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MAGAZINE LITE

April 2019

CLAYTON'S 4x4?

Forget immitations, Horizon's Waratah 4x4 is the real deal... Extra Thoughts Imagine...

Tastes...

Sunliner Olantas & Dethleffs Trend

Travel

Matters of the Hartley...


2 | About iMotorhome

iMotorhome Magazine is published monthly and available by subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au. Your letters and contributions are always welcome!

Editorial

Design & Production

Richard Robertson

Agnes Nielsen

Publisher/Managing Editor

Manager/Lead Designer

(+61) 0414 604 368

agnes@imotorhome.com.au

richard@imotorhome.com.au Christopher O’Hare Malcolm Street

Designer

Road Test Editor

chris@imotorhome.com.au

(+61) 0418 256 126 malcolm@imotorhome.com.au

Contributors Emily Barker Sharon Hollamby Allan Whiting Ian Pedly Phillip McLeod

Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia. ABN: 34 142 547 719 T: +614 14 604 368 E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au Follow us on Facebook and Twitter , Facebook “f ” Logo

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Legal © 2019 iMotorhome Pty Ltd. All content of iMotorhome Magazine and website is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, however no responsibility is accepted for any inconvenience and/or loss arising from reading and/or acting upon information contained within iMotorhome Magazine or on the iMotorhome website.


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4 | On My Mind

This ’n That

O

bservant readers will notice the promised Sunliner Habitat 4 is absent from this issue, due to a thoroughly unreasonable $5000 insurance excess from the western Sydney motorhome dealer supplying the vehicle. You might be surprised to know we have to pay an insurance excess if we damage a vehicle we are road testing (to help promote the manufacturer and/or dealer), but we do and it’s usually around $1000-$1500. Imagine my surprise when I went to sign on the dotted line and noticed the $5000 figure. “Yeah na,” was my reaction and I apologised to the dealer for mucking them around, seeing as they had washed and prepared the vehicle. That little exercise cost me 3 1/2 hours driving, fuel and half a day out of the office. In the good old days we were thrown a set of keys and fortunately there are still a few small companies where that’s the case – bless ‘em! I share this not only out of frustration/annoyance, but mainly because if you test drive a new or used motorhome, do you know how much you’re up for if things go pear shaped? And I’m not just talking about at a dealership; do you know the insurance situation with the private seller? It could be thousands, so check ahead and confirm it in writing. A bit of pre-driving inconvenience could save you a world of financial pain.

Extra Thoughts? My Extra Thoughts editorial in the mid-March issue of iMotorhome Magazine Lite didn’t create as much feedback as I’d anticipated. Phew. My distinctly anti Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) stance drew no reaction from them, but did result in one phone call from the proprietor of a well-known motorhome

manufacturer. “Good on you for saying what needs to be said,” was the gist of the conversation. “Next time my CIAA rep calls by I’ll be voicing my displeasure at their actions”. Small steps, but it’s a start…

Covi Thoughts It will be forever impossible for me to separate memories of Auckland’s annual Covi Motorhome Caravan & Outdoor show from those of the Christchurch massacre. That Mrs iM and I were in Auckland at the moment a fellow Australian was murdering New Zealanders in Christchurch was – and remains – utterly, utterly bewildering and incomprehensible. There are truly no words to express our sorrow and I think I can speak for all Australians in saying to our Kiwi friends, “This is not who we are – nor what any civilised people is – nor what you deserve”. By tragic coincidence, on 10 July 1985 I flew into Auckland for the very first time. It was the day of the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior by French secret Service operatives and my host took me to the dock to see the partially submerged Greenpeace ship. Then as now, it seemed incomprehensible such terror could descend on so peaceful a nation… I’m told Kia kaha is a Maori phrase used by the people of New Zealand as an affirmation. It means ‘stay strong’ and has especially significant meaning for Maori due to its usage by the legendary 28th Maori Battalion during World War II. Kia kaha my friends. Our thoughts and sincerest hopes for true healing are with you, and will remain. Kia kaha.

Richard


H A B I TAT

GO FURTHER. STAY LONGER

EXPLORE ONE TODAY AT YOUR LOCAL SUNLINER DEALER.

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SWITCH

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6 | Extra Thoughts

Imagine

I

n the years before iMotorhome I freelanced for a range of motoring publications. One of the pleasures of such work was attending new vehicle launches; events at which car manufacturers strive to outdo each other with often over-the-top extravaganzas. These might see us flown by charter plane to a remote part of Australia to test drive the latest SUV ‘in actual bush conditions’. We might then break for lunch in an Arabian-inspired desert pavilion, where whitejacketed staff delivered a big-city fine-dining experience. Alternatively, we might be whisked off overseas, accommodated in the best harbour-front hotels or mountain resorts and lavished with food, drinks and gifts in the hope of writing something positive about the latest [insert name here]. I'm recounting this because I’ve just had a fleeting reacquaintance with my former life. It came in the form of an out-of-the-blue freelance job offer to cover the re-launch into Australia of the Peugeot light commercial vehicle (LCV) range. It was a combined Peugeot-Citroen event (both brands are part of the huge French PSA Group) and each also released new passenger car models. The launch spanned two days and included a night in a luxurious Sydney five star hotel. There were drive sessions of the new models and an evening spectacular with cutting edge audiovisuals interspersed with carefully scripted presentations by speakers including a PSA Group luminary flown in from France. It concluded with Australian rock legend Ian Moss – a Peugeot Brand Ambassador as it happens – delivering a memorable solo performance to an audience of some 200 corporate types, dealers and motoring journalists.

Sadly, most seemed too busy discussing the latest gossip over imported beers and fine wines, while an endless supply of exquisite small bites were delivered by discreet wait staff mingling amongst the crowd. In many ways the event was a trip down memory lane and I have to confess I thoroughly enjoyed it. What made it all the more interesting was that it came just three days after attending Suncamper Motorhomes’ factory open day. To say the experiences were worlds apart is an understatement of biblical proportions, yet I wouldn't expect either of them any other way. The international auto industry is awash with money and its highly stressed public relations staff must tear their collective hair out trying to come up with ways to outdo each other. By comparison the local RV industry is awash with dreams, but not much else. Its largely family-operated businesses rarely seem to think about public relations, never mind do anything about it. So hats off to Suncamper for doing something ‘out of the box’ and here’s hoping the concept spreads. What I’d hate to see is the fawning over media that typifies the auto industry and leads to unhealthy expectations, plus a sense of entitlement. Somewhere between the extremes lies an idyllic middle ground neither industry has discovered, but there's always hope. Anyway, I’m just off now to play with the new Peugeot Expert van I was allowed to bring home for a week. Now THERE’S a concept the RV industry could immediately embrace! Imagine…

Richard


7 | Contents

4 8

On my Mind Autumn Leaves...

