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June 2018

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JUNE 29:
Man dies in caravan fire on property at Girvan, south of Bulahdelah in NSW.

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


* No jobs for druggies at Jayco factory ... 64,087 people reached.

* Grey nomads cop fine for illegal camping at Norval Park ... 50,855 people reached.

* Heartless attacker uses machette on caravan park's pet roo ... 26,488 people reached

* Caravaning industry talkfest gets underway on Gold Coast ... 18,400 people reached.

* Mingo Crossing caravan park managers to quit after kids cause mayhem ... 14,738 people reached.

* Coromal and Windsor caravan sales plummet ... 14,128 people reached.

* $500,000 grant to upgrade NSW dump points ... 8477 people reached.





Struggling sales leads to sell-off


By Dennis Amor

LATEST: Fleetwood says it is "regrettable" that many of the 200 staff at its Perth factory will lose their jobs.

PERTH-based Fleetwood Corporation has sold its loss-making Coromal and Windsor caravan manufacturing operations to Apollo Tourism and Leisure for $1 million, it was revealed today. Sales of the once popular caravans have been struggling for several years in the face of tough opposition and discounting from other companies in Victoria, leaving Fleetwood with a predicted $8 million loss this financial year. "Under Apollo's ownership the two brands will be part of a wider tourism and leisure platform and as such have a very positive future outlook," Fleetwood said in a statement. "This transaction will allow Fleetwood to focus on the remaining businesses of the company where there are positive earnings and good future prospects," it added. Fleetwood managing director Brad Denison said the operational management had done a "tremendous job" in reinvigorating the Coromal and Windsor product range over the last three years. Apollo managing director Luke Trouchet commented: "We are proud to add these established and well-recognised brands to our portfolio and will continue to build on their heritage in the Australian market." Fleetwood will continue building caravans in Perth for a transition period of up to six months following completion of the deal. Apollo will then buy some inventory and raw materials at discounted prices. It will manufacture caravans and motorhomes under the names of Fleetwood RV, Coromal and Windsor in Brisbane. Have your say

Tensions rising as trucks
and 'vans jostle for space

By Dennis Amor

AUSTRALIA'S major caravan club has called for an urgent summit in the wake of rising road rage between truck drivers and grey nomads.

Caravanners are accusing some truck drivers of "bully tactics" as they hurtle along the nation's highways trying to meet unrealistic deadlines.

And, according to the Australian Caravan Club, this is increasing tensions on Australia's northern highways as more and more sun-chasing grey nomads compete for road space.

Chairman Craig Humphrey said his members, other RV clubs and trucking organisations were all running individual campaigns to educate truckies and caravanners.

"A summit could have the effect of pooling ideas together, save on each individual organisation's resources and see a targeted and more effective campaign delivering the same message to a broader audience," he said.

"The sooner this can be done, the safer the roads will be for both truckies and 'vanners."

Mr Humphrey has welcomed a campaign by one of Australia's largest freight and logistics companies to educate caravanners about heavy vehicles, including road trains.

WA-based Centurion is distributing 2500 free guides to regional service stations and caravan parks in the state designed to reduce incidents involving trucks and RVs.

Mr Humphrey said his club was "delighted" with the safety campaign, particularly considering many members would be heading to WA in October for the club's AGM and national muster at Denmark.
Comment on this story

Long queue of RVs

Longest queue a sight to behold?

RV owners plan a driver's nightmare in Queensland

By Dennis Amor

A DRIVER'S nightmare ... hundreds of caravans and other RVs choking a Queensland highway! It will become a reality when RV owners attempt to secure a place in the Guinness World Records book for the longest ever line of caravans, motorhomes, campervans and fifth wheelers. The parade of moving RVs will take place next May on a long and straight stretch of the Aramac-Barcaldine Road. The event is being organised by the Australian Motorhoming Lions Club in partnership with Barcaldine Regional Council. The current world record was set in June, 2003, when 672 RVs took part in a parade in Canelli, Italy. "Our goal is to achieve a parade of at least 1000 RVs. Won't that be a sight to behold?" a spokesperson for the organisers said. "This is an exciting opportunity for Australian RVers to show the world what we can do." Barcaldine Mayor Rob Chandler said he and his councillors were looking forward to helping in not only breaking the record but also welcoming participants to "our little patch of Queensland". Proceeds from the five-day event will go to regional charities. RV owners wanting to take part can register here. Comment on this story

