The largest caravan show “down under”
With more than 400 exhibitors and about 1200 caravans and RVs on display, the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is the largest event of this type in Australia.
Words and photo Antonio Mazzucchelli
We enjoyed a visit to the 65th Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow, organised by the Caravan Industry Victoria, at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds from 20 to 25 February. Let’s just say that this event is completely different from any other caravan or RV show we’ve attended. The Melbourne Showgrounds are an immense exhibition space of about 60,000m² and this event occupies almost all of them. There are stands on the lawns, under the trees, in the arena, in the heritage-listed brick pavilion, and in the metal pavilions. A new feature was the ‘AL-KO Innovation Hub’ that showcased cutting edge recreational vehicle technology. The show featured a huge range of products to suit the outdoor lifestyle, including caravans, motorhome, tents, camper trailers, 4×4 off road and camping products, accessories and much more. It was particularly rich with products, events and activities for everyone, from the young people who camp with friends on weekends, families who take short breaks and the senior adventurers who spend their time on the road in their caravan making memories. In particular, we noticed a lot of off-road caravans, often double-axle, reinforced, with an aggressive look, dedicated to an audience that loves adventure. There were also some European brands such as Knaus, Adria and Bailey, which have commercial partnerships in Australia with important players in the sector. Truma, which has an agreement with the distributor Leisure-Tec, is the main sponsor of the show and will be for the next three years. Other sponsors include AL-KO, Dometic, G+S Chassis (purchased last year by AL-KO) and Matthews Steer. We attended the opening of the show where we met Rob Lucas, Chief Executive of the Caravan Industry Victoria. “We are really excited for this year’s Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow, as not only are we celebrating 65 years, but we rolled out new branding and many new improvements to make the event easier for visitors to navigate and more engaging for them”, said Rob Lucas. “This event showcased more caravans, pop-tops, tents, camping trailers, motorhomes, campervans, 5th wheelers and touring accessories than ever. In addition to all the products and services, the Supershow had plenty of interactive demonstrations, free entertainment, industry experts located at the camp ground and information on tourism destinations to help plan more outdoor adventures,” said Rob Lucas. We were also pleased to meet Stuart Lamont, Chief Executive Officer of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. He told us a wealth of details about the market and the Australian RV industry, which you can read in our interview with him in this issue. We were particularly struck by his statement that there are a saturated number of manufacturers in Australia supplying unsustainable volumes of new product into the market. There are 160 RV producers in Australia, and walking around for the show, we saw many companies with only one or two products. This is a bit too much for a market of 23,000 units a year, of which about 50 percent are sold by Jayco, and another large share divided between three or four larger companies.