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June 2019

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For full list, click above

JUNE 26:
Fraser Coast Regional Council investigation suggests there is no demand for extra RV spaces in Maryborough, Queensland.

Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.


* Hundreds of RVs in bid to break world record for longest RV moving parade  ... 349,869 people reached.

* Caravan thieves ruin couple's retirement plans ... 344,552 people reached.

* Cyclone warning to grey nomads in far north Queensland ... 53,921 people reached

* Apollo predicts glum future for profits ... 26,726 people reached.

* Outrage over caravans in truck parking bays ... 25,254 people reached.

* Parks furious over Gvt's $3m handout for Australia Zoo's planned RV campground ... 18,956 people reached.


The thorny question of free camping

REGARDING last month's story on the free camping issue going to parliament (see story here).

It would be fine if you could kindly list those towns that have problems with freedom camping.

We could then just move on and avoid any unpleasantness.

People buy self-contained caravans for a lifestyle, not bludge on ratepayers with so-called subsidised rent.

Tell me what happens when caravan parks win this argument and people still refuse to pay these inflated prices and camp in the bush.

Those people that are self-sufficient don't need jumping pillows and water parks.

Squeaky doors get more oil, and on past decisions these parks will win the debate.

So in the end no one wins ... we don't use parks in the contested area and keep on driving.

There's still plenty of bush out there without government intervention so far.

Just be aware that word of mouth is the best advertising for good and bad experiences.

Tasmania is starting to kick this can down the road so perhaps you should ask what sort of reactions they're starting to receive.

Remember, this state prided itself for freedom camping.

Ray Spindler.

Going it alone

I ALWAYS thought council decisions were little like boardrooms, when a decision was made it was supported by all on the council.

Apparently not when one councillor can go it alone to start an online petition against what the council has decided.

The RV stopover is approved by council.

Said councillor apparently sees her position as being OK to support one business in town and not the horde of others that are benefiting from this freedom camp.

Should imagine there is some tension in council chambers due to this action.

Arthur Bugden.

Name change

SO Essential Caravans is to rename its Adventurer model after an approach from Jayco (see story here).

Why did jayco wait seven years before complaining?



Geist Club

MY husband and I bought a Geist 660 last August but are fairly clueless how to use it.

We would love to find out how to meet with another owner near where we live, which is Lakes Entrance, Victoria.

We would also really be interested in finding out how to join the current Geist Club.

I recently joined the Campervan Motorhome Club but would prefer something specific to our Geist.

Rick and Lilla.



Motorhomes Conversion Company factory

'It means nothing to the public ... nothing at all'

Motorhome converters reassure customers after liquidation

By Dennis Amor

The Motorhome Conversion Company has reassured customers they have nothing to fear after its finance arm was forced into liquidation. "It means nothing to the public ... nothing at all," managing director and owner John Jeffreys told Caravanning News. "Nobody is losing any money." The reassurance came after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced that liquidators had been appointed for Motorhomesoz following court proceedings brought by Scottish Pacific Trade Limited, a company incorporated in Hong Kong. Mr Jeffreys said the action followed a disagreement with SPT. "We had an arrangement which fell through. The Motorhome Conversion Company is  the prime company while Motorhomesoz was a business within our business," he said. Founded by Mr Jeffreys in 2005, the Queensland-based Motorhome Conversion Company is now a well-renowned nationwide "fit-out" company which converts buses and vans into customised motorhomes and campervans. While some RV manufacturers report a slowing down in sales, Mr Jeffreys reported that his business was "doing ok". "We are not breaking any records but we are having to work a lot harder and do more more shows," he said. Have your say

'Our caravan was rocking quite badly'


Quake mapBy Dennis Amor

GREY nomads have told how their caravans shook violently as a massive earthquake struck Darwin.

"It started with a gentle tremor then kicked off," Gail Wilmer wrote on Facebook.

"Our caravan was rocking quite badly. We were sitting outside having a cuppa and listening to all the panic around us."

Buildings in Darwin were evacuated as the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake, centred off the coast of Indonesia in the Banda Sea , struck at around noon.

