Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Unusual camping partnership puts RV renters in fancy glamping tents … with “turn down” service

RVers are well aware of the huge influx of new campers renting RVs through services like Outdoorsy. Some of them are the ones beating you to the punch on reservation sites. You also know about “glamping” – a made-up word (a portmanteau, for you word freaks) that describes a new, more comfortable style of camping that likely doesn’t hold much appeal for established RV aficionados.

What happens when a big rental RV company joins forces with a glamping leader to come up with a totally new RVing (sort of) experience?

A Collective Retreats glamping tent.

That’s just what happened recently when Outdoorsy announced it was partnering with luxury glamping provider Collective Retreats to provide something they are calling a “hybrid campground offering.”

Collective Retreats is well known for providing very high-end glamping experiences in fancy safari tents in fantastic locations.

…Renters will be able to stay in their rented RV rigs but will have full use of the retreat facilities, including services like – get this – light housekeeping of the RV and a “turn down” service of their RV beds at night.

The partnership is launching with a somewhat weird yet “elevated” camping experience from the two companies utilizing Collective Retreats’ very unique glamping facility on Governors Island in the middle of New York Harbor. Outdoorsy guests will park their rented RVs in a secured lot near the Statue of Liberty side in New Jersey and be whisked by water taxi on a private tour of New York City’s harbor.

Outdoorsy RVers can get a lift from a water taxi on their way to a fancy glamping experience.

They will then arrive on Governors Island and spend the night in a Collective Retreats temperature-controlled glamping tent complete with comfy beds. They will be spoiled rotten with wine or champagne, two complimentary daily epicurean or mixology classes, complimentary evening gourmet s’mores, morning yoga classes, and a gourmet continental breakfast delivered to the tent before being returned to their rigs the next morning.

But wait! There’s many more – and even more odd – aspects to this partnership. The two companies are also planning similar ventures at Collective Retreat facilities in Vail, Colorado, and the Texas Hill Country later this summer. For those excursions, Outdoorsy renters will be able to stay in their rented RV rigs but will have full use of the Retreat facilities, including services like – get this – light housekeeping of the RV and a “turn down” service of their RV beds at night. Now, THAT’S camping!

“With this new influx of travelers rediscovering the beauty of the American road trip, the traditional RV campground model is in need of a transformation to bring it into the 21st century, and we’re looking forward to unveiling these makeovers one campground at a time with a renowned player in the bespoke experiential hospitality space,” said Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins. “These new accommodation makeovers will unveil a world where disconnecting in nature is synonymous with experiencing memorable moments that bring you a sense of effortless calm and comfort.”

What does this mean for the average RVer?

It’s obvious that Outdoorsy and Collective Retreats aren’t going after your average RVer with these offerings. Yet one benefit for everyone is that Collective Retreats plans to add RV parking sites at its facilities throughout its system.

More RV sites – even those that are out of financial reach for most of us – are always a good thing. It could lessen the camping pressure, at least in a small way, at those most-popular destinations.

So, I guess everyone wins a little. Regular RVers get a bit less competition for regular ol’ sites, and those first-time Outdoorsy newbie RV renters get the chocolates on their pillows at night.


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.



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Scott Gitlin (@guest_137471)
2 years ago

“Bespoke” . . . I used to get nauseous hearing the word “paradigm.” Both fall under the category of “pretentious.”

Kamwick (@guest_136261)
2 years ago

More rv sites are great.
I’ll pass on the housekeeping and turn down service, though 😉

Mike Gast (@guest_136205)
2 years ago

Hi Andy! To your point, Webster said I could:
‘Unique’ is often cited as a word that should never be modified, as its original meanings were “being the only one” and “unequaled.” But ‘unique’ has another meaning, “unusual,” and it’s common to modify the word when it’s used this way.” -Merriam Webster

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Gast

… or even very unique, Andy. 😆 –Diane

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Gast

You two, Mike and Andy, are very unusual in your very uniqueness. 😆 Oy! Too little sleep. 🙄 –Diane

Traveler (@guest_136133)
2 years ago

More of a soft sided hotel?

Ray (@guest_136127)
2 years ago

Tent rentals with high dollar amenities? Good luck with that. How about a butler with a fly swatter.

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles (@guest_136105)
2 years ago

This is an attempt to skim the cream of the “new wave” of RVers, leading to less high end demand for the example new KOA kamping destination features- which helps subsidize average RVers’ site rentals. I am not sure this is a good thing. (I can just see the target market assuming that they’ve had a wonderful “camping” experience. I’ve seen this in my little city where every few years beach admission fees are discussed for city residents and the people on the commission who think they know what having to hew tightly to a budget means, and them asserting out that families dependent on relief can afford to pay for a ticket to go to the beach- can afford it because it “costs about as much as a night at the movies). I hope that Collective Retreats divorces itself entirely from the RVing market. But that’s just my take on things.

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