Carrie and Jim Chalmers are no beginners when it comes to running businesses. “I own a promotional marketing company, Ballyhou,” Carrie informs us. “My husband, Jim, owns two additional businesses. He’s been a custom landscape designer for over 20 years and he runs Blue Dog Equipment Rentals, renting heavy equipment.”
That said, the Chalmers had no intention of starting yet another business when they purchased their RV. Instead, they hoped to use it for themselves while offering it for rent from time to time through their already established business. “We decided to buy the Entegra, not really knowing that it would rent,” explains Carrie. “We wanted an RV to use. We added it to my husband’s equipment rental business just in case, but we could use it anytime.
“All of a sudden, it started renting at least once a month, completely covering all payments and costs associated with it.”
Seeing the potential to have another successful business, the Chalmers got to work. They stumbled across Outdoorsy, got their RV listed, and had a booking request within the first week of listing. “In 2020, according to WB, we’ve earned over $42K,” Carrie shares. “We started 2020 out with just the 2019 Odyssey Entegra. We now have five [rigs] of our own, and four on consignment.”
The Chalmers have had great experiences renting their RVs. “We do this for the people,” says Carrie. “We love it! I’d say that 80–85% of our current rental base has never camped before. They are financial/business executives who can’t travel normally and thought they’d give this a go. ALL have had a blast and said they’d do it again! We’ve had several renters who have rented from us on more than one occasion.”
Clearly, the RV rental world has been wonderful for the couple, but Jim didn’t think it was enough and has recently jumped in even deeper. How? He’s now renting his land to RVers too. Carrie explains, “The opportunity was brought to his attention by another Odyssey Entegra owner. We have a beautifully landscaped, two-acre gated property in sunny south FL.
“Jim already had one full-hookup spot set up. This was so we could keep a camper there when family came into town, and everyone who comes to our house loves it! He was thinking of putting in a few other spots to keep the RV’s plugged in and cleaned, and of doing walk-throughs with renters when they arrived, instead of always just playing musical RVs when we have one going out.
“When the idea of renting our land was brought to his attention, he decided to try it! In the first 12 hours, he received two booking requests, and by the end of the first 24 hours, we had three confirmed bookings and two more pending!”
Do the Chalmers think this will help their Outdoorsy business? “I think so,” Carrie tells us. “If we can offer an RV on our land, it will open up a camping experience for someone who does not own their own RV, or would rent one but doesn’t feel comfortable driving it.
“We just had our first booking request for the RV and site together yesterday. Also, the second renters that stayed on our land just left this morning. They had a really cool HQ15 custom-made trailer. They’ve decided they want a larger one, so they are sending this one back up to us next week to add to our rental fleet on Outdoorsy. This is going to bring us more Outdoorsy business for sure!”
All About Carrie and Jim
Favorite morning beverage: “Super strong café Bustelo espresso with hazelnut creamer.”
Favorite campsite meal: “Bacon.”
Music you like to play on the radio: “We have so many, but I’d say my husband’s first go-to is reggae.”
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “We give all of our guests a deck of cards with the GlampsterRV logo to keep, and each of our RVs has a mini Jenga set—but personally, we are more the type to just sit and chill.”
Favorite season: “Fall.”
What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal? “Gotta love a honey badger!”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “Probably all through the New England area.”