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

January 2017
 

Monthly readership: 14,000 to 21,000


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11,000 likes

Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

JAN 30: TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, has included two holiday parks in its latest list of Top 10 hotels in Australia ... the BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort in Qld and the BIG4 Beacon Resort in Vic.

***  Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.


* Police hunt fiend who assaulted sleeping child in caravan annex  ... 261,821 people reached.

* Truckie's wife plea over caravan parking at rest areas ... 138,492 people reached.

* Caravanners fuming over exorbitant Xmas site fees ... 62,567 people reached.

* Victoria police to carry out caravan safety checks  ... 32,167 people reached.

* Terrifying storm batters Kilcoy caravan park ... 22,039 people reached.

* Geralton in WA becomes RV friendly ... 19,481 people reached.

* Online petition against NSW's high caravan rego fees ... 13,977 people reached.

* Caravan thieves ruin family's festive holiday plans ... 13,375 people reached.

MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Uncertainty over trash
dumped in store trolley

JUST one point on the saga of a supermarket trolley being used as a trash bin (see story here).

How does she know they were RV travellers?

If she saw it happen, she should have got their rego.

The culprits could have have been locals!

Eddie Thompson.

Thoughtless

IF as stated you have proof, the number plate details should also be there and forwarded to the relevant authority for prosecution.

These few thoughtless individuals need to be made responsible for their actions.

They are in no way representative of the majority of RV community members.

Trevor Smith.


Boroma name lives on

GLAD to see the Boroma name is being kept alive (see story here).

My wife and I have purchased a used 2007 Boroma.

After looking at so many other caravans,  we saw that the build quality is that much higher than any of the other new caravans on the road today..

Martin Urquhart.



Suspicious advert'I feel like an absolute fool'

Police probe caravan advert

By Dennis Amor

POLICE are investigating another possible caravan-for-sale scam after a complaint from a Queensland mother-of-three. The Brisbane woman says she lost $500 before realising there could be something wrong with the online advert (pictured above) offering a Victorian-based 2011 Jayco Outback for $28,500. Allclassifieds and caravancampingclassifieds have now removed the ad from their websites. The woman, who asked not to be identified, tearfully told Caravanning News: "I was very excited at the thought of buying a caravan, now I feel like an absolute fool." She said that after sending the deposit, she was asked to scan and send a copy of her $28,000 bank cheque with the bar code clearly visible, arousing her suspicions. She checked on the caravan's ownership but the details did not tally. The contact she was given was katrina@glencoefarm-australia.com.au. "Katrina said she was operations manager there so I called glencoefarms. But the gentleman who answered said it was a complete scam."  Have your say


Little incentive for owners to hang on to businesses

Developers put future of the humble caravan park
in jeopardy: consultant

Rod CaldicottBy Dennis Amor
Have your say

THE end could be nigh  for the humble caravan park, according to an expert's shock prediction.

Self-employed consultant and academic Rod Caldicott (pictured) suggests they are being erased from the landscape as developers snap them up for their land value.

And there seemed little incentive for owners to hang onto their businesses while strict red tape and soaring costs gnaw into their profits.

Mr Caldicott, former tourism and promotions officer at Richmond Valley Council in NSW, said parks were being sold off to opportunistic developers wanting to turn them into lucrative resorts, retirement villages or shopping precincts.

“Caravan parks have a place in our history but unfortunately the economy speaks louder than nostalgic values," he told Commercial Real Estate News.

His comments come as caravan production in Australia breaks all records, while at the same time many caravan parks are being sold off.

Mr Caldicott, who holds an honours degree in Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality Management, has produced a number of research papers on caravanning, including an historical comparative study of caravan park developments Australia-wide.

He is now studying for his PhD, with a thesis on "freedom camping in a commercial camping world bound by societal and legislative regulations".


Blazing caravanTips that could save your life

Good advice from firefighters

FIRE and Rescue NSW has reminded caravan and camping enthusiasts to be fire safe. "Make sure your caravan or motorhome has a working photoelectric smoke alarm," it said. Other fire safety tips included planning how to escape an RV in the event of a blaze. "Remember that the majority of fires start in the kitchen so make sure you 'keep looking while cooking'," it advised. "Gas cylinders on caravans should be external, secure and with valves facing away from the 'van. You should regularly check gas pipes and connectors are in good working order, particularly after driving on country roads." Other important items included having a fire extinguisher and fire blanket onboard. Campers should find out where the nearest phone is or check that mobile phones have reception. The name and street address of your campground or caravan park should be noted. Also check the location of the nearest hose reel and evacuation point, and never leave an open fire or hot coals unattended. Have your say


