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Caravan Island ISSUE

AUTHENTIC ADVENTURES AND EXPERT ADVICE 588

World World

TOURING

NOVA TERRA SPORTZ TAKES A SPLASH!

ISSUE 588

ON SALE JUNE 06, 2019

$9.95

(INC GST)

7 TIPS FOR STAYING ‘HYGGE’ THIS WINTER

YOUR GO-TO-GUIDE TO TOWING

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TO E E R HE RIB K C IC BS U CLTESTED S

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RIGS


ISSUE 588

CONTENTS

152 Nova Terra Sportz RV TESTS Zone RV Expedition Series Z-10.0

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Buckle up as we take this offroad, off-grid van through some trials and tribulations

Concept Innovation 705 XTS

Modern travelling for the modern family

Wonderland Adventus 1906

Light offroad adventure with the nomadic couple in mind

RhinoMax Defender 15ft Hybrid

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A hybrid camper that embodies comfort and durability

Nova Terra Sportz 166-1R

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Lightweight, strong and sporty with no compromise on its sleek interiors

Paradise Oasis Platinum

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Top of the line motorhome customised to your specifications

Latitude Velocity 28

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Boutique Australian motorhome designed for luxury touring

ISLAND TOURING

FEATURES Sydney supershow summary

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Little island, big attitude

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Best Aussie Vans 2019

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Winter is humming

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The art of being cosy

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Get on your hike

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Island paradise

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Isle of might

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Malcolm Street gives CW the post-show wrap up from Rosehill

Celebrating our 7th annual BAV this year, we give you the score breakdown and how we review before the event

Embrace travel during the winter months with 7 tips to stay 'hygge'

Hema Traks: Go-to-guide to towing

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The Hema team offer expert advice on how to tow your caravan so you can breathe easy on the road

The way we were

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Choose your adventure

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Defibrillate for life

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How we purchased a van in the 1960s may be worth noting in 2019

There's a lot of RV accommodation on the road, so here's how to find the right one for you (and your pet) A defibrillator could be the life saving component missing from your First Aid kit. Here's why...

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Tasmania brims with many attractions for a family touring adventure Thumb your nose at the northern-bound hordes this winter and turn towards these top seaside camps to the south

Enjoy Kangaroo Island's vast splendour of flora and fauna on a five-day trek Explore the wild, wild west's Dirk Hartog Island on your next adventure

Phillip Island's coastal charms warrant a visit any time of the year


postbag

108 FIND PARADISE ON DIRK HARTOG ISLAND

68 REGULARS First Words Editor's letter

SIMPLE TOWING TIPS

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News 10 Industry news

Tech Talk Q&A Your questions answered Have your say

Readers' Rigs

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Recipes on the road

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Picture Perfect

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Hot cuppas to warm your mits Busselton jetty, WA

Getaway Gear New playthings for RV owners

THE ART OF KEEPING COSY WITH 'HYGGE'

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Postbag 24

Real people, real rigs

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COLUMNS

Street Talk

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On the Trails

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12V Guru

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Malcolm talks towing and travelling in cold weather conditions

Anita and Mike take a trip to Thursday Island David Bayliss shares some thoughts on powering up the generator

Events 192 What’s happening around Oz?

TECHNICAL Water saver

Learn how to re-seal a leaking window

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TRAVEL HAPPY

We shine the spotlight on caravanners, their rigs and their travel tales MORE

PICS PLEASE

Andrew Schafrin was just south of Lake Cargelligo, NSW, on his way to Cobar to visit family and friends when he snapped this pic of his Royal Flair Family Flair 23-footer towed by a “mighty” Ram 2500. “Nothing like a western sunset,” he writes.

Eddie and Brigitte Roux took this 'artistic' pic of their Crusader Excalibur Duke towed by their reliable Holden Colorado at Rochester, Victoria, on a recent trip to South Australia, VIC and back to Perth.  “We have seen a lot silo art on our travels, but we must say that the colours are so vivid, and proportions so good, that we have to share this with our fellow readers,” they write. ”We enjoy travelling this beautiful country of ours.”

Paul and Robyn Maynard are back on the Eyre Peninsula in SA again and parked up their solid 2002 Jayco Westport and 2007 Nissan Patrol tow-tug at one of their favourite beach camps for an early morning sunrise. “We love exploring this place, we find something new every year and the seafood is just amazing,” they write. “We have trouble pulling camp and heading back to WA after four months on the Eyre Peninsula.”

