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China's 'Red Ants' embrace RV culture

Zheyang Soohoo / Reuters

Men row a boat carrying a child on a lake in front of recreational vehicles (RVs), during a camping trip at an RV park on the outskirts of Beijing on April 14, 2012. Chinese buyers bought an estimated 1,000 RVs last year, but experts say the RV business is about to take off in the country.

Reuters reports — Dong Xuemin can't wait for weekends when he heads out with family or friends to the mountains north of Beijing or to a lake for a picnic.

Terril Yue Jones / Reuters

Dong Xuemin poses in front of his RV and boat at his storage company in Beijing on April 17, 2012.

Dong is a "Red Ant" - a member of a club of urban Chinese who'll find any excuse to hit the road, not in ordinary cars, but in recreational vehicles, those quintessential Western chariots of leisure transportation used by "Snowbirds" in North America typified by white-haired retirees heading south for the winter.

Read more stories from China on Behind the Wall

"RVs have a long and glorious history in the West," says Dong, 41, who runs a logistics and storage business in Beijing where he stores his RV, boat, all-terrain vehicle and motorized surfboard. "Chinese are the same; we love the outdoors. So we're learning the American and Western RV culture." Read the full story.

Zheyang Soohoo / Reuters

Children sit around a table as they play inside an RV, during a camping trip at an RV park on the outskirts of Beijing on April 14, 2012.

Zheyang Soohoo / Reuters

People light a fire on a barbecue grill next to RVs during a camping trip on the outskirts of Beijing on April 14, 2012.