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September 2019

Readership: Up to 32,000 monthly

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


* Warning on potentially lethal cable in caravans  ... 61,140 people reached.

* Court reserves decision in ACCC and Jayco case ... 15,012 people reached.

* Caravans may be restricted from parking on Gold Coast streets ... 15,021 people reached

* Caravan crooks caught on second visit to steal a second 'van ... 14,557 people reached.

* Bailey to abandon caravan production in Australia ... 11,284 people reached.

* Caravanner and young grandson hurt when rig rolls... 10,586 people reached.

* Caravanning Queensland puts over 2000 RVs on the scales ... 10,546 people reached.


Warning on potentially lethal cable

REGARDING your story on potentially dangerous wiring in some caravans (see story here).

We had the cable replaced in our 'van back in 2016 because of this faulty cable.

It was only supposed to be cable manufactured in 2013 but that now doesn't appear to be the case.

For more information go to the ACCC website.

The last time I looked there was still a large amount of the cable that was either outstanding or had not been used.

Bruce Aumann.

Name builder

IN the interest of safety, the manufacturer of the caravan should be named.

John Hodges.

Lotus lauded

Great to hear about Lotus's success!

George (the owner) and his team are a great family company.

I'll assume one certain person will still try spin it in a way to hurt Lotus.

Again, well done George and the team.

Steve Parker.

Safety rules

SO Rules Beach north of Bundaberg in Queensland is to have world class caravan park.

We would hope there will be permanent lifesavers there as this is a very dangerous beach.




Caravan in outback

Bringing pressure to bear on safety

Cops dish out advice on tyres and overtaking

POLICE in South Australia have appealed to caravanners to be 'tyre aware'. "It's vital to ensure you're maintaining the correct tyre pressure when towing your caravan or campervan," they said. "Correct tyre pressure will optimise your safety, the performance of how your 'van tows and will also increase your fuel efficiency." And another piece of advice, which comes after a spate of recent caravan accidents and rollovers, deals with overtaking. "It is important to understand the dynamics when overtaking or being overtaken, so you can help minimise your caravan swaying effects," they said. "Keep an eye on your rear-view mirrors to know exactly when another vehicle may overtake. This will allow you to prepare for any sideways movement. Increasing the gap between you and the overtaking vehicle and moving over in your lane will also reduce the effects." Easing off the accelerator so overtaking vehicles could pass quicker was not only courteous but safe, they added. Have your say

Caravans on road'Minimum standards must be met'

Ex-truckie joins call for special
caravan towing licences

TRUCKIE-turned-caravanner Patrick Glassborow, who clocked up millions of kilometres hauling freight between WA and the eastern states, has joined the growing call for special caravan towing licences. He argues that many problems could be solved by educating the RV travellers on how to correctly interact with heavy and other vehicles. "I now tow a 'van and I've seen the best and the worst of both," he told the truckies' Big Rigs newspaper. "A licence is definitely needed for caravan drivers, without question. By definition it can't be the same as any other licences and must cover their weights, their loaded weight distribution and emergency handling actions when needed." Mr Glassborow believed minimum standards must be met before they were allowed to hit the highways, possibly endangering other road users. But David Johnson was not convinced it was grey nomads who were the issue. "They're out there a lot and chatting to truck drivers," he told the newspaper. "I think it's more so the holidaymakers that are the dangerous ones. They're working on city mentality, they're running on a schedule and they're loaded to the hilt with all the gear for the kids too." Have your say

Three rigs come to grief

Frightening 24hrs on roads
for Aussie caravanners

Have your say

IT was a disastrous 24 hours for caravanners on Australia's roads with at least three accidents involving grey nomads and other RVers being reported. A caravanner was rushed to hospital after his rig flipped on a major Queensland highway on Wednesday. It is understood the traveller was not seriously injured but was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital. A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson said a man was treated by paramedics for seat-belt related injuries. The accident, near exit 41 on the M1 at Yatala between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, also involved a truck and created traffic chaos for early morning commuters. Three of the four southbound lanes were blocked. Several hours later emergency services attended a crash involving a car, caravan and truck on NSW's New England Highway at Tarro. Reports said the rig jackknifed, closing one of the three southbound lanes at Quarter Sessions Rd. Drivers were warned to expect "significant" delays as traffic banked up for kilometres. No further details were available. Meanwhile, an interstate caravanner who escaped virtually unscathed after a collision involving his rig and a semi-trailer in Victoria is to receive a penalty notice for failing to give way. The accident happened at the Pyramid-Yarraberb and Bridgewater-Raywood roads intersection in Raywood. Police said the smash could have been "a catastrophe".

