Using an Airstream as an Airbnb is a brilliant idea and not many people are doing it.
While Airbnb allows hosts to rent out their Airstreams, there are some things you need to know first.
Can I Use An Airstream As An Airbnb?
Yes, you can rent your Airstream as an Airbnb if you fulfill the company’s requirements to become a host.
Listing your Airstream as an Airbnb property will require getting your space ready for quests, setting the price, and choosing your booking preferences.
Airstreams are recreational vehicles (RVs) with distinctive, aerodynamic aluminum exterior shells. People these days are booking out-of-the-ordinary places to stay. The hotel rooms are becoming boring while something like Airstreams is new and fresh.
Renting an Airstream as an Airbnb will allow guests to experience camping while located in a rural area or downtown.
Airbnb’s policy for becoming a host says that you can list your Airstream as an Airbnb property. However, the Airstream has to stay in one location which means no towing is allowed.
In order to become an Airbnb host, there are some requirements you need to fulfill first.
- Start by evaluating your Airstream and assess if it’s a good fit. The size of the property doesn’t matter because there are tons of tiny houses that are listed on Airbnb. Instead, what Airbnb expects from their hosts is to take a really good look at their property and just think if they would want to book that.
- Next is getting your Airstream ready for guests. This includes fixing all the tiny cracks, leaks, and dents. You have to make your Airstream flawless. I am not saying that you should put a hot tub inside your Airstream. What I mean is that all the doors, windows, electronic devices, and facilities need to work.
- When you are done with fixing everything, you then need to list the property and decide on the pricing.
Airbnb also has booking preferences that allow hosts to set a minimum or maximum number of nights guests can stay.
Choosing The Perfect Location For The Airstream
When choosing the perfect location for your Airstream, you really need to decide what type of accommodation you want to provide for guests.
You can opt for a location in a city, like close to restaurants, airports, famous streets, etc. Or, you can place your Airstream in the countryside near a river or lake and offer a full-camping experience for guests.
Regardless of the location, you first need to check with the local authorities if a permit is needed in your area.
Some states require specific permits when placing an Airstream to use for housing, while other states do not require any additional documents.
When you select the perfect location, the next step is to prepare the Airstream.
Here is how to do that:
- Level and stabilize the Airstream. This can be done using tongue jacks, stabilizing jacks, and wheel chocks to make sure that your trailer is stable and level on its designated site. Since it is not going anywhere, make sure that it is firm.
- Hook up utilities. The location has to have an RV hook-up available. Connect the power cable to your Airstream’s electrical pedestal, then connect the sewer hose from the trailer to the nearby sewer inlet.
- Connect water. If the location offers fresh water like a garden hose or a nearby faucet, great. If not make sure that your Airstream has water tanks with water available.
Equip Your Airstream Before Listing It On Airbnb
In today’s world, even tiny houses in the middle of the woods have modern amenities like Wi-Fi and cable TVs.
As a newly Airbnb host, you have to compete with that.
Here is how to equip your Airbnb and make it appealing to guests.
- Sitting area (couch or chairs)
- TV with cable or Netflix
- Coffee maker
- Toilet paper
- Bathtub or shower
- Air conditioning
- Clear access to the property
If you have purchased your Airstream just so you can list it as an Airbnb, preparing it will be much easier.
Most Airstream owners buy and personalize their trailers for their needs and this can be tough when it comes to renting.
You will need to take out everything that is personal, fix what needs to be fixed, and have it professionally cleaned.
Keep in mind that not many people have stayed in an Airstream before so make sure that you have instructions on how to use the heating, plumbing, and electric.
How Much Is An Airstream?
Airstreams come in a wide range of sizes and prices.
There are Airstreams that start at 16 feet in length and all the way up to 33 feet:
- The smallest models, usually 16-19 feet long, range from $30,000 to $50,000
- While mid-sized units measure 20-25 feet long and cost between $45,000-$90,000.
- Larger Airstreams measuring 26-33 feet long may cost anywhere between $75,000-$150,000 with luxury amenities added for an additional $200,000.
I talked to a friend of mine who owns one and he mentioned the price of Airstreams tends to be lower during the winter months so I want to throw this information out.
I think this has to do something with the fact that Airstreams are associated with camping and good weather.
But, in any case, head over to a local dealership or try to find some listings online and compare the prices.
How Much It Costs To Prepare an Airstream For Airbnb
Preparing an Airstream to list it on Airbnb is not a huge investment.
It doesn’t cost anymore what would typically cost you if you were to list a house or an apartment.
However, have an overall idea of costs related to preparing an Airstream, here are some numbers for you:
- $500 – $600 on soft goods, coffee maker, miscellaneous
- $200 – $250 for professional cleaning
- $115 – $155 for professional photography
- $150 – $250 propane tanks (used for heating or cooking)
- $500 – $1500 site improvements, gravel, sidewalk
The biggest ingestion is probably the site improvements. You just have to make the outside look appealing.
If the plot around the Airstream is overgrown grass and maybe some rocks and mud, guests will surely leave a bad review.
That is why you need to make the outside more appealing and even set up some patio furniture or a BBQ.
You can definitely use your Airstream as an Airbnb but without allowing guests to tow it.
Just make sure that your Airstream is well equipped for receiving guests and that you follow the Airbnb company’s policy and you can become a host.
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