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AIBU to ask for your opinions on campervans

(28 Posts)
strayduck Tue 12-Jul-16 07:54:41

Hello we have a nice and shiny VW T4 Camper that spends most of its time sat around waiting for us to have time to take it on holiday :-)
I am thinking of starting a camper hire business with it and with expansion in mind would like to ask your opinions on what type of VW Camper we should purchase with customer rentals in mind.

Would you prefer to go old skool and rent a traditional 1970's camper?
Would you prefer modern and rent a VW T5 with all the mod cons such as TV\DVD, solar panels, heating etc.

Thanks in advance.

lovelyupnorth Tue 12-Jul-16 07:57:46

Wouldn't rent either. We have a t5 on the fleet and don't get the love for them also have a t6 on order as MD wanted one.

The old ones might be nostalgic but horrible for a long trip. Have a friend who rented one as was a life long dream and hated every moment.

But good luck all the same. Just cause I don't like them doesn't mean plenty of people do.

strayduck Tue 12-Jul-16 08:07:17

No, thanks for your opinion.

modern please, when can I borrow it?

MozzieRocks Tue 12-Jul-16 08:26:22

Modern personally but I suppose it depends what focus you want your business to have. If you are thinking cutesy retro then it would have to be old, if you are thinking give people a practical camping holiday then 'new'. Sounds likes a great business idea we would definitely rent one for the weekend.

strayduck Tue 12-Jul-16 08:56:13

We are practical campers ourselves and the reason why we got the t4 so am edging towards standing by our ethos and look into getting a T5

DesignedForLife Tue 12-Jul-16 09:02:28

Modern for sure. Wouldn't like the risk of an old one breaking down.

Mouikey Tue 12-Jul-16 09:05:37

My friend had an old one which I coveted, until I saw how she slept cuddling the wheel arch every night!!! I'd go modern. I'd also be interested in renting towards the end of June for 10 days (next year!), if of course your in the south smile

Have a google online, there is a retro rental place on the IoW, but the vans aren't allowed off the island (which makes good sense!).

dolkapots Tue 12-Jul-16 09:13:17

I have looked into this before but unfortunately the price of hire for 3 days + site fees is more than a package holiday abroad!

Dowser Tue 12-Jul-16 10:33:31

Love to see them on the road but would hate using one.

Give me my 23 foot tourer, with lux bathroom and full size oven, fridge , kitchen and a gloriously comfortable proper double bed any day

But hey..they look fab!

t4gnut Tue 12-Jul-16 10:34:55

Campervans are evil.

Not quite as evil as tents or caravans but still evil.

NannyR Tue 12-Jul-16 11:37:38

I know of several people who have rented the old fashioned campers as it was "something they had always wanted to do", maybe to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, but they all said that the reality wasn't as good as what they thought it would be like - they were cold and uncomfortable for the weekend. So I would personally go for modern, all mod cons campers instead.

lovelyupnorth Tue 12-Jul-16 11:47:06

the brazilians do do a new old one someone round here was selling them but they are about 30k

Schoolchauffeur Tue 12-Jul-16 11:49:01

We recently had a long weekend in a 1974 Westphalia top. It was a dream of DH and a company near us started up so I got him the voucher for Xmas, I have to say we loved it! They have two of the old vans available for hire, and one new One which they've just taken delivery of. I have to say that no expense has been spared in converting these- gas hob and fridge and heating. CD player and iPod and phone charger. LED lights, music system, lovely wooden cabinets and table. All good quality accessories for cooking etc, gas fridge. They offer luxury hampers from a local farm shop with egg bacon, bread, wine, cake etc. They've got people coming from as far as Oz to use them as part of uk holiday! Driving the old one took a bit of getting used to. You'd need to have someone on hand for regular maintenance- the husband in this small business does a full check over each van every time. They also have a beautiful cream one with a double entry door and cream leather seats and a champers fridge which is very popular for weddings here. Makes for lovely photos!!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Tue 12-Jul-16 12:10:54

Something reliable.
That didn't cost a fortune to hire.

CatsRule Tue 12-Jul-16 12:33:45

Modern because of safety and being able to fit a child seat into it. I think the old campers are lovely on the outside but they don't look comfortable inside...I would also worry about reliability.

Snowflakes1122 Tue 12-Jul-16 12:33:51

A friend of mine hired one to go to mainland Europe on honeymoon. They had a great time! They hired a 70s one.

Good luck if you decide to go for it!

5Foot5 Tue 12-Jul-16 13:22:53

I have always fancied the retro vans and briefly considered getting one. However, I realised we would hardly ever get to use it so promised myself we would rent one some day. Interesting to read some of the comments on here about them...

I think if I was renting I would be tempted to go trad but only for a short break like a weekend just in case it disappointed.

mummymeister Tue 12-Jul-16 14:09:54

Can I be honest and say I think camper vans are a bit old hat and that you should try something different? what about an old USA school bus that is converted out? or another iconic/easily recognisable vehicle?

if you did something unique then you would get more bookings and it would be a better overall business. how quickly does your business plan say you will start making a return on capital employed?

this isn't a year round business either 5 to 6 months of the year at most.

I dream of taking 3 weeks, and following the Tour de France in a camper van.

I rather fancy the idea of a van with satellite tv, so I can have the best of both worlds - park up by the road with other fans, enjoy the atmosphere whilst waiting for the race to go past (with nice cheese, wine and baguette, of course) and then head off to the next day's pitch, park up and watch the highlights programme - so I could see more than just the peloton whizzing past at light speeds.

strayduck Tue 12-Jul-16 14:32:34

Some good points thanks.

The one we have now is kitted out with all the mod cons, heating, led lights, tv\dvd with sound hooked up to stereo, solor panels for when no electric is available, cd player with bluetooth, sink, hob, decent utensils etc .

The seat in the back is a 'proper' RIB crash tested bed from France with seat belts as I have a 2yr old as well. It's also got the isofix bar.

It's a fair comment about a flooded market and something unique is most definitely worth looking at as an addition.

I am still working on what my outgoing costs would be first then will build that into a business plan. My husband is a management accountant so will be depending on him to help with the business plan.

I am based in the South West near Bristol.

nilbyname Tue 12-Jul-16 14:35:40


New ones are rubbish to drive

wasonthelist Tue 12-Jul-16 14:38:03

I owned a 70s one (79 bay window since you ask) back in the day when they were banger money. They are slow, noisy, extremely bad on fuel, cold, uncomfortable, unreliable and impractical, but for some reason they are now worth a fortune even for the crappiest. If I wanted to rent one I'd certainly go modern, but I have been considering buying another old one as it would probably do no worse than a cash ISA and would be more fun to have. So to answer your question - modern every time for rental.

nilbyname Tue 12-Jul-16 14:38:45

Friends looked into this- In fact invest an existing business in the SW. And they margins are so tight they passed on it.

All your weekends, summer holidays, Friday nights, Sunday nights. Gone to the business! Hospitality/recreation businesses are not very family friendly for the proprietor so consider that too.

I would say the market for campers has peaked and moved on.

nilbyname Tue 12-Jul-16 14:39:38

Old ones are rubbish to drive!!!!

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