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

October 2016

Monthly readership: 12,000 to 18,000

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

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

* Caravan theft at Maryborough ... 15,213 people reached

* Jaeger RV ceases trading ... 15,179 people reached.

* Truckie Ron Hannifey's appeal to caravanners over rest area parking ... 14,271 people reached.

* BIG4 Beacon Resort scoops green award  ... 10,463 people reached.

* Caravan obliterated in Bruce Hwy rollover ... 9966 people reached.

* Corowa Caravan Park floods ... 9451 people reached.

* Family of five in caravan rollover drama ... 8841 people reached.


Wall of silence for former owner

NOT surprising to see that Coromal Caravans has been having troubles (see story here).

My first 'van was a Coromal and when we went overseas 14 years ago we sold it.

We returned to Australia late last year and planned to buy another 'van from them.

Before we returned I wrote to Coromal to get some brochures and prices and was told I had to go through my local agent in Darwin.

I sent an email requesting brochures and prices nothing happened.

About a month later I sent another email and again nothing happened.

I then wrote to Coromal head office in Perth and outlined the situation and again asked for brochures and prices nothing happened.

The website of Coromal Darwin had no information that I could use.

I finished up doing some research online and have purchased an Elite caravan, which I am happy with.

So basically, because of the incompetence of their agency in Darwin, they lost an $80K sale.

Strangely, when I drove past the Coromal agency in Darwin last year there were lots of 'vans on the lot.

I have a good mate who also ran a caravan yard in Darwin who later told me that the agent was their best customer because people who tried to deal with them came across to my friend to do business.

Coromal really do need to do something about this situation if they want to get back into the game again.

Robin MacDonald.


COMMENT on Armidale Showgrounds receiving a grant for improvements (see story here).

We enjoyed a night there last year and the cost was reasonable.

There was plenty of nice grass and it was a nice walk into town.

Glenn Henson.

Fine them

REGARDING caravanners taking over truck-only parking spots at rest areas (see story here)

I'm a grey nomad and have the utmost respect for our truckies.

The authorities should issue fines to these inconsiderate caravanners.

We have heaps of free camps where truckies cannot park.

Plan your trip so you are parking up at our own designated areas.


Brighton Bayside Caravan ParkCaretaker threatened with iron bar

Armed robbers strike at caravan park

POLICE were hunting two armed men after a $10,000 robbery at a Queensland caravan park in the early hours. The men threatened the 67yo caretaker of the Brighton Bayside Caravan Park north of Brisbane with an iron bar after rousing him from his bed and forcing him into the park's office. They escaped in a dark coloured 4WD. The caretaker was not injured during the 4.30am heist. Detectives were appealing for anyone with CCTV or dash cam footage on Beaconsfield Terrace, the Deagon Deviation or the Houghton Highway between 4.30am and 5am on October 12) to contact police. Have your say

Chief Minister Andrew Barr

Pre-election pledge from ACT's Chief Minister

Caravanners sceptical over rego promise

By Dennis Amor

CARAVAN owners were sceptical over a promise made by ACT's Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Mr Barr (pictured) said Labor would drastically reduce caravan registration fees if it won the Australian Capital Territory's general election on October 15. Annual costs are the highest in Australia ... $1280 for a caravan with a tare weight of 2505 to 2795kg. This would drop to $640 a year. But one caravanner told Caravanning News: "Strange how politicians will give you the earth when there's an election in the air. We have been fighting for several years to get cheaper rego in NSW but with little success. Good luck in the ACT." And Stanley Jarvis wrote on Caravanning News' Facebook page: "The Labor Government here in the ACT must be on shaky ground. They have been overcharging us for 15-plus years and only now want to lower our registration after years of pleading for lower rates. Please remember Chief Minister, we hitch up only to drive out of the territory so it is money for nothing. Let's look at maybe fees in line with Victoria." Mr Barr's promise came as hundreds of CMCA members, the majority in motorhomes which would not be affected by any rego cut in the ACT ‒ flooded into Canberra's Exhibition Park for their 31st National Rally. Have your say

Lotto balls

Striking it rich with a lotto flutter

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

GAMBLING caravanners are reaping in millions of dollars in Western Australia.

They are striking it rich with a flutter on the state's Lotterywest ... winning more than $42 million in the last few months.

"There's no doubt about it, they are a lucky bunch," a Lotterywest spokeswoman told Caravanning News.

The latest win went to a couple from WA's Wheatbelt who scooped $1.33 million.

The unnamed winners had forgotten all about their entry bought on a whim during a caravanning road trip and discovered their good fortune only when they had their coupon checked six weeks later.

Lotterywest's second largest winners were also into caravanning.

The overjoyed couple, from the south-west, landed a cool $40 million in March this year.

