to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
Manjimup Shire Council in WA is inviting submissions on its plan to provide four 24-hour parking bays for self-contained RVs outside the Northcliffe Visitor Centre and Public Library.
Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Police trace owners of
abandoned crash caravan ... 18,873
Billabong caravan auction ...
12,274 people reached.
Dealers 'in dark' over Coromal and Windsor takeover ... 11,828 people
Hunt to find buyer for troubled Aussie Adventure Caravans
10,788 people reached.
Mass stampede for Aldi's sale of caravan equipment ...
Caravanner survives blaze caused by unattended chip fryer ...
7355 people reached.
First of new breed of Coromal caravans roll off Brisbane
production line ... 7209 people reached.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
'Real reason' behind plan
for 28-day camp permits
YOUR story about the Ararat council pondering
on camping permits should have mentioned
the real reason behind the 28-day permit plan
(see story here).
There are four or five permanent residents out there and the
council can't move them on due to the fact the council don't own
Some have been there over 18 months and have clothes lines
concreted into the ground and veggie patches.
They have hooked up to the power in the toilet block and connected
hoses to the single tap.
The donation is not meant for the council ... it's for the Green
Hill Lake committee for the upkeep.
The council do very little out there and wanted to close half the
area, which we locals protested about and had it stoped.
The council said it was the cost to maintain the dirt road, which
Many volunteers maintain the area and put many hours of work out
The council should not take any credit out there,
or be given any.
RE your article last month
concerning Townsville's "six free camping areas" (see story
Well, my WikiCamps shows one only site for free camping, but
a myriad of holiday parks.
Am I missing something?
I have always stayed away from these northern towns due to the
general lack of free camps.
As a senior traveller I just hate the crammed and busy holiday
Money is not really the problem for me, but I didn't invest in a
self-sufficient 'van to camp in Disneyland.
Where are the freedom sites?
WJ (Bill) Frost.
to make success of our business'
BACK IN PRODUCTION
JURGENS Australia has resumed production after this week's lockout.
About 50 staff who turned up for work on Monday were forced to return
home after finding the gates of the Pakenham factory padlocked. AL-KO
International has also moved to have troubled
caravan builder wound up. Calls to the
company from Caravanning News went
unanswered and dealers reported being "in the dark" over the situation.
But in a statement issued yesterday, director Paul Kyriacou blamed
the problem on landlords who had taken action over a "commercial
dispute". "We are pleased to advise we have resolved this issue, the gates
are open and we have resumed operations," he said. "A supplier has taken
legal proceedings to recover outstanding payments. We are in the process
of recapitalising which has taken longer than expected. We are confident
of settling all suppliers in the near future." Mr Kyriacou said there was
"still a way to go" in catching up with production to meet demand. "But
please be assured we are committed to making a success of our business and
rebuilding confidence in our brand. We acknowledge recent events have
created significant uncertainty for our staff, customers, dealers and
suppliers. We are truly sorry for the distress this has caused."
Have your say
and Photo By Dennis Amor
Have your say
caravan comes to grief on Queensland's Bruce Highway
TRANSPORT operations manager John Creenaune has
re-ignited the thorny issue of special towing licences for caravanners.
And the 56-year-old former SES volunteer who has
attended many accidents involving caravans revealed that raising
the issue has resulted in him being bombarded with
"unpleasant messages" from opponents.
Mr Creenaune, who works for Deniliquin-based
Fellows Bulk Transport in NSW, believes would-be caravanners should
complete "some sort of course" before being
allowed to tow their RVs, which can weigh up to
three tonnes, on public roads.
"I'm not asking them to get a truck licence but many of them hit the road
and are just disasters waiting to happen," he told Caravanning News.
for action from the federal government ...
Mr Creenaune's plea follows recent accidents involving
caravans and trucks, including one in which a caravan side-swiped a
B-double, causing it to overturn and trap the driver in the wreckage.
A transport industry worker for 30 years, Mr Creenhaune said he had
witnessed some "horrible" incidents on the road and it was time for the
federal government to take action.
"I have been to many crashes involving caravans and pulled elderly people
out," he said. "And they all had to do with inexperience."
He questioned the logic of people spending $30,000 or more on a caravan
but then foolishly steering clear of forking out
an extra thousand on a towing course.
