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Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

February 2015
 

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

FEB 26: Fleetwood Corporation, builders of Coromal and Windsor caravans, reports 18pc fall in revenue during first-half ending December 2014.

FEB 23: Diesel spill on road blamed for accident in which caravan and tow vehicle slid and rolled down embankment on Midland Hwy, Daylesford, Victoria, today.

FEB 23: Aspen Group's results for half-year ending December 2014 show before-tax operating profit of $7.8m, 6pc down on last year's corresponding period.

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

MORE  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Don't blame the highway for accidents

SEEMS to be considerably more accidents on the Bruce Highway over the last six months.

It's not the highway, it's the driver towing responsibly that is the issue.

People need to be educated on downhill towing and that shifting down gears and braking will alleviate jackknifing.

As for straight and other sections of the highway, perhaps keeping an eye on speed and looking in the rear view mirrors would help.

These people frustrate me immensely as I get the brunt of jokes from people about how useless a lot of caravanners are and particularly the arrogance of a lot of them.

Age doesn't entitle people to any more or less than others whilst travelling this great country (and I'm 60).

Chris Evans.


If only ...

I READ last month's story on the crash investigator pinpointing the cause of caravan rollovers (see story here).

Great article ... if only people would adhere to this advice.

But it appears many caravanners would rather be first at the free camp or destination which is often too far to drive in one day comfortably!

Chris.


Kui welcomed

THE emergence of a new chain of low-cost caravan parks in response to market demands is a major breakthrough in the current stand-off between resort-style holiday parks and freedom campers.

It was reported that Kui Parks, launched recently in Bendigo, aims to have 100 nomad-friendly parks within a year (see story here).

Along with the CMCA's RV-Friendly town scheme and the existing network of free and low-cost community camps and showgrounds, Kui Parks will offer an alternative to expensive holiday parks.

The caravan park industry is currently going through a time of massive upheaval as its market changes and evolves.

I hope that grey nomads support this new chain of cost-effective parks which is taking a proactive approach to meeting the needs of a dramatically changing market.

Sandra Brown.

Sensible idea

BRILLIANT, and great to see somebody has a sensible idea of low-fee caravan parks with just the basics.

Nomads don't need all the frills ... just clean ablutions, water and electricity.

Well done. I for one will use Kui Parks.

Jytte Christensen.


Dirt and power

WE were looking forward to seeing WA from Perth up to the Kimberley.

But caravan parks in WA leave a lot to be desired, and we mean a lot.

You have to pay between $54 to $65 a night for a powered site for two people, and you have to pay up-front.

In a large percentage of these caravan parks, all you get is dirt and power, and in some places the power was limited.

No using air conditioners and electric jugs.

Our advice is give them a wide berth when you can and free-camp. Even try farm or cattle station stays and/or national and state parks.

Eddy & Glen Kellerman.

Disgusted

I DON'T like staying in most caravans parks because of overcrowding, some charging too much and showers not being professionally cleaned.

We are only pensioners and don't mind paying an affordable fee, but most now are charging well over $35 a night.

We also take our dog and are limited to where we can go.

Many caravan parks we have been in don't even have sullage, grey water goes over the ground.

We have been in many where toilets are blocked or don't flush properly.

I am disgusted at what we have seen.

Natalie McDonnel.


Check charter

CHECK out the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia's charter.

If you have the average car plus caravan you can pay to be a member... but don’t get voting rights.

So wouldn't it be about time to point that out to all who don't know with: "Would you PAY to be told to SHUT UP?"

Personally, if they don’t want us I think someone should be starting a caravans ONLY club and start pushing CMCA out of the way!

Greg,
Katoomba.




