The state’s camper trailer industry is experiencing a growth trend that is likely to continue as the baby boomers, among others, discover the joys of the open road.
Off-road camper manufacturers Pioneer Campers director Robin McConnochy said research indicated market growth of between 15 and 20 percent a year, which was reflected through the growth in numbers attending camping and caravan shows.
“Western Australia and Queensland are the strongest off-road markets in Australia and that is what we have developed our branding and name on,” he said.
Mr McConnochy told WA Business News the company is now manufacturing on-road campers in an effort to expand into a new market segment.
“The overall market I believe is heading more towards the on-road market,” he said.
“For those who don’t want the expense or hassle of towing a caravan, the camper-trailer is a very good alternative, particularly an on-road camper.”
The past three years have been particularly busy for camper trailer manufacturer and hirer, Luxury Caravan Hire.
The owner Dimitri Morfoulis said the company, which manufactures four types of off-road camper trailers, was more of a boutique manufacturer than its competitors.
“If we averaged between 20 and 35 camper trailers a year then we get to know our clients like we would as part of a family,” she said.
“We get a lot of repeat customers and people who have got friends who have got our trailers.”
Mr Dimitri said the company had products to cater for all ages among those looking to enjoy the outdoors experience, from young couples through to those in their late 40s and 70s.
“There are also those customers who are leaving caravans and coming back a step to camper trailers,” he said.
Campers On the Run managing sales manager James Lesley said that, when the company entered the hire and sales market, indications were that there would be excellent prospects from the middle to older demographics, with retirees being the main target business.
“From my experience, this has now changed,” he said. “People purchasing come from all socio-economic groups, range in age from mid 20’s upwards and include senior aged retirees.”
Mr James said those who hired or bought off-road camper trailers seemed to be heading towards bush camping as opposed to organised camping in caravan parks.
“They want to see Australia away from the bitumen,” he said.
Mr James told WA Business News the public was demanding simplicity in erecting and packing away the camper, simple and effective kitchens that only take seconds to set up, and a useable outdoor area for protection from the sun and the rain.
All Seasons Camper Trailer Hire managing director Steven Wadcock said there had been a 40 per cent increase in hire sales from 2004 to 2005 with retirees making up 60 per cent, family groups 30 per cent and singles 10 percent of the market.
“The demand from the public for the provision of top-level products, and professional services is becoming paramount,” he said.
“People are no longer prepared to deal with small hire outlets who offer only second-hand, or rundown tents or trailers.”
Mr James said novices were more interested in taking part in hiring camper trailers, as they didn’t want to spend their money until they were sure they would enjoy the camping lifestyle.