The founders of RVezy, a Canadian peer-to-peer RV company, have found a way to help essential workers self-isolate while staying close to home.
This story by Liz Braun originally appeared in the Toronto Sun.
In the same way Airbnb lets you rent your house or apartment to someone else, RVezy lets people who own motorhomes, camper trailers and every kind of RV rent them out to others.
“Most people use an RV a few weeks a year. What about the other 11 months? You’ve got a very expensive asset sitting unused in the driveway,” says RVezy co-founder Mike McNaught.
RVezy has been called upon to provide emergency accommodation to health-care professionals and other essential workers who need to self-isolate to protect their families, but who also need to stay close to home.
Individual frontline workers, such as doctors and nurses, have turned to RVezy to get an RV so they can self-isolate and protect their family’s health. They’re more or less still home during the pandemic — just parked right outside.
Large organizations are also housing staff in RVs from RVezy; whether it’s one person or an army of workers, RVezy does all the legwork and set-up, right across the country.
“It goes from one person living with his elderly mother and wanting to protect her, but staying close to home, all the way to a power company that needed 70 RVs to house essential workers. We created a makeshift RV park for them.”
McNaught is a former Ottawa police officer who worked in the Emergency Services Unit. Will Thompson spent 20 years in the Canadian military, including a stint in Afghanistan.
“We’re both used to stress, and to innovating to find solutions.”
This latest venture, says McNaught, came from the RV owners themselves, who wanted to help in a crisis.
McNaught responded by waiving all service fees for RVezy during this period. Owners dropped their fees.
“Everyone has been hit financially – RV owners too. Renting helps them pick up a bit of money, but the owners are all lowering their rates, some by 50 percent.” And some just want the insurance covered but offer their RVs free.