The Southern Glamper: Renting Your RV Through Air BnB

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Renting Your RV Through Air BnB

Monday, August 19, 2019

Welcome to our Air BnB!

I've had more than one person tell me that I'm crazy to rent out our new RV.  It certainly is a risk.  No one is going to take care of your personal property as you would.  Some renters may do a better job, and others may disappoint you.  If you are nervous about letting someone pull out of your drive with your RV, Air BnB could be a way to rent your rig at home!


If you want to rent your RV through Air BnB, you will need:
  • a place to plug in your RV at home.
  • ample tanks for fresh, gray and black water.
  • a nearby dump station.
These three things will get you started and allow you to rent at home.

Our large shady yard works well for Air BnB rentals.

Before we sold our pop up, I had a 30 amp plug added to our house so that we could plug in our RV at home if we wanted.  If you already have a plug on your property, then you could start renting now.  If not, call an electrician to have him or her to make this upgrade.  It cost us about $170 for the plug installation, and it has been well worth it.

Every property may not work for an Air Bnb rental at home.  We have a large lot with no homeowner association ordinances that prohibit us from using our RV at home.  Our lot is wooded and private even though we have neighbors.  There is a border of trees between us and one neighbor and a large privacy fence between us and a second neighbor.

We set up our RV with our camping rug and chairs for guests to use outdoors as they would like.
In addition to the lot and ability to use our camper at home, we live in a university town.  There are lots of sporting events and persons that travel here for the university.  We have been able to host a visiting artist with the university, parents moving children to college and football fans.  We could have a constant stream of guests.

If you know there are times that you are not using your RV, let it make some money for you through an online rental.  For us, we are always home on football weekends.  We already know that we would not be camping on these weekends.  With Air Bnb, you can block off dates that you don't want to host guests.  You can open available booking dates.  You can also set the parameters where you have to approve the guests by request.  You are in charge.

 
To get started, take photos of your RV.  Be sure to get them in good lighting and with the amenities and features that are available to guests.  You want to showcase your place authentically.  Get ready to list!

Feature your living spaces as the guests will see them in your rental.
You will list the rooms, spaces, and amenities that you have to offer.  Next, you will determine your booking settings.  I don't allow instant bookings.  I need a little control over how often guests are staying.  My schedule changes frequently.

Finally, determine pricing features.  I allow smart pricing so that the price adjusts based on demand.  If there is less demand, then I get less money per night.  Higher demand drives a higher price per night.  This ensures that my prices are competitive.

Using your RV as an Air Bnb rental can be a bit different.  You should consider that you may not have full hookups at home and how you will deal with wastes during and after your rental.  There is a gas station in our town that offers an RV dump station for $5.  We fill up the fresh water tanks at the start of the stay.  When our guests leave, we take our RV to the dump station and clean our tanks.  There is a cleaning fee added to each rental that covers the cost of dumping fees and the time to do this.

We have a guide book that is left in our RV for guests to reference during their stay.
I made a full guide book for our guests.  I recommend doing this.  You can use my guidebook template to help you create your own document.  Select File and Make a Copy of the template that I have created.  You can edit this document to make it your own.   A guide book should include:
  1. Your rules and emergency contact information.
  2. How things work in your RV - the control panel and extra features such as electronics.  Include how to connect to blue tooth speaks, etc.
  3. Explain how to retract the awning if guests are using it in case of rain or bad weather.
  4. Share information about the tanks and how to check them.  I let guests know that if they need more water, to contact us for that purpose.  We can fill up our fresh water tank twice.  
  5. Check out procedures that you want guests to follow.
Even though you may check in your guests, this book serves as a mini-manual to your RV to help with short term stays.  I had mine bound and laminated so that it would hold up over time and be something that I wouldn't have to reprint.  You could just punch holes and put it in a little folder too.

A sign and basket by the door for shoes help with foot traffic and wear and tear.
Things that I suggest for hosting your RV at home would be to:
  • Make rules about quiet hours and noise.
  • Ask guests to remove their shoes at the door and leave a place for them to store them.  I have a basket for this.
  • Determine if you will allow pets.  We do not, and I won't bend on this.  We have a pet, but I know that not all pet owners are responsible.  
  • Say no to smoking.  Not only would it ruin your camper, but it could also be a fire hazard.
  • Leave your guests with emergency contact information, a first aid kit, and local medical facilities just in case.
  • Determine if you have shared spaces on your property.  Can guests wash clothes in your facility?  Or, do you have a backyard and grill you are willing to share?  
  • How long will you allow guests to stay?  Based on our capacity and tanks, 3 nights is really a max for us.  But, you can decide.  
The best part of hosting at our home is that we don't have the wear and tear of going up and down the highway.  I'm not concerned about the renters towing abilities, and they don't have to own a tow vehicle.

Another advantage of Air BnB is that they take far less in fees than Outdoorsy.  I like Outdoorsy and provide my RV as a rental there, but they do take almost $50 off the top of any rental.  Air BnB takes about a $5 service fee for a typical weekend stay.  That is a huge difference.

Our local dump station is brand new.  We were the first to ever use it!
If you create a homey and comfortable environment, your RV can be an excellent place to host guests.  We have enjoyed our Air BnB experiences so far.  The best part about our rental is that we can pay off our RV much quicker by making extra payments.  What is not to love?

Would you host guests in your RV?  It is a great way to make some extra money while your rig is parked and you can't go camping.  Until next time...


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