Earlier this year we Royale-ists were invited to Vanmaster to see their operation. I can't call it a factory, as it only contains two or three vans, as they only make ten or twelve a year.
Nothing was hidden, we could wander where we wished, and ask any questions. The build quality, from the Alko chassis being wheeled in the door, to the finished van, was astounding. There was no "that'll do".Properly was the only way. Not totally sure about H&S, mind!
The one being finished off was listed at £71,000. Was it worth it? Out of my league, but I think if I could afford it, I would probably buy it, yes.
As they sell all they produce, with a waiting list of two or three years, they must be doing it right.
As my Royale cost £12,700 in 1979, I suppose it would equate to Vanmaster price now.
I haven't been to Vanmasters production facility so I can't comment with any authority on how they build caravans, but I'll bet they have relatively few customer issues that can't be quickly and properly sorted out.
Their business model is clever, by pricing high, and keeping weights high they are deliberately targeting those people who are likely to have big 4x4s or super luxury cars and large disposable incomes! This is the social economic group who are best placed to swallow inflationary and austerity pressures which means they are more likely to be thinking of new caravan replacement when most of us have to decide to hang on to the old model for another three years.
Part of teh marques appeal to its customers is is relative rarity. If they were to bump up production to much they would be perceived as becoming too common and lose more value.
Probably a pipe dream for most of us, but wouldn't it be nice to feel the quality
Because so few are made there aren't many on the second hand market but if the right one came up at the right time I'd have that over any brand new mass produced rubbish on the market at the moment. Buying one new is the only thing that might tempt me into buying one of those lottery ticket thingys.