There were no reports of major damage or injuries.

Inland caravan parks reported being "rattled" by the force of the earthquake.

Hidden Valley Holiday Park manager Dani Walter told Caravanning News: "We are about 10km from the city but the whole park shook.

"Quite a few people were frightened and ran from their caravans."

The Bureau of Meteorology reported that there was no tsunami threat to the NT's capital.

Caravanner Barry Nicolas said the 'quake lasted for several minutes.

"One or two small items fell to the floor of our Jayco but there was no major damage," the Victorian traveller said.

Victorian grey nomad Deb Westbury was at a Telstra shop in the city centre when the 'quake struck.

"The assistant asked if I felt things moving, sure did," she said. "Bit scary though, being in a shopping centre and car underground.

"We are safe and sound back at the caravan park having a cuppa." Have your say

Red O'DonohueFacelift for popular Kimba stopover
A POPULAR stopover camping area at Kimba in SA billed as being 'half way across Australia' is undergoing a facelift.
Upgraded facilities at Kimba Recreation Reserve will be a boon for travellers and encourage even more grey nomads and other travellers to overnight there. The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Community Benefits Programme has contributed $174,739 to improve amenities. Red O’Donohue (pictured) is one of Kimba's most vocal supporters and if he's not tidying up the camping area he'll be found driving the school bus or spruiking the benefits of the town to anyone within earshot. He reported that there had been a huge increase in the number of travellers staying at the reserve. "Since the start of March we're looking at 30-plus caravans a night," he said. "It’s unreal ... and when the new facilities are finished there will be more." Have your say

Two-week-old New Age off-roader and LandCruiser stolen


Stolen rigCROOKS made off with a LandCruiser and brand new caravan from outside a home at Malmsbury in Victoria. The owner was planning to use the two-week-old 18ft off-road New Age Wallaby caravan for a road trip in three weeks. The caravan (registration number Z36709) and 2010 Toyota 4WD (registration number RET1ED) were stolen from outside his home in Sullivan Street at the weekend, sometime between midnight and 9am Sunday morning. The LandCruiser ute has a distinctive three inch exhaust and a large steel canopy made by Flood Engineering in Bendigo. Anyone with information is urged to contact police. Have your say

Police appeal for help


Stolen camper  trailer

THIEVES left two grey nomads marooned after making off with their camper trailer from a Queensland rest area. Police have now appealed to the public to be on the lookout for the RV which was stolen from Gordonvale on June 19. The white Easy Trail Parkes 15 trailer had been parked on the side of the Bruce Highway just north of the small sugar town of Gordonvale. Police said the RV was locked and secured in an area with other camper trailers while the owners went sightseeing at around 12pm. When they returned nearly seven hours later it was missing. The pop-up style camper, contained a large amount of personal items belonging to the interstate owners. Anyone with information is asked to contact police, quoting the reference number QP1901187108. Have your say

Drugs in caravan

'Cannabis, pipe and scales allegedly found'

Man charged over drugs in caravan

A MAN has been charged after drugs were found in a caravan on Queensland's Bruce Highway. Officers from the Whitsunday Criminal Investigation Branch allegedly uncovered three clip seal bags containing cannabis and cannabis seeds. A pipe (utensil) and electric scales were said to have been also found during the search at Gregory River. A 33-year-old man was arrested and charged with unlawfully possessing a dangerous drug (quantity exceeded that specified in schedule 3) and drug utensils which had been used. He will appear in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on July 8. Have your say

Lost key'I am sure it must be very missed'

Cops contact caravan parks in bid
to unlock Innifail's latest mystery

Police have quizzed local caravan park operators at Innisfail in Queensland in a bid to unlock their latest mystery. Local cops went on the hunt after a key was found outside a bank on Rankin Street yesterday afternoon and was handed in at the police station. It was attached to a tag bearing the word 'caravan' and the number 1. "It appears the key does not belong to any of the local caravan parks," Senior Constable Jane Moran said. "I am sure it must be very missed." The key can be collected, with proof of ownership, from the Innisfail Police property section between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday, quoting reference number QP1901213566. Have your say

