Time shar­ing a mo­torhome al­lows the ul­ti­mate road trips

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ALWYN VILJOEN

BERT Loon­t­jens has more than 50 years ex­pe­ri­ence man­ag­ing ho­tels, lodges and BnBs in sev­eral coun­tries, but one thing he does not un­der­stand is South Africans’ love af­fair with time shar­ing.

“I can tell you nowhere else on earth of­fer as much to see as South Africa, so why would you want to go to the same place year af­ter year?” he asked Wheels.

In­stead, Loon­t­jens ad­vises peo­ple to in­vest in a mo­torhome,

“Look, I am Dutch and what­ever you can think of do­ing in or with a mo­torhome, we Dutch have done it. So I can tell you the big prob­lem with shar­ing a ve­hi­cle is main­te­nance and in­sur­ance. You have to ded­i­cate one of the mem­bers to man­age these re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, as well as the book­ings and even rentals of the syn­di­cate’s mo­torhome.

“With these ground rules es­tab­lished, you only have lovely hol­i­days wait­ing to hap­pen.

Loon­t­jens points out that syn­di­ca­tion of mo­torhomes is pop­u­lar in Aus­tralia, and for long boats in Eng­land. Co-own­ing a mo­torhome is the cheap­est way to en­joy a fam­ily hol­i­day, but are South Africans ready to fol­low Aus­tralia and Eng­land in form­ing syn­di­cates?

“The busi­ness prac­tices are well es­tab­lished. Each mem­ber of the syn­di­cate owns a share of the motor home, which of course means each mem­ber shares in the cost of own­er­ship, or re­ceives a share of the funds when the motor home is rented out of sold.

He said there are sev­eral types of syn­di­ca­tion. “Fifty-two peo­ple can buy into the scheme for one week a year, which they can bank or trade; there are schemes that al­low mem­bers to buy into to syn­di­cate for a fixed pe­riod, typ­i­cally four years — this is pop­u­lar in Aus­tralia — or three fam­i­lies may agree to share the costs of a mo­torhome, with the right to sell their share to ap­proved fam­i­lies when they want out.”

What­ever type of syn­di­ca­tion one chooses, it re­mains the smartest way to en­joy an im­pul­sive week­ends away or cheap hol­i­days through­out South Africa.

Con­tact Loon­t­jens on 076 848 4033 for more on “time shar­ing” camper­vans.

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