Philip and Leanne Morter their mini schnauser Holly took this photo while camped for the night just off the road about 120km west of Windorah, QLD. “We were on our way to the Birdsville races in September 2018,” they write. “Our 2018 Paramount Commander XT performed well on its maiden run towed by our Jeep Grand Cherokee.”

WIN! 28 caravanworld.com.au

This month’s winner will receive a Purple Line Saracen Ultra Hitch Lock, valued at $189. Saracen Ultra is a highly visible, simple to use, compact, high security lock which works both hitched and unhitched to keep would-be caravan thieves at bay. It fits to most standard 50mm ball hitches on caravans, camper trailers, boat and car trailers, and even work trailers. For more information about this and a host of other vanning accessories, visit purpleline.com.au


READERS' RIGS

REGULARS

Don Roberts and Jenny Golby have dug into their archives to share this pic of their 40-year-old Viscount Supreme, towed by their trusty 2000 model Holden Commodore taken a few years ago. The pair, who upgraded to this van after tiring of the setup involved in their camper trailer, have since sold their “lovely old van” but they have plenty of happy memories travelling in it. “We would often camp near people with rigs worth in excess of $150K or more,” they write. “But we were all there to do the exact same thing — camping. So many times we would smile when owners of big-dollar rigs would often come over to us and tell us their parents or whoever had such a van, and if they could please have a look inside.”

HOW TO WIN

Just email your most travel-inspiring picture (2-3Mb) of yourself, family and friends, with your rig along with a brief description to: submissions@emprisegroup.com.au with ‘Readers’ Rigs’ in the subject line, or send a print to Caravan World Readers’ Rigs, 125 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North, Vic 3161. All entries must include your full postal address (not for publication). Photo submissions may also appear on caravanworld.com.au.

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7

th

ANNUAL SHOWCASE FOR Words

anji bignell

BEST AUSSIE VANS

Best Aussie Vans (BAV) is Australia’s premier, invitation-only caravanning event and it’s back again in 2019

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T

his year marks BAV’s 7th annual showcase and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Each year, Caravan World magazine reviews more than 100 caravans and only the best vans in the industry are chosen to participate in BAV. We invite Australia’s leading manufacturers to come together at an iconic Australian destination where their vans go head-to-head for the top award.

the judges

Our judging team is chosen to reflect a wide range of industry-centric skillsets, from retired electricians to outback survival experts and long-time caravan owners; experience plays a big part. Independent assessment of all qualified entrants during the testing and review component of BAV is a critical aspect of each event too, as is independence from manufacturers. No judge for Caravan World can be sponsored by the industry. Our people are young and old; some are more aligned to the harsh outback and some the gentle life a resort park affords. We do this to offer a balance of opinions and to reflect our readers more widely.

The first being we take at least four judges to BAV who each score the product, and we average their scores and include comments from their broad range of experience and expertise. This is then included in the final reviews that go to print in Caravan World with the award winners. The second being that every caravan needs to be seen by our team, usually in the form of a review, before being allowed to attend the event. Our brand, and broader business, is built on a number of core values (one of which is transparency) and our content is defined by its quality, credibility as well as its authority. We've set the bar high every year for the past six years and look forward to acknowledging some of this year's best manufacturers later in the year. If you would like to learn more about the judges, the process, the winners and the finalists from previous BAVs, head online to the Caravan World site (caravan.hemax.com) for more details.

“Independent assessment of all qualified entrants during the testing and review component of BAV is a critical aspect of each event too, as is independence from manufacturers”

how it works

Aside from a few wording changes, tightening up the criteria and adding some new voices; how we judge the vans has remained the same since the inaugural Camper Trailer of the Year (CTOTY) in 2009, and we use the exact same judging criteria system at Best Aussie Vans (BAV), with two key differences:

PICS THIS PAGE All vans invited to take part in BAV are assessed by our team prior to the event

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THE JUDGES' SCORESHEET The basis of every review and the guiding assessment principles our panel of judges use to score the final entrants at BAV comprise the following 10 criteria (scored out of 10): VALUE FOR MONEY or less: the judge felt like your money should be spent elsewhere to : price-competitive but perhaps not great value to : good value for money, and better than its competitors to : exceptionally priced; few competing with it for value TOWABILITY or less: felt unsafe or was extremely difficult to tow to : vices in testing that need attention to : towed well without issue to : not only towed well but that it exceeded expectations to become a new benchmark in towability LIVEABILITY or less: you wouldn't want to, or could not live in the van to : room for improvement is needed but the van is liveable to : not only liveable but somewhere you would enjoy being to : you would not only feel at home within but also somewhere you’d rather be SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING or less: not fit for its intended purpose to : does most of what it sets out to achieve but needs refinement to : capable for its intended purpose to : more capable than the manufacturer suggests or that the reviewer expected LAYOUT or less: critical layout issues; that it is barely, if at all, useable to : layout works but has flaws to : comfortable and practical layout to : layout is unique, works well and exceeds expectation QUALITY OF FINISH or less: major flaws seen throughout the tested product to : carrying some minor, rectifiable cosmetic flaws to : acceptable but basic finish to : flawless finish of an impeccable standard

