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JUNE 2021

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JUNE 30:
Vehicle towing caravan rolled on Bruce Highway near Bowen today. Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman told Caravanning News the caravanners were not seriously injured and declined hospital treatment.

JUNE 30:
Tourism Research Australia figures released today show that caravan parks and commercial camping grounds fared particularly well in the March quarter, welcoming 10.9 million people ... a 16 percent rise.

JUNE 30:
More than 40 RVs forced to pitch at Mount Isa Golf Club in Queensland's Gulf Country after the city's tourist parks put up 'full' signs.

JUNE 30:
Shares in Fleetwood, which operate RV accessories company Northern Camec and Melbourne-based caravan repairs and services company Northern RV, opened at a four-month low of $2.22 today.


* Cops carry out roadside safety check on caravans ... 16,550 people reached.

* Redland council plans RV short-stay facility ... 9193 people reached.

* Stolen caravan dumped at Victorian roadside ... 6245 people reached.

* Jayco 'fined' $75,000 for misleading buyer ... 5625 people reached.

* Ingenia splashes out $40m on parks and land ... 5449 people reached.

* Hearty brekkie for mums at Dubbo Caravan Park ... 5388 people reached.




Suburban gas water heater  'May leak carbon monoxide'

Another warning over potentially lethal gas water heaters in RVs

Have your say

COAST to Coast RV has repeated a warning that some caravans and other RVs could still be fitted with potentially lethal gas water heaters. "As inspection rates have started to slow we would like to once again remind all consumers who own a Suburban water heater to check to see if their serial number is affected," it said. "If affected, it's imperative you register your water heater and vehicle via our online form to obtain a work order for inspection." The heaters were sold between April 4, 2018, and September 25, 2019. "We would like to remind all consumers with an affected Suburban water heater that you cannot operate the unit on gas until a passed inspection has been completed," the latest recall stressed. "Some water heaters may leak carbon monoxide into the RV's interior, which could lead to serious injury or death." Affected model numbers are SW6PA, SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA and SW6DECA. Serial numbers range between 181315552 to 193002648; 183114087D to 191302511D and 8183311827 to 8190201139. For more information, click here

updated  Beginning of the next chapter

Camplify shares fall after intra-day high of $1.50

Justin Hales

By Dennis Amor

INNOVATIVE peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV company Camplify today begins its third day of trading on the Australian stock market, with shares opening at $1.40.

They touched $1.50 yesterday but the Newcastle-based business lost the gains as trading continued. Trading volume on launch day reached 1.4 million shares, with the figure falling to 352,700 yesterday.

Listing on the ASX and becoming a public company marked the beginning of the next chapter for the thriving five-year-old company.

Camplify says its growth is reflected in its financial performance, with revenue soaring nearly 80 percent during the last financial year.

And the company, which also operates in New Zealand, Britain and Spain, forecasts it will grow by 132 percent during the current financial year.




Camplify founder and chief executive Justin Hales has welcomed new shareholders to its register, saying: "We will continue to focus on growing our business and to deliver on our purpose of helping connect RV owners with hirers looking to head on an RV adventure." Camplify also revealed that trading was expected to "perform ahead of expectation".

"The board and management team are committed to executing on the growth plan including continued Australian and international expansion, investing in the platform and the launch of new products to complement the company's core business," independent chairman Trent Bagnall wrote in the company's prospectus.

Camplify was seeking to raise $11.5 million by issuing 8.1 million new shares.

"The company will have a market capitalisation of $58.1 million at the offer issue price of $1.42," he said.

Camplify stresses that it differs from a traditional RV rental company in that it does not own RVs or retail outlets, but acts as "an intermediary" to link owners and hirers.

It attributes some of its success to the COVID epidemic by helping to satisfy the sudden huge demand for the RV lifestyle.

"Sentiment towards undertaking a caravan or camping trip has improved in Australia post COVID-19, with 62 percent of holidaymakers more likely to take a caravan or camping trip," the prospectus said.

