So the idea to start a full-service, glamping tent rental really came to us the same way the idea to live full-time, on the road in an RV did, out of pure necessity. With the motorhome, we had hit a fork in the road as far as our careers and housing. At the time we were in a short-term rental that had run out and on the exact same day in which we were suppose to vacate the apartment or sign a new lease I found out I was being let go from my job. Also happening at this time was the passing of my grandfather, who was the original owner of our RV, who we affectionately call “Homie”. With no careers holding us back, no mortgage or lease keeping us stationary and the RV suddenly becoming available for purchase the signs all pointed to this solution. Moving into the motorhome just seemed like the most logical solution and since we had just been married (and had not booked a honeymoon yet) we decided this would be the perfect time to do it! So, without hesitation we sold our belongings and jumped into this full-time RV life head first.
We had been living in the motorhome for just over 1 year when the idea to start a glamping business came to us. We had hosted a whole slew of friends and families coming to visit us on our travels and it didn’t take long to realize fitting extra bodies in a 33ft motorhome would be quite a struggle. Our Homie girl is spacious but her limits have definitely been tested with our large gatherings, so we wanted to figure out something that would act as an extension of the motorhome. Something that would solve our problem of not being able to comfortably host our visitors while also solving a completely separate problem of needing to generate income while traveling. To be honest our first thought was a mobile vintage trailer that we could possibly tow behind the RV, but that just seemed like a lot more work than we were wanting to put into this idea. It wasn’t until we were on a camping trip with some friends in Zion that we got our first glimpse of a CanvasCamp Bell Tent. Our friends had one and we watched them set it up with ease and instantly knew, this would be the best solution to meet all of our needs.
Just like Homie, we purchased our 13.5 ft, all season, CanvasCamp Glamping tent to solve the issue of housing out of town friends and family but we also saw a potential income opportunity. Insert ‘The Pop-Up BnB’, a full-service luxury camping experience. Our love for camping in exotic places combined with the thrill of searching for those perfectly secluded sites really made us wish we had other people there to share it with. We have stayed in some magnificently, breathtaking locations and we wanted to share that same magical feeling with other people. Sometimes our guests have their own spots picked out that they would like their camp setup at and other times our guests solely rely on us to find them a spot that meets their needs. No matter where the location they can ensure a care free, over the top, luxurious stay. Our guests have hot meals delivered to their tent site, plush bedding, heaters and fans for temperature control and a plethora of add-on items to choose from, such as our “outdoor movie-night package”. We want our guests to show up and relax, never having to lift a finger. So we do everything in our power to make that happen and so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Although this success has been wonderful and we feel extremely blessed, we still have a whole slew of hardships to tackle with this tent business. Growing pains at any new startup are common and we are no different. One of the biggest issues we have to continually tackle is the need for a large, open (and ideally flat) clearing to fit our tents 20 ft diameter. Nature is not always so friendly in providing us with a perfect area, so we work with what is there and are continually coming up with ways to improve this issue. Another battle to tackle in trying to run a glamorous camping experience in nature is dealing with the elements. We don’t always have the best weather, so if it means setting the tent up in pouring rain, we do it. We do our best to relay to our guests that this is a true camping experience and as such they could incur inclement weather in which they would be stuck inside the tent rather than exploring the area, like they had intended. So far, our wonderful guests have rolled with every element and made the best out of the situation. Which totally speaks to their rad personalities, but then again, if you book an overnight stay at a mobile tent in the middle of a secluded forest then you have to be pretty rad in the first place. We have hosted bachelorette parties, romantic getaways, kids’ birthday parties and single travelers just looking for a “once in a lifetime” experience. We hope to grow our business in 2019, though we are not entirely sure of what that looks like right now. I’m confident it will be unique and totally off beat, so stay tuned!