More than 250 exhibitors, warm weather and a central location drew crowds to the 48th Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow. Held at the Brisbane Showgrounds from June 8-13, the sunny weather certainly pushed any thoughts of winter to the back of the mind of this visiting Melburnian.
A huge variety of caravans were on show, along with motorhomes, fifth wheelers, camper trailers and an extensive range of camping equipment and accessories to complement any touring adventure.
Anecdotally, exhibitors were pleased with the turn out and the show certainly felt busy, with people wandering in and out of display models and chatting with the various dealers and manufacturers.
The exhibitors we spoke with reported good business, with high levels of interest in new releases as well as across existing ranges. With many new releases for the 2016 show season, exhibitors had the opportunity to spruik their latest wares to Queenslanders, and there were plenty of brand new offerings to tempt prospective buyers.
OUTDOORS AND OFFROAD
A few people we spoke with observed the Queensland market had a higher interest in offroad vans than some of the other capital city markets, and there was certainly a multitude of offroaders, of all shapes and sizes, on show.
Bushtracker had a tough-looking 19ft offroader on display, as well as a fully kitted-out 21-footer valued at $176,730. The manufacturer also brought along a display van shell, showing off its sturdy double riveted aluminium structural box section framework in all its glory.
Kedron had an extensive setup and was looking busy, with an array of models on display, including the recently reviewed TopEnder 5 (CW 552), fitted with its newly released KRS suspension recovery kit.
On the Move was spruiking its 18ft 6in Semi Off Road, launched as an alternative for buyers who aren’t looking for a full offroad van. Suitable for gravel tracks and national park dirt roads, it has opened up a new market for the manufacturer, and is lighter and cheaper than its full offroad models.
New kid on the block Gold Coast-based Soul Caravans made its debut at the show with its 22ft slide-out model. The unique van drew crowds with its sleek modern look, luxury interior and large, electric top-hinging windows. With a background in building luxury boats, the manufacturer has gone for a different look and the van is constructed from a full fibreglass shell and fitted with a heap of mod cons. Of course, this all comes at a price and it sits at the top end of the market, with the display model coming in at $185,689.
Among the new releases at the smaller end of the scale were a variety of hybrid models. Australian Off Road officially launched the latest version of its mini hybrid entry level model at the show – a brand new 3.6m pop-top Odyssey Series II, priced at $69,900. While Rhinomax showed off its latest Scorpion RX micro-hybrid which, at 3.1m and priced at $55,000, is designed for comfortable, compact travel for couples.
Smaller again, was the Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper, which was a crowd puller for its unique look. This tiny ‘glamper’ camper has beautiful timber cabinetry and customisable colour and retro décor. It also has a queen-bed slide out, which doubles the cabin capacity. Priced at $33,950, it is built in-house in Queensland and is entirely Australian-made.
Motorhome shoppers had the opportunity to check out the brand new Winnebago Burleigh – the first Winnebago built on an Iveco cab chassis. The Burleigh comes in a variety of layouts with various sleeping configurations and carrying capacities, including an electric drop-down bed version. Winnebago said interest in drop-down bed layouts had been growing across its range, mainly due to the large club lounge which makes them great for entertaining.
Trakka had along its latest Trakkadu campervan conversion, based on the new generation VW T6 Transporter. It comes in on-road and offroad versions and has a few nice updates, including dimmable LED strip lighting, sliding screen and block-out blinds, an electric awning with integrated light panel, and easy-clean rubber-backed marine carpet. Also on show were Trakka’s latest Trakkaway 700, Torino and Jabiru models.
Overall, the vibe at the show was relaxed and friendly with everyone keen to stop for a chat. And with exhibits spread out across the showground precincts, you could happily have spent a couple of days exploring it all.