Even though the presenters of UK motoring show Top Gear can’t hide their disdain for caravans (making a point of trashing as many as possible in their show), there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown in the demand for caravans and motorhomes in Australia. With the baby boomer generation just about to turn into grey nomads, it looks like the boom is set to continue.
The recent Penrith Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo only confirmed the trend, with 27,000 people visiting the show; the strongest turnout at the event in several years.
There are new caravans and motorhomes for all budgets (from $25,000 up to $640,000), and for real enthusiasts, beautiful vintage caravans can be picked up for reasonable prices second-hand as well as at auctions.
Local manufacturers like Cell Caravans have developed expandable caravans with slide-out sections that pop out at the flick of a switch to give you almost an extra room. Their top model, the Homestead, can sleep up to 9 people with a bedroom at each end.
Motorhomes can be even more luxurious. The top of the range motorhome in Australia is the Winnebago Classic, which will set you back the price of a reasonably sized family home (over $640,000). Needless to say, it comes equipped with satellite TV/DVD, 10-way electronic bucket seats, satellite navigation, a premium sound system, rear vision camera, full air-conditioning, a rocker recliner, a large lounge pull-out bed and a cocktail bar. The kitchen has a slide-out pantry, a two-door fridge-freezer, an LPG stove and a microwave and it also has a shower, toilet, washing machine and dryer. The main bedroom has a queen size bed, wall to wall carpet, a TV, and there are polished American oak timber furniture and doors, night and day shades and curtains. It’s also equipped with a generator, batteries, solar panels and an external shower and water tanks.
It has a six-cylinder 8.3-litre turbocharged diesel engine which generates 246kW of power and 1288Nm of torque. If your budget is a little less than this, Winnebago has models priced from around $130,000.
Talking of Top Gear, a while back they did feature a top-of-the-range motorhome, but mainly because of a feature they quite liked – it had a hydraulic slideout section under the living area where you could keep your two-seat sports car.
Image credit: © Copyright John Carver