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SEPTEMBER 2022
 


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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

SEPT 25:
The four-day Melbourne Leisurefest which opens on Oct 6 at Sandown Racecourse promises to showcase more products, caravans and other RVs than ever before.

 
 

* Caravan overturns on beach ... 65,098 people reached.

* Cops amazed over caravan on tow ... 34,237 people reached.

* Road safety week for caravanners ... 12,150 people reached.

* Police launch roadside weighing of caravans - with bacon and eggs thrown in ... 9046 people reached.

* Giant croc invades caravan... 8950 people reached.

* Thieves make off with pink caravan ... 7729 people reached.

 



 


Caravan under tow

Drivers responsible

Rig checks vital before hitting
road, warn Queensland police

POLICE in Queensland have requested caravanners to familiarise themselves with their rig before hitting the road. "Caravanning can be an exciting time for everyone, but it can also lead to tragedy if you don't know your vehicles capability," Darling Downs officer Senior Constable Belinda Elks said. "Drivers of vehicles towing caravans or trailers are responsible for driving to the conditions and understanding the impacts of the extra load." Read More button


Northern RVDownturn predicted

'Outstanding year' for Fleetwood's RV division

By Dennis Amor

FLEETWOOD'S RV Solutions division has reported an "outstanding year" thanks to the ongoing popularity of domestic tourism in Australia. But the division, which operates RV accessories company Northern Camec and Melbourne-based caravan repairs and services company Northern RV, said it was forecast to decline as international travel returns. "The larger fleet of imported and domestic caravans already purchased would continue to fuel the second-hand and aftermarket demand for the services and products of RV Solutions for years to come," it said in a message to shareholders. The RV Solutions business finished the financial year with EBITA of $9.8 million on revenue of $81.2 million. Its medium-term outlook remained positive, with the forward order book for manufacturers remaining at historically high levels. "The business will likely remain in a strong position through exposure to the locally-built RV market via the parts business Camec, and to overseas imports through the services business Northern RV. The boom in caravan sales during the past two years will likely continue to deliver demand for the aftermarket service and renovation offering of Northern RV." The potential impact of recent interest rate rises, fuel increases and the impact on discretionary spending was being closely monitored, it added. Have your say


TAFEHighest production rate for 30yrs

Caravan industry embraces
RV apprenticeships

Have your say

THE caravan industry has embraced TAFE Queensland's courses, with a hundred students now taking further education and RV apprenticeships. The provider said it was uniquely placed to service the industry thanks to its ability to train the wide range of skills needed for building high quality caravans. TAFE Queensland's director of commercial services Stephen Gates said students benefited from its specialised teaching staff and equipment. "The skills needed for the recreational vehicle industry are made up of many different trades," he explained. "The great thing here at TAFE Queensland is the breadth of our training and scope of our facilities." Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont describes the caravan manufacturing sector as "the largest remaining bastion of automotive manufacturing in Australia", adding that last year saw the highest Australian-made production rates in 30 years. The industry had struggled to maintain quality standards and consumers had been demanding higher quality and compliance standards for some years. The local caravan industry is in full support of TAFE Queensland's new courses, with Queensland industry giants Caravanning Queensland and recreational vehicle insurance specialists CIL Insurance both donating to the new facilities and courses. A caravan industry training facility was opened Acacia Ridge campus in August, 2021.   For further story, click here.


'Next six months to remain challenging'

Rising costs a headache for caravan industry

Stuart Lamont

Have your say

RISING costs are a worry to the Australian caravanning industry's peak body, it has been revealed.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia reports falling profitability
throughout the first half of the year, despite rising revenues in the face of increasing challenges.

The industry said it had met "mounting complexities" posed by increased costs of business, rising energy prices, supply chain and rising workforce costs.

Labour shortages and rising workforce costs had been recognised as major factors by 76 percent of the industry.

Ninety percent felt the pinch of rising energy costs, which remained as one of the largest cost of business in the industry.

The industry's bi-annual Business Conditions Report shows it is buoyed by strong orders and bookings, but these factors needed to remain robust to combat the rapidly rising costs and weakening profit margins.

Chief executive Stuart Lamont said that while he was pleased to see the industry's contribution to both the domestic tourism market and manufacturing industry remained strong, the rising costs of business was of concern.

"Every segment of our industry is hurting in some way; many face no other alternative than to pass some of the additional costs on to the consumer," he said.

However, there was some positive news on its way for the industry as revenue was expected to hold steady with potential for growth over the next six months as employment levels and capital expenditure stabilised.

"The next six months is going to prove challenging as our industry navigates multiple economic factors," Mr Lamont said.

"Our steady consumer demand means the industry will remain in good shape, but at what cost?"



