RVing Is Starting to Boom in This Overseas Country

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View of a skyline in China

Although RV travel is relatively new in China, its popularity is growing. And even though the prices are high, citizens are willing to pay to get out and explore.

Most customers are retirees looking to adventure rather than settle in a retirement home. They want a new lifestyle of fun and adventure.

Let’s look at this growing trend, as some Chinese people are going against the traditional norms of their society!

How Much Does an RV in China Cost?

Like RVs in the United States, RVs in China have a wide range of pricing. They can go for anywhere from 150,000 to 750,000 Yuan, which equals about $23,000 to $116,000 USD. 

However, you’ll find very few Class A motorhomes and large fifth wheels in China. Most of the options are small camper vans and travel trailers.

Who Are RV Owners in China?

Most RV owners in China are retired and over the age of 50. However, an increasing number of 40 to 50-year-olds have begun seeking the outdoor travel lifestyle over the last couple of years. 

Many Chinese people want to continue an active lifestyle rather than sit in a retirement home.

Why Is RVing Growing in Popularity in China?

RVs give people the freedom to go almost anywhere. You don’t have to rely on hotel accommodations. You can drive wherever your heart leads you. This flexibility is a draw for many people, not only in China.

Plus, it can be a cheaper way to travel. Camping overnight in China is very affordable. One traveler explained that he paid 60 Yuan for parking, water, and electricity daily. That’s less than $8 USD.

In addition, the road infrastructure in China has improved. In fact, “From 2016 to 2020, China built or rebuilt more than 1.4 million kilometers of rural roads.” This means auto travel to anywhere in the country is becoming easier.

Do You Need a Special License to Drive an RV in China?

In 2022, China introduced a new driving license for certain types of RVs. C1 and C2 licenses allow you to drive a passenger vehicle up to 6 meters long and under 4,500 kilograms. 

The new C6 license allows you to drive light towing trailers weighing up to 4,500 kilograms. To earn the C6 license, you must pass a written and driving test. As of October 2022, Chinese authorities had issued 346,000 C6 licenses.

Keep in Mind: Do you need a special license to drive an RV in the United States? Let’s find out!

Who Is the Largest RV Manufacturer in China?

In April 2011, Maxus, a subsidiary of SAIC Motor, unveiled its first RV, a V80 van. Since then, Maxus has expanded to sell RVs in Thailand, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and other foreign countries.

SAIC Maxus produces a family of hard-roofed camper vans and Class B+ motorhomes. In 2021, it sold 1,362 RVs. 

However, the company doesn’t just produce RVs. It also manufactures SUVs like the Maxus D60, minivans like the Maxus G50, and pick-up trucks like the Maxus T90.

What Challenges Do RV Manufacturers Face in China?

However, RVing in China isn’t a piece of cake. This country faces challenges similar to those U.S. manufacturers face. The various landscapes and climates of China mean RVs need to be able to handle rugged terrain, snowy conditions, and extreme heat. 

The province of Heilongjiang is known as “China’s North Pole,” while the cities of Chongqing, Wuhan, and Nanjing are called the “Three Furnaces.”

But the campground infrastructure is also young. It has insufficient campsites and a great need for integrating scenic locations with camping. Height limitations on Chinese roads and heavy traffic also limit development in the RV industry.

However, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other government bodies recognize the need to develop camping to enhance domestic tourism.

They want to implement tent, group, and caravan campsites to encourage travel and outdoor recreation. China may be young in its process, but it’s seeking to grow its RV industry.

Keep in Mind: If you’re looking to avoid crowded areas on your next getaway, then you’ll want to avoid these Destinations in 2023!

In What Part of the World Are the Most RVs Sold?

Asia News reported that “the global RV market exceeded $70 billion in 2021” and “the North American RV market accounted for $25 billion.” North America and Europe dominate the RV industry. Germany sold over 106,000 units in 2021.

RV ownership is also much higher in North America and Europe. About 30% of Americans own an RV, while less than 1% of Chinese people own an RV. So although the RV industry in China is growing and has potential, it’s far behind the world leaders.

Multiple RVs parked next to each other in China

Local Tourism Increasing as RV Boom Continues in China

As Maxus and other RV manufacturers in China continue diversifying options and creating innovative designs, the RV industry will continue to climb. 

Gen Zers will look for internet connectivity. Retirees will look for easy living accommodations. It will be interesting to see where the RV industry in China goes from here.

Will the challenges of building a stronger RV sector be too much, or will the various players make the necessary changes?

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