to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
Locals in some South Australian outback towns up in arms about thoughtless grey nomads using valuable town water supplies ... to wash their rigs.
Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Australia's highest
priced caravan sells for over $200,000 ...
Suncorp reports spike in caravan insurance claims ...
28,819 people reached.
Hunt for missing grey nomad in far north Queensland ... 26,580 people
New $4m caravan park planned for Hervey Bay ... 22,829 people reached.
Apollo buys Fleetwood's loss-making Coromal and Windsor
operations ... 14,733 people reached.
NSW caravan rego fees slashed by 40 percent ...
Caravan's solar panel smashes through windscreen
of following car ...
10,643 people reached.
win for lucky caravanners
Multi-millionaire grey nomads
hit another winning streak
By Dennis Amor
grey nomads from the Gold Coast have done it again ... scooped a major
prize on the lotto. The lucky travellers, who
collected a cool $10 million seven months ago, have just
landed another $150,000 with a $10 Instant
Scratch-Its ticket bought at Top News in Katherine in
the Northern Territory. The unnamed winners are on a
round-Australia adventure in their brand new caravan, bought from their
previous windfall. "It's unbelievable," they said after being told of
their latest good fortune. "We have never considered ourselves to be
lucky. Now we are wondering if these things come in threes and whether
we'll have another win before the end of the year." Top News owner Sondra
Barry, who sold them the winning ticket, said
the jubilant grey nomads at first couldn't believe their latest win was
for real. “It was so exciting – we’re so pleased for the couple,"
she added. To read Caravanning News'
story about their first win
Have your say
CARAVAN and camping trips remain the favourite holiday option for many
Australians, new figures reveal.
And the latest data from Tourism Research Australia shows the popularity
is continuing to grow more than ever.
National overnight domestic caravan and camping nights have risen 3.5
percent to reach a record 51.3 million for the year ending March 2018.
The most prominent age groups were the 30 to 54-year-olds (5.5m) and the
55-plus market (3.4m).
economic value reported to around
$4.5 billion annually
20-29-year-age group saw significant growth, soaring 11 percent from the
previous year to 2.1 million trips.
comes as the caravan and camping trade industry reported that its economic
value was around $4.5 billion annually.
The sector comprises manufacturers, dealerships, part and accessories
retailers, service and repairs businesses together with RV storage and
camping equipment retailers.
Additionally, the sector made up more than 21,000 full time jobs across
4300 trade businesses in Australia.
The caravan and camping sector is regarded as pivotal to Australian tourism
because it disperses visitors and employment throughout Australia.
The most popular activity was eating out at restaurant or cafes, which was
enjoyed by more than 6 million travellers and provided economic value to
many regional areas with caravan parks.
The majority of visitors (77.76 percent) took caravan and camping trips as
a form of holiday rather than for business or visiting family and friends.
Have your say
Windsor heading east
UPDATE - July 6:
FLEETWOOD has lost its company secretary. Yanya O'Hara
has resigned, leaving the Perth-based company looking for a replacement.
Chief financial officer Andrew Wackett has been appointed interim company
secretary. Ms O'Hara joined Fleetwood as assistant company secretary in
2011 and was appointed company secretary three years later.
ARRANGEMENTS are underway to switch the
building of Coromal and Windsor caravans to a factory 4000km away.
Perth-based Fleetwood has sold the "goodwill" of its loss-making two
brands to Apollo Tourism and Leisure for $1 million. This follows falling
sales and heavy pressure from shareholders to offload
its caravan business in the face of savage discounting by other RV
manufacturers in Victoria. Fleetwood, which will continue its manufactured
homes operations, had for some time been pondering whether to shift
operations to the east coast because of high manufacturing costs in Perth.
The value of the fixed assets in its caravan business were written down to
nil earlier this year after the company recorded a bigger underlying loss
of $5.6 million in the December half and in the
face of an oversupply of caravans nationally. Fleetwood's caravan
manufacturing facility in Perth will close this year, paving the way for
Apollo to buy inventory and raw materials at discounted prices and begin
building Coromal and Windsor caravans at its factory in north Brisbane.
To read Fleetwood's announcement revealing the sale,
Have your say
discover simple things in life
IT has taken an extended caravanning road
trip for a young NSW family to discover that the simple things in life are
the best. The Halseys are midway through a four-month adventure in
their 22ft WonderlandRV Adventus bunk caravan towed by an Isuzu MU-X 2017.
And with nearly 20,000km chalked up so far, Todd and Kirryn told
Caravanning News: "It has reminded us that it's the simple things in
life that make us the happiest and has taught us to appreciate life and
each other so much more." The couple, who are travelling with their two
boys ‒ Taj (5) and Jai (2) ‒ said each day of their journey brought
memories that will last a lifetime.
to branch out
THE Australian Caravan Club's soaring membership over the past year has
led to the formation of two new branches in Queensland.