Meanwhile, a Mandurah couple was one of three winners to collect $1,333,333 in August. They now plan to travel around Australia in an "old caravan".

Two caravanners from the Perth suburb of Darling Downs have decided to upgrade the caravan they take on their annual family holidays after their $76,228.45 Super66 win.

And a couple from Gelorup in the state's south-west are saving a portion of their $664,754 Division 1 windfall to buy a caravan for their retirement.

"It's amazing how many say that their dream has come true and they will buy a caravan with their winnings," the Lotterywest spokeswoman said.

"Their prize money allows them to travel further and for longer." Read More

Airport site set for low-cost RV camping


By Dennis Amor

GREY nomads have landed themselves a new deal from Queensland's Fraser Coast Regional Council. The news comes as research revealed that caravanners were shunning the area in droves after accusing the authorities of being unfriendly. An ARM Newsdesk analysis of Caravan Industry Association of Australia data showed a near 20 percent fall in the number of caravanners and campers visiting the area in the last year. Many grumbled about the lack of free or budget overnight camping. But the regional council has now approved a motion designed to attract more RVs into Maryborough. It will seek tenders for the lease of vacant land at Maryborough Airport for low-cost camping. Meanwhile, the number of spaces for RVs will be increased at the Alan and June Brown car park in the city centre, with the current 20-hour limit being extended to 48 hours. RV tourists will no longer have to show proof of a $10 purchase to use the free facilities. Councillor Paul Truscott, who had fought for improved facilities for caravanners, commented: "I believe this is a win for Maryborough and the Fraser Coast." Have your say

Riverglade Caravan Park flood threat"We were at the mercy of the weather"

Tumut caravan rally goes ahead after flood chaos

By Dennis Amor

THE Australian Touring Caravan Motorhome and Camping Club rally thrown into chaos due to floods ‒ finally got underway a few days late. The event at the Riverglade Caravan Park in NSW's Riverina region was officially opened by the local brewer.  Club members were twice evacuated from Tumut's flood-threatened caravan park. Nearly a hundred were forced to sit it out at sites up to 80km away because of a shortage of dry camping areas in the low-lying area. Rally organiser Anita Roberts told Caravanning News: "We had members scattered everywhere and were at the mercy of the weather. We were all having to rough it a little." The rally was opened by Tumut River Brewing co-director Tim Martin. Planned activities included a tasting at the brewery, bus tour around the region and a bowling night. Ms Roberts predicts the rally will inject around $60,000 into the local economy. Have your say

Massive exercise saves caravans, cabins on banks of the Murray

Ball Park Caravan Park flood threatMEANWHILE, trucks and cranes were brought in at flood-threatened Ball Park Caravan Park on the banks of the Murray River at Corowa in NSW. More than 100 caravans were towed to higher ground as river levels rose. Cranes relocated 20 cabins. The river was predicted to peak at 7.7 metres, the highest level for 20 years.  Have your say

BIG4 Beacon Resort owner-operator Lorraine Golightly with Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont.Green gong for Beacon Resort
BIG4 Beacon Resort at Queenscliff in Victoria has received the VicParks Green Park Award for being a top performer in environmental practices.
The gong recognises operators which have made and will continue to make a significant contribution to the establishment and growth of sustainable environmental practices. Beacon's general manager Lisa Shapter was also a finalist in this year's VicParks Employee of the Year award. Read More

RV builders breach design rules
SOME caravan manufacturers continue to flout Australian design rules, according to the industry' peak body.
"Issues concerning VIN plates and reflectors continue to dominate compliance breaches," the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said. With more than 410 compliance audits already completed under its RV Manufacturing Accreditation Program, the association aims to carry out a total of 750 this year. Caravans and motorhomes rolling off production lines are inspected and manufacturers continually educated about compliance requirements. The association said there had been "significant improvements" in compliance since the programme was introduced in 2013. Have your say

David AbitbolDream ends as HomeCamp closes
A FRENCH national's dream of turning hundreds of Aussie backyards into camping sites has collapsed.
David Abitbol has decided to close his HomeCamp scheme in which hosts allowed travellers to park their caravan or pitch their tent in their driveway or garden in exchange for cash. He told Caravanning News shortly after launching the initiative last year that it was "a new platform" in Australia which would enable travellers to book a space at someones home in a city or out in the country. But having tested the concept in Australia for 16 months, he has now taken "the hard decision" to shut down the business "as our revenue doesn't cover our costs". Read More

Jayco dealership supports Camp Quality
JAYCO Newcastle in NSW will again be supporting the kids' cancer charity, Camp Quality, this month.
It hopes to raise over $10,000 during its three-day Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Expo, which opens on October 7. Visitors will be asked to hand over a gold coin for Camp Quality, which aims to create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia. A spokesperson for the Heatherbrae-based award-winning Jayco dealership told Caravanning News that general manager Damian Charleson was "very passionate" about the charity. Read More

