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

 January 2018

Monthly readership: 19,867 to 32,232
(Previous six months)

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above JAN 31:
Two people taken to Townsville hospital after ute and station wagon towing caravan collided on Queensland's Bruce Highway today. Caravan finished up on its side and westbound lanes at Cluden blocked.

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


* Police probe $1 million fraud allegation at Elite Caravans ... 53.182 people reached.

* RV industry welcomes drafts of new Road Vehicle Standards Act ... 52,969 people reached.

* Patriot campers recalled after gas fears ... 34.618 people reached.

* Teen badly burned in BIG4 park blaze ... 33,817 people reached.

* Parks association launches legal proceedings over free camping site ... 28,145 people reached.

* RV industry registers 'lemon' business names ... 26,105 people reached.

* Bruce Highway's notorious Cooroy Hill claims another victim ... 16,750 people reached.


Too late for sour grapes over lemon in titles . . .

WHY on earth would a supposedly reputable association go to the trouble of spending its money on registering names with 'Lemon' in their titles (see story here)

Maybe it's because they will be able to gag and control the negative feedback.

But for all that, I think they are trying to "shut the gate after the horse has bolted".

Will they now try to stifle the e-petition into a review of the RV industry.

It would seem that again the manufacturers are being protected to the detriment of their customers.

They do not seem to have any concern for anybody except themselves.

Mind you, there are still reputable manufactures that have nothing to worry about.

It would seem that it is the dodgy manufacturers and dealers that are starting to feel the backlash of ignoring their customers' concerns for so long and are relying on the
CIAA who seem to be "bemused" by all the fuss ... really?

Geoff Hutton.


Toilet woes

IT is not a council's job to provide toilet blocks in the middle of nowhere - to do so would be a huge imposte on ratepayers (see story here).

The solution lies with travellers, especially those who wish to freedom camp, to introduce themselves to portable chemical toilets and small shower tents.

These are of low cost and smallish size.

For those who are reluctant to use long-drop facilities at night, torches are available at low cost.

It's time to take full responsibility for your actions and not blame others.

Trevor Smith.


Lotto ballsLucky birthday numbers

Nomads unaware they were carting a $10m fortune around

By Dennis Amor

A COUPLE of grey nomads had no idea they were carting a fortune around in their vehicle's glove box during last week's travels ... $10 million in fact! The Gold Coast travellers had forgotten all about their 10-week Lotto entry, but were stopped in their tracks when they were told they had landed a $10 million division one prize in last week's Oz Lotto draw. Despite a region-wide search for the winning ticketholder last week, it was only when they checked their ticket while stopping for groceries that they discovered the life-changing news. "Oh Jesus!” the jubilant unnamed winner exclaimed when a Golden Casket official confirmed he was now a multi-millionaire. "We’re living in a caravan! We're travelling around in a caravan – doing a lap around Australia! We’ve been travelling for a while. This ticket was in the glovebox the whole time." The caravanner had been playing the same numbers for some years. "They're birthday numbers and others mixed in," he explained. "I put it in for 10 weeks at a time, wherever I am! Then it just sits in the glovebox. This is unbelievable. We’re newly-retired so there's still plenty of time to spend it," he laughed. "This changes things, but we'll keep travelling. There'll definitely be a caravan upgrade – we've been looking at getting a new one but couldn’t afford it." comment bubble Have your say

Draft package aims to improve standards

New rules mean tougher
times for RV builders

Comment bubble Have your say

Caravan being checkedTHE peak body for Australia's $19 billion-a-year caravan industry has welcomed the release of Federal Government drafts for a new Road Vehicle Standards Act.

The Caravan Industry Assocation of Australia said it was pleased the bill included tougher measures for RV manufacturers, including far-reaching penalties for those not adhering to compliance obligations.

"Our industry has been waiting for over four years for this legislation which will improve standards in the industry and provide greater confidence for caravanning consumers," chief executive Stuart Lamont commented.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the new legislation would replace the existing act which has been in place for nearly 30 years and would modernise and strengthen laws governing road vehicles, including caravans and other RVs.