Ron ChapmanLiving Legend gong for Ron Chapman
CARAVANNING Queensland chief executive Ron Chapman has been recognised as a "Living Legend" by the nation's peak caravanning industry body. The inaugural award comes from the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia and follows his "decades of hard work". "I am overwhelmed and humbled," Mr Chapman told Caravanning News. "It was totally unexpected ... you don't look for accolades when you're doing something you have a passion for. But to receive something that has only just been conceived is really special." Read More button

New video tells of "thriving industry"
A NEW online video says the future of caravanning in Australia is "incredibly positive".
The good news is delivered in a fascinating four-minute industry review just posted on YouTube by CaravanIndustryAus. In a whole pile of facts and figures, it reveals that 22,000 caravans and campervans were produced last year ... one every five minutes of the working week. "The caravan industry is thriving," the video says. To view the footage, click here. Comment on this story

RFDS gong for Pentland sistersRFDS hero gongs for park sisters
OWNERS of Pentland Caravan Park in Queensland's outback do not regard themselves as heroes ... but the Royal Flying Doctor Service certainly does.
In fact, the world famous aero-medical service considers Jackie and Mande Jager as being so special it has bestowed them with a Local Hero Award for their tireless support over the years. "We don't see ourselves as heroes but are thrilled to receive this award. It came as a surprise and big shock," Jackie told Caravanning News. The sisters took over the park on Overlander's Way between Charters Towers and Hughenden 18 years ago and have been connected with the RFDS ever since. Read More button

Crooks use fake cash to pay caravan seller
SCAMMERS have found a new way of tricking people selling caravans.
Police in Victoria have now issued a fake-money alert after buyers of a woman's caravan paid her with a "significant number" of counterfeit $50 notes. She only discovered the scam when she went to bank the cash. "We don’t believe they were locals who purchased it," a police spokesperson said, adding that all sellers of RVs should be wary. Comment on this story

Road train signEducating 'vanners on road train safety
ONE of Australia's largest freight and logistics companies which operates over 1500 vehicles nationwide has launched a new campaign to educate caravanners about road trains.
The move comes as thousands of southerners hitch up their caravans for their annual sojourn to the northern states in search of winter sunshine. WA-based Centurion said a recent company survey revealed that more than 80 percent of drivers had witnessed or experienced a close call between a road train and caravan in the past two years, Twenty percent said they had experienced more than two. The company is now distributing 2500 free guides to regional service stations and caravan parks to help educate caravanners about safe driving near heavy vehicles. Read More button

Silver Wattle's new ownersNew owners at Silver Wattle
THE Silver Wattle Caravan Park in Queensland's historic former goldrush town of Mount Morgan west of Rockhampton has new owners.
Dave and Debi Brant had worked as builders and gardeners for three years at Cooroy on the Sunshine Coast before deciding on their new lifestyle with daughter Jayde. "We had tried to find the right caravan park and make this change into the caravan park industry for around four years," they told Caravanning News. They now plan a raft of improvements at the park. Read More button

Hunt for Corporal Bowshire's descendents


War medal

By Dennis Amor

AMAZING what some people uncover when they start ripping old caravans apart. South Australian Rodney Elson came across this First World War medal when he began dismantling a vintage 12ft Rowvan for spare parts. An inscription names Corporal Robert John Bowshire of the 28th Australian Infantry Battalion (Service Number 5124). Records show that Corporal Bowshire enlisted in March, 1916, and returned to Australia in July,1919. His battalion fought its first major battle at Pozieres between 28 July and 6 August, 1916, and played a supporting role in many others. It was disbanded in 1919.  Mr Elson, of Arno Bay, is now attempting to track down the soldier's family so the medal can be returned to its rightful place. If you can help, give him a call on 0478 132 142. Comment on this story.

