Figure 1 Caravanning Queensland 2019b
12 Things I love about a Kimberley Kamper – Let´s Tick all the Boxes
“Risk Comes from not knowing what you´re doing”- Warren Buffet

We were standing under the canopy just to get away from it all for a while when a young-looking middle-aged couple approached us looking exasperated. The weather was hot, the sun was burning everything in sight, and we were tired after a long day of talking. They told us about how they had been through all the stands at the Brisbane Let´s Go Camping Show because they wanted to go travelling around Australia, they wanted to see the wonders of what this land of golden soil had to offer them, and they wanted it to be special. But the caravans and motorhomes they found were either too heavy, too big or just too packed with stuff. They wanted to get to the top of the mountains, and they wanted to do it with ease. Standing there under the large canopy of the Kimberley Kamper trailer, protected from the sun and with room to move, the couple declared that this was what they had been looking for all along- unbeknownst to them.
They are not unique in wanting to travel Australia with 2018 being a record year for towed vehicle sales and registrations with the numbers reaching over 679,393 according to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. As can be seen in figure 2, towed vehicle sales have been increasing at a fairly stable rate of 5% each year over the past ten years.

Figure 2 from Caravanning Queensland 2019b
Socio-culturally Austalians and people all over the world have become more and more interested in travelling, especially to remote and hard to get to places. This is a trend which is only likely to increase as the babyboomers (those born between 1946 and 1964 according to Cheppelow (2019)) age into retirement and leisure. This generation has enjoyed greater prosperity than any previous generation and holds much of the corporate and economic power in the world. As of late 2019 the boomers are between 55 and 73 years old and still quite healthy and full of energy. Their children are the infamous generation X (1965-1985) and the much maligned millennials (1985-2000), Cheppelow (2019). These groups are also now firmly in the workforce being between 19-54 years of age. Generation X, as the most significant percentage of the towable vehicle user group, currently enjoy economic freedom though they are known for refusing to save for retirement. Their financial and economic power is likely to triple in the next ten years suggests Kagan (2019) as they inherit assets from the babyboomers, and their interest in leisure activities is likely to follow suit if we believe Williams (2017).


Figure 3 Caravanning Queensland 2019b

What should an active camper owner to be look for in a tow vehicle for the rugged Australian countryside which can at times be quite hostile? There are 12 big ticket items to be aware of when considering an off-road tow-vehicle, and these can be divided into three different categories of importance: Safety, Convenience and Comfort. It´s a big competitive market out there, and not everyone has consumer perceived value products. Goodwin and Dingli (2017) tell us that sometimes a company falls into the trap of becoming limpet in their response to the changing socio-cultural and technological demands of the customer even when innovation is necessary to survive. Companies must be strategically creative in response to the demographic and economic macrolevel forces of change, and the consumer must be given the power of choice in driving the industry forward. Goodwin and Dingli (2017) also say that it is no longer a seller´s market the way it was ten years ago when our couple would have bought the first and the best caravan they found at the show (because let´s be honest, none would have been left if they hadn´t!) Today, a company has to find, use and present information quickly, and often before the consumer can even articulates the need.
So, what did our couple at the Brisbane show want? They wanted to tick all the boxes:

Safety Convenience Comfort
What Brakes does it have? How much Water Capacity is available? What quality canvas was used?
Which Hitch does it use? Does it have battery and solar? What type of fridge is installed?
What type of Suspension is used? How much storage does it have? What are the cooking options?
What is the Weight of the vehicle? How long does it take to put up and take down? Does it have heating and cooling?
Figure 5 These Boxes are Made for ticking!
And I´ll give you a little hint, Kimberley Kampers listens to its customers and adapts innovatively. It offers only the best on all these options. Just ask the right questions.


References:
Caravan Industry Association of Australia, 2019a, Research, viewed 25 November 2019, https://www.caravanindustry.com.au/research

Caravan Industry Association of Australia 2019b, State of the Industry, viewed 25 November 2019, https://spark.adobe.com/page/ANW2ilUzglfN6/?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.caravanindustry.com.au%2Fresearch&embed_type=overlay&context=lightbox-expand

Cheppelow, J 2019, Baby boomer, viewed 25 November 2019, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/baby_boomer.asp

Goodwin,M & Dingli,S, 2017, Creativity and Strategic Innovation Management Directions for Future Value in Changing Times, Second Edition, Routledge, London and New York

Kagan, Julia, 2019, Generation X – Gen X, viewed 25 November 2019, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/generation-x-genx.asp

Parliament of New South Wales, 2013, Trends affecting our industry over the next decade and beyond, viewed 25 November 2019 https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/DBAssets/InquiryOther/Transcript/9324/Tabled%20document%20-%20Trends%20affecting%20our%20Iade%20and%20beyond%20-%20Caravan%20and%20Camping%20Industry%20Association%20-%20tabled%2026%20August%202013.PDF

Williams, S, 2017, Grey Nomad Numbers Up, viewed 25 November 2019 https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/grey-nomad-numbers-up-20170223-gujkdx.html