If you could own an RV, travel where you want and when you want, and turn it into a money-making enterprise to pay for your travels, would you?
Like a lot of other aspects of American culture, the American dream has changed. These days, people are wandering more, traveling more, and experiencing new shores more than they used to. RV ownership is on the rise, and it’s easy to make money with your RV once you know how. Many Americans are ditching the brick-and-mortar home, buying an RV, and turning their recreational asset into a profit center. Why not join them?
Post-COVID RV Interest Is On the Rise
The cost of RV ownership means many would-be travelers must rent their recreational vehicle or seek alternative means of vacationing. Families that own RVs only use them two or three weeks out of the year, but every day an RV sits unused costs its owner money—in more ways than one.
In 2001, 6.9 million households owned an RV. In 2011, the number was 8.9 million. Today, RV ownership is at a record high of 11.2 million.
International market research firm Ipsos conducted a poll in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and discovered that 46 million Americans were planning to take an RV trip within the next 12 months. Eleven percent planned to purchase an RV while 13 percent planned to rent one. Another 18 percent of people surveyed planned to research RV information online.
In the U.S., 20 percent of the people Ipsos surveyed are interested in RVs as a recreational travel option. Among Millennials and members of Generation Z, 84 percent plan to buy an RV in the next five years.
Thirty-one percent of current RV owners are first-time owners. This indicates a huge surge in RV ownership. Still, most RVs sit around unused for 47 to 49 weeks out of the year. RV owners are sitting on a goldmine of profit opportunity and don’t even know it. Keep reading to learn how you can turn your RV into a year-long profit center.
How RV Ownership Costs You Money
Whether you’ve owned your RV for a year or for 20 years, if it is sitting in your driveway or in a storage facility, it’s costing you money. How much it is costing you year-round depends on several factors, including:
- Type of RV you own
- RV size
These factors also determine the purchase price of your RV. However, the total cost of owning your RV extends beyond purchase price. You also have maintenance and service expenses, and hidden costs. According to John Marucci, host of the On the Road YouTube channel, RV ownership costs fall into seven categories.
- Fees and taxes – These include state and local taxes as well as luxury taxes, which vary from state to state. Some states tax RVs based on weight while some tax on sales price. Each state also sets its own rules regarding registration and license plates. Any way you slice it, you’ll pay taxes and huge fees for owning an RV, and these could be annual.
- Insurance – Coverage for RVs varies from state to state, but insurance is a necessity.
- Gear – Pull-behind RVs require towing gear. Wheel chalks and leveling blocks are a normal part of RV inventory. Surge protectors are necessary for electric devices used in RVs. If you’re going off-grid, you’ll need solar panels, batteries, a charge controller, inverter, and other items for that system. Your water supply, gray water, and black water systems all require special equipment. Locks are necessary for security. You’ll also need bedding and kitchen supplies. You can easily spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on RV gear and equipment.
- Storage – If you don’t have a place to store your RV when not in use, you’ll need to rent a storage facility.
- Upgrades – This can include tires and manufactured amenities that you want to change to suit your preferences. Granted, this is optional, but many RV owners like to upgrade their RVs, and you should see that as an expense.
- Road costs – Fuel, fluids, and routine maintenance procedures will cost you in both time and money. Expect your family vehicle’s fuel efficiency to drop if you’re hitching a toy hauler, a pop-up camper, or other pull-behind. You’ll also likely have to pay some toll fees along the way as you travel, and if you stay in RV parks, KOA camps, or even state-sponsored campgrounds, you’ll pay usage fees. Not only will your RV require engine maintenance, but inside amenities such as refrigerators, furniture, and decorative items such as blinds and curtains will also need repair and maintenance.
- Time – Time commitments for winterizing, cleaning, caulking, and performing other maintenance tasks such as oil changes and tire rotations will cost you in time. Many RV owners don’t consider this hidden cost of RV ownership.
Any way you look at it, your RV is costing you money. To purchase an RV, you’ll spend from $10,000 to $300,000 depending on make and model and other factors. On top of that are the yearly maintenance costs, state and local fees and taxes, and other ownership costs. You can recoup these costs of owning an RV by renting your RV out to others when you aren’t using it. Many RV owners are making a profit renting out their RVs, and you can too.
Transform Your RV Cost Center into a Long-Term Profit Center
Any asset you own that is not making you money is a liability. If it’s not a profit center, it’s a cost center. That includes your home, your pets, your automobile, and your RV.
Almost any liability can be turned into a profit center by thinking of it as an investment. You can rent out your home, or rooms in your home, and pay down your mortgage faster using tried-and-proven real estate investing tactics. Your family pet can make you money as an entertainment act. Your personal vehicle can be used to deliver groceries or carry passengers. And your RV can become a profit center simply by renting it out when your family isn’t using it.
Here are several ways to make money with your unused RV:
- List your RV for rent on Wallabing to vacationers who do not own one. The average RV rental is $450 to $1,000. The average RV owner makes $12,000 to $50,000 per year renting out their unused RV.
- Rent your RV for special occasions such as bachelor and bachelorette parties, New Year’s Eve excursions, and tailgate parties. These are golden opportunities for RV owners to earn extra cash. Unlike vacation rentals, which could last for up to a month, special event rentals may be for just a few hours or for a weekend. These short-term rentals increase your earnings per hour as you can charge more based on the event.
- Expand your fleet and diversify your RV types. If you rent out your motorhome for more than 30 weeks a year, for instance, you can increase your income by purchasing a fifth wheel and listing it as a rental option. Offering different RV types at different cost points will increase your income opportunities.
- Boost your reputation with a specialty. If you are an expert in toy haulers, offer different options for motorcycles, ATVs, race cars, fishing boats, and golf carts. Become the go-to renter for a specific type of RV and you can earn big bucks as your reputation increases.
- Offer a driverless option. Many RV renters want the RV experience without the responsibility of ownership or driving. You may offer a stationary/drop-off only option, where the renter does not drive the RV. Common stationary rentals include tailgate parties, festivals, other special events, and destination vacations. A desired destination may be farther away than a renter may feel comfortable driving. Rather than forego the RV experience, they choose to fly and rent a stationary RV. For example, while vacationing at Disney, many people fly to Florida and choose to stay in a stationary RV at Fort Wilderness. This driverless option will spare you any headaches from worrying about what may happen to your RV and could provide a service option you can specialize in.
Like RVs, RV renters come in all shapes and sizes. Retirees testing the waters of RV ownership may be interested in a short-term rental. Young couples with children who can’t afford to buy an RV may become repeat renters. Working families may be too busy to live the RV lifestyle but may take a couple of vacations each year. Special events planners are an entirely different market of their own. Take some time to research the RV rental market and you’ll discover the brave new opportunities that can earn you passive income from your unused RV all year round.
Renting Out Your Unused RV is Profitable, Easy, and Low-Risk
Instead of letting your RV sit in your driveway or a storage facility collecting dust, why not rent it out and turn your cost center into a profit center? Wallabing makes it easy. Users say it offers the most simplified and streamlined process for RV owner onboarding among all RV rental platforms. Additionally, pricing and other terms are transparent. There are no hidden fees!
Wallabing also offers roadside assistance for renters and insures both driver and owner as a part of the basic service. Drivers are vetted to ensure they can legally drive and are safe drivers.
The opportunity to turn your unused RV into a year-round income-producing asset has never been better. Check out Wallabing today.