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OCTOBER 2022
 


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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

OCT 31:
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Future Fuels and EV paper has been successfully submitted for discussion at the National Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation.

 
 

* Caravanner witnesses frightening rollover ... 29,186 people reached.

* Caravan rig crashes while attempting to overtake ... 14,937 people reached.

* Swift reveals which of its cookers used in RVs are safe ... 13,776 people reached.

* Grey nomads fined for entering floodwaters ... 10,374 people reached.

* Police in Queensland target overweight caravans ... 9096 people reached.

* ACCC takes a swipe at caravan industry ... 6252 people reached.

 



 

Gavel

Partial restitution

Former Brisbane motorhome dealer jailed for fraud

A FORMER Brisbane-based motorhome dealer has been jailed after a major investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into his business activities. Alfred John Jeffreys, formerly a licenced motor dealer and director of The Motorhome Conversion Company Pty Ltd and Motorhomesoz Sales Pty Ltd, appeared in the Brisbane District Court and admitted 11 charges of fraud totalling $692,450. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment, suspended for four years after serving one year. On the day of sentencing, Mr Jeffreys provided partial restitution to assist affected consumers who were still owed proceeds for the sale of their motorhomes. The court heard that without telling the owners, he allegedly sold the motorhomes and received the sale proceeds into his companyís bank account. Owners were led to believe that Mr Jeffreys had yet to sell the motorhomes, even being told in some circumstances, of potential buyers for the already sold motorhomes. Have your say


Northern RVBoon delivers demand

Solid outlook for Fleetwood's
RV Solutions division

By Dennis Amor

THE medium-term outlook for Fleetwood's RV Solutions division remains solid, with order books at high levels and recent growth in registrations to support the after-sales market. Continued growth of new caravan registrations and the sales of second-hand caravans had been a key contributing factor to its growth over the past year, Fleetwood said. "While international travel has resumed, the forward order book for manufacturers remains at solid levels," it added. "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 recent boom in caravan sales during the past two years will likely continue to deliver demand for our aftermarket service and renovation offering." RV Solutions finished the 2022 financial years with pre-tax earnings of $9.8 million on revenue of $81.2 million. Have your say


Stolen car misses rig by inches

Roundabout fright for caravanners

roundabout frightCARAVANNERS had a lucky escape when they were confronted head-on by a stolen car being driven the wrong way round a Queensland roundabout. The speeding silver Captiva missed the caravan by inches, with the incident south of Brisbane being captured by a camera onboard a police helicopter tracking the vehicle. A man and woman who had been travelling in the stolen car were later arrested. The caravanners escaped unharmed but were shaken up by their frightening experience. Have your say


'Growing and critical role' recognised

Budget provides shot in arm for caravan parks

Stuart Lamont Have your say

THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia has welcomed the Federal Budget's announcement of caravan park infrastructure upgrade funding.

"The announcement of targeted infrastructure investment for the nation's caravan parks will see a big shot in the arm for many park operators looking to build on the quality customer experiences already on offer across the country," it said.

The announcement had confirmed Labor's pre-election commitment made to the association to provide much needed infrastructure expenditure if elected in May 2022.

In the soon-to-be-announced criteria for the grant program, Australian caravan parks will be able to apply for funding to deliver shovel-ready projects.

 

FUNDING FOR TWO YEARS

The government will provide funding for the next two years to assist caravan parks to upgrade or create new infrastructure and visitor facilities to enhance visitor experience, including improvements to accessibility. This program is expected to begin in November.

"The heart of the program is to assist caravan parks to swiftly upgrade or create new infrastructure and visitor facilities to enhance visitor experience, including improvements to accessibility and environmental sustainability practices," the association said.

Chief executive Stuart Lamont, pictured, said the targeted federal infrastructure support package recognised the "growing and critical value" of caravanning to Australia's tourism and visitor economy.

"Caravanning has long been Australian domestic tourism's largest visitor and economic cohort, an almost $24 billion economic driver in tourism and local manufacturing activity," Mr Lamont said.

