Campers/RV's as short term rentals

9 Replies

Hello everyone! I found a potential deal. It consists of two side-by-side campers on lot by a lake (full views, but access is further away) with a fire pit and outdoor space. It seems like a great option for an Airbnb rental and it is about an hour from where I live. Both campers have built-on decks. Do any of you have experience with using campers or RV's as short term rentals? I have never owned a camper and wonder where my blind spots could be.  For those of you who have owned campers/RV's and used them as rentals, what are some things I should know about renting them out? Also, what are basic things I should know about owning and maintaining a camper?

Originally posted by @Jasmine Morris :

Hello everyone! I found a potential deal. It consists of two side-by-side campers on lot by a lake (full views, but access is further away) with a fire pit and outdoor space. It seems like a great option for an Airbnb rental and it is about an hour from where I live. Both campers have built-on decks. Do any of you have experience with using campers or RV's as short term rentals? I have never owned a camper and wonder where my blind spots could be.  For those of you who have owned campers/RV's and used them as rentals, what are some things I should know about renting them out? Also, what are basic things I should know about owning and maintaining a camper?

 I do not have any experience with this. Pretty small niche. Maye search on Youtube. That is always my go to site for when I want to learn something. 

@Jasmine Morris there are several in the area where we have 2 str. This is in a lake community as well. Mine are not campers but it seems like a viable option for the owners that have them. Biggest issue to me would be water intrusion/mildew and the accompanying smell. If water gets into campers it can be difficult to remediate. And like with any STR a few bad reviews can sink you. But if the location is right and the interior is cozy and stink free, you could have yourself a winner.

I live in a camper currently. Can't speak to the airbnb side of things. Things to note when living or staying in a trailer....

is it a rubber roof? I would spend the money to build a shell around it. 

You need a 30 or 50 amp outlet depending on size of the camper and appliances. 

What is your water source? and remember you will have to anti-freeze your system for winter months. So you will likely not have any income at this time without doing further work to prep your system for this. 

And the question we all want to know... where does your dookie go? all greywater/waste gets held in a container below the trailer and usually gets gravity feed out into a septic system of sorts that will have to be emptied annually. Is this connection present? 

Biggest thing I see is routine maintenance and answering questions from people that are unfamiliar with staying in a camper. Pros is there cheap and people will almost pay you to get them off there hands 

cons are they take a little "know how" in the beginning. Maintenance, and dealing with the winter months.   

We had an old trailer 1990 model that we picked up for $1500 & we put it on our 5 acres with the farm/multi unit bldg. However, we did more of a rent-to-own (base was $5400) as they were heavy smokers & we didn't want it back. We got $820/month plus electric. They maintained it & did a lot of work for us around the property including mowing etc around the trailer. 

They did eventually move it after 10 months of on-time payments to another property we were associated with. But then they went AWOL & abandoned it & we lost touch with them. We still had the title etc so sold it again ($1000) to a hunter friend who moved it to his 50acres. He then gutted it & rehabbed it into a rustic cabin look. 

Probably one of the most lucrative short-term investments we ever made :)

@Austen Mueller . Thank you Austen! Those a great questions that I did not think of. Those questions also give me some good research points to dive into now! I know this property is on a long term campsite, so I can check with the company about some of the water/waste questions.  I can hopefully find out the answers to the other questions from the owners. This option may not be the right one, but I at least know a little more if I want to continue pursuing this type of short-term rental. Thanks again!

@Pat L. Thank you for that information Pat! It is encouraging to know that even after some issues with the tenants, it was still a lucrative investment for you.  I have seen some campers and on airbnb renting for as much per night as small apartments, so that is something I am hoping I might be able to tap into!

Originally posted by @Jasmine Morris :

@Pat L. Thank you for that information Pat! It is encouraging to know that even after some issues with the tenants, it was still a lucrative investment for you.  I have seen some campers and on airbnb renting for as much per night as small apartments, so that is something I am hoping I might be able to tap into!

I also remember someone on BP posting about a large Boat they had rehabbed & stripped the motor from & were Airbnb'g it for a great return. This site proves that there are so many ways to make $$$ from REI.