 


Winnebago Minnie Adria

Winnebago Minnie

Adria

National hunt underway

Caravan crooks steal
unique Winnebagos

By Dennis Amor

BRAZEN thieves have made off with two Winnebago caravans just days after the new Winnegago RV company was officially launched in Australia. A nationwide hunt is now underway for the unique caravans which were stolen from a holding yard in Annandale Road, Tullamarine, Victoria. The caravan crooks also stole three European Adria caravans. Both brands are marketed by the Apollo Group. The grey Minnie Winnebagos were the company's first two official American-built caravans to be imported to Australia. Winnebago RV chief executive Luke Trouchet was shocked by the bold theft and urged anyone with information to come forward. "The theft would have been a major operation at our yard on Sunday night or early Monday morning requiring at least five vehicles with tow bars," he said. "None of these caravans have been delivered to buyers yet, so if you see one on the road you know it's stolen."  Have your say


'Story of continued strength and growth'

RV output soars

The Jayco factory where 50 caravans roll off the production line every day.

The Jayco factory at Dandenong South where 50 caravans roll off the
production line every day.

Highest figures on record

Have your say

CARAVAN production in Australia is booming, according to the industry's peak body.

The news comes as more and more people hit the road, with over 500,000 rigs now registered.

New figures released by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia reveal the highest monthly RV production on record.

This is in sharp contrast to Australia's motor industry which has been crushed by foreign imports.

Last October's monthly total of 2152 RVs produced was the highest ever.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said the new statistics told a story of continued strength and growth in the recreational vehicle manufacturing industry.

Production figures for last October showed a year-on-year growth of 4.7 percent compared to the corresponding month in 2013.

Mr Lamont: strength

Mr Lamont

Since 2008, RV registrations have risen by 21.6 percent (528,869 up from 414,469).

The strength of Australia's caravanning and camping industry was undeniable, association chief executive Stuart Lamont said.

"The manufacturers are a big part of what makes our industry strong, and contribute to the growth and future of the industry in Australia.

"Australians are optimistic and adaptable. Their RV needs have changed, and so have the technologies and processes involved in Australian RV manufacturing."

His association was pressing the government on the issue of enforcing Australian Design Standards, some of the toughest in the world.

"With deregulation of the government's agenda, it is important that consumers purchasing products in our industry are supplied with products that are able to stand up to the rigours of the Australian landscape," Mr Lamont said.

"RVs that are made in Australia, and comply with our rigorous design regulations, are the best products for use in Australia’s unique environment and conditions."


The deserted Moore Park Beach caravan park today

The deserted Moore Park
Beach caravan park

Coastal parks abandoned

Marcia's might sends caravanners packing

By Dennis Amor

QUEENSLAND caravan parks were busy mopping up after destructive category-5 Cyclone Marcia thundered in from Pacific Ocean. Many parks on the Sunshine Coast were left empty as travellers headed to the hills for safety. It was the same story at low-lying holiday parks in Marcia's path. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said parts of Queensland had been in the grip of a terrifying and potentially deadly weather event. But Queenslanders in the state's south heaved a sigh of relief after the treacherous cyclone was downgrraded to a tropical low, but not before it had left a trail of damage in Yeppoon and Rockhampton.  Ms Palaszczuk said people had been through a harrowing ordeal. "We're very lucky, we're very fortunate, we've had no reports of serious injuries." Cyclone Marcia impacted on many oceanside holiday parks. The seafront caravan park at Yeppoon was evacuaCyclone Marcia's predicted pathted, while Boyne Island Caravan Park near Gladstone was asked to voluntarily evacuate. Some campers from the Agnes Water Beach holiday park moved to the local evacuation centre, but other caravanners packed up and abandoned their sites. Assistant manager Sharyn Norris told Caravanning News only two caravans, a camper trailer and a motorhome occupied by the local doctor remained at the seafront park, which has just over 60 sites. Meanwhile, travellers fled Bundaberg council's waterfront caravan park at Moore Park Beach, with only one tourist caravan remaining onsite. Further north, Baffle Creek caravan park was also empty. Caravans and campervans sheltered at Rockhampton's Birch Carroll and Coyle cinemas and were lucky to escape damage at the building's roof disappeared into the storm. The tropical cyclone, packing wind gusts of over 250kph, crossed the coast at Shoalwater Bay north of Yeppoon and headed south at about 15kph. It dumped up to 300mm of rain on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane areas.  Have your say


