19,867 to 32,232
(Previous six months)
For full list, click above
Some tow kits (part numbers LA82210140 and LA82210141) fitted to WK Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled after fears they could come detatched while towing caravans or trailers.
*** Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.
* Caravanning road trip
ends in disaster on Princes Hwy ... 16,359 people reached.
Living Edge Caravans in liquidation ...
Jayco recall after fire risk fears ...
14,932 people reached.
Family's caravan stolen from Ipswich ...
12,625 people reached.
Quest RV in liquidation ... 6878 people reached.
Sink hole at the Town of 1770 ...
5809 people reached.
TO THE EDITOR
Rolling out one reason
for so many overturns
LAST month's story of police
warning about towing weights was very interesting (see story
I have seen so many reports recently of caravans overturning and
what concerns me most is the fact that people are buying 'vans for
supposed "off-road use".
These have a much higher centre of gravity and it does not take
much to lose control of them.
Why is it necessary for this type of vehicle to be sold in such
Is it the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality or do many
people honestly believe they need this type of van to go on to a
We have travelled this country with 'vans since the early '80s and
never once had an off road-type 'van and never once had an
I personally don't understand why there are so many incidents
these days ... maybe the roads are too good and everyone is going
too fast, but reports say this is not so.
Maybe we definitely need a crackdown on overloaded vehicles.
There must be a simple explanation to all this carnage.
HUMOUROUS story about devilish behaviour
at a Tasmanian caravan park (see story here).
I would rate this caravan park among the best in Australia, not just
In Tasmania, it IS the best!
Rescue teams pluck 42 to safety
caravan parks hit
by horror night of floods
CARAVANNERS were almost swept away as flash flooding
hit two caravan parks in far north Queensland. Swiftwater rescue teams
with boats rushed to the BIG4
Crystal Cascades and Cool Waters holiday parks at
Cairns and plucked at least 42 people to safety as flood waters
rose in the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Nora,
which was still producing strong winds and heavy rain. The SES
received numerous triple-O calls for help. Cars and caravans were
reportedly floating and being tossed around, with 4WDs
and one hired Apollo motorhome crashing into cabins. One caravanner
told Caravanning News it had been a horror night for tourists. "The
water came up so quickly and then subsided almost as fast. People had no
time to save their belongings inside their caravans." There were no
reports of anyone being injured. In a Facebook posting,
the BIG4 Crystal Cascades park said it was devastated. "Our park has been
heavily damaged by extensive flash flooding overnight and will remain
closed until further notice," it reported. "Our utmost appreciation to the
emergency services and their assistance in evacuating all guests."
Meanwhile, the BIG4 Atherton Woodlands Tourist Park offered to help in
any way it could.
Comment on this story
Doomed to failure, warn unimpressed
version of this Airstream Basecamp will soon arrive Down Under
By Dennis Amor
Have your say
JAYCO, which has already
snared around 50 percent of Australia's RV market, has turned to the
Americans for its latest venture.
The Victorian manufacturer has joined forces with Airstream, builder of
North America's iconic "silver bullet” caravan, to relaunch the funky
Airstream brand here in Australia.
The $84,000 single-axle, 5-metre Airstream Base13 will be the prelude to
two larger International models in the $130,000 to $150,000 range later
They will be partly built in America ̶
where a similar Basecamp model is
already produced ̶ and
completed here in Australia before being
five Jayco dealers across the country.
Founded in 1975 by Gerry Ryan, Jayco has always been committed to the
Australian caravan market, with nearly 200,000 RVs rolling off its
"In many ways, Jayco Australia is the Australian RV market," Airstream
chief executive Bob Wheeler said.
But caravanners spoken to by Caravanning News
were less than impressed and
thought the partnership was a "no brainer".
Jayco owner Martin Joyner, who is on a year-long adventure around
Australia, believed Aussies would shun the new Airstream.
