Outdoorsy Brings RV Ownership Into the Digital Age

The all-new Outdoorsy Vehicle Purchase Program takes RV purchasing, financing, and rental into a seamless, wholly digital format.

With millennials and Gen Xers representing more than 70 percent of all RV rentals on Outdoorsy’s platform and big companies like Mercedes-Benz and Sportsmobile signed up already, this program is sure to gain traction quickly.

What Is Outdoorsy?

Think of Outdoorsy as Airbnb for RVs. Founded in 2015, it has quickly become the world’s largest RV rental marketplace, with offices on three continents already.

Outdoorsy’s mission “is to mobilize the 20+ million idle RVs around the world to ensure everyone has the access, choice, and opportunity to safely enjoy outdoor experiences and empower RV owners to realize life-changing financial benefits.” Sure that sounds like marketing hype, but it’s a proven program that works well for both RV renters and owners.

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Recreational Vehicle Purchase Program

The new Vehicle Purchase Program will allow individual RV buyers, as well as rental fleet managers, to have factory-direct purchase, financing, and insurance access. You now get this in addition to the ability to rent out the RV within the Outdoorsy marketplace.

“We are geared toward consumers and small-to-midsize businesses who don’t have the purchasing power bigger rental companies do. The Vehicle Purchase Program gives users a simple, hassle- and headache-free way to grow their business,” said Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins.

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Program benefits include the following:

  • Discounted pricing
  • Cut the long lines at preferred upfitters, like Sportsmobile
  • Commercial financing options

We dug into these lofty benefit claims a bit, and here’s what we found.

Outdoorsy’s Great Pricing

Outdoorsy is targeting the van life crowd with direct-to-consumer pricing on Mercedes Sprinter vans as well as through preferred upfitters. If you don’t know that term yet, an “upfitter” is a company that builds RVs on base platforms. They’re basically where RVs (or other small-batch, specialized vehicles) are born. Expect to see other traditional RV companies sign up for the program soon. Basically, you’re buying a new RV through Outdoorsy’s digital portal direct from the factory. This process cuts out most of the dealer markup.

Although Outdoorsy wouldn’t provide us with specific discounts or pricing, the brand said, “Outdoorsy’s 2020 pricing for all Sprinter vans are set at discounted, industry-leading rates unavailable through dealers.” It also claims it’s offering exclusive discounted rates through upfitters. The quoted discount was “up to 16 percent off MSRP for full vehicle orders” that can reach “over $13,000 in some vehicle builds.”

Those are impressive numbers! Consider that Sportsmobile doesn’t offer discounts outside this program. And it’s also extremely hard to find discounts on the ever-popular new Sprinter.

Cut the Line

Most Sportsmobile orders are custom van builds that can take 6-18 months to finish. Sportsmobile is the largest Class B upfitter in the nation, with a continual backlog of custom orders.

Outdoorsy is working with Sportsmobile directly to offer “pre-priced vehicles with specifications already selected.” This will allow Sportsmobile to fill the orders more quickly by producing production vans. Outdoorsy expects to delivery times to be 6-9 months on these van builds.

Financing Options

Unless you have at least one RV and are planning to buy another (or you’re an aspiring small RV rental business), the new financing Outdoorsy is offering really isn’t for you. It’s specifically offering a line of credit through Daimler Financial Services that will cover the vehicle and upfit costs.

When you as an individual finance an RV and upfits — think Sprinter van and full buildout — it’s typically a mortgage-style loan through a third-party bank. Outdoorsy is offering to finance for a fleet through the manufacturer directly. It requires ownership of more than one RV but does not require all RVs to be rented out.

Outdoorsy: The Small Print

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While there are still some questions, the Outdoorsy Vehicle Purchase Program does sound like a great opportunity for anyone in the market for a new RV. Rent it out to help cover the ownership costs and not have it languish in your driveway. This new program is even better for you if you plan to offer a few RVs for rent through the Outdoorsy marketplace.

In order to be eligible for the program, you first need to sign up for a free Outdoorsy account. Once logged in, you can express interest in the program by submitting an order request. (We’re unsure what qualifications that request needs in order to be granted.) You’re automatically eligible if you’ve been an Outdoorsy member for over 90 days or have active searchable rental listings.

By

Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by adventure motorcycle or 4x4, while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike and kayak.

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