Mr Creenhaune ‒ who
plans to retire in about nine years, buy a caravan and tour Australia
‒ revealed that
raising the issue had upset some people who had sent him abusive messages.
"I just delete them," he said. "They can say what they like, but I'm just
worried about everybody's safety ... and
not just getting on the bandwagon."
Troubled dealership hit with
rise in competition and suspected fraud
By Dennis Amor
Have your say
A FORMER employee of family-owned
and operated Brisbane RVs, which is now under
administration, has been charged with fraud.
The suspected employee
has been accused of defrauding the Queensland
company of over half a million dollars, which was
only recently identified.
The long-serving female member of staff is understood to
have been charged by police with several counts of siphoning funds from
the company, located alongside the Bruce Highway at Burpengary north of
Administrator Lee Crosthwaite, of Worrells Solvency and Forensic
Accountants, said the dealership,
one of the largest in the
Brisbane area, had also seen a
substantial increase in competition in the caravan industry in recent
It is a major agent for
Lotus, Paramount, Nova, Fortitude and Golden Eagle caravan and also boasts
of usually having over 50 used RVs for sale.
Worrells has revealed that its total debts
are in excess of $5
Secured creditor Wells Fargo is owed about $2.9
million and holds a substantial amount of
repossessed stock in security under its floor
Brisbane RVs' 19-employee entitlements
amount to $330,000, caravan manufacturers are
owed about $900,000, trade creditors/suppliers $300,000 and the Australian
Taxation Office $150,000.
Worrells are continuing to trade the business in a reduced capacity to
complete the onsite assembly of a number of caravans and campers, and to
assist customers with orders and servicing.
In a prepared statement forwarded to Caravanning
News, Mr Crosthwaite said that on February 28,
Brisbane RVs' secured creditor took possession of a "substantial amount"
of the company’s stock under its floor plan finance agreement, leaving it
with little stock to trade.
"Prior to the voluntary administration appointment, the company received
deposits for a number of new and used caravans," the statement said.
"The used caravans are now being held for those customers, pending payment
of the balance.
"The deposits paid for new caravans, approximately $550,000, are unsecured
creditor claims in the administration.
"However, these customers should promptly contact the manufacturer of the
caravan direct as the manufacturers have advised that they are considering
honouring those orders where possible."
A sale of the remaining stock of caravans is now being undertaken.
The first meeting of creditors of the dealership will be held at Worrells
offices in Brisbane on March 13.
Three years - and still
doing what they love most
of their life on the road
MORE and more younger
caravanners are shunning the bright lights and joining Australia's army of
grey nomads. Official figures released by the Caravan Industry
Association of Australia indicate that couples in their twenties are
taking more and more caravan holidays, with a 16
percent rise during the last year. And while the
majority are satisfied with a couple of weeks in a holiday park, others
are turning caravanning into a lifestyle and hitting the road fulltime.
Many may question whether a life on the road is for them, but for one
couple from Bundaberg in Queensland it was a no brainer.
Caravanning News caught up with the couple in
their twenties who have spent the last three years travelling Australia's
highways and byways and asked them about their life on the road.
"Waking up every day to new experiences, new faces, new opportunities ...
it's the life we wanted to live," electrician Jack Hambrecht and teacher
Brittney Roberts (pictured)
said. Three years
after beginning their adventures on Australia's highways and byways, they
are still doing what they love most.
Coromal, Windsor sale reaches final step
Fleetwood, former manufacturers of
Windsor and Coromal caravans,
the completion of the brands' sale to Apollo Tourism and Leisure. It
expects to receive $11.2 million in cash before the end of the current
financial year. The 'second completion',
which included raw materials and trading stock,
concludes the transaction period after Apollo acquired the brand names for
$1 million last year. Fleetwood managing director
and chief executive Brad Denison described it as
"an important final step" in disposing its caravan manufacturing business.
"We considered the Apollo sale transaction to be a superior outcome for
our shareholders compared to other alternatives
such as an outright closure," he added.
