We recently purchased a 1987 camper van with the intention of offering it as a rental on Outdoorsy. We currently offer two travel trailers on the platform and have had moderate success so far and so going forward we are looking to develop and diversify our fleet as we ramp up the business. My initial challenge with this particular camper van is that after going through the struggle of finding an automotive shop that would give me a fair estimate to update the mechanicals we received a quote for $4,500. Needless to say, this combined with the initial investment and the potential cost to update the interior is making us rethink our purchase. So with the actual and potential cost mounting I have been wanting to ask other owners if the demand for renting older camper vans is strong enough to justify the continued investment? Thanks to anyone who shares their insights and good luck to everyone as we continue into the summer months and peak camping seasons. Have a great day.
We have a 1977 VW bus we won't be adding to our rental offerings, even though we are sure we could get some income from it. We have seen the way some renters have treated our nearly-new camper and the wear and tear they've put on it and are staying away from the driveables because - in addition to the residence upkeep, now you are looking at drivetrain and a lot more safety/insurance issues.
For your case, at $100/night realized profit, you'd need to rent your camper for a month and a half just to get back your "update the mechanicals" - in addition to your initial and continuing investment. Unless you have something that could draw $2-300/night realized profit, you will be some time making any money off that.