to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
Townsville City Council in Queensland is considering setting up an online booking system for overnight stays its six free campsites in the northern beaches.
Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Coach Built Caravans
hits troubled times ... 13,179
Colorado Caravans in liquidation ... 11,498 people reached.
Blaze destroys caravan at Boxers Creek ... 11,475.
Rockhampton council ordered to pay legal fees in Kershaw
Gardens case ... 10,120 people
Sunland Caravans scoops major award ... 8861 people reached.
Police issue safe driving plea to caravanners ...
6970 people reached.
New caravan industry laws welcomed ...
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Caravan parks 'not for true
$3.5m makeover for the Mooloolaba
Sunshine Coast Council would be more in tune if they spent the
money providing free camping facilities for travellers
(see story here).
Travellers spend their money in the town, not wanting to waste
their money on overpriced caravan parks that provide unwanted
Increasing the size of a camp site, given time, will only incur
more cost to those who choose to use the park.
Currently, site prices just cannot be warranted,
let alone future increases.
Companies such as BIG4 or Top Parks cater for a different market
and are no longer true caravan parks.
They are not for the traveller or true caravan owner who is more
than likely is self-sufficient
and looks for the freedom this country once had.
Caravan parks continue to close as they self-destruct,
based on business models with no vision.
The caravan park association should seriously review the effect
that large company ownership is having on smaller privately-owned
or leased parks together with what the traveller wants, not what
they think they need.
Many a town can testify to the value of travellers staying in the
town and the difference their dollars make to its economy and
These town provide free facilities for travellers to supplement
private caravan parks ... and the model
No oasis for pets
SO holidaymakers will be unwelcome
at Palms Oasis Caravan Park (see story
Well, there goes another place to visit
if you have a fur baby/babies.
Ingenia is certainly taking over some wonderful spots up and down
the east coast of Australia.
Can only see the average caravaner/motorhomer with a pet being
squeezed out of some lovely parks.
Rescuers free third traveller from wreckage
DIE IN HORROR HIGHWAY CRASH
By Dennis Amor
experts were trying to piece together the moments before a horror
smash on a NSW rural highway which claimed the lives of two caravanners.
Emergency services were met with "absolute carnage" on the Oxley Highway
near Yarrowitch after a 4WD Toyota Prado and caravan
rolled. No other vehicles were thought to have been involved. Police said
the rig was travelling east on the Oxley Highway when it hit an Armco
railing before careering into a tree. The front seat passenger, a
72-year-old woman, and rear seat passenger, a 38-year-old man, died at the
scene. The driver, a 58-year-old man, and a 38-year-old female backseat
passenger who had to be freed from the wreckage, were flown to Tamworth
Base Hospital by two Westpac Rescue helicopters. Both were reported to
have non-life threatening injuries. The vehicle also contained two dogs
and a cat. One dog died but the cat fled the scene and has not been
located. Officers from Northern Tableland Crash Investigation Unit were
continuing with inquiries into the crash. A report will be prepared for
Have your say
Not the time to 'take
foot off the pedal'
CARAVAN INDUSTRY INJECTS
$20b INTO AUSSIE ECONOMY
Have your say
AUSTRALIA'S caravan industry pumped over $20 billion
into the nation's economy last year, it has been
Announcing the news in its
2018 annual review, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia
said it had been "a challenging year" but had seen some growth as
caravanners and campers experienced what was on offer.
They notched up a record 12 million-plus individual trips during the year
... much of which went into regional Australia.
Chief executive Stuart Lamont said the association appreciated and
acknowledged the financial and logistical support from industry businesses
which came together and invested in the National Marketing & Advocacy
"This underpins many of the activities which we undertake on behalf of the
industry, and the selfless investment that nearly 700 industry businesses
make to allow for industry activities to occur is very much valued," he
The association had already devised "an array of new and exciting
marketing stimulation plans" to reach new markets this year.
But, Mr Lamont warned, there were some 'headwinds' in the market.
"However, now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal, and we will
be increasing our marketing activity to a level never seen before," he
This would be achieved through strategic investments and new co-operative
partnerships to ensure the industry remained front of mind in the eyes of
consumers looking to take a genuine Australian holiday.