Dr Keith Suter

More emphasis needed on health benefits

'RV industry needs to sell sizzle, not sausage'

By Dennis Amor

AUSTRALIA's caravan industry helps reduce our healthcare bill by encouraging outdoor activities. That's the view of Dr Keith Suter who will address the World RV Conference in Melbourne later this month. "The RV industry has the challenge of communicating these facts ... changing the conversation from one of 'no frills' and 'budget to one of health, safety and above all, happiness," he said. And he added: "A physically more active population reduces Australian health care costs, and people who are more outdoors-oriented are more psychologically balanced, less prone to anxiety and more engaged with the world." Dr Suter is foreign affairs editor on Channel 7's Sunrise morning show and a foreign policy analyst for Sky TV Australia and Radio 4BC Brisbane. He said he was attending the conference to tell the RV industry not only in Australia that it needs to 'sell the sizzle, not the sausage'. More button


Caravan adventure ends in tragedy

GREY NOMAD ACCUSED OF KILLING WIFE

The Michaels in happier times. Photo: Facebook

By Dennis Amor

A GREY nomad has been accused of killing his wife while touring Tasmania in their caravan. Kerry Michael's body was found on a walking track near the summit of Mount Roland in the Apple Isle's north-west. Husband Robin, 63, from Adelaide, has been charged with her murder. Police said concerns for 44-year-old Kerry's welfare were raised after "some social media interaction". Mr Michael was arrested at the 4.5-star Discovery Parks caravan park where the couple had been staying in their New Age caravan. A spokeswoman at the BIG4 park declined to comment when contacted by Caravanning News. "I am not at liberty to disclose anything," she said. It is understood Mr Michael, a health administrator in South Australia and gifted guitarist, received hospital treatment before being taken into custody. He appeared in Devonport Magistrates Court on February 18 but did not enter a plea. He was remanded in custody and will reappear by video link on March 17. The couple had been married since 2009. Friends were shocked to hear the news and expressed their condolences on Facebook. "So sad, I feel for the families," said one. Mrs Michael had a 25-year-old son. Have your say


The injured woman is loaded onto the rescue helicopter. Photo: WLSRH

The injured woman is loaded onto the rescue helicopter. Photo: WLSRH

Caravanner airlifted to hospital

Rest area fireball drama

By Dennis Amor

A WOMAN was airlifted to hospital after her caravan erupted into a ball of flames on a NSW rest area. The 45-year-old traveller suffered 20 percent burns to the upper part of her body in the drama at the northbound Glenugie rest area off the Pacific Highway south of Grafton. The single-axle caravan, which was still attached to her car, was destroyed. The Holden Commodore was scorched at the rear. The injured woman was taken by ambulance to Grafton Airport before being flown by the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter to Royal Brisbane Hospital. It is believed the woman had been travelling alone. Police were interviewing witnesses in a bid to find out what caused the blaze. Have your say


BIG4 Peppermint Park

Busy 10th anniversary

Minister joins in park celebrations

WA deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Dr Kim Hames joined guests to help celebrate BIG4 Peppermint holiday park's 10th anniversary. A full programme of activities were laid on at Busselton Park in Caves Road. Winners of the WA Tourism Award for three years in a row, the 4.5-star caravan park is renowned for its work in protecting its surrounding environment. It is fully accredited by Eco Tourism Australia. Managing director Craig Robins explained that his park was located next to a nature reserve and the Buayannup River channel. "It has always been important to protect the natural wildlife and fauna," he said. "It's been a tremendous 10 years of growth and accomplishment." Mr Robins paid tribute to park managers Catherine and Quentin Schofield who, he added, had been instrumental to the park's success. BIG4 chief executive Steve Wright said his company was "extremely proud" of the park's continued success. "It has gained a huge amount of support from the community which has connected with the public's desire to be able to do more for their environment," he added.  Have your say


