5 Key Activities of the Caravan Industry Association

Have you ever compared caravans or camper trailers side-by-side at a caravan show? Or taken advantage of a free road-side caravan and tow vehicle safety check? Chances are, your nearest caravan industry association helped make it happen.

And with thousands of caravan industry association-affiliated businesses represented under a shared umbrella, your comfort, convenience, freedom and safety are paramount to this growing team.

But how do you make the most of what’s available? We explain who the players in the caravan industry are and how they contribute to the dream.

Who comprises the caravan and camping industry?

Nationally, caravan industry affiliated businesses comprise recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturers, importers and dealerships, camping stores, industry part manufacturers and suppliers and RV servicing outlets and repairs.

Tourism operators and holiday park owners also form under the same umbrella along with  residential land lease communities and caravan and camping media.

The national representative body is the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA), with 10 state based associations. Each of the five below running a series of consumer based caravan shows among many other member services:

  • Caravan Industry Association WA (CIAWA);
  • Caravan Industry Victoria (CIAV);
  • Caravan and Camping Industries Association of South Australia (CCIA SA);
  • Caravan Trades & Industries Association of Queensland (CTIAQ); and
  • Caravan Camping & Touring Industry & Manufactured Housing Industry Association of NSW (CCIA NSW)

With stand-alone caravan parks associations in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory comprising the remaining five.

Other non-industry entities like consumer-led groups such as the Australian Caravan Club and Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia also play a role.

1 – Organising shows

With manufacturers of all sizes Australia-wide, the search for your perfect RV may be vast. So nationally, caravanning and camping associations provide buyers the opportunity to scrutinise or buy caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers in a single venue.

Large consumer caravan shows are hosted in capital cities like Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane or Sydney while regional centres like Albany, the Illawarra and Wodonga are not forgotten.

border expo - caravan and camping
border expo – caravan and camping

But it’s not just RVs on display here, industry-run caravan and camping events provide travellers the opportunity to meet local innovators solving common camping frustrations, to hear from experts on caravanning tips, or visit large scale camping displays accommodating just about any campsite whim.

And if you’re struggling to formulate your next adventure, you’ll find plenty of inspiring advice from passionate locals spruiking their tourism regions, holiday parks, and caravanning adventures.

2 – Quality control and the RVMAP keys

As technology evolves, caravans, camper trailers, hybrids and other RVs are forever increasing in complexity. Thankfully, Caravan Industry Association of Australia helps manufacturersdot their i’s and cross their t’s with the voluntary RVMAP program. Program fees fund training programs and a compliance schedule that includes regular inspections for every business advertising an RVMAP Key.

RVMAP key program
RVMAP key program

Indeed last year over 1,200 industry products were inspected from 191 manufacturers, with a further 1,000 business visits conducted following these inspections.

Inspections focus on compliance to Australian Standards and Federal Compliance Regulations. In addition to the scheduled checks, Technical Teams carry out blitz reviews on RV product away from the manufacturing premises targeting the five or six most common compliance concerns.

Although voluntary, participation rates are high, which is reassuring as more of us push our rigs to the limit venturing off road.

Accreditation Keys cover different aspects of the caravan and camping industry including Service Safe, for quality assurance when servicing your RV, through to retail dealerships, industry suppliers, caravan/holiday parks, and soon to be salespersons. 

3 – Driver safety

Through television, online, via magazines, at caravan shows and even road-side, our caravan associations strive to improve driver safety.

Sensible, verified advice covering towing techniques, gas safety, vehicle weights and more debunk the myths and bring clarity for better decisions on and off the tracks.

In fact, during peak travelling periods, many local industry associations facilitate complementary weight and safety checks mid-journey.

4 – Jobs, training and mentorships

To ensure manufacturing processes evolve with integrity, industry associations are putting in place training schemes that deliver qualifications in the workplace. In fact, CIV has just launched a new job-search in a bid to attract talent nationwide.

And bringing together industry’s brightest stars is CIAA’s Future Leaders Program. Here, young industry personnel across different industry sectors learn industry best practices that improve transparency, industry communication, standards and customer relations.

Ultimately designed on delivering better outcomes for you.

5 – Creating new spaces to camp and play

Mars campers awards of excellence Finalists
Mars campers awards of excellence Finalists

We’ve talked a lot about what RV manufacturers are doing to encourage camping and caravanning Australia wide but our caravan and holiday parks are hard at work enhancing your play as well.

In Queensland, for example, the Bush Oasis Holiday Park is building a new wetland. And Ceduna Shelly Beach Caravan Park has its own publically-accessible dune walk. Day visitors can kick-back spring-side free of charge at Lake Jubilee Holiday Park. While in Bunbury, Discovery Parks – Bunbury Village is building and managing a fabulous, free water park with big rig parking in agreement with the City of Bunbury.

Indeed, across Australia, many members of the caravan and camping industry collaborate with all levels of government creating new places to stay, improved safety and better experiences for consumers.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia, for example, was instrumental in negotiating funding for caravan park defibrillator subsidy funded by the Federal Government, later negotiating a partnership with DefibsPlus. This has already seen over 225 defibrillators installed in caravan parks since July 2019.

The Next Steps

If you need help choosing the next camper trailer or are thinking about upgrading your existing one, contact the Mars team today. We’d be happy to help and answer any inquiries you have about your camper trailers.

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