WHILE the wintry weather has posed challenges, a fledgling entrepreneur expects her camper van hire start up to enjoy a busy year amid the increasing popularity of do-it-yourself holidays.


Wendy Campbell.



What is your business called??

Red Kite Campers?Ltd.

Where is it based??

In?the village of Milton of Campsie?- 10 miles north of Glasgow,?at the foot of the Campsie Fells.? Our back garden used to be the village bus depot.

What?services does it offer??

We offer luxury Volkswagen campervan hire with all of the mod cons and a retro twist. A campervan sleeps four adults with the pop-up?roof offering two a room with a view.??We?also provide holiday and planning advice for our customers, with our expertise being island hopping?tours around the Hebrides and Scotland’s west coast.

To whom does it?sell??

We have had bookings from the Glasgow area and further afield in the UK, Europe, the US and Australasia. We do not have a limit on mileage and often get enquiries from people who want to take the van on a trip to the continent.

What is its turnover??

Summer 2018 will be the company’s first full season and by the end of the year we are looking?to turnover around £37,000.

How many employees??

I’m a sole trader in theory but I’ve got an incredibly supportive husband and family who have all played a huge part in the business so far.?

When was it formed?

It was officially formed in July 2017?following much debate around the name. We decided to call it Red Kite Campers after the large bird of prey which can be found mostly up in the Scottish Highlands, flying freely in the wilderness.

Why did you take the plunge??

Our?family?has?always had a love of nature and the great outdoors. Growing up, holidays were spent doing walking routes like the West?Highland?Way?and the Fife Coastal Path and we now have an annual summer trip to South Uist, where my husband is from.??After going away in a campervan a few years ago we fell in love with the fact that it?gives?you?the freedom?to experience?Scotland?with a different view every morning. More generally,?holidaying in Scotland is also on the up, with new routes like the?North Coast 500 boosting tourism. The fact that Scotland has a ‘right to park anywhere’?rule is a huge bonus.


What were you doing before you took the plunge??

We have a one year old son who has taken up much of my time over the past twelve months. Prior to that I worked in the motor industry selling cars for Honda for twelve years. It taught me a lot about sales and customer service and I also inadvertently learnt a lot about vehicles and how they work which comes in handy for Red Kite Campers.

How did you raise the start-up funding??

We bought an older campervan which we stripped down and made beautiful again. A few months later we sold it on and it generated some cash towards the conversion of our first campervan for Red Kite Campers. The rest we borrowed from the bank. Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire have been an enormous help providing free social media for business training as well as assistance with key areas on the website.

What was your biggest break?

Finding?Calder Campers in East Calder who did our fabulous first conversion. Their wealth of experience has really helped us along the way, from ensuring the best quality finish to keeping us right on what customers are looking for in a campervan holiday let.

What was your worst moment??

When the water supply in the van froze in the cold weather in December – the night before it was going out on a hire. We defrosted it but the water still wasn’t flowing. Luckily my husband spotted a pipe had become loose and all that was required was a little clip to secure it in place.

What do you most enjoy about running the business?

Meeting customers from all over Europe who are about to go on their holidays. I’m also lucky to get the opportunity to go out on photoshoots and discover new places in Scotland I’ve never been to before. We recently visited Glen Etive near Ballachulish, which was absolutely stunning.

What do you least enjoy??

The nuisance phone calls that come with having your own website. I totally understand that people want to make a living and some are genuinely helpful but others can be quite rude.

What are your ambitions for the firm??

It’s already looking like it will be a busy season in 2018 and after that we are eager to increase our fleet. Great vans are really hard to come by, so we are always on the lookout. We would love to have five vans by 2020 – it’s lucky we have a big back garden!

What could the Westminster and/or Scottish?governments do that would help??

The Scottish Government has already subsidised Island hopping in the Western Isles, by introducing the Road Equivalent Tariff. What would be great would be an improvement in the infrastructure when tourists are reaching the Islands. It would also help to have the popular Oban – Lochboisdale ferry route restored during the spring and summer months.


What was the most valuable lesson that you learned?

?If something seems too tough to figure out, don’t be afraid to put it to one side and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes the next day.

How do you relax??

Long walks with family and friends. My sister is an incredible yoga teacher and often puts me through my paces.