They’re undoubtedly more comfortable than a tent or shared hostel and far less restrictive than a hotel room or rented holiday home. Plus, campervan/caravan holidays are all the rage right now. Just search #vanlife on Instagram and you’ll find a plethora of people documenting their exciting caravanning adventures.
Of course, it’s also cheaper than a B&B or hotel. However, have you considered that owning a caravan can actually make you money, too?
Let’s take a look at the ways in which you can make and save money with a caravan:
- Save money on holidays
- List out caravan
- Turn your caravan into a food truck
- Become a #vanlife influencer
While the initial cost of buying a caravan may seem rather steep (usually between £6,000 and £14,000), it has the potential to save you up to £80k in the long run, according to Yours Magazine.
For this return on investment to happen, you would – of course – need to make use of your caravan on a regular basis. Instead of heading away on package holidays with your family (which could easily cost up to £1,000 per person), you would instead pack your caravan and hit the road.
Out And About Live has a handy guide to choosing and buying your first caravan. They offer advice on finance and payment options, things to remember when choosing a caravan and how to work out the best type of caravan. This is useful if you are a first time buyer, as it can be quite overwhelming knowing where to start.
It’s not to say investing in a caravan would be an absolute waste for the globetrotters amongst us.
There are two main ways of going about this. The first step is to decide the type of caravan you want to purchase – static or mobile.
As the name suggests, these caravans stay put on a single plot. Because of their stationary nature, these caravans can be kitted out to be as convenient as a bricks and mortar holiday home. You can even purchase static caravans which have running showers, can connect to wifi and kitted out kitchens.
Static caravans start at different prices, depending on their age, model and location. At Haven Holidays you can buy a used static caravan for around £13,495. You can pay over £100,000 for luxury models. Some of the luxury models are more spacious, with dining space, a master bedroom and even log fires. Their deposits are £3,000 or 20% (whichever is greater). You’ll also need to factor in your site fees. Site fees also depend on location.
So, when you rent it out, be sure that the price covers all your own costs and that you make a little profit out of it too.
Up until recently, the rental of static caravans was far more common than mobile ones. However, with the rise of the sharing economy, people have realised that the caravan sitting pretty in the garage could actually make them some good money.
One way of doing this is to rent your caravan out privately. Advertise on websites such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. You could even spread the word among friends and family and generate bookings via word of mouth.
Advertising can prove to be somewhat time-consuming, however, as there is admin that need to be sorted. This includes getting the right insurance to establishing the correct fees.
If this sounds like a bit of a mission, there’s a pretty great solution: Yescapa.
Caravan sharing economy
Built on the same principle as Airbnb, Yescapa is a platform that helps you rent out your caravan/campervan as simply and securely as possible.
Since its launch in 2012, Yescapa has generated €10 million (£8.8 million) in income for over 3,800 vehicle owners across Europe.
In a survey of its users, they also found that 38% of holidaymakers have the intention to buy their own motorhome or campervan in the future.
What’s more, 65% said they were willing to rent out their vehicle once they had acquired it, creating a virtuous circle for motorhome manufacturers, owners, renters and holidaymakers.
- What are the costs?
Joining the Yescapa community and placing an advertisement on the site is entirely free. The price of the insurance is included in the price the renter pays.
The only thing required by you is a clean vehicle that is in good working order, with all of your up to date documents.
So, how do they make money, you might wonder? Yescapa places a service fee of 10% – 15% on top of the fee you’re charging for your caravan (with a minimum of £30). Basically, you receive your payment in full.
- What is the average rental price on Yescapa?
If you’re looking to rent out a caravan, you can expect to pay anything between €20 and €80 per day.
Campervans, on the other hand, can reach up to €250 per day, depending on how kitted out it is, it’s condition, or how classic it is.
Currently, the most expensive rental on the site is a shiny yellow, 1964 split-window VW Combi.
You may even feel like doing something a little more creative with your caravan. Perhaps you love cooking or baking, or may even fancy making a gradual career change. If that’s the case, why not consider turning your caravan into a food truck?
While you may have to spend some money on refitting it, your overhead costs after this will be relatively low – especially since you already own the vehicle and don’t need to buy one for the purpose. We’ve previously written an article on how to decorate your home on a budget, with tips that can easily be transferred to decorating your caravan or camper.
If you can’t afford to run a food truck full-time, you could always start off by doing it as a side hustle over weekends. You can sell food at:
A good way of advertising your services and spreading the word is to get people sharing pictures and writing reviews on social media. So, have your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram details displayed clearly for customers and even consider having a special hashtag they can use.
Remember, there are rules and regulations regarding business registration, health and safety that must be followed when running a food business.
Read all about them in our article about making money with a food truck.
If you’re free-spirited or highly entrepreneurial, you could convert your caravan into a comfortable semi-permanent home. You can save money on rent or mortgage payments, and become a #vanlife influencer.
If you’re interested in travel and the outdoors, you may have noticed a rise in the popularity of caravans and campers among millennials in recent years. This has seen an interesting change in in the target market from the more traditional family holidays or retired couples to younger folk.
If you search #vanlife on Instagram, millions of beautiful photos will pop up. From beautiful scenery and happy campers, to glorious woodlands with fairy lights strung between trees, you can find all the inspiration you need when buying your caravan.
Trend or truly cost-saving way of life?
Many have laughed it off as a passing trend. However, most people living this way say it’s a conscious pursuit of a more affordable and flexible life.
In an interview with The Debrief, vanlifer Abby shared her story. She said she saved £26,000 living in a van for 18 months.
Instead of spending extortionate amounts on rent, Abby opted to work remotely from her van. She lived on roughly £10 a day. Her biggest cost was paying £3,000 for the van itself, which she went on to sell 2 years later for around the same price.
As the article suggests, when you compare £3,000 to house prices, the volatile market, or the instability of everything post-Brexit, van life becomes much less of a ‘hippy-dippy’ dream and more an advantageous lifestyle choice.
Making money from #vanlife
Although it may seem as easy as loading pictures onto Instagram, just be warned: it’s can be really hard work!
- What you need
Firstly, you’ll need to invest in a good quality camera and editing software. You can then publish high-quality, beautiful photos that easily compete with those of existing influencers.
Whilst photos may seem effortless sitting on your Instagram feed, stand-out photos take time. There can be lots of set-up, props and retakes. You’ll need patience!
It may also take some time to establish yourself before brands offer you opportunities to work together. Take your time and keep going. Once you’ve had your first opportunity to work with brands and fellow influencers, more will follow.
- How to start
As soon as you’ve gained between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, you are considered a micro influencer. If your content is good, you can start reaching out to brands who you’d like to work with. You’ll be surprised how willing brands are to collaborate!
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.