Many people say that the global pandemic drove camping popularity in an upward trend. While that may seem true, I’m not entirely in agreement with that statement.
Camping has been around for quite some time, and the growth in interest has been steady over the years. One thing that may have increased in popularity is camping services. While there aren’t too many services, you will find and the one I’ll be talking about today will offer people a way to camp without too much fuss.
When I say “without too much fuss,” I mean going to a campsite with a tent already set up and start your adventure. It means that you won’t need to bother with looking for a spot, setting up the tent, or doing anything complicated. Your only task is to get to the spot and start your camping adventure.
Several companies offer these kinds of services, and the one I’ll be talking about today is Tentrr.
What is Tentrr?
As I mentioned, Tentrr is a service that offers you an option to go camping without most of the camping fiddling. People often consider it to be the Booking or Airbnb of traveling, and it makes sense.
The service enables you to pay for a camping site with the camp already set up, so you need to choose the dates, pay, and get to the camping site. The good thing about Tentrr is that the service is a balance between camping and a glamping site.
You are getting a more comfortable experience when compared with camping, but not as luxurious as glamping. It’s better than sleeping on the ground and messing with setting up the tent.
Depending on the site, you can be in a tent with a thicker canvass or a cabin. In both cases, you will get a big bed already set up, as well as some of the necessary amenities. Tentrr does offer some extras if you choose to avoid carrying a lot of stuff. For example, you have the option to include firewood if you plan to travel light and avoid taking a lot of things. With that said, you will need to be prepared for cooking, as the service won’t offer anything food-related.
Unlike the regular camping sites where you set up your own tent, Tentrr is a service where you can expect a more peaceful experience. Not only will you pay for the set-up camp, but you also pay for some peace and quiet. Most of the listings on Tentrr are on private property, meaning that you will be more or less alone. Car, crying kids, practicing social distancing, and tons of other advantages are only a part of the experience.
With that said, some locations are in a “busier” area, where you won’t be as far away from other people. Despite that, you can still be a bit secluded, making it a better option than traditional camping sites.
How Much Does Tentrr Cost?
The price you pay for Tentrr depends on many factors, but looking at what you get, it’s not too expensive.
The main factor that determines the price is what kind of campsite you want to rent. You are looking at a little under $40 for a backcountry site without any extras and just the bare basics. Going for a mid-range option will set you back around $100, where you will get a bit more comfort and a few more amenities. The highest range sites will easily cost over $300, and in this price range, you could also find some cabins.
Another area that dictates the price is the season. Summer weekends tend to be the most expensive, and the prices start to drop in fall and reach the minimum in mid-winter. During that time, the most expensive sites drop to below $200.
Some may consider these prices to be steep, and you’ll hear that mostly from seasoned campers. In reality, that is true for people that are used to doing things themselves and have no problem setting up tents. Novice campers will find Tentrr a good option if they are still learning. On the other hand, even veteran campers may decide to take this route for several reasons, with the main ones being peace, quiet and fewer responsibilities.
Can you Make Money with Tentrr?
If you are a landowner and want to have an extra income, then you’ll be happy to know that you can make money with Tentrr.
The idea behind the company is to enable landowners to rent their place to people that want to camp there. Tentrr is just the middle-man that makes it happen and maybe sets up the campsite if you choose to.
There are two options: you can either go with Tentrr’s Signature site or list your place as a Backcountry one.
In both cases, the main thing that you should keep in mind is that the land will remain just as it is. Regardless of whether the company is setting up the camp or renting the place, everything remains the same. Tentrr aims to keep your land just as it was before you started renting it.
Going for the Signature site is what Tentrr recommends and is probably the best way to get a steady income.
Tentrr charges a one-time fee of $6,500 and takes care of everything for you. The only thing that you’ll need to do is tell the company where the campsite would be. Most people would go with this option because it offers greater flexibility, providing you with more profit.
The company technically loans you its CampKit, and representatives come and set it up on your land. This includes shipping it on-sight and setting everything up. Once that’s done, your camping site will be listed on Tentrr’s website. After that, you will have the option to add some extras that you think campers would benefit from. They can range from firewood, amenities not included in the CampKit, or even some activities and experiences that campers may like.
Tentrr’s goal is to enable you to have a micro-economy around the campsite and manage it yourself.
At the end of the day, the CampKit equipment set by Tentrr will not be in your possession, and the company will be in charge of it. For the rest, you will be getting 80% of the total earnings.
Going for this option, Tentrr claims that you may be looking at an average rate of $135 per night.
Tentrr offers a cheaper option for people that don’t want to pay the $6,500 fee, called Backcountry. With this option, you have no fees that you need to pay to the company. Now you must be asking yourself: how does the company make a profit?
Since this is the non-fee option, Tentrr takes a cut from each payment, and you split the profit 90-10. 10% of the payment goes to Tentrr, meaning that you are basically paying to have your location listed on their website. It also means that you fall under the protection umbrella, including insurance for visitors or any damage done to your land.
Keep in mind that since the Backcountry site is the one where Tentrr doesn’t set up any equipment. As a result, you shouldn’t expect to earn several hundred dollars per night. I mentioned this in the pricing structure, and these are the cheapest packages that start from around $40.
