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Queensland outback

Carnarvon Gorge

Moore Park Beach turtles

Sydney circular

Santa's trip

Formula One interlude


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

August 2014

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

AUGUST 21: Seventeen holiday caravans and some infrastructure at Macquarie Lakeside Village, Chain Valley Bay, NSW, to be auctioned on Sept 6 to make way for redevelopment. Park not closing, say Aylward Auctioneers.

AUGUST 20: Caravanning and camping industries generate $1.4 billion annually in revenue and employs over 5000 people in Victorian businesses, says CIAVIC's chief executive Rob Lucas.

AUGUST 20: Dometic ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Brooke Hanson will meet guests at South West Rocks Tourist Park in NSW on Friday.

AUGUST 20: Permanent caravan destroyed by fire at Lismore Lake Holiday Park at Loftville in NSW. Not occupied at time, no injuries and not suspicious, park spokesman told Caravanning News today.

AUGUST 20: Local businessman Ross Caulfield suggests turning Gympie's Memorial Swimming Pool in Qld into "transit centre" with free overnight parking for self-contained caravans and other RVs.

***  Click on Breaking News above to see full list of stories.


Thanks for information
on latest Jayco recall

I WOULD like to mention your story on the latest Jayco recall (see here).

I'm one of these unlucky owners within those serial numbers in question yet if it wasn't for sites like yours I would know nothing about it as Jayco has made no contact with myself at all.

We bought it only three and a half months ago and had a service last week, yet still nothing.

Slightly disappointed ... thankfully websites like yours are informative.

Jarrod Rowland.

Much wiser after double checking

IN REPLY to last month's letter about taking the weight off the mind of recreational vehicle travellers (see here).

Do not believe the manufacturers' plate, but take the caravan to a public weighbridge and have it weighed to make sure the weights stated on the compliance plate match.

The caravan must be empty with no water in the tanks.

I would ask questions if they don't match.

I trusted the manufacturer, as many do, but I'm a lot wiser now.

The caravan was bought new in late 2009, dual axle 22'6", full height.

Weigh items you are placing inside or outside of the caravan.

I recently loaded both my vehicle and caravan with what I thought I would need.

I went 3240kg, with my ATM at 2780kg. Not a good result.

I have since unloaded the caravan, dropped all water and had two empty gas bottles.

The caravan then weighed in at 2490kg, which was 110kg over my plated TARE.

Keeping this in mind, I am left with 114kg ... not much at all left for clothing, bedding, pots and pans and food.

The chassis plate showed a GTM of 3100kg.

I have recently had the caravan upgraded and now have an ATM of 3100kg, a ball weight of 180kg, GTM of 2980kg, TARE of 2490kg (axle group 3200kg) giving a 610kg payload.

I have had a modification plate installed below the original manufacturer's compliance plate.

I am now very aware of keeping the weight legal.

Insurance companies will weigh a caravan if it is involved in an accident where overloading may be suspected.

The authorities are now starting to pull caravans over for weighing.

Enjoy your caravanning and keep safe.

Darryl Smith.

Praise for cops after 'van theft

I WANT to comment on the Melbourne couple being reunited with their caravan which had been stolen (see story here).

The police have done a wonderful job, as they always do. Now it's up to the courts, but not sure they will do as good a job.

Hope the nomads have a great trip.

Dale Byron.

Biting hand that feeds you

MANY caravan parks have closed a lot of their caravan sites so they can erect cabins, thus reducing sites available.

Then they have increased the cost for the few sites left.

By their own hand this has led to a boom in free-camp sites.

Now they are bitching about the revenue they are missing out on.

Let this be a lesson to them ... don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Denis Guest.

Practice for emergencies

A COUPLE is fighting a penalty notice after a caravan rollover (see here).

In my humble opinion their admitted towing speed of 92km downhill was still excessive.

It could suggest that the driver is inexperienced as far as towing is concerned.

All drivers need to practice emergency situations and become comfortable with the use of 'van brakes only in certain circumstances.


Soaring costs: something
has to go

I OWN a 1987 seven-metre Isuzu bus, which we have converted to a motorhome, and tow a 2001 Suzuki on a trailer.

We are fully self-contained with sufficient solar and battery power so there is no need to connect to mains power.

We have a self contained toilet and shower plus washing machine, with grey and black water storage.

No caravan park can offer any more than we have on board, other than somewhere to dump black and grey water.

My wife and I normally travel for more than 10 months of the year and the one thing that has come to our notice is the increase in caravan park fees over the last couple of years.

