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'Steered beautifully by all accounts'
Runaway caravan causes
DRIVERS were forced to brake and swerve to avoid a runaway caravan on a busy Melbourne road. The bizarre incident happened when the newly-built Network RV dual-axle caravan fell from the back of a truck on Melbourne's three-lane Western Ring Road at Tullamarine. It weaved across all lanes and rebounded off barriers but remained upright before slowing to a standstill. One large van was forced to swerve and collided with a barrier. The driver escaped unhurt. The caravan was on its way to the docks to be shipped to Perth and its jockey wheel was down. In a Facebook posting, Network RV Caravans said it was "happy" no one was hurt, adding: "Steered beautifully by all accounts." Channel 10 News screened footage of the incident. See here. Have your say
Travel and bookings come to a sudden halt
COVID 'circuit breaker' closes Vic caravan parks for seven days
CARAVAN parks in Victoria are closed for seven days under new COVID restrictions. The move follows the state government's "circuit breaker" lockdown of the entire state. Accommodation providers, including caravan parks, closed on May 27 and will not re-open until 11.59pm on Thursday, June 3. Travel around the state is not permitted. Bookings already made for stays during the lockdown were cancelled. "Under previous restricted activity directions, guests could return home during lockdown as long as they returned directly," the Victorian Caravan Parks Association said. "We are seeking government clarification about whether that is allowed this time." The association said parks taking bookings for stays beginning after June 3 should ensure they have communicated their cancellation and refund policies before the booking is made "in case the government extends the lockdown". Have your say
Good news during Australian Made Week
Caravan industry 'excited' as production soars to 30-year high
AUSTRALIA'S caravan industry has welcomed the first-ever Australian Made Week with news that local caravan production stands at a 30-year high. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said it was "excited" to celebrate this during the week May 24 to 30. It said the industry contributed more than $23 billion annually to the Australian economy and has extensive local supply chains involving more than 6000 businesses across manufacturing, dealerships, servicing, repair and tourism (caravan and holiday parks). There are more than 750,000 caravans and motorhomes registered on Australian roads, with 90 percent being built in Australia. "The caravan manufacturing sector is the largest remaining bastion of automotive manufacturing in Australia with 25,000 units built a year in Australia," association chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said. "Despite factory shutdowns for large parts of 2020, the industry continues to grow and is experiencing a boom. February manufacturing data indicates the strongest start to a year on record with 3628 units built in the first two months of 2021, a 15 percent increase from 2020 and the highest level of local production in over 30 years." Have your say
Council warns on RV non-compliance
NEW REGS 'WILL NOT SOLVE PROBLEM'
highways and byways are full of non-compliant recreational vehicles,
according to the Caravan Council of Australia.
"Industry insiders have long been worried that there are too many new manufacturers and importers competing in a very limited, and highly-competitive, market," he claimed.
Mr Young also fired a
broadside at manufacturers, saying it had been hoped one major positive
outcome from the lengthy and crippling COVID lockdowns was that they made
good use of the non-productive time "to have a thorough and professional
appraisal of all aspects of their business".
'Undermines financial viability of local parks'
Councillors reject moves to give
MOVES to give official RV Friendly status to a WA city have fallen by the wayside. City of Albany councillors have rejected the request from the state's Association of Caravan Clubs, which operates under the registered business name of Caravanswest. They voted against the idea at last night's council meeting after considering a council officer's report which recommended refusal. "Providing services at no cost devalues and undermines the financial viability of local parks and discourages investment by the operator, thereby creating a lose situation for the local economy," it said.
'Wow, what a moment"
Royal Flair's accolade finally reaches home
STAFF at Royal Flair Caravans were celebrating after finally getting their major new trophy back to their Victorian factory. The manufacturer has been named RVMAP People's Choice Manufacturer of the Year. "Wow, what a moment" the jubilant company posted on Facebook. "We finally got the trophy back to the factory and had the chance to celebrate winning together." Established in 1975, Royal Flair will soon be moving from its Campbellfield premises to a new state-of-the art factory in Epping. It produces a wide range of caravans, from the Minisport pop-top to the feature packed Manor. Have your say
'You wonder why people get angry'
Linda takes to social media to blast inconsiderate caravanners
TRAVELLER Linda Parker, a member of the 165,000-strong Caravan and Camping Australia group, has taken to social media to air her grievances against inconsiderate caravanners. Her Facebook rant came after a recent 700km work-related trip from Townsville to Rockhampton. "You, my dear friends, are dangerous drivers and you wonder why people get angry with you," she wrote. Meanwhile, Linda also tells of reporting a rogue truckie she saw tailgating a caravan which was travelling at the posted speed limit.