Street View Haera Mai!

6 10

14

News

30

Taste: Sunliner Olantas 0425

34

Taste: Dethleffs Trend T6757

38

Tested: Horizon Waratah 4x4

52

Covi Show

68

Travel

74

Next Issue

What’s happening in the wider RV world - and beyond

A premium motorhome on the latest Sprinter

New or lighty used, the Trend is worth investigating...

Revisiting Horizon's big, capable 4x4 Sprinter van conversion

Pics from NZ's biggest show

Matters of the Hartley

What’s coming up!

Extra Thoughts The Good Fight!

On Your Mind Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!


8 | Street View

Haera Mai!

J

ust a few weeks back, Mr and Mrs iM and I attended the Covi Show in Auckland. Have you ever noticed that RV shows often have very long titles, like for instance the “Covi Motorhome, Caravan and Outdoor Supershow,” but most people just shorten it to either the city name or the organiser’s, and everyone knows what they are talking about? As I landed in Auckland, the news broke of the horrifying massacre in Christchurch. Dear old Christchurch of all places, which sadly took years to get over the 2011 Earthquake. Apart from anything else, New Zealand – hitherto regarded as one of the safest nations on earth – had suddenly become a terrorist destination. A terrorist somewhat home grown (relatively speaking) since he came from Australia; another country regarded as safe and friendly. As I wandered around the show, it seemed to me that the numbers were down and I did wonder how much the events in Christchurch affected things. Nothing and yet everything to do with RV shows: I think it was a sharp reminder to us all in the Antipodes that we should be constantly vigilant about this type of terrorism, if such a thing can be categorised. It can have relatively innocuous beginnings, often on the political front, and be something

many of us simply roll our eyes at, yet tragically end in places like Christchurch. It’s also something that in the extreme might affect the RV freedom we have in both New Zealand and Australia, which is as good a reason as any to stamp it out. Meanwhile back at Greenlane, there was much to see at the show, with many of the regular organisers putting on a fine display of all their latest and greatest. As well as some interesting offerings from Europe there was a small range of factory-built motorhomes from LDV in China, plus the first electric motorhome I’m aware of: The Evolve from THL/Britz, which rides on an all-electric LDV cab-chassis. After the show I managed to get a test drive, which was decidedly interesting. Apart from anything else it’s a bit weird driving something where there’s little engine noise! Given the distance limitations (max 120 km apparently – Ed), Britz has developed a tourist route to suit and in a way I could use it for my work related travel around the Auckland area. To say the least it’s an interesting development and one we’ll be watching with keen interest. Still on the subject of electrics, power leads have unintentionally been a subject of interest of late – and quite unintentionally

continued...


Street View | 9

I should point out. It was all a bit déjà vu: When I borrowed the McRent motorhome reviewed in this issue, the power cord was missing. Or rather there was one, but just the domestic 15-amp type, not the one required for connecting RVs. Australian readers should note that in NZ, the connecting plugs and sockets are different and better, I reckon, than our 15-amp style. Fortunately, a trip to Bunnings (any excuse will do!) sorted that problem. Digressing slightly, it’s funny that both countries use exactly the same electrical standard, yet somethings like power lead plugs and sockets are very different. More recently, for my Covi Show trip I borrowed a motorhome from Wilderness Motorhomes. For the duration of the show I camped with the rest of the NZMCA folks at Ellerslie Racecourse. I didn’t have a power hook-up, but because of my recent experience I did a casual check. How could this be? Twice in a row?? In this case, the power lead bag didn’t have a power lead at all! Do I have some sort of hex on power leads (well, yeah! – Ed)? Anyway, the problem was quickly sorted: The next day at the show, a visit to the Wilderness/Smart RV stand produced the necessary power lead!

Still on motorhome utilities; a motorhome I was driving around in recently was producing some rather odiferous odours as I travelled. I immediately suspected the toilet cassette tank and gave it a flush and clean, but to no avail. Next on the list was the grey tank which I also drained and gave a bit of flush. Having done all that, I suspect that there had been a small quantity of water left in the grey tank for a period of time which was sloshing around as I drove, producing the unpleasant smell out of the various drains. Ensuring the tank was empty before I drove anywhere was a short term solution but it was definitely a tank in need of serious treatment. A little reminder that all tanks fresh, grey and black should be regularly flushed and cleaned out. On that charming note, happy motorhome travels!

Haere ra!

Malcolm


10 | On your mind

WIN $50 FOR THE BEST LETTER! It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. letters@imotorhome.com.au and we’ll If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to share it with our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.

Cleaning Up I recently made a discovery that I thought would be worthwhile sharing with other motorhomers. For quite some time I had been staring up at the white strip on the underside of my awning, where it is attached to my motorhome external wall, and lamented that it was stained a dirty brown. Why did the makers put a white strip there, instead of one of grey, which doesn’t show the accumulated dirt, dust and grime of 1,000s of travelling kilometres? I thought the brown stain was permanent, until I invested in a Cheap Shop $3 box of large ‘Cleaning Erasers’, got up on a ladder and applied a small amount of elbow grease. Like magic, all the brown stuff was wiped away without any detergent, and dissolved in a bucket of water! Perhaps a microfibre cloth would have achieved the same result, but I was thrilled with the effectiveness and ease of use of the damp sponge. The attached photos show before and after the sponge application. Kind regards, Di. PS care needs to be taken if cleaning shiny painted surfaces. Thanks for another handy tip Di, it’s amazing

what you can find in those $1 stores and the like. Please accept this issue’s $50 prize for your efforts, which really is a great return on your $3 investment!


On your mind | 11

Tassie Insights So pleased I saw the link to your wonderful iMotorhome magazine from the CMCA newsletter. I have been a long time active member of the CMCA, and back in 2007 I worked with our local Council and prepared and submitted on behalf of Council the RV Friendly sites application here in the Huon Valley, at Franklin and Port Huon.

The Tasmanian Government has changed the rules for camp grounds across the state, and clear guidelines now say that if they offer a benefit to the community, they can apply to be register as such at no cost or low cost. The CMCA are generally happy with the Government approach I believe, although it’s not perfect.

I did like your article on the CIAA. It’s extraordinary the way they try to discredit the CMCA and its efforts to provide camping alternative that are not full service. In Tasmania, our Economic Regulator, in response to a few complaints for some caravan operators, has forced some low cost or no cost camp grounds to close due to the so called not-level playing field.

I also liked your article Richard in the February issue titled Fortress Australia, such a worthy and factual article, good on you Richard. Look forward to reading iMotorhome each month; please keep up the great magazine, the smaller sections of the industry and users need your voice, great reviews and articles of interest.

