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Families fuel drive to quality time in caravan parks

September 10, 2005
Families fuel drive to quality time in caravan parks

Come hell, high water and higher fuel costs Australias love affair with, caravans, recreational vehicles, camping, the outdoors and traditional family holidays in caravan parks is growing strong.

Fuel is not the major factor in their holiday decision for the majority of caravan park enthusiasts. For one thing they dont travel far enough. The Caravan RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA) say that analysis in every state shows almost half the caravanners cover only between 100 and 250km per trip. Only 10 per cent of trips are over 250km. GoSeeAustralia tests show that a popular family six cylinder vehicle (Mitsubishi Magna V6 Advance) can average around 12 litres a 100km towing 1050kg. Around 30 litres at about $40 will do the job one way.

There and back for under $100, with the family, and a camper behind is a highly affordable holiday drive.

The main reason families go caravanning or camping is to spend quality time together. This is followed by a need to be in the outdoors. Price comes in third as a motivation to go caravanning or camping.

Higher fuel prices could mean lighter camper trailers and caravans will enjoy increased popularity across broader age demographics. At this stage they are popular with families who recognise an affordable caravan park holiday recreational vehicle with the interior space and onboard facilities to meet their needs. These units are easily towed by a standard family sedan.

It is certainly reasonable to suggest that there is an increasing opportunity in lighter camper trailers, caravans and more fuel efficient tow vehicles as a growth area for Recreational Vehicle makers.

Brisbane Holiday  Village BBQAmong the motor home and campervan set analysis by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia of a 'hard core' group of its members in September 2004 shows that fuel is not a stopper for those sampled in their decision to travel long distances in heavy vehicles.

Analyst, Roy Morgan, says that at this stage seniors of 60 plus is the biggest force in Australian domestic travel. But the rush to get on the road is going into higher gear. By 2011 the major group out there will be the real 'Baby Boomers'.

This group is cashed up and not generally interested in providing their children with an inheritance. The potential for transfer of wealth and disposable income to the 55 plus age group is massive. On current numbers those aged 24 and under will have shrunk from four in 10 Australians to 2.3 in 10 by 2030.

Families on affordable holidays in caravan parks make up 60 per cent of the 604,831 caravan trips made by Australians each year. This caravanning family demographic includes between one and two children.

The McMahons with their Jayco SwanAnalysis, which includes studies by the Caravan, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia, indicates that this rises to 70 per cent in caravan families with up to three children.

There are now 445,744 caravans in Australia and of those 310,575 are used and owned by families, studies show.

Families are by far the biggest group of caravanners, followed by Tourers, Comfort Travellers and Retirees. A staggering 87.5 per cent of Australians have stayed in a caravan park.

The main reason families go caravanning or camping is to spend quality time together. This is followed by a need to be in the outdoors. Price comes in third as a motivation to go caravanning or camping.

Fuel is not the factor driving the caravan park holiday numbers, its Australian families.

Coromal room with a view

Editor's note:

GoSeeAustralia acknowledges with thanks the assistance given in compiling this feature from key sources which include CRVA (formerly CIA), CMCA, RVMAA Research, Australian Federal Government Bureau of Tourism Research, Federal Government (Tourism Medium-Long Term Tourism Strategy Green Paper 2003), Roy Morgan Research, Australian Retirement Homes Year Book 2003, Park chains - Big4 Holiday Parks, Family Parks and Top Tourist Parks.

Editor's note: Also see -