ACC Rainforest Ramblers has taken off with a running start in the state's
far north, becoming the club's 51st branch and boasting an initial 34
members. Meanwhile, the club said its new ACC Awesome Bundy Cruisers at
Bundaberg would fill a gap along the Queensland coastline.
still holds industry crown
VICTORIA continued to dominate Australia's $4.5 billion caravan industry
last year, accounting for almost half its total economic contribution and
almost two-thirds of its manufacturing jobs. But
the state's peak body for the industry admitted there was "still much to
do" to raise business standards to match the expectations of "increasingly
knowledgeable and sophisticated customers". The Caravan Industry
Association of Victoria has welcomed a major report showing that the state
is still the heartland of Australia's booming caravan industry and the
national leader for every major metric. Chief executive Rob Lucas
(pictured) said it led not only in jobs and economic contribution, but in
revenue, the number of enterprises, value-add and payroll.
Boost for local economy
Rum City's new RV park
already proving popular
THE Campervan & Motorhome
Club of Australia's latest RV park has opened in Queensland's Rum City.
And the 50-site facility on Bundaberg's old showgrounds in Burrum Street
is already pouring thousands of dollars into the local economy. "It's
proving to be extremely popular," custodians Daryl and Bec Lumsden
(pictured) told Caravanning News.
"Receipts handed into us after only a few days of opening the gates to
members showed they spent around $5000 in the city," they said. The park
provides low-cost, no-frills five-night maximum stays for CMCA members
only. Each person pays $3 nightly and their caravans, motorhome and
campervans must be self-contained. The pet-friendly
park has a ban on smoking and its only
facilities are a dump point, drinking water and a small undercover area.
The land is in a flood-prone area of the city but the local council says
the itinerant nature of park occupants would mean their vehicles could
leave quickly in the event of an emergency.
Have your say
benefit cancer research
KARUMBA Point Sunset Caravan Park in
Queensland's Gulf Country will hold a country hoedown on July 6 to raise
funds for the Cancer Council. Guests will be able to donate as much as
they like after paying a $5 cover charge to attend the fundraiser.
The park has raised $1600 for the charity during the past two years.
Have your say
accidents cold comfort for insurer
GREY nomads escaping the southern states' freezing conditions are driving
a frightening increase in Queensland caravan accidents, it has been
revealed. New figures from Suncorp show that
insurance claims from caravanners soared by a massive 94 percent in the
Sunshine State during winter months, with August being the worst time for
accidents. Western Australia came in second at 40 percent. Meanwhile, the
number of claims plummeted by 30 percent in Victoria, the home base for
many grey nomads heading north in search of the winter sunshine.
planned for Kimba's free camping area
THE District Council of Kimba in South Australia has set aside $194,739 in
its annual budget to provide an additional amenities block at its free
camping area. The town of 1300 residents is
situated halfway across Australia on the world renowned Eyre Highway,
National Highway One. Its Community Development Group has a novel way of
welcoming grey nomads ... seven nights free camping and full use of camp
facilities In return for two full days of volunteer work with local
Have your say
A FATHER, whose daughter and her family are on a year-long round-Australia
caravanning adventure has taken to the world's leading online travel site
to praise Queensland's top motoring organisation for getting them out of a
predicament. It appears the hapless travellers
‒ Mark and Cheryl Palmer and sons Braedyn (13)
and Corbin (11) ‒ were left stranded when their
tow vehicle gave up the ghost 20km out of Emerald in the Sunshine State.
"They contacted the RACQ who arranged to have the car transported to a
garage in Emerald, the caravan towed to a motor park, paid for six nights
at the park and for a rental car for six days," Barry Campbell, from Te
Anau in New Zealand, wrote on the worldwide TripAdvisor website.
"Absolutely fabulous service. A big thumbs up to RACQ." And in an
update to Caravanning News he said: "They
have spent their enforced time in Emerald fossicking for gemstones ...
hoping to get enough to pay for the $3500 repairs."
Busy time ahead
for Retreat owners
OWNERS of Retreat caravans are preparing for a busy time ahead.
More than 150 members of the Retreat Family Group will
be heading for Queensland for their national caravan rally later this
year. Seventy-six caravans have already been registered for the event at
the Maryborough Showgrounds. But organisers Barry and Sandy Neilsen expect
many more to sign up before week-long programme of activities get underway
on September 10.
truckies and caravanners coexist
A QUEENSLAND caravanner is working on a programme to help create a better
understanding between recreational vehicle owners and truck drivers.
