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RV rentals and vacations growing in popularity during pandemic

Numbers in rentals are skyrocketting
Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 19:43:48-04

GRETNA, Neb. — As more families are canceling long-distance vacations, the opportunity for drivable vacations is growing - and one company says they're already booked solid through the summer.

Down a long gravel road in Gretna sits I-80 RV Sales and Rental, a local RV rental company owned by Jim Mowinkel. What started off as something that Jim simply wanted to try, has turned into a second job for him.

"I've never camped in my life, he said.

The doors are opening to different travel opportunities. And RV rental companies, like I-80 Sales and Rental, are seeing that interest firsthand.

"I get tons of phone calls a day. I am totally booked out now until the first part of August," Mowinkel said.

Outdoorsy is a RV rental service that has listings all across the country and lets people list their own RV's they may not be using as well. Outdoorsy co-founder and CMO Jennifer Young says the growing interest is nationwide.

"Our business in particular has seen 3,000 percent growth in just the last two months," Young said.

The reasoning for such nationwide growth this summer may have a lot to do with cancellations of other plans and lingering safety fears.

"Travel options for Americans have been depleted. I don't know very many people that are looking at an air and hotel trip," Young added.

Thus possibly changing the summer vacation experience for years to come.

"I 100 percent think that this is going to be a consumer shift in how Americans choose to vacation," Young added.

So people like Jim are gearing up for another busy season, keeping things safe and clean in the process.

I-80 RV Sales and Rental in Gretna has RV availability on weekdays and starting in the fall but is booked solid through the summer.

Outdoorsy has an app with RV availability in the Omaha area as well.