"By comparison, city breaks, cruising and international holidays have all seen a reduction in sentiment.

"As more international tourists come to Australia, Camplify is positioned to be a strong choice for RV rental."

Founder and chief executive Justin Hales (pictured above) described the launch of shares as a "significant moment" for Camplify, which he said had grown from an idea and a handful of people to become a leading RV rental platform, with one of the largest RV fleets in Australia.

"It will continue its Australian and international expansion, investing in the platform and the launch of new products to complement the company's core business," he said.   Have your say

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Wicked campervanAd Standards panel upholds complaint

Pot-smoking Kermit, smutty nursery rhyme anger dad

By Dennis Amor

A FATHER'S complaint about a smutty nursery rhyme and cartoon-style drug-smoking Kermit the Frog on the side of a Wicked campervan has been upheld by Australia's advertising watchdog. The angry dad told the Ad Standards Community Panel that words alongside the image had urged people to: "Roll, roll, roll your joint, pass it down the line. Take a toke, inhale the smoke and blow your f.....' mind!". He maintained that the drug "alluded to and promoted" on the campervan was illegal and the advertising had used a very popular children's character. "So whether intended or not, it is directed at children," he claimed. Meanwhile, offensive slogans on vehicles such as those on the notorious Wicked Campers will be outlawed under new laws being introduced by the West Australian government. 

Monaro Equestrian Centre   Campaign against illegal camping continues

Council gives thumb's up for trial campground in Snowy Monaro

NSW's Snowy Monaro Regional Council has approved a four-month trial of a 75-site temporary van park/campground at the Jindabyne Equestrian Resort in the Snowy Monaro. The chronic shortage of seasonal worker accommodation has been an ongoing and growing problem for many years and has worsened due to the pandemic. Councillors believe the trial will allow businesses, workers, residents and the council to assess whether caravan parks such as the one approved are a suitable solution to the winter accommodation shortages. The trial will end on October 4, 2021. Meanwhile, the council has passed a motion to re-endorse the enforcement campaign against illegal camping in and around Jindabyne during the winter. Illegal campers in the alpine region have been accused of anti-social behaviour, littering, illegal dumping and having negative effects on public amenity as their numbers increase. Have your say

Stoush between caravanner and truckie goes viral

Amazing near-miss caught on dash cam


Have your say

VIDEO footage of an amazing stoush between a caravanner and truckie on Queensland's notorious Bruce Highway has gone viral. It shows a Toyota Hilux ute towing a caravan unexpectedly veering in front of an overtaking truck before jackknifing south of Tiaro. Luckily, the truckie was able to stop in the nick of time and prevent what could have been a fatal accident. The furious driver then launches a barrage of abuse at the errant traveller, labelling the caravanner a "dickhead". The footage has attracted 350,000 views on Facebook and 160,000 on YouTube, with comments laying the blame on both drivers. Police said the caravanner could receive infringement notices for not having appropriate rear view mirrors and failing to give way. To see the footage, click here.

Brendan HeenanAM for 'significant service' to tourism

Holiday park owner recognised
in Queen's Birthday Honours

By Dennis Amor

THE owner of an Alice Springs caravan park was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Brendan Heenan was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his "significant service" to the tourism industry in central Australia. The former deputy mayor of Alice Springs converted his parents' fruit and vegetable patch in 1984 into what is now the successful and popular MacDonnell Range Holiday Park, a member of the BIG4 chain on whose board Mr Heenan once served. A life member of Tourism Central Australia since 2015, he was an alderman on Alice Springs Town Council from 2008 to 2016 and a former Tourism chairman. He has been president of the Northern Territory Caravan Parks Association since 1993. Mr Heenan's park is the most awarded holiday park in the NT, with over 30 tourism gongs. It has been operated by the Heenans for 34 years, with the second and third generations of the family also working in the park. The peak body for Australia's caravan industry has paid tribute to Mr Heenan, describing the well deserved AM as a "very honourable recognition" of his contribution to the tourism industry. Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said he has long been a force for good in the caravan and camping industry. "He has been a very strong voice for regional and remote tourism businesses," he explained. "Time and time again he has demonstrated how quality and reliable visitor experiences in regional and remote parts of the country bring immense benefit to the local economy and community. His compassion and genuine nature makes him even more worthy of such esteemed recognition."  Have your say

