Dozens of luxury caravans are lying idle at one of Australia’s biggest caravan manufacturers as grey nomads remain locked out of Queensland.
Dozens of luxury caravans are lying idle at one of Australia’s biggest caravan manufacturers as grey nomads remain locked out of Queensland.

Caravan stockpile as owners wait for borders to open

QUEENSLAND'S most iconic caravan maker has an estimated $3 million worth of completed vans stored at its factory waiting for delivery to locked down interstate customers.

Kedron Caravans is storing about 26 vans at the Brendale factory, mostly destined to be collected by interstate buyers once borders are reopened.

Kedron Caravans managing director Glen Gall said COVID-19 had thrown up challenges for the family-owned firm famous for producing top-end off-road vans that can cost well north of $200,000 and feature ensuites, wide-screen televisions and satellite dishes.

Mr Gall said that prior to COVID, interstate customers would travel to Brisbane to pick colour schemes and discuss designs for their vans. He said they would then come back to pick up the van once it was completed so road trials could be done.

"With the lockdown, that has not been able to occur," he said. "With an interstate customer base that generally sits around sixty percent, contact was made with all those that had orders in the system, and we offered to store completed vans under roof."

Some had been shipped by road but most customers were waiting for borders to reopen before collecting their new caravans in person.

 

Caravans lined up in the Kedron Caravan factory at Brendale.
Caravans lined up in the Kedron Caravan factory at Brendale.

Mr Gall said the company had turned to its established social media base including YouTube to communicate with interstate customers. "We not only sent photographs of their van in various stages of production, but also filmed private walk-through videos to explain the operation of the various features of the completed vans," he said.

 

 

Mr Gall said that while the delivery process had been slowed by COVID and created a build up of completed vans, the company was fortunate to be in the position of having a full order book. "We have certainly focused on adjusting as quickly and appropriately as possible to suit the rapidly changing conditions and markets," he said.

Mr Gall said that with international travel off the agenda for the time being, people were looking at a holiday closer to home. "We have established ourselves at the top end of the market so people looking to get into a caravan are thinking they will do it in a Kedron," he said. "We have a forward order book of between 12 and 14 months."

Prior to starting making its own caravans in the late 1990s, Kedron had a long and storied history as a retailer. Its landmark outlet at Gympie Rd, Kedron, was opened in the early 1960s by Glen Gall's father Barry. The Galls road test their caravans in extended trips to the outback that are filmed and sold as adventure DVDs.

Caravan fans are set to flock to the RNA Showgrounds from today until Sunday for the Let's Go Brisbane Caravan and Outdoor Sale. The show comes just in time for Aussies to plan their Christmas at home, since overseas travel is off the table this year. Caravanning Queensland General Manager, Jason Plant, said it was the perfect opportunity for Queenslanders to get back in touch with the beauty of the state and boost the local economy, especially lending a helping hand to the regional towns that have done it tough through bushfires, drought and COVID.

 

Barry Gall (front) and his sons L to R, Glen, Peter, David, Ashley, Craig Gall, who are caravan industry veterans for the past 50 years. Galls are makers of Kedron Caravans and
Barry Gall (front) and his sons L to R, Glen, Peter, David, Ashley, Craig Gall, who are caravan industry veterans for the past 50 years. Galls are makers of Kedron Caravans and "road test' them in various outback adventurers that are then filmed and sold in very popular dvds, Brendale - Photo Steve Pohlner

 

Originally published as Caravan stockpile as owners wait for borders to open



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