Tips for happy hol­i­days

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - TWO WHEELS - Stu­art Martin

MORE Aus­tralians are con­sid­er­ing Christ­mas in a car­a­van or cam­per, ac­cord­ing to the re­search by recre­ational ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer Jayco.

The com­pany’s lat­est sur­vey sug­gests more than half of re­spon­dents would con­sider buy­ing a car­a­van for a fam­ily hol­i­day in­stead of util­is­ing more tra­di­tional ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Jayco has been mak­ing recre­ational ve­hi­cles – cam­per trail­ers, pop-top and con­ven­tional car­a­vans and mo­torhomes – for more than three decades and claims a 52 per cent share of the over­all RV mar­ket in Aus­tralia.

Jayco di­rec­tor and mar­ket­ing man­ager An­drew Ryan says the com­pany’s sales are up by about 5 per cent across the board but fig­ures show a 10 per cent in­crease in fam­i­ly­tar­geted RVs such as the Ex­panda and cam­per-trailer range.

‘‘The most no­table in­crease has been in the fam­ily mar­ket,’’ he says.

Mr Ryan says the RV mar­ket is com­pet­i­tive but Jayco is on track to beat its record per­for­mance of 2011 and the fam­ily mar­ket is a grow­ing seg­ment for the brand.

‘‘A lot of fam­i­lies are now try­ing to give the kids the ex­pe­ri­ences they had,’’ he says.

‘‘We’re also see­ing a lot of fam­i­lies coming into the mar­ket – it used to be 70 per cent the older de­mo­graphic.

‘‘It’s shift­ing 55/45 and I think it will be 50/50 within the next five years. We’re not los­ing the baby boomers, it’s just that the fam­ily mar­ket is in­creas­ing. The over­all pool is grow­ing.’’

Th­ese ve­hi­cles, says Jayco, al­low fam­i­lies to take sev­eral hol­i­days an­nu­ally and give them the chance to see what the coun­try has to of­fer.

With hol­i­days fast ap­proach­ing, Jayco has given car­a­van­ners some tips for pre­par­ing and com­plet­ing a happy RV hol­i­day. • A full check-up: A walk-around to check the lights, fix­tures, elec­tri­cal con­nec­tions and the tow hitch in the lead-up to leav­ing will give you a chance to fix a mi­nor prob­lem be­fore it be­comes more se­ri­ous. • It’s not a race: Reg­u­lar road­side breaks might in­crease your travel time but will help keep the driver alert, as well as al­low­ing pas­sen­gers to stretch their legs and have a look around. • Pack wisely: Make a list (check it twice per­haps, like Santa) and make sure no es­sen­tial hol­i­day items (bikes, food, cam­eras, fish­ing rods?) are left be­hind. RVs are de­signed with max­i­mum stor­age in mind but pack­ing large, heavy items that you are un­likely to use only adds ex­tra weight (that needs care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion for safe driv­ing), which burns more fuel. • Leave noth­ing to chance: Some­times things do go wrong on the road so be­ing pre­pared with ap­pro­pri­ate tools and the back-up of road­side as­sis­tance could be money well spent. • Dou­ble-check your tyres: Un­der­in­flated tyres can be more prone to punc­tures and in­creased fuel use, so check your car and your RV’s tyre pres­sures (first thing in the morn­ing when the tyres are cold) be­fore you head off. • Ser­vice: A pre-hol­i­day ser­vice can avert a road­side dis­as­ter, Jayco rec­om­mends ser­vic­ing your RV ev­ery 12 months. • Com­forts of home: Mod­ern RVs can be fit­ted with some key crea­ture com­forts (TVs, cook­ing ap­pli­ances and air­con­di­tion­ers) that can make your hol­i­day more en­joy­able. • Re­search: Pre-trip re­search on your route and des­ti­na­tion can help make the most out of your trip, for ex­am­ple check­ing on child and pet-friendly parks etc. • Let the kids help: Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate how much chil­dren can ac­tu­ally help you on your trav­els, help­ing to pack, look­ing af­ter maps or help­ing to cook.

Happy campers: Jayco trail­ers are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity among younger peo­ple with fam­i­lies and can mul­ti­ply hol­i­day out­ings

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