Gretchen Bayless & Taylor Hood – Living the Van Life and Traveling the World with Roamerica Rentals

Gretchen & Taylor’s Wild Idea: To be able to go on an adventure at any moment with minimal planning and packing. To explore the world from a van and start a thriving business around their passion.

Gretchen Bayless and Taylor Hood are the founders of Roamerica Rentals, a camper van rental company based in Oregon that lets you take their vans all over North America and even to Canada. Their vans are decked out with items like Rumpl blankets, Stanley stainless steel cooking ware and local organic coffee, so all you have to do is show up with clothes and hit the road. Van life is all the rage right now, and it’s definitely a passion for these two – which is why they were so eager to start a business around sharing their love of exploring the great outdoors with the world.

What I love about their story is it’s very real. Starting a new company isn’t always easy, and as fun as a camper van rental company might sound, it comes with challenges, like working day jobs! That’s right – Roamerica is their side hustle. They didn’t let time or stress or some serious health problems hold them back. Gretchen and Taylor have a lot of joy and a huge sense of adventure, and that shines through in everything they do. They share tips for getting through the highs and lows of starting a business, and letting us all in on the true van life essentials so you can  get on the road and get going.

Listen to this Episode if:

  • You want to travel out of a van.
  • You want to see the world.
  • You love the Pacific Northwest.
  • You’re starting a new business.
  • You’re struggling with Lyme Disease.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:55 – When Gretchen and Taylor decided to start Roamerica.
  • 5:50 – You never have to break down a van.
  • 7:20 – Roamerica isn’t even their main jobs – it’s their side hustle.
  • 9:00 – How Gretchen’s job allows her to shift her hours.
  • 10:30 – What’s the hardest part of starting a business.
  • 12:15 – How even the best things in life have a challenging side.
  • 13:55 – How a van is like a boat.
  • 14:40 – What type of person van life is meant for and not.
  • 16:15 – What you need in your van to get started.
  • 19:00 – What to do in Oregon.
  • 20:35 – How Gretchen and Taylor sent a motorcycle through the back window of their van.
  • 23:10 – What the future is for van life.
  • 25:45 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • 27:10 – Taylor and Gretchen’s daily routines.
  • 30:50 – What to do in Portland.
  • 34:00 – Gretchen’s struggle with Lyme Disease.
  • 40:20 – Why Taylor would live in South America.

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