In our RV Friendly towns of Franklin and Port Huon, Council was directed to close the sites or increase fees to make it more level with caravan parks. How ridiculous. With credit to our Council, they asked the local communities through a survey, if they wanted the RVFriendly sites in their towns. Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes.

Thanks Kel and glad you like what we’re doing. It’s great to know you’ve been so active in promoting ’the cause’ in Tassie and thanks for the related information – very interesting. Thanks also for your encouragement and support, it’s very much appreciated!

Kind regards, Kel

Parking Up In Issue 134 in On Your Mind you asked about parking a motorhome when not being used. I park mine at MSS in West Footscray, which costs around $330/month and I can take it out of storage with 24 hours prior notice. The motorhome is kept in a building and I opt to keep the key. Plug-into power is included and it’s very secure, and even has an onsite caretaker. Regards, Glenn.

Thanks for the information, Glenn, which I’ll pass on. Sounds like a good deal to me for secure undercover parking. The only downside sounds like the 24-hour’s notice requirement, which means you can’t suddenly head away for the night when the urge for seaside fish and chips strikes!


12 | On your mind

Idiots! Great editorial, it’s a shame that so many RV industry players keep their mouth’s shut on the CIAA’s push to drive us all into caravan parks. For years the family has been camping at a favourite spot on the Murray near Renmark, when we can escape Melbourne. It’s a long drive but worth it, but now the kids have grown up so we don’t get there so often. But when we were last there the place was covered with rubbish and we spent more than an hour cleaning it up before we could set up. When Joe Public see places like that it’s no wonder they don’t want us camping where we like, and it just makes my blood boil at how bloody stupid and ignorant some people are when they go bush. Idiots! Anyway, give ‘em hell and keep up the good work. Someone has to speak up!

Asleep at the wheel is a term that comes to mind when thinking about many RV related businesses. However, I also appreciate the commercial considerations when trying to make a living in this business, so speaking out can be ‘unwise’. That’s why we’ll never get advertising from any of the State caravan and camping associations, nor (thankfully) invitations to their back-slapping awards dinners. It’s a messy and compromised old world we live in, but here’s hoping we can chip away at the problem of overregulation, bit by bit.

Cheers, Rob.

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14 | News

SUNCAMPER SCAM WARNING

T

he following was sent to all Suncamper owners by company owner Keith Harrison, but is worth sharing as a warning to all private buyers: I have just received a disturbing phone call. A person who is not a customer saw a Sherwood 2-wheel drive for sale in a local newspaper for a third of the price of others coming up in his search. He phoned the number and was told that the vehicle was in Geraldton, because the owner had been working in the mines, but had since married a Thai lady and was now living in Thailand. The vehicle was stored at a freight company depot and if he would like to contact the freight company, they would give him all the details, including photographs and organise the vehicle to be transported to his Queensland address at their cost. To hold the vehicle the purchaser was to pay an $11,000 deposit and as soon as the motorhome was loaded ready for freight, the final amount of $11,000 was to be transferred and it would be on its way.

The purchaser phoned the freight company, but noted there was a delay in the conversation from when he spoke and the freight company spoke. He said it did feel off, but nonetheless continued with the transaction. He felt a little uneasy, but this vehicle was too good of a deal compared to similar vehicles of this age and kilometres. This person has now paid $22,000 for an expensive lesson, because of course there is no motorhome. I, as the owner of Suncamper feel obliged to let as many people as I can be made aware of this scam. This could apply to other brands of motorhomes as well, and not to Suncamper alone. I haven’t verified anything that I have written so haven’t named people or the freight company. Please be aware when purchasing vehicles direct privately.


16 | News

UNICAMPA CORRECTION

T

he mid-March issue of iMotorhome Magazine Lite featured a UniCampa M4 review that originally appeared in June 2018 issue of iMotorhome Magazine, two months before we switched to the paid subscription model. Its inclusion was accidental as our Lite issue is intended to carry reviews from the full, paid issue, but a few months behind. Subsequently, that review has been replaced with one of the Revolution Motorhomes Zenith and the cover updated, accordingly. What brought the ‘issue’ to our attention was an email from RVIA, the parent company of both Sunliner and UniCampa, which read as follows: “We have just read the UniCampa story in iMotorhome by Malcolm. There are some facts that are incorrect, but most importantly, UniCampa is a not a new budget brand from Sunliner. UniCampa is a stand alone brand. RVIA is the manufacturer of, at present, two brands of motorhomes – Sunliner and UniCampa. We have worked hard to separate these two brands in order to create path ways for new dealer distribution networks and to assist in managing expectations of consumes”. iMotorhome apologies for any confusion in buyers’ minds, but notes RVIA didn’t raise any concerns when the story was originally published. Now the distinction between the brands is clear we look forward to reviewing more UniCampa models, and in particular the UCM 402: an affordable and well equipped B-class on the latest Renault Master cab-chassis


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20 | News

BUDERIM OVER 50s LIFESTYLE RESORT

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ature’s Edge Buderim over 50s lifestyle resort says it has a limited release of RV lifestyle homes ready to secure now. Located on the Sunshine Coast, the resort is said to offer a tranquil rainforest setting and vibrant social scene created with the traveller in mind. The architecturally designed homes are freeflowing with ample natural light and a lock-up garage big enough for a motorhome or RV and a car. A secure gated community, you can lock-

up-and-leave at any time. When home you can make the most of the resort style facilities, which include a 20-metre swimming pool, tennis court and bowling green. There are no exit fees or stamp duty and you get to keep 100% of any capital gain when you sell. Call 1800 218 898 to speak with a lifestyle adviser, email, visit the website or call in at 25 Owen Creek Road, Forest Glen, QLD. 4556.

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22 | News

TRAKKA’S BIG RED BASH

I

The Simpson Desert in Queensland is set to light up again from 16-18 July for this year’s Big Red Bash and Trakka is organising a convoy and full camp out, and would love fellow Trakka owners to join. So far, they have owners coming from WA, NSW, VIC and QLD. For those who aren’t accustomed to this unique Outback experience, the Big Red Bash is a family friendly desert camping/

concert that draws together iconic Australian musicians (think Midnight Oil, Richard Clapton, 1927) at the sand dune called Big Red, 35 km west of Birdsville. While this is a Volkswagen Commercial Sponsored event, the Trakka convoy will have its full crew of models and hopes owners will join them. Spots are limited so if you’d like be part of the adventure contact Alex Berry by email HERE


Calling All Wilderness Explorers

trakka.com.au


24 | News

RUTHERGLEN TWEED RIDE RETURNS geography teacher tweed, but the quirky, sophisticated, young (or young at heart) trendsetter. As such, the Tweed Ride is back in Rutherglen, just shy of 10 years running, and bringing with it all the three piece suits, flat caps, skirts and penny farthings you will need for your complete vintage experience. As per previous years, the fortifieds are back on show, complimenting a range of tasty stops along the way, including The Wicked Virgin, Stanton & Killeen and a delicious afternoon tea thanks to Louisa Morris at Chambers Winery.

