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Old 03-28-2018, 11:13 PM   #1
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Airstream2Go discontinues private rentals

I pulled up Airstream2Go's website tonight in order to share a link with someone that was asking about renting an Airstream. I see that they have removed all references to renting individual Airstreams with a tow vehicle. Instead, the whole site and apparently the business is based on renting Airstream for corporate and private events.

I'm assuming the business model for the event rentals is more profitable and less hassle then dealing with renting a novice a trailer and tow vehicle.

Just an interesting change that I thought others on Airforums might find interesting.

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Old 03-29-2018, 04:09 AM   #2
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are they the sole provider of the AS rental service?

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Old 03-29-2018, 04:43 AM   #3
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Their About page gives the basic details:

The Press page needs some updating if private rentals incl. tow vehicles are no longer done IMO:

Thanks for the heads up.

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Old 03-29-2018, 07:59 AM   #4
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They are not the only rental company but we're certainly a/the major company that was big and got good media in the last years.

It was a very expensive rental but surely gave lots of people the opportunity to see what airstreaming was like.

With so many private owners being hesitant to rent their personally owned Airstreams and so many business and products wanting to use or feature and Airstream in their ads I could see where their new business model will likely be very profitable.

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Old 03-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #5
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Quite honestly this was a pricey venture and overall had a limited audience. This was one of those businesses that make you scratch your head at the get go. Frankly I'm not surprised in the least, and it wouldn't surprise me to see this company to eventually fade away. I think they now realize that deep pockets are more likely at the business level, but even then I think the appeal to the corporate world will be limited. Press release in 2016 said they had 27 trailers and typical costs were $1,000 a day. That speaks volumes as to why this was a head scratcher at day 1.

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Old 03-29-2018, 10:25 AM   #6
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I'm glad I was able to rent about 3 years ago to try it out. I personally had a wonderful experience without incidents. But the learning curve is incredibly steep, and I would consider myself more resourceful than the average bear.

I imagine the issue is a matter of liability, incidentals, and accidents.

With so many newbies, taking a complex rig on travel, for the very first time, incidents are bound to happen. Imagine the support needed, from basic calls, to full blown rescues. Oftentimes at far away distances.

It was probably profitable, because even with accidents, insurance would kick in and pay the bills and loss of rental profits. But it probably was an incredible amount of hassle for a small shop with a relatively small network.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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There’s another one called Roam and Board in California. I think they actually have a wider selection of Airstream sizes, including the Sport models, and I think their tow vehicles are pickup trucks (which would make many here happy!)
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:42 PM   #8
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Many of us actually prefer the SUVs with enclosed cargo bays.

At $1000/day, it's no wonder that they would've had lackluster rentals, because that limits them to the top 1-3% of the market who can afford to buy-&-try, then sell if they don't like it, without it having been "shared" with other prior renters; & there are less expensive options for the rest who may be AS buyers - but not willing to pop $7-14K for a vacation trial run!

If we hadn't liked our restored Avion, then we would've just sold it off, but we like the vintage trailering scene.

However, it's still sad to see a business like that go away.

I wonder if Airstream/Thor had anything to do with their decision?

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Old 03-29-2018, 01:04 PM   #9
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I was surprised that the business model could work at all. Most rental RVs are more "bullet-proof" units upon which repairs to the bodies are less expensive. I would think that the insurance costs would have been prohibitive and would have gotten more so with every incident. The business model which allows the owner to transport and set up the unit would solve much of that problem. I'm guessing that's how it works for the commercial rentals. With that said, it was a cool idea. Too bad it couldn't work.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:35 PM   #10
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I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Airstreams2go. I had a great instructor who went over every detail of how the Airstream worked. It was a wonderful vacation, maybe my second best vacation ever. I heard some pretty crazy stories about folks that had never driven a car much less have any towing experience doing some pretty stupid stuff so I can understand why they decided to go a different route than to rent to individuals. The reason I rented from them was to see if I really, really wanted fork out $200,000 to get started. Although it was pricey it was still cheaper than buying an AS and a TV and all the other stuff that come with it only to find out a month or two later that I hated the whole thing, which we all know does happen a lot but I didn’t hate. Many thanks to Airstreams2Go and i wish them all nothing but the best. Obviously I did buy an AS.