"Imports have a bad name and most people tend to shy away from them,"
the 68-year-old traveller said. "And anyway, who
in their right mind is going to splash out over $80,000 for
something the same size a small camper trailer?
"I think this venture
is doomed to failure."
one member of the Web's biggest caravanning online
forum commented: "Good
luck with that. I’m sure they’ll sell
... in their tens!"
'This is completely unacceptable'
Police nab driver who
filmed caravan crash
DRIVER, 55, who filmed a caravan smash in NSW has been issued with an
infringement notice for using his mobile phone while driving. Police
spotted the man balancing the phone on his steering wheel as he drove past
the accident site on the Barrier Highway, 41km east of Cobar. Rescuers
were struggling to free two caravanners trapped in the mangled wreckage
after their Toyota Hilux towing a caravan rolled. Police said the
64-year-old woman and 66-year-old male passenger were rushed to Cobar
Airport then airlifted to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Inspector Steven Munn commented: "Here we have a serious crash where
people are trapped and injured, and a person idiotically filming the
incident on their mobile phone as they drive past. Police, ambulance and
volunteers from the SES and RFS were at this scene with an important job
to do – we were trying to help those in the crash, we’re trying to keep
the traffic moving and we're trying to keep everyone else safe. Instead
we're having to chase after someone who thinks it's okay to break the law
and put his life and the lives of others in danger by using his mobile
phone while driving. This is completely unacceptable." Police are
investigating the cause of this crash and have reminded drivers who are
towing to be aware of the gross vehicle mass of their vehicle and trailer
to ensure they are not overloaded.
Comment on this story
Caravan park reportedly razed
INFERNO HITS TATHRA
A CARAVAN park in the NSW
South Coast seaside town of Tathra was all but destroyed in
ferocious bushfires. The Tathra Beachside Caravan Park is owned by
Australian singer, actor and TV presenter Frankie J. Holden. Ironically
his pre-recorded telephone answering machine was telling callers this
morning that it was a "beautiful day". It is known that guests fled his
park, some along the beach, as the raging
bushfires enveloped the town. In a Facebook entry, the park said:
"Our thoughts and prayers are now with all the volunteers and emergency
services battling the fires and to all our friends who have lost homes or
who didn’t get out on time and had to stay and fight." Caravanning News
was unable to contact the BIG4 Tathra Beach Holiday Park. It is feared up
to 70 properties had been destroyed in the blaze.
Comment on this story
Revamp plan fails to deliver
Fleetwood's RV division still underperforming, says report
FLEETWOOD Corporation's RV
division, which manufacturers Coromal and Windsor caravans, continues to
underperform, it has been revealed. In its half-year results, the
Perth-based company reports that revenue from the division rose a
disappointing one percent to $21.3 million during the six months ending
December 31. Earnings before interest and tax of $4.4m was $1.8m lower
than the previous corresponding period driven by a $2.6m increase in
losses from the division. Fleetwood has written down
the value of the fixed assets in its caravan business to nil after it
recorded a bigger underlying loss of $5.6 million due to an oversupply of
caravans nationally and heavy discounting in the industry. Detailing the results, the report said that
despite a "turnaround plan" three years ago ̶
which included a revamp of the company's products and complete change in
Fleetwood's management ̶ the situation
remained "critical". "It is important to note that the normal product
development life cycle for caravans is similar to the automotive industry
where new models are introduced over a three to four-year period, whereas
revamping the Coromal and Windsor ranges was completed within two years,"
it pointed out.
weighs in with new safety venture
Dave Lewis (pictured) is lifting
the weight off the shoulders of caravanners in his attempt to improve
their safety. And he is hoping to scale new
heights with his latest venture, a mobile caravan weighing company which
he launched after buying a new caravan and
discovering he had become one of the staggering 70 percent of owners with
overweight caravans. "I started researching the whole caravan weight issue
and was shocked at what I found," he told Caravanning News. His
Weightcheck, is about road safety and improving public awareness of
the dangers of overweight caravans. "In order to do this we had to make
the process easier ... why not take the weighbridge to the caravan, not
the caravan to the weighbridge," he said. "Weighbridges are few and far between, and this is one of the main reasons
owners are reluctant to check their weights."
