Welcome to the GoCamp Owner Handbook.
We created GoCamp to make camping easy. We also want to make renting EASY FOR YOU. So we put together this handbook to share important information about how the process works.
As GoCamp got its start in Portland, Oregon, this handbook is admittedly Oregon-centric. Apologies to our new friends outside of Oregon! With your help, we’ll be updating the manual throughout the 2018 season for your areas. (And the photos in here are pretty heavy on Vanagons and Eurovans... don't worry Sprinter, Ford, and etc. folks, we'll be getting great photos of your vans too!)
How it Works
Table of contents
How it works (6)
Getting started (10)
Mechanical assessment (12)
Driver's manual (18)
Your listing (20)
Double exposure (22)
Roadside assistance (26)
Renter screening (28)
What if something goes wrong (32)
GoCamp commission (36)
Your base rate + discounts (38)
Additional fees (44)
City Code PDX (50)
Income and sales tax (52)
Customer profile (56)
GoCamp creates a listing for your vehicle and handles all the back and forth with potential renters. You let us know when you want to make your vehicle available, and when you want it for yourself.
When your vehicle gets rented, we send you rental details via email and your on-line calendar is automatically updated to show your vehicle as unavailable. Two weeks before the rental begins, we introduce you to the renter and send a rental contract. You and the renter communicate directly regarding mutually convenient pick up and drop off times.
You check out your vehicle to the renter and give them a quick orientation. The renter heads off and has a great time. Upon their return, you check in the vehicle and send GoCamp a quick text or email to let us know that happy customers have returned your vehicle. You detail for GoCamp any mileage charges, late drop off fees, etc.
Then GoCamp writes you a check or electronically transfers $$ your way!
How it works
At GoCamp we value transparency and work hard to make sure you have the information you need to succeed. We communicate with Camper Club members in a few different ways.
Google Shared Drive
We routinely upload important documents to a Google Drive shared folder that everyone has access to. Having trouble logging in? Just let us know if you need help.
When you list your vehicle on GoCamp, you become a member of the Camper Club - a pretty cool group of fellow van owners who are listing their vehicles on GoCamp.
Regular Email Updates
We share news and tidbits on a regular basis through email. The emails are very cleverly titled “Owner News and Updates Number XX.” Watch for them in your in-box.
We try to host at least two face-to-face owner meetings a year.
Phone, email, or text
You can always contact GoCamp via 971.400.6768 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or issues. We are happy to hear from you, especially if you’ve got a funny story about a rental for us!
Your fellow van owner may have just the answer you are looking for. Don't hesitate to call on other members of the 'Camper Club' when you have an issue. There's a contact list for everyone in the Google Drive.
Congratulations! You are in the (exclusive) Camper Club and getting ready to rent your vehicle on GoCamp. There are three steps you’ll want to take at the beginning of every rental season:
1. Mechanical Assessment
We want to make doubly sure your van is in good mechanical condition so you'll get a mechanical assessment by a trusted professional and have an opportunity to address any issues that are discovered during the review.
2. Outfit your Van
Outfit your van with cooking, eating, camping and sleeping gear so that, typically, four people can hop in and go.
3. Driver's Manual
Write or update your driver’s manual and tell people about any special quirks or features.
Tell your neighbors you'll be renting your vehicle on GoCamp so that they don't wonder what's going on when strangers start driving away in your car.
Before listing your vehicle, GoCamp will pay for a mechanical assessment to be sure your vehicle is ready for renting. The cost of this assessment is deducted from your first rental so there are no up front costs to you.
In Portland, Green Drop Garage performs GoCamp’s mechanical assessments. Ask for Noe (503.567.8344) at the Moreland location on SE 28th and Steele. Outside of Portland we’ll work with you to identify the best shop for the GoCamp assessment.
In the Bay Area, we're working with Precision People's Car Repair in Berkeley, located at 1346 San Pablo Avenue (call Ken at 510.524.1911).
The mechanical assessment GoCamp does is simply a measure of mechanical soundness at a specific point in time. After the initial assessment, you should plan on having your vehicle inspected and/or serviced every 90 days. This is necessary to comply with the terms of our insurance coverage, which read "Every vehicle must pass a 90-day inspection of its tires, brakes, and LP gas, appliance and electrical systems within 90-days of the reservation departure." Note that our insurers reserve the right to request these inspection documents in the case of a claim so you should be sure to document your compliance with this provision.
