Staffelbach – Drive wherever you want. And leave as soon as it gets tired. That is the charm of camping.
Given the corona pandemic, this type of vacation is particularly popular this summer. The owners of mobile homes are happy about a great demand. There are also many customers who want to try camping for the first time, says Thomas Kretschmer from the association of independent motorhome rental companies in Staffelbach, Bavaria.
Bookings have also increased significantly with the PaulCamper agency platform, which it claims to be the largest provider of private rentals in Germany.
Thomas Kretschmer rents out around 700 motorhomes, bullis and panel vans through his portal. His phone was idle for weeks. “The Easter business has been completely lost,” he says. But since the campsites are open again and people are allowed to travel again, more people have accessed his portal than ever before.
The number of bookings increased significantly in May and June, says Kretschmer. There is great interest especially in the summer holidays. About 70 percent of the vehicles are already fully booked during this time.
Using the “PaulCamper” sharing platforms, private owners can lend their camper vans, mobile homes and caravans for money, because they are left unused for many weeks a year. In the meantime, more than 6000 vehicles have been registered in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
Founder Dirk Fehse sees a significantly increased demand for flexible, low-contact vacation alternatives. “The camping trend will not only continue, but will be accelerated by Corona,” he says. Since the beginning of May, the company has recorded growth of 100 percent compared to the same period last year with almost 9,000 bookings.
According to Kretschmer, there has been a boom in motorhomes in the past two years. The number of providers organized in the association of independent motorhome rental companies has also been increasing for years. Kretschmer sees above all a trend towards Bullis and panel vans, as these are cheaper than motorhomes. Because camping does not necessarily mean that you spend a cheap holiday.
“Many people underestimate the costs,” says Stephan Bühring from the RV rental company in Erlangen. A motorhome costs 140 to 160 euros per night in the main season. Add fuel and rent at the campsite. This year, he also receives more inquiries than usual. So far, however, there have been no more bookings than last year, he says. His guess: The price scares some beginners after all.