Devon Camper Hire: Valuable Lessons from our First Season
Devon Camper Hire has just completed our first full season and we’re delighted at how busy we’ve been during our first year. We were pretty confident that July and August would be busy but figured campervan bookings would tail off at the end of the school holidays. Imagine our surprise when the whole of September was just as busy as July and August! A handful of bookings continued to come in during October too… Trips to the West Country in campervans were more popular than we could have ever imagined.
We tucked Boris and Bertha up for the winter in the middle of November, confident that they would be resting until the Easter break, at least. We were wrong. Bookings came in for both campers over New Year.
The first year, as with any new business, has been a massive learning curve. We’ve learnt plenty of lessons that make our life easier and our processes more efficient. We’ve also picked up a host of tips and tricks that will make our customers’ adventures a little easier and a little more comfortable.
The best tip we picked up came from one of our New Year’s bookings. A very nice lady booked Bertha (our dog friendly campervan) to take her son and two whippets on an adventure to Devon & Cornwall. Dog walking on empty beaches, followed by cosy country pubs and open fires were the only things on their agenda. They didn’t even have any campsites booked! Good luck with that, we thought…
When they returned with Bertha, three days later, we were keen to know how they’d got on with finding campsites. “Great thanks”, came the reply. “We stayed at 3 different sites and it cost us a grand total of £5”. Upon seeing our puzzled faces, she explained how this was possible.
They had been using an app on their phone called Park4Night. It’s a really handy application for campervan and motorhome users. It lists sites throughout Europe where you can park overnight, either free or very cheaply. There’s a mixture of beach car parks, where the toilet facilities are kept open, farms and pubs that let you use their parking facilities overnight if you spend a few quid in their bar.
The list of sites is continually growing and other campervan and motorhome users leave reviews and feedback so you can pick a site that suits your needs perfectly. Because it’s an app, you only need to click on a particular site and you will be guided there by your smartphone’s sat nav! It couldn’t be easier.
We will definitely be using the app on the rare opportunities that allow us to get out and about in the campers. But it’s certainly something we will be recommending to our camper hire customers in the future.