The service is available in the US only, but not in every state. Tentrr currently has locations in almost all US states except Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, and North Dakota. The only location outside the USA that is available through Tentrr is Puerto Rico.
Apart from privately owned lands, there are a few state parks that you can use. They are located in Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, Utah, and West Virginia. Each state has a few parks that are available through Tentrr, so check out their website to see which one you can go to.
As good as Tentrr’s services sound, the company didn’t invent the wheel and isn’t the first one to take a crack at renting campsites. There are several alternatives, and I’ll be outlining them in this section.
Some may argue that UpCamp isn’t really a direct competitor to Tentrr, and they’ll be right. In essence, this service is a cancelation notification one. You can choose the camping site you want to visit and set the dates. If the service finds an available spot, it will let you know. As an alternative, if there is no vacancy for those dates, then the service will be on the lookout for cancelations.
There is another setback in terms of UpCamp, and that’s usability. The service is available only through the iOS app, making it a bit restricted for non-iPhone users. On top of that, you also won’t be able to use it on a browser.
One good side is that you can monitor multiple locations at once. If a specific place isn’t a must for you, you can set up the service for multiple campsites and multiple dates. That way, you can grab the first one that becomes vacant.
In many ways, Campnab is a closer competitor to UpCamp, offering pretty much the same services. Many people make plenty of camp reservations once the locations open, but not all of them are getting used. Some get canceled, in which case, Campnab is an excellent service.
To avoid constantly checking different websites for a specific location, you can use the service to get notified. You should choose the location and dates and wait for the service to notify you.
The most significant advantage Campnab has over UpCamp is that it’s more flexible for users. With this service, you are not limited to the platform you use, as the service can be accessed via a browser.
In terms of pricing, a single location can cost you between $10-$20, while the monthly subscription package is $10.
Hipcamp is a service that is a direct competitor of Tentrr and offers a similar set of services. The idea behind the service is that landowners are renting their lands for people to camp there.
The list of available locations is more or less the same, and Hipcamp covers most of the US. You can search for camping sites in a different city or go after a specific state park. One thing that I found slightly better is that the website has things categorized a bit better than Tentrr.
In essence, the service offers the same two options: renting an already set campsite or just the area. A slight advantage to Hipcamp is that it has a separate category for glamping or for RV owners, which is a nice touch. It would be of great use for RV owners because it will filter out the location where they wouldn’t be able to drive to.
Price-wise, it’s not too different from Tentrr, and you may find some locations to be a bit cheaper.
Gamping is a service that is similar to Tentrr but with more options. Here, you have the traditional camping sites, where you can either have the site prepared or prepare it yourself. In addition to that, Gamping also offers tours like cycling, wine, art, or backpacking. If you’re a fan of a more relaxed experience, there are farms, seaside locations, or a place where you can have some quality family time.
For the locations, things are a bit different. US residents won’t like the fact that Gamping only offers experiences in several states, much less than Tentrr. On the other hand, people from other parts of the world will find that they can utilize the service as well. For the most part, you have several countries from Europe and Western Australia.
Just like the other similar services, Gamping has a hosting option. You can rent your land or part of your home, which makes this service like a combination of Tentrr and Airbnb. The listing is free, and the service has a commission charged to the price the guests pay, and you get the rest.
Is Tentrr a Good Option for Camping?
It depends on who you ask, but I’ll have to say yes, and there are a few reasons for that, so this will be a longer explanation.
I’ll start with the location, which is the most important aspect. In some cases, you may find be able to get away with camping in a very remote place, where there are no limitations. The problem with that is that in most cases, you will need to travel more to reach them. You can go in a car to a point, but then you will need to go on foot or maybe some off-road vehicle. While that is an adventure by itself, some people are not a massive fan of that. With Tentrr, regardless of which option you choose, the location will primarily be available by car, and you won’t need to rely on your Spidey senses to guide you. The homeowner will take you to the place or send you a detailed explanation of getting there.
Next up is setting up the camp, an area which novice campers will like very much. Tentrr’s Signature site is an excellent option if you want to get there and start enjoying your adventure. The camp will be set up, along with any extra features you ask the owner to provide. I know that setting up the camp is part of the process of learning, but I have been in a situation where I would’ve given an arm and a leg to get to a place and have everything set up. This is a feature that would be very helpful for novice campers that still don’t have the touch when it comes to setting up a tent.
The location is another aspect of Tentrr I really like. Going to a public camping site means that there is a slim chance that you will be the only one there. Some people like that, while others prefer peace and quiet. If you fall in the second category, then Tentrr is the option you should go with. Since you will be at a private property, you can expect to be alone, and if the owner’s land is bigger, peace and quiet will be guaranteed.
One thing that most people don’t like is the price. While it is more expensive than any other alternative camping option, it pays off when you consider that someone else will do everything for you if you decide to go for the Signature option. Camping enthusiasts that want the thrill of setting up their own tent can take the Backcountry package, in which case, the price they pay will be just for the location.
Overall, Tentrr is a service that I would recommend to anyone, beginners and experts campers in the US. It is an excellent service, providing plenty of options and opportunities for people that want a hassle-free camping experience or just want to have the entire place to themselves.