RVshare Review 2023: A Hassle-Free Way to Rent an RV
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RVshare is a peer-to-peer marketplace where RV owners list their motorhomes and trailers for rent. Learn how it works for renters and owners in this review.
Do your summer vacation dreams include an epic road trip in a rented RV? Or, do you already own an RV and are looking for ways to offset the cost?
Either way, RVshare can help.
In this RVshare review, I’ll explain how RVshare works for renters and owners. I’ll cover the need-to-knows like how to use the platform, what fees to expect, and how insurance works.
Let’s get started.
What is RVshare?
RVshare is an online peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace — the largest in the world. In short, it connects people who want to rent an RV with people who want to rent out their RV.
Think about it: Most people who own RVs aren’t using them the majority of the time. And lots of people who dream of taking a deluxe road trip aren’t ready to pony up and buy an RV. RVshare helps RV owners earn extra income and helps aspiring road trippers get moving without a big commitment.
How to Rent an RV from RVshare
If you’re ready to hit the road in an RV, RVshare can help you find and arrange a rental RV to suit your needs. To rent from RVshare, you need to be at least 25 and have a valid driver’s license. You’ll be asked to upload a picture of your ID to verify your identity.
When you’re ready to start looking, you’ll find a search engine that’s a lot like the ones you use to book Airbnbs. Enter your location, your desired dates, number of guests, and price range. Additional filters help customize your query.
Once you’ve entered your search details, you’ll see all the RVs that match your request. At a glance, you’ll see a featured picture, make and model, type of RV, price per night, distance from your location, how many it sleeps, and whether delivery is available. Detailed listings include all the specifications, fee breakdown (including a refundable security deposit), and reviews from other renters.
Like what you see? You can ask the owner a question or request to book through the online messaging system. For standard listings, submitting a request to book means you send in your personal info and your requested dates, and the owner reviews and responds. Instant book listings mean you can book without having to go back and forth with the owner.
Once your vacation house on wheels is booked, you can go pick it up on your reservation date or have it delivered to you. You and the owner go over the need-to-knows, and you hit the road. If you don’t actually meet the owner, make sure you take pictures of the RV’s condition before taking possession of it.
The owner has until the end of the reservation start date to submit the departure form. That form documents the pre-reservation condition of the RV, including fuel levels, waste tank levels and any existing damage.
Once the owner has uploaded the form, you’ll be notified that it’s ready for you to review and sign digitally. Carefully review the form before you sign to ensure that the pre-reservation condition is accurate. If you don’t, you run the risk of being held responsible for pre-existing damages.
When you return the RV, the owner has 72 hours to submit the return form, which captures the post-reservation condition of the RV. You’ll get an email if the owner has charged any post-trip fees or claimed damages. You can dispute charges by contacting the customer experience team.
RVshare has three cancellation policies owners can apply to their listings:
- Flexible — Offers renters a full refund, minus the RVshare service fee, up to 30 days before the scheduled rental date. Within 30 days of rental, renters can receive a 50% refund.
- Standard — Offers renters a full refund, minus the RVshare service fee, up to 30 days before the scheduled rental date. Within 30 to 14 days of rental, renters can get a 50% refund. No refunds within 14 days of rental.
- Strict — Offers renters a full refund, minus the RVshare service fee, up to 30 days before the scheduled rental date. After that, there are no refunds.
These policies apply to renter-initiated cancellations only. When an owner cancels, the renter gets a full refund, regardless of the timeline.
There are also two “grace periods” to be aware of. If you book more than seven days before the rental start date, you can change your mind within 24 hours and get a full refund. If you book less than seven days before the rental start date, you have an hour to back out and get your money back.
Renter Service Fees
The RVshare service fee is a percentage of the total reservation cost, minus taxes and refundable fees. The exact percentage changes from time to time and isn’t posted, but the dollar amount is clearly labeled under “taxes and fees” for each listing.
The service fee covers 24/7 roadside assistance and helps RVshare run its platform. Renters pay the service fee when they make their first payment. Unless the owner cancels the reservation, the service fee is non-refundable.
Beyond the service fee, you may be charged extra post-trip fees. The owner determines these when you return the RV, and a lot of it is based on the terms of the rental agreement. For example, if the rental agreement states that you need to empty the waste tanks and you don’t, the owner could charge a dumping fee. If you return the RV more than an hour late, you might pay a late fee.
