Ahoy! I’m Efrain, a seasoned Burning Man attendee who, after years of camping in a tent during the event, decided to buy my first RV. Coming back from that maiden RV voyage, I thought it would be amazing to share the fun that is RV camping. I had a full-time job as a Mechanical Engineer, so I wanted to rent it out between trips because it would just be too sad to see this amazing ship sit, while its captain had to work. I listed “The Pearl” and this cool family took it out on its first rental. The excitement and enthusiasm when my customers returned made me think renting “The Pearl” was the right choice! However, I was only able to fulfill that one rental due to events outside of my control.
Hurricane Maria Puts a Big Pause on Life
Shortly after, hurricane Maria came in and decimated the island where I was born and raised, Puerto Rico. I lost communication with my very vulnerable parents and left everything I was doing to go rescue them, so I couldn’t pursue any further rentals. During 5 days of cancelled flights and still no way of getting ahold of my parents, I decided to gather as many relief-supplies as possible so that when I finally reached my island, I was not empty handed. I finally talked Delta Airlines into letting me check nineteen, 100 lbs boxes full of everything I gathered so far (flashlights, batteries, baby formula, first aid kits, etc) and managed to get on the first commercial flight that landed in Puerto Rico post-hurricane.
I can’t even begin to describe the state my island was in, it was unrecognizable. I went straight to my parents’ house, surprised them and told them they had two hours to pack everything they needed as we had a cousin flying in from Florida that same day, to fly them stateside. Once my parents were evacuated, I handed over the supplies to those in need and started doing the same thing again: gathering supplies stateside and flying them to Puerto Rico. I was sharing every step of my journey on social media, so I could rally friends and folks who were ready to help me, help my people.
And so, I meet Ingrid
Ingrid went to school with one of my cousins and lived in Los Angeles, but we never met in LA. She saw my post about bringing relief supplies to Puerto Rico and reached out to me. She was visiting her family when the hurricane came in and, post disaster, started listening to the one working radio station and took notes of what supplies were needed and where. I take one look at the image of the person who was writing to join me on this crazy quest and my jaw dropped. Miss Universe Puerto Rico wanted to join me on my mission and, of course, I said: Yes, I need help!
Ingrid and I went on our first supply run together, it was pouring rain on our first stop and I told her to wait till it stopped raining. She didn’t. Ingrid immediately got out of the car, told me I wasn’t made out of paper and that we needed to move fast. LOL… She’s been kicking things in gear ever since!
We started a movement called Relief Pirates
Our self-started relief effort with friends, family and contacts, grew popular on social media to the point where we ended up with 40+ grass roots, religious, government and military organizations assisting and joining us on our supply runs. We went from bringing in boxes on flights from all around the states to establishing our own logistical supply efforts in the Island. If anyone contacted us with a necessity, we aimed to deliver the aid within 24hrs.
We were able to deliver over 3,000,000 lbs of relief supplies across Puerto Rico, also provided medical assistance and relocation. Several months later, after supermarkets were finally able to stock items and roads became accessible to most, we finally headed back to Los Angeles. We’ve been together ever since.
Picking RV Rentals Back Up and Starting RV Pirates
Once we got back to Los Angeles, Ingrid and I started working together to develop what is today: RV Pirates. We went from the one RV to 12 and counting. The reason why we became so popular is because our fleet consists of one of the best RV brands in the industry, we supply each one of our units with the essentials, give them the maintenance needed, but mostly because we strive to give our customers excellent service and add confidence to those who have never rented an RV before.
We’ve taken our ships from New York to Los Angeles, visited most major National Parks and attended many festivals across the US. All of the pictures on our website were taken by us on our many journeys. We’re both avid adventurers, skydivers, RVers and world travelers that love to make it possible for folks to enjoy the passion of traveling around the US.
Life is short! Set sail on one of our RVs and enjoy nature! My ship is your ship.