Short-Term & Vacation Rental Discussions

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Max T.
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  • Philadelphia, PA
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Using an RV for short term rentals

Max T.
  • Investor
  • Philadelphia, PA
Posted Oct 9 2017, 03:54
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?

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Marian Smith
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Williamson County, TX
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Marian Smith
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Williamson County, TX
Replied Oct 9 2017, 05:17

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.

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Paul Sandhu
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Paul Sandhu
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Replied Oct 9 2017, 06:41

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.

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Matthew Paul
  • Severna Park, MD
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Matthew Paul
  • Severna Park, MD
Replied Oct 9 2017, 06:44

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 . 

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Andrew Wong
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  • Milpitas, CA
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Andrew Wong
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Replied Oct 9 2017, 08:26

@Max T., who would be your target demographic?

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Jenessa NeSmith
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  • Omaha, NE
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Jenessa NeSmith
  • Investor
  • Omaha, NE
Replied Oct 9 2017, 09:51

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

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Jon Holdman
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Mercer Island, WA
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Jon Holdman
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Mercer Island, WA
ModeratorReplied Oct 9 2017, 09:54

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.

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Myka Artis
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Arlington, TX
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Myka Artis
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Arlington, TX
Replied Oct 9 2017, 10:22

@Steven C. Suarez Chime in.

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Steven C. Suarez
  • Hurst, TX
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Steven C. Suarez
  • Hurst, TX
Replied Oct 9 2017, 11:58

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!!

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Paul Sandhu
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Paul Sandhu
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Replied Oct 9 2017, 14:06
@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.

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Leslie A.
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Leslie A.
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Houston, TX
Replied Nov 6 2017, 18:00

Max,

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.  

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Stoney Fred
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Stoney Fred
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Replied May 17 2020, 09:58

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. 

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Ken Latchers
  • Hatfield, PA
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Ken Latchers
  • Hatfield, PA
Replied May 17 2020, 11:50

as in trailer or govt park?

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Pat L.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Upstate, NY
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Pat L.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Upstate, NY
Replied May 17 2020, 12:14

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.

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Stoney Fred
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Stoney Fred
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Replied Jun 21 2020, 09:56

@Ken Latchers

At an rv park privately owned.

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Stoney Fred
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Stoney Fred
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Replied Jun 21 2020, 09:57

@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.

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Alberto AJ Gonzalez
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Replied Oct 22 2021, 09:29

RV as STR (short term rental) is a great strategy and investment with amazing ROI. We started implementing it as a Land hacking strategy. You need to know every angle of the business, the possibilities are huge! remember rent arbitrage? we do it with RV. Do you how many people pay for RV's loan and not use it for years? The market is amazingly profitable and full of possibilities!

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Morgan Dresser
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Replied Jan 21 2022, 00:55

Did anybody ever figure this out? I’d love to rent an area for my travel trailer and rent it out on Airbnb. Looking for land with hook ups. 

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James Sebastian
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Replied Jan 21 2022, 03:18

There's another angle where you can rent out the RV and let them figure out whether to travel in it or park it- pretty much like Turo.  RVshare.com and rvngo.com are two sites, there might be others.

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Morgan Dresser
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Replied Jan 21 2022, 06:56

That’s not a bad idea. Although the trailer is over 10500 pounds. It’s a gooseneck, so not many folks have that type of tow capacity.