"This well-targeted funding will go directly into our world-leading caravan park product across the nation. We also believe it will extract private capital expenditure support up to three times over.

"For caravan parks to be incentivised to deliver more attractive visitor amenities and appealing product is just the ticket to supporting sustainable recovery and growth in Australian tourism."

Mr Lamont said the grants would develop new and appealing visitor products including cabins, recreation facilities and innovative features such as supporting accessible tourism.

"As the national peak body for caravanning, we strongly welcome this federal commitment and we look forward to the release of the grant program and the application process in the coming days," he added.

Caravanning News reader David Johnson from Victoria was quick to react to the news, commenting: "I just hope that as taxpayers are effectively funding an element of the upgrade works, that park owners recognise the funded element and ensure any resultant price rises reflect this."



Rob LucasCarefully planned succession process

Top management changes at
Caravan Industry Victoria

VICTORIA'S peak body for the state's caravan and RV manufacturing industry has announced a major change in the line-up of its top management. Caravan Industry Victoria's long-serving chief executive Rob Lucas, pictured, will hand over the reins to current general manager operations Daniel Sahlberg in January, while Mr Lucas will become chief executive of the National Caravan Industry Training College. President Nat Schiavello said the handover was the culmination of a carefully planned succession process. Read more button


Wet weather damages grounds

Summer ban on camping at showground and oval

Kiama oval

NSW's Kiama Council will not provide overflow camping sites at the Kiama Showground and Chapman Oval this summer. The authority, through its Kiama Coast Holiday Parks, normally allows holidaymakers with campervans and caravans to set up at the locations to meet the heavy demand of the Christmas and New Year period. But this will not be possible in the 2022-23 summer season due to the continued poor state of the grounds following the extended wet weather and forecast for further heavy rain over the holidays. "This decision is based on the significant cost of repairing our reserves, as well as the many safety risks to our guests and maintenance staff," the council said. It apologised for any inconvenience caused and encouraged people planning camping visits to contact its Kiama Coast Holiday Parks and Destination Kiama teams for help with alternative locations. Have your say


CIAA logoAttention focused on Canberra

Impending Budget brings busy times for industry's peak body

AUGUST and September brought busy times for the caravan industry's peak body, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. It's attention was focused on Canberra, with many topics affecting the industry being discussed during the interim Budget planning ... the insurance industry, future fuels and jobs and skills summits. The association said an interim budget would be released on October 25. "We are hopeful, based on the government's pre-election commitments, that there will be a $10 million fund for the caravan industry," it said. "Although not yet confirmed, following previous similar funding commitment grants it may be based on shovel-ready projects with an anticipated spend greater than $25,000. Like other programs, the submitters would be expected to contribute 50:50." The association encouraged people in the caravan industry to "get their thinking caps on" and plan projects that would significantly add to the quality of the customer experience when visiting their parks. "If we are successfully awarded the funding come Budget night we would expect applications to be submitted by late November/early December 2022," it said. "We will be watching the Budget night releases with great anticipation!" Have your say


Converted JaycoNomads generating an income

Business and leisure rolled into one as 'vanners hit road

IT is no secret that Covid has changed the way Queenslanders live and work, but an emerging caravanning trend has shown that it has also altered the way they holiday. The caravanning scene has given rise to the concept of B-Leisure (mixing business and leisure) for the new or experienced caravanning fraternity. Caravanning and camping continues to be the preferred holiday option across Australia, but this new hybrid holiday trend is seeing many 'cara-fans' exploring creative caravan customisations to enable them to make a living while on the road. Caravanning Queensland Trade chief executive Jason Plant said there had been a rise in the number of Aussies taking the leap to hit the road and explore everything Australia has to offer in recent years. And, he added, this phenomenon had since led to a spike in requests for specially modified caravans which allowed travellers to generate an income no matter where they were. Read more button


