How to Drive Rental Demand in the Off-Season

Josh SchukmanSeptember 28, 2023

How to Drive Rental Demand in the Off-Season

Off-season and shoulder seasons can be challenging times for those of us in the RV rental business. The simple truth is that the vast majority of our RV renting customers travel in spring/summer and then hibernate for winter. 

Even uber-mild regions like the Southwest can see a slowdown in RV rental activity for the coldest months. 

But just because things slow down doesn’t mean you can’t drive rental demand for your RV(s) in the off-season. By employing a proven set of strategies, you can join the ranks of our owners who move the needle at all times of the year.

Let’s dig into some strategies you can use to keep your rig(s) rented in the off-season.

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Off-Season Pricing/Discounts

Some areas — such as Utah — still see steady rental demand during the off-season. While steady, it’s not as strong as other times of the year, making seasonal price reductions a competitive strategy on your part.

One simple and powerful way to drive off-season bookings in these regions is by constantly monitoring and updating your pricing. Hop onto regularly, search for similar rigs in your area, and make sure your price is optimized against your competition. A good rule of thumb is to be somewhere in the middle with your nightly price — not at the high end and not at the low end.  

You can also set a pricing rule that’ll automatically increase or decrease your pricing depending on the season. To do this, sign in to your owner dashboard and then: 

  1. Click on the rental listing you want to change. 
  2. Select the ‘booking options’ tab.
  3. Click the ‘create new rule’ button.
  4. Create a new pricing rule for your off-season.

Event Marketing

Fall festivals, RV shows, music festivals, and more are ongoing through the off-season and are usually attended by RVing types.

You could get a small booth at one of these events to spread the word about your rental(s) or engage in some guerilla marketing to share your listing around the grounds with attendees.

You could hand out business cards, stickers, or other fun items that direct people to your listing. Use a QR code generator like this one to create an image that people can easily scan to get straight to your booking page. 

Check out this article for more tips on effectively sharing your listing link.

Outdoor event

Time To Refresh Your Listing?

The off-season is a splendid time to make sure your listing is all it can be. By optimizing your listing, you’ll drive rental demand for the off-season and tee yourself up for on-season bookings.

You could also update your off-season headlines to reflect your proximity to things like ski hills, popular snowmobiling destinations, and more so that you’ll show up in Google searches near those things.

For example, you could change your listing title to something like: ‘Winter-Ready Campervan For Rent Near Monarch Mountain’ for some extra SEO juice. 

You should also check out these 13 ways to get more people to rent your RV to read up on the main things you should be doing for a killer listing. 

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Near A Ski Area? Turn Your RV Into A Ski-In/Ski-Out Condo.

If you find yourself near these best RV/campervan-friendly resorts in the U.S. you might find your RV to be in relatively high demand if you set it up for skis and market it accordingly.

That’s because many ski areas allow RV camping on or near their grounds so your camper could serve as basecamp.

Think about ways you can modify your listing title to show up in search. Offer ski-centric amenities. And even post your listing link in allowed areas at your nearby ski parks.

Offer Your RV As A Long-Term Rental

This is an especially interesting option if you find yourself in a tourism hotspot facing a shortage of affordable housing.

Long-term rentals are in high demand in these areas and offering your RV as a stationary winter rental could provide a temporary solution to this big problem.

You’ll just want to be sure you have good vetting and leases in place for any long-term renters. Our hosts who do that can have solid winter success with this option.

Dig into this article for tips on keeping your RV toasty as a long-term winter rental.

Is RV Consignment Right For You?

The towns around places like Glacier National Park, The Tetons, and Yellowstone are terrific spots to run an RV rental business during the summer. Winter — on the other hand — can be a tough go.

If you find yourself in a place like this, why not consider consigning your RV to another Outdoorsy owner in a popular winter spot? 

These arrangements are frequently made between our owners and can work very well. You’d be in the driver’s seat for the rates you set, what you pay the other owner, how your RV is maintained, etc. 

Check out this page on our Owner’s community and/or our Owner’s Facebook Group to get the consignment convo rolling. 

Is Your RV Winter Ready?

Before you promote your rig for the off-season, you’ll want to be sure that it’s ready to cope with colder weather. Some owners opt to only offer dry camping during the winter to protect water pipes from freezing. 

We also put together this winter camping guide to show you all the steps for keeping your rig rentable in the winter. 

Things, like maintaining your heater, putting snow tires on your rig, sealing your windows, ‘skirting’ your RV, and having winter-ready RVs in your fleet, are a few examples of important steps for successful winter RV rentals. 

RV in winter

Off-season might seem like a tough time to keep your RVs rented out, but there are many ways to drive rental demand for most months of the year. By marketing outside the box, keeping your listing up to date, optimizing your pricing, and considering consignment you’ll have the ammo you need to stay competitive when things slow down. 
Get started now by visiting your owner dashboard to refresh your listing, create some pricing promos, and more to get your rig ready for off-season rentals.   

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Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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