A favorite vehicle for getaways, the motorhome is still and always popular in the hearts and garages of the French. But when summer arrives, their price increases, the models are not always available and motorhome owners will, as usual, prefer the months of June and September to go on vacation.
In France, there are 560,000 recreational vehicles registered according to Camping-car Park, the leading European network of stopover areas for these vehicles. Practical, they will allow thousands of vacationers to escape during the holidays.
But with prices rising and models not always available as summer looms, why are leisure vehicles still favored by many French people? Which models are popular? And what are the best destinations to go by motorhome? Focus before summer.
The motorhome, synonymous with freedom…
Since its invention more than 100 years ago, a key word has been associated with the motorhome: “ First, freedom, to access several places easily and second, to do weekends when you want “, explains Mathieu, a salesman in a dealership in the North specializing in motorhomes. ” Especially for couples or families with limited means because it allows to reduce the cost, from year to year, and even to offer it for rental. »
According to a recent study by Camping-car Park, in 2021, more than 100,000 motorhomes were registered in France, a record. ” We are on a basic trend, for more than 10 years, we have experienced a 5% increase each year “, explains Olivier Coudrette, director of Camping-car Park. ” There was a considerable acceleration with the covid, people needed to have their house on wheels. And the manufacturers foresee a doubling of registrations within 5 years. »
The only obstacle to escape this summer: the price of fuel, which is constantly increasing. Despite maintaining the discount of 18 cents per liter for the month of August, diesel will probably be around 2 euros per liter this summer, which constitutes a constraint in motorhome travel for 82% of respondents . ” They will therefore consider staying longer in the same reception area “, some having planned to cover fewer stages or even to stay in their region of residence.
… but its price keeps rising
” We’ve had four price increases this year alone warns Mathieu, the seller. ” From the small van to the large heavyweight motorhome, prices are rising and those of today will not be those of tomorrow. In question: the shortage of semiconductors which continues to affect the production of vehicles, as well as the rise in the price of raw materials. ” Usually in the catalog we offer a hundred models. There, it’s more like 50. » « To find some for purchase seems almost impossible to me, they will really be the bottoms of the drawer of the concessions adds Olivier Coudrette.
And the customers are logically timidly at the rendezvous, June usually representing a rush period in the concessions. ” But we are facing a problem of refusal of sales,” underlines Mathieu, “ with uncertain delivery times, which causes the traffic with us to begin to calm down. »
But motorhome lovers can turn to rental platforms, which have been spreading for several years, such as Wikicampers.fr. ” Over the last three years, there has been use of 50 nights per year. This year, it will be more like 70 nights because people no longer hesitate to make the purchase profitable. »
In terms of prices, the classic streamlined 4-seater motorhome is found around the “ 70,000 euros whereas four years ago it was more like 50,000 euros, and it will resume a 10% increase in September “, according to Matthew. We find for example at this price the Challenger 328 or the Pilot P746. RVs with more amenities require ” a budget of around €80-85,000, or even €100,000 for high-end products. »
For less than €50,000, you will mainly find vans, without options, such as the popular Roller Team Livingstone 2 or the low-cost CV 540 DB from Etrusco.
In vogue, Brittany and New Aquitaine for June and September
Last year, 98% of them announced that they wanted to spend their holidays in France due to health constraints according to Camping-car Park. This year, with the end of the crisis, they would be 82% to escape to their country. These travelers will therefore of course participate, but surely to a lesser extent, in the French economy.
” The economic contribution of motorhome owners during the season is estimated at more than 1.3 billion euros,” says Laurent Morice, founder of Camping-Car Park. ” They will continue to travel without going too far and consuming more locally. In detail, a couple would spend an average of €56 each day, €44 for local economic players and €12 for accommodation.
According to the Camping-car Park study, out of a representative sample of 4,000 motorhome owners, these holidaymakers should choose Brittany as region no. 1 (18.4%), i.e. approximately 4.5 million nights on the 24.5 million expected throughout the summer. ” It is also in the west that we have nearly 50% of registrations “, underlines the CEO of Camping-car Park.
Stays in New Aquitaine (16.5%), Occitanie (14.7%) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (12.4%) will also be given priority. The end of the health crisis in Europe should also lead 37% of travelers to turn to neighboring countries, such as Spain and Italy.
Finally, unlike classic owners of city cars or SUVs, motorhome owners should leave more “ in June and September concludes XXX. They will thus avoid the crowd and rest ” mostly more than 4 weeks this summer “. Even better, 18% live year-round in their motorhome. The dream for the whole year.
*In this study, nearly 80% of respondents are over 54 years old.