Other potential post-trip fees include a cleaning fee, pet fee, refueling fee, or abandonment fee. (Pro tip: Return the RV to the agreed upon location and don’t leave it anywhere else).
To avoid confusion, it’s best to carefully review the rental agreement and ask any questions before you get going. Make sure any existing damage is documented on the departure form so there is no uncertainty when you return it. Kind of like when you rent a car.
RVshare Rental Insurance covers owners as long as their RVs meet certain criteria. That’s important to mention because rental quotes include Standard insurance as long as the RV itself is covered. That doesn’t mean it’s free, just that it’s included in the total rental cost.
Standard insurance starts at $10 per day for trailers (towable RVs) and $20 per day for motorhomes (drivable RVs). Rentals lasting more than 21 days are charged an additional 20% of the total insurance cost.
Standard insurance for both motorhomes and trailers includes coverage for up to $200,000 in comprehensive and collision, based on the value of the RV. You also get 24/7 roadside assistance and towing and tire service built into the cost. For motorhome rentals, you get the state statutory limits of liability, up to $100,000. The Standard insurance deductible is $1,500. If you file a claim, the deductible comes from your security deposit first.
If you’re interested in more coverage, you can upgrade during booking for a fee. Enhanced and Premium insurance offer increased coverage and lower deductibles for higher daily premiums. The screenshot below shows how the three plans compare:
Note that RVshare’s insurance coverage is good to go anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, but not in Mexico.
Advantages of Renting an RV from RVshare
Huge selection — RVshare is the biggest RV peer-to-peer rental marketplace in the world, so whether you want a compact motorhome or a spacious travel trailer, you’re most likely to find it here.
Flexible Cancellation Available — If you know your plans might change, it’s nice to have a flexible cancellation policy to fall back on. You can filter your search query to find listings featuring flexible cancellation.
24/7 Roadside Assistance — The mandatory service fee includes 24/7 roadside assistance. That’s towing, tire, battery, lockout, and extraction service. They even offer emergency supply delivery. That probably doesn’t seem like a big deal until you need it.
Worry-Free Rental Guarantee — If something sketchy happens, RVshare has you covered. Rental payments are protected against listing fraud, and RV’s customer support team is on deck in the rare event you need to rebook or secure a replacement rental. Some fine print to be aware of: To be eligible for the Worry-Free Rental Guarantee, you need to route all payments through RVshare’s secure payment platform. You also need to report misrepresentation of an RV within 12 hours to get rental assistance.
Standard Insurance Included — The insurance isn’t free, but it’s included in your upfront quote, so it’s one less thing to worry about. You get comprehensive and collision, and motorhomes get liability, too.
Disadvantages of Renting an RV from RVshare
Post-trip Fees at Owner’s Discretion — When you return the RV, the owner can choose to levy post-trip fees based on their assessment of the RV’s condition. That’s why it’s important to do a thorough inspection upon pickup and carefully review the departure form before you sign it.
Mileage Restrictions May Apply — The thing about renting from RVshare is that you’re not really renting from them, you’re renting from the RV owner. The owner calls the shots. They can choose to restrict mileage, and if you go over, you’ll pay a fee. If you plan to cover a lot of ground, opt for an RV with no mileage restrictions.
$1,500 Insurance Deductible — If you opt for the Standard insurance, the deductible is high at $1,500. Of course, that’s only an issue if you make a claim. If the high deductible makes you nervous, you can upgrade your coverage and trade a high deductible for a higher daily premium.
Listing an RV on RVshare
Have an RV sitting in the driveway? Want to make some extra money? List your RV on RVshare for free and connect with millions of renters.
You’ll need to provide your personal information and your RV details (make, model, year, size, etc. to get started.
Once your account is active, it’s time to post a listing. The more detailed, the better! You’ll want to tell renters as much about your RV as possible — the technical specs, of course, but you also want to brag about the amenities. How many beds? What kind of equipment in the kitchen? Don’t forget to include high-quality photos of the interior and exterior.
You’ll post a nightly rate, and can choose to offer weekly and monthly rates, as well. Listings also need to include insurance details, any mileage restrictions, pet fees, security deposit, any optional upgrades, and anything else a renter would need to know.
