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Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

August 2019
 

Readership: Up to 32,000 monthly
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For full list, click above

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

 

* Gel Blaster gun critics gagged on caravanners' forum  ... 17,859 people reached.

* Terrified campers flee blaze at Adels Grove ... 10,531 people reached.

* Caravanners injured in Barrier Hwy rollover ... 10,289 people reached

* Fraser Coast RV Village weigh-in ... 9997 people reached.

* Motorhome bogged at Rainbow Beach ... 9152 people reached.

* Caravanners urged to be "fire safe" ... 8460 people reached.

* Caravan crooks make off with luxury caravan from Sunland Caravans ... 7737 people reached.

MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

News on Broken Hill parking is 'awesome'

REGARDING your story on RV parking at Broken Hill (see story here).

Awesome news from an ex local!

Broken Hill Caravan park on the Adelaide road definitely needs a facelift in their toilet amenities!

I understand there cannot be grass due to water being scarce.

They it needs to lower the price by about $5 ... it's just too expensive.

We have stayed there several times and the people who run it are a lovely bunch.

Vicki Bieler.


Poo at Uluru

SO RVers are emptying their toilet cassettes at the roadside in Ululu (see story here).

I found it quite interesting that some people would stoop low enough to actually dump black/grey water willy-nilly wherever they want.

Then again, what can one expect when a very vocal person on a forum spouts words like, and I quote: "Go well away from rest areas, dig and dump".

The (Irritated) Old F**t.


Best to worse

I READ your story about Jayco coming tops in a Canstar Blue review (see here).

Can we see the full list ... best to worst?

Now that would be interesting.

Russell Bramich.


.



 


Site well known for endangered marine turtles

'World class' caravan park planned for remote beach

Turtle researcher near Rules Beach

Turtle researcher near
Rules Beach

Story-photo: Dennis Amor

IT'S been 15 years in the making but a new $30 million development at remote and pristine Rules Beach in Queensland will soon be echoing to the sound of residents and caravanners. Planning approval has been given for an enclave comprising a 95-site "world class" caravan park, 42 holiday villas and 15 beachfront houses. The unique development north of Bundaberg is already underway with a main entrance, power and water. The site is set on 12ha of coastal land and boasts 330m of absolute beach frontage in an out-of-the-way location well known for its marine loggerhead and green turtles See photo of plan here. The endangered species visit the area during the egg laying and hatching season between November and March. The development is being marketed by international real estate agents Knight Frank who describe it as the "perfect launch pad for a southern Great Barrier Reef experience". "There are few locations so out of the way, peaceful and natural, yet so close to everything a holidaymaker would want than Rules Beach," it said. "It is not often you are afforded the chance to take up such a unique development opportunity as this ... with all the hard work done and construction being all that is left." Have your say


Colin Caudell and MP Fiona Simpson

'Worst 30 minutes' of his life

Book recounts grey nomad tragedy

GREY nomad Colin Caudell's life was shattered when his wife of 35 years Suzanne was killed by a huge speeding truck on Queensland's notorious Bruce Highway In 2013, The Caudells were working as traffic controllers at Marlborough, north of Rockhampton, during a round-Australia caravanning adventure. Suzanne, 64, died when the B-double truck, reportedly travelling at 106km/h in a 60km/h zone, collided with her. She was holding a stop/slow sign to south-bound traffic. The truckie served 10 months in jail after being convicted of dangerous driving causing death. He was disqualified from driving for two years. The years following the tragedy were tough for Colin but he has now written a book, Pick Myself Up & Dust Myself Off. It describes how he coped after the dreadful accident, which he describes as the worst 30 minutes of his life. Mr Caudell told Caravanning News: "My life changed forever with the tragic and violent death of my wife. The book represents the journey I had to undertake following witnessing her death." He has called for changes in the way traffic management is handled "so no one will ever have to suffer again". For more information on the book, click here. Photo: Mr Caudell with MP Fiona Simpson.    Have your say


Electrocution or fire risk revealed

SHOCK WARNING OVER POTENTIALLY LETHAL CABLE IN CARAVANS

Inifinity cable in Mr Root's caravan

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

OWNERS of some caravans built between 2010 and 2014 could be in danger of being electrocuted or seeing their RV erupt in flames.

The shock warning comes from Victoria caravanner Trevor Root who has just discovered "by chance" that his boutique caravan is wired with cable that could turn his RV into a death trap.

