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iMotorhome

19: February 16 2013

.com.au

Issue

because getting there is half the fun...

Monte Carlo Dreaming Sampling Sunliner’s most expensive real estate... Rearview!

Suncamper Sovereign seeks new home...

Battery Myths Exploded Collyn Rivers sets the record straight


Trakkaway 700


On my mind... FREEDOM AND A NAME CHANGE

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he issue of Freedom Camping I raised in last issue’s editorial seems to have touched a nerve: It has elicited more reader comments than any other and is proving a subject on which passions run deep. The website freechoicecamps. com.au has been established by concerned individuals to help unite and galvanise the fight against restrictions on free camping. On its homepage it not only accuses caravan parks of being behind the antifree camping campaign, but also caravan and motorhome manufacturers. Whilst I support the cause, I find the notion that

RV manufacturers would be seeking to limit the freedom of their customers (and by doing so jeopardise future profits), odd. I know many manufacturers personally and those with whom I’ve discussed this are baffled (and not more than a little annoyed) by the accusation. Apparently one of, if not the main force working against free camping, is the Caravan, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia Ltd (CRVA). The argument that manufacturers are in cahoots with the CRVA stems either from inaction to refute its claims, or membership of the Association, thereby

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being seen to legitimise its aims. There is a significant weight of research documenting the economic benefits communities reap when people are allowed to free camp, responsibly, in their vicinity. Yet the overwhelming feeling is the CRVA is winning the PR war. In reality this is a deep, complex issue that crosses State and Federal boundaries and there is no silver bullet or quick-fix solution. The CMCA seems to come in for a lot of criticism for its perceived lack of action, or perhaps more correctly the perceived lack of results from its actions. Unfortunately, there are many armchair experts but Continued...

• Campervans • Motorhomes • Caravans • Hobby Haulers

• Campervans • Motorhomes • 4x4 Campers • Caravans

• Camper Trailers • Off-Road Caravans • Pop-top Caravans • Hard-top Caravans • Campervans • Motorhomes

5 Melrose Dr, Wodonga 3690 • Ph: 02 6024 4222 • awrvworld.com.au


Onmy mymind... mind... On ...Continued

few people willing or capable of furthering the cause effectively, while there are many behindthe-scenes maneuverings the majority of us will never be privy to. So does this mean we should trust the process and move on? Certainly not. For a start, visit the CRVA’s website here and subscribe to its newsletter. Also let them know what you think

– in a calm and civilised way, of course. We’ll be following developments on an ongoing basis, but in the mean time it would be good to hear from people inside the RV Industry. So far, Industry reaction has been mute. Finally, the big news around the Industry is Winnebago launching the Avida brand next week (see NEWS). Rumours

The iMotorhome Team

have been swirling for weeks and the name first surfaced just before the Newcastle show last week. Is it a gamble, will it work and does anyone really care? I posted the breaking news on Facebook 7 hours ago, in which time 81 people have read it, but not a single person has Liked or commented. Now THAT is news...

d r a h c i R

Richard Robertson

Malcolm Street

Agnes Nielsen-Connolly

Publisher & Managing Editor

Consulting Editor

Design & Production Manager

A long-time freelance RV, motoring and travel writer, Richard is a dedicated, longterm motorhome enthusiast.

Unquestionably Australia and New Zealand’s best known RV journalist, Malcolm is a fixture at CMCA rallies and RV shows and is now in his second decade as a specialist RV writer.

Agnes is an experienced and talented graphic designer with extensive experience across a wide range of disciplines, including travel and advertising.

richard@imotorhome.com.au

He has held senior editorial positions with some of the best know recreational vehicle magazines in Australia. Richard also has a passion for lifestyleenhancing technology, which is why he is the driving force behind the new iMotorhome eMagazine.

malcolm@imotorhome.com.au

If it’s available on either side of the Tasman, Malcolm has probably driven it, slept in it, reported on it, knows how it’s made and can tell you just how good it really is.

agnes@imotorhome.com.au

Designing and producing iMotorhome issues since June 2012, Agnes does much of the behind-the scenes work to ensure every issue looks great and is easy to read.

©2013 iMotorhome. All rights reserved. Published by iMotorhome. ABN 34 142 547 719. PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW. 2576. Contact us on 0414 604 368 or Email: info@imotorhome.com.au


INSIDE EDISNI

3 ON MY MIND 6 ON YOUR MIND Free camping and a new beginning

A new place so you can have your say

10 NEWS

Happenings in the RV world

14 TESTED

Monte Carlo Musings – Malcolm Street samples Sunliner’s finest

26 REARVIEW

Stately Sovereign – Suncamper’s first Sovereign seeks a new home

SHOW FEATURE 31 17

Summer Sizzler – Newcastle puts on a hot show in more ways than one

36 PROFILE

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Trakka helps out with the big business of small business

40 TECHNICAL

23 46 MOBILE TECH Battery Myths – Busted!

Captain’s Log Communicator – for the Trekkie in all of us!

50 NEXT ISSUE What’s coming up, plus our show calendar

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On your mind... WIN A $50 CALTEX FUEL CARD!

1st $50 Winner! FIAT DUCATO RADIO TIP The 2012 Fiat Ducato radio can be reset to stay on for 3 hours while stationary. I own a new 2012 Winnebago Birdsville which had the same problem, so I Googled and found a UK Fiat forum website with the answer. I can't understand why local motorhome manufacturers using the Fiat Ducato haven't got onto the remedy and reset the radio in the factory. Here is the remedy copied from the website. • Turn radio on using central ‘power’ button • Within 15 seconds, simultaneously press ‘FM AS’ and preset button ‘2’. Each time this pair of buttons are pressed the display will alternate between ‘NORMAL POWER MODE’ and ‘CAMPER POWER MODE’

It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to letters@imotorhome. com.au and we’ll share it with

our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with a $50 Caltex fuel card to help you on your way.

• Ensure ‘CAMPER POWER MODE’ is displayed, then press ‘MENU’

Please note that in ‘NORMAL POWER MODE’ the same subsequent steps detailed above can be followed, to choose between ’20 mins’ and ‘0 mins’ of radio operation.

• Using the ‘UP’ and ‘DOWN’ button now changes the display to show various adjustable items. Cycle through the options until ‘RADIO OFF’ and a number of minutes is shown on the display. This will take approx. two presses of the ‘UP’ button or seven presses of the ‘DOWN’ button. • With ‘RADIO OFF’ shown on the display press the ‘LEFT’ or ‘RIGHT’ button. Each press of either button will alternate the number of minutes shown between ‘180’ and ‘0’ • With ‘180’ showing on the display the setting is complete and three hours of radio operation should be possible. Press the ‘POWER’ button to exit the menu and return the display to its usual view.

