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Drivers warned of oil on northbound lane of NSW's Pacific Motorway near Hawkesbury River Bridge after car and caravan breakdown this morning.
FEBRUARY 27: Fleetwood Corp shares closed at year-low of $1.06 yesterday, two days before the Coromal and Windsor caravans builder is scheduled to announce its half-yearly results.
*** Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
stranded at Cahills Crossing ‒ 72,849
* Kingdom Caravans goes bust ‒ 33,755 people.
* Stolen camper trailer contains ashes of owner's daughter
‒ 10,175 people.
* Man dies as tree falls on
caravan at Sunshine Coast caravan park ‒
* Allianz to raise excess charges on caravan
insurance claims ‒ 3255 people.
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MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Support for Apple Isle caravan park manager
REGARDING your story on the free camp
which may force the closure of a Tasmanian caravan park (see story
WE are staunch free campers, but we are with the park manager on this
It's just spitting in his face to have a free camp so close to his park,
and it's no wonder he is not a happy man.
We free-camp because we don't want to be in the middle of a busy town
and prefer to be out of the precincts of a touristy area.
But if we needed to be in a town for any reason we would use a caravan
park, as long as it's a reasonable price.
Greg and Dee.
Patronage 'never yours
We are motorhomers in NZ travelling in a fully certified self-contained
Our message to caravan park owners who demand that all motorhomers and
caravaners stay in caravan parks at night is: "Our patronage was never
yours to lose."
Talk to campers
I WOULD suggest that this park caters for overseas workers and not
Last time I walked past there appeared to be more than one 'van
on site and that was after January 8.
Maybe you need to talk with the campers behind the IGA who,
incidentally, spend a lot of money in this town.
I'd say thousands of dollars each week and so I'm sure they will
enlighten you as to why they don't use your park.
Maybe you should join Kui Parks because what you are doing doesn't work
... and never will.
Latrobe resident and caravanner.
I STAYED at this park last time I went
I thought it would be a little more pleasant to head for it than stay in
My 'van is only 5.5m body length but found the sites very small and had
a problem fitting on them.
I would recommend that those with longer 'vans don't go near the park.
I consider that if it is not reconfigured to reasonable site
standards it would be better closing up shop.
Latrobe was a far more pleasant town to stop in than Devonport.
However, I will not be back.
I also advise anyone who wants a powered site before or after a ferry
crossing to put up at a park in Devonport.
You will be far less cramped.
I WOULD like to comment on the tragedy at the Scarness Beachfront
Tourist Park (see story here)
We were in another caravan park in Hervey Bay on this night, and we are
saddened to hear about this terrible accident.
Our sincere condolences go out his family at this time.
The wind and the rain, plus the thunder and lightning, was surely
keeping the emergency services busy, with power out to most of Hervey
Bay and Maryborough.
It is important when storms like this come through to stay safe, keep
off the roads and adhere to warnings issued by authorities.
Another 'great show' promised
Minister to focus on booming caravan industry
CAMPING enthusiast and
Victorian Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren will officially open
the state's biggest caravan show on February 24. Hundreds of thousands
of visitors will flock to Melbourne Showgrounds during the six-day
Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow. Mr Eren (pictured) is
expected to focus on the state's booming caravan manufacturing industry
during his address. Eighty-five percent of Australia's recreational
vehicle products are manufactured in the state where 70 percent of the
nation's RV manufacturers are based. "We are pleased to have the support
of the Minister in what will be another great show promoting our industry
products and tourism destinations in Victoria and Australia," Caravan
Industry Assoication (Victoria) chief executive Rob Lucas said. "The
Minister's support for our industry comes at a time when Victoria's love
affair with our industry's products continues to be very strong."
Have your say
in tizz over toilet use
Kids in loos ... a dilemma
for caravanning parents
Have your say
CARAVANNERS are in a tizz over children using caravan
park toilets meant for the opposite sex.
