By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Joe W. has a nice motorhome but, sad to say, his family lives a busy life so they don’t get out in the rig as much as they’d like to. But still, they have those pesky payments on the purchase, the insurance, licensing fees, and storage. One day, one of Joe’s friends approached and asked if he could rent Joe’s motorhome for a few days – he and some buddies wanted a motorhome to take to a NASCAR race. Joe wants to know, is this a good idea, and what all is entailed?
What would you tell Joe?
We’ve heard some comments from a few RVers, and a bit of information from a firm that acts as a go-between for RVers who’d like to rent out their rigs and potential renters. Here’s a round-up of thoughts from both sides of the issue.
“My motorhome is just that: Mine. I bought it because I don’t like sleeping in strange beds, sitting on strange toilets, and cooking in strange kitchens. Why would I ever let strangers come into my ‘home’ and do all of that?”
“Ever loaned out your lawn mower, and then had to go and try and get it back?”
“If you say ‘no,’ you may hurt some feelings. But if you say ‘yes,’ and it comes back in pieces, will your feelings be hurt more or less?’
“Check the fine print in your insurance contract.”
“How many friends and relatives do you have? Loan (or rent) to one, watch the others all get in line.”
Of course, there’s always “on the other hand.”
One private motorhome rental referral agency touts how RV owners can recoup a bit of their expenses by using the “screening” program to attract customers. You post your rig’s photos and description on the company website, the company helps you determine a suitable rental rate, “pre-screens” the customers, takes credit card payments. They also help the RV owner to get a handle on commercial insurance, a definite requirement, as your standard RV insurance won’t cover renting out your rig. You keep your RV in your yard, and the customers pick up and deliver to you.
So how does it all shake out? We found reading between the lines on the owner’s “testimonial” page to be a bit eye-opening. Here’s a sample:
“We have had a very good response from visitors to your site. So far, we have had around 10 vacation bookings, with really great people (for the most part).”
“The only problem I have run into so far was the insurance. [My] state won’t allow the partnering arrangement that the renter pays the insurance at daily rate while the owner owns a commercial policy at a discounted rate.
“We resolved the issue by increasing my daily rental to include the insurance. It helps, but I have to pay the total cost whether or not it is rented.”
We’d love to hear your thinking on the issue. Ever rented (loaned) out your RV? What happened? Would you even think of such an undertaking?