Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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TrevA
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby TrevA » 11 Mar 2018, 6:22pm

My wife and I like to do fixed centre touring, but we hire a cottage for a week, which costs £300-£400. If you are charging £40 a day, then that's £280 a week, I'd rather have a proper home from home for that sort of money.

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trogg
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby trogg » 11 Mar 2018, 11:18pm

ChrisF wrote:


Thank you Chris, my van idea would be a similar size of the VW California but it would have a permanent 6 foot settee which doubles up as a bed and the bike would be inside the van, the settee would have a pull out section to make it into a double bed, the back of the settee would be utilised for the base of the bed in this case, however you wouldn't get a bike in the van in this case.
As I've mentioned earlier, a larger van with a 'Garage' would be another option and would work out cheaper for hirers if they were to share the costs, In this case I would be looking at a Boxer/Relay/Ducato because they are a little wider than most vans which means you can have a 6 foot bed transverse across the back to meet the DVLA rules and it saves a little space,
would need to get it registered as a 'motor caravan' for insurance purposes anyway.
Can I ask how old your van is ?
Am on SBMCC possibly the best self build forum on the internet 8)
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trogg
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby trogg » 11 Mar 2018, 11:57pm

simonhill wrote:
Good luck and keep us informed


Will do Simon,

To get insurance I'll need to get my campers registered a a ' motor caravan' which means a 6 foot bed, window, fixed cooking facilities etc etc and I think I could do a good conversion.
You mentioned why there are very few companies hiring small campervans, I think most people looking at a 2 birth micro camper will be a young couple..... getting insurance on a camper for someone under 24 years old is very difficult but possible with a larger security deposit and the big money is with the older generation who will most likely be renting motorhome anyway, so most companies are going for this type of customer.

My idea, not every 24+ year old has kids and is skint, the thought of waking up in a different part of the country every morning must appeal to a lot of people, and that's where my thought of cyclists came to mind, as a cyclist myself I would snap at a chance to do this... if I had the money .
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trogg
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby trogg » 12 Mar 2018, 12:04am

PH wrote:This site might be of interest to you, lots of home conversions being hired out, some not so new or IMO that well fitted out, the price is still more than I'd be prepared to pay, but not as high as those hiring newer motorhomes
https://www.quirkycampers.co.uk/campervans/


I've had a good look at this, I think my conversion would be too prim and proper to meet their standards, however I could use chalk paint of various colours on some tongue and groove and use 'ethnic' fabrics might get me there, might give it a try on my first van.
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PH
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby PH » 12 Mar 2018, 11:06am

trogg wrote:
PH wrote:This site might be of interest to you, lots of home conversions being hired out, some not so new or IMO that well fitted out, the price is still more than I'd be prepared to pay, but not as high as those hiring newer motorhomes
https://www.quirkycampers.co.uk/campervans/


I've had a good look at this, I think my conversion would be too prim and proper to meet their standards, however I could use chalk paint of various colours on some tongue and groove and use 'ethnic' fabrics might get me there, might give it a try on my first van.

That sounds a bit dismissive, they've found a market and seem to be doing well from it, good luck to you doing the same.
I didn't point you in that direction for you to admire the conversions, only a couple of them would appeal to me, but as an example of how the issues that you will face as well can be addressed.

thirdcrank
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Mar 2018, 11:22am

It's a sign of my leisurely lifestyle that I can google about things like this.

These days there seem to be forums to discuss everything and campervan hire is no exception. There's probably a lot more real experience in those places than somewhere like this.

reohn2
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby reohn2 » 12 Mar 2018, 11:50am

thirdcrank wrote:It's a sign of my leisurely lifestyle that I can google about things like this.

These days there seem to be forums to discuss everything and campervan hire is no exception. There's probably a lot more real experience in those places than somewhere like this.

I agree and I think the only connection is designing a micro campervan able to accomodate a bicycle,which isn't hard to acheive with a central gangway and a padded bag or two or alternatively a rear bike rack.

As an aside,someone up thread complained about making up a bed every night from the seating arrangement.
I don't know how bad their particular seating/bed arrangement was,but IMO fixed beds in campervans and caravans are wasted space.
From a two bench type seating arrangement it takes me less than five minutes to get out the bedding from beneath and make up either a huge 6ft+ x6ft 6in double or two 3ft+ x 6ft+ beds in our two berth caravan.
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trogg
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby trogg » 12 Mar 2018, 1:39pm

PH wrote:That sounds a bit dismissive, they've found a market and seem to be doing well from it, good luck to you doing the same.
I didn't point you in that direction for you to admire the conversions, only a couple of them would appeal to me, but as an example of how the issues that you will face as well can be addressed.


Sorry if I came across as dismissive, I didn't mean to, what I was trying to say is my type of camper wouldn't meet the criteria that Quirkycampers want, however if I changed a few things ie fabrics, painting and decoration I can't see why it wouldn't be accepted , in fact I will most likely try it, why not ?