I can assure you it does work. I read your magazine each month on my iPad. Alan Steel Canberra Thanks Alan, a very helpful tip and thanks for sharing it with us. I hope the fuel card will help further your travels a little and perhaps spur you on to discover more useful tips! Owners of pre-current model Fiat Ducatos should note that it doesn’t appear you can do the same thing with older vehicles. Sorry...


On your mind...

MAN UP! Hi Richard, The Cabin Park (sorry Caravan Park!) strategy against Freedom of Choice Camping has so far failed their members (profits); failed valid scrutiny; failed "other" businesses income; failed to increase tourists to destinations; failed to sway travellers to use CPs and failed society's principles of a fair go.

7 Love your freedom. Love your Horizon.

I cannot believe Councils or State Governments can remain so "hoodwinked" as to defend the strategy, with the amount of evidence against it. One positive is a more united front by travellers and associated membership bodies against the CP "strategy." Surely Councillors or MPs with some commonsense and nous would be able to see the problem/s and fix it/them? However, it appears that some aren't prepared to stand up and say, "This current situation is wrong." Why not? Too scared that it looks like a backflip? MAN UP! That's what you were elected to do: The best interests of the ratepayers, businesses, visitors and your jurisdiction are paramount, not the "profits" of one! Regards Motorhoming Mitch Brisbane

Your freedom is well deserved and Horizon Motorhome is your perfect reward. Established in 1995, our motorhomes are built in, not bolted on, and use Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen Crafter and Fiat Ducato as base vehicles with the option of two or four wheel drive. A choice of five models with a huge selection of tailorable features allows you to personalise your motorhome to your travelling needs. Our quality interiors offer clever layouts to maximize storage and convenience, and our entire range is easy to drive and simple to park. Experience the difference. Test drive a Horizon Motorhome today.

Thanks Motorhoming Mitch (great name!), I’m sure you’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people wondering why we all seem to be being sold up the river by our elected representatives. Stay tuned, this topic will become an ongoing one with us now as we try to help redress the imbalance.

p. 02 6681 1555 • 299 River St, Ballina NSW 2478

www.ballinacampers.com.au


On your mind... MISSING THE BIG PICTURE? Hi Guys. Firstly, congrats with the iMagazine. I really enjoy reading it, just like I like reading the Wanderer. Anyway, just a note about free camping. My husband and I plan to start our new empty nester life in three years when our last child leaves home. We are too young to retire, can't have a motor home and a home, so we are selling everything, buying a motorhome and travelling and working around Australia. For this lifestyle to work for us, when we are working we will be in a caravan park, being able to afford the rent and boost the local economy with any of our living costs, while putting money away. But when we are travelling in between work commitments, to keep this lifestyle and be able to help smaller communities the best way we can with doing volunteer work as we travel and using their services, we will be relying on free camping. I can't understand why the big picture is not seen. If more people are out and about enjoying this fantastic country we live in, “leaving not trace,” spending money on fuel, food, clothes, etc, in towns that would otherwise not have this influx of revenue, what is

the problem? If they cut out free camping, the only ones really gaining are the caravan parks. Less people will be able to travel, and if they still can, the money that they would spend in going to a cozy little restaurant will be spent on caravan park fees. There will be minimal “spreading the love” of money to the economy, and less people being about to actually do the travelling and enjoying it. Why make motorhomes that are self sufficient for up to seven days if you can’t use what they can do? I am really looking forward to waking up in the morning and the only sound we’ll hear is the wildlife around us, not the caravan parked next door with loud children, or someone sleeping who snores really loudly. The Government should be happy that people want to travel. When we are selfsufficient by working as we go we are still paying taxes, not claiming any benefits and are able to help other communities both financially with the money we can spend and socially with the help we can give whilst volunteering. How can this hurt anyone if we have one day here and two days there free camping? I would imagine that over an average year, most travellers would spend at least 8 to 9 months at a paid site. Let’s

face it: Not everyone is happy to free camp. But some of us are really looking forward to it. We have been working at our goal for two years now and with three years to go we will be devastated and wondering if we are making the right choice, if having freedom is taken away from us. I would love to hear what the final decision is and what other people think on this issue. I don’t know how to solve some of the problems when careless campers leave a trail of mess behind. Maybe they can have free camping only for vehicles that pass specific requirements, and that the owners sign an agreement with regards to leaving any mess behind. I don’t know what solution would work. Hope my thoughts can help towards the campaign. Kind Regards Allana Townsend

Thanks Allana, great to hear of your travel plans and we’re as mystified as you about why Authorities seem to be missing the Big Picture. Let’s hope all our small efforts can make a big difference. Be sure to keep in touch and let us know about your travel preparations, vehicle selection and life on the road. Very exciting!


Paradise Motor Homes have Moved Paradise Motor Homes is excited to announce we have moved to the former Swagman premises located at 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland. Our new headquarters houses a state-of-the-art production facility specially designed to meet the high demand for our new price-competitive Integrity Series. The exciting news for those wanting to trade will be the new 15,000sqm Paradise RV Sales & Service Division which will offer:

• Paradise New & Used Sales • Consignment Listings • Annual Motorhome Body Servicing • Solar & GenSet Supply & Fitment • Tilta Car Trailers & A Frames

• Trade-ins • Repairs to all makes & models • Insurance Repairs • Upgrades & modifications • RV Shop

This exciting move into such a high profile and well-known location will delight you with its easy accessibility, improved parking and extended services. We look forward to seeing you at the new home of Paradise.

Enjoy the prestige of owning Australia’s best quality motorhome Paradise Motor Homes www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland, 4216 , Australia ph (07) 5597 4400 - fax (07) 5597 5500 - email info@paradisemotorhomes.com.au

Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ © 2012


News... WINNEBAGO LAUNCHES “AVIDA” BRAND

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n a press release dated Valentines Day, embattled Australian motorhome manufacturer Winnebago has ended months of speculation regarding it future direction. The press release reads: Winnebago Australia, after months of deliberation, has announced that it will be rebranding all its motorhomes effective February 28, 2013. The new brand name is called Avida Avida Motorhomes will be promoted initially as the makers of the Australian Winnebago to provide credibility to the new brand by associating Avida with the best known Motorhome brand in Australia and New Zealand. Ben Binns, CEO of Avida Motorhomes said, “We have always considered operating with two distinct brands in the marketplace however the legal battle over the

rights to use the Winnebago name in Australasia has convinced us that we need to create our own Australian identity” Winnebago Industries of Iowa in the United States of America, a company not associated with Winnebago in Australia has, after a period of over four decades, decided to take action to prevent Winnebago Australia from using the name despite having signed an agreement in the early 1990’s. A Federal Court decision in July 2012 decided in favour of the US giant, however Winnebago Australia has appealed the decision, which is due to be heard in March of this year. “Avida is a brand which will be with us for many years irrespective of the result of the appeal and to assist in providing credibility to the Avida brand, we intend to promote Avida as the makers of the Australian Winnebago, linking our heritage since 1965 to the newest motorhome

brand on the market” said Mr Binns. Avida and Winnebago continue to build the largest range of motorhomes in Australia and demonstrably the strongest; after all, with 48 years of manufacturing experience building motorhomes in Australia behind them, who better would understand what is required to withstand the harsh road and climatic conditions found throughout Australia. iMotorhome will be attending the official launch function of the Avida brand next Wednesday (20th) at the opening of Adelaide’s Caravan & Camping Show and will feature a full run down in our March 2 Issue. Interestingly, supplied images of the new 9-vehicle range seems to show the Avida name Photoshopped onto all existing Winnebago models, which seems to indicate the Company has little confidence in a positive outcome for its impending appeal.


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News...

LDV VANS LAUNCH IN AUSTRALIA

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n a move likely to (eventually) have implications for all light commercial vehicle brands currently being sold in Australia, Chinese brand LDV has just launched locally. For the motorhome/campervan market this could lead to lowercost vehicles becoming available while the new start-up seeks to build market share. Built using established European technology and with enormous financial backing, LDV could well become a significant player, locally, in its market segment. A press release reads: The launch of the LDV V80 cargo van range signals the first entry into the Australian market for China's largest automotive manufacturer and promises to be a game changer in the hotly contested van market. Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC) is not only the largest automotive company in China, but also the most accomplished and experienced with long standing joint ventures with two of the world's largest automotive companies, GM and VW.

SAIC is actively engaged in manufacturing, sales, R&D and investment in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and components registering annual sales of more than four million vehicles generating more than $AUD 51 billion in 2011. According to Neil Bamford, CEO of WMC, the Australian distributor of LDV, SAIC brings vast resources and expertise to the market delivering high levels of build quality, specifications, standard features and comfort. “No manufacturer in China has as much expertise and ability as SAIC and with the LDV's established European design and engineering we have a package that will go toe to toe with any of the established European, Japanese or Korean vans on the Australian market.

followed by a number of passenger vans and cab chassis models later in 2013. The initial line-up will include a single short wheelbase variant as well as long wheelbase cargo vans with the choice of either a mid-roof height or a high-roof version. The range will feature load capacity of between nine and 12 cubic metres and a payload of up to 1.8 tonnes. The LDV vehicles will also come with a high level of standard features which are not available or are options on other brands (including LED headlights! - Ed) These standard features include rear barn doors; 16" alloy wheels, dual sliding side and wide opening 180 degree rear barn doors.

SAIC purchased the British commercial vehicle operation and intellectual rights to the van from the company in 2009 and has invested in further R&D and engineering to ensure it meets the latest European standards.

LDV vans meet European crash and safety standards and the VM Motori diesel meets the latest emission standards. The LDV van suspension and handling has also been tuned by MIRA, one of the leading automotive design and engineering consultants in Europe.

WMC will initially launch a three model range of LDV V80 cargo vans,

We’ll keep you posted as more details emerge.


News...

Most Affordable Hybrid

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onda will launch Australia’s most affordable hybrid – the Jazz Hybrid - this month with a price tag of just $22,990* (MLP). “The Jazz Hybrid is another example of Honda’s commitment to producing fuel efficient engines for fun, stylish and practical cars,” Honda Australia’s Director and General Manager Sales and Marketing Mr. Stephen Collins said. The all-new Jazz Hybrid retains the versatility of its petrol-powered stablemate, with Honda’s compact IMA system ensuring the ultraflexible “Magic Seats” and large boot capacity are maintained. With the rear seats folded flat the Hybrid provides a surprising 722 litres of boot space up to the window.

The Jazz Hybrid has a 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine coupled with the IMA system and Variable Cylinder Management delivering 72KW @ 5800rpm and 167Nm of torque at 1,000-1,700pm. This combines with a Continuous Variable Transmission with Grade logic Control. The fuel economy figure is 4.5 litres/100km (combined urban/ extra urban) with an emission count of just 107g/km of CO2/km. The Hybrid’s features include Auto idle-stop, Eco Assist, ECON Mode, rear privacy glass, a temporary spare wheel and an 8-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the IMA battery.

Safety is assured with six airbags (front, side and full length curtain) ABS and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Traction Control System (TCS) are combined with an Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body structure. The audio system features an AM/FM radio, CD with MP3 and steering wheelmounted controls. There is an Auxiliary Jack, Bluetooth and USB connectivity that is iPod compatible. Visually, the Jazz Hybrid is distinguished from the rest of the Jazz range with headlights that have a chrome blue surround, clear rear LED tail lights, chrome blue front grille and a chrome tailgate garnish.


13 S FOR SINGLE B

News...

risbane-based Charles Gibling has released an interesting camper conversion of Renault’s baby Kangoo van, designed specifically for solo travellers, under the S-Camper Lifestyle Vehicles banner.

The compact Kangoo has a lounge that converts to a long single bed and plenty of creature comforts, including a 30-litre fridge, sink, gas cooker, porta-potti, house battery, LED lights, ‘plenty’ of storage space, plus an awning and

privacy blinds. It also comes with sheepskin seat covers, sat-nav and even a kettle, toaster, a full set of crockery and cutlery and more!

We’re itching to get our hands on one to bring you a full report, along with Charles’ equally distinctive Ford Transit conversion for two, but in the mean time you can find out more by calling him on 0421 850-288 or Cory Cark at Bryan Bert Renault, Mt Gravatt, on (07) 3347 9900.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

MUSINGS

Sunliner’s range-topping Monte Carlo offers a wide range of choices for the well heeled buyer... Review and images by Malcolm Street


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

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The Monte Carlo’s sleek B-class body profile sits well on the Iveco Daily cab-chassis. It’s also available on an Isuzu or Mitsubishi cab-chassis.

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ithin the motorhome range of Melbourne-based manufacturer Sunliner there is a considerable variety of motorhome layouts and designs; everything from the Toyota Hilux-based PRV to the range-topping luxury Monte Carlo. And even the latter offers a choice of base vehicles and slide-out positions, plus some have drop-down electricallyoperated beds. The Vehicle or Monte Carlo motorhomes there are three base vehicle choices: Isuzu, Mitsubishi

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Fuso and Iveco Daily. Our review Monte Carlo, the M71 variant, came with an Iveco Daily 70C17 cab chassis. From a motorhome point of view the Iveco comes with an advantage the other two do not – a flat floor design, which means that driver’s cab swivelling seat feature can be utilised. Built using Sunliner’s fibreglass composite “Thermo Tough” structure with nicely moulded front and rear ends, this motorhome offer a single slideout behind the driver’s cab. Of interest are the roof mounted side bars, presumably included for aesthetic reasons.

