10 August 2020
10 August 2020, Comments Comments Off on Melbourne – Supershow 2020
Melbourne - Supershow 2020

A one-of-a-kind show and even more unique this year

Just before Covid-19 hit the Australian market, Caravan Industry Victoria opened the doors to their 66th Victorian Caravan, Camper & Touring Supershow. And what a show it was!

Words Irene Viergever – photos Tara Leach

Not just your typical Caravan Show: the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is the largest caravan and camping exhibition in Australia, with over 250 exhibitors spread over a total of 51,650 sqm of exhibitor space. This year’s Supershow commenced on Thursday 22nd February and welcomed a total of 45,726 visitors over the 5 days. Due to recent restrictions, the big RV event was the last major Australian Caravan Show open to the public for the 2020 show season to date.
The Victorian Supershow was again an event not to miss, as this show is getting bigger and better every year with a broad variety of education, entertainment, and innovation for all experience levels of travellers. Visiting the immense show, you will see a remarkably diversified crowd, including Millennials preparing for their first trip, young families looking for their new family van, experienced travellers like the Grey Nomads and everything in between. One of the focus groups for the Victorian Supershow is the novice traveller. Caravan Industry Victoria Chief Executive Officer Rob Lucas explains: “The Victorian Supershow is the best place for a novice to come, because in one place any and all questions that you might have will be answered. Whether it is with our Industry Expert – it might be a technical matter – or you are looking for a Caravan, Pop Top or Motorhome: Any type of product is here, plus all the accessories.” The Supershow gives consumers the opportunity to come, compare, explore and plan their next Australian adventure. Most important: it is a fun day out for every member of the family.

Education & Entertainment in one place
Over the last years, the Caravan Industry Victoria added a lifestyle element to all their industry shows, resulting in a more festive vibe. Walking around the Melbourne Showgrounds, you will come across a number of live acts, kids activities, opportunities to win prizes and interactive demonstrations. Centre of these activities is the BMPRO Campground; the ultimate place to recharge during a full day of walking and exploring.
These lifestyle and entertainment elements go hand in hand with another major objective for the Victorian Supershow: Education. Rob Lucas said; “When towing a vehicle there are several factors consumers need to be aware of, and although a lot of this information will come from the manufacturers or dealers, consumers don’t know what they don’t know. It is our job as an Association to help educate consumers to ensure they have the safest holiday possible”. Educational demonstrations by a team of Industry Experts include towing, weights, travelling with pets, reptile awareness and more, all with the goal to help keep the consumer safe while travelling Australia.


Exhibitor regulation
Another point of difference for the Victorian Supershow is the stringent regulations around businesses who may exhibit. Rob Lucas – Chief Executive Officer of Caravan Industry Victoria: “We understand and value the trust the consumers put to our shows, and so our caravan and RV exhibitors must go through our stringent business audits to qualify to become a member of the Association, and then when a member they have the ability to apply to exhibit. This means when consumers come to the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow or, one of our other three others throughout the year, consumers know they are dealing with a reputable manufacturer or dealer; a business who aims to deliver best practices. It allows consumers to rest assured planning their next adventure is done right- that they are in good hands with our members”.

Free entry for all CFA and MFB Firies
Before the Covid-19 crisis hit globally, Australia had another major battle to fight: bushfires. Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought resulted in a devastating bushfire season last summer, which had a major effect on local communities and the RV industry.
The hard work and dedication of all firefighters and volunteers has not gone unnoticed by the Victorian population during the crisis and therefore the Caravan Industry Victoria expressed their gratitude by offering free Supershow entree to all CFA and MFB Firefighters. CEO Rob Lucas: “Offering free entry for all firefighters is a small thank you, one that allows us as an Association, on behalf of our members to reach the firefighters directly. The State’s firefighters have spent weeks and months protecting our homes and assets across the state, and all deserve to have a day out, and maybe even plan their next adventure and getaway”.
Now that the fire season is behind us and Covid-19 restrictions are starting to be eased, it is a priority for Australians to support local communities and economies. Multiple nation-wide initiatives have been rolled out over the last months, including Keep on Camping, Camp at Home Heroes and the latest We are Open campaign.

