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Old 20th August 2006, 15:47   #1
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Default Caravans - Why not in India ?

Today morning a thought occurred to me -

Why are Caravans not popular in India ? I think they make perfect sense here. For about 15 L (Im guessing here), you can get a fully furnished Caravan with everything you want.

Get yourself a chauffer and sit in the comfort of your "HOME" , nothing to bother you.

1) You can be at peace when you get to work / home.

2) You can carry out business in privacy saving time.

3) You can take a quick nap when going from one end of town to another or from a meeting to another.

4) You could simply relax with your fav music / movie while being driven.

5) Best of all , you can travel anywhere for a holiday in the country without having to bother about hotel / train / flight reservations.

6) Spares / Mantainence is not too high too as Caravan will be built on a Bajaj Tempo chasis (correct me here if Im wrong).

7) A big family car with awesome comfort for all.

There are many pros but cons too -

1) You won't look "cool" arriving in a Caravan instead of a Honda Accord.

2) Too huge for the city to take around.

3) Built on a Bajaj Tempo (LS image perhaps?)

What else ? So why arent these Caravans popular here ?

Heck the more I think about it , the more Im convinced that my next car has to be a "Caravan".

What are your views people ?
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Old 20th August 2006, 16:36   #2
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In order for caravans to be popular...they need to sell a lot.
To sell a lot, there should be lot of buyers, but as of now, the common man does not have that kind of money to splurge on caravans....

And the idea of driving on our roads from one end of the country isnt exactly appealing now is it? It works in America because of their excellent road connectivity, good quality caravans, and their lifestyle is such that they want everything big....including their cars, so they probably dont mind paying even if the price maybe high.

But in India, people think more practically, every penny saved is a penny earned. Good infrastructure, higher per capita income and something which is not based on a tempo chassis, dedicated caravans like in the US and not something which is adapted are steps towards caravans. But i dont think caravans can really be a success in our country.
My 2 cents.

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Last edited by drifter : 20th August 2006 at 16:38.
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Old 20th August 2006, 17:38   #3
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I think they would work in India. They can ride on various factors :

1. The increased readiness of the middle-class to splurge
2. The contant (though painstakingly slow) improvements in the highway network.
3. The "vacation culture" that is spreading in our country.

But before they can really catch on, our cities and tourist destinations needs some "caravan infrastructure" like power lines and water supply and caravan parks.

Guess that is a chicken and egg story though.
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Old 20th August 2006, 17:44   #4
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Rambo ,

Agree with you on the infrastructure part there. We definitely need to have such infrastructure in place. Also its all about marketing - positioning of the product. if thats done well, anything will sell. If flats can be sold as lifestyle products , why not the caravan ?

Heck maan , guys can you get me info on how about going about getting a caravan ?? Please??
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Old 20th August 2006, 17:55   #5
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Last year, I met a couple of German gentlemen and ladies in Gangtok.
They were going around the world in such caravans.

Having been thru their caravans, i feel we are not ready yet in terms of physical infrastructure (roads, service centres) for those vehicles.

Also, India is more VFM. Difficult to imagine too many Indians buring fuel driving around the country in caravans.
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Old 20th August 2006, 18:08   #6
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Advantages 1, 4 and 6 are available to you in any other car. Number 7 can be satisfied by vehicles like Innova.

So that leaves those who want to either work in their vehicles (the work has to be more than doing stuff on laptop, because that can be done in any other car as well) or those who are on the road with their families most of the time.
This set of audience is very miniscule in my opinion. Small enough for a caravan to be not ubiquitous.

In western coutries such rides are popular with retired folks.
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Old 20th August 2006, 18:16   #7
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we had a make-shift caravan with our relatives, in a tempo-traveller!
they used it for some 2-3 years and then sold it out of frustration!

it was a pain to drive in city and small hilly towns during weekends!
and the worst part was its parking! they used to park it in open and it used to eat up the area meant for abt 4 cars!
they got frustrated over niggling conflicts with neighbours over parking and also with parking-attendants in commercial parking lots!

plus it was a fuel guzzler and needed constant maintenance of all fixtures fitted in!
they were using a generator at its back to cool the huge cabin!

to enjoy their life they sold it and bought a sedan!
and now they are like you and me! Happy..............
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Old 20th August 2006, 20:29   #8
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N_C with our roads getting crowded every day do you really fancy caravans running through our city ?

