How To Price Your RV Rental Listing

By Corey Rozon

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When trying to determine how much to price your RV rental listing, there are a number of factors to take into account, from how much to charge during such times as the high and low-season, to how much to charge for nightly, weekly and monthly rentals for your RV.

Although the exact amount you list your RV for is entirely up to you, here are a few suggestions on how to price your RV rental listing:   

Determining the base weekly rate

A good first step is to figure out the RV's current value. For example, a quick search for a 2013 Fleetwood Bounder gives an average list price of $122,000.

When it comes to the housing rental market, rent is typically determined by 1.1% of a home's value. Of course vacation rentals don't always follow this formula, and an RV falls into a completely different category, but the formula is a good place to start.

Therefore, you can figure out the base weekly rental listing price by using a percentage – 1.1% – of the RV's market value. In our example the RV is $122,000:

0.011 x 122,000 = 1342

This is the rate that you can use as the base rate for weekly rentals for your RV.

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Determining the base high-season rate

Just like the vacation rental market, the RV rental market has at least two seasons: the high-season, and the low-season. By setting rates for each season you will not only increase the overall revenue, but it may also help to increase the occupancy rate of your RV as well.

Since the high-season typically lasts for only four months, you can almost count on booking the majority of the weeks that your RV is available for rent – and charging top-dollar for it!

In order to determine the high-season rate you may want to factor in such annual RV costs as storage, maintenance and insurance. We'll use the following annual averages for a 2013 Fleetwood Bounder as the example:

Storage: $500

Maintenance: $1000

Insurance: $500

For this example, let's say there are a possible 16 weeks during the high-season for potential RV adventures.

Of those 16 weeks, you have blocked off 6 weeks for your own adventures, leaving a potential 10 weeks to list your RV for rent.

Therefore, the high-season base rate can be calculated by dividing the total annual fees – $2000 – by the number of weeks the RV is available for rent – 10 weeks – and adding that amount to the base weekly rate, rounded up to $1350.

(2000 / 10) + 1350  = 1550

This is the rate that you can use as the high-season weekly base rate for your RV rental.

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Determining the base low-season rate

The vacation rental market not only has a high and a low-season, but they also have what is known as a shoulder-season, which runs just before, and right after the high-season.

When it comes to the RV rental market, even if the shoulder-season isn't taken into account, it's a good idea to consider the pricing difference for both the low-season and the shoulder-season when determining the rental rates for your RV.

The average shoulder-season rate is typically 60% to 75% of the high-season rate, whereas the low-season rate is about 25% to 30%. Since the RV rental market differs from the vacation rental market it would be safe to aim closer to the shoulder-season rate. For our example we will use a percentage of 75%.

Therefore, the low-season rate can be calculated by taking 75% of the high-season rate of $1550.

0.75 x 1550 = 1162.50

This is the rate that you can use as the base for the low-season rate.

In order to increase revenue during the low season you may also want to lower your minimum rental requirements to three days in order to accommodate renters looking for long-weekend RV adventures.

The low-season is also a great time to experiment with special offers and added touches. For example, one owner offers a case of beer with every rental.

Determining nightly, weekly and monthly rates

Depending on your rental goals – with the most common being to make as much extra income in as short of a time as possible – the best practice is to encourage a potential renter to rent for as long as possible. This can be done through a number of ways, but the tried, tested and true way is by offering discounts for longer rentals.

In the vacation rental market the average discount is 15% for weekly rentals, and 30% for monthly rentals. For our example, we'll use slightly below the industry standard with 10% and 20% respectively.

Since we have already determined the base weekly rates for both the high-season and the low-season we'll first calculate the monthly rates:

The low-season monthly rate can be calculated by multiplying the low-season weekly rate – rounded down to $1150 – by the number of weeks in a month – 4 weeks:  

1150 x 4 = 4600

Next, you would calculate the 20% monthly discount:

0.8 x 4600 = 3680

Therefore the discounted low-season monthly rate would be $3680.

The high-season monthly rate can be calculated by multiplying the high-season weekly rate of $1450 by 4 weeks:  

1450 x 4 = 5800

Next, you would calculate the 20% monthly discount:

0.8 x 5800 = 4640

Therefore the discounted high-season monthly rate would be $4640.

In order to calculate the high-season and the low-season nightly rates we will first need to figure out the nightly rate, and then add 10%:

The low-season nightly rate can be calculated by dividing the low-season weekly rate of $1150 by the number of days in a week – 7 days:  

1150 ÷ 7 = 164.28

Next, you would add back the 10% weekly discount by multiply the nightly rate by 1.1:

1.1 x 164.28 = 180.70

Therefore the low-season nightly rate would be $180.

The high-season nightly rate can be calculated by dividing the high-season weekly rate of $1450 by 7 days:  

1450 ÷ 7 = 207.14

Next, add 10%:

1.1 x 164.28 = 227.85

Therefore the high-season nightly rate would be $228.

Summary of base rates

For the above example, the low-season base rates would be as follows:

Nightly: $180.00

Weekly: $1150.00

Monthly: $3680.00

The high-season base rates would be:

Nightly: $228.00

Weekly: $1450.00

Monthly: $4640.00

Determining competitive rates

Now that you have your base rates figured out – both for the high and low-season, as well as the nightly, weekly and monthly base rates – it's now time to look at competitive pricing.

You'll want to conduct some research to see what other RV owners are listing similar RVs for in the same area. You can find all of our current rental listings here.

If the price for your RV rental listing is unreasonable, as in it is much higher than what other owners have listed their RV for, you may find it difficult to attract renters to your listing, no matter how amazing your special offers and added touches are.

Feel free to leave a message in the comments section below if you have any questions or suggestions when it comes to determining a price your RV rental listing.

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