From burly, off-grid vans to cozy, homes-on-wheels, camper vans are on the road and in your Instagram feeds. Owning a camper van can be challenging, however, both because the wait times at many van outfitters can take months and because it can be hard to swallow the six-figure price tags. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
A new program from Outdoorsy aims to change that. As an RV rental marketplace, Outdoorsy connects RV owners with potential renters, allowing someone to rent a teardrop, Class A, vintage Westfalia, and more from across the United States. You can search and filter by type, distance from your location, and amenities like whether or not the camper has a shower.
Today, Outdoorsy is launching a vehicle purchasing program that partners with some of the biggest names in the industry.
As a one-stop purchasing program, Outdoorsy will provide factory-direct access—including financing and insurance—for anyone who wants to buy an RV. The new program is launching first with Mercedes-Benz and Sportsmobile, meaning that the vans available for purchase will be the popular Sprinter and Metris models.
Each will be converted by Sportsmobile, the leading and longest-running upfitter in the camper van business. (Curious about what a Sportsmobile conversion looks like? Here’s one that sleeps six.) The vehicle purchase, financing, insurance, and conversion work will all be bundled together, and it’s likely that additional manufacturers and conversion companies will be added in the future.
While individuals will be able to purchase the camper vans through the website, it also means that people who want to start their own rental fleet will be able to do so more easily. After buying the camper vans through the Outdoorsy Vehicle Purchase Program, small businesses can list and rent their vans to customers on the Outdoorsy site.
“Whether you’re adding a campervan for personal use, just getting started as a lister on Outdoorsy, or are a Pro dealer wanting to expand your fleet, we’ve designed this program to enhance transparency while eliminating the friction and high costs associated with traditional purchasing and financing methods,” says Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins.
If you’re a renter on Outdoorsy, the announcement should also add more high-quality Class B camper vans to the listings. Other perks for potential buyers include discounted pricing on Sprinters, preferred spots in Sportsmobile’s often long waiting list, and financing through Daimler Financial Services.
The ability to finance and insure the vans is a major step up for consumers; in the past, custom vans often had to be purchased outright and could be hard to cover with comprehensive insurance. More importantly, the announcement shows an industry that’s working hard to attract younger generations, and provides proof that for millennial and Gen X buyers, camper vans are the future.