Seitz double glazed acrylic windows are fitted all round, including an opening one above the driver’s cab: good for both natural light and a bit of air flow when driving With alfresco living very much in mind, one of the Monte Carlo’s many deluxe features is a fully equipped outdoor slide-out kitchen. Done camper trailer style, it includes a two-burner cooktop, sink with hot and cold water and a small wine bottle fridge – all the essentials for relaxing under the awning on a warm balmy night. In addition to the external kitchen bins there is plenty


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

From any angle this could only be a Sunliner...

The roll-out kitchen makes outdoor living even easier.

A sinewave inverter is also standard equipment.

of other external storage, even though some bins are dedicated to a pair of 150 amp hour house batteries, 3 gas cylinders of 4 kg capacity each, the Thetford cassette toilet and a 2.3 kVA generator. With the slide out extended the gas cylinders and generator bins do require some crouching down to get to. Although there are plenty of storage bins, none are large enough for something like golf clubs. On weighty matters, this motorhome has a load capacity of 1500 kg which is extremely generous but could lead to the temptation of carrying too much unnecessary gear.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo On the Road t nearly 9.5 m (31 ft) the Monte Carlo M71 is indeed a long vehicle, but certainly not a difficult one to drive. Remembering the length when going around corners and overtaking is definitely essential, but the Iveco-powered motorhome is quite a pleasure to navigate across country, thanks to its 3.0-litre 130 kW turbo-diesel motor. Useful are both the large rear view mirrors and the reversing camera, which is built into the non-Iveco radio/ CD player.

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Driving along, the Iveco’s six-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) feels smoother than the same transmission in other Ivecobased motorhomes and I think it’s because of the Monte Carlo’s extra weight. Speaking of that very matter, the M71 has a tare weight of nearly 5495 kg and a GVM of 7000 kg, putting it into the Light Rigid truck category of driver’s licence. Some potential owners get into a bit of a tail spin about that but obtaining an LR licence isn’t that traumatic or difficult and does mean a greater choice in motorhome layouts. Living Inside tepping inside the Monte Carlo reveals considerable space that is effectively divided in two: the front being living/dining and

Long and low, the Monte Carlo cuts an impressive profile.

Cab access is good and the Iveco is well equipped and easy to drive.

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The Iveco/Monte Carlo combination is the most refined of the three base vehicle choices available.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

With the slide-out extended there’s plenty of room. Note the extra-large fridge/freezer. the rear being living/sleeping/ bathroom. I can’t say that the interior colour scheme did a great deal for me – there was a bit too much beige and the overall effect of the internal décor was a bit retro, but to each their own.

The overall beige interior might not suit all buyers.

Swivelling cab seats will likely only be used for occasional, extra seating.

In some ways the M71 layout looks familiar. In the front area the kitchen bench fills the nearside wall, next to the entry door. On the opposite side the slide-out has both an L-shaped lounge and the 215-litre fridge. In the cab area, both seats swivel and the area above the cab has been nicely opened up with alcoves on either side and the roof window. Back in the rear, the drop-down bed occupies centre stage, with a TV viewing area underneath, whilst a full width bathroom entered from the offside sits across the back of the vehicle.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

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There’s no bedside storage with the roof bed lowered. LED lights are used throughout the Monte Carlo and are generally well placed, except for the drop-down bed where there are no reading lights and just recessed lights on either side, mid bed. All the 12V switches, along with a radio/CD player, are located on a panel above the entry door. Other essentials like the solar panel regulator, generator controls and 240 volt mains circuit breakers are fitted into an overhead locker above the kitchen bench. This leaves items like the awning and slide-out switches, Webasto space heater and Truma hot water controls handily located on the wall beside the entry door. Lounging Around aving a drop down bed in a largish motorhome is certainly a bit of thinking outside the square, because they are mostly used for space conservation

Main electrical control area also houses a substantial entertainment system.

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Tank gauges, circuit breakers and the generator controls hide in a kitchen cupboard.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo in smaller motorhomes. In this case it gives two quite separate lounge areas and a considerable amount of sitting-around area.

An over-cab skylight brightens up the front of the Monte Carlo.

Opposite the kitchen, the L-shaped dinette offers a good size table, which can be moved backwards and forwards for ease of access. The dinette orientation is an interesting compromise: It’s okay for easy access to the adjoining fridge and for viewing one of the two flat-screen TVs (mounted on the bedroom wall). However, it doesn’t work so well with the swivelling cab seats (particularly the driver’s) should visitors come by, when the whole seating arrangement becomes a bit awkward. For television viewing in the rear (beneath the bed when it’s raised) there’s a comfortable two person lounge facing an 81 cm (32 in) wall-mounted flat screen TV in an area set up to be a small home theatre, right down to the cupboard under the TV for the DVD collection! Time to Eat n just about all the Monte Carlo designs the same L-shaped kitchen design is used. It looks relatively small but really isn’t. Like a few other things in the Monte Carlo it too has a little surprise. Standard are the Thetford three-burner cooktop and grill/ oven, stainless steel sink, two overhead lockers and three drawers of different sizes.

I This tricky double-function kitchen cupboard shows some innovative thinking!


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

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Looking aft: The TV bulkhead allows bedroom access down both sides. Located in the overhead locker area above the sink, the microwave oven is set quite high at 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) and is a tad awkward to get at. Below bench level, what appears to be a cupboard isn't. Instead, the cupboard door opens to reveal three wire basket drawers, but push the button tucked into the corner and the entire end of the bench facing the entry door slides out to reveal two large wire basket shelves! It’s a novel idea and the locking mechanism is somewhat like that of bonnet catch of a car. I’d suggest the wire baskets would have to be packed quite tightly or with a few towels to avoid anything rattling around too much. A full

For such a big vehicle there’s precious little kitchen bench space.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

With the roof bed retracted the bedroom becomes a private home theatre!

Malcolm tries out the home theatre’s cosy two-seat lounge. height pantry sits at the rear end of the kitchen bench and offers plentiful space for a few week’s worth of supplies. Not exactly a kitchen item and more usually found in an RV bathroom is the Lemair toploading washing machine, hidden in the waist-high cabinet between the living and bedroom areas.

With the roof bed lowered the home theatre becomes your bedroom.

