Advice For Hirers

If you haven’t been on holiday in a caravan, camper or motorhome before, you may not be familiar with some of the things that could go wrong, and ways to avoid them.

Fortunately, you’re in good hands with our local owners ready to give you a full handover before you set off, and our customer support team on hand every step of the way on 1300 416 133.

The first part of our guide addresses the three most common and avoidable types of damage that happen during a booking including:

  1. Awnings
  2. Damage/collisions when parking and moving the RV
  3. Incorrect fuel type
  4. Awnings


There are three primary types of awning that you will find on vans on Camplify: Roll-out awnings, Wind-out awnings or Bag awnings. 

Each of these is set up in a slightly different way, so it's very important that you listen to the owner during the handover and make sure you fully understand how to set up, correctly position and then pack away the awning. We also have several videos on our YouTube channel that show you how to set up each type of awning.

Unfortunately over a third of damage claims are awnings and this can be easily avoided. The vast majority of the damage to awnings are caused by being left up during adverse weather conditions; strong winds and/or rain can damage the arms of the awning, tear the canvas or even damage the body of the van.

Before setting off, and throughout your holiday, we recommend keeping a close eye on the weather via the BOM Weather app or another trusted source. We strongly advise that you put the awning away if you see the wind is increasing or you plan on leaving the van for more than a few minutes. The weather can change very quickly and leaving it up when you go to the beach can be a costly mistake.

(Top tip: If you are going to a location with poor phone signal, be sure to take a video of the owner demonstrating how to set up, correctly position and then pack away the awning. This was you can refer back to it later)

How to steps

  1. The owner will guide you and show you where the awning is stored
  2. The hirer should set up the awning with the owner providing all instructions clearly
  3. They owner may send you videos or you can watch more online
  4. You will need to know the situations that they need to remove the awning - wind / storm / heavy rain
  5. The hirer should put away the awning
  6. Ask any questions if you are unclear

Damage/collisions when you're parking or moving the RV

Whether you are towing a caravan / camper trailer  or driving a motorhome / campervan, parking and manoeuvring in a small area can always be a challenge. Damage, scratches and dents caused when moving the van around a park / campsite account for over a third of avoidable damage claims.

We understand that reversing into your site, with an audience of other campers can be a little daunting, but it’s really important to take your time. Before attempting the big reverse, carefully study your site / pitch and consider where the power & water connections are, proximity to your neighbours and the direction your door & awning will be facing.

The importance of a ‘Spotter’

When reversing or manoeuvring any type of van, we strongly recommend that someone from your group gets out of the vehicle and guides you in. This 'spotter' will help to provide you with much better visibility over each corner of your van and prevent frustrating scratches and dents from posts and rees etc.

(Top tip: When reversing a longer van like a motorhome or caravan, hearing the instructions from your 'spotter' can be difficult. Using your vehicle’s bluetooth connection, make sure you call your spotter on their phone so that you can hear their instructions clearly.)

For those inexperienced in towing, Camplify strongly recommends against towing any of our caravans. Many owners offer drop-off solutions, where they can tow and set up their van for you at a campsite of your choice. It makes life simple and easy for you. 

How to steps

  1. Check the RV mirrors and reversing lights
  2. Adjust the RV to suit the driver before you leave
  3. It's important to choose your spotter when they are moving and reversing the RV. We recommend that you use the vehicle’s Bluetooth connection to maintain clear, phone communication between the driver & spotter throughout the manoeuvre.

Incorrect fuel type

Although this is rare, this is an expensive mistake. When doing your handover be sure to confirm the fuel type with the owner and write it down. If you forget during the booking, either contact the owner to ask or check their Camplify listing.

Handover is crucial

We understand that once you’re all packed, you may be in a little bit of a hurry to get on your way to enjoy your holiday. However, it’s really important to ensure you dedicate time to a full handover with the van owner - Camplify recommends at least one hour.

Study everything in detail from how to hitch up, open windows, put up awnings and pop-tops, pack everything away etc. Don’t be afraid to ask the owner to demonstrate things more than once if you’re unsure. We often recommend attempting some of these tasks in front of the owner so you can ask questions along the way.

When hiring a caravan, many of our holidaymakers often opt to pick up the day before so they’re able to pack it at home and then set-off in their own time the following day.

That extra peace of mind

At Camplify, all of our vans are comprehensively insured against accidents and damage whilst they are on hire. If you run into any issues, our Australia-based support team is always on hand to walk you through the process, we also recommend that you call the owner.  Not only that but every hire comes with 24/7 nationwide breakdown cover from the NRMA.

If you’re looking for extra peace of mind during your holiday, Camplify also offers you the ability to reduce your Accident Excess. This works the same way as when you hire a car; if you have an accident while on our Standard package, your excess could be up to $3,500 per incident, but by upgrading to our Silver  or Gold  Accident Excess Reduction (AER) packages, you can reduce your Accident Excess down to as little as $250 per incident. Find out more here.