"We will also be increasing activities in the areas of research,
compliance and lobbying to new levels, as well as looking at bringing an
even more exciting National Conference in May which we believe will be a
must-attend industry event, Mr Lamont added.
mat already benefiting traders
BUNBURY City Council in WA is already feeling
the benefits of throwing down the welcome mat
for caravanners and other grey nomads. Within
weeks of opening three new experimental overnight camping spots for RV
travellers the tills at local businesses have been ringing merrily.
According to reports, scores of nomads have already taken advantage of the
rest areas at Wyalup Rocky Point car park, Ocean Drive car park near Scott
Street and the Maidens Reserve car park, also on Ocean Drive.
Local Mayor Gary Brennan (pictured) is
delighted with the results.
for drug-affected caravan thief
A WOMAN who stole a 4WD and caravan in
Queensland while high on drugs is now behind bars.
The 27-year-old and another woman were
attempting to evade police at high speed in Toowoomba when the
caravan began swaying before breaking loose from the Toyota Prado and
smashing into a unit complex. It was destroyed. Its owners had been
preparing for a road-trip, Toowoomba Magistrates Court was told. The
woman, who was on parole, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after
admitting eight offences, including dangerous operation of a vehicle while
adversely affected, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and obstructing
police. The court was told she had taken the drug 'fantasy' about an hour
before making off with the 4WD and caravan in
Have your say
Sands set for new lease of life
THE once popular Turtle Sands Tourist Park adjoining the world-famous Mon
Repos turtle rookery in Queensland is destined for a new lease of life.
Owners David and Jenny Baker plan to transform it into a 127-site tourism
park with an accommodation mix to meet the current market. Bundaberg
Regional Council will soon consider their development application which
includes turtle-friendly lighting conditions said to have been drawn up by
an internationally recognised expert. The Bakers pulled down the shutters
at the million dollar-view beachside eco park in 2010, deciding it would
not cater for single site bookings or overnight accommodation. ... to help protect
threatened survivors from the dinosaur age.
'turning a blind eye' to weights
MORE than half the caravans weighed by a Queensland business were
overweight, shocking new figures have revealed.
Weightcheck Mobile Caravan Weighing founder Dave Lewis told Caravanning
News that owners seemed to be "turning a blind eye" to the problem.
During the last 14 months his Brisbane company has completed over 350
weigh-ins. And some frightening statistics have emerged off the back of
the weighings, with 62 percent of caravans and 31 percent of tow vehicles
being over their weight compliance limit.
executive joins Ingenia
INGENIA Communities, which operates an Australian chain of lifestyle and
holiday parks, has welcomed a global executive to its board.
Sun Communities chairman and chief executive Gary Shiffman has been
appointed a non-executive director. His company has over 300 manufactured
home communities and RV resorts in 29 states throughout the US and
Ontario, Canada. He has over 30 years' experience in all aspects of the US
and Canadian manufactured housing and recreational vehicles market.
Ingenia chairman Jim Hazel said his company looked forward to drawing on
the success of the US market and Sun Communities to further Ingenia's
aspiration to become Australia's leading owner, operator and developer of
lifestyle and holiday communities. Sun has twice received the US
Manufactured Home Community Operator of the Year award.
Have your say
urged to be water-wise
CARAVANNERS heading to Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast have
been encouraged to use water wisely this summer.
Barwon Water has urged holiday parks throughout the region to
encourage guests and travellers to take shorter showers, turn off taps
when brushing teeth and report leaking taps and running toilets. The water
authority, which supplies half a million consumers in an 800,000 square
kilometre area, has adopted a water droplet called Drop (pictured) who is
taking a road trip in a vintage caravan, stopping at local festivals and
markets along the way. Barwon Water managing director Tracey Slatter said
the idea was to remind people that while they are relaxing on holidays
they should not be relaxing their water-saving habits.
Have your say
grey nomads warned of ads scam
NSW police have warned of an elaborate scam targeting retirees wanting to
buy 'bargain' caravans from classified adverts in newspapers.
