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APRIL 2020

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

To comply with the directive issued by Queensland's Chief Health Officer, Bundaberg Regional Council's holiday parks will close their gates to any new visitors.

April 1:
Nova Caravans closes factory as Victorian government ramps up restrictions to protect against corovirus ... but promises: "We'll be back".

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


* WA caravanners stranded as coronavirus strikes ... 91,518 people reached.

* Dump Point mesh creates uproar ... 56,148 people reached.

* Mitsubishi recalls thousands of Tritons ... 47,505 people reached.

* Shires close cararavan parks as virus crisis worsens ... 35,256 people reached.

* Moreton Bay council closes caravan parks as virus spreads ... 22,706 people reached.

* Fears over potential gas leaks in some Millards ... 16,540 people reached.

* Grey nomads warned about heading to NT ... 16,324 people reached.


Why the delay in initiating new standards act?

REGARDING caravans and the new Road Vehicle Standards Act

What is the real reason for the lengthy delay in introducing the new act?

What are the major differences if any from the Motor Vehicle Standards Act?

Shouldn't all caravan manufacturers and importers already be 100 percent compliant with the present legal requirements?

Shouldn't all caravan manufacturers and importers already have the necessary procedures in place to ensure that all components related to ADR/VSB1 purchasing, inspecting, installation, record-keeping, etc. are properly managed?

Don't all caravan manufacturers and Importers alreeady have a professional quality assurance program in place?

Don't all caravan manufacturers and Importers alreaady use professional compliance checklists?

How much money and time are supposedly needed to up-date operations in order to comply?

Meanwhile, serious complaints from highly-aggrieved caravanners keep coming in.

Prompt responses to the above questions would be greatly appreciated!


Double trouble

IT was not a good feeling when a B-double semi started to run backwards at us after it had collided with the rear of another B-double.

The only way out for us was to drive across the turning lane and onto the concrete centre strip.

If I had not done so, the rear trailer would have collided head on with us.

As it was the second trailer which collided with the middle of the nearside of the nine-month old caravan that was on its way to the NSW caravan club state rally.

Gael & Colin Curry.

Pooling thoughts

COMMENT on RAC expanding its Exmouth caravan park ...

They definitely need a new or second pool. We went there in the low season and the pool was packed, hate to think what it would be like in the busy season. It's a big park.

Loved the beach at the back of the park as you can drive your car on the beach to your swimming spot.

Name supplied.


Sunseeker rally batsman

Annual event features cricket match

Sunseeker rally a hit and raises
$12,000 for Wildlife Warriors

SUNSHINE Coast-based Sunseeker Caravans' three-day Owners Rally at Boreen Point raised $12,000 for Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors. The annual event, which is now in its third year, brought together owners of Sunseeker and Marvel caravans to provide educational tips, demonstrations and entertainment over a relaxing weekend. And for the first time the get-together,  staged before the current coronavirus restrictions, featured a Marvel versus Sunseeker 20/20 cricket match which proved a great hit. Read more button

'Cuddles as explosive detonated'

Dad killed himself and kids in caravan blast 'for revenge'

Scene of caravan blast in which father and children died

Scene of the explosion

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

A FATHER who deliberately blew up a caravan with himself and two young children inside at Mount Isa did it as an act of "spousal revenge", a coroner has decided.

Mine worker Charlie Hinder, 39, and his four-year-old son River and seven-year-old daughter Nyobi died in July, 2015, when the caravan outside their home exploded, the blast being felt up to 50 metres way.

Northern Coroner Nerida Wilson said in her findings just released that Mr Hinder's marriage to wife Katherine had hit troubled times and they had separated two months before the blast.

He was living in the caravan outside their home and had made previous threats to harm her and their children, she said.

It was thought the former mine supervisor was cuddling his children as he detonated between four to five kilograms of explosives.

A message posted on Facebook just before the explosion said: "I love my kids more than anything in this world, they would have been great. We all went instantly cuddling each other. Goodbye everybody."

And in another Facebook message just hours before the explosion, the father said he loved his kids but could not allow "evil" to take them from him.

"Don't feel sorry for me or her, feel sorry for my beautiful kids," he wrote.

"To all my friends thank you and I'm sorry, I love you all. I guess this world was just not for us. I love all my family. Don't feel bad." Read more button

Brad Denison

Earnings guidance withdrawn

Fleetwood battles uncertainty and challenging times as virus crisis hits

PERTH-based Fleetwood says some operations in its RV Solutions sector are planning "longer than usual Easter period shutdowns" as consumer demand falls for RVs and associated parts and services. The former builder of Coromal and Windsor caravans who offloaded the brands to Apollo Leisure and Tourism in 2018 for a mere $1 million ‒ revealed the news in a message to shareholders. "Due to the current exceptional circumstances and growing uncertainty surrounding the potential duration and impact of COVID-19, Fleetwood Corporation Limited is withdrawing FY20 earnings guidance," it said. Managing director and chief executive Brad Denison promised to support customers and communities during this "challenging time". Read more button

