Meet the KEA Dealers Across Australia
Experts & Passionate About the RV lifestyle
Buying a campervan or motorhome is a serious investment and, as a buyer, you want to deal with people who are not only experts in these types of RVs, but are passionate about the lifestyle.
Our KEA dealers help to get you on your own journey. We’re not just motorhome dealers, we’re the real deal.
Mark Roche, Dealer Principal with Queensland RV on the sunny Sunshine Coast, has been involved in his family’s business since it started 30 years ago.
He and his team specialise in second-hand motorhomes and here he chats about the business and the customers he serves.
Tell Us a Bit About Queensland RV.
We got started back in 1984 so we have been in it for over 30 years now. It’s a family business. My father Tony started it and now myself and my twin brother Colin run it. We first started with commercial vehicles and then branched into motorhomes not long after when we traded our very first motorhome and discovered that it was something we would like to get into.
Were Motorhomes Popular in the 198s?
Oh yes, right up until 2007 when the GFC happened. Of course now things have changed with steady share markets and things like that. The price point has come down — we concentrate on selling used motorhomes these days which is why we joined with THL. We started with them in March 2019. Before that we were selling new motorhomes from many different brands.
Why Did You Think Motorhomes Would Be a Good Fit for You?
Our business is located on the Sunshine Coast, and the demographic is retirees and we are right in amongst clientele who buy them.
What Sort of Customers Do you Mainly Have?
Semi-retired or retired. Some are still working part-time but mostly over 55.
At the moment people are downsizing which is why we find the campervans seem to be quite popular. In fact, the age group that are buying campervans at the moment are full retirees, so 65-plus. I think it has a lot to do with how manoeuvrable they are. As we get a bit older we probably lose a bit of confidence driving a large motorhome around and parking. But still the travelling bug never leaves you, so they will downsize into a smaller one.
How Do You Find the Right Vehicle for Each Customer?
It’s purely focusing on listening to the customer and finding out what their intention of touring is. If they are looking to only to spend up to a month away or a week here or there, well the campervan generally suits that style.
Whereas if they are touring for a few months or going around Australia then we would recommend a motorhome where you can carry more weight and have a lot more storage space.
Do Most People Want a Toilet and Shower?
It’s a must. We do still sell the little campervans but at the moment we are selling the Crafter and the Sprinter-based models which are 23ft long and not a small campervan, but more manoeuvreable and not as big and bulky. Models like the Nomad and 2+1.
What’s Your Advice to First-time Buyers?
Concentrating on the floorplan is essential. The motor is important but if you don’t get the floorplan right, you will seriously hate it. So getting on to a company which understands and has sold to a lot of first-time buyers and can suggest a few floorplans is invaluable.
If customers are really unsure, we recommend they go and hire a motorhome for a week just to see if the lifestyle what they really want to do. Whether it’s a privately-owned used motorhome with lower kilometers or a higher-kilometre ex-rental motorhome, it is generally the floorplan that wins the customer over.
KEA’s Vehicles are Ex-rentals, What Do you Think are Their Strong Points?
The selling points is the build quality. KEA is renowned and has been in the industry for quite a while now so confidence in the brand is always there. Every KEA comes with a two-year warranty from us — that’s included. We don’t ask the customer to pay for that. We offer the mechanical warranty just to give the customer peace of mind if the kays are starting to creep into their ‘why I should’ or ‘why I shouldn’t’ mentality.
We have found the KEA models are very attractive to first-time buyers.
And the Price is a Selling Point too?
Absolutely. At the moment the used market seems to be a price-driven market. So having the THL product at a good price point most certainly raises eyebrows. If they can save up to $10,000 on a like-for-like used or privately owned vehicle, they will certainly find it inviting enough to give us a deposit.
Do you Travel Much Yourself?
We will grab a week here or there and that is not enough time to go on a tour. We have always camped and enjoyed that lifestyle, that’s for sure. Yeppoon is a lovely getaway where you can relax or get right into it if you like. Anywhere where there is a beach is for me!
Do you Have Any Bucket-list Destinations?
I would love to visit Western Australia, I have never been out west. Over the many years we have talked to customers it sounds absolutely wonderful out there. You can travel for a whole day and not see anybody.
And that’s what motorhomes are about — it’s about being outside as well as it is nice and comfortable and you have your amenities inside.
Do you Give Customers Travel Advice?
What we tell people is you can certainly plan your trip but the more regimented it is, the more you are stuck to that schedule. So every now and then it is always a good idea to turn left and go!
Visit Mark and the team at Queensland RV at 248 Nicklin Way, Warana, 4575, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Ph: (07) 5493 4699
Rob McMahon, owner of Megamart RV Sales in Pakenham just outside Melbourne, is a ‘been there, done that’ kind of traveller who has sold the KEA brand for nearly 15 years.
