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10 min read

    10 min read

    Want to get away from it all, but also stay safe and avoid crowded areas? You can do that with your own RV! If you don’t own one, rent one with Outdoorsy. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares this Outdoorsy review, how it works for renters, and provides alternatives if Outdoorsy isn’t right for you.

    Quick summary:

    • Outdoorsy allows you to rent RVs from RV owners – nightly, weekly and monthly rentals
    • Some RV rentals offer discounts for longer bookings
    • Quality and price vary widely and can accomodate any budget

    If you want to go exploring, but don’t have access to your own RV, consider looking into Outdoorsy! Outdoorsy is a convenient way to rent RVs from RV owners at a cost you can afford, without making the leap to buy your own.

    What is Outdoorsy?

    Outdoorsy is an RV rental site that allows you to rent RVs from RV owners. The RV owners list their vehicles for rental, choose their rate and set any limitations—such as minimum number of days to rent, if they offer delivery, and more!

    outdoorsy review

    Renters can look at a wide variety of vehicle types to rent to suit their needs for their vacation. There are campervans, trailers, Class Cs, Class As and more available. Each listing will say how many the vehicle can sleep as well as any other amenities included in the rental.

    How Outdoorsy Works: The RV Rental Process

    The rental process is pretty pain-free. Input your filter requirements, then you can start browsing rentals that fit your needs and wants. For instance, I chose that I need one that will fit at least 2 guests and is drivable instead of towable since I don’t have a vehicle with a tow hitch. I also narrowed it down to only ones that include a microwave, just to see what options came up.

    In this example, I found there were mainly Class C and Class B vehicles, ranging from $150 to $249 a night. I’ll show you what is included in the lowest and the highest of those prices so you have an idea of what you might see, but keep in mind the prices and options available in your area may vary.

    We’ll start with the $150 a night option. It was listed as a 1992 Toyota Winnebago Warrior. It sleeps up to 4.

    outdoorsy review

    Listed further down, it showed that the RV has air conditioning and heat, a fridge, microwave, sink and oven, an inside shower and a toilet. It pretty much has everything I would be looking for in a rental.

    The owner even specifies that 100 miles per day is included. If you rent daily, it’s the originally quoted $150 a night, but if you book weekly it goes down to $107.15 a night, and if you book monthly it goes down to $44.64 per night.

    Now, let’s look at one of the $249 a night options. I found a 2020 Jayco Redhawk Class C Motorhome. It sleeps up to 6 people and they offer delivery within a 350 mile radius, which seems overly generous.

    outdoorsy review

    Included in this one is air conditioning, heat and a ceiling fan. It also has a fridge, microwave, kitchen sink and stove/oven. The bathroom also has the option for an inside shower or outside shower and a toilet. So, again, basically everything you’d need for a full vacation with no worries about where you can go to the bathroom cleanly.

    This one has one big difference in that they allow pets, whereas the $150 a night option did not allow pets. Those of you with a furry friend or two could easily bring them along on your adventure.

    Like the other, this also includes 100 miles per day included in the rate. The downside of this one is a five-night minimum for renting, and their rate is the same whether you rent for the five-night minimum, weekly or monthly. If you don’t book for the 5-night minimum, you will be charged for 5 nights anyway, so plan accordingly.

    As you might notice in the images, I was able to search all of this without creating an account or signing in. You have all access to the information you need before actively booking a rental. Once you do decide to book, the sign-up process is pretty straight forward.

    outdoorsy review

    That’s it. You’re signed up and are ready to rent! Before you rent, you will need to confirm your name, and check a box that says you are at least 25 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

    A few other things to keep in mind before/during the rental process. Outdoorsy offers 24/7 roadside assistance, so if you get in a pinch, you’ll be taken care of. They also offer insurance protection in the form of $1 million covering the renter, owner and the vehicle.

    Their website also boasts they have over 800,000 nights booked with 93% coming through as 5-star ratings.

    Outdoorsy Cost

    It doesn’t cost anything to join in on renting from Outdoorsy! The costs you’ll incur are upfront and based on the rental vehicle and the period of time you’ll be renting it. You’ll see an itemized list of fees and charges before you actively book the rental, so you’ll always know what’s going on.

    outdoorsy review

    This example shows that I’m not renting for the 5-night minimum, but will be charged for 5 nights anyways. It also details the cost per night, cost of insurance coverage, owner fees (which are determined by each owner individually), and a service fee that pays for the 24/7 support provided during your rental period.