The draft package of changes will be available for public consultation in the New Year and is a welcome signal that long-awaited changes are moving forward.

"Our industry has been waiting for over four years for this legislation which will improve standards in the industry, and provide greater confidence for caravanning consumers," Mr Lamont said.

His associatiion looked forward to working through the final formal consultation process and the new act finally being legislated through Parliament early this year and coming into effect from 2019.

More foreigners enjoying caravan and camping hols
AUSTRALIA'S international caravanning and camping markets continue to perform strongly, according to the latest figures.
Tourism Research Australia revealed that 373,000 international visitors took caravan and camping holidays in the 12 months ending September 2017. This was an increase 7.5 percent on the previous year. The visitors generated over 5.19 million nights around the country, a 5.5 percent rise from 2016. Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said the "robust growth" coincided with its International Marketing Strategy to double international caravanning and camping nights by 2025. Read more button

Sunshine NomadsNomads  celebrate 10th anniversary
THE Australian Caravan Club's inaugural branch has celebrated its tenth anniversary. From humble beginnings at Caloundra's Golden Beach Caravan Park in Queensland, the ACC Sunshine Nomads group has flourished into one of the national club's most active. The group was, in fact, the predecessor of what turned out to be Australian Caravan Club (ACC), which now boasts nearly 5000 members. Chairman Craig Humphrey, who lives at Golden Beach, explained: "A group of caravanners felt that existing RV clubs did not focus enough on protecting and representing the interests of owners of caravans." Read More button

Caravanners urged to beef up their income
CARAVAN owners in Rockhampton are being urged to beef up their income by hiring out their RVs.
Around 100,000 visitors are expected to descend on the beef capital of Queensland for the largest Beef Exposition in Australia. And organisers have launched its Homestay Program to help accommodate the influx during the seven-day event beginning May 6. Renting out a caravan would be a "great way to make some extra money", they said. It would also help people from outside the region to visit, stay and enjoy the expo and the Rockhampton regional. Comment bubbleHave your say

DiamantinoBikie loses court battle with caravanner
THE rider of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle who was badly injured in an accident with a caravan on a Queensland outback road has lost his court battle for damages.
The Supreme Court case followed an accident on a narrow strip of bitumen on the Diamantina Development Road between Windorah and Quilpie. The rider was with other bikers when, it was alleged, the caravanner travelling in the opposite direction failed to share the bitumen by steering his left hand wheels off the bitumen. But in his judgement delivered in Rockhampton, Justice Duncan McMeekin doubted the caravanner had remained in the centre of the bitumen strip at all times without deviation. "It is certain that he did not do that," he said. "If he had done so there is no prospect that the first two motorcycles would have passed him ... the strip is too narrow." Comment bubbleHave your say

Stay safe, urges VicParks chief executive
The Victorian Caravan Parks Association is reminding RVers to stay safe as they enjoy all that the state has to offer this summer touring season.
"Whether you’re on the road or playing in the sun, prioritise the safety of you and your loved ones – as much as we all love travelling and exploring, don't take unnecessary risks," chief executive Elizabeth White said. "But whether you’re heading to our beautiful alpine regions, interior lakes and waterways, or searching for a quiet little caravan park off the beaten track, stay safe." She said it was also important to be prepared for all types of weather, hot days in particular. Comment bubbleHave your say

No camping sign'Freeloaders' not welcome
LOCALS are supporing a Tasmanian council which was forced to ban free overnight camping for caravans and other RVs.
They are backing the West Coast Council which has erected No Camping signs at Queenstown Recreation Ground. The authority revealed its action was in response to the Apple Isle's Economic Regulator's ruling that it was providing free camping services in contravention of the island's competitive neutrality principles. Writing in the local newspaper, Christine Espitalier of Wynyard commented: "It's high time all Tasmanian councils took immediate action and ban free camping in our state once and for all." She reminded travellers that there was a caravan park in Queenstown which could cater for their needs. "Campers who expect the local ratepayers to subsidise their holiday for nothing are the ones you don't want," she said. "They are not in your town to spend money – just freeloaders. Tourism is about bringing income into the town and they do have somewhere to stay." comment bubbleHave your say