'Towing too much weight' allegation

Caravanner charged after death crash

Caravan wreckBy Dennis Amor

A CARAVANNER has been charged with causing the death of two people in an horrific NSW crash. The 58-year-old traveller will face eight charges, including trying to pervert the course of justice, when he appears at Tamworth Local Court on July 29. Emergency services were met with "absolute carnage" on the Oxley Highway near Yarrowitch in January this year after a 4WD Toyota Prado and caravan rolled. Reports said the rig was travelling east when it hit an Armco railing before careering into a tree. The front seat passenger, a 72-year-old woman, and rear seat passenger, a 38-year-old man, died at the scene. The driver and a 38-year-old female backseat passenger who had to be freed from the wreckage, were flown to Tamworth Base Hospital by two Westpac Rescue helicopters. Two dogs and a cat were also in the 4WD. One dog died but the cat fled the scene. Following investigations by police from Northern Tableland Crash Investigation Unit, the driver was charged with doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice, two charges of dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. He has also been charged with towing with an inadequate attachment and towing too much weight. His licence has been suspended and he has been granted conditional bail.

Ningaloo Lighthouse Caravan ParkCouncil approves plans for Ningaloo park
PLANS to transform Ningaloo Lighthouse Caravan Park at Exmouth in WA into a luxury eco-resort have received the backing of the local shire council.
It has approved a revised Local Development Plan but insisted on studies to address occupancy and environmental concerns. Mining magnate Andrew Forrest's Minderoo Foundation originally bought the land in 2017. In a report to the council, Shire president Matthew Niikkula said the foundation was fast becoming a major supporter of Exmouth and the Ningaloo Region, aligning itself with many parts of the council's Strategic Community Plan. "This is a very exciting, once in a generation opportunity for Exmouth," he said. "Twice before in my lifetime we have had proponents apply to create something special on the same property, only to fall over at vital stages of investigation and finance. We are truly fortunate to now have an applicant that is all about preserving and promoting our unique natural environment by building a resort that enhances and encourages World Heritage values and is obviously not subject to finance." It is expected that Minderoo will now lodge a development application with the council within a few months. Have your say

Busselton Holiday Village toilets

$3500 damage at toilet block

Arson attack at Busselton park

DETECTIVES are hunting firebugs who set fire to the amenities block at Busselton Holiday Village in WA. The blaze caused an estimated $3500 damage. Police said unknown persons entered the block in the centre of the park sometime between 7.30pm and 8.15pm on June 10 and started three separate fires. Park staff joined Fire and Emergency Services firefighters in putting out the flames. Police have appealed to anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at Rewards of up to $50,000 are available for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of an arsonist. Have your say

'Stepping stone' to other caravan parks

Family Parks eyes up China's 'red ants'

Great wall of chinaPhoto-story: Dennis Amor

FAMILY Parks, which operates a chain of 100 holiday parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, has set its sights on China. "I am proud to announce that the Family Parks flag has been raised across holiday parks in China for the first time," chief executive Karl Heyman said. "Our mutual partnership with Sunshine Glamping Parks now sees our brand proudly on display across multiple holiday parks, initially targeting both Beijing and the south coast." Beijing is regarded as one of the main tourist gates for the Great Wall of China, regarded as one of the new seven wonders of the world. Caravanning is increasing in popularity in the People's Republic, with more and more "red ants" taking to the road or  holidaying in static caravans. "Our assessment is that this partnership will be a stepping stone to many other holiday parks in China carrying the Family Parks brand in a short space of time," Mr Heyman said. "Without doubt this is a significant announcement given the ever-increasing interaction our industry has in China in both tourism and manufacturing. We are proud to lead the way in this area." Have your say

