Coming weeks Dick William Harinck, former editor-in-chief of the leading Dutch Camping & Caravan magazine KCK (ANWB) and now a freelance journalist with his own media company in the camping industry, will follow the key figures behind the TakeOff. In the News section we start this week with an interview with the founder (and co-investor) of Easy Caravanning, Maarten de Roos.
DWH: “Why and when was the initiative for the new TakeOff camping concept born?”
Maarten de Roos: “I grew up with camping. From an early age with my parents in the caravan, later with the tent and when we got children, we soon bought ourselves a small and afterwards a few larger caravans. Once arrived at the campsite I liked the facilities of a caravan, but during the trip I was jealous of tent and trailer tent campers who could travel light. So the question arose: how can you have the lusts during the trip and on the campsite, without the burden? I have been working in the camping industry for almost 20 years (Maarten was director of Kip Caravans and worked at Thetford – ed.) and I have the firm conviction that things have to be done differently: simpler, responsive to current market trends and accessible to everyone. Camping used to be an inexpensive way of going on holiday, but the purchase price of a caravan has risen sharply over the years. Moreover, cars are becoming more compact and have smaller engines, or an electric power train. Not everyone wants to drive a big car all year round to pull a heavy caravan during a three-week holiday. With the TakeOff we have combined the advantages of a traditional touring caravan with those of a tent trailer, the best of both worlds.”
DWH: “In recent decades, many collapsible camp concepts have been introduced to the market, not all of them successful. Why is that possible with the TakeOff?”
Maarten de Roos: “Almost all these concepts were compromises. Some concepts turned out to be much more complex in practice. Others were simply less successful optically due to the folding mechanism. I also saw beautiful concepts that did work well, but then they were virtually unaffordable. The TakeOff is completely different. Simplicity, immediately ready for departure, lightweight, clear view to the rear and an extremely low aerodynamic resistance. But also easy to set up, a contemporary design and affordable too. And all this combined in one new innovative camping concept. The ultimate sense of freedom, all gain, no pain.”
DWH: “What target group do you have in mind with the TakeOff? Who will we see with it at the campsite?”
Maarten de Roos: “The TakeOff is especially designed for the adventurous, active camper, without immediately thinking about age. People who want to visit several places during their holiday and who want to make use of their own camping equipment. And to be able to sleep just like at home. But we also think of people who just want to go away for a day or weekend. To the sea to surf, for example, or to walk. The fact that you can get on with a compact towing car is of course a nice bonus. And because of its compact dimensions, the TakeOff can easily be parked at home. Ready for your next adventure.”
DWH: “You say that the TakeOff has started ‘the next generation of caravanning’. How does Easy Caravanning see the future of recreational vehicles?”
Maarten de Roos: “People go on holiday for shorter periods of time these days, but also more often. For a long weekend it’s quite a hassle to take a caravan out of the garage and then bring it back – in practice it hardly comes to that.
Work and leisure are more and more intertwined, work-hard, play-hard: then you want to get away from it all quickly. In addition, there is a clear trend towards sharing, such as Airbnb and car-sharing; this also opens up chances for the TakeOff. And I firmly believe that electrification, sustainability and lightweight construction are becoming increasingly important – manufacturers who do this best will be successful.”
DWH: “What are the plans of Easy Caravanning after the launch of the TakeOff at the Dutch Camping and Caravanning show?”
Maarten de Roos: “At the moment everything is still focused on the construction of the prototypes, but we are also preparing the production. The Camping and Caravan Trade Fair is of course an exciting moment – based on the reactions we will fine-tune the concept where necessary. In addition, we will continue to develop the foreign distribution and service network. We are ready for TakeOff and I am really convinced that we have discovered a gap in the market for people who want to go out quickly and comfortably – the first products will have to roll out of the factory in March 2020.”
Maarten de Roos | Founder Easy Caravanning