Event partner Truma
Celebrating 70 years in manufacturing, Truma is excited to be the major sponsor for the 2020 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow. Aboutcamp BtoB spoke to Paul Widdis, General Manager of Leisure-Tec, part of Truma Group in Australia.
Aboutcamp BtoB: What makes the Melbourne show different from other shows?
Paul Widdis: The Truma Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is one of the prestige shows of the year. It starts off the show calendar being held in February every year, so most manufacturers leverage this opportunity to launch their new products. It also brings much attention to the industry from various media, most notable in 2020 live national Television broadcasts. It also is a very interactive show with so much to see and do (especially for the kids).
Aboutcamp BtoB: What are some of the reasons you became a naming partner for the Melbourne show?
Paul Widdis: Simply, brand exposure, and what better way to get out there than partnering with the premier show of the year! It is a great partnership. We feel that this is a great opportunity and fit for the Truma brand. Truma’s core values Reliability, Customer Service and Quality are closely shared by the Caravan Industry Association Victoria; and together our partnership will continue to support the industry to grow bigger and stronger.
Other sponsors for this year’s Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow are AL-KO, Dometic, G&S Chassis, BMPRO and Matthew Steers.

Victorian RV Industry
It is not a coincidence that the largest Australian industry show is located in Melbourne Victoria, considering 90% of the Australian Caravans are built in Victoria. The state’s industry contributed more than $2.1 billion to Victoria’s economy in 2019 and employed almost 6,600 Victorians in caravan manufacturing, retail, repair and servicing. Therefore Victoria is considered the home of caravan manufacturing in Australia.


Into the future of the Australian caravan industry

The Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow in Melbourne Australia has always been the home of innovation. This year’s Supershow welcomed back the groundbreaking AL-KO Innovation Hub, the number one place to visit when you want to know all about the latest and greatest in the Australian caravan industry. The AL-KO Innovation Hub was officially and spectacularly opened by 3AW MC David Mann, followed by a tour through all nine fascinating innovations. Over hundred press and industry invitees were present to witness the 2020 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow officially opening their doors. A total of nine companies showcased their latest innovations to the public during the 2020 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow, including Innovation Hub naming partner AL-KO. Brad Hooper, Marketing Manager at AL-KO Australia explains: “As a market leader we want to do our part to encourage innovation & new ideas for the benefit of the whole RV industry including consumers. AL-KO’s vision in Australia & New Zealand is to be the leading innovator and provider of towing & RV solutions, and sponsoring the Innovation Hub allows us to communicate this vision.” Being located inside the recently opened RACV Victoria Pavilion, the AL-KO Innovation Hub drew even more visitors than last year. Team BMPRO explains why the AL-KO Innovation Hub is important: “Innovation Hub brings the most recent developments of the Australian RV manufacturing under one roof so the visitors can understand at a glance what’s happening at the forefront of the industry. They see the trends to more comfortable, safe, smart, and off-grid capable RVing, and they see the potential of Australian RV manufacturing. For those who are planning to buy a caravan in the near future, the AL-KO Innovation Hub gives guidance on what features they may want to pay attention to”.

AL-KO Hybrid Power Chassis & Enduro X

Hybrid Power Chassis
The hybrid concept, developed jointly with Huber Automotive AG, is based on the variable AL-KO lightweight chassis, which as a system carrier enables modular use of the battery packs and electric drive components and at the same time offers the best possible battery conservation. A major advantage of the hybrid concept is it can match the long range of a diesel-powered motorhome or even exceed it (booster function). For long-distance journeys, the vehicle’s internal combustion engine can be used without restriction. Additional practical benefits: Through recuperation and energy storage, the system can also supply energy to such electrical systems and devices as interior lighting, refrigerators, heating and air conditioning systems or entertainment options, and serve as a self-sufficiency buffer for, for example, a stop on the road at night.

