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Gorden - SMC 3

Make money when not using your RV

In the past, I’ve written brief articles about the RV rental business, RV timeshares, fractional ownership of RVs and co-ownership of RVs. The pros and cons of each type of rental business were compared. However, within the week of Aug. 10 to 15, I have been enlightened regarding yet another form of RV rental.

This RV rental business operates using a different business model and has been developed and used successfully by ShareMyCoach (SMC) in Southern California and Arizona.

Briefly, ShareMyCoach operates an RV rental business using coaches owned by others. SMC handles all aspects of the rental, maintenance, storage, care and supervision of the coaches under contract. The rental income is divided equally with the owner of the coach. Repairs, maintenance fees, storage costs, etc. are basically divided equally.

SMC has qualified RV techs, cleaning and other maintenance personnel and office and sales staff. The company advertises extensively. See ShareMyCoach.com. An advanced website, reservation system and automated information and payment system will soon be available.

The company and concept was initiated in Southern California about eight years ago. Darrell and Debbie Schuller, partners at SMC Mesa, began the Mesa location about 1.5 years ago with two RVs. They now offer more than 50 RVs. The rigs range from travel trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheels as well as Class A, B and C motorhomes. Any of these may be previewed and reserved using the SMC website.

Gorden - SMC 1

Within 24 hours of my first phone call with Darrell, I had begun removing “everything” from my coach before taking it across Phoenix to SMC. I also made a list of needed repairs. At SMC a careful perusal of my coach showed that I had not removed “everything movable” and the staff there promised a thorough clean out and clean up. Indeed when I returned two days later there were 3-plus garbage bags and a backpack filled with items from my coach.

My Thor ACE has been totally cleaned inside and out. I was amazed at the amount of necessary and totally unnecessary RVing type materials that I had accumulated during the two years since its purchase. To see how the system works, the ACE has been listed on the website as unit No. 4371 and is available now for reservations.

The SMC staff in Mesa, Ariz., said most of their clients are local residents who wish to make relatively short RV trips. Other clients may fly in to Phoenix Sky Harbor or Mesa Gateway to rent RVs. The Grand Canyon, Arizona Strip National Parks, the Burning Man Festival, Barrett – Jackson auto sales, local Arabian horse shows and similar events are high on the list of destinations. Details regarding daily rates, insurance, mileage and driving expertise may differ for each rental coach. Specific information is available at the website or with a phone call.

This is my first experience with ShareMyCoach and I have very positive expectations for a successful endeavor. My past experience as an owner/operator of Happy Trails RV Rental in Mattoon, Ill., lends some credence to my evaluation of this interesting rental concept.

For more information, visit www.ShareMyCoach.com.

About Dr. Bob Gorden

Dr. Bob Gorden is an RVer, hiker and writer. He has a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He is a retired research scientist from the University of Illinois Natural History Survey. He has owned and operated more than 55 RVs of various types, and has visited every state, except Hawaii, in his RV. He also traveled by RV in New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. He currently owns and travels in a 1978 GMC 26-foot Class A and 2013 Thor ACE 30.1 Class A motorhome. He has a compelling desire to be “On the Road Again!”

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