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AUGUST 2022
 


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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

 
 

* 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.

 



 

Sunset Tourist Park   Advice on outback travels

Police to provide safety info ... with bacon and eggs thrown in

Officers from Highway Patrol Mount Isa in Queensland will be at the Sunset Tourist Park on August 26 to provide advice on safe caravan towing. Experts from the Boss Shop Mount Isa will also be available to provide a free caravan weighing service to check the overall weight and weight distribution of caravan and towing vehicle set ups. Free bacon and egg rolls and drinks will be available from 9am. Caravanners will have an opportunity to chat with Highway Patrol officers on all topics of road safety, in particular road safety points relevant to travel in outback Queensland. The event will be part of Queensland Road Safety Week. Have your say


'We look forward to sharing'

Caravan industry 'has part to play' in EV era

Stuart Lamont

  Have your say

AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravanning industry has welcomed the Federal Government's announcement on a new National Electric Vehicle Strategy and upcoming industry consultation.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia believes that caravanning brought "a world of opportunity" when considering electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and microgrid application.

It said that being part of the consultation process for the strategy would provide confidence to a domestic industry that was heavily focussed on regional and rural growth and economic support.

"We look forward to sharing with the government our industry insights and innovations, with many of our member parks adopting EV as part of their individual business models," chief executive Stuart Lamont, pictured, said.

"We know that much of industry has started to turn their attentions to the new phase of energy use, and we are currently a valuable part of the charging infrastructure for many communities."

It was important that the government understood the breadth of the caravan industry's role in the transition to electric energy use.

"Whether it be to install charging stations at their parks, the looking or how a microgrid could be installed to better service energy use in regional/rural areas or electric RVs," Mr Lamont said.

"Our industry is moving in the right direction and has a part to play."


Blown tyre ... and more

'No way this 'van should have been on the road'

POLICE couldn't believe their eyes when they spotted this caravan being towed in heavy traffic along a Brisbane road. And they had good reason to flag down the rig for a chat with the driver in Moggill Road. Itís hard to ignore a blown tyre and the obvious state of disrepair, let alone the driver allegedly suspended from driving at the time. Apparently, the driver intended to use the caravan to move house before "fixing it up down the track". "Clearly the aged tyres and poor condition of the 'van should have been enough to realise there was no way this 'van should be on the road at all," Inspector Corey Allen said. A blown tyre was just the beginning of the problems police found "It's a great reminder to check your caravan, campervan or trailers and ensure everything is safe and roadworthy before hooking up," Insp Allen said. The 35-year-old Wynnum West man was issued a Notice to Appear for unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered vehicle and is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 13. Have your say


Mildura sign'Well placed to capitalise on sector'

Mildura moves to grab a bigger slice of RV market

  Have your say

THE Victorian northwest city of Mildura has moved to capture a bigger slice of Australia's $10 billion caravanning and camping market. Local councillors have endorsed a new RV, Caravan and Camping Strategy to encourage more grey nomads and other travellers to include the Murray River city in their travel itineraries. The plan includes turning Mildura which boasts paddle steamers and houseboats, wineries, bars and restaurants into an RV-friendly city. Read more button



Police weigh caravan  'Road safety starts with me'

Cops scale up campaign on RV weights during safety week

QUEENSLAND police are organising a special road safety week for caravan and motorhome owners. This follows claims that nearly half of all crashes in 2020 and 2021 involved a vehicle towing a caravan and were caused by either the caravan or tow vehicle losing control. Special RV weighing sessions will be held from August 22 to 26, with the theme Road Safety Starts With Me. "With travel on the rise and the south still feeling the impact of winter, we are experiencing an influx of motorhomes and caravanners taking advantage of our fabulously warm weather here in far north Queensland," a spokeswoman said.


