Going for a weekend campout in your Airstream requires some prep work, but it’s more of a jaunt. Going for a year on the road is less jaunt than journey. Going for a year on the road while you’re running a full-time business takes journey into epic phases of challenge, discovery and delight. Even when you’ve hooked an RV park’s water feed to your toilet’s flush-out inlet so that you flood the bathroom. “But after 49 days of hook-ups we’re feeling pretty confident about the hook-up and water in/out situation,” says Jen Young, co-founder of Outdoorsy, the Airbnb for RVs.
Those 49 days are what Young and the other Outdoorsy founder Jeff Cavins have spent in their 2016 27’ Eddie Bauer Airstream since they stowed, sold or gave away all of their San Francisco home’s belongings and set out for a year-long quest across the U.S. The couple have rambled down California’s coast, through Arizona and into New Mexico so far, mingling with the RV owners and renters that make up their customer base.
“Living in the Airstream and traveling means we are literally immersed in our world of RVing, road and outdoor culture. And we love it,” says Young. The Eddie Bauer is tech-spiffy already, but the couple installed some Verizon 4G routers as well as two 2,000-watt generators to make sure they can be in constant contact with their Outdoorsy team and their customers.
“Our focus time is much greater and we literally have no commute—just get up, grab our cup of coffee in the kitchen and head to the main area to start work! We get more sunlight and fresh air in a single day than we would get in a full year working in an office building,” says Young.
They’ve been thrilled with the warm ocean breezes in Malibu, watched goggle-eyed at the beauties of the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, and as of this writing were enchanted by the subtle deserts of Santa Fe. Cooking in and out of the trailer has worked like a charm. “The Eddie Bauer has a great gas burning stovetop and oven, hidden microwave, secret extra expanded countertop space. And of course we have our beloved Weber portable grill,” says Young.
Their Airstream adventure has given them the chance to live the Outdoorsy motto: “Never Idle.” “It’s as much for the owners of RVs sitting idle in driveways as for the renters who want nothing more than to explore this country the way it was meant to be explored: along the roads that connect us,” says Young.
Occasions like a meeting with Zappos’ Tony Hsieh and Burning Man are in the offing, but in the meantime, Young and Cavins are digging the day-to-day: “Living in the Airstream and traveling means we are literally immersed in our world of RVing, road and outdoor culture. Every day brings a new backyard and adventure—and we love them all!”
– by Tom Bentley
Outdoorsy (www.outdoorsy.co) is a peer-to-peer marketplace for renting RVs that “connects RV owners with folks who want to experience RVing without having to own one themselves.”