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Just looking for opinions


Kezia2121
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I'm thinking of starting a caravan cleaning up as a business having owned a caravan for 20 years and I know they can be a bit of a job to clean due to the size of them ,I was wondering if other Caravan owners would be prepared to have there's cleaned to a decent standard by useing all the correct gear to do this including all the right professional cleaning products available to me .I'm not currently offering a service I'm looking to see if there's a market for this obviously there would be different prices for different jobs that needs doing what's the average going rate for these types of services as I would not want to over charge my customers if anything I would be very competitive and would try beat off my competition by offering lower prices and good value for money but Make  an honest profit  , having owned a caravan  it can be a nightmare for some people to clean and hard work but having to invest in the correct gear to accomplish these jobs including the roof  being the most difficult to do, would you think I would get a lot of interest if my cleaning work is of really good standard. How many times a year would someone what there caravan cleaned are you already have such a service done 

Whats your view on this please and your opinions would you think I would get lots of interest in this I assume people wash there cars so I assume it's no different to other services being offered .I was even thinking of statics as well but I assume some sites already do this but charge a lot for it where my services my be alot cheaper .

Edited by Kezia2121
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How can you say you will beat off your competition by undercutting them, but then ask what the going rate is for the job?

You would be far better to detail the quality of service you will offer, and the cost, and the thereafter gauge the responses you will inevitably get from this forum.

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I agree with Towtug, you do not have any idea what you would be offering, or have not specified what you are offering other than a general cleaning.

 

You also say you have the "professional Cleaning products", but what products? as many can do irreversible damage to a caravan .

 

If you have no idea what other businesses charge you cannot say that you would undercut them.

 

From a personal point of view I would never trust anyone else to clean my van and I am not alone in this thought.

 

You would need to draw up a detailed list of services being offered with what materials and the proposed cost, and your work would have to be amazingly good to come anywhere near a couple of businesses that I know of who do this type of work, because they are second to none.

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There's absolutely demand for this. We are having ours washed on Tuesday. 

When the van was at home we did it ourselves and it's about 2 hours work.

Now it's in storage, whilst they have a wash area, there are a number of companies who will wash or valet the van saving us the hassle of moving step ladders and washing equipment.

I'd say you need to get hooked into storage sites though and become a 'preferred' supplier.

I'm paying 55 quid and can report back if I'm pleased or not after Tuesday.

 

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It is not down to price as there are other reasons we have made to have them cleaned. I agree that you show nothing about the cleaning products you may use.

We have a member on here who is very successful at doing what you propose and I have used their services. I also know that they are excellent at their job and that every member on CT who has used them swears by them.  

 

They get business by word of mouth so I wish you well but you have to have a different way of doing business than that outlined above. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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4 minutes ago, WispMan said:

It is not down to price as there are other reasons we have made to have them cleaned. I agree that you show nothing about the cleaning products you may use.

We have a member on here who is very successful at doing what you propose and I have used their services. I also know that they are excellent at their job and that every member on CT who has used them swears by them.  

 

They get business by word of mouth so I wish you well but you have to have a different way of doing business than that outlined above. 

The guy is soliciting opinions and asking what we pay and likely demand.

Sounds a sensible approach to me. 

When I called my guy I asked him how much to wash my van. I didn't ask what chemicals and tools he uses!!!

Ok, so he's known at the storage site bit it ain't rocket science.

:excl::excl::excl:    Spanish Trip 2020 - :excl::excl::excl: - Time to bailout...

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32 minutes ago, PandR said:

The guy is soliciting opinions and asking what we pay and likely demand.

Sounds a sensible approach to me. 

When I called my guy I asked him how much to wash my van. I didn't ask what chemicals and tools he uses!!!

Ok, so he's known at the storage site bit it ain't rocket science.

According to their profile the guy is a gal and in Wales.

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9 hours ago, Brecon said:

I agree with Towtug, you do not have any idea what you would be offering, or have not specified what you are offering other than a general cleaning.

 

You also say you have the "professional Cleaning products", but what products? as many can do irreversible damage to a caravan .

 

If you have no idea what other businesses charge you cannot say that you would undercut them.

 

From a personal point of view I would never trust anyone else to clean my van and I am not alone in this thought.

 

You would need to draw up a detailed list of services being offered with what materials and the proposed cost, and your work would have to be amazingly good to come anywhere near a couple of businesses that I know of who do this type of work, because they are second to none.

I totally agree with you in every aspect, I have used the same cleaning products on our van for years and do not want to trust anyone else's and until I cannot wash our van myself would not trust anyone else to do  the job

Edited by Les Medes

Les

 

 

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When our caravan went for a service last year as an afterthought we asked them to wash it without asking how much. They charged £50 and I was shocked at the price just for a wash and wouldn't pay it again.