P

ushbikes, fine wine and smart dress make an excellent combination. The annual Rutherglen Tweed Ride – inspired by similar events in the U.K. (of course!) is on again on 4 May between 10:00 and 4:00 and looks like great fun. The organiser says, “If Rutherglen were a person, they would be dressed smartly in tweed. Not your ‘did-not-quite-nail-it’

The low down: 20 kilometres of gentle cycling through glorious wine country interspersed with three incredible food and wine experiences with lunch at Stanton & Killeen. You will be heading down some dirt roads – all terrain bikes are most suitable” Further information and tickets are available HERE.

MT ISA’S EXTRA SPACES

R

Vers will welcome Mount Isa’s decision to provide more parking space in its central business district, with new facilities opposite the Kmart Plaza at the foot of Frank Aston Hill. Council has provided enough parking spaces for up to 15 RVs, with access via Ada and Shackleton streets, and the exit on to Gray Street. However, only daytime parking is allowed as overnight camping is banned.


News | 25

MORE WOMEN RVING

M

ore women are embarking on caravan and camping trips, according to the latest statistics. Data from the Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey has revealed that in the year ending September 2018, 5.2 million caravan and camping trips were taken by females, and they chalked up a total of 24.4 million nights during their travels.

dining at local eateries, with three million women making the most of restaurants and cafes in the areas they visited. That was followed by outdoor activities including going to the beach, sightseeing and bushwalking/ rainforest walks.

Caravan and camping trips have also been proven to be beneficial for women’s health. The CIAA’s Real Richness Report revealed The figures are a significant increase on those that those who regularly go on caravan and at the same time in 2013, when women took a camping trips are happier, more satisfied, total of 3.9 million caravan and camping trips optimistic and energised than non-campers. and spent a cumulative total of 18.5 million The research revealed both physical and nights caravan and camping in Australia. mental benefits, with 74% strongly agreeing camping helps them ‘recharge their batteries’. The largest age group was 30-54, which Additionally, 63% percent strongly agreed that accounted for 48.98% of all trips, followed it relieved stress, while 51% strongly agreed it by the 55-plus group, which made up almost can make you fitter. 29% of trips. The most popular activity was


26 | iMotorhome Marketplace

POWER CHOICE

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28 | iMotorhome Marketplace

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30 | Tested: Sunliner Olantas 0425

Olantas Found!

Forget lost cities, Sunliner’s latest Olantas is worth discovering‌ by Richard Robertson


Tested | 31

The Olantas 0452 is a compact motorhome built for two, but with plenty of internal entertaining space. Standard equipment levels are high and it’s pretty much complete, straight off the dealer’s lot. New Sprinter is a beauty and will keep Mercedes-Benz on top of the desirability list for new motorhome buyers for the forceable future.

S

unliner’s Olantas range is designed specifically for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and comprises two lengths – 7m (23’) and 7.8m (25’ 6”) – and five floorplans, including two with slide-outs. The subject of this review is the Olantas 0452, which is one of the shorter versions. It features a drop-down bed over an open plan living area, a full width rear bathroom and a rearward corner kitchen. It’s a very similar layout to the Sunliner Habitat 4, which we had planned to fill these pages, but at the last minute weren’t able to access.

Sprinting

T

On

he Sprinter has ruled the premium roost in the motorhome chassis market since its release back in 1995. Mercedes-Benz isn’t one to rush things and this new Sprinter is only its third generation (gen 2 ran from 2006 to 2018). The model range is staggering – 1700 variants apparently – and Australia is but a distant thought in MB’s corporate consciousness. That means new versions are being added in dribs and drabs, and the muchanticipated 4x4 option won’t be appearing until The Olantas 0452 is a 4-seat, 2-berth, B-class late 2019 at the earliest. Consequently, model coachbuilt motorhome and the test vehicle was and tech specs are a bit thin on the ground, but on the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the first the supplying dealer – our friends at Australian one iMotorhome has had the opportunity to Motorhomes & Caravans – tell me the test drive in Australia. Olantas was built on the new Sprinter 519.


32 | Tested In MB-speak the 519 model designation works like this: The 5 means a 5000 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM), which in this instance has been derated to 4490 kg so you can still drive it on a car licence (although the 5000 kg GVM is a no-cost paperwork option if you have an LR licence). The 19 means 190 hp (140 kW), which comes from a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel that needs Adblue to meet its emissions goal on the way to producing 440 NM of torque, whilst driving dual rear wheels via a 7-speed automatic. The test vehicle had a placarded 3720 kg tare mass, leaving a healthy 770 kg max payload, which increases to a whopping 1280 kg with the 5000 kg GVM option. A surprise is the relatively small 71-litre fuel tank, although I’d except economy to be somewhere around 12 L/100 km depending

on driving style, for an average range of between 500 and 600 km. New Sprinter is more evolutionary than revolutionary and its appearance continues to reflect Mercedes-Benz conservative commercial vehicle design language. However, looks can be deceiving. The new model is packed with technological and safety advances, including Crosswind Assist, Active Brake Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Of course multiple airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and more. Inside, the dash has been completely redesigned and is much more in keeping with current Mercedes-Benz cars, although it’s still all-over grey (yawn). Keyless push-button start

To read the rest of this review subscribe to iMotorhome Magazine HERE

The new Sprinter bristles with technology and driver aids, but you’ll need to spend a fair bit of time going though the handbook to get the best from it. The high definition screens are superbly clear, but the standard 7-inch unit looks a bit lost in the space made for the optional 10.25-incher.


34 | Tested: Dethleffs Trend T6757

On Trend

That’s Dethleffs Trend T6757… By Malcolm Street


Tested | 35

Dethleffs is a well regarded German manufacturer and the Trend series is one of its entry level offerings. Being available for hire through McRent means interested buyers can experience their potential purchase in the real world before making a decision. It also gives the option of buying a low-mileage near-new unit at a considerable saving.

A

part from having a great holiday, one of the reasons for hiring a motorhome if considering a purchase is the ability to do an extended test drive beforehand. That is certainly the case with a McRent motorhome hire: The motorhomes available for hire are also sold (both new and used) by Zion Motorhomes, based in Pokeno near Auckland. McRent was kind enough to lend me a Dethleffs Trend T6757 on a recent trip to Auckland. It was mostly a working trip I should point out, although I did get to enjoy Waitangi Day with a considerable number of other people at Orewa. I know most people use a motorhome for recreational purposes, but I find them equally good as a mobile office. Apart from anything else, I never have the problem of leaving something behind in a hotel room!

