Your Everyday Camper

Camper Staff — 7 June 2019
We uncover the identity of the average camper and explore his or her importance to manufacturers.

Ever wondered about the identity of your average RV camper? It can be hard to pinpoint, because camping does indeed attract quite a broad demographic. We have campers of all ages, genders and cultures throughout Australia. 

But new research by the CIAA has helped to paint a picture of who exactly your average Joe Blow camper is. The stats come from the inaugural RV Consumer Report 2018, a study examining RV purchases and usage. 



YOUR AVERAGE CAMPER

As it happens, the average camper is 33 years old. He or she has an average income between $48,000 and $72,000. 

He or she tows the RV with a Ford, Toyota or Holden. The RV is probably secondhand, with 71 per cent of owners purchasing this way. Yet there’s a 50/50 chance he or she may be itching to upgrade.

He or she probably has kids. Having kids seems to attract us to the camping lifestyle. We want to help our kids experience the world as best we can, it seems, because 42 per cent of current RV owners have kids under 15. 

The average camper went camping as a youngster. Those old memories seem to be something of an inspiration to RV owners; two thirds of current RV owners went camping in their childhood. The awesomeness of those early experiences may be why we want to make sure our kids have them too.

The average camper is into the great outdoors. That revelation is not really a surprise. It comes with the territory. 87 per cent of RV owners prefer to spend their time outdoors, hiking and fishing, when they can. 

Ignoring pit stops for pies, it would seem camping is not only good for the soul, but good for the body.


POTENTIAL OWNERS

The camping community has always been one to welcome with open arms, and it’s in this way they’d embrace any of the potential RV owners that the study also investigated. We’re talking about the people on the fringe, who aren’t quite ready to purchase.

Why not? The research states the average age of your potential buyer is 40 years old, and they’re waiting to have either the financial ability or to retire before they take the plunge. However they were still keen to act soon, with two out of three expressing an intention to purchase in the next three years. 

When it does come time, they’ll be looking for an RV that handles safely, is easy to set up and affordable to operate. 

Even those who do own already could and would potentially use their RV more, if only they could. 

Over two thirds of owners said time constraints, such as work and other commitments, hold them back from hitting the open road more frequently. Indeed 18 per cent of owners use their rig less than seven nights a year. 


IMPACT ON THE MARKET

Such numbers as these can be very handy to manufacturers, helping them to create the ideal product for their market. It seems to be a good time to be in the game, with more Aussies owning RVs than ever before. One in thirteen households has a registered RV.

Also of relevance is the importance of safety to the consumer. Nearly 40 per cent of owners said road handling was the single most important aspect for a purchase. Only one in seven campers were happy to compromise on this feature in order to save themselves money.

That said, the average camper – earning between 48 and 72 grand a year; doing well that is, without breaking the bank – still places a lot of importance on the price of the RV. Four out of five campers said that price was the ultimately the most influential factor in their purchase. People also increasingly want buying confidence for the money outlaid, and therefore about half of us would consider hiring a specific RV before purchasing it, to get a feel for it.

The research also shed light on RV users’ modes of travel. Turns out, we don’t mind winging it. Four out of five of us are likely to head to new destinations without prior planning. Such a freewheeling approach, of trying out new destinations, bodes really well for regions with valuable tourism offerings. 

For more information visit the Caravan Industry Association of Australia website.