Mr Wilson addresses media at Truck Friendly launch

Mr Wilson addresses media at the launch

Official launch of Truck Friendly

New safety initiative
 brings 'peace of mind'
 says Bundy mayor

Photos-story by Dennis Amor

truck stickerAN ambitious nationwide program to improve relationships between caravanners and truckies has been officially launched in Queensland. Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Truck Friendly founder Ken Wilson, saying road safety was everyone's responsibility and the initiative would help all drivers gain "peace of mind" while on the road. Speaking at the CMCA RV Park in the Rum City, he said the number of caravans and RVs on our roads was increasing. "I want to say to everybody to get on board. If we can save just one life on the road that would be a magnificent thing." Avid caravanner Mr Wilson's program is based on a website, brochures and specially designed distinctive green stickers for RVs and trucks. It aims to make RV travellers better understand how to work with truck drivers. He said feedback on the program had been "phenomenal". "We are getting great support with some comments asking why the government is not doing more," he added. Mr Wilson praised Bundaberg Regional Council for spearheading the program. Also on board were tourist information centres at Kingaroy, Gin Gin, Childers and Charleviille where program stickers were available, he said. Have your say 
■ Industry backs Ken's Truck Friendly crusade

Story with photographs taken at launch

Focus on 'mature travellers'

Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan ParkNo kid's stuff at this park

THE owners of an award-winning NSW caravan park make no apology for preferring older guests. "From the outset we saw the potential to build the park into a peaceful and quiet one focused on mature travellers and grey nomads," Barry O'Connor explained to Caravanning News. And true to his word, he and wife Di do not offer a pool, jumping pillow, play equipment or rental bikes at their Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan Park, a member of the Kui Parks chain. Bikes, scooters, skateboards and ball games are also banned from the pet-friendly holiday destination, which has just received its TripAdvisor Excellence Award for the fourth year running. Read More button

Tumbarumba Creek caravan parkCouncil to manage Tumbarumba park
SNOWY Valleys Council will soon manage the Tumbarumba Creek Caravan Park on the south-west slopes of Australia's famous Snowy Mountains. It will pick up the reins of the small, pet-friendly and family-operated park in New South Wales when the current lease agreement ends at the end of June. Director of Assets and Infrastructure Matthew Christensen said that while privately-owned cabins and assets were being removed or sold by the vacating lessees, the park itself was not closing. "Council is in the process of appointing an experienced temporary manager to run the Tumbarumba Creek Caravan Park while further improvement works are completed and we consider long term arrangements for the facility," he said. Read More button

Bus gives 14 years of endless  memories The Gauntlet family in tent

Gauntlet adventure hits the
skids for remarkable family

By Dennis Amor

AN adventurous family of 14 has had to resort to living in a tent while their home ‒ a converted 1984 Austral Tourmaster bus ‒ undergoes major repairs. Peter Cairns, partner Allison and their 12 children have been on the road for 14 years, claiming to be Australia's largest and longest travelling adventure family. Eight of the youngsters were born on the road in different locations. But their astonishing sojourn in The Gauntlet ground to a halt after being bogged in the Townsville floods which left almost 1000 people homeless earlier this year. The bus ended up completely swamped in the floodwaters and is now undergoing repairs costing thousands of dollars. "The Gauntlet is not just a bus ... it's a family member," Peter told Caravannng News. "This old bus has given us 14 years of endless memories and has taken us to places we could only dream about. It is the only home that eight out of our 12 children know. It will be in our family for a very long time and it will give us more memories into the future." Read More button

Jurgens factoryBoss thanks people for their support

Jurgens well on way to recovery
as it ramps up to full production

JURGENS Australia is well on the road to recovery, according to director Paul Kyriacou. "The Australian factory is ramping up to full capacity," he said. "This is on the back of a recapitalisation program and new management on the ground at our South African factory which is delivering great efficiencies." Mr Kyriacou said the South African factory was producing finished caravans for the local market there and key components for Australia. Jurgens hit troubled times this year when about 50 staff were forced to return home after finding the gates of the Pakenham factory padlocked. AL-KO International had also moved to have caravan builder wound up but later dropped the action. Mr Kyriacou said his company was focused on its goal to produce lightweight caravans of the highest build quality. "With this positive news we look forward to reasserting ourselves as market leader in South Africa, continuing our great work in Australia and developing markets in Europe," he said. "We thank those who have supported us and continue to do so on our road to recovery." Have your say

