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Carry on camping: the Airbnb for nomads

When his wife asked him for a camping holiday, Justin Hales had a novel idea of doing it differently. 

Justin Hales comes from a family that loved to go camping. But towing a caravan about the state to join convoys of uncles and aunties for summer get-togethers ended one day in traumatic circumstances.

“Our caravan was run off the road by accident. No-one was hurt but it shook us up and my parents decided they didn’t want to tow a caravan anymore,” says Mr Hales.

Summer holidays were never quite the same, but Mr Hales has turned that loss into a gain.

The IT careerist didn’t think much about camping until his wife said to him last October: “Let’s have a caravan holiday at Christmas.”

So he investigated.

“I didn’t want to tow a caravan and everything was booked out 12 months ahead… and that got me thinking.”

The result is his interpretation of Airbnb, the online service that puts homeowners and room renters together, only this time for campers wanting to hire a caravan, camper trailer, or RV.

It’s an internet model, fired by the speed of the NBN, that could go global.

Mr Hales successfully applied to join the Slingshot Jumpstart program which accelerates new internet ideas, and will officially launch his Camplify project at the end of the month.

“We are moving to Newcastle this month and the NBN is a key reason for that,” he says. “Because our app is housed in a data centre in Sydney, where we’ve been working with Jumpstart, we are constantly updating and managing information so, we need the speed of services over the NBN to process all that quickly and reliably.”

“We’re building out the site at the moment and taking registrations from renters and owners. It is filter-based for searching, all communication is done through the web, and there are a significant amount of images involved, so the processing speed of our service over the NBN is key for us.”*

So, if you have a caravan in the driveway not doing much, you could now turn it into some cash on the side.


* Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the NBN depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.


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