Luxury cabins to complement caravan pitches
OUT of the Ordinary Outback's newly opened multi-million dollar Broken Hill Outback Resort will soon complete the second stage of its development.
Following the successful launch of its 40 grassed caravan and camping sites in March, the NSW resort will next month make 24 King Spa cabins available for guests. Based on the skirts of Australia’s first heritage-listed city of Broken Hill, the resort features landscaped grounds set against the rise and fall of gibber plains dotted with mulga and saltbush. The third stage of its development will be released later this year, with the promise of an on-site restaurant. Comment on this story

Kym and Lyn

Kym and Lyn's book helps working travellers
AUSSIE caravanners Kym Leech and Lyn Hutton, who have been full-time working travellers for six years, have published a book to help others wanting to follow in their tracks.
Be an Australian Nomad Adventurer – Confidently rove and fund your lifestyle while on the road is written with humour and in an easy-to-read style with over 130 illustrated pages. It costs $12.50, with a dollar from every sale being donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. "We have experienced Australia and so much more, ... with the advantage of younger energy than we ever could had we delayed our caravan travels to post-retirement," they told Caravanning News.

American RV hire company hits Ozzie scene
ANOTHER peer-to-peer caravan hire company has hit the Australian scene.
Outdoorsy, an on-demand motorhome and caravan marketplace founded in the US, spread to Canada and is now  expanding into the Asia Pacific region. Co-founder and chief executive Jeff Cavins commented: "With Australia and New Zealand being synonymous with outdoor adventures, road trips and beautiful landscapes, this region is the next natural step in our robust global growth plan as we build the world's third lodging category." The company claims to host the largest inventory of bookable caravans and motorhomes worldwide and has handled more than 300,000 travel days over the last year. Comment on this story

Photographers Sid and Callena plan new mission in vintage caravanGraduates focus on mission in vintage 'van
TWO former students of Queensland College of Art are focusing on a new adventure in their vintage caravan.
Graduates Sid Coombes and Callena Brenchley will soon set off on an epic road trip around Australia in their ageing Sunliner caravan – hoping to capture the people and places that make up our great sunburnt land. After considering a converted bus or campervan, the adventurers chanced upon the vintage 1956 Sunliner caravan which will become their home and office for the next 12-months. Read More button

New managers for Ball Park on the Murray
BALL Park Caravan Park on the banks of the Murray River in NSW has a new management team.
Federation Council decided behind closed doors to accept BelgraviaPRO's tender to operate the Corowa park for the next 18 months for a fixed price of $579,000 and a variable price of 10 percent of income for the period. Current managers Andrew and Sonia Palmer, who had run the park for 10 years, also submitted a tender. Based in Bayswater, Victoria, the management services company specialises in running tourism properties, from campgrounds to large-scale tourist parks. It was launched in February this year as a joint venture between Belgravia Health and Leisure Group and Parks and Resorts Operational (PRO) Management. BelgraviaPRO plans to partner with more than 10 government and non-government organisations this year to operate over 20 holiday park destinations across Australia. Comment on this story

ACC Eureka BanditsClub scores half-century with Eureka Bandits
THE Australian Caravan Club is celebrating a half-century milestone with the formation of its 50th branch.
The ACC Eureka Bandits group at Ballarat was born when interested RVers assembled at the Sebastopol Bowling Club for a bistro meal. After eating, members held the inaugural meeting and elected its committee. With its founding 19 members, the new branch will service RVers living in the Ballarat region and its surrounds. "The formation of our 50th branch is most certainly an exciting achievement for our club and its members," ACC chairman Craig Humphrey said. More button

Burnt out LandCruiser and damaged caravan

Car alarm saved campground hosts

Arson victims get 'goodwill payment' from WA council

A VICTORIAN couple who narrowly escaped with their lives when an arsonist struck at a WA campground has received an ex gratia payment from the local council. Steve and Julie Dryden were volunteer hosts at the beachside Cosy Corner camp 30km west of Albany and were asleep in their Regal caravan when an arsonist struck in the dead of night. Luckily their car alarm raised them from their slumbers and they were able scramble to safety. But their $68,000 LandCruiser was destroyed and their caravan, valued at $120,000, badly damaged. Police said they were lucky to escape the inferno. "But for the car alarm, it could have been a different story for them," a spokesperson said. The City of Albany council has now approved a "goodwill payment" to the couple, but has declined to say how much. A spokesperson told media: "This unfortunate incident serves as a reminder that it is the responsibility of camp hosts and all travellers to ensure their vehicle, camping accommodation and property are fully insured. We have reviewed our camp host procedures to ensure our campground hosts understand this requirement." Comment on this story