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BUILD QUALITY or less: major build quality issues needing immediate attention to : average quality, needing some refinement to : well made and up to expectation to : faultless and innovative build CREATURE COMFORTS or less: missing vital components and is uncomfortable to : as comfortable as expected but misses some key components to : both comfortable and wellappointed to : a level of opulence not seen in its class before INNOVATION or less : replica of a bad design to : run-of-the-mill design that has been seen and done before to : evolutionary change to a known design or style but done well to : reserved for new designs that challenge competitors and customers’ expectations of what a van can be X-FACTOR or less: suggests the van is boring in all aspects to : has appeal but no more than most vans in its class to : different, interesting and appealing to : suggests the van is ground breaking, that it excites and will draw a crowd NB: The judge must quantify or validate their scores with a comment. This could be how the van compares to a similar model on price in ‘Value For Money’ or the level of luxury inside for ‘Creature Comforts’. Although this is covered in full reviews, these snapshots are here to give you the justification behind the judges’ scores.


13th - 15th SEPT at Sanctuary Cove Get ready for three days of off-the-charts excitement at Australia’s newest outdoor lifestyle event, OutdoorX. If you’re up for adventure, don’t miss your chance to see, touch and explore the latest in caravans, motorhomes, 4x4’s, trailer boats, campervans, water sport and so much more at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.

visit outdoorx.com.au


Torture Tested

T i m va n Duyl

We dragged two prototype Zone RV Expedition Series Z-10.0 campers 9000km from Brisbane to Innamincka, Adelaide, Esperance and back, all in the name of testing. What came of it was good and bad news Pics Matt Williams

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Words


Zone RV Expedition S e r i e s Z-1 0 . 0 TESTED

IN BRIEF Industry leading tech Outstanding comfort Huge payload

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MEASURING

UP PROS

“Joins are bonded together without the use of screws or bolts with a laser-cut alloy cap providing a surface to bond to”

L

et's start with the bad news. They didn't come back exactly in one piece and Zone RV hates us for it — but the good news is nothing the Sunshine Coast team built failed, only some bits supplied to them and these were easily repaired. Plus, we can confidently say these campers are more than up to the task that we doubt 99 per cent of us will ever attempt. It is crazy to expect anyone to do the type of trip we did with a full-size camper, let alone a hard-body one with a travel height of nearly 2.5m (8ft 2in), width of over 2m (6ft 6in) and towed weight around 2000kg each. We were doing three-point turns on what can only be described as goat tracks, wincing at the size and closeness of trees; we got bogged more often than I want to admit and saw an immeasurable volume of rocks and stones tossed up at the two Z-10.0s. Our review saw us drive to Innamincka, down the Strzelecki, through Adelaide and across the Great Australian Bight with the goal to not use blacktop where possible. We even returned on dirt roads where we could, partly to shorten the drive but also because we could and that's a big part of the Zone RV philosophy. With Zone, you can go further with confidence.

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Offroad, off-grid caravan Massive water/ battery capacity Storage space Practical layout Three-year Australia-wide warranty

CONS Would love to see an external barbecue A big van needs a big vehicle to tow it

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Control panel for the impressive XT Cruisemaster suspension; the Z-10.0 throws plenty of shade; optional 180L water capacity was included on our test campers

QUEEN BED

SINK & MiXER TAP

SLIDE OUT KITCHEN

LARGE FRIDGE


Zone RV Expedition S e r i e s Z-1 0 . 0 TESTED

ZONE RV EXPEDITION SERIES Z-10.0 TRAILER Tare 1300kg Payload 900kg Ball weight 185kg ATM 2200kg Suspension XT Cruisemaster coil suspension with twin shocks and airbags Brakes 10in AL-KO offroad spec electric drums Coupling Cruisemaster DO35 with handbrake Cladding Closed cell composite fibreglass sandwich wall, roof and floor construction with aluminium scrub rails and Raptor coating Frame Marine NA Chassis Steel RHS Duragal

