Bruce claims more victims
hurt in crash on notorious stretch of highway
TWO elderly caravanners
were taken to hospital after a truck and caravan crash on a notorious
stretch of Queensland's Bruce Highway. The couple, thought to be
in their 70s, were treated at Nambour Hospital for minor injuries.
It is thought the husband suffered a broken ankle. The pile-up happened
south of Caloundra at Bells Creek. One report said the grey nomads' Golden
Eagle caravan had been parked on the hard shoulder of the southbound lanes
with a flat tyre. It was
extensively damaged on one side. The truck and dog trailer, which had also
been travelling south, ended up in a dip on the centre median strip. The high-speed stretch of highway has seen many caravans come to
grief over the past few months.
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news for regional communities as RV registrations soar
OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH CARAVANS CONTINUES TO FLOURISH:
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MORE and more new
caravans are flooding onto our roads as orders continue to flow in.
The industry's peak body, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia,
has revealed a 30 percent rise in caravan registrations.
And campervans registrations have soared by 20 percent.
The good news comes from the latest BDO Caravan and Camping Data Report
which highlights the growing popularity of caravanning and camping around
Combined registrations of caravan and campervans peaked at a record high
of 615,301 for the year ending January 2016.
This represented a 4.9 percent rise on the previous year and makes RVs the
fastest growing vehicle registrations by type in the country.
The total number is made up of 554,34 caravans and 60,957 campervans.
The average age of registered campervans is 17.8 years, suggesting that
two thirds of them will be due for replacement in the coming years.
Sixty-five percent of campervans use diesel fuel while 74 percent have a
tare weight of between 1000 and 5000kg.
Sixty-seven percent of caravans weigh less that 1.5 tonnes, but the
largest growth in the last year has been in the two to 2.5-tonne range.
This indicates a growing trend towards bigger rigs or ones that are loaded
with all the mod cons.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia said the report highlighted the
increasing demand for the caravanning and camping lifestyle in Australia.
This bode well for regional communities which benefited from tourism
generated by this sector.
Storm batters Dicky Beach
By Dennis Amor
FEROCIOUS winds left a trail of damage at a Sunshine
Beach caravan park in Queensland. The five-minute onslaught tore tiles off park
buildings and ripped roofs from caravans at the 137-site Dicky Beach
Holiday Park. Part of the park was evacuated after fears asbestos
had been exposed in one building. A spokeswoman told Caravanning News:
"Not all areas were badly affected by the storm, damage was mainly
confined to the front of the park." Wind gusts of up to 150 km/h brought down trees and sent corrugated sheets
flying across the park. The laundry also lost its roof as terrified caravanners sheltered inside. Miraculously, no one was hurt. One camper
described "tornado-like" conditions in which many caravans, cars and
cabins were damaged. A message on the park's answering service said the
extreme weather event had caused "severe damage".
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Sad news after founder's death
Caravan builder in liquidation
By Dennis Amor
CUSTOM caravan builder
Aussie by Design has ceased trading. The company, based in Port
Wakefield north of Adelaide, is now in liquidation. The news comes 18
months after the death of founder and owner Ian Dutschke, who developed
and refined the company's unique Humpback Smart Vans. A recent general
meeting of company members resolved that the business should be wound up.
Tarquin Koch, of Hrvatin Koch Accounting & Insolvency Services, has been
appointed liquidator. The private company, which described itself as a
'one-stop caravan shop', was launched by ex-farmer Mr Dutschke in 2007.
All caravans were built to order rather than mass produced. Aussie by
Design's website has been taken down and calls to the factory went
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Damage reported to be 'minor'
Over 100 firefighters tackle Avida
By Dennis Amor
from the blaze which broke out at the Avida factory was not a bad as
first feared. More than 100
firefighters tackled the outbreak at the company's caravan and motorhome manufacturing
facility in Sydney. But Avida reported on its Facebook page that
damage was minor. "We would like to thank you for all your well wishes and
would like to advise that we will be back to business as usual on Monday
it said. All workers at the factory in David Road, Emu Plains, were accounted for as flames roared through the building.
