For full list,
Investigations continue into accident in which car and caravan overturned and ended up on safety fence on new stretch of NSW's Pacific Highway north of Frederickton. No further details available.
*** Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
Jayco recalls camper trailers ‒
27,022 people reached.
Crusader Caravans back in business
‒ 15,020 people reached.
* Four die in horrific caravan
13,428 people reached.
* Police urge caravanners to
secure RVs ‒ 13,342 people reached.
* Kingdom Caravans' assets
4969 people reached.
* Silver Wattle caravan park on
market for $1.15m ‒ 3412 people reached.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
benefits of providing low-cost or
I WAS just reading the article about
Grant Council wanting comments on free camping spots (see story
Well, here's my two cents worth.
Many small towns I stay at have an overnight or 48-hour stay close to a
We can walk to the shops and either purchase items we need or eat there.
A place to stop which is out of town would not bring in as much money as
one either in or next to the town.
For longer stays in small towns we use showgrounds which charge a modest
fee for electricity and water.
Having a toilet and a dump point helps.
Showers are not needed as most modern caravans have them.
We do make donations, normally $5 a night, if a donation point is placed
in the area to help with costs.
We did cross SA in 2015 on our half lap around Australia, staying at a
number of free camping spots.
In NSW, one small town reopened its showground for low-cost camping due
to the loss of income to local shops.
One local resident informed me that the local free camping spot brought
over $250,000 worth of business to the town.
GRANT Council's suggested sites for
free-camping are all lovely spots.
A small fee (honesty box with tickets where credit card numbers can be
used as well as cash) would be most welcome.
Also the use of grey water containers on the ground and taken away to a
sullage point would be good.
Grey water tanks can be difficult to retro fit as well as very
unhygienic over time.
We carry a cassette which is lifted and taken to dispose of at an
Ian and Sally.
Don't miss out
DO IT or you will miss out. Just look at the NT and WA.
WONDERFUL to hear that Grant Council in South Australia is considering
opening more free campsites.
Lucy and Noel Calleja.
Sit and think
MY motorhome is self contained and I don't need the
playgrounds supplied by caravan parks.
My wife and I like to support the many other shops in a town that are
trying to make a living.
Most caravan parks rely on the council to protect them, at the expense
of the other businesses.
Caravan parks don't worry about motels when they keep adding cabins in
opposition to them.
Caravan parks need to sit down and think how they can encourage
travellers to stay rather than expect councils to force us in.
We will bypass the town ... we all have social media now and word
travels fast, good and bad.
Dealers shocked as company folds
VANGUARD CARAVANS IN LIQUIDATION
Exclusive by Dennis
ANOTHER leading caravan
manufacturer has hit troubled times, with Vanguard Caravan Sales being
placed in liquidation. The factory in Epping, Victoria, was
locked and no telephones were being answered. It is understood
company members met this week and decided the business should be wound up.
Vanguard built custom and contract manufactured caravans, including 5th
wheelers, and had a network of nationwide dealers. Vanguard director John Kyriakidis did not respond to our telephone calls and emails. A
spokesman at Ipswich Lifestyle Centre west of Brisbane told Caravanning
News he understood Vanguard was "in a bit of a hole" but he was still
shocked by the announcement. "The news is very sad," he said. Another said
they heard something was wrong from a caravan delivery driver. "We're in
the dark, we don't know what's going on," a spokesman said. A creditors'
meeting will be held at the Gateway Theatrette in Melbourne on June 7.
Vanguard's demise comes just weeks after well respected Crusader Caravans went into
voluntary administration. The company was
saved following a "competitive sale process".
Have your say
'Protection of children and teenagers from harmful material is paramount'
CARAVAN PARKS BAN WICKED
Wicked campervans ... not
welcome in Byron Bay
Story-photos: Dennis Amor
CAMPERVANS daubed with
offensive and sexual slogans have been banned from caravan parks in a
popular NSW holiday region.
Byron Shire Council has bowed to public pressure and approved a raft of
measures which include shutting them out of all council-owned holiday
The move follows a recent incident in which an angry local grandfather
spray-painted over lewd words on a backpacker's Wicked campervan.
Ballina Shire Council is also urging the NSW and federal governments to
support a ban on "inappropriate messages" painted on the Australian-based
Meanwhile, New Zealand's Classification Office has ordered three of the
controversial Wicked campervans off the road immediately for their
Caravanners interviewed by Caravanning News at a rest area on the
Pacific Highway north of Byron Bay had mixed views on the controversial 'whizbangs',
so-called by grey nomads because of their noisy sliding doors.
