Are you an RV owner that has their rig parked in their driveway for three-quarters of the year, just collecting dust? If so, it may be time to list it on a rental platform like Outdoorsy! Doing so is a great way to earn extra cash, giving you funds to pay off the RV or stash away from your next big vacation. Some people find so much success with their rental that they decide to turn their small side-hustle into a full-time RV rental business.
If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. We spoke with David Womack, an RV rental business owner, to learn how he found success through Outdoorsy. Here’s what we learned.
Starting Your RV Rental Business Small
David Womack and his wife Marina opened the doors on their new RV rental business, Georgia MotorCoach, in April of 2016. Like most people, they didn’t start out with a whole rental fleet. Rather, they started with one RV to dip their toes into the water. Their first RV was a 2013 Winnebago they rented out on April 29th. David remembers the day well.
“Oh, I know the date,” he says with a chuckle. And most RV owners do remember this date well. After all, it’s the day that many people’s business ownership dreams become a reality!
Within the same month, Georgia Motorcoach acquired its second RV, a Forest River Solera, for their RV rental business. Within days, they had it rented out for a Bonnaroo music festival booking.
Both RVs did very well through the summer of 2016, with a high utilization and RV rental rate. David knew he had a chance, and he was going to take it. It was time to keep growing their RV rental business.
This is when Georgia Motorcoach acquired their third RV, an Itasca Cambria. It was only August of 2016.
David explains how the jump to the third RV happened. “I literally purchased the Cambria to substitute for a rental for the Solera, since the RV dealer was having trouble getting the paperwork done for the tag, and the temporary had expired,” he says. “But there I was, with 3 RVs. And RVs just kept renting!”
Adapting to Unexpected Growth
One thing a business owner must learn early on is to adapt to change. Regardless of the type of change, the outcome depends on how you are able to adapt.
September was great for David’s growing company, but then October happened and things went through the roof. Ironically, it was because of something that would otherwise be considered a disaster: Hurricane Matthew. And it wasn’t just Georgia Motorcoach: Every RV and trailer in Atlanta was booked throughout October. All three of David’s RVs had been rented for every single day of the month. One tree company rented one of their RVs for two weeks to house crews working in Savannah.
Womack could have adapted to this wild success in two ways— keep the fleet that they have or use the success to springboard more growth. Georgia Motorcoach chose to continue growing their RV rental business. By January, David acquired RVs #4 and #5, a Thor Vegas and a Phoenix Cruiser. With the purchase of their fifth RV, Georgia Motorcoach moved into a new space and hired three employees to help them keep up with the day to day operations of the business.
Overcoming RV Rental Business Challenges
Of course, owning an RV rental business isn’t without its challenges. We asked David what the most difficult aspect of his job was.
“The hardest part is keeping everything running the way you need to,” he says. “Making sure everything is in perfect condition. Refilling propane tanks, etc.”
It goes without saying that that the larger your fleet is, the more challenges you’ll have. But, as you grow your business, you become more experienced at dealing with the obstacles. And, if you’re like Georgia Motorcoach, you may get to a spot where you are able to hire folks to help you out with talks like maintenance, RV rental marketing, and more.
At the end of the day, however, the challenges never outweigh the benefits of renting RVs. “It’s easier to say what the easiest thing is,” he explains. “Working with the people. People show up excited about their trip. It’s really fun to work with people who are already in a good mood.”
Overall, the job is rewarding. “Really, there are too many good moments to list! Both my wife and I just really enjoy serving people,” Womack remarks.
Achieving Your RV Rental Dreams
The first step to achieving your RV rental business dreams is to simply make the leap and list your RV. Start with one and get a feel for the process. Once you decide that you are equipped to take on more, look at growing your business. There’s no set timeline— you need to do what feels right for you!
Outdoorsy is here to support our owners, providing helpful resources that you may need to get your business started.