Seven out of 10 Australians agree that caravanning is cool, according to leading Recreational Vehicle builder Jaycos most recent travel survey.
The survey asked 1004 Australians their thoughts on recreational vehicle (RV) holidays*. The results show that while some of us still prefer the luxury of a traditional five star break, a larger than expected majority would like to hit the road in campervans, caravans and motorhomes.
More than three quarters of those interviewed prefer to buy a caravan rather than backpack overseas. Of those that want to travel Australia many (58 percent) like the idea that an RV allows you to pack up and go wherever you want, whenever you want.
Jayco Marketing Director, Andrew Ryan, said that RV holidays are a perfect option for those who would like to get to see more of Australia.
GSA Jayco Sterling and TD Toyota Sahara on road near Jerilderie NSW
By carrying your home on your back, you are afforded the ability to travel from place to place with little restriction on where you can go and when you can do it, compared to a traditional hotel holiday, he said.
You will also find that modern day RVs are comfortable to live in, with all the proper amenities including running water, fridge, microwave and depending on the model you have, a shower and toilet.
More than half of those interviewed (54 percent) would consider buying a caravan for family holidays, rather than using traditional hotel accommodation. Of those who would prefer to caravan, 71 percent said that buying an RV for the family is cheaper in the long run, while 27 percent have fond memories of their own childhood caravanning experiences.
The figures are also promising for the single traveller, with one in five people who have been caravanning in the past finding romance on the road.
Caravan parks are quite social places you end up meeting a lot of like-minded people who you can spend an afternoon or with, sometimes longer if it goes well! Mr Ryan said.
Campervan comfort makes home any place at all.
The survey, which also looked at how Australians like to spend RV holidays, found that many of us (47 percent) would like to take an RV holiday a few times a year, for a couple of weeks a time. More than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) would like to take an extended period off work and do a lap around Australia, while only 14 percent said they would prefer to live in it and travel around Australia indefinitely.
Queensland is the most popular RV holiday destination, with 29 percent of respondents listing it as their first choice to travel to. Also popular is New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The ACT is the least popular destination for caravan holidays, with less than one percent of respondents indicating they would like to visit the nations capital in an RV.
Jayco, which holds nearly 50 per cent of the RV market, says that RV sales have been steadily increasing since 2009, as the nation catches on to the caravan craze.
Sales in 2010 increased by 15 percent. The family market in particular has continued to grow as more families want to experience the relaxation and affordability that comes with an RV holiday.
Modern RVs are more comfortable and better equipped than ever before, and there is a make and model to suit every taste.
We would add poles and guys. The awning can be set to suit, but we would wind it in at night.
An RV trip allows you to experience authentic Australia, meet new people and spend relaxing time outdoors with friends and relatives, Andrew Ryan said.
Jayco's consumer research also suggests one in two Australians over the age of 45 would consider buying an RV instead of a holiday house upon retirement. And these aspiring grey nomads are not making their decision based on price alone.
The survey found the most popular reason for purchasing an RV in retirement was the freedom it offered.
Gen Y no longer see RV holidays as something their parents would do, with six out of 10 young holidaymakers saying that caravanning is becoming cool again. While half of this 313 sample age group has not yet experienced a caravan holiday, 65 per cent said they would consider caravanning around Australia rather than embarking on the traditional rite of passage of backpacking overseas.
Jayco's Toy Haulers are specifically designed with the young Aussie in mind. They are perfect for the adrenaline junkie who likes to take their motorbike or jet-ski with them wherever they go, Andrew Ryan says. Toy Hauler RV sales have been steadily increasing since 2009, as the next generation of RV enthusiasts emerges, he said.
We are currently building around 280 toy haulers a year, and have seen an increase of around 10 per cent each year we have been building them, Andrew Ryan said.