Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

The One Thing You Need to Create a Profitable RV Campsite (Plus 8 Ideas to Earn Even More Money!)

Hipcamp partners with landowners like you (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to connect your property with folks who are looking for places to stay and camp outside to help you earn extra money. If turning your land into a profitable passive income source sounds appealing, you may want to consider creating an RV-friendly site on your land. All you really need to get started is a flat spot where someone can park an RV. 

Sure, glamping structures attract higher-paying customers than tent sites, but it may be much easier for most new Hosts to begin welcoming RVs on their property. The advantage of hosting RV campers is that you don’t have to invest in any infrastructure — most people travel in a Class A or Class C RV, which means they bring their own self-catering accommodations and toilets with them. And if you offer a few basic amenities to make their stay more comfortable, they’ll pay more and stay longer.

Here’s the #1 thing you should have —plus 8 other tips for starting a profitable RV campsite on your land with minimal upfront investment. 

The one thing you need to get started earning money on your land is: A flat site to park an RV

All you really need to start making profits and passive income hosting RV campers on your land is a flat site where they can park the RV! Look for a spot on your land where an RV can easily get in and out of from the access road. The spot should be fairly level so the RV isn’t leaning to the side. If there are trees on the access road or on the site, make sure to trim any low-hanging branches so the RV can clear the space.

One you have this, you are ready to get started creating your Hipcamp RV listing.

Offering electrical outlets is not required, but it can encourage your RV campers to stay longer. (Photo by Dan F. at Sky Valley Ranch, CA)
Running water is a nice-to-have that can encourage campers to stay longer. (Photo by Anna Claire B. at Tara Winery Vines & Views, TX)

Nice-to-have extra #1: Set your site up with electricity and water

One of the most stressful parts of RV camping (especially for less experienced campers) is keeping a steady battery charge and water supply. Once you have your RV site live on Hipcamp, you can encourage longer (more profitable) stays on your property by providing water and electrical hookups, both of which can run straight from your home’s electrical and plumbing systems.

How to set up the electrical RV hookup:

If you’re starting small with one RV site, you can buy a heavy duty extension cord (10 or 12ga) and connect it to a 15-amp outlet. This will be enough for guests to keep batteries charged and enable them to use appliances such as the microwave or portable heater. Make sure they know they can’t run A/C, as that needs a 30-amp connection and would trip the breaker at the house. A simple 12ga, 100-foot extension cord costs around $70.

How to set up the RV site with potable water:

Connect a long water hose to your home’s outdoor spigot—such as the one you use to water your garden—and run it over to your RV site so your guests can have fresh drinking water. A 75-foot drinking water safe hose will set you back around $80.

RV Hipcampers enjoying the morning sunshine. (Photo by Shayna F. At Scenic View RV Site, TX)

Nice-to-have extra #2: Build a fire pit for your RV campsite

RV camping is even better when your Hipcampers have a fire to sit around telling stories, singing songs, and roasting s’mores! Provide a fire pit at each campsite (if you’re allowed to burn in your area), and your guests will love you for it. Provide benches so they don’t need to bring or rent chairs. You can make it a DIY project or for under $85 you could buy a ready-made one. Check out more easy DIY fire pit ideas here

Nice-to-have extra #3: Stock essential traveller supplies

If you really want to score big, keep a few essential supplies on hand in case they forget to bring them, such as firewood, propane, and first aid kits. You can build the cost of keeping these supplies on hand into your rates.

Photo by Brittany S. at an RV campsite in Oregon

Nice-to-have extra #4: Include a barbecue grill and picnic table

When your RV guests are on the road, cooking in the RV can be limiting, while eating out can get pricey. That’s why giving them the option to grill some burgers and veggies right outside their RV site goes a long way. Check out our favorite fire-safe grills that won’t cost you a fortune here.

Nice-to-have extra #5: Offer wifi for your campsites

Everyone loves a good digital detox, but when your campers have been on the road for days on end, wifi is essential for checking in with family and friends, looking up nearby attractions, and planning the rest of the route.

Double-check with your internet provider, but you can typically buy second router at the electronics store (as low as $30) and connect it to your main router via an ethernet cord. Name the second router something like “Free RV Wifi” with a password, so it’s separate from your family’s wifi usage.

Photo by Erinn H. at Seven Lakes Campground, WA.

Nice-to-have extra #6: Offer outdoor games

If you really want to earn extra points and awesome reviews—especially with parents trying to keep their kids off their smartphones—offer outdoor lawn games or even a kayak if your land is close to a river. They’re inexpensive and simple to install, such as:

Nice-to-have extra #7: Give your site some design elements

You don’t have to hire a designer to make your RV site inviting, unique, and Instagrammable. Here are some ideas on small things you can buy that make a big impression:

Nice-to-have extra #8: Check on permits and insurance

It’s important to check with your city’s zoning or administrative codes to see if you are required to register or get a permit for your site before you can list your property and accept guests. You should also check with your insurance carrier to see if any expanded coverage is needed. It may seem like a hassle, but at the end of the day these rules and coverage are there for your protection in case you need it.

Photo by Caitlin F. at Morning Zen, AZ.

How to start earning extra money hosting RVs and campers on your land

Why not start earning extra income to help pay for property taxes, home expenses, and future dream projects by hosting RVs and campers on your land? Learn more about becoming a Hipcamp Host. (Use the promo code JOURNAL and get an extra $100 when you host your first Hipcamp guest.)

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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