caravanning news masthead   

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

JULY 2022

Readership: Up to 32,000 monthly

Translating our site

Figures show that many overseas people log into our site and for their benefit we offer these translations.

Chinese (traditional)
­­ Hindi

readership stats

Breaking News
Click above for month's
full list


* Whopping caravan from Royal Flair ... 15,381 people reached.

* Potentially dangerous Swift gas cookers recall ... 9802 people reached.

* Blue Sky Caravans win gold award ... 6971 people reached.

* Victoria's Caravan Supershow winner ... 6628 people reached.

* Muster time for members of Australian Caravan Club ... 5429 people reached.

* Westbound caravanners warned after crash ... 4068 people reached.



Rain map

Nomads urged to delay travels

Caravans marooned as heavy rains batter Queensland

CARAVANS were marooned at Nanango Caravan Park and Twin Gums Caravan Park when torrential rains belted Queensland's Sunshine Coast area. A swift water rescue team was called to the Twin Gums park where trapped caravanners were rescued from more than seven RVs in fast-flowing waters. Meanwhile, grey nomads travelling in the area and on the Bruce Highway, especially north of Childers to Gladstone, were urged to delay their travels after warnings that more heavy rains were forecast.

Delia Rickard'The harm can be significant'

Consumer watchdog puts caravan industry on notice for poor treatment

THE caravan industry has been accused of widespread consumer guarantee failures, misrepresentations and unexpected delays in the delivery and repair of caravans. An Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) report highlights key issues of concern in the market for new caravans and provides guidance to businesses about their obligations to comply with Australian Consumer Law. In an ACCC survey of 2270 caravan owners, 80 percent reported having experienced problems with their new caravan. The number of consumer complaints to the consumer watchdog about the caravan industry continues to rise, reaching more than 1300 reports in the past five years. "A caravan can represent a significant financial and emotional investment," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard, pictured, said. "Some people save for years in anticipation of purchasing and travelling in a caravan. If something goes wrong the harm can be significant." The Caravan Industry Association of Australia now plans to meet the ACCC in the coming week. Chief executive Stuart Lamont said today: "The purchase of a caravan is not only a large financial purchase but one which is tied with much emotion. While the vast majority of industry understand and adhere to their consumer obligations and supplier indemnification responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law, there always remain opportunities for improvement." He said the national body would work closely with state caravanning associations to assist industry in further understanding their obligations in dealing with consumers and industry businesses along the supply chain. Read more button

Police weighing a caravan  Nine out of 12 'vans breaking law

Majority of caravans are overweight, say police

THE majority of caravans are carrying too much weight, according to police in Longreach, Queensland.

Local officer Constable Chris Curtis issued the warning after stationing himself on the Landsborough Highway near a tourist park with scales to weigh cars and caravans.

He said the idea was to show that many travellers were unaware of the safety limits their vehicles have in towing a caravan.

MANY grey nomads descended on Mareeba in northern Queensland for the annual Christmas in July festivities in Davies Park. Crime Prevention Tablelands Senior Constable Aleda Day has used the occasion to warn the travellers about RV weights. "Just because a vehicle manufacturer states a vehicle can tow 3.5 tonne, it does not necessarily mean that the vehicle, fully loaded with passengers, fuel and luggage, can still tow 3.5 tonne," he said.

The aim was to increase road safety through community engagement and education. No tickets were issued.

Across the state, police officers have been building recognition around safety measures required for caravan weights.

Results have also shown that nine out of 10 caravans and caravan combinations on the road are overweight, and this week in Longreach, nine out of 12 were shown to be overweight.

Constable Chris Curtis said the object was not to dish out fines but to provide education.

"We're not ticketing anyone today, it's about coming in and getting your 'van weighed to see if you're overweight or not," he said. "Most people are over in some way."

It was the first time weighing had been done in Longreach, but recently, weighing has been carried out elsewhere.

Constable Curtis warned locals looking to travel elsewhere to be conscious of what they put in their caravan or car, as they often do not have the opportunity to weigh the vehicles themselves.

"It adds up more than they think," he said.

"At the moment, it's all about education ... but there may come a time when you could incur a fine for being overweight."

Police have offered raft of advice for grey nomads heading north for Queensland's winter sunshine. See full story here.

