Outdoorsy is an insanely popular RV renting platform. Part of the reason for this is that they work by allowing RV owners to rent out their RVs for renters. On one hand, RV owners can earn money when they don’t need their RV, and on the other, renters find what they are looking for.
But is Outdoorsy a good place to rent an RV from or earn money in? We are going to glance through the key features of the platform to answer this question.
What is Outdoorsy?
Outdoorsy is an online platform for RV rental which operates on a peer-to-peer model. That is, Outdoorsy isn’t a corporate rental dealer that has an RV fleet. Instead, individuals – owners of RVs – rent out their RVs to other individuals, renters.
Outdoorsy acts as an intermediary between renters and RV owners, providing them with tools for RV renting and renting out respectively. In addition, Outdoorsy manages the financial affairs associated with RV rental, as well as lays out the general framework of their platform via their terms and conditions.
When dealing with corporate rental companies, of interest to you as an individual would only be the renting part. However, with Outdoorsy, you can not only rent an RV when needed but also earn money by renting out your own RV. As claimed by Outdoorsy, you can earn up to $30 thousand annually renting out RVs.
Since renting RVs and earning money by renting out RVs are key aspects to the nature of Outdoorsy, we are going to focus on both of them when describing their RV rental process.
Outdoorsy RV rental process
Arguably the most interesting aspect of Outdoorsy is the moneymaking opportunities they provide for RV owners. Needless to say, the Outdoorsy platform isn’t the place to earn easy money on, but it could be a good side income option if you don’t always use your RV.
Among the benefits that Outdoorsy offers to RV owners are the following:
- Freedom to rent out your RV whenever you see fit.
- Freedom to set your own rates for RV rental.
- 3 cancellation policies to choose from.
- Protection packages to protect owners and renters from third-party claims.
- Qualified renters whose driver qualifications are checked with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- 24/7 customer service for support in dealing with issues that may occur while the renter is on the road.
Listing an RV on Outdoorsy
To list an RV on Outdoorsy, owners need to take 3 steps:
- List the recreational vehicle.
- Create a searchable profile.
- Rent out the RV.
Listing an RV on Outdoorsy is free of charge. In fact, owners can offer not only RVs but also add-ons like bikes, scooters, kayaks, canoes, and other outdoor adventure gear. They may even offer a towing vehicle as an add-on!
Outdoorsy doesn’t have any strict requirements for the kind of amenities owners should have in their RV. They are free to decide for themselves what to offer. Moreover, they can actually offer equipment as add-ons for additional charges.
There are certain requirements that Outdoorsy puts on rentable RVs. For example, before each reservation, Outdoorsy requires that owners have the tires inspected. The tires of the RV need to be maintained to at least 50% tread-wear life for them to be eligible for renting.
In addition, Outdoorsy requires an inspection of the RV’s electrical systems, the LP gas system, appliances, and brakes once every three months.
Outdoorsy doesn’t do inspections, but it or its insurance underwriter may require proof from inspection from RV owners. Failure to provide one may result in an insurance claim from owners being denied.
To aid owners with renting out their RVs, Outdoorsy offers a free feature that automatically creates a copy of RV listings on Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Google My Business. Not only that, but listings will appear in Google searches related to RV rentals in the area.
Outdoorsy also cooperates with Facebook Marketplace, which, according to Outdoorsy, drives hundreds of bookings to RV owners.
All in all, Outdoorsy does provide RV owners with a couple of handy tools to aid them with renting out their RVs. While these won’t do all the job for you, they may be able to give you a good start at the platform.
Setting rental fees
With Outdoorsy, owners are free to set all the rental fees, including the daily fee, mileage & generator charges, and add-on fees. This is in contrast with the pricing models offered by corporate rental companies. Both owners and renters have many opportunities when it comes to pricing.
There are minimum rental fees to keep in mind – $15 per day for motorhomes and $10 per day for truck campers, camper vans, and towable RVs.
Note that tax isn’t included in the base rental fees. If owners’ local laws require them to pay tax for each rental individually, they may calculate the tax of the rental charges and build them into the final fee. As an alternative, Outdoorsy allows owners to list taxes as an additional percentage-based fee.
