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Northbound traffic on Pacific Highway in NSW at a crawl after accident involving caravan and car near Newcastle.
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MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Enough travellers for parks and free camps
NYNGAN has withdrawn from being
an RV-friendly town.
These sort of towns and narrow-minded people disappoint me.
Most people who are travelling have worked hard their whole lives
to be able to enjoy their retirement and travel.
Most wouldn't have taken many holidays through their working life
and be able to get out there to enjoy what Australia has to offer.
We are not self-funded retirees ... we've worked hard and paid off
our modest house and caravan.
But if we had to go into caravan parks every night at an average
price of $35 we just wouldn't be able to travel at all.
All our money goes on petrol, food and bills.
Don't these towns realise there are heaps of people out there who
simply don't like free camping and will stay in the parks.
And the ones who do free camp usually spend money locally too.
It doesn't take long for word to get around to avoid an
There are thousands of travellers out
there ... enough to go around the caravan parks and for those to free
Should RAC be spending like
SO the RAC is planning to buy more caravan parks (see
I do not think it should be spending members' money like this.
After all, it is supposed to be a motoring organisation ... not an
Sadness over Regent going to
SO Regent Caravans has new overseas owners (see story
I feel very sad that yet again an Australian product has been sold off
It is such a shame that new Regents may be sent here as flat packed
caravans to be assembled in Australia.
We had just bought a new Regent Cruiser a couple of months prior to the
sale of the company.
We really love our 'van and have been assured we will still be covered
under warranty etc by the company we purchased from.
safety always critically important'
Minister warns of festive fires
FAMILIES are being urged
to take caravan safety seriously over Christmas. Queensland Fire and
Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said people should take some
simple steps before setting off on vacation. "Plans for your caravan trip
shouldn’t only include where you are going and the type of food to take.
You should also consider fire safety," he said. "On average, Queensland
firefighters respond to more than one caravan fire every week so it's
essential to have a plan and the correct fire safety equipment before
hitting the road." This included a photoelectric smoke alarm, fire blanket
and a fire extinguisher on board to survive a fire emergency. Mr Dempsey
said most caravan fires in Queensland were started by cooking equipment.
The state's Fire and Emergency Services acting manager of Community
Engagement, Kevin Reading, said caravans were often made from relatively
combustible materials and could pose a greater fire risk than other
dwellings. "Whether you're camping in a caravan park or somewhere remote,
fire safety is always critically important," he said. "Make your trip fire
safe by turning off gas cylinders while the caravan is being towed or
campervan engine is on and before going to bed."
Have your say
do not want to pay for facilities they do not use'
New chain of
budget-priced parks hits scene
Kenau and Bert: new caravan
chain 'fills the gap'
Have your say
A NEW chain of caravan parks
specifically for budget-conscious travellers has made its national debut.
Kui Parks, a growing group of cost-effective, clean and friendly parks, was unveiled at the recent Caravan & Camping Leisurefest in
Created by experienced caravanners Bert and Kenau van Spronsen, the
network of nomad-friendly parks has signed up its first 20 holiday
destinations and aims to top 100 within a year.
It has nine parks in Victoria, six in Queensland, four in New South Wales
and ACT and another in Tasmania.
Bert van Spronsen said Kui Parks "fills the gap" between free camping and
resort-style holiday parks, offering inexpensive, nomad-friendly
facilities run by independent caravan park operators.
"Nomads seek cost effective and clean, friendly parks while travelling,
and they do not want to pay for facilities they don’t use," he explained.
"There are four key criteria nomads require – a park must be cost
effective and well maintained, with clean amenities and friendly staff –
and this is what they can expect at Kui Parks.
"And even nomads with young families are not always looking for resort
facilities – they are more likely to visit a rock pool, go trail walking
or visit unique local attractions."
Before being accepted into the chain, all parks are thoroughly checked out
personally by Bert and Kenau.
Caravanners becoming members of Kui Parks are entitled to a 10 percent
discount on site fees up to a $30 maximum.
