It has been more than ten years since RVs have appeared in the eyes of Chinese people, but the RV industry is still in its infancy. As the country vigorously promotes the tourism industry, RVs, as a part of the tourism industry, naturally also rise with the tide. Generally speaking, in one sentence, the RV industry has a bright future. So in the bright future of the RV industry, what type of RV will become the mainstream in the future?
There is no authoritative data on the current number of domestic RVs, but various media speculate that the total number of domestic RVs is between 30,000 and 45,000. Among them, self-propelled RVs dominate, which can be confirmed by dealers of various brands of RVs. Are self-propelled RVs our future?
To understand this problem, let’s first look at a set of data. In 2016, the United States sold 430,800 RVs, of which 376,000 were trailer RVs. Obviously, in the mature American RV market, towed RVs occupy an absolute dominance. Europe is another big market for RVs. The sales data of RVs in 2016 was 177,900 units, of which 81,500 were trailer-type RVs and 96,400 were self-propelled RVs. It can be seen that in the European market, the sales of self-propelled RVs and towed RVs are evenly divided. I can’t help but wonder why there is such a big gap in the choice of RVs in a mature market?
There are two main factors in choosing an RV – cost and gameplay.
From RV purchase to outdoor travel, there are many issues to consider, the most important of which is of course how much money you are prepared to spend on purchasing an RV. In addition to the cost of buying a RV, you also need to bear the costs of insurance, repairs, maintenance, fuel, etc., and finally depreciation when reselling the vehicle. After a lot of expenses are listed, the trailer has an absolute advantage. Secondly, a caravan is more like a box of a vehicle than a car, which is also an important reason why caravans are so popular in Europe, America and other countries.
As for how to play, because the travel methods in the United States and Europe are very different, this also leads to a certain difference in the selection of RVs in Europe and the United States.
Although there are about 16,000 camps in the United States, the distribution is relatively concentrated, so Americans may camp in the wild or in extremely simple camps when traveling. At this time, an RV with complete functions and strong adaptability is needed. In addition, there are more large-displacement models such as SUVs and pickups, so trailers with larger interior space and complete functions have become the first choice of Americans.
The population density of Europe is much higher than that of the United States, and more than 30,000 camps are scattered on the land of Europa. Moreover, the camp facilities are relatively complete, and there are enough supplies for the RV. Therefore, the requirements for RVs are lower, and even some trailer RVs have no water tanks, no batteries, no air conditioners, etc., which is unimaginable in American RVs. Self-propelled RVs have more comprehensive functions than European towed RVs, which is one of the reasons why the market share of self-propelled RVs and towed RVs in Europe is equal.
As far as the domestic RV market is concerned, due to the different use environments, although the space of trailer RVs is large enough and the maintenance cost is low enough, the sales volume of trailer RVs in my country is far lower than that of self-propelled RVs at this stage. The reason is that there are only more than 500 existing RV camps in my country, and some of the existing RV camps are not well equipped. With such a small number of campsites, the trailer-type caravan that can separate the “house” and “car” loses its biggest competitive advantage. In addition, for some pragmatic consumers, self-propelled RVs can be used as emergency means of transportation to a certain extent, while trailer-type RVs cannot be used as means of transportation due to lack of power.
In the long run, with the popularity of RV culture and RV knowledge, the number and quality of RV camps will continue to increase, and the number of people using RVs for vacation and travel will gradually increase. The trailer-type RV, a relatively cheap and convenient travel tool, will gradually be accepted by more and more people. That is to say, the market share of self-propelled RVs is overwhelming that of trailer-type RVs temporarily, but in the near future, trailer-type RVs will inevitably replace self-propelled RVs and become the mainstream product due to their own advantages.