Mayor Van Styn

$9.5m annual boost for economy predicted

Geralton will message travellers
when free sites become available

WA's coastal city of Geralton is now more attractive to caravanners and other RVers after becoming "RV friendly". The local council has laid on free 24hr overnight parking for self-contained RVs in the Francis Street carpark. And it will even message would-be visitors telling them if there are spaces available. Mayor Shane Van Styn (pictured) commented: "We already know that if we can capture just those visitors who currently bypass our city we can realistically increase overnight stays by 50 percent, which would result in an estimated $9.5 million annual boost to our local economy." He said smart phone technology would enable the city to trial a mobile phone app called RV Parking Solution. This would inform passing traffic as to the number of RV parking bays in the carpark, the number available, when they become available and facilities available on site. Have your say


Coolibah all terrain caravanNo Warranty issues for Coolibah
CARAVAN builders Debbie and Peter Scully are proud of the product they produce.
In fact, they boast of never having had a warranty claim against any of their meticulously-built off-road caravans. The couple launched Coolibah All Terrain Caravans nearly three years ago at Rathmines in NSW. "We only employ four people and produce eight 'vans a year with each one being built to order," Debbie told Caravanning News. Debbie and Peter have so much faith in the agility and strength of their caravans that they have sold their home to invest in the continued development of their product. More button

Aero Glamping takes off at Victorian parkGuests take to skies in new glamping experience
A NEW form of accommodation has taken off at an award-winning Victorian caravan park.
Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in the Grampians has installed a first-of-its-kind Aero Glamper, compete with fully functional flight simulator. The Boeing 737 simulator is connected to a five-star luxury canvas safari tent and park owners Rohan and Josephina McDonald report that the idea has already landed a lot of interest. Guest Sarah Duncan said her husband and son were rapt with their experience. "They said was very lifelike and great fun," she added. More button


'It's so sad and frustrating,' says park manager

Hastings Point planned waterslides

Ratepayers may have to splash out $60,000 in water slide dispute

A DISPUTE over plans to replace water slides with larger ones at the award-winning five-star BIG4 Hastings Point Caravan Park in northern NSW will go to the Land and Environment Court this month. Park manager Ian Beadel told Caravanning News that proceedings would begin on January 20 and could run until April. "It's so sad and frustrating when a group of professional planners approve the plan but councillors can then knock it back on a 4-3 vote," he said. He estimated that ratepayers would face a legal bill of up to $60,000. The park has already agreed to reduce the height of the slides' platform, include 1.8m-high noise barrier and tone down the colour of the slides. It has received 1322 letters of support from "guests and the local community", 39 containing 56 signatories from park residents, 14 from businesses who rely on the viability of the caravan park and 57 from park staff. Have your say


Petition calls for cut in caravan rego fees
AN online petition is pleading with NSW Premier Mike Baird to reduce the high cost of caravan registrations in the state.
It has attracted more than 115 supporters who claim that NSW rego fees are the highest in the country. They want them brought into line with other states. One supporter wrote: "It's outrageous that our trailer and caravan registration fees are so high in comparison with other states. We owners are being taken for a ride!" The petition has been launched on the change.org website. Have your say

Police carry out caravan weight checkCops to carry out caravan safety checks
POLICE in the East Gippsland area of Victoria will be checking on caravanners at a rest area this week.
But they have assured travellers they will not be handing out tickets at the Princes Highway's Newmerella rest area on January 4 and 5. Their mission is to advise on caravan and tow vehicle weights, general safety around towing and how to manage fatigue on long journeys. Acting Sergeant Graeme Shenton told Caravanning News that the objective was not to fine every driver with a caravan that might be overweight or non-compliant. More button

Ratings survey thrills Kui founder
THE two-year-old Kui caravan parks chain has been given a resounding thumbs up from guests.
An analysis of more than 302 responses to a rating survey at its 60-plus parks has "thrilled and encouraged" the man who launched the network of budget parks, Bert van Spronsen. "It showed we have a 93 percent satisfaction rating from our respondents, which is an excellent result," he said. Have your say

457 visaNomads outraged over 457 visa jobs
CARAVANNERS have expressed outrage over news that foreigners are being employed to run some caravan parks.
According to reports, there have been at least five 457 visa approvals issued for caravan park or camp managers each year for the past five years. The visas allow "skilled workers" to enter Aust​ralia and work for an approved business for up to four years, and the government list of 650 occupations considered acceptable includes caravan park or camp managers. They are supposed to be issued only where locals cannot be found for the jobs. But dumbfounded travellers claimed grey nomads were being denied job opportunities. More button

