Camping is a bit of an Australian pastime. Our collective love for the great outdoors means many of us pack up and go camping with our trusty caravan during the summer holidays, but did you know your caravan can make you money when you aren’t using it?
According to data from share economy platform Camplify, on average Australians who rent out their caravan are making $10,000 to $20,000 a year by hiring out their RVs via Camplify. A quick look at Instagram can also confirm the popularity of caravanning in Australia, with the tag #VanLife clocking up more than four million images. Furthermore, Gen Z and Millenials embarked on 2.2 million camping trips in 2017, a 22 per cent increase from the pevious year
With that in mind, We soke to CEO and founder of Camplify Justin Hales to ask him to tell us how anyone can make money from their caravan in 10 simple steps.
“The average owner of a caravan, camper trailer, motorhome or campervan only uses their freedom machine for around six weeks per year,” says Justin. “With over 650,000 registered RVs in Australia, that's a lot of RVs sitting in driveways or costing owners money in storage.”
1. Stay up to date
Make sure your RV is all up-to-date with its eSafety (pink slip) inspection before registering and creating an account with Camplify.com.au.
2. Get insurance
It’s crucial to ensure you have the right, fully comprehensive insurance in place to cover the hiring of your vehicle. If you don’t already have this insurance in place, Camplify has leveraged the power of its community to secure two great insurance solutions which start from as little as $7 per day and ensure you’re fully covered for RV rentals.
3. Add a personal touch
Extra little touches and added creature comforts can go a long way when it comes to enticing customers to hire your RV. Consider investing in new bed linen, hand washes, towels and a BBQ - some of our owners even include fully-stocked eskies, televisions and children’s toys & books. Providing a ‘six star’ experience will lead to you receiving some great reviews and more bookings in the long run.
4. Take photos
Once you’re happy with the set-up, take pictures of your vehicle using your phone or camera and upload to Camplify. Top tips for photography: make sure you have a selection of images including full exterior shots of the vehicle and close-ups inside to show all the little details. Consider taking the exterior shots on a sunny day with your RV against a nice backdrop to inspire holiday goers, have a minimum of four photos included on your listing. If you need assistance, you can also request a free photographer via Camplify.
5. List it
Follow Camplify’s step-by-step guide online to complete your listing. When it comes to pricing, you can set this yourself. If you’re unsure, we recommend using the Camplify calculator and reviewing similar listings to help determine your prices. You may wish to set variable rates for peak periods, such as the school holidays or popular events in your area.
6. Set your rules
Set your own hiring rules for future customers, such as: will you tow vehicles to their preferred location, or would you be happy for them to collect and return by a certain time? Would you prefer hirers to avoid dirt tracks? Would you allow pets?
7. Keep reciepts
Keep receipts for any expenses incurred with the hiring of your vehicle, such as repairs, cleaning, maintenance and insurance. Camplify recently secured a landmark ruling from the ATO for the share economy, which allows owners to claim tax deduction on any expenses accrued through its platform.
8. Review booking requests
Once your listing is complete and live on Camplify, make sure you put some time aside each day to review and respond to booking requests and enquiries. The more efficient you are with booking queries, the sooner you will secure confirmed bookings and often repeat customers.
9. Share your knowledge
Don’t be shy when it comes to sharing your camping knowledge and experience. If you know of a great hidden gem campsite or a stunning scenic drive, let your customers know. For many hirers, it may be their first experience of life on the road so any extra insights or recommendations that you’re able to share could play a big role in enhancing their trip.
10. Take it to the next level
If you’re keen to take the hiring of your RV to the next level and build a bigger business, or you're hiring your RV out at a volume of more than 40 nights per year, Camplify also offers an exclusive Premium Membership product. As well as fully comprehensive insurance for personal and hire use, this membership package includes other benefits, such as marketing support, custom business cards and flyers. Pricing for the Premium Membership starts at just $66 per month.
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All the advice in this story is general in nature and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.