Caravanning News ad

Wrecked caravan   'We've seen plenty of hairy moments'

Shocked caravanner describes witnessing rollover on highway

A SHOCKED caravanner has taken to Facebook to share his frightening experience of witnessing an out-of-control caravan rolling on Western Australia's Victoria Highway, describing the experience as a "brutal reminder" of how dangerous travelling can be. The "terrifying moment, resulting in devastation" happened as Kane Gray and his family were travelling west from Katherine to Kununurra. "We were following another caravan, while travelling at approx 95-100km/h, when a 200 series Sahara with full 'van began to overtake us," he wrote. "I immediately said to my wife that it wasn't great idea. We were following another 'van, and we were approaching a bridge. We've seen plenty of hairy moments on the roads during this trip that have ended fine, most of them being extremely close calls." Read more button

Meaghan Scanlon   Families experience new facilities

Improvements to Girraween National Park camping grounds prove a hit

THE recent $3.3 million upgrade to Queensland's Girraween National Park has proved a hit with caravanners and campers. Castle Rock camping area underwent a major redevelopment and two new camping areas were improved to enhance both the visitor experience and environmental outcomes. Hundreds of families experienced the new facilities during the recent school holiday period. Environment Meaghan Scanlon, pictured, said the Girraween National Park was internationally renowned for its magnificent granite landscape, spring wildflower displays and its changing seasons. "Girraween is one of Queensland's popular national parks, with more than 120,000 people visiting each year," she said. Read more button

Auction vanCovid blamed for high bids

Auction prices set to soar on caravans and trailers

UNUSED caravans and camper trailers are expected to sell for more than retail price when they come up for auction. Following the recent trend with other vehicles, RVs are just the latest asset that has succumbed to strong demand with no supply. "Demand for recreational assets is sky high at the moment due to the rippling effects of Covid and businesses not having enough stock on hand," Lloyds Auctions' chief operations officer Lee Hames said. "We have seen this trend occur at auction recently in brand new model cars, some even selling more than retail such as a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette selling for $255,000 when they normally retail for $160,000 ... and now, we are seeing this trend with caravans and camper trailers too. "Not only have we seen it on the used vehicle market but also heavy machinery where wait times become longer and longer, usually a minimum of 12 months and some up to 2 years or more." Read more button

A year of record highs


Stuart Lamont

By Dennis Amor

AUSTRALIA'S caravan and camping industry continues to be a major driver of the nation's visitor economy and manufacturing sectors.

In its latest
State of Industry 2022 Report, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said the industry had again exceeded expectations.

2021 had been a year of record highs throughout various sectors of the industry, with an astonishing $23.8 billion impact on the Australian economy annually, it said.

While the broader tourism industry remained constrained, the caravan and camping visitor economy had strongly rebounded from 2020, generating 12.6 million trips and $7.4 billion in visitor expenditure.

''This propelled the caravan and camping sector to become the largest provider of accommodation for the purposes of a holiday in Australia," the report said.

"Australians' strong desire for recreational vehicles broke four-decade long manufacturing records with over 23,931 units produced."

Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart, pictured, said figures highlighted the resilience of the industry in times of crisis and the importance the sector had in helping to support Australia's economy when other sectors faltered.

"The dream remains very much alive for Australians looking for a safe and affordable holiday experience," he said.

"Despite headwinds in market, 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, and the economies of many regional and rural communities around the country" Read more button

Caravanning News ad


'Grateful to be association with company'

New chief operations officer for BMPRO

BMPRO has appointed Alex Bugeja as chief operations officer to oversee the "long-term generation of sustainable value to customers in the caravanning and RV industry". BMPRO is the leading experts in power and control management in recreational vehicles. As part of his new role, he will lead and scale the company's supply chain and production, research and development, engineering services, quality and executive service teams. He will assume the responsibility of ensuring operational excellence, assurance and delivery of high-quality solutions to the company’s global customer base and partners. Mr Bugeja, pictured, commented: "I'm grateful to be associated with a company that serves the recreational vehicle industry, something that's been a foundation of my career for the last 17 years at Jayco. I'm also excited to be venturing into new spaces such as power electronics that provide greater exposure to a more varied range of customers. I look forward to working with and representing another great Australian organisation, contributing to its ongoing growth and success." BMPRO is approaching its 10-year anniversary and has gone through amazing growth and milestones. Have your say

Ford RangerPolice appeal for help

Thieves strike at South Australian caravan park

POLICE in South Australia are investigating after a break-in and vehicle theft at a Port Augusta caravan park. The crooks entered a cabin at the Discovery Park on Stokes Terrace and stole items including a wallet and keys to the grey 2019 Ford Ranger with the WA registration 1GVE434 (similar vehicle pictured). The vehicle has a black canopy and black bull bar and was spotted around 5.30am speeding along Caroona Road near Shacks Road, heading towards Whyalla. Police are appealing for anyone who sees the vehicle to call the Police Assistance Line on 131444.  Have your say

