Chelsea Gonzales
by Chelsea Gonzales
Posted August 2, 2021

For Ryan and Allison Jones—as well as their kids Corban (12), Beckett (10), and Cambrie (9)—RVing is a family affair. “The kids and I enjoyed tent camping,” Ryan explains. “An RV was a ‘compromise’ to get my wife involved with the rest of the family.”

This worked out very well, and the family immediately started making some awesome memories. That said, it wasn’t long before they realized they needed a different trailer. “I chose the Wildwood initially because it had room for our family, met our weight requirements, and had an outdoor kitchen,” Ryan tells us. “After a season in the Wildwood, we decided to upgrade to something with a slide and separate rooms (bunkhouse and bedroom). We didn’t get rid of the Wildwood after seeing the extra income we could make renting it out.”

And rent it out they did. The kids took to the work of renting just as quickly as they took to RV camping, especially since pitching in meant making some money of their own. “My three kids are hard workers and always willing to make an extra buck,” Ryan says. “My daughter Cambrie is great at clearing and making the beds, as well as cleaning the camper, sweeping, and mopping. She is the first to volunteer for a delivery as well. My son Beckett always seems to know what needs to be done next. He is always standing there with the leveling blocks, power cords, hoses, or a drill just when I need them. He is an expert with the X-chocks. My son Corban is a pro at helping me back into sites, leveling the campers, and connecting/disconnecting from the tow vehicle.

“The one job all three of them fight over is cleaning the camper roof! There is a special draw to being able to do something that I don’t normally allow.”

For the Jones family, working as a team offers a whole host of benefits. “While camper prep, delivery, and pick-up are work, we all enjoy the time together,” Ryan shares. “Some deliveries are 1–2 hours away, and we enjoy the time together in the truck. We get to check out other campgrounds we might like to go to or become aware of other events that we wouldn’t otherwise know about. We attended a demolition derby for the first time this year that was being run by one of our renters. 

“I think my kids get a sense of pride in a job well done in setting up a camper for our renters. They also get a sense of what others expect and how we can best serve them. Several times, they have made suggestions of things we can do, or remind me of things we must do, to help our renters have a better experience.

“Ultimately, it’s time together as a family. We have learned a lot about each other, how we work individually and together, how we handle frustrations, and how we problem-solve in the process. Sometimes the process takes longer with them helping. You have to slow down to explain how the camper works, or why we are taking an extra step to make sure the camper is ready to rent. Every minute is worth the time with them, in addition to the mechanical, hospitality, and customer service skills they may pick up along the way.”

Not only is the Jones’ rental business helping bring them closer as a family; it’s helping other families do the same. “In May of 2020, a renter reached out to me from Florida,” Ryan recalls. “She was looking for a camper to rent for a family get-together on a farm nearby. Family was coming from Florida, Wisconsin, Seattle, and the northeast. Her uncle had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his last wish was that he could camp with his family. It was very special to be a small part of such an important time for this family and to know that I was able to help them enjoy each other and some of his last days together.”

“We had another rental in October of 2020 that was used for a COVID lockdown wedding on a family farm,” Ryan continues. “Family members were skeptical of staying in hotels. It was great that the campers we offered were able to facilitate that time with family and allow everyone to take part in the couple’s special day.”

“Life can be busy and hectic,” Ryan tells us as we finish our interview. “I hope our campers afford families and friends the ability to slow down, take a break, and connect with each other.”

All About Ryan

Favorite morning beverage: “Coffee.”

Favorite campsite meal: “Hibachi on the Blackstone [griddle].”

Music you like to play on the radio:  “’70s rock.”

Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “Euchre.”

Favorite season: “Summer.”

If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “Out West, Yellowstone, Badlands, Craters of the Moon, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, and everything in between.”

Chelsea Gonzales


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