Cut Loose RV logoBoutique caravan builder on market
QUEENSLAND-based boutique 5th wheeler and caravan manufacturer Cut Loose RV is on the market.
Owner Nick Oliver, who is asking for offers in excess of $500,000, stressed there was no question of the Gold Coast business being in financial trouble. "People who ask those questions live in a world of fear, not opportunity," the 51-year-old founder told Caravanning News. "They are not the people who are going to buy my business. I don't borrow a dollar. The company has not borrowed any money for years and years. It's just that I can't cope with it all and it's time to make changes." Mr Oliver describes his company as having "unlimited potential". More logo

Local industry hosts global RV conference
LEADERS from the world's recreational vehicle industries will travel to Australia this month for their annual conference.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia will host the prestigious three-day World RV Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne beginning February 25. The association said the conference would provide an opportunity for the Australian industry to showcase its own strengths and challenges and to build bridges with industry leaders globally. Delegates from China, America, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ghana will attend. More button

Winnebago's Minnie caravanOfficial launch for Winnebago RV
AUSTRALIA'S new Winnebago RV company was officially launched in Victoria.
A formal ceremony was held on February 10 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, with Winnebago USA Towables president Johnny Hernandez in attendance. Winnebago RV chief executive Luke Trouchet said the entire Winnebago Australia range of caravans, motorhomes and campervan was then displayed at the six-day Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow at the showgrounds. Winnebago RV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australian-owned Apollo Motorhome Holidays, which announced a licencing deal with Winnebago Industries last July. More button


Family Parks presentation ot $21,000 to Daniel Morcombe Foundation

Family Parks chain raises over $20,000 for Morcombe charity

BIG-hearted park managers from the 120-member nationwide Family Parks chain have poured almost $21,000 into the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. A cheque for $20,983 was recently handed over to the foundation's Denise Morcombe at a rainswept Cotton Tree Holiday Park on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. The money was raised at a charity auction during last September's 90-delegate Family Parks conference in Mooloolaba. General manager Karl Heyman told Caravanning News: "Thanks go to all our managers for their great effort." Pictured are, from left, country music singer Tania Kernaghan, Mr Heyman and Mrs Morcombe. Have your say


Budget sites by-passed
CARAVANNERS and other RVers seem to be giving the cold shoulder to specially-provided budget-priced sites at some caravan parks.
Heavily discounted $10 basic sites in Park Beach caravan park at Coffs Harbour, NSW, were withdrawn after a 12-month trial proved a failure. And Australia's newest chain of caravan parks, Kui Parks, revealed that there was little interest in cheap but basic sites at some of its member parks. General manager and founder Bert van Spronsen told Caravanning News that two of its holiday destinations were testing the fully self-contained approach where travellers could park overnight for just $10. "They can stay within the security of a park and have access to a dump point and water," he explained. "Interestingly many are not making use of these options." Have your say

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National ParkImprovements at national park camp sites
WORK is underway improving facilities for caravanners and campers in Western Australia's most popular national park.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is the state's most visited park, receiving more than 2.7 million visits a year. It features some of WA’s most scenic beaches, forests and heritage sites. Parks and Wildlife said a priority for the area in the south-west was the creation and upgrade of camp sites and caravanning options for families under the Parks for People initiative. Meanwhile, major developments at Lane Poole Reserve and Logue Brook Dam south of Perth have provided an extra 103 new caravan and tent sites in the south-west. Have your say

Know your location, urges emergency services
EMERGENCY services are urging caravanners and campers to familiarise themselves with their holiday addresses or locations.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said this vital information could mean the difference between life and death when things go wrong. It was important for travellers to write down the address of their caravan park or campground. GPS coordinates could be recorded on a mobile 'phone when camping at a beach or in a national park, a spokesperson said. "This could cut valuable minutes off emergency response times." Have your say

