When we arrived in Alaska in late July, we knew we wanted to make the most of the latter half of Alaska’s short summer season. So, when Labor Day and Ryan’s four-day weekend rolled around, we decided to make plans to go hiking. We planned to hike Gold Mint Trail in Hatcher Pass, and we wanted to camp. However, all the campsites, cabins, and most hotels within budget were full. We decided to rent an RV through MWR at Fort Wainwright but they, too, were booked out. So, we tried Outdoorsy RV rentals for the first time, and it was quite the experience. We’re sharing our thoughts, the overall experience, and whether or not we’d do it again.
All About Outdoorsy RV Rentals & Stays
Remember when we shared how we love staying in Airbnbs? Well, think of Outdoorsy as the more mobile, adventurous version of that. Designed as a peer-to-peer marketplace, Outdoorsy connects RV owners with potential travelers and campers who share the same passion for exploration but without an RV of their own.
We’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing an RV for a long time now but, in all honesty, we just can’t stomach or justify the cost. However, there are thousands of RVs in Alaska – and around the country – that sit unused for months at a time. Outdoorsy’s platform bridges the gap between owners and those who want to rent RVs. On their platform, you’ll find everything from fifth wheels to Class A, B, and C RVs, Airstreams, toy haulers, and more. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop to rent an RV.
Our Outdoorsy RV Rental Trip
I signed up for a free Outdoorsy account to scour the listings of what’s in the area between Fairbanks and Palmer, Alaska, where we planned to explore for the long weekend. There were about 20 in the immediate area but, since we planned to camp our rental RV at a friends’ house, we knew we didn’t actually need the RV until we reached Palmer. So, instead, we searched in the Palmer area. That’s how we found this 2018 Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup for rent.
We’ve never rented or hauled an RV before, so we had to check a few things first, including:
- Sleeps 5 (perfect!)
- Propane capacity was 5 gallons – we were expected to top it up if we used it, and we barely did
- Gray water/black water – both were 25 gallons and expected to be emptied
- Gross weight was 3,917 lbs, which was under Ryan’s vehicle’s towing capacity
- Pet-friendly so we could bring Danny
Ultimately, we wanted something comfortable and compact, and this RV perfectly fit the bill. I messaged the owner through Outdoorsy, and we booked our first rental! All that was left was the drive down (6 hours!), then we picked it up, the owner gave us the lay of the land, and helped us hook it up to drive the rest of the way to Palmer, about 20 minutes away.
What We Thought About Outdoorsy
Overall, Outdoorsy is an awesome platform! I love the ease of it, and potential renters can view both online and on the app, much like other rental spaces. I also liked that we could choose our own insurance coverage plan from their options, and their verified system was simple to furnish our licensing information.
Even better, it was super easy and efficient to communicate with our host, the RV owner. When we initially struggled to find the location of the pickup, the owner messaged back in real time to ensure we found it easily. And, drop-off was just as efficient. He gave us the instructions, we unhooked and simply parked it back in his desired spot on their property. It was really great to know that Outdoorsy backed and protected us on our side of the rental, just in case.
How Much Our Outdoorsy RV Cost
I pride myself in sharing a bit of transparency with trips, so I’ll be honest and say that this wasn’t the cheapest two-night trip. We’ve discovered that everyone is right; things cost a lot in Alaska, and all types of accommodations are at the top of that list. So, here’s how much our Outdoorsy RV rental cost, and how it broke down:
- Price Per Night: $175
- Vehicle Protection Package (Required): $98.95
- Prep Fee: $100
- Pet Fee: $45
- Outdoorsy Service Fee: $49.50
- Total Price: $643.35
For context, rentals through the MWR are about $75-$100/day, and you don’t deal with the additional fees. Since that wasn’t an option though, this was a great alternative, and it was actually less than the cost of most local hotels since cabins were booked out.
Is Outdoorsy Worth It?
Ultimately, it worked perfectly for our little family getaway. Though pricier than we’d like (we’d prefer a simple cabin any day!) it was on par with most rentals in Alaska because, yes, that “Alaska tax” thing is real. Would we use Outdoorsy again? Absolutely! Overall, it was a seamless, streamlined experience and, if you’re hoping to rent an RV or experience an RV stay, it’s a must.