Enduro X
Developed in Melbourne, the AL-KO Enduro X is the next generation in independent suspension technology for Australian caravans and camper trailers. It is designed, manufactured and rigorously tested for extreme off-road conditions.
Lightweight construction is front & centre, through the introduction of a new clamshell suspension arm. This innovative concept exclusive to AL-KO reduces weight whilst maintaining the strength needed for the harsh Australian conditions. The lower unsprung weight delivers handling and performance benefits, whilst automotive grade black eCoat helps ensure rust and chip resistance.
Extending the AL-KO philosophy of ‘Quality for Life’ to Enduro, an extreme off-road testing program was conducted at the Anglesea Automotive Research Centre prior to release, with tests simulating over 150,000km of real world towing.

Bruder EXP

One of the highlights at the AL-KO Innovation Hub and the crowd’s favourite was Queensland based Bruder Expeditions, who participated at a Caravan Show in Australia for the first time. Bruder Expedition trailers are 100% Australian made, designed and owned, and are available globally. The story of the two brothers goes way back, when their parents took the two young boys on 4×4 and caravanning trips around Australia. Bruder Expedition trailers are unlike any other off-road caravan or camper. They feature the Bruder designed suspension system which has 12inches of adjustable suspension travel – allowing Bruder trailers to camp on almost any undulating or sloping terrain. Not only does this design provide excellent on-road dynamics, it allows Bruder trailers to be towed over harsh, undulating terrain and through extreme climates like no other off-road camper, something Australians love.

OzXCorp DCX PowerSystem

The story of Australian technology start-up OzXCorp is unique and authentic, making it a story to be told. Andrew Huett, co-founder and avid caravanner, grew up in North East Victoria, on a remote farm completely off-grid, utilizing solar, wind, water and fall back as required. As a keen outdoors, caravanning and camping enthusiast, Andrew has travelled more than 70,000km around Australia. He quickly identified significant gaps where technology, specifically vehicle-minded solutions, could resolve the shortcomings of convenience, drivability and safety. Nowadays OzXcorp is on the forefront when it comes to the electrification of RV’s. After demonstrating their full electric caravan technology during last year’s Innovation Hub, OzXCorp was back this year with a number of next generation innovations that will most likely change the RV industry.

DCX PowerSystem
The DCX platform is a complete turnkey power platform from solar panels, inverter and battery, holistically designed for any trailer-based application where the actual battery, like vehicles, is mounted within the trailer chassis. This is fundamental in keeping static weight as-low-as-possible whilst ensuring your living space is not impeded by tech. This solution comes in both a 14.3kW/hr @ 120kg and a soon to be released 7.1kW/hr @ 70kg.

Xtend Outdoors Inflatable Annexe

Xtend Outdoors proudly presented their fully Inflatable Annexe, incorporating a number of unique features including a 2-year warranty. This annexe was designed for quick and easy setup and weighs only 24kgs, which helps to reduce further weight limitation on the caravan compared to more traditional canvas annexes. Featuring a sunroof along the front edge of the annexe ceiling allowing for more natural sunlight to enter, this annexe also features inflatable arches and cross ribs which are double protected in a zip up cover and are quick and easy to inflate with a manual hand pump. Each of 4 windows and 2 doors sport 3 layers which include a fine mesh, a privacy panel and detachable clear plastic which can be raised or lowered, so you can customise your space as required.

BMPRO SmartConnect

For the second year in a row, BMPRO released a brand new product during the AL-KO Innovation Hub at the Victorian Supershow: BMPRO SmartConnect. The SmartConnect range of Bluetooth sensors is integrated with smart RV control and monitoring systems such as JHub and Odyssey. As a world first in adaptability of RV Monitoring and Control, SmartConnect allows the RV’s system to be expanded and adjusted to customer’s needs over time. The Bluetooth sensors can be installed at OEM manufacturing stage, at the dealership as an optional feature, or added later as an aftermarket offering. SmartConnect software is already pre-loaded into the 2020 BMPRO systems and can be simply activated at any stage from manufacturing through to aftermarket.

