Is there an Airbnb for campers?
This common RV camping question has a simple answer – yes.
Although there are a few other competitors in the space, such as the well-regarded RV Share (check out our RV Share review), Outdoorsy is hands down one of the best peer-to-peer RV rental services around.
This powerful RV rental tool makes it easy for campers to rent an RV for their next trip while also making it easy for RV owners to rent out their campers while not in use.
Outdoorsy streamlines the process and helps facilitate communication between renters and RV owners. With excellent rental insurance and fantastic customer service, both parties can rest assured that they’ll get their money’s worth.
To learn more about Outdoorsy and why we believe it’s one of the best RV rental tools in 2020, continue reading our completely Outdoorsy review below.
What is Outdoorsy?
Outdoorsy was created by passionate RVers.
Thanks to their intimate knowledge of RV camping, they are able to give renters exactly what they demand from the RV rental experience.
The company quickly grew from a small operation with just a few dozen RV rentals into an extremely popular marketplace with thousands of RVs available to rent in the United States and Canada.
The service helps renters find and book the perfect RV for their next RV camping or road trip. It simultaneously helps RV owners find quality renters to make extra money by renting their RV when it’s otherwise not in use.
According to Outdoorsy, “Lots of folks own RVs. Lots of folks want to rent an RV.”
The company goes on to say, “Over 17 million RVs in North America sit unused 350 days a year.”
But what sets Outdoorsy apart from your standard brick and mortar RV rental service? Well, aside from the ease of use and ability to find rentals almost anywhere in North America, the company doesn’t maintain an identical fleet of RVs.
Search RV rentals by state or by popular RV destination. Or, just search with the exact pickup location for RVs in your local area.
For more information on what makes the company click, check out the About Outdoorsy page on their website!
Renting an RV on Outdoorsy
So, you want to book an RV with Outdoorsy?
Luckily, their RV rental process is super simple and easy. Here’s exactly how to book the RV of your dreams, step by step.
- Browse – Start your search with your pickup location and the dates of your trip. A list of available rentals along with their exact location on a map (some might be slightly outside of your pickup location) will appear.
- Refine Search – Browse the list of available rentals. Or, refine your search with a number of filters, such as vehicle type, price, pet friendly, or minimum rating. You can even search for RVs with certain appliances or amenities.
- Select a Rental – Find an RV you like? Click into it for a more thorough description, including an overview, list of amenities and rules, exact rates and add-on fees, mileage charges and more. Most rentals have several photos of the interior and exterior. Don’t forget to check the reviews from past renters before booking.
- Book an RV – “Instant Book” is available for some rentals while others require you to “Request Booking.” For requested bookings, your application must go through an approval process by the RV owner before your booking is accepted. This almost always takes less than 24 hours (and usually takes no longer than an hour or two).
- Complete Forms – Fill out several pages of forms to complete your booking. Here, you’ll request any add-ons, enter your personal information, and fill out your payment details.
- Security Deposit – Renters are required to pay a security deposit. The exact rate is set by the owner but typically ranges from around $50 to $500, depending on the rig. The funds won’t be taken out of your account until a few days before pick up.
- Select Insurance – Outdoorsy claims to have “the best insurance protection” backed by Liberty Mutual Insurance. There are three main options to choose from: Basic at $17.95 per day, Premium at $32.95 per day, and Ultimate at $42.95 per day. We recommend Ultimate which is the most popular and offers the best protection. Learn more about Outdoorsy insurance.
- Trip Protection – Additional trip protection is available (at an additional cost) to protect you against unexpected changes to your trip, such as cancellations. Learn more about Outdoorsy trip protection.
- Damage Protection – In addition to insurance and trip protection, Outdoorsy also offers damage protection to protect you against any accidental damages that occur to the interior of the RV during your trip. Learn more about Outdoorsy damage protection.
- Finalize Booking – Now, you’re finally ready to book your trip! Click “save and continue” to finalize your booking.
- Communicate with Owner – Outdoorsy enables you to communicate directly with the RV owner through their website or app. This will help you arrange pick up and drop off, communicate any issues during your trip, etc. Most owners are extremely easy to get a hold off – but make sure you select an RV/owner with good renter reviews.
- Plan Your Trip – Decide where you want to go camping in your new RV rental. Our best state camping guides and national park guides are a good start.
- Pick Up RV – Arrange pick up of the RV with the owner. Sometimes you’ll pick it up yourself from a prearranged location. Other times, the owner will drop if off at your campsite (especially if you plan to camp in one place).
- Have a Great Trip – Enjoy your RV camping trip! Make sure to follow all rules, both those set by Outdoorsy and by the RV owner. Communicate with the owner through the app if you have any questions.
- Return RV – Drop the RV off at the prearranged destination. Or, have the RV cleaned out and ready for them to pick up if they dropped it off.
- Get Security Deposit Back – Your security deposit is held for a week after the trip. It should then be returned in full if there are no damages. Contact Outdoorsy at 1-877-723-7232 or on their 24/7 live chat if there are any problems.
- Leave a Review – Outdoorsy thrives on reviews. Whether you loved your RV rental or felt it could’ve been approved upon, make sure to leave a review to help other potential renters (as well as the owners!).
Feeling overwhelmed with all the options? Our best RV rental guides will help you find the best RV rentals in your local area. So far, we have guides to the best RV rentals in Seattle and the best RV rentals in Chicago.
Renting Out Your RV on Outdoorsy
Outdoorsy works a little differently if you plan to rent out your own RV with the peer-to-peer service.
Fortunately, the process is just as easy as renting an RV. Here’s how the entire process of renting your RV works, from beginning to end.