Health of the company 'remains strong'


Coromal caravanBy Dennis Amor
Have your say

APOLLO Tourism and Leisure has survived a "challenging year" of subdued RV sales, the global company reports.

The Brisbane-based manufacturer of the Windsor and Coromal range of caravans has revealed its financial results for the last financial year ending on June 30, which show an underlying net after-tax profit of $14.7 million.

This was achieved on the back of a record revenue of $365 million over the previous financial year.

Chief executive Luke Trouchet described the results as "disappointing" but stressed that the health of his company founded in a humble backyard shed in the Queensland capital in 1985 remains strong.

"Subdued retail sales conditions in the second half of the year presented the company with a number of challenges globally, which contributed to the decline in earnings year on year," he said.

Acquiring the Windsor and Coromal caravan brands had been "an important addition" to Apollo's retail offering.

"This action brings consolidation to a fragmented Australian caravan industry and increases the product mix and market reach of the company's retail sales network," Mr Trouchet said.

His company had made a "solid start" to the new financial year, with RV sales and rentals remaining strong.

This was despite "ongoing headwinds" from geopolitical issues such as Brexit, China-USA trade tensions and the uncertainty created by the unrest in Hong Kong.

Kui Parks advert

Eve Donlon

Eva robbed of pokies win

Fundraiser for brave grandmother

A GoFundMe appeal has raised over $1000 for an 82-year-old grandmother who was attacked and robbed at a South Australian caravan park. Brave Eva Donlon fought back as two men allegedly knocked her down and put a hand over her mouth in her cabin at the park in Woodcroft. She hit one of the men with a heavy shoe and bent his thumb backwards before they fled with cash she had saved for her rent and most of the $6500 which she had won hours earlier on the pokies. Donations to the GoFundMe $8000 appeal, set up by HelloCare three weeks ago, have already reached $1260. Two men have been charged. Have your say

Sunliners assemble for inaugural rally

Owners tell of passion for iconic 'jelly beans'

Debbie Brown and pet dog Millie Michael Thomasson and his Sunliner caravan

Debbie Brown

Michael Thomasson

Story-Photos: Dennis Amor

DEVOUT owners of iconic vintage Sunliner caravans have held their inaugural rally. Twenty of Australia's first ever fibreglass caravans pitched at Burnett Heads Holiday Park in Bundaberg, the Queensland city where some of them were built in the 1960s. The RVs had the reputation of being one of the most stylish 'vans of their era, but sometimes being nicknamed "jelly beans" because of their distinctive shape. It is used as the universal symbol for caravans on Australian road signs. Only about 160 were ever built. Owners at the five-day gathering beginning on September 11 enjoyed a full program of activities. Former owners of the Conway Beach Holiday Park George and Debbie Brown, who recently sold their Whitsundays park, admitted they were passionate about the caravans ... so much so, they own four of them. "We have an obsession for them," Debbie told Caravanning News. "They're fun," she said. "They're certainly an attraction. People come and talk to you and want to see inside." Another owner, Michael Thomasson of Brisbane, thought the caravans were "cute", adding: "We just love the shape of it." His 13ft Sunliner, which he bought in WA five years ago, was built specially to accommodate an Anglo American mining company geologist. Have your say

Burrum River Caravan Park fire

Patient rushed to hospital

Person burned in caravan inferno

ONE person suffered severe burns and was rushed to hospital after a caravan erupted in flames at a Fraser Coast caravan park in Queensland. People grabbed hose pipes to fight a fierce blaze at the Burrum Heads River Caravan Park. Flames leapt high into the air as they attempted to prevent the inferno from spreading. The blaze was extinguished by three Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews. Police from Howard and Hervey Bay also attended. The cause of the fire was being investigated. Have your say

Advertising panel

Sunshine Coast caravan show

$5000 donated to Stanthorpe Rotarians

Sunshine Coast expo a 'huge success'

CARAVANNING Queensland has hailed its recent inaugural Sunshine Coast caravan show "a huge success". Nearly 11,500 enthusiasts flocked to the three-day expo at Nambour showgrounds, where more than 90 exhibitors showcased their latest products and more than 360 RVs. CQ general manager Jason Plant said it was the first ever official industry-owned and operated regional event. "Local Caravanning Queensland member businesses in particular were very thankful we held the event on the Sunshine Coast as it was a chance for them to provide the best insights into the regionís popular caravanning lifestyle and recruit new 'carafans'," he said. Woombye-Palmwoods Rotary Club president Jan Lawton said her club's involvement had allowed it to help fellow clubs who were in desperate need. "We were able to donate $5000 of our proceeds to a Rotary Club in Stanthorpe to help their community recover after the recent bushfires," she said. Have your say

