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.
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.
Renting Out Your RV as a Long Term Rental
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.