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What the heck is Burning Man?

Every year, thousands of people converge on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for the annual Burning Man festival. There, “artists, makers, and community organizers who co-create art, events, and local initiatives around the world” gather to celebrate and construct the sizeable—yet temporary—Black Rock City. Over the nine-day festival, the makeshift city is built, celebrations abound, the famous wooden statute is set ablaze, and then the city is disassembled.

While this can be an interesting way to spend your vacation, it can also wreak havoc on your RV. In all the excitement, some festival-goers may go a little too far and your property may get damaged or vandalized. More common, an ultra-fine dust gets kicked up in the wind and coats anything in sight.

Playa dust

The Black Rock Desert is the site of a long lost, prehistoric lake bed and the desert playa (or just ‘playa’) is the bottom of it. The playa dries out, cracks, and creates a unique, ultra-fine dust—playa dust—that the festival is often associated with. As you might imagine, this dust can get into even the cranniest of nooks. 

Festival-goers try to beat the dust by taping air vents, seams, and windows. Some cover furniture with plastic and others even wax the outside of the RV. But, playa dust is sure to get in and when it does, it is difficult to clean from the interior and exterior of your RV. It can even damage your electrical and mechanical systems.

Insurance coverage

Because of the damage that playa dust can do to your RV and the increased risk of physical damage on the festival grounds, Burning Man remains an unauthorized festival in Outdoorsy’s terms of service. As a result, Outdoorsy insurance does not provide coverage for your RV on the festival grounds nor does it cover festival-related damage. That includes damage from playa dust to the interior, exterior, anything mechanical or electrical, or vandalism.

If your RV goes to Burning Man, Outdoorsy offers liability-only coverage to and from the festival to ensure your RV is road legal. But, if your RV is involved in a covered loss and your guest is at fault: your RV is not covered, only other peoples’ damaged property is covered. In addition, our liability-only coverage is provided at the state minimum level of coverage.

Outdoorsy’s Burning Man policy also means that our teams can only provide limited support in disputes you may have with your guest. In addition, if your guest is traveling from abroad, you will most likely be unable to collect on damages through small claims court. Candidly, if your RV goes to Burning Man, collecting for damages to your RV will be between you and your guest.

We understand that our Burning Man insurance policy may give you pause in accepting bookings headed for the festival. That’s okay! It’s your vehicle and you can do as you wish. If you would like to cancel a festival-bound booking, you may do so with no penalty for the cancellation. Simply reach out to our customer support team at support@outdoorsy.com.