Queen Karen Retires

Karen Pederson joined the GoCamp team in February 2019 as GoCamp’s very first employee. After helping renters book their trips one last time this coming weekend, Karen will retire. Here are a few things to note about Karen.

She is absolutely beloved. The entire GoCamp team routinely looks to Karen for guidance and advice on matters big and small. Renters mention her by name when leaving reviews, and van owners have been known to chat with her for hours.

She’s got a way with words. We’ll be copying and pasting so many of her perfect customer communications for years to come. #WhatWouldKarenSay

She doesn’t drive! GoCamp’s longest serving member of the team doesn’t have a driver’s license. Posing for a photo in our trade show camper van cut out (photo above) is the first time Karen has been behind the wheel since she crashed the family’s Volkswagen bug into the garage door as a teenager!

There would be no GoCamp without her. Literally. Karen saved GoCamp twice. Once in 2019 and again in 2020, and when Storyteller Overland was in the process of acquiring GoCamp in 2021 it practically wrote “purchase contingent on Karen staying” into the official agreement.

Queen Karen? Yes. At a holiday gathering one year Karen donned a paper crown and from then on she has affectionately been referred to as Queen Karen.

And she’s as good as her word. Karen is reliable. When she says she’s going to do something, she means it. Since the day she was hired in 2019 Karen has said she’d retire in November 2022. And now that day has come.

With our hearts full for having known you and worked alongside you, Karen, and with tears in our eyes, good bye. No matter how much GoCamp grows and changes, you are the foundation upon which it was built. We love you, we appreciate you, and we will see you down the road.



29 comments on “Queen Karen Retires

  1. Kelli on

    Karen, you set and raised the bar on extraordinary and kind customer service. It has been an honor and delight to share space in this one luscious life with you on the GoCamp team. I’m so excited for you and all your adventures ahead! You will be deeply, genuinely missed.

  2. Aaron Nudelman on

    Really!?!? Karen?!? Thank you for everything you have done to help me be successful with my vans! Explaining things simply to me, advocating for us and so many other things. You will be missed and your kind heart never forgotten! Cheers to your next adventure, have fun and be well!!

  3. Liz Bernales on

    It was an honor to work with you, Karen! You were (and still are) such a great mentor to me and to everybody who worked with you. I’m sure retirement will suit you well and I hope you get out there and do some traveling! I’ll have to visit you next time I’m driving by Oregon. 😉

  4. Mary A on

    Karen- I only knew you and Deborah for almost my entire lifetime with GoCamp. This is the end of an era! Without you by my neurotic side, talking me off the cliff… I really don’t think I would have had the courage to rent out Sparkles. You are loved, and now what am I to do without you????? Thank you for having a BIG impact on my ability to earn extra money, with such love in your heart. Enjoy the time off! Well deserved champ!

  5. Angie Fields on

    Oh Karen!
    Agreed…AMAZING customer service, kindest heart and biggest smile. Thank YOU for all you have done to make GoCamp such an incredible company. You will be missed.
    Angie Fields
    Real Peach Beast/Coco Sherrie’ Chocolate

  6. Tifanie Mayberry on

    Karen, thank you for the countless rentals you helped facilitate for me. Your work is taken with such gratitude as you guided us towards giving people the trips of a lifetime! You are appreciated, thank you!!

  7. Emily Uberti on

    Karen, you are a gem of a human! I am so grateful our paths crossed and I got to meet you in San Diego during one of GoCamp’s events. You have helped me navigate through some of the wildest of rental moments and always handle everything with grace. I wish you nothing but the best as you leap into your next adventure!

  8. Hailey Sandoval on

    Oh Karen! Is it finally here?? Retirement finally caught up to you. It was an absolute privilege to get to work with such an awesome human being! I’ll never forget our first cup of joe in Portland! I can’t wait to hear of all the epic journeys you embark on in this new chapter of life. I wish you nothing but the best!

  9. George Gardner on

    Well done Karen! Enjoy retirement – more adventure awaits. Your calming words to everyone – customers, van owners and the GoCamp crew kept us sane in that rocking summer of 2019. I’ll never forget it! You showed us that customer service could be genuine and creative.

  10. Lee on

    Congratulations on your retirement, Karen!! It’s been a pleasure to get to know you and I hope we cross paths again someday soon. Get out there and enjoy yourself!

  11. Sequoia on

    When my very first renters drove my tall van through a short drive through I knew there was some hard conversations ahead. You know what Karen said? – “Oh don’t worry, I’ll take care of it”.

