The RV rental business is a seasonal business. Even in the most ideal geographic region, you’ll still see seasons that are busier than others.
Take my example — I rent out two SUVs with roof tents near Glacier National Park. Glacier might be open year-round, but the vast majority of its traffic happens from 6/15-9/15 when the main road through the park is open.
That means I’ve got 3 months of high season in my area followed by a slowdown.
That’s a short window of time to bring in the business! But it works well because I’ve learned how to make the most of my high season.
Here are a few ways you can do the same no matter where you find yourself:
Increase minimum nights
You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to the minimum number of days someone rents out your rig. Demand for RV rentals surges during high seasons, meaning you can likely bump up your minimum required nights without impacting booking flow.
By increasing the minimum number of nights someone can book with you, you’ll drive up revenue while reducing expenses because you’ll have less turnover. Demand surges during high season, so you’ll benefit from finding the ideal number of minimum nights for your area.
‘Bumped’ prices during events
Uber perfected this concept with surge pricing which saw ride rates rise for folks needing a lift as they left big events.
You can do the same by monitoring large RV-friendly events happening in your area and increasing your nightly rates around those dates.
A word of caution, however. While renters will understand reasonable price hikes during these days, you’ll want to be careful not to overshoot the mark. Do a quick search for other RV rentals in your area to see where their prices are landing so you don’t blow yourself out of the running.
Tighten your cancellation policy
At Outdoorsy, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to how easy (or hard) it is for people to cancel with you.
During your slower season, a more flexible cancellation policy might be a good idea. But during your high season, it’ll probably help you keep more revenue if you adopt a more strict cancellation policy.
That’s because peak seasons see lots of people booking, so a strict cancellation policy won’t necessarily scare people away like it might during a time when there’s less demand.
Dynamic pricing is a common practice in the BNB industry where nightly prices increase around things like holidays, weekends, and other high-demand times.
BNBs benefit from tools like Pricelabs that automatically adjust pricing based on seasonal trends. While there isn’t yet such a tool for RV rental businesses, you can do this manually by ensuring that your nightly rates are bumped up at certain times.
The Fourth of July holiday, for example, is a very popular time for RVing. It’s best practice to have strategies in place to bump pricing up for this weekend before people start booking.
This article explains dynamic pricing at RV campgrounds and has some lessons for us in our RV rental businesses.
Add on some add-ons
Add-ons are those extra things like kayaks, bikes, grills, and more that you can offer with your RV rental to increase income. Peak season is the time when people really want to have these extras with their RV, so you’d likely be missing out if you don’t have some to offer.
We believe in this so strongly that we even created this marketplace where you can save 10% while adding on some add-ons proven to bring in an extra buck.
Follow the high seasons
One advanced tactic to make the most of the high season is to follow it wherever it may be. winters in Arizona will beat the heck out of winters in Montana, and summer in Montana will beat the crud out of summers in Arizona.
So why not rent out your rigs wherever the high season lands? And by consigning your RV to someone else, you don’t even have to do the legwork to benefit from a high season during your low season.
One of the best ways to make a consignment deal is via our Outdoorsy Host Facebook group. This group is stacked with RV hosts just like you from all over the country and could be a great place to make a consignment deal.
Peak season usually brings a booking surge with it. That’s nice because you probably won’t have to scramble quite as much for reservations. But just because the bookings are flowing doesn’t mean you should sit back. The tactics above will help you bring in that extra bit of cash-ola while the getting is good.