(Fairfax, VA) RV rental revenue will continue upward during the 2019 peak rental season with conventional travel trailers and Class C motorhomes, once again, being the most widely available RV product types, according to the new survey by the RV Rental Association (RVRA).
Fifty-two percent of the 109 RV rental operators responding to the survey anticipate taking in more revenue in 2019 than in 2018, and 34 percent believe it will be the same as last year. That growth would follow a strong 2018 when 63 percent of RV rental operators reported higher revenue, versus 2017, including 16 percent who experienced revenue growth of more than 50 percent.
Conventional trailers are expected to account for 52 percent of this year’s rental fleet, up from 51 percent in 2018, while Class C’s will account to 34 percent, up from 32 percent in 2018, according to the survey respondents.
“Because pickup trucks and SUVs capable of towing many travel trailers are some of the most popular vehicles in North America, it’s no surprise that towable RVs are popular with renters,” said Scott Krenek, RVRA Chairman and owner of Krenek RV Super Center in Coloma, MI. “The RV rental market is healthy and has the potential for more growth. That’s why so many RVRA members are looking forward to a great summer.” Consumers can access the complete list of RVRA member companies at www.rvra.org.
“Tow & Go” Popular with RV Renters
The rental operators offering towable RVs say most of their customers are “tow & go” renters, since they already own a vehicle that’s able to safely pull an RV trailer. But many operators also report significant portions of their business comes from customers who do not want to tow the trailer they rent, but, instead, want the rental company to deliver it to a campground and set it up for them there.
A smaller but still significant portion of towable RV rental customers want the trailer delivered and set-up at site of outdoor concerts, festivals, sporting events, etc.
Other RV product types will be available this year for renters too. Class A motorhomes will account for 5 percent of the rental fleet this year while Class B motorhomes, fifth wheels, toy haulers and soft-sided pop-ups are each expected to account for 2 percent of the fleet this year.
In recent years, traditional “brick & mortar” RV operators faced new competition from “peer-to-peer” online RV rental platforms, but 47 percent of those who consider themselves to be brick & mortar operators believe peer-to-peer platforms help their business by providing a new marketing channel. Posting rental units on peer-to-peer platforms during the winter months, when the RV rental business is slow, is another way traditional brick & mortar operators use the new technology.
RV Rental Advice
With the surge of interest in RV travel, Krenek recommends that people who want to take an RV rental vacation book as soon as possible to get their desired dates and the unit that fits their needs. “It’s wise to make reservations for both the RV and campgrounds as early as you can,” he says.
Prior to renting an RV this summer, RVRA recommends customers ask their rental agent these basic questions:
- Does the rental agency keep regular hours for drop off and pick up?
- For first-time RV renters, does the rental company provide an orientation on the RV systems and components?
- If customers have questions about the RV during the trip, is there a phone number they can call or text for help?
- What are the terms for the security deposit?
- Is the RV that was described online the actual model that will be available at time of pickup?
- Who owns the RV that you’re renting and how does the insurance coverage work?
- For RV owners considering renting their unit on their own, RVRA urges them to read and understand the terms of their RV manufacturer’s warranty as well as any component part warranties. They should also read and understand the terms of any financing agreement associated with the unit.
“RV rental vacations are a wonderful way to make memories with family and friends,” Krenek says. “Some advance planning before you set out on your trip will make the experience even better.”
RVRA is a unit of RVDA, and the survey was conducted through the RV Retailer Intelligence program, a service of the RV Assistance Corp. (RVAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RVDA. To find an RVRA member company, visit www.rvra.org.