Since the largest caravanning fair is already behind us, we can collect information together and think about how 2015 will look like. It seems that, especially in relation to motorhomes, it will be an interesting season.
Good news for the industry come mainly from Germany. There, statistics clearly show that motorhomes are becoming more fashionable. A few years ago, it might have seemed that it was totally different the main customers of companies producing and rent motorhomes are retired people.
Today, this trend reverses. Camping vehicles perfectly fit into the fashion for an active lifestyle preferred by young people. Thanks to motorhomes, you can get into the car on Friday evening and then travel or party at the desired location for the entire weekend.
Maneuverability at an affordable price
However, since caravanning is no longer an interesting option only for the wealthy and mature people, the structure of sales also changes. Customers are increasingly opting for camper-vans - the smallest campers. Their advantage, besides a lower price, is its high maneuverability.
Customers often choose semi-integrated cars, especially those that cost a little bit more than camper-vans. This trend is appreciated by manufacturers, who add new models in more popular, lower segments.
But the biggest revelation are fully integrated cars offered at prices similar to semi-integrated models, for example, Dethleffs Advantage for 61 thousands euro.
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Now we can see new, successful models on the market, such as Iveco Daily and Ford Transit. A new quality among vans was introduced by model V from Mercedes (formerly Vito) which reminds of passenger cars when it comes to the quality of finishing. Next year will bring an amazing Volkswagen T6. This fierce competition among vans will provide a wider selection among motorhomes bases.
The increase of diversity in this respect doesn’t have to be followed by a wider offer of available lengths of the body and interior options. And even the opposite! The manufacturers are beginning to realize that they sometimes gave customers too bigger choice, because of which they were lost in dozens of options. Paradoxically, a little less choice may be more convenient for customers.
An especially large selection will apply to models with a length of up to 7 meters with a total weight up to 3.5 tons. In such compact motorhomes we’ll find wider entrance doors, and narrower refrigerators (the so-called “slim tower”). Instead of more places to sleep, we often get more cabinets, shelves and storage space. A comfort for two or four people seems to have more value now than a stay in "field" conditions for seven people.
Because we still have a problem how big a mini-garage is supposed to be, manufacturers offer an adjustable height of the rear bed (above the garage), or the possibility of choosing this option already when ordering the motorhome. In front of the vehicle, a standard are drop-down beds, integrated in the ceiling during the day. A real novelty are two single beds, lowered at the same time - such a solution can be found in the model Hymer DuoMobil.
Glass fibers are becoming a standard
For several years, moving away from the traditional wood and styrofoam structures have become a standard. Perhaps 2015 will finally be the one, in which the manufacturers will ultimately move away from the moisture-sensitive solution, replacing it with XPS foam, GfK plastic roofs and no screw connections.
The future belongs to the more widely used glass fibers, which are not only durable and resistant to moisture, but also help to reduce the weight of the vehicle, increasing the load capacity at the same time. It’s also one of the most important trends in the world of motorhomes.
So, the odds are that 2015 could be very successful for both the motorhome manufacturers, as well as their customers.