Reflections seek professionals to make parks shine
REFLECTIONS Holiday Parks is seeking hospitality professionals looking for a sea change.
It wants them to submit tenders for transforming a dozen of its holiday parks into places that "inspire all who visit". "Reflections Holiday Parks is actively building a strong brand and has a significant development program for many of its parks," executive manager (finance and IT) Michelle Griffin said. "As we grow, customer service remains at the core of our offering. We see our park management teams as a cornerstone to providing a real connection with our guests." She said the successful park management contractor would "love people, strive to ensure exceptional holiday experiences and be customer focussed with a team who can make their holiday park shine". The parks are Jimmys Beach and Hawks Nest, Forster Beach, Shaws Bay and Ballina, Moonee Beach, Coffs Harbour, Clarkes Beach, Urunga and Hungry Head. Applications close on June 4. Comment on this story

Rob Lucas'Still much to be done' in booming industry
VICTORIA'S booming caravan industry contributed more than $2 billion to the state’s economy last year. It also employed 6600 workers in caravan manufacturing, retail, repair and servicing, according to the figures released by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria. Despite the impressive growth, chief executive Rob Lucas said there was still much to be done by the association to raise the industry’s overall business standards. "The key to success is to deliver quality and value to our customers, and we have many initiatives underway to help achieve this, especially in training," he said. Read More button

Bailey caravan owners treated to free weekend
MORE than 70 owners of Bailey caravans have been treated to an all-expenses-paid weekend in SA's Barossa Valley.
Bailey Australia footed the entire bill for this year's Bailey Owners Group's BASE 2018 get-together at Tanunda. Some members reportedly travelled nearly 3000km to attend the event which featured a James Bond-themed dinner and a visit to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, all courtesy of Bailey Australia Caravans."It was the largest event we have ever run," Bailey's marketing assistant Siobhan Capuana told Caravanning News. Read More button

Oaklands townOaklands in line for new RV park
THE tiny town of Oaklands in the Riverina district of southern New South Wales is a step closer to getting its own recreational vehicle park.
The Federal Council has agreed to buy the former home of the local RSL sub-branch for $3000 to pave the way for an overnight facility for caravanners and other travellers. But it will also have to spend around $20,000 on demolishing and removing the old building, which is thought to contain asbestos and exterior fibro sheeting. A council report said no quotes had been received for this work and the project budget would need to be varied to consider this. "Additional funding is recommended to be sourced from the additional unspent funds in the major projects budget," it pointed out. It explained that the RV park concept for short-term stays was developed to "take advantage of unused council land in the area and to also capture the RV tourism market". The plan has already attracted $87,173 in council funding. Comment on this story

Grant Wilckens with deputy PM Michael McCormackCIAA boss welcomes Budget initiatives
CARAVAN Industry Association of Australia chairman Grant Wilckens welcomed new Budget initiatives when he met Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Michael McCormack.
The Budget delivered a $300 million National Partnership on Regulatory Reform which will bring an end to unnecessary regulatory barriers impacting the caravan and camping industry. These include rules which banned three caravans being carted through NSW but not in Queensland and Victoria, and the need for physical RV electrical certificates in SA but not in Victoria ... where they are built. Other topics discussed by Mr Wilckens (right in photograph above) and the Minister included the Road Vehicle Standards Act, proposals to change the Australian Consumer Law and the Caravan Industry’s Coexist initiative. Comment on this story

Shower pervert strikes at WA caravan park
POLICE were hunting a pervert who spied on a mother as she showered at a WA caravan park.
Her six-year-old daughter was in the next cubicle at the Discovery Parks - Pilbara, Karratha, park. The terrified woman told police she saw the man peering under the door when she turned round to rinse her back. She was so upset her family abandoned its planned seven-week outback holiday. A Discovery Parks spokeswoman said the matter was in the hands of police. "We take the security and safety of our guests incredibly seriously," she told media. Comment on this story