When we first started travelling (in 2007) the average cost for a powered site in a caravan park was $20 night.

The current average is $35 a night, with $50 not being uncommon.

When this is combined with the cost of fuel and tyres etc it quickly becomes uneconomic to travel.

Something has to go.

The dearest single factor is the caravan parks, which charge for facilities we neither need or desire.

To add further insult, nearly 80 percent of grey nomads travel with a pet but BIG4 (with few exceptions and despite their claims to be pet-friendly) do not allow dogs.

Yet they have the hide to suggest we are boycotting their parks.

John Murredll.


Give us your ideas on caravan and camping grounds: MP

Time running out to comment on WA review

PEOPLE have only until the end of this month to air their views on a review of WA's caravan and camping grounds. MP Shane Love has issued a plea for the public to get involved in an assessment of the state's 19-year-old Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act. "Submissions close on September 1 and I encourage all those with a caravan, tent, campervan or trailer to have their say," he said. "The public now has the opportunity to provide their ideas on how this Act would provide simpler and more flexible laws to meet community needs, while encouraging tourism." Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the existing laws were outdated and stifled operatorsí ability to meet consumer needs. Proposed changes include giving park operators longer licences, lower compliance costs and greater flexibility to meet consumer demands, and users a greater choice and more affordable holiday options. "Western Australia's outdoor lifestyle means it has more caravan, camper-trailer and campervan registrations than any other State, with 30 for every 1000 people," Mr Simpson said. The review is part of the WA Caravan and Camping Action Plan and comes as the State Government implements its $21.05 million Parks for People initiative. To make a submission, follow this link. Have your say

Onboard weapons 'for self defence'


Firearms carried under mattress, claim


Weapons: a 'safety net'

Story and graphic: Dennis Amor
Have your say

GUN-TOTING caravanners are causing alarm among fellow travellers as more and more people turn to free camping to keep down costs.

Members of Australia's leading online caravanners' chat room have admitted they carry weapons for self defence, including firearms, flares, sprays and baseball bats.

"It is a kind of safety net for us," one wrote on the 17,000-member Caravaners (sic) Forum.

"It is up to all of us to take some kind of proactive approach for our own safety.

"I never used to worry about being mugged/robbed when we first started out, but I guess in the last three years I have taken a more serious approach to our safety. It is not the same world out there now."

The claims come as more and more caravanners shun the safety and security of caravan parks and opt to overnight in free-camps and rest areas.

One caravanner admitted he carried a baseball bat and spray for protection.

Fake gun leads to arrest in NSW

AN illegal camper in NSW who allegedly brandished a fake gun at police in Wombarra on the state's south coast has been arrested and charged.

Another told of how he and his wife had travelled extensively with weapons, including a 12 gauge shotgun, for over 25 years.

"Never needed to pull them from under the mattress. It's a bit like a snake bite kit, you hope that you never have to use it," he wrote.

"We've spoken to many people recently that have a .22 rifle handy just in case."

One caravanner said he always carried a flare gun and flares because "they are legal".

Mother-of-two Lynne Thompson, 36, who is on a year-long family caravanning adventure around Australia, was not impressed with the claims.

"It's terrifying to think someone camped next to us might have a gun in their caravan," she told Caravanning News while taking a break at a Bruce Highway rest area in Queensland.

"I can understand people wanting to protect themselves but that's really going over the top, particularly when the news these days is full of reports about shootings. Plenty of crooks themselves go armed so, as silly as it might sound, there is the potential for shoot-outs. It's just crazy."

Australian Caravan Club publicity officer Lionel Mussell said his organisation had no policy about carrying guns or other weapons in RVs.

"But as it would be illegal we could not condone it," he said. "I personally feel safer in the bush than in the inner suburbs of many of our big cities.

"I free or budget camp for about 50 percent of my travel time and never even lock the doors except when parking in towns."

Queensland Police told Caravanning News it would be of "some concern" if travellers were carrying firearms for self-defence against people.

"Self defence is not regarded as a genuine reason when applying for a firearms licence," a spokesperson said.

"Firearms should only be carried for the genuine reason applicable to the licence such as recreational shooting, occupational purposes or sports or target shooting."

Detective Inspector Dale Davies, from Western Australia Police's Licensing Enforcement Division (Firearms) warned there were increased risks associated with carrying and storing firearms in caravans and RVs.

"We encourage travellers to reconsider whether a firearm needs to be taken on the trip," he said.