Turtle SandsCouncil to consider development application

Turtle Sands caravan park may get new lease of life

By Dennis Amor

THE once popular Turtle Sands Tourist Park adjoining the world-famous Mon Repos turtle rookery in Queensland could be destined for a new lease of life. Owners David and Jenny Baker plan to turn it into a 127-site park with an accommodation mix to meet the current tourism market and have lodged a development application with Bundaberg Regional Council. The Bakers pulled down the shutters at the million dollar-view beachside eco park in 2010 saying they wanted to help protect threatened survivors from the dinosaur age. The park has been on the market with CBR Hotels for some time, with expressions of interest closing on July 7. Senior director Paul Fraser told Caravanning News: "We are dealing with multiple parties currently on the property and as of yet it is not sold."  Read more button

Chance encounter for club's branches

Club meeting
Photo: Facebook 

SEVERAL branches of the nationwide Australian Caravan Club met up by chance recently. Their tag-alongs happened at the 40-site Mitchell Caravan Park in the NSW outback town of Bourke. Golden Westerners, Lakeside Drifters, Hunter Ramblers, Lone Treckers and Armed Services were all represented. "It was great for some to renew acquaintances and some to meet for the first time," the club said on its Facebook page. "Just what the Australian Caravan Club is all about. The park owners provided us with afternoon tea and we all enjoyed a lovely Chinese meal at the Bourke Bowling Club. It was also wonderful to witness the Darling River with all the flood plains and billabong in flood." Have your say

Stefano de Pier   'Ideally located to attract RVs'

Still time to have your say on Mildura's new camping strategy

THERE'S still time to comment on Mildura Rural City Council's new strategy which would lay the groundwork for the Victorian region to further tap into Australia's $10 billion RV, caravan and camping industry. The Draft RV, Caravan and Camping Strategy sets short, medium and long-term goals to ensure the region capitalises on opportunities to grow RV, caravan and camping visitation rates, while becoming an RV-friendly town. Feedback closes 5pm on July 11. Councillor for Economic Development Stefano de Pieri, pictured, said the strategy had been a long time in the making. "Our region is ideally located to attract RV owners, caravanners and campers from three different states, while also boasting some of the best camping destinations in the country," he said. Have your say

Spirit of Tasmania ferry

Residents give thumb's up

Spotlight on low-cost camp
for Spirit ferry travellers

CITY of Greater Geelong councillors in Victoria have turned the spotlight on the need for more low-cost camping. This follows a feasibility study into establishing a site north of the city to help cater to the growing recreational vehicle market. The opening of the new Sprit of Tasmania terminal at Corio Quay in Spring is expected to bring approximately 25,000 RVs to north Geelong each year, including motorhomes, campervans and caravans. Local Mayor Peter Murrihy said the city had received 595 responses to public surveys about providing low-camping and amenities in Geelong’s north, including feedback from 405 residents. Eighty-six percent of residents supported providing facilities at a site in north Geelong. Read more button

Jade Wellings   Consultants preparing master plans

Fraser Coast's ageing caravan parks set for spruce up

QUEENSLAND'S Fraser Coast Regional Council plans to spruce up its popular caravan parks. New offices/manager's residences, wider internal road, and larger sites are among the key elements of master plans for Pialba and Torquay beachfront parks. Cr Jade Wellings, pictured, said the council had engaged SGL Consultants to prepare master plans for parks at Burrum Heads, Scarness, Torquay and Pialba to ensure they were commercially viable and met current standards and visitor expectations. "The existing infrastructure in the parks is ageing and needs replacing and the parks need upgrading to suit modern 'vans, especially RVs," she said. Read more button

NSW floods 'We can give people a place to stay'

Camplify comes to the aid
of NSW flood victims

PEER-to-peer caravan and RV hire company Camplify has come to the aid of Woodburn residents made homeless by NSW floodwaters. The victims are being offered at-home caravans in a new program from the NSW Government which provided medium-term housing solutions. Caravans will be located on residents' private property at no cost. Camplify chief executive and founder Justin Hales said the partnership project meant that residents would be able to remain in their community as the recovery continues. "By repurposing our caravan supply in this pilot program we can give people a place to stay on their own properties while they manage the difficult task of repairing and rebuilding from the floods," he said. Read more button

