From Ron T
Hi Ron and Bill –
I thought I would take the time to thank you for the opportunity to be a member of privatemotorhomerental.com. This experience has been great for my family. The online reservation system is great, and the site is so easy to use. We have had a very good response from visitors to your site. So far, we have had around 10 vacation bookings, with really great people (for the most part). The best part of this experience is that it has taken us from being completely novice and naïve RVers and made us near professionals. We now know the inside of our coach from front to back and all of the different systems and the individual quirks. Initially, we had a little trepidation before going on a major vacation, but now we can hit the road with complete confidence and understanding of our coach. We have also had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people – including Hollywood actors, artists from the music industry, TV and movie executives, business executives and even a famous clothing designer. My only regret is that we are not closer to your location to utilize some of the many other services you offer.
Thank you again, and Happy RVing.Ron and Terri T
From Marc C
I recently joined the Private Motorhome Association this March for the same reason you are considering it. I have a 35' Allegro Bus diesel pusher and can only reasonably expect to use it 3-4 weeks per year. I think this is a great way to offset the costs.
My experience with Bill Claypool and the association has been all positive. Bill is very accessible to answer any questions I have either via e-mail or on the phone. They provided me with sample contracts, accounting forms, deposit receipts and operating samples.
Bill is very capable of running the internet site. Our site is always near the top when searching for RV rentals. He updates the information almost immediately and has been there to answer the questions that come up as we go along.
So far I have one trip reserved with a deposit for August 1- 12th. This one trip is a $3200 rental and I have inquiries almost every day.
The only problem I have run into so far was the insurance. NY state won't allow the partnering arrangement that the renter pays the insurance at daily rate while the owner owns a commercial policy at a discounted rate.
We resolved the issue by increasing my daily rental to include the insurance. It helps, but I have to pay the total cost whether or not it is rented.
I also had a family give me a deposit for a trip in August and called back 1 week later to cancel. I told them ahead of time it was a non-refundable deposit, but since it was so far in advance, and I felt bad, they were splitting up, I sent them back their deposit.
My wife and I spent a day organizing and personalizing with pictures all of our paper work. We are still going up the learning curve as to what is needed and why.
I recommend joining the association, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the interest in renting your coach. You can check out our website, we still owe Bill some more pictures of our coach, you can see our fee schedule, calendar and other details.
From Al G
You gave me all the information I need to offer my view of your situation. It is obvious you have a "need" and are motivated to turn this situation into an income producing situation. You are also obviously energetic, a hard worker and the idea of having other people use your coach will probably be not a problem for you. You will probably need to ask for help from your friends and people who can help with many of the "learning and getting ready" tasks.
This is not official advice from the "association" but I have some ideas, suggestions, and opinions I am happy to share. Once you have looked over my comments and considered some of the points, I would be happy to discuss any questions or thoughts you might have. I can be reached early mornings between 5 - 7 AM or 6 to 7 PM pacific daylight saving time.
First, the web site of our association is generating just a huge number of good solid potential renters for us here in California. You have probably checked our website and you should ask Bill Claypool (our webmaster) about inquiries we have had for FL rentals. Also, how he could assist you in presenting your unit. I do not know how you will draw in FL but if there are commercial RV rental companies in your area, I would guess you could work on the private motorhome angle at a "good rate" to your advantage. You already know that "events" create a "demand" situation so how to attract, qualify and sell the potential "renters" is where the association can most likely help. You are already ahead of the game with a Class A motorhome to offer for rent.
It is very important to have a good accountant/tax advisor help set up your "motorhome business," advise how to handle the expenses, and all related costs that you will encounter. This is one area Pam and I did not handle very well and are in the process of finding a new acct/tax person to rework our books. (We have only been able to keep our coach by renting it.)
The complexity of your rig's "systems," your knowledge of them and the servicing your unit play heavily into the answer to how much time it takes to handle renting your motorhome. Some of our members have people lined up to do the service, cleaning and other prep duties, then it becomes a mostly computer time with the bookings, forms and then the "walk-through at rental pick-up."
Our rig is pretty complex and it takes 2-3 hours for our check-out. I have never asked any of the others but I sense they may not take that much time. It is definitely our "comfort level with their handling" of our coach that dictates the time involved.
I would suggest locating a good RV service company (a knowledgeable friend, dealer or independent repair shop) making sure they know and are very familiar with your make and model coach. Then arrange to learn all about the systems, how to operate, maintain and to be able to demonstrate the way to enjoy the use of your "luxury" coach. (That is what your "selling.") This helps convince your potential renter they should rent your rig. Don't be too concerned if you don't have all the answers right away, your renters can (and will if you ask them) teach you what worked and what didn't. The more you know starting, the easier it is to sell and send renters out in your coach.
I have tried to give you "my realistic view" of the "work side" and what I haven't emphasized is the great people we have met and the really big pay-off of seeing them enjoy the RV experience we provide with our motorhome, including the way we educate them.
Our association has all the forms and systems: estimate, drivers info forms, contracts, insurance requirements as well as commercial insurance available for making a business out of this whole process. It has only gotten "easier and better" with time and additional experience.
You will need a few photographs and a floor plan to display and help "sell" your coach on the web site. Again, Bill Claypool can give you pointers on how and where to do all this.
I can not think of a reason this wouldn't be a good way to help offset the cost and with a few breaks make a return greater than the combined payment and expenses involved. I hesitate to say profit since the way you carry the expenses, depreciation etc. will dictate to a great extent, the true real net profit.
This is just my "personal opinion and views." I offer it to aid in your decision and would welcome your call to further assist in any way you might think helpful. Good luck!Al G
From Lori P
I understand you are interested in joining the Private Motorhome Rental Association. I can only rave about the association. We started last season with 1 this season I am renting ours plus 2 others.
I like the association for the following reasons:
- Website our rentals are 95% or more from the internet its great coverage the people can see the coach they want they can see if it is available it tellsthemall about it and then they can contact you. This season we are getting returning people and they are referring us to friends...GOOD...
- The commercial insurance the rates are great and the peace of mind is even better, same with the Coach Net..the roadside assistance, they are great.
- The help and information the association gives you to get set up in your business isso helpful and its ongoing too.
- Bill Claypool and Ron Carlon are great. I have met Bill and his wife Judy, good people. They are very conservative, I feel not out to get you to spend a lot of money on unnecessary things. I really appreciate that about them.
I can honestly say it has been a really good experience for us. Not to mention the heads up these guys give you on rentals to beware of like to the Burning Man in the desert. Just not a friendly place for your coach to go and we had no idea. You can contact me anytime for a reference for the association. I am glad I didn't start this business without it. It protects you and the renter. Its definitely a win/win!!!!!!Lori P
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