How to Make Money Renting Out Your Van in the Winter

It comes as little surprise to people looking to rent out their vans with GoCamp that summer is our busy season. So what happens in the fall and winter? Is it even possible to make money renting out your van in the winter months?

With years of experience and 1000s of rentals under the hood, we know it is indeed possible to make good money (thousands of dollars) while renting out your van in the winter. Read on for practical tips and tricks to prep your rig and keep the bookings rolling in through the low season.

Prepping for Renting Out Your Van in the Winter

You can give renters a magical winter camping experience, even if your rig isn’t a cold-weather beast. Yes, renters will have a great time even if your van is not equipped with 4×4 capabilities and a heater in the cabin.

Here are a few tips for keeping the good times rolling all winter long.

  1. Use the beginning of low season to perform routine maintenance on your rig. Ensure you’re up to date on all van maintenance. Double check that your van’s systems are cold weather-ready and that your heating systems are in good working order.
  2. Consider upgrading to snow tires or providing snow chains with your van.
  3. No built-in heater? A portable heater can effectively warm your van even on the chilliest of days. If you’re in the market, check out the popular Buddy Heaters.
  4. Keep your renters warm at night by adding an extra blanket or two to your van’s sleep system. Consider offering flannel sheets and/or sleeping bags to your renters during the winter months. Lots of owners opt for these down comforters from Rumpl.
  5. Provide window coverings and/or install curtains to better insulate your van.
  6. Add rugs to help insulate your van’s floor.
  7. If you’re worried about keeping your water systems from freezing, set up your van for dry camping.
  8. Store a small broom inside your rig for sweeping out snow and dirt.

Consider Moving Your Rig South for the Winter

Additional opportunities exist for you to make money renting out your van in the winter if you’re willing to relocate your camper van to a warmer destination.

We know what you’re thinking… Who will manage it? Where will my van be stored? Can I trust someone to manage my rentals for me?

Enter consignment rentals.

In a consignment scenario, an individual RV owner puts their RV in a pool managed by someone else who meets and greets renters, performs routine maintenance on the van, and generally handles the whole process. The RV owner has less control than with peer-to-peer renting, but also far fewer day-to-day responsibilities with regard to managing rentals.

Optimize Your Listing When Renting Out Your Van in the Winter

Okay, your rig is ready to go with all the winter essentials. Now it’s time to make sure your listing is competitive.

Here’s what we recommend.

  1. Consider adjusting your nightly rate to encourage low-season rentals. The national average for Class B camper van rentals is $170/night. For optimal success in the low season, consider making your nightly rate the same or lower than the national average.
  2. Review your minimum night requirements. Most owners set high nightly minimums for their vans in the high season, like four to six nights. If your goal is to rent your van as much as possible throughout the low season, consider decreasing your van’s minimum nightly requirements to attract those renters who might only want a two to three-night trip.
  3. Update your calendar. Take a moment to make sure your van’s availability is accurately reflected from October 1 – April 30. These are the dates that GoCamp considers the low season.
  4. Update your van’s winter-ready features. Make sure your listing clearly and accurately describes your van’s winter-ready features and add-ons. When you list with GoCamp, we will update your van listing for you. Just make sure you complete this form each fall, so we have the most up-to-date information.

 

Be Patient and Wait for Your First Winter Rental

It’s normal for rentals to slow even for the most winter-ready vehicles. Don’t be discouraged if your calendar isn’t booked for the whole winter season.

When you do get a winter rental, make sure your customer service game is top notch.

  • Ask customers if they need help planning their winter getaway.
  • Stock the van with warm drinks – tea, coffee, hot cocoa, apple cider, etc.
  • Ask renters to share their winter adventures on social media and to tag you and @gocamp_rentals to show others what’s possible on a winter road trip.
  • Remind renters that it’s okay to slow down and take in the scenery. When else might they carve out the time to see a winter wonderland from a backroad vista? They’ll appreciate this encouragement!
  • During the check out process, ask your renters if there is anything you can add to the van to improve the winter camping experience.
  • Finally, before your renters pull out of your driveway to return home, ask them to leave a five-star review!

When you implement these tips and tricks, you will definitely extend your rental season beyond the summer months!

In consignment models, the business to which the RV has been consigned makes most of the decisions on behalf of the RV owner. NW Adventure Rentals is an example of a consignment model.

Some current GoCamp owners located in warmer destinations offer to manage consignment listings in the winter months. So there’s a chance you can consign with someone who is already very familiar with GoCamp’s processes and procedures.

If you already listed your camper van with GoCamp and are interested in winter consignment options, contact our Owner Success team to discuss further.

Earn as much as $50,000+

Use your van when you want to; make good money renting it out when you aren’t using it.

Curious how it all works? Sign up for our free Road to Renting guide below and we’ll send you everything you need to know about making money renting out your RV or camper van, including:

  • A sample payout so you can see how it all works.
  • Side by side analysis of GoCamp, Outdoorsy, RVshare, and other RV sharing sites.
  • GoCamp’s Top 10 Tips for Successfully Renting Out Your Camper Van.
  • The GoCamp Listing Form so you can get started renting your van whenever you are ready, including right now! 🙂

We’re expanding into new markets. If you own a great van anywhere in the US we want to hear from you!