They have received "numerous" reports in recent weeks relating to the
re-emerging ruse involving crooked sellers of RVs. It begins with what
appears to be a genuine classified advertising a sale price below market
value. The advertisement will feature a mobile number, which will not be
answered, instead responding via a text message claiming they are unable
to talk on the phone.
push for rest area brings results
TAMWORTH Regional Council in NSW has given the green light for a new rest
area to be provided in the tiny town of Manilla on the Fossickers Way.
The 72-hour 'freedom camping' site will be operated by the local Men's
Shed which will be provided with a community mower to help maintain the
area. Travellers will be provided with potable water and waste and
recycling bins. Bollards will be installed at the northern end of Progress
Lane. A council report said the idea of a freedom camping site was
initiated by the local community. "The key driver for this initiative is
the associated tourist campers who would provide an economic benefit into
the local community and the promotion of Manilla across camping and RV
networks," it said. Letters of support were received from 39 "prominent"
businesses and members of the community, it added. The council said that
while Manilla Caravan Park supported the concept, it would have preferred
the site be located outside the town boundary.
Have your say
Council tips on safer trips
ENSURING your caravan and tow-vehicle are both in good condition is
essential before heading off on holiday, says the Australian Caravan
Council. But it is just one factor in making
trips safe and trouble-free. "We always hope we will not be involved in
any emergency situation but unfortunately it can happen to anyone …
sometimes with tragic consequences," general manager and founder Colin
Young warned. Never cause an emergency situation, do not take chances or
get "caught out" on the wrong side of the road, he said. "Always drive
within the limits of your own abilities and those of your tow-vehicle and
caravan. Make sure you know how your combination handles before heading
off on a trip. Find a safe and legal area to practise on to get a good
appreciation of the time and distance needed to accelerate to, and
decelerate from, certain speeds. Check whether the combination handles
predictably and safely on curves and during heavy braking."
Have your say
moves to attract more caravanners
SOUTH Australia's Wudinna District Council is reaching out in a bid to
attract more caravanners to its region. The area
boasts the Gawler Ranges and the impressive Organ Pipes formation, the
wave-like Pildappa Rock and the pristine white salt of Lake Gairdner. A
group of council representatives will join members of the Wudinna and
District Business and Tourism Association and head to Adelaide for next
month's South Australian Caravan and Camping Show. They will be part of
the Eyre Peninsula site at the exhibition from February 14 to 17. The
stand is being coordinated by Regional Development Australia, and other
councils across Eyre Peninsula have indicated they could be attending.
Have your say
change and exciting times ahead
ONE of Jayco's major dealerships is having a name-change as it enters
the next chapter of its long and successful history.
Founded in 1978, the award-winning family-owned Australian Caravan Co at
Edwardstown in South Australia will fall under the control of the family's
next generation and become known as Jayco Adelaide. "There are exciting
times ahead," dealer principal Matthew Slee told Caravanning News. "We are
a proud South Australian family company with further growth strategies
planned," he said.
still recovering after horror killings
CALLIOPE Caravan Park in central Queensland is still recovering after two
people died from horrific injuries. Park manager
Matthew Wilson told Caravanning News the park in Stowe Road was in
shock after the killings. And another man at the park commented: "Everyone
here is really distraught and it will take a long time to get over it." A
64-year-old man was later arrested near the park and has been charged with
two counts of murder. He is expected to appear before Gladstone
magistrates in March. It is understood the accused and victims were known
to each other.
Have your say
Helping ease the devastation
caused by drought
members muster up $5000 for farmers
Members of the ACC's Golden
Westerners NSW branch at Mt Oxley near Bourke in NSW.
Australian Caravan Club raised $5000 at its recent national muster to help
drought-affected farmers. Chairman Craig Humphrey said members had
been very strong in wanting to provide more support to the water-parched
areas. "As a group of senior RV travellers covering the four corners of
this great country our members have seen the devastation caused by
drought," he explained. Members have been invited to have a say in how
money raised by the 4600-member nationwide club should be distributed.
"Some examples of rural initiatives may include a BBQ within an affected
area, donation to a local charity working in an affected region, personal
support of farmers through buying groceries and donating to an affected
area's charity or a local council initiative," Mr Humphrey said. The club
was founded in 2006 and says it is now the second largest multi-brand RV
club in Australia.