After Hours aving a drop down bed changes the bedroom area from the more normal arrangement. Measuring 1.9 m x 1.37 m (6 ft 3 in x 4 ft 6 in), the bed is set in a north-south arrangement with walkways on either side. It can be lowered by the flick of a switch but only down to a

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height that still requires a small jump to get into. There are no bedside shelves or alcoves of any sort, however between the rear bedroom wall and the bathroom, there’s a small multi-shelved area squeezed into the nearside space and a full height cupboard on the opposite side. A neat little idea is the strip lighting used in the


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

The full-width rear bathroom is well equipped and relatively spacious.

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These cleverly lit shelves are the only near bed-head storage.

aforementioned rear corner multi-shelved area, which saves peering into dark corners. Being slightly narrower than usual, the bathroom does look a bit squeezed, but the shower cubicle is quite spacious and there is certainly room for the cassette toilet, wash basin, a fullheight bank of shelves and a multi-shelved cupboard in the offside corner: the door of the latter doubling as a bathroom door if required. What We Think unliner’s Monte Carlo range is certainly very well appointed, if the M71 model I looked at is any guide. It doesn’t want for much in the luxury department and the slide-out offers generous living space in the front area. I’d have say that this particular layout, with the drop down bed/home theatre set up, would not be my first choice, but for anyone looking for a layout that is a bit different then the M71 is certainly it!

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A full-size shower cubicle is a welcome inclusion, although the loo sits quite close by.


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

With it’s distinctively styled and coloured rear trim, wheel-arch flares and roof rails to disguise the bulge the bed retracts into, the Monte Carlo could only be a Sunliner!


Tested: Sunliner Monte Carlo

Specifications Manufacturer

Sunliner Motorhomes

Model

Monte Carlo M71

Base Vehicle

Iveco Daily 70C17

Engine

3.0-litre turbo-diesel

Power

125 kW @ 3200 rpm

Torque

400Nm @ 1250 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed AMT

Brakes

ABS Disc

Tare Weight

5495 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

7000 kg

Licence

LR

Passengers

4

External Length

9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)

External Width

2.45 m (8 ft)

External Height

3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)

Internal Height

2.02 m (6 ft 7 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.9 m (6 ft 3 in) x 1.37 m (4 ft 6 in)

Cooktop

Thetford 3-burner with grill

Fridge

Waeco RPD 215-litre 12 V compressor

Microwave

Whirlpool

Lighting

12V LED

Batteries

2 x 150 Ah

Gas

3 x 4.0 kg

Heater

Truma 14-litres

Solar Panels

2 x 135 W

Air Conditioner

Air Command Ibis

Hot Water Heater

Truma 14-litre

Space Heater

Webasto

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

Fresh Water Tank

250-litres

Grey Water Tank

90-litres

Price Australia

$ 264,911 on-road NSW

Pros

25

• Relatively easy driving despite length • Well set-up electrical system • Classy looking exterior • Generous window space • Kitchen cabinet trickery • Interior usable with slide-out closed.

Cons

• Microwave in very high position • External bin size not particularly large • Internal colour scheme • Swivelling driver’s seat a bit of a fiddle

Contact Australian Motorhomes 31 Pacific Highway, Bennetts Green, NSW 2290.

Click for Google Maps

Ph: 02 4948 0433 W: australianmotorhomes.com.au E: enquiries@australianmotorhomes.com.au

Price On-road and stamp duty. For any RV we try to list the driveaway price. However, that does create a problem for dealers that also sell interstate. In this case the Monte Carlo registered in NSW attracts stamp duty of $11,500, but for a buyer in Qld it's just $5000 - a considerable saving. Please keep this in mind when comparing prices.


Rearview...

Suncamper first Sovereign seeks a new home...

F

or Suncamper, the 2005 release of the Sovereign marked an evolutionary design development towards larger and more luxuriously appointed models. Built for two people, the then ‘new’ B-class Sovereign brought a whole new layout featuring plenty of natural light and fresh air, plus an open an inviting floor plan. Eight years on and the very first production model is now ready to find a new home. With only 88,000 km on

the clock it surely won’t have to look too hard. Built on the sixth Generation Ford Transit rear-wheel drive and featuring such niceties as electric windows, air conditioning, central locking, electric mirrors and power steering, this model Transit also had the first of Ford’s highly successful 2.4-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine, driving through a fivespeed manual gearbox. It’s worth noting that although

this vehicle is listed on Suncamper’s website as a 2003 model, that’s when the base Transit was built – in the December. By the time the cab-chassis was shipped to Australia and Suncamper built it up, it was early 2005. Construction uses a welded aluminium frame on a steel base, with interior paneling and cabinetry of wood (glued and screwed together, not stapled) and an outer skin of fiberglass, with insulation


27

Rearview...

This Sovereign has aged well and is still a modern, well equipped vehicle that would essentially suit a new vehicle buyer. sandwiched in between. The roof is Suncamper’s trademark one-piece unit, designed to reduce joints and minimise the chance of water leaks.

to the rear corner bathroom. The bed sits in the other corner, nestled between the secondary kitchen unit and the bathroom.

This Sovereign has a mid entry door with the kitchen immediately to your left (between the door and cab) and the dinette opposite. Across from the entry door is a secondary kitchen unit that also houses the upgraded fridge plus a microwave. Turning right, is a tall wardrobe unit and then the entry door

Picture Perfect his particular Sovereign has been well maintained by its original owner and also benefits from some worthwhile extras, including a reversing camera, external shower, roof-mounted aircon and solar panels, a TV/DVD system,

T

awning and an upgraded fridge. It’s also free of accident damage, stone chips and is described by Suncamper sales guru Mike Rowe as being in exceptional condition. Being a B-class motorhome, the Sovereign lacks the overcab bed of a C-class, but this opens up the interior and provides a real feeling of space. There’s easy throughcab access, again enhanced by the lack of an over-cab bed, and while the front seats don’t swivel there’s still good


Rearview...

The TV hides in the over-cab cupboard.

The cafe-style dinette is generous and comfortable.

There’s secondary bench space aft of the dinette.

The rear corner bed has nicknack storage in the bathroom wall.

lounge space in the form of a generous cafe-style dinette,

The rear corner bathroom is also a nice feature as it has a separate shower cubicle at the Two large roof hatches provide rear, a swivel-head Thetford extra light and can also be cassette toilet and a corner opened for an abundance hand basin, although the of fresh air, while the cheery inward-opening door looks colours of the upholstery and a like it might require a bit of real holiday feel and match well squeezing past. with the light timber tones of the cabinet work and flooring.

At $74,990 drive away (NSW) this used but obviously well loved motorhome looks like a sound second-hand buy that balances value with features in a still-modern vehicle. To find out more call Mike Rowe on 0419 305 300 or email freedom@suncamper.com.au.


Rearview...

A reversing camera is included.

After eight years she still looks good!

Bathroom has a separate shower cubicle.

