‘My eight year old loves getting away in the van for a few days of 'dad and lad' time.’
Southern Flinders native Leon Semmens has always been drawn to the wild. And that’s especially true when it means spending more time with his son, Charlie, whose school runs a camp program called Shed Men Go Bush. Designed for dads to bring their children on a back-to-basics weekend in Riverton, the pairs enjoy everything from archery to bushcraft!
After years of tent camping at this annual funfest, fed-up Leon hired a soft-wall camper - the convenience and comfort of which inspired him to do some research into buying his own. It didn’t take long before he decided to invest in something ‘a little bit bigger and a little bit better’ with the aim of sharing it on Camplify.
Fast forward and Leon now owns two Jayco caravans, hiring them out to other families to cover their running costs. The whole experience has exceeded their expectations to the extent that they’re already looking to buy a third or upgrade their existing fleet!
‘Our intent was to list it on Camplify so that other families could enjoy camping without the expense of having to purchase a van themselves. Our hope was to make enough money to pay for the van (over time) and eventually upgrade to a new one.’
But above all, this is a family business: the trio clean, prepare and hand over the caravans together. As a result, they don’t see their vans as assets but more as family members, hoping that guests resonate with that special feeling.
‘These vans are an extension of our family.’
This family bonding isn’t confined to their driveway, either. Now that they’ve got their own caravan, Leon and Charlie are making more father-son memories than ever before. When Dad’s work commitments allow, the duo will set off for some quality one-on-one time - think nature walks and toasted marshmallows!
‘The little fella and I try to get away at least every couple of months, whereas we would have never done that before.’
And although not a huge fan of camping, Leon’s wife, Nikki, has played a big role in glamping up the vans so that she’s completely comfortable when joining the boys in the great outdoors!
So, which SA camping spots are a family favourite?
‘Ooh, that’s a tough one!’
The surrounding regions are so diverse, there’s a little something for everyone. Venture up the Flinders Ranges in Leon’s solar-powered caravan (complete with off-grid capabilities), or head over to Mount Gambier and explore everything in between. Alternatively, you could even cruise down the Great Ocean Road, starting your journey in Adelaide.
As for the Semmens’, Charlie’s newfound interest in fishing means you could very well come across the happy pair casting a line by any of Southern Australia’s coastal campgrounds!
Check Out The Semmens’ Caravans
If you need the perfect van for that next school holiday, look no further than Leon’s three-berth caravan
or five-berth pop top
. Having received only five-star reviews so far, it’s safe to say these caravans will keep the whole family happy!
‘Daisy Dove was exactly what our family needed for our recent camping trip. A big step up in comfort level from the tent!! The van had everything our family of 5 needed. Plenty of room for a portacot to be set up where the dining table is located. Leon was great to deal with, very responsive and was able to answer all of our questions. A great experience all round!’ Tony, Daisy Dove
‘Our family of five had an amazing trip in the Daisy Dove camper. Leon and his lovely wife were very friendly and welcoming. The Daisy Dove had everything set to go we pretty well only needed our clothes, blankets and food and we were set!! We would def look at hiring through Leon and his wife again for our next family getaway!!’ Natalie, Daisy Dove
‘Leon was an outstanding host. He made our stay so easy, dropping the caravan off and picking it up. The little caravan was perfect. Wonderfully looked after and spotlessly clean. The best feature for us was the air conditioning as the weather was around 40 every day. It enabled us to sleep comfortably every night.’ Peter, Sammy Sprite
‘Our first caravan hire experience has been amazing. Everything has been easy from start to finish and the Sammy Sprite had everything we needed to have a wonderful holiday. Thankyou Leon and family. We will definitely be hiring again when we can.’ Larissa, Sammy Sprite
If you want to create family memories to last a lifetime while earning some extra money on the side through Camplify, give our team a call today on 1300 416 133!
So what is Camplify?
We are Australia’s largest caravan and motorhome sharing community, helping connect holidaymakers with thousands of local van owners.
What does that mean?
Essentially, we provide a unique sharing platform where local owners of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, and campervans list their van for hire while not in use. As a van owner, this enables you to earn up to $10,000 - $20,000 a year by sharing with others
As a holidaymaker, Camplify helps you find a van that’s perfect for your next adventure, so you can experience the freedom & joys of caravanning - without having to own one yourself.
Interested? Learn more about Camplify here.
To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV,
register today here.