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Monday, September 05, 2016

Comments

Question? How does renting your RV (or in our case fifth wheel) impact
your insurance coverage? Do you have to re-do your insurance?

Hi, sounds like a KOA membership, you lose your accumulated points if you do not continue to "pay up" each year.

I have been a tax accountant for over 30 years and my concern is that they are promoting tax benefits "if your RV is available for rent". If someone is a full-timer, how is their RV available for rent? Workamper News is promoting this "opportunity" this week also. Yes, it will be part-timers that "may" rent their RV, but the tax deductions are being put into the minds of fulltimers who are trying anyway they can to earn and/or save money.

I understand why you are trying it, to give info to your readers, and because its risk free, but why the annual fee? "Ambassadors" are providing the capital for this business. Its a proven fact that the majority of people will not ask for a refund and just write it off as a bad purchase.

Georgia,
Usually an RV owner requires that a renter provide a "Binder" or temporary insurance from their auto insurance company. Or they can purchase a short-term rental policy much like what is offered by car rental companies.

Your RV insurance may or may not cover other drivers and even if it does cover other drivers, it may not cover renters. You would need to verify coverage, and your insurance coverage may provide a separate binder for renters the cost of which you could include in the rental.

If you intend to rent a lot, it might be wise to get a commercial rental policy.

This is good. The questions help me know what areas to research more. Thanks.

Renting your RV to someone who could care less about it is the best way that I can think of to destroy it.

Teri,
First, I'm not sure the KOA analogy works here as it is a loyalty program that doesn't give you the opportunity to "earn" much more than you pay out, but I understand your point and it will keep some from signing up. That's okay.

Second, as I mentioned the renting of your RV is much more attractive for those only using their RV a few weeks a year. The Tax Deduction Estimator shows that with it's first question of "How many days do you use your RV a year?" The tax incentives aren't nearly as great for full-timers.

Third, the Ambassador opportunity may be a great option for full-timers to earn a little extra money without a whole lot of effort and potentially a lot of money with a lot of effort. That could open up some tax benefits to full-timers if they are using their RV as part of their business.

Fourth, RentWizard is quite well capitalized and they will be spending millions on marketing. I'm sure the annual Ambassador fee helps their bottom line, but not so much that it's necessary from a financial standpoint. It's also a proven fact that people with more "skin in the game" produce more. My guess is it is a way to weed out non-producers opening the space for higher producers. I have no problem with that and I don't look at it as a negative - I look at as a cost of doing business just like postage or printing or website hosting, and it's only $200 a year. If $200 makes the opportunity a loser, then I shouldn't be in the business. Certainly, I've come across "opportunities" where the $200 per year would automatically make me dismiss them, but I think this one is different (that gut feel thing) and we have 12 months under the money-back guarantee and 18 months (since I used a Promo Code) to make the ultimate determination before the next annual fee is due.

Thanks so much for the input. Again, it helps me with our own list of FAQs.

Richard,
Surprisingly, those that rent RVs from private owners tend to take much better care of them than those that rent from commercial rental companies. Plus the owner can require whatever security deposit they want, require whatever insurance they want, charge whatever rental price they want, vet the renter as much as they want, and they have the opportunity to meet the renter and provide a thorough walk-through.

It's certainly a big emotional hurdle to get over and it would take trying it a couple of times for me to get comfortable with it, but I would certainly consider it if my RV were just sitting unused eleven months a year and I was making monthly payments and maybe storage fees.

I'm sure people that signed up with Airbnb and VRBO thought the same thing about their rental properties before those companies became billion dollar companies.

Thanks for the input.

Hi Howard...

I'm surprised to see another 'rent your RV' company try to launch. As, from a somewhat outside viewpointr, it seems like a saturated marketspace. Both RVShare.com and Outdoorsy.co have been in the space for a while - and both offer free listings to RV owners (they pay just a transaction fee for actual rentals). And both have active social media outreaches.

We talked at length with the RVShare folks before we rented an RV last summer for our Alaskan trip to understand the model better. And they told us then that one of the biggest struggles with the business model was insurance on the RV.

As you noted above, most personal coverage plans won't cover someone renting your RV. Our insurance company would also only provide a binder to us for RVs under a certain weight. At the time, there was only one company that would insure an RV owner for renters. Outdoorsy.co includes insurance coverage with their rental listings - which was their value add. I'm not sure what else might have changed since then, but it's definitely something to better understand.

Anyway, wish you well with your new opportunity, and like you said, little upfront cost to give it a try as an ambassador. But I would think it'll be a hard sell to get RV owners to pay $199 to list their RV, when there are already established 'RV AirBnB' rental venues actively pushing their platforms with no listing fees.

Cherie,
Certainly insurance can be an issue, but I think it is one that can be overcome. I'm talking to the insurance folks I know to see what options we have or can come up with.

I think the value-added thing for RentWizard is going to be exposure above and beyond the current players and I suspect there will be more as time goes by, but we'll see.

Thanks for the input.

I don't think I would want someone else sleeping in my bed. Others may not mind but I would.

Howard,

Haven't seen this comment yet, Howard, so I guess I will add my 2 cents.

IMHO renting an RV is a little bit more involved than any other form of rental, even a boat rental, which is complex as well.

Prior to purchasing my motorhome, I completed a professional bus driver's course and examination as well as took a job driving a commercial bus for several years "just to get the hang of it."

A bit overkill? Maybe, but it has helped me avoid very tricky situations where severe damage, even severe injury could have occurred due to negligence.

I cannot speak for 5th wheels, but judging from your own experiences as a newbie and as an extremely cautious and well informed intelligent individual, you have almost come close several times to the same type of situation.

I guess my question is, how many people out there, who are like you and me, would want to rent one of these huge RV's, without the required and often necessary experience and qualifications to operate one? AND I have not even touched on the RV part of the equation yet with all of the plumbing, gas and numerous other items that require a steep learning curve to operate properly. I guess I think that there would not be that many. Most people these days want something immediately without putting in the time and effort needed to do it properly, or to save for something before buying it. They are in too much of a hurry.

Anyways, as much as I would like to generate some income from our 40' driveway anchor that sits 11 months of the year occupying expensive real estate, I don't think that I would trust anyone to know how to operate all of the chassis and living parts well enough so that I could sleep at night.

Again, just my 2 cents.

I think your plan would be best suited for what we call a Class B or Class C motorhome up here (van conversion or cab over driver's seat plan), where the cab is an integral part of the RV, not separate. This too involves a steep learning curve, but not quite as steep as a 5th wheel, motorhome, or even a large trailer.

~ good luck!

I agree with you Guy, no way i'm going to let someone that hasn't pull a big 5th wheel take off with mine. Not to mention how many mistakes can be made setting up and departing. There's way to big a learning curve to rent any rv out. Even a C class.

Steve,

You forget about the option of just renting your RV on a site. The renter wouldn't have to move the RV at all, just be trained on how to use the systems. You could charge an extra fee if they would like it placed on a site for them, or you could mandate that you place it on a site. Lots of different options for different levels of risk one is willing to take.

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