Caravan sales slump

Apr 24, 2005
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Is there anyone out there who is really surprised to hear that new caravan sales are slowing up? Alex Newby hit it on the head stating you can't buy a British built van for under £8000. Why don't one of the Major Manufacturers bring out an absolute basic but comfortable lightweight and reasonably sized tourer for around £5000 and then let the buyer decide what extras they want to put in it themselves. EG Why fit a shower when most people use on-site facilities? Why fit gas appliances when many people use hook-ups? Surely at least one of them could give at go as £10000 for a budget van (Sprite range) is a little bit steep, don't you think?
 
Apr 13, 2005
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I saw just what you are talking about the other day, someone told me it was called a tent. Thank god they have slumped a bit its been a nightmare booking sites this year.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm not surprised really. I haven't seen the article but presume that Alex was referring to all caravans rather than just UK built ones. When we started caravaning many moons ago everything was a lot easier. Waiting times for new 'vans was shorter, pitches were more readily available, and seeing a caravan on the roads was a rare event. But since the Twin Towers incident, it seems that many people who used to travel abroad decided that they'd give UK holidays a go instead. This has resulted in high sales and difficulty in booking pitches. Perhaps, confidence in air travel has now returned. Either that or everyone who's going to convert to caravaning has now done so. Air prices are now cheaper again and UK fuel prices are through the roof. It's not a surprise therefore that sales are now slowing down a bit.

As to your thoughts on caravan prices though, I do agree with you. I've often wondered why a company doesn't bring out a range of mix'n'match components. Where you'd buy a basic van and then add what you wanted, oven, microwave, blown air heating, fly screens etc. There's many things fitted to modern 'vans as standard that we would be happy to live without. The main one being the oven. I suspect however that the problem would be the second hand market, where the dealer couldn't look up a specific model and quote a price for it, as each one would be different. You may also get a problem selling it on if you had chosen an unusual combination of extras to be fitted.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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While the demand for caravans here on the Continent is fairly static there has been a real boom in the sales of motor homes. Can it be that the same shift from caravans to motor homes is taking place in the UK too? If so, it would not appear that there aren't enough cheap vans but rather the opposite, there are more people that are able to spend more money on the purchase of a motor home.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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hi i have a freind who works for one of the very large motorhome retailers he says sales have dropped off he sees the slump in the houseing market as one large reason he tells me a lot of people downsizing or moving to a cheeper area would use the cash saved to fund large motorhomes and caravans/cars and i know in the area were i live the south house sales are very slow
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Have you also noticed though that the weather has something to do with it?

2003 very hot = 2004 good sales

2004 very wet = 2005 bad sales

I also have to add that living on the South Coast the very sight of all the traffic coming into the area puts a lot of local people even getting in their cars let alone want to go out and buy a caravan and join the masses on our roads.

But as others have pointed out the country is in a resession at the moment and people just aren't spending money.

Just my thoughts on the subject

Cheers

Mark
 
Jul 31, 2010
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Another possible reason, is the fact that it is almost impossible to find storage facilities. Not all people can or even want to store their van at home.

Steve W.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Another possible reason, is the fact that it is almost impossible to find storage facilities. Not all people can or even want to store their van at home.

Steve W.
Totally agree Steve. I wanted to buy a Senator Wyoming recently but my storage pitch is only big enough for a 7m van. If I park it on my drive it would block out the light into my kitchen (weird house layout!). So I've stuck to what I have for the time being.

More and more land is being bought up by builders now as well and where landowners could get a few hundred pounds a year for storing a few caravans they are now getting many hundreds of thousands to sell the land for building.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Tony - it all depends on how you cost your holidays. Although we've never taken a package holiday, for a family of 5 a moderate package probably costs about
 
Apr 24, 2005
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Easy way round tripping the on site electric out. Lower the rcb ratings on the van thus forcing people to use low wattage appliances as in towsure catalogue etc..
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Tony

Then we are back to your original post stating 'why fit gas appliances?

The manufacturers are only responding to the market, and basic caravans do not sell well. ABI produced the Adventurer for a short while, but sold about 2, why it was basic inside.

They probably can't sell Discovery for less as supply and demand comes in to play, and the fixed costs of producing side panels etc still applies. They are also not big enough to doa Ford, and produce the basic van as a Loss leader, they might as well build what they can sell.

You also stated British vans, how many continental vans can you buy for
 

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