'Open up a conversation'
Outback travels come with 'unique challenges' for caravanners: police
COPS in the small Queensland town of Injune have launched a safety campaign warning caravanners of what to expect in the state's southwest. The move comes as many would-be travellers buy caravans for the first time and head off into the countryside, hopeful of a new adventure. But Injune-based Sgt Tony Randolph warned that the Sunshine State's southwest offered unique challenges for caravanners and travellers alike. "Road trains, road conditions, distances between towns, communications and wildlife all provide risks to travellers," he explained. Police aimed to "open up a conversation" about the challenges by speaking to travellers about the dangers they may face and steps to help prevent them from serious risk.
Gong recognises achievements
Camplify founder honoured by peak caravanning body
THE founder of Australia's largest and fastest-growing campervan, motorhome and caravan sharing community has been honoured. Justin Hales, who launched Camplify five years ago, has received the RV Boss Future Leaders Award from the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia. The gong recognises and rewards "dedication and outstanding achievements" from the industry's up-and-comers. After identifying the need for localised sharing of assets to benefit both owners and hirers of RVs, Justin has led innovation at Camplify to become the biggest RV rental company and digital platform in Australia. He has also expanded internationally and now operates in three additional countries. Have your say
'All worries have disappeared'
Lotto millionaire plans
By Dennis Amor
A MAN from Brisbane's south-western suburb of Oxley is ready to embrace life as a grey nomad ... thanks to a $1.8 million windfall. The Queenslander plans travel around Australia in a flash new caravan after scooping the fortune in Saturday's Gold Lotto draw. He explained he would retire early, pay off his mortgage and buy a new car and caravan to travel around our sunburnt country. The euphoric winner admitted he was struggling to come to terms with the news that he was now a millionaire. "I've had a really tough time lately, but now all those worries have just disappeared," he said. "This is magic!" The first thing he will do is pay off his mortgage. "This also means I can retire from work a lot sooner than planned," he added. His entry was bought at the Oxley Newsagency in Station Road, Oxley.
'Overwhelmed with response'
POLICE OFFER FREE RV SAFETY CHECKS
POLICE in Far North Queensland carried out safety checks on caravans and camper trailers. Operated by the Cairns Road Policing Unit, free weighing was offered on several highways, including the Pyramid truck pads at Aloomba on the Bruce Highway, the Fruit Bat truck pads on the Captain Cook Highway at Aeroglen and the Walkamin truck pads on the Kennedy Highway at Aeroglen. The educational initiative provided travellers and locals with the opportunity to weigh their RVs and discuss safe towing practises with officers. Police said they had been "overwhelmed with the fantastic positive response".
Highest demand near cities
Holiday parks rebound 'strongly' as border restrictions ease
INGENIA, which operates a chain of lifestyle and holiday parks, reports that its holiday business has rebounded "strongly" in COVID times. Parks near cities were proving to be the more popular as people travelled closer to home and took shorter breaks. It described the outlook for domestic travel as being "positive", adding: "Holidaying at home has driven growth in demand." Inegenia's 28-acre pet-friendly Cairns Coconut Holiday Park particularly benefitted after borders were opened and airlines increased flights to the northern Queensland city, Ingenia said. Have your say
MYSTERY OF THE DUMPED CARAVAN
POLICE in Victoria were trying to solve the mystery of an abandoned caravan. The dual-axle Jayco pop-top was dumped on the side of the Ayresford Road at Terang on May 2 at 9pm, 140km from where it stolen at Geelong. Other road users reported seeing the caravan being unhitched from a vehicle described as a dark-coloured Ford Ranger. Anyone with information is urged to contact Terang Police on (03) 5592 1058. Alternatively, a confidential report can be submitted to CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
'False or misleading representation'
Jayco ordered to pay $75,000 to RV owner who was misled on rights
CARAVAN manufacturer Jayco has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a penalty of $75,000 for making a false or misleading representation to a consumer about their consumer guarantee rights. This follows court proceedings by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC). In November last year, the court dismissed the majority of the ACCC's case, including allegation that Jayco acted unconscionably towards four consumers by denying them the right to refunds or replacements for their defective caravans. But the court found it had misled one consumer by claiming they were only entitled to have their caravan repaired, when in fact a consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law when there is a major failure also include a refund or replacement. In a statement today, Jayco said it greatly regretted being found to have contravened Australian consumer law in its dealings with one customer and it intended to ensure its contravening conduct would not reoccur.