Selecting a cancellation policy
Outdoorsy also allows RV owners to select a cancellation policy from the 3 available options – Flexible, Moderate, and Strict.
With the Flexible policy, the cancellation is as follows:
- The reservation deposit – 25% of the full trip cost – is refundable minus fees if canceled more than 5 days prior to departure.
- If the rental has been paid in full and the booking is canceled more than 5 days prior to departure, a full refund minus fees is issued to the renter.
- If the renter cancels the booking less than 5 days prior to departure, a 75% partial refund of the full rental amount is issued, minus fees. However, the reservation deposit is non-refundable.
The terms of the Moderate policy are as follows:
- The reservation deposit of 25% of the full rental cost is non-refundable.
- If the rental has been fully paid and the booking is canceled more than 7 days prior to departure, a 75% refund of the full rental amount is issued, minus fees.
- If the booking is cancelled less than 7 days prior to departure, 50% of the full rental amount minus fees is issued to the renter.
Lastly, the terms of the Strict policy is as follows:
- The reservation deposit of 50% of the full rental cost is non-refundable.
- If paid in full and the booking is canceled more than 14 days prior to departure, a 50% refund minus fees is issued.
- If the renter has paid only the reservation deposit, no refunds are issued.
- If canceled less than 14 days prior to departure, no refunds are issued.
Outdoorsy does provide RV owners with a little flexibility when choosing a cancellation policy. Those who depend on the incomes from renting out their RV would benefit from the stricter plans.
Reservation of bookings
Outdoorsy takes a couple of measures to make sure that RV owners only have to deal with quality renters.
Outdoorsy requires all renters to pass a DMV check before allowing them to book. Aside from making sure that the renter is a certified driver, Outdoorsy reviews the renter’s driving history. Among the things that will make one ineligible for booking at Outdoorsy are a DUI, a suspended license, and more than 2 tickets for going 20 mph over the speed limit in the past year.
Outdoorsy allows owners to select a renter from their RV booking lists. To make this process easier, Outdoorsy provides a rating system for renters.
The cancellation policy chosen by owners will determine the amount of the renter’s initial reservation deposit. As we mentioned above, Flexible and Moderate policies require a 25% deposit of the rental’s estimated cost, while the Strict policy requires a 50% deposit.
The reservation deposit is charged to all bookings made 14 or more days before departure. If the departure is 14 or more days away, renters have the option of paying the reservation deposit in two installments. The second deposit needs to be paid 14 days before departure.
If the booking is less than 14 days away, the renter will need to make a full reservation payment for the RV rental.
Aside from a reservation deposit, the RV owner may require the renter to make a security deposit to the Outdoorsy platform. The security deposit is a refundable deposit that is collected to cover RV owners in the event of excessive charges. The amount of this security deposit is set by RV owners, usually somewhere between $500 and $1500.
After the RV is returned to owners, they may claim the entire deposit or part of it, depending on the actual rental costs. In addition, owners may release the deposit entirely so that it goes back to the renter’s card in case there is no need to claim the deposit.
Renting the RV
It is up to owners to decide when to rent out their RV and when to deliver it to the renter. This is another advantage of Outdoorsy’ peer-to-peer model, which allows for a convenient pickup time for both owners and renters.
Outdoorsy also provides owners with the option of keeping their RV at one of their rental centers for cases when RV owners can’t deliver their RVs on their own.
Before departure, the owner and the renter will need to sign a Departure Form. The Departure Form covers certain steps that the owner and the renter need to take before departure, including damage walkthrough, RV setup lesson, driving lesson, final condition check, mileage & fuel readings, etc.
There are certain no-show fees imposed on no-show RV owners and renters.
If the RV owner doesn’t show up to rent out the RV to the renter, Outdoorsy will issue a full refund to the renter, including all applicable service fees.
If the renter doesn’t show up, then the RV owner’s cancellation policy will go into effect.
