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Want to rent your RV? Think twice!

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Companies that will help you rent out your RV are blossoming across the internet. Some promise you can make thousands each year: It’s all quick, easy and, of course, safe! That’s the promise that Jared Voeller says he was made by a popular peer-to-peer rental agency. But he found out that the “background check” that the company made on his customer wasn’t quite up to snuff. His story is a cautionary tale.

Penchant for “run-ins” with police

Jared owns a pickup with a camper. He signed up with the popular rental service outdoorsy.com. The firm set him up with a customer who’d pay $145 a day for the rig—some nice pocket change. It was a “last minute request” from a man (Mr. B) who wanted the rig for nine days. After taking the money and watching his RV head down the road, Voeller decided he’d do a little checking on his customer.

Turns out that Mr. B had spent a little time in prison. The renter had a penchant for run-ins with police, one of them quite literal. In San Antonio, Texas, media reports he rammed a patrol car, then barricaded himself in a health care facility. A SWAT team had to be called in to help remove him. Another incident ended up with his getting a four-year sentence for property theft and a controlled substance violation. When the tech-savvy RV owner did his own internet search and turned up this information, he called Outdoorsy and demanded the contract be cancelled and his rig returned.

Outdoorsy contacted renter Mr. B, telling him the deal was off. Mr. B did bring the rig back, and got his rent money back. But not before he sent a scathing text message to Jared Voeller, accusing him of “ruining” his honeymoon. While the rig was OK, Voeller was “out” the nine hours’ worth of rent he was never compensated for. The unhappy camper-owner has since filed suit against Outdoorsy, claiming the middle-man-company committed fraud under Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The suit says Outdoorsy misrepresented it had “verified” Mr. B as a “qualified renter.” The suit asks for a million dollars in damages. Still want to rent your RV?

What is a “verification” process?

It all begs the question, just what kind of unqualified person might slide under the “verification” process? For Outdoorsy, the company says its verification means a “driver verification” to ensure a renter is at least 25 years old and possesses a valid driver’s license. Beyond that, RV owners who use the service are on their own. Of course, Outdoorsy isn’t the only outfit that will put you with a potential customer. How’s the screening work through other outfits?

RVezy.com is another go-between company. Here’s what they say about their background checks: “RVezy does a background check on guests renting your RV. Renters must have a valid driver’s license with an unrestricted driving history for a minimum of 8 years and a clean insurance record.” Does that screen out the guy that got convicted of running a mobile meth lab out of a motorhome? It doesn’t look like it.

Other rental outfits claim to have safety protections for RV owners. However, many are cagey and don’t specify on their websites just what constitutes their background check. To find out more, the companies require you to “sign up,” giving away at least your email address, name, and information about your rig. We’re not sure about you, but these days, we’re a little more concerned about privacy.

Due diligence

One outfit we researched, RVshare, did have a “chat” function. Our only question was what constituted their background check. It took us a half-hour of repeatedly questioning the agent to get this answer: “We have partnered with a world-class ID verification service that is trusted by different institutions worldwide. Moreover, our insurance partner checks every detail of the renter before approving their insurance through their driver’s licence [sic] pictures, selfies, and other documents as well. There is nothing to worry about it, as no renter will be approved if there is any criminal history found in the renter’s history.”

rent your RVYes, most of the rental outfits we checked do provide both liability insurance and damage or loss coverage, in favor of the RV owner. But if you take pride in your RV, and someone damages your rig with some sort of nefarious activity, will money really make you “whole”? Or, if your rig was confiscated by law enforcement because of illegal activity, how long will it take you to actually replace it when you finally do receive compensation?

Yes, there is the potential of making money by renting out your RV. But beware the pitfalls, and as they say, “do your due diligence” before you commit your RV to a rental agency.

##RVT1076b

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23 Comments
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Scott
26 days ago

I did rent a friend of mine rv but he and I knew each other for many years. I was afraid to act out or do anything to this vehicle because if the table were reversed, I would hope he would treat mine the same way. The rental worked out fine with no issues. Saying that, I now have my own trailer, paid in full with numerous additions/ modifications that I will never be rented out to anyone. Rental services are for that portion of the market, private owners , you are on your own for the risks.

Frank
28 days ago

As mentioned further down in this discussion, we got an RV so we wouldn’t have to sleep in someone else’s bed at a motel.

As a business it might make sense to buy a decent cheap used RV and rent that. But certainly not my personal one.

Spike
28 days ago

Had a good friend that cleaned hotel rooms for a time. If you heard the stories of things people do to hotel rooms, like use the tub for a toilet, you wouldn’t want those same people in your RV!

Jim B
28 days ago

The only person I would loan my motorhome to is my son…and only because he has owned one in the past.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jim B
DENNY JOHNSON
29 days ago

Renting out your personal RV means you are either over your head from buying too much, or you’re greedy, but just my opinion…..