You should routinely check the health of your auxillary battery and change or top off fluids like oil, coolant, etc. on a regular basis. You should also actively monitor your tires for air pressure and wear. Check your brakes, your electrical systems and your propane tanks if relevant. How often? Before each rental is not too frequent; every 90 days is required as noted above!
GoCamp’s promise to customers is that they can hop in and go. You provide all the bedding, cooking, eating and camping gear they will need.
Outfitting for four
You provide outfitting based on the # of passengers your vehicle can accommodate, not the # of sleeping spaces within your vehicle. For example, a Sprinter that seats four but only sleeps two would send a four-person party off with a tent and bedding (at no extra charge) for the two people that will be sleeping outside the van. The van should be loaded with four camp chairs, plates and bowls and cutlery for four people, towels for four people, etc. A Eurovan Weekender that seats six would provide gear for the four people sleeping inside the van as part of the rental, but would charge extra for a tent, additional camp chairs, and bedding for any passengers beyond 4 people.
Boxes and bins
Note all the boxes in the back of the van called Metolius on the preceeding page. When packing Weekenders or other vehicles without built in storage compartments, clearly labeled bins and boxes are the way to go.
You can provide either comforters and blankets or sleeping bags; either are a fine option. Note that some customers are allergic to down comforters so you may want to plan accordingly.
Starting in 2018, having a hide-a-key attached somewhere to your van is a mandatory requirement.
Outfitting: road trip ready
What makes your van special?
You can find sample lists of what other owners have provided on the Google Drive. Remember that you are curating the camping experience for your customers. People love a few special items so consider investing in things like Pendleton or Poler blankets, a throw pillow or two, enamelware with a little character, or signature cookware.
Local treats and tips
In the high season, ~70% of GoCamp’s customers are flying in from somewhere else. They’ve done some research but are also often open to ideas about what to do and where to go. You enhance their experience when you share tips on campgrounds or hikes that you love.
People also really appreciate it when you pack the vehicle with a few local food items. Coffee, for example, is an easy local item to include.
Chris Beard provides an old-fashioned toastie in Tilly Jane. Christophe Murphy makes a ukele available in Big Zip. Pat and Jody Lando bought one really nice Pendleton blanket for Tla-na-na. The Rogue includes pillows shaped like mountains that kids just love.
Do you want renters to only put premium gas in your vehicle? Is there a trick to opening the awning? Anything special they need to know about your propex heater? Are there little quirks you want to tell them about? Your driver's manual is your opportunity to tell renters all the things they need to know about your vehicle.
Go buy a white notebook and some dividing tabs. It's best if the notebook has pockets; that way you can put some GoCamp postcards inside your GoCamp binder.
See the Google Share drive for sample driver’s manuals and standard content provided by GoCamp. You don't have to start from scratch. Grab somebody else's driver's manual and modify it as necessary, adding specifics unique to your van. Then, make your binder; it should be organized as follows:
Cover page, including social media handles (Provided by GoCamp; See Google Drive)
Tab 1: A copy of the rental contract (Face page specific to the rental; contract generic to your vehicle)
Tab 2: The driver's manual - all the info you think it is important to share about the vehicle
Tab 3: Supply list - where is everything stored within the van?
Tab 4: Insurance information and what to do if something goes wrong (Provided by GoCamp; See Google Drive)
Tab 5: A copy of the GoCamp driver's policies (Provided by GoCamp; See Google Drive)
Tab 6: Original manuals or instructions you might have for the car, the stereo, the awning, etc.
Use the info in your binder to set your renters up for success. If you were lending your car to your grandma, what would you be sure to tell her before she drove away?
Your GoCamp listing is one part standard GoCamp text and one part customized text that only you can provide. Little details can make all the difference. See for example the description of Mt Hood below; several renters have commented that the subwoofer tipped the scales in favor of Mt. Hood for them!
Send us info about your van any time; we’ll happily update your listing to make your van sound as awesome as it is.