150mm x 50mm with 50mm offroad lift and Raptor coating Drawbar RHS Duragal 150mm x 50mm with Raptor coating Wheels Dirty Life 16x8 Alloy Tyres Cooper STT Pro All-Terrain 265x65 DIMENSIONS Body length (internal) 3.06m Width (internal) 1.93m

OPTIONS INCLUDED Gas 4.5kg, 180L water, Dometic three-burner slide-out kitchen with sink, tap and cutlery drawer, 1 x 100Ah Enerdrive lithium battery with 2000W ePro inverter, 220W solar, 75L locker

fridge with Isotherm fridge/ freezer panel PRICE AS TESTED $73,500 PRICED FROM $49,900 ENQUIRIES To find out more about this caravan, contact Zone RV, 41 Link Crescent, Coolum Beach, 4573 QLD Ph: (07) 54 716 410 Email: sales@ZoneRV.com.au Web: www.zonerv.com.au

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Little

ISLAND,

BIG ATTITUDE

It may be diminutive in terms of land mass, but Tasmania brims with so many attractions for the whole family it’s no wonder it’s the apple of our isle... Words and Pics Kat h a n d S c o t t H e i m a n

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TAS M A N I A

ISLAND TOURING

W

hen we travel the highways and byways of the mainland, we can soon find ourselves in regional areas where towns and villages are far between. Beyond the coastal fringe, the population density dwindles rapidly and vast tracts of the country take on the distinctive look and feel of the Australian scrub. Picture pastoral holdings as expansive as small European countries — and mulga plains that can stretch for hundreds of kilometres. It can be enough to leave most kids howling, “Are we there yet!” from the back seat. If the prospect of this type of holiday ‘fun’ with the kids doesn’t float your boat, perhaps it’s time to turn your compass south and take a trip to Tasmania. We recently took a Heiman family adventure across Bass Strait for a few weeks to do some reconnaissance and the results are pretty clear: Tassie packs a punch as a family holiday destination.

SIZE DOESN’T MATTER

It’s no great revelation to be reminded that Tasmania is Australia’s smallest state accounting for less than 1 per cent of Australia’s landmass. You may be more surprised by what one of the locals told us: “Wherever you find yourself in Tasmania, you’re less than 150km by road from the coast.” Seriously. And ++this makes sense when you consider that Tasmania has a coastline of only 3000km. In terms of population, there's not a whole heap of people down here. Indeed, the whole state has a population less than Queensland’s Gold Coast, which accounts for 2 per cent of the national population. While these statistics mean that Tasmania is a relatively compact holiday destination, they belie the richness and variety that exists within the state. Whether you’re looking for rugged wilderness adventures, fishing, sites of historic and cultural significance, surfing, museums, gourmet produce or simply chillaxing, we bet there’s a little patch of Tassie that has your name on it. And, chances are, it probably has your kids’ names on it too. The biggest challenge is to work out where to focus the family’s attention when there are so many fun options available. With just three weeks to spend on the island, our hybrid RV in tow and our eightyear-old on board, we decided to focus our energies on those parts of Tasmania well beyond the reach of the fly-in mainland tourist. So our route would take us to the furthest reaches of the island for a taste of Tasmania, ‘where the wild-things are’.

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S o u t h e r n c o as ta l hotspots

WINTER TRAVEL

Winter HUMMING IS

Live your very best uncrowded holiday life by thumbing your nose at the northern-bound hordes this winter and instead turn towards these top southern Australia’s seaside camps Words C at h e r i n e L aw s o n Pics D av i d B r i s t o w

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ALBANY FREE CAMPS, SOUTHWEST WA

Nestled on turquoise bays and white sand beaches, Albany’s five seaside camps make excellent wintertime fishing destinations. You can park your caravan easily at petfriendly Cosy Corner for seven days of beachcombing and boating, or drive 30 minutes east of Albany to neighbouring camps at Bettys Beach and Normans Inlet which are, quite simply, exquisite. Ideal for compact caravans, Normans Inlet attracts paddlers who can glide across a deep, tannin-hued pool graced by elegant black swans and explore the edge of Mount Many Peaks Nature Reserve. Close by, the grassy campsites at Betty’s Beach overlook one of the region’s prettiest bays, bookcased by giant granite boulders that glow golden with orange lichen at sunset. Pods of dolphins fish the bay and with a 4WD you can access the beach to launch a tinnie or reach rock-fishing spots at low tide.