I came on these forums to see what cyclists thought of my idea, originally I was thinking of couples and a small camper, which got me thinking that maybe it would appeal to the cycling fraternity, the only extra I would need to do is find a way that the bike could be secured in the van.

I really appreciate ALL the comments, ideas and links, I was expecting a lot of these :arrow: :roll: so I think I've got off lightly :D

I will most likely be starting some sort of Campervan/motorhome business early next year, I might even build one for this summer and see how it goes, I'll let you know when I do.

I don't want to bore people on this forum, I know it's not really what it's about but I'm thankful the moderators have let it stay, I welcome and other Ideas, links etc

:wink:
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brynpoeth
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Mar 2018, 5:16pm

A related possibly almost perfect holiday:
Living on a boat that travels 30 km along the canal each day
One could cycle 30 km or more, non-cycling companions could relax on the boat or spend a day in town and rejoin by train

You will find a lot of ideas here
There are more than 1m posts, try a bit of random googling!
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

ambodach
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby ambodach » 13 Mar 2018, 5:58pm

The type2 VW conversions are nice toys but as a practical vehicle leave a lot to be desired. I write as a previous owner.
I am always amused at how many children are born in these vehicles with most of them having multiple births.

GideonReade
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby GideonReade » 14 Mar 2018, 5:43pm

We saw a lot of small (Toyota Previa) cheap (no vents or insulation, don't meet GB DVLA requirements) hired campers in Oz and NZ, as we cycled alonv. They relied on an outdoors lifestyle and even a rear bike rack would be difficult as the tailgate is essential.

On another note, I converted a small (MB Vito) van for us. While looking into it I became aware that for commercially available vehicles, van conversions are no cheaper than coach build, because on a batch production scale, the latter can be outfitted much faster. Similarly small is fiddlier than large, so proportionately, its very expensive in labour making a small conversion. This might explain why rental companies generally rent something medium sized, and coach built?

Regarding the businesses plan, I suspect that cycle tourists (and canoeists, which I am also) are inherently culturally cheapskates and makers-do. Well, I am. Which makes them hard to get money out of.

But good luck anyway.

brynpoeth
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Mar 2018, 4:45pm

GideonReade wrote:We saw a lot of small (Toyota Previa) cheap (no vents or insulation, don't meet GB DVLA requirements) hired campers in Oz and NZ, as we cycled alonv. They relied on an outdoors lifestyle and even a rear bike rack would be difficult as the tailgate is essential.

On another note, I converted a small (MB Vito) van for us. While looking into it I became aware that for commercially available vehicles, van conversions are no cheaper than coach build, because on a batch production scale, the latter can be outfitted much faster. Similarly small is fiddlier than large, so proportionately, its very expensive in labour making a small conversion. This might explain why rental companies generally rent something medium sized, and coach built?

Regarding the businesses plan, I suspect that cycle tourists (and canoeists, which I am also) are inherently culturally cheapskates and makers-do. Well, I am...
..
..

Not so sure, there are plenty on here with far too many bikes, one bike cost GBP 9 500 and e-bikes cost thousands. Maybe the cyclists WERE rich until they got too many machines

I am like you mind, have got too many books but most acquired cheap or free
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott

PrinterJohn
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby PrinterJohn » 18 Mar 2018, 9:56pm

Some years ago I bought a fairly new very basic Danbury be camper to hire out. Cost £28,000. Insurance for hire business, and this was a single van with Liverpool Victoria, the best company we could find was £2000 per year and with £750 excess. So this is going to be an expensive undertaking. People's expectations are always very high, and respect for other people's property very low so expect high maintenance costs. We gave up and sold the van. At the moment I am awaiting delivery of a 22 year old 150,000 mile VW T4 campervan for myself, which is costing £10,000 and the cheapest I could find with the features I wanted, so don't think old VW Campers will be cheap. What you are planning can be done with almost any car and a tent, all you are offering is an alternative to sleeping in a tent, and I'm not sure many people would pay the £400-£700 a week on top of the cost of the campsite your vans will need to be parked in to save sleeping in a tent. If you proceed with this I would try a single vehicle first, the costs of 4 vehicles, premises, insurance, a lot on advertising etc is not going to leave much change out of £100,000 I would say, and that's if you only use the most basic of vans with minimal camper conversion.

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foxyrider
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby foxyrider » 18 Mar 2018, 10:19pm

When I spotted this thread I thought it was about 'micro campers' but all the talk has been about proper van size conversions. Or even bike based/towed units :roll:

In the 'good' old days there were camper conversions based on the 2.5cwt vans and even estate (shooting brake) cars. (I've seen as small as a mini!) So I was expecting this project to be on similar 'micro' not small van chassis. Maybe something like the Citroen mini campers I see with a lift up roof?

Bit disappointed so far.
Convention? what's that then?
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al_yrpal
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Re: Thinking of starting a micro campervan rental business

Postby al_yrpal » 19 Mar 2018, 8:46am

As a newish owner of a VW T25 camper and with experience of my sons Hymer, a bigger van, perhaps this would be a better alternative than a hire business https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2310880075
Remember, all cyclists are gannets! :lol:

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!