29 Specifications Manufacturer

Suncamper

Model

Sovereign

Base Vehicle

Ford Transit

Engine

3.3-litre non-turbo diesel

Power

103 kW @ 3500 rpm

Torque

375 Nm @ 1600-2300 rpm

Gearbox

5 speed manual

Brakes

Discs

Tare Weight

3300 kg (est)

Gross Vehicle Mass

4490 kg

Licence

Car

Passengers

2

External Length

6.89 m (22 ft 7 in)

External Width

2.32 m (7 ft 8 in)

External Height

3.13 m (10 ft 3 in)

Cooktop

Thetford Caprice MkIII

Fridge

140 L LPG/12/240 V

Microwave

Yes

Lighting

12 Halogen

Batteries

2 x 110 AH

Gas

1 x 9 kg

Air Conditioner

Yes

Hot Water Heater

Suburban

Toilet

Thetford Cassette

Shower

Cubicle

Fresh Water Tank

110-litres

Price NSW

$74,990 drive away

Pros

Cons

• Low mileage • No airbags/ABS • Excellent condition • No cruise control • Very well equipped • Built for two • Mechanically simple • Solar and many extras

Contact

Click for Google Maps

Mike Rowe - Suncamper

Interior is bright and breezy.

Unit 3, 9 Sefton Road, Thornleigh. NSW. 2120 Ph: 0419 305 300 W: www.suncamper.com.au E: freedom@suncamper.com.au


31

Show Feature...

Active Campers make an interesting range of quality slide-ons.

SUMMER SIZZLER! Newcastle kicks off the 2013 Show Season with good crowds and a merciless sun...

F

orget greenhouse gases, we’re putting our money on the growing number of RV shows for causing the wild and extreme weather we’ve all been experiencing lately.

run over three sweltering days and followed by severe thunderstorms, torrential rain and hail. Late last year in Wodonga we were knee-deep in mud, while in Bendigo in November the Mercury soared past 40° most days.

Last weekend’s Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Despite the vicissitudes Expo was a case in point; attached to attending such

shows, the RV Industry as a whole shows remarkable fortitude and keeps coming back – as does a seemingly endless supply of buyers, researchers and dreamers. Which reminds us of an anecdote told by a friend attending a major truck show in the USA some years back.


Show Feature...

Hoist Man is a fixture at these RV shows.

A’van’s Ovation with slide-out was on display.

Last issue's test vehicle attracted lots of interest on the Trakka stand.

Sunday is always a family day, but crowds were good on all three days.


33

Show Feature...

Frontline’s budget campervans attracted steady interest.

Sunliner showed off its new fifth-wheeler, generating much interest. His host remarked they would need to be out of the show by lunchtime on the third day, “Because that’s when the Whistling Gophers arrive.”

when you tell the price they just serious interest, but Sunday, as is often the case, was more of let out a long, low whistle...” a family day out and a hunt for But we’ve digressed... bargains amongst the myriad ccording to those accessory vendors and other working the stands, the stall holders. Judging by the “Whistling Gophers?” our friend Newcastle Show was number of people lugging inquired. well attended on all three days boxes and big bags around and, as usual, the bulk of the late on Sunday afternoon, “Yes. They’re the ones that sales were negotiated on the plus wheeling groaning trollies come up to you and ask, ‘So opening Friday. Saturday’s towards the car park, business what does she go for?’ And crowds also showed plenty of seemed brisk.

A


Show Feature...

Inside the pavilion it was cool, but almost all caravans. Only Puma had some slide-ons amongst its extensive display.

Winnebago’s Esperance Premium was the only A-class motorhome on display. In the motorhome department Trakka, Horizon Motorhomes, Suncamper, Frontline Campervans, Talvor, Sunliner, Avan, and Winnebago were all represented, either directly or through dealers. There was also a sprinkling of fifth-wheelers and slide-on campers, though some of the prices asked for slide-

ons – $35,000 for an old style Millard for example – made us wonder. Speaking of slide-ons, the ones manufactured in Coffs Harbour by Active Campers are particularly interesting, well thought out and well made.

like these are a great place to twist a sales person’s arm. I noted Sydney RV Group, for example, was offering $10,000 off the drive-away price of its new Talvor motorhomes even before you begin to haggle.

If you’re seriously in the Look out for our Adelaide market for a new motorhome, Show report next issue! campervan or whatever, shows


35

Show Feature...

Horizon’s 4x4 Acacia had lots of people dreaming.

Horizon’s revamped Banksia gets the B+W treatment!

Jayco had plenty of motorhomes on display, like this range-topping Optima

Trakka’s Alex and Martin were still smiling at the end of the show!

Suncamper crammed two vehicles into one space, but not very successfully.


TRAKKA Profile...

THE

BIG

BUSINESS OF SMALL BUSINESS.

This week Trakka had the great pleasure of attending xxxxthe launch of the ‘Small Biz Bus’ program.


37

TRAKKA Profile...

This Trakkaway 750 looks great with its work clothes on...

“...you’ve got to say it just looks sensational! You can’t miss it.” Yasmin King, NSW Small Business Commissioner

O

n a gloomy, rainy Monday, in the middle of Taylor Square, Darlinghurst, the ‘Small Biz Bus’ (AKA - Trakkaway 750), stood out like a sore thumb. A bright cyan blue giant on a grey Sydney day was pretty hard to miss, even surrounded by the colour of Oxford Street. TRAKKA supplied a specifically designed Trakkaway 750 for this project, built on a Fiat AL-KO chassis with a 3.0L

multi-jet turbocharged engine. The Small Biz Bus is the mobile unit of the SmallBiz Connect program. The first of what is hoped to be a series of mobile offices touring the state providing advice and assistance to small business owners. In their own words it ‘accelerates small businesses’ by expanding support at a grass roots level.

all. Katrina Hodgkinson, NSW Minister for Small Business, was the cutter of said ribbon. “Small business experts will travel around the state to help link small business owners to local mentors and services,” Ms Hodgkinson explains. “During each stop, owners will also have access to faceto-face sessions with the experts.”

