Idle RVs Provide Temporary Housing for First Responders

The doctors and nurses on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic often need to self-isolate away from family and friends. And that’s where recreational vehicles can help.

RVs 4 MDs, a grassroots volunteer group, has built an over 10,000-person-strong Facebook group connecting RV owners and medical workers in need of temporary housing across the country.

One of the largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplaces, RVshare, teamed up with RVs 4 MDs to quickly scale the initiative.

RVs 4 MDs photo 2

The COVID-19 pandemic created a great need for frontline medical workers to find temporary housing where they can self-isolate. For some, this means isolation from their own households locally. For others, it means isolation and temporary housing when traveling to assist in hot zones.

So the rental and general RV market has shifted from leisure travel to relief housing.

RVs 4 MDs

The idea for RVs 4 MDs came from Emily Phillips when searching for a self-isolation solution for her husband, a frontline doctor in Dallas, Texas. A friend offered up her RV that was sitting unused. Phillips quickly realized that healthcare workers across the country needed these idle temporary housing solutions.

RVs 4 MDs was born and has been doing an amazing job of connecting RV owners with medical personnel through its 10,000-plus-person Facebook group. But the group ran into hurdles trying to scale appropriately to fulfill the needs this pandemic has created.

“Since the Facebook page launched on March 24, RVs 4 MDs has matched hundreds of first responders with an RV,” said RVs 4 MDs co-founder Emily Phillips.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have seen. There are hundreds of medical workers requesting temporary housing a day. When RVshare reached out to us about their supply of RVs, we knew this would be the right partnership to scale the effort quickly.”

RVshare Helps Healthcare Workers

This is where RVshare stepped up with resources and a more streamlined process to help the thousands of healthcare workers in need. This partnership is helping to scale the initiative to better meet high demands.

“RVs 4 MDs has started a strong movement across the country, and peer-to-peer RV rentals is our expertise. We want to support the cause in any way we can,” said RVshare CEO Jon Gray.

RVs 4 MDs Photo 4

Started in 2013, the RVshare platform has over 60,000 RVs listed for rent. Since launching the RVshare Disaster Response Solution program in March, over 500 RV owners have stepped up to donate, or offer at a very reduced rate, their RVs to be used as temporary housing for frontline workers. RVshare has also committed to waiving all fees for donated rentals booked through its platform.

This partnership also brings with it contractual and legal protection for both RV owners and healthcare workers in need. Bookings made through the RVshare platform provide the structure of its terms of service and a customized rental agreement. RV owners can also add comprehensive insurance policies to the agreement.

Donate or Find Relief

If you’re interested in donating your RV or are a frontline medical worker in need of temporary housing, find more information here.

RVs 4 MDs Photo 3

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr is the Motors Editor of GearJunkie. He has been writing about overland travel, off-road vehicles, whitewater kayaks, and outdoor and travel gear for 11+ years, with over 2-years of that at Lola Digital Media. Prior to his current role, he freelanced across a wide range of outdoor, automotive, and travel media outlets, both online and in print, as well as with a wide range of commercial clients as a photographer, social media marketer, and copy editor. Based in Portland, Oregon, Dorr is an avid kayaker, cyclist, skier/snowboarder, runner, and photographer. When not outdoors doing human-powered adventures you’ll find him behind the wheel or bars of something with a motor and wheels or enjoying a dark craft beer with friends.