Christian Manzano of Discover Campervans first decided to start a campervan rental business after being a renter himself. “After renting a van in Iceland and experiencing the freedom and comfort of one, as soon as we got back to Colorado, we pitched the idea to our friends,” Christian tells us. “A week later, we had our first van. We figured this was a great business opportunity, and worst-case scenario, we’d end up with a campervan for us to enjoy!”
When it was time to list his first van, Manzano turned to Outdoorsy. “We listed our campervan on Outdoorsy on March 29th while the entire world was panicking and quarantining due to COVID-19,” he says. “We really didn’t know what to expect.”
Christian waited patiently, wondering if anyone would ever get to appreciate his custom van. “Then, on May 1st, pretty much a month later, we got our first reservation,” he recalls. “We ended up getting nine reservations in May! Reservations kept coming in, and our calendar ended up fully booked for the entire summer.
“That’s when we decided we had to get more vans.” And get more vans he did. “We have three vans, and we plan on expanding,” Christian shares. Considering that he’s made around $61K since that first rental just months ago, it does make sense that he would continue to expand.
The vans offered at Discover Campervans are custom made and are pretty spectacular. While the business certainly has been a money-making venture, money isn’t the only thing that drives Christian to share his super cool vans. “We see our campervans as great machines to explore the outdoors and get in contact with nature,” he explains.
“We’ve met so many renters, and it has been amazing to hear all their exciting stories. Although, to be honest, we often feel jealous of them because they are going to all the amazing spots and nearby national parks while we are at home waiting for them.”
“Our favorite rental experience was one where we had our renters get married in our van! Their wedding got canceled because of COVID-19, so they decided to come to Colorado, do an epic road trip, and get eloped here in the mountains. They decorated the van with ‘Just Married’ signs and flowers; they brought their suit and dress and hired a professional photographer to take wedding pictures. IT WAS AWESOME!”
Does Manzano enjoy renting through Outdoorsy? Would he do it all over again? Absolutely — but he has some advice for potential future Outdoorsy owners: “Outdoorsy is a great place to get your rig rented, but it is still a lot of work,” he shares. “It is up to you to manage reservations, take great photos, build a great listing, provide great customer service, clean the vans, hand off the vans, etc.”
All About Christian
Favorite morning beverage: “Coffee—I’m Colombian!”
Favorite campsite meal: “Any one-pot meal with chicken, rice, and lots and lots of veggies!”
Music you like to play on the radio: “Soft pop (Adele, Khalid, H.E.R) but if I feel like dancing, it’ll be salsa or reggaeton!”
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “Vertellis.”
Favorite season: “Winter has a special place in my heart because I’ve only been able to experience it as a grown adult.”
Last photo you took: “Yesterday I took a campervan and spent the day up in Loveland Pass.”
What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal? “Wolf.”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “The Alps or New Zealand.”