 

Kia Sorrento towing a Coachman VIP 575/4

 

Our blog: jennyandjohngocaravanning. wordpress. com

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17 minutes ago, LongTimeCaravaner said:

When our caravan went for a service last year as an afterthought we asked them to wash it without asking how much. They charged £50 and I was shocked at the price just for a wash and wouldn't pay it again.

 

Catalan War Cry       "Com Quant"

Les

 

 

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My view is that what you are looking at doing is an exceedingly  niche service. There are vastly less caravans around then there are cars and they don’t get used anything like as much, so they don’t need cleaning anything like as often. Therefore you need to ask yourself the following questions.

 

1. How much do I need to take as profit each week to make a living, and how many cleaning jobs does that represent? Realistically I would think 2 or 3 a day EVERY day. For a five day week that’s 100 per month EVERY month. So roughly 1100 per year. (A month off for holidays etc) 

2. How many caravans are within a reasonable travelling distance of my base?

3. How much will I have to ADD to the cleaning costs to cover the cost of getting to the caravan to be cleaned, and will customers be prepared to pay the additional cost.

4. Are there enough customers, willing to have their caravan cleaned on a regular (rather than a couple of times a year) basis to satisfy No.1? 

5. Is there anyone else in the area offering the same service? If not ask yourself why (probably because there is an insufficient regular customer base to make it worthwhile)

6. What is the capital cost of setting up. Cleaning products, vehicle costs, professional insurance in case you damage a van, etc (if using your private car you will also need business insurance) 

 

So MY feelings are that if you are looking at starting this as a part time job/paying hobby it might be worth a punt. As a full time job I reckon it’s a non starter because of 2,3 & 4 above.

 

A lot of serious thought needed! 

 

Andy

 

p.s. Good luck IF you go ahead.

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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A major consideration is access to water. I would imagine that purchasing a van and equipping it with your own supply tank would be a costly outlay. Not all caravans are stored with that vital washing requisite available and you may not be very popular with a lot of folk if you plan on using water less cleaners!

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A big consideration is WHERE!

To wash a van properly, requires access all round, sufficient for a safe platform to do the roof.

 

Many home stored vans do not have this, with owners using all sorts of amateurish methods of access such as ladders against the side of the van (not acceptable for a professional job!).

 

Many storage sites do not have room for this either, nor will they necessarily allow just any commercial washing service on site. Some already offer a washing service and certainly would not allow competition on their site.

 

Many holiday sites do not allow washing on site.

 

A location of your own would cost money and who would bother to take a van out just to have it washed?

 

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Having once been involved in provision of a wash bay...problems arose not with provision of water but the evacuation of the waste water and settlement of residue.

 

Geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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We had our twin axle caravan washed recently and cost was £40.  During the winter months what would you do as unlikely anyone wants their caravan washed in that period?  Also it takes about 2 years to build up a clientele. 

With cars you can park them under a gazebo and clean them in all sorts of weather.  You would also need insurance cover for the type of work you want to undertake.  Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Looking at the tourershine site, they started out doing washes and moved on to bigger and better things. They don't do basic washes now so there may be room for you . Have you asked around local dealers and storage sites, that may give you a better idea of what you need if you want to make it a business. 

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I'm thinking thinking of buying a second hand fire engine ha ha lol ,on a serious note I would have insurance and would seek professional  advice on what cleaning products would be used  normally on my own I would not useing nothing  only a wash and wax  and the reason for this abrasive products can damage the exterior of the caravan a bit of elbow grease is needed rather than using this type of  stuff. That could damage the van , having access  the roof is very easy with the ladders I have already which are not cheap and nothing like your standard ladders you use on your own home basically some of the comments are correct I will have to get a service plan together by what I mean is undercutting prices is being competitive and reasonable .

All the years of owning a caravan and having cleaned mine I never had any issues but may be I'm just using the correct stuff ,I would be looking to tie this in with other work which is not related to Caravan cleaning so it's more of doing this as an extra income more than full time basis but hopefully when I do a few and take pictures and get some references off my clients to build a relationship and trust hopefully more will be interested ,I would probably do fixed rates to cover more than just pricing individually this can Inturn include a  number of jobs that can reduce the price alot a fixed price based on what needs doing this way it's works out cheaper.

I noticed some caravan cleaners don't include the cooker fridge is there a reason for this myself I would include these,it's one thing I learned is not to use abrasives and stuff that scratches the van or stuff that can cause discoloration ,I will have to look further into this I have a guy that works in a caravan center who can get further advice off .you can even use professional waterless products these days where you don't need access to water ,I think alot have mentioned awhich as helped me but all business have to start somewhere and build trust and confidence needed to get clients.

