Everyone who buys a motorhome has a wish list - leather seats, toilet and shower or perhaps extensive water storage. But sometimes it’s not practical to buy the bells and whistles all at once.
Many RV owners take their time and settle into their new home away from home, and purchase accessories to suit their travel style and needs once they have done a few trips. It can be anything from simple accessories such as an awning to an overhaul of their RV’s kitchen or heating supply.
Neil Macpherson, Production Manager Australia at RV Sales Centre in Melbourne, says this is a growing business for the team, which build motorhomes and campers for rent and refurbish ex-rental vehicles for sale under the Kea brand. But it’s not just those who have bought a vehicle from their yard.
“We have customers who come off the street who haven’t necessarily purchased a vehicle from us,” he says. “We have had people come in with Winnebagos, Avidas as well as our own vehicles. They might want a diesel heater, extra solar panels, bike racks, awnings, batteries and that kind of thing.”
Macpherson says it is a huge trend to ‘upscale’ and RV owners sometimes don’t know what they really need until they start using their RV.
The Sales Centre offers a large array of accessories in the front sales area, but there is also a huge warehouse onsite stocked with more than 500 line items. Stored here is everything from motorhome doors to roof hatches, bolts and fittings. The company also has similar warehouses in other states in aligned dealerships which are designed to help RV owners who want to upgrade while on the road, or those who need affordable replacement parts.
“There was a lot of effort put in two years ago by myself and a colleague, we travelled around the country and set up every storeroom in Australia so each site holds from 300-450 line items,” he says.
“We are interested in keeping the costs down, so we are constantly sourcing a part of a part. Roof hatches are a prime example where you are always losing a roof hatch lid - we have those lids in our warehouse. Why pay a few hundred dollars for the whole hatch when you can only pay $40-$50 for a lid that you can replace yourself.”
UNDER THE BONNET
Macpherson says the Centre also offers mechanical servicing to RV owners, whether it’s a KEA model or any other. This could be advantageous, he says, for those travelling from other regions who find they need mechanical assistance.
“Our on-site qualified mechanic handles all manner of servicing requirements,” he says. “We offer servicing for all types of motorhomes, whether it’s a new van purchased from our RV Sales Centre or another brand. Our customers are Melbourne locals as well as those passing through town on their big adventure around Australia.”
The Centre’s fleet of rental motorhomes and campervans are serviced regularly to meet their on-road requirements, and every ex-rental unit that passes through the factory for refurbishment is also given a full service and roadworthy inspection so it is ready for the sales yard.
Roadworthy certificates are available on request to customers.
“We have had repeat customers and first-time customers come in and have servicing done,” Macpherson says.
“They are qualified mechanics so they are qualified to work on any type of vehicle and we have seen Toyotas, Volkswagens, Mercedes but also Ford Transits and Fiats in the factory.”