On the road again: Caravan business booms during travel restrictions

More Mandurah residents than ever are shackling caravans to their cars as they look to explore their own state amid the current travel restrictions.

High demand has seen prices in second-hand caravans skyrocket while business has almost tripled for one local dealership, as local holidaymakers look to get out on the road.

Mandurah Caravan and RV Centre has sold more than 140 vans in the past three months.

To put that in perspective, a regular sales rate would usually see the team sell about 50 over that time period.

The remarkable uptake in sales has left them with just seven caravans in what is usually a packed out display yard, and only one of them remains up for grabs.

Mandurah Caravan and RV Centre sales consultant Ray Horn, service manager Phil Heiniger and general manager Grant Wiltshire. Photo: Justin Rake.

Mandurah Caravan and RV Centre sales consultant Ray Horn, service manager Phil Heiniger and general manager Grant Wiltshire. Photo: Justin Rake.

"I've been in the business some 30 years and I've never seen anything like it," Mandurah Caravan and RV Centre general manager Grant Wiltshire said.

"You could land a plane in our yard at the moment we've sold that many."

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Visiting tourism hot spots like Broome and Exmouth in the north and Margaret River and Esperance in the south has long been a favourite pastime for Mandurah folks, but Mr Wiltshire said he now found himself selling to people who had never owned a caravan in their life.

"That's what I can't believe - just how many people who have never tried this are now taking it up," he said.

"I suppose with no planes in the sky it's become a pretty popular holiday method, but we never expected it to rise this rapidly."

The boom in business came as somewhat of a godsend for the local caravan industry, with most dealerships suffering throughout the early stages of the pandemic as regional travel restrictions came into play.

With local unable to leave the Peel and metropolitan areas, there was little need for a caravan.

"It was grim," Mr Wiltshire said.

"Those internal restrictions definitely put the clamps on us. Like many businesses we had to make some tough decision to lay staff off at the time and it looked a bit bleak.

"But the recent activity in sales has well and truly made up for it now, and I think people in general are just keen to support local businesses at the moment."

Mr Wiltshire expects the boom in sales to continue for "at least the next 12 months" with the WA government yet to signal an end date to their hard border stance.

Premier Mark McGowan said last week that total elimination of COVID-19 community transmission was the benchmark for reopening the borders.

All states and territories except WA agreed at Friday's national cabinet meeting to aim to reopen their borders by Christmas.