Smoke billowed from the premises and all nearby streets were evacuated. No
injuries were reported. Hazmat crews were on the scene. Four people were
treated for smoke inhalation but were not taken to hospital. One report
said the pall of smoke from the fire was clearly visible from Penrith's
central business district. NSW Fire and Rescue said it received multiple
Triple Zero calls and the factory was "well alight" when they arrived.
Major Avida dealer on Queensland's Gold Coast Hinterland Motorhomes has
been in touch with the manufacturer. "They will survive this, the news
makes it look worse than it was," it said. "The Avida production line was undamaged and will continue to produce
motorhomes and caravans as soon as they can. Obviously, due to the damage
in the chassis area, there may be some small delays but the great news is
Avida remains in Australia to build quality products."
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r-oo-d visitor joins family
A YOUNG Newcastle family had to
forcibly evict an unwelcome visitor who leapt into their caravan at a
NSW caravan park. Bec and Justin Larimer had been travelling round
Australia with their three young kids for nearly a year when a cheeky
kangaroo decided to join them in their Jurgens caravan at Bream Beach
Caravan Park in Erowal Bay on the state's South Coast. The roo leapt into their caravan
quite unannounced, much to the family's astonishment.
A funny two-minute online video showing how they dealt with the
problem has now been viewed by people all over the world. The footage was
posted on their website
and Facebook page,
Trip In A Van. "While staying
at this caravan park, a kangaroo just jumped in our 'van to have a look
while we were getting the kids ready for bed," Justin explained.
here or on the photograph to view the video.
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New Age, new
NEW Age Caravans and Walkinshaw Automotive are joining forces.
The new partnership brings together two companies known for cutting edge
design, innovation and manufacturing excellence. Founder and owner of New
Age Caravans Gabby Montagnese said: "Our partnership with Walkinshaw
strengthens our ability to grow and bring new and exciting product lines
to our customers." Earlier this year, New Age strongly denied rumours it
had been bought by Walkinshaw Racing for $38 million.
free-camp's official opening
MEMBERS of the Australian Caravan Club returning from their Shepparton
national muster attended the official opening of the Liverpool Plains new
freedom camping area in NSW. The Willow Tree
facility was officially opened by Liverpool Plains Shire Council deputy
Mayor Doug Hawkins. The pet-friendly camp is situated in Recreation Street
and provides toilets and showers, potable water and caters for large
caravans and motorhomes. Club deputy chairman Tom Smith presented Cr
Hawkins with an ACC RVSTAY sign for the site. Cr Hawkins said $25,228 had
been poured into the local economy by ACC members.
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trip to the races
LAST month, Caravanning News reported on Australia's luckiest
caravanners who were scooping millions from the state's Lotterywest.
Now we report on a couple vying for the title of the country's unluckiest
caravanners. Graeme and Sue Costin from the Maitland suburb of Windella in
NSW joined thousands of other caravanners heading for this year's iconic
Birdsville races in south-west Queensland. It was one of their bucket-list
dreams and with their 40th wedding anniversary on the same weekend seemed
the ideal trip. The planned 4000km 12-week adventure began smoothly enough
... but then turned into a nightmare. Read More
Peak body in
THE caravan industry's peak body continues to take its concerns to the
corridors of power in Canberra. Caravan Industry
Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont and government
relations and policy officer Julian Harniman recently met with Minister
for Small Business Michael McCormack. The meeting was part of a concerted
effort that will see the association hold talks with over 12 sitting MPs
in the coming weeks to discuss caravan industry issues.
miss out on Elvis Festival
THE town of Parkes in central New South Wales is set to be all shook up.
But there will be no shake, rattle and rolling
for caravanners who haven't already arranged accommodation for next year's
five-day iconic Elvis Festival. "Local caravan parks are already booked
out," the event's communications manager, Matt Fraser, told Caravanning
News. Next year's event marks the festival's 25th anniversary, and it
promises to be huge. Read More
flock to leisurefest
MELBOURNE Leisurefest attracted a record number of visitors.