Vintatage caravan   'We are going to future-proof them'

Gold Coast tourist parks in
line for $39 million facelift

CITY of Gold Coast tourist parks will benefit from a $39 million revamp, with much-needed upgrades planned over the next decade. Lifestyle & Community chairman Councillor Hermann Vorster said the overhaul would ensure the City's tourist parks remain industry leaders both in Queensland and nationally. "Our parks welcome 150,000 guests each year and inject $86 million into the economy," he said. The upgrades will include rentable vintage caravans, complete with an annexe and deck chairs, surf-inspired villas, raising the height of existing villas to secure ocean views, and even wellness centres. "We're going to revive our tourist parks that are already thriving, we're going to future-proof them to make sure more families down the track get to enjoy the best parts of the Gold Coast," Gold Coast Lifestyle & Community chairman Councillor Hermann Vorster said.  Read more button

'Plenty of activities planned'

Retreat owners off to camel races

Members of the Retreat group

QUEENSLAND'S Retreat Caravan group is off to the camel races. An estimated 70 members in 35 caravans will wend their way north for a get-together at the Boulia Caravan Park from July 12 to 19. Some will also travel from Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. After the excitement of the races, 30 members will continue north to Karumba in the Gulf where, according to administrators Barry and Sandy Neilsen, "they have plenty of activities planned".   Have your say

NSW caravan park caught up in COVID scare

UPDATE: The travellers were later handed $4000 infringement notices each.  

A MELBOURNE woman put a New South Wales caravan park and parts of Queensland on COVID alert. The 44-year-old and her husband visited Gwydir Caravan Park/Motel & Thermal Pools at Moree from June 3 to 5 while on a 1700km road trip from the Victorian capital to see family members at Caloundra in the Sunshine State. They crossed into Queensland through the border town of Goondiwindi on June 5. NSW Health issued urgent health alerts for Moree, Dubbo, Forbes and Gillenbah after it was told of the case by Queensland Health. It is understood the woman tested positive in Caloundra. Health authorities announced several COVID-19 exposure sites across south-east Queensland.

Rig disappears overnight

Appeal for help after 4WD and caravan stolen

Stolen Toyota and Jayco caravan

POLICE appealed for information after a car and caravan were stolen from outside a home at Christie Downs in South Australia. The thieves struck between 8pm on June 10 and 7.50am the following morning after the rig had been parked on the driveway. The vehicle was described as a green 2000 model Toyota Prado bearing the SA registration S098CBJ. The caravan is a white 1992 Jayco with SA registration TDA902. The Toyota has a solar panel and pod on the roof. Anyone with information or knows the whereabouts of the stolen car and caravan was asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Have your say

'Keep eyes peeled when driving after dark'


Roo strike aftermath

POLICE issued a warning to caravanners to beware of kangaroos on country roads in WA, particularly at night. It came after a traveller was lucky to escape unhurt when his rig hit a roo on a country road near Perenjori, 348km north of Perth. Local police posted a photograph on Twitter showing the man's Toyota 4WD and caravan after the encounter. "Keep your eyes peeled when driving after dark," they said. "He escaped unharmed ... the car/caravan not so lucky." The RAC said more than 700 animal collision claims were made in March and April, with 90 percent involving kangaroo strikes. Have your say

Broome top of bucket list  Number one travel destination

RAC survey shows Broome to
top of WA holiday bucket list

BROOME is at the top of Western Australia's holiday "bucket list", according to a new RAC survey of caravanners and campers. More than 900 people who have either camped or stayed in a caravan in the state during the last 12 months took part in the study. They rated Broome as their number one travel destination in WA, followed by Esperance, Kununurra, Exmouth and the wider Kimberley region. RAC group executive (tourism) Tony Pickworth said caravan and camping options were endless in WA with so many incredible holiday spots to choose from. "We wanted to find out the destinations at the top of everyone's bucket list," he explained. Read more button

