Letting a stranger drive off with your RV can be a nerve-wracking experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is a comprehensive RV renter onboarding plan. Make sure you’ve given them enough time to familiarize themselves with your vehicle, and have provided them with a well-organized manual information. Before you know it, those what-will-my-RV-look-like-when-it-comes-back nerves will be a thing of the past.
Check out the best renter onboarding tips from our most successful owners:
Before your renter arrives:
1. Share instructional photos and videos of your RV.
Grab your camera and do a walkthrough of your RV. Jenn Kimick created videos for her Thor Chateau and Winnebago Minnie Winnie to help her renters learn about how the RVs operate before they even arrive. She found that this saved her time later during the in-person walkthrough, since her renters were often eager to get started with their trip.
2. Help your renters with their travel preparation.
Do your renters need to bring their own coffee pot or is that included? What about a grill or a set of camp chairs? Kathleen Oliver recommends helping your renters pack by sending them a list of items that are already included in the RV. She includes this list in a guidebook that she sends to her renters as a PDF. You can download her example manual here.
3. Post instructions inside your RV.
Charles Dilger uses labels to identify storage cabinets and control panels in order to avoid the flustered searching or blind button-pushing that might ensue otherwise. He even printed a checklist that his drivers can go through before they move the RV. This is helpful to renters, of course, but Charles says it helps him as well.
4. Follow up before the rental.
Stay in touch with your renter by reaching out before their rental date. Bob Fox says he always follows up a week in advance to confirm pick-up times and to answer questions about their trip. By giving renters the opportunity to ask questions before the day of departure, you can make the walkthrough go quickly and smoothly.
The day of departure:
1. Use a checklist for your walkthrough.
The printable “Renter Departure Form” available on your Outdoorsy dashboard is a great starting point for a walkthrough checklist. However, owners recommend adding steps that are specific to your RV. These could include things like how to operate awnings and generators, and showing where the RV-friendly toilet paper is.
2. Conduct a driving lesson.
Your recreational vehicle isn’t difficult to drive; it’s just different from driving a car. Seasoned owners sit passenger side while renters take their first drive—and especially the first few right turns—in order to help the renter get a feel for the way the RV drives.
3. Share advice from personal experience.
Curt Chandler has rented over a dozen unique RVs to hundreds of renters. He says here that telling a personal story about a “real world” experience with the RV is the best way to connect with renters and help them understand the importance of any bit of advice you are trying to convey.
4. Take lots of photos.
To make sure your RV comes back in the same condition you left it, you ought to take photos of the interior and exterior of your RV. While you’re at it, take a photo of your renter with your RV, too! This is a great way to preserve memories, and with the permission of your renter, it can be used for promotional purposes later on.