Kids live out fantasies on Shipwreck Island
AWARD-winning BIG4 Sunshine South West Rocks Holiday Park in NSW has officially opened its $750,000 Shipwreck Island water park.
The facility at the holiday destination between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour has been billed as its most exciting project to date. "We've created a unique attraction which satisfies the sense of adventure in all kids aged 12 and under as they live out their fantasies as a pirate, mermaid, explorer or whatever character they choose," the park's chief executive, Tony Mayne, explained. More button


Lorella Springs nudist camp

'Nudists will love it'

Lorella Springs set for reopening

Million-acre park ideal for nudists

AUSTRALIA'S biggest caravan and camping ground is set to reopen in April. Staff have been hard at work during the wet season sprucing up and improving facilities at the million-acre Lorella Springs Wilderness Park off Savannah Way near Borrolool in the Northern Territory. "Lorella is changing all the time," a spokesman said. "Although we are still probably the most remote, untouched and unspoilt part of Australia, more and more people are coming to visit." The park has installed more water points and toilets plus new safari tents, air-conditioned cabins and a new improved workshop. "Our campgrounds are much bigger with improved facilities, more space to camp and caravan on," the spokesman explained. "Our nudist camp has now moved to a more secluded and private area at one end of the campground. It has its own private swimming hole, showers and toilets. I am sure that you nudists will love it," he added. Lorella Springs is described as a "little bit of civilisation amid the wilderness" where travellers can "rough it" in comfort or get way from Lorella's facilities and experience pure untouched Australian wilderness. Have your say


Bearing down on the cause of highway fires
FAILED wheel bearings on caravans are being blamed for several fires on a busy Victorian freeway.
According to the Country Fire Authority's Phil Hawkey, mechanical faults were one of the causes of vehicles catching fire on the Hume Freeway. "Over the past weeks we have seen failed wheel bearings on caravans and trailers cause fires along the freeway, with another being attributed to a blown out tyre," he said. "This highlights the importance of preventative maintenance before travelling." Have your say

Talvor 480A caravanTalvor listens ... and scraps club lounge
AUSTRALIAN-owned Talvor has listened to customers' comments and scrapped the convertible club lounge in its 480A caravan.
Chief executive Luke Trouchet said the company had initially offered the club lounge but had now responded to customer demands for a fixed bed layout. "Our customers are generally over 50 years old, and often long-term travellers ... they don't want to make up their bed every night while travelling," he explained. More button

Storm damage claims for RVs rise
THEFT accounted for three percent of caravan claims from the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania last year.
But figures just released by the Apple Isle's motoring organisation for the year ending December, 2014, revealed that storm damage claims for the recreation vehicles rose to 39 percent. This was six percent higher than claims for buildings and contents. Accidental damage was the reason for 39 percent of caravan claims. The RACT has now issued a plea for owners to consider where they park their caravans. Insurance chief executive Trent Sayers urged them to ensure they were left in a secure locked location. Have your say

Wirib tourist park$10,000 windfall for Wirib park
THE Northern Territory's Wirib Tourist Park will share in a $1.3m pool of funding to increase tourist trade.
Formerly known as Timber Creek Caravan Park, the holiday destination will receive $10,000 for a computer server and IT upgrade to help cater for a rise in overnight stays and to promote the Victoria River region. The park itself is contributing $24,000. Located on the Victoria Highway 285km west of Katherine and 229km east of Kununurra, it offers 100 powered sites together with cabins, units and hundreds of unpowered camping pitches. The park is one of seven operators in the NT to be awarded government grants for tourism development and infrastructure which will help the north to reach a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020. Acting Tourism Minister Peter Chandler said the Territory Government was pleased to support operators in their endeavours to help holidaymakers get the most out of travelling in the NT. "It's tremendous to see operators seeking to unlock the potential of the north and really increase the desirability of the NT as a travel destination, inspiring more people to visit, stay longer and spend more," he said. Have your say

