Accelerating Culture

Outdoorsy: Redefining Road-trips

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Outdoorsy is an RV rental marketplace that guarantees a unique experience with every Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 11.35.56 AMroad trip. Their concept of renting homes on wheels connects people with beautiful destinations, and unforgettable, unexpected in-betweens. The possibility of being able to call almost any photo-op stop your campsite for the night, allows people to travel slowly and to be spontaneous in their adventures.

“Outdoorsy owners provide you with the things that you need.” Essentials such as kitchen and linen kits are always provided. Each owner can use their creativity when it comes to the decor inside of the RV’s. Outdoorsy is also in the midst of creating an enhanced add-on program. This will include up to 400 categories of add-on’s that are available to rent in addition to the RV, such as fishing polls, or bicycles. Both professional dealerships and private owners can make their RV’s available to rent. The goal of each experience is to make it extremely unique and personalized.

Passion and Innovation

Speaking with the Canadian CEO of the company, Jen Young, reminded me that passion is the most essential ingredient to success. The innovative concept of the company was born when Young and her partner made the decision to sell their home and everything in it. They replaced familiarity and routine with unpredictability and a constant change of scenery. They chose to spend 8 months calling an Airstream with 27ft of living space their home.

The idea of Outdoorsy first came to life in North Vancouver, and after spending hundreds of hours researching and experiencing the RV life, it was ready. It was officially launched in the US in 2015. Since then, it has been introduced to 8 other countries worldwide and is ever-growing.

Growing up in a Canadian household, Jen Young was used to hearing, “layer up. It’s cold out.” Many of those layered outfits consisted of hand-me-down pieces that taught her the importance of reusing and recycling existing things. Jim Harmer, the writer of the RV Buyer’s Guide, shares on his website that, “you can expect to lose approximately 21% of the total purchase price of the RV the instant you drive it off the lot.” Outdoorsy allows customers to have the RV experience without the costs or commitments, and gives RV owners the opportunity to get more out of owning an RV by sharing it with others.

Most Trusted Travel Experience Site

Along with the promise of adventure and escape, Outdoorsy promises safety. The company prides themselves on being the Most Trusted Travel Experience Site. They promote safety for renters and RV owners by putting renters through a DMV record check, and allowing owners to decline renters if they don’t feel safe.

Security doesn’t end with the pre-rental procedures and the handing over of keys. People renting an Outdoorsy RV are guaranteed insurance, and 24/7 roadside assistance as well as a 24 hour helpline.

Social Media

Most companies take advantage of online platforms by utilizing our societal connectivity as a promotional opportunity. In contrast, Outdoorsy’s Instagram page is about real engagement between renter and owner. “We don’t advertise through Instagram. We have never bought a single follower. Our page features people that are really shedding an important light on how outdoor road travel can be, and breaking stereotypes of RV travelling being older people and cement parks.”  

Outdoorsy has booked close to 600,000 travel days since its start in 2015.

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I asked Young if she thought that the desire to photograph and publish everything has heightened people’s expectations of camping to be more glamorous. Her response made me appreciate social media as it is today instead of shaking my head at it. She told me,

It is true that young people and filters make everything look so much more amazing. But when it comes to natural beauty and those breathless moments of silence; they actually are that beautiful! When you think about your life, it’s not every single day out of a week; it’s moments when your breath has been taken away. Representing the magical moments with pictures is really important.” 

Collaborative Works

With the increasing popularity of Outdoorsy, I asked Young about whether she thought other accommodation businesses, such as campgrounds and AirBnb, would see her company as competition.

“Outdoorsy isn’t competitive, as much as complimentary. Airbnb can get you close but we can get you there. Airbnb has been an inspiratory mission. The difference is that Outdoorsy gives you mobility, while Airbnb has stationary destinations.”

There are many benefits in addition to those of being able to spend nights under the stars, immersed in nature. Outdoorsy customers are able to get 10% off at any of KOA’s 500 campsites all over North America.

Get Outdoors(y)

One of the richest resources we have in this world, is the world. Travelling is something that takes us places, not only physically, but emotionally. Today, travel has broken down into lists of top 10 attractions, 5-day excursions, and all inclusive vacations. As fortunate as we are to have the world made so accessible to us, we are missing something. Outdoorsy puts you behind the wheel of your own adventure and shows you that the journey can be the destination. The only limitation of an experience with Outdoorsy is your willingness to get outside.

Nick Dunlap

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