Start a Caravan Hire / Rental Business

Today we look at another rental business, this business rents out caravans to people for a certain period of time, this one is a bit niche but it can be diversified into various industries, for camping trips (holiday), short term living (accommodation), as well as to use as a tuckshop or takeaways (food industry).

The rental business
Let’s first take an overall view of the rental business before we drill deeper into the business models. I have looked at rental and hiring businesses extensively before: an asset is acquired and that asset is rented out over a certain period until breakeven is achieved and eventually profit. Some rental businesses are more labour intensive than others, while others are riskier but have a quicker breakeven/profit point. Another thing to consider is asset lifespan and whether ongoing maintenance is required.

The caravan rental business
A caravan rental businesses own caravans that are available for people to rent for a certain period of time, much like a car rental business. The caravans will be stored in a lot, rented (deposit paid, contract signed etc.) and the client will attach the caravan to their towbar and drive off and return it at period stipulated (you can offer a delivery service as well).

Caravan storage

Business Models
– The most common use for a caravan is for holiday use, a lot of campsites in SA have caravan facilities.
Accommodation – People often use caravans for short term accommodation, like when they have relatives over and don’t have space or are building their house. It is better to live in a caravan than a shipping container. Caravans can also be used as a site office or for workers to stay on a building site, it offers a better living space than a shipping container as it is made for this purpose, a shipping container has to be extensively insulated to make it liveable.
Business – People use caravans for tuckshops or take-aways. Let’s say someone has an industrial area close by their house and want to start a takeaway catering to factory workers. If they don’t have the capital to buy they can rent a caravan. In fact, it might be better for them to rent than buy at first while testing the market. This would usually mean you would need to add some stuff or make some modifications to the caravan (you might even be able to partner with a catering and hiring company).

Depending on the type and period it’s been rented out for as well as your target market if you can get regular bookings you looking at a break-even period starting at 3-6 months (based on the purchase of a used caravan), you can also make extra money by including a tent. Later on, you can venture into motor homes which rent at a larger premium.


There are a few risks that you would need to mitigate, no doubt you should have business insurance. But another problem is theft, make a scanned copy of the renter’s ID (make sure it’s genuine), take a deposit and if possible add a tracking device to the caravan. Also, stipulate in contract the date and time the caravan should be returned and any penalty fees if that deadline is breached.

This is a hiring business that does not require a lot of staff and can be run by one or two people if you look at some other rental businesses below you will see that there are some that need staff on site. So business has that plus.

Related Businesses
Start a Car Hire Business
Start a Shipping Container Rental Business
Start a Stage Rental Business
Start Your Own Photo Booth Rental Business
Start a Catering & Hiring Company
Start a Wedding Dress / Bridal Gown Hire Business
Start a Pool Table Hiring Company
Start a Tent & Marquee Hire Business
Start a Temporary Fence Hire Business
Hire out Slot Car Racing Tracks
Build and Hire Out Mini Golf (Putt-Putt) Courses
Start a Scaffolding Hire Business
Hire out Popcorn, Candy floss and Slush Machines

Main image credit:  Edward