Lucky to be alive, say police
Farmer find father and
By Dennis Amor
NEWSFLASH: Father and two sons found safe and well but very
hungry by local farmer. Vehicle bogged in isolated and rugged Expedition
National Park near
Taroom in central western Queensland.
Police said they were lucky to have been found alive.
POLICE believe heavy
rains could have stranded a father and his two young sons somewhere in a
remote part of Queensland. Now they have appealed to caravanners and
other travellers to keep an eye open for Lota man Steven Van Lonkhuyzen
and Ethan (7) and Timothy (5) who may be in an off road or isolated
location between Brisbane and Cairns. They were last seen at a Miles servo
on December 11. Detective Acting Superintendent Owen Elloy, South Brisbane
District, said it was possible the trio had packed their trailer with
camping gear and headed off road. It is believed Mr Van Lonkhuyzen was
planning to travel to Cairns via Dingo and Charters Towers and was
expected to arrive in the northern city on December 15 but has made no
contact with family or friends since last week. "This is a vast
geographical area and many roads are cut due to localised flooding or
swollen creeks," Detective Acting Superintendent Elloy said. "If Mr Van
Lonkhuyzen has gone off road, onto isolated tracks or dirt roads, it is
possible that he and his sons have become stranded." Police appealed to
property owners, station workers and motorists and travellers to stop and
check camping areas, rest stops and publicly accessible private roads and
tracks. They are travelling in a 1995 model white Mitsubishi Pajero,
Queensland registration 426 MCZ, towing a silver trailer.
Have your say
Miracle escape on highway
Caravan family 'lucky to be alive'
POLICE believe fatigue
could have played a part in a spectacular caravan accident in South
Australia. They said a family was "lucky to be alive" after
their rig flipped on a straight stretch of the Eyre Highway at about 4.15pm. A spokesperson said
their car towing a single-axle Jayco Expanda caravan was heading east towards Ceduna when the driver
lost control about 23km east of Penong. "The car completely overturned and
the caravan was left on its side with both facing in the opposite
direction," the spokesperson said. "Miraculously the occupants of the car
escaped with only minor injuries." Police reminded drivers to rest 15
minutes every two hours when travelling long distances.
Have your say
industry fires broadside at CMCA
THE Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia has copped a caning from
Western Australia's caravan industry. It came in
a submission to Esperance shire council which was considering a request
from the 66,000-member club to join its RV Friendly Town scheme. This
would involve the south-east coastal town ‒ population around 10,000 ‒
providing free or budget camping, water, dump point, signage and other
benefits for travellers. But the Caravan Industry Association Western
Australia, which represents 150 caravan parks and 100 caravan-related
businesses, expressed fierce opposition to the plan.
fear sparks Jayco recall
SCORES of Jayco Silverline caravans have been recalled after fears
ensuites could be become deathtraps. This follows the
discovery that 240V sockets have been incorrectly placed. "If water is splashed onto the
power point it may cause an electric shock," Australia's biggest
manufacturer of recreational vehicles has warned. The 86 suspect caravans
were sold nationwide. Owners have been urged to stop using the power point
immediately and contact their local dealer or service agent to arrange for
it to be relocated. For a full list of affected caravans,
Caravan Industry’s favourite son honoured
BRAD Illich has been named the Queensland Tourism Industry's Young
Achiever of the Year. A lifelong worker in
Australia's tourism industry, the 31-year-old said he was honoured to win
the award. His family owns and operates Ashmore Palms Holiday Village and
Brisbane Holiday Village. Brad's holiday park management and online
booking system NewBook now competes head-on with large, long-established
Nyngan not RV unfriendly, says council
BOGAN Shire Council in central NSW has denied that the tiny town of Nyngan
is RV unfriendly. The council came in for
criticism after deciding last year to ban free overnight stays for
caravans, motorhomes and campervans at its showground. Now, after reading
a reader's letter in the current edition of Caravanning News, it
has admitted in a statement that it had received "a lot of emails, letters
and adverse comments". But, it stressed, nothing has changed. "Our
attitude to any travellers passing through Nyngan remains that they are
welcome to stop, stay and shop in our friendly town," it said.
home will mean more space
AUSTRALIA'S biggest outdoors caravan and leisure show is on the move.