"In WA, firearms can't be licensed for the purpose of self defence, and the use of them could result in serious criminal charges depending on the specific circumstances.

"If you are planning to travel interstate it would also be advisable to check on firearm-related legislation in the states you are intending to travel through."

Meanwhile, Victoria's Assistant Commissioner Crime Command Stephen Fontana has urged anyone with information about illegal guns to come forward.

"Information from the public about illegal firearm activity could save a life or prevent someone in the community being seriously injured," he said.

Sunshine Coast RV sales yard

'We have pretty much struck a deal'

Kratzmann family in Sunshine Coast RV takeover talks after shock closure

SUNSHINE Coast RV at Caboolture in Queensland is expected to be taken over by Kratzmann Caravans, Caravanning News can exclusively reveal. Talks were being held between Sunshine Coast RV owner Bill Connor and the Kratzmann family, who operate a major caravan sales business in nearby Burpengary. People arriving at the Sunshine Coast RV sales yard in Lear Jet Drive last week were shocked when they were met with locked gates. And a recorded telephone message told callers the business was closed "for the Brisbane Show (Ekka) holiday", which had already taken place. Gary Kratzmann told Caravanning News that Mr Connor had shut the business and decided to retire after more than 30 years on the Sunshine Coast. "It was not a forced closure ... Bill is not young any more and not well," he explained. "The handshake part of the takeover has been done." Mr Kratzmann thought the takeover procedure would be completed by the end of this week. "We have pretty much struck a deal, with the Nova dealership still in place," he said. About 20 customers are understood to have paid deposits on new Nova caravans. "Nova is contacting every person who has an order and we have already agreed to fulfill those orders," Mr Kratzmann said. "Customers have nothing to worry about." The new company is expected to be known as Brisbane Nova RV. Have your say

Lyndel Gray: CCIANSW 2014 annual conferenceProviding tools to make industry even stronger

Conference a platform for sharing

AROUND 200 industry professionals gathered in the Hunter Valley for the three-day 2014 Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW conference. Incorporating the Awards of Excellence, the event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and included an extensive program of keynote speakers and workshops. Conference delegates were encouraged to share their industry knowledge and insights as the sector investigates how to maximise future opportunities in the caravan, camping and manufactured home industries. "There has been strong growth in the caravan and camping segment of the NSW tourism economy, and there is potential for significant future growth as more and more people take advantage of the exciting products and services our industry has to offer," CCIA chief executive Lyndel Gray (pictured) said. She explained that the sector had achieved outstanding results over the past 12 months and was recognised as one of the Stateís fastest tourism growth sectors. "Last year almost 2.4 million domestic visitors stayed in a commercial caravan or camping accommodation in this state injecting almost $2 billion into the economy," she said. "As an industry, we are really gearing up to meet this new demand and to grow new markets expanding our appeal beyond our traditional domestic travellers and tapping into the growth international markets. The conference provided our members with the tools they need to continue building strong and prosperous businesses into the future." Have your say

Rita Addenbrooke

'Tragic accident', claims defence

Driver convicted of killing park manager

A WOMAN has been convicted of killing the 59-year-old manager of a Perth caravan park by mowing her down with a car. A jury at WA Supreme Court found Katie Walkerley, 46, guilty of the manslaughter of Kingston Tourist Park's Rita Addenbrooke (pictured), who suffered from multiple sclerosis and needed a walking stick to get around. Walkerley was remanded in custody until sentencing on October 1. Mrs Addenbrooke died in hospital two days after the defendant's car was allegedly driven at her during a dispute at the four-star park in Madeley in February last year. The court heard that an angry Walkerley had left a dinner party and was playing loud music as she drove through the park. Mrs Addenbrooke stepped in front of the vehicle which failed to stop, causing her to fall to the ground. She suffered serious head and brain injuries. Defence lawyer Jim Brash argued that Walkerley was not grossly negligent, claiming the incident was a tragic accident and not deliberate. Have your say

Diane Cordaire

'Heaven on earth'

Former high-flyer Diane now happy as caravan park boss

By Dennis Amor

FROM the dizzy heights of international big business to the more mundane role of running an out-of-the-way caravan park in Queensland ... that's the life story of Diane Cordaire. Diane has told Caravanning News how she worked for more than two decades as a casting director and building up a booming international business photographing young models. She enjoyed everything that many people regard as important ... a beautiful house, expensive clothes and a lavish lifestyle. But she gave it all away, bought a $37 tent, became an ordained deacon and finally found "heaven on earth" at her Explorers' Haven caravan park at Eungella. We spoke to Diane after a fire damaged a caravan at the park. more button

