Good times roll in van share

Trevor Wheat is considering buying a second motorhome.

SHARED SPACE: Deborah and Trevor Wheat at home with their six berth campervan, which they rent through SHAREaCAMPER. Photo: supplied.

SHARED SPACE: Deborah and Trevor Wheat at home with their six berth campervan, which they rent through SHAREaCAMPER. Photo: supplied.

In 2016, after years of admiring campervans, Mr Wheat and his wife Deborah decided to invest.

The decision was meticulously researched.

Mr Wheat had joined the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia years earlier.

Eventually they bought a secondhand six berth motorhome.

Still working, he and Mrs Wheat always knew they were limited to smaller trips in the short term.

“We didn’t want it to sit in the driveway collecting spiders,” Mr Wheat said.

So, they decided to lease the van out.

When they began to investigate options, they discovered SHAREaCAMPER. The website allows campervan owners to connect with travellers looking to rent.

The service launched in 2015 in New Zealand. 

We didn’t want it to sit in the driveway collecting spiders.

Trevor Wheat

It was begun by a group of young German men, not long out of uni. Their conversation happened to turn to the high cost of buying or hiring a camper, a problem they decided to address.

In 2016, SHAREaCAMPER came to Australia, and Germany soon followed.

The business found a clear niche in the markets of each country, but the key challenge was building up the number of motorhome owners on its books, says SHAREaCAMPER CEO Phillip Dunn.

Often their most valuable asset beside their house, owners are understandably cautious to invite strangers in.

“First up it’s nerve wracking, because there’s a lot to learn and you’ve got to build your confidence,” Mr Dunn said.

Once they realise the home will be looked after well, and earn them a bit of extra income, owners begin to relax and enjoy the process, he says.

And finding lessees is no problem.

In recent years, a push to explore our own backyards has led to an increased demand in the market.

Mr and Mrs Wheat have now been renting out their van through the service for nearly a year. 

Four hours after listing their home on the site, they had a booking. Since then, they’ve rented their home out eight to ten times.

The help with insurance and registration a bit of extra income brings is nice, says Mr Wheat, but the couple have also found themselves loving meeting travellers hiring out their van.

“I’m tempted to just get a smaller one for our own needs, it’s just a dream,” Mr Wheat said.

  • For more information visit shareacamper.com.au