Caravanners should take care negotiating the steep access road (the Council website warns vanners off this camp but it can be done). At the camp, set up amongst the salmon fishing shacks, occupied only over the busy summer.

Fast Facts: Albany is 415km southeast of Perth. Stay: Freecamp available at Cosy Corner, Torbay West, East Bay, Normans Inlet or Bettys Beach (seven-day limit, toilets and bins only, no fires and no mobile reception). Entry fee: Free. Enjoy: Fishing, paddling, walking and birding. Contact: theamazingsouthcoast.com.

“Normans Inlet attracts paddlers who can glide across a deep, tannin-hued pool graced by elegant black swans”

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Out of salmon season, caravanners claim top campsites at Bettys Beach, Albany; seaside escapes at Albany; Normans Inlet attracts paddlers and campers

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S o u t h e r n c o as ta l hotspots

MALLACOOTA, EASTERN VICTORIA

WINTER TRAVEL

FROM TOP Mallacoota's Betka Beach is beautiful and uncrowded during winter; climb the easy trail up Genoa Peak for views over Mallacoota; birdwatchers will love the easy Wingan Nature Walk

Known for pulling immense summer holiday crowds, Mallacoota is just as breathtaking when the skies darken and the wind blows. Only over the chilly winter months do travellers have this magnificent coastline all to themselves to tackle quiet bushwalks and paddle Mallacoota Lakes far inland spotting waterbirds easily scared off by the noisy summertime crowds. For mind-blowing vistas, climb the easy trail to the summit of Genoa Peak, 490m above Mallacoota Lakes and Croajingolong National Park’s wild, 100km-long coastline (3km/two hours return). Birdwatchers will love the easy Wingan Nature Walk (1.5 hours) for the chance to spot feathertail gliders, lyrebirds and eastern whipbirds. Fast Facts: Mallacoota is 450km east of Melbourne and 500km south of Sydney. Stay: Choose Shady Gully Caravan Park (powered sites $31/couple), Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park (pets and campfires permitted, powered sites from $25/couple), Beachcomber Caravan Park or A-Wangralea Caravan Park. Enjoy: Fishing, boating, swimming, walking, paddling and surfing. Contact: www.visitmallacoota.com.au.

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GETON YOUR

HIKE

Unplug from the pressures of daily life and take a walk on the wild side with the five-day, 61km trek along the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail Words and Pics C a r o ly n e J as i n s k i

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Ka n g a r o o I s l a n d , S A

ISLAND TOURING

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Hitting

THE

high notes You could say the Wonderland Adventus 1906 is the RV version of the iconic mixtape — with a combination of blacktop-inspired street smarts and light-offroad cred, it can play a tune for just about every type of traveller

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Words and Pics

M at t Williams


W O N D E R L A N D A D V E N T U S 19 0 6 TESTED

IN BRIEF 6m (19ft 6in) tandem axle caravan Cross-Country Series (light offroad) 680kg payload Three-year structural warranty (Australiawide)

I

s there a natural progression when it comes to living the outdoor life? Is there an order, a checklist that we follow when we leave the city lights behind and start to explore further afield? Young and single? Swag. Young and a couple? Tent. A little bit older with an offspring or two? Camper trailer. A bit older with an appreciation of the finer things in life? Caravan. A bit older with an appreciation of the finer things in life, but still feeling adventurous? A Wonderland Adventus! Yep, the Adventus is what the crew from Wonderland call their ‘Cross-Country Series’. It's a little bit city, a little bit country. A little bit blacktop, a little bit offroad. This van has been designed for stressfree touring. For those weekends away, or extended travel, the Adventus is ideal for couples and families who don't mind taking a few luxuries with them on the road. Our model of choice for a beautiful day exploring the Glasshouse Mountains was the 6m (19ft 6in) model. Apart from the picturesque scenery that the region provides, there's also a great range of varied terrain to test the van’s capabilities. From highway speeds along the mighty Bruce Highway, fast graded dirt tracks and even a bit of mild offroad action, our day was looking promising.

