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Old 05-10-2017, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Prices in North America VS Europe?

This may have been answered before, but does anyone have any idea why Class Bs are so much cheaper in Europe vs North America? Is it a volume thing since they are more popular in Europe vs North America? For example, here is a Hymer Aktiv (Grand Canyon in EU) for $54562.97 (converted from 50,165):

Hymercar Grand Canyon nuovo da Bonometti

And North America:

https://www.rvtrader.com/New-Or-Used...r&model=AKTIV&

From what I can tell the differences are AC is standard in NA, but other than that they look to be the same van (minus the better front end that RAM won't bring to NA).
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:35 PM   #2
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Because Americans are willing pay, one need to barter for a better price.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nebulight View Post
This may have been answered before, but does anyone have any idea why Class Bs are so much cheaper in Europe vs North America? Is it a volume thing since they are more popular in Europe vs North America? For example, here is a Hymer Aktiv (Grand Canyon in EU) for $54562.97 (converted from 50,165):
I've always wondered about that too, particularly since those prices include VAT sales tax (22% for Italy) whereas North American prices generally do not include sales/registration taxes that get added on later.

Looking at the Hymer EU price lists it's clear that many items such as passenger airbags, automatic transmission, and vehicle air-conditioning that would be standard in North America are optional in Europe. Nevertheless adding those options still results in pricing well below the best negotiated dealer prices in the US. Certainly helps explain why Class B / campervans are so popular with families in Europe, along with other factors like higher fuel costs.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:22 PM   #4
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along with other factors like higher fuel costs.
Not to mention incredibly narrow streets and roads.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:49 PM   #5
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I don;t know if this is a direct apples to apples-

the EU campervans I have seen ( not a lot) all have finish materials not quite as nice as what might be found here- more industrial.

EU prices also work within a common market as are vehicle regs- who know how much Fiat has to do to make the vehicle conform to US safety and emissions regs- which differ from EU regs
EU vehicles may be smaller diesel motor and manual transmission

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Old 05-10-2017, 03:59 PM   #6
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We purchased our first van – the VW Westfalia in 1977, followed with another one in 1985. They were great for our family of four and OK for growing family to five. During the late 80-ties we were camping in the Yosemite valley, my youngest son slept in the hammock stretched over the front seat with windows slightly open. In the morning, I noticed a bear footprints on the driver door window and this episode drove us towards larger RVs.

A few years ago, we realized that our RV was sitting in the storage not being used, so after a few whys we decided to go back to a van like RV. This was 2013.

Wow, since 1985 what a change, van campers became shiny, white leather, and primarily for 2. VW Westfalia stopped importing vans since the Daimler Benz acquisition of the Westfalia Company almost putting them under. The current style of camper vans, got a name of a B-class focused on retired couples. There are not many of van campers today able to accommodate young family in layout and price. Manufacturers jump on the cash loaded retirees market tuning to their desires of Keurigs and other comforts and most importantly huge profits.

In my view, it is a short-term strategy, we are getting older and in the meantime the younger generation is not exposed to the van camping fun, new customer need to be educated by marketing folks at their retiree ages. There is a good reason why Apple promotes their product at schools or Pelican gives pens for free in kindergartens. In EU van campers market spreads across age groups, from young families to retirees and I believe this is the reason why you can get a broader range of camper vans in floorplans and prices in EU.

So, in 2013 we look, and look, and look for a van which would bring back the Westfalia fun, have all windows around and we found none, most of them (except Safari Condo) were with limited windows, extravagant white leather with shiny cabinets while lacking the basic fit and finish. Fit and finish is for conversions which prices are 60% higher than the current median home price in US ($190K). I think it was the Airstream which had a gap of an inch on the bottom of the pullout cabinet, ouch. Most of them were not well tuned for actual camping, yes, I meant camping such as no white leather, they were more like LREs* without fireplaces and Grand Father Clocks.

Back to the original question why EU camper vans are less expensive, in my opinion it is the market of interest, broad in EU and narrow cash loaded retirees segment in NA. I truly hope that Hymer will make their market here as it is in EU, for young and old while maintaining sanity in profits.

George.


*LRE – Living Room Extension
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:03 PM   #7
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.

Most of the European RVs do not have air conditioning.

The cassette toilet is easier to install (less plumbing).

Most of the propane systems are simplier; with an in-cabin locker housing a standard portable propane tank.

ie. less through floor cut outs.

For the longest time North American RVs feature labour-intensive real wood joinery cabinets.

Europeans favor the snap-together Mechano/Ikea interior, I believe they are cheaper to make and easier to put together at the factory.

These are just a few differences I have observed.

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Old 05-10-2017, 09:55 PM   #8
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.

Most of the European RVs do not have air conditioning.

The cassette toilet is easier to install (less plumbing).

Most of the propane systems are simplier; with an in-cabin locker housing a standard portable propane tank.

ie. less through floor cut outs.

For the longest time North American RVs feature labour-intensive real wood joinery cabinets.

Europeans favor the snap-together Mechano/Ikea interior, I believe they are cheaper to make and easier to put together at the factory.

These are just a few differences I have observed.

Some of those things I wish we had over here. I would not mind a locker and a place for 1-2 20 pound propane cylinders, becausing finding propane fillers can be difficult. Cartridge toilets add flexibility with floor plans, and one can easily carry several empties. Of course, an American "translation" is needed because Europeans really don't need A/C, while here in Texas, it is a must.
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