Powering Along

T

he Dethleffs Trend is German-built and like many a motorhome out of Europe, rides on a Fiat Ducato cab-chassis; a Multijet 130


36 | Tested

with a 2.3-litre, 96 kW/320 Nm turbo-diesel and the all-too-familiar 6-speed automated manual gearbox. With an external length of nearly 7m (23’), the Trend’s size makes it easy enough to drive, whilst still having generous internal space. It also does well in the weight department, with a tare mass of 2999 kg and a GVM of 3499 kg, leaving a max payload of 500 kg. As usual, the Europeans seem to score very well in this area.

Around the Outside

C The big boot – garage in Euro-speak – is typically European and provides heaps of storage, while having a separate bike rack adds versatility.

onstruction is the usual fibreglass sandwich panel with moulded panels back and front, giving the Trend a stylish, streamlined look. It’s interesting that there are very few motorhome built in Europe these days that have a frame. No surprises in the door and window department, with the former being a standard Hartal unit and the latter Poly Plastic double-glazed acrylics. For some reason, amongst European

To read the rest of this review subscribe to iMotorhome Magazine HERE


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38 | Tested: Horizon Waratah 4x4

Clayton’s 4x4? Don’t be fooled, the Horizon Waratah 4x4 is the real deal… by Richard Robertson


Tested | 39

There’s no missing Clayton’s custom Waratah 4x4, thanks to its full body wrap. The LWB Sprinter is a big van, made more imposing by the raised suspension of the 4x4 option and off-road tyres. Note the ‘proper’ windows in the rear doors, rather than fixed factory glass.

R

emember Claytons – the drink you have when you’re not having a drink? The scotch-substitute found fame through television commercials in the 70s and 80s, and the name entered the vernacular as a synonym for anything pretending to be something else. However, not everything ‘Claytons’ is an imitation… Take the subject of this review: Horizon Motorhomes’ Waratah 4x4. It’s the personal rig of Horizon’s founder, Clayton Kearney, and is certainly the real deal. It’s the second Waratah 4x4 Clayton has had custom-built for personal adventures and he doesn’t spare any expense. Back in June 2013 the Kearney family (two adults and two teenagers) set off from home in Ballina, Northern New South Wales, bound

for the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Normally a two-berth motorhome, that Waratah 4x4 was specially modified and featured two bunks in place of the cupboards over the main bed, at the rear. It must have been cosy living, but as Clayton said at the time it was probably the last chance the family would have for such an adventure, given the age of the kids. He was right, because the Waratah in this review is purely a two-person machine. However, before we get onto it, a little more background on the original Waratah and it’s travels…

Great Escape

T

he Great Family Escape took the thenbrand-new Waratah 4x4 from Ballina across to South Australia and north into Central Australia before more-or-less turning left


40 | Tested at Alice Springs and taking the Tanami Track across to the Kimberley. After a short break in Broome they headed north to Cape Leveque, then back along the infamous Gibb River Road before returning to Alice Springs via the black top. In just on a month the Waratah clocked up 9298 km, including at least 3000 km of severely corrugated dirt roads, and the only casualty was a broken mount on one of the non-standard bunkbeds. I recount all this because Mrs iMotorhome and I flew into Alice Springs and did a swap with them, collecting the Waratah 4x4 for its Journey back to Ballina, via the remote Plenty Highway. You can read all about it in Issue 30 of iMotorhome Magazine, which if you don’t have it in your library you can download by clicking HERE. It was an awesome trip and

one of the most memorable we’ve ever done. I have three standout memories of that journey: Firstly, the near-showroom condition Clayton & Co manage to get the Waratah into in just a couple of hours at the Alice Springs car wash! Secondly, the seemingly-as new condition of the Horizon fit-out (bunk-bed aside) despite thousands of kilometres of relentless shaking; and thirdly, the equally as-new driving experience of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4. As I reported at the time, I’ve always been sceptical of the durability of European vehicles – especially their high-tech electrics – in extreme Australian conditions. But the Sprinter 4x4 didn’t put a foot wrong and there wasn’t an errant warning light nor any other indication/ squeak/clunk/groan/wobble the vehicle hadn’t just driven out of the dealer’s yard. To say I

Interior space is good for a van, while the bed arrangement is primarily a pair of singles that can effectively become a huge double.


Tested | 41 was impressed is an understatement and its something I’ve never forgotten

Back to the Future

F

ast forward five and a half years or so and I was keen to reacquaint myself with this capable and impressive motorhome. It’s also an interesting time in the automotive scheme of things, because 2019 sees the Australian launch of the all-new, thirdgeneration Mercedes-Benz Sprinter range.

the Australian RV industry by being the only major manufacturer dedicated solely to the production of van-conversion motorhomes. Now building on both the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Fiat Ducato, Horizon is widely recognised as an industry leader and has built a large and fiercely loyal client base that includes many repeat customers – the highest accolade any business can achieve.

Both of Clayton’s personalised Waratah 4x4s belong to Sprinter’s second generation, which ran from 2006 to 2018. That really makes The Sprinter has been in production since this vehicle one of the last and it will be very 1995. Coincidentally (or perhaps not!), 1995 interesting to see what the new Sprinter brings is also the year Clayton established the Ballina to Australia, especially in the 4x4 department Campervan and Motorhome Centre. That in turn led to the creation of Horizon Motorhomes, (single rear wheels, please please please!). I’m just not holding my breath, as the new 4x4 which nowadays occupies a unique niche in

The 4x4 conversion retains independent front suspension and adds a hefty engine bash plate. The long wheelbase is great for stability but you do need to be careful negotiating your way off-road to avoid hanging the vehicle up or underbody damage.


42 | Tested

The removable table is perfect for a couple and can handle extra diners thanks to a swing-out extension leaf underneath. The swivelled cab seats are excellent for after-hours relaxing and the best place to watch TV from.

version isn’t due here until late winter and the first conversions won’t hit the showroom until around the fourth quarter. Having had a too-brief 20 minute drive of a new Sprinter at the Dusseldorf show last August, I can report it will be worth waiting for. Not only is it a technological tour de force in regards to safety systems and equipment; refinement is taken to new levels, as is the cab, which is now much more Mercedes-Benz car-like. Along with the all-new Volkswagen Crafter, new Sprinter brings a welcome degree of sophistication to the Australian light commercial van scene, much to the chagrin of Fiat, I’m sure…