IngeniaIngenia acquires two more caravan parks
INGENIA Communities Group has snared two more high ranking caravan parks.
The leading Australian property group ‒ which owns, operates and develops a growing portfolio of lifestyle communities ‒ has confirmed it will this month take over the Happy Wanderer Caravan Park in Hervey Bay, Queensland, and Sydney's Avina Van Village. Unconditional contracts have been exchanged for the acquisitions which were announced as part of the group's capital raising in June. Read More

Park group set for new image
A POPULAR caravan and holiday park group in NSW looks all set for a new image.
NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust is now considering tenders to take on the extensive rebrand project involving 35 holiday parks and boutique accommodation throughout the state. North Coast Holiday Parks, South Coast Holiday Parks and Inland Waters Holiday Parks will all be affected. Read More

Anthony Wake: Accessavan founderDay of significance for Accessavan founder
THE recent World Tourism Day which celebrated accessible tourism across the globe had special significance for one Victorian caravan builder.
Anthony Wake, the man behind Olinda-based Accessavan, was not going to let the spinal cord injury ‒ which left him a paraplegic ‒ get in the way of his love for the outdoors. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he gritted his teeth and set about designing a special caravan which would allow him to continue his passion. And his determined efforts led to the launch of Australia's first business to specialise in wheelchair-accessible caravans. Read More

Cars and caravans parked in truck area

Appeal to thoughtless caravanners

Truckie's woes captured on video

FRUSTRATED truckie Dave Sweeney has appealed to caravanners to be more considerate when parking. He has sent Caravanning News a copy of a video clearly showing cars and RVs occupying spaces reserved for the big rigs. An angry Mr Sweeney complains about the number of cars and caravans squeezing trucks out of their parking bays at the Yass Service Centre on NSW's Hume Highway. "Caravans and cars everywhere," he fumes in the 20-second footage, which has already attracted 3500 views. "There's ample room for them to park on the other side and yet they park here where the trucks are." He points out there were more cars and caravans than trucks, and asks: "Where are we supposed to park?" Click here to view video

Mother of two launches new caravan company
QUEENSLAND businesswoman and mother of two Renee Napthali, 27, has launched her new venture into designing and building bespoke touring and commercial caravans.
Adamas Caravans was originally called the Caravan Repair Centre and is based on the Sunshine Coast at Meridan Plains. Ms Napthali decided to challenge the caravan industry's big brands and said she was confident that with her company's techniques and technology Adamas Caravans would soon be "standing on its own two feet". Her company hopes to successfully fill what she calls a gap in the market for custom-built yet affordable touring caravans and bespoke vintage commercial campers. Have your say

Penrith ExpoNew format planned for NSW shows
CARAVAN and camping shows in NSW are in line for a shake-up, it has been revealed.
The state's Caravan and Camping Industry Association has decided to change the format and length of the events, which attract tens of thousands of enthusiasts every year. This follows a 10 percent rise in visitor numbers at last month's Penrith Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo. Read More

Pawesome welcome for canines
NORTH Coast Holiday Parks in NSW has thrown down the welcome mat for travelling canines ... with free warm doggie baths and yummy treats.
The group of 35 caravan parks also offers dog-friendly cabins at some parks, though owners have to supply their own bedding for the four-legged guests. "Dogs like to warm up and get the sand off after fun on the beach," the group said. But it warned that barking or aggressive dogs were not welcome. Have your say

Boroma caravanBoroma Roamers head to Casino
A BAND of loyal Boroma owners will head for Casino in NSW this month.
They will gather at the BIG4 Casino Resort in the Northern Rivers town for a three-day rally beginning on October 14. Historically, an annual event was organised by Boroma staff and always held within a three-hour drive of their former factory at Yatala north of the Gold Coast. But when Boroma went into belly up in 2008 owners of the manufacturer's caravans formed the Boroma Roamers, with members upholding the annual rally tradition ever since. The latest event will feature a packed programme of activities. These include a pot-luck dinner, BYO barbecue in the camp kitchen and a meeting to discuss all things Boroma. Have your say

Caravanners invited to experience AL-KO's ESC
CARAVAN owners are being invited to experience AL-KO's revolutionary Electronic Stability Control first hand at the Melbourne Leisurefest.
AL-KO marketing services manager Brad Hooper said it was one thing to watch a demonstration video or read about the benefits of the technology, but another to actually experience it. "It's not until you're actually inside a vehicle when ESC activates during a swerve manoeuvre that you really get a sense of what a significant advancement AL-KO ESC is for caravan safety," he added. Sessions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis with approximately 200 sessions available between the Oct 6 to 9 at Sandown Raceway. Have your say

