Laura Ainsworth of Vagabond Camps is a mother of two working full-time in the fashion tech industry. So, why did she venture into the RV rental business?
Well, it all started with a story. When Laura shared her idea that she and her family would leave it all behind and travel in an RV, her grandfather, Charlie, shared the story of Vagabond Camps, his traveling summer camp.
In 1972, Charlie created “a camp that left from Northpark Mall in Dallas, TX to head out West into Canada, through the Pacific Northwest, into California and back again.” This was everything Laura dreamed of — It was “a camp that visited our National Parks and the beautiful places in between; a camp where the kids actually camped; MY DREAM.”
So, with a pandemic that allowed her to work from anywhere, Laura followed in Papa Charlie’s footsteps. The family hopped in an RV and hit the road from Texas to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and back to Texas.
And that began the revamp of the traveling summer camp, Vagabond Camps. Kids, age 10 to 15, can now join in for 4 to 6-week camps in a traveling caravan, taking them to all the sites from Yellowstone National Park to the Grand Canyon and everywhere in between.
But, what about when it’s not summertime? Well, that’s where Outdoorsy comes in.
“[We] looked to renting on Outdoorsy to simply cover the payment while the rig was not being used prior to the camp next summer. After experiencing how successful renting could be we pivoted again and shifted focus from the camp to helping people get outside in a different way than we had originally envisioned by focusing and growing our RV rental business.”Laura Ainsworth
With all 5-star reviews, Laura has full-time aspirations for Vagabond Camps on Outdoorsy. “We hope to continue to grow our fleet but also expand on some of the other related services we offer like campground locator services, route planning, and itinerary building,” Laura shares. “Maybe even RV design services could be in the future.”
And for other RV Owners on Outdoorsy, Laura leaves you with this piece of advice: “Make sure you spend plenty of time in your RV’s before renting them out. Renters are able to enjoy them much more when you are knowledgeable, can truly help them learn, and can help them in a pinch if something goes wrong!”
All About Laura
Favorite morning beverage: “Coffee with lots of creamer.”
Favorite campsite meal: “Hot dogs and Smores (Easy and the kids love it!)”
Music you like to play on the radio: “I honestly never knew what you called the “type” of music I like but thanks to Spotify year-end recaps I got to put some names to it! So according to Spotify (drumroll please): Jam Band, Neo Mellow, Reggae Rock, Pop, Modern Rock. But I also love some solid 2000’s rap.”
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “I have a 2 and 4 year old so we play a lot of eye spy, rock paper scissors, and thumb wars. But we also tell a lot of “G” rated spooky stories. We have a favorite grizzly bear that makes an appearance in most of our campfire stories named No Toe.”
Favorite season: “Summer in the mountains feeds my soul.”
Last photo you took: “We had a photo session at a local campground for our new camper and made it a family event and spent the day. Lots of pictures of campers and kids!”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “The rest of my grandfather’s 1972 camp route (which it meticulously documented) that we couldn’t cover in our first 4-week scouting trip. It would include California, PNW, and Banff! But, I’ll go to Colorado at least once a year.”