Bill Thiel

Inspections to be extended

Consultant appointed to monitor gas, electrical safety in RVs

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has appointed gas technical consultant Bill Thiel to increase the focus on gas and electrical safety in caravans. This follows news of a significant change in Australian Standards AS/NZS5601:2 and AS/NZS3001 with regards to gas and electrical installations in recreational vehicles. The appointment is aimed at helping industry businesses understand their obligations under the important Australian Standards. The association said it would be expanding inspections of industry products beyond ADR compliance to include reviewing gas and electrical around issues of most concern. Imported RVs would be included. "Information gathered will form the basis of industry education as well as individual assistance where required," the association said.


William Kemp RV Park'Plenty of visitors'

Gatton RV park proving a magnet for 'vanners

The William Kemp RV Park at Gatton west of Brisbane is proving a magnet for caravanners. In a Facebook posting, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council reported that "plenty of visitors" were taking advantage of the councilís free short-term campground. "It's a win-win for visitors and local businesses," it said. "The RV park helps cement our region on the itineraries of travellers and attracts visitors who may have otherwise bypassed our towns." It said the local community reaped benefits when visitors bought meals, snacks, fuel, gifts, tyres and more. Some campers reported spending around $400 during their stay. Local store Gray's Furniture, Giftware and Bedding said staff "loved having a chat to the wonderful travellers as they passed the shop". "They are always so happy, with great stories to tell," it added. And local Susan Taylor said she could remember negative comments by a few people when the park was first opened. "I work across the road from it and it continues to have plenty of use, which is great to see," she added.


Stolen caravan

Caravan crooks strike

Police appeal for help after theft of 36yo 'van

CARAVAN thieves made off with a 36-year-old caravan from the Fraser Coast in Queensland. Police have now appealed for help in tracing the dual-axle RV which disappeared from an address in Nissan Street, Pialba. The crooks struck shortly before midnight on September 30. The caravan is a 1986 Windsor bearing Queensland registration plates 553QNC. Anyone who has seen the white and blue caravan is asked to contact Policelink and provide information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting or call 131 444. They can also report information anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au. Quote the reference number: QP2201698810.


Kokoda club meeting

Kokoda caravanners still raising cash for charities

FIFTY Kokoda caravans pitched at the Dunsborough Southern Stars Holiday Park for a week of fundraising, food and fun. Organising the event was Glenn and Vicki Bryant from Happy Campers Australia. Prizes donated by MickeyBlu, Redarc, Trail-A-Mate as well as support from Kokoda Caravans and local businesses helped raise $5057.25 for the Dunsborough Volunteer Fire Brigade. It will allow them to buy more hand-held UHF radios. Five National Kokoda Caravan Owners events have now raised $35,000 for Australian charities.


Numurkah

Feedback sought

Two-year RV-friendly
trial under review

THE two-year trial of two RV friendly overnight parking locations at Lion's Park and the local showgrounds in Numurkah, Victoria, is under review. "We are seeking the community's feedback on its success to determine if these sites should continue being RV friendly," a Moira Shire Council statement said. Mayor Libro Mustica said that following the adoption of its Recreational Vehicle Friendly Strategy, the council had received a petition to make Numurkah ‒ population 4768 and located on the Goulburn Valley Highway north of Shepparton ‒ RV friendly again under the Caravan Motorhome Club of Australia accreditation scheme. Read more button


PlantersDrab to fab

Colourful planters welcome RVs

FROM drab to fab ... there's now a colourful welcome for caravanners arriving at the 72-hour Biggenden RV rest area in the North Burnett region of Queensland. Planters outside the pet-friendly facility, operated by the rural town's local Chamber of Commerce, have been painted and plants revitalised. The popular site is close to shops, cafes and pubs and is for self-contained RVs only. It is hailed as a "great spot" to explore Coongarra Rock and Falls, Mount Walsh National Park and other historical and natural locations. Have your say


Caravan rigDrivers 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


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

Sept 2022

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 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,