He told Caravanning News that Chinese-made Infinity cables used during its construction could degrade and become brittle with age, causing a short circuit with devastating results.

"My guess is there might not be many caravans with the cable in it, but I'd rather alert people and get them to check than hear of a caravan burning down because they didn't know," he said.

"We discovered last week that our 'van, built in 2012, has some of the Infinity cable in it.

"We contacted our manufacturer and they have in turn contacted the Infinity Recall office in Sydney who will arrange for an electrician to check the 'van and determine the next course of action."

Mr Root said was aware of at least one other caravanner who had the Infinity cable in his caravan.

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

Bruce Aumann is another caravanner who was forced to have the rogue cable replaced.

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

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


In a 2015 recall, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned that if the cables were disturbed the plastic insulation could become brittle and break, resulting in possible death or serious injury from electrocution or a fire. Have your say


Snake on steering wheel

Stowaway fright for caravanners

Snakes alive! Unwelcome passenger

TWO caravanners found themselves with an unlikely stowaway as they cruised happily along Queensland's major highway. The Queenslanders were enjoying their journey north on the Bruce Highway in their Hino 300 truck with a 25ft Jayco Sterling caravan in tow when suddenly a near-metre-long snake slithered onto the steering wheel. The reptile continued its way over their knees and arms, over the dashboard and onto the passenger's lap. The drama happened as 59-year-old Suez national disaster manager Gavin Tunstall and wife Frances, 61, were travelling through roadworks near Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast. Read More button


Kui Parks advert


Ron and Julie Gray with their new Lotus

Shock after dealer goes belly up

From a living nightmare to living
the dream, thanks to Lotus

RON and Julie Gray happily handed over more than $100,000 to have a dream caravan built for a round-Australia adventure. But their plans lay in tatters when the Queensland dealer north of Brisbane suddenly went belly up with debts of over $5 million. With no money apparently being passed on to the manufacturer, their dream turned into a nightmare after realising they would never receive their customised luxury Lotus caravan. When the owners of the Victoria-based company heard of Ron and Julie's plight they decided, with the help of its suppliers, to build the caravan anyway without any further costs to the couple. The Grays went from a living nightmare to living the dream. Ron and Julie are now over the moon with their new Lotus Trooper caravan and with the amount of help received from the industry as a whole. "All the contractors got together to make this happen … we can't express how grateful we are," they said. Have your say


High percentage of RV ownership

SUNSHINE COAST SHINES IN CARAVANNING WORLD

QUEENSLAND'S Sunshine Coast is a shining star in Australia's caravanning world, according to the state's peak body for the industry. "It is not only a popular destination for caravanners, it also boasts a high percentage of recreational vehicle ownership," Caravanning Queensland general manager Jason Plant said. "The Sunshine and Fraser coasts are home to seven of the top 10 Queensland postcodes for recreational vehicle registrations." He was speaking ahead of Caravanning Queensland's inaugural three-day Sunshine Coast Caravan and Outdoor Expo, which opens at Nambour Showgrounds on August 30. About 80 exhibitors will showcase leading brands, latest models of caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, tent trailers and other recreational products and accessories. "The people of the Sunshine Coast love escaping and experiencing the great outdoors in their recreational vehicles," Mr Plant said. "This brand new caravan industry event is the perfect place to see all the new, innovative and exciting products this fantastic industry has to offer." Have your say


Advertising panel


Retreat caravanners cheque for cancer charity

Third national rally approaches

Retreat owners continue cancer
charity fundraising efforts

Have your say

OWNERS of Retreat caravans, who have already raised around $25,000 for cancer research, will again be supporting the charity next month. Nearly 70 caravans from all over the country will head for the Geelong Showgrounds in Victoria for the third National Retreat Caravans Family Group & Owners Club rally. The group raised over $11,000 in 2017 for NSW Cancer Council followed by another $14,000 for Queensland Cancer Council last year (see photograph). "These amounts could not be raised without the help from all the Retreat owners who attended the rallies as well as companies donating prizes," organisers of the Victoria rally Phil and Lyn Deaves told Caravanning News. Read More button


