BAR HARBOR — There are a lot of rental opportunities on Mount Desert Island, but a Bar Harbor family is adding one more: recreational vehicle rentals.
Angie and Jeffery Chamberlain started Acadia RV Rentals in April, and business has been brisk ever since.
Angie looked into renting an RV last year to visit her daughter at college. She remembered the fun memories their family had spent in their old motorhome when her kids were younger.
The more she investigated, the more she realized how successful an RV rental business could be at a popular vacation destination such as MDI.
During the early phase of the pandemic, renting an RV for a trip became a popular idea.
“RVs were a great way to take a vacation, get outside and be able to socially distance from other people,” said Angie.
Earlier this year, Angie’s husband Jeffery came on board with the idea. After searching for a motorhome, they finally found one in March and soon began renting it out.
The 25-foot-long 2017 Thor Four Winds motorhome has a slide-out portion that extends the living space. Chamberlain said the RV can accommodate up to four adults and one to two kids, has two sleeping areas and a table with a seating area that turns into a junior bed.
Not only does the motorhome have a generator in case there are no power hookups, but it also has a 40-gallon freshwater tank in case there are no water and sewer connections. All bedding, kitchenware, appliances, chairs and games are provided.
“We have maps and books on local stuff going on here, like places to hike, local restaurants, things to do,” said Angie. She said she heard from most customers that they were surprised how well stocked the RV was and that they had overpacked.
For a daily rate, each customer can travel up to 100 miles a day for free with the rental. If the renter goes over that limit, they pay a fee per extra mile traveled. “People can take our camper wherever they want. The people who have it now are in Canada for 13 days, but most of them have stayed locally because of our proximity to Acadia National Park,” Angie said.
Acadia RV Rentals is booked for the rest of the summer, but the business model has plenty of room to expand. The family has talked about buying a second motorhome but wants to assess their growth after their first year.
“I think we could easily rent a second one. I think we just want to see how this first year goes,” Angie said.