DEBUT PERFORMANCE

On hitching the van up at the Queensland Wonderland Dealer, Aussie Escape Caravans, the first thing I noticed was the use of a standard 50mm ball coupling. Now, I realise that this van is only designed for light offroading, so I actually think that this is a good idea. If a Cruisemaster DO35, or similar offroad hitch was fitted, it would give a false

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ISLAND

Paradise

It’s time to escape the cold southern winter and discover a northern island that will blow you away Words and Pics Glenn Marshall

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DIRK HARTOG i s l a n d , WA

ISLAND TOURING

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DEPARTMENTOF

defence This tough-asnails hybrid camper embodies the absolute authority to dispense unruly creek crossings and misbehaving corrugated offroad tracks without raising a sweat

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Words and Pics

M at t Williams


R H I N O M AX D E F E N D E R 1 5 f t H Y B R I D TESTED

IN BRIEF 4.6m (15ft) single axle hybrid camper Off-grid capacity 760kg payload Aussie made and owned

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MEASURING

UP PROS

RIGHT TO LEFT The Defender comes with a supercharged awning; setup is quick and easy

W

hat do you get when two Englishmen start a camper trailer business? While this may sound like the opening line of a very corny gag, I assure you a RhinoMax Hybrid Camper is definitely no joke. As we ventured along Booloumba Creek Rd just outside of Kenilworth, QLD, with the sun starting to get lower in the sky, kicking up dust behind the LandCruiser and partially obscuring our view of the RhinoMax Defender Hybrid, it dawned on me that it was school holiday time and I hadn't booked a campsite. Our chances of finding a nice place to set the camper up may be a little slimmer than normal. Through one creek crossing and then another we arrived at the camping area to find what I had expected. A full camp. “Not to worry,” said Steve Punton of RhinoMax. “I know another spot just on the other side of Kenilworth.” Back through the creek crossings, down the dirt tracks, past the horses, then it was back on to the bitumen via a quick detour to the Kenilworth Bakery (if you're in the area check out the 1kg doughnut challenge!) before heading through the gates of Bluff Creek Campground. Although there were already quite a few campers set up, there's plenty of room to spread out and find a spot of your own. A creek flows through the property, so if you're staying for longer, remember to bring your boardies for a swim.

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Extremely quick setup with automatic actuators to raise and lower roof Plenty of storage, both inside and out Two-year manufacturer’s warranty plus an extended five-year chassis and suspension warranty Narrow width Offroad ability

CONS Water tank filler hoses running through electrical cupboard Fridge should be standard Location of fire extinguisher

SEAT SHOWER

STORAGE

QUEEN BED

SEAT DOOR

SLIDEOUT KITCHEN

TOILET


R H I N O M AX D E F E N D E R 1 5 f t H Y B R I D TESTED

“To say that setting up the Defender Hybrid is a quick and simple task would quite possibly be the understatement of this issue”

RHINOMAX DEFENDER 15FT HYBRID

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES Length (hybrid)4.6m (15ft 1in) Length (overall) 6.9m (22ft 8in) including rear-mounted spare wheel Width 1.97m (6ft 6in) Travel height 2.44m (8ft) Internal height 2.1m (6ft 11in) Tare 1740kg ATM 2500kg Payload 760kg Ball weight 145kg Bed size Queen with innerspring mattress EXTERNAL Body 30mm insulated fibreglass composite panel construction (frameless)

Chassis 150mm x 50mm x 3mm Fan Sirocco 12V hot-dipped fully galvanised Gas 2 x 4kg chassis with integrated drawbar Sway control N/A Suspension Cruisemaster XT All Kitchen External slide-out with Terrain 2600kg independent coil three-burner gas stove, stainless spring suspension with twin sink with hot/cold mixer shocks Fridge EvaKool 85L Coupling Cruisemaster DO35 3500kg INTERNAL Brakes 12in electric drum Bathroom Ensuite with Wheels 265/70R17 all terrains on combined shower/toilet, internal vanity sink with hot/cold water 17in six-stud alloy rims (can be matched to tow vehicle as an Hot water Truma Gas Lounge Four-seater lounge/ option) with single spare Water 1 x 125L and 1 x 85L dining area (fresh), 1 x 85L (grey) OPTIONS FITTED Battery 200Ah lithium 200Ah lithium battery, diesel Solar 2 x 160W panels cabin heater, 2000W inverter, Air-conditioner N/A

multimedia entertainment system (HD digital TV with integrated DVD/USB player plus external Winegard antenna), EvaKool 85L fridge, electric automatic roof opening system, cargo/wood basket on front storage box, rearview camera PRICE AS SHOWN $97,990 with options $89,990 with standard inclusions MORE INFORMATION To enquire about this hybrid camper, please visit https:// rhinomaxcampers.com.au or phone (07) 5338 7240

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“So the chassis and suspension get the tick of approval, but there's something else that's required in my books to prove a trailer’s true offroad credentials” GETTING SET UP