Nick Baker'An exciting addition'

Holiday parks chief executive joins CCIA's NSW board of directors

REFLECTIONS Holiday Parks chief executive Nick Baker has been elected to the Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW's board of directors. He will take up his appointment on November 8. Mr Baker joined Reflections Holiday Parks as chief executive in July, 2021, and reshaped the organisation from a builder and operator of holiday parks to a leading nature-based escapes organisation. Reflections is the largest holiday park operator in NSW and welcomes two million visitors a year. It is a pioneering the profit for purpose tourism business model where all profits are reinvested in the Crown Lands parks and reserves that it cares for on behalf of the people of NSW. Reflections' goal is to deliver over $1.3 billion in economic benefit (cumulative) to NSW between now and the 2030 financial year. CCIA NSW chief executive Lyndel Gray congratulated Mr Baker and welcomed his involvement and support for the industry. "Nick's global tourism experience and expertise across all facets of the industry make him an exciting addition to our board," she said. Have your say


Cables and ties saved the day

JP applauds Good Samaritan for caravan rescue

Good samariten JaydenA CARAVANNING justice of the peace has taken to a local newspaper to thank a student for helping her out of a predicament in NSW. Helen Hofman was crossing the notoriously narrow Manning River's Martin Bridge at Taree in the Mid North Coast region when she damaged her caravan's awning. In a letter to the Manning River Times, Ms Hofman said she wanted to publicly thank the "very kind young man" who went to her rescue. "While standing on the roadside wondering how best to fix my problem, I was approached by Hayden a local Diamond Beach RFS member and a TAFE trades student offering help," she wrote. "He used cable ties and tape to make my caravan safe enough to drive, then followed behind me as far as the local Twilight Caravan Park to ensure all was okay." Ms Hofman said a professional inspection next day found it was safe enough to continue her journey to Sydney. "I was told by the inspector that he could not have done a better job himself. I am so grateful to Hayden for coming to my rescue. His kindness, reassuring demeanour and swift action ensured I could continue my long journey home the next day. He is a credit to his parents and a positive role model for his generation." Have your say


Rural Road Safety campaign   Assn will deliver daily messages

CIAA backs foundation's Rural Road Safety Month

Have your say

WITH almost two thirds of Australia's road fatalities happening on rural roads, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia is supporting the Australian Road Safety Foundation's Rural Road Safety Month. The association said it was committed to improving road safety outcomes for all road users. "When over 89 percent of camping trips are enjoyed in regional areas and 840,000 registered RVs in Australia, it is only appropriate to partner with the foundation to promote this potentially life saving messaging," it said. "The caravan industry will deliver safety messages daily to its RV and camping audiences during September. Messaging will include pre-planning, understanding your RV setup, including towing and your caravan weights, fatigue management and reminding people to be patient."


CMCA logo'Amazing opportunity to showcase area'

Over 600 RVs expected to flood
into Dalby for annual rally

THE Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia expects up to 600 caravans and motorhomes to roll into Dalby in Queensland for next year's annual rally. It will be the first time the 70,000-member club ‒ the nation's largest body of RV enthusiasts ‒ has held the event in the Western Downs. And, it says, the entire region is set to benefit, with members encouraged to spend time travelling throughout the area before and after the eight-day rally, beginning October 9 at the local showgrounds. Western Downs Regional Council Tourism, Events and Regional Promotion spokesman Councillor Kylie Bourne said the event would be an "amazing opportunity" to showcase the area's many active, vibrant communities and natural wonders.


Caravans on road  'This is an important message'

Caravanners urged to help
reduce rural road accidents

THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia has urged travellers to take action to help reduce rural road accidents. With 840,000 registered recreational vehicles in Australia, the peak caravanning body wants to remind all campers of the importance of being "alert and prepared" during the September Rural Road Safety month. "With over 89 percent of camping trips being regional, this is an important message," the association said. The industry said it would deliver daily safety messages during the month. They would deal with pre-planning, understanding your RV setup including towing and your caravan weights, fatigue management and reminding people to be patient. Have your say


Rallies in jeopardy

Roamers fear falling interest in the 'Rolls Royce' of caravans

BOROMA Roamers and friends are planning their next eight-day get-together at the BIG4 caravan park in Casino, NSW, beginning on October 17. There are fears it could be the final official rally due to falling interest. A message to members regarding the future  states: "It will be up to individual Roamers to communicate via whatever means suits them, to organise mini rallies or trips with others who may be interested in joining them for the camaraderie that Roamers and friends have previously enjoyed." Boroma was regarded by many as the Rolls Royce of caravans but was forced into liquidation in 2008 when a global economic downturn caused sales to plummet as jittery customers cancelled orders. It owed creditors around $1.7 million. The Roamers had vowed to keep the name of the well renowned Queensland manufacturer alive. Have your say


Mayor Jenny Hill    Webpage 'a one stop shop'

Townsville's council says get in
quick to grab free camping sites

FAMILIES looking for an affordable getaway are being urged to log into a Queensland council's free RV and camping bookable webpage to grab their spot for the upcoming school holidays. The Townsville City Council describes its site as a one-stop shop for residents and travellers wanting to book a site at any of its free camping locations. Mayor Jenny Hill, pictured, said it was a good idea to get in now to secure a camp site for the school holidays. The next step for the council would be to encourage local businesses to invest in RV and camping sites to help build "an economically sustainable future for the cityís campsites", she added. Read More button


ACC's Mick Keogh 'We need to be satisfied'

