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Old 07-22-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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Lightbulb TM Rental Marketplace (by/from: Current TM Owners)

Hey TM Owners,

Grew up pop-up trailer camping on the East Coast with my folks and six younger siblings; we saw the whole Eastern seaboard this way and I think it's one of the reasons we're all quite close as adults. Had a 2619 in the past and have a real affinity for TM's. Posting this to get a sense as to whether or not current TM owners would be interested in having their TM's rented (gently, in theory, see below) some of the time that they're not being used, and would appreciate your thoughts. A quick pencil to paper (spreadsheet actually), suggests that an owner could get an incremental $500+/mo., if the idea catches on, without the TM owner being responsible for demos, set up, clean up, etc.

This would be a TM Only Rental Business (TMORB), with a few twists (and a catchy rather than TMORB working name; please see some goofy ideas at the very bottom of this post). Again, your thoughts, including on the names, would be appreciated.

The concept and twists:
- putting private TM's to use and providing regular income to TM owners who opt in
- rentals are intended primarily for short term driveway use (e.g., 1-4 nights) to stay inside of many zoning boundaries
- TM's would be delivered and set up by TMORB (ease of wear and tear)
- likely include some basic amenities (e.g., lawn chairs, fruit plate, etc.)
- likely include a sheet and towel service
- might also consider zip on cushion wraps to cut down on wear and stains
- renters would be required to provide an insurance binder as though they were renting it to tow it
- position the TM's as an alternative to hotels for visiting in-laws, friends & family or brief work guests (e.g., weekend brainstorming/planning session).
- would require a damage deposit ($300-$500) and a cleaning fee $50 (with the option to charge more from the security deposit at $35/hour based on how the TM is returned)
- full security deposit would be forfeited in the event of smoking being evidenced or pet-related evidence
- in addition, a portion of each rental fee would be set aside for maintenance and a small self-insurance stipend would be set aside for the occasional bigger ticket issues
- a rental/cleaning/maintenance log would be provided on-line
- availability would be tracked via on-line calendaring.

It's feasible that the monthly income could be more - though it'd likely be less initially. The idea is to start slow and test the waters.

So, if you've read this far and you're game to respond, please provide any thoughts (e.g., we'd only do it if we made $___/mo., did you consider _______, etc.) in addition to indicating which category you fall into:

- not a chance (and why)
- I'm gonna do this myself - why do I need you TMORB??
- maybe (and why)
- cautiously interested
- interested
- love it and would like to be a beta!!

I'm located in Orange County in Southern CA, but see this as something which could grow to other parts. I'm happy to speak with anyone about this idea off-line, in addition to on this thread.

Thank you for the Forum and any thoughts you may have. Note: it's only because my focus is on TM's (due to the ease of set-up, comfortable accommodations and unique design), that I'd broach a quasi-business idea here - certainly no offense intended.



Potential Names (or maybe a fun graphic that includes multiple names)
Driveway Mansion
In-Laws Out!
Hotel at Home
Stay With Us (Kind of)
Away Staycation
Stay Here/Away
Old 07-22-2014, 09:46 PM   #2
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Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 880


First, I would suggest becoming a full member for $12. Being a Trial Member reduces credibility/sincerity factor.

That said, some thoughts:
1) Some of us only do #1 in our toilets. That restriction is lost in this scenario.

2) If I leave my unit at someone's house for a week, and they don't have a 30-amp outlet nearby, no AC. If no 20-amp outlet, they could drain battery fairly quickly. While I have solar, and battery drain would not be much of a concern, if TM is parked in a shady area, battery may still drain.

3) Many neighborhoods have covenants against sleeping in an RV. It can be set up for travel prep, but can't be used as accommodation.

4) $500 per month seems low. With hotels being $100 per night, minimum, $300 a week seems more like it, if not $400.

5) Would not want someone unfamiliar with a TT using mine. They are fragile in their own way, and abuse, while not intentional, can easily happen.

6) Water use? Only using for sleeping would defeat some of the purpose. I would have to contend with filling fresh tank, propane to heat water, and dump gray water (and black) after use.

7) In addition to cleaning the TM, dealing with tanks, delivery and pickup, $300 per week is not enough. $400 per week would be a minimum to make it somewhat worth my while. Also, I could easily see more than $500 damage being done, with no recourse. Sure, I could get a credit card number, but I think I would have a hard time convincing MC that I need to charge the card $1,500 for a repair, without the cardholder's signature.

Just my initial reaction. My stepdaughter asked to borrow ours for a bedroom while some friends are in town. I said "no", as I know it would become a playhouse for the kids. Unsupervised kids are very hazardous in any TT.

Good luck! We'll see what others have to say.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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Default TM Rental Marketplace (by/from: Current TM Owners)

Hey ED,

Thanks for thoughtful response.

