The Sunshine Coast Camping and Caravan expo took place in Queensland this weekend … and its popularity proved once again that the caravan and camping industry is booming.
And that has left some local manufacturers and suppliers struggling to keep up with demand.
Caravan HQ’s Ethan Pole told the ABC that the pandemic had completely changed the camping demographic.
“I believe it’s a generational change,” he said. “Borders aren’t going to open up for a long time and we’re going to raise a generation a caravanners.”
That’s meant that grey nomads and retirees have been joined on the open road by a lot more young families … and that’s added to supply issues.
“When China and Melbourne went into lockdown we had delays and we’re now having supply chain issues,” he said. “It’s just pushing all the books out because you can’t build as many [caravans], especially when you’re an Australian manufacturer.”
Mr Pole told the ABC that customers were having to wait longer for special orders.
“Primarily it’s your accessories, so fans are hard to get a hold of at the moment and so are fridges,” he said. “That’s not stopping the caravan being built but if you’ve got something in mind and you want that exact fridge, that exact fan and that exact colour — you are going to have to wait that little bit longer.”
Concept Canopies and Tactical Tourers Jake Nielsen told the ABC the delays in supply are being felt right through to the top of the chain.
“Getting things like aluminium out of the mills has certainly slowed down and a lot of our electrical components in our vehicle fields,” he said. “At the moment there’s up to 12 months’ wait on some vehicles to come out of a dealer and then it’s going to come to a place like ours … we’re doing what would usually take four weeks [but] can now take three months.”