- Prep Your RV – Remove all personal possessions from your RV. For example, many owners have a different set of bedding for renters than for personal use. Make sure that the interior and exterior of the RV is clean and tidy.
- List Your RV – Create an Outdoorsy listing for your RV. Include all relevant information about the rig, including amenities and appliances. Make sure to take well-lit pictures of your RV – some owners even hire a professional photographer.
- Set a Price – Determine your rental rates. Most owners give weekly and monthly pricing discounts to incentivize longer rentals.
- List Rules – Don’t rush through this step. Take time to set specific rules for the “Rules & Requests” section. Get as detailed as you want here. Common rules relate to pet friendliness and whether renters can take your RV to outdoor festivals.
- Consider Mileage Charges – Outdoorsy lets you set mileage limits and charges. They recommend 100 free miles per day with $0.35 charged per extra mile. Some owners, especially those with travel trailers, select the “Unlimited Mileage” option.
- Set a Cancellation Policy – Outdoorsy allows you to select from Flexible, Moderate, and Strict cancellation policies. Learn more about Outdoorsy cancellation policies.
- Insurance Coverage – Outdoorsy provides RV owners with a $1 million liability insurance policy that also covers theft and interior damages. Learn more about Outdoorsy owner’s insurance.
- Create a Profile – Create an RV owner’s account and fill out any requested information to start renting your RV!
- Verify Renters – All rental requests go through you first. You can check the renter’s profile and any previous reviews. Know that all renters have undergone a background driving check. You have the final say in who rents your RV.
- Communicate with Renters – Use the website or Outdoorsy app to communicate with approved renters. This is how you coordinate pick up and drop off times and locations.
- Inspect and Doublecheck – Outdoorsy requires a technical inspection of your RV every 90 days. This considers the tires, brakes, and regular maintenance. Additionally, doublecheck the systems of your RV and clean out the interior before each new rental.
- Coordinate Pick Up/Drop Off – Decide when and where the renters can pick up you RV (also decide on the drop off details before the rental begins). Some owners prefer to drop their RV off to renters at their actual campsite.
- Create a Renter’s Manual – Not only should you give the renters the RV manufacturer’s manual, but you should also create an RV renter’s manual of your own that covers how to operate and drive the RV, how to use any appliances and amenities, and what to do in case of an accident.
- Provide a Walk Through – Show your renters how to use the RV before they take off on their own. Show them how to drive, how to level, how to hook up to utilities, how to open the awning, how to use any appliances, how to dump grey and black water tanks, and anything else you can think of.
- Get Paid – Payment for the entire trip is deposited directly into your bank account within 24 hours after your RV has been picked up by the renters.
- Inspect RV for Damages – Upon return of your RV, do a thorough walkthrough to ensure that there are no damages to the interior or exterior of the rig.
For many RV owners, renting out their RV is more than worth it financially, although the first few rentals are undoubtedly stressful as you’re leaving your rig in the hands of a stranger.
But, over time, after learning the ins and outs of using RVs, we’ve found that most owners come to love running their own RV rental business out of the comfort of their own homes with the help of Outdoorsy!
Pros and Cons of Outdoorsy
Now, that you know how Outdoorsy works, let’s look at some of the service’s main pros and cons.
These pros and cons are focused on the renter’s experience (not the pros and cons of renting your RV from the owner’s perspective).
Here are the pros of using Outdoorsy as a renter:
- Lots of Rentals – Huge selection of rental options available in the United States and Canada.
- Rentals Available Everywhere – You can find RV rentals pretty much anywhere in the US and Canada, even many small towns in relatively remote areas.
- Variety of Rentals – Select from camper vans, motorhomes, truck campers, pop-up campers, trailers, and more.
- Good Prices – Renting an RV with Outdoorsy is comparable – often cheaper – than traditional rental services.
- Great Customer Service – Outdoorsy is easy to contact via phone, email, or live chat 24/7 anytime you have a question.
- Extensive Insurance Offerings – A wide range of insurance options, including add-on cancelation and damage protection, ensure you stay safe as a renter.
- Easy Booking – Securing a rental is very easy thanks to the streamlined booking process.
- All-In-One App – The Outdoorsy app makes booking rentals and communicating with RV owners easy.
- Meet Like-Minded Folks – Most owners renting their RVs through Outdoorsy are just as passionate about RVing, camping, and exploring as you are!
Here are the cons of using Outdoorsy as a renter:
- No Quality Standard – Unlike traditional RV rental companies, there is no quality standard guaranteed when you book through Outdoorsy.
- Sometimes Difficult Owners – Some RV owners are more difficult to communicate with than others. Read user reviews to ensure a good fit before booking.
- Fees Can Build Up – Outdoorsy is quite affordable but many RV owners charge extra fees for miles driven over a certain limit, use of generators, etc.
- Some Restrictive Rules – RV owners are allowed to create their own rental rules, such as no pets allowed. These can sometimes be restrictive.
Get An Exclusive Discount Through Beyond The Tent
Beyond The Tent and Outdoorsy have teamed up to give our readers an exclusive discount when they book an RV rental through Outdoorsy.
By using this link: BEYOND50, you will automatically receive a discount of $50 off your first RV rental. This discount will be applied at checkout when you complete your booking.
Check Out Our Other RV Camping Resources
Outdoorsy is one of our favorite RV rental tools for renters and owners alike.
Our RV rental tool can also help you find great RV and camper rentals, tailored to your local area.
Our best RV park guides are also helpful. So far, we’ve covered:
We’ll be adding more RV park state guides – so don’t forget to check back often.
Like always, let us know if you have any more questions about Outdoorsy or anything else RVing! And be sure to comment below with your (positive or negative) personal Outdoorsy review.