Tested | 43 Fit & Fit-Out

B

ecause in issue 30 I wrote at length about the Sprinter, its 4x4 system and Horizon’s Waratah fit out, and because nothing much has changed, I will just touch briefly on them here. The Waratah is built on a long wheelbase Sprinter 519 CDI. The 5 in the name means it has a 4490 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM), which is basically as heavy as you can drive on a car licence. The 19 means 190 hp or 140 kW, and that power comes from a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel that drives through a 5-speed auto gearbox. In 4x4 mode, power is split 35% to the front wheels and 65% to the rear, and put to the ground via front independent and rear live-axle suspension. In traditional manner, the system drives the (dual) rear wheels under normal conditions, with high and low-range 4x4 selectable on demand. Non-traditionally, its all push-button operated and electronically controlled, and works in conjunction with 4ETS (4-wheel electronic traction control) and ADAPTIVE ESP (an electronic stability program). Together, the package helps prevent/limit wheel-spin on any powered wheel, plus keeps the whole vehicle in check to prevent skidding and other out-of-thenorm situations. Because the system has proper low-range gearing – about 40 percent lower than normal – the vehicle is able to crawl up and down steep inclines plus handle normal beach sand conditions, but with a caveat: This is a long vehicle with arrival, departure and rampover angles to match, even with the raised suspension, big tyres and substantial engine bash-plate. That means you have to choose your way carefully and always be mindful of what’s underneath that might get caught up on rough terrain and potentially damaged. While not a ‘serious off-roader’ in the traditional

There’s plenty of overhead storage, plus lots of light and fresh air in the bedroom area. The twin 12-volt Sirocco fan option is a great idea, helping to move air on warm, still nights.


44 | Tested sense, an experienced and familiar driver will still be able to get it in and out of places well out of bounds to most RVers. On the road the big Benz is smooth, quiet and rides remarkably well, to the point you actually forget it’s a 4x4. Body roll is minimal, while primarily being rear-wheel drive, the steering is nicely weighted with good feedback, plus it has a decent turning circle – a MercedesBenz trademark. Power is delivered smoothly and the five speed gearbox shifts nicely and is more than sufficient, but word is the next-gen Sprinter will get the seven-speed auto currently fitted to 2WD models (and the new FWD Sprinter variant will get a nine-speed!).

Inside

T

he LWB Sprinter endows the Waratah with that most valuable of commodities: Space. There’s space for a multi-seat dinette up front and for what’s essentially a lengthways kingsize bed down the back, plus a generous kitchen and plenty of storage. About the only thing that’s on the small size is the ‘wet’ bathroom, but that’s because Clayton reckons bathroom size should be commensurate with the amount of time you spend in it. It’s a valid point, although I think some would trade storage and/or living space for a bathroom with a bit more room, and especially a separate shower cubicle. Up front, the cab seats swivel and mesh perfectly with the dining table and dinette seating; the latter either being a standard single or optional pair of proper vehicle seats, not just a flat and un-supporting bench. The kitchen is to the right as you enter through the big sliding side door and comes with a three burner gas cooker, single sink, microwave, 136-litre compressor fridge and plenty of drawers. The aforementioned bathroom – literally the smallest room in the house – has a cassette toilet, corner hand basin with a tap with a pullout shower nozzle, towel rail, shower curtain, a

The standard dinette seat is a single, with this double setup an option. Either way, they are proper, belt-equipped automotive seats rather the usual shapeless bench.


The kitchen has good bench space and is well equipped, including filtered drinking water and an under-bench microwave. The electric option for the sliding side door allows you to open it as little or as much as required, while doing away with the dreaded ‘whizz-bang’.

Tested | 45


46 | Tested ested mirrored, wall-mounted shaving cabinet, light, fan-hatch and that’s about it: everything you need and nothing you don’t. Vans, with their sliding side-doors, are often derided as being ‘whizz-bangs’, but the electric option on the Sprinter puts an end to that. Push button or remote controlled, the door opens all the way or just as far as you want, making entry and exit in bad weather simple and easy. It’s an absolute must! Another feature – one standard across all Horizon models – is proper doubleglazed acrylic windows in the rear barn doors. Most manufacturers leave the fixed factory glass, but Horizon goes the extra mile and it makes a world of difference.

What I Think

T

he Horizon Waratah 4x4 we drove halfway across Australia proved itself to be ‘a very good thing’ and this latest version is no exception. Comfortable, capable, powerful and liveable, it’s a tough machine well suited to anyone wanting to venture into remote areas where all-road/track and allweather capability is more important than ultimate off-road ability. This particular one might be Clayton’s, but there’s nothing Claytons about it: It’s the real deal – and ready to go.

Every van should have full side-and-rear-door insect screens, which make summer-time camping a comfortable reality. Twin 4kg LPG cylinders rather than a big single mean you’ll always have a spare when one runs out.


Tested | 47

The smallest room in the house has everything you need and nothing you don’t. There’s a hanging wardrobe with cupboard below just aft of the bathroom; both of which are surprisingly roomy.


48 | Tested

Specs GENERAL Make

Horizon Motorhomes

Model

Waratah 4X4

Type

Van conversion

Berths

2

Approved Seating

4

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 519 CDI

Engine

3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel

Power

140 kW @ 3800 rpm

Torque

440 Nm @ 1400 - 2400 rpm

Gearbox

5-speed automatic

Safety

ABS, Adaptive ESP, air bags,

Fuel

93 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

3700 kg (dependant on extras)

Gross Vehicle Mass

4490 kg

Max Payload

790 kg (dependant on extras)

Braked Towing Capacity

3500 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

6.96 m (22' 8")

Overall Width

1.99 m (6' 6")

Overall Height

2.78 m (9')

Internal Height

1.92 m (6' 3.5")

Bed

1.95 m x 0.66 m (6' 4" x 2')


Tested | 49

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

No

Awning

Fiamma F 65

Entry Steps

Electric

Hob

3 burner Dometic

Rangehood

No

Sink

Stainless steel with cooker combo

Fridge

110 L Waeco CRX 1110 12 V compressor

Microwave

LG

Lighting

12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

3 x 12 V/5 V USB

Air Conditioner

Opt

Space Heater

Webasto diesel (optional)

Hot Water System

Truma

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Flexible hose

CAPACITIES Batteries

200 AH Lithium (opt)

Solar

200W (opt)

LPG

2 x 4kg

Fresh Water

100 L

Grey Water

95 L

Hot Water

14 litre

Toilet

17.5 litre

PRICE ON ROAD NSW

From

$187,000

As Tested

$218,800

Warranty - Mercedes-Benz

3 years/200,000 km

Warranty - Horizon

3 years

Warranty - Appliances

As per manufacturers

Pros… • 4x4 Ability • Comfort • Economy • Quality • Capability • Proven durability • Liveability • Lots of options

CONs… • Small bathroom • Ageing decor • Lots of options

Contact Ballina Campervan, Motorhomes & Caravans 299 River St (cnr Tweed St) Ballina. NSW. 2478. T: (02) 6681 1555 E: info@ballinacampers.com.au W: ballinacampers.com.au