Quote:
Agree with you on the infrastructure part there. We definitely need to have such infrastructure in place.
Forget infrastructure for caravans lets have infrastructure for normal 4 door sedans first.
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Old 20th August 2006, 20:40   #9
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Licencing is still an issue: anything bigger than a MUV ends up being classified as a commercial vehicle, and one would need a CV driver badge to drive these vehicles. Guess, the closest would be to build on a trailer and then hitch that to a 207 DI EX ..

RV's, as they are called in the US can be driven with our regular licence there. There's a lot of infra for RV's, like in RV parks. Tourist places have RV facilities where you can dump waste, stock up water .. even other wise, one could just park in any rest area for the night when travelling.

We are way behind on this .. It's long long way to the RV park ..
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Old 20th August 2006, 21:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy
Heck maan , guys can you get me info on how about going about getting a caravan ?? Please??
NC, I agree with Condor here. I had actually thought a lot about buying a Tempo-Traveller and splurging some luxuries into it to make it into an RV for purely picniking along with the family and perhaps cross-country travelling.. You cannot imagine using this vehicle for office-commute or for shopping.. But this could be a third vehicle in the garage..

As Condor noted, the 207-DI EX, Hooked up to another trailor on-axle is another way to go.. But handling and parking a trailor can have its own problems in the congested roads that we have in the country..

The Yellow-Badge thing sure put me off along with the lack of facilities.. Besides you'll have a curious bunch of village children peeking in your vehicle in every-town big or small..

Last edited by man23ish : 20th August 2006 at 21:16.
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Old 20th August 2006, 21:19   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revharder
plus it was a fuel guzzler and needed constant maintenance of all fixtures fitted in! they were using a generator at its back to cool the huge cabin!
Well the Tempo-Travellor in itself is not a fuel-guzzler. It provides a decent kmpl of diesel and comes with the OM-611 CRDI engine option as well.. But yeah the maintenance of all the fixtures and A/C, etc might cost a bit more.
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Old 20th August 2006, 21:35   #12
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I'd love to own a caravan. Only prob would be space.

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Old 20th August 2006, 22:21   #13
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We already have enough parking and traffic problems. Caravans becoming popular is just going to make it worse.

Its not something that you can use on a day-to-day basis. Its far too impractical. Moreover, the parking space is an issue.

It'd be great for top businessmen who can afford a nice one. So they'd be exclusive and there'd be less on the road. And there is just one person who can do the job well - DC. Parekh coach builders are also good.

Last edited by Gordon : 20th August 2006 at 22:23.
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Old 21st August 2006, 21:28   #14
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I think the Bajaj tempo caravan idea would'nt take off because it would be too expensive and for that price Indians would rather buy a merc or Accord. The best is to have the smaller caravan that can be towed by a car. But guys, these small towable caravans can be rented out and that's a real cheap way to go caravaning.

But Caravans wouldn't take off in India, EVER! Some reasons for that.

1. Currently the government believes roads are a luxury so we can forget about RV parks and other caravan infrastructure.

2. Most potential caravan buyers will be the rich. Rich Indians do not go on a vacation to cook food, clean toilets , fetch water etc. To go caravaning you need to have a sense of adventure. Indians are not adventurous.

3. Currently, Indians can't drive hatchbacks. You can imagine the chaos and the accidents on our highways due to towing of caravans.

By the way, how many of you remember the hilarious Top Gear Caravaning episode?

Last edited by amit : 21st August 2006 at 21:31.
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Old 21st August 2006, 21:36   #15
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If there is a large enough market why doesn't someone start a self drive for hire caravan business. Just like Air Deccan is building or renovating airports in small towns, it may be possible to build caravan parks at large dhabbas all over the country.
Sounds like an idea!
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