Beach trip ends in disaster

Seas, thieves deal double whammy for caravanner


Photos: Westcoast 4x4 Recovery

A CARAVANNER copped a double whammy when he took his rig onto a West Australian beach. High seas, soft sand and winds caught him unawares, ending with his caravan and 4WD rolling onto their sides at Tims Thicket beach, 90 km southwest of Perth. The rig was recovered by Westcoast 4x4 Recovery and left on a nearby carpark on the owner's instructions. It wasn't long before vandals targeted the caravan, setting it ablaze and making off with spare parts. Westcoast owner Sarah Barrett told Caravanning News: "We do a lot of rescues from the beach. Caravanners should not take their 'vans on the sand unless they are very experienced."  Have your say


Council invests $250,000 on facility

Meeting suggests ideas for improving rest area

Public meeting at Nanango rest area
Some of the people who attended the meeting

A PUBLIC meeting at Nanango's Tipperary Flat rest area in Queensland's South Burnett region has put forward ideas for upgrading the facility. Representatives from the Nanango Tourism and Development Association, Nanango Lions, Nanango Men's Shed, interested residents, South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto and most councillors attended the facility at the southern entrance to the town. Ideas put forward included a public firepit for outdoor gatherings and a separate camping area so non-caravanners could bunk down in safety. The meeting also called for better drainage to avoid water pooling after heavy rain, termite treatment to ensure the park's wooden features were preserved and raising the ground level slightly with gravelling to counter 25 years of compaction. Mayor Jane Erkens recently persuaded the local council to invest $250,000 into upgrading the park ahead of the townís 175th anniversary celebrations next year. "We want to make a good impression," she said. The meeting on site had allowed councillors to get a better understanding of what was required and had also allowed residents to advance their ideas about simple and practical improvements. "I think it was a very positive meeting and Iím glad we held it," she added.  Have your say


BADGES OF HONOUR FOR REFLECTIONS
Happy campers at Reflections Holiday Park, Copeton Waters

REFLECTIONS Holiday Parks located on Crown land are celebrating after scooping badges of honour from online travel platform Tripadvisor. Twenty-two of the group's parks throughout coastal and country NSW have been named 'Travellers' Choice 2022' after ranking in the top 10 percent of properties and consistently receiving great guest reviews over the last 12 months. Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the commendations would boost tourism in regions like New England and the North West where holiday parks are located adjacent to Lake Keepit and Copeton Dams. Meanwhile, Reflections Holiday Parks chief executive Nick Baker said positive Tripadvisor reviews reflected the ethos of all Reflections' parks to care deeply about the guest experience. "Our staff are committed to providing great holiday experiences and take pride in the great feedback they get from guests. Iím so proud of all our park teams," he said. Have your say.


Numurkah caravan park   'Outstanding' rating

'Lifetime opportunity' as park's lease hits market

VICTORIA'S Moira Shire Council is looking for someone to take over the lease of its award-winning Numurkah Caravan Park. Chief financial officer Matt Jarviss said the park was located on a picturesque bend of Broken Creek and presented a "lifetime opportunity to live and work in an idyllic setting with loyal return visitors". The park was recognised as the third best in the state with an "outstanding" rating and a guest review score of 9.1 out of 10. The successful applicant will lease the caravan park from the council for a maximum term of 21 years and will be responsible for its management, operation, maintenance and improvement works. Expressions of interest must be received by the council before 4pm on Friday, September 16. Have your say


Last seen heading south

Pink and white caravan stolen from roadside

Stolen pink caravanPOLICE are hunting thieves who made off with a pink and white caravan from the side of Queensland's Bruce Highway. The RV from yesteryear was stolen from the roadside about 40km north of Gin Gin on August 6. Reports indicate it was seen a short time later travelling south towards Gin Gin. It carried the Victoria registration number C25336. Anyone with information should contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting. They can also report online at ww.crimestoppersqld.com.au. Quote this reference number: QP2201340613.