16 hours ago, Grandpa Steve said:

Have a look at this company, they are Caravan Talk Trade members and have a nationwide reputation to be envied.

 

http://www.tourershine.co.uk/

That's an eye watering prices on that site 😁🤑 but like most people these days are just happy to get it washed and cleaned without shedding out lots on money 

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33 minutes ago, Kezia2121 said:

That's an eye watering prices on that site 😁🤑 but like most people these days are just happy to get it washed and cleaned without shedding out lots on money 

 

You get what you pay for, Tourershine has been trading for a number of year, they did the front of my caravan and restored a dull and faded front panel to new, you don't get that with a bucket of water and a sponge.

 

Washing and cleaning is completely different to the detailed restoration work Tourershine does, I hope you can carve out a niche in your market like they have in theirs, through a belief in what they do and the dedication, hard work, skill and hours of elbow grease.

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You would need, as we purchased, industrial warehouse steps, those with a rigid frame and wheels rather than ladders,however,good. The roof takes much longer than the sides.

 

Friend recently had his 'van in for first service.....We will wash it for £35, we only do free washes on new sales now.

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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7 hours ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

You get what you pay for, Tourershine has been trading for a number of year, they did the front of my caravan and restored a dull and faded front panel to new, you don't get that with a bucket of water and a sponge.

 

Washing and cleaning is completely different to the detailed restoration work Tourershine does, I hope you can carve out a niche in your market like they have in theirs, through a belief in what they do and the dedication, hard work, skill and hours of elbow grease.

And even they stared off at some point ,I have had many caravans over the years and and no issues getting it looking gleaming everytime which took many hours at a time to do which is no different , I even used a meguiars polisher with the compounds with no issues just because they been up and running for many years it don't stop and individual reaching these standards with a lot of  knowledge you can get there standard  ,but like most caravan valets  you can pay all the money and the first drop of rain can make it dirty again ,I do my own van I clean everything even under the beds lockers  cooker fridge where most valeters don't clean  they are all extras when we been away and come back I have spent the whole day cleaning mine and it's been spotless some valets even charge for hovering ,if you want a manicure job you can be expected to pay that sort of money as some will expect to pay for this type of service but most people settle for less and still get a good service and get good value for money , everyone knows how hard it is to clean a roof on a caravan and how long it takes because you just can't do the roof without doing the sides as well these all-sorts of services available that they offer  it depends on how much you want to pay .you can get many cleaning products even waterless products these days to be totally honest I only used wash and wax on most of my caravans I owned as abrasive polishes can cause fading and cause the transfers to fade as well most caravans all they need is a good wash and clean to bring the shine back .

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You asked the CT members for their thoughts which they have shared with you, you now seem to be doing a lot of explaining and justifying what you want to do and how you would do it.

 

As fellow caravanners who wash and clean their own caravans, many of the CT members are fully aware of how to do it without the need for you to explain, and to be honest you seem to be rambling on.

 

Perhaps it is now the time to take your venture to the next step and do something proactively, such as trying to get some business in your area and getting the project off the ground.

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If you notice with some of these companies they are stateing that That the caravan may discolouration work which will cost more money in most cases this might need extra work with different polishes  but  most discolouration can be removed with hand  polishes without the need for any extra work only good elbow grease and a recommend polish for the job  ,if I do this it will only be as part of another business as extra work I would probably not use this as a full time business it's more or making up extra money  if I happen to come across a caravan that may need some cleaning on it the ladders i will be using will be over £600 which. Will be used for other different jobs not just cleaning caravans but people have made a good point about the long term affects as most only want cleaning either before an holiday or just after before they put the cover on. I also see the point that no one would have any one clean there caravan I respect there decision as well but there are many caravaners that can't clean there caravans  ,it's like dog walking I have 2  border collies I would not just let anyone take them for a walk most work comes from word and mouth which I could just end up a few to do to be honest I would not  charge nothing like some of these dealers change I would give value for money and add other jobs that they don't add which normally costs extra and if I did clean a caravan it would not just be done correctly and hopefully the owners will appreciate the hard work I have put I to it .but I have to sort my prices out and offer a decent service that people can see value for money when others charge for all sorts of different jobs in a Caravan and I will be fully insured as well this will not be my main trade I got to clean my own soon as I had it covered and not used this year I will post before and after pictures of it before and after it's been done.

My partner fitted a brand-new motor mover to one of our caravans and done to the correct manufacturer specifications including ball the right touque settings and you would not tell otherwise and it's works perfectly .but it's something he would not do on a regular basis to be on the safe side I would probably only use a good wash and wax and a decent polish .

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