With China being one of the largest countries in the world, you’d think that camping would come naturally. However, it’s really just catching on in some areas, especially RV camping. There are numerous RV parks popping up over the nation where families can escape to the country and enjoy the outdoors.
RV camping isn’t enjoying an explosion in popularity, but it was reported that 1,000 RVs were sold last year, which is a good start. In fact, many residents of Beijing are purchasing the vehicles and taking trips out of town on the weekends to visit the local lakes and mountains while enjoying barbecues and picnics.
In China, RV enthusiasts are known as red ants, these are people who can’t wait to hit the open road every chance they get. The Chinese people love the outdoors, but the RV culture is somewhat new to them. This is generally because there are a lack of campgrounds, government regulations, and decent roads in many parts of the historic nation.
The RV China Association is predicting big things for RV camping and feels that sales will likely increase by about 40% from 2012 to 2015 with approximately 4,000 vehicles being sold by then. In 20 years time it figures that 500,000 sales annually are realistic. To enjoy an RV, most people need both time and money, but in China, many residents had one of the two, but never both of these things.
The next two decades will see younger generation residents start to retire and this means many Chinese people will have both the money and time needed to properly enjoy an RV. Experts feel that instead of flying to warmer parts of the country during the cold winters, many people will simply take to their RVs and drive there.
It’s estimated that 60% of RVs sold in China were built there and there are several options when it comes to luxury and price. Some of the vehicles cost up to U.S. $315,000 and are built with Nissan motors and chassis. Smaller units can be bought for about $8,000 and these come with air conditioning, an outdoor stove, and a 19-inch flat screen television. Several American companies such as Thor and Winnebago are also selling their products in China.
The American made models are usually more expensive though due to the shipping costs and import duties. In fact, they can cost double the price in China when compared to the cost for the same vehicle in the U.S. Winnebago said China is definitely a developing RV market and the middle class is expanding there with many people becoming interested in the RV lifestyle.
However, before the RV craze can take off, there will need to be some suitable campgrounds created across the land. At the moment, there isn’t a centralized program in place to help develop RV campgrounds and there aren’t any campground chains such as KOA in America. There are some small companies in China building campgrounds in coastal areas though, such as Zhejiang, Fujian, and Shandong as well as in Sichuan.
The nation’s red ants are actively pushing for better service areas, roads, and campgrounds that come with electricity and water hook-ups.