We have a great list of photographers who will take your vehicle out for a photo shoot so that it looks great. Typically you don’t receive any rental income; photographers get free use of a GoCamp van in exchange for photography. We’ll coordinate all the logistics and manage the receipt of photography. Your job is to make sure the vehicle is outfitted and sparkles that day!
“This 1986 Vanagon Weekender with a 1994 Subaru engine has a 4-speed manual transmission and enough horsepower to take mountain passes with ease and keep pace with highway traffic. The air conditioning system has been rebuilt and blows cold. The van is mostly original but includes the following upgrades: dimmer controlled LED lights in main cabin and the pop-top, LED reading lights for back seat, hands-free Bluetooth stereo with all new speakers and subwoofer to crank tunes above the road noise, snap-on rain fly to keep the pop-top dry on those rainy nights, shoulder belts for the back seats, curtains all the way around for privacy and to keep out the morning sun, memory foam topper for bottom bed to maximize comfort, large skylight for stargazing, gas struts to make raising the pop-top easy and a 120 volt inverter with USB outlet to keep your electronics charged.”
Keep your calendar up to date
Do you plan on using your van for 4th of July weekend? Make sure you let GoCamp know when you want to block out your calendar for your own personal use.
GoCamp has partnered with one of the nation’s leading peer-to-peer car sharing sites, Outdoorsy, so that when you list with GoCamp, you are also listing with Outdoorsy.
Outdoorsy serves as a great secondary marketing channel. You will have two listings – one on GoCamp and one on Outdoorsy. Your reservation calendar will automatically synch on both sites and GoCamp will manage both.
Every renter purchases insurance as part of their rental. The second your van is rented, GoCamp's policy comes into play. Payment processing services and insurance coverage are provided through our partnership with Outdoorsy.
Comp and Collision
$75,000 - $250,000 in comp and collision depending on the vehicle (older vehicles like Vanagons and Eurovans are covered at $75,000 while newer Sprinters, for example, may be covered at higher levels). The Comp and Collision policy has a $1,500 deductible that’s collected from the renter only in case of an incident.
You can find the Declarations page for GoCamp's insurance coverage in the Google Share Drive.
IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING YOUR PERSONAL POLICY!
When you are using your vehicle, you are covered by your personal policy. However, some insurance providers forbid rentals of any kind and thus your personal policy might be at risk of being canceled should your provider determine that you are using the vehicle for anything but personal use.
We’re told that Geico, Progressive and Country, for example, do not allow rentals of any kind. On the other hand, State Farm and National General DO appear to allow rentals.
Please check with your insurance provider to make sure your personal policy allows rentals and consider making changes in your coverage as necessary.
We make 24-hour roadside assistance available to renters through our partners, Coach-Net, for $15 a day. Coverage includes unlimited: towing, flat tire assistance, emergency fluids delivery, battery boost, and a mobile mechanic. There is detailed information about Coach-Net’s coverage in the Google Drive.
Most owners require renters to purchase this coverage or show proof of AAA PREMIUM or GOLD. Standard AAA, with its free towing within five miles, does not meet our standard for coverage.
You can make coverage optional, but please note that GoCamp recommends against this.
GoCamp performs DMV background checks on renters and provides detailed info about who wants to rent your van. If a renter has had two or more major moving violations or any DUIs in the past, they will be denied access to renting. If several people intend to drive the vehicle, all must go through, and pass, the DMV check.You can always decline a booking.
Safety is no accident
In the case of an accident, you and your renters will be covered by GoCamp's insurance policy. If renters need assistance while on the road, they'll typically have access to 24-hour roadside assistance from Coach-Net. Beyond insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance, you can take steps to help renters handle minor issues on their own.
First aid and emergency repair tools
All GoCamp vehicles should be outfitted with a first aid kit and emergency repair tools.
When was the last time you changed a tire on your vehicle? Go try it right now!! Do you have everything someone would need to change a tire in the vehicle? If your customer was in the middle of nowhere and low on coolant, is there extra in the vehicle or are they about to ruin your engine?
What if someone got a cut or burned themselves while roasting marshmallows? Would they find basic first aid items in the van?
Keep a checklist of the first aid and emergency items that are in the van. Ask renters to indicate if they used anything so you know what you need to re-supply.