Caravans Association remains very optimistic

Caravan, camping industry again exceeds expectations

THE caravan and camping industry has again exceeded expectations. In its newly released report for January to December 2021, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said there had been record highs throughout various sectors, with an astonishing $23.8 billion impact on the Australian economy annually. "Despite the fluctuating economic challenges, the caravan and camping industry continues to thrive," it said. While the broader tourism industry remained constrained due to international border closures and global travel restrictions, the sector had strongly rebounded from 2020, generating 12.6 million trips, over 50 million nights and $7.4 billion in visitor expenditure. "The caravan and camping industry remains uniquely positioned in being able to offer product, services and experiences that can adapt to differing economic conditions and cater to varying tastes and budgets," the association said. "Thus, despite global uncertainties and rising inflation having impact on consumer confidence we continue to remain very optimistic about the future of the industry and the contribution that it makes to the health and wellbeing of Australians in the economies of many regional and rural communities around the country." Have your say


Manta Ray

Managing director 'delighted'

Milestone as New Age's 20,000th chassis rolls off production line

New Age Caravans and Walkinshaw Group are celebrating a special milestone this week after its 20,000th chassis rolled off the production line. It will become a Manta Ray 16ft pop-top, one of the original ranges produced by the Victorian company. Managing director Chris Polites was "delighted" that the special milestone had achieved. "It's a significant achievement that we are very proud of internally," he said. "But importantly, it's a great celebration of local manufacturing here in Australia, which is really bouncing back after the challenges of the last few years." Since opening in 2010, the New Age factory has manufactured more than 70 different models, has over 300 staff locally employed and produces more than 2000 caravans annually. These include flagship models the Manta Ray, Road Owl and Big Red. The Walkinshaw Group bought New Age Caravans in 2016 and employs over 300 staff who produce more than 2000 caravans annually for the Australian market. Have your say


Nambour expo   'It's no secret'

More families heading for
the 'caravan school of life'

THE three-day Sunshine Coast Caravan and Outdoor Expo is set to roll into Queensland's Nambour Showgrounds on August 19. "It is no secret Covid has changed the way Queenslanders live and work," a spokesperson said. "But an emerging caravanning trend has shown there is a rise to more and more Aussies packing up and hitting the road for extended periods, ditching the traditional classroom for the caravan school of life." She said the boom in the caravanning lifestyle showed no sign of slowing down. New data showed the Sunshine Coast had emerged as one of the top six destinations for caravan and camping visitors, with caravan sales on the Sunshine Coast doubling over the last 12 months. "Queensland dealers have seen a 20 to 35 percent increase in the number of family 'vans sold over the past three years, which enables families to support their nomadic lifestyle," the spokesperson added. Read more button



Justin Hales

Justin Hales, Camplify founder

   'Strong customer support'

Future looking bright for peer-to-peer RV renters

PEER-to-peer caravan and RV rental company Camplify reports $17.7 million in transactions for the financial year's fourth quarter ... an increase of 82.8 percent over last year's corresponding period. The news comes after stories of Australians themselves reaping in thousands of dollars by hiring out their own caravans which have been idle since the crippling Covid outbreak. In a report to shareholders, Camplify said that despite the virus's continued impact the NSW-based company continues its pattern of growth and scale. During the financial year's fourth quarter, revenue had grown by 103.8 percent compared with the same period last year. Total net revenue was $5.6 million. "These results continue Camplify's stellar growth performance," it said. Forward bookings showed continued "strong customer support", with the quarter's closing figure of $14.78m in future bookings recorded. Have your say


Mundi-Mundi  

Bash caravanners to be offered free advice

CARAVANNERS visiting the Mundi Mundi Bash in NSW will be offered free safety advice. The event, held about 35km west of Broken Hill in the NSW Outback, is a remote music festival for campers and caravanners of all ages. Transport for NSW will host the RV safety information stand at the three-day event from August 18. Caravan owners will have the opportunity to learn about caravan weights, safe towing and safe load distribution while ensuring they have the right safety information to travel on NSW roads. Read more button