Have your say
'It should never have been
SLIMMED DOWN VERSION OF
BILLABONG TRADING AGAIN
A SLIMMED down Billabong
Custom Caravans is back in business. Founded
13 years ago and with nationwide outlets, The Victoria-based manufacturer
produced quality handmade caravans at its Campbellfield factory in
Victoria but shocked the industry when it went into administration and
then liquidation last year. Business couple Andrew and Claire Lednar
bought the brand name for an undisclosed price
and are now breathing new life into the company,
operating in a small area of the factory. Ms
Lednar told Caravanning News that she and her husband themselves
were owners of a Billabong caravan and had been following the company's
growth over the years. "We just didn't want to see the end of Billabong,"
she said. "We thought of changing the name but it is one that is loved and
respected by so many people." Manager
and former owner of the company Forch Salce told Caravanning
News he was delighted Billabong was up and running again. "It should
never have been shut down in the first place," he said. "The company is
now a lot
different. It is not 48 people turning out six or seven 'vans a
week ... it is six people doing one 'van a week." He said the company's
resurrection had been well received. "When news got out we had about 300
replies and only five of these were negative," he added.
Have your say
denies financial problems
QUEENSLAND-based Sunland Caravans has dismissed
allegations that it is in financial trouble.
Owner Roy Wyss Jnr was commenting on an attack by the Lemon group claiming
that this was the reason it did not attend the Victorian caravan show. He
told Caravanning News: "They are posting damaging garbage based on
speculation rather than facts." Mr Wyss explained that Sunland did not
attend the show because it did not qualify under new rules set in place by
the organisers after its Victorian dealer retired earlier this year. "We
are, of course, at the Gold Coast show this year and Sydney and Brisbane
shows," he said. "There is no doubt the group's onslaught is doing great
harm to a business built on its good reputation and can cause the loss of
livelihood to a great many people."
Have your say
RV site a smash hit with travellers
A NSW sports club's trial RV
campsite has mushroomed into a resounding
success. The experiment, launched two years ago at Sporties Tuncurry
in the State's Mid North Coast region, got off to a slow start but quickly
gathered momentum with nearly a thousand self-contained caravans and
motorhomes using the facility last year. Bar and bistro takings at the
club have soared, proving that RV patrons are using club facilities. A
delighted official told Caravanning News that plans were now afoot
to extend the site.
just a road-trip away
ROMANCE for some travellers is just a road-trip away, according to the
caravanning and camping industry.
In fact, according to the Caravanning Industry Association
of Australia, camping sojourns are particularly good for improving
relationships. It's Real Richness Report found that 85 percent of campers
felt closer to their spouse or partner compared to 65 percent of
non-campers. For couples looking to make the most of time away together,
camping trips offered a chance to disconnect from technology and enjoy
time with one another in nature, with 94 percent of campers believing that
camping creates happy memories.
stats on campfire safety
A NEW survey has revealed disturbing statistics on campfire safety.
The alarming findings came during one of Victoria's
peak times for camping and as the State ‒ one of the most fire-prone areas
in the world ‒ experienced a period of high temperatures. Park Rangers are
concerned after the survey showed that an incredible three quarters of
campers had no idea how to correctly extinguish a campfire. The remaining
74 percent thought it should be extinguished by covering with soil or
sand. Campfires must always be fully extinguished with water, not soil,
and must be cool to touch before being safe to leave.
opens gates for non-members
The CMCA, Australia's largest RV club with over 70,000 members, has
relaxed its rules and will now allow non-members to use its low-cost RV
parks. Up to 15 percent of sites may be
available during busy periods but each park will be assessed individually
to determine the mix. CMCA chairman Garry Lee described it as an exciting
step for increasing the club's membership. It has parks in Ingham,
Bundaberg, Chinchilla (Qld) and Railton (Tas). Its facility in Euston
(NSW) is undergoing redevelopment while a sixth park in Penola (SA) is in
its early stages of development
Kerrigan family outside their
famous home dubbed
'The Castle' caravan park
Councillors decide to 'tell
him he's dreaming'
Shire councillors in Victoria have rejected plans for a new caravan park which
would have been home to one of Australia's most famous houses. The
proposed development by George Fendyk at Beechworth's Mayday Hills Precinct
would have included Darryl Kerrigan’s much loved weatherboard home which
featured in the hit movie The Castle, together with a timber
carving of the fictional Darryl.
