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Sensi Magazine

Weekend in the Wilderness

May 20, 2019 08:55PM ● By Leland Rucker
OK. You’re yearning for a little quiet time every now and then, and hotel and motel rooms seem overpriced and all the same. You desire the wonder of Colorado without having to hit chain restaurants.

But you don’t have the equipment to go camping. What’s a bored traveler to do these days to get away from it all for a weekend?

One option has never really gone out of style. Recreational vehicles and trailers are as popular as ever, and many Americans are renting them as an easy alternative to go places you might not otherwise go and to avoid some of the drudgery and expense of traveling. These days it’s called over landing, or mixing camping and offroading, and it’s easier than you might think. You have to bring your own towels, but there’s no check-out time, either.

“The concept of camping and getting outdoors to escape crowds and noise is getting trendy,” says Mike Gentile of Spirit of 1876, which sells and rents recreational vehicles in Denver. “Over landing has become an extension of the ‘weekend warrior’ concept. But the cost of having all the equipment needed can deter someone from getting involved. They don’t have 30 grand to buy a trailer, or four grand for a rooftop tent. We’re seeking to accommodate folks that want to get out but don’t have anything so they can find out what camping is like.”

Options are endless. It’s possible to find rental vehicles that start at around a hundred dollars a night and up from there, depending on the number of people, your wants and needs, and your pocketbook. But expect to spend more than that. There are lots of websites that offer RVs for rent, and today’s models are pretty nifty.

Gentile says his rentals are intended to give people options and see if they want to invest further. “It gives you a chance to demo it first,” he explains. An example is that he offers Yeti coolers with his rigs. “That’s an expensive cooler. But I can’t tell you how many people tell me, ‘This Yeti cooler kept my bacon cold.’ It opens the door to products they might think are ridiculous and wouldn’t invest in.”

Trailers are really popular items these days, and they come in different shapes and sizes. Teardrop campers are those cute trailers, some that include a queen-sized mattress that folds into a couch and bunks for kids that make them great for family weekend travel. 

Also popular are roof-top tents that fit on the top of sport vehicles and can sleep from two to five people. Off-road trailers with independent suspension are designed to go anywhere, Gentile says. “We allow you to rent these to get the whole experience.”

As anybody who lives or visits knows, Colorado is getting mighty crowded. Camp spots are fewer and farther between, and they fill up long before summer. You might not be able to just show up in June and find one. Gentile suggests HIPCAMP.COM, a website with a search engine that offers public and private land areas that might give you ideas and suggestions for places to not just camp, but camp in a secluded area.

As with anything new, Gentile says to do your research before spending your money, and booking early is certainly encouraged. Do your homework on where you want to go and look for a rental that gives you what you need, he says. “We want to offer a place to sleep and a kitchen with pots and pans for folks who don’t have any gear and want to camp, cook, and have a good time.”