Their concern comes as the number of child sex assaults in Australia
continue to rise.
According to Adults Surviving Child Abuse, one in three girls and one in
six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.
While caravan parks are generally considered safe places for children,
there have been cases of pedophiles at work.
A 43-year-old man was charged in NSW after indecently
assaulting a seven-year-old boy in the toilets of a NSW caravan park.
In another case, a 47-year-old serial sex offender was jailed after
serious sexual assaults on a girl at a Victorian caravan park.
RADIO and TV personality Kyle
Sandilands has revealed how, as a young child, he was the victim of
a sex pervert while on a caravanning holiday in Queensland. He
recently told listeners to his Sydney radio breakfast show about his
terrifying ordeal, which happened during a family holiday at a
caravan park on Bribie Island. He claimed a man exposed himself,
made lewd comments and invited him back to his caravan to watch a
pornographic movie. Kyle dashed to his own caravan but did not tell
his mother until some years later.
And depraved pedophile Brett Cowan, in jail for murdering
Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe, was a frequent caravan park
Many parents are now unhappy about their children using
caravan park showers and toilets while unaccompanied. And this is where the
problem has arisen, with the task of taking children to the toilet or for a shower
usually being left to mothers.
The dilemma of boys using the wrong amenity blocks at holiday parks was
raised on Australia's biggest online
One member revealed that his "pet hate" was the continual use of female
showers and toilets by women for their sons.
On many occasions older unaccompanied boys had been asked to leave, he
Another member commented: "My wife gets very annoyed when the young lads
are standing there with wide eyes like dinner plates and heads swivelling
around like sideshow
"She and my daughter both feel intimidated and dare I say, so would most
of the younger females."
Several caravanners said they would never allow young boys to use the male
toilets while alone.
"I can give you plenty of examples why," wrote one.
Australia Day award for ex
caravan park boss
By Dennis Amor
AVID caravanner and
tireless voluntary worker Pat Coffey was honoured in the recent Australia
Day Awards. The former operator of Highlands Caravan Park at Seymour
in Victoria was awarded an OAM for her services to local communities. The
74-year-old regularly puts in more than 60 hours a week helping people.
"Volunteering is something I have done all my life ... it's in my genes,"
she said. Secretary of Goulburn Valley Caravan Parks Association from 1996
to 2003, Pat told Caravanning News she was thrilled to receive the
accolade. Despite all her volunteer work, she and husband Michael still
find time to enjoy trips away in their Roadstar caravan. "We just love
travelling in our 'van," she explained. "Even when we were running the
caravan park we would go away in our own caravan. We have been round
Australia a couple of times and still go somewhere every year in our
Have your say
predicts record year ahead
LAUNCHED less than a year ago, RV builder Winnebago Australia has
predicted a "record-breaking" year ahead. Chief
executive Luke Trouchet reported that the iconic brand had made a strong
impact with its quality Australian-built motorhomes, campervans and
US-built Minnie Winnie caravans. "Australian caravan and motorhome
enthusiasts have really welcomed Winnebago," he said. "2015 has been an
exciting journey for us and we are making some big plans for the road
ahead. With new models in production, brand new colour schemes and the
launch of the first Australian-made Winnebago caravan, we're aiming to
make 2016 a record-breaking year."
INSURANCE giant Allianz has slapped a hefty
increase on its caravan insurance excess charges. The normal $100
($150 in WA) excess has risen to $250, while in NSW and ACT it will
remains unchanged at $375. The company's last rise was
more than a decade ago. Despite the new rate, its excesses were still
generally at the bottom end of the range of other insurers, it said. They
"more accurately reflected" Allianz's current claims experience. An Allianz
spokesman told Caravanning News its excess rate had fallen out of
step with the market in most states, where they ranged from $200 to $600.