"I can't help but feel this has been blown out of all proportion,"
Queenslander Bruce Martin commented.
"Some people seem to take offence over the slightest thing but I find many
of the slogans quite funny and they make me smile while on an otherwise
But Victorian grey nomad Tony Morcroft thought the "sexist scribbles" were
often degrading, particularly to women, and should be outlawed.
"Wicked by name and wicked by nature," 68-year-old Mr Morcroft said. "They
certainly have no place in caravan parks where young families with
children are holidaying."
In its findings, the NZ Classification Office said it had considered the
right to freedom of expression.
But it added: "The likelihood of injury to the public good arising from
the availability of the campervans, specifically the harm caused to
children and young teenagers who view the images and text dealing with
criminal drug use, has been identified.
"The protection of children and teenagers from harmful material is
paramount in this instance. This is not an unusual or excessive limitation
of commercial free speech."
NSW Premier Mike Baird has
rejected increasing calls to ban the offensive slogans.
Tasmania's Commissioner for
Children Mark Morrissey expressed concern that children and young people
were being exposed to messages which commonly derided and denigrated
He said there were also
worrying examples of campervans showing childrenís characters such as Snow
White, Cookie Monster and Barbie in compromising and offensive situations
which were equally alarming because children would "be drawn to images of
their beloved characters".
He welcomed the bans and
pointed out that New Zealand's Queenstown Council now also imposed $300
fines for the offensive slogans.
Mr Morrissey believed similar
action could be introduced in the Apple Isle to protect Tasmania's
children and young people from seeing them.
Have your say
Defer retirement and
become a grey nomad, urges pollie
WORKERS' GAP YEAR IDEA GETS THUMBS UP
Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt has urged people to defer
retirement and become grey nomads before returning to work. And the
idea of a gap year has been backed by caravanners who think it's a great
concept. Mr Wyatt told delegates at a Committee for Economic Development
of Australia forum in Perth he wanted to see baby boomers work longer and
access their superannuation later. "When we get to 60 and think about
retiring, workplaces could encourage us to have a gap year from work, go
and do the grey nomad bucket list and then come back and make a decision
about retiring. I think that would change our mindset," he said.
Caravanning News went on the road to ask caravanners for their views.
Barry Moloney, 66, thought Mr Wyatt's idea might work for 50-year-olds,
particularly those with trade qualifications. "But giving workers a year
off on full pay could pose problems for some businesses which may not be
able to afford it," he told us. "Will the government meet their wages
bill?" Round-Australia travellers Trevor and Raelene Holmes, who have been
virtually fulltime grey nomads for 17 years, said many people would like
to take a year off to travel but didn't have the courage. "It might be
difficult getting a 12-month sabbatical, but perhaps they could use long
service leave for the gap year," Mr Holmes suggested. Warwick Erskine, 72,
believed a gap year was a good idea ... if people could afford it. "But
there could be problems getting their jobs back when they return," he
said. There was also the question of whether workers would buy a caravan
just to use for one year. Fred Portman, 67, who has been travelling
fulltime in his ageing Jayco caravan for two years, was not too impressed
with Mr Wyatt's "ridiculous" idea. "It's ok for him to come out with these
silly suggestions, but just remember he's on a very lucrative wage and his
fat super will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life," he said.
"Ordinary workers have to safeguard their jobs, not risk them by taking
time off to swan around Australia ... especially for a whole year. Get
real, Mr Wyatt."
Have your say
Maytow Caravans in liquidation
MAYTOW Caravans and RV Accessories in SA, established in 1982, is in
liquidation. Gates at the former National
Metropolitan Caravan Dealer of The Year award winner in Northfield have
been padlocked and phones disconnected. Its website and Facebook page have
been taken down. Creditors' will meet at Adelaide-based insolvency company
Clifton Hall's offices on May 11. No one was available to comment today.
Maytow recently received an Excellence Award for its display of Nova
caravans at the Adelaide Caravan Show. Two years ago, Maytow's business
manager Benjamin May called for a limit on all imported RVs under five
years old to protect Australian manufacturing.
Have your say
crooks target Sunshine State
CROOKS are still using unwary newspapers in Australia in an attempt to rob
potential caravanners of tens of thousands of dollars.
