RV Women's Alliance and their Fun Drab to Fab Project -Episode 4!
Jennifer Young, co-owner Outdoorsy: This was a great experience for me. I definitely have used power tools before, but I’ve never been on the assembly line of building out a trailer or an RV. So today, I got the joy of learning how to assemble one of the windows. So, I was surprised to learn about how to get the tape perfectly nestled around the corners of the window. And I’m not sure if anybody would consider me expert in the use of a drill, but I did manage to get all my screws into the window, and that was my project for the day. It was great.
Janine Pettit, founder of Girl Camper: The Drab to Fab project has been so much fun. From the very get go, when we first talked about it, I was very excited about it. I always tell people the job of the RV industry is not to build things that are beautiful. Their priority is to build things that are safe. So, we’re taking a really well built RV here and we’re bringing it up a notch. We’re girl campering it. We love to camp like girls, so we’re taking everything out of this, we’re making it pretty, we’re making it luxurious, and it’s given us all an opportunity to really get to work together and know each other. And there’s something about being in the foxhole, you know, that just makes people bond. Whether it’s men on a rainy football field, or women here with power tools, we’re having a blast.
Susan Carpenter: We have an amazing collaboration between ourselves and Girl Camper, who is on the consumer side of women camping. And we’re coming together and we’re doing what we call the Girl Camper RV Women’s Alliance Jamboree. So, that’s going to be in May, where we’re going to bring ladies from the industry and ladies who are camping together and to–for the ladies in the industry to learn about camping, and for the campers to learn about the industry.
Janine: Girl Camper is a multimedia platform, and we have a podcast, we have a website, we have Girl Camper guides, and recently we began a magazine. And our mission is to inspire, inform, and lead women into the outdoor world. So, we do that by teaching them safety when it comes to trailer ownership and use and maintenance, by educating them on solo women safety when they’re traveling, and just helping them aspire and get out to the lifestyle that we all love.
Tracy Anglemeyer: This project has a lot of cool aspects to it. One of the ones that is my favorite and dear to my heart is what’s going on behind us today. There are so many different, there’s five different suppliers here today. So, it’s bringing it all together in one day. We have people doing five different things at once in here, so it’s a little chaotic for Susan and I, but that’s great. We need a lot of people. They learn a lot of skills, we learn a lot of stuff. So, it’s teaching, it’s learning, it’s collaborating together in a project to make something better in the industry.
Jennifer: We flew from Austin to Elkhart, love being in this city, and we’re so grateful to be a part of the RVWA and this awesome charity event. We love anything that drives more awareness around people getting involved in
the RV industry and especially women outdoors. I’m a cofounder of Outdoorsy, so I’m one of the owners of the business. And we want it to be a part of an event that, you know, champions those objectives. And we’re happy to be building out this amazing rig. I know it’s going to be auctioned off and it’s going to go to one awesome person. And hopefully, O a really important role to play because, you know, once you own an RV, it’s–you know, when you’re not using it, why not rent it and share the experience and share the joy with somebody else? You make some extra income and everybody wins.
Outdoorsy is the largest and the most trusted marketplace, where anybody who owns an RV can list it for rent and find themselves making $40,000 over the course of a year renting their RV when they’re not using it. And for anybody that wants to access the outdoors, get outside for a weekend, a week, or a long trip, they can easily search and find the perfect RV they’re looking for. We make it safe and easy for everybody to enjoy the experience. We’ve seen just even this summer alone, we’ve seen like 90% new traffic being first time people to the industry. Half of our customer base are millennials under the age of 45. Everybody’s going crazy for being able to get outdoors and enjoy life’s best moments. Our mission at Outdoorsy is to provide as many memorable outdoor experiences as possible, and we do that through access. We’re unlocking the millions of RVs, camper vans, motorhomes, coaches that are out there and sit unused for a good portion of the year. We’re unlocking that inventory and making it accessible to everybody across the US. We’re in 4500 cities, so if you want to go anywhere across the US, national park, you know, your favorite attraction, there’s–pretty certain there’s an RV on outdoorsy.com for you in that location.
Janine: I’m a New Jersey resident, so Elkhart is kind of home base to me too. I think of this as kind of the mothership. My dad was actually born in Elkhart, and I was raised on the south side of Chicago. So, whenever I’m here, it feels like home to me. But I actually live in New Jersey. I get out here frequently because Girl Camper has many great partners out here. And I have been part of the founding of RVWA. I was not a founding member, but we were one of their very first sponsors. So, from the very beginning, Girl Camper was all about helping RVWA in any way they could. We really want women to know there’s more jobs for them in the RV industry than picking out the fabrics that go inside a trailer. So, we have women who are becoming trained to become inspectors. We have women who have very clear leadership roles in this industry, and we always want to give them the opportunity to shine.
Jennifer: Sixty percent of our leadership in Outdoorsy are females, are women. Over half of our global community of RV owners and renters are women. And you know, we’re here today, we came in because we wanted to really support anything we could do to drive positive messages that this is a great industry
to be a part of, perfect for entrepreneurship, great products, and really driving hard the, you know, great customer experiences within outdoor recreation travel, and RV camper van
purchase and renting.
Janine: I am so looking forward to this project being finished so we can talk about it in “Girl Camper” magazine. I really want the opportunity to show off all the things that women can do when they put their heads together. So, really looking forward to talking about our whole project here, Drab to Fab.
Jennifer: It’s great that everybody wants to find, to either buy or to rent an RV. We think it’s like probably the best way to travel through the country. And you know, if you’re finding–if you’re having trouble buying an RV right now, no better time to try before you buy. You can rent a vehicle on Outdoorsy, and what it does is gives you a great opportunity to figure out, do I want–do I want a 27 foot, or do I want a 19? How’s that going to feel different? Is a truck camper big enough for me anyway because it’s got the queen size bed and it’s got a bathroom and that’s really what I need. So, it’s such an awesome way to be able to search and find and try different kinds of sizes and types and brands of RVs, and really hone in what it is that you’re looking for. Helps you make a better purchase decision when you’re ready to buy.