While on the road
Outdoorsy provides renters with a roadside assistance option, which would allow the owner and the renter to avoid dealing with towing and repairs themselves. For $15 per day, the Outdoorsy 24/7 roadside assistance offers the following services:
- Towing of the rented RV to the nearest qualified repair facility. Outdoorsy covers winch out or extraction services for one man, one truck, and up to 100 feet off of a maintained road or in a commercial RV campground.
- Assistance with jump starts.
- Tire replacement assistance or alternatively towing to a nearby RV repair facility.
- Lockout or locksmith services for stranded RVs.
- Fuel or emergency fluid delivery, including oil, water, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and gasoline. This procedure isn’t performed in areas where prohibited by law.
- Mobile mechanic services.
The labor and part costs are the responsibility of the renter or the RV owner, depending on the cause and nature of the breakdown. Repair costs of issues associated with mechanical breakdown are the responsibility of the RV owner. Otherwise, the parts and labor costs are the responsibility of the renter.
Aside from on-site support, Outdoorsy offers a 24/7 RV technical support hotline. Plus, they offer tips for things like restaurant reservations, hospital location, RV campground referrals, etc.
If your renter decided not to purchase the Outdoorsy roadside assistance add-on, then owners will need to deal with the towing and repair headaches themselves. Alternatively, the renter could opt for pay-as-you-go assistance at a higher price.
It should be noted that RV owners may have their RVs covered by third-party roadside assistance programs. However, in this case, RV owners would need to make sure that their policy is going to cover the expected costs.
Returning the RV
Once the renter returns with the RV, they and the owner will need to sign a Return Form, which includes:
- Damage walkthrough to discover any damage that occurred during the rental. All damage must be photographed. Owners will then have 48 hours to report damages to Outdoorsy.
- Odometer condition at the start and end of the rental and mileage fees.
- Generator runtime meter condition at the start and end of the rental and generator usage fees.
- Fuel level at the start and end of the rental and refueling fees.
- Waste tank condition and dumping fee.
- Cleaning fee if the RV has not been cleaned.
Conditions described above may incur additional charges on the renter. Owners will need to inform the renter about these charges. In case additional charges occur, owners may claim a part of or the entire security deposit made by the renter.
If owners don’t have to dip into the renter’s entire security deposit, the remainder is to be returned to them. For example, if the security deposit is $750 and an owner needs to claim an extra of $200, the amount to be returned is $550. Outdoorsy charges a 2.95% payment processing fee from the total claimed amount.
If the security deposit amount is insufficient to cover the charges, owners can have Outdoorsy charge additional funds from the renter’s credit card. RV owners will need to provide Outdoorsy with documentation of all the additional charges, including those documented in the RV Return Form.
If the renter returns the RV later than the agreed return time, they will be imposed a late fee. This late fee includes a one-time administrative fee of $30 and an hourly penalty equal to the hourly rental rate. Note that there is a 1-hour grace period with each rental. Outdoorsy will deduct the standard 20% rental fees from late fees.
In case the late return disrupts another rental or if Outdoorsy needs to provide the RV owner with an alternative means of transportation due to the delayed return, the late fee will be the full daily rate for every 8 hours past the grace period. Plus, a $100 administrative fee will be imposed on the renter.
After finalizing the reservation, the renter is charged the full rental amount. These funds are held by Outdoorsy for 24 hours after the RV has been picked up and are then released them into the account provided by the RV owner. It may take 3-5 business days for the deposit to post.
Outdoorsy offers a very decent share of the rental earnings – 75-80% of the total reservation cost, plus any add-ons like cleaning, excess mileage, or generator fees.
You, as an RV owner, may wonder why have your transactions go through Outdoorsy, especially given that there are service fees associated with RV rentals. The Outdoorsy platform serves as an intermediary between RV owners and renters. As a result, in the event of something going wrong, the platform makes sure that renters get refunded and RV owners receive their earnings in accordance with their cancellation policy.
Do keep in mind that you may need to pay taxes on the income earned. This will depend on your local law. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires Outdoorsy to report the gross earnings of those US customers who have had over 200 transactions and earned over $20 thousand in a calendar year. In this case, Outdoorsy will provide owners with a Form 1099-K.
