The outdoor hospitality industry is booming.
There are five times more people RVing for the first time in the past year alone (RV Travel). And there are more people renting RVs than ever before.
And if you have the space and want to grow your campground, here’s why you should consider offering RV rentals directly from your campground.
More people are renting RVs than ever.
First, let’s look at industry data and why RVing and rentals are on the rise.
Current RV Owners & Renters
There is a rapidly growing demand for RVs.
According to Condor, 11% (or a little over 14 million) of Americans own an RV. Additionally, 46 million people will go RVing on an annual basis. Similarly, Tech Crunch reported that over 35 million people look to rent an RV every year.
The Appeal of Renting RVs
So why such a draw towards renting RVs?
For one, it’s economical. TripSavvy claims that a two-week trip for a family of four in an RV is about $600 cheaper than a two-week trip staying in hotels.
Renting an RV is also a more likely first step for people looking to experience the nomadic RV lifestyle without getting saddled with the long-term costs associated with owning a rig.
Plus, renters don’t have to worry about storing, winterizing, or packing away the RV for the season. With less maintenance and generally lower costs than your typical vacation, rentals continue to rise annually.
Potential Opportunity for Campgrounds
Understandably, there can be a level of anxiety for a camper who’s never owned or rented an RV before. Driving and being responsible for a piece of machinery larger than a car is a learning curve for anyone.
But therein lies an opportunity for park owners.
Buying and renting out RVs could be a unique and easy way to appeal to new guests at your campground.
For a family that’s never owned an RV, or even rented one, your campground could facilitate them with stationary units and give them their first foray into the lifestyle.
For even more adventures, offering motorhome rentals can bring in $200+ a night with new class A motorhomes charging up to $400/night. Peer-to-peer RV rentals like this are common using services like Outdoorsy or RV Share.
By offering rental pickup and drop off at your campground, you can boost your occupancy with campers staying the night at your park at the beginning and end of their adventures.
RV rentals are good investments.
RV rentals can break even in only a few years.
While buying and possibly renovating RVs isn’t exactly cheap, it doesn’t have to be a money pit. Purchasing an RV for rent can actually prove to be quite fruitful—even turning a profit in 2-3 years. (For comparison, in real estate, rentals are considered good if they can turn a profit in 7-10 years.)
At your campground, this might look like purchasing a new Coleman travel trailer for about $30,000 and parking it as a permanent rental fixture for one of your existing sites. Conservatively, let’s say you have 9 bookable months at 50% capacity while charging $100 a night. Even at that rate, your purchase would pay for itself in just over 2 years, while having minimal wear and tear because it’s not being driven.
This would add some extra maintenance work and increase insurance costs—especially if you rent drivable RVs—however, it’s easy to see how the numbers can break even in only a few years.
Get Recurring Campers
A recent RVShare study found that 60% of their customers are willing to rent an RV again after their first experience.
Tips for Offering RV Rentals at Your Campground
Take online reservations.
Listing your RV spots and taking reservations online is probably the easiest and most practical way to ensure a return on your investment.
An online system will be able to feature your RV rentals in front of millions of people, especially with the exposure offered by channel partners like GoRVing.
Plus, online systems allow campgrounds to automate bookings and take in more reservations. Campgrounds like Golden Municipal are able to take over 6,000 reservations annually largely due to having an online system.
Check out our recent article on advertising for campgrounds for tips on how to advertise your campground and RV rentals.
Convert old campers.
With more and more guests looking for novelty, buying RVers or refurbishing old campers could be a great way to add some more charm to your park.
Camper Report says that renovating a vintage RV can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 in addition to the cost of the rig. As glamping options grow in demand, this can be a great way to attract non-RV owners to your park.
For inspiration, here’s how one couple turned an ’87 Airstream motorhome into a bookable glamping opportunity for guests.
Partner with RV owners.
Of the 46 million RV owners, only about half of them RV on a yearly basis. That leaves millions of idle RVs possibly available for rent.
Consider connecting with part-time RVers and see if you can strike a deal to store and rent their RVs on your property with a revenue split. You can rent out a unit without the upfront cost and they earn passive income.
Partner with dealerships.
In general, it’s a great idea to connect with local dealerships—they are usually the first people new RV owners ask for camping recommendations and be great free advertising. However, there might also be an opportunity to partner and feature rental units from the dealership itself on your property.
Why Campgrounds Should Offer RV Rentals
Renting out RVs from your campground is a great way to tap into a multi-billion dollar market by connecting with guests looking for the novelty of RVing without any of the commitment or stress. If you’re looking to grow your campground consider adding RV rentals as a bookable option by:
- Buying and renting out RVs.
- Converting used campers.
- Partnering with part-time RV owners.
- Partnering with RV dealerships.
- Taking online reservations.
- Using a platform like Outdoorsy to promote your rentals.
Ready to fill those rentals? Campground Booking can help! Request a demo today!