An increasing number of grey nomads and younger families are hitting the open road in search of adventure. According to Tourism Research Australia, the year to June 2017 saw 11.6 million caravanning and camping overnight trips within Australia, with almost 50 million domestic visitor nights in total reflecting the longer trips taken. And the forecast for this year is for further growth.
Australia’s burgeoning caravan manufacturing industry has expanded to meet demand. The year 2017 saw 21,841 recreational vehicles manufactured in Australia, the second largest year for manufacturing since 1981.
Accessing the country’s beautiful and often remote attractions is a major undertaking. Not only must a tow vehicle be up to the challenge of lugging a caravan, the caravan itself must be every bit as safe, reliable and sturdy as the SUV or car towing it. Victoria’s JB Caravans uses DuraGal C450PLUS® to ensure its range of rugged and lightweight caravans meet those requirements.
We chose C450PLUS because it was in line with our company mission of liveability, reliability, and durability.Matt Aleksoski, JB Caravans
JB Caravans has been building off-road-capable caravans out of its Campbellfield manufacturing plant for eight years. The company makes over 600 caravans every year, with production set to expand now that it has begun to make on-road caravans.
JB Caravan Marketing Manager Matt Aleksoski says the company manufactures chassis assemblies and most of the caravan in-house. He says the strength of the structural tube used in construction is paramount to the quality of the finished caravan product. He says JB Caravans uses DuraGal C450PLUS® structural tube to ensure its products can withstand the harsh conditions associated with Outback touring.
“We chose C450PLUS® because it was in line with our company mission of liveability, reliability and durability,” Matt says. “Being Australian-made and owned means we know the steel is strong and light, and that it can meet, if not exceed, Australian standards.”
The superior strength-to-weight ratio of DuraGal C450PLUS®, which contributes to the long life of the caravan, and the fact that DuraGal C450PLUS® is ACRS certified, means JB Caravans can offer its customers a comprehensive 3-year structural warranty.
“We need to use a product that can withstand the harshest off-road conditions and C450PLUS® does just that. Our caravans are built for purpose and made tough for our difficult Australian conditions,” Matt says. We completely back our product by not limiting our customers’ usage of them. Our warranty stands even when our customers take their vans off-road.”
The right material for the job
JB Caravans use DuraGal® C450L0 sections manufactured to the strict standard AS/NZS 1163:2016. This high-strength, lightweight material is used to construct the drawbar and main frame of the caravan chassis providing additional strength where it’s needed most. The use of C450L0 material also means JB Caravans can construct a lighter caravan chassis relative to other manufacturers that use lesser grades.
DuraGalPLUS® sections are coated with a minimum average zinc coating mass of 100g/m2, (ZB100/100) both inside and out, which combines superior strength with elongation and weldability.
Durability is a key benefit offered by DuraGalPLUS® as result of its heavier galvanized zinc coating compared to other galvanized finishes, which have coatings less than half the thickness.
Supply of DuraGalPLUS® product to JB Caravans looks set to increase as the company pursues its ambitious plans for growth. The firm has acquired one of the largest caravan manufacturing plants in the country and has implemented sophisticated manufacturing technology and machinery to enable it to build its new range of on-road caravans.
“We are always looking to expand our product offering and we listen to what the consumer wants to see as we improve our range,” Matt says.
Read more about JB Caravans here.