It was planned to use the
iconic building as
a tourist attraction, office and caretakers' residence. But councillors
at their recent meeting backed a motion from Councillor Jenny O'Connor
calling for non-approval of the planning permit application. It was argued
the site was incompatible with the "sensitive" agricultural and heritage
area. Councillors were also worried it could become a permanent
residential facility. The development's first phase would have included
drive-through sites, seven standard caravan and 10 camping sites, car
parking together with an ablutions block and camp kitchen. The second
would have seen more caravan sites and about 35 permanent accommodation
cabins plus recreation areas.
Have your say
top state for caravan ownership
MORE Queenslanders own caravans than in any other State, according to
Caravan Industry Association of Australia's latest statistics.
A total of 163,389 banana benders registered their 'vans in 2018 compared
with only 16,703 motorhomes. The Bundaberg region was the top postcode for
caravan ownership with 4326 'vans while the Hervey Bay region came in
second with 4048 'vans. Victoria ‒ claimed to be
the heart of the caravan industry ‒ was second
in the list with 150,990 caravans and 13,542 motorhomes. Other figures are
ACT: 4714 caravans and 461 motorhomes; NSW: 139,240 caravans and 18,458
motorhomes; NT: 1691 caravans and 244 motorhomes; SA: 50,294 caravans and
4416 motorhomes; Tasmania: 15,583 caravans and 4915 motorhomes, and WA:
86,866 caravans and 7871 motorhomes.
Have your say
dealer with a big heart
A CARAVAN dealership in Western Australia has donated a life-saving piece
of equipment to a branch of the nationwide caravan club.
When Bob Elkington and Jennie Morison were finalising the purchase of a
new caravan they asked Luxury RVs general manager Luke Bell if he would
sponsor their caravan group, the Wait Awhile Nomads. And, much to their
delight, he was more than happy to oblige ... in the form a brand new
defibrillator. "With a branch membership of 62 this defibrillator has the
potential to save lives," delighted branch secretary David Braidwood said.
upgrade underway at Green Patch
A POPULAR short-stay camping ground at Cairns in far north Queensland is
undergoing a $2.4m upgrade. Gordonvale's Green
Patch facility will be provided with 42 campsites and a new amenities
block with toilets and showers, dump point and day-use facilities such as
picnic spots. On the banks of the Mulgrave River and Hemming Creek, the
camping ground has been closed during the wet season and is expected to
reopen in June. Flood warning signs will be installed to alert campers of
possible- inundation. Council officers will patrol the area and if
required advise campers to evacuate. The Queensland Government has
contributed $1.5 million toward the cost of the upgrades under Round Two of
the Works for Queensland program.
Have your say
Valley locals oppose park plan
PLANS for a 48-site 'eco-friendly' caravan park in the Hunter Region's
Lambs Valley in NSW have upset locals. They
argue that the development, which would include cabins, glamping tents and
caravan sites, would have too many adverse impacts on their peaceful
surroundings. They argue that when full, the park's 400 guests would
double the valley's population. They also warned that floods could cut the
access road and bring power outages for up to a week. They wondered how
caravan park guests would cope in such an event. Singleton Council is now
reviewing the development application for the park, which would be located
on a 372-hectare grazing property owned by ANZ Inheritance.
Have your say
dimensions before driving'
Melbourne's notorious low
snares another victim
nomads and other travellers have again been warned about the notorious
Montague Street Bridge in Melbourne. Numerous RVers on their way to
the Spirit of Tasmania ferries have been caught unaware by the
three-metre high structure in the city's south. The latest victim was the
driver of a motorhome who failed to obey five warning signs before
becoming well and truly stuck under the light railway bridge, which has
become so infamous it has a Facebook page of its own. He was unhurt
but the vehicle's roof was slightly damaged. VicTraffic said it was the
responsibility of drivers to know how long, heavy and high their vehicles
were. "Check your dimensions before driving," it said. "And please pay
attention to the five warning signs, the gantries and the low clearance
Have your say
Grove sells at auction for $1.7m
HERVEY Bay's 93-site Coconut Grove caravan
park in Queensland has sold at auction for $1.7 million. Marketed by Ray
White's Glenn Fallon, the 1.9ha property was snapped up by a consortium of
Queensland-based caravan operators. There were
six registered bidders, with bids opening at $1 million. "We had more than
30 enquiries throughout the campaign with strong interest coming from
Queensland, but there was also interest from around Australia," Mr Fallon
said. There was a total of five bids during the auction.
