Outdoorsy helps RV businesses make money during the rental market
TAMPA, Fla. – The RV craze that has taken the pandemic world by storm in 2020 isn’t stopping.
With so many families wanting to spend time outdoors in a safer environment for COVID-19, they are choosing to avoid hotels and public transportation. Why fly somewhere when you can load up an RV and cruise to your final destination?
Well, that love of freedom and life on the road helps families run full-time RV rental businesses. The Outdoorsy software app is one of the ways they let people get behind the wheel.
“Because I mean, as you all know, getting into Google, and the first page of Google is very difficult,” said Kai Luckan.
Luckan and his family left their homeland in Germany to start their own American Dream. In 2017, they purchased two motorhomes and launched FloridaBlueSky Adventures.
“So it started off really slow. And then one day I searched the internet and found these companies,” Luckman said. “They made it really easy to sign up, just go to the website and put in some data and your RV and your name. And, they give you suggestions on what the current rate might be. So we have started with them. And like three, four or five days later we had the first rental. They make it easy, and you don’t have the necessities and necessities to have an office because they do all the paperwork , office work.
While Luckan lists his motorhomes on Outdoorsy to run his business, others use technology as a side business.
“We have thousands and thousands of owners who have been able to earn really significant disposable income,” said Jennifer Young, co-founder of Outdoorsy. “We have owners on the platform who bring in $5,000 a month by simply renting out their vehicle when they’re not using it, which can be used to pay for the cost of the RV themselves, or some of between them use it to pay off their mortgage,”
Young started the company in 2015, but said it continues to grow year after year. She first came up with the idea to launch Outdoorsy thinking of all idle recreational vehicles when not on the road.
“When we realized that there were over 12 million RVs in the United States that sat unused in driveways, in storage lockers for about 350 days a year, it hit us pretty hard, that’s meaning there’s a huge market,” Young said. “Twelve vehicles, 350 days available per year, over a billion rental days available. So we set out to create Outdoorsy, the most trusted marketplace for people looking to list and rent RVs.”
Luckan operates six recreational vehicles and plans to purchase more. He lives in Largo and says he has trouble finding storage places between rentals. Largo’s codes prohibit Luckan from storing RVs in his home.
The new dad of a little boy, just a few weeks old, is extremely busy. Luckan will often drop off vehicles at airports for arriving tourists. And he will sometimes set them up at local RV stations or campgrounds. He said it’s hard work that can be very difficult.
“We’re in one of these repair shops all the time, and you almost have your own repair shop now because we have six, and then it’s all happening all the time,” Luckan said. “Renters come back with damage; they do damage, they have accidents, they rip the roof off, they rip the AC off. They trash the RV from the inside, and things happen. So, I mean, it’s part of the business.”
Luckan also said that Outdoorsy takes a 25% commission per rental. He says the fees are high, but the marketing and exposure to keep customers booking is worth it.
“Seniors, they go out west, they go to the Grand Canyon, and they take about three weeks. We have a couple from Europe who rented it for 70 days,” Luckan said. “Most of them go to the Space Center, almost everyone goes to the Keys. They go to the Naples area, to state parks and to the Everglades.”
Young said the company also offers insurance to protect landlords and renters.
“So you’re covered for up to $1 million in liability insurance,” Young said. “And, we have a dedicated 24/7 support team who are ready to help landlords and renters with any issues. We have an in-house complaints department, so we don’t leave you behind. We support you every step of the way, from pre-booking to returning the vehicle.”