One of the best ways to ensure a business is successful is by meeting the needs and wants of the people. Ute Lurtz understands this well. That’s why she decided to start her campervan rental company, Backpacker’s Loft Campervans in Calgary, Alberta.
Recounting the story of her business’ beginnings, Lurtz shares, “While working in the RV rental industry for the last 7 years and dealing with big rigs, I realized that there was a high demand for smaller vehicles. Being equipped with just the essentials would turn so many Outdoorsy people into happy campers.”
With the help of her husband, Lurtz says she got started with her “crazy idea,” converting a regular Dodge Grand Caravan into the coolest campervan for two.
The idea might have been “crazy,” but it worked, and the couple now has a super cool campervan they can enjoy whenever they wish. Better yet, they have the opportunity to help visitors enjoy all the beauty that their neck of the woods has to offer—at an affordable price and without the hassle of driving an RV.
“Located in Calgary, Alberta, we are just a short distance from an international airport and at the gateway to some of the best explorations in the Canadian Rockies,” Lurtz explains. “Millions of people from all over the world visit this magnificent landscape—either with a rental car or in an RV.”
Lurtz then went on to explain why her campervan is amazing for these travelers.
“With Wally [the name of their campervan], you get exactly the mix in between: The cost of a rental car, but the convenience of an RV at a reasonable price—making it a fuel-saving, environmentally friendly and affordable trip.”
“Our campervan is equipped with a rooftop tent, so campers can finally sleep in a tent under the stars, but out of reach from the nightly critters, staying dry and comfortable during rain and mud, and feeling much safer from wildlife. On top of that, Wally’s pop-up rooftop tent literally needs just seconds and very little effort to set up,” Lurtz says. “From the outside, Wally looks just like any regular car, but can you believe it has a kitchen galley in the trunk area equipped with everything you need to prepare a delicious meal in just minutes?”
“When I listed Wally on Outdoorsy in July 2018, I got all bookings for that summer within a week,” Lurtz recalled. With such high demand, a second vehicle just makes sense. Luckily, there are plans for another.
“We intend to add more for the upcoming season,” Lurtz says. “The second rooftop tent is already waiting in storage to be mounted on another Dodge camper. By spring, we will be ready and happy to accommodate national and international guests.”
Of course, just like her 2018 rentals, Lurtz’s rentals next season will also be through Outdoorsy. When asked why she loves the Outdoorsy platform, Lurtz says that insurance is the main reason.
“Outdoorsy gives us peace of mind when it comes to the protection of our campervan. We know that when Wally is out on his road trip adventure with the guests, he is fully insured in case of an accident,” Lurtz says. “And I love the instant chat option. Whenever I have a question, I can open the chat and get my answer right away.”
All about Ute Lurtz
Favorite morning beverage:
“No coffee, no tea—I’m a juice drinker.”
Favorite campsite meal:
“The oh-so-favorite bacon and eggs.”
Music you like to play on the radio:
“All kind of genres, mostly country music.”
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite:
“The same game we provide to our guests and can be found in the campervan: Uno.”
“The Rocky Mountains are beautiful in all seasons, but the one I like most is the fall season around September/October when the larches turn yellow to give the landscape a special contrast. Mosquitoes are gone, most tourists are gone, and the weather is just enjoyable.”
Last photo you took:
“A picture of our baked Christmas cookies.”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go?
“All over the Western U.S. That is still on our bucket list.”
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