Have your say
continue to support Cancer Council
OWNERS of Retreat caravans will again be raising funds for the Cancer
Council when they hold their yearly get-together.
Planning is already underway for the third annual National Retreat Caravan
Owners & Family Group Rally, which will be held at the Geelong Showgrounds
in Victoria. The event will run from September 14 to 23. "This year we
continue to support the Cancer Council and all monies raised will be going
to the Victoria Cancer Council," organisers Lyn and Phil Deaves told
Caravanning News. All owners of Retreat Caravans are being invited to
attend. Previous rallies at Mudgee in NSW and Maryborough in Queensland
raised a total of $25,000 for the charity. For more information, go to the
Retreat Caravans Owners Club or Retreat Caravans Family Group on
Facebook. Meanwhile, about 30 caravans are expected to head for
Queensland's Maryborough Showgrounds in April for the Queensland Retreat
Caravan group first get-together.
Have your say
set to revolutionise caravan chassis
AL-KO in Melbourne has developed an Australian lightweight chassis with
the potential to revolutionise Australian caravan design.
LightR is a highly engineered chassis concept, offering the opportunity
for significant weight savings over the traditional Australian caravan
chassis whilst retaining the strong and durable characteristics required
for the tough Australian conditions. It was created by AL-KO in Melbourne
over the past two years.
dumps blame on thoughtless 'vanners
THOUGHTLESS caravanners are being blamed for the temporary closure of a
popular camping ground in New South Wales. The
local council is being forced to carry out urgent repairs and upgrades
after travellers emptied their toilet cassettes into the toilets at the
facility in the small town of Binnaway on the Castlereagh River in the
State's central west. And the closure has had a dramatic effect on the
local economy, with businesses reporting a 30 percent loss in income,
Warrumbungle Shire Council said. The campground is popular with tourists
throughout the year with all sites regularly full on any given night.
safety a 'shared responsibility'
CARAVANNERS have been reminded that road safety is a shared
responsibility. This follows an accident in
which a B-double livestock truck loaded with 46 steers rolled on the Hume
Highway, north of Tarcutta in NSW. A 4WD towing a caravan allegedly
sideswiped the truck causing its driver to lose control. The caravanners
escaped serious injury but the truck driver was taken to hospital after
being freed from his wrecked cab. Twenty-three steers also perished. It
was not clear whether the 4WD driver will face charges. Comments on social
media again highlighted the strained relationship between some truck
drivers and caravanners. And NSW Centre for Road Safety executive director
Bernard Carlon is reported to have told the Australian Transport News:
"Road safety is a shared responsibility and we all have a part to play in
preventing deaths and serious injuries on our roads." He said that with
more trucks on the roads than ever, it was "imperative that everyone takes
responsibility for driving safely".
Have your say
Half-year results show
start' as Fleetwood reveals 17pc rise in revenue
Fleetwood Corporation, which offloaded its loss-making Coromal and Windsor
manufacturing operations after pressure from disgruntled shareholders, has
announced a 17 percent rise in revenue to $167.5 million for the half-year
ending December 31, 2018. Underlying earnings before interest and
taxes soared 57 percent to $15.6 million, while statutory net after-tax
profit was $3.1 million after allowing for losses from Fleetwood's
discontinued caravan building business. Managing director and chief
executive Brad Denison described the results as a "pleasing start" to the
financial year. "Parts and Accessories continues to look to servicing more
of the imported caravan market, as well as after-market sales, to hedge
against tough conditions in local caravan builds," he added. The results
reflected the first contributions from its modular building division and
Melbourne-based Northern RV, a major caravan plumbing and electrical
services and parts supplier which Fleetwood acquired last year for $10
Have your say
residents hot under the collar over parking
RESIDENTS of the Ocean Reef Caravan Village at Wanneroo in WA are fuming.