What if something goes wrong?
During the 2017 rental season GoCamp faciliated 125+ rentals. The vast majority of those rentals had no issues. Where problems arose they were generally one of three types. For minor issues, like changing a flat tire or jump starting a dead battery, renters are authorized to perform minor repairs without receiving prior approval from the owner.
For anything above minor, renters will work directly with you to problem solve. You are responsible for being the primary point of contact with the renter. You will authorize and pay for any necessary repairs due to mechanical issues.
If the issue is major, one that might require putting the renter in a back up vehicle, GoCamp will work with you to find an appropriate back up vehicle for renters who are within a reasonable distance (generally 5 hours drive). It will be your responsibility to deliver that back up vehicle to the renter. Any remaining fees from the rental will transfer to the back up. Should you be unable to deliver the vehicle, GoCamp will do so for a fee.
Minor issue such as a flat tire, dead battery
Example: Renters in the Grand Ronde during the 2017 season got a flat tire on Mt Hood. They put the spare tire on, drove to a Les Schwab dealer and had the flat tire repaired. No reimbursement was requested nor offered.
A step up from minor requiring a visit to a repair shop
Example: Renters in the Rogue noticed that the coolant disappeared quickly, likely due to a leak. They called the owner who asked them not to drive the vehicle. They then called Coach-Net, were towed to the nearest VW dealer, and the owner authorized and paid for work that was performed within the same day. No reimbursement was requested nor offered.
Major as in the transmission blew
Example: Renters in Sellwood Sweetie experienced a transmission failure while on Lopez Island. They still had six nights left in their rental, so GoCamp arranged for them to be transferred into a back up vehicle. The remaining rental fees were transferred to the owner of the back up, and the renters were reimbursed for two nights of their rental. They wrote a five star review.
GoCamp provides a standard rental contract that you execute with each renter. The contract defines the terms of the rental (number of nights, fees, etc.) and makes explicit what each party is responsible for. You can review the standard contract on the Google Drive.
It is your responsibility to execute a contract with every renter and to keep a copy of the signed contract on file.
Listing on GoCamp is FREE. Van owners retain 100% of the fees collected for any add-ons, cleaning fees and mileage charges, and 75% of the base rental rate. A 1.95% credit card and administrative service fee is assessed against all bookings.
How do GoCamp's rates compare to other services?
GoCamp’s rates are competitive with other car sharing services, though not really, because we offer way more benefits and services and only collect fees on the base rental rate (while other services collect fees on ALL charges).
Fees assessed by other services
Owners receive 65% to 85% of the rental, based on the insurance selected
Owners receive 60% of the rental
Owners receive 75% of the rental
One of the first things you might notice when you look at other platforms is that your vehicle would likely get lost in a sea of Priuses and Mazdas on Turo/GetAround or be sandwiched between a bunch of 50-foot-long Class A RVs on RVShare/Outdoorsy. The beauty of GoCamp lies in our special focus; you won’t get lost, in fact you’ll probably get featured!
You won’t find another service offering GoCamp’s unique mix of customized marketing and van owner support. Plus, we’re way more fun.
Owners receive 80% of the rental
Road Trip Oregon
Rarely accepts commissioned vehicles; owners receive 50% of the rental
NW Adventure Rentals
Owners receive 60% of the rental
Every season GoCamp sets a base rate and you have the option of charging the base rate or a rate within +/- 10% of the base. 2018 rates are noted below.
October - April
In the low season most vans have a 2 night minimum. Our low-season base rate is $150/night for Eurovans and Vanagons, and $185/night for Specialty vans.
May - September
In the high season many vans have a 5 night minimum, though you might consider a lower minimum when first starting in order to build your reviews. Our high-season base rate is $175/night for Eurovans and Vanagons and $240/night for Specialty vans.
From time to time GoCamp will run a site-wide discount to encourage bookings, generally in the range of 10 - 15% off.
Your base rate + discounts
Discounts for Extended Rentals
GoCamp may also extend a discount to those who rent for greater than 10 days.
What are others charging?
The trick is to stay competitive in your market, so be mindful of what others are charging as you set your rates.