State builds 85pc of nation's RVs

Govt praise for Victoria's caravan industry

VICTORIA'S Caravan Trade and Industries Association has received a governmental pat on the back. Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett commended the association for the guidance it has given the state's strong caravan manufacturing industry over 60 years. He was speaking at the opening of the association's new head office in West Melbourne. "The CTIAV represents an industry that generates about $1.4 billion a year for the Victorian economy," he said. It employed more than 5000 people across the state and created significant flow-on benefits for tourism in regional Victoria. "To put the caravan industryís importance in a national context, Victoria currently manufactures more than 80 percent of all caravans and motorhomes sold in Australia and about 85 percent of all recreational vehicles," he explained. The state government has provided $45,000 for the CTIAV to develop the Caravan and Camping Blueprint Ė a guide for the industry over the next five years that focuses on supporting manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, repairers and dealers in the industry.  Have your say

Thetford oven-grillers

Suspect cookers fitted to Jayco caravans

Faulty valve could cause blast

THETFORD Australia has issued an urgent recall of cooking appliances fitted to some Jayco caravans. A product recall notice on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website warns that a misaligned gas control valve could stick open and cause a gas explosion. The Thetford Triplex Plus oven/griller has been fitted to Jayco caravans bearing chassis numbers between R81942 and S81151. Owners should stop using the oven and turn off the the gas bottle or isolation valve. They should contact Thetford on 03 9358 0705 to arrange an inspection and replacement if required. Have your say

Stolen JaycoPolice plea for assistance

Apple Isle caravan stolen

POLICE have appealed to the public to help them locate a stolen caravan in Tasmania. The 11ft Jayco Dove pop-top disappeared from the front lawn of a home at Claremont. The caravan is a 1980 model and carried the registration number IT 6537. Anyone with information is asked to call Glenorchy Criminal Investigation Branch on (03) 6230 2881 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (quote offence report number 493366). Have your say

The proposed travel centre on the Bruce Highway at Calliope

The proposed travel centre

Centre will help fatigue management

Caravans catered for at
planned new rest stop

A NEW 24hr 'travel centre' to help control driver fatigue on Queensland's notorious Bruce Highway will include 15 spaces for caravans. Development plans for the rest area at Calliope, which would include a service station, food outlets and retail area, have been approved by Gladstone Regional Council. It will be one of the biggest areas of its kind between Gympie and Townsville. The highway is a major route for many caravanners, particularly for southern grey nomads heading north for the winter sunshine. Gladstone mayor Gail Sellers said the travel centre, to be known as the Vallisvale Service Centre, would function as a major transport refuelling and rest area for vehicles travelling along the highway. A report presented to councillors said the lack of service and rest centres for travellers and trucks in the Gladstone region was "negatively impacting on driver fatigue management". Tiredness has been blamed for many accidents on the 1652km highway. Have your say

Missing caravanner Ronald Page

Caravanner turns up safe and well

'Misunderstanding' triggered police hunt

POLICE called off the search for an 85-year-old caravanner after he turned up at home "safe and well". Fears had been held for the welfare of Ronald Page (pictured), who is unable to communicate verbally, after he left his broken down caravan at the side of the Hume Hwy at Wilton to get spares from his Smithfield home. "It appears the caravan suffered a mechanical fault and Mr Page stopped and detached the caravan, leaving it on the side of the highway," a spokesperson said. A relative stayed with the 'van while he returned home for spare parts. But when he failed to return, police patrols conducted searches across a large area between where he was last seen and his home. Mr Page finally arrived at his home the next day, oblivious of the drama. A police spokeswoman told Caravanning News: "Apparently it was all a bit of a misundertanding." Have your say

Patrick WalshCaravan park helps save boy's life
A NEW South Wales caravan park has been thanked for helping save the life of a seriously ill boy.
Seven-year-old Patrick Walsh is now recovering after open heart surgery at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in the United States. The four-star, 230-site Nyngan Riverside Caravan Park staged a charity concert and raised around $6000 towards Patrick's huge medical bill. Park owner Dione Carter told Caravanning News the event, featuring Channel 7's X Factor star Jason Owen and local entertainers Bill Amos and Royden Donohue, attracted more than 300 members of the local community.  More button

