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Campers win the battle against motorhomes: a change in trend with reasons

Motorhomes have been the queens of caravaning vehicles in Spain since 2015, the first year of the 'boom' of these holiday vehicles.

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Campers win the battle against motorhomes: a change in trend with reasons

Motorhomes have been the queens of caravaning vehicles in Spain since 2015, the first year of the 'boom' of these holiday vehicles. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, more than 7,000 new motorhomes were sold in Spain, at an average of 20 vehicles per day and more than 580 per month. This year, 2023, it will hardly be possible to reach 3,000 units, almost 60% less than four years ago.

The new queens of caravaning are camper vans, smaller and cheaper than motorhomes and which have been gaining ground on large mobile homes for several years. In fact, there are already months in which more campers are sold than new motorhomes in Spain, such as July and August, in which a clear change in trend has been seen.

According to data from the Spanish Association of the Caravaning Industry and Trade (Aseicar), 227 campers were sold last month, 33.5% more than in 2022 and 42.8% more than in 2021. New motorhomes, in Instead, they remained at 143 units, 24.7% less than in 2022 and 45% less than in 2021. It was the worst month of the year to date for motorhomes, which are suffering more from inflation and the industrial crisis of the components.

In July, more camper vans were also sold (300 units, 34% more than the previous year) than motorhomes (260 vehicles, 20.2% less than in 2022 and 69% less than in 2021). 2023 may be the first year in which new campers surpass motorhomes in registrations.

According to Aseicar, until August 1,853 new vans have been registered (5% more than last year) for 1,906 motorhomes, 24% less than the previous year. And camper sales have remained stable in recent years. It is motorhomes that have fallen drastically since 2019.

"As the vehicles are more expensive, the price increase is more noticeable and sales of motorhomes decrease more," they explain from Aseicar, which brings together more than 90% of the companies that distribute caravans, motorhomes, cars, tent cars, bungalows, modules, mobile homes, accessories and parking in Spain.

In addition to strong inflation, other factors are added such as the industrial crisis of components, which has caused a significant shortage of vehicles and has caused many customers to turn to the second-hand market due to lack of stock. In August, 1,333 used motorhomes and campers were sold, 2.8% more than last year, according to Aseicar.

This means that for every new motorhome or camper that is registered in Spain, 3.6 second-hand vehicles are sold, although these have also risen a lot in price (up to 40% more expensive than before the pandemic) and some are very old. .

Aseicar warns of the risks of buying vehicles that are more than 10 or 15 years old of foreign origin, from problems passing the ITV in Spain to the lack of spare parts, when they are not vehicles with forged documents or of dubious origin.

The crisis is also affecting sales of caravans (vehicles without a motor that need to be towed by a car). According to data from Aseicar, 1,040 new caravans have been sold until August, 26% less than in the same period last year, while sales of used ones continue to skyrocket. In August alone, 465 second-hand caravans were sold for 86 new ones. This means that for every new caravan, 5.4 second-hand caravans are sold.

Still, Aseicar is optimistic and expects new vehicle sales to pick up and return to growth as component manufacturing improves and inflation moderates. "We will have to observe the evolution of the coming months, but it seems that, at least, the fall is slowing (except for new caravans) and sales are stabilizing," the association maintains.

The best-selling camper van in Spain (and in the world) is the Volkswagen California, considered by caravanning fans as the queen of campers. The German brand has just presented the Volkswagen California Concept at the Düsseldorf Caravan Show, a prototype that is expected to hit the market in 2024. As a big novelty, it incorporates plug-in hybrid propulsion systems and the latest in assistance systems, infotainment and equipment for camper vans.

Camper vans are smaller than motorhomes, but that does not prevent them from enjoying the same comforts and equipment, especially in the case of large-volume campers such as the Grand California or the Iveco Daily Camper, in which they can travel and sleep up to four people. The smaller ones can also be used as a regular family vehicle, since they are more manageable, practical and economical than motorhomes. The prices of the best-selling camper vans range between 40,000 and 80,000 euros.

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