Apollo factory in Brisbane

Bumpy ride for former Coromal, Windsor builder

FLEETWOOD STOCK LIMPING ALONG

By Dennis Amor

Fleetwood shares continue to limp along on the Australian Stock Exchange. Stock in the former manufacturer of Windsor and Coromal caravans is down nearly 14 percent for the quarter and opened at $1.68 today. During the last 52 weeks the value of its shares has varied from a high of $2.44 to a low of $1.56. The Perth-based company last year sold its loss-making caravan manufacturing operations to Apollo for $1 million after pressure from unhappy shareholders. The global tourism and leisure company which has operations in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland now builds the Windsor and Coromal brands at its Brisbane factory (pictured above). Meanwhile, Fleetwood retains its links with the recreational vehicle industry with its Camec and Northern RV operations. Camec is a leading supplier of RV and caravan components throughout Australia and New Zealand while Victoria-based Northern RV which was acquired last year services the caravan and motorhome industry with repairs, insurance claims, servicing, parts and accessories. Have your say


Traveller airlifted to hospital after RV rolls on him

Sad times for travellers

Grey nomad killed in horror crash on unsealed road

A 68-year-old Brisbane caravanner died when his rig collided head-on with another 4WD towing a caravan on Cape York’s Peninsula Developmental Road. The accident happened on an unsealed section of the road just south of the Jardine River ferry crossing. Police believe dust could have been a factor. Meanwhile, a man suffered serious chest and abdominal injuries after his broken down RV on a Queensland highway rolled on him. It is understood the traveller in his fifties was trying to move vehicle from the road south of Biggenden. The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter airlifted him in a stable condition to the Bundaberg Base Hospital 90km away.   Have your say


'No reason why they can't think this stuff through better'

TRUCKIE AIRS GRIEVANCES AGAINST NOMADS

Caravan on roadTRUCKIE Tony Geitenbeek has taken to the transport industry's Big Rig publication to air his grievances against grey nomads. In a letter he accuses them of lacking in forward observation, route planning, road conditions, fatigue management, height awareness and dietary control for alertness. "Being older, there really is no reason why they can't think this stuff through better," he writes. "And here's something that really annoys the crap out of me ... when they stop out front of a Maccas or KFC and then toilet their dogs on the grass areas out front. Not only that but they also rarely pick up after the pooch, nor do they always obey the leash laws." He claims there is "a large subset" of grey nomads who treat their new home on wheels as they would their car, explaining: "I can go there in a car so I can go there in my 'fossil-hut on wheels'." Have your say


Longreach parks to feature in Qantas celebrations
CARAVAN parks at Longreach in Queensland will feature in a special celebration on August 19 to mark a milestone in the founding of Australia’s National Airline, Qantas. They will welcome Qantas Founders Museum’s Model T Ford which will be touring the outback town as part of the 100th anniversary of a 51-day drive by three World War One veterans through Northern Australia. The trip across remote and rough terrain by Longreach mechanic George Gorham and pilots Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh led to the idea of an air service for Northern Australia. Have your say


Brisbane RVs logoBrisbane RVs up and running again
QUEENSLAND'S Brisbane RVs at Burpengary is trading again.
The original dealership, one of the largest in the area north of the city, folded in March with debts of over $5 million. It had also suffered from a suspected employee fraud in excess of half a million dollars. The brand name has been bought by former staff member Steve Tauzowski, who was employed by the company for 18 years. He said: "Brisbane RVs is open for business now with new and used caravanning stock for sale. Plus we provide service, insurance and warranty repairs for all makes and models." The new company has implemented a customer trust account for caravan purchase transactions. "This means the customer's money is safe and held in trust until the purchase is fully realised," it says on its website. Have your say


ACCC v Jayco

Court told of refund refusals

Judgement is reserved in Jayco
'unconscionable conduct' case

JUSTICE Wheelahan has reserved judgement in the ACCC and Jayco Corporation case. The hearing opened in the Federal Court in Melbourne on July 24. The national product safety regulator has accused the country's biggest manufacturer of caravans and other RVs of "unconscionable conduct" when dealing with unhappy customers. It was alleged four owners were refused refunds or replacement between 2013 and 2015 for their defective Jayco caravans. The ACCC claimed the company did this despite knowing they were defective and not functioning properly, even after repeated repair attempts. The proceedings were launched in November, 2017. Have your say


Mr Lamont (second from left) with Queensland Transport compliance inspector Tony Aitkon and caravanners Lyle and Kathy Walker

Mr Chapman (second from left) with Queensland Transport compliance inspector Tony Aitkon and caravanners
Lyle and Kathy Walker

Sales are not everythng'