World-first set to shine at Victorian expo
AUSTRALIAN-American luxury caravans and a solar-electric tent pole are among exciting new products making their national show debuts at the fourth annual Border Caravan & Camping Expo this month.
The official industry show, staged by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA Vic), will have it all at Wodonga Racecourse from August 15 to 17. One of the  most technologically advanced products is the world-first all-in-one tent pole incorporating solar powered lights and recharging facilities in a single unit. More button

New Age, new club
OWNERS of New Age caravans are planning their inaugural gathering in Victoria next month.
Members of the newly-formed New Age Owners Club will hold the rally at Cowes Caravan Park, Philip Island, from September 12 to 15. President Bryan Crow told Caravanning News: "To get owners involved we needed to have an event for them to participate in. Our plan is to have as many of our fellow New Age owners check into the caravan park over the weekend to greet and meet each other and to establish what the owners want from their new club." Activities would include "asking those questions that need to be answered" together with reversing and maneuvering caravans into tight places. For more information about the club, click here. Have your say

Adria caravan line-upAdria shipment set to hit Aussie shores
A SHIPMENT of the latest caravans from European manufacturer Adria will arrive in Australia this month.
Apollo Motorhome Holidays took over the importation and distribution of the popular brand from RV Asia Pacific in March this year. It said the latest arrivals of the award-winning brand would feature six unique models offering absolute comfort, safety and flexibility for lifestyle travellers. More button

FreeSpirit 'excited' over new Canberra development
A NEW tourist development in the nation's capital will include 46 serviced caravan and camping sites.
The $13 million project near Canberra's Exhibition Park is aimed at schools and sporting groups and could be completed by early next year. It will be developed and operated by the privately-owned FreeSpirit Resort and Holiday Park Management. The Queensland-based company already handles properties across four states. Spokesman David Johnston said FreeSpirit was "very excited" about creating the tourist park. Have your say

David Duncan, CCIASA chief executive

industry set to become 'powerhouse'

New CEO for SA industries association

THE Caravan & Camping Industries Association of South Australia has a new chief executive officer. David Duncan replaces long-serving member Stuart Livingstone who has resigned to head one of Australia's leading chain of caravan parks, Top Tourist. Mr Duncan moves to his new role from RVM Australia ‒ now operating under the Caravan Industry Association of Australia banner ‒ where he had served as CEO for the past two and a half years. Mr Duncan told Caravanning News that he believed the industry would become a "powerhouse" both nationally and through the states in the next five or 10 years. On the question of foreign RV imports, he thought the industry should not be protectionist. "But I do think imports should be compliant with Australian standards and if that does happen there's nothing anybody can complain about," he said. "It creates competition and a level playing field."  Asked whether he had any priorities in his new role, Mr Duncan said he first wanted to understand the business in South Australia. "I have no preconceived ideas but as soon as I can get on top of everything I will be putting forward my thoughts. Watch this space," he added. More button

Cyberspace protest over new park plans
FURIOUS residents of a Victorian town have taken to cyberspace in a bid to block plans for a new caravan park.
Hundreds of people have joined the No Cabins on Coombes Facebook protest against the proposed $105 million eco park at Torquay on the Great Ocean Road. It is planned to provide over 700 camping spots and cabins on the 50-acre site. Opponents claim their town is already overwhelmed with tourists and its infrastructure would be unable to cope with more visitors. Surf Coast Shire Council has received about 50 objections and has pledged to consider these before making a decision at its August 26 meeting. Have your say

Mr LamontNew peak body swings into action
AUSTRALIA'S new peak body for the caravanning industry has swung into action and is looking forward to building a stronger relationship between industry and government.
Celebratory lunches last month marked the first day of business for the new nationwide Caravan Industry Association of Australia. The fledgling association is the result of merging the longstanding Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia and RVM Australia. "It's all going well," a spokeswoman told Caravanning News. "We've even been using the correct name when answering the 'phones." Chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said the new organisation presented a chance for the industry to take a more proactive role in its own development and would work to ensure the growth of the industry as a whole. More button

Redlands wants more caravanners
REDLAND City which fringes the southern shores of Moreton Bay south of Brisbane wants to attract more caravanners.
Mayor Karen Williams said tourism was one of the key growth areas. "It is no secret that the majority of mainland visitors are day trippers, but we want the Redlands to not just be part of the journey but to be the main attraction," she told Caravanning News. "Identifying options for RV and caravan travellers is just one part of the mix allowing people to stop and enjoy our wonderful city." To make things easier for travellers, the council has just issued a caravan and recreational vehicle parking guide. "We want to make Redland City more caravan and RV-friendly and are currently considering other options to achieve this, including the possible provision of dump sites," Cr Williams added. To access the guide, click here Have your say

