October '20

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34 • RV PRO • October 2020 rv-pro.com Scott Jones, owner of Access RV in North Salt Lake City, Utah, maintains a rental fleet numbering about 70 units. Consumer demand for his rentals has been particularly strong this year, according to Jones, who does not make use of peer-to-peer websites to rent out his units. to establish lucrative businesses centered on RV rentals. As an example, Outdoorsy cites Southern California entrepreneur Nika Shneyder. She has racked up more than 500 rentals on the platform in 3½ years, enlarging her rental inventory from one RV to eight RVs in that time and raking in more than $300,000. "We have owners on our platform that are experiencing life- changing financial benefits right now. We have people that are making more money on our platform they ever did in their pro- fessions," Cavins says. RVshare estimates the average RV owner utilizing its platform garners $16,000 a year in rental income, with some renters making up to $60,000 per year, depending upon the type of vehicle and the frequency of rentals. For his part, Jones, the owner of Access RV in North Salt Lake City, says the private RV rental market has "always been there and always will be there," but he says there is a marked difference between the two, with professional rental companies like his offering higher-quality customer service. Jones says he fears upstart RV rental outfits like those that have sprung up on the peer-to-peer platforms will leave a "bad taste" with first-time renters, given that the RVs owned and operated by those upstarts might not, he says, be properly inspected, cared for and repaired. By contrast, a professional RV rental company routinely main- tains, fixes and replaces the units in its fleet, Jones says. Because professional rental businesses operate repair shops and keep lots of units in stock, they can quickly repair or swap out a unit, while an RV owner on one of the platforms might not be able to accomplish that as easily, he says. Richard Curtin, an economist at the University of Michigan and a longtime industry analyst of the RV sector, says the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue to fuel RV rentals and sales for some time to come. He adds that he would not be surprised if this leads to new entrants into the RV rental market.

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