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JULY 2021

Readership: Up to 32,000 monthly

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* Crooks make off with caravan at Magill ... 15,647 people reached.

* Caravan flips on Bruce Highway near Gympie ... 11,412 people reached.

* Mt Isa caravan parks and Golf Club swamped with RVs after police warning ... 10,113 people reached.

* Stouch between caravanner and truckie captured n dashcam ... 6521 people reached.

* JKui travel tips for caravanners ... 6043 people reached.

* Award for Torquay caravan park on Fraser Coast ... 5527 people reached.

* COVID fears at NSW campground ... 3560 people reached.




Retreat caravan owners hit the
road for a record get-together

QUEENSLAND'S Retreat Caravan Group is setting a record for its longest Get-Together, which usually takes place over one weekend and at a single location. Event administrators Barry and Sandy Neilsen said the event, which they hailed as a "huge success", was now winding down and breaking into smaller groups. "There have been a few friendships formed and old acquaintances renewed, with everyone willing to help each other out to ensure all had a great time," they said. Retreaters from Queensland, NSW and VIctoria started making their way north on July 1. Read more button

Judbarra NP  'Home to breathtaking  escarpments'

New camp helps caravanners
explore Territory's backyard

A NEW campground has opened in the Northern Territory's Judbarra National Park, offering 12 additional campsites suitable for caravans in the dry season. The recently constructed Lupayi campground is located 47km from the Victoria Highway, at the start of Jasper Gorge. The $100,000 project offers scenic views of the gorge and plenty of activities including fishing, bushwalking and birdwatching. Judbarra National Park attracts around 35,000 people each year. Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Natasha Fyles said it was home to some of the most breathtaking escarpments in the Territory and was rich in Aboriginal culture. "This new campground will be yet another reason for Territorians and tourists to get out and explore our magnificent backyard," she added. Have your say

Vanlife: the holiday of choice

Jason Plant

Have your say

MORE travellers than ever before are flooding onto the Sunshine State's highways and byways in their new caravans.

Caravanning Queensland which comprises the Caravan Parks and the Caravan Trade & Industries associations of Queensland said people were choosing the nomadic "vanlife" as their holiday of choice, with the sale of caravan and other recreational vehicle continuing to surge.

Chief executive Jason Plant (pictured) revealed that the rise during the crippling COVID epidemic showed no signs of slowing, which was a "great indication" for the industry.

"We are expecting the next 12 to 18 months to be very strong for the industry as customers collect their newly-delivered 'vans every day," he said.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of vehicles have been sold in Queensland in the 2020/21 financial year, which means more people hitting the road to embark on domestic travel."

Mr Plant said this would benefit the wider tourism industry in Queensland and across Australia.

"It's an exciting and unprecedented time for the industry," he pointed out.

"We haven't seen this level of interest in caravanning and camping in decades."

Meanwhile, personal loan experts Positive Lending Solutions said Australian caravan sales have hit a 30-year high.

"Some industry experts are forecasting as many as 25,000 units being built over the next year," it reported.

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Cyclone Seroja  'A safe base for residents'

Caravan convoy to help victims of April's Tropical Cyclone Seroja

A CONVOY of caravans was dispatched to Western Australia's Mid-West to provide temporary accommodation for people whose homes were severely damaged by Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Eight caravans were sent to the Shire of Northampton, two will assist those from the Shire of Morawa and one will be used to house a resident in the Shire of Chapman Valley. The operation was jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. Minister for Emergency Management Bridget McKenzie said the mobile homes would provide a safe base for residents displaced by the devastating cyclone and would allow people to remain in their community while they focus on rebuilding their lives and getting back on their feet. Cyclone Seroja struck in April this year and was the strongest system to hit the region, causing extensive damage to residential properties, public infrastructure, agriculture, businesses and the environment. The WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services has been working with each local government to ensure the caravans can be based at the residents' properties where possible.

