Caravan sales booming

Caravan sales booming

Caravan sales have risen in the past few months amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Victoria.

In East Gippsland, interest in caravan ownership is growing as people try to limit their chances of contracting coronavirus.

“There’s a lot of buyers around at the moment, which is great,” Fran Pinch, of New Age Caravans in Bairnsdale, said.

“People don’t want to motel it anymore, they want to know whose sleeping in their bed and many of them want their own facilities too.

“The ability to be able to stay in their own van with a shower/toilet and cooking facilities is peace of mind. They have everything they need.”

She said after being cooped up for so long because of COVID-19, people were desperate to get out and about, but were mindful of doing so safely.

Ms Pinch said the family model caravan, with bunks and beds at either end, were attracting the most attention.

“During the months of June, July, August, you’d generally not see anyone all day, so the interest is good,” she said.

“With no (caravan) shows on the moment, anyone interested in buying a van has got to come into a dealership.”

Ms Pinch, who has travelled around Australia in a caravan on two separate seven-month trips, took over ownership of the business on April 1 last year.

She concedes with the interest in caravan sales booming, it was a wise move.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia says caravan and RV ownership is spiking with international travel unlikely to be an option for some time to come.

“Recent weeks have shown a shift in people’s behaviour, having been cooped up for months, Australians are now turning their attention to travelling within their own backyard,” chief executive of the association, Stuart Lamont, said.

While the renewed interest in caravanning looks set to provide a reboot to local manufacturing, it’s likely to provide an injection into the tourism sector as families hit the roads in regional communities.

THE NEW TOILET PAPER

Jayco Gippsland, in Bairnsdale, has also reported a surge in caravan sales.

Sales manager, Ben Hurle, described business as “incredible”.

He said interest rose several weeks ago and particularly jumped when lockdowns eased.

Mr Hurle said not only were people buying, but he’d been fielding phone calls from out of town for particular van models.

“People have been on the hunt to get the van they want,” he said.

Mr Hurle said as production runs were pushed further out because of the effects of COVID-19, people were scrambling to secure the caravan they wanted without having to wait.

“So my advice is, if you want your van, buy it now, because caravans are becoming the new toilet paper,” Mr Hurle said.

“Stock is limited and there’s a high demand for vans right now.”

Mr Hurle says the coronavirus crisis has put overseas travel out of people’s reach.

“They’re looking at other alternatives and caravanning is a good option for them,” he said.

Mr Hurle said some caravan parks were allowing vans in but there were restrictions around the use of shared facilities.

“People want vans that they know have their own facilities, so they don’t have to share,” he said.

He said that need had “been heightened by  the state of play in lockdown”.

Mr Hurle said people were prepared to pay the price of between $55,000-$65,000 for the average caravan.

IMAGE: Fran Pinch, of New Age Caravans Gippsland, says people are seeking out caravans that have their own toilet/shower and cooking facilities. K339-6477


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