Jayco caravanJayco tops in customer satisfaction research
JAYCO leads the field when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, according to a new study.
More than 600 Australians took part in Canstar Blue's 2019 review of caravans and motorhomes which compared overall satisfaction and value for money. While Jayco dominated the ratings with multiple five-star results, it shared the top spot with Coromal for value for money. However, Coromal had to settle for four stars overall with Avan behind on three stars. Other key findings in the survey suggested that 22 percent of owners live permanently in their caravan or motorhome, 46 percent believed there should be special licences for operating a caravan or motorhome, 22 percent have been involved in an accident while towing a caravan and a whopping 89 percent would recommend caravanning to their friends. The research involved 542 Australian adults and took into account value for money, interior, features and amenities, ease of towing/driving, cost of running and overall satisfaction. Have your say

Brisbane caravan showSupershow connects locals and travellers
CARAVAN manufacturers and accessory suppliers are looking to capitalise on Queensland's love affair with the great outdoors. The six-day Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow opened in Brisbane on June 5 and more than 250 exhibitors and 1000 RVs are on display. Many launched never-before-seen models, accessories and technology to coincide with the state's peak caravanning season. “With tens of thousands of caravanners and campers from the southern states visiting Queensland between May-August, the supershow perfectly connects local and travelling 'carafans'," Caravanning Queensland general manager Jason Plant said. Read More button

Waterloo Village Caravan ParkConcerns over speed limit outside WA park
THE owner of a caravan park on WA's South Western Highway at Picton is battling to make access safer for residents and guests.
Waterloo Village Caravan Park's Greg Homer has already raised the issue with the State's Road Safety Minister, Michelle Roberts, and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray. He wants the 100kph speed limit reduced to 80kph. "When holidaymakers are navigating the access to the park it can be intimidating to see semi-trailers steaming towards you at 100kph, then overtaking on the verge," he told Caravanning News. Ms Roberts told us she would raise the concerns with police and the Road Safety Commission to see what could be done on that section of road, Read More button

microscoperigBoffins delve into caravan consumer laws
AUSTRALIAN National University researchers are putting caravans and consumer laws under the microscope.
They are also delving into the controversial subject of inexperienced caravanners hitting the road without training. The study is being conducted by College of Law Associate Professor Dr Michael Eburn and postgraduate law student Phoebe Butcher. It will look at whether Australian vehicle standards are ineffective in ensuring that only caravans fit for the purpose are used on Australian roads. The researchers want to hear from caravanners who have had experience in obtaining remedies from manufacturers for defects in their RVs. "We are interested in finding out about your experience with defects that render the vehicle unsafe to tow," they said. The results of a survey, which caravanners can complete and return to the researchers, will form the basis of recommendations to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Government for changes to the ACL. For more information email Dr Eburn. Have your say

CIAA conferenceIndustry dishes out top awards
THE Caravanning Industry Association of Australia has recognised individuals and businesses for their contributions to the caravanning and camping industry.
The presentation of awards was one of the highlights of the industry's national conference on the Gold Coast. Delegates from all over the country flocked to The Star Casino and Hotel for the event which comprised a packed programme of activities and the opportunity to network with industry colleagues. Read More button

Poison bait signPoison alert for pet-loving grey nomads
CARAVANNERS travelling with pets through Mount Isa in Queensland have been warned by the local council that wild dog and dingo baits will be laid from June 3 to 19.
They are advised to closely supervise their animals to prevent the accidental consumption of poison baits. "We are aware that many southern grey nomads with their dogs and other pets pass through the area on their annual migration to enjoy Queensland's winter sunshine. They should keep a close eye on them all the time to prevent any heartache," a spokesperson told Caravanning News. Have your say

Southend caravan park signSouthend park's future in jeopardy
THE future of the caravan park in a small South Australian seaside town is in jeopardy.
This follows Wattle Range Council's consideration of a consultant's report on the Southend park, which is on Crown Land and under its care. The private operator's lease will expire in August next year. Meanwhile, there are fears the park could be at considerable risk from coastal erosion. Read More button

