John’s grandfather used to have a craft production business in Apeldoorn when 17-year-old John started his own caravan business in grandpa’s back garden. Back then, John’s father traded in caravans, so he was taught the ropes from a very early age.
John was very close to grandpa, whose motto was: it’s better to have an ounce in trade than a pound of work. Grandpa died 28 years ago, but his hat continues to travel with John wherever he goes in his car to this day. When making important decisions, John always asks himself: what would grandpa have done? John later continued his caravan trade at a different location in Apeldoorn, initially with his grandfather but eventually by himself.
The caravans with pictures and price quotes are offered to him through various purchasing channels. The caravans mostly come from Belgium, France and England. The year of manufacture, quoted price and John’s years of experience play an essential role during the sale. John then personally picks up the vehicles with his trailer, which he loves to do.
John’s elderly mother is responsible for the marketing, keeps the website up to date and does some of the administrative work. John always personally hitches the sold caravan to his car, and Ria always requests a photo of the caravan’s arrival at the campsite, so they know that their customers have safely reached their destination. They keep in close contact with their customers.
The caravans are becoming increasingly more luxurious, but all these added features make caravans more expensive. The quality of caravans has also gotten much better over the years; better insulation, finer upholstery, and plenty of additional options such as floor heating, hydraulic legs, and so on. Large batteries and power connections have therefore become essential.
All these options are provided at the factory, but John does have a workshop for maintenance and repairs. If you treat your caravan well, make sure it doesn’t get damaged, and keep a close eye on the humidity, a caravan will last you a lifetime.
The COVID-19 pandemic has served the caravan trade well as the Netherlands has rediscovered camping, leading to booming business at the Caravanhuis.
Caravanhuis Hulshof | John Hulshof