Bay of Plenty motorhome owners are raking in thousands from renting out their homes-on-wheels to travellers.

An Airbnb-style service that matched motorhome owners with renters said their business in Tauranga and Rotorua was growing.

Mighway marketing director Jason Nockels said they had paid out just over $100,000 to 100 motorhome owners in the Bay of Plenty, a fraction of the $3 million paid in total around New Zealand.

He said motorhome owners - mostly retirees - made between $65 and $400-plus a day depending on the vehicle rented.


The regions were growing areas for the company, which started in 2015 in New Zealand and launched in the United States last year.

"These regional pickups encourage travellers to really explore the country, rather than just the main centres."

Retired Waikato dairy farmers Ken and Val Tyler of Pāpāmoa East used the service to fund the upkeep of the second-hand imported motorhome they bought for around $132,000 a couple of years ago.

Ken Tyler said they made on average about "$200 in the hand" every day the vehicle was rented, taking into account seasonal pricing and Mighway's 15 per cent cut.

"It's a good sideline."

Ken and Val Tyler rent out their motorhome to help pay for its upkeep. Photo/John Borren
Ken and Val Tyler rent out their motorhome to help pay for its upkeep. Photo/John Borren

Tyler said he and his wife used their four-berth motorhome in total about three months a year, usually to attend horse racing meets around New Zealand or visit their three sons in the South Island.

The rest of the time it was parked on their front lawn.

"I figured that instead of gathering dust it may as well be out on the road gathering a few dollars," Tyler said.


He said the motorhome has been out on four or five rental excursions with overseas visitors, usually young families, ranging from a week to a month in length.

He liked that he could email interested parties and sound them out before approving them, and that Mighway handled the rest.

Renters had to take insurance, which he had claimed on two occasions without issue; for a broken rear vision window and a freedom camping fine.

Val Tyler said she loved meeting the international travellers, and she often offered to store their suitcases for them while they used the motorhome.

"I usually give them a bit of milk and tea and coffee...and chocolate for the kids."

She said she would not be too comfortable renting a room in their home out to a stranger, but a motorhome was less personal.

ShareaCamper, which hired out both private and commercially-owned campers, said it had 12 vehicles in Tauranga and eight in Rotorua.

New Zealand Motor Caravan Association chief executive Bruce Lochore said members of the group were allowed to use the services to rent their motorhomes, but could not pass on the benefits of their membership to the renters.

He said the organisation was not "anti" the services but did not want to blur the line between its purpose - supporting Kiwi owners' recreational use - and that of commercial operations.

The past few years had seen a surge in technology-based services around the world that facilitate peer-to-peer deals and help manage the risks - the so-called "sharing economy".

People can do a deal on anything from a room in their home to their cars, parks, tools or appliances.