Figuring out your park's economic benefits
THE newly-formed Caravan Industry Association of Australia has released a calculator for measuring local economic benefits of caravan parks.
It is based on detailed economic research into the spending patterns of commercial and non-commercial campers and can be generated to suit individual caravan parks. The association describes the free calculator as "an exciting new resource" for owners and operators. For more information or to access the calculator, click here.   Have your say

Brad Denison, Fleetwood Corp MDFleetwood appoints new MD
PERTH caravan manufacturer Fleetwood Corporation has appointed chief financial officer and company secretary Brad Denison as its new managing director.
Fleetwood produces Windsor and Coromal caravans. Mr Denison has held senior finance roles with the company since 1997. He was previously employed by Cockburn Corporation Ltd as group accountant. Fleetwood said Mr Dension has an extensive financial and commercial background. "The board recognises the importance of maintaining the strong and unique culture of Fleetwood and is therefore delighted to appoint Brad in this, the company's 50th anniversary year," it said in a statement. Have your say

Phil Jones and Alayne Russell

Couple shy away from caravan parks

Joy of staying in RV-friendly towns

SEMI-RETIRED information technology lecturer Phil Jones dismisses any claims that free-camping travellers do not support towns. The caravanner-turned motorhomer admits shying away from caravan parks, claiming: "They are boring places and do not provide anything for us." He and partner Alayne Russell much prefer free-camping, spending the money saved on supporting local businesses. They travel the eastern states taking modified college courses to outback communities as instructional workshops. Mr Jones has penned a story outlining the enjoyment of staying in an RV-friendly town. You can read it by clicking on the 'more' button.

Gold hunters fire up and cop a caning
REMOTE Marble Bar in Western Australia is attracting more gold prospecting grey nomads than ever, reports local mining registrar Bob Mulligan.
This year has seen a six-fold increase in prospecting permits being issued in the East Pilbara town, reputed to be the hottest in Australia. But its growing popularity among gold hunters has brought its own problem ... an increased fire risk. They have been accused of setting fire to scrub to ease their search for the precious yellow metal. "It does make it easier for prospectors to swing their metal detectors," Mr Mulligan said. "But they need to appreciate it's also cattle feed. There's also a fairly high risk to cattle, people, fences and other pastoral infrastructure." Have your say

Pioneer Park, Wendouree.Rumpus over free-camping plan
BALLARAT City Council in Victoria is considering launching a year-long trial in which caravan parks would be paid $10 every time RV travellers used their dump points.
It is also considering a controversial proposal to allow self-contained RVs to overnight at Pioneer Park in Wendouree. Ballarat caravan park owners are furiously opposing the plan, which would allow free-campers to stay for two nights. Meanwhile, the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia has taken a swipe at the Victorian Caravan Parks Association, accusing it of "disrupting" a proposal that had taken more than two years to put together. The club argues there is nowhere in Ballarat which provides "the basic facilities required and preferred by recreational vehicle owners". The council has deferred a decision on both matters. Have your say

Cops to hold seminars for caravanners
SOUTH Australia police will present special public seminars in the next couple of months dealing with caravan safety and towing regulations.
Presented by Senior Constable Rob Grinter from the SAPOL Road Safety Section, sessions will cover everything a person needs to know about towing caravans and trailers, licenses and what to do before hitting the road. Seminars will be held at Strathalbyn Community Centre and the Goolwa Public Library on September 25. They will also be presented at Adelaide Showground's Boat & Fishing Show, which is being held in conjunction with 4WD and Adventure Show, from October 24 to 26. A spokesperson for the SAPOL Road Safety Section told Caravanning News it was receiving an increasing number of requests from caravan clubs wanting their own seminars. For more information on the Section, click here.

Melbourne Leisurefest Massive one-stop show planned for Melbourne
MELBOURNE'S forthcoming caravanning and camping leisurefest is being described as a massive one-stop shop.
Organisers say it will bring together all the big names in caravans, camping, fishing, RVs, 4WDs and adventure clothing, equipment and accessories. Behind the event is the Caravan Industry Association Victoria (CIAVIC) and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC). More button

Council levies $5 fee to offset power costs
CARAVANNERS will now have to cough up $5 a night to stay at the once-free Lyrupís SS Ellen Park in South Australia's Riverland.
The 72-hour riverside facility, within walking distance of the local town, offers travellers flushing toilets and free power. But after a survey of local townsfolk, the local council recently decided users will have to pay to offset the cost of electricity. An honesty collection box will be provided near the toilets. Have your say

National ACC Muster organiser Therese Gregory with members of the new branch. Photo: Benn Gransden, Border Chronicle.

