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Pros and Cons of Renting Your Camper Van

This post was updated on July 26th, 2023

Renting out your camper van for extra pocket money is an attractive idea. But what are the pros and cons of renting a camper van?

A man driving a van, seen from behind in the interior of a camper van
Among the pros and cons of renting your camper van, one downside is trusting someone else to operate it

Platforms like RVezy, Outdoorsy, and RVShare let you easily rent out your van anywhere in the US. Let’s take a closer look at all the pros and cons of renting out your camper van.

Pros of Renting Out Your Camper Van

For the pros and cons of renting out your camper van, let’s start with the positives. Here are the advantages to renting your van out. 

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Make Extra Money

A man standing on top of a VW Westfalia van on the beach
There’s no better feeling than making extra money

Who doesn’t love some extra pocket money? By renting out your van, you’re creating a new income stream for yourself. 

Renting out your camper van can make you around $100 to $200 a night. That might not put you in a mansion (or a multi-million dollar motorhome) any time soon, but it can still add up to thousands of dollars a year. Even if you only rent your van out for a couple of months a year, that can still make you $1,000 a month or more. 

If you rent out your RV during peak times, like for three-day weekends, you can charge 30% to 40% more – meaning you make even more money. That’s money you can save, spend on trips, use to upgrade your camper, and more!

Help Offset the Costs of Your Camper Van

A man putting gas into a white van
The money you make renting your van can help you pay for things like gas, maintenance, and more

Camper vans aren’t cheap. They’re expensive to purchase and while a DIY build can be cheaper, it still costs a pretty penny to acquire a van. And then you have ongoing costs on top of that, like gas, maintenance, and insurance

Wouldn’t it be great if your camper helped pay for itself? If you rent it out, it can do just that!

By renting out your van part-time, you can earn money to set aside to offset future costs. With this extra budget, you can essentially make your renters pay for the costs associated with van life. And that means more money you can spend on yourself, instead of your van.

Put Your Van to Use When You’re Not Utilizing It

 A camper van sitting in a driveway, with a dog sat in front of it.
If your van is just sitting in your driveway, renting it out is a great way to put it to use

If you only use your van part of the year, it probably spends the rest of the year in storage or just sitting in your driveway. It’s a bit of a waste to just leave it there (and a little sad to see too). 

By renting your van out, you can put that idle time to use. Instead of an empty van in your driveway, you’ll have a new source of income. You’ll never have to feel guilty about how much time that big purchase goes without being used. 

Help Other People Get a Taste of Van life

A family of four walking up to a camper van
When you rent out your van, you let your renters experience life in a camper van 

There are more people than ever trying to get a taste of the van life, but because of this increased popularity, camper vans are harder to get a hold of than ever. Wouldn’t it be great to give someone else the gift of van life, even for just a little bit?

Renting out your van is a great way to do just that. Maybe they want to try before buying. Or they can’t afford a van of their own or are having trouble finding one in this competitive market, and still want to experience it for a few nights. 

By renting your camper, people will be able to live out their van life dreams, even if it’s just for a little bit. 

Cons of Renting Out Your Camper Van

These are the pros and cons of renting out your camper van. And as nice as it is to stick to the positive, everything has its downsides.  So let’s take a look at the cons of renting out your camper van. 

Extra Wear and Tear on Your Camper Van

Leaving your camper unused for long periods might lead to a dusty van, and in worse cases, discharged batteries. All of this is pretty predictable and can easily be prevented or taken care of. 

But when you let someone else use your camper, it’s much harder to predict the wear and tear they’ll cause. Either way, it’s certainly going to be more wear and tear than your van would suffer in storage. 

Ideally, your renters will be clean and respectful, and won’t create any more wear and tear than you would. But, in a worst-case scenario, they could cause much more major damage to your van, creating a huge headache for you to fix. 

Renting Can Be Stressful

A woman showing extreme frustration while looking at a laptop
Especially if you have difficult renters, renting out your camper van might stress you out

Besides the stress and anxiety of letting a stranger use your van, there are other sources of stress when you rent your van. 

  • Dealing with the renters – If you’re not a people person or just an introverted type, this alone could be a big cause of stress.
    • Communicating with them about your van and its functions
    • Delivering and receiving the keys from them
    • Being on call if they have any questions or problems

All of these can be stressful, and doubly so if you have the misfortune of difficult renters. 

Renting Out Your Camper Van is Extra Work 

On the same note, renting out your van is work. It might not take a ton of your time like a 9-5, but it’ll still take some of it. It’s important to consider if that’s time you really have. 

Many van lifers have jobs that give them a lot of flexibility and freedom. In this case, it might not be such a hassle to deal with the ins and outs of renting out your van. But at the same time, it’s going to eat into the time you could use for other things. 

If you don’t have this type of job, finding time for your van rentals can be a lot tougher. Seasonal workers and other workampers tend to have stricter schedules that can interfere with renting out their vans. And that means extra work to find the time in your schedule for it. 

Renting Out Your Camper Van Can Affect Your Insurance Rates

Man looking at mail an showing an expression of extreme concern
If you rent out your van and your insurer doesn’t approve, you’ll likely get your rates increased, or even your policy cancelled

Camper van insurance can already be complicated, and if you decide to rent out your camper, things could get a whole lot more complicated. 

Many insurers won’t like you renting out the van, and worst-case scenario, they may even cancel your policy over it! And if they don’t outright cancel the policy, they’ll likely still increase your rates. 

It’s important to look at your insurance and understand if and how renting your van will affect your policy and rates. 

Thankfully, insurance created with renting your van in mind does exist. Companies like Roamly offer RV insurance that allows you to rent out your van, and even covers damage that renters might cause. 

Overall, Renting Out Your Camper Van is a Great Idea

There are definitely some things to consider before renting out your van. You’ll have to deal with renters, do a little extra work, and worry about extra wear and tear.

But, if you can deal with those things, renting your van has a ton of advantages. You can make extra money, offset the costs of your van, help people experience van life, and maybe even make some friends along the way. 

If you want to rent, first consider the pros and cons of renting out your camper van. And if you decide renting is right for you, sites like Outdoorsy are ready and waiting for your first listing!

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