Recreational vehicle owners often lament that their get-aways on wheels sit empty and idle far too much of the year. Unless you are retired, it’s often very tough to get away for more than a few days at a time. But, just because you may be trapped in the city for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean your RV has to be as well. Some RV or trailer owners are finding that renting out their vehicles can be an easy way to make a few extra dollars on the side, but it pays to be cautious.
Using a rental company for your RV
In Canada, RV or trailer owners can access the services of rental companies such as Outdoorsy.com, Wheel Estate, and RVShare, which help take the stress and labour out of the experience. They can even deliver your RV to a customer where they are, making everything far simpler for everyone.
When it comes to coverage for your new side business, some vehicle insurance companies such as Aviva provide what is called a rental network endorsement — specifically for Outdoorsy.com clients, however. This is an easy add-on that keeps your RV safely covered when on the road without you.
If you aren’t able to obtain an endorsement, once you rent your RV you need to switch to a commercial auto insurance policy. The moment money exchanges hands for the use of your property it becomes part of a business enterprise. Without a commercial auto insurance policy, your RV won’t be covered for any incident on the road with another person driving it. The risk is just too high to be inadequately covered, so speak with your insurance broker or provider immediately if you want to rent your RV.
What to look for in a rental client
For the many who have decided to get into the RV rental market on their own, without the support of an external agency, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will need to do some advertising work to let people know about the availability of your vehicle. Owners often use kijiji.ca. Take several nice photos of your RV from the inside and outside, set up and put away, and provide a nicely detailed description of its features.
A rental contract is also a must. There are numerous templates available online, but it is recommended that an expert take a look at your documentation, to ensure everything is in place.
Although not a comprehensive list, an RV rental agreement should include:
- The renter’s complete contact information and an emergency contact name
- Their drivers license and insurance information
- The dates of the reservation
- How many people will be on board
- The trip itinerary
- Stipulations for pick-up and return times for the vehicle
- A payment policy
- A cancellation policy
- A cleaning policy
- A no-smoking policy
- A gas agreement (for example, the vehicle must be returned full)
Also, be sure to ask for a damage deposit, which can be returned if your RV is brought back in the same condition in which it was retrieved.
Before signing the contract, take your client on a thorough walk through of your RV and be sure to explain thoroughly how everything works. Provide printed instructions as well.
Check on emergency roadside assistance
As RV renters may not be experienced driving a larger vehicle or hauling a trailer, the chances are higher that something might happen. Plus, Canada’s highways can be dangerous, often even more so during the summer months. In fact, in Canada there are more fatal accidents in the summer than in the winter. Increased traffic outside of the city, a higher volume of inexperienced drivers and everyone trying to get somewhere fast can make for white-knuckle driving even on a beautiful day.
One of the best features about a membership with a respected RV rental agency is their provision of emergency roadside assistance – often at no cost. With an RV rental agency you know that the person with your vehicle or trailer will never be left stranded.
If you are going to rent your RV on your own, it’s a good idea to ask if your renter has their own emergency roadside assistance. Most commonly, emergency roadside assistance packages follow the driver, not the vehicle, and so can be used with a rental.
More benefits of emergency roadside assistance include:
- Fuel delivery
- Tire repair
- Locksmith services
Flexible and comprehensive auto insurance from Lane’s
It’s worth a reminder that vehicle insurance policies can include coverage for expenses experienced if your vehicle or RV becomes uninhabitable or is destroyed while you are on vacation. Usually these come with a daily maximum for incidentals up to a total maximum for the policy. For example, you may be able to receive $200 a day up to a total of $2,000.
If you ever have any questions about your coverage or would like to shop around, Lane’s Insurance is Alberta’s leading expert when it comes to motorhome and RV insurance. Lane’s is partnered with the province’s top insurance carriers, and its brokers work for you, not the insurance companies. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, or Alberta offices.