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

FEBRUARY 2021
 


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

FEB 27:
Fire investigators in Victoria trying to determine cause of blaze which destroyed caravan in Gent Street, Ballarat.

FEB 27:
Experts investigating a blaze which caused $300,000 worth of damage to a Victor Harbour unit and caravan in SA have now blamed the outbreak on an electrical fault inside the caravan.

 

* Unique tow ball fails to thwart caravan thieves ... 11,653 people reached.

* Tassie caravan crooks strike ... 10,118 people reached.

* SES flood warning to RVers ... 8538 people reached.

* Caravan park's pet magpie goose dies after attack by stick-wielding kids ... 8362 people reached.

* Fallen tree traps woman in caravan ... 6174 people reached.

* Couple set to hit road after winning Scratch-Its fortune ... 4196 people reached.

MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Outrage over attack on defenceless  magpie goose

IF you ask me, kids these days are getting more cruel and out of control.

I am referring to last month's story on a gang of stick-wielding brats attacking a poor defenceless magpie goose at a Queensland caravan park.

This poor bird had put its full trust in the human race when, to the joy of most campers, it befriended them.

Even loved watching television with one guest and brought much joy to other people in the park.

The attack was so vicious a local vet had to put it to sleep.

Where were these heartless kids' parents who allowed their despicable offsprings to roam the park with sticks?

Shame on you for not having more control over them.

Barry Tucker.

Kids need help

SO why havenít the police been informed?

There's a well-established link between early cruelty to animals and later psychopathic behaviour.

These children need help!

Jennie Guest.




 

HELP NEEDED TO FIND OWNERS OF CARAVANS

POLICE in South Australia are seeking public assistance to identify the owners of two caravans suspected of being stolen. The caravans and three trailers were found at a Redbanks Road property at Kangaroo Flat last Friday. Police also allege they located 16 cannabis plants being grown amongst scrub. A 41-year-old Kangaroo Flat man was reported for unlawful possession, cultivate cannabis and possess prescribed equipment. People with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Have your say


Lotto ticket Woman realises her dream

Lotto millionaire plans to hit the road in brand new caravan

ANOTHER instant millionaire is planning to hit the road in a brand new caravan. The would-be adventurer has joined the growing number of caravanners in the last couple of years who have scooped their fortunes on the lotto. The latest winner, a retired Victorian woman, plans to realise her dream and will buy a caravan to embark on a round-Australia adventure with her husband after scooping a whopping $2.5 million in Saturday's TattsLotto draw. She bought her ticket from Foodworks Dalton Village at Epping. "I've always wanted to get the car and a caravan and just go everywhere - all the way up north and all the way around," the jubilant woman said. Lotto and Keno's head of public relations Matt Hart admitted that caravanners were a lucky bunch. "Yes, I have to say caravanning and travelling around Australia is definitely a big feature of division one winners,"  he told Caravanning News. Read more button


Registrations rising

Rum City: Australia's 'RV capital'

QUEENSLAND'S Rum City and surrounds have been dubbed Australia's RV capital as registrations soar. The accolade came from Bundaberg's Mayor Jack Dempsey as he officially opened the Oceanside RV Lifestyle Village at Burnett Heads. He said that in 2020, the 4670 postcode area had more than 5200 caravan and campervan registrations compared with 4450 in 2015. "There are now 7.5 registrations for every 100 households in Bundaberg, the largest number of registrations for any postcode in Australia," he said. Coming in as a close second was Mandurah in WA with 4890 followed by Hervey Bay with 4851. Have your say


Kui-ad


Image still being badly tarnished, claim

RV manufacturers cop pounding from council

Caravan undergoes safety check

  Have your say

THERE are still numerous problems badly tarnishing the image and reputation of the caravanning industry, it is claimed.

According to the Caravan Council of Australia, they continue to cause "much grief" to many caravanners.

Founder and general manager Colin Young blames too many new under-resourced manufacturers and importers competing in a very limited and highly-competitive market.

"Many of the newer and smaller companies who have entered the industry in recent times are appreciably handicapped by being grossly under-resourced in essential areas ... engineering, legal, finance, management, quality-assurance and marketing," he said.

"As such, they have no option but to cut corners in a futile attempt to successfully compete with the long-established, well-resourced, experienced and well-known professional companies."

Mr Young suggests that more-stringent vetting and approval of all companies in the industry is urgently needed, along with better education and assistance for potential buyers.


