On the Airbnb app/website, Craig is referred to as a “Superhost” for his $70 per night unit that can sit five visitors.
Craig accommodates his guests in his green 1998 Ford E350 van; he’s based out of Clairemont. “[It’s] great for camping and the back seat folds down into a bed for two,” he states on his ad.
“Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests,” according to the Airbnb app that connects members with tourism experiences, primarily homestays and/or lodging.
“[Craig’s] one smart dude,” says Michael from North Park, who is searching for rentals for his buddies flying into town for spring break. “To book a hotel in our city, you’re looking at $100 a night [on average] if you can find one available and for beachfront properties — forget about it. To rent a van from U-Haul you’re looking at another $20-per-day plus $.69 a mile which does not include insurance and the amenities that Craig’s ‘green machine’ has.”
Craig’s van is “solar powered to run the fridge and a tv [and] it also has shore power hookup” for additional electronics. Since the van has a turbocharged diesel motor, it’s cheaper on gas than the standard V-8 and has the torque to pack it and tow a trailer if needed.
“And it’s now legal to crash-out anywhere [inside a vehicle] in San Diego, so it makes more sense for tourists on a budget to rent a 2-in-1,” Michael added, “and sleep by the beach.”
Last month, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to stand by their repeal of an almost 36-year ordinance that prohibited residents from living in vehicles on streets within our city limits.
Tanja is renting a vintage trailer outside of her Bay Park residence for $55 a night — on Airbnb. The stationary trailer has one bedroom with two beds and a bathroom with a shower. It also has free parking on premises, wifi, air conditioning and a laptop friendly workspace.
Tanja received over 150 reviews that were between 4-5 stars, with a 5-star rating being the highest. On February, Cynthia left a comment on Tanja’s account that reads: “Great location, we had the opportunity to watch the sunset. The place far exceeded our expectations and host was quick to respond and made our check in easy. Highly recommended staying here.”
Last week, an Ocean Beach resident posted a collage of photos on Facebook titled: “VanBnb coming to a curb near you ….” One of the photos was of a black van that was available for $28 a night.
Michael’s buddies didn’t buy into the rent-a-van-and-sleep-inside suggestion for spring break.
“I still think it’s a great idea,” he said. “The people renting the vans or RVs on Airbnb and this so-called ‘VanBnb’ are [likely] vetted, so they shouldn’t be problematic. They should be forewarned that they might be targets of mad-doggin' by anti-vandwellers that own property by the beaches.”