This is the first chapter in a series from GoCamp’s Guide to Renting Your RV or Camper Van. To receive updates when subsequent chapters are released, and for additional bonus content provided only via email, be sure to sign up HERE if you haven’t already.
More and more people are realizing the benefits of turning driveway downtime into easy income by renting out their adventure mobile when they aren’t using it. In the last few years the RV rental marketplace has experienced explosive growth. But which website or approach will yield the best results?
First, it’s important to understand that there are three different models for renting.
An individual van owner rents his/her van to a renter, typically via an online platform. The owner is responsible for meeting and greeting the renter and making sure the van is in good mechanical order. Insurance and roadside assistance are typically provided by the platform, as is marketing of the vehicle. Think AirBnB for RVs and camper vans. We discuss this model in depth below.
An individual van owner puts his/her van in a pool managed by someone else who meets and greets renters, performs routine maintenance on the van, and generally handles the whole process. You can expect to pay between 40 - 60% of the base rental for this service. In a consignment scenario almost all decisions are made by the organization to which the RV has been consigned. With property management, some decisions (such as renter discounts) need consultation with the owner. Examples of this include Northwest Adventure Rentals and The Camper Connection.
Rental fleets are wholly owned and managed by a rental company. Oftentimes these vehicles will be branded and serve as a billboard for the rental company, as is the case with Cruise America, Jucy, and Escape Campervans. Others prefer a more subtle approach. Fleets can range in size from dozens to hundreds of vehicles. In the category of mid-sized, locally-owned and managed companies, we’re big fans of Peace Vans Rentals and Native Campervans.
Each of the platforms discussed here takes a percentage of the total rental, including any additional charges for mileage overages or add-ons like a bike rack. To our knowledge, the only peer-to-peer website that doesn’t take a cut of your mileage and add-on fees is GoCamp.
When listing one vehicle, on a five night rental valued at $200/night, RV and camper van owners would make the most money on Mighway. For a line by line comparison and much more detail, click HERE.
The next chapter in our series delves deep into website traffic across the four sites. Don’t miss it! To be notified when the next chapter is released, be sure you are on our mailing list by signing up HERE. Additional content in this series will only be delivered via email.
International Companies: Mighway and Campanda
Mighway is based in New Zealand, while Campanda is based in Germany. Both are backed by big names in the industry. In 2018 Mighway became part of th2, a joint venture between Thor Industries and thl. Thor Industries produces iconic brands such as Airstream, Keystone and Jayco, while thl is a large RV rental operator, with US brands such as El Monte RV and RoadBear RV. Campanda’s latest round of investment included Michelin Travel Partner, the subsidiary of tire manufacturer Michelin.
Inventory on Mighway and Campanda is as diverse as on the two sites above. Mighway and Campanda appear to have made relatively modest inroads into the US market, with Campanda listing ~1,000 vehicles in the US and Mighway likely fewer. Mighway strategically started in California and is now expanding from there, while Campanda opened its door US wide last rental season. Mighway’s fees, both to the renter and to van owners, are currently set relatively low. We suspect this fee structure is temporary, intended as a short-term strategy to gain traction in the market. Presumably both brands have established international customer bases, which should serve to attract international renters to US options.
Mighway describes itself as “one of the world’s fastest growing peer-to-peer RV rental platforms.”
Fees to Renters: 5% service fee.
Insurance: Mighway self-insures; it provides its own insurance policy at either $13/day or $29/day.
Liability Coverage: Renters and owners receive $1 million in liability coverage.
Comprehensive and Collision: For $13/day the renter pays a $4,500 deductible on damages. For $29/day the renter pays a $500 deductible on damages and enjoys additional services such as free lodging and an alternative vehicle in the case of an accident.
Insurance Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the age of vehicles. Vehicles must be privately insured, however, which helps Mighway determine that the vehicle is road worthy. (Mighway’s insurance kicks in during the rental period, of course.)
Roadside Assistance: Offered to renters for $5/day. Provided by Coach-Net.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: N/A
Damage Protection Insurance: N/A
Security Deposit: Mighway does not collect security deposits on behalf of owners. Owners may collect them separately.
DMV Background Checks: The first driver is free. Subsequent driver checks cost $29/per person. Mighway confirms the validity of the renter’s license and renter’s identity.
Revenue Share with Owners: Mighway takes 15% of the base rental and any add-ons, including mileage charges.
Launched in 2013, Campanda describes itself as “the largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace in the world with over 26,000 RVs for rent in 42 countries.”
Fees to Renters: No additional fees for renters beyond those listed below.
Insurance: Coverage is provided by Allianz. Insurance is listed at a rate of $18.50 per day, but calculated at a rate of $19/day.
Liability Coverage: $1,000,000 in liability coverage is provided to owners; it isn’t clear how much liability coverage, if any, extends to renters.
Comprehensive and Collision: Comprehensive and collision coverage is offered up to the cash value of the vehicle. Renters pay a $1,000 deductible.
Insurance Restrictions: The vehicle must be under 25 years old (1995 and newer).
Roadside Assistance: Added for $15/day. Provided by Nation Safe Drivers.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: N/A
Damage Protection Insurance: N/A
Security Deposits: Campanda allows owners to take and hold a security deposit against damages.
DMV Background Checks: Free, no limit on the number of drivers. Campanda confirms the validity of the renter’s license and renter’s identity.
Revenue Share with Owners: Campanda takes 20% of the base rental and any add-ons, including mileage charges.