In Portland, for example, Road Trip Oregon is charging $155/night (Eurovans) and $260/night (Sprinters) in the off season, and $175 and $290 in the high season. Note that Road Trip Oregon lowered their 2018 rates from previous years, presumably in response to competitive pressure. In Seattle, Peace Vans is charging $170/night in the low season and $215/night in the high season.
Extra camp chairs $5/each
Vans come with four chairs. Add extras if you have additional passengers.
Overflow tent $35
Nice if someone is known to snore, or when you are bringing extra passengers.
Coleman stove and two tanks propane $45
Any van that doesn't have a built-in stove will come with a portable one. If you have a built-in stove but want to add a portable one for cooking outside the van, we'll send you off with a Coleman stove and two tanks of propane.
Bike rack $45
Bike rack holds up to 4 bikes. (Local renters are welcome to see if their own bike racks attach.)
You can also charge additional fees for add-ons. Most van owners can accommodate requests for any of the items below, so they are all listed and promoted as availabile on the GoCamp website. GoCamp does not take a commission on any of these fees.
Roof box $45
Nice if you have lots of stuff.
Pet fee $125
Pets are considered on a case-by-case basis, and, where allowed, only 1 pet will be considered.
Extra bench seat $85
Bring along two additional passengers with an extra bench seat (for a total of 6 passengers).
Car seats $35
Let us know if you are traveling with children and need either booster or five-point car seats.
Portable shelter $35
10 x 10 shelter shades the sun and provides rain protection.
Special add-ons are unique to you, not necessarily something everyone provides. If you have special add-ons, just let us know and we'll customize the list of add-ons that show up with your profile. GoCamp does not take a commission on any of these fees. Consider for example:
Collapsible wagon $15
Handy little wagon for hauling camp gear, firewood, etc.
Goal Zero Battery Charger $50
Extra juice for powering your electrical devices. Especially good for CPAP machines.
National Park Pass $25
Explore Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone, Glacier and a number of other iconic parks.
Cornhole boards and bags $35
Two custom made-to-fit boards that slide under the back storage bench for easy transport and set up. You’ll have endless hours of fun at the campsite with these!
Ride to and/or from airport
You may be willing to pick up renters at the airport for a nominal fee.
GoCamp does not take a commission on any of these fees.
You receive a cleaning fee of $75 on each rental.
125 miles a day is included in the rental fee. Additional miles are charged at .35 per mile. You’ll note the total mileage for each rental and report that mileage to GoCamp. Mileage charges, if any, are deducted from the renter’s security deposit and transferred directly to you.
The rental period is generally considered to be 24 hours. If a renter picks up the van at 10 am, it should be returned by 10 am. For every hour beyond the 24 hour time period, the renter pays $20/hour.
Costs related to any damages (broken arm rest, broken cup holder, etc.) are reported by you and deducted from the renter's security deposit.
We’re active on social media; you can follow along at:
Facebook - @GoCampRentals
Instagram - @gocamp_rentals
Twitter - @GoCampRentals
We use #wheresgocampnow and #gocamplife. Want to develop a little following for your vehicle? Ask your renters to use a designated hashtag. See for example #wheremrmikeat.
We send a monthly e-letter to a growing list of subscribers. Typically the e-letter will feature road trip ideas, a van or two, or promote a seasonal special.
How Can You Help?
Let your neighbors or work colleagues know that your vehicle is now available for rent on GoCamp. Chances are a lot of them have been eyeing your rig.
Promote your listing via your own social media networks.
Marketing and outreach
Put one or two well-placed GoCamp bumper stickers on your rig. (Renters tell us that they like the fact that the vehicles aren’t branded with large signage, but a discreet bumper sticker or decal will do the trick.)
Make sure your listing is up to date. Have you added a new propex heater or a special GPS unit since we first created your listing? Be sure to routinely check your listing to make sure we’re highlighting your vehicle's best features.
When you sign up for GoCamp, you get a double listing. You are featured on the GoCamp website, but also on our partner website Outdoorsy. When customers search for vehicles on Outdoorsy, Outdoorsy’s algorithms put vehicles with positive reviews at the top of search results. You want your vehicle to be among the first options presented to renters, thus, you want to actively solicit reviews. When someone returns your vehicle, just a simple, “You’ll get an email asking you to review your experience. Please do submit a review,” is usually all it takes.