Govt grants will help parks
CARAVAN parks will benefit from the latest round of grants from NSW's Public Reserves Management Fund Program.
Showgrounds, local parks and reserves together with state parks will also share in the government's $12 million handout. The funding will help trust managers to pay for improvements which will benefit local communities. Have your say

Benjamin "Ben" Roberts-Smith

War hero to address caravan industry conference
A WAR hero and a former prime minister will be among speakers at the Australian caravanning industry's national conference this month. Former Aussie soldier and Victoria Cross recipient Benjamin "Ben" Roberts-Smith and former Prime Minister John Howard will urge delegates at the 3-day Caravan Industry Association of Australia event in Melbourne to 'be bold, be brave, be noticed'. That is the theme of the conference which begins on February 27 at Melbourne's Grand Hyatt. Also speaking will be expert brand strategist Duane Knapp and businessman and television presenter Eddie McGuire. Association chief executive Stuart Lamont said the theme was particularly important this year. "It reflects the need for the industry to make some bold and brave moves to ensure we are properly recognised – and that government, media, and consumers notice us," he explained. Have your say

Tribunal rejects GOR 'eco park' plan
THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has backed a council's decision to refuse a planning permit for an "eco park" off the iconic Great Ocean Road.
Surf Coast Shire Council knocked back BCR Asset Management's amended plans for the 50ha "eco park" in Coombes Road, Torquay, which would have offered 160 caravan sites and 250 cabins. The refusal came despite estimates that up to five new caravan or tourist parks would be required in the Great Ocean Road region in the next 15 years to meet a predicted rise in visitor numbers. VCAT members decided that government policy did not support the proposed use and development of the proposed site, which was "at the other end of the spectrum” of preferred locations to build a caravan park in a farming zone. "This is a location where developments such as the one before us are firmly discouraged," the tribunal said in its decision. It pointed out that the proposed site was not within walking distance of facilities such as a beach, forest trail or convenience store which would have been considered a "positive element" in favour of the development. It would also introduce "additional lighting' into the general rural environment. "We find that approval of the proposed development would not achieve a net community benefit, and that indeed a net community benefit would result from a refusal to grant a permit," the tribunal added. Have your say

Rent, and share the caravan love
THE National Roads & Motorists' Association is supporting a new company which helps caravanners to hire out their RVs. Camplify, a new website connecting caravan owners with potential renters, extends NRMA’s tourism and travel business. The fledgling company says there are 500,000 caravans and RVs in Australia. "Camplify is the best way for RV owners to make additional income from their caravan as well as make new friends and share the caravan love," it points out. For more information, visit its website here. Have your say

Caravan flips in WA

Caravan flip caught on dash cam
A VIDEO showing a caravan flipping after overtaking a huge road train in Western Australia has attracted over 9000 viewers. Graphic footage of the single-axle RV coming to grief on a remote outback highway has been posted on YouTube. The rollover was captured on the road train's dash-mounted camera and posted online last July. To view the video, click here

Locals flock to NSW parks
MORE than two million domestic visitors flocked to caravan parks and camping grounds in New South Wales during the year ending September 2014.
Recently released figures show that two-thirds were from the state itself. One in every 23 jobs in NSW were in the tourism and travel industry. With more than 120 caravan and tourist parks, the South Coast proved to be one of the most popular areas. Have your say

Opus Ready to Roll camper trailer

New camper trailer ready to roll
AN innovative new camper trailer designed by British and Australian experts was unveiled at the Newcastle Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo on February 6.
The OPUS Ready To Roll model, which sells for less that $25,000 and features pram-like unfolding mechanism, made its debut on the Kangaroo Tent City stand. "While the top half with its clever folding mechanism is a credit to the British team, the bottom half is a triumph of Australian design with its tough local componentry," director of co-designer Purple Line Australia Malcolm Hill said. The camper comes with two double beds, club lounge, 110 ampere-hour battery system with 12V and 240V outlets, cooktop, sink, water tank and storage box. Have your say


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Things are not
the same on the caravan scene

SO the truckies are waging war (see story here).