After celebrating its 60th birthday this year, the Victorian Caravan,
Camping & Touring Supershow will next year relocate from Caulfield
Racecourse to its new home at Melbourne Showgrounds. It will mark the dawn
of a new era, with even more of the latest and greatest caravans, camping
gear and outdoors accessories on display from February 11 to 16 than was
previously possible ... and the return of CIL Insurance as the major
production 'a beacon of hope'
AUSTRALIAN RV production statistics released by the Caravan Industry
Association of Australia tell a story of recovery and growth in the
Australian auto-manufacturing sector. New
recreational vehicle production figures for September showed a
year-on-year growth of 9.8 percent, compared to September 2013, and
overall production for 2014 was 5.1 percent higher than in 2013. RV
registrations have increased by 21.6 percent since 2008. The association
described the production increases as "a beacon of hope".
Park boss pays
tribute to actor and war vet
ALOHA Caravan Park owner Russell Neville delivered a eulogy at the funeral
of aboriginal actor and Korean War veteran Steve Dodd.
Eighty-six-year-old Mr Dodd, who had lived at the caravan
park at St Georges Basin, NSW, for about 20 years, died after a short
illness. The former stockman, horse breaker and rodeo rider played the
role of an indigenous Australian in advertisements and movies, including
Gallipoli and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, for about 70 years. Over 150
people farewelled him at the funeral on a waterfront reserve outside the
caravan park. Mr Neville told Caravanning News he had known Mr Dodd
for about 15 years. "He was a gentle soul who would never say bad words
against anyone," he said. "There was something spiritual about him."
Have your say
fined $15,000 after dog attack
NSW grey nomad Janet Walker, 68, whose dog mauled a man's leg in
Queensland has been hit with a $15,000 fine.
Caloundra Magistrates Court on the Sunshine Coast heard how an 81-year-old
pedestrian spent a month in hospital and underwent skin grafts after the
vicious German shepherd sank its teeth into his calf. The dog had already
been declared dangerous by the Greater Taree Council and should have been
wearing a muzzle, the court was told. The attack happened as Mrs Walker
was taking the leashed and choke-chained dog on its morning walk. The
animal was later put down. Mrs Walker was charged under the Animal
Management Act which carries a maximum penalty of $34,000. Magistrate
Stephanie Tonkin said a message had to be sent to the community. She hoped
other dog owners would be alerted to the consequences they could face by
not taking the requisite care of their animals.
Have your say
pooches live the high life
PAMPERED pooches can now holiday in luxury at a 4.5-star Victorian caravan
park. Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park, a
member of the Top Tourist chain, is now offering two dog-friendly cabins
for guests who can't bare to be separated from their pets. Their
dogs can sleep inside the cabins and are provided with a kennel, water
bowl and a specially labelled pet towel so owners can dry off their pooch
after a walk along the beach.
industry donates $5000 to RSL
VICTORIA'S caravan industry has donated $5000 to Bendigo District RSL to
support its welfare work for veterans of all conflicts in which
Australians have served. The gift from the
Caravan Industry Association of Victoria coincided with the
recent 13th annual Caravan & Camping Leisurefest at Bendigo Racecourse.
President Peter May presented the cheque to the RSL president, Cliff
Richards. "We're delighted to help the RSL with its welfare work, which
shows our veterans in a very practical way that we appreciate what they
have done for our country," Mr May said.