'Get these things out
of the door quickly'


He claims there is an unfortunate culture of "get these things out the door quickly... and we will worry about or ignore problems with them later".

"Often there is no proper quality assurance program in place, and therefore no professional work instructions, assembly drawings and check lists.

"Consequently, especially with inexperienced production personnel, mistakes and inconsistencies frequently occur.

"They are not detected ... until the owner inspects their 'dream'."

Mr Young pointed out that strict compliance to vehicle and consumer protection laws should be diligently enforced.

"Harsh penalties with mandatory recalls must be imposed for all breaches of any law, along with ensuring all non-compliances and vehicle defects are promptly and professionally rectified at no cost whatsoever to the owners," he said.

"Very simply, the government must provide more qualified and experienced personnel to conduct thorough and regular caravan and business audits and inspections.

"A successful and random single unit type inspection must be mandatory before a supplier is permitted to market a specific model and variant of caravan."


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Simon Owen 'Positive outlook for holiday parks'

Ingenia's underlying profit soars 24pc

By Dennis Amor 

INGENIA Communities, which operates a chain of lifestyle and holiday parks, has announced an underlying profit of $32.8 million for the half-year ending December 31. This was an increase of 24 percent on the previous corresponding period. Group revenue was up four percent to $122 million and EBIT up 25 percent to $40.3 million. "Pleasingly, Ingenia Holidays business is experiencing strong demand," chief executive Simon Owen said. "Forward bookings are up 22 percent for the remainder of the financial year, providing a positive outlook for holiday parks across our key markets of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria." Ingenia would be returning $1.7 million of its $5.1 million JobKeeper payment from the government, Mr Owen said. The payment had "partially mitigated" the impact of employing staff that would not otherwise have been engaged, cost increases and revenue losses. Have your say


Menindee Lakes caravan parkCreating work for local businesses

Popular Menindee Lakes caravan park to undergo $575,000 facelift

MENINDEE Lakes Caravan Park in NSW is to undergo a $575,000 facelift so it can continue servicing both locals and visitors to the area. Work at the park, which has been closed to travellers until April, is due to start on Monday (February 15) and will be undertaken by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Ė Crown Lands, which manages the park. A $235,000 injection from the COVID-19 stimulus program is being supported by budget allocations from the department, Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said. "Projects like this are being funded to create work for regional businesses and tradies and they bring in customers and tourists to boost the local economy in regional areas," she added. Read more button


Tweed Head parking sign'Steep rise in complaints'

Mayor warns illegal campers they
will face on-the-spot fines

NSW's Tweed Shire Council has warned that illegal overnight campers will now cop instant fines. Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry said the new restrictions have been introduced in response to rising community concerns and were designed to have minimal impact on local residents. "Council has received a steep rise in complaints from residents concerned about the number of overnight campers and lack of available parking around Point Danger, Duranbah Beach, Twin Towns and Jack Evans Boat Harbour," she said. Rangers will be patrolling the area and on-the-spot fines issued to anyone found parking in a restricted zone. Cr Cherry said the problem of illegal camping was not isolated to the Tweed. "Both our neighbouring councils in the Gold Coast and Byron Shire are experiencing similar problems with illegal campers and have also been forced to introduce measures to restrict overnight parking on public streets," she said. Have your say


NomadsFostering a better lifestyle

Businesses set to battle in finals of
Queensland's Grey Nomad awards

 

FIVE Queensland attractions and seven Queensland stay options from across the state have been named finalists in the Grey Nomad Awards, cementing the Sunshine State's reputation as a bucket-list destination for mature age tourists. The winners in each of the seven categories will be announced on March 2 at a celebratory event on the Sunshine Coast. Awards director Kim Morgan said the awards fostered a better lifestyle for the over 50s by providing verified information that will guide their decisions on where to travel safely and what to experience along the way. Read more button


Bmpro app  Monitoring made easy

New phone app from BMPRO allows caravanners to enjoy more control

YOU have control ... that's the latest message from caravan electrics innovator BMPRO. Melbourne-based BMPRO's smart RV Odyssey has just been enhanced with a new phone app enabling control and monitoring of caravans directly from the user's mobile phone. The Odyssey app is available from Apple App or Google Play stores and caravan owners are now able to download it at no charge to their smartphones. It enables users to control and monitor their caravan battery and water tanks, as well as operating caravan onboard features such as slide outs. Read more button