Click for Google Maps


50 | Tested

Options Galore Horizon’s Waratah 4x4 is priced from $187,000 drive-away (NSW). However, the test vehicle had the following long list of options, any or all of which could be added to your vehicle. Combined, they lift the drive-away price to $218,800. • Electric sliding door • Black steel ball-bar with 9500 lb synthetic winch • Bash plate • Mercedes-Benz reversing camera, floor mats and two-tonne-rated towbar • Black kangaroo leather upholstery • Double dinette • Innerspring mattress infill • 2 x Sirocco 12 V fans • Turbo hatch • Driving lights • UHF CB radio and aerial • Diesel heating • Snorkel • Black painted rims with Wrangler 205R16 tyres • Solar • Lithium battery pack • 2000 watt inverter • 3 x Anderson plugs • Fusion entertainment pack • Side fly screen with magnetic closure and zip closure • Rear fly screen with boot block out • External gas bayonet • Kitchenware Pack (crockery, cutlery, pots, pans, glassware, etc)

“The Horizon Waratah 4x4 we drove halfway across Australia proved itself to be ‘a very good thing’ and this latest version is no exception.”


52 | Show Report

Covi 2019 NZ’s biggest RV show went ahead despite the shadow of the Christchurch tragedy… by Richard Robertson


Show Report | 53

N

ews from Christchurch came through late on the opening day of the 2019 Covi Motorhome Caravan & Outdoor Show. However, the enormity of it didn’t hit home until that evening. By morning of the second day a sombre pall had descended across New Zealand and understandably, crowd numbers were down. Apparently there had been talk of cancelling the show, but in best traditions ‘it went on’, as must life after such senseless tragedies. For motorhome enthusiasts, especially those like us from Australia, the Covi show is an annual highlight. In case you’re not aware, the New Zealand recreational vehicle scene is the polar opposite of Australia’s; meaning motorhomes and campervans rule, and caravans are very much in the minority. The Nation’s progressive policies on imports and compliance mean the market is awash with brands and models Australians can only dream of – again, the complete opposite of Australia. In many ways the Covi show is like a mini-Düsseldorf due to the dominance of European imports and it really is an eyeopener. It’s also short by Australian big city show standards, spanning just three days and starting on a Friday. As always there was much to see, but if I had to pick the two most important highlights they would be these: The first commercially available, fully-electric motorhome (which is now on-fleet with Britz rentals) and a threemodel range of motorhomes factory-built by a motor vehicle manufacturer. What makes these things all-the-more important is they both come from the one Chinese manufacturer – LDV. Anyone who doubts Chinese ambition in relation to the global RV market is very much mistaken, and I’m sure these two ‘developments’ are just the tip of the iceberg…

The rest of the show was the usual mix of impressive new models and ‘must have accessory’ show specials, and I was particularly impressed by vintage motorcyclestyled electric pushbikes! Enjoy your pictorial walk through the show and if you’re at a loose end in March 2020 why not plan a visit to Auckland, once the next Covi Show dates are released? Here’s hoping it’s a happier time allround and that in the interim, New Zealand’s shattered soul can find real healing. Kia kaha…


54 | Show Report

SmartRV won Best Stand – again – courtesy of it’s ‘big top’ near the main entrance. There were lots of models on display across the Hymer, Burstner and carado brands, and plenty of people stopping by for a look…


Show Report | 55

This pair of van conversions by Autohaus, on the new Transit and Crafter, had some interesting features. Most notably, the small cafe-style dinette in the Transit that converted to a second bed, and the brave choice to retain the bench seat in the Crafter, thus preventing walk-through access. Hmm‌


56 | Show Report

One of many beautiful A-class motorhomes on display; this one the LV7.8CL from Le Voyageur – a snip at NZ$249,990.


Show Report | 57

By far the most innovative motorhome on display was the Evolve from THL/Britz: The first all-electric motorhome on the market. Small and pushing the friendship with just a 120 km range, it’s a breakthrough none-the-less and it should come as no surprise that it rides on a factory-built electric chassis from China, made by LDV.


58 | Show Report

Jayco had its own pavilion and a big model range on display, but I have to admit to being more taken by this stylish eBike made to look like a vintage motorcycle!


Show Report | 59

Chinese brand LDV also had a whole pavilion and three factory built motorhomes: two van conversions and a neat C-class. They attracted huge interest and were very well priced, but some of the design features needed ‘refining’ and it would be interesting to know how many were actually sold.


60 | Show Report

Above: Kiwi brand ACM had this gorgeous red and white Crafter, but strangely it had a bland, dark interior. Below: Sunliner was well represented and the 4x4 Habitat 4 attracted a lot of attention.


Show Report | 61

McRent sells off its year-old ex-rentals at great prices. With just 15-20,000 km on most of them and well discounted from new, they make an attractive buying proposition.


62 | Show Report

At the top end of the luxury scale was this impressive Morelo 82LS A-class from Germany – a show special at NZ$359,000. Built on an Iveco Daily 50C and with a 5800 kg GVM, in NZ it can still be driven on a standard car licence. Beautifully finished and equipped, it’s also backed by a seven-year body warranty for buyer peace of mind. Phew.


Show Report | 63

More Morello magic. Note the steering wheel is removable so you can swivel the driver’s seat! We weren’t sure about the V-shaped bed, but it must work – somehow…


64 | Show Report

Action is a new brand in the THL stable, and this Overland R725 had two noteworthy features: The angled island bed, which just doesn’t work, and a hinged extension flap so you can open the bathroom door six inches for extra room but retain total privacy, which is brilliant.


Show Report | 65

As always, the display of vintage cars and caravans was a big hit and beautifully presented! Those were the days‌


66 | Show Report

NZ manufacturer TrailLite had a huge range on Spanishbuilt Benimars on display, with many on the new Transit.


Show Report | 67

TrailLite’s own models – here on the new Sprinter and Crafter – were also well represented and popular. Premium priced but beautifully engineered and finished, they are still the pinnacle for many Kiwi buyers.


68 | Travel

Matters of the Hartley Hartley Historic Village matters, in the history of early New South Wales and the author‌ by Richard Robertson

St Bernard’s Church and presbytery


Travel | 69

N

ext year marks the 30th anniversary of when I decided to stop working for a living and become a successful and wealthy freelance travel writer. Dreams of seeing the world while being sucked-up to by leading airlines, boutique hotels and luxury cruise lines filled my mind, but then I woke up! While I did write about travel for a few years, including for The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald, it was a tenuous existence at best. Then I discovered motoring magazines and recreational vehicles, and here we are. Who would have thought?

St Bernard’s Church. It read something like, “A nice photo of the tree in front. Try showing the church next time.” In the decades since I have revisited the village on numerous occasions as it holds a special place in my frustrated ambitions – and I’m always keen to make sure the tree is doing well. It is.