Mr Hannifey and caravan  'Great need for improved understanding'

Rob's video helps 'vanners to safely share the road with heavy vehicles

TRUCKIE and road safety advocate Rob Hannifey has served up another helping of useful information to help caravanners share the road with heavy vehicles. His newly-released 13-minute safety video entitled Share the Road - Truckies Top Tips contains a special segment aimed at travellers towing recreational vehicles on the nation's highways and byways. They are based on the findings of a survey Mr Hannifey (pictured) conducted to identify drivers' key concerns and his own personal experience. "There's a great need for improved car driver understanding of the difference between driving a car and driving a large, heavy vehicle," he said. The video offers advice on overtaking while towing a caravan, weight restrictions and UHF radios. "For us, the road is where we work," Mr Hannifey says. "Please consider a little bit of patience and courtesy can go a long way in making every trip safer." Read More button

Camplify logo  Revenue expected to beat prospectus forecast

Camplify announces strong performance despite COVID

CAMPLIFY has announced a "strong marketplace performance" despite COVID-related restrictions and lockdowns. In a message to shareholders, the newly-listed RV hiring platform reported cash receipts of $7.4 million for the fourth quarter with unaudited net revenue for the year expected to be between $7.1 million and $8.2 million, beating the prospectus forecast of $6.7 million. It said Melbourne's 14-day lockdown at the end of May saw a temporary fall in activity for the region, followed by a "sharp recovery". More recent lockdowns in Sydney and other capital cities were expected to have a minor temporary impact. But Camplify said that given the strong performance during the lockdowns and previously seen sharp marketplace recoveries, no negative impact was expected on the next financial year's growth projections and outlook. Shares in the company rallied today after falling to $1,21 yesterday ... their lowest price since hitting the stockmarket on June 28. By mid-afternoon they had increased 7.4 percent to $1.30.

Shoalhaven holiday park managers with mayor  Couple welcomes nearly a million guests

Shoalhaven holiday park loses innovative managers after 15 years

NSW's Holiday Haven Lake Tabourie holiday park at Shoalhaven is losing its managers after 15 years at the helm. Jill and Andy Cunningham decided to retire after hosting nearly 880,000 guests and caravan owners over the years. The Cunninghams have been at the forefront of innovation, including introducing inclusive family rates, implementing the first dog trial and the first dog-friendly cabin. The couple has also overseen significant business development with 229 percent growth in site bookings and 264 percent rise in repeat bookings. Holiday Haven White Sands managers Deb and John Meddows have also decided to retire after five years running the park. Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said contributions of the retiring managers should be recognised as helping to position Holiday Haven Parks as a family-favourite destination in the area. Cr Findley has met and welcomed new Holiday Haven Lake Tabourie managers Bonnie Scott and Alana Jansma-Smith and Holiday Haven White Sands manager Robert Taunton. Pictured from left are Mayor Findley with Deb and John Meddows. 

CMCA sign  Nomads flock to Bundy

Rum City's RV parks enjoy boost
in visitors ... thanks to epidemic

THOUSANDS of travellers in their recreational vehicles are flocking to Queensland's Rum City, it has been revealed. Caravan parks have seen a boost in visitors while the CMCA Park on the site of the old sports ground in Burrum Street is bulging at the seams as the COVID pandemic brings a boost to domestic travel. This year alone has seen more than 3000 nights booked at the park just a stone's throw from Bundaberg's city centre. And, according to CMCA official Arthur Bugden, the intrepid nomads have poured a whopping $2.7 million into the area's economy since the facility was opened in 2018, with each RV accounting for an estimated expenditure of $271.50 a day. "The park has had a stronger shoulder season this year and this would be attributed to the larger number of travellers on the roads across all areas of Australia, but in particular Queensland at present," Mr Bugden told media. Have your say

Plea for help in tracing missing couple

Missing caravanners

Missing caravanners

NEWSFLASH: Police said the couple had been found "safe and well" at Border Village.

