Thursday, 29 November 2012

Caravan marketing: Stuck in the 1950s?

It is late in the day, and I've had a long and challenging day in the day job. I've enjoyed a Jack Daniels or two, so I am tired and maybe a little too emotional.

But I am starting to get really angry at narrow-mindedness and being discriminated against.

'For what?' I hear you ask.

I'll tell you...  I am sick and tired of being discriminated against for having the audacity and the balls to get out there and live a full and happy life on my own, without a partner.

I completely understand that couples and families make up the overwhelming majority of the UK's caravanning community, as I have already mentioned in an article written for the progressive and forward-thinking company Cover4Caravans insurance.

About 12 years ago I bought my first ever brand new caravan, an ABI Adventurer from Glossop Caravans. I was made up.

My elation was somewhat deflated on the day I collected it, when I saw the pre-printed 'Sold' sign in the window..

Twelve years on, a friend has excitedly posted the picture of the 'Sold' sign in their caravan. It is the SAME pre-printed sign as so upset me all those years ago. And it still makes me angry.  Intensely.

Here it is, with the hand written names obliterated of course:

Can you spot what riles me off so intensely?

Imagine you were recently bereaved or divorced. Setting up on your own in your dream caravan is one of the first steps you are taking in your Brave New Life. Can you see in this sign what might put the recovery process back by three months?

Spotted it yet? Yup, it is the pre-printed 'and' along the line upon which the salesperson writes the name of the purchaser. Sorry, purchaserS.

Who says that it will always be a couple?

Here we are in the 21st Century, yet the industry is still using signs that belong in the 1950s. Life has moved on.

Single, couple, family... each status has its pros and cons.

But here is a bit of shocking news for the caravan industry: Not every purchaser these days is going to a be a white middle-class heterosexual middle-aged couple. Caravanning, the joy and the freedom that it brings, and the egalitarianism of enjoying ones own standards wherever one goes, is not governed by ridiculous rules of status or social background.

Caravanning is for everyone, ESPECIALLY pragmatists who can actually think for themselves. Part of that pragmatism is not always conforming to the social stereotypes of a bygone age.

It's time for the dealers and marketeers to wake up to that.

Rant over.


  1. The whole caravan industry seems to be stuck in the 1950s as far as customer service goes.

    Yes,they have made huge advances in technology fitted to caravans, but the debacle of trying to book a service or having a fault rectified under warrantee belongs in the Stone Ages.

    And the looks you get from a dealer when you suggest that the product should be 100% in working order and finished to an acceptable standard makes you feel like thye prime exhibit in the Star Wars bar scene!!

  2. As a single I too have felt the pinch of discrimination because not only am I single but I am a woman and the looks and questions are as the above writer put it "makes you feel like the prime exhibit in the Star Wars bar scene!". I have been driving owning vehicles like farm tractors, trucks and cars also hauled fifth wheels, class A's C's longer than some of the reps have been alive! It makes my blood boil ! OK rant over =)