5 Ways to Make Money From Your RV
By Alexis Chateau \
When I first started RVing, it never occurred to me that I could make money from my travel trailer. I wanted the freedom of the open road and the beauty of nature. Leveraging my RV and my adventure lifestyle to generate an income was not on my mind. And, yet, that’s exactly what happened.
So, how can you turn your RV into a money-making machine? Whether it’s your full-time home or vacation home, use these tips to get started.
1. Rent It Out To Other RVers
There are hundreds of companies across America now offering to help you rent your RV to other people. Some offer to handle the entire process themselves and generally operate as local, small businesses. They clean your RV, disinfect the tanks, and handle all repairs. Then, they give you a cut of the profits.
There are also app services that give you all the control and all the work. You handle the cleaning, repairs, and customer service. But, you still do need to pay the platform a cut. In turn, you get customers from their platforms and they provide insurance when people book your RV. Extra coverage is helpful if someone damages your beloved vacation home on wheels.
2. Create a Glamping Airbnb
If you search for Airbnbs across America, you won’t have to look far before you start seeing RVs rented out as glamping suites. I have seen people rent out their RVs off-season or renovate several travel trailers on their acreages.
If you feel nervous about letting someone tow or drive your RV, this is a much better way to monetize it. Keeping the RV stationary reduces risks, such as someone backing it into a wall or filling your freshwater tanks with nonpotable water.
3. Use Your RV as a Home Office
During pandemic shutdowns, many RVers were delighted to have the extra space. While most other people were stuck inside with their spouses and kids, they could use the RV as an office. I met a lady in Colorado who did this even though she lived alone. She said working from the RV allowed her to separate her work life from her home life.
I work from the RV while on the road. In fact, I’m writing this while sitting at my dinette right now. Consequently, my business pays half the RV mortgage. If you have a larger rig, the percentage of the space for work could be less than 50%.
When you use your RV or any other personal property for business, you can also get some favorable tax benefits. Talk to the professional filing your taxes to determine the following:
- What you qualify for
- How much you qualify for
- How to structure your finances throughout the year to capitalize on all deductions or write-offs
4. Remodel the RV & Pitch Your Services
I will never understand why so many older RVers loved those coffin-dark decors. Those RV interiors are an ugly shade of brown juxtaposed with floral patterns that belong on your great-grandmother’s dining table. In other cases, you might buy a lovely, modern RV, but you still want to put your mark on it.
Whatever your reason for remodeling, post it on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube if you want to know whether you did a good job. People will soon start asking you for advice on making similar changes to their rigs. Here are some ways you can use this to make money from your RV:
- Allow other RVers to drop off units; then, remodel them.
- Sell floorplans and instructions that people can follow.
- Offer workshops where people can learn basic RV remodeling skills.
- Monetize DIY RV remodeling videos on Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms.
5. Build a Unique Adventure Brand
When I first took on social media, I was known primarily as a writer who spoke her mind and traveled to beautiful locations. When I ran off across the country with my RV, I had neither gone camping nor glamping before. Yet, it didn’t take a week for women and minorities to start asking me for advice on building a similar travel lifestyle.
Within the first month, I convinced someone to buy an FJ Cruiser exactly like mine and walked several others through the process of designing a travel setup that met their needs. Since then, I have worked with companies like Goal Zero, Keystone RV, and TAXA Outdoors.
Some days I write about vampires. On others, I share videos about solo camping with my cat. I won’t lie to you: this is the most challenging way to make money from your RV. But, it is also the most fun. Once you break into the market, it comes down to honing your voice and preserving your creativity.
Final Thoughts on How To Make Money From Your RV
Generating extra income is an excellent reason to purchase a recreational vehicle. If you can find a way to help your rig pay for itself, why wouldn’t you? Even so, no reason for buying an RV should rank higher than adventuring in the great outdoors. Whatever you decide, prioritize your happiness, peace of mind, and making memories with the people you love.