“The funny thing is I don’t like to camp,” owner Robin Rush says. “ But I do enjoy providing more than the basics for my guests and helping them create memories of a lifetime.”
That’s right, an Outdoorsy owner who doesn’t actually camp all that much. So how in the world did she get into the business? Well, it’s a long story that actually started with her daughter becoming an Outdoorsy owner.
“I bought a Roof Top Tent in 2017 for my daughter who moved to Kaua’i and she saw it as a business opportunity,” Robin shares. “She listed it on Ourdoorsy and had success, but she was also working full-time as a waitress. She then met her boyfriend and got pregnant, so she stopped doing Outdoorsy.”
One would think that would be the end of that, but in reality it was just the beginning. “I never thought I would leave California,” Robin tells us. “Then in May of 2018, after a long battle with cancer, my mom passed away. Ten months later my younger brother went into hospice due to liver disease and he passed away. I had recently gotten a job as a virtual admin and was working from home. My daughter Jayce suggested I move to Kaua’i. She knew I needed change in my life. I already had a ticket to come visit her on 11/11/19 so that became my move date.”
After getting settled in Hawaii, Robin pulled out the rooftop tent once again. “Since Jayce wasn’t using the tent I decided to put it on my car and rent it out,” Robin explains. “I started my listing in November 2019 and had several bookings in December, January, and February. Covid hit and Hawaii was locked down in March 2020. After Hawaii opened back up again in early 2021 I started getting bookings in May and have been busy ever since.”
Seeing her mom’s success, Jayce decided to jump back in the saddle. “My daughter felt she was missing out on the Outdoorsy income so she listed her SUV with camping gear and has been doing well with Outdoorsy bookings.” So now renting on Outdoorsy has become a family business!
Wondering how Robin stays so busy? Excellent customer service, of course! “I arrange a phone call or Zoom with my guests to help them navigate the camping permit process and go over details and help them plan their trip based on their interests.
“I also work with my guest’s arrival & departure times for pick up and drop off to make their in and out as easy and stress-free as possible.
Finally, I provide olive oil, salt & pepper, and a few other common spices so my guests don’t have to spend a lot of money on that type of thing. I also offer bug spray and reef-safe sunscreen for free and I provide one can of propane for cooking. I want my guests to get off the plane with their clothes and have everything they need to cook, sleep and enjoy the island.”
Clearly, Robin is a dedicated host. In fact, she’s so dedicated that one of her favorite rental stories involves her going above and beyond to ensure a renter’s vacation was awesome. “I was hosting a girl in her mid 20’s who was traveling alone,” Robin recalls. “I went to the airport to pick her up and her plane was late (I forgot to check before I left the house). I waited at the airport for almost 3 hours for her to arrive. We got back to my house after midnight and it was raining. I felt so bad that she would have to drive 30 minutes to the campsite and try to set up the tent in the dark, so I offered to let her sleep at my house on an air mattress. She accepted and ended up having a great time on Kauai!”
“Customer service is #1 in my book,” Robin continues. “Most of my guests have been really easy to deal with and very appreciative of my service.”
After much work, Robin’s amazing customer service has brought her so much business that she is the #1 listing in all of Kaua’i and is able to live her dreams. “I left my last job as an Office Manager in July and Outdoorsy has been my primary focus. I am hoping to add a second vehicle soon. After decades of working in an office chained to a desk, I’m thrilled to be able to do something I love and I am passionate about. It truly doesn’t feel real!”
All About Robin
Favorite morning beverage: “Tea”
Favorite campsite meal: “Breakfast”
Favorite season: “Winter on Kaua’i”
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “Sea of Cortez Lagoons in Mexico to see and pet Gray Whales”