Another honour for Deniliquin
Australia's best caravan park secures place in Hall of Fame
BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday
Park in NSW has been named Australia's best caravan park.
Located on the banks of the Edward River in the
Murray and Riverina regions, it is "thrilled" after scooping gold for the
third time in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards' best caravan and
holiday parks category. The multi-award-winning holiday park,
owned by Frank and Lynda White (pictured),
was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, the
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort in Queensland
claimed both silver and bronze in the category.
The awards have been operating for over 30 years and recognise the
country's best tourism businesses which have demonstrated a commitment to
excellence. The Caravan & Camping
Industry Association NSW offered its congratulations, saying it was "proud
to have such a wonderful park representing the peak of our industry both
in NSW and nationally". Its owners had built a fantastic park with great
features and activities. "They are wonderful ambassadors for our industry.
Their park sets the benchmark nationally," chief executive Lynda Gray
Have your say
Bumper performance as global Apollo forges
APOLLO Tourism & Leisure, whose original foundations lie in a lowly
backyard shed in Brisbane, made a whopping $16 million first-half profit,
over four times its result for the previous corresponding period.
The global company's earnings before interest and tax increased over 255
percent to $28 million. The effective integration of recent acquisitions,
which included Sydney RV, Kratzmann Caravans and George Day Caravans
dealerships, had been a key focus during the half-year ending December 31,
Apollo said in its half-yearly report. Earnings before interest and tax
rose over 255 percent to $28 million.
Alleged caravan fraudster due in court
POLICE have nabbed at a man at a Victorian caravan show for allegedly
cheating people out of money. Hume Crime
Investigation Unit detectives arrested the 43-year-old at an exhibition in
Flemington. It is claimed he fraudulently obtained cash whilst buying and
selling caravans over the past three years. The man has been charged with
17 counts of obtaining property by deception and one count of proceeds of
crime. He was bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on March 5.
Have your say
lands AAMI up Ship Creek
A TELEVISION advert depicting a family of
caravanners stranded in 'Ship Creek' was among the most complained about
last year, the advertising watchdog has revealed.
The humourous footage advertising AAMI's roadside assist programme
offended scores of viewers who complained to the Australian Advertising
Bureau claiming it breached the Advertiser Code of Ethics. Although no
actual swear words were used in the 29-second advert, they protested it still used "inappropriate language" and was not appropriate for
'Great response' to caravan dealer's new
A QUEENSLAND caravan dealer's "try before you buy" venture has taken off
in a big way. Family-owned Tullmack Caravans at
Mackay now hires out caravans after seeing the industry mushroom over the
years. Director Trudi Jensen told Caravanning News there were many
people unable to caravan because of the initial cost or space to store an
RV. "We had a lot of inquiries about whether we hire caravans so we
thought we would look into it to help give those without a caravan the
opportunity to see what it's like," she said. "We have had a great
response from couples and families so far, especially over the school
safety goodie from AL-KO
AL-KO, the name behind the world-renouned Electronic Stability Control
safety device for caravans, has come up with another goodie.