CMCA Bundaberg RV Park signGong for CMCA Bundaberg RV Park
BUNDABERG Chamber of Commerce has awarded its Tourism New Business of the Year gong to the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia's RV Park in the Rum City.
With over 70,000 members throughout Australia, the CMCA claims to be the largest RV club in the southern hemisphere. The Bundaberg RV Park provides low-cost, no-frills accommodation for members and can accommodate up to 50 RVs. It is located off Burrum Street on former showground land. The park was officially opened last June, with city mayor Jack Dempsey saying would be "another economic driver" for the region. Have your say

Ballina Beach Village parkCaravanners urged to name their own price
CARAVANNERS arriving at a holiday park in New South Wales are being asked to name their own price.
Ballina Beach Village is offering them the option to choose not just their site or what facilities they use, but also how much they want to pay. "Caravanners are a discerning market," general manager Margaret Shannon said. "The variety of caravans, setups, lifestyles and travelling groups is now being taken into account." It is the second winter in a row that the pet-friendly beachside park has operated the Caravanners Choice promotion. Read More button

Victorian caravan park reviewHelp wanted in park legislation review
VICTORIANS are being asked to help shape the future of the State's caravan park regulations.
The State Government has launched consultations to ensure the industry operates effectively into the future. Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said it was time the legislation was reviewed to ensure safety and high standards. "Caravan parks are in some of Victoria’s most spectacular places and we want to make sure people continue to enjoy staying in them and strike the right balance between safety, accessibility and cost." he explained. Reead More button

Crystal Brook Caravan Park, SAExtended lease for Crystal Brook
CRYSTAL Brook Caravan Park on SA's Gawler Highway has been handed a new five-year lease together with a $30,000 funding commitment.
Port Pirie Regional Council made the decision after a presentation to councillors by park committee chairman Geoff Smith. The Crystal Brook Community Association has a 10-year lease which it  manages via a sub committee. The council said it had provided an outstanding effort, including significant volunteer input, to take the park from its "less than optimal condition 10 years ago to a park that is now attracting many visitors to the region". "Financial projections indicate it is becoming financially sustainable," it added. Have your say

Outback police vehicleBe prepared for outback travel, urge police
CARAVANNERS and other travellers have been urged to take precautions when heading for SA's remote far north.
Police said that with water flowing into Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) many travellers were taking to iconic outback roads such as the Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks to experience the desert's beauty. "Travellers, however, should remember that these roads can at times be hard on tyres and vehicles and breakdowns can and do happen," they warned. When planning trips they should check whether mobile phone coverage is available in the areas to be visited and let family and friends know where they were travelling. They should have a breakdown plan and carry sufficient drinking water for everybody in the vehicle, pets included. And finally, stay with your rig ... you will be found. Have your say.

Austtralian Made logoNew partnership for RV industry
AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravanning and camping industry is now official bedfellows with the Australian Made Campaign.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia's new partnership will support and promote Aussie manufacturers which contribute to the nation's RV industry. "The Australian caravan manufacturing industry is steeped in history and continues to prosper despite strong international competition when other automotive manufacturing in Australia is falling away," CIAA chief executive Stuart Lamont said. Australian Made Campaign chief executive Ben Lazzaro said caravanning and camping were quintessential Australian pastimes underpinned by an extensive network of businesses, including some of Australia's most impressive manufacturers. Read more button

New parking facilities for RVs at Broken HillMore parking for RVs at Broken Hill
WORK on a new area which will include parking facilities for caravans and motorhomes in NSW's heritage city of Broken Hill is almost complete.
The $300,000 Kintore Reserve project will also include a dump point for RVs and will boost parking in the CBD district and better cater for tourists. Located opposite the Broken Hill Tourist Information Centre, it will accommodate seven large recreational and 32 regular vehicles. Council chief operations officer Anthony Misagh said the area would make the city more RV friendly and also help boost tourism in the CBD. Read More button

