Jared and Courtney Stearns waited a long time for their first RV. “Around 2005 or 2006, newlyweds in our first home, Courtney was finishing up her MBA and I was working on my Engineering degree,” Jared recalls. “We decided that once I completed my degree, we would purchase an RV.
“Many years, two sons, and two houses later, this conversation was long forgotten. I finally went back and finished up my degree at the end of 2018. Earlier in 2018, we had tried tent camping, but it wasn’t to Courtney’s liking. That winter we decided to purchase a travel trailer for the 2019 season. The bill of sale was dated January 26th, 2019. I received my Bachelor’s Degree soon after, also dated January 26th, 2019.
We had come full circle without even realizing it until after the fact.Jared Stearns
Despite their long wait, the couple knew they had some limitations when it came to what they could buy. “We had a GMC Acadia with a max tow capacity of 5,200 lbs,” Jared explains. “With almost 100,000 miles on it at the time, I didn’t want to stress it, so I was looking for something well under that weight. We found Pipsie at Campers Inn RV, 20 minutes from home.”
“We bought this RV strictly for our family,” Stearns continues. “However, by the beginning of 2021, we realized that we were quickly outgrowing it. We had already invested in a capable truck, so we decided to look for something bigger.”
“We found our fifth wheeler used at a local dealer. They weren’t interested in taking Pipsie as a trade-in but assured us we could sell it easily on our own. However, after a few weeks of trying, we realized there was no way we would get anywhere near our investment out of it. I had known about larger rental companies like Cruise America, but went looking for a peer-to-peer rental [company] and found Outdoorsy.”
Thus, Jared and Courtney’s rental business was born. “We first posted on June 1st, 2020, and our first rental went out on June 26th,” Jared tells us. “We took in about $5,500 in 2020, and we have already exceeded that in confirmed bookings in 2021. We originally started renting to cover our costs of having two RVs, but we have now realized a small but steady income source that we have converted into a business.”
Being relatively new to the world of RV rentals, Jared wasn’t sure what to say when we asked him to provide a nugget of wisdom for those choosing to follow in his footsteps. “We just officially started our business and are open to advice ourselves,” he says.
“I guess our recommendations to others would be to keep your rental RV separate from your personal RV. I understand this isn’t always possible, but if we only had one, I think we would either not rent or not use it ourselves—and keep your own personal vacations in mind when scheduling your rentals. Don’t cheat yourselves!”
The Stearns are absolutely thrilled with the success they’ve had on Outdoorsy. More than that though, the couple is happy they can introduce others to the joys of RVing.
“We want to provide a unique experience that people will remember, and perhaps return to us or purchase an RV of their own,” Jared shares. “All of our renters have been great, but one that stands out was a family who towed Pipsie while bringing their son to college in Colorado, and sent pictures of the RV parked in the Badlands of South Dakota.”
We imagine Jared and Courtney will have many more chances to help families have experiences like these!
All About Jared
Favorite morning beverage: “Coffee.”
Favorite campsite meal: “Grilled chicken and pesto with pasta.”
Music you like to play on the radio: “Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville [station on SiriusXM].”
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “Uno.”
Favorite season: “Autumn.”
What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal? “Otter (according to our seven-year-old).”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “Desert southwest and the Grand Canyon.”