LightningPark managers urged to prepare for wild weather
QUEENSLAND Government's Residential Tenancies Authority has warned caravan park operators to prepare for a worse than usual storm season.
Chief executive Darren Barlow said for any accommodation provider, being prepared for storms was the best protection from the state's wild summer weather because severe storms could strike at any time and cause major damage. "Following the second-wettest winter on record and above average rainfall in spring, caravan park managers need to be specially prepared," he said. He advised they trim trees, ensure drains were clear and remind people to secure outside furniture or other large items which could act as missiles and cause serious damage. "Children's play equipment and toys or anything that could cause damage should also be secured," he added. Have your say

CCA launches new service
THE Victorian-based and independent Caravan Council of Australia is introducing a new service to help caravanners.
Founder Colin Young said the professional engineering and legal assistance programme would be of value to owners of caravans and camper-trailers who have serious unresolved technical problems. "This new service does not cover minor issues or commercial disputes," he explained. "The aim is to best-overcome critical ratings and masses and handling and stability matters." For more information, click here. Have your say

Coromal caravanFleetwood board changes still needed: investor
AN active investor in Coromal and Windsor caravans builder Fleetwood Corporation believes the Perth-based organisation has taken a turn for the better.
Sandon Capital, which last year became a shareholder with a 5.4 percent stake, makes the point in its recently released fund commentary for November. But it was still convinced further board changes were required, adding that it looked forward to Fleetwood's half-year results announcement early this year.

Open your wallets, urges ACC leader
THE Australian Caravan Club has urged its members to open their wallets and support local communities which provide budget camping.
"We encourage our members using freedom camps to give back to the areas by supporting local businesses wherever possible," deputy chairman Tom Smith said. He was speaking in NSW after attending the official opening of new council-provided facilities at Currabubula's Recreation Ground in Maitland St. With a maximum stay of 72 hours, the freedom camp has hot showers and flushing toilets for which users are asked to make a small donation. "I am sure the Currabubula local community and its surrounding area will reap the economic rewards from the increased business that RVers will bring," Mr Smith said. Have your say

Maryborough Airport in QueenslandLow-cost RV park set to take off at Maryborough
CARAVANNERS have welcomed news that a local football club on Queensland's Fraser Coast will develop a new 50-site budget RV park for travellers.
The local regional council has awarded the $1000-a-year tender to Doon Villa Soccer Club to set up the low-cost facility on council land near the entrance to Maryborough Airport. Enthusiasts were quick to the thumbs up when Caravanning News carried news of the decision on its Facebook page. "This is a fantastic initiative for our town," wrote one contributor. More button

Independent ratings a new feature on BIG4 website
THE BIG4 chain has introduced a new facility on its website which allows visitors to view independent reviews and ratings of its 180-plus holiday and caravan parks.
Sales and marketing general manager Campbell Davies said BIG4 had listened to consumers and their desire for independent ratings by adding ReviewPro's Guest Ratings Score to its web pages. It is described as a way of meeting consumers' thirst for information about quality and value. More button


Future Leaders Committee members at Jayco

Experience 'of great benefit'

Jayco tour for future leaders

THE giant Jayco factory in Victoria opened its doors to members of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Future Leaders Committee. They were taken on a tour of the factory which produces more than 10,000 caravans a year before starting their last meeting. All agreed the experience was of great benefit. The 10-member committee meets at a diverse range of venues. This allows members to gain a better appreciation for the industry as a whole. Their previous meeting was at the Brisbane Holiday Village in Queensland. During their gathering at Jayco, nine members focused heavily on planning for the 2017 Future Leaders Conference, to be held at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast on May 10. Have your say


Work stalls on Tassie's planned $3m park
WORK on a proposed $3 million caravan park in Tasmania has stalled.
Site preparations for the park at Primrose Sands south-east of Hobart were scheduled to begin before the start of this year. But developer Rodney Ball is reported as saying they had been delayed because of "other business interests". Sorell Council approved the project which includes 24 cabins, 18 powered caravan sites, restaurant, cafe, bar and manager’s accommodation last February. It is now thought planning will begin in July and construction the following year. More than 300,000 tourists are estimated to travel through the area on their way to the east coast, the World Heritage site of Port Arthur and Hobart each year. With its overnight rest area, nearby Sorell is one of the Apple Isle's few RV-friendly destinations. There is a maximum five-night stay with permits costing $7 a night for the first three nights and $24 for four or five nights. Have your say

Young adventurers in AustraliaOverseas visitors help boost industry
A RISE in international visitors is helping to boost Australia's caravanning and camping industry, it has been revealed.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia said targeted campaigns in key Asian markets were paying dividends, with more adventurers from China and Singapore electing to camp their way around Oz. New figures released by the association showed that visitors from America accounted for the largest growth on the previous year (49 percent), followed by Britain (13 percent) and Germany (10 percent). Meanwhile, caravan and camping visitors from China ‒ although off a small base rate ‒ rose 54 percent on the previous year, and Singapore showed substantial growth of 78 percent. More button