Adelaide Nova dealer thrilled with award
ADELAIDE RV in South Australia is celebrating after being named Nova Caravans's Medium Dealer of the Year.
The dealership's Jeb Grouse was thrilled to receive the accolade, commenting: "It's fantastic." The business has been operating at Parafield Gardens for about three years and is a member of the Caravan and Camping Industries Association of South Australia. "It's always nice to pick up these awards along the way," Mr Grouse said. "We are always happy to help travellers live their dream." Photo: Mr Grouse (right) receives the trophy from Nova's John Sills. Have your say

Gold Coast BIG4 parkImprovements award for GC park
BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park in Queensland has been honoured for its improvements.
The pet-friendly park, which already boasts a swag of trophies and a place in TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame, received the newly introduced Refurbishment Award at the recent Caravan Parks Association of Queensland's Awards ceremony. Director Theo Whitmont said his park was "proud" of achieving the award. Read More button

Truck and caravan at rest areaVideos aim to improve road sharing
AWARD-winning transport industry and road safety campaigner Rod Hannifey has released new videos designed to improve relationships between grey nomads, truckies and other road users.
The nine Truckies Top Tips videos were launched at the recent Stone the Crows Festival in NSW where they attracted a myriad of comments and questions from festival fans at Wagga Wagga. They covered the usual discussion points of trucks and caravans sharing the road ... plus the thorny issue of rest areas. "It was a good crowd and very interactive," Mr Hannifey said. The videos were funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator through the National Heavy Vehicle Road Safety Initiative and are available online for free. Read More button

Ettamogah pubIconic pub on the market
AN Australian icon well loved by grey nomads is on the market.
The original Ettamogah Pub at Table Top in the NSW town of Albury is expected to fetch more than $3 million. Styled after the late cartoonist Ken Maynard’s fictional pub of the same name, the tourist attraction just off the Hume Highway is a popular stopping off point for caravanners and other RVers who take advantage of its free parking, access to showers, cold beer and tasty pub food. Owner Leigh O'Brien said he had been busy with other overseas projects and believed it was time for a new operator to inject "new blood" into the icon. The property is being sold by expressions of interest which close on June 7. Have your say

Budgeroi Holiday ParkNRMA adds four more parks to stable
NRMA Parks and Resorts has added four more caravan parks on NSW's Central Coast to its chain.
Its stable of owned and managed parks has risen to 48, strengthening its claim to be one of Australia's largest tourism providers, with a portfolio valued at over $800 million. The new parks to be managed for Central Coast Council are Budgewoi, Canton Beach, Norah Head and Toowoon Bay holiday parks. Read More button

OzXCorp powers ahead with new technology
AUSTRALIAN technology startup company OzXCorp is developing the world's first hybrid drive technology which would enable caravans to "push" their tow vehicles up gradients.
Co-founder Andrew Huett (pictured) admitted that adapting the technology for caravans was a "unique challenge" because they were autonomous vehicles. "But we have been able to deliver a hybrid drive system that is affordable, practical and transposes to your domestic requirements once you reach your destination," he explained. His company's patented system uses 16kW/508Nm hub motors on each of the caravan's wheels. The motors are powered by an onboard battery charged with energy normally lost in braking. Solar panels are also utilised. OzXcorp said testing was ongoing and it was hoped to form partnerships with existing RV manufacturers and market the system next year. Have your say

Wagga WaggaLocals upset over planned camping site
LOCAL residents at Wagga Wagga in NSW are reportedly upset over moves to provide a primitive camping ground for grey nomads.
Some members of the community are worried it could create a nuisance. The local council is considering setting up the facility which would see travellers overnighting on Crown land off Nelson Drive and Plumpton Road. A council report said the site would provide a "unique opportunity" for a second stopover point within the city. "It would provide further accommodation for the ever increasing industry of grey nomad tourism as well as those travelling to the city of Wagga Wagga for specific cultural or sporting events," it pointed out. Wagga Boat Club had supported the concept and would provide access to their toilet facilities. The report rreminded councillors that grants were available through government tourism initiatives as well as from the Campervan and Motor Home Club of Australia for installing dump points. Have your say