POLICE have appealed for help in tracing two caravanners who were last known to be in South Australia. The couple Valerie (73) and Laurance (76) Elliott were travelling from Victoria through to Western Australia. They last spoke with family on July 13 when they phoned to advise they had stopped in Ceduna. They intended driving to the WA border the following day. "However, family have not heard from them since and they have concerns for their welfare," police said. Valerie is described as 163cm tall with short brown/red hair and uses a walking frame. Laurance is described as 191cm tall with a large build and receding grey hair. They were travelling in a white Ford Ranger with VIC registration XRX278 and towing a Kingdom caravan. Anyone with information on their whereabouts or may have spotted them travelling is asked to contact the police assistance line on 131 444. Have your say

Chinchilla Weir camping area  Facility 'revitalised and enhanced'

Council fast-tracks $1.9m revamp
at Chinchilla Weir campsite

WESTERN Downs Regional Council in Queensland has been hard at work improving facilities for caravanners and other campers at Chinchilla Weir. The council partnered with the Australian Government to fast-track a $1.9 million revamp of the popular spot on the Condamine River as part of a COVID-19 Recovery Package. The facility provides two-night stays for self-sufficient travellers and offers 10 powered sites on a 'first come first served' system. Camping is free but donations are accepted at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre on the Warrego Highway, Chinchilla. Recreational Spaces and Cemeteries spokesperson Carolyn Tillman said upgrades had revitalised the facility and enhanced recreational opportunities for the region. Read more button

myRV  Motorhome gas leak fears

Recall notice warns of possible carbon monoxide poisoning

THE ACCC has issued a safety recall of MyRV-AutoTrail motorhomes after gas leak fears. It warns that gas cylinder compartments in some models may not be correctly sealed or vented. They could also be incorrectly located and the wrong size for the living area's ventilation. Gas safety labelling could also be non-compliant. The recall notice claims there could be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. "Consumers can continue to use their gas appliances but should have the windows, door or roof vent open for more ventilation until the vehicle is repaired," it said. The motorhomes were sold between August 2, 2012, and November 20 last year. More than 400 were sold and models that could be affected are AutoTrail - (variants: Apache, FB and Delaware), MyRV - Fiat Ducato II series (variants: FB, EB, EKS, Imala, Delaware and Scout), MyRV -AL-KO Fiat Ducato II TA (Comanche) and MyRV -AL-KO Fiat Ducato II SA (Delaware, Scout). Have your say

bmpro   'Effort and dedication'

BMPRO is 'proud' to be finalist in awards for small business champs

BMPRO, the leading experts in power and control management in recreational vehicles, has been named as a finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. The awards program and presentation evening on July 31 provide the opportunity to showcase the country's most outstanding small businesses. They acknowledge the effort and dedication of business owners in generating employment for Australians, contribution to the economy and industry and support for the local community. BMPRO said that as a finalist, the nomination recognised its business vision, planning and commitment to innovation against competition from over 3000 entrants. It was "proud" to be recognised for this achievement because it reflected the company's innovative spirit which had led to it becoming a pioneer in developing cutting edge battery management systems and Smart RV technology. "This idea has not been replicated within Australia on the scale of BMPRO's development nor with the level of focus that the organisation has undertaken to deliver state-of-the-art RV technology," it added. Have your say

Goolwa park  Major drawcard for families

Upgrade predicted to pour millions into local economy

A MAJOR upgrade at a caravan and holiday park on SA's Fleurieu Peninsula is expected to pour millions of dollars into the region's economy. Alexandrina Council Mayor Keith Parkes said the $22 million development at Discovery Parks - Goolwa would be a major drawcard for families and provide valuable economic stimulus. The park would become 'a paradise' for children with a new waterpark, swimming pool, outdoor cinema and coastal nature playground. The investment was designed to 'turbo charge' family tourism and is part of the G'day Group's $40 million vision to boost day trips in the Fleurieu region with a range of family-friendly activities. Read more button

