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RV Family at the China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition].

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Building The China RV Social Community: RV FAMILY

General Secretary Wang Xudong Discusses Growing RVer Presence At China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition

RV Family General Secretary Wang Xudong At China (Beijing) International RV & Camping Exhibition. [Photo Credit: Tim Wassberg]

The RV culture worldwide is predicated on community. But this ideal takes on a deeper relevance in Chinese. The idea of connecting with the outdoors and family especially in a multi-generational structure offers a new kind of connection. A person who knows this very well is Wang Xudong who is the General Secretary of the largest RV Club in China: RV Family. Xudong spoke with MRV: The Buzz Editor In Chief Tim Wassberg during the Beijing RV Show in China to discuss the RV Lifestyle, his trip across Asia into Europe with his wife and children and the evolving idea of camping in his country.

The Buzz: Can you talk about the introduction of the RV Family Club in China?

Wang Xudong: RV Riders Clubs are particularly important in the United States. It is the same as in China.  When the RV Club arrived in China, it had to undergo some changes. China's so-called “club”, in fact, is the club of business activities. Many of US clubs are formed systems by those players involved, or those who love it spontaneously.  China's RV Club culture is still cultivating. Our RV family is a relatively large super club in the field of RVs. The future of our club [is based on] the formation of culture. With that we will form into sub-divisions in various parts of China. [The questions become] how do our club members travel around? How [do we] motivate them to lead a caravan lifestyle? How [do we]  get them together to form a community?

The Buzz: How are the different campers and people brought together in China?           

WX: At present, through China's WeChat, and our forum, we organize some offline activities. Every year, we get together in this place [at the Beijing RV Show] to take part in a national car camping convention. We also begin to establish [and discuss]  camping conventions in our sub-divisions in various provinces in China. We then get our car club members moving and let them go out, pass on the caravan lifestyle to more people in their own ways and bring more people to join our group.  

The Buzz: What kinds of activities are driving these car club members to bring them together?                  

WX: We do a Eurasian Trip [to build awareness]. This is the third year we do this event with members of the car club from Beijing, traveling by car to Europe. [We take the] equivalent of the Silk Road through such an intercontinental travel, to arouse everyone's attention. At the same time we go to various provinces in China, through a number of camping [locations] to help lead members to deeply feel the culture and scenic beauty around China, so that they will drive their RVs and utilize the car to a higher level. 

The Buzz: Since you have brought your wife and children on a Eurasian trip before, can you share your travel experience and feelings of the journey?

WX: Eurasian trip is my first step in traveling around the world. Since Asia and the European continents are connected together, driving to Europe by car is convenient. By driving the car to Europe, I can feel more deeply the European car culture and get a more in-depth user experience of the European campground. China has very few campgrounds. In fact, I am also exploring how to build the camp grounds in China in future. In the next step, I plan to go to the United States by car. And then even Southeast Asia. New Zealand and Australia are also must-goes.

RV Family & Xudong On The River During Their Eurasian RV Trip. [Courtesy: Wang Xudong]
RV Family & Xudong In The Mountains On Their Eurasian RV Trip. [Courtesy: Wang Xudong]
RV Family & Xudong In The Countryside On Their Eurasian RV Trip. [Courtesy: Wang Xudong]

The Buzz: Where is the campground that you found most suitable for the Chinese, with Chinese characteristics in the United States or in Europe?   

WX: I’ve been to the US.. I found the US campgrounds…some of them are very suitable for the Chinese conditions. These type of campsites, or cruise stations, can provide some very necessary facilities, such as water, electricity, and sewage…these three [specific] functions. I think these campsite are the most needed in China. China is also in need of campsites of a particularly high level…fully functional facilities. An even better saying [is that the Chinese want a] campground to be like Disneyland, or Lego Land…this type of large and fully facilitated camp, I think that is what is needed in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The Buzz: I just spent time at the rally during the show hanging out with different Chinese RVers. What role does RV Family take with the community?

WX: One way we all keep in contact is to participate in our party at during this show. The second way is through our WeChat group, QQ group, and our BBS. Through such a platform, we contact each other to meet out, play and travel on weekends and holidays. When there is big event going on, we meet again. Then there are small activities, usually small groups of twos and threes who hang out together. WeChat group though most often. 

The Buzz: What is your perception of the China RV Culture?

WX: I feel it’s China's unique culture. The Chinese talk about social circles, or social culture. Chinese people prefer liveliness, while Europeans and Americans may like quietness better. That is our unique way of life.

The Buzz: What do you think will be the future development of RV camping culture in China? 

WX: I think China's car culture may be inseparable from a word in China: filial piety. Because we Chinese are particularly concerned about family, love through kinship, feelings and friendship. Especially after buying a car, Chinese may spend more time with their families. We call it the four generations together, or three generations including grandparents and grandchildren. This family structure is and will be a very important proportion among Chinese car buying groups in the future. It’s a very important reason for the buying group.               

The Buzz: Now the Chinese people have now started to explore more outdoors, leaving the city and seeing the villages. Can you talk about that impact in your view?        

WX: I think China's outdoor trend has just begun. China's outdoor industry will be the largest market in the world when China's camping sites spread all over China like spider webs. The RV [sector] as an important branch, will be the most popular way for the Chinese people to travel. Because of China's economic environment now, the spending power of ordinary people is growing. Everyone is willing to travel by car, and make use of weekend time to go outdoors to relax. I think the car...the Americans call it RV but it is Recreation Vehicle or leisure car, translated into Chinese.  The definition of the words is very consistent with the Chinese people’s understanding at this stage. We Chinese people are particularly willing to give time to recreation and relax.

Wang Xudong & His Caravan On Their Eurasian RV Trip. [Courtesy: Wang Xudong]

The Buzz: What is the trend of the future development of this community? With more and more large domestic campsites, will the status of these “car/rv clubs” change?

WX: These families of cars, [called] “super clubs” will set up a sub-division in each province of China, with a leader [so there will be a] leader of each province of the RV Family. And then in copying our culture through the group leader, we will pass on the core believes of the “car family” and thereby make friends in the “car family”.

 The Buzz: How would you describe China's RV life in a few simple words?  

WX: The first word is lively. The second, kinship. The third, love. I thought of an American movie "RV" [with Robin Williams]. I am one of those examples: traveling by car. Because [I was] busy at work, I had no time to be together with the children. [But then] I took two years’ time, to travel with the two children to build up a very deep and strong relationship.

The Buzz: Family is very important to you. Other than this crucial point, what is the allure for you of the China RV Life?                

WX: For me, [it is so] I can grow my knowledge and expand my horizon, but more importantly, it develops my children's knowledge, to open up their views, so they get into contact with more strangers during travel. So I think my children are different from many others, because their worldviews are not the same as others.

               

Tim Wassberg

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School Of The Arts with degrees in Film/TV Production & Film Criticism, Tim has written for magazines such as Moviemaker, Moving Pictures, Conde Nast Traveler UK and Casino Player. He enjoys traveling and distinct craft beers among other things.

Make Sure To Check Out:

21RV, which is your first stop for all things RVing in China from manufacturers to innovation to the latest news. They are also the place to hear first about the  China (Beijing) International RV & Camping  Exhibition held each year in the Spring & Autumn.

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