Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive
to 32,000 monthly
Site well known for endangered marine turtles
'World class' caravan park planned for remote 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
'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
By Dennis Amor
OWNERS of some
caravans built between 2010 and 2014 could be in danger of being
electrocuted or seeing their RV erupt in flames.
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.
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.
Shock after dealer goes belly up
From a living nightmare to living
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
Third national rally approaches
Retreat owners continue cancer
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.
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
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
TRUCKIE 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
RVs up and running again
Court told of refund refusals
is reserved in Jayco
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
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."
Couple escape serious injuries in highway accident
DRAMATIC VIDEO CAPTURES CARAVAN ROLLOVER
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
By 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
THE 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.
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
body manages defibrillator program
48hr facility stays open
relaxed at Kingston park
weigh in as RVs assemble
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
To view previous editions of Caravanning News, click on the appropriate month:
Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor
part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without