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Outdoorsy Rules The RV Industry Boom | Forbes




The RV marketplace Outdoorsy began the pandemic like many other travel-focused companies: watching cancellations pile up. “April 1—our lowest bookings day on record—was our worst nightmare,” says Jen Young, 47, the company’s cofounder and chief marketing officer.

That nightmare would soon turn into Outdoorsy’s greatest opportunity. As Americans got cabin fever and realized RVs, motorhomes and camper vans could solve the conundrum of “socially-distanced travel,” Young and her cofounder and life partner, Jeff Cavins (also the company’s CEO), focused their attention on search engine optimization. During what became the “summer of the RV,” Outdoorsy rose to the top of Google’s search results, logging more than 3.5 million visits to its website in June, more than double its traffic in June 2019.

These clicks translated into a booking per minute, Young says, as renters, many first-timers, began booking longer trips on shorter notice. Forbes expects the company’s sales 2020 sales to reach $62 million this year, up from last year’s $38 million.

When Young and Cavins, 59, founded Outdoorsy in 2015 they simply wanted to solve a mismatch in the RV, motorhome and camper van market. By their count, some 17 million North American RVs sit unused more than 300 days of the year. Meanwhile, more than 70 million American households hike or camp at least once a year, but most won’t buy its own RV or motorhome. Young and Cavins’ solution: create the Airbnb of RVs.

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