Aussie moneyHandouts mean big improvements

NSW caravan parks to benefit from latest round of government grants

NEW South Wales caravan parks will benefit from the latest round of grants from the state government's Crown Reserves Improvement Fund. Bland Shire Council has been awarded $533,412 to refurbish the amenities blocks, replace roofs, doors and windows, install a ventilation system, paint and tile and upgrade the office at West Wyalong Caravan Park. Carrathool Shire Council will receive $97,400 to upgrade and repair Hillston swimming pool at the Hillston Caravan Park. Coffs Harbour City Council will receive $250,000 to add an amenities block and install a kitchen at Sawtell Reserve and Holiday Park. Gilgandra Shire Council will receive $28,000 to upgrade the underground irrigation system at Rotary Caravan Park. Murray River Council will receive $140,000 for work on its riverbank retaining wall at Picnic Point Caravan Park. Snowy Monaro Regional Council will receive $23,205 to intall a solar system and replace outlets at Snowy River Holiday Park. Upper Lachlan Shire Council will receive $129,600 to upgrade water and electrical connections and install lighting and CCTV cameras at Crookwell Caravan Park. Wentworth Shire Council will receive a grant of $1 million and loan of $1,512,000 to redevelop Willow Bend Caravan Park. Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the fund's latest round dished out a record $51.7 million on projects, which included improvements to nature reserves, showgrounds and caravan parks. "Crown land is for the people of NSW to use and enjoy and to support organisations at the heart of our communities," he said. Have your say


Dr Ananda-Rajah 'At least they would get fresh air'

Diseases expert suggests caravan parks be used for quarantining

INFECTIOUS diseases expert Michelle Ananda-Rajah believes caravan parks should be used as COVID quarantine centres. Dr Ananda-Rajah (pictured) suggested the idea during an interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW following concerns over the deadly disease spreading in hotels. "I don't like the idea of putting people in hotel quarantine," she said. "The government needs to step in and explore other options. I have been thinking to myself whether caravan parks might work." Dr Ananda-Rajah, who is an infectious diseases physician at Monash University and a member of Alfred Health, added: "At least people then would get access to fresh air." Her suggestion comes after fears the coronavirus disease could spread through hotel air conditioner systems. Have your say


Lee & Jenny's Bush CampRare property one of busiest on the Daly

'Barra park' on market for $1.6m

A CARAVAN park beside one of the Northern Territory's most popular barramundi fishing spots is up for sale. With an asking price of $1.6 million, Call2View real estate agent Adam Hayes said the 320-acre Lee & Jenny's Bush Camp on the banks of the Daly River was a rare property and one of the busiest parks on the Daly. "Every year there's the barra nationals and it's been built so that when there's flooding in the area none of the buildings are prone to flooding," he said. The park was opened in 2012 as a bush campground/caravan park for family and friends with a love for the bush and barramundi fishing. It offers 10 cabin/room sites, a camp kitchen, 30 powered caravan and camping sites and an abundance of non-powered bush camping sites. There are two amenity blocks, a communal laundry, barbecue sites, in-ground swimming pool and a pontoon on the river. Mr Hayes said there had been interest from local and interstate buyers from as far afield as Perth. Have your say


Zac Efron with luxury caravan

Zac Efron's desert home is a sumptuous Lotus

By Dennis Amor

MOVIE star Zac Efron is living in pure luxury in SA's remote desert country ... courtesy Lotus Caravans. In an Instagram posting, the 33-year-old superstar describes his aptly named Hollywood 'van as 'Home Sweet Home". He is using the $140,000 sumptuous 24-footer during filming of his new film Gold. The Hollywood is Lotus's most luxurious caravan and is fitted with two slide-outs and every conceivable smart feature, including two fixed and one 50-inch pop-up Samsung televisions, spacious bathroom, double bedroom, leather sofa and full air-conditioning. Lotus managing director John Wheatly told Caravanning News: "It has one unique layout that was designed for absolute luxury for two. It is self-sufficient and can be used completely off the grid." Have your say.