CARAVAN SAFETY CHECKS TOP 2000

Story-Photo: Dennis Amor

CARAVANNING Queensland has put more than 2000 recreational vehicles under the microscope since introducing its free safety checks more than three years ago. The peak body for the state's caravanning industry, in conjunction with Queensland Transport, saw another hundred or so undergo checks at Maryborough and Bundaberg on the weekend. Chief executive Ron Chapman told Caravanning News: "We are very keen on road safety and have been involved in many initiatives over the years, but this is one of the more popular ones. It is now in its fourth year. Yes, we are interested in sales but that's not everything. We also want buyers to enjoy their RVs properly afterwards and we can do that by making them safe and telling them how to be safe." Read More button


Couple escape serious injuries in highway accident

DRAMATIC VIDEO CAPTURES CARAVAN ROLLOVER

Caravan rollover video

By Dennis Amor

POLICE have released a dramatic video showing a caravan and its tow vehicle coming to grief on Queensland's Bruce Highway. The 31-second footage captured the Kingdom caravan and 4WD as they careered out of control after overtaking another vehicle at Gumlu on July 29. Miraculously the 67-year-old South Australian driver and his passenger escaped with minor injuries. Senior Constable Mark Siddall from the Forensic Crash Unit said that considering the footage, it was amazing they both suffered only cuts and bruises. "The driver of any vehicle is legally responsible for being safe when towing a caravan," he said. While not directly referring to the injured couple, he said caravanners should complete a few short towing trips first, gradually increasing the distance travelled before embarking on a long trip. "This allows you to familiarise yourself with your vehicle and caravan and to understand the feel of the weight of the caravan on the back of your vehicle," he said. Click here or on the photo above to view the video Have your say


Production to cease at end of month

BAILEY TO STOP BUILDING 'VANS IN AUSTRALIA

Bailey caravanBy Dennis Amor

BAILEY Australia is to abandon its caravan manufacturing operations in Australia. This follows a review by the UK-based company which says it will cease building its RVs here at the end of this month or soon after. "Bailey as a brand is not leaving Australia and is merely ceasing its manufacturing operations," it said in a statement. An "orderly wind-down" of its Australian operations had already begun and as many of the customer orders as possible would be honoured. "Appropriate arrangements will be made to deal with existing Bailey owners and any outstanding orders along with employee and supplier commitments," Bailey said. "This will include arrangements being put in place to honour existing warranty, support and service commitments for caravans sold in Australia and New Zealand markets." It was exploring "various options" under which the company could continue to operate in both countries. Dealers contacted by Caravanning News today appeared shocked by the news but declined to comment. Bailey has been producing leisure vehicles for 70 years in the UK where it employs around 450 staff. The statement thanked everyone who had supported and become loyal customers. Members of Bailey Australia Owners group were said to be "shocked and saddened" by the news. More information would be made public in coming weeks, it added. Bailey UK was the first European manufacturer to enter the Australian market in 2010. It produced its first Australian designed and manufactured caravans in 2016. Have your say


'Shocking culture' among suppliers

Consumer laws under fire from independent body

Colin Young ACCTHE Caravan Council of Australia has fired a broadside at consumer protection legislation. Founder and general manager Colin Young (pictured) a member of the Australia Institution of Engineers believes consumer laws are sadly lacking. "The real-world situation for consumers, especially for caravan buyers, is in horrible and serious contrast to their 'honourable' intentions," he said. "One would reasonably expect that all problems, whether minor defects or major failures, would be promptly and professionally rectified by the supplier … at no cost to the consumer. With just a few respected exceptions, the truth is ever so far away from this expectation." Mr Young claims there is a "shocking culture" among suppliers, manufacturers and importers to rigorously ward off complaints by customers with legitimate problems. Read more button


Jayco prizewinners

More holidays ahead

Sur-prize ticket for Lara

A VISIT to a caravan show has turned up trumps for one Queensland woman. Lara Miller from Loganholme (pictured with her family) has won a $36,000 caravan with her $12 entrance ticket to Caravanning Queensland's Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow in Brisbane earlier this year. The delighted Lara commented after collecting her prize from Brisbane Camperland: "As it turns out, this was our first Supershow and we were going to buy a caravan so we could get away from the kids and really relax, but unfortunately our budget blew out. We're so thankful to have won our new Jayco CrossTrak, as it means we can start adventuring on more holidays to explore Queensland and wider Australia. We plan on going to Pottsville first just to see how we go, and then off to Running Creek to turn it up a bit." Have your say