Everything you need to manage your listing and navigate your RVshare experience is on your dashboard. It looks like this:
The “listing” menu is where you can update your calendar to show availability. Keeping the calendar up to date is important, especially if you choose to offer instant bookings. That means renters can book your RV without you having to review the request and go back and forth with the renter to close the deal.
Instant bookings are more attractive to renters, but only turn it on if you’re prepared to keep your calendar up to date and honor reservations. You can always cancel an instant booking, but it doesn’t look great.
Once your listing is active, set up your payment account through the “payments” menu on the dashboard. You’ll provide your banking info and your social security number so that RVshare can collect payments on your behalf through the secure payment platform and deposit your funds to your account. RVshare releases your payment on the first business day after a reservation begins. The money generally hits your account within a couple of days.
Communication with Renters
When booking requests (or renter questions) start rolling in, you’ll receive a message in your inbox. Turn on text notifications so you don’t miss one. Booking requests are active for 24 hours, so it’s important to respond promptly. For instant bookings, you just need to confirm the reservation. For booking requests, you’ll need to engage with renters and send a quote to close the deal.
Your response rate, response time, and accept rate all contribute to how your listing ranks. Just like people are more likely to look at websites on the first page of Google’s search results, people are more likely to book your RV if it shows near the top. So keep an eye to your messages and respond quickly.
When a renter comes to pick the RV up for their reservation, it’s the owner’s responsibility to go through the operations and answer any questions. You’ll also complete and submit the departure form. This documents the pre-reservation tank levels and gauge readings, the RV’s condition, and all renters who will be driving the RV.
The departure form is available 24 hours before the reservation start date and locks at the end of the reservation start date. This form is used to review damage claims, so if you don’t submit it, you leave yourself open to risk.
When the RV is returned, you have 72 hours to upload the return form documenting the return condition and identifying any post-trip fees that apply. Should you need to report damages, there’s a button embedded in the return form to make it easy. The return form also prepopulates pre-reservation mileage from the departure form, automatically calculating any overage fees.
Qualifying for Insurance
RVshare rental insurance protects you for free during the rental period as long as your RV is 15 years old or newer and worth $200,000 or less. RVshare rental insurance will be activated for qualifying RVs when you include your VIN in the listing.
Coverage includes up to $1,000,000 in liability and up tp $200,000 in comprehensive and collision based on the value of your RV. The comprehensive coverage even includes “Acts of God”:
The package also includes a free 24/7 roadside assistance package.
If your RV is more than 15 years old, you’re still covered for liability, but not comprehensive or collision.
RVshare Commision Fees for Owners
Posting a listing is free, but owners pay a commission fee when their RVs are booked. This rate is subject to change, and you can find it under the account information tab on your dashboard. Post-trip fees except tolls, traffic tickets, and damages are subject to a 10% commission fee, too.
Advantages of Listing an RV on RVshare
Extra Money — The point of renting out your RV is to earn extra income, and RVshare helps you do it hassle-free by connecting you to millions of renters.
Secure Payment Platform — You don’t need to worry about being ripped off when you list with RVshare. The renters’ identities are verified and RVshare collects payment on your behalf using the secure payment platform. Probably the biggest benefit is that there’s a process in place to recover payment for damages and overages. When you list on the private market, that’s a big risk.
Free Insurance — As long as your RV is 15 years old or newer and worth $200,000 or less, it gets free (to you) comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage during the rental period. The renter pays the insurance premium when booking.
Disadvantages of Listing an RV on RVshare
Commission Charges — Like other RV rental marketplaces, RVshare has to make money to support the platform. They do it by charging owners a commission fee and renters a service fee. Losing a portion of your income sucks, but realistically, you wouldn’t reach the same rental audience on the private market. You wouldn’t have the same ease or security, either.
Wear and Tear — Renting out your RV is a great way to offset the cost of ownership and make some extra money, but remember it means extra wear and tear on the RV. That could shorten its life or come with extra maintenance costs.
No Comprehensive or Collision Coverage for RVs Older Than 15 Years — If your RV is more than 15 years old, you only qualify for liability insurance, so you’ll need to get comprehensive and collision elsewhere.
RVshare Review: The Bottom Line
Whether you’re in the market to rent an RV or are an owner looking to earn some extra income, RVshare can help.
By connecting renters and owners through a convenient and secure platform, RVshare takes most of the hassle and risk out of renting RVs. While there are fees involved, we think it’s a reasonable cost for the service.
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