Mandalay resortMandalay resort named top park
MANDALAY Holiday Resort & Tourist Park at Busselton in WA is celebrating after scooping a top award.
  It received the 2019 Reviewpro Peoples Choice Best Caravan Park Award in Australia at the recent Caravan Industry Association of Australia national conference. "We are so excited," the park established in 1964 said on its Facebook page. "Thank you to our incredible team who work so hard to make everyone's holiday experience the very best we can and to all of our wonderful guests who leave amazing reviews." Read More button

Parked RVWarning on leaving 'vans outside homes
QUEENSLAND police have warned owners about the risk of leaving a caravan or boat outside their home. Senior Constable Ben Harm said that while being a convenient and easy place to park it also made it easier for thieves. Police volunteers have been patrolling Brisbane's western suburb of Jindalee looking for unsecured trailers and in one morning alone found over 28 parked on roadways. "We left a note for the owners," Senior Constable Harm said. "People should store trailers, boats and caravans off the roadway and in a garage or yard. Don't be complacent ... a boat or caravan is probably going to be one of the most expensive items you own so make sure you protect it by securing and storing it properly." Have your say

Surf Beach Holiday Park upgradingCouncil spends millions on parks
KIAMA Council in NSW will invest more than $4 million upgrading its Surf Beach Holiday Park on the South Coast this winter.
And as part of its long-term improvement strategy for council-owned holiday parks, another $6 million will be spent on redesigning Werri Beach Holiday Park starting in 2020. "The changes at Surf Beach Holiday Park, as with those planned at Werri Beach, will allow council's parks to adjust to changes in the tourism market, thereby ensuring their long-term future," the council said. "The new design is intended to attract more grey nomads, handle the demand from an increasing number of sporting and cultural events and the general growth of tourism on the NSW South Coast." Read More button

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Letter man

Count game poses question: Where
are all the Jaycos?

WITHOUT resorting to looking at figures, everybody knows that the majority of Australian caravans sold are Jaycos of one model or another, right? (see story here).

One of Caravannings News's own stories once quoted Jayco as 45 percent of the market, I believe.

Well, just for the fun of it, I started a "count" game, which my wife also likes.

The count is the number of Jayco 'vans, campervans and you name it that Jayco makes versus the total of others not built by Jayco.

The counts, to be fair, have only been done on the Great Western Highway between Katoomba, where I live and Bathurst or Katoomba and Mt Victoria or Katoomba and Cronulla so the same count carried out by other people going different directions may well be slightly different.

Our counts always end up at anything from 70 percent to 80 percent of the total counted, with Jayco accounting for the remainder.

 In short, the sales figures they are reported to enjoy – and I don't doubt for a moment – aren't reflected in what we have seen in those specific areas.

So what does this mean? Does it mean that Jayco owners rarely go west from the Sydney suburbs or out to Cronulla?

Does it mean Jaycos, in general, are 'vans bought for Xmas season only, given that we only started this count a month ago?

Does it mean that Jaycos are mainly bought for on-site purposes only?

The thing is, I don't know the answer to that either, but certainly the majority of Jaycos would be on-road 'vans, campers or motorhomes only.

So why, from day to day, weekend or weekday, do the count figures so DRASTICALLY deviate from sales figures?

Got any answers? I have only questions.



Unsafe gas bottles

REFERRING to a minister's advice on gas safety (see story here).

He should be more worried about the unsafe gas bottles being sold to consumers because one company's bottles are generally well out of date.

They should be tested and clearly stamped every 10 years, according to current gas regulations.

But it's actually difficult to find compliant bottles from the company right across Australia.

Energy Safe Victoria is quite aware of the problem but has done little to nothing about it.

Typical bureaucrats.

Chris Hammond.

Travelling canines

BIG4 is now welcoming dogs (see story here)

This is fantastic news for responsible dog owners and it means we can travel far and wide with our pets.

Phil Dalley.