Have your say
gets tick of approval from peak body
AL-KO, which serves Australia's caravan and
motorhome markets, has been approved as an accredited supplier by the
industry's peak body. The Caravan Industry
Association of Australia has presented the leading innovator and provider
with certificate and logo to demonstrate that it has received the tick of
approval. AL-KO was required to undertake a supplier accreditation
assessment, demonstrating that its business operations and workplace
practices were of a high standard. The assessment included a review of
performance levels in business planning, risk management, business
improvement, HR management and sales and service conduct. Managing
director Peter Mannfolk commented: "We are committed to being the leading
innovator and provider of towing and RV solutions through our people,
quality products and service." And CIAA chief executive Stuart Lamont
said: "We are very pleased to offer AL-KO accredited status and provide
recognition that their business operations are among the most professional
in the industry."
Have your say
pays almost $250,000 for caravan
WHAT has been hailed as Australia's most expensive caravan has rolled off
the production line. Queensland-based Zone RV
built the carbon fibre Summit series off-roader, which cost almost a
quarter of a million dollars, for Gold Coast businessman Brendon
Dickinson. And director Matt Johns told Caravanning News that four
more caravans costing a whopping $174,000 each were also on order.
"Obviously we are pleased with the result of building and selling the most
advanced caravan Australia has seen," he said. "But to be honest, with
limited production slots available in 2019 our biggest challenge is how to
keep up with demand."
insurance claims rise in Tassie
A SPIKE in insurance claims has promoted a warning to caravan owners in
Tasmanania. RACT Insurance chief executive Trent
Sayers revealed a seven percent increase in caravan claims. "We typically
receive an average of 210 claims for caravans each year," he said. "The
most common caravan claims mirrored those of boat claims, with accidental
damage on the top of the list at 48 percent, storm damage coming in second
with 38 percent and theft third with five percent. We also found 64
percent of claims were made away from the claimant’s home suburb. This
reinforces the need to be prepared for every eventuality." Mr Sayers said
it was important when stopped in a town for lunch or setting up camp at
the final destination, to ensure the caravan and towing vehicle were
locked whenever owners were away from them, even if they were not
Have your say
sentence after broom attack
A MAN who knocked another unconscious with a broom at a WA caravan park
has received a prison sentence. The 65-year-old
victim was hit several times after he told Sean John Wonnacott to slow
down as he drove his 4WD through Belvedere Caravan Park in the seaside
town of Mandurah. The injured man was treated at the Peel Health Campus
for head injuries. "It was a mistake," Wonnacott told the local
magistrates court. "I just snapped and I am sorry. I accept
responsibility." He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended
for 12 months.
Have your say
sheds light on new trend
COMBINING all manufactured housing estates and caravan parks would create
Australia's 25th biggest town. That's one of the
interesting thoughts to emerge after the Caravan Industry Association of
Australia and the Residential Land Lease Alliance officially released a
new report. Long Term Residents in Caravan Parks and Manufactured
Housing Estates: A Census 2016 Social Trend revealed that more than
70,000 Australians live in MHEs and caravan parks, and that this living
arrangement is a vital aspect of affordable housing from both the supply
and demand side.
camping sites create friction with locals
TOWNSVILLE'S free camping sites are creating tensions with local
residents, according to a report to local councillors.
The city council has six non-commercial campsites, all located within the
Northern Beaches area. "Their unique character and locations within or
next to well-maintained parks and proximity to natural water frontage
‒ both ocean and creek ‒
has made these sites popular destinations for self-contained drive
visitors," the report said. "These sites attract over 5000 visitors
annually, leading to wider economic benefits for Townsville. Their
popularity, however, also brings problems of management and tensions with
local residents." There have been complaints of travellers overstaying the
designated 48-hour period, unclean and smelly toilet blocks ... and people
allegedly showering nude in public. The report said it was necessary to
address management of the sites "to improve the visitor experience and
protect the amenity of surrounding residents". The meeting was told that a
proposed Non-Commercial RV and Camping Site Operational Plan would
deal with signage, amenities, management and regulations for the sites and
address any amenity impacts on adjoining residents.