Ken Wilson believes his Truck Friendly driver education project
will help them improve their relationships when it comes to sharing the
highways, rest areas and other places where the two groups come into
contact. "As a caravan user myself, I have seen both sides of the argument
between who is right and who is wrong in the truck verses caravan debate
on our roads," Mr Wilson, who has spent two years devising his programme,
told Caravanning News.
for Lake Proserpine
QUEENSLAND'S Whitsunday Regional Council is planning new recreational
facilities at Lake Proserpine following its takeover of Peter Faust Dam's
recreation area from SunWater. They include
camping areas and fishing and boating opportunities. Mayor Andrew Willcox
said Lake Proserpine, one of the area’s iconic natural assets, had been
identified as a key area to develop recreational and tourism facilities.
"Lake Proserpine is largely untapped and developing it into a recreation
hub that can cater for camping, boating, fishing or just be a nice spot to
visit for a barbecue will add significant value to the Whitsunday region,"
Have your say
rests its case on roadside facilities
AUSTRALIA'S national caravan club has called
for more rest area facilities in NSW.
"While RVers acknowledge that truckies operate on a time schedule and must
have regulatory rest stops, RVers too need fatigue management,"
Australian Caravan Club chairman
Craig Humphrey said. While welcoming the State Government's decision to
slash caravan registration fees by 40 percent, this was only one issue
affecting RVers in NSW that needed attention. "The government needs to
start doing something to improve not only the number of roadside rest
areas, but also the allocated space available in rest areas for RVs," he
Pet ban 'will
cost Newman dearly'
WHALEBACK Village caravan park in Newman, WA, has reopened after BHP
splashed out $450,000 on an upgrade. Local shire
dignitaries and Chamber of Commerce and Industry representatives attended
the official opening of the 22-site park, timed to coincide with the peak
grey nomad season. But some travellers have questioned the wisdom of
banning pets and open fires at the park on Newman Drive, arguing it will
cost the Pilbara town dearly. "There are numerous caravanners with dogs
and other animals touring this great land of ours ... it's such a shame
they are being turned away," Queensland grey nomad Harry Fitzmaurice
commented. "It just means Newman businesses will be missing out on an
awful lot of tourist dollars."
Have your say
most remote 'van repair business?
THE new owner of an historic pub in outback Queensland could become one of
Australia's most isolated caravan repairer.
Robert ‘Robbo’ Haken, a smash repair businessman from Brisbane, is
reopening the 97-year-old Betoota Hotel, the only building on the 380km
rugged road between Birdsville and Windorah. The pub fell into disrepair
after its previous owner died two decades ago but has now been renovated
and should be open to tourists this month. Mr Haken hopes to capture
business from grey nomads and other travellers by offering caravan and
vehicle repairs along with fuel, a camping area, beds for tourists, food
and a breakdown service. "We’ve done so much work there and put in so many
changes," he said.
Have your say
figures feature in Queen's Birthday Honours
TWO leading figures in Victoria’s caravan industry were recognised in the
Queen’s Birthday Honours. Chairman of Prestige
Jayco John Spence received the Order of Australia Medal while David
Mann, the industry's radio voice, became a Member of the Order of
Australia (AM). Both have a long association with the Caravan Industry
Association of Victoria, the peak body for Victoria’s caravan
Pictured at the official
opening are, from left, Mr Wilson, Boyup Brook Shire president
Graham Aird and WA Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti.
Safer access to WA shire
New Tone bridge improves safety for
CARAVANNERS have heaved a
sigh of relief with news that the new $4.9 million two-lane Tone Bridge on
the Boyup Brook to Cranbrook Road at Tonebridge, Western Australia, is now
complete. Hundreds of vehicles used the old single-lane bridge daily,
including a high number of trucks, road trains and caravans. Local MP Rick
Wilson, who officially opened the new Tone River Bridge, said it would
facilitate safer access for vehicles entering and leaving the Shire of
Boyup Brook on one of its major distributor roads. "Around 400 vehicles
used the old single-lane bridge daily, including a high number of
caravans," he told Caravanning News. "By removing the need to stop
and give way to oncoming vehicles, the new double-lane bridge will improve
safety for people travelling with caravans." The original single-lane
wooden bridge was built in 1925.
Have your say
to produce Aussie chassis
MAJOR UK caravan builder Bailey has decided to produce a
specially-designed Australian chassis at its Melbourne factory.
After the successful release of its fully Australian-designed Rangefinder
and Coastal caravans, Bailey ‒ the UK's top selling caravan brand ‒ is now
taking the next step in diversifying its range Down
Under by assembling its UK caravans on a specially designed,
Australian-made chassis in Victoria. But managing director Adrian van
Geelen stressed that it was extremely important the new
Aussie Pamplona remained "quintessentially British".
from new battery management system
BMPRO has released a new battery management system exclusively for Jayco.
