Feb 12, 2018

#Vanlife Revs Its Engines

We’ve written about how consumers of all ages are finding something to love about recreational vehicles. (See: “Rec Vehicle Sales Soar.”) The same sense of wanderlust that is buoying RV stocks has also manifested in a booming market for van rentals. Vintage Surfari Wagons, which launched in 2005 with two Volkswagen Westfalias, will have a 25-strong rental fleet by summer 2018. Meanwhile, since opening its doors in 2009, Escape Campervans has expanded to 500 vans spread across eight U.S. locations. While nomadic Xers and adventurous Boomers may be more likely to buy vans, renting hits a sweet spot for Millennials who want a small taste of “#vanlife.” Indeed, Katie Hubbard, director of marketing at Escape Campervans, says that the company’s primary consumer market is 24- to 35-year-olds. In the words of Basecamper Vans cofounder Matt Wolski, “The reality is, full-time [van life] is kind of a pain. But having a little nibble for a week or two every year is really fun.”