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How to handle damage and repairs

srl520
Day-tripper

My wife and I have just purchased a Class C Coach for mostly rental purpose. We have a couple of questions how others have handle damages.
If the coach suffers body, cosmetic, minor damages that are more than normal wear and tear, what is the best way to handle getting repairs fixed. This is referring to issues that will not effect renters ability to use or safety issue.
You file a claim for the damage with all the documentation you have including photos. Get an approximate estimate for repairs with in 7days so you are able to hold on to the security deposit for up to 30 days.

Now the real question is, do you continue renting the coach to the next reservations on your schedule and get it fixed when you have an opening in the calendar?

Or do you cancel reservations till the issues can be fixed and resolve right away?
With todays  world with delays in getting supplies and repairs completed, it may take a few weeks or months to get issues resolved.
If you cancel a reservation do to repairs, do you get dinged for the cancel?

5 REPLIES 5

bbobich
Day-tripper II

I am relatively new (7 rentals) but my experience so far has taught me that every other trip some minor repair will be needed.  However, only one was a magnitude that I could not address myself.  Damages during rentals included a dinged door, dinged awning, broken cabinet latches, and busted oven cover.  I could address all of the issues, but I also had a case where a renter “fixed” damage to the awning with tape.  I decided to be okay with it because in my mind, my rig was a rental, and if it could still be rented a repeat customer is worth more than most damages eventually.  Even the renters who break things can still be good customers, sometimes it’s just luck.  I give renters the option to cancel if something happens, and leave it up to them if I can.  I would take security deposits only if it was outside the realm of cosmetic stuff.  (Mostly if it prevents future business, because those customers probably would not repeat business anyway). RV owners tend to make good renters in my humble opinion.  I learned in my brief experience to avoid renters who are too scared/nervous to operate a rig well, as small situations can blow up with them.  

Forgot to mention it’s a judgement call with what to do with the calendar… if you block dates, you make no revenue, but you also lose a chance to have conversations with customers where other business might have panned out at a later date.  Depends what you have time for.  

Thanks for responding.Yes, I expect things not to come back perfect. We are using this coach as a rental only. I was planning on stocking up on some Items such as draw slides, latches etc that probably are going to take a beating. I am a fabricator/machanic and intent to be fixing/maintaining most everything myself. Have some parts on hand will hopefully help keep the coach ready to go.

bbobich
Day-tripper II

I stock duplicates as well.  I would like to own a spare generator (not yet) but I do have Jackery batteries, solar panels, and a bodega fridge if the RV refrigerator ever has issues.  I also plan to store a spare tire, and water pump.  If you don’t have backups it can ruin rentals for customers when they are back to back, especially with supply chain issues these days.  I also might suggest blocking the calendar at least 3 days before and after a rental so you have a chance to address problems.  Personally I do it the weekend before through the weekend after, but for me this is a side gig.  

You are correct that these things will happen. First concern should be the safety of the renters, then their comfort. Since you know that damage will happen find a body repair shop prior to needing it. Fiberglass repairs are specialized and a good mechanic is hard to find. We use a company that repairs semi trailer trucks and treat them like out mechanic, a plate of homemade cookies goes a long way to getting fast service. We guarantee all payments so they do not have to deal with the insurance companies and I will even help source parts if they want me to do this. Canceling a  rental would be absolute last resort. The camper would have to be unusable before I would cancel  a rental. The second renter this season hit an embankment and knocked off some trim, later in the season  a pole went through the rear panel leaving a gaping hole in the fiberglass. Each time I took pictures and sent them to the future renters to let them know what happened; assure them they would encounter no problems other than cosmetic, and allow them to decide. I have never lost a rental but opened good channels of communication. Now the season is over and the body shop will have the motorhome for the entire month, no rush to get it done and it will be parked inside for part of the winter.