The launch was a fairly big deal, red ribbon cutting and

The idea of a ‘Bus’ was the brainchild of the NSW Small


Profile... There is a sense of coming into someone’s home and sitting down on the couch. David Gregory, CEO of Small Business Mentor Service

Business Commissioner, Yasmin King, and was the result of a ‘listening tour’ that the Commissioner undertook when she was appointed. She found while most small business owners have all good intentions to get out from behind the desk and attend networking functions and events, the reality is it’s not that easy. Commissioner King said, “What we wanted to do was find a way in which we could go to places where it’s much harder (for the small business owner) to get out and engage with people.” The Trakkaway 750 provides an environment that small business owners can feel comfortable sitting in. For many small businesses they’re not formal and want to feel free to engage with a mentor. As the Commissioner says “That’s what this van achieves. And wow, when it’s wrapped like this, you’ve got to say it just looks sensational! You can’t miss it.” The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS), a nonfor-profit association that has provided mentoring services to thousands of

small businesses for 25 years provide the expert mentoring service. CEO of SBMS, David Gregory says, “True small business support is one to one. It allows face to face contact with a business mentor and takes them on a journey that focuses specifically on their business needs.” He feels the Trakkaway 750 allows them to go out into regional areas where traditionally people miss out. “Small business is one of the loneliest things you can go into,” says Mr Gregory. “Having a mobile office with an environment where it feels very homely and inviting is fantastic. There is a sense of coming into someone’s home and sitting down on the couch and having a good chat.” One of the great advantages for the team from SBMS, is the Trakkaway 750 provides two meeting areas. This of course cuts down on waiting times for small businesses in various towns and gives the SBMS team the opportunity to take multiple meeting bookings. While the rear lounge provides a comfortable

and informal setting for up to 6 people, the front section has seating for 4 around a meeting table. The Trakkaway 750 also provides vital facilities to make life more comfortable for both the SBMS team and the small business owners when they are on board. A quality kitchen to make tea and coffee, or lunch on the run; a spacious Switch Mode Bathroom with shower and retractable toilet; and ducted air-conditioning and ducted diesel room heating. David Gregory was mighty impressed with the amount of available storage. “…this allows the mentor to take a wide range of important material with them to pass onto the small business owners.” The awning also proved a major hit on the day of the launch. As the rain came steadily down, standing under it was the most popular place to be. Phillip Millbourne, NSW State Manager for the SBMS felt the environmental features like


39

Profile...

Katrina Hodgkinson, NSW Minister for Small Business (right), cuts the ribbon to ‘launch’ the Small Business Bus

the solar panels on the roof are a great initiative and an important message to send as the Trakkaway 750 makes its way around the state. He would know as he gets the fun job of driving the Small Biz Bus all over New South Wales. A veteran of 12 years with SBMS in Victoria, Phillip is very passionate about what the SBMS can do for small businesses in NSW and is itching to get out on the road and start helping people. “We’re not miracle workers, but if we can save somebody’s house and their

family and their life savings, well that’s success in itself.” he says. David Gregory would like to see more vans on the road, “SBMS is a group of retired ex business people whose soul ambition in life is to give back to a community that has allowed them some degree of success. If we can help three or four hundred businesses via the small Biz Bus this year, then that is a platform to increase our fleet.” The Commissioners dream is to also have more Small Biz

Buses on the road. “NSW is a big state and a lot of area to cover. My dream is to have 3 or 4 on the road so they can focus on different areas.” We like that dream too Commissioner. So if you live somewhere in NSW and you see a bright blue Trakkaway 750 drive through your town, give it a wave, because it’s there to help.


Technology...

D E T S BU

BATTERY MYTHS

“The problem is not what people don’t know, but what they think they know that simply isn’t true.” Ample Power Company, USA – one of the world’s largest battery charger manufacturers

by Collyn Rivers


41

Technology...

Heavy cables are needed to carry that current, but the energy used is about the same as that drawn by an interior light for 15-20 minutes. This energy is typically replaced within a minute or so of starting the engine (the author’s 51 kg former girl friend could hand start his 1929 4.5 litre, fourcylinder Bentley with ease. The energy used was adequately replaced by a gin and tonic).

Myth 1: A close-to-flat starter battery can be partly revived by feeding it an aspirin and letting it sleep. This is a classic example of arriving at a partially true answer for totally wrong reasons. That battery can also be partially revived by playing it a Mozart concerto, reciting a short story, or arranging a Reiki (‘hands-on healing’) session! The true reason why this vaguely works is that after a heavy discharge, a starter battery’s remaining energy is depleted around the terminal and plate areas. After resting, the remaining charge (that can be seen as within the electrolyte) becomes more

evenly distributed and the battery may partially revive. Aspirin in itself does nothing – it’s the sleep that does the job. About 30 minutes’ rest usually helps, which is also about the length of a typical concerto, a decent short story and a Reiki session (the latter is also aided by the warmth of the practitioner’s hands). Myth 2: It takes several hours to recharge the starter battery after starting a big rig. This is an understandable myth probably reinforced by the heavy starter cables. In reality starting an engine requires several hundred amps, but only for two or three seconds.

Myth 3: My standard alternator will fully charge my auxiliary 120 Ah conventional deep-cycle battery (from half-charge) within three or so hours of driving. The alternator xxxxx will charge it to 60 per cent within 15 minutes, and to around 70 per cent about an hour later. It takes several more hours to reach 75 per cent and even longer to reach 80 per cent. In practice, few such batteries ever exceed 70 per cent. This does not affect the starting system. AGM or gel cell batteries reach a higher state of charge (and faster) from the alternator voltage available. The now available dc-dc alternator chargers, however, enable that 50 per cent onward charge to be done well with that time claimed. Myth 4: Installing a bigger alternator will speed up charging. True, but only if the battery is close to flat. Then, it will


Technology...

charge faster to about 40 per cent. Over that, charging is a function of alternator voltage, so increasing its size will make next to no difference. The most practical way to increase charge rate nowadays is via the dc-dc alternator charging mentioned above. Myth 5: I get more power from two 12 V batteries by connecting end to end (in series). That way I get 24 V, not just 12 V. The world does not work like that. This myth assumes voltage equals power: it does not. No matter how one interconnects those batteries, the energy stored is just the same. As Malcolm Fraser once

said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Myth 7: I sometimes need to charge my auxiliary battery by running the Myth 6: I can charge my engine for a bit. To speed auxiliary battery from the this, I set the throttle so the vehicle’s alternator via 4 engine runs at half speed. mm auto cable. People say this damages Auto cable is rated by the size the engine though. of the hole you can poke it A vehicle alternator produces through! about two-thirds maximum output at idle. Little is gained So-called 4 mm auto cable by exceeding the idle speed has a mere 1.8-2 sq mm of by more than 10-15 per cent. conductor. The ‘4 mm’ relates to its overall diameter, including Regarding damaging the engine, this is something that the insulation. In effect it is the size hole it can just be pushed city commuters do twice each working day, so it isn’t that through. That cable size will limit charging to an amp or so! bad, particularly with the very Depending on the cable length, high quality of today’s oil. to do this job properly you need anywhere from 8.0 sq mm to 25 sq mm cable.


