While the pandemic has been a bane for most small businesses, border closures and uncertainty around travel have seen the caravan trade soar in the past year
West Australians are making tens of thousands of dollars renting out old campervans and caravans to locals holidaying at home.
While the pandemic has been a bane for most small businesses, border closures and uncertainty around travel have seen the caravan trade soar to new heights in the past year.
Natalie Carter and her partner Warren Barnes have earned more than $14,000 renting out their five-person camper trailer to West Australians holidaying at home since December 2019.
Business is booming so much the couple is now planning to buy another camper to rent out to help pay off the mortgage on their new home.
We didn’t want it sitting in the garage, spending all that money in it and just wasting away, it was just a little side hustle but it’s become much more than that, Ms Carter said. Some people don’t like COVID, but on our side of things, it’s been great.
The couple found themselves in the camper rental market by chance after accidentally listing a camper trailer they had viewed but not yet bought on van rental platform Camplify.
I thought, ‘I’ll put all my details in, see what it’s all about’, and the next minute our hire was live, Ms Carter said. We bought it the week after and I just filled in the gaps and thought ‘Hey, we might as well go for it’. Within a week we had hires coming through. We got one weekend away for the first eight months of having it.
The $20,000 camper trailer, which rents for $90 a day in the offseason and $95 a day during the summer months, has now travelled to Coral Bay, Kalbarri, and the South West.
Most customers are West Australian families looking to sample campers before diving into caravan ownership themselves.
The Barnes-Carter family is part of a growing trend accelerated by the Covid crisis that has seen a number of Australians tap onto the caravan trade.
Camplify chief executive Justin Hales said the platform had seen a huge increase in the demand for caravans, motorhomes, and camper trailers driven by families in WA in recent months. Camplify has reported a 170 per cent increase in WA road trips. In addition, we’re seeing many young professionals and mature couples embracing this opportunity to tick off their WA bucket lists.
Mr Hales said the state’s appeal laid in its pristine coastline, premium wine country, and remote gorges in the outback, which made for good caravaning destinations for east-coasters and New Zealanders looking for an off-peak getaway.
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