In the latest outbreak, an advertisement appearing in some central
Queensland newspapers offers a 2007 tandem-axle semi off-road Crusader
caravan "in excellent condition" for the bargain price of $14,000. It
would normally fetch around $30,000. But the "too good to believe" steal
has been proved to be yet another scam. "It's the old case of buyer
beware," one caravan dealership told Caravanning News.
Govt cash to help
DIMBOOLA Riverside Caravan Park in Victoria will receive a $320,000
government handout to help recover from the drought.
The money has been donated from the $10 million drought support fund and
will go towards installing six new cabins at the holiday destination on
the edge of the Little Desert National Park. Hindmarsh Shire Council will
also contribute an additional $133,000. The new cabins will form stage two
of a 10-year master plan for the park, initiated in 2014. Victorian
Premier Daniel Andrews said he understood that communities were suffering from the
effects of drought. "With consultation with communities, we have come up
with a number of projects that will bring long-term benefits to those
communities well after the drought ends," he added.
Have your say
board role for Ryan
VICTORIA'S caravanning industry has congratulated Jayco supremo Gerry Ryan
on being appointed to the board of newly created Visit Victoria.
He was appointed by Tourism Minister John Eren, who said the board
comprised a selection of "our leading business and industry figures and
brightest minds". The industry said Mr Ryan would bring a wealth of
knowledge and experience to the body. Its objective is to expand
Victoria's calendar of major events and is the product of a
once-in-a-generation shake-up of tourism and major events in the state.
double in Star Ratings awards
TATHRA Beachside Holiday Park in NSW is celebrating a double win in the
Star Ratings Australia awards. The popular
caravan park blitzed a strong field of national competitors in the Gold
List of Australian accommodation, determined by more than 200 criteria.
The park, located on the Sapphire Coast, snared number one place in the
national top 10 caravan-holiday parks category for best overall guest
experience. It was also voted best park in NSW.
Have your say
1000 RVs on the move after rally
ROADS leading from Mount Panorama at Bathhurst were choked with hundreds
of motorhomes and campervans. More than a
thousand RVs left the famous motor racing circuit after the
Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia's 30th anniversary rally.
Activities during the week-long gathering included seminars, trade stalls,
Menís and Ladiesí Sheds, a craft barn, photography competition, walking
group and tours. The highlight was a Black and White Checkered-themed
Ball. The club's 31st National Rally will be held at Exhibition Park in
Canberra from October 8 to 14.
Have your say
election to feature at national conference
THE political scene will feature prominently at the national conference of
Australia's peak body for the caravanning and camping industry.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia, which represents over 4000
businesses, will hold the three-day talkfest at the Gold Coast's Jupiters
Hotel and Casino beginning May 11. Speaker Matt Hingerty of Barton Deakin
will provide an insight into how the next election is likely to impact the
industry and effective ways to raise business specific issues with
candidates. Meanwhile, John Peters, a senior economist at the Commonwealth
Bank, will address delegates on the state of the economy and how the
Federal budget could affect the caravanning and camping industry. The
event will also feature the inaugural Future Leaders Conference,
specifically created for people under 40 years old in the industry.
Have your say
camper trailers recalled after safety fears
THE giant Jayco manufacturer is recalling nearly 2000 camper trailers
after fears their owners could be injured. The
Victorian company, which produces nearly 50 percent of Australia's RVs,
has warned the vehicles' roof lifting system could suddenly drop up to
450mm when being opened or closed. "It could pose a potential crushing
hazard to hands or limps," it said in a statement. The suspect camper
trailers were manufactured between October 2015 and March this year.
Meanwhile, Jayco has also recalled nearly 100 motorhomes and fifth
wheelers after fears power points were installed too close to ensuite
sinks, presenting an electrocution hazard. Chassis numbers between
S20001 and T90194 could be affected.
New dump point for
THE Goulburn River town of Seymour in Victoria now offers caravanners and
motorhomers a place to empty their onboard toilets.
Mitchell Shire Council has spent about $5000 connecting the new dump point
to sewer and water services. Local mayor Sue Marstaeller said the new dump
point would better support visitors in RVs who often scheduled their
travel itineraries to align with convenient access to this type of
facility. "This important piece of infrastructure was identified in the
Goulburn River Valley Tourism destination management plan and aligns with
the councilís strategy to support Mitchell's growing visitor economy," she
added. The dump point is located on High Street.