Man set for sentencing over stolen TV
A MAN who stole a television from a NSW caravan park will be sentenced next month.
Travis Treyvaud committed the offence after the Department of Housing gave the 36-year-old temporary accommodation at the Albury Central Tourist Park in North Albury. Treyvaud, who has a long list of previous offences, admitted larcency and will reappear at the local magistrates court on February 15 for sentencing. The court heard he tried to sell the television at a pawnbroker who recognised it as being previously sold to the caravan park. Have your say

caravan tyresCaravan tyres need special attention: RACQ
QUEENSLAND'S biggest motoring club has warned caravanners to pay special attention to their tyres.
The RACQ points out that most manufacturers guarantee tyres for five years after which owners need to consider replacing them. It advised that when not in use, they should be stored in a cool and dry environment not in direct sunlight. More button

Vintage caravan magazine folds
LOW sales and soaring costs have forced the glossy bi-monthly Vintage Caravan Magazine to fold after 30 editions.
Publisher Lisa Mora and her pastel pink 1960s Sunliner fibreglass caravan called Betty were regular visitors to caravan shows and vintage caravan events around the country. Her Facebook page attracted 54,000 fans but she said these could not be converted into enough subscribers to keep her business afloat. Lisa also blamed the rising cost of mailing out her magazine along with Australia Post's alleged "frustratingly increasing inefficiency and frequent losses of items that need to be reposted at my expense". "It sucks to have worked your butt off for over five years to end up in debt," she wrote on the magazine's Facebook page. Have your say

Port Hedland RV overflow campsiteRV overflow site pumps half a million dollars into town
A TEMPORARY RV overflow campsite in the WA town of Port Hedland has proved so successful that it will be kept open for an additional month during this year's busy tourist season, it has been announced.
Grey nomads and other travellers injected around half a million dollars into the local economy during the four months it operated last year. And overjoyed traders and the local council attributed the welcome windfall to the campsite in McGregor Street. Tourists can stay at the $10-a-night facility for a maximum of three nights when alternative campsites in town are 50 percent full or if their self-contained recreational vehicle is too large to fit in a vacant spot. More button

Caravanners take seniors first aid course
CARAVANNERS have been urged to brush up on their first aid knowledge.
"The more people that gain these skills increases the chances of accident victims surviving trauma," secretary of Queensland's Bowen-based Sugar City Pioneers Frank Casey said. He was commenting after members of the Australian Caravan Club branch attended a senior first aid course, run by a qualified paramedic. "The group attending the course saw this as not only benefitting our members, but all members of the travelling public," Mr Casey said. Have your say

Victoria's caravan and camping supershowSupershow for the whole family
ALL family members will be catered for at the upcoming Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow, organisers have promised.
The six-day event will feature free showbags, an abundance of entertainment, food outlets, cooking demonstrations and more. And two new children's zones sponsored by CIL Caravan and RV Insurance will be opened to add to the overall family experience. More button

Roustabouts launch recruitment drive
THE Roustabouts RV Club has launched a campaign to attract more members.
Its catchment area includes south-east Queensland from the Gold to Sunshine coasts and west to Toowoomba, but is not limited to those areas. Membership already exceeds 85 but secretary Chris Lloyd said it wanted more like-minded people. "We have quite a diverse range of age-groups, vocations and interests, all with a common love of the outdoors and the want to explore," he said. Membership is open to owners of caravans, motorhomes, campervans, fifth wheelers and camper trailers. For more information, click here. Have your say


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Rest areas: Main Roads blamed
for overnight parking problems

I AGREE with the truck driver's wife who pleads with caravanners to be more considerate when using rest areas (see story here).

But on the other hand, remember that the caravaner also needs a place to rest up.

I think the Main Roads Department is the problem.

There should be more bigger places to stopover on the roads. We all pay enough taxes.

Looking at some outback truck stops, I do feel sorry for them. There's not a lot there.

Ben.

In agreement

TOTALLY agree with the truckers.

Caravanners are either retired or on holidays and should not camp in rest areas.

Bruce Howes.


Councils vary on overnighting policy

PLEASED to read about the opening of the new overnight facility at Childers in Queensland (see story here).

Congratulations to the forward thinking Bundaberg council.

I come from a town in NSW that relies on tourism for its income.

But the local council here is doing everything to move travellers on and out of the district.

The mayor is on record as saying that people driving $200,000-plus rigs should not be bludging on the local ratepayer.

The outcry from both travellers and locals has been ignored.

Even the Information Centre has been moved from a prominent highway position to an inaccessible position buried in one of our commercial "tourist attractions".

I have just added the Bundaberg area to my itinerary for the next trip north.

Halesy.