Robert FishRangers' work often goes unseen

Hundreds of infringement notices
issued for beachside illegal camping

NSW's Kempsey Shire Council has cracked down on beachside illegal camping. Its rangers handed out nearly 200 infringement notices for camping and parking-related matters between Christmas and Australia Day. Operations and Planning director Robert Fish (pictured), said their "hard work" often went unseen. "The majority of the public do not see councilís rangers conducting illegal camping patrols as they are generally conducted in the early hours of the morning, between midnight and 5am when the rules are in effect," he explained. "Unfortunately, council rangers do not have the authority to move people on, or physically stop someone from camping or staying overnight in their vehicle. Still, rangers have and will continue to patrol our beachside areas and will continue to discourage illegal camping through the issuing of penalty infringement notices." Signage has also been erected at all road entrances to Crescent Head, making it illegal for anyone to stay overnight in any streets or reserves, including in any vehicle. "These signs will soon be put in place at the entrances to all our coastal villages, in order to assist in combating illegal camping in other areas of the Macleay," Mr Fish said. Have your say


'Wiring loom could overheat'

Dometic issues recall over fears of
fire risk from faulty RV refrigerators

Have your say

DOMETIC Australia has issued a recall of refrigerators after fears they could set recreational vehicles ablaze. The two-door 188 and 224 litre absorption fridges were fitted to caravans and motorhomes between July 2018 and last December and carry serial numbers MB 82200938 to MB 85100130, MB 90200892 to MB 95200685 and MB 00100565 to MB 03701182. Dometic said a small wiring loom in models RUA6408X and RUA8408X are affected and could overheat and char when running on 12 volts. "There is a risk of fire which may result in serious injury," it warned. Owners are advised to stop using the fridges on auto and contact the company on 1800 212121 or email qldservice@dometic.com.au to arrange for a replacement wiring loom to be fitted free of charge.


Hurrying to campsites

LEAD-FOOTED CARAVANNERS SHOCK POLICE

POLICE in Victoria have been shocked by the number of caravanners caught speeding. No figures were released but Campaspe Highway Patrol officers report that "many drivers" recently checked on back roads between Kota and Lockington were over the speed limit when towing caravans. "These drivers were just focused on getting to their campsites as quick as possible," Senior Constable Bren Lodi said.   Have your say


Plantagenet council'Site not appropriate'

Free RV area shuts after complaint from caravan park and traders

THE Shire of Plantagenet in WA has permanently closed its free RV overnight parking area on Memorial Road near the town hall. This follows complaints from the local Mt Barker Caravan Park, which said it offered a low-cost alternative for fully self-contained RVs "at no cost to the ratepayers of the shire." It was supported by 40 local businesses who claimed the council should not be in direct competition with local traders. "We respectfully ask that the council permanently close the free RV site," it said in a letter to the council. The park claimed the council had failed to police the site sufficiently, resulting in non self-contained RVs staying overnight and disposing of waste into the site's drains. Shire president Chris Pavlovich commented: "It doesn't necessarily mean that the idea of having an area for people to pull off and rest is off the radar ... just that the current site is deemed not appropriate at this point." Have your say


Cohuna Waterfront Holiday ParkRange of accommodation options

Cohuna to provide more powered sites after $85,000 gvt grant

A VICTORIAN caravan park will provide electricity to 36 unpowered sites after receiving $85,000 from the state government. Work to upgrade power sites at the Cohuna Waterfront Holiday Park will go ahead after Gannawarra Shire Council was handed the grant from the Caravan and Camping Grants program. "One of the largest caravan parks in the Gannawarra, the park features 245 sites and 18 cabins, offering a range of accommodation options and amenities for visitors," the council's acting chief executive Stacy Williams said. Read more button


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Stories highlight the need to scrap self-certification by RV manufacturers

IT'S high time something was done about the safety of RVs being churned out of our factories (see stories here)

Two stories in last month's Caravanning News highlighted what is becoming a worry for many people about to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new caravan or motorhome.

In one case there were fears that shock absorber brackets on one brand of caravans could break free from the chassis, possibly causing a lethal crash.

And in another, a national recall was launched after fears that gas pipes to ovens in some motorhomes could develop a lethal leak.

These were not small problems ... but serious enough to be life threatening!

I would feel happier if the powers that be abolished self-certification, a crazy system in which manufacturers themselves can check and approve their vehicles as being safe. 

Danny Roberts.


Greedy locals

THE pandemic has seen caravans hitting Queensland highways and byways in their thousands.

I have never noticed so many threading their way along the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

Happy to say that the majority are good drivers and consider other road users ... just the occasional idiot who should never be allowed to tow.

Well done folks.

Gwen.