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As expected, the annual State of the Industry 2022 Report shows the RV industry to be booming and a major contributor to Australia's tourism and manufacturing sectors.

The report, which slightly confusingly covers 2021, says a record $23.8 billion was added to the Australian economy through a combination of domestic RV travel and camping activities, plus RV manufacturing, service, parts and support.

It says that last year a total of 23,931 recreational vehicles of all types were produced in Australia, up 42% on 2020 figures and 11.5% on 2019. This was the largest volume of RV production recorded since 1979, when the impact of Cyclone Tracey increased demand for portable housing to record levels.

Of all RV production, 95% (22,708 units) was towable and just 5% (1223 units) motorised. Of those 1223 motorised RVs, 53% were C-Class motorhomes and 67% exceeded 7-metres length, proving Australian buyers like a bit of space when travelling.

Delving further into the statistics, of the 1223 motorised RVs, 88% were B-Class (430 units) or C-Class (650 units) motorhomes, an increase for the year of 25%. In contrast, campervan manufacturing declined by 17% to just 143 units. That was less than 50% of annual campervan production in 2019 and 30 units less than 2020.

Motorised RVs less than 6 m long accounted for just 6% (23 units) of production, while those 6-7 m in length comprised 25% (310 units). Of the 67% (832) of motorised RVs exceeding 7 m length, less than 1% (7units) units exceeded 9 m; the same number as in 2020 but arresting a longterm decline in that category.

There are now 772,598 recreational vehicles of all types registered in Australia, an increase of 4% (equating to 30.1 RVs per 1000 people). Of total registrations, 74,245 or 10.6% are motorised.

Domestic RVers and campers took 12.6 million trips (up 19%) and spent 50.6 million nights away in 2021, an increase of 23%. Of all trips taken, 30 to 54-year-olds accounted for 47%, whilst those 55 and over spent 43% of nights away.

The Industry says figures highlight its resilience in times of crisis and the importance the sector had in helping to support Australia's economy when other sectors faltered.

"The dream remains very much alive for Australians looking for a safe and affordable holiday experience," a spokesman said. “Despite headwinds in market, we continue to remain very optimistic about the future of the industry, and the contribution that it makes to the health and wellbeing of Australians, and the economies of many regional and rural communities around the country."

In addition to locally manufactured RVs, the report said demand was further complemented by a record supply of imported caravans, with 18,917 units brought into the country in 2021, a 79% increase over the previous year.  This resulted in over 42,000 recreational vehicles entering the market for the year.

"What is most notable, was that the industry achieved record heights under a backdrop of COVID-19 travel restrictions, state border closures, business lockdowns, international supply chain disruptions and a reduced labour force," the report said. The past two years had also demonstrated the "vital importance" that caravan parks, manufacturers and rental companies had in supporting communities and society.

Demand for all types of recreational vehicles in Australia continues to be strong, with Queensland still number one in terms of registrations, with 201,477. It was ahead of Victoria, with 185,507, and NSW, with 182,764 registrations. However, NSW accounts for the highest number of motorised RV registrations (21,172), followed by Queensland (18,327) and Victoria (14,870).

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