How Do You Want To Grow Your RV Rental Business In 2023?

Josh SchukmanNovember 8, 2022

How Do You Want To Grow Your RV Rental Business In 2023?

Hard to believe, but the close of 2022 is right upon us. That means it’s time to cue up all those clichéd posts about goal setting, dreaming about next year, growing yourself, etc.

Just kidding — sort of 🙂

Clichéd though they may be — articles that get you thinking about who you want to be next year can be powerful tools if you pick the right ones and take the time to implement what they have to say. 

The dawn of 2023 is a prime time to think about how you want to grow your RV rental business next season. That’s why we decided we had to risk being just a little cliché to help our owners think about ways to grow their RV rental business next season. 

RV rental by the ocean

Questions To Ask Yourself To Grow Your 2023 RV Rental Business

Find some time during the slow time to sit back, grab a hot cup of cocoa, and reflect on your RV rental business from 2022. Ponder what worked, what didn’t, and how you want to change things going forward. 

We know it sounds simple — but the surprising thing is that too few owners really invest the time in this process of reflective renewal. Don’t let that be you. Consider questions like the following to build your RV rental business the way you want to in 2023:

Do you even want to grow?

We live in a hyper-growth culture. Entrepreneurship in the U.S. sometimes seems to be all about building, building, and building our businesses.

But is that what you want for your RV rental business? 

It’s certainly okay — even admirable — when folks aspire to build RV rental fleets, but many of us owners are perfectly happy to rent out the family rig, meet cool people, make a little extra scratch, and call it a day. 

If that’s you, don’t let the growth for growth’s sake mindset take hold of you. Grow on your own terms, grow in the way that makes you happy, and grow in the direction you want to go. 

Okay, so you want to grow. What now?   

You’ve reflected and decided that you’re game to grow your RV rental business. Now it’s time to decide how you want to grow it. 

The best way to do this is by taking stock of last season. Here’s the important info you’ll need at the ready to make growth decisions:

  • Profit totals from your RV rental(s)
  • Your competitive landscape 
    • Search Outdoorsy for similar rigs in your area. 
    • Does your market seem saturated with rigs like yours or might it need more?
  • Average prices for new/used RVs in your area
    • If prices/payments are outlandish compared to the profit you can make, consider if growing with the same type of RV makes sense. 
  • Add-ons you aren’t yet offering that could bring in extra revenue
  • Your capacity to take on more
    • If you’re already tapped out, could you work out a revenue share with someone to help you?
    • Or, could you rent out additional RVs via consignment?
  • Your top 3 growth goals
    • You can’t get to new destinations if you don’t know where you’re going — jot down your ideal growth trajectory in advance so you can point your business toward it. 

What are your 2023 profit goals?

You can increase profits by upping revenues, decreasing expenses, and/or some combination of both.

Which of these levers do you want to pull in 2023?

You could add revenue via more RVs, extra add-ons, more booked nights, increased pricing, and more.

You could reduce expenses via more affordable supplies, passing more mileage charges onto your renters, charging a prep fee to cover cleaning costs, and more.

The point is to take stock of ways you may want to increase profits and then set the goals that get you there. 

RVing in the mountains

How were your reviews last year?

Reviews are one of the main ways that renters make decisions about who they book with.

That’s why getting your reviews dialed in is a key way to grow your RV rental business in 2023. Here are some tips we put together for getting 5-star reviews, strategies for asking renters to leave positive reviews, and ways to handle less-than-stellar reviews.   

What add-ons do you want to add?

Things like airport pickup and drop off, watersports, bikes, s’more kits, and more can be excellent add-ons to generate extra revenue from your rental.

Take time during the off-season to see about ways you can offer these sorts of things to your renters as a way of upping profits in 2023. 

Kayaker on crystal blue water

To INSTAbook or not to INSTAbook? 

INSTAbook is an Outdoorsy feature that allows renters to automatically confirm booking requests for your RV and submit payment details immediately.