Insurance policy  'Decision provides certainty'

Government move on RV insurance welcomed by industry's peak body

THE caravan industry's peak body has welcomed news from the Federal Government that caravans and motorhomes will be exempt from the deferred sales model for add-on insurance products. "This decision provides certainty for both consumers and businesses that RV owners can access comprehensive insurance before they drive their vehicles off for the first time," the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said. "The government's ongoing review into financial products as part of the Hayne Royal Commission is an important activity to ensure relevant mechanisms are in place to reduce the hawking of insurance products," it added. Read more button


Caravan wreckage

SOUTH Australian Police has released photos showing the aftermath of a crash involving two caravans on an outback highway. The idea is to warn travellers about the dangers of overtaking while towing. They said the overtaking caravanner had lost control while passing another vehicle towing a caravan which was "untouched" on the Stuart Highway north of Coober Pedy on June 26. No one was seriously injured. Police advised caravanners to "smoothly and gently" accelerate, brake and steer to prevent their rig swaying. "Allow for extra time when overtaking and for the extra size of the caravan," they said. "Make sure there is no oncoming traffic when overtaking." Have your say

Myrtle park campgroundMayor says previous opening was successful

Tassie's Myrtle Park riverside campground set to reopen

TASMANIA'S Myrtle Park camping ground on the banks of St Patricks River will reopen to the public in October. Located in a large open grassed and wooded area in the small town of Targa, approximately 35 kilometres from Launceston, it offers unpowered sites and good amenities, and is suitable for large caravans and motorhomes. The popular family attraction opened in a limited capacity last holiday season due to COVID public control measures. City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said that despite the restrictions, the opening was hugely successful, with occupancy rates at near capacity for most of the four-month period. Read more button

New laws  Biggest legislative change for over 30 years

New regulations outlaw self certification for caravans

By Dennis Amor
  Have your say

NEW laws will bring an end to the controversial practice of caravan manufacturers being able to certify their own newly-built RVs. Road Vehicle Standards legislation introduced on July 1 has replaced the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and is the biggest legislative change the industry has seen in over 30 years. It means Australian manufacturers and importers will now have to get their vehicles checked by an external authority. The new caravans and camper trailers will then be recorded on the online Register of Approved Vehicles otherwise they will not be able to be registered by state transport authorities.

Lake Proserpine campground  Fees to be levied

Council has plans to transform free
lakeside campsite into profit-maker

QUEENSLAND'S Whitsunday Regional Council plans to abandon free camping at the popular Lake Proserpine camping ground and turn it into a profit-maker. The council has decided to upgrade and develop the picturesque waterside facility by moving to a commercial paid camping model with on-site managers. From mid-July paid camping will be introduced with fees set at $8 an adult, $4 for children (4-14) and $20 a night for two adults and two children. Current Kamp Kanga caretakers Kris Walker and Helena Williamson were awarded a one-year contract with a one-year option to provide on-site management. Read more button

crocodile  'We must always be careful'

Campers in NT are urged to be 'crocwise' near the water's edge

Have your say

CAMPERS have been put on croc alert in the Northern Territory. It comes after news that more than 160 crocodiles have so far been removed from Top End waterways this year. Territorians and tourists who plan to camp near waterways have been urged to pitch their RVs and tents at least 50 metres away from the water's edge. "The Territory is home to some of Australia's most stunning landscapes, but we must always be careful when around bodies of water," Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo said. "If there is no sign at a waterway, it's not safe to swim. This government takes public safety extremely seriously and knows the importance of educating the community to be crocwise." Campers were warned to avoid returning to the same spot at the water's edge to fill buckets or to prepare food and wash dishes there, or next to sloping banks. Put food scraps and fishing rubbish into bins away from campsites. Remain alert when launching and retrieving small boats ... and never dangle arms and legs in the water. When fishing, always stand five metres back from the water's edge.

