Buying Motorhomes to Rent Out Part-Time

Question: Hi Luise: Have you ever had any experience renting your recreation vehicles out to friends or through ads in the paper? I have also heard that you can buy RVs through a dealer who will then put them into rentals, which can go against the payment. We want to buy a larger RV, and are trying to justify how we will do that. Sincerely, Mike

Answer: Dear Mike: I have never rented out our RV. I’ve loaned it to different family members on several occasions. That has always gone well, but I was always a bit uneasy while it was gone, truth be told.

Friends of mine who had an older, class “A” motorhome rented it out for a while. It wasn’t a very successful venture because it received pretty hard use and usually wasn’t as clean as they’d like when it was returned. They were thinking of getting several good used motorhomes for that purpose but after one season, they decided it wasn’t worth it.

I haven’t known anyone who was offered a “you buy it and we’ll rent it out for you” deal. It has no appeal to me but it may work great for you. I would rather have my rig full of my stuff and ready to go…and pay for that privilege. You would obviously pay less out-of-pocket, but you would also have a lot more mileage, and wear and tear for the year of the RV.

You might see about purchasing a larger RV with several other family members or close friends. I have heard of people doing that successfully. My experience was with three couples that were related. Each got to have it one month of each of the four seasons. They all paid a third of the payments, insurance and maintenance. They were all retired and none of them were interested in full-time RVing.

I personally think that the people who provide motorhomes to rent as a business are best suited to deal with the problems inherent in that process. There are liability issues I’m sure and possibly other pitfalls that an RV owner might be unaware of. Blessings, Luise

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