So, you have the opportunity to detail an RV and you’re wondering how to set your RV detailing prices. Due to the size and nature of RVs, they require time-consuming work done by hand to clean and restore them. For that reason, some detailing professionals choose to move away from general detailing services and specialize in RVs. Either way, the return for someone who offers RV detailing services can be high.
RVs might be used less frequently than other vehicles, but they typically have higher mileage per trip. And, as a result, they often require a more thorough detail service, before and after, each use.
And by creating a good pricing strategy, you will ensure you’re maximizing profits. Unlike cars, RV cleaning services prices are normally done by the foot. RV detailing prices are sometimes then differentiated based on whether the service includes both the interior and exterior.
The average cost to detail an RV starts at around $5 per foot for a basic clean of the exterior only. But for a more thorough job, including the interior, your RV detailing cost per foot is going to be $25+.
But just like auto detailing, there are a number of variables that should be factored into your RV detailing cost. Keep reading to learn how to set your RV detailing prices, so you’re charging the right amount for your time.
The Problem with Charging RV Detailing Prices Per Foot
Setting your RV detailing prices is complex, so it can be tempting to offer menu-style pricing to keep it simple. And when the only variable is the RV’s size, then a price-per-foot method can work well. Especially when we’re thinking about only the exterior of the RV.
So, as an example, you could offer a basic exterior clean starting at $5 per foot. Then a premium exterior detail, which includes a high gloss compound and wax, might start at $20 per foot. The bigger the vehicle, the higher the RV detailing cost will be. That makes sense.
But what about when size isn’t the only variable? Think about this scenario. A customer comes to you with a large RV that has heavy oxidation and a dirty interior. Also, it hasn’t been cleaned in years. Obviously, an RV detailing cost-per-foot pricing strategy is going to leave you grossly underpaid.
Flat menu pricing doesn’t account for all the variables that go into your work. And that means that you could be leaving dollars on the table and under-valuing your time.
When setting your RV detailing prices, you should think about all the variables it will take to get the RV back to looking like new. This is why you should consider implementing variable-based pricing. Think about variables such as the type of RV, the level of oxidation, stains, wear-and-tear, or the last time the RV has been cleaned. Instead of thinking about the RV’s size, you should be taking into account the time it will take you to do the job.
If you start using variable-based pricing, you’ll start charging what your time is actually worth. But how do you come up with high-value detailing prices?
Create RV Detailing Price Packages
An RV detailing price list with every item itemized could get complicated for both you and your customer. We recommend starting with base packages and then allow for add-ons based on a select number of variables to charge more for your extra time.
Variables to Consider
- Type of RV: A motorhome (class A) is going to take more hours and specialist skills to detail than a toy hauler.
- Type of Cladding: The techniques and products you use for the exterior will be dependent on the type of cladding. An aluminum-clad RV requires specialist knowledge to clean properly without causing damage. You can’t use chlorine-based products and should avoid wiping against the grain. A fiberglass RV would need an initial clean, followed by an application of fiberglass polish and wax.
- Roof Cleaning: It’s worth deciding at the beginning whether you will include roof cleaning in your packages. You can expect to charge an additional $1 to $3 per foot to power wash the roof. Then you can offer specialist add-ons depending on the type of roof, such as rubber conditioner and UV protectant for rubber roofs.
- Level of Oxidation and/or Sun Damage: One common variable you’ll want to consider is the level of oxidation and sun damage on the RV’s exterior. If it’s heavily oxidized and sun-faded, then it will need to be buffed with a specialist compound to remove rust and restore shine.
- Bugs and Tar Removal: Depending on the RV’s condition, you might add $2 to $5 per foot to include bug and tar removal.
- Level of Cleanliness: There is also the far more complex task of pricing the RV detailing prices for the interior. The condition and cleanliness of the RV’s interior is going to vary greatly depending on a number of factors. If it’s not been cleaned for a while, your RV detailing prices will be higher than if it’s regularly maintained.
By taking time to create flexible price packages and thinking about your add-ons, you can then ensure you’re making the most out of every job. Price packages can cover the more common requirements at a price per foot and then you can offer add-ons to deal with the more complex variables.
Set an Hourly Labor Rate for Yourself
In addition to the size and condition of the RV, the other big variable to consider is your time. That’s because, like any detailing job that involves work by hand, your RV detailing prices should factor the value of your time.
For RV interiors, there’s so much variability that it’s going to be difficult to set a standard rate per foot. That’s why charging an hourly rate for your time might be your best bet when it comes to getting to the right price.
You should think about what you want your hourly rate to be—and then stick to it. You’ll want to factor in your location, competition, and level of experience when coming up with your hourly rate. But once you have it, it can be a great tool for pricing the RV detailing variables (like interiors) and add-ons.
Take Advantage of Technology
The biggest challenge with variable-based pricing is maintaining consistency. When it comes to RV detailing prices, there are so many variables to consider. Even if you used the above methods, you could quickly lose track and end up charging the wrong amount. Technology can help. By using an estimating app like Mobile Tech RX you can ensure accurate and consistent estimates every time.
Using an estimating app not only looks more professional, it makes pricing even the most complex of jobs simple. With Mobile Tech RX, your first step is to choose which RV detailing price package will be appropriate for the job. These packages are created by you, so can be customized for the type of work you do. They are then programmed into the app and ready for when you’re estimating the job.
You’ll then enter your hourly rate to account for the variables, such as the RV’s interior, that need to factor your time. You can then work through the app with your customer choosing any add-ons and pricing the job on the spot. You can choose to charge your additional service variables by the foot, by the hour, or at a flat rate.
So roof cleaning might be by the foot, interior cleaning could be charged by the hour, and slide-outs on a fifth wheel could be a flat rate of $25 to $50 per slide-out.
By setting these parameters at the beginning, you’re not trying to calculate complex variables under pressure. Using an app like Mobile Tech RX helps you to validate your RV detailing prices. By providing legitimacy to your quotes and estimates using technology, you can cut out negotiations with your customer. And that means you save your valuable time and get the highest price for every job.
Earn More Money
The Mobile Tech RX detailing app can help you build packages and price additional services and add-ons to keep your hourly labor rate high. Showing your customer a detailed, line-by-line quote of your services on your phone or tablet comes across as professional. You’ll see your customers coming back again and again.
Mobile Tech RX is the country’s number one management software for detailing professionals. To make more money and grow your RV detailing business, try it now for free.