The following article is presented in collaboration with Wheel Estate
So I kinda have this love-hate relationship with camping. On one hand, I love waking up in a halo of sunshine surrounded by a thick grove of trees, inhaling the fresh mountain air. Spending days lounging around a glistening lake and exploring backcountry trails are my fave part of summer, and the best nights are those spent gathered around a campfire in the woods sharing jokes, stories and drinks with friends.
But…I also love showers and clean bathrooms. And not waking up to find a spider in my sleeping bag. Or not taking a sip of wine, only to realize a wasp has taken up residence in my Sauvignon Blanc and is now attacking the inside of my mouth (yes, that legit happened to me no less than two minutes into my last camping trip. Needless to say it did not set a great tone for the weekend ahead.)
And that, my friends, is why my husband and I have had 357 conversations over the past decade about whether or not we should ditch our pop-up tent and buy a trailer. Not only would we feel more comfortable bringing our bulldogs along for the adventure (because locked doors and fans), but there’s a good chance that with a RV I’d last more than one night in the wilderness before retreating home to the comfort of my king size bed that doesn’t deflate in the middle of the night. I’m looking at you, air mattress. However, we always get hung up on the high cost of owning a trailer…and that’s where a Canadian company called Wheel Estate comes in.
The best way to describe Wheel Estate is that it’s like an Airbnb for travel trailer rentals, where RVs that would otherwise be parked on a piece of pavement sitting idle are available to rent directly from owners. It’s a total win-win: owners end up making money to offset the cost of their trailers, and people like me who don’t want to commit to buying one can easily find rental RVs—maybe even from the guy next door. That’s actually how the Alberta-based company was founded, after a couple approached their neighbours about borrowing their trailer, but there were concerns about the potential liabilities. That led to the creation of Wheel Estate’s peer-to-peer online marketplace, where each rental is fully backed by a $1M insurance policy for peace of mind.
There are currently more than 600 listings on the site with pick-up locations across the country, and trailer and RV rental rates start at just $60 per night and go up to about $250 depending on the unit. I’m partial to this tricked-out beauty which has an entire living room, sleeps 10 (!!) and even has an outdoor entertainment system. There are also four TVs, so you can still watch
The Bachelor the hockey game. If retro is more your style, how about spending a weekend with Mellow Yellow, or zipping around Vancouver Island in this bad boy?
Considering that the average trailer is only used 14 days per year and Canadian RV owners spend $1.4B per year on maintenance, storage costs and insurance, it’s clear that Wheel Estate has come up with an ingenious way to put money back in owner’s pockets while making memories affordable for the rest of us. You can bet I’ll be eyeing a Wheel Estate rental ahead of our next long weekend camping trip, and leaving my tiny, cramped tent and sorry little air mattress behind.
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