Recently, when Mrs iM and I headed west in the Trakkaway 720 I planned a stop back to where this career journey largely began. Hartley Historic Village has always been beautifully picturesque, but basically locked up. Now, My writing career began with a correspondence I’m pleased to report, it has an interesting little course in freelance travel writing and tea room and more besides. But first, some photography, and my tutor was none other history… than Simon Townsend of Wonder World fame (or perhaps his bloodhound Woodrow, judging Early Days by the state of some returned assignments). f the town’s rise, fall and rebirth, Speaking of assignments, my very first was Wikipedia has this to say: The Hartley to write about and photograph a small town, Valley was first crossed by Europeans for which I chose Hartley Historic Village. The during Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson’s only thing I remember about the assignment famous expedition of 1813. Settlement of was Simon’s comment on my artistic shot of

O

The Old Hartley Post Office Cafe is well worth a visit and does excellent Devonshire Teas, as well as good coffee and full meals. Grab a table in the garden if the weather’s good!


70 | Travel the region extended during the 1820s and in 1832 Major Mitchell’s new line of western road down Victoria Pass took the Bathurst Road through the Hartley area. Soon a town was proposed and, with large numbers of convicts working in the area, the need for a government detention and judicial centre was recognised. Consequently, in 1837 a courthouse was erected at Hartley and the following year the town plan was gazetted. Hartley grew as both a government administrative centre and also as a wayside service centre, it being an important stopping point on the western road to Bathurst and further inland. The railway arrived in the region late in the 1860s and while it led to the growth of places like Lithgow, Hartley declined owing to the reduction in road traffic. Late in the nineteenth century Hartley began to be recognised as a place of historic attraction and the village began to prosper also as a result of the passing tourist traffic to Jenolan Caves. During the interwar period motor car tourism played a particularly significant part in Hartley’s history. After the World War II, however, improvements in vehicles and the highway saw a decline as increasing numbers of tourists travelled through town without stopping. During the 1960s and 1970s Blaxland Shire Council

Devonshire Tea dreaming..


Travel | 71

There’s easy parking for motorhomes in front of the courthouse, which is open most days for tours. acquired many Hartley buildings and 1972 the Hartley Historic Site was declared under the administration of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Today

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he NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are now keepers of the Hartley Historic Village. Much work has been done and is being done to preserve and enhance the historic buildings and town precinct, and it’s a peaceful must-stop attraction. The township is just off the Great Western Highway, about 500 metres on the Sydney

side of the turnoff to Jenolan Caves Road. It’s well signposted and thankfully the turn-off has been significantly upgraded, meaning entry – and especially exit – are no longer the white knuckle affairs they used to be. The town is actually on a short section of the Old Great Western Highway and if you follow it through it merges with Jenolan Caves Road, a hundred or so metres in for the highway. The first place you can park outside on the left is the Old Hartley Post Office Cafe: a slightly ramshackle and idiosyncratic old-world establishment with tables inside, on the small verandah and a few scattered across the front lawn. Luckily, we spied a small, tree-shaded table just inside the picket fence on the warm summer day of our visit, as it was no weather


72 | Travel

That tree. for sitting indoors. There, we enjoyed an excellent Devonshire Tea as the work-a-day world went about its business and I pondered how full-circle my writing career has come.

and sells his unique range of metal art mirrors, clocks, candle holders, sculptures and more.

Sadly, there’s no camping in the Hartley Historic Village as we certainly would have stayed for the night, so after taking another Behind the cafe the ground rises steeply and while searching for the loo we found a walking photo of the church (for old time’s sake) we hit track to The Tor, a 310 million year-old granite the road to Bathurst and beyond. outcrop known as Kew-Y-Ahn to the local The good news is because the Village is so Aboriginal community, who regard it as a easily accessible you can drop in for anything place of spiritual significance. The track also from a loo break and leg stretch to a meal splits to include a Sculpture Walk and if you and proper exploration, whenever you’re have time it’s a good way to work off those passing. RV parking is easy and it’s a history scones and enjoy a great view. buff-and-photographer’s delight, so you’ve really no reason for passing it by. When you The Hartley Visitors Centre is the next visit, please take a photo of St Bernard’s and building along on the left and it’s open the tree, and send it to me. Not because it daily except Mondays. Alongside it is a dirt matters, but maybe I can find Simon and let driveway winding up a short rise to The Talisman Gallery (https://bit.ly/2IbJniy), which him know his advice all those years ago really did matter (even if he was WRONG about my is open Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays. It’s home to metalworking artist Ron fabulous photo)… Fitzpatrick and where he creates, displays


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Fast Facts Who: Old Hartley Post Office Cafe What: A  n atmospheric cafe in an 1846 residence that later became the village post office. When: 10:00 to 4:00 Wednesday to Sunday Where: G  reat Western Highway, Hartley. NSW. 2790 Why: Combines good food and great Devonshire Teas with a frozen snapshot of our colonial past. Take a thermos and make a cuppa if the cafe’s closed, because the village is still well worth a look-see!


Next Issue | 74

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE! Australia! Anyhow, watch out for a bit of fun as we celebrate and be prepared for anything…

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ext issue, iMotorhome Magazine turn seven – yes seven – who would have though? And like a true seven year old, we have a very short span of attention and no idea what’s coming up next – at least, not in

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Malcolm, of course, is far more organised with his across-the-pond offerings and is bringing you a Benimar Primero 331; a compact and affordable 6-metre C-class that seats and sleeps four, and comes with a corner bed and bathroom. It looks good, so watch for his review. The May issue will be out on Saturday the 4th. Until then why not join our more than 32,000 Friends and followers on Twitter Facebook , Pinterest and Instagram ?

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Ballarat Great Outdoor & 4x4 Expo

NSW Caravan Camping Holiday Supershow

Ballarat Showgrounds, Cnr Creswich Rd and Howitt St, Ballarat. Vic. 3355

Rosehill Racecourse, James Ruse Dr, Rosehill, NSW. 2142

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O  pen 10:00-5:00 (4:00 Sunday) Adults: $15 Concession: $12 Kids - U16 free with adult

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 pen 9:30-5:00 (4:00 Sunday) O Adults: $25 Concession: $20 Kids - U16 free with adult

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Open 8:30-4:00 (5:00 Saturday) Adults: $12 Concession: $10 Kids - U16 free

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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.

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iMotorhome Magazine Lite – April 2019  

Inside: Editorials • Letters • News • Taste - Sunliner Olantas 0425 • Taste - Dethleffs Trend T6757 • Tested - Horizon Waratah 4x4 • Feature...

iMotorhome Magazine Lite – April 2019  

Inside: Editorials • Letters • News • Taste - Sunliner Olantas 0425 • Taste - Dethleffs Trend T6757 • Tested - Horizon Waratah 4x4 • Feature...