National ACC Muster organiser Therese Gregory, front, with members of the new branch. Photo: Benn Gransden, Border Chronicle.

New branch for ACC

THE 30,000-member Australian Caravan Club has added another branch to its growing stable. Thirty local branches have been now been launched since the nationwide club's inception in 2006. The Limestone Coasters has become South Australia's third branch, and recently held a meeting in Serviceton to elect officials and decide its structure. A spokesperson for the Australian Caravan Club told Caravanning News: "We are very excited about our new branches. Many of our new members join up at caravan shows and similar events where the ACC is well represented. With the National Muster scheduled at Lucindale in October, the spotlight is on South Australia at the moment." Have your say

Ocean Beach Holiday ParkOcean Beach voted top family park
WHEN it comes to families, an NRMA holiday park has been voted tops.
Ocean Beach Holiday Park on NSW's Central Coast has just scooped the coveted title of Best Australian Family Park in the 2014 Out and About with Kids Best of Family Travel Awards. Treasure Island Holiday Park on the Gold Coast and Merimbula Beach Holiday Park on the NSW South Coast came in third and ninth respectively. More button

Caravan maintenance vital: CCA
THE Caravan Council of Australia has stressed the importance of maintaining caravans in a good, safe and reliable condition.
"Maintenance - or rather, preventative maintenance - is like a safety inspection and needs to be done on a regular basis so your caravan won't let you down on the road or when you should be relaxing in a park," says general manager Colin Young. The council has issued a blow-by-blow information sheet for keeping your RV in tip-top condition.

Cairns Holiday ParkNew awards category for backpacker-friendly parks
THE Golden Backpack Awards have announced two new categories for the Australian and New Zealand caravan and camping industries.
This follows discussions with leading holiday park group Australian Tourist Park Management (ATPM). The annual awards, which recognise companies who make backpacking around Australia and New Zealand that extra bit special, will now include the categories Best Camping/Holiday Park Australia and Best Camping/Holiday Park New Zealand. ATPM marketing, sales and information general manager Daniel Tilton said holiday parks were as relevant to the backpacker market as they were to other demographics. More button

Australia's love affair with caravans
AUSTRALIANS are known for their laid-back attitudes and love of the great outdoors, so itís no wonder caravanning and camping is an increasingly popular choice.
New research released by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia highlights the continued growth and strength of the caravan and camping industry nationally. Caravan registrations have experienced a higher rate of increase than any other vehicle type in the last two years, and research into the number of registered RVs or motorhomes in Australia shows a jump year on year of five percent.

Bed cartoon'All guts, no glory' departments important
HOUSEKEEPING departments are the "life blood" of caravan parks, according to a leading management company.
They are responsible for the all-important first impressions of cleanliness and order, upkeep and maintenance, FreeSpirit Resort & Holiday Park Management says on its blog. The Queensland-based company manages tourist and holiday parks all over Australia and is the holder of a major award for it outstanding contribution to training within the caravan and camping industry. FreeSpirit's latest blog describes housekeeping as the "all guts with no glory" department, often looked down on as merely a bunch of cleaners. More button

Lady Evelyn bondwood caravan from 1940s

'We thought she was pretty special'

Old lady from 1940s for sale

A UNIQUE bondwood caravan from the 1940s is up for sale ... for a cool $10,000. Melbourne couple John and Kathy bought the home-made caravan two years with the intention of restoring it. "We have since realised that the job is too big for us and we don't have a shed to house her in,"  Kathy told Caravanning News. "So we came to the decision to sell her and let someone else enjoy the process." Kathy has asked that their surname not be revealed. It appears the caravan, nicknamed Lady Evelyn, was built in the Melbourne suburb of Mt Evelyn. It is 21-feet long, a very large caravan for its day. The couple also own the original plans. "We thought she was pretty special when we saw her," Kathy said. "An elderly lady was selling all the gear in a shed on her property, and one of the items was this caravan. If we don't sell her we will invest in a good caravan cover to protect her." John and Kathy have always been campers. "But we caught the bug and have just purchased our first new caravan and can't wait to travel in luxury," Kathy added. Have your say

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Editor: Dennis Amor
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Queensland 4671


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Daffodil Day

Caravan and Camping Hire

 Keeping in touch headline

KEEPING yourself up-to-date with what's happening in the world of Australian caravanning is easy, thanks to Caravanning News. Published online since 2005, each monthly edition is updated as major stories break. Last month it attracted more than 17,000 visitors, with our Facebook and Twitter pages ‒ which are updated virtually every day ‒ registering more than 2500 visitors weekly. To receive the latest news on your FB news feed, just 'Like' our Facebook page.


