One of the beauties of RV travel is that this lifestyle appeals to a huge number of people. If you’re passionate about traveling in an RV and want to dedicate your life to this business, you are not alone. But, even though there’s a huge amount of happiness and joy involved, starting an RV rental business takes initiative, a collection of reliable tools, and a big sprinkle of determination.
At Wheelbase Pro, we’ve helped countless entrepreneurs with setting up their RV rental business, so we understand the different steps you need to take. There are many variables that will be unique to your scenario, like the laws in your specific location. However, we’ve also realized that almost all successful RV rental business owners go through similar steps to launch a company.
For this reason, we’ve put together an article breaking down the general steps you need to take to establish an RV rental business below.
Are RV Rental Businesses Profitable?
Before going over the steps on how to start an RV rental business, let’s figure out if this is a viable business idea or not.
As with any other business, there are risks involved with starting an RV rental business that go beyond your profit margins. Plus, you may already own one or even two RVs, but you’ll need to grow your fleet and learn how to manage it in order to scale your business. Additionally, RV rentals can be quite seasonal depending on your location, so there might be a slow time of the year that you’ll need to account for.
With all of the above in mind, RV rentals have the potential of being extremely profitable. For starters, RVs are high-ticket items, so many travelers avoid maintenance expenses by paying top-dollar for a rental. Depending on the camper, travelers are often willing to pay more than $200 per night, but remember that the price needs to be in line with the features and amenities in the rental.
So, in simple terms, an RV rental business has a huge amount of potential in terms of revenue, but you need to put in the work and create the perfect environment for your company to thrive.
How to Create an RV Rental Bussiness Plan
Now that we’ve discussed the potential for revenue, it’s time to go over the steps you need to take to create an RV rental business plan and set up your company for success.
Think of All the Costs Involved
Entrepreneurs that set up an RV rental usually consider variables like the cost of the RVs, the rental space itself, and traditional expenses like accounting. But, you also need to think about industry-specific expenses, like camper repairs, upgrades, dedicated business insurance, advertising, and required maintenance like oil changes. This will help you develop a comprehensive budget and prevent you from getting blindsided by unforeseen expenses.
Start Saving Funds
Whether you already own a business or think it will be your first venture, you need to start saving money as soon as you begin planning. Yes, working with a financial institution is necessary, but having some liquidity in the form of cash savings means that you don’t have to wait until your credit gets approved to get started.
If Possible, Work with a Specialized Financial Institution
This may not be an option for every single entrepreneur, but when possible, you should partner with financial institutions that specialize in RV rental businesses. If it’s not possible, you can also opt to work with a bank or similar organization that either helps small businesses or that has a good record of working with regular car rentals and dealerships.
Consider Creative RV Rental Business Models
When starting an RV rental business, most entrepreneurs opt for starting with something basic. The idea is sound because a more basic business should be easier to run. However, in the RV rental space, having a creative approach or model can actually bring you more business. For example, consider marketing your RV as a rental for sporting events or making modifications to a vintage RV to make it stand out. Just remember that you’ll have to provide the right amenities and ensure that there is demand for the theme you choose.
Find the Best Rental Software for Your Business
As part of learning how to start an RV rental business, you need to evaluate booking software and select the best option for your company. Having RV rental software will help you collect bookings even while you sleep, but you need to choose a provider that’s experienced and also creates a safe environment.
At Wheelbase Pro, we’ve developed one of the leading out-of-the-box RV rental solutions for entrepreneurs of all levels. The best part is that our robust software is completely free of charge, so contact us today and our team will be glad to help.
Create Detailed Listings
Solid booking software is a must, but you also have to create detailed listings that include photos, descriptions, and everything else that travelers need in order to make a decision. As part of this step, you can create walkthrough videos that serve as marketing content while also helping customers understand how the features in your RVs work.
Provide the Best Benefits in the Industry
Having additional features in a RV is common and these extra elements allow you to raise the price of your rentals. The problem is that most industry leaders charge a significant amount of money for these features. Instead of strictly following the industry, you should try to deliver the best benefits and try to garner a reputation for being customer-centric.
Once you have your listing, booking platform, and default feature/benefits list in place, you can basically take your business in any direction. Promoting your rental business early on is crucial, but also remember to maintain enough flexibility to adjust your business plan according to the results you get and the objectives you want to achieve.
Ready to Learn More? Wheelbase Is Here to Help
Establishing an RV rental business takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion. But, as long as you plan ahead, develop a comprehensive plan, and acquire the right tools to simplify the process, you’ll be able to position your RV rental company for success.