New home paves way for more growth for world-leading Sunshine Coast caravan manufacturer

28 January, 2020
Author: Charles Hodgson

A Sunshine Coast manufacturer revolutionising the off-road caravan industry has moved into a new purpose-built $8 million facility in Coolum Business Park.

Zone RV has grown from a start-up in 2015 to employing more than 90 staff and bringing nearly $40 million to the Sunshine Coast economy.

Zone RV uses innovative composite structures and cutting-edge clean technologies setting a new benchmark in quality and innovation to create caravans that are lighter, stronger and safer than those made with traditional manufacturing methods.

Sunshine Coast Council Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Steve Robinson congratulated the company on their growth.

“Zone RV has taken the traditional caravanning experience and incorporated advanced technology from the marine and aeronautical industries to create a product with exceptional water, energy and insulation management,” Cr Robinson said.

“This expansion allows the business to gain greater efficiencies and capabilities so they can further innovate to meet the excellence demands and expectations of the national market.”

Zone RV manufactures multi award-winning off road caravans through innovation of design and advanced manufacturing utilising leading composite panels, ultra-light cabinetry systems, suspension and power systems that deliver absolute quality, comfort, safety and entertainment.

“They are another outstanding award-winning local business sharing best practice, learnings and skills. I look forward to seeing them expand further as their sales and production grow.”

Zone RV plays an important role in promoting and positioning the Sunshine Coast as a leader in cutting-edge advanced manufacturing and technology diffusion. Zone RV is increasingly entrepreneurial and collaborates locally, while value-adding to the region through its linkages to advanced manufacturing, tourism and clean technologies, which is of course one of our seven High-Value Industries.

Zone RV directors Matt Johns and Dave Biggar started the small business with two employees.

“We had experience across marine, aeronautical and civil construction but developing a new benchmark in the high-tech caravan manufacturing industry was a leap of faith that led to light-weight, dust and water tight caravans with a stylish and luxurious finish,” Mr Johns said.

“Thanks to our early adopters, we have had exciting growth and consumers now expect smarter solutions as standard.

“Zone RV uses the highest quality third party products, including local and Queensland suppliers incorporating the highest quality and innovative suspension systems, lithium batteries, and battery management systems – injecting a further $10 million a year into the local South-East Queensland economy.

“We have outgrown three facilities and are excited to move into this 4500m2 purpose-built factory, showroom and service centre that also has a 4000m2 hard stand.

“The new factory delivers us a purpose-built designed factory layout for highest efficiencies to take us well into the future and the showroom offers an unparalleled client experience,” he said.

Mr Johns said Zone RV was planning to expand internationally, diversify products and continue to innovate and thanked Council for supporting them to expand and prosper. 

“The Sunshine Coast a great place to grow our business and we are thankful for strong industry development support from council through networking, advice, information, and linkages to Government programs/supply chain assistance,” Mr Johns said.

“We are lucky to be expanding in a region where the council creates the right environment to grow businesses and support residents to have a bright future.”

Zone RV supports a local supply chain including a dozen Sunshine Coast businesses, and a dozen more Queensland businesses before the rest of their components are sourced from national suppliers.

Zone RV really are in a zone of their own – claiming the following industry firsts for our region:

·       the first timber-free composite fibreglass fully bonded caravan,

·       the first full hard-bodied composite camper trailer,

·       the first carbon-fibre timber-free fully bonded caravan, and

·       the first consolidated vehicle conversion project management specialising in lightweight fixed canopies.