Have your say
Council moves to
provide more low-cost camping
FRASER Coast Regional Council in Queensland is seeking expressions of
interest to provide commercial low-cost camping options for the growing RV
market. It has already asked the State
Government to endorse amendments to the area's planning scheme. The
council is encouraging anyone interested to come forward with development
proposals. Plans may include the provision of 100 camp sites or sites for
50 self-contained RVs on rural zoned land or in connection with an
existing caravan park. Meanwhile,
Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council in WA has agreed to allow landowners
to set up small-scale caravan parks if their properties are bigger than 5ha
and zoned for agriculture. The decision, to help accommodate fruit pickers,
has angered some local caravan park owners.
Have your say
thefts prompt police plea
POLICE in South Australia are pleading with caravanners to be more
security conscious. Their appeal came after
thieves made off with two caravans ... one from Dublin and the other from
Evanston Park. "Caravans are popular targets for thieves who steal the
contents, fixtures and fittings as well as the actual caravan," a
spokesperson said. "Many people regard their caravan as a second home, so
if you haven't already considered the security of your valuable asset, now
is the time to protect your home on wheels."
Port Hedland opens
PORT Hedland Turf Club in WA has again thrown open its gates to
self-contained caravans and motorhomes. Mayor
Kelly Howlett said last year's inaugural overflow campsite had been a huge
hit with grey nomads and was expected to be even more popular this year.
But travellers will only be able to use the facility when the Pilborough
town's caravan parks are busy. "Tourists can stay at the overflow campsite
for a maximum of three nights when alternative campsites in town are at 50
percent occupancy or if their self-contained recreational vehicle is too
large to fit into a vacant caravan park spot," Cr Howlett said. Pets were
welcome. It will cost $10 a night, with the money being used to cover
maintenance and monitoring at the facility which will remain open until
Have your say
sale process saves Crusader Caravans
CRUSADER Caravans, which went into voluntary administration after hitting
troubled times a couple of months ago, was saved after a "competitive sale
process", it has been revealed. Administrator
Rahul Goyal, of advisory and investment company KordaMentha Restructuring,
said in a statement: "After running a competitive sale process, we are
pleased to have achieved the sale of the Crusader Caravans manufacturing
business which allows this well established, innovative and high quality
brand to continue." Mr Goyal said the company had been sold to director
Serge Valentino, who founded the company 15 years ago, and a group of new
investors. The sale meant the 50 "dedicated" staff would have the security
of ongoing employment. "Current and future customers will be relieved as
the purchaser is honouring all approved warranties," Mr Goyal said. "This
is rare in these circumstances but shows how much the purchaser believes
in this business and quality of the caravans." The Crusader Caravan Club's
Facebook page reports Mr Valentino as saying the company had undergone a
complete restructure, trimming down to a "lean and efficient financial
model". This followed an injection of capital, plus the introduction of
new ownership and management. "Crusader Caravans is poised to cement its
place as one of Australiaís leading caravan brands," the posting added.
Crusader Caravans has dealerships in Western Australia, Queensland,
Victoria and NSW and offers 18 models through six ranges.
Have your say
Angry councillor takes
Litterbugs blasted as 'disgusting pigs'
FERAL campers are being
accused of seriously littering free camping areas on the banks of the
Murray River in South Australia. Local councillor Kevin Myers took to
Facebook to air his disgust after rubbish was recklessly strewn over
several campsites, including a popular area near Cadell Ferry. "Totally
disgusting pigs," he fumed on Facebook. The Mid Murray councillor, who
posted photographs showing scenes which met council workers after the
Easter holidays, said the local authority had resolved to charge for
camping along the Cadell riverfront, adding: "We think that will bring in
a different clientele."
Have your say
accolade for city's caravan parks
LAKE Macquarie's caravan parks have been applauded by local mayor Jodie
Harrison. The accolade came after her council
scooped a NSW Local Government Excellence in Asset Management award. A
recent tourism study showed that every year about 130,000 visitors to Lake
Macquarie chose to stay in a caravan park or commercial camping ground.
benefited from grants scheme
THE Queensland Government is offering cash for "shovel-ready"
infrastructure projects in the state's south-west.