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Old 03-29-2018, 04:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rg416 View Post
There’s another one called Roam and Board in California. I think they actually have a wider selection of Airstream sizes, including the Sport models, and I think their tow vehicles are pickup trucks (which would make many here happy!)
Thanks for sharing this one, I hadn't seen Roamandboard previously. We are evaluating options of renting out our AS on one of the peer-to-peer services (e.g. Outdoorsy, RVshare, etc)...however I have read a lot of horror stories of those sites. Renters definitely take a risk that what they rent remotely matches what was in the photos, but that is the nature of any peer-to-peer services...there are plenty of really well marketed AirBnBs that are below a roach motel in reality.

The majority of the issues that I have read with owners that rent on these sites stem around having this "internet based" business sit between you and the full coverage insurance that protects *your* asset, the RV/TT. Since you have no relationship with the insurance company you are pretty much stuck in the broken email communication of the rental platform. They provide you with no contact info for your claims adjuster, or even human contact by anything other than chat forms or email for the entire service...which can be pretty infuriating after someone takes your brand new classB AS and causes $20k+ in damage (actual horror story that I read).

Here in Oregon the closest option is a winery/RV park that has stationary AS that are essentially hotel rooms, but that doesn't let you get the full experience before deciding to buy. When I had asked our local AS dealer about rentals, they implied they weren't aware of any and that there wasn't a week that went by they didn't get asked.

We may still go down the path of renting, as we really wanted to rent one to try before we bought. I want to make sure I have a bullet proof instruction guide that my wife could follow before we rent it out, it would all be about mitigating risk of someone unknowingly damaging something...but there is always the worry about the hooking the city water to the wrong inlet while the tank valves are closed. (I actually witnessed that on our last trip of the season when water came flooding out of the trailer while they were packing up to leave)

The other piece is that we would have our own insurance policy to protect our AS and not rely only on the pass through policy from the rental platform, that way we can more safely rent across multiple platforms and have the same level of protection regardless of how the renter finds us.

We aren't full timing, we have no plans to do so...and with that our AS will have many weekends where it could "pay its own way" by being rented out. I have friends that rent RVs on these services, they now have 3 RVs because 2 of them are rented out nearly continuously and they got the 2nd and then the 3rd for their personal use. They are using SOB RVs, and apparently they have a good profit margin with them. I don't expect to profit necessarily, though if it turned out to work that way we would likely by a 2nd AS. Every improvement we make is in part to make it "simpler", such as our choice of break controller that is mounted on the trailer rather than being installed in our TV.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:32 PM   #12
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Renting out our 25' Flying Cloud

We're thinking about renting our 25' Flying Cloud out here in SoCal. It seems so easy to do, but hearing some of these stories, I have more questions than answers.

We thought that we would rent the trailer, I would tow it to their location and after their rental time is up (Min. 3 days) tow it back with some costs for t trailer and towing.Or if they have a trailer, they could tow it. Thoughts?

Anybody had experience doing this?
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:50 PM   #13
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There are a number of threads which discuss this. Using the new search function above, inside the blue box, here are the results for "renting out our Airstream" --

Notable threads:

You could quote various posts in these threads, and ask how the OP [original poster] made out. [The quote will generate an email to the poster usually FYI.]

Depending on how much detail, to which you want to pay attention, there are a host of legal, zoning, land use, liability etc. etc. issues which come to mind IMO.

Good luck,

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Old 03-29-2018, 11:53 PM   #14
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Airstream Romance...

The romantic ideas that are attached to owning a iconic Airstream are legend. The brand appeals to a very wide audience, much like another - the Corvette. The numbers just don’t work when you try to operate a business based upon renting such expense merchandise to low volume markets. The major fixed cost is the Floor Plan expenses of being in business: The trailers, tow vehicles, real estate, etc., etc., - the list is long. Even Thor wouldn’t want the headache of such an operation. While they saved the AS brand from extinction - they make better returns on their volume (lower priced) models. Thor does get mileage from owning the AS badge. However, AS has to support itself. The Jayco models may be the more profitable units now owned under Thor’s lineup.

On a personal level, I cannot imagine renting my AS to anyone. People just don’t take care of stuff like I expect. Not even family - let me ding my own trailer!

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