Dave Kramers and his partner have been buying old Mercedes buses since 2012 to convert them into motorhomes. That the camper has also become increasingly popular among young couples and families in recent years was already noticeable at their company Toffe Camper, but this year it is going very fast. “We cannot meet the demand. We have already sold all our buses in the spring and this has never happened before,” says Kramers.
According to figures from the Dutch Camper Club (NKC), the Netherlands has 131,594 registered campers. 55,000 camper owners are members of the NKC. They have an average age of 62, but they see that age decrease further every year at the motorhome club. “The number of campers in the Netherlands is growing explosively and more and more younger owners are joining”, says Rosanne Vriend from NKC.
The NKC hears from dealers that many people come to ask for campers during this period. “Initially everything was stopped, but now that the measures have been relaxed, sellers are noticing that more people are passing by to get information,” says Vriend.
That is not to say that those potential customers drive off the site with a motorhome that afternoon, because it is a considerable investment. ‘For a new camper, you should think of an amount of € 60,000. For a good second-hand, you can get to € 30,000. ‘
So a big release, which you should think about. Friend: “A camper is not an impulse purchase.”
Motorhome rental is going fast
That is why many people also choose to rent a camper this summer. Rental platform Goboony sees a significant growth in the number of bookings compared to the same period last year. “It has accelerated in recent weeks. If it continues at this rate, we will be fully booked in mid-June,” says owner Mark de Vos.
When booking, customers indicate whether they have experience with a motorhome. “Normally two thirds of our customers had that. Now we suddenly see a lot more people who are traveling with a camper for the first time,” says de Vos.
150,000 nights were booked at Goboony last year. But there can be much more. At least if there are enough campers available.
Cash with your camper
De Vos hopes that even more motorhome owners will be prepared to rent out their vehicle temporarily. “Owners take it on their own for an average of four weeks per year, so motorhomes are stationary for most of the year.”
Renting your motorhome during periods when you do not use it yourself is very lucrative. “That saves a camper owner a thousand euros per week in the high season.”
Goboony asks customers where they want to go with the rented camper. Most currently remain in the Netherlands. In addition, De Vos sees that there is a lot of interest in Scandinavia. “The nice weather in Southern Europe is not a priority this year. People choose to be safe and as soon as travel is possible again, many motorhomes will travel to Northern Europe via Germany,” he predicts.
Dave Kramers not only sells Mercedes buses, but also enjoys traveling around with his family. Where is he going this summer? “We have mapped out a tour through the Netherlands, but when the borders open, we drive on. Towards Spain, Portugal and perhaps Morocco.”
Because that flexibility is what makes motorhome life so beautiful, Kramers thinks. “Actually we would already go to Morocco last year. First we drove to Zeeland for a day to meet friends. That was so much fun that we stayed for a week.”
They did not make it to Morocco that summer. “That’s how our holidays always go.” Although the family has a great love for the north coast of Spain.
Whatever the destination this summer, they will go out with the camper anyway, for that ‘ultimate feeling of freedom.’ Kramers’ camper vans are built in such a way that they never have to have a power pole, so they can go wherever they want. “Our camper is always ready packed. The refrigerator is powered by solar energy and there are always cold beers in it.”