RV Trader, the online marketplace for RV shoppers, released a study offering insights into the growth of the RV rental market along with detailed guidelines to help RV dealers maximize revenue streams from both renters and a newly identified renter/buyer segment. The report, “RV Dealer’s Guide to Unlocking the Value of RV Rentals,” includes findings from an RV Trader survey of more than 2,000 consumers who have rented, purchased or been in the market for an RV in the past two years. The report also provides advice from industry experts.
Rental Roadmap for Dealers
Topics covered in the study range from the pros and cons of dealer-owned and dealer-managed fleets to strategies for attracting rental customers, unit maintenance, renter screening, rental booking management, insurance and legal issues. The paper calculates that dealers can generate $7,500 to $30,000 in revenue from a single RV rented for only 100 nights per year, depending on whether the unit is a travel trailer or type C or type A motorhome.
“While trends in RV sales have been changing since 2018, RV rentals and rental-to-buyer conversions are clearly on the upswing,” said Lori Stacy, CEO of RV Trader parent company Trader Interactive. “That gives dealers the opportunity to generate new revenue streams both today and in the future, since today’s renters can turn into tomorrow’s buyers. We published this study to help dealers connect with this audience, provide the services they’re looking for and build a strong rental business that will keep them competitive and relevant.”
Industry trade organizations indicate the RV rental industry will continue to grow for the next several years, bringing increased participation from consumers and profit for dealers. The new study paints a detailed portrait of who renters are, their rental habits and purchase plans, and their preferences in making rental arrangements.
Of those surveyed, 63 percent of RV renters are in the 21-35 age bracket, significantly younger than RV buyers. Of these, 74 percent are employed and 59 percent come from 3+ person households indicating they are raising children.
Additionally, 75 percent say they are likely to buy in the next two years, enabling dealers who offer rentals to establish relationships with potential purchasers at the beginning of their buying cycle.
Of renters, 78 percent plan to rent multiple times, and the average RV rental consumer has already rented over five times in the past two years. Renter/buyers typically rent at least twice before deciding to buy.
The survey revealed 55 percent spend seven months to two years researching before they rent, highlighting the importance of providing descriptive online listings with quality photos and competitive nightly pricing.
Survey participants shared that 78 percent prefer to work with a dealer rather than an individual RV owner because they trust their experience, service and reputation will help ensure a good rental experience.
The rising popularity of rentals is also reflected in a surge in rental interest on the RV Trader marketplace. According to the study, 41 percent of RV Trader monthly visitors expressed an interest in rentals and 30 percent used the site as a rental resource even before the marketplace added an RV Rentals section enabling consumers to quickly zero in on units available for rent by location and departure/return date. The new functionality features an automated calendar to handle rental reservations, distribute reservation reminders, and collect funds once a booking has taken place, streamlining rental paperwork for dealers.
To see the full report, click here.