Consumer watchdog seeks views on proposed Apollo acquisition

AUSTRALIA'S consumer watchdog is seeking views on a proposed court-enforceable undertaking offered by THL and Apollo in relation to THLís proposed acquisition of Apollo. THL and Apollo, the two largest suppliers of rental recreational vehicles in Australia, are involved in the rental, sale and manufacture of RVs such as motorhomes and campervans. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission published a statement of issues outlining preliminary competition concerns that the proposed acquisition would remove THLís closest and largest competitor in a market where new entry or expansion appear unlikely. "In assessing THL and Apollo's proposed undertaking, we will need to be satisfied that it will effectively address our competition concerns as well as being structured in a way that is practical and effective," ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh, pictured, said. More button 4

  Providing a home during repairs

Camplify comes to aid of New South Wales' flood victims

THE successful at-home caravan program for flood-affected NSW residents will be expanded to more communities to provide additional medium-term housing relief. And the successful Newcastle-based Camplify peer-to-peer caravan rental company will play a major part. Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the program is being extended to include residents in 15 areas across the Ballina, Lismore and Tweed local government areas. Camplify chief executive and founder Justin Hales said caravans provided people in need with a reliable home, and called on more caravan owners to consider registering their 'vans to the cause. They would give people a place to stay on their own properties "while they manage the difficult task of repairing and rebuilding from the floods". "Camplify will work with Resilience NSW to source and coordinate the placement of the 'vans through its community of 'van owners within its relief program," he explained. Read More button


RETREATERS PLANNING GET-TOGETHER

THE Queensland Retreat Caravan Group will hold its fourth Get-Together on September 15 at the Crows Nest Caravan Park in the Sunshine State. Administrators Barry and Sandy Neilsen said there would be a full week of activities. These would include a bus tour to Toowoomba for the Carnival of Flowers, a 'Roast' night, a night of barefoot bowls, bacon and egg breakfast, pancake breakfast, sausage sizzle and much more. "At our last get-together we raised $2400 from raffles and an auction that has been donated to the Royal Flying Doctors," Barry and Sandy told Caravanning News.


Whyalla park sign

Maybe linked to another nearby crime

Police appeal after crooks make
off with rubbish bins from SA park

A POLICE appeal in SA can hardly be called a load of garbage! They have called for help in tracking down thieves who made off with 25 wheelie bins from the Discovery Park's Whyalla Foreshore caravan park. The criminals struck between 5pm on August 28 and 9.30am on August 29. The bins, dark green with yellow lids and engraved with 'Discovery Parks', were also full of recyclable cans and bottles. Police are investigating whether the theft is linked to a nearby break-in and theft at a football clubrooms on Beach Road, Whyalla. That break-in occurred about 2.30am on August 29 and alcohol was stolen from behind the bar. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the stolen wheelie bins or who saw any suspicious activity that night around Broadbent Terrace and the Whyalla Foreshore is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au. Have your say


Police weighing caravans   'The day was all about education'

Cops scale up their efforts during road safety week

CASSOWARY Coast police officers joined forces with Queensland Transport and Main Roads inspectors to check caravan weights. The free caravan weighing service, with the theme 'Safety Starts With Me', took place at Rotary Park, Babinda, and was a part of Queensland Road Safety Week. Around 30 caravans and RVs were weighed during the six-hour event. A "small number of 'vans and cars" were identified as being slightly overweight, with adjustments required prior to leaving the site. Acting Inspector Brett Jenkins said the service had been well received by travellers towing caravans. "It was great to see so many turn up to ensure they were not exceeding their weight limits," he said. "The day was all about education and ensuring motorists were doing the right thing by providing them with educational information." Have your say


Mareeba   Council gives thumb's up

New camping areas will have
 'leave it as you found it' policy

MAREEBA Shire Council in Queensland has given the thumb's up for a new short-term camping and caravan facility. The site on Kovacic Road will offer four designated camping areas for self-contained rigs and will have a "leave it as you found it" policy. "The intention of the proposed campsite is to provide a low-budget camping ground for travellers such as retirees, backpackers, as well as to cater for local residents in the region from families to groups such as scouts," a report said. There will be no amenities such as ablution blocks, covered areas, cooking facilities, hardstand areas, water or electrical supplies. "The campsite will function in a similar way to another recently approved campsite located on Hume Road, Biboohra, in that guests will pay a reduced fee for use of a campsite on a 'leave it as you found it' basis only," it said. There will be two separate areas to enable closure of individual areas for maintenance, safety, guest management or seasonal considerations such as the wet season. There will be an on-site manager. Have your say


To view previous editions of Caravanning News, click on the appropriate month:

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Nomads realising the value of UHF radios on travels

ONBOARD UHF radios, it seems, are finally catching on with fellow caravanners!

During my recent travels I have heard more and more grey nomads chatting about road conditions and possible hazards ahead.

I've had a two-way in my towing vehicle for a couple of years and have lost count of the number of times it has helped me avoid problems up ahead.

The latest was on Queensland's Bruce Highway which had ground to a half following  a collision south of the Sunshine Coast.

One caravanner was warning fellow travellers of the chaos and gave useful advise on which lanes to use.

Ray Fellows,