What's up Calgary, thanks for joining us tonight! Tonight's blog is from our friends Chad and Cherie Ball, owners of the super cool company Wheel Estate! Wheel Estate is Airbnb, but for RV's - how cool is that?! Chad and Cherie are sharing their story, where the idea for Wheel Estate came from and few of their favourite local shops to find supplies for your weekend adventures! Read and enjoy fam :)
Our names are Chad and Cherie Ball, we are the husband and wife team and Co-Founders at Wheel Estate and we’re so excited to be part of Local Laundry’s guest blog series. Wheel Estate is a website that connects travel trailer owners and their trailers, to people looking for an affordable camping vacation. Think Airbnb, but for your RV.
Our Story begins in 2008 and like many Canadians our family was hit hard with the recession that year, and by 2010 we found ourselves struggling to make ends meet. When it came time to take a much-needed family vacation, there were few options we could afford, so we thought why not give RV camping a try? As we quickly learned, renting from an RV dealership would cost us roughly the same amount as a posh beach vacation, which is when we turned our attention to our neighbour’s driveway where his RV had been sitting all year unused, all year. While our neighbour was happy to lend us his unit for the weekend, his insurance company was less than thrilled, which is when we learned there was no formal policy in place for this type of arrangement.
The aha moment
In the end, we borrowed a friend’s trailer for that August long weekend in 2010, and made our way to the mountains. Along the way we began to notice storage yard after storage yard filled with travel trailers. As a little more research, we also learned nine out ten travel trailers are used on average just two weeks of the year.
In any case, that was the day the light bulb went off and we thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a website for travel trailer owners to rent out their units and make money when they are not using them, to people like us looking for an affordable way to go camping. At that moment the idea for Wheel Estate was born.
A new way to be an entrepreneur
Wheel Estate is more than trailers, that is what we do, but that’s not at all why we do it. Wheel Estate is about empowering people, empowering individuals to become micro-entrepreneurs in their community. Instead of getting a second job, taking more time away from your loved ones, you can take an otherwise idle asset and put it to work for you. It also provides more choice to those looking for an affordable camping experience. One where you can rent your neighbour’s trailer, and in doing so strengthen the local economy, putting money back in the hands of everyday people.
Community and family first
We started Wheel Estate by solving our own problem and creating meaning in our life by reconnecting with family and friends that weekend in 2010. Our business model is and will always be about creating meaning in others’ lives and the community. We believe if you start a business from the viewpoint of making meaning vs making money, you will truly be successful.
As many folks reading this probably realize, Calgary is host to an incredible collection of entrepreneurs and community-minded people, many who we’ve come to know of in the camping and outdoors business. For any of you campers out there who are currently planning a memorable camping experience this season, we wanted to share a few of our favourite local picks for suppliers and outfitters who you should visit before heading out of town.
This Kensington camping shop has everything needed for a getaway in the Rockies, and beyond. Whether a laid back summer stroll and a few beers around the campfire is your thing, or a full-out adventurous day hike followed by cooking dinner around an open fire, this is the place to find many of your outdoor supplies to make these activities happen.
When it comes to community, few businesses in Calgary lead a better example than CHRC, and the added bonus is they make a pretty great cup of coffee. A strong cup of Joe is a necessity no matter what kind of camper you are, and we’d strongly recommend packing some of these beans in your cooking supplies before heading out of town.
Cold Garden Brewing Co.
We know how important coffee is to camping, but we can’t forget beer – the quintessential thing for capping off a great day in the mountains. Cold Garden Beverage Company is an Inglewood-based brewery that embodies the camping spirit with their fun and casual approach to beer. Before you hit the road, make sure you have a Growler of something from their taps in your RV. Your campfire time just wouldn’t be the same without it.
Back to Kathleen here! New in next Monday to see who we have on the blog next! If you are someone you know would like to be a guest blogger on our blog drop us a line! Chat at chaaa next week Calgary - stay local!