Newsagent speaks out on free-camping blow-up

REGARDING last month's story about the Queensland caravan park owner opposing council plans to open up free camping areas (see here).

I am the newsagent who has brought all this to the fore.

I strongly believe there is a place for all RVs in this argument.

It is with regret that we have people like the Rankins trying to stop people from having an overnight stay and enjoying the friendly businesses and friendly people of Monto.

It all began when I found that caravanners were going down the back road and bypassing our beautiful town.

After asking many of them why, I was told it was because there was no free overnight stay here in Monto.

That is when I decided to do something about it.

Mr Rankin did go around the town and hand a letter to the businesses asking them to sign and telling them that without support he would take his business out of town.

What do you do if you are young and have a mortgage? Many them have regretted signing.

I would like to thank the council for taking a positive position.

I am only a newsagent trying to get the town of Monto on top of all this.

John MacElroy.

Rich inference
is a 'disgrace'

HAVING read the story on the Cania Gorge caravan park, I would not stay there as I object to his claim that rich people are being subsided.

Most caravan owners I know have rigs under $70,000.

It was a big decision to buy, and to infer to readers it's for the rich is a disgrace.

Maybe he should consider pets to increase usage of his park.

He should get the grey nomads 'onside' as word of mouth can make or break ... irrespective of free camping options.

Name supplied.

Park owner 'just doesn't get it'

WELL, that's another town and park I will be boycotting.

I'm guessing a large part of the 'investment' this person has made in his park is replacing powered caravan sites with cabins to maximise his income.

I'm guessing he's also spent money on the usual things to get his star rating higher as well.

And I'm also guessing that, with the higher rating and the lower number of powered 'van sites, he has put his nightly rates up accordingly.

Then he cries poor.

And where does he get off making value judgements about the kind of 'vans and RVs people drive?

Where the hell has he come up with this notion that anyone driving a larger RV or 'van is, at one hand, a millionaire and at the other taking some kind of kickback from the government?

If there is such a lucrative scheme going, I want in!

Does he not know that a large proportion of larger RV owners SOLD their house to buy a decent vehicle for their travels, and that the RV is their HOME for the duration?

Obviously not.

This character has joined a growing list of park owners who just don't get it, and therefore don't get my business.

I'm sorry the town has to go down with his leaky, badly captained, ship. But it sounds like some of them deserve it anyway.

John Christopher,
Grey nomad and large RV owner.

It's ok, our 'van
cost us $4000

WE don't own a $100,000 caravan ... our's cost $4000.

But that's ok because when we pass through your town ‒ and we will ‒ we won't stop for fuel, groceries, meal or a beer.

We won't spent one cent because you obviously don't want us there.

No, we're not residents of your community but we do free camp and we do spend money in the towns we pass through and are made to feel welcome.

We use the laundry and spend money but we're not rich and BIG4 is an expensive park to stay at.

So sorry, whilst we're visiting our beautiful country with a small income your park is off our list.

Dorothy Schofield.

for foresight

I AM appalled at the attitude of a BIG4 park owner who believes it is common for rigs to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On the contrary, most of us so called grey nomads are your average hard-working Aussies who have scraped together enough to enable this dream trip around our beautiful country.

We are mostly retired and trying to survive on our age pension while travelling.

We are great in numbers and via social media we can be informed of friendly, and not so friendly, towns and parks.

I applaud the councillors of North Burnett Regional Council for their foresight and hope other councils across Australia join in the move to supply alternative free campsites in their towns.

Although many of us are budget travellers, we still know how to spend a buck, and those towns that have shown a desire to welcome travellers with free or reasonably priced facilities will benefit greatly from our goodwill.

$20,000 Avan,
$25,000 Holden Captiva.

Slides are
not for me

WELL, we will make sure we never stay there so what does it matter how much our rig is worth?

I sure do not want to play on caravan park slides!

Name supplied.

What is wrong
with this man?

WHAT is wrong with this man?

We are grey nomads who enjoy caravanning and there are many of us out there who free camp in towns.

They spend money and those towns appreciate it.

Tell caravan park owners to bring down their prices and we will stay there.

The Pilchers.