A total of 32,175 enthusiasts passed through the turnstiles compared with
30,028 last year. The four-day event at Sandown Racecourse was organised
by the Caravan Industry Association Victoria.
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raises $11,000 for Camp Quality
THE recent third annual Jayco Newcastle Caravan and Camping Expo, attended
by over 4000 enthusiasts, raised $11,618 for a children's cancer charity.
Camp Quality event manager Donna George said the money would give 13 local
youngsters living with cancer the chance to get away from it all on a
kids' camp. "Whilst on camp, cancer takes a back seat as they enjoy just
being kids," she said. "It was great to see the Jayco staff in action and
meet lots of their customers. Thank you again so much for allowing Camp
Quality into the Jayco Newcastle family." Jayco Newcastle has just been
named Best Regional Dealer for the third year running at the NSW Caravan
and Camping Industry Awards of Excellence.
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most popular for travel.
MORE and more Australians are choosing Victoria for their holidays.
Government data reveals that 21.6 million visitors to the state spent over
$12 billion in the year ending June 2016. In fact, Victoria is now the
second most popular state or territory for travel in the country, ahead of
traditional holiday hotspot, Queensland. "Australia's love affair with
caravanning and camping is still strong with families turning to
holidaying in recreational vehicles to reconnect with each other away of
the demands of technology," Caravan Industry Association Victoria chief
executive Rob Lucas said.
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steps into caravan rego fray
THE long-running saga over "exorbitant" caravan registration fees in New
South Wales continues. Disgruntled caravan
owners took their grouse to the state Government some years ago, but it
appears very little has been done to remedy the situation. One Newcastle
caravan owner told Caravanning News: "It's highway robbery considering we
only use our caravan for about four weeks a year ... and then mainly on
roads outside NSW." MP Kate Washington has now stepped into the fray,
accusing NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay of failing to honour a 2014
Government promise to reduce the cost of registering a caravan.
DUBBO Regional Council has granted new 10-year approvals to operate
caravan parks and primitive camping grounds at Lake Burrendong and
Mookerawa Waters. Council administrator Michael
Kneipp said the move recognised the more professional approach now being
taken to manage the parks since NSW Crown Holidays Parks Trust assumed the
role. "The parks were subject to a review to assess and report on
applications for approval to continue operation of the respective caravan
parks and camping grounds," he said. "The review supported granting of a
new consent subject to conditions to ensure compliance with regulations."
Mr Kneipp said millions had been spent improving the parks in recent
years, and he expected more big improvements during the next four or five
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fails to dampen rallyists' spirits
OVER 600 caravans descended on Canberra for the 16th National Caravan
Clubs rally. After months of rain, 1122 members
from 81 mainland clubs were determined not let the weather dampen their
spirits at Exhibition Park. "We had to abandon some areas because of the
nature of the ground," spokesman Ray Swift told Caravannng News.
"But the rally has been seen as very successful notwithstanding the
weather." One rally official had to brave a dive-bombing magpie as he
attempted to help site caravans for the nine-day gathering.
NSW's recent Awards of Excellence showcased the best in the state's
holiday parks and residential communities, quality dealerships and service
providers, and manufacturing excellence. "They
are a hallmark of outstanding quality and service and form a valuable part
of the ongoing success of our industry," Caravan & Camping Industry
Association of NSW president Theo Whitmont said. "In the past year where
we have seen a remarkable 22 percent increase in the number of visitor
nights spent in caravan parks and campsites across NSW and this has come
in large part as a result of the high standards of service and product
offerings being delivered by our members."
a 'one-stop shop' for caravanners
MORE people than ever are enjoying the delights of the great Aussie
caravan and camping holiday, according to NSW's caravan industry.