DefibrillatorPeak body manages defibrillator program
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning body has partnered with the Federal Government to launch a defibrillator subsidy program for caravan parks.
The initiative is designed to encourage operators to install the devices to help save the lives of people experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. The $1 million government funding will match dollar to dollar up to $1000 for each unit bought by an operator, excluding GST. Applications for the subsidy are now open. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia will manage the program's roll out until June 30th, 2021. "This is a once in a generation funding opportunity to support your parks and funding is limited to a first come first served basis," the association said. It pointed out that it had no preferred suppliers irrespective of communications parks may receive from suppliers." , but please speak with your State Association in the first instance as member discounts or specials may be applicable. Have your say

Winchelsea RV ParkWinchelsea's 48hr facility stays open
DESPITE failing to provide any "noticeable economic benefit" for the area, Victoria's Surf Coast Shire Council has decided not to close Winchelsea's 48-hour RV Friendly Park.
But, according to a council report, the two-year-old facility on the Barwon River Reserve's riverbank generated an image of a friendly and welcoming town. "The site seems to be popular with RV travellers," it said. There has been more than 80 comments on the Wiki-Camps Travel App, mostly positive. Up to five vehicles nightly used the site and there had not been a single report of overcrowding. "There were several occasions where campers were not fully compliant with the conditions," the report revealed. These included RVs not being fully self-contained, tents and Wicked-type campers. "Once conditions were explained people generally complied," the report said. The RV park has an operational budget of $13,905. Have your say

Kingston RV Park rules relaxedRules relaxed at Kingston park
RULES at a South Australian council-run RV park are to be relaxed for a one night musical event.
Kingston District Council expects more than 20,000 revellers, many in caravans and other RVs, to descend on the tiny town of Lucindale for the Triple J One Night Stand music festival on September 14. And with accommodation venues almost booked out, the council has extended its RV Park in nearby Kingston to help cope with the influx of visitors. Mayor Kay Rasheed said it was an opportunity to bring "vibrancy" to the town during a traditionally quiet time of the year. Read More button


RVers at Mareeba Christmas in July 2019Cops weigh in as RVs assemble
COPS and transport officials attended a gathering of nomads to help them take a weight off their minds.
They were on hand at the Mareeba Christmas in July event in Queensland where over 200 caravans, motorhomes and other RVs were parked in Davies Park. Police, in conjunction with Department of Transport staff, held a free information session and weights check for the travellers. Mareeba Christmas in July nomadsThey set up a weigh station for the morning on Riordon Street and many nomads took the opportunity to have their vehicles weighed for compliance. About 100 nomads made their way to the marquee for an information session by local police and compliance officers. read more button


Older retired grey nomads lead the way

Caravanning, camping more popular

New figures released by the Tourism Research Australia show that domestic caravan and camping trips are more popular than ever. And older retired grey nomads are leading the way with 32 percent of total nights, while families account for 30 percent. Parents with children living at home chalked up the largest numbers of trips at 4.4 million, while the younger ones with no children were a close runner-up with 4.2 million trips. Australians spent 54.5 million nights caravanning and camping during the year ending March 2019, marking a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year. The total number of trips came to 12.9 million, an increase of 8.5 percent. Regional destinations continued to enjoy more income from caravanners and campers, with nearly a third of all trips in regional Australia in 2018-2019 year involving the sector. Surprisingly, the most popular activity for the year was eating out, with 6.7 million caravan and camping trips involving visits to local restaurants and cafes. Growth was experienced across all states and territories in terms of trips, with double digit growth recorded for the Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. New South Wales and Western Australia also experienced growth, but at a slightly lower rate. Have your say


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Older nomads 'not thinking outside the box' on zoo caravan park plan

IN regards to last month's letter from David Rickertt, regarding the proposed Australia Zoo caravan park (see story here).

I think many older grey nomads are not thinking outside the box.

Regardless of earlier stories that ratepayers' money was being used to build a private business, the subject is open for debate.

The comments by David and others do not see that the park is being built to attract younger people and families.

The explosion of young families of late tells us that they spend a lot more money than the older generation.

I have seen firsthand the amount of younger people taking up caravanning/camping just by seeing the customers In my son's caravan repair shop.

The world of caravanning is not all about us oldies, we are not the only ones to caravan/camp.

I am 67 and I have been caravanning for 30yrs.

GE, Perth.

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!

Dameon.


Generators

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

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

GE.


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.