The North American RV rental fleet will expand again in 2018, according to a new survey by the RV Rental Association (RVRA).

A total of 43% of RV dealers and rental agencies surveyed said they planned to expand their fleets, while only 11% said they will reduce their rental offerings, RVRA reported in a release. Another 44% said their rental fleets will be the same size in 2018 as they were in 2017, and 3% said they will either expand their fleets or keep them the same size.

“This segment of the market continues to be a winner for the RV industry,” said Scott Krenek, RVRA chairman and owner of Krenek RV Super Center in Coloma, Mich. “The RV rental market is healthy and growing. That’s why so many RVRA members are looking forward to a great summer.”  

Revenue Fuels Growth

Fueling the growth in RV rental fleets was a rise in rental revenue last year.  Nearly three-fourths of those responding to the survey (72%) said their rental revenue was higher in 2017 than it was in 2016, with 18% saying it was up more than 50%. Another 47% said their rental revenue increased between 6% and 30% in 2017, when compared with 2016.

For the 2018 rental season, 60% of the operators completing the survey are expecting higher revenue again this year, while another 21% said their rental revenue will be the same as last year.

Larger RVs — as measured by the number of sleeping areas — are the most popular rental units, according to survey respondents. The reported showed that 40% of dealers said units with at least four sleeping areas are the most popular, while 27% said at least six sleeping areas was the most popular floor plan. Another 24% said at least two sleeping areas was the most popular.

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.”