$500,000 facelift for dam camping grounds
BORUMBA Dam camping grounds near Gympie in Queensland are having a $500,000 facelift.
Owners Seqwater say work will begin at the end of this month on a new site office and upgrades to facilities. Tourist operators Terry and Peter Holliday of Ezy Adventures were recently appointed new managers of the camping ground. Seqwater acting chief executive Dan Spiller hoped the upgrades would attract more tourists to Lake Borumba which would boost the economic prosperity of the local area. Read more button

Grant Wilckens Industry's new leader stresses need for unification
THE new chairman of the caravanning and camping industy's peak body has emphasised the need for unification to drive industry growth.
The message came from Discovery Parks chief executive and co-founder Grant Wilckens after he was elected leader of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. With a large financial investment in the industry spread nationally across almost all state and territories, Mr Wilckens said he recognised the need for the industry to come together for future success to occur. "There are many threats to the way we have conducted business in the past with the sharing economy presenting both challenges and opportunities for the industry," he said. Read more button

Caravan Park to become day-trip venue
HAZELWOOD Pondage Caravan Park in Victoria is being turned into to a day trip facility.
But Latrobe City Council says that from July it will offer a 72-hour permit zone for camping and recreational vehicles. Chief executive Gary Van Driel blamed the closure of Hazelwood Power Station, which meant the authority had been unable to secure an extension of the existing lease arrangements for the caravan park. A community petition against the move has attracted more than 650 signatures. More button

No campging signClarence Valley wages war on illegal campers
CLARENCE Valley Council in NSW is waging war on illegal campers after complaints from locals. Rangers evicted 15 campers at 3am on one night alone during the Christmas holidays, but showed a little Yuletide cheer by not issuing fines. The local authority is anxious to stamp out the usual spike in illegal camping between December and May each year as visitors flock into the region to enjoy the warm weather and its idyllic lifestyle. It has installed signs and is patrolling key areas over the holiday period in a trial designed to lessen the impact of illegal camping, particularly around the popular tourist towns of Yamba and Angourie. This includes camping in any moveable or temporary form of accommodation such as tents, caravans, motorhomes, vehicles, sleeping bags or swags. More button

Hervey Bay bucks the trend and approves new caravan park
QUEENSLAND'S popular Fraser Coast is getting another caravan park.
The local regional council, which operates four parks attracting around 90,000 visitors a year, has given the green light for a new tourist park to be built near the Urangan Pier at Hervey Bay. It is likely to completed mid-2018. Caravanners have welcomed the news, saying it bucks the previous trend of parks being shut and redeveloped for housing. "We've said for years they should have left them alone as they were full nearly all year round," one local resident complained. "But no, council with the stroke of a pen got rid of them." The new park is being built on the site of a former refuelling facility for ships. Comment bubbleHave your say

New caravanning holiday brochureSummer marks caravanning love affair
IT'S time to recharge and reconnect with a summertime caravan and camping holiday.
That's the advice from NSW's Caravan & Camping Industry Association chief executive Lyndel Gray. "It's amazing the kind of rejuvenation a caravan or camping holiday can deliver," she said. The beginning of summer marks the start of Australia’s love affair with caravan and camping - the perfect opportunity to unwind, disconnect from work, reconnect with family and generally enjoy life to the full.  Her association has just published a new guide which is a mine of information for caravanners. Read More button

New facilities for Mudjimba park
THE council-operated caravan park at Mudjimba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is having a new amenity building and camp kitchen.
Work will begin on the new facilities at the end of this month. The popular 200-site Mudjimba Beach Holiday Park in Cottonwood Street is one of six parks run by Sunshine Coast Council. They reaped nearly $16 million in revenue during the last financial year, an 11 percent increase on the previous year. comment bubbleHave your say

Jarrahdene CampgroundFirst stage of new WA campground completed
THE first stage of the new $2.7 million Jarrahdene Campground in WA's south-west is now complete.
A total of 24 individual camp sites, five double-cubicle toilets and four barbecue shelters, as well as tables and fireplaces for each camp site, are available to visitors. Camp sites are suitable for caravans, campervans, camper trailers and tents. Jarrahdene offers a range of camp sites suitable for caravans, camper vans, camper trailers and tents nestled within a mix of jarrah, marri and peppermint bushland. Read More button

