Monday, October 8, 2018 – Roy and I have learned so many lessons since we first found out we could rent out Dora, our motor home. I’ve been hesitant to share it all here but after a lot of thought and a desire to not mislead people to think that it is all perfect and lots of money coming in I decided to go for it!
We listed Dora with two RV Rental companies at first, RVShare and Outdoorsy. It took a lot to set each one up, upload lots of photos and get it just like we wanted it, all without knowing anything about doing this! Decisions that had to be made included:
Price per day and how much discount for a week or month rental – $225, $1300, $5500
What will our security deposit be – $1000
How many miles per day are free and how much we charge for excess mileage – 150 miles per day, excess $.32 per mile
How many hours a day can they use our generator for free and how much we charge for excess generator usage – 4 hours per day, excess $5 per hour
Do you charge a Prep and Sanitation (cleaning) fee and if you do how much – Yes and $150
What will our pick up and return times be – 1 pm pick up and 1 pm return
If renters are early picking up Dora or are late returning Dora what is your early/late fee – $50 per hour
Do we want to offer pick up and delivery and if yes how much do we charge for that – Yes within 75 miles $300
Do we want to offer a list of free stuff they get when renting Dora and if yes what do we offer – Yes and it’s a very long list
Since we first listed Dora almost every one of the prices, and stipulations above changed. We learned from others and from our own experience. What I listed above is the most recent version of all of those decisions. Our first few renters had different fees than this. One of the lessons we learned was that when you provide 250 miles free every day and someone takes her on a two week long traveling vacation putting over 4000 miles on her (when we only put 4500 on her all of last year) that is a lot of wear and tear on our motor home in a short time. I’ll share other lessons like this one in future Renting Dora posts.
Each of the companies hold out a commission. RVShare’s commission is 25 percent and with them the renter is charged separately for their insurance. Outdoorsy’s commission is 20 percent charged to us and 10 percent charged to the renter which covers their insurance.
First thing we learned is that when we rent our motorhome through one site we need to show the same dates as unavailable on the others. All of our rentals at first were through RVShare.com. We thought about deleting our listing with Outdoorsy but we now have two bookings through them.
Outdoorsy and RVShare have Facebook Owners Communities that we joined and have learned a ton from that. Bad and good things that happened to owners with their renters.
After having two rentals that booked back to back we learned the importance of blocking out a couple of days either before or after a rental or both to get Dora cleaned out, linens washed, exterior cleaned, and basically sanitized. All three of our first renters have returned Dora very clean inside and we appreciate that so much. The second to last renters knew I had knee surgery and got Dora spotless so I didn’t have to do anything. Thank you, thank you to wonderful RJ who did that for me. Before she goes out again this Friday, there will be beds to make up, things to re-clean from her being in the shop, vacuuming to do and replenishing all of the things we offer for free. Roy has cleaned the exterior himself each time which takes him several hours. Like we’ve said many times Dora is a Big Girl so she takes a while to get clean!
I’m thinking this will wind up being a three, maybe four part blog post since there is so much to share and oh so many lessons learned! We’ve shared everything with just a handful of folks. That was a little bit at a time as things happened. You’re going to get this pretty much a lot faster than it actually happened so hold on to your seats! I’ll be back soon with more!
I’m not going to use names of our renters, that wouldn’t be right. I will call them first renters and relationships within the group. No details of exactly where they went or saw but enough so you can understand.
That’s it for today. Dora has been sitting at Dixie RV for a week now and we just found out that mostly nothing got done. One thing was ordered for future installation but more on that when we tell you about the first renters experiences. I do not plan to paint Dora as a model motor home. It’s become quite clear that she has some serious issues with us letting other people take her on vacations and us moving out of Dora and into the house. Just like a child who doesn’t like something, she’s behaved quite badly. You’ll see all that become clear as I write more.
If you’d like to get to the remaining five parts from here, the links are below:
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!