- Outdoorsy is the best way to rent an RV this summer.
- Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace – You’re renting directly from a network of passionate and knowledgable independent RV owners.
- You can book Outdoorsy for a roadtrip, staycation to a local campground, vacation, or outdoor adventure – just search for RVs near your desired destination.
- Outdoorsy has thousands of unique RVs to choose from, including camper vans, fifth wheels for families, and adventure vehicles
- Signing up to rent an RV on Outdoorsy is super easy — just fill out a profile, sync your credit card, find what you’re looking for, chat with the owner about your plans with their RV, and book your trip!
- Rent an RV via Outdoorsy here.
I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve found myself in an adventure rut on the weekends.
I keep finding myself doing the same things in the same places, over and over again; The same hike on the same trail that I know like the back of my hand, followed by the same meal on the grill in the backyard. The same beach day at the same beach playing the same beach games over and over again, out of familiarity and convenience.
Rinse, wash, repeat, to the point of tedium.
I needed a weekend getaway to mix things up; A mini-road trip vacation for some true R&R.
Time for a camping trip, pronto.
Living in Los Angeles, my girlfriend and I didn’t want to squander our precious time off with a cliche weekend getaway to Vegas, Palm Springs, or Santa Barbara.
Been there, done that.
Instead, we turned to Outdoorsy to rent a camper van.
Our goal – A weekend trip up California’s coast to Big Sur.
We’ve always wanted to kick the tires on the whole millennial van life thing without really having to fully commit to it. We’ve also been eyeballing an excuse to drive up the California coast to Big Sur, a rugged and beautiful stretch of the California coast that feels a little bit like you’ve made it to the end of the world.
Outdoorsy was the perfect way to make that happen, even if just for a three-day weekend.
What is Outdoorsy?
Outdoorsy is an RV rental marketplace that links up renters with independent RV owners.
Think: Airbnb for RVs.
Outdoorsy was co-founded by Jeff and Jen, a married couple who sold their house and quit corporate jobs in Silicon Valley to travel around the United States in an 27′ Airstream. They started the company while truly on the road RVing, connecting with other RV owners who wanted to supplement their income with the platform.
It’s the fast-growing peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace out there, reporting explosive growth in 2020. Millennial RV bookings rocketed on the platform by 70% from 2019 to 2020, according to Insider. Most of that was first-time renters looking to head to the outdoors or a camp ground to getaway from it all – consisting of 90% of the platform’s bookings last year.
There’s a good reason why it’s a great option for a weekend adventure. There are a TON of different options on Outdoorsy, all tailored to suit your vacation or road trip needs. There’s also widespread availability in all regions of the United States.
There are vehicles for every budget, for every situation imaginable.
A few examples of the variety of RVs that can be rented on Outdoorsy:
- A vintage Airstream trailer for a weekend with friends in Joshua Tree National Park
- A Coachmen Leprechaun for a family vacation to the Grand Canyon
- Camper vans for surf trips on the beach
- An RV for tailgating at a NASCAR race or music festival
- Teardrop campers for solo treks into National Parks like Sequoia and Yosemite
How Outdoorsy Works
An RV owner lists their RV on the platform. As a renter, you can sign up for an account and then book an RV close to your overall destination for a trip. When you sign-up, you can add on different packages for the trip, including generators, grills, dining sets, beach equipment, etc. The point is to be as turn-key as possible for the RV renter.
We didn’t need it in our experience, but 24/7 roadside assistance is covered by Outdoorsy in your rental – you’ll get a text that looks like this:
What about insurance?
Super important! Things happen when you’re out there, trying to live your best life on an outdoor adventure. Best to educate yourself on how insurance works via Outdoorsy’s own platform. Outdoorsy offers insurance protection up to $1 million in coverage with their top plans, but it’s also best to check with your own insurance on how your coverage applies to your rental situation.
Since I wanted to escape Los Angeles and drive up California’s historic Route 1 (arguably the most beautiful road trip in the world), I rented a 2021 Winnebago Solis camper van.