Your vehicle is likely worth far more than its blue book value. Should anything happen to your vehicle, having documentation regarding its real market value is going to be important. Best to put together this documentation before you need it, not after.
For Vanagons and Eurovans:
John Kincl in Seattle comes highly recommended. He charges $300 per appraisal and has a strong record of working for people to get the maximum reimbursement if your van is in an accident. Contact info: 360.895.1766.
Bryce Peterson in Portland is another good option. Bryce is recommended by Halsey Automotive as someone who is licensed to perform camper van appraisals and often issues appraisals based on photos alone. Contact info: 503.989.8419; petersenappraisals.com.
Know somebody who does appraisals on conversion vans? Please let us know!
John Kincl recently valued the Vanagon called Mr. Mike at $40,000!
City Code 33.203 Accessory Home Occupations
You are running a business when you rent out your van on GoCamp. As such, you might want to consider registering with the city of Portland. Registering a business is free, and income up to $50,000 is not taxed by the City. For more on registering a business, see here.
In addition to registering your van rental business with the City, note that certain zoning codes do apply. When you meet and greet renters at your home, you are operating an "Accessory Home Occupation" and subject to the rules governing those as found in City Code 33.203. Because customers are coming to your home, you might consider applying for a Type B permit. We’ve been assured that the process is straightforward, and that the activity you are conducting out of your home in relation to GoCamp is perfectly appropriate and allowed. The permit fee is $147 and the permit is valid for two years. A representative from the City will visit your home to make sure you live there.
City Code in Portland, Ore.
What are the relevant codes and ordinances in your area? You are responsible for ensuring you comply.
Note: The City is fully aware that legions of people are participating in peer-to-peer car sharing (GetAround, Turo, GoCamp) without a Type B Accessory Home Occupation permit. They are only enforcing the code in response to complaints.
There are two instances where you might be denied the permit should you opt to apply for it:
Paying income tax on your earnings
If you earn more than $600 (and we’re sure you will), GoCamp will issue a 1099 Form so that you can report your income. And while we can’t offer tax advice, generally, if you use your vehicle for both business (GoCamp) and personal use, car-related expenses may be deductible.
Collecting sales tax
If you are renting your vehicle in a state that has sales tax, GoCamp should be collecting sales tax from the renter. Please let GoCamp know about any relevant sales tax in your area so that we can charge taxes accordingly.
In Portland, Ore. there is 17% rental car tax that other car rental companies must collect. There is a special exemption for peer-to-peer car sharing, however, so GoCamp is not collecting rental car tax on rentals originating in Multnomah County at this time.
Income and sales tax
As noted earlier, positive reviews are important for sending your profile to the top of search results. There are several ways to get reviews.
Journals within the van
A lot of GoCamp owners have guest journals inside their vans. If someone leaves a nice note to you in your journal, simply take a photo or transcribe it and send it to GoCamp. We’ll get it into your on-line profile.
Email or text comments
Similarly, a customer might email or text you after their trip with some positive thoughts. Just send those our way.
When we ask customers to leave an on-line review, we ask them to leave a review on your profile AND on GoCamp’s business profile on Google. Check them out, many do. HAVE YOU REVIEWED GOCAMP on Google? You can and should! Head here.
5 star ratings on your profile
Renters will get an email from GoCamp within 24-hours of their rental asking them to review their experience. Many customers will leave an on-line review, especially if you gently remind them to do so when they drop off the vehicle. GoCamp’s average rating on Outdoorsy is currently FIVE out of five stars.
Our target customer includes (1) families who need camping to feel easy and (2) active pairs (couples, friends) who don’t want to sleep on the ground after their epic mountain biking, rock climbing, surfing, etc. adventure. Think Patagonia with and without kids.
In the high-season, 70% of our customers are flying in from somewhere. Many are experiencing the west coast for the first time, and are excited about visiting iconic national parks like Crater Lake, Olympic, Yosemite, etc. By and large, our renters are happy to stay on paved roads and park at established campgrounds.
Our customer profile
Please never hesitate to be in touch with questions or suggestions for ways we could improve our service to you and/or our renters!