The Innovative market leader has now taken ease-of-use to a new level with
the release of an off-road pin coupling featuring its new Click Lock
system. The hitch is self-locking, automatically completing the primary
and secondary locking required for Australian Design Rules compliance,
with no additional action required by the user. The result is hands-free
hitching, making it safer and easier to use than other pin couplings on
the market. To hitch up, caravanners simply lower the coupling over the
pin. An integrated positive latching indicator confirms that the rig is
ready to go when it clicks into place. The new Click Lock system was
designed by AL-KO in Melbourne for Australian off-road conditions and
exhaustively tested at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in
Have your say
new word on the street
BOOKWORMS are enjoying a new Free
Street Library outside a country town's caravan park in NSW. It has
been set up outside the 24-site Berrigan Caravan
Park by the local library and Men's Shed. A similar 'take-a-book and
give-a-book' service already exists at Tocumwal 37km away. The concept of
free street libraries, which now has its own
Facebook page, was spawned in 2015 and is now spreading throughout
Australia. Berrigan Caravan Park owner Helen Lehre told Caravanning
News it was a "great idea". "Travellers quite often want to swap their
books for new ones and this saves them having to carry a whole pile with
them," she said. Berrigan Shire councillor Ross Bodey said the system was
working well at Tocumwal. "Many campers love reading books and magazines
so this way they can pass them on," he said.
Have your say
Industry leader stresses importance of
THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia's new chairman has
emphasised the importance of conferences. Grant
Wilckens stresses that no matter how experienced people are at their
business, "everyone can learn". "Working in a small or large business
venture can often be isolating," he said. "Without exposure to a variety
of points of view, we can miss new ideas and trends that can impact future
results. The educational aspect of a conference can expose you to new ways
of conducting your business and help you discover what matters to you to
ensure your ongoing success in business." Mr Wilckens, Discovery Parks
chief executive and co-founder, was speaking ahead of the association's
national conference, to be held at the Gold Coast's Star Hotel and Casino
from May 16 to 18.
neutrality rules closes camping venue
THE thorny issue of competitive neutrality and its effects on grey nomads
and other traveller has again reared its ugly head on the Apple Isle.
Tasmania's Meander Valley Council in the central north of the state has
closed the Westbury Recreation Ground to overnight camping, blaming noisy
parties and a breach of planning regulations and national competition
policy principles. The council will also ban camping and overnight stops
at the Bracknell River Reserve from March 13, claiming it "must abide by
planning regulations and national competition policy which govern how the
reserve may be used". The council said it needed to stop camping and overnight stays
until issues were resolved. Local businesses are said
to be seeing red over the ban. Meanwhile, the Local Government Association
of Tasmania has passed a motion seeking a state government review of the
"current application of national competition principles as they relate to
free camping in regional towns".
first-half profits soar
THE Ingenia Group, which operates a network of caravan parks and community
villages, has announced a whopping rise in underlying profit for the half
year. It totalled $14.6 million for the six
months ending December 31, a 37 percent increase on the corresponding
period last year. The group generated strong operating cash flow of $11.3
million, up 7.6 percent. Revenue rose 17.6 percent, which included a 55
percent increase in lifestyle and holidays rental income. "Our tourism
business is performing strongly with the result benefitting from
acquisitions, including Cairns Coconut, and a growing digital and brand
presence," Ingenia's chief executive Simon Owen said.
Have your say
of approval for 'jewel in the crown' park
UPGRADES costing millions of dollars at the award-winning Seal Rocks
Holiday Park in New South Wales have now been completed.
The NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust committed $7.5 million for improvements
at the popular holiday destination, which last year scooped an Excellence
in Tourism and Hospitality gong in the Mid Coast Business Awards. The work
had cemented Seal Rocks' status as a "jewel in the accommodation crown"
within the Great Lakes Region, it said. State Lands Minister Paul Toole
recently visited the park to celebrate the completion of the staged
redevelopment which began in 2013 and to officially launch the new
identity developed by the Trust.
Crusader owners set for get-together
CRUSADER Caravans is planning an eventful get-together this month for
owners of its RVs. They will join bosses and
factory staff for three days of activities beginning on March 23 at
Nagambie Lakes Holiday Park north of Melbourne. For an all-in two-night
site fee of $90, a couple can enjoy ̶̶ among
other things ̶ a "dress up in bad
taste" gala dinner with entertainment, various speakers, trivia, sausage
sizzle and their own version of the Commonwealth Games with prizes. Their
pets are also welcome.
