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Diverse RV's, caravans, campers,camper-trailers, motorhomes fit tight economy and holiday needs says caravan and camping industry

November 26, 2008
Diverse RV's, caravans, campers,camper-trailers, motorhomes fit tight economy and holiday needs says caravan and camping industry

As the world economy faces tough times Australians don't need to slam down the shutters on touring Australia and caravanning holidays. They can choose to save dollars on home ground with their own Recreational Vehicle.

Australians certainly dont need to pay a fortune to become owners of escape machines like pop-tops and caravans, Tony Bellamy, President of the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of Australia (RVMAA) said today.

- Mid-range, mid-sized production line built pop-tops and caravans sell for between $35,000 and $40,000 and remain the norm for buyers, he said.

- Fuel prices have come crashing down, so towing or driving a motorhome is more affordable than it has been than at any other time in the last 12 months.

- The Australian dollars dramatic fall from grace means overseas travel costs have risen sharply, making stay-onshore holidays attractive.

- Interest rates are tumbling, so loans to purchase a caravan are much more affordable.

- And there is the unmistakable asset advantage of investing in RV ownership. A well-cared-for five-to-seven-year-old Recreational Vehicle will often sell close to the original purchase price with an even a better return if traded in on a new model.

While a buy decision will swing on the two key elements of price and need dealers are flexible in the current economic climate.

Towable Recreational Vehicle prices vary greatly from basic compact tent trailers which start around $10,000 to custom-built, large luxuriously appointed caravans with showers and toilets which can cost $100,000-plus, he said.

The mid-sized, pop-top or caravan will cost around $35,000, and if the model is self-contained with shower and toilet the price can top the $40,000 mark, Tony Bellmay said.

In the motorised Recreational Vehicle sector campervans sell for around the $75,000 mark and motorhomes normally start at around $100,000.

Specialty-built large models based on a truck chassis that can include leather upholstery and every conceivable mod-con can run into many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tony Bellamy said many people become RV owners for the first time while they have a growing family. Tent trailers and camper trailers offer plenty of sleeping accommodation at entry price to suit their budget.

Prices in those categories will range from $10,000 to around $20,000, depending on the size of the model and the built-in fixtures and features, he said.

Obviously price is an important consideration, Tony Bellamy said.

This Challenge Camper Trailer off-road deluxe  package sold on the spot
This Challenge Camper Trailer off-road deluxe package sold on the spot

But when buying a Recreational Vehicle you also need to consider how you intend to use it, where you are likely to go, and for towable models the kind of tow vehicle that will be pulling your RV.

He said that for families the number of sleeping berths can be crucial, then once that has been resolved, the next issue is the likely use.

If you intend to go bush then you will have to consider purchasing a model that has been built to handle off road conditions and most mainstream manufacturers now build those types of RVs, he said.

He said that Australian-built RVs have been built for Australian conditions and standard models travel comfortably on the highways and byways and can handle normal gravel road conditions.

Its when there is rougher stuff that the off-road RV should be considered, Tony Bellamy said.

But even then owners need to use commonsense. Experienced RV owners when going rock hopping use their RV as a base camp and tackle the really tough terrain solo.

Avan pop-top is an easy lift
Avan pop-top is an easy lift

Bendigo Leisurefest show organiser Peter Wright told GoSee today that new caravan brands at this years Leisurefest included Vanguard, Designer, Spectra, Royal Flair and Jurgens.

For the first time in Bendigo theres was a line up of fifth wheelers with Trailblazers, RV Bendigo and Australia RV Enterprises all exhibiting. And there was a great range of motorhomes with Winnebago, AVan, Sunliner and Jayco all bringing along their latest products.

Accessavan, the caravan range developed specifically for people with limited mobility, was also at Bendigo.

Peter Wright says that the on and off-road camper and tent trailer display has also expanded in response to demand from consumers.

This RV industry market segment is going through the roof and visitors saw a complete range at this years event, including slide-on campers and roof toppers which are rapidly gaining in popularity, he said.

We have also added a new tourism section, offering visitors a host of touring information from institutions including Victorian Caravan Parks Association, Oz Parks, Big4 Lake Mulwala and Adelaide Shores Caravan Park to name a few, Peter Wright said.

Avan layout has space and style
Avan layout has space and style

Camping accessories shown at Bendigo included specialised products such as Weight Distribution Hitches and Anti-Sway equipment, custom 4WD storage systems, Electric braking options, Thetford eco-friendly toilet products, solar battery charge collectors, Thumper battery systems, GPS units, safety reversing cameras and satellite TV equipment.

For serious off-road tourers, ARB and TJM were at Leisurefest along with the Bendigo 4x4 Club members who presented practical seminars and provided helpful hints.

Sunset Campers offers nine model options for all budgets

With camper trailers attracting strong interest Sunset Campers covers a lot of options The company manufactures nine different models including on and off-road camper trailers.

The manufacturing and distribution centre of the family business in Ballarat, Victoria is Australian owned.

Sunset Campers specialise in building heavy duty campers to suit all budgets. Prices start at $4500. Sunset Campersalso offers a camper trailer hire service for short or long term trip with the option of hiring a 15ft x 8ft annex with the 7'x4' heavy duty camper trailer.

Models include the Bushstar 7x4 Medium weight Off-road Camper Trailer which comes with 15 in off-road wheels, five-leaf shackle suspension and off-road coupling. Heavy duty Australian canvas is used. Gas struts lift the queen-size bed base and mattress.

Sunset Campers has authorised dealers throughout Victoria.

www.sunsetcampertrailers.com.au

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