Edward Yudkoff
29 days ago

When I rent a car, I give it a good beating. I travel 7-8 times a year. My brother once told me, “that’s what you do to a rental”. We gun the engine, press on the gas and brake at the same time. A few times we took things apart just to put it back together again. That didn’t always work out too well. I will do the same thing when I rent an rv — maybe next year. Interesting systems in an rv to explore. Car rental companies could never tell the difference. These guys won’t either.

Spike
28 days ago
Reply to  Edward Yudkoff

I traveled extensively for business and used a lot of rental cars. Maybe intentionally and willfully abusing someone else’s property is what YOU do, but it’s not what responsible adults do.

Marie
27 days ago
Reply to  Spike

Thank you. I read Edward’s post and didn’t know what to say. My first thoughts would have had my post removed.

Scott R. Ellis
29 days ago

“Bad guys” are the least of your worries and an attention-grabbing straw man. The reason I’d never rent mine out is that RVs by nature are both fragile and complicated. There are a thousand ways to do something wrong, and very little structural or design resistance to the resulting damage. I wouldn’t loan mine to my best friend . . . and he has one of his own.

Gregory Brott
29 days ago

No, nope, and not EVER!!!

Don H
29 days ago

There is no amount of money that would tempt me to rent out our 40′ Diesel Pusher, to anyone for any reason. When I consider the learning curve that I went thru (after having owned other RVs for years) I know that there is no chance a newbie renter will do anything right while using it.
No, Nope, Not EVER…

David Binkley
26 days ago
Reply to  Don H

Completely agree.

Leonard Rempel
29 days ago

I rented my 5th wheel on RVEzy and it was a disaster! Although I delivered my RV to the campground the renter was just careless following my hour long instruction process. I also left him a detailed list of how to operate every aspect of the RV.
They broke a basement door, did not angle the awnings during a rain, and could/did not empty the tanks properly. Yup, ended up with a poop mountain! Willful neglect? No, I don’t think so. Just a lack of caring as he and his family were on holidays. After three months of sitting in my storage area waiting for parts, we are back on the road again.
Needless to say, this was the first and last time I will EVER rent out my RV!

Kris
29 days ago

I don’t own an RV but I would never rent out an RV if I did own one. I find the whole concept fraught with potential problems. What if the renter runs over someone or backs over a pedestrian? Who handles the lawsuit and liability? Having camped in tents and a tent trailer, I would be the perfect candidate to rent an RV. Do I know what I am doing? Absolutely not. Do I know how to back a big rig? Absolutely not. Do I know how to maneuver in gas stations and narrow streets? Absolutely not. Do I trust strangers to care for the things I own? Absolutely not. Did I get “burned” renting out sticks and bricks decades ago? I sure did. Do I trust strangers at all? No. If I owned an RV, I would NEVER rent it out to strangers. The saddest thing for me with the being “burned” renting out sticks and bricks decades ago is that it made me into this person who doesn’t trust strangers.

Tommy Molnar
29 days ago

We would never rent out our sticks & bricks home. Our RV is our second home and just like the first, we would never rent it out either. Simple as that.

Marie
29 days ago

I recently read, in a Facebook group, about someone who rented her RV out. I don’t recall if she rented it herself or through a rental company but I remember her saying she wanted an RV, her husband said yes but only if it was rented when not in use to pay the loan.

The camper was returned damaged enough that she was going to have to pay someone to fix somethings. Was she going to rent again? You betcha! Crazy.

Jim Johnson
29 days ago

We are talking about a personal RV rather than a rental business. I am sure there are some careful conscientious people with RV experience who would be good renters and not return with a blocked black water holding tank or a bent scissors jack. However I also suspect most of them already own an RV and are not in the rental market.

The other issue is I keep our RV pre-loaded with a number of things from those “must have” You Tube RV videos. Add food, clothes, water and propane and we are good to go. I’d either have to strip our RV before rental or inventory everything before departure and upon return. Nah. Not worth it.

Jewel
29 days ago

The whole idea of us having an RV is so we don’t have to sleep in strange hotel beds. Never would I let anyone else use my RV. Too much can go wrong.

Last edited 29 days ago by Jewel
G13
29 days ago
Reply to  Jewel

I totally agree! Why would you want some stranger sleeping in your bed? I would venture to guess that these people are going to be first timers and naive to the use of your rig, let alone know your rig’s TLC.

robert
29 days ago

No way would I rent out my rv to a stranger, With todays world it is just asking for trouble.

Dave
29 days ago
Reply to  robert

Don’t know if I would include friends or family either. They can come with us, but never by themselves. Huh, maybe I am just a grumpy old man!!!

Crowman
29 days ago
Reply to  Dave

If you are I’m with you.

DENNY JOHNSON
29 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Just like loaning money to family or friends……NOPE!!!

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