By Rachael Green, Benzinga
Younger travelers, in general, look for adventure and new experiences, with RV travel ranking high as a lower-cost means of exploring the country, especially with a family in tow. In a survey by RVshare, 75% of millennials and 58% of Gen Z said they were planning to take a road trip or vacation in an RV within the next year.
For many, the reason theyre opting for RV travel is a greater preference for nature and wildlife as well as an interest in spending quality time with friends and family. Peer-to-peer rental platforms like Wallabing make getting that experience and quality time that todays travelers value easier and more affordable. As the new RV rental platform raises capital on WeFunder and works toward profitability, take a look at why RV rental platforms are taking off and what makes Wallabing different from similar platforms in the space.
Younger Experience-Focused Travelers Are Driving A Renewed Interest In RV Travel
As millennials start entering their 30s and 40s, the notorious industry-killing generation isnt killing travel but they are drastically changing it. According to a Morning Consult report, millennials travel more than any other age group, even edging out the wealthier and often retired Baby Boomers.
Despite being saddled by debt and weathering three economic downturns, millennials are not only still willing to spend on travel but see it as an important piece of their identity and what makes life worth living. As a result, that spend tends to be a lot more intentional, and theyre much more likely to spend on experiences rather than luxury goods.
That high priority younger travelers place on travel balanced by the need to be cost-conscious and careful about how they spend their travel budget makes RV rentals one of the best ways to check all the boxes. Spontaneous new adventures suddenly become more attainable when you can just book an RV when you need it and give it back to the owner when youre done.
For owners, the platform can not only help make up the cost of ownership but also turn their RV into a passive revenue stream when theyre not traveling themselves. Since most owners only use their RV for about 20 days per year on average, thats a lot of downtime that can be turned into extra cash.
RV Rental Platforms Like Wallabing Bridge The Gap Between RV Owners And Renters
That win-win scenario for owners and renters has helped the emerging RV rental market see notable growth. With the rapidly growing rental market for RVs, valued at $546 million in 2020, and the forecast of 44 million Americans planning to go RVing this summer, Wallabing's platform emerges as an essential solution, said Wallabings lead investor, Mark Thimmig.
However, the challenge that owners and renters alike face in the current RV rental landscape is high fees. I currently rent my 2 Campers on both Rvshare and Outdoorsy, said Wendell Olson, a Wallabing investor on WeFunder. I see RVshare take 25% of my nightly rate and the same on back end charges. Outdoorsy takes less on nightly and much less on back end charges but it's still high.
Moreover, many of these platforms are also charging similarly high fees to renters. So renters end up paying more and RV owners earn less. Thats what Wallabing founder and CEO Jason Carlson wanted to do differently with the launch of the new RV rental platform. On Wallabing, owners pay nothing to list and arent charged any fees when their RV is rented. The price they set is the price they get, making it the only platform to date that doesnt charge a commission to owners.
Instead, the platform earns revenue from a flat 10% fee charged to renters on the nightly rate only not on any cleaning fees or other add-on services. The transparent, low-fee pricing structure saves renters up to 25% per trip on average.
In the first phase of its growth, Wallabing has been focused on building up its RV inventory, which has grown 628% so far, including a 25% increase in new listings in the first half of this year. Its goal is to have over 150,000 RVs listed on the platform within the next five years.
Alongside that growing inventory, Wallabing recently began a PR and marketing campaign to reach renters. That helped bring in over 30,000 new users since June and substantially grow the companys social media following. As that increased user base and social media following starts to translate into RV bookings, the peer-to-peer RV rental platform is targeting $780,000 in gross revenue per month by the end of their fiscal year.
As it works toward profitability, it is raising funds via its recent WeFunder campaign and talking with Venture Capitalists and angel investors. So far, its raised over $1 million in capital from an initial family and friends funding round along with over $55,000 from investors on WeFunder.
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