Caravan rental. What it is and how it works
Caravan rental. What it is and how it works
Caravan rental is not an undiscovered or new concept in South Africa. It has been around for a number of years but has mostly been monopolized by a few companies and individuals. The demand for caravan hire has steadily been increasing over the years that there is now such a huge deficit in the supply and demand chain that the number of caravans available to hire is literally just a drop in the ocean in terms of meeting the demand. This demand has opened up a huge opportunity for individuals who have caravans that sit idle for most of the year. This opportunity is called a peer to peer service or shared economy service. What this means is that individuals rent out their personal items, it this case their caravans, to other individuals who would like to experience a camping holiday but do not wish to, or cannot afford to, buy a caravan of their own.
A massive financial opportunity is knocking!
Airbnb and Uber are just two of the many success stories in the shared economy sector. And the great news is that this can be as equally as successful in caravan rental. There are in fact a few such platforms in Europe and Australia that are empowering people from all walks of life through caravan rental. This opportunity is now available in South Africa too with the Explorent platform. This platform allows the caravan owner to tap into this untouched market to put them in a position of self determined income and allow them the financial freedom that just cannot be achieved in a typical South African employment environment.
The basics of caravan hire.
To put it as simply as possible, caravan hire on a peer to peer basis is as simple as it comes. The model lets caravan owners list there caravans on a platform such as Explorent (often free of charge like Explorent) to holiday makers who would love an outdoors holiday without the big investment. There are self tow and towed for you options, this is for those who would feel more confident in doing the towing themselves or if the renter does not have the relevant licence. There are opportunities to maximize your income by offering add ons such as extra tents, camping tables and chairs or any other items that you feel would add value to the renter.
Listing your caravan or off road trailer is super easy
To get going you will need to list your caravan on the platform, This should take just a few minutes. A big factor here is the quality of the images that you post. A listing that has high quality and clear images will almost always get rented out before a listing with blurred images. You will then need to add your details, such as price, description, address and any add ons that renters can select if they would like.
Your very own dedicated owner dashboard.
Once your listing has been approved your will be able to log into your owner dashboard. Here you will be able to manage your listings and see how your listing is doing. You will be able to check messages from potential renters, see booking requests, edit your listing, check your invoices and more. It is basically your very own rental management platform
Receive your first booking requests
Once you have completed your listing, you will be ready to receive your first booking requests. This happens via emails that will be sent to your dashboard and also to your personal email address that you signed up with. This is the time that you can get to finalize the booking with the renter, discuss any add on items, rules for renting your caravan or trailer like licence requirements etc, and to answer any questions that they might have. You will also need to request the the relevant documents if they are going to tow themselves such as proof of address and copies of ID etc. These are important documents that you will need to file for your records.
Accepting or declining the booking request
Remember that your caravan or trailer is your property and often a sense of pride and joy for you. You are not obliged to rent out your chariot to anyone that you are not comfortable with. So at this stage you can either accept the request with one click on your dashboard or decline it. If you decide to accept the booking, great, you are on your way to becoming the latest member of one of the coolest communities in camping 🙂
You have accepted your first booking, awesome! Now what? Money exchange for some people is quite a sensitive issue so that is where we step in to make the whole process as smooth as possible. Once you have accepted a booking the Explorent system kicks in and starts the collection process. We send an invoice to the renter with the specific instructions that you have requested on the listing for example, the amount of deposit required. We then pay this over to you on the next working day after receiving it from the renter. Closer to the day that the renter needs to collect, our system will send out another reminder for the balance of payment to be made before collection of your caravan. This is collected and also paid over to you on the following working day after receipt. You will receive all of your cash before the renter collects, including the deposit.
The final hand over
Now that you have received your funds, shown the traveler your caravan, or met them at the camp grounds that you set them up in, it is time for the once over inspection of the caravan or trailer. This is an extremely important part of the process. Please ensure that any and all items that could be deemed “damaged” are listed and pointed out to the renter. It is also vital that the renter have the opportunity to inspect the caravan and also sign your documentation on an inspection where any sign of damage or a faulty gadget is listed. This will cover both you and the renter in the event of some dispute over damage.
The return of your caravan
Once the adventure is over and the caravan is back with you or you arrive to collect it at the campsite, you will need to do your final inspection in the presence of the renter. It is not considered best practice to do this after the fact without the renter present to account for any signs of damage. Once the inspection is done you are happy that all is good and well, you would need to refund the deposit. The method of payment is the method agreed upon between you and the renter. If there is an issue with damage, you are entitled to deduct the value of such damage from the deposit to repair or replace. That is why it is crucial to have the inspection report done with the renter. You are now well on your way to become a master of caravan rental.
Please do not forget we support you 100% of the way, if you need any additional information or help in any form please do not hesitate to give me a shout on 0797763257