"There is a direct relationship between excess levels and premiums,
evidenced by various insurance products where customers can reduce their
premium by choosing a higher excess," he said. "Allianz has increased its
caravan insurance excess to ensure our premiums remain competitive and our
caravan insurance continues to provide market-leading value to our
Have your say
allowed 13yo boy to drive in caravan park
THE main office building at the infamous Mudgeereba Holiday Village on the
Gold Coast was badly damaged by an out-of-control car ... driven by a
13-year-old boy. Alcohol-ridden Gordon Eggleton,
38, allowed a friend's son behind the wheel at the caravan park so he could be chauffeured
because he was too drunk to drive himself. But the youngster crashed the
car after failing to brake, Southport Magistrates Court heard. Police were
called and Eggleton recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.292, nearly six
times the legal limit. He was fined $3000 and banned from driving for two
years after admitting being in charge of a vehicle while under the
influence and permitting another to drive while unlicensed. Eggleton is
now working at the park to pay off the damage. Located just a
stone's throw from the Gold Coast's bright lights of Surfers Paradise, the
park has been dubbed Australia's worst. A former police officer who lives
nearby told Caravanning News it was a disgrace and a blight on the
world-renowned holiday strip.
Have your say
Bus helps dialysis
patients take a break
CARAVAN and tourist parks in Victoria are welcoming holidaymakers who
depend on dialysis machines to stay alive. In a
world first, Kidney Health Australia is operating a mobile dialysis
unit which visits the state's holiday spots, including caravan parks, enabling kidney disease
patients and their families the freedom to travel. Hundreds of sufferers
have already taken advantage of the Big Red Kidney Bus which is equipped
three dialysis machines. The vehicle spends six weeks in caravan parks at
popular locations, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy a holiday
while receiving dialysis treatment as required. Liam Curran, BIG4 Mildura
Deakin Holiday Park manager Liam Curran told Caravanning News he
was "very pleased" the bus would return to his park again this year. "We
see the dialysis patients who have stayed with us and how happy they were
and what a difference it made to their lives being able to take a
holiday," he said.
connectivity gives way to wi-fi
CARAVANNERS will be able to stay in touch for free when they visit a
remote NT tourist attraction. Chief Minister
Adam Giles said free internet access is now available at the Alice Springs
Telegraph Station. The historical Reserve marks the original site of the
first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1872 to relay
messages between Darwin and Adelaide, it is the best preserved of the 12
stations along the Overland Telegraph Line. But now the iconic station has
caught up with modern connectivity ... with the installation of free wi-fi
for visiting tourists.
suggests caravanners are romantics
OWNERS of 45-site Tambo River Tourist Park at Swan Reach in Victoria are
selling their caravan park for $1.1m after operating it for 16 years. Greg and Aileen Cooper said they needed another challenge after
bringing the once "terribly rundown" park up to spec. Facilities now
include a recreation room, children's playground, solar-heated pool, free
undercover barbecue, camp kitchen ... and even a well-stocked library.
"It's grown over the years and we now have hundreds of books," Greg told
Caravanning News. "There's certainly a lot of Mills & Boon novels
... it seems caravanners are a romantic lot." The Coopers said they would
be sad to leave their picturesque and well cared for park. "We will miss
all the people and their stories. It's lovely hearing about what they're
doing with their lives and all that," Greg said. Selling agent is
Michael Keltie of Business Sales Victoria.
Have your say
creditors to meet
CREDITORS of Victoria-based Kingdom Caravans, which went bust last month
owing more than $1 million, will meet on February 10.
The meeting will be held at the liquidator's office in William Street,
Melbourne at 3pm. The main creditor is listed as the Australian Taxation
Office. Liquidator Con Kokkinos, of Worrells Solvency & Forensic
Accountants, told Caravanning News "a number of parties" had
expressed an interest in buying the failed caravan manufacturer's
business, which was founded in 2007. Kingdom caravan owners Peter and Judy
Hannah were not surprised the company has folded. They claim phones were
rarely answered and the business lacked leadership, vision and company
control. "We are proud to be Kingdom caravan owners but when we were told
a group of employees had left to start their own caravan building company
we knew the writing was on the wall," they said. "Management were to blame
for the demise of Kingdom Caravans ... not the quality of the product."
