The vastness of the United States naturally plants the seeds of exploration. This was true for the first inhabitants of the earth, and it still is today. And while it’s easier than ever to get around in terms of vehicular mobility, planning the trip of your dreams can be extremely difficult.
While flying can make it easier to cross the country, you can’t necessarily stop at points of interest, especially if you’re on a commercial flight. However, flying coast to coast in a window seat on a clear day is a great way to see just how large and geographically varied this nation is. It can also make you want to see more, closer.
So how? Driving across the country in an RV is a tried and true method, but for many people it takes too long to get between attractions. As light aircraft pilots, we can cover distances faster while connecting more intimately with the landscape than airlines. But close exploration is limited by where we can land.
Now a company called FLY2RV LLC, based in Orlando, Florida, is offering pilots a way to fly into airports near national parks, forests, beaches, resort areas and other destinations, take a hire motorhome and start exploring right away.
“We believe we’re giving them the best of both worlds,” says Jim Schivley, President and CEO of FLY2RV. He says he’s heard many travelers say that long, boring stretches between places they really want to visit can be overwhelming.
“I know RV owners in San Diego who would love to see Idaho, but they would never drive their RV all the way here. They tell me that they prefer to fly and pick up the camper. »
The company has just launched, connecting customers with 22 RV dealerships and 42 participating airports to date.
“It’s growing fast. We just added Anchorage, Alaska (PANC), yesterday,” says Schivley. “In some cases, airport managers have called me because they have heard of us and want to put an arrangement in place.”
Schivley’s network includes both general aviation and airline serviced airports, some dominated, some not, in:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
He plans to add “a few more”, but this process may take longer than expected. He said Montana was on his wish list of destinations, but he had yet to find any RV dealers there that were renting. But he said he was optimistic that a solution could be found quickly.
How it works
Customers can book a range of motorhomes online, including a 30ft Thor Chateau that sleeps eight for $147 per night, a Luxury Newmar Diesel Pusher that sleeps 10 for $499 per night, and many more. others. When they land at the designated airport, the platform awaits them, ready to depart. If they need help, the local dealer can help them.
how it started
Schivley, the former owner of a twin Aero Commander 680, says he got the idea for FLY2RV while on a trip to the Grand Canyon with his 15-year-old daughter in 2019. The plan was to fly commercial towards Phoenix and take an RV for the trip into the canyon. The only rentals available were from individual owners.
The short story involves Schivley and her daughter waiting outside the fence of a locked storage yard where the RV was parked. The owner eventually met them, tracked down the storage yard manager, released the RV and sent them back.
Returning the RV was also a hassle, though the trip up the canyon and elsewhere in Arizona was a delight, Schivley says. He figured that smoothing out the pick-up and drop-off process would result in an ideal RV experience and started drafting a business plan.
“I’ve been working on this for two years and it takes a lot of coordination, but it’s worth it,” he says. “The response has been huge.”