While retirees spending their kids’ inheritance on a luxury caravan for a road trip around the country may get their money’s worth, the majority of caravans sit on front lawns for the better part of the year.
A Newcastle startup wants to get these caravans on the road by connecting owners with renters. Justin Hales, CEO of Camplify, said the idea came from his experiences on family holidays as a child.
“My family and I used to go caravaning with my extended family every holidays. On a return trip we were run off the road and decided to sell our caravan. We never had that type of holiday again. In October my wife asked me to see about hiring a caravan for the Christmas holidays but I couldn’t find any out there. I thought that with all the caravans sitting in people’s front yards, surely I can come up with a solution that solves both problems,” Hales said.
Camplify allows owners to list their caravans or other recreational vehicles for hire. Just like Airbnb, owners can then chat with potential users and pick which they’re comfortable lending their vehicle to. The platform, which charges a booking fee, estimates that a caravan would be hired for an average of six weeks per year, giving owners a spare $3,500.
The startup is also keen on creating a sense of community around the platform, hoping caravan owners and renters create connections around holiday experiences.
Like many startups, Hales said one of the more common issues the startup has faced is a lack of understanding of the product and technology within the market.
“The biggest challenge is educating the market in this type of disruptive business. Once people understand the idea they love it,” he said.
While a number of owners may be wary of handing over something as expensive as a caravan or RV to a stranger for weeks at a time, many others would surely jump at the chance to make some extra cash for something that goes unused for most of the year. This, and encouraging users to make connections and share tips and advice on their holidays, can help Camplify build a devoted community.
With a solid number of users now on board, Camplify is focused on growth and a simple goal.
“We want to provide holidaymakers with an amazing holiday,” Hales said.
This content was bought to you by Beyond Bank Australia. Apply for a $20,000 entrepreneur grant before June 15th for the Canberra, Hunter Valley and Riverina, with South Australia and Western Australia opening in July for submissions.
This content was bought to you by Beyond Bank. Apply for a $20,000 entrepreneur grant before June 15th for the Canberra, Hunter Valley and Riverina, with South Australia and Western Australia opening in July for submissions.