Some clarifications: Concept is to:
- eliminate the TM owners from having to do anything **
- provide marketing, calendaring, securing deposits and payment, delivery, set up, take down, cleaning and return (again, TM owner's don't need to)
- was anticipating short use (1-4 days), or weekends rather than week-longs

** concerns about power/battery depletion and tanks are certainly things that need to be mitigated; security deposit might need to be greater than $500 though a slush fund/escrow for the occasional big problem would help with a happy medium, I suspect. You're right that non-BM TM's would be a challenge - suspect that those are some of the TM owners who'd self-select out.
Old 07-23-2014, 06:05 AM   #4
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I am no insurance expert, but most policies we hold might void the insurance if the unit is used for commercial purposes.

A bigger concern for me is liability from giving someone permission to use my TM. My insurance company assumes I accept responsibility for claims if I give someone permission to use it. Same as if someone borrows my car.

If a renter is not towing the TM, what advantage is there to rent one vs. the commercial units out there?
Old 07-23-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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Am curious: if some covenants restrict sleeping in an RV. Where are they ? Have always considered mine to be a Mobile Guest Room.

I carry adapters to plug into anything from a 20A 110 to a Dryer outlet (adapter splits out 110) but they are Not Cheap.

Pets bring their own problems, some lingering. At least most children do not have fleas.

Would need a fish disclaimer.

How do you ensure that it is set up properly, this time of year in Florida tiedowns would be a good idea.

How to handle breakdowns/flat tires ?

Who is authorized to move it ?

At least around here, homes/driveways are often raised above the street for drainage which means many driveways are on slopes.

I suspect you would need to study RV rentals and provide some legal marans to protect the TM owner from liability.

Why TM and not a conventional trailer like an Elkmont ? At least something that has a black tank.

Just some quick thoughts.

Just some quick thoughts.
Looking for a 24/17 in or near Florida.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:28 AM   #6
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I had a recent experience letting my sister use my TM. She arrived to the camp site and it was parked there for her. All she had to do was raise the roof's and set up the interior and close it down at the end of the weekend. She flooded the shower, broke the clips for the double hinge jam on the side door, forgot to raise the velcro on street side and damaged it when the roof came down on it when closing it. Forgot to lower the antenna. She has camped with me and my family for years. This was her first time to use it on her own. I gave her a pdf. to study for things to do. I would not let a stranger use my TM. I don't care how much deposit they offer unless its equal to full replacement value. Due to limited plumbing tanks, shore power issues, and fragility of the units, these, in my opinion are not suitable for rentals. The idea of drop off and pick up service is admirable but limits the use to local sites.

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Old 07-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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No! I bought mine to avoid others using my bed, my bathroom and my things.
Not interested at all. I take care of mine, I treat it like it is my home, don't need the income or the risk of damage.
It will be interesting to see what others think also. And I agree , why not a regular TT? No set up and waste tanks seem to be a better choice.
From a business standpoint I think it would fail.

2012 Chevy Traverse 2009.5 TrailManor 2720 with cassette toilet modification. Cat scale weight 3980 lbs. full tanks

"Retractable hard side camper", way more than a pop up

2020 has 28 nights reserved and planning more.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:07 PM   #8
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Interesting idea and you get an "A" for creativity in that regard, but I don't think in practice it would work for two primary reasons.
1. Most TM owners, myself included, hold our TM's near and dear to our hearts. Can't really give u a rational reason why, just the way it is. So I really don't want anybody, especially a stranger messing with my TM. Related to this is the special knowledge needed in using a TM, which complicates the situation and greatly increases exposure to a renter unintentionally breaking something, not to mention the occasional jerk who just abuses something " cause it's a rental."
2. When you look at the costs of hotels, vacation properties, rental RV's etc. your pricing is very low and would hardly cover the increased wear and tear. When you factor in the increased insurance cost, taxes due on income etc., replacing broken items which could easily cost beyond what you have suggested as a deposit; it becomes an easy question for me- no way, not even tempting.

And what if the rented TM is totaled by someone who does not have the much towing experience? Not only are you out your deductible, which could be $1000, but then you eat the depreciation of what replacing your TM cost and replacing it, not to mention the hassle of going through that process again. Moreover, even a new TM would not have the mods that many of us have done and really don't want to do again.
So, again nifty idea, but not this cowboy, would not even give it a second thought.
Old 07-23-2014, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default TM Rental Marketplace (by/from: Current TM Owners)

You guys are awesome! Really appreciate the candor and honesty.

Two things which I clearly didn't communicate well:

1) Rental rate would likely be $125-$150/night. $500 net to owners was assuming they weren't required to do anything and that the TM was only used 7-10 nights/month.

2) In my local market (for the beta test), I would be the one setting up and closing down. I know the TM's and their idiosyncratic ways and wouldn't allow a renter to do that.

None the less, a traditional TT might be a better bet. Again, I was looking at the TM's as they're easy to set up (for me), economical (for the business) comfortable and unique. All of these are features which would help the business stand out a bit.

I totally understand the personal relationship with a TM - and don't know if I was in your shoes and didn't know the person on this side if I'd consider it either!

Thank you again (other ideas and comments are welcome - still toying with the idea, though maybe just owning the TM's and not including private party's TM's).
Old 07-24-2014, 07:53 AM   #10
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OK, a number of people have registered their feelings. Let's take further discussion offline.

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