Scams  Watchdog moves to beat swindlers

Would-be caravanners lose $6637
on average to scammers: ACCC

AUSTRALIA'S competition and consumer watchdog has revealed that Aussies, including would-be caravanners, were swindled out of a record $851 million last year. The ACCC's latest report on scam activities said there had been a whopping 322 percent increase in reported losses related to buying vehicles including cars, caravans and campervans, with reported losses of $1,035,401. Scammers targeted both people buying and selling vehicles and used legitimate websites such as Facebook Marketplace (, Gumtree (, Car Sales ( and Autotrader ( to make contact with potential victims. The average loss was $6637. To address these scams, the ACCC said it had developed relationships with reputable private sector platforms used by the fraudsters. "This can involve sharing reports where consent is provided so the platform is aware that scams are taking place on their platform and can take steps to disrupt them, for example, by removing or blocking scammers," the ACCC report said. Have your say

Willow Bend caravan park  Council streamlines construction phase

Willow Bend park to close next
year for one-step upgrade work


WILLOW Bend Caravan Park overlooking NSW's Darling River will close next year for upgrades. Wentworth Shire Council has decided to shut the park on January 31 after consultations with the park managers. This was in preference to the previously anticipated two-stage approach to streamline the construction phase and cause less disruption to the business. "With the recent announcement of grant funding from the Drought Community Extension Fund and Crown Reserve Improvement Fund, Council can now facilitate the required upgrade in a single stage approach," the council said in a statement.

Crookwell caravan park Closure as work gets underway

Grant leads to improvements
at Crookwell caravan park

NSW's Upper Lachlan Shire Council has closed its Crookwell Caravan Park for three weeks to allow old equipment to be removed and new infrastructure installed. All electrical, water and drainage services to the sites will be replaced, new lighting and security features installed and new waste and recycling bins provided. The park is expected to reopen around the end of June. "The work has been made possible thanks to a successful grant application to the NSW Crown Reserves Improvement Fund," the council said. "The upgrades, which can be achieved more safely and efficiently during a temporary closure, will ensure the park can continue to deliver a safe and comfortable stay that guests will recommend to other RV and caravan owners." It said the park was an important part of the Upper Lachlan Shire's visitor economy, enabling travellers to stay and explore the region and support local businesses. Have your say

Green Patch campgroundConfirmed carrier travelled to Jervis Bay

Green Patch campground in NSW at centre of COVID alert

TRAVELLERS have been warned that Victoria's COVID outbreak could have spread to a New South Wales camping site. An urgent warning has been issued to anyone who stayed at the Green Patch campground at Booderee National Park on May 23 and 24. The alert came after NSW Health revealed overnight that a confirmed carrier of the virus said they travelled from Melbourne to Jervis Bay, Goulburn, Hyams Beach and Vincentia while potentially infectious. The park is located at Jervis Bay, on the south coast of NSW between Nowra and Ulladulla. NSW Health has advised anyone, including grey nomads or other travellers who visited the campground, to immediately call 1800 943 553, get tested and isolate until they receive further information. NSW Health said it is continuing to investigate the movements of this case in and around Jervis Bay, and the list of venues is likely to be updated. Have your say

Patrick and Lorna Honeywill  'We take pride in the services we provide'

Collie tourist park scoops Travellers Choice award in 'challenging times'

COLLIE River Valley Tourist Park in Western Australia has scooped a 2021 Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award. The achievement celebrates businesses that consistently deliver excellent experiences to travellers and have earned great reviews over the last 12 months. Owner-managers Patrick and Lorna Honeywill (pictured) bought the business in 2015 after "seeing the potential" of Collie and the caravan park. "We take pride in the services we provide to our guests and continually look at ways to improve our services and assist businesses in Collie," they said. "We will not compromise on cleanliness and hygiene, which is even more important during this period of COVID threats. We still have so much more to do." Their park is a member of the Kui chain. Tripadvisor's chief commercial officer Kanika Soni commented: "I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses. What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines and utilising technology to prioritise guest safety." Have your say