The JHub controls on-board features of Jayco
caravans or motorhomes from a tether-free Android tablet using the latest
in Bluetooth connectivity. It manages incoming power, battery charging,
tank levels and more, including the control of onboard features such as
lights, slide-outs, hot water and water pumps. BMPRO is the leading
Australian brand of power management solutions for the RV industry. Chief
executive Louise Bayliss said Jayco was highly respected within the
industry for leading with innovation and delivering the best
value-for-money to their customers. "So when we worked with them to build
something that would dramatically improve their customers’ adventures, we
were ecstatic that it evolved into the JHub system," she added.
Have your say
wanted to follow sun
DOMETIC has joined forces with Australia's peak caravanning body and
Winnebago to promote a year-long road trip.
Friends, families, mums and dads, retirees, singles and others are beng
share the adventure. Caravan Industry
Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said the Dometic
Follow the Sun Relay would showcase to the world how great it was to
explore Australia on a caravan and camping adventure. Participants will be
asked to share stories, videos, photos and fun moments from their trip.
hailed a success
GLAMPING will become an annual attraction at
the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park on Victoria's iconic Great Ocean Road.
This follows the success of a sell-out Glamping Fiesta at the Great Ocean
Road Committee's park involving 40 campers spending three nights of luxury
under canvas during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. They also enjoyed
music, films, wine, gourmet meals and fire pits. The committee also
manages the Anglesea Family and Torquay Foreshore caravan parks. Chairman
Ken Northwood said the committee was thrilled with the glamping success
and looking at more new ways to drive winter
Have your say
Australia's highest prices caravan?
wheels' turns heads in Brisbane
is thought to be Australia's highest priced caravan has been turning heads
in Brisbane. The triple-axle custom-built Kedron Top Ender TE7,
reported to have been sold for over $200,000, was unveiled at Caravanning Queensland's major caravan show in the Queensland capital. It
has already made several trips along city streets, one for a comprehensive
photo-shoot. The new owner's identity has not been revealed but
Brisbane-based Kedron said it will be towed by a "big American
vehicle". The "palace on wheels" has everything a caravanner would ever
want, including 1000W solar system, 900 amps of lithium, satellite TV,
auto airbag levelling, heated leather seating, home theatre, four
fridge/freezers ... and even a dishwater.
Have your say
businesses on market for $2 million
A QUEENSLAND caravan hire business is being sold for $2.195 million.
The unnamed company, billed as one of the State's largest and most
profitable of its kind, is being marketed by Brisbane-based broking and
commercial sales firm Mercury 5 Sky. It says the single-owner operation
provides flexible time input to the "niche and unique" company. With
assets of around $1m, it claims to offer one of the largest fleet of
'vans for hire within the State. "Due to the sheer size and capacity of
this business, with its sales and net income being so high and on the
increase, there is ample more that could be done immediately to derive
even more reward for owning this investment," the seller says.
"Conveniently located, there is simply a growing market for this type of
Have your say
trail benefits caravan park
THE Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in southern Queensland has already had
flow-on effects for one local caravan park. A
team of Tweed Shire Council design engineers and environmental scientists
from NSW recently took to bicycles for a 40km ride to gain first-hand
experience of the trail, soon to be Australia's longest of its type. It
runs from Ipswich to Toogoolawah, with an extension to Moore scheduled to
open this month. NSW is now planning its own rail trail. Project manager
Iain Lonsdale said his team was particularly interested to learn of the
business opportunities provided by Queensland's trail, reporting that the
demand for accommodation generated by users had prompted a $1 million
expansion and upgrade of the Esk Caravan Park. "Our visit to Brisbane
Valley certainly fuelled the passion of the Tweed team to deliver a
first-class rail trail product for northern NSW to build a new
regional tourist attraction to drive economic growth and jobs," he added.
Have your say
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on our roads
I THINK a
lot of the angst between caravanners and
truckies could be reduced.
I am sure that if all caravanners were trained in the use of UHF
radio and used it to talk to the truckies then everyone would
Caravanners should be encouraged to join clubs where they would gain
a wealth of experience and advice from veterans.
Many new 'vanners are unaware of the rules, unwritten or otherwise,
of sharing the road with our truckie mates,
Sure, there are a few cowboys amongst the big guys.
But mostly if you call them up on the UHF and invite them to go past
when safe they will thank you and go rocketing past when they can.
there's going to be an attempt on world's longest RV queue (see
What a bunch of idiots ... no wonder RV owners get a bad name,
There are enough hold-ups caused under normal driving conditions
other than to have these dropkicks take part in this circus!
These people should realise that they do not own the road.