'On-the-run' policies create confusion

CIAA lobbies pollies after one of most challenging weeks

THE peak body for Australia's caravan industry describes the last week as being one of the most challenging ever experienced by accommodation providers and the RV community. "The confusion that has ensued through state governments issuing policy on the run without considering the social and practical implications has led to thousands of people with no fixed abode being stranded across the country," it said. "Caravan parks were closed and there has been significant fines for operators and guests due to the confusion in messaging. Over 1000 businesses are now closed for general operations." Together with its member state associations, it is lobbying hard to ministers and state and federal departments to seek clarification. "To reiterate, in no way do we encourage holidaymakers to go travelling this Easter," it said. "However, we strongly advocate the need to ensure that caravan parks are able to provide the essential services to residents, semi-residents, workers and travellers with no fixed abode." Have your say

Kui park'There is a duty of care'

Chain strives to help bewildered  'vanners find somewhere to stay

THE Kui chain of budget caravan parks is striving to help bewildered travellers by shedding light on the availability of its parks. Managing director Bert van Spronsen reports being inundated by travellers heading home or permanently on the road "battling" to find places to stay. "The vague communication from states regarding this is causing some parks to shut and some to stay open," he told Caravanning News. "It appears that shires are even making the call, trying to get tourists to leave town, especially in towns where there is no hospital." With all the uncertainty, he has asked his parks to urgently let him know if they are open or not. "I am currently posting a separate Facebook post for every park that is available to the essential travellers," he explained. "There is a duty of care I believe for people who are permanently on the road to find a safe spot to park up. With so many shire parks closing, as well as national parks and free camps, these people have a no place to go. We also know of many desperately trying to get home but are caught up in border isolation issues and need to find places to self-isolate. We are focusing only on essential travellers ... those that are on holidays are encouraged to return home." Have your say

Clayton linkCaravanner 'lucky to be alive'

Terrifying 'driver's eye-view' of 4WD
and caravan rolling on Qld highway

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

CLAYTON'S Towing has released terrifying footage of a caravan coming to grief on a Queensland highway, captured from inside the RV's towing vehicle as the rig rolled. The dramatic three-minute video gives the driver's eye-view of the rollover this week on the Bruce Highway's notorious Cooroy Hill near Nambour. Miraculously, the lone caravanner, whose wife died a few weeks ago, escaped with hardly a scratch. The footage clearly shows his rig a Toyota Prado and 10-year-old Coromal dual-axle caravan running over a couple of slight bumps and then beginning to sway as it descended the notorious hill on the two-lane highway. Everything then becomes deafening and a blur, ending with the voices of passers-by asking the dazed driver if he was ok. The caravanner was returning to his home at Albany Creek in Brisbane after the closure of the Inskip Point camping grounds east of Gympie because of the current virus crisis. Clayton's told Caravanning News shortly after the accident that he was lucky to escape with his life. And in a message added to the video, they say: "Thank you to the gentleman involved for letting us share his terrifying moment, allowing all those in the caravanning community to watch and learn from."  To view video, click here or on picture above.

Big gun at entrance to Gin Gin

Caravan approaching war relic on Bruce Hwy at Gin Gin in Queensland

 Tyres slashed as RVs hit outback

Doctors and mayor open fire
on thoughtless travellers

Story and photo: Dennis Amor

THE big guns are out as rural communities open fire on grey nomads who are accused of attempting to flout new coronavirus rules. Several mayors and a federal minister have expressed disappointment after reports that hoards of  travellers in caravans and motorhomes were heading into the bush to self-isolate ... ignoring pleas to stay away from rural communities. "We love you, but we will love you even more when you visit in 2021," one mayor said. Meanwhile, doctors say they have received reports of "convoys of grey nomads" moving into rural communities where medical facilities are already stretched to the limit. "Quite frankly, that's not acceptable," they say. Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said their action could turn them into "cruise ships of the outback". "There is panic out there in some areas to the extent that we're seeing vigilantism where tyres have been slashed," he said.  Have your say

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Letter man

Time for giving
back rather than 
queueing for handouts . . .

OK,  I'm going to have my say.

I have been part of the RV industry for over 30 years and it is probably fair to say it has provided me with a very good living over that period, thanks to very loyal customers.

Australia is now facing our biggest challenge in history with the untimely arrival of the coronavirus.

People are dying worldwide and in Australia so maybe it's time for some in this industry to start giving back instead of queueing up with hands out looking for financial assistance.

The Australian government needs to commit all it's financial resources to fighting this health crisis and helping those who really need financial help.

I am going to be controversial here but any dealer, manufacturer or service provider in this industry who has not provided, in the good times, for an event such as this probably should not be in the industry in the first instance.

Pull your heads in guys and let the government fight this crisis without the distraction of organisations queuing up for handouts.

As a very famous recently deceased country and western singer once put it: "There'll be time enough for counting when the dealings done".

Tony Roche.

No power

WITH regards to the 'Pushy' caravan sales people article in last month's edition (see story here).

I appreciate Mr Benson's serious concerns about the industry's problem, but he does not realise that the CCA has absolutely no regulatory power whatsoever.

But it has long been doing its very best to bring about major changes to improve the unfortunate situation for caravanners.

Many people have voiced their angst that there is no independent third party conducting regular comprehensive compliance inspections.

Colin Young.