Lyn and MarkOfficial launch on June 26

Mark and Lyn all set for opening of Savannah Way's new caravan park

THE Savannah Way's newest attraction, which includes a camping and caravan site, is scheduled to open later this month. Talaroo Hot Springs in northern Queensland will offer 16 powered caravan and 14 tent sites, camp kitchen and facilities. Nestled on the Einasleigh River and owned by the Ewamian people, the new caravan park will be managed by Mark Colls and Lyn Collett, who have been busy preparing for the official opening on June 26. Powered sites will cost $40 for two people or $54 for a family while unpowered pitches will be $32 for up to two people and $44 for families. Mark and Lyn, who have been on the road for the past two-and-a-half years, told Caravanning News that they have previously managed the Narrabri Big Sky, Dubbo and Griffith caravan parks in NSW and Jurien Bay Caravan Park in WA and were looking forward to their new venture. Have your say

safety act  'Some items are subject to revision'

CCA's 'numerous suggestions' allegedly ignored by new RVSA

THE Caravan Council of Australia has expressed disappointment that some of its ideas have been left out of the Road Vehicle Standards Act. The revised VSB1 a prime part of the new Act are aimed at improving the safety and compliance of motorised and towable vehicles. "Unfortunately, numerous suggestions based on the many serious complaints and problems received from aggrieved caravan potential-buyers and owners were not included in the revised document," council founder and general manager Colin Young said. "It is stated in the new document that some items are subject to revision so hopefully the critical issues will again be considered ... and subsequently actioned." He claimed that the lack of understanding or ignorance of ratings and masses was the number one problem and main reason for consumer grievances in the caravan industry. Have your say

Redland City Council, Qld  $130,000 benefit for local businesses

Redland council planning to provide short-stay area for RVs

REDLAND City Council in South East Queensland will call for expressions of interest from community and not-for-profit organisations to provide a short-stay facility for RVs. "It's important to note that such a facility is not expected to unduly impact on current caravan parks and council will continue to support and work with existing commercial campground and caravan park operators," Mayor Karen Williams said. An assessment has shown that even a small facility could attract an extra 4100 visitors to the region each year, spending an extra $130,000 with local businesses and tourism operators. Read more button

Caavanner  'The jewel right on our doorstep'

Council invites people to name 14 coastline camping grounds

SOUTH Australia's City of Whyalla has called for help in naming 14 camping grounds along its northern coastline. "Its the jewel right on our doorstep," the council said. "We know that locals are connected and passionate about this area and we feel sure they have some wonderful naming ideas." It said there was a "plethora of awesome campsites" to choose along the coastline. "Now, as part of the Cuttlefish Coastline project, some of these sites are set to be officially named." The council said this would make it easier for emergency services to locate calls to the sites and enable referencing, maintenance and monitoring of the area. "While some have informal names such as Douglas Point North campsite most of these campsites are un-named, and council is asking for your suggestions into what they should be called." It has urged people to jump online before June 21 and fill out the survey at Have your say

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Letter man

Considerate caravanners on
our highways?
Not on your nelly!

THERE'S no doubt about it, our highways are seeing more caravans than ever during the epidemic.

Even some of the usually quiet roads are experiencing traffic jams!

By and large, our grey nomads young and old are behaving themselves and hauling their homes on wheels with consideration for other road users.

But my frequent travels along the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton have shown that some of them are in urgent need of lessons on how to tow safely and with consideration for others.

But not on your nelly!

Changing lanes without enough warning was common ... and speeding up on overtaking lanes seemed to be a sport for them.

I have always thought that rear-view mirrors are a necessity, but they were definitely in short supply.

Peter Swift.