'Busy time for acquisition team'
Ingenia splashes out $40m on acquiring land and holiday parks
INGENIA Communities has splashed out $40 million on acquiring land and another five coastal holiday parks. Chief executive Simon Owen said it had been a "busy time" for the group's acquisition team as it sought to disperse equity to materially grow the lifestyle and holiday park business. Acquisitions include 16.2ha of ocean-front land in Bargara, Queensland, for a 344-home lifestyle community (see picture above), and established holiday parks "in key markets", including Queensland, NSW and three in Victoria. This would add 844 cabins, sites and annuals and boost its holiday park portfolio by over 20 percent. Have your say
'Another reason for people to stop'
Caravanners will benefit from new water filling stations in rural towns
NEW water filling stations at Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Texas in Queensland will mean 24-hour access to drinking water for caravanners and other travellers. Councillor Rick Kearney, who holds the portfolio for water services, said the stations would streamline access to clean drinking water for rural residents and provide additional revenue from visitors. "We've already seen many campers and caravanners flock to popular sites like Coolmunda Dam and the Dumaresq River rest area, and the availability of easily-accessible drinking water will further support the regionís tourism," he said. "This is giving visitors yet another reason to stop, spend some money in town and maybe stay another night, while also creating an additional revenue stream for council." Visitors can use their credit card to buy water, at a minimum charge of $5 for each transaction. The stations can facilitate all sizes of vehicles, from small cars to trucks, caravans and motorhomes. Have your say
Wading in to help flood victims
calls for volunteers
VOLUNTEER organisation BlazeAid, which estimates that caravanners make up 70 percent of its membership, is wading in to help flood-impacted victims in the Mid North Coast region of NSW. It has opened its camp at the Kempsey Showground and is urgently looking for volunteers to help the community affected by recent storms and flooding. "Anybody who can donate some of their time, a day, a week or whatever they can give will make a difference," camp coordinator Mary Howarth said. BlazeAid administrator Debbie Buttler told Caravanning News that caravanners made "a huge difference" to the organisation. "Without their contribution BlazeAid would not be able to help those families and communities that have been affected by natural disasters," she said.
'Overcrowding will be eased'
New campsites being provided
NEW areas of the Northern Territory's Litchfield National Park are being opened to tourists, complete with campsites. Construction work under the $17.5m Turbo Charging Tourism project is already underway, with Central Valley campsites on track to open this dry season. Thirty-two new campsites with swimming areas across three camping grounds will welcome visitors during the dry season, starting this month. Minister for Parks and Rangers Selena Uibo said overcrowding in one of the Top End's "national treasures" would be eased with new camping, swimming and walking spots to please visitors of all ages.
'We need help'
Grey nomads urged to help roadhouse solve staff dilemma
THE owner of a remote and well known Queensland roadhouse has appealed to grey nomads to help her out of a staffing predicament. Cheri Stanger said The Burke and Wills Roadhouse ‒ halfway between Cloncurry and the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of nearly 400km ‒ is being run on a skeleton staff due to the shortage of backpackers. "We are facing an unpredicted, unprecedented and undeniable challenge after COVID," she wrote on the roadhouse's Facebook page. "We are getting busier and busier each day, which is exactly what we've been working so hard to achieve, but we cannot find employees to share the workload with." She said a friend who owned another well known Australian roadhouse had posted over 1200 messages/posts looking for people but with no success. "Maybe some grey nomads want to help out for a few weeks at a time," she said. "If the grey nomad population worked their way around Australia and stopped at all these rural pubs and roadhouses they'd be helping these rural businesses back on their feet. We have a lot of truckies and travellers that rely on us being open. We need help." Have your say
Changes to address concerns
Updated plans will mean fewer camping spots on foreshore
VICTORIA'S Mornington Peninsula Shire has updated concept plans for the Rye foreshore redevelopment which will mean reduced camping numbers. "Since community consultation last year, the landscape strategy and concept plan have been further improved to balance the vision of the foreshore along with feedback from the community," the shire said. Work will be part of the $6.5 million Rye Township Plan and follows last year's community consultation. The shire council said the landscape strategy and concept plan had been "further improved to balance the vision of the foreshore along with feedback from the community". It pointed out that the campground, a popular facility since the 1940s, occupied a large portion of the foreshore reserve. Changes and improvements would address current concerns and balance the needs of the campers, holidaymakers and the community. The four main themes of community feedback were a reduction in camping numbers, car park locations near the pier, biodiversity across the foreshore and all-abilities access. Have your say