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RV enthusiasts at home on wheels

By Zheng Xin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-04-07 10:07:38

RV enthusiasts at home on wheels

RVs share a camping venue in Huairou district, Beijing, in March. A major international rally comes to China for the first time this summer, from May 30 to June 8. Photos by Jin Ying / for China Daily

Increasing numbers of Chinese are traveling wherever the road leads. Zheng Xin in Beijing reports.

With growing demand for recreational vehicles in China and consumers' shifting travel preferences, experts expect a surge in RV-related business across the country.

"More people are choosing to explore the countryside and hit the roads with recreational vehicles - a home on wheels," said Li Xiang, a professor of tourism at Beijing Union University. "The idea of packing bags and heading out for wherever the road leads is the latest trend among many outdoor enthusiasts."

Beijing has seen campsites for RV enthusiasts popping up on its outskirts in recent years, including in suburbs like Fangshan, Huairou, Changping, Yanqing and Tongzhou, Li said.

According to the Beijing Tourism Development Committee, the suburbs are competing to become Beijing's leading RV-friendly places.

Xu Jielin, a resident in Beijing, said he has always wanted to have a family vacation in a recreational vehicle, but the cost and maintenance of a mobile home has held him back.

"Compared with purchasing a mobile home or trailer, it's easier to rent an RV at a suburban campsite in Beijing," Xu said.

Xu has registered for the 80th International Federation of Camping club's massive caravanning rally, which is to be held in Beijing starting May 30. The club has been around since 1932, but this will be its first rally in China.

"I'd love to gain some experience on some short trips before hitting the road for longer journeys," he said.

Li said the upcoming rally will give a big boost to the country's RV industry.

"It's the first time the rally has come to China, and it will bring this kind of travel closer to the public," she said. "Many Western RV manufacturers are already targeting the Chinese market."

According to Li, a shortage of RV campsites in China once held back development of this brand of recreation.

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