rollovers will increase
More caravans coming to grief
AN increasing number of
caravan rollovers are being reported as more and more RV adventurers hit
the road. Major insurer CIL dealt with 135 claims last year and there
could be even more this year. Rarely a week passes without police
reporting an accident involving an overturned caravan. Now, Caravan and
Motorhome Book’s Collyn Rivers has prepared a
special feature for Caravanning News shedding light on why some
rigs come to grief on our highways. "I seriously believe that unless this
issue is addressed at industry level, caravan rollovers will increase," he
vineyards caravan park plan
SINGLETON Council in NSW has rejected plans for a new caravan park in the
Hunter Valley vineyards. Councillors threw out
Casuarina Estates' development application, claiming it did not comply
with state and local planning guidelines. Local landowners were also
against the plan. Councillors believed it was not in the public interest
to allow the park to go ahead, suggesting it would lead to over
Have your say
snaps up Bougainvllia for $12m
THE family-owned Bougainvillia Holiday Park at Tewantin in Queensland, a
member of BIG4 chain, has been bought by Ingenia Communities Group for
$12.5 million. Ingenia chief executive Simon
Owen said the 6.5ha park opposite the Tewantin Noosa Golf Club was "an
attractive investment delivering a strong yield and diversified revenue
base". It offers 43 permanent homes and 135 short term sites for caravan,
camping and cabin accommodation. Facilities include jumping castle, camp
kitchen, games room, two swimming pools shop and petrol station.
Have your say
assist for Bailey owners
BAILEY Australia has launched a scheme to help keep owners of its caravans
on the road. Highly trained, Bailey-specific
experts are now on call 24/7 under its new Bailey Roadside Assist
program. The company has teamed up with NRMA to guarantee owners can
receive help when they need it most. The service is being offered free for the
first 12 months to all new Unicorn Series 2 and 3 customers. Other owners
can join for $250.
Have your say
DESPITE a difficult year, Aspen Group, which operates a chain of 23
holiday and accommodation parks, is confident about the future.
It recorded a statutory loss of $81.8m for the year but chairman Frank
Zipfinger believes hard work has provided a "sound basis" to move the
group forward. Speaking at the company's annual general meeting, he said
the board was "acutely aware" that returns to shareholders in recent years
had been "unacceptable".
rejects appeal plea
THERE will be no appeal against the jail sentence of a truckie who killed
grey nomad Suzanne Caudell (pictured) as she controlled traffic at road
works on Queensland's notorious Bruce Highway.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has revealed this in a letter to widower
Colin Caudell, who now lives in a Sunshine Coast caravan park. Truckie
Thomas White was handed a three-year jail term, to be suspended after 10
months, after being convicted of the dangerous operation of a vehicle.
Rockhampton District Court was told the 60-year-old's B-double had been travelling 46km/h over the speed limit
before it hit Mrs Caudell, 64. The
Caudells were working as traffic controllers near Marlborough during a
break from their round-Australia travels in a fifth-wheeler. Mr Caudell
told media he felt betrayed by the sentence which he considered too
Have your say
Mayor to open
Ballarat's new free campground
BALLARAT mayor John Philips will officially open a new campground for
travellers this month. The facility at Wendouree
on the outskirts of the Victorian city has been designed for
self-contained caravans and motorhomes. Travellers will be allowed to stay
for up to 48 hours for free. The official opening will take place at 1pm
on December 6.
Have your say
Traveller may have
Appeal to 'vanner after fatal crash
POLICE are hunting a
caravanner who might be able to help their investigations into a fatal
accident in Queensland. The rider of an orange Harley-Davidson motorcycle
died when his machine collided with a truck on the Capricorn Highway,
about 30km west of Gracemere. Rockhampton Forensic Crash
Unit officers have now appealed for anyone who saw the vehicles before the
October 31 crash to come forward. In particular, they would like to trace the driver
of a white extra cab utility towing a "poptop-type" caravan (see
photograph) which is believed to have been in the area. They think the
caravanner could have vital information which could assist them. Anyone
with information is urged to call Rockhampton Police or Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000.
Have your say
VICTORIAN caravan builder Colorado Caravans is giving people with mental
illness a chance to work. The family-owned and
operated company, founded 15 years ago, has already taken on five members
of staff with disabilities. General manager Sam Sakkal has now urged other
businesses to follow Colorado's example. "You won’t regret it. You won’t
get more loyal staff," he told his local newspaper.