CaravelairFrench-built caravans hit Aussie market
NSW-based accessories and parts supplier Carlight is now offering Aussies the chance to buy French-built caravans.
Builders Caravelair, a global manufacturer with over 50 years of experience, is run by an Australian family and says its Antarés range is unlike any caravan ever produced. The caravans boast extremely low tow weights of less than 1500kg and are built for the Australian lightweight caravan market. Six unique layouts are available offering a variety of two to six berths. Carlight also imports a range of Euro caravans. Comment on this story

Club raises over $1000 for cancer research
THE Lachlan Valley Caravan Club in NSW raised over $1000 for cancer research during its recent annual week-long bush rally.
Twenty-three caravans rolled into Kiacatoo for the gathering, which included the 'Biggest Morning Tea' fundraiser. Members travelled from Tumberumba, Dubbo, Forbes, Orange, Cambridge Park Sydney, Reid’s Flat, Mudgee and Wolli. The 132-member club, formed in 2003, also donated over $400 to the Kiacatoo Progress group. Comment on this story

Chinese travellersCaravan parks a magnet to Chinese
MORE and more Chinese adventurers are flocking to Australia's regional caravan parks and camping grounds.
And according to the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia, the booming market is not showing any sign of slowing down soon, with numbers soaring 126 percent last year. The news comes in the association's recently released 2018 Chinese Visitors to Caravan Parks report, one of the first studies in the world designed to provide insights into Chinese travellers staying in caravan parks. "It is important for those within the industry to learn how different the needs of a Chinese traveller are to ensure their interest and enthusiasm for caravan and camping holidays continues to grow," the report said. Read More button

Partnership yields new insurer for caravanners
A NEW company will raise the profile of caravan insurance, it is claimed.
Let’s Go Caravan Insurance has been developed via a partnership between the caravan industry's peak body and one of Australia’s largest specialist underwriting agents, NM Insurance. "There are sadly too many Australians who are uninsured or under-insured with their caravanning product and this partnership will further raise the profile of caravan insurance amongst the community," Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont said. And NM Insurance chief executive Lyndon Turner added: "We look forward to servicing consumers, dealers and manufacturers alike with our on-line quote and bind facility." Comment on this story

Glenn Rocks MotelPark owners snap up adjoining motel
QUEENSLAND'S Esk Caravan Park in the Brisbane Valley between Wivenhoe and Somerset dams is now offering motel accommodation.
Owner-operators Paul and Jackie Lawson have bought the adjoining 11-room Glenn Rocks Motel, which will now be known as the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Motel. "We were looking at potentially growing the caravan park and when we found out the motel was available it was just a no-brainer," Mrs Lawson said. All motel guests will be able to access the caravan park's facilities through a connecting gate. Comment on this story

Quartet honoured for services to industry
FOUR people have been honoured for their significant contributions to the caravanning industry.
Ron Cregan received the prestigious Eric Hayman Award for Excellence, Brad Slater received the Richard Davis Award while the Future Leader Award went to Margaret Shannon. Gary Kratzmann and Donna Cocking each received a Chairman's Award. Read More button

Flying foxesCouncil helps caravanners with batty problem
A NSW council is helping caravanners protect their RVs from bat poop.
Cessnock City Council officials in the Hunter Region are preparing forms and guidelines for RV owners affected by flying foxes to apply for part-funding of protective caravan covers. Grants will also be available for gurneys, car and pool covers. Meanwhile, the state government has published a draft code of practice for managing the protected bats, which have about 20 colonies in the Hunter creating havoc. Comment on this story

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No opposition
to free camping, only to non-compliancy

THE caravan and camping industry do not oppose free camping as such, they oppose non-compliant camping.

There is a big difference.

There are plenty of wonderful free camping areas that the industry encourage holidaymakers to utilise.

Non compliant camping areas, however, are allowed to operate by councils without meeting any of the conditions or criteria which caravan and holiday parks need to by law,

And these parks then need to pay to be inspected by councils.

Kylie Robertson.

Hire weight

WE saw a VW Tiguan at a caravan park at Echuca which was towing a Jayco caravan with an expandable side.

We believe it was over three tonnes.

These people had hired it for two weeks and had never towed before but thought they knew it all.

Their car can only pull two and a half tonnes.

I have no idea how they were allowed to hire the caravan.

What is going on? Can anyone tell me, please.

Janet Gregory.