We had a chat with him about his business, his favourite KEA model and the kinds of customers he has seen over the years.
How did Megamart RV Sales Begin?
I’ve been in the motor vehicle business for 36 years and in 2000 started Berwick Commercials which re-sold ex-government 4WD and commercial vehicles. We shifted focus to Kea’s 4WD and leisure vehicles in 2005.
Why did you Decide to Branch Out and Start to Sell Motorhomes?
Having travelled Australia extensively over many years, I thought it was a good idea to do combine work and pleasure. It’s a great area to work in, and it was an extension of what we were doing at the time.
Also, not a lot of people were doing it back then, or at least it was a limited market, and at that stage a little bit ahead of its time. Motorhomes and campers were starting to kick off in the early 2000s.
You’re the One of the Biggest Dealers in Victoria — How did you Know Demand Was Rising?
We could see a demand for it and KEA was a great supply chain of different vehicle types. Once we started dealing with the campers and motorhomes specifically they attracted their own clientele and it grew from there.
How Many People are in Your Team?
We have eight people who work across sales, administration and marketing. All of our service is outsourced so we are still a small family-run business.
What Kinds of People Buy Motorhomes and Why?
A lot of people are on a journey in life and looking for the next experience or going through a life change — maybe a partner has passed away or they are trying to do something they have wanted to do all their lives and they are retiring.
We get a lot of families too doing the so-called ‘lap of Australia’.
Has That Changed Over the Years?
It’s all really similar. But 25 percent of our customers are now single females — a really gutsy segment of the community that these girls are, later in life, packing up and getting in a motorhome and going.
They are great to deal with and they normally have a pretty big story to tell. They are packing up and leaving and having a life change. It’s no different to a sea change or a tree change. It’s a motorhome change.
Best Part About Selling Motorhomes?
We do get to meet a lot of people that have a fascinating story to tell — why are you packing up and doing this? Motorhome owners travel for a long, long time whereas with caravan people it is generally a holiday thing.
For a lot of people a motorhome is their new home — they are giving up the bricks and mortar are hitting the road and seeing where it takes them.
How do you Help People to Find the Right Vehicle?
With a few direct questions — what’s your budget, how many beds do you need and how many people are travelling. You can narrow it down very quickly and present what we have that suits. We walk them through the design and see if we can get them to cast aside their preconceptions and show them what you can do with a limited amount of space.
What Kinds of Budgets do Buyers Have, in Your Experience?
The new buyer is the retired-cashed up type looking to spend $150,000 to $200,000 or more — they won’t blink because it’s a lot less than what they got for their apartment or house they just sold. There are people in the middle range which is really popular, and then you have the folks who are sub $50,000. We therefore cater to all buyers and budgets.
KEA Motorhomes are Ex-rental Models, What are Their Major Selling Points?
KEA motorhomes are a far more affordable niche than what else is available on the market. They are up to five years old usually, mid-kilometres with cosmetic bumps, bruises and scratches but they are half price. They are well looked after — they have to be.
The build quality is so good that everything holds together really well. The rental fleet will show up any faults really quickly — they are tried and tested. The on-fleet service and maintenance is second to none. And they are family-friendly and hold their resale value.
Are Customers Worried About Buying a Secondhand Model?
Coming from the rental market may initially diminish the appeal of the vehicles in the customer’s eyes but we walk them through how well they are serviced and maintained.
Plus customers are not often aware that the vehicles have an onboard computer system called Telematics that controls how the vehicles are driven — this includes a speed limiter. People who rent the vehicles are not being reckless and doing ‘doughnuts’ in them — they are cruising along and enjoying the countryside.
What’s Your Favourite KEA Model?
We have a fleet of a four-berth VW Crafter-based model called the Beach. They are around $60,000 to $65,000 and have a fantastic layout. It is a well-priced, economical motorhome that can do everything that a motorhome priced up to $100,000 can do. They are one of our best buys.
Do you Have any Favourite Travel Spots?
Yes and they are all secret! As soon as it goes on Instagram it is ruined. I do walk the walk and talk the talk — I have been there, got bogged there and done that. It’s a great conversation piece bringing the campfire to the dealership but it is pretty hard to find a place out there now that you can have to yourself. You wouldn’t want to let it go.
Future Travel Plans?
We are lining up to do the Canning Stock Route and that is 4WD. I’d also love to do the coast of Western Australia again — I reckon it won’t have changed much since the 1980s! And we would do that in a motorhome. Anywhere there are no flies would be good!
Visit Rob and the team at Megamart RV Sales at Lot 20, Car Megamart, 28 Commercial Drive, Pakenham, Victoria.
Ph: (03) 5941 4199