Have your say
delivers blueprint to pollies
NSW'S politicians have been handed a blueprint for building on the state's
$2 billion caravan and camping sector. The
State’s peak industry body, the CCIA NSW, says the next state government
has the opportunity to stimulate further growth. It has now delivered its
Key Issues, NSW Election 2015 document to ministers and shadow
ministers, offering constructive advice on policy measures to ensure this
happens. "Last year we saw a 15 percent growth in the number of visitors
using caravan and camping accommodation in NSW and we know the market has
a lot of room for further expansion," president Theo Whitmont said.
continues near-record run
THE Caravan and Camping Leisurefest at Bendigo, Victoria, attracted more
than 14,000 visitors for the fourth time in five years, organisers have revealed.
A total of 14,100 people flocked to the local racecourse to see – and in
many cases buy – the latest in caravanning and camping gear. Caravan
Industry Association of Victoria chief executive Robert Lucas
said the attendance almost matched the all-time record.
LEADING tourist and caravan park chain BIG4 Holiday Parks says it has "revolutionised"
its digital presence with a revamped website.
The site now provides improved functionality and benefits offering a
consistent and full responsive website experience whether visitors are
using a computer, tablet or mobile device. Executive general manager
(strategy) Kari Hunter believes the new functionality will lead to people
spending more time exploring the website and an increase in bookings.
"We're responding to the changing needs of our guests by introducing a
dynamic site that engages with users throughout their visit," she said.
smokers told to butt out
CARAVANNERS and campers will soon no longer be
able to enjoy a quiet smoke in NSW's national parks.
The State Government will slap a blanket ban on cigarettes in its 860
parks from January in a bid to reduce litter and bushfires. Environment
Minister Rob Stokes said seven billion cigarette butts littered the nation
every year, putting lives and property at risk, ruining beaches, spoiling
the beauty of parks and endangering wildlife. Butts contained hazardous
chemicals such as arsenic and lead, which leached into the environment,
contaminating waterways and the environment, he said. The ban will apply
at picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and on
national park roads.
Have your say
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Value of new compliance
SO the peak caravan industry body has another
compliance badge (see story and photo here).
I would suggest this is another useless, meaningless piece of
decoration that will give false hope to caravan buyers that their
caravan is manufactured to regulations.
It is no different to the previous RVMAA round sticker.
I complained to this industry body about my illegal safety chains
(2500k max capacity on my 3500k 'van) and it was not interested.
Same as it was not interested in my non-compliant chassis and its
It ended up costing me $10,000 to repair. I successfully sued the
Compliance checking and auditing
WHAT compliance checking and auditing is done to
ensure manufacturers are complying with this standard?
And what assistance does the association provide to a
purchaser who encounters an issue with their caravan and a
manufacturer does not address it appropriately?
Rest areas: common sense needed
I WOULD like
to comment on the story about a truckie designing a segregated rest
area (see story
I know about the importance of rest stops for trucks and totally
As caravaners we do at times find it difficult to find a place to
With hubby (driver) a diabetic, it is also important for us to stop.
We are always set up early in the afternoon for the night (not in
truck stops) but morning tea and lunch stops are sometimes hard to
Not only important for diabetics but also for everyone else who need
to take rest
Sometimes you will find many stops close together ... then you can
go for miles with nothing.
Definitely some common sense by road planners needed for the number
of travellers on the road requiring the same rest facilities
provided for trucks.
ACC promotes separate areas
Australian Caravan Club has been promoting separate areas in rest
areas for some time.
It was discussed at the Queensland rest area forum in Toowoomba last
We also encourage RVers not to park close to tables and chairs and
therefore stopping the general motorists from using them.
One man's view
of Galaxy demise
I WOULD like
to offer my view on Galaxy going belly up (see story
I see they were having a cry about those terrible imports.
Maybe they should have reduced costs by getting on board with modern
world-class construction methods.
the quality dropped off the day Steve Borg walked away from Galaxy.
It seems the
company has been in decline ever since.