Holden's controversial Colorado caravanning advertHolden's caravan gaff still making headlines
HOLDEN'S gaff which had Aussie caravanners hopping mad and scrambling to complain to the advertising watchdog is still making international headlines.
Canada's CBC News recently ran a story highlighting five of the worst advertisements in the world, and they included the car manufacturer's infamous TV ad which brought howls of protest from grey nomads and other RVers last year. "What bothered viewers was the liberal use of the words 'bloody caravanners'," Canada's nationwide news service explained. Read More

Europe's Reimo eyes up NSW
ONE of Europe's largest camping, caravanning and campervan companies Reimo Germany plans to set up a subsidiary in NSW.
The company was founded over 30 years ago and is well known for its expertise in conversions and technical work. It also offers a wide range of leisure time and camping products. Reimo's online shop has more than 12,000 products for "mobile leisure". Have your say

Families driving growth in caravan holidaysYoung driving growth in caravan holidays
YOUNG families are driving the growth in Australia's booming caravanning and camping holidays, according to the latest figures.
Tourism Research Australia (TRA) revealed that the largest growth in the history of its data collection was in domestic caravanning and camping trips. "And it's the younger demographic groups that are driving the growth in what can only be called a booming tourism sector," TRA said. That's not to say the 55-plus demographic ‒ affectionately termed the 'grey nomads' ‒ isn't out there in force too. They still retain the largest market share in caravan and camping when it comes to nights at 41 percent ... but only just. Read More

Six parks awarded accreditation keys
SIX more caravan parks have been awarded accreditation keys by Australia's peak industry body.
"We promote the Accreditation Key as the symbol of best practice through our national marketing campaigns, always urging consumers to 'look for the key'," a spokesperson for the Caravan Industry Association of Australia said. To become an accredited business, holiday parks must comply with certain standards, including legal compliance, environmental management, customer service, risk management and maintenance. Read More

Mr Lamont, fourth from left, with the overseas representatives

Mr Lamont, fourth from left, with the overseas representatives

Talks ahead of world conference

Lamont at Dusseldorf meeting

CARAVAN Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont chaired a meeting with leading overseas caravan organisations at the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon trade fair. The meeting with representatives of Germany's Caravaning Industrie Verband and America's Recreation Vehicle Industry Association heard a presentation from Chinese delegates about their hosting of next year's 4th World RV Conference. It also discussed ways in which the organisations could work closer with research and share technical information. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia believes that with the impending review of the 1989 Motor Vehicle Standards Act, it is important to foster close relationships with their German and American counterparts so that consistency around regulatory and compliance obligations are understood. Have your say

Board nominations invited
THE caravanning industry's peak body is inviting nominations from people wanting to join its board.
Applications are welcome from individuals interested in providing "strategic direction" for the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. Nominations for a place on the nine-member board must be received before 5pm on October 10. Have your say

Zone RV's first slide-outZone RV builds its first slide-out model
QUEENSLAND-based caravan manufacturer ZONE RV has released its first ever slide-out model.
The Z-20.6 Off-Road caravan harnesses the company's unique manufacturing technology, materials and processes. The 800mm living-room slide-out operates with the touch of a button and can be adjusted to stop at any point. The caravan offers sheer luxury and space... even, according to Zone RV, for its owner's pet dog! Read More

Classic display adds nostalgia to leisurefest
THIS month's Melbourne Leisurefest at Sandown Racecourse will have a nostalgic feel for many caravanners.
The four-day event, which kicks off on October 6, will feature classic caravans spread throughout the venue. "There's something unique and nostalgic about vintage 'vans and living the retro lifestyle," Caravan Industry Association Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said. Have your say

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Letter man

'script rules

YOUR article in the last edition told of more caravans heading to the Apple Isle (see story here)

It is a pity that Tasmania will not accept some prescriptions written by mainland doctors.

This makes it difficult and expensive for grey nomads that require these medications.

Tasmania is the only state with these restrictive regulations.

My solution is to fly to Melbourne every month to have my 'scripts filled.

Pretty bizarre really.

I did write to the Tasmanian Minister for Health only to be told that the "health and welfare of our Tasmanian residents is of the highest priority".

Is it that he doesn't want them to lose their two heads?

Neil Bilney.

Cheaper options

I READ your story revealing that Jaeger RV had ceased trading (see story here).

Instead of creating the biggest and flashiest caravan and competing with the big boys, some builders should produce cheaper options.

There is a need for more basic RVs under $50,000.

It wouldn't stop bush camping.

There are lots of big flash off-road 'vans behind equally big flash vehicles that never stray off the bitumen.

Terry Seymour.

Great idea

I READ in the last edition about the free safety checks for caravans (see story here).

What a great idea.

Well done Queensland Police and Main Roads.