke down multiple times, ruined a family's vacation. The rental person ended up having to reimburse the renter for repairs he paid for while trying to be on vacation, the renter's hotel bills while the coach was in the shop for those repairs & refund the week's rental fees because the coach was unusable.

Before venturing into this type of business, I'd certainly talk with someone who's in this business to know what you're getting into. My guess insurance will be sky high, you will need to know how to repair RV's unless you've got boat-loads of $$ to pay someone else to do it & you're going to have to be on call 24/7 to those you rent to.

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Old 04-18-2015, 08:36 PM   #6
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You will have to be able to do all the regular maintenance OFTEN.
Most renters are going to be from over-seas and will put a ton of miles, wear'n'tear and abuse on your units.
Insurance will be the least of your concerns.

With only 3-4 units, if one goes down, what will you tell the folks that booked a year ago for their cross country trip? How will you handle a unit that breaks down in rush hour driving through downtown or in the middle of nowhere?

How will you validate their qualification to drive a Class A?

Friends of mine started a Jeep rental business in St. Thomas. They did it for a little over a year and gave up. It was a total nightmare. So many problems and phone calls at all hours of the night. And they had 10 brand-new jeeps on a relatively small island.

Not trying to be a downer, but the reality of this plan is probably not what you have in mind.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:43 PM   #7
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There are a thousand reasons to NOT rent a motorhome. Our dealership tried it for a few years. We ended up getting out of the rental business. My job was to walk the renter around the motorhome, show them all the nicks and scratches. They were all written down on the contract. We told them to check for themselves and add any places we missed. We had a couple come back in and the whole top three feet of the passenger side was bashed in. It was obvious they had hit tree. They said they picked it up from us in that condition. They were screaming at our lot manager that they had not done anything to the coach. They were threatening to call The better business bureau and the TV station. He asked them why they had not written the damage on the contract when they picked it up. They said that they had not noticed it. This sounds like a TV comedy but I swear every word is true. The main thing is. The renters have no skin in the game, they will drive faster than they would their on coach. They will treat it like a rental car. NEVER RENT!
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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The rental folks for everything from tools to trucks leverage "new"...

They lease items to money is controlled or fixed and buy new so warranty covers almost everything.

They factor in wear and a bunch of other items so they can determine cycle and cost along with depreciation.

When warranty is done so is the life of the unit and it is sold.

At one time there were car rental places called "rent a wreck" that rented older cars for less but tye national companies have rates low enough that these places mostly are gone now as the cost to operate with older equipment much higher maybe than leasing new and renting them.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:38 AM   #9
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Cruise America's units are all Class C, I believe, they also are 'stripped down' models, not like a top of the line RV. I'd imagine they are special ordered. Someone starting up a rental business would have to do the same.

It would seem to me there would be simpler and more profitable ways to make money.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:26 PM   #10
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My wife and I rented a Class A (Winnebago Vista 32') last fall from a large dealership in our area. It was a "weekly" rental - pickup the unit on Monday morning ... return it by 10 am the following Monday morning. The rental included 700 miles and 7 hours of generator use. It was NOT cheap! Combined - the "rental" fee, liability insurance, damage insurance and finally windshield coverage ... cost us $2,200 for the week. Granted the unit was nice ... only 12K worth of mileage on it when we picked it up.

We rented it specifically because we were in the market for a coach - and felt a need to try it once before taking the plunge. I can't imagine anybody spending that sort of money simply for transport and lodging.

The point I'm trying to make is that I don't believe there's a huge market for RV rentals out there. Especially if you have to charge a "full price" for the unit (like we paid...) in order to turn a profit. Of course, there's the "rent a wreck" approach ... but again, why would you consider going into business if you've got to [moderator edit] your pricing.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:39 AM   #11
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I suspect the big rental companies are getting the c-class new for a price so low it would shock you.... run them 2 years and sell them for I suspect close to their cost new..
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