A crucial aspect of renting and renting out with Outdoorsy is insurance. No one is safeguarded from accidents, and it may so happen that a third party files a claim against the RV owner or renter.
In the United States, Outdoorsy partners with Liberty Mutual, the fourth-largest property and casualty insurer in the US. Outdoorsy offers insurance to protect RV owners and renters. In fact, Outdoorsy’ insurance policy also covers international travelers.
But prior to being covered, international renters will have to pass an international background check and have an international driver’s license or a permit for the RV class they are renting.
The insurance certification process requires no extra effort from the parties – all Outdoorsy requires is the RVs to be certified on the platform, as well as renters to pass their DMV check, which are the basic requirements of the rental process.
RV owner insurance
RV owners are protected by a $1 million liability protection policy that covers the owner, the RV, and approved renters. The liability protection protects the parties of the rental deal from risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and other similar claims. Aside from that, Outdoorsy offers a $500 comprehensive and collision coverage.
It should be noted that in Canada, Outdoorsy’ insurance policy is provided by Aviva. Canadian deals are covered with $10 million liability and $2 million comprehensive and collision insurance.
The insurance deductible – the amount that needs to be paid before the insurance policy covers any expenses – varies depending on the value of the rented vehicle. It usually ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, with the renter being responsible for the payment of deductibles.
Outdoorsy’ insurance policy covers the following vehicles:
- Motorhomes and tow vehicles. Both need to be year 2000 or newer to be eligible for the aforementioned insurance policy. Besides, tow vehicles must have no more than 150 thousand miles on the odometer.
- Travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, trailers, and park models with no year restrictions.
For vintage vehicles older than the year 2000, Outdoorsy doesn’t provide liability coverage. However, they do provide comprehensive and collision insurance, though its amount is limited to just $75 thousand.
Vehicles and renters that travel into Canada are covered by Outdoorsy’ Liberty Mutual program. Vehicles originating in Canada are covered by their Aviva program. It should be noted that Outdoorsy doesn’t provide any coverage in Mexico.
RV renter insurance
Outdoorsy also offers protection packages for RV renters – Risk Taker, Essential, and Peace of Mind. These plans have protection levels and prices that vary depending on factors like trip length, RV type, and RV age.
The chart below shows the coverage differences between the protection packages.
|Risk Taker||Essential||Peace of Mind|
|Liability protection||No||No||$1 million|
|Property damage protection||Up to $75 thousand||Up to $150 thousand||Up to $500 thousand|
|24/7 roadside assistance||No||Yes||Yes|
|Support||24/7 customer support||24/7 customer support||24/7 customer support plus concierge support|
Outdoorsy doesn’t provide coverage for the certain components of the RV:
- Paint and body.
- Tires and rims.
- Interior damage.
- Windshields and windows.
- Exterior trim.
- Mechanical and transmission issues.
One point about Outdoorsy that is particularly praised by users of their platform is customer interaction.
When it comes to customer support, Outdoorsy seems to be capable of providing timely tips and assistance when needed. This is in contrast with especially corporate rental companies which have more things to deal with.
Namely, Outdoorsy doesn’t have to manage the condition of any RVs since it is individuals who rent their vehicles out. As a result, Outdoorsy has more resources left to allocate to customer support.
Another thing that is highly praised by the users of the Outdoorsy platform is the interaction between RV renters and owners. With Outdoorsy, there’s much less paperwork and other formal procedures associated with corporate rental companies.
What’s more important than that is that the renting process is much more flexible both for renters and RV owners. Corporate rental companies have strict policies regarding RV departure and arrival times, as well as have less flexible pricing systems. The Outdoorsy platform is free from this downside.
At the site of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Outdoorsy has an A+ BBB rating, as well as a 5-star customer rating based on 248 customer reviews. Being an estimate of the customer interaction quality, the BBB rating of Outdoorsy is a good testimony to its great customer service.
What we really think of Outdoorsy
Above, we’ve covered the things that matter the most in the Outdoorsy platform. Based on this info, we can now make a verdict and tell you what we really think of Outdoorsy.