They complain that a new funeral parlour across the road has
created traffic congestion, prompting one man to raise the issue with the
local council after he missed an important engagement. He warned that
ambulances or fire engines could have problems if called to attend a home
on the street. Mayor Tracey Roberts said the council was aware of the
problems. Director Assets Harminder Singh said the city's traffic team had
begun collecting data in that area "to understand the issues that have
been highlighted". The city needed to work with the funeral parlour
operators and consider parking prohibitions if required, he added.
Have your say
helps owners of 'lemons' cut legal fees
THE Caravan Council of Australia is striving to help owners of "lemon"
caravans cut the legal costs of getting justice.
General manager Colin Young (pictured) said some faced "serious
time-wasting and frustrating hassles" trying to get suppliers to honour
their legal obligations to fix defects. "Quite often, caravanners have
been bitterly disappointed after lodging a complaint ," he said. The
council is now endeavouring to slash the cost of having a 'Letter of
Demand' sent to the caravan supplier by liaising with suitable
highly-experienced solicitors and professional engineers. The idea is to
provide an effective low-cost alternative procedure to the current
expensive litigation process.
nomads to benefit from $1m upgrade
GREY nomads and other travellers heading to northern Queensland's Wujal
Wujal will soon have access to more accommodation options.
The $1 million Wujal Wujal Eco Village upgrade is being fully funded
through the Queensland Government’s Building Our Regions program.
Four new safari tents – built on raised decks – will be provided in
addition to a camp kitchen and other improved amenities and communal
areas. There will also be designated camping and RV parking areas,
including an RV waste water disposal point. Wujal Wujal is a small
Aboriginal community on the north and south sides of the Bloomfield River.
The name Wujal Wujal means 'many falls', highlighting the sacred
waterfalls in the area. Wujal Wujal mayor Desmond Tayley said the new
facilities and RV waste water disposal point would provide a reason for
visitors to stay longer and explore the area rather than pass straight
Have your say
revenue rises to $183m
GLOBAL company Apollo Tourism and Leisure has reported a 6.6 percent rise
in revenue. Figures for the first half of the
current financial year revealed it stood at $183.8 million. Net after-tax
profit was up 7.9 percent at $15 million. Reporting on its Australian
operations, managing director and chief executive Luke Trouchet said the
addition of the Windsor and Coromal caravan brands to Apollo's retail
sales offering represented a "significant opportunity" for the company.
"Not only in terms of revenue generation, but it also brings consolidation
to a fragmented caravan industry and establishes us as a market leader,"
he said. The first of the newly designed and impressive-looking Coromal
caravans have rolled out of Apollo's factory in Brisbane and will be on
display at the Gold Coast Caravan & Outdoor Expo which opens on March 1.
Have your say
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recognise that travellers have their own needs
YOU reported last month on Bowen's
daytime parking idea for RVs (see story
Every street in the town is a daytime parking area ... short-stay
travellers do not want holiday parks for overnight.
Can't the council get it into their thinking that there is, and always
will be, two classes of traveller.
Long-stay holidaymakers, probably with children, need and prefer a
plethora of facilities while short-stayers in self-sufficient RVs only
want a couple of days in town and will not bother with holiday
Far from being "unfair" to caravan parks, it is a different class of
traveller altogether that looks for the informality of "camps".
Maybe the council should shut the op-shops because they are unfair to
the regular traders, or shut the library because it competes with the
I suggest that the holiday parks should take on board the fact that an
increasing number of RVs just don't need the holiday park facilities
and should look at adapting their business plan to accommodate the
WJ (Bill) Frost.
BOWEN'S mayor was reputed to have said there would be no
freecamp facilities at Bowen while he is mayor.
Not having a 24 or 48-hour stopover area where people could park and spend $$
on stocking up or sampling Bowen is short-sighted
He needs to talk to the people at Julia Creek ... they are going gang busters
and drawing people to their area.
SO Aussie Adventure Caravans has gone into voluntary
administration (see story here)
Wow, who would ever guess this would happen.
I would not think there would be many out there that could pull it out of
I feel for those employed that could lose out, along with people and
companies that support them with products made offsite.
Hope people that have 'vans on order or being built don't miss out.
Hope the owners and managers are held accountable 'cause I bet their life and
families don't miss out.
They would have probably known this was coming.