Owner of the Week: Matt Ransel

Chelsea GonzalesJune 25, 2022

Owner of the Week: Matt Ransel

“My wife and I caught the van bug while traveling New Zealand’s North & South Islands for six weeks,” owner Matt Ransel recalls. “We had an amazing time and felt more comfortable in the van than any other accommodations we used. We loved it and the adventure it allowed us to have, we got engaged, and 12 years later we still haven’t stopped exploring.”

Matt Ransel with his family

Of course, Matt had to share his love of exploring with his family. “I bought my first RV to use as a family truckster that we could get out and about in and explore the west and Pacific Northwest coasts,” he tells us. “I chose it because it was big enough to sleep and fit the whole family—two adults, two kids, two dogs, two cats, and a fish (although Cucumber doesn’t join us on our adventures)—but small enough to drive and park anywhere.”

When he purchased his family camper van, Matt didn’t even consider renting it out. “I didn’t intend to rent my van initially, but during a 10-day hike in the Olympic Mountains, I defined my idea and decided I’d get a small fleet,” he shares. 

Outdoorsy was the first place Matt turned to after making this decision. “Deciding to rent on Outdoorsy was an easy choice,” he explains. “It’s the best platform for renting your RVs, with a great app and easy-to-work-with back-end management tools.”

RV in a lake front forest

Almost as soon as Matt listed his first RVs, he was getting rental requests. “Within a week or two, I started receiving interest,” he says. “Since then, I’ve made $100K in 16 months of renting. I started with just two vans last summer and will have six of them by July 2022—three vans I own, and three that I consign/manage. I’m now a full-time van man!”

Despite his success, Matt does still have his concerns when sending his vans out. “You always hope the van comes back in one piece and in good shape,” he tells us. “I also get concerned when I hear from renters when they are on the road because I know there is an issue and I want them to have an amazing time in their adventure van.” 

That said, for the most part, Matt is pretty laid-back about lending his rigs out to others. “I’m used to sharing my stuff, so it’s easy for me,” he explains. “Some people are not as eager to share their stuff and I’m guessing they find it more difficult.”

Red RV in a desert mountainside

Making sure you’re willing to share is one piece of advice Matt has to give other owners, but he had a few other nuggets of wisdom to share as well. “Make sure you have the time to do it,” he offers. “Managing renters, cleaning vans, doing laundry, and maintaining great-running vans takes a lot of time and attention. Things do happen, so take a deep breath and work through it.”

As mentioned above, Matt genuinely cares about his customers and their experiences in his vans. He loves sharing his love of van camping and it really shows. “Most renters are eager campers and excited travelers,” he says. “It’s fun to do walkthroughs with people who are really jazzed about the van they’ve rented. I hope my vans allow them to explore places they’ve never seen with friends/family they adore spending time with, all while feeling comfortable, safe, and excited in the van I’ve rented them.”

All About Matt

Headshot of Matt Ransel

Favorite morning beverage: “Skim milk (I’ve never had a cup of coffee).”

Favorite campsite meal: “Peanut butter and jelly (favorite meal 24/7).”

Music you like to play on the radio: “I’m all over the place. I’ve really been enjoying Tyler Childers & Sturgill Simpson lately, but I also like good jam bands or ’90s hip-hop.”

Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “We love UNO and Yam Slam.”

Favorite season: “Fall – ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Last photo you took: “My dog and new kitten snuggling on my dog’s bed this morning…so cute.”

If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “I love the Olympics, Big Sur, Oregon coastline. I am interested in exploring more of the southwest like the Grand Canyon and New Mexico.”


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