And, it said, the upcoming South Coast Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo
would be a "one-stop" shop and the best place to find all the latest
products and accessories needed to join the throng. Over a hundred
exhibitors are preparing to showcase their products at Mackay Park in
Batemans Bay from November 4 to 6. Read More
get the push
THE days of families enjoying long-term caravan sites at a Lennox Head
holiday park in NSW are over. Crown Holiday
Parks Trust earlier this year decided they must be cleared to make room
for more short-term sites. Sixteen mobile homes, some up to 30 years old,
have now been dismantled at the North Coast holiday park. Disappointed
families, who had named their area in the park Struggle Street,
mourned the "loss of a community". A Trust spokeswoman told media that
removing the long-term caravans meant more room for tourist sites. Holiday
caravans had an average occupancy of only 10 to 15 percent compared to 45
percent for powered tourist sites, she added.
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to double as tourist park
A SEASIDE town's pub on Queensland's Burrum Coast will soon be doubling as
a caravan park. Bundaberg Regional Council has
given the green light for the Woodgate Beach Hotel south of Bundaberg to
incorporate a 27-site tourist park. Locals are said to have welcomed the
decision, hoping it would bring more people to the town. Work on the
development is scheduled to begin this month. Tourists will be able to
stay for up to 14 days, with no permanent residents allowed.
New camping limits
at Queensland dam
GREY nomads overstaying their welcome at a
popular dam in Queensland has resulted in a two-week camping limit.
The news comes amid reports of travellers setting up semi-permanent
campsites and even erecting 'Keep Out' signs at Wuruma Dam near Eidsvold,
where overnight camping is free. SunWater said it had introduced new restrictions "to address overcrowding
and to promote more equal access". "These new length-of-stay rules will
help alleviate some of the strain on facilities and a consistent turnover
of campers will give everyone more equal access to the site," it said.
Similar restrictions have already been introduced at Burdekin Falls and
Eungella dams due to long-stay campers. Read
crooks had better watch out
THIEVES targeting travellers at a Sunshine Coast caravan park had better
watch out. Cotton Tree Caravan Park, which has
direct access to the beach, will be included in a new Beach Watch
programme launched at Mooloolaba. The initiative brings together the
Queensland Police Service, Neighbourhood Watch, Surf Lifesaving Queensland
and the Sunshine Coast Council. It aims to encourage the community to
report crime and suspicious activity so that there is more detection,
apprehension and prosecution. "This will improve the security of people
and property, and make our beaches and caravan parks safer," police said.
The initiative is being funded by Australasia Neighbourhood Watch.
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boss praises staff
FLEETWOOD staff have been praised for helping the caravan builder survive
a dramatic plunge in orders. The
Perth-based company has now recorded a "substantial increase" in demand
for its Coromal and Windsor range of caravans. But in a recent report to
shareholders the company said that while this was very encouraging, the
business was not expected to return to profitability during the first half
of the current financial year. "However, given how orders are trending,
the board has confidence in the direction the business is taking," it
said. Managing director Brad Denison (pictured) wrote: "On behalf of the
directors, I sincerely thank our people for rising to meet these
challenges. Difficult trading conditions in some areas and taking
advantage of new markets required our people to extend themselves."
Meanwhile, Fleetwood investor Sandon Capital said the company's previous
excuses for poor performance deflected from the real issues that need to
be addressed and promising improvement that never seemed to materialise.
shows how ESC can save the day
RACING driver Beck Connell put a worried look on the faces of quite a few
caravanners at the recent Melbourne Leisurefest.
Sitting next to Beck in a Commodore towing a single-axle caravan, they
hung on as her test rig sped down Sandown Raceway's front straight ... and
developed the wobbles. But they needn't have worried, AL-KO's
revolutionary electronic stability control unit quickly brought the
caravan back into line. The caravanners were taking part in swerve and
recovery tests to experience just how effective the technology is. Beck, a
competitive racer for over a decade, performed over 300 test drives during
the four-day leisurefest. Read More
unveils dedicated off-roader
AUSTRALIA'S biggest manufacturer of recreational vehicles has produced its
first true off-roader after two years of dedicated development.
The prototype rolled off the factory assembly line with
only days to spare before it was due to be unveiled at the recent
Melbourne Leisure Show. Despite being without a name, it has already
attracted much attention. Jayco now offers a comprehensive range
stretching from a tiny J-pod micro caravan to the new robust off-roader.
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