Multiple sensors can be monitored via a single app, while SmartSense is also available with the separate BMPRO SmartSense app.

Australian RV Accessories GG750 Awning

Showcased at the 2020 AL-KO Innovation Hub, Australian RV Accessories released the new Girard GG750 12volt Awning into the Australian market. This hi tech 12v automated awning has a built-in wind sensor meaning it will automatically close once the wind hits a certain level. Developed by Girard Systems in the USA, this awning will give every consumer peace of mind while being away from the RV.


In 2019, Jayco owners were the first in the world to experience a new level of luxury caravanning with the introduction of the personal virtual assistant Amazon Alexa in all Jayco Silverlines. Voice commands ranged from “Alexa, play songs by my favourite artist” and “Alexa, check today’s weather forecast” through to “Alexa, change my TV channel”. For 2020 Jayco is once more increasing the comfort level this voice command system is offering, by adding the functions of the Slideout and Awning – again a world’s premier.

Dometic Dust Reduction System

Dust getting into the RV has always been a big issue in Australia, as off-road caravanning is immensely popular Down Under. Being one of the global market leaders for Caravan & Motorhome appliances, it is no surprise that Dometic’s Dust Reduction System offers a solution for this problem. Through its clever design, the Dometic Dust Reduction System minimises the amount of dust, harmful airborne particles and pollens that can enter your caravan. The unit is fitted to the roof of the caravan and operates while the vehicle is in motion.

MyCOOLMAN Power Pack – Truma e-Kit

Leisure-Tec launched two new products at the AL-KO Innovation Hub; The myCOOLMAN Power Pack and the Truma e-Kit.

The myCOOLMAN Power Pack is the industry’s first and only magnetic portable ‘Power Pack’ – a lithium-ion battery that mounts seamlessly to the side of the myCOOLMAN range of refrigerators/freezers and can power the fridge/freezer for up to 18 hours! It now means that there is a lightweight portable solution for customers to take fresh food, drinks and even ice cream on their travels away from their leisure vehicle.

The Truma e-Kit is used as an additional appliance that is installed in conjunction with the popular Truma VarioHeat, the E-Kit provides another 1800 W of heating power. There are two individual heating coils that operate in the e-Kit and can be used independently for 900 W of heating, or together for the full 1800 W of heating power. You can also operate the VarioHeat and the E-Kit with electricity, gas or a mix of both to suit your needs.


Fact sheet – RV market in Australia

In 2019, a total of 711,386 Recreational Vehicles were registered nationwide, which is again an increase of 5% compared to 2018 and the highest it has been in Australia historically. RV registrations have outpaced total vehicle registrations with a growth figure that was 2.5 times larger than the registrations of total vehicles (1.7%). (ABS, Motor Vehicle Census, 2019)

After 2018 being the best year in Australian RV manufacturing in the last 39 years, 2019 shows a slight decline. A total of 21,465 RVs were manufactured in Australia in 2019. 94% of the manufactured RV’s are towable, with 66% of these being caravans. This preference for towables has remained consistent over the past decade. (NEM Australasia, 2020)

RV Imports
A total of 10,400 RV’s have been imported into Australia in the last 12 months. The vast majority is imported from China and Hong Kong. Import numbers have been down the first three months of 2020, primarily because of Covid19. (ABS, 2020)

Visitors + nights
Over 14 Million individual caravan/camping trips were taken in the past 12 months with a total of 60 Million nights spent caravan and camping around Australia, an increase of 10% compared to last year. The industry is estimated to have contributed over $20 billion worth of economic value to the Australian economy. (Tourism Research Australia, 2020)

Number of parks & sites
Australia is home to approximately 1600 Caravan Parks. The number of sites – including powered, unpowered and cabins – is estimated at a total of 200,000 sites around the country.


In conversation with Stuart Lamont


Stuart Lamont – Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Before Covid-19 hit Australia, the country and RV industry had another battle to fight: devastating bushfires. We spoke with Stuart Lamont, CEO of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia about the market, impact of Covid-19 and the role the Caravan Industry Association of Australia has during these challenging times…

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