Retreat group plans a monster raffle

Retreat rally
Photo: Members pictured at previous get-together

THE Queensland Retreat Caravan Group will stage a seven-day get-together at Kerribee Park, Mareeba, from July 24. Members will travel from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Highlight of the occasion will be a monster raffle, with prizes donated from members and businesses. All proceeds will be donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Have your say

New YouTube video features 'caravan carnage'

A DRAMATIC 7-minute video featuring "caravan carnage" including dramatic footage of caravan rollover and other accidents has been posted on YouTube at

Nick Baker'The perfect getaway for families'

Holiday parks chain partner new tourism campaign in NSW

THE Reflections Holiday Parks group has encouraged holidaymakers to 'Feel More and Live More' after the launch of a new tourism campaign promoting caravan and camping holidays throughout NSW. The campaign, launched by Destination NSW in partnership with the Caravan & Camping Industry Association, is part of the NSW Government’s 'Feel New' brand, which promotes the natural wonders and cultural offerings of NSW. Reflections Holiday Parks chief executive Nick Baker, pictured, said Reflections partnered with CCIA NSW on the Feel More, Live More campaign which aligned with the nature-based, outdoor adventures guests experience at Reflections parks. "Caravan and camping provide the perfect getaway for families to enjoy quality time together," he said. Read more button

Safety notices issued

Swift gas cooker alert after two injured

CARAVANNERS have been warned to stop using some Swift 500 series gas cookers after explosions reportedly injured two travellers. Safety notices have been issued following incidents involving the appliances which were later found to be leaking. Resources Safety and Health Queensland said it had identified a failure point in internal piping at the outlet connection point of the front left control valve. "The failure point caused gas to leak within the appliance and the leaking gas tracked to an undetermined ignition source," it said. In a statement, Swift said it was liaising with the ACCC, WA DMIRS and Resources Safety and Health Queensland. "We will provide more information as soon as possible after conferring with the regulatory bodies," it said. "Consumers must immediately cease using the products until tests determine the cause and the products are deemed safe." 

 Update: Swift Appliance Group have now reported that its 500 series caravan gas cookers manufactured and supplied after June 1, 2020, are safe for ordinary use without restriction. But it warns that those manufactured and supplied between January 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020, must not be used while it gathers more information.   Have your say

To view previous edition of Caravanning News, click below:


      June 2022

Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Caravanning News.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved


Your advert here

Don't forget to refresh this page to ensure you have
the latest version

KEEPING up-to-date with what's happening in the world of Australian caravanning is easy, thanks to Caravanning News. Published online since 2005, each monthly edition is updated as major stories break. We attract up to 32,000 visitors monthly, with our Facebook and Breaking News pages being updated almost daily. Figures show the number of people reached on our FB page can top 61,000 weekly. To receive the latest Caravanning News updates on your FB news feed, just 'LIKE' our Facebook page ... more than 23,000 followers have already done this.


Letter man

Pests unaware
of other traffic
around them

I RECENTLY travelled the Pacific Highway in New South Wales and was amazed at the driving of some caravanners.

There was a mix, some good and others not so good.

I lost count of those that seemed oblivious to other vehicles around them.

Many seemed to be in another world and totally unaware of other travellers trying to overtake them, causing frustration among other travellers in the ever lengthening line of vehicles behind.

It's no wonder us grey nomads get a bad name, particularly among many truckies who are on the road trying to make a living.

I tell you, my two-way radio was running hot with the amount of bad language thrown at the culprits.

Waste  of breath in many cases because few caravanners have them fitted to their vehicles.

Is there a solution to this problem? I fear not.

Ron Beachley.

Wrong implication?

I AM an avid reader of your Caravanning News and thank you for the work you do in informing people news related to the caravanning world.

I have in the last several months been researching for our next caravan, eyeing off the Skydeck as we have come across them in our travels and find them to be an incredible feature.

Upon my researches I came across your article of August 2017 "Defective manufacturing left owner with massive repair bill" (See story here).


I feel the article wrongly implies that the issue was with the Skydeck by the image you included with the article as well as calling the caravan the Royal Flair Skydeck.

Skydeck is the product or the accessory fitted to a caravan, much like a Dometic awning or a Camec window or a Sirocco fan.

You wouldn't call it a Royal Flair Dometic 'van would you?

My husband many years ago was misrepresented in a similar way and I feel that this article deserves a correction. I hope you will take it into consideration.

Other than the above, keep up the good work that you do.

Steph Corbett.