Why the RV rental business continues to surge
As temperatures cool down in the fall and students resume school, consumers typically travel less and stay closer to home. Yet in this, as in so many other things, 2020 appears to be an anomaly. With many school districts across the country engaging in remote learning this fall, and stir-crazy Americans looking to escape the monotony of their homes, RV rentals are remaining on an upswing.
That’s good news for Outdoorsy, the five-year-old company that has been described as “Airbnb for RVs.” The Austin, Texas-based company connects RV owners looking to rent their vehicles with travelers. While business took a hit early on in the pandemic, it’s returned to outpace year-earlier levels, according to Jen Young, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Outdoorsy.
“We’re experiencing tremendous growth right now and I think the Great American Roadtrip or the need for families to travel locally is having a great renaissance,” says Young on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast, noting that in the spring, some were booking every minute on the Outdoorsy platform.
Much of the growth is coming from first-time RV renters, who appreciate the safe travel aspect of driving a self-contained vehicle amid the ongoing pandemic, Young says. “We like to say you take your hotel with you,” she says, when consumers travel via RV.
To capitalize on the growing demand, Outdoorsy refocused its marketing in recent months, relying more on influencers and digital campaigns featuring moms than it has in years past, Young says.
Already, Outdoorsy is seeing an uptick in fall and holiday bookings. Many families are taking kids on educational road trips as they supplement remote schooling with real-life examples from across the country.
“We’re seeing a greater interest in holiday travel,” says Young. “Our suspicion is not only are some people deciding to road travel during the holidays, but are also looking to rent an RV or camper to serve as an extra room to park in the driveway for family or extended family or in-laws.”