- As people start moving out of quarantine around the United States, they're seeking out RV and camper rentals in astounding numbers as a way to travel without getting too close to other vacationers.
- Rental company RVShare claims a 650 percent jump in rentals, which is impressive, even taking into consideration the time of year.
- Ondevan, which rents modified camper vans, had been struggling, but the Miami Herald reported that it's doing better by pivoting to local South Florida residents who use them to work remotely while taking road trips, rather than out-of-state vacationers.
There's a popular wisdom that RVs and campers are only for retirees or those who've opted out of normal society in favor of #vanlife. But now, at least for this year, they may also be for anyone who's looking to continue social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, yet still go on vacation. That's why RVShare, which is a vehicle-sharing platform for campers and RVs, is claiming a 650 percent increase in rental traffic since early April. The company surveyed users and found that 93 percent of those vacationing this summer "want to avoid crowds," which is up 70 percent since the company's last survey asked that question.
Like Airbnb but for campers, RVShare lists privately owned RVs, and arrangements are made with the vehicle's owner for pickup, dropoff, cleaning fees, and the like. RVShare advertises that renters can visit popular road-trip destinations such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Arches National Monument for $130 to $146 per night by renting one of the listed motorhomes or travel trailers. Smaller vehicles like a 25-foot-long 2019 Forest River travel trailer that sleeps five can be rented for as little as $99 per night.
Another company meeting the challenge of the coronavirus economy is Ondevan, a small renter of modified camper vans that fulfill every fantasy of people who dream of living in a psychedelic van retrofitted with shelves and cooking equipment. The vans rent for an average of about $100 per night, including camping equipment and insurance, a spokesperson told C/D. The company saw the bottom drop out of its customer base this spring when vacationers stopped coming to South Florida. As the Miami Herald reported, it cleverly shifted its focus to locals instead. Now people who are working from home are choosing to rent Ondevan's vans to go on road trips while they telecommute. The 30 percent discount the company instituted is probably helping, but so is the pent-up desire to get back on the road, we're sure.