Other items I think make Miles extra cozy are the mattress toppers and plush bedding. People rent a van so they don’t have to sleep on the ground, but a lot of beds in vans are lumpy, stiff and all the things not luxurious. I have memory foam mattress toppers, organic cotton/linen sheets and Rumpl comforters along with fluffy pillows in Miles, and I sleep like a log when I am tucked in for the night on the road.
As for extras, I include everything from card games, a bluetooth speaker, and even quarters and detergent for laundry in a cabinet we call the “Cabinet of Convenience.” When people are traveling, things get left at home and we’ve tried to provide these things so my renters don’t go without. I’m proud of the guidebook library I include in the cabinet. Each renter’s itinerary dictates the library, so those headed to the coast get wildlife and trail guides for that area, and so on.
Can you describe your rental process from what happens when you receive a booking confirmation, to when the renter returns your van? Has this process changed during your time renting your van through GoCamp?
As soon as I can after receiving a reservation, I email the renter introducing myself and confirming the details of their rental. This ensures the dates and details they’ve provided are accurate. This initial contact kicks off a back-and-forth for the time leading up to the rental. I offer help with planning, and I enjoy helping people get the most of their time in the van. As the trip approaches, I nail down the special items they might need or want in the van. For example, do they want coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider or cocoa? If they are bringing a pet, does the pet need a water bowl or bed? Are kids coming? Which ages are they? All these things are worked out weeks ahead if possible. When the renters arrive, I greet them with a spotless van and walk them through as much as they are willing to see and try. I make sure they have the systems down. Because I know most renters arrive tired, jet lagged and anxious to get going, I have created a full guidebook for every feature of the van. So when they are two days in and the toilet cassette is full, they can look up how to service it because it’s been two days since I showed them.
During the trip, I text once to check in, otherwise I’m silent so they can enjoy their vacation. Some renters text all the time with questions, some never do. Either way I know they have everything they need to have a successful adventure.
On return, the only thing I require is that the renter fill the gas tank and remember to pack up their things. I don’t expect them to dump the tanks, fill the water or clean the van. They paid a cleaning fee, and I want them to wrap up their trip not worrying about that stuff. So when they arrive for drop-off, I talk to them about their trip, take a quick swing through the van to look for anything they might have left behind, and I get them on their way with some stickers so they can show off Miles to their friends at home.
When they get home I send an email thanking them for their business and informing them of any damages or personal items I found when I cleaned out the van. I then ask them to write a review. (I include a link to make that easy.) I also remind them that they are now part of our Miles family and they are welcome back any time.
This process is always evolving based on renter feedback and my continued time with the van. Right now I’m developing a web page that will give them detailed information about storage, included equipment and other data they might want as they plan their trip. I like the GoCamp Road Trip Ready Guide, but most of my renters haven’t read it all nor do I think they will during the trip, so I am trying to create as many on-ramps to this important information as possible.
How have you utilized strategic pricing to affect your success?
I am competitive with this, so much so I’m wondering if sharing some of my “secrets” here is a bad idea. I dropped my prices this winter after other owners brought similar vans to GoCamp in my area, at much lower prices. So in the spirit of competition, I have dropped my rates in hopes of winning more bookings. More booking at lower rates are better that Miles sitting smugly in the driveway making nothing.
What does success with GoCamp mean to you?
Simply put, my van will pay for itself while my renters have epic adventures they will never forget. Is that too much to ask for? Maybe.
Interested in connecting with other owners? You can ask questions, share tips and tricks, and virtually meet other owners on the private GoCamp Owners Group on Facebook.