Have your say
cabin open for public inspection
LOCALS were today inspecting SA's Balaklava Caravan Park’s newest addition
- a $96,348 cabin fully fitted for disability access.
An 'open morning' hosted by Wakefield Regional Council Mayor Rodney Reid
allowed the community to peek inside the new addition and have a look
around the park, which continues to be a major asset for the region. Cr
Reid said plans for the new cabin came about when a local resident pointed
out a general lack of wheelchair-friendly accommodation in the region.
fill parks at Easter, not nomads
FAMILIES were responsible for a boom in caravan park income over Easter holidays, according to Caravanning Queensland. Chief executive
Ron Chapman said there were fewer grey nomads travelling at that time of
year. "The big markets at Easter is families," he told media. "They tend
to be in camper trailers or differently configured multi-bed caravans to
grey nomads who tend to travel in winter in mobile homes or hardtop
caravans with two beds." He believed the hot summer had given families the
confidence to go caravanning again during the coming Easter.
Have your say
body joins forces with super fund
AUSTRALIA'S biggest superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has leapt into
the world of caravanning and camping to form a new partnership with the
industry's peak body. And Caravan Industry Association of Australia
chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) has welcomed the move. "This partnership recognises our wider objectives of championing a sustainable caravanning
and camping industry into the future, both for consumers who use the
product and the 53,000 industry employees who rely on continued industry
strength," he said.
Plenty of action planned for chairman's
FINAL arrangements are being made for this
month's Australian Caravan Club 2018 Chairman's Muster in Victoria.
The six-day event will open at Elmore Events Centre, Elmore, on March 8.
Around 150 members in 75 RVs are expected to
attend. The club reports that chairman Craig Humphrey and his muster team have organised some "great activities" for the event.
These include a day's tagalong to Echuca, a catered dinner and a visit to
the HV McKay Rural Discovery Centre at Elmore. "Our club members are
supportive of local businesses during these events," Mr
Humphrey said. "Past major musters have seen an expenditure by
members of over $100 per RV per day." A highlight of the muster
will be a presentation to members on caravan safety and legal aspects by
Colin Young from Caravan Council of Australia.
Have your say
risk generates safety recall
A FIRE risk
has prompted a safety
recall of Jayco Iveco motorhomes fitted with Cummins Onan generators.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warns there is the
potential for the petrol fuel line to sag and come into contact with
exhaust pipe. The recall affects motorhomes sold nationally between 2012
and 2018. Dealers include Brisbane Camperland, Page Bros RV, Watsons
Coffs, Australian Caravans, Prestige Jayco Geelong, South Auckland
Caravans, Caravan Land, Kings Caravans, Jayco Sydney, Jayco Nowra, Jayco
Newcastle and Canterbury Caravan Court.
Have your say
Truckie killed in illegal caravan 'road
POLICE were astonished when they were called to a fatal accident involving
a caravan on Brookton Highway in Kelmscott, WA.
They discovered the caravan was part of a "three-vehicle road train"
comprising a ute towing the RV which in turn had a trailer carrying four quad bikes, two chainsaws, a motorcycle, fuel containers
and other items in tow. Perth District Court heard how the overweight trailer
suddenly became unhitched and ploughed into an oncoming truck, killing its
55-year-old driver. Dwayne Ten Vaanholt, 45, admitted dangerous driving
occasioning death and was given an 18-month suspended jail term. His
driver's licence was suspended for two years. The court heard how Ten Vaanholt, who was on his way to a campsite when the accident happened, had
watched a You Tube video to learn how to modify his caravan's
bumper so it could tow the trailer. Judge Felicity Davis said he had
believed his set-up was safe. The "tragic consequences" had resulted from
a serious error of judgement and "a failure to properly assess the risks".
She accepted he was deeply remorseful and had reimbursed the truck
driver's overseas family more than $13,000 in travel and funeral costs.