More specifically, we’d like to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the Outdoorsy platform. Let’s start with the advantages.
What we like about Outdoorsy
The first thing we like about the Outdoorsy platform is that it provides RV owners with moneymaking opportunities. If you have an RV that you don’t always use, you may rent it out to make a little side income.
If you rent out your RV often, the earnings with Outdoorsy could be quite hefty. As Outdoorsy claims, RV owners could earn up to $30 thousand annually on the platform.
Outdoorsy also has a couple of means to help RV owners make their offers seen, including listings, a little SEO, and Facebook Marketplace.
A big benefit of the Outdoorsy peer-to-peer model compared to corporate rental companies is its flexibility.
Corporate RV dealers have strict policies that can’t be really adapted to the needs of RV renters. As a result, you don’t have a lot of freedom when choosing the duration of the rental, its cost, amenities, etc.
With Outdoorsy, renters have pretty much complete freedom when looking for an RV to rent. Don’t want to pay for mileage? Look for RV owners who include mileage fees in their base offer. Want a pet-friendly RV? Again, it’s quite easy to find owners who don’t mind you bringing along your pets.
This flexibility is advantageous not only for renters but also for RV owners. The latter are provided with the freedom to set their fees, choose cancellation policies, offer add-ons, and otherwise make their offer stand out among others.
Wide selection of RVs
Corporate RV rental dealers often have a very limited selection of RVs. It’s probably because it is easier for them to maintain similar recreational vehicles. With peer-to-peer models like that of Outdoorsy, there are as many different kinds and models of RVs as there are RV owners on the platform.
So no matter what RVs renters are looking for – travel trailers, fifth wheels, class A motorhomes, or toy haulers – they should be able to find it pretty easily.
Customer interaction is another strong suit of Outdoorsy. First of all, the customer support services of Outdoorsy are quite solid, and both renters and RV owners can expect to get timely assistance from them.
Many people also value the fact that you work with regular RV owners on this platform. One could even say that each rental experience is a bit personal. And this is part of the reason that you can find RVs that satisfy very specific requirements.
Outdoorsy has also put plenty of effort in protecting their customers, both renters and RV owners.
First comes their insurance policy, which offers $1 million liability and $500 thousand damage protection for both RV owners and renters.
Secondly, serving as an intermediary between renters and owners, Outdoorsy safeguards the parties from fraud.
Outdoorsy also provides RV owners with cancellation policy options, as well as with the option of requesting a backup security deposit from the renters.
As for renters, Outdoorsy makes sure that the RVs that are rented out are in good condition, as well as ensures that they are safeguarded from the responsibility of paying repair costs in case of mechanical breakdowns.
What we dislike about Outdoorsy
Difficulties when looking for information
To be fair, Outdoorsy could have organized their insurance, fee, renting, and other info better.
The thing is that their website’s Help section is comprised of FAQs which aren’t categorized by topics too well. As a result, it is pretty difficult to find information.
Aside from that, information on some topics – like insurance or roadside assistance – is spread between several FAQs, and you’ll have to spend quite some time trying to find out everything about the topic that interests you. Furthermore, it may even be that the FAQs don’t actually provide all the information that you are looking for.
So while Outdoorsy is an excellent service, their website organization certainly needs some reworking.
Difficulties with finding the right RV
The variety of options available on Outdoorsy has a downside as well – it isn’t too easy to find a suitable RV for your needs. Since every owner offers varying amenities, fees, and whatnot, it may take some time for you to find the right RV. Some owners also don’t want renters to bring along pets, which may also be a problem for you.
In the end, it does seem that Outdoorsy is a great place for both RV owners and renters. The greatest testimony to this is the high rating of Outdoorsy across platforms. Plus, they do offer a couple of helpful bonuses for renters and owners.
In the end, whether a renter or RV owner, one could be pretty sure that their cooperation with Outdoorsy will be smooth and fruitful.
If you’d like to see how Outdoorsy is rated against other RV rental companies you might want to check out our review of the best RV rental companies.