Deeson RV Impresses Sydney Showgoers

Added: 29 April 2013

words & photos - Chris Fincham
Chinese-built vans with Euro looks and tempting pricetags turn heads at NSW Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow

Despite having one of the smallest caravan displays, with just five vans representing two models, the Deeson RV stand at the recent nine-day Sydney Supershow managed to generate “lots of good feedback” and attract four buyers, according to Deeson RV’s Bob Bourke.

Launched in 2012 by a team that includes Steve Edwards from NSW caravan dealer Parravans, the locally-designed and tested Deeson RV is the latest bold attempt by an Australian company at manufacturing a range of premium caravans in China.

Bourke, who regularly travels to China to oversee production and quality control, said setting up the factory in Changzhou in order to comply with all Australian standards was a “long and arduous process” that took five years.

The vans are shipped to Australia around 70 per cent complete, with final fit-out, as well as gas, electrical and other compliance work completed in NSW.

On display in Sydney were the company’s first two 22ft and 23ft shower/toilet ‘Forest’ models, boasting ‘show special’ pricing from $57,900 tow-away, which also included a bonus 120W solar panel and regulator.

The company is planning to roll out other, similar models in different lengths including a smaller, 17ft ensuite van later this year.

The vans are built using the latest construction techniques, with aluminium chassis as well as 30mm thick fibreglass/composite walls and roof and 24mm honeycomb flooring, all one piece.

With no traditional frame, the gel-coat finished panels are bonded together with “screws and Sikaflex” for a finish that “is completely waterproof, it won’t absorb any water,” claims Bourke.

The vans are also reasonably light, with the 23ft model on display boasting a 2150kg Tare and 2550kg ATM. The aluminium chassis saves about 67kg, although the heavy, granite benchtops used inside for a more premium feel, counteracts some of the weight savings.

Adding to the sleek Euro-style exterior look are moulded covers for the A-frame-mounted gas bottles, spare wheel, front window and boot lid, which neatly swings up rather than out.

The interiors have a fairly traditional timber look, with laser cut, plywood furniture and a full complement of Dometic appliances.

Fitted standard with all the equipment expected on a luxury caravan, from an upright washing machine to outside speakers and BBQ, Bourke said the Deeson RV is “good value for money, considering the inclusions and quality of the vans.”

However, it might take more than bargain prices to fully convince local caravan buyers, who tend to be quite conservative, not to mention parochial.

Although cheap, Chinese-built camper trailers are an increasingly popular choice Down Under, it appears Chinese-built caravans have been less readily accepted. NSW’s GrandCruiser has had mixed success with importing vans, and now offers a range of both Australian and Chinese-built RVs.

While Exclusive Caravans appears to have hit a wall after a promising start, with its general manager Peter Russell now working at SeaChange Caravans, while the solitary dealer listed on the company's website no longer stocks Exclusive's vans.

Deeson RV caravans are currently available at the two Parravans dealerships in NSW, with a Melbourne dealer to be announced soon. 


Published : Monday, 29 April 2013


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