New Company Arranges Fly-In RV Rentals

When a customer lands at the designated airport, an RV is waiting for them, ready to go. [File photo: Adobe Stock]

The vastness of the United States naturally plants the seeds of exploration. This was true for the land’s earliest inhabitants, and it still is today. And while getting around is easier than ever in terms of vehicular mobility, actually putting the trip of your dreams together can be frustratingly difficult.

While flying can make quick work of a cross-country passage, you can’t necessarily stop at points of interest, especially if you are on a commercial flight. However, flying coast-to-coast in a window seat on a clear day is a good way to see just how big and geographically varied this nation is. It can also give you a serious itch to see more of it, at closer range.

So, how to do it? Driving across the country in a recreational vehicle is a well-tested method, but for many people, it takes too much time to travel between attractions. As pilots of light aircraft, we can cover distances faster while connecting more intimately with the landscape than the airlines. But up-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, pick up a rental RV—and begin exploring right away.

“We think we are giving them the best of both worlds,” says Jim Schivley, president and CEO of FLY2RV. He says he has heard from many travelers that long, boring stretches between the places they really want to visit can be show-stoppers.

“I know RV owners in San Diego who would like to see Idaho, but they would never drive their RV all the way there. They tell me they would rather fly in and pick up the RV.”

[Courtesy: FLY2RV]

The company just recently launched, connecting their customers with 22 RV dealers and 42 participating airports so far. 

“It’s growing quickly. We just added Anchorage, Alaska (PANC), yesterday,” Schivley says. “In some cases, airport managers have called me because they heard about us and want to put an arrangement together.”

Schivley’s network includes both general aviation airports and those served by the airlines, some towered, some not, in:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington 

He plans to add “a bunch more,” but that process can take longer than expected. He said Montana is on his wish list of destinations but he hasn’t yet found RV dealers there who rent. But he said he is optimistic about finding a solution soon.

How it Works

Customers can book a range of RVs online, including a 30-foot Thor Chateau that sleeps eight for $147 per night, a Luxury Newmar Diesel Pusher that sleeps 10 for $499 per night, and many more. When they land at the designated airport, the rig is waiting for them, ready to go. If they need assistance, the local dealer can help them.

How it Started

Schivley, the former owner of an Aero Commander 680 twin, says he got the idea for FLY2RV during a trip to the Grand Canyon with his 15-year-old daughter in 2019. The plan was to take a commercial flight to Phoenix and pick up an RV for the canyon trip. The only available rentals were from individual owners.

The short story involves Schivley and his daughter waiting outside the fence of a locked storage yard where the RV was parked. The owner eventually met them, tracked down the manager of the storage yard, freed the RV, and sent them on their way.

Returning the RV was also a hassle, though the trip to the canyon and elsewhere in Arizona was a delight, Schivley says. He figured that smoothing out the pickup and return 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.”

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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