How to Keep Your RV Ready for Winter Rentals

Josh SchukmanOctober 23, 2023

How to Keep Your RV Ready for Winter Rentals

For those of us much north of Tucson, the winter season can bring a slowdown in RV rentals. And some see this as a nice breather. For example, if you’re mainly renting out your family rig — the winter slow-up can be a great time to get some family camp time in. 

But a bunch of us want to keep the cylinders kickin’ in our rental businesses all year long. And that’s what we want to chat about today. Below we’ll break down some proven tactics for keeping your RV winter rental ready and some tips for snagging bookings this time of year. 

What Types of Winter Rentals Are You Targeting?

It’s important to ask yourself about the type of renter you’re targeting before gearing up your RV for the winter season. 

For example, if you have a rig that lends itself to boondocking you might consider winterizing it and renting it to folks who weren’t planning on using running water or hookups anyway. 

Or maybe you’re looking for renters seeking a long term RV rental to hunker down for the winter? In that case you might be looking at RV skirting, heated hoses, and more to make that happen. 

Or perhaps you want to ship your RV to a warmer climate and have another host operate it via consignment? Consignment connections can often be made in our Outdoorsy RV Host Community.  

The moral of the story is this is the first decision you’ll have to make when it comes to keeping your RV winter-rental ready. Now let’s unpack what each decision might mean for you. 

Renting Your Camper as a Dry Camper

You can generally keep a camper warm in the winter with a solid heater. It can be a challenge, however, to keep water running in there when it gets cold. 

Sure, you can grab things like a heated hose, but many of our hosts find it easier to simply winterize their RV and rent it out that way. 

Many winter guests are looking to get out into remote areas where they wouldn’t have hookups anyway, making running water a less important amenity. 

Some of our hosts even winterize all water lines in their campers except the ones to the toilet so guests have the option to use those facilities during colder months. 

Read into this post for tips on keeping your RV winter-proof. 

Campervan in the snow

Renting Out Your RV as a Long Term Rental

This is a really interesting option especially if you find yourself in a tourism hotspot facing a shortage of affordable housing.

Long term rentals are heavily demanded in these areas and offering your RV as a stationary winter rental could provide a temporary solution to this big problem.

Our hosts who have proper renter vetting in place have found this to be an excellent option for bringing in reliable winter revenue. 

Dig into this article for tips on keeping your RV toasty as a long-term winter rental. 

Offer Delivery

Hosts offering RV rental delivery are consistently some of our most successful hosts because they literally bring the rig to the doorstep (or campsite) of a renter. 

You can charge for this service as an add-on and get reimbursed for your mileage. 

Even if you find yourself in a cold spot this winter — offering delivery opens the door to getting your RV rented at things like events and festivals that might be passing within a radius you’re willing to deliver to. 

Check out this article for tips on marketing to events near you

And Then There’s Consignment

Consignment is a popular winter-renting option for our hosts in northern climates. This usually involves taking your RV south for the winter. 

If you’re not already part of our Outdoorsy RV Hosts Community, join up now and start that convo because that’s where we see most of our consignment arrangements happening.

The beauty of this option is that you’ll get your RV rental into a zone where rentals are still in (relatively) high demand and another host will do most of the hard work for you. Warm-weather hosts typically do this in exchange for a cut of the action. 

Class C motorhome with red rocks in background

How to Market Your RV Rental During the Off-Season

Off-season necessitates that you be more proactive in getting your listing in front of the right people. 

Check out this article we put together for tips on how to market to events, ways to level up your listing, and other marketing tips for the winter season.  

Keep Your RV(s) Winter-Rental Ready With This Toolkit

Keeping your RV winter-rental ready does involve some work, but the right tools and processes can keep it pretty breezy. 

Here are some must have items to keep your RV winter rental ready:

Snow (or winter) tires are a must. Swap your wheels out to keep your RV cold weather ready.  

Extra blankets to help your guests stay extra warm and toasty.

— A heated hose is a winter must if your renters will be hooking up to a water hookup. Temps don’t have to get much below freezing to stop an RV hose dead in its tracks unless you have one of these bad mama jamas hooked on. 

Vent insulators like these keep your vent fans from letting cold air in. 

— Adding window covers helps a bunch if your RV doesn’t already feature dual pane windows. 

Skirting your RV keeps cold air from blowing underneath it. This is a must-do when renting your RV as a stationary rental in winter climates. 

— Pests like mice and bugs love escaping winter for the warmth of your RV. Prevent pest invasions with these tips

It’s Okay to Simply Enjoy Your RV This Winter!

We all probably got into this business because we love camping and reconnecting with our families in the outdoors. 

So don’t feel guilty if you also take a chunk of winter-time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Snag your RV, pick a spot that suits you, and get out for a while. Unplug, disconnect from society, and reconnect with nature.  

It’ll not only recharge your batteries — it’ll help re-energize your passion for RVing so you can be an even better host next season. 

No matter how you choose to prep your RV for the winter season, the sky really is the limit on how you can keep your business rolling when the mercury drops. Ponder the tips above, chime into our Outdoorsy RV Hosts Community, and move the needle in your business on your terms. 

Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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