Richard Walker   Shire president 'very pleased'

CMCA's first eco RV park to
be sited in small WA town

WITH over 70,000 members, Australia's largest RV club has announced plans to establish its first park in Western Australia. It will be located in the small town of Boyup Brook, 262km south of Perth and east of Busselton and known as the Country Music Capital of Western Australia. It will be managed under a new level of parks called CMCA Eco RV Parks Plus, with a strong emphasis on self-containment and maintaining environmental focus. "It has been difficult to get into the market in WA, due to restrictive planning laws, especially in establishing a 'green field' site," CMCA said in a Facebook posting. Shire President Richard Walker, pictured, told Caravanning News that Boyup Brook was "very pleased" to partner with the club in the running of its caravan park as it continued to invest in upgrades to the facility. "We look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to the park and our friendly rural town nestled on the banks of the Blackwood River," he said. Have your say


   'Timely opportunity to share information'

Hundreds of grey nomads flock to 'Christmas in July' event

HUNDREDS of grey nomads flocked to the 'Christmas in July' event at Mareeba in far north Queensland. Many were taking part in the annual migration north of southern caravanners and campers who favour a more tropical climate. Queensland Police, in conjunction with Transport and Main Roads officers, held a free weight check, saying it "was great" to see so many turn up to have their motorhomes and caravans weighed to help increase their safety. With the large number of caravans on Australian roads, the event was a timely opportunity to share information so travellers could make informed decisions and keep themselves and other road users safe, they added. Read more button


Willow Bend caravan parkEarthworks now completed

Mayor is looking forward to a 'spectacular' Willow Bend park

WORK on improving the once run-down Willow Bend Caravan Park in NSW is continuing, with earthworks now completed. Wentworth Shire Council acquired the park in 2017 and regards it as an "important community asset" to the town of Wentworth. Local contractor Wall Constructions has been engaged to help progress the major $6.7 million infrastructure upgrade. Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said the prospect of a completed Willow Bend Caravan Park was exciting for the entire shire. Read more button


Agnes Water caravan parkMore than 280 inquiries

Agnes park snapped up for $27.5m after record interest

ONE of Queensland's favourite caravan parks has been snapped up for a whopping $27.5 million as demand for the Sunshine State's leisure assets goes from strength to strength. The freehold interest in NRMA Agnes Water Holiday Park, between Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast, was bought by the Queensland-based group G & R Kratzmann Property Investments. It followed an on-market expressions of interest campaign which generated a record level of market interest for an asset sale, with more than 280 enquiries signifying the true strength and substantial level of demand for high-quality regional accommodation assets in Queensland. Read more button


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

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Caravan buyers dealt a poor hand 

SO the ACCC says many people are being dealt a poor hand when buying a new caravan (see last edition of Caravanning News). Tell us something we don't already know.

The caravan industry's history tells us that buyers have to be very careful when considering where to go when ordering caravans that can cost a fortune these days.

One would expect a product that you can depend on, but how many times do you read about RVs failing to satisfy ... within weeks of hitting the road?

Leaking caravans are near the top of the dissatisfaction pile, with interiors showing signs of dampness soon after taking delivery.

The sellers sometimes fail the resolve the problem despite complaint after complaint.

Come on manufacturers ... get your act together and prove that warranties are worth the paper they are written on.

Glen Sommerfield.


Dust problem

Hi.

I AM trying to find out if you can use the existing roof air conditioner (fan only) as a dust suppression system.

Geoff Stark. 

Response from reader:

I KNOW of no air conditioning that is 12 volt powered.

The popular remedy to the dust problem was to fit a SCUPPER VENT on the roof of the 'van as far forward and as high as possible.

The vent would pick up the clean air before the dust rose to any height from behind the tow vehicle and pressurised the interior of the 'van.

You could run the 12 volt extractor fan in the toilet area, if it can be reversed to draw in air.

However the dust will have risen by this time and it will be pumped in, achieving nothing.

Jerry.