They said any business looking to buy "the company's bones" would acquire
"great designs". "Its name is renowned for quality and solid construction.
The closure is a sad day in the grey nomad calendar."
Have your say
Call to ban grey
nomads while people drive to work
A SUGGESTION that caravanners should be banned while people drive to and
from work has been rubbished. The idea,
published in NRMA's Open Road magazine, caused a backlash and
resulted in a avalanche of support for grey nomads. "Maybe we should also
ban all trucks and delivery vans," one furious reader wrote. "Caravan and
RV travellers have earned their retirement. The taxes they have paid over
their working lifetime have helped towards paying for our living
conditions today. From my own observations of the caravan and RV driving
habits, most of them travel at a speed suitable to road and traffic
Have your say
lake levels 'crippling' caravan parks
FALLING water levels at a Victorian lake are reportedly crippling caravan
parks in the area. Holiday destinations near and
on the banks of Lake Eppalock say their income has plummeted by up to 50
percent as caravanners and tourists shun the once busy holiday area. Owner
of the 250-site Lake Eppalock Holiday Park Peter Rose told Caravanning
News the problem had had a "massive" impact, with many of his
pre-bookings being cancelled. "The lake usually brings in around $40m a
year to Bendigo and surrounding townships but this has dropped to around
$25m," he said. Struggling businesses blame Goulburn Murray Water for
allowing too much water to be drawn from the lake by a range of water
entitlement holders, resulting in a serious drop in levels. The Save Lake
Eppalock pressure group argues that businesses and caravan parks who rely
on the lake for recreational purposes are suffering.
Have your say
parkers cop a hiding
CARAVANNERS have copped a hiding from shopkeepers for hogging a NSW town's
car park. Traders at Warwick's Alfresco Centre
claim inconsiderable travellers are causing peak-time problems at the
23-bay car park by squeezing out regular customers. "When someone comes in
with a trailer or a caravan they can take up 12 spaces without even
trying," Eagle Boys owner John Riley told local media. A sign at the
entrance warns of parking restrictions.
Have your say
way to compare products
NEWCASTLE'S largest annual Caravan and Camping Expo in NSW this month will
showcase the products from over 180 businesses.
The three-day event opening February 5 will feature the latest products
and equipment, according to Caravan and Camping Industry Association of
NSW chief executive Lyndel Gray. "Come along and compare the hundreds of
brands and products on display, and check out the best that the caravan
and camping industry offers," she said.
voted best family park
NRMA's Treasure Island Holiday Park on Queensland's Gold Coast has scooped
another top gong. It has been voted Australia's
best family holiday park in the latest Out & About with Kids
readers' poll. The five-star park was also included in the Women's Day
top 10 family hotels list. NRMA deputy president Wendy Machin said it
offered premier customer service and "great facilities" which met
Have your say
more members for Top Parks chain
THE expansion of the Top Parks chain continues,
with award-winning Kimberleyland Holiday Park and Nambucca River Tourist
Park becoming members. Located in West
Australia's remote and rugged Kimberley region at Kununurra, Kimberleyland
recently took out silver in the WA Tourism Awards' caravan and holiday
parks category. Multi-award winning Nambucca River Tourist Park on the
mid-north coast of New South Wales boasts of being a one-stop holiday park
with caravan and camping sites, luxury villas and self-contained cabins.
Have your say
doomed park to stay
NEARLY 80 percent of local traders want an iconic oceanside caravan park
on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to stay, according to a survey.
