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The Glamping Business: Luxe RV Rentals
Interview by: Alexandria Autrey
We sat down with owners of Luxe RV Rentals to discuss how they got involved in such a unique business and what keeps them striving to be better. They are green yet, luxurious and that is how they are making a name for themselves among the glamping community.
How long have you been in the renting luxury RV business?
The planning began in the summer of 2014 and we officially started January of this year. But, also because the RVs that we carry, you can’t really buy them at a dealership. You have to custom order them because, they are very rare. And, we wanted to make sure we could grow in this market.
So with planning and everything, how long did it take you to get everything started up?
It took us around 8 months to get up and running.
Where did you get all the supplies for the RVs?
We bought our RV’s from Leisure Van which is an RV place and with them we could tailor the color and add leather seats. We couldn’t be that picky but, we wanted to taylor them to be for a luxury market. All the supplies are green for example, the beds are all organic. We also offer organic coffee and tea. And try to use a company that will clean the RVs that will only use organic chemicals and organic supplies. We focus on being luxurious and healthy.
Where did you get all of the organic bedding?
We custom order them online because they aren’t that popular yet. And we have to stock up quite a bit so we like ordering online.
Were there any hurdles that you had to tackle?
Of course, in the past few months we have learned a lot. We learned about having services ready for our clients such as, paying a premium to make sure they have road side assistance. And with that we had to catch up really fast. We also rent the RV’s for a month which we had never done before so that was a learning experience in of itself. Usually when they come back we send them to a week long service to check if the RV has any problems and make sure the oil is good. But, when you send it out for a month having those regular services didn’t cross our minds. So with that being said we had to set up relationships with mobile service companies that will help the customers when they’re on the road. The vehicles need maintenance and when there gone for long periods of time, we had to learn very quickly we need some sort of assistance in place for general maintenance. And one of our biggest challenges is to make sure we have enough supplies when it comes to the RVs.
Do you guys have different styles of RVs?
Currently, we have two types of RVs . They are like Rolls Royce of RV realm, and then we have a step down from that. We have a lot of European customers so they don’t like too much space so we are finding a balance of that while still maintaining quality.
Which RV is most popular among your customers?
The leisure RV, and we are putting an order in for more. They’re done by hand so the quality is amazing inside and out. And you just cant compare it to the regular non-custom RV. Every RV we have comes equipped with an iPad that can control most of the RV and it also comes preloaded with music and movies.
Do you know where people like to go with the RV?
We are located in California so people love to go all over. Most people like to go around San Francisco, Yosemite, Sacramento and Napa. Those are the number 1 destinations in California to take our RV’s. They like to go to Disneyland, Sea World and the national parks. So they go all over but, we see that people like to stay close to the cities.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
You have to be confident in your product. If you believe in it, then in turn the customers will believe in it too. We have people trying to compare us with other RV companies and were not them, with that said we strive believe in what we have.
Why did you guys decide to offer this type of business opposed to other accommodations?
I had a personal experience in an RV, I’ve also had terrible experiences in RVs. So I wanted to change the industry and make it a luxurious experience. Being European, we like high quality versus quantity and we have small competition in this business. The necessity for better quality was one of the biggest reasons we chose to do this. We include a lot of stuff so if you do the math we are a very good deal. We include table and chairs, generator and 100 miles of gas. There aren’t as many options like us out there.
Is your profitability good for your business?
It’s very profitable but, I think were too young to see a really good profit. We’ve put a lot of money into it but, I think we will do really good as time progresses. At this time. it’s hard to say being so young in the business. But, if we go at this rate in the next few years I think we will be doing really well.
Do you guys have plans to expand?
What is the biggest challenge that you guys have faced? And how did you solve it?
The RV supplies and where we get the RVs. That was very challenging because, we had to buy a higher volume of RVs without compromising the luxury aspect.
What is your target demographic?
If you take into consideration the travel expenses, it’s not cheap. So, the thirty to fifty age range is what we’ve seen so far. Afterwards, we spoke about catching up with them in a year to see how their business has flourished and changed. We wish them the best in their journey of offering luxe glamping RV rentals.