If you’re an RV owner or you’re thinking about buying an RV, you might be wondering how you could use one of these huge motorhomes to generate a return on your investment? That’s a wise train of thought and one that will be met with many possible routes to the destination you’re hoping to arrive at, both literally and metaphorically.
After all, actually putting your RV to good use on a cross-country road trip is going to cost quite a bit in fuel and food expenses, not to mention the time you’re taking off of work to enjoy your vacation. What if you could be out there making money on the open road in your own terms?
With that said, here are seven ways you can use your RV to run a mobile business:
1. Food Truck
No matter where you go, people love to eat. Plus, when your RV is pumping out tempting culinary aromas all day long, folks are bound to come over and grab a bite. This is one of the easiest and most lucrative businesses to start with an RV, but it will also require a fair amount of skill, time, and monetary investment. Also, you’ll be working in a hot kitchen inside of an RV, which, even with the window open, can become quite grueling on a sunny day.
You can use one of these specialty carports to create shade for your RV wherever you park it. This will also protect the roof of your RV from wear and tear from the elements, while also giving your customers a shaded area to stand and eat. You could even buy two for that purpose. You show up in the morning, set up your carports, cook a bunch of food, make a good amount of money, pack it all up, and rinse and repeat.
2. Mobile Pet Grooming Station
People have pets everywhere and billions of dollars are spent every year to take care of these furry companions, especially dogs and cats. Grooming animals is relatively simple and relaxing, yet it pays an appealing wage. This would be the perfect traveling gig for animal lovers who want to generate some extra income to pay for road trips and vacations.
Finding new pet grooming clients isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. Since you won’t have to pay office/shop rent, you can offer lower prices than brick-and-mortar pet shops, and you’ll provide the added convenience of being able to show up to someone’s door with all the gear needed to get their pet looking and feeling top-notch.
3. Mobile Book Shop
A mobile book shop might not seem like it would work out well, but if you park it in the right place (i.e. – touristy destinations), people will buy the books and any other trinkets you sell as souvenirs and vacation gifts. While they probably wouldn’t have gone out of their way to go to a conventional book shop, there’s something about stumbling on a collection of interesting reads out of the blue while you’re taking a stroll.
Plus, you can park your book shop next to food trucks and maybe serve beverages to entice people to come and check everything out. People like to read books while eating, so you’ll definitely get a few readers making purchases throughout the day.
4. Mobile Office
Regardless of what kind of business you’re already operating, if you only need a small office space and an internet connection to keep it going, you could easily go off-grid into a full RV lifestyle. That would mean you’d no longer have to pay rent or mortgage every month, so you could re-invest that money in your business instead.
Also, with a few roof-mounted solar panels, you’d never have an electricity bill. Of course, you’ll also get the obvious benefit of being able to see new sights and people every day while still maintaining a stable business.
5. Mobile Beauty Salon
People everywhere care about how they look. If you’re a decent make-up artist or you’re interested in becoming one, you could provide mobile beauty services out of your RV.
Many women get into predicaments where they’d rather have a beautician come to their home instead of going out in public looking like a hot mess to get their hair and nails done. You provide an at-your-doorstep alternative to brick-and-mortar shops.
6. Mobile Music or Art Studio/Stage
If you enjoy making music or you have a dream of making it big as an artist, singer, producer, label owner, A&R or other music industry professional, you could use your RV to finally hit the road on your own terms.
Even if you just give it a go for the sake of having an interesting experience, you’ll be traveling around the country seeing the best scenic spots and making music or art. Worst case scenario – you never make a single cent from it but you still had a great time.
7. Your RV out to Other People Online
Finally, if you personally don’t want to sit in your RV and run a business, and you don’t want to purchase any special equipment or pay for specialized conversions, you can simply rent out your RV as it is. Even if it’s a bit older and has a few imperfections, there are plenty of people out there who would love to rent your RV by the day or week.
This really does work because there are many places where there aren’t good short-term RV rentals available, so you can fill this gap. There are a few ways to rent your RV out to people. You can do it directly through agreements made on classified sites like Craigslist, or you can create a listing on a site like RVShare, which is essentially like Airbnb for RVs.
An RV Can Be a Cash Cow
Keep in mind that, when you purchase an RV, you’re not just getting a vehicle, you’re getting a mobile structure large enough to house most small businesses. All you have to do is find a place where you can legally park it and you’ll instantly have a place of business set up in a new area. That realization isn’t always immediately apparent to RV owners, and many just let their investments sit in a carport or garage for years doing nothing more than depreciating. Try one or more of the ideas above and you’ll be happy you did.