Rent it Out
Learn why Ben and Erin Barton rent their camper van on GoCamp, and get advice about renting out yours.
In the summer of 2020, the Bartons wanted to visit family in Wyoming. They hopped on Outdoorsy to try to rent a camper van for the trip and quickly realized renting was going to be expensive. When they couldn’t find a suitable option for the dates they needed, Erin thought, “Why don’t we just buy a camper van, go on our trip, and then rent it out?!”
And that’s exactly what they did! The Bartons got lucky and found a fully outfitted ready-to-go camper van through Grit Overland (formerly Paradigm Van).
Once back home Erin started researching options for renting out their new camper van. She contacted a van owner on Outdoorsy and simply asked, “Do you actually make money on this?” The owner replied in the affirmative, but Erin was still wary. Erin shared, “I sell a lot of stuff online. I get tired of people asking me 20 questions and then not buying anything. I thought, there’s no way I’m doing that with the van.”
GoCamp takes all the hassle out of it, why wouldn’t we work with GoCamp!?
The Bartons were referred to GoCamp through Grit Overland because another Grit customer was successfully renting his van through GoCamp. After a quick visit to the GoCamp website Erin thought, “Oh yeah, we’re totally doing this. GoCamp takes the hassle out of it, why wouldn’t we sign up to work with GoCamp!?”
Meanwhile, Ben was having a slight heart attack about the big-ticket purchase. They had just made a fairly large investment in a very short amount of time. But within a few days of listing on the GoCamp website, the Bartons had two long-term reservations. They netted $3,000 worth of income right away and have not looked back.
No two van owners — just like no two GoCamp vans — are exactly alike. That’s what makes GoCamp so special. Say hello to GoCamp van owners, Erin and Ben Barton. They are happily renting their Dodge ProMaster, Your New BFF, through GoCamp.
Tell us about the name.
Erin: The full name is the Barton Family and Friends Van. We have an LLC set up for the van business, so that’s our official name. Her rental name is Your New BFF.
What’s been the best part of your GoCamp experience?
Erin: The GoCamp team is so organized! Also, I love how little we have to do. We’ll be just sitting around. Then all of a sudden there’s a new email in my inbox saying “You’ve got a new reservation!” It’s so exciting. We don’t really do anything and then we find out that we have another reservation. We don’t have to worry about any of it really.
Plus, it’s been nice that GoCamp shares its industry knowledge about things like add-ons and competitive pricing. At first, I wanted to rent for quite a bit more. But Deborah stepped in and advised us on a pricing strategy that would yield the results I was looking for. GoCamp just makes it super, super easy.
Ben: To sum it up in two words: hassle-free.
How would you rate your GoCamp experience?
Erin: I’d say it’s a 10. I tell everybody, “It’s so much easier to do this with GoCamp at your side.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to rent out their van?
Erin: I would just say just do it. I don’t know why you wouldn’t rent your van out.
Ben: I would recommend being dog-friendly because people like to bring their pets. And ours is a relatively new van so we don’t put geographic restrictions on where renters can go. That’s meant we get lots of long-term rentals, like two and three-week trips. Between that and being pet-friendly, I think that’s why we’re getting so many rentals.
Anything else? Add-ons or extras you’ve included in Your New BFF?
Erin: I invested a lot in the linens in the van. We also bought a real mattress. It’s not a camping mattress. It is a real comfortable bed. I’m a nut about that. We’ve got two different kinds of pillows; we have hard pillows and soft pillows, for the options. Ben thinks it’s totally silly. But I ask people which kinds of pillows they want. In the wintertime I ask if they want flannel or cotton sheets. Everything in the van is new. The sleeping is the most important part to me.
What are you going to do with the money earned on GoCamp?
Erin: Our plan is to pay the van off. If we could do $25-30k a year, we could pay the van off in four years. Initially, we took some of the extra money and made upgrades to the van. But now we’re just using the rental income to pay off the van.
Ben: And buy another van.
Erin: Yeah, get another van!