Technology... Myth 8: I give my auxiliary battery a good workout every month. It stands to reason that, like people, they need exercise. Battery-wise, this is mostly a myth. Lead acid batteries are like ageing Labradors: they like being kept up with food (i.e.

charging) but otherwise left alone. Their ideal life is not to be used at all (provided they’re fully charged), but who needs a 40 kg 12 V battery as a pet! NiCad batteries however do prefer being fully discharged before recharging.

43

Myth 9: A standard lead acid battery must not be charged in parallel with an AGM battery. Partially true, but needs qualifying.

Like greedy people, AGM batteries tend to grab more of what is available (in this case, the available charge). If charged in parallel with a conventional battery, this is likely to reduce the charge available to that battery. Battery makers therefore warn against this practice. Technical writers (including myself) used to do likewise. However, if the conventional battery (particularly the starter battery) can be given first go at the cake – i.e. charging


Technology...

priority up to a safe starting voltage of about 13.6 V, it is then safe to switch an AGM battery in parallel. This can readily and reliably be done via a heavy duty solenoid that senses starter battery voltage and closes when above that voltage. By 2005 or so this practice became virtually the norm. Auto electricians are totally familiar with these relays and hundreds of thousands of vehicles are now set up this way, worldwide. The above situation is changing, however, as by 2014 EU regulations will require variable voltage-controlled alternators, possibly as low as 12.7 volts. This is already happening and companies such as Redarc are now warning of this.

Myth 10: It is a waste of money buying ‘top quality’ deep-cycle batteries – they all last about the same time. This depends almost entirely on how batteries are used and maintained. If they are abused by persistent and severe over-discharging or left only partially charged over time, the statement is substantially true. However, if used and maintained correctly, high quality deep-cycle batteries (such as Rolls, Surrette, etc.) will more than repay their extra cost. In practice, few conventional batteries are correctly used and maintained, so while in no way validating this myth, many users are better off buying cheaper deepcycle batteries. Gel or AGM cell batteries will accept some abuse with less ill effect, but

both are affected by heat. If the battery is located under the bonnet a Gel or AGM cell will have a much shorter life. About the Author: Collyn Rivers is an ex automobile research engineer, who now writes books in this and similar areas. Many of his published articles can be found on www. caravanandmotorhomebooks. com


Technology...

45

Look after your batteries and you’ll never end up like this by the road side...


Mobile Tech...

CAPTAIN’S LOG COMMUNICATOR

“It’s a travel app Jim, but not as we know it...”


47

Mobile Tech...

Captains Log supplemental: Controls are simple and straight forward.

S

tar Trek Tragics rejoice! Now there’s an app that’s not only fun and feeds your inner geek, it actually has practical applications as you boldly go where no non-gender specific person has (with appropriate authorisation) gone before. This is an Apple-only app,

however, which is odd because androids feature prominently in Star Trek, but if you have an iPhone 4 or later you’re in serious luck. As one reviewer describes it: “Using the Captain’s Log Communicator you can capture voice recordings, text entries, take photos and map

GPS locations of your voyages as you travel planet Earth. You can also select their preferred Enterprise class level, whether taking the role of Captain, Engineering, Science/Medical or assuming the identity an enemy Romulan or Klingon officer.” “Now you can track your


Mobile Tech...

Sharing options are extensive or you can keep your travel private: The choice is yours.

perilous mission to the outer reaches of the galaxy shopping mall with GPS precision and leave behind voice memo’s for your fellow captains to aid their own journeys. Share your findings on the vast networks of Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, or just send the data

along to other users of the app.” In more down-to-Earth speak, the Captain’s Log Communicator is handy as a travel aid because you can make a voice memo, take a photo and add a text note (or

just use one or two functions) and then pin it to a Google map. Pins appear as little Star Trek symbols on your map and you can choose to keep these private (for reference for example), share them with other Captain’s Log Communicator users


49

Mobile Tech...

It might seem gimmicky, but the Captain’s Log Communicator has some worthwhile features for any traveller and is bound to appeal to your inner Trekkie (or geek!).

or post them on most social media sights, so friends can keep track of your travels by seeing your photos, hearing your memos and reading your notes. For $1.99 it costs next to nothing and has some

handy features, as well as the requisite Star Trek sound effects and some pretty groovy animations. Particularly cool is the way you can ‘flip’ the communicator open and closed when it’s on the home page, accompanied by the authentic sound. Beam it

down today and may the force be with you. Damn, wrong movie...


50

Next Issue...

EXPLORING HORIZON’S NEW complete with an interior upgrade with a much more contemporary look and feel.

W

e have a busy two weeks ahead as we rush to Adelaide for the Caravan & Camping Show, then back to get it all into the next issue. Along the way Richard will be testing Horizon Motorhomes’ new, limited edition Banksia –

FEB

February 20-2422-24

FEB

20-24

Adelaide Caravan & Camping Show Adelaide Showground Goodwood Road, Wayville. SA, 5034. • Open 10:00-6:00 daily • Parking not advised • Adults $13 • Seniors $10 • Kids U 15 free with adult • Website: www. caravanandcampingsa. com.au

Click for Google Maps

We’ll be talking to the CMCA’s new CEO, Rudi Fuhrmann, to see how his first weeks in the job have gone and hear his plans and hopes for the future of Australia’s largest RV club. We’ll also be looking more into Freedom Camping and the ways all of us can do our bit to help ensure we don’t continue to lose access to some of Australia’s

MAR

1-3February

22-24

FEB

22-24

Illawarra Caravan Camping 4WD Fish & Boat Show Kembla Grange Racecourse Wollongong, NSW 2526. • Open 09:00-5:00 daily (4:00 pm Sun) • Free parking • Adults $15 • Seniors $11 • Kids Free • Website: www. campingshow.com.au Click for Google Maps

most beautiful and unspoiled campsites. Finally, Collyn Rivers will be explaining batteries; not in an in-depth technical kind of way, but in a manner even the most technically challenged will find easy to understand. And that’s all just for starters! Don’t forget to follow us and on Facebook Twitter for breaking news, thoughts and a bit of fun. Stay safe!

FEB

MAR

FEB

20-24March 1-3 1-3 22-24

FEB

20-24

MAR

1-3

Gold Coast Caravan, 4WD, Fish & Boat Show Parklands Showground Parklands Drive, Southport. QLD, 4215. • Open 09:00-5:00 daily (closes 4:00 pm Sunday) • parking not advised • Adults $15 • Seniors $11 • Kids U 16 fee with adult • Website: www. campingshow.com.au

Click for Google Maps

Know of a local or regional show coming up that attracts and promotes motorhomes, campervans and the great RV lifestyle in general? Drop us a line at info@imotorhome.com.au and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 19 - Feb 16 2013  

Australia & New Zealand's only dedicated motorhome magazine – published twice monthly and available by free subscription from www.imotorhome...