Buy sell sign

The lower cost option

Renting could take the stress
out of caravanning, says CCA

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

TO buy or to rent ... that's the question being posed by the Caravan Council of Australia. Founder and general manager Colin Young believes the renting option could be more beneficial in terms of saving money. It also took the "stressful worry and annoyance" out of ensuring that a bought caravan is fully-compliant, safe and of very high quality. Mr Young points out that it allows renters to relax and forget about caravan insurance, registration and servicing obligations. "There are two significant factors to persuade non-caravanners to get into the lifestyle and experience the enjoyment of travelling around our great country," he said. "People who simply cannot afford to buy a 'van may well be enticed to go for the significantly lower-cost renting option. And those who do choose the renting path and enjoy their short travels may well be encouraged to go for longer vacations and decide to buy a caravan."  Read More button

CIAA excited to be involved

Industry backs TV's hit lifestyle show

AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravanning industry says it is over the moon to be involved in television's second series of Mobile Living. The lifestyle show, watched by over a million viewers nationally in May, is set to return early next year on the Seven network. "The Caravan Industry Association of Australia is very excited to be involved," chief executive officer Stuart Lamont said. "This is a fantastic way to showcase the great experiences you can have and memories you can create while caravanning and camping through well known Australian personalities who also love the lifestyle." The first two episodes of the series, produced by Cameron Damon Media, followed AFL star Patrick Dangerfield and his family (pictured) on their trip along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. And filming is already underway on eight new episodes which will air from next February. Read More button

Enthusiasts keeping a manufacturer's name alive

Bring your own water, Boroma Roamers urged

Boroma caravans meet
Photo: Caravanning News

OWNERS of Boroma caravans are being invited to attend their annual get-together ... but have been urged to take their own water to the NSW rally site. "Due to the drought and lack of water on the New England we have been asked to help out by arriving with full water tanks if possible," the organisers said. The Boroma Roamers plan a full programme of activities for the eight-day event beginning October 6 at Glen Innes Showgrounds. The group of enthusiasts continue to keep the name of the now defunct manufacturer of luxury caravans alive. Boroma, once regarded as the Rolls Royce of caravans, shocked the industry by pulling down the shutters in 2008. The Queensland-based company was forced into liquidation as a global economic downturn hit hard, closing its doors when sales plummeted and jittery customers cancelled orders. For more information on the Boroma Roamers, click here

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Letter man

Little chance
of 'clear air'
between truckies
and caravanners

I WOULD like to comment on the story about the truckie airing his grievances against grey nomads (see story here)

I think that the air between caravanners and truckies will never be clear.

Dogs and cats come to mind.

We travelled over 10 years all around Australia and had a few bad experiences with trucks and other caravans.

However, like the most nomads, 99 percent of truck drivers are easy to get on with courtesy, radio contact and respect.


What's new?

WHAT'S new ... another impatient cowboy truckie who thinks he owns the road.

Yes, I have been trucking (road trains etc) all my working life in transport and farming.

One day these people will click that life is too short to make mountains out of their personal beefs.

Problem is you have to get old to notice it.


Crazy council

IT'S so sad to see that the Australia Zoo, which must be coining it in, might put local caravan parks out of business.

The Irwin's world famous attraction plans to open its own caravan and camping area in direct competition to local parks which have been struggling to survive.

Crazy that the local council has given the ok for this development to go ahead.

Or is it a case of 'those that have will be given more' while the battlers are cast out.

Makes you think!



REGARDING the recall on Honda generators (see story here).

Just goes to show even the overpriced gennies, living on past reputations, have their problems.


No surprise

SO Jayco has finished tops in a Canstar Blue review (see story here).

Not surprised with its legendary after sales service Australia-wide.

They come $20,000 cheaper than the equivalent other brands.

And all the failures involve branded stuff from other suppliers, same as used by other manufacturers.

WJ (Bill) Frost.

Great job

TENTERFIELD Lodge and Caravan Park has declared it is not a childminding centre (see story here).

My wife and I have stayed there and it was a lovely QUIET place.

These owners are doing a great job in getting this park back to an excellent standard.

An oldie but a goodie.

We will be back.

John D Morley.

Owner happy
with Jurgens

AS a very happy Jurgens owner I am glad to see that they are back up and running after issues with Jurgens South Africa (see story here).

Jurgens has kept owners up to date via the Jurgens Owners Facebook page and at the last Jurgens Jamboree.

Yes, they had a few issues with the parent company and this wasn't helped by the rumour mills feeding social media.

They would have to be one of the safest, strongest lightweight 'vans built in Australia and I have unfortunately had chance to test their strength resulting in very minor damage.

Terry Young.