We managed to find a great little grassy spot, nestled in amongst the trees with its own fire pit and even a porta loo! Needless to say, we all wished we were there for longer with return trips already penned in our diaries. To say that setting up the Defender Hybrid is a quick and simple task would quite possibly be the understatement of this issue. I didn't have a stopwatch on me for our review, but even if I did, it would have been barely worth the effort. Drop down the stabiliser legs, unclip the roof, press the button for the electric automatic roof (raised by two internal rams), then wind out the massive awning and you're done. Grab your chairs, kick back and relax. When the tummy starts to rumble, it's good to know that the gourmet kitchen is but the releasing of a few clips away. Appearing from a hatch in front of the wheel arch, the stainless steel kitchen first slides out, then an expandable benchtop extends along the side of the camper, creating a fantastic cooking/ preparation area. A three-burner gas cooktop and a stainless steel sink with a hot/cold mixer tap completes the package. Storage is also abundant, with a cutlery/utensil drawer and a utility space beneath the work area, and two pantry drawers above. Pull out the fridge slide located on the left of the kitchen to reveal a clever storage unit behind for pots, pans and larger items. The fridge slide will handle up to an 85L EvaKool fridge/freezer. Unfortunately, a fridge is not part of the standard inclusions, and will have to be purchased separately or added as an option.

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CLOCKWISE FROM BELOW Cruisemaster XT suspension offers a silky ride; offroading is the sole focus for RhinoMax; hey presto — the stainless steel kitchen just slides out; all you need for offroad cheffing


R H I N O M AX D E F E N D E R 1 5 f t H Y B R I D TESTED

RATINGS VALUE FOR MONEY “Would have scored higher if the fridge was included” TOWABILITY “With an ATM of only 2500kg, you don't need the biggest 4WD on the block to tow it” LIVEABILITY “Whether it be for a week or a month, the Defender won't disappoint” SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING “Will take on the rough stuff without missing a beat” LAYOUT “Functional layout that works well” QUALITY OF FINISH

STORAGE FOR MILES

There's no denying that these days, we have a lot of 'stuff'. And when we head away, we take a lot of this 'stuff' with us. Well, you'll be happy to know the Defender has lots of places for you to put your stuff with storage compartments and hatches all over the place. Perched up front is a mass of black powder-coated aluminium. There are spots for a couple of 20L jerry cans and a lockable box that contains your two 4kg gas bottles (that are plumbed up to the kitchen and hot water system). Behind that is a full width storage box with drop-down access doors on both ends. This is a space that could quite easily handle an extra fridge and slide or a generator if required. If not, it's left to your own imagination. Did I hear 'golf clubs'?

This camper has been optioned up with the diesel cab heater, with the diesel tank neatly tucked in on the offside of the front storage box and protected behind an aluminium shroud. Sitting on top of the big black box is an open storage unit, just perfect for when you need to collect a bit of firewood for the night. At the front on the offside are three more storage compartments, all with bottomhinged doors making it very easy to put your stuff in, and take your stuff out. The front box takes up the void behind the fridge compartment from the other side, and is designed to take a Baby Q or a small generator. Behind door number two is pretty much a cave. Camp chairs and tables, ground sheets and even a spare kitchen sink would all fit in here and there would still be room left over.

“Attention to detail and only top quality products used” BUILD QUALITY “The RhinoMax team want to build the best campers on the market. They are going the right way about it” CREATURE COMFORTS “Anything with an internal ensuite raises the comfort stakes” INNOVATION “Frameless design with enhanced strength and light weight” X-FACTOR “Pushing manufacturing boundaries looking for that edge in the market”

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of ISLE

MIGHT Although a favourite Victorian summer holiday playground, PhillIp Island’s coastal charms are hefty enough to warrant a visit any time of year Words S a n d y G u y Pics s a n d y G u y a n d s u p p l i e d

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PHILLIP ISLAND, VIC

ISLAND TOURING

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P

enguins are one of the oldest kinds of birds: it’s believed they’ve been around for more than 60 million years. Little penguins are the smallest of the world’s 17 species, and grow to a mere 33cm in height. Native to Australia, they have been nesting in the sand dunes around Phillip Island, VIC since time immemorial. Early farmers on the island, which was first settled by Europeans in 1842, had the island’s glorious beaches to themselves. Many pioneering families made their way across the trackless landscape to Summerlands Beach to watch little penguins make their way to their burrows in the dunes after a day’s fishing at sea. Aside from locals and a sprinkling of visitors, all was relatively quiet at Summerlands until the 1920s, when an access track was established and growing numbers of visitors began seeing the penguins perform their nightly ritual. Today Summerlands is home to Phillip Island Nature Parks Penguin Parade, one of Australia’s most popular wildlife attractions.