Robe, SA  Council supports trial

Robe's 'unproductive' oval to
be transformed into RV camp

SA's Robe District Council is supporting a 12-month trial of a self-contained recreational vehicle camp at Greenways. The council said the oval was not actively used and was seen as essentially unproductive. It has also allocated $2000 towards the project to help with the appropriate insurance cover. "Self-contained means that the user must be able to manage all their waste, sewage and grey water for the three days they are allowed to stay on site," it said. "The pilot will need to ensure appropriate insurance to protect the community and meet all Country Fire Service requirements. The community will provide information to council on activities and any opportunities for improvement." There will also be a formal review with local to determine whether the trial has been successful or otherwise. Have your say

Caravan salesyard

Aussies travelling closer to home

COVID epidemic brings a 30-year high for Aussie caravan sales

CARAVAN sales have soared to a 30-year high, according to personal loan experts Positive Lending Solutions. With international borders remaining closed and COVID-19 restrictions changing quickly and constantly, Australians are travelling closer to home, making camping the holiday choice for many. The caravan industry reports an average of a 15 percent increase in caravan sales during January and February, as compared to previous years. And, it adds, this will continue.

'Keeping up with demand'

Cabins a more modern option at SA caravan park

Mt Remarkable cabins

SOUTH Australia's Mount Remarkable District Council has officially opened four new cabins at the Melrose Caravan and Tourist Park. It has invested about $480,000 in the new accommodation  to create a more modern option for the increasing number of visitors. "With the new development of the Remarkable Southern Flinders Precinct, it is only appropriate to keep up with the demand and influx of visitation to the region," Mayor Phillip Heaslip said. He said the additional cabins had already shown a "significant increase" in occupancy in a short time. The cabins have been fully booked out for most long weekends and school holiday periods for next year. The council believes the investment in new cabins will help contribute to a "sustainable future and vibrant economy" for the broader district. Have your say

  Better protection for caravanners

Caravan Council calls for better 'off-road' definition

Have your say

THE true meaning of 'off-road' caravans has many owners baffled, according to the Caravan Council of Australia. Founder and automotive engineer Colin Young said the definition should be made more clear to better protect caravan buyers against premature and troublesome failures. "It is not legally described anywhere and is open to the extremes of personal interpretations," he explained. Mr Young suggests the meaning could be categorised as follows:

Gentle: Smooth frequently-graded dirt road with occasional bumps and potholes - typically up to 25mm. Responsible maximum speed 80 km/h

Mild: Rarely-graded dirt road. Recurring bumps and potholes - typically up to 50mm. Responsible maximum speed 40 km/h

Severe: Rough ungraded bush track. Occasional severe bumps - typically up to 100mm. Responsible maximum speed 20 km/h

Extreme: Torturous seldom-used track. Continual harsh undulations typically up to 150mm. Responsible maximum speed "crawling".

Mr Young said he would welcome emailed comments on his suggestions. Send them to 

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Letter man

Plea to caravan groups to make it easier for others

I READ about the Retreat Caravan owners' group heading north (see story here)

Whilst it is great to see the amount of money injected into the areas these groups travel through, they can make it difficult for other travellers turning up at towns only to find all sites and tours booked out.

And not to mention the long queues at fuel stations.

It would be great to know where and when these large groups will be, not "then just heading north to Karumba", so other travellers can plan around them.

We have stayed in parks where large groups have totally taken over the camp kitchen, making it not feasible for other paying guests to use.

Caravanning groups must have a planned itinerary. It would be great if they could share it with all of us, via Caravanning News, the dates and venues of their trip.


Campground trial

I WOULD like to comment on the Snowy Monaro campground trial. (see story here)

To supply legal sites would easily answer the critics.

However, that would not suit the competing commercial interests!