Have your say
light on caravan safety
MEMBERS of the Men's Sheds organisation have discussed how caravanners can
become safer on our roads. Sharing the highways
with heavy trucks and other road users was one of the major topics at the
Gippsland and Cardinia Men's Sheds Cluster Muster at Lang Lang in
Victoria. About 80 members attended, and nearly all owned and regularly
towed caravans. The event came after reports of many southern grey nomads
coming to grief during their travels north for the winter sunshine. The
muster included the local Highway Patrol, members of the caravan industry
and truck drivers who provided a truck for the day so caravanners could
sit behind the wheel. The forum was run as question and answer event with
topics including weight/mass requirements for caravanning, sharing
highways with trucks and other road users, UHF radios and their use, trip
planning and special challenges of driving around trucks. The group said
it would be happy to share information about how the day was organised. It
also suggested that similar forums could be duplicated in any region with
Have your say
committee anxious to protect lifeblood
VICTORIA'S Barwon Coast Committee of
Management will review accommodation trends and improve online marketing.
wants to "ensure the prosperity of our lifeblood
income" from its Barwon Heads and Riverview Family caravan parks
and Riverside Camp Ground.
The committee's annual report revealed
that 98 percent of its revenue ‒
approximately $5.8 million ‒
was generated by visitors to the facilities. People have been camping in
the Barwon Heads park since 1910 and on the Ocean Grove Spit,
site of the Riverview Family park, since the 1880s. "During 2018 we
reviewed our caravan park customer feedback and worked with our staff to
create a new 'look' or 'brand' for our caravan parks that reflect the easy
coastal beachside holidays that we offer on the Barwon Coast. We think the
new looks are great," the committee said. It reported an overall loss of
Have your say
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should be available for everyone
I SAY 'no' to the CMCA proposal for a new RV park at
Penola in SA (see story here).
Assuming that McCorquindale Park is public land under the jurisdiction
of the Wattle Range Council it should be available to all members of
the public, not just a members-only group.
Better still, it would be more appropriate for the sports club or a
local community group to manage the proposed recreational vehicle camp
ground with the income raised going directly in to the community.
Compare this with the sports club that manages the camp area at Doon
VIlla in Maryborough, Queensland, for the public ... a resounding
JUST traded our 2013 Esperance
and was told the plate was too high and the
cost given to relocate was $250.
Surely the manufacturer should wear this cost
and not the unknowing purchaser of a new caravan.
All 'vans built after 2000 should
be ADR compliant.
We have been through roadside checks and this was never
brought up by the authorities.
REFERRING to outback tourism benefiting from government
grants (see story here).
What are they talking about? All three locations mentioned are very well
served with sites.
Aramac: No less than three camps.
Jericho: A camp and a 'van park (showground).
Muttaburra: 'Van park and two camps not too far away.
There's heaps of places with nothing out there!
WJ (Bill) Frost.
Where's the others?
IN reference to your story about a major
award for the Sunland off-roader
(see story here).
Great plug for Roy and Sunland!
were the other competitors and awards?
JUST a pertinent observation on your article regarding the
closure of Rockhampton's Kershaw Gardens (see story
The holiday parks need to adapt their business model to meet the preferences
of all modes of traveller, rather than trying to bully travellers into their
There’s two basic types of traveller out here - family holidaymakers that
want long stays in a particular location, and
nomadic overnight short-term, generally only couples, who want a convenient
overnight perch mostly minus facilities.
Certainly don't need or want to pay for Disneyland-style features. And no
If the holiday parks provided an area with nothing more than the space for a
minimal sum, and a two-minute book-in without all the pallava that
goes with a regular booking, space allocation, reversing, unhooking,
rehooking in the morning and so-on, they would better serve the retailers
elsewhere in town.
Who wants to arrive at a park and jump thru all the hoops just mentioned and
pay $35 or more dollars to sleep 12 hours and move on?
It just won't work and if they do not adapt, the associated towns will be the
Maybe the local retailers should rise up against the parks since they are the
ones missing out.
Next we will be seeing the bookshop moving against the library, or the
retailers doing likewise against the op-shops!
WJ (Bill) Frost.
IN view of this ruling I would suggest
all RVs bypass the Capricorn region.
Travel further north to the Whitsunday
region, and Proserpine in particular, where you will be welcomed.
We have bypassed Rockhampton for years
now as a result being ripped off and rudeness.