BEAT THE CROWDS

FROM TOP Picturesque Cowes Beach and jetty; little penguins are the star attraction here; birdlife on Phillip Island is prolific

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During peak holiday periods just getting onto what is affectionately known by locals as “the island”can, like many popular holiday destinations, be hard work. Traffic

has been known to be banked as far back as Grantville, 22km north, and from there crawl into the seaside town of San Remo, and across the bridge onto the island. In the off-season, you may need to rug up to experience some of Phillip Island’s charms, but the roads are a breeze, there’s no jostling with crowds in the island’s main town of Cowes, and the queues to attractions such as the Penguin Parade are much reduced. Little penguins make their sunset journey to Summerlands every night of the year, regardless of the weather. When not penguin-spotting, there are other nature-based experiences including Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, koalas, shearwaters (mutton birds) and pelicans. Just 26km long and 9km wide, Phillip Island is surrounded by fine swimming beaches to the north of the island, and rugged ocean beaches on the south side, which faces windswept Bass Strait. The seaside town of San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island. Here a 700m-long bridge spans a channel known as The Narrows, connecting San Remo to the town of Newhaven. A cluster of fishing boats are moored around the San Remo jetty, just near the San Remo Fishing Co-operative, a popular place to stock up on fresh seafood, and equally


PHILLIP ISLAND, VIC

ISLAND TOURING

“Early farmers on the island, which was first settled by Europeans in 1842, had the island’s glorious beaches to themselves” renowned for its fish and chips. Every day at around noon a pod of pelicans descends for their daily feed of fish on the sandy beach foreshore near the jetty, a sight that thrills children and photographers alike. San Remo’s Marine Parade features some chic cafes, a bakery, supermarket, and two popular pubs, the San Remo Hotel and The Westernport Hotel, both offering Gippsland beef and lamb and fresh local seafood.

ISLAND-STYLE DINING

Across the bridge is the village of Newhaven, home to Bass Coast Direct fresh fish shop in Boys Home Rd, a yacht club and marina, and Saltwater Phillip Island, a classy cafe at the pier established in an abandoned abalone

FROM TOP Bounty aplenty at Churchill Island's farmers’ market; fresh fish and chips at San Remo

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N o va T e r r a S p o r t z TESTED

Sportz Sortz IN BRIEF

Bona fide 5.56m (18ft 3in) offroader Nova Pro-Al sandwich panel walls Opulent interior decor

OF ALL Words

Peter Q u i lt y

When you're hitting ‘Terra’ firma, you’re sure to go ‘Sportz’ crazy in this super Nova Pics Graeme Neander

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TESTED N o va T e r r a S p o r t z

MEASURING

UP PROS Indulgent liveability Outstanding build quality Perfect finishing touches

CONS No pull-out pantry No 12V hatch in main section of ensuite

ABOVE The Terra Sportz's new Pro-Al one-piece walls are lightweight, strong and UV-stabilised

N

ova Caravans’ Terra Sportz has undergone several proactive metamorphoses during the past decade. And, in terms of these advancements, its 2019 model definitely takes the cake. Obviously there are myriad points of difference worth divulging. So, let’s not dilly dally about here. The following are some unique attributes of the Terra Sportz that, even on first glimpse, hit you square in the face. Its one-piece roof avoids unnecessary joins commonly found in conventional aluminium roofs, preventing leaks and overuse of silicone. No more buckles or leaks. And its internal white poplar ply allows for strengthened furniture yet still maintains the hallmarks of a lightweight van.

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“It also boasts honeycomb material, lightweight one-piece floors, moving away from wood” ROBE TOILET FRIDGE VANITY QUEEN BED

TABLE

ROBE

DINETTE

SHOWER


Heart-warming

brews eASY MULLED WINE

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes or less SERVES: 4 (or 2 bigger serves)

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Ingredients • • • • • • •

Wrap your woolly mitts around these tasty beverages to warm you on your travels.

1 bottle of red wine (any type will do) ½ cup brown sugar 2 cinnamon sticks 4 star anise 4 cloves 1 lemon, sliced 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Method

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer gently on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, without boiling the mixture. Pour the mulled wine through a sieve into mugs or heatproof glasses to serve. Garnish with slices of lemon.


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