Bear copCommon-sense rules to follow

Stay safe, cops urge

Comment bubble Have your say

POLICE have urged tourists and holidaymakers to stay safe at camping and caravan parks this summer. Sergeant Cath Purcell said caravan parks were a great place to spend the summer, with comfortable amenities and recreational facilities to make touring and holidays easy. But she warned: "There are important things to remember when going to any caravan park, that you take responsibility for your personal safety and property security. Whether you are travelling around Australia, staying one night or staying for a while, there are some essential, common-sense rules to follow.

* Always abide by the park’s rules, speed limits and safety signs.
* Ensure your vehicle is locked and secure at all times when you are not using it.
* Place valuables out of view and in a secure, lockable location.
* Secure expensive items such as portable fridges, bicycles, using cable and padlock if necessary.
* Leave large amounts of cash in the bank and carry minimal or no cash.
* Pack away loose items, which might attract opportunistic (or professional) thieves to your camping area.

Grey nomad boom in SA towns
THE South Australian mining town of Roxby Downs is attracting a record number of grey nomads.
Locals attribute the surge to the Andamooka Progress and Opal Miners Association's marketing strategies and the town's businesses. Meanwhile, Woomera 80km away has also had plenty of tourists, with Woomera Travellers Village and Caravan Park manager Shane Hofmeier describing 2017 as one of the best years in a decade. "We had 12,187 visitors in six months, which is up by over 100 people from last year," he said. There had been a high number of grey nomads visiting the area. "There’s new people all the time and the regulars coming through, but because retirees are getting their super they can go out and buy a caravan and do some extra travelling," Mr Hofmeier said. "We expect it to be like this for the next five years or so with more people buying caravans."comment bubbleHave your say

Club's tongue twister title ditched
THE national Australian Touring Caravan, Motorhome and Camping Club has had a name change.
The tongue-twisting title has been replaced with the easier to say and remember, Australian Touring RV Club. Secretary Ric Bennetts explained: "The complexity of the original name was difficult for members, sponsors and business partners alike and was very difficult to locate on electronic media." The primary objective is to give the club's 500 members touring in their RVs the opportunity to meet up with others wherever they go. "This might be for a state-recognised rally, a social encounter or for assistance and advice," Mr Bennetts said. "We also have a friendship list if you are in trouble." New members are welcome and details can be found on the club's website. Comment bubbleHave your say

Dump pointWanga in bid to attract more grey nomads 
THE cathedral city of Wangaratta in Victoria's northeast has fired the first salvo its battle to attract more grey nomads.
Local councillors voted unanimously to encourage caravanners and motorhomers to stop in the city ... by installing an RV dump point. But a Rural City of Wangaratta council report pointed out that the provision of a dump point did not include the installation of overnight free camping within the city "which would have an economic impact on the city and neighbouring village’s caravan parks".Read more button

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letter head

When a towing course would
be welcome

HAVE towed a large caravan on the open road and pulled up before towns for hubby to drive.

I’ve towed a small caravan through towns.

I have no reversing experience and no troubleshooting knowledge.

If hubby was to take ill?? We would be stranded.

I would welcome a towing competency course.


Closer look

JUST driven around every Australian state, including Tasmania, and I did not see one caravan accident.

But I witnessed plenty of truck rollovers and accidents and heard of others smashing into low bridges.

I think they should have a close look at themselves before attacking people who tow caravans.

Narelle Mole.

Not a solution

SPECIAL caravan towing licences would not stop caravan crashes any more than special truck licences stops truck crashes.


Dump limits

GREAT idea to limit amount of water dumped into these RV dump points (See original story here).

Was in Queensland recently and two motorhome buses filled the dump point tank with grey and black water.

One was proudly telling me his 1000 litre water carrying capacity allows him to wash clothes, shower and use as much water as he likes.

But he was quite resentful when the suggestion was made that the volume of waste he was dumping was preventing others from being able to clear their paltry 20 litres of waste water.