Councils have been invited to send expressions of interest for a share in
another $70 million worth of Building our Regions grants. The
scheme has already funded a half-million-dollar upgrade at the Birdsville
Have your say
camping on Turquoise Coast
SIX rest areas near Western Australia's Jurien Bay and Cervantes have
become free nature-based camping sites. The
Shire of Dandaragan hopes the Turquoise Coast facilities will help reduce
driver fatigue and encourage caravanners and other travellers to stay
longer in the area. Former picnic spots at Hakea, Banksia and Smokebush
reserves are now 24-hour rest stops, while Drummonds, Wandoo and Tuarts
reserves have a 72-hour limit. Shire chief executive Tony Nottle said the
rest stops would allow self-contained travellers to arrive late and then
potentially spend the next day enjoying the shire. This would benefit
small businesses and boost the local economy. Users must carry at least 20
litres of fresh water, a waste water holding tank and have a portable
toilet cassette. Campers must retain all waste and dispose of it off-site
in appropriate facilities.
Have your say
more parks join Kui chain
KUI Parks has welcomed four new pet-friendly holiday destinations to
its growing number of parks. They are the Toodyay Holiday Park in WA,
Mitchell Caravan Park at Bourke in NSW, Tenterfield Lodge Caravan Park at
Tenterfield in NSW and Spring Creek Caravan Park between Warwick and
Toowoomba in Queensland. Kui was founded about 18 months ago and now
boasts more than 60 budget-priced caravan parks around Australia.
Have your say
Show staff offered
$1000 for each sale
GOLD Coast's Hinterland Motorhomes has advertised for seven-day contract
sales staff, offering them $1000 for each Avida RV they sell at Brisbane's
Caravan Supershow in June. "Currently working
and happy in your job?" the advertisement asks. "Fantastic, take annual
leave and come work with us at the show." It says successful applicants
would even be provided with accommodation in Brisbane. "We want the best
sales people to come along and get customers to the tables, where our
closer will do everything to get the sale," the company said. "We have a
brand new range for the show and are very excited and only want great
people who want to sell and get paid well for their efforts."
Have your say
Adria model has 'Aussie toughness'
SUPERIOR European styling, complete with a side-serve of "Aussie
toughness", feature in Adria Australiaís newly released Altea Sport range
of caravans. Business development manager Richie
Fort said Australian caravan lovers would enjoy the "whole package" of
luxurious interior comforts combined with a practical and durable
exterior. With two different four-berth, and soon to be released six-berth, models
available, the classic Adria Altea is a European Innovation Award winner.
It is built on an AL-KO chassis and features numerous intelligent design
and stylish interior features. "Adriaís 50-year history of innovative
design really shows, but our Sport upgrade takes it to the next level,
making an exceptional caravan more suitable for Australian roads," Mr Fort
Have your say
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Exposing a problem in caravan
park toilet blocks
REGARDING last month's letter from Neralie
Reynolds (see letter here).
You have to wonder where that woman's mind is!
A young girl in a male's public toilet leads to possibilities of
having the wrong men expose themselves intentionally.
It also leads to the possibility of an honest man who got there first
and is relieving himself ending up being viewed by a young girl and
later being charged for indecent exposure in the only place that a man
can use in public.
Have a little sense woman!
Any male toilet is no place for a young girl at ANY time.
Use a block designed for females or if the child's father is the only
parent and has no other choice, there are changing rooms for babies
with toilets in them and also toilets for the disabled where the
father and child can go.
Have some common sense Neralie!
In the end, where do you expect men to relieve themselves?
Would you like to have a strange 10-year-old boy watching you
relieving yourself in the women's block?
WE often read about caravans swaying before
First thing I would ask is why?
Is it fatique, incorrect load distribution or overloading?
In my opinion there needs to be more training in these areas.
If you have never driven a truck the chances are you won't be very
aware of these issues.
We have spent the last three days weighing everything going in our
We ensure plenty of heavy stuff goes behind the axle to balance our
front toolbox and tunnel boot.
Hitch pin thefts
REGARDING last month's story on the warning following
hitch pin thefts (see story here).
Hmm ... has us wondering about the victim's pre-departure safety check
Ian and Sally.
SO the end could be in sight for Arrawarra Beach
caravan park (see story here).
Seems to me to be a short-term gain.
Think of future generations.
JAYCO boss Gerry Ryan recently spoke about the booming caravan
manufacturing industry (see story here).
May be a booming time for Jayco, but while they increase production,
their quality control should be doubled.
Nothing can ruin a holiday like a new caravan with a list of problems
to deal with on return.