My husband and I spent 18 years living, working and travelling the highways of Australia but it's not like it used to be out there anymore.

We notice now that travellers only think of themselves, a lot taking advantage of anything they can.

If there is a donation box, not too many if any put one cent in.

This is why many are now either fenced off or someone is picking up a fee.

Rubbish bins are full, so people just put their rubbish next to it. Saves them taking their smelly rubbish in their flash cars or caravans.

It is a disgrace to call yourself an Aussie.

Many of our Aussie travellers blame backpackers, but it's not them ... it is our own, and usually the richer ones.

Police should be booking travellers who stop in truck areas.

Thoughtless caravanners are wrecking it for everyone. Wake up and look after what we still have!

Carmen.

Too few rest areas

TRUCKIES and RVers all pay road tax.

I think there are not a enough proper rest areas for both.

Maybe more should be built.

Out West, rest areas have no shade, water or enough room to park properly.

It's just not good enough.

B Mckenzie.

Stay at home

THOSE caravanners should be kicked out of the truck parking bays.

If these money-pinching, tight old farts can't afford $20-$35 or less for a campsite they shouldn't be on the road slowing everyone down.

They should stay at home.

Bob Krawczuk.

Service centres

IT is obvious there are not enough rest areas available for the ever increasing travelling public.

More need to be provided.

If government does not have the funds, then private enterprise should be encouraged to set up more service centres along highway routes.

This would be on the proviso they supply large designated rest areas for all forms of travellers.

Franca Norberti.

'It's all about me'

MANY of the older caravanners out there are just plain pig ignorant, with an "it's all about me" attitude.

I am in that demographic which makes me sad.

Why do these people act in such a belligerent way? They should know better.

Has our sense of mateship and caring for others gone out the window? I think it has in many ways.

Maybe the RMS, police and council rangers need to blitz these areas.

Tug and caravan in wrong spot: two tickets, one for each registered vehicle.

Then use scales and nail them right to the wall.

I am sick of being tarred with the same brush as these buffoons ... young or old.

Peter McKill.

Seeing both sides

I AM a truck driver of mainly road trains in Queensland's west and sometimes on the coast.

I am also a 5th wheeler owner so I get to see both sides of the problem.

Most of today's caravans are completely set up for free camping and therefore have no need for caravan parks most of the time.

Trucks have ice packs or coolers in their sleepers so the driver does not have to pay and use a motel room.

Yes, I encounter the parking problem in the truck as we must rest at night so we don't run over 'vans during the day.

The problem is that the local councils and government need to make available separate parking for both 'vans and trucks.

When in the 'van I avoid truck bays and use a vanpark when I haven’t found a place out of their way.

In the next few years both vans and trucks will triple, so something has to happen asap.

Polite communication between both parties instead of abuse does go a long way.

Doug Wood.

Never a problem

I QUITE often pull up in truck stops/rest areas for a snooze and have never had a problem at all.

I never set up camp in them, it's just a quiet break for me.

Under current rules towing my rig on a car licence lets me do any hours behind the wheel.

But if I was slightly longer I would be tied to stopping as trucks do.

Geoff.


Token sites

RESIDENTS of Dawesville are trying to block plans for a new caravan park (see story here).

A typical reaction by local residents ... but what do local businesses say?

Current political spin is all about 'jobs, jobs, jobs' ... and the trade generated by grey nomads plays a big part in maintaining jobs.

Greedy caravan park owners are reducing the numbers of caravan sites (down 35 percent) in favour of cabins.

We have travelled to all points of Australia and are of the opinion that many 'caravan parks' are in fact 'cabin parks' and keep only a token number of caravan sites to maintain caravan park status.

With the downturn in mining in WA, locals should beware the injured nomads!

Bob and Margaret Coburn.