This rig was gorgeous! Most importantly, it was easy to drive and use for an RV novice like myself – complete with a fridge, generator, kitchenette, pop-top, bathroom.
The booking process via Outdoorsy is pretty simple – I laid out my itinerary for the weekend to the owner, Alex, via chat in the app. We opted for an upgraded kitchen package, knowing we wanted to cook in the rig while on the road.
Our destination was Big Sur – about 200 miles away – with a campground booked for the weekend in California’s beautiful Carmel Valley.
Upon approval from Alex, we jumped on the phone to talk through the ins and outs of the Winnebago. On the call, we also coordinated a time to pick it up at his house. Some Outdoorsy renters coordinate RV drop-off at their campsites, depending on the intended use.
Alex even noted that I could park my car on the street in front of his house and leave it, noting that he’d keep an eye on it for the weekend. Note: A situation like this varies owner-to-owner, but I think it’s an important detail to share for knowing how accommodating our experience was.
The day before your trip, a security deposit from Outdoorsy will hit your credit card. Mine was $500. This security deposit is used for extra mileage beyond what’s been allotted by the owner and other fees upon return to the owner, like not filling up gas or propane.
Picking up our Outdoorsy RV
Alex’s Winnebago was in immaculate condition upon check-in.
When we picked up our RV, Alex gave thorough rundown of how to operate the vehicle. He talked us through safety and preparation for taking his RV on the road. This included how to turn on the heat, along with all the premiere features of the vehicle like the toilet, generator, running water, and built-in propane stove.
This walk-through was so helpful and important. Alex showed us the hook-ups for the campground. He also gave an overview of all the little things first-time RVers need to know, including how to refill the propane, dump the grey water, refill the potable water, and safely dump and sanitize the toilet waste.
After all, no one wants an Uncle Eddie situation on vacation.
Outdoorsy makes it really easy to communicate with the RV owner during your trip, so it’s no sweat to ask questions if you can’t figure something out.
Just ask a question and the owner will quickly reply.
After this 30-minute check-in process, we signed some paperwork and hit the road, headed to our campground in Pismo Beach for the night.
Let me tell you what – we slept gloriously in the Winnebego’s pop-top that first night, with the Pacific waves lulling us to sleep in the background.
Few things are are as glorious as that first night’s sleep on a camping trip.
A few highlights from our Outdoorsy trip to Big Sur
I’m a total sucker for a place like Big Sur.
It’s geography has an entire mythos of its own – Redwood groves, rambling trails, and craggy cliffs overlooking the Pacific.
The place was a magnet for literary icons like Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, both of whom ran off to Big Sur at important moments in their careers to focus on their writing for a little while. Trent Reznor famously headed off to Big Sur to write a bunch of music for Nine Inch Nails. It’s a place that fosters a creative impulse – Beaches filled with sea lions and skies known for being the last home of the California Condor – a bird with a direct evolutionary through-line to the dinosaurs, some 157 million years ago.
It’s a great place for a getaway in a camper van like the Winnebago Solis we rented on Outdoorsy.
A couple highlights from our weekend trip to Big Sur.
A stop a Taco Temple in Morro bay for fresh fish tacos:
A stop at San Simeon State Beach off Route 1 to witness the throngs of sunbathing elephant seals:
Strolling around the redwoods in Pfeiffer Big Sur.
California’s abundant wildflowers in full spring bloom.
Cooking a steak cowboy-style over an open fire with cast iron skillet at the campground
Relaxing at the campground amongst the trees in the Winnebago Solis we rented via Outdoorsy
- Returning the rig via Outdoorsy was easy. Establish a return time with the owner, clean it so you’re leaving it like you found it, empty the waste, and refill the gas and propane.
- Go over mileage charges from your trip – these costs will be deducted from your security deposit with Outdoorsy
- Don’t forget to leave a review and rating for your owner! They will do the same for you so you’re seen as a trusted and responsible renter on the platform.
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