Have your say
with industry's key to commitment
THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia has launched a new RVMAP
promotion highlighting the importance of its accreditation key.
It includes a competition designed, it says, to build "further awareness
amongst the caravan and camping public of the importance of looking for
the symbol when buying a caravan, camper or motorhome". Digital marketing
packs have been sent to RVMAP businesses for distribution to their dealer
network. The competition is open to Australian residents aged over 18
years who buy an RVMAP-accredited RV between now and June 23 this year.
The association says the key signifies a business's commitment to
consistently supply products complying with all relevant Australian Design
Rules and Federal Compliance Regulations. Buyers simply need to complete
online entry here.
Have your say
Aspen's balance sheet remains debt free
ASPEN, a leading owner and manager of holiday and accommodation parks
across Australia, has recorded a statutory loss of nearly a million
dollars. This was offset by investment-driven
acquisition costs of $2.1 million, the group says in its first-half
results ending December 31. Chief executive Joel Cann said the ASX-listed
company had continued to focus on affordable accommodation and
acquisitions. "The balance sheet remains debt free and $16.8 million in
cash," he added. During the six months, Aspen has settled two tourism park
deals, acquiring BIG4 Koala Shores Holiday Park in NSW and the Darwin
FreeSpirit Resort in the NT for $$29.7 million.
Have your say
ambassadors for BIG4
LEGENDARY swimmer Giaan Rooney and actor Shane Jacobson have been
appointed BIG4 Holiday Parks ambassadors. Chief
executive of the holiday and tourist park chain Steven Wright said they
were now important members of the BIG4 family. "They are wonderful people,
they stay in our parks and they have a personal connection to what we do,"
he said. "We look forward to a long and successful relationship with these
Kingscliff park set to reopen
THE newly renovated Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park in northern NSW will
reopen on March 22. The redevelopment was
included in a $20 million project which saw an upgrade of the foreshore
and central open park space. An astonishing 1500 bookings worth more than
$500,000 in revenue poured in within days of the reopening date being announced.
Caravan sites at the park, which has been closed for about a year, have
been made two to three times larger to cope with the growing trend towards
bigger touring caravans.
Have your say
helps park accommodate disabled
A CARAVAN park on the banks of Lake Mulwala in NSW is set to become more
disabled-friendly, thanks to a $104,561 federal government grant.
The money will go towards providing a special cabin and playground for the
disabled at the newly-built DC on the Lake holiday park, which was
devastated by a tornado almost five years ago. The grant was announced by
local MPs Sussan Ley and Greg Aplin.
upgrades for Yorke Peninsula parks
YORKE Peninsula Council in South Australia has installed a variety of new
accommodation options and infrastructure upgrades throughout three of its
premier caravan parks. Projects include new
self-contained villa accommodation, outdoor equipment and landscaping as
well upgrades to powered sites at the Marion Bay, Point Turton (pictured)
and Port Vincent Foreshore caravan parks. The newly renovated parks will
remain at the forefront of the tourism industry on the peninsula and
continue to provide a major contribution to its tourism economy.
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Dollar plug saga blows $80k sale for rude dealer
looking to upgrade my RV from a 21ft slideout to a 24ft double
In the meantime I needed a simple small plug for my current
The parts person was incredibly rude, as was the salesman,
so I rang to speak to the owner.
The parts manager said the owner was too busy!
For the sake of a dollar plug they blew an 80k sale.
What a shame this owner does not understand that the only thing he
has is customers who keep coming back, but not me.
I live in Ballarat and he is not getting a cent from me.
What a shame.
I NOTICED councillors are concerned over the cost of
running the Cooroy RV Stopover in Queensland
(see story here).
I guess the rest of the businesses in the area get no benefit from
Maybe THEY should be talking to the council if they are making money
and employing local people as a result of the visitors.
These things are an entire benefit for the whole community and not
just their account-based representatives on the council.