How to Buy the Right RV for a Vacation Rental

By: South Thompson Motors & RV   |   01 Sep 2021
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With the rise of apps like Airbnb and Vrbo over the past decade, vacation rental properties have become a popular way for folks to invest in real estate with the purpose of generating passive income. These vacation rental properties aren’t limited to just traditional homes, as many vacationers are looking to stay in unique structures like treehouses, houseboats, ‘glamping’ tents, and even RVs.

If you’re thinking about buying a new or used RV for vacation rental purposes, then this article is for you. There are a few key factors to consider when purchasing a unit that will be both functional and attractive for potential renters, helping you generate maximum revenue from your investment. We’ve done the research for you and created a list of top considerations when it comes to buying the right RV for a vacation rental. Let’s dive in!

1. How Many Does it Sleep?

If you purchase a smaller unit that can only fit 1 to 3 people, you might be missing out on a huge piece of the vacation market: families. We suggest casting a wider net, so to speak, by investing in a unit that can sleep at least four people comfortably - bonus points if there’s an additional slide-out or sofa bed that can increase that number.

2. Functionality is Key

When you’re trying to appeal to a wide audience, try to keep the various needs of vacationers in mind. This is where buying an RV for rental purposes differs from purchasing a trailer that meets the needs of your particular family. Your renters might be looking for:

  • A pet-friendly space
  • A baby-friendly space
  • An adequately stocked and functional kitchen
  • Laundry, a shower, or even a small tub (again, great for a baby or dog)
  • A queen-sized master bed
  • Easy-to-use lights, heating and AC, music, and internet connections
  • Well-marked storage solutions
  • Accessibility features for visitors who require special accommodations

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3. You’ll Need to Consider RV Insurance and Warranties

Just like any property owner, you’ll need to look into insurance options for your RV. Accepting that damages may occur is an unfortunate reality of vacation rental property management, so you’ll want a great insurance plan to protect you and your RV. Don’t worry, the team at South Thompson RV can help with all of your RV warranty and insurance needs.

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4. Where Will You Park It?

Your RV will need to live somewhere during the rental season, whether it’s on a piece of land that you own or at a nearby campsite in South-Central BC. You’ll need to make sure the location is easily accessible, and provide detailed directions on how to locate the RV, where a vehicle can be parked, and what the rules of the land or campground are. Be prepared to enforce an agreement about noise, campfires, and strict arrival/departure hours, particularly if you are parked at a campground. It can be helpful for your visitors if you leave a list of things to do in the area, and where they can find things like food and outdoor activities.

You’ll also need to ensure your location has adequate hookups for fresh water, electricity, and sewage. We advise discussing with your renters how to empty the waste tank on the chance you can’t get out to empty it between visitors.

5. Be a Great Host!

Being a great host isn’t a necessity of owning a vacation rental, but it can truly elevate the experience of your guests and lead to positive reviews - something that can help keep your rental calendar fully booked. Some A+ hosting ideas include:

  • Keep a well-stocked kitchen with cooking utensils, spices, and olive oil
  • Stock extra comfortable linens and towels, plus spare pillows and blankets
  • Extra camping gear like chairs, outdoor games, and even fishing equipment
  • A BBQ lighter or matches for the gill and campfires (plus a fire extinguisher)
  • An easily accessible and well-stocked first aid and emergency kit
  • Keep board games, flameless candles, books, and puzzles inside the RV for rainy days or cooler evenings
  • A small welcome gift like a mug, pair of slippers, bowl of fruit, or bag of coffee is often appreciated!

6. Don’t Forget Your Guidebook

Your guidebook will be essential in not only helping your guests enjoy their stay but also protecting your RV from misuse. This is where you’ll want to include important information about how to treat the plumbing system, where to dispose of waste, what to do in the case of emergency (an interior leak, something happening to the exterior, loss of access to power or fresh water, the RV becoming uneven, a fire, etc.), safety tips for using the kitchen, where to find extra supplies, information about the surrounding area (including rules about campfires in BC), how you expect the RV to be left when they leave (linens stripped, garbage, locking the RV, etc.), and your contact information.

South Thompson RV Can Help You Find the Perfect Vacation Rental Unit

Not only can we help you find an ideal RV to be used as a vacation rental property, but we can also help you keep it in perfect running order with the STRV Service Department by your side. You can consider buying a gorgeous brand-new RV or take a look at our inventory of quality used RVs that are primed and ready to make terrific investment units.

Reach out to us here at South Thompson RV to learn more and discuss your options today!

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