    Outdoorsy Referral Code

    Outdoorsy does have a referral process. As they promote on their website, Outdoorsy will give your friend $50 and then they’ll give you $75 for your next trip. They give you a referral link to pass out to friends and family for use.

    Another way to earn is to refer an owner of an RV to post their vehicle on Outdoorsy. If you do that, you’ll earn a $100 credit once they book their first rental.

    Other Apps like Outdoorsy

    If you don’t find what you like on Outdoorsy, there are similar options out there that I’ll go into more detail about below. But just for a teaser for you, we’ve got RVShare, which is the same basic concept as Outdoorsy, where owners of vehicles post them online and you can search for what you want.

    There are other options you can consider that pair well with Outdoorsy, such as Harvest Hosts, where you’ll be able to stay for free at locations across the United States. You pay a yearly annual fee, find the location you want to stay at for one night at a time and enjoy free access plus get to tap into the knowledge of locals to learn about the area where you’re staying.

    Outdoorsy vs. Harvest Hosts

    As I mentioned above, to take advantage of Harvest Hosts, you need to become a member. Membership includes an online directory of hosts that will allow you to access to park overnight for free (though supporting them in some way is preferred as a thank you). You’ll also have access to an interactive map that lets you search hosts by state, locations or routes:

    Harvest Hosts does not rent you the actual RV, but instead offers you a free spot to park it for the night and some fun areas to explore nearby. Keep in mind, you’re also only invited to stay at one location for 24 hours. After that, you’ll be expected to move on to another host location or elsewhere, where you’d be expected to pay.

    Not all host locations offer water or electricity; the main draw is simply a free spot to park your RV. The cost of a membership is $79 per year with a 3-month 100% money back guarantee.

    In order to join, you must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facility. No tents are allowed on Harvest Host properties.

    Basically, Harvest Hosts is a great thing to combine with RVShare. Rent an RV from Outdoorsy and travel/park at a Harvest Host location to find new places to explore and have a free spot to spend the night.

    Outdoorsy vs RVShare

    RV Share is closely related to Outdoorsy in its objective and what you can do with the service. On their homepage, enter where your vacation or adventure is starting and the dates you’re looking to rent. From there, it compiles your rental options.

    Overall, the options available are pretty comparable to Outdoorsy. You have the basic campervan up to 10-sleepers and larger. I even found some crossover between the two. There were some RVs available to rent on both RVShare and Outdoorsy.

    One notable difference is that Outdoorsy does offer a referral bonus. Use your referral link and your friends/family will get $50 off their first trip and you’ll get $75 off your next one. If your friend/family decides to list an RV for rental, you’ll earn $100.

    Similar to Outdoorsy, on RV Share, the owners pick the price and the rules as far as allowing pets and smoking. It also offers rental fees for daily, weekly and monthly rentals, the security deposit for each and a minimum for the number of days rented.

    Note: Something to keep in mind for both sites is that owners can tack on an owner’s fee that they collect for the check in/check out process and anything else they want to throw in there. It can drive up the rental cost significantly, but is listed in the agreement before booking, so be sure to check for that before clicking to book.

    Outdoorsy Alternatives

    Maybe RVing isn’t your thing? If you’re not ready to try out Outdoorsy, there are a few other options for getting away from it all that won’t break your budget, if you plan it right.

    As mentioned above, consider combining Outdoorsy or RV Share with Harvest Hosts, to get a free spot to park your RV for the night and a peek into the local culture you may not have discovered at an RV park.

    You can also consider Airbnb to get away or go someplace new, typically for less than what you’d pay for a night’s stay at a hotel. Airbnb has also started hosting experiences, so you can fully immerse yourself in the culture of where you’re staying or try something new.

    Camping is another fun thing to try out, even without an RV. Most campsites offer cheap rental spots if you’re camping using a tent instead of an RV since you won’t need any hookups and won’t take up as much space.

    Use HipCamp to find campgrounds near where you want to visit and see what they have to offer. Also, if you visit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the area you’re visiting, they should have information for you about campsites, cabins and other lodging options.

    If you’re looking for something new to do, you can even explore Groupon getaways to see if there are any deals to take advantage of. Some deals may require you to be a member while others are available for anyone.

    If you could use a getaway, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. Have fun, be safe and explore.

    Readers, have you ever considered renting an RV to explore the US? If you own an RV, would you ever rent it out on sites like Outdoorsy or RVShare?

    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.