Using an RV for short term rentals

15 Replies

Has anyone ever tried this?

Buy an RV to use for short term rental and have the flexibility of moving it around to the locations that command the highest rates.

Seems like a relatively cheap way to get into the game, but obviously has some logistical challenges.

What do you think?

There occasionally are ads requesting homeowners in "hot" east Austin rent their backyard to someone who wants to place an rv and rent it vrbo or such. So I think the land is the issue. Doubt you could just park it on a city street if that was what you were thinking. Also, not even sure the above plan is legal.

One of my STRs is a basic 2 bedroom 1 bath house.  There are 4 beds in it.  One in each bedroom and 2 in opposite corners of the living room. I normally rent it to 2, 3 or 4 guys for $350/week total. 

I came across a 5th wheel camper with 2 beds for $1500.  I parked it legally in the driveway BESIDE the house and had access to water, sewer, cable, wifi and electric from the house.  When the house was rented, another person with the group in the house could rent the camper for $100 per week and have his own space and bathroom.  For laundry, he would do it in the house.

I never was able to rent out the camper.  Ended up letting a tenant sell it for me and I got my money back.  

If there is a large construction project going on, you can rent it out to workers.  Charge a little less than a local motel.  You will have to figure out how to get electric, water and sewer service.  You will also need to calculate your propane consumption and have a method for refilling.

Rv's can be damaged easily .  I just got back from camping this weekend . Prime example . My 12 year old decided to see if a soda can would fit down the hole in the toilet .  It clogged . problem is its not like a house , it goes into the holding tank , so it clogged in the discharge pipe . I flushed the tank 2 times it didnt come out . So I had to stick my hand up the pipe and crush the can to get it out . Not the highpoint of my day . 

Something like that might work best either parked in the backyard/driveway of your primary residence, or on an Airbnb property where you are renting out private rooms instead of the whole thing.  I've seen RVs, tiny houses and school bus houses advertised on Airbnb and they seem to be booked frequently.  The Airbnb crowd likes a different experience, and a vintage camper or something like that would be a great fit.

The problem with having the RV move around to different populated areas would be location - where would you put it? Walmart parking lots? Do you have friends or family in popular locations that would let you park it at their place? A short term RV park or campground? Also consider the cost of getting from place to place (gas, set up fees, etc).  It could work if you were able to stay a month or two at a time, especially if you were traveling to these places anyway and wanted to make extra money while traveling.  I've never heard of it being done but I love the creative thinking!  Keep us posted with what you decide to do

In our area, zoning codes do not allow anyone living in an RV, even its otherwise legally parked on the property.  

Sewer hookups are the most complicated.  (For that matter, DWV plumbing is much more complex than electricity or water supply, but I digress.)  The only place you're going to find this is in an RV or motorhome park.

Something else to consider is whether or not the RV is set up for full time occupancy.  We have a small trailer (22') and the manual specifically says it is not intended for full time occupancy.  But I know there are big motor homes and fifth wheels that are intended for full timers.

I love this idea and I am currently looking for a camper to put out back of my house in Arlington, Texas. We're in a hot area close to The Dallas Cowboys And Texas Rangers. In between Dallas and Fort Worth. Of course I would Pimp it out and make it an awesome Glamper! I plan to interview some BPers that do this on our podcast LIVE LET THRIVE. It's a great idea!! Love the Shareconomy!!

@Steven C. Suarez Having it on your property is a good idea. You could put an above ground pool there too, and even a kegorator. The tricky part would be how much to claim on your taxes for expenses such electric, water and sewer. The pool and kegorator would be business expenses, so don't use them for personal use.


I've been renting RVs for 3 years.  Most of my renters are workers at the chemical plants and refineries.  Mine are not fancy, but they are nice.  

This is an old thread but was wondering if anyone has just paid the monthly park rate and then used it as airbnb. Not sure if all parks would go for this or not. Just curious if anyone else has tried it. 

We have a 30ft trailer on some rural property we own. Picked it up for $3k & he's been paying $700/month since last year. That more than covers electric & water. He is also required to mow the grass, maintain & work the property & maintain our equipment. We have a septic on site so it's convenient.

In 3 years I told him he will own it & he will take it to a seasonal site.

@Pat L. Thats a great investment sounds like. I have hookups at my place for snowbirds with horses here in arizona. Trying to expand the idea into summer months where its cooler. I own a big park mode travel trailer and want to keep it filled up in off season.