    And she absolutely did. From then on I had zero worries about any obstacle in the process. Karen held it down like a true sacred warrior. Blessings Karen 🙏 We are grateful.

  12. Shara on

    My dear Karen,

    Your kindness and wisdom will be missed! I’m so grateful to have had the chance to work with you and learn from you. You’re a true mentor and have made a such an imprint on my heart.

    Congratulations Queen!

  13. Natalie Carrasco on

    Oh, Queen Karen. You are “Keep Calm and Carry On” personified. Thank you for teaching all of us your impeccable ways. Your GoCamp legacy lives on and I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures to come!

    May the fun never stop!

  14. Ericka Carlson on

    Oh, the adventures you’ll have! Congratulations my dear on this well earned next chapter. It was a gift to be able to work with you during those wild pandemic years, when the world had turned upside down AND everyone in America (and beyond) suddenly wanted a camper van. Your thoughtfulness, kindness and grace under pressure taught me much about how to run a small company. And, also just how to show up in my everyday life. Thank you for all you taught me and all that you gave to GoCamp. They say people are the heart and soul of a company and the work you and Deborah did over the years are what makes GoCamp the best camper van rental company on the planet. Cheers to the next part of the journey.

  15. Claire on

    Karen!!! I am thrilled for you to begin your next journey but will of course miss you! From the moment we met in San Diego, you were my buddy! My fellow tea-drinking, animal loving, scorpio. XOXO I know we will cross paths again and I will be reaching out to you when I come to the Portland area so we can take a stroll around town together. You are a wonderful person in every way and we ALL will miss you dearly. Until we meet again… much love Queen Karen 😀

  16. Ian Beaty on

    Karen, you were the one that got me started with GoCamp. Thanks for all your support and help through the years to make rentals happen. I wish you the best of luck in your next adventure and maybe, just maybe we’ll see you driving a camper van down the road one day!

  17. Tracy Calandrella on

    You’re going to be missed Karen but thank you for all that you did for us owners over the years. I appreciated how easy you were to communicate with. You always kind of made me feel like I was talking to an old friend. And thanks for the warm welcome back when Ramona the Brave entered the fleet. Cheers to your next chapter and all of your new adventures! Tracy and Derrick (Vanna White Top, Ramona the Brave)

  18. Jude on


    You’ve always been steady even if things were chaos around you…and somehow you managed to do it all with joy and a sense of humor. I feel lucky to have worked with you and I’m happy you’re taking some time for you!

  19. Elissa Szymanczyk on

    Karen, from my first day as a GoCamp van owner you made the process so smooth, and you answered all my questions in a such a calm and friendly way that my ownership fears dissolved away! I am so grateful for your steady calm, tremendous experience/knowledge, and your eternal optimism. Thanks for all you’ve done, and good luck in your next chapter!

  20. Chris Beard, Mr. Mike and Tilly Jane on

    Your legacy with GoCamp is a big one! Congratulations on your retirement. I Loved getting to work with you in my GoCamp days. Bon Voyage and happy trails to you on your new adventure. I know you will be missed much.

  21. Camila on

    Thank you for all you’ve brought to GoCamp, but more than that, thank you for being YOU!! All of the heartwarming comments on this blog post are a testament to the impact you’ve made on us and this community.

    Congratulations and good luck on this next chapter. It’s going to be a blast. Cheers to the one and only…Queen Karen! 👑

  22. Missy Tompkins on


    Thank you SO much for you kind and very encouraging guidance on my van owner journey. Honestly, I didn’t know much about vans or renting when I was building out Crescent Moon but you were so helpful and encouraging and assured me that I would succeed. You are professional and personable and were always on top of customer/owner needs before I even knew they were needs!
    I hope you sprinkled all of your ways on to the GoCamp team so they can carry on your awesomeness.
    Best of luck on your new chapter!


  23. Jay and Janine Salzman @ Walnut Express on

    Thank you so much for getting us hooked up with the GoCamp family (and for making it so easy since then)! We can only wish you the best on your continued journey down the road of life!

  24. Jason Gorske on

    Karen’s the best! Always with the friendliest and most helpful customer service for all our guests. You will be missed! Enjoy your retirement! <3

  25. Tanner Lefner on


    Best of luck in your retirement! You have certainly earned it. Much of my time with Outdoorsy/Wheelbase was spent on GoCamp and it was an honor to follow all the wonderful things you all achieved over the years. You made it!

  26. Peter Nguyen on

    Karen! I’m so happy to have had the chance to meet you in person at the expo. Thank you for all you have done for the GoCamp fam! I enjoyed every interaction we had this past year and I can’t wait to see what your next adventures take you!

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