I’m taking a break from travel right now after a very busy 2016. I do have a few weekend trips planned for this winter, but mostly not involving home exchanges or other peer-to-peer services since I’m just visiting family and friends. This might make for slightly less exciting posts if you’re reading this site for the reviews and stories. Sorry about that. But with the down time I’m taking this opportunity to continue with the clean up of my sharing economy travel services database, which is hopefully useful to everyone.
If you want to play around with this fabulous spreadsheet, here’s the link.
Following up on last week’s obituaries of peer-to-peer tour companies, this week I’m writing about gear rental of all sorts. There are gear rental generalists: they offer bikes, kayaks, rafts, wetsuits, ATVs, tents, climbing tools, and more. And then there are a few specialists I put in their own categories: Boat rentals, RV rentals, and Motorcycle rentals. I’m not the only one who thinks these three are distinct from the more general (and generally smaller) gear rental sites: they are almost exclusively offering only the one thing on their network. Below I’ll go through these categories separately.
I started with 18 gear rental companies, and three of them fell out of the mix in 2016:
- Propaloo was a site offering peer-to-peer rental of any sort of outdoor gear you might want: ATVs, bikes, boards, kayaks, boats, personal watercrafts, RVs, rafts, snowmobiles, wetsuits.
- Gearlope launched in 2014 and now they have this note up on their website: “We are napping now and have put gearlope on hold as kite surfing, backcountry snowboarding, mountain biking and 10 other outdoor activities have pulled this small team into different directions. ” Perhaps they’ll be back some day, for now apparently they are ensuring a good work/life balance.
- Fun2Rent launched in 2011, offering watercraft, ATV and snowmobile rental.
Out of the 16 boat rental companies I had listed, two failed in 2016:
- Fun2Boat launched in 2012 initially offering boats in Florida. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that both this one and the similarly (uninspired) named company Fun2Rent listed above both failed last year.
- Temptoy launched in 2012 initially offering boats in Texas.
While going through my Adventure Gear category I noticed that I had 7 RV rental companies but I also had 6 motorhome rental companies listed under the Rental Lodging category. There is no difference between these two, apparently I couldn’t decide what category they went in and half the time felt that RVs are adventure gear while the other half I concluded they are rental lodging. I still don’t know what the right answer is. I changed them all to the “Rental Lodging” category (you can still find them just by searching on “Motorhome” in the Subcategory). I think lodging the main purpose of an RV/camper. But I’ve never actually used one so I’m probably not fit to judge. If anyone whose actually used an RV has an opinion on this, feel free to share. I’m already having second thoughts and wanting to move them back into Adventure Gear.
Of the 13 RV rental businesses I had listed, three failed in 2016:
- Carmavan was offering rentals in Australia.
- GoRVNow launched in 2015 with Campers in the U.S.
- Camplify which was serving Australia with P2P RV rentals was still in pre-beta last I noticed, in 2015.