The benefit of this is that you’ll be able to capture bookings that you might not have otherwise captured. This is because some folks are geared to be able to book what they want immediately without the back and forth.

INSTAbook can also help you rank higher in Outdoorsy search — though it’s only one of many factors that impact your rank there. 

Even if someone rents your RV via INSTAbook, you’ll still have the ability to cancel without penalty if a renter doesn’t meet your stated rules, policies, terms, and conditions. 

Opting to enable INSTAbook can be a powerful way to grow your RV rental business next season.

How active have you been in the Outdoorsy Owner’s Group?

The Outdoorsy owner’s Facebook group is the place to be when it comes to networking with veteran entrepreneurs who are rocking it with their RV rental businesses. 

Think about ways you might get more involved with this group in the upcoming season to level up your RV rental business. 

Do you have a Google Business profile? 

This is one of the easiest hacks to get more people renting your RV because it’ll help you show up when people search: ‘RV rentals near [insert awesome location]’

Creating a Google Business Profile is a free process where you’ll generate an online business card for your RV rental. Once the Google profile is created, simply link it to your Outdoorsy page and populate your Google business with your Outdoorsy listing info.

You can complete the same process on sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages to get even more coverage when folks search for rental RVs near you.

What riches are in your niches? 

Let’s say you are near a NASCAR track, national park, or major sporting event

Or maybe you have a vintage rig.

Or perhaps you have a fifth-wheel camper that’s easily towed by half-ton trucks.

Or you could have some other rig that’s cool for a unique reason

Increased demand and increased revenue can often be the result of your putting focused marketing intensity on whichever niche your RV hits.

Things like a more focused headline, a listing description that speaks to your niche, and seasonal rates when events come to your area are a few of the ways you can capture the riches in your niche. 

What about a video tour of your RV? 

Too few Outdoorsy owners offer video tours of their rig. This is a simple thing you can do with your smartphone to grow your business next year because renters love getting a virtual walkthrough before they buy. 

Have you read our owner’s handbook? 

Our crew at Outdoorsy put a chunk of time into chatting with owners, reviewing best practices, and digging into our algorithm to create this Owner’s Handbook for owners listing RVs on our platform. 

If you haven’t read it yet, the off-season is a great time to do so — even if you’ve been at this rental game for a while.  

Could consignment be right for you? 

Consignment is a process where you can either have someone manage your RV rental on your behalf or add additional RVs to your fleet by managing rigs from other owners.

This can be a great option if you find yourself in a region — like colder northern states — where the RVing season slows down dramatically for the winter. 

If you were to consign your RV(s) to a fellow owner in the southern U.S., you could work out a revenue split with them where they make money for managing your rig and you make money you otherwise wouldn’t have with an inactive rental.

On the flip side, if winter is the busy season where you’re at, you could seek out RV owners in the north who might help you expand your fleet with you managing the rigs they own in colder climates. 

Looking for consignment partners? Share your request on our Outdoorsy Owner’s Group

RV consignment can expand your rental fleet

What about SOPs?

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures that’ll help you increase efficiency — and profits — in your RV rental business.

We’re talking stuff like cleaning checklists, prep procedures, and more that’ll help you get your RV turned over more quickly between each rental. 

These are also things like 90-day inspections and vehicle checklists that’ll help you perform the proactive maintenance that’ll keep your rigs running. 

By taking time to review your SOPs, you’ll help grow your RV rental business into next season. 

Is it time to hire help? 

If growth is your goal, the time will inevitably come when you’ll need to bring on additional help. This can take a variety of shapes — from paying a contractor to clean your RVs to hiring delivery drivers to sharing revenue with someone for helping with the whole shebang. 

Working remotely from an RV

A new RV rental season marks a new time to take your rental business in the best direction for you and yours. Ponder the questions above so you factor in new avenues of growth, guest happiness, and peace in your business. The cool thing about entrepreneurship is that it’s a wild ride full of new experiences and new discoveries. As long as you take the time to grow from the lessons learned, you’ll be set to build in the way you want to.

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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