Councillors have decided to close the park to make way for more public
open space. But nearly 4000 people have signed a petition calling for the
Mooloolaba Beach Esplanade Caravan Park to remain open. And an action
group is fighting to save the park which has provided holidays for
generations of caravanners. Its members have visited 48 local businesses
to gauge their feelings over the proposed closure, with 79 percent
opposing its demise.
cost insurance company $7m
CARAVAN insurance claims in New South Wales averaged nearly $5000 in
2014-15, it has been revealed. According to RACV
Insurance, RV-related incidents accounted for 1397 payouts totalling
around $7 million. The most expensive claim stemmed from fire damage when
a frying pan in a caravan erupted in flames. Apparently it had been left
unattended on the stove after the owner returned from a trip. The
caravanner's misdemeanour resulted in the insurance company forking out
$72,400 for fire damage.
Have your say
of overtaking badly
THE dangers facing caravanners overtaking other vehicles have been
highlighted by the Caravan Council of Australia.
General manager Colin Young said risking lives to save a few seconds can
come with enormous risks. "Are you prepared to pay this horrendous price?"
he asked. "Safety is by far the most important consideration when towing a
caravan. You must have sufficient power available to accelerate at a
reasonable rate, and to maintain a reasonable speed when climbing hills."
Mr Young has drawn up a blueprint to help caravanners overtake safely.
Parks releases new guide
THE Top Parks chain, which claims more pet-friendly parks than any other
group, has unveiled its "new-look" free annual park guide.
It features updated information on the chain's 63 caravan, 134 holiday and
five resort parks across Australia. A total of 143 of them welcome pets.
Chief executive Stuart Livingstone said the guide was even more
user-friendly and loaded with top tips for travellers. It is available at
Top Parks Australia-wide, national caravan and camping shows and at
Have your say
hitch from Purple Line
CARAVAN and trailer accessory manufacturer Purple Line has launched a new
high-security hitch lock which secures standard Australian 50mm ball
hitches both when hitched and unhitched. The
Saracen Ultra anti-theft hitch lock is made from high strength composite
metals and has an anti-pick seven-pin cylinder lock with tubular,
Have your say
welcomes RV travellers
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council in Queensland has formalised an agreement to
have Collinsville declared an RV Friendly town.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said the status would enable Collinsville to be better
promoted to RV travellers and drive tourists as an ideal destination to
stop, shop and explore. "To earn RV Friendly status, Collinsville had to
satisfy stringent criteria and ensure RV travellers can enjoy ease of
access to shopping areas, low-cost overnight parking and potable water,"
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so-called budget travellers are
a bit rich . . .
SO caravanners are threatening to ditch
Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and take their money
Their gripe? Poor things are being kicked out of the oceanside caravan
park because the prime spot is being given back to the general public.
Good riddance, I say.
The park is an eyesore in the town centre and situated on a beautiful
stretch of coastline.
These poor campers claim they spend hundreds of dollars daily at local
Who are they trying to kid?
My experience of many modern-day caravanners is that they believe we
owe them a living.
Many think they should be given free camping at specially-provided
overnight areas because they spend big in the areas.
What a load of nonsense.
Plenty of them argue they are travelling on a budget and are not
That's a bit rich coming from people who drive around in 4WDs hauling
flashy modern caravans costing up to $100,000.
LOOKS like another place to avoid ... a concrete
jungle just like the Gold Coast.
SO VicParks and the City of Greater Geelong have
"self declared" the city to be RV Friendly.
However, this may not be the way RV users see the municipality.
According to its own website, VicParks (aka The Victorian Caravan
Parks Association) "was formed in 1964 to protect, promote and advance
the caravan park industry"?
SORRY to read about the collapse of Kingdom Caravans
but this answers some questions (see story
We had a caravan on order since November 2014, due for delivery August
But after several delays and blaming supplier problems, I cancelled
the order and got my deposit back.
The last delivery date they gave me was February this year.
Close call for me I think.
I ended up buying a Royal Flair stock caravan from May West Caavans in
Great 'van, great service.
It's a shame about Kingdom because I really liked the caravan I
WHAT will happen with the warranty of all the vans they