Page 1



Issue 100: Aug 06 2016

To a Tee! E IS SU


$50 for the! best letter


The latest alternators are causing problems‌

Project Polly

Reflecting on the value of an ex-rental

RV Friendly Towns!

Three more towns that welcome Grey Nomads!

Trakka refines the T6 VW Transporter to a tee‌

Take Luxury with you

Inspiration Black Edition

Paradise are passionate about producing Australia’s best motorhomes From the moment you step into our spacious interiors, open one of our smooth automatic locking drawers and take in the aroma of the genuine high quality leather seating it will become clear that touring in a Paradise will give you the unrivalled freedom and comfort you deserve. Look beneath the surface to find the unique engineering and safety features that will put your mind at ease while travelling. Features such as the rollover bar, high strength alloy frame, composite body, pull-tested cabinetry, appliances and locks will become your priority once you realise they are missing from other mainstream construction methods.

From only $170,000* you can step into luxury and style without compromising safety. Paradise Motor Homes - 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

(07) 5597 4400

Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ Š 2016.

/paradise.m.homes *Oasis Platinum

About iMotorhome | 3

iMotorhome eMagazine is published twice monthly and available by free subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au. Your letters and contributions are always welcome! Facebook “f ” Logo

RGB / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

RGB / .ai

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Contributors Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting

Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia.

Design and Production

ABN: 34 142 547 719

Agnes Nielsen

T: +614 14 604 368

E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au

Design & Production Manager

E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor

Advertising Sales & Marketing Business Development Manager This could be you! Interested? Contact us on richard@imotorhome.com.au

Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368


E: richard@imotorhome.com.au

All content of iMotorhome eMagazine and website is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the 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 eMagazine or the iMotorhome website.

Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@imotorhome.com.au


Meet Your Perfect Travelling Partner The Sunliner Navian series offers the ultimate in mid-sized Recreational Vehicles available in the Australian and New Zealand market. The Navian is fully equipped with a vast array of equipment and accessories; all as standard. Crafted to highest quality, the Navian series of motorhomes are tailored to the unique needs of their owners. We invite you to explore the Navian series and meet your perfect travelling partner.

www.sunliner.com.au VIDA







On my mind | 5

MAIDEN CENTURY… One hundred not out! Who would have thought? It’s not a bad effort for a cricketer, or a start-up publication in a brave new media world. While the time has flown it also seems and age since I suggested to Malcolm we start a motorhome-only magazine online. I was writing for an advertising agency specialising in industrial products and dying of boredom coming up with interesting and imaginative copy about roofing steel, forklifts and earth moving equipment. The job paid well, the company was good to work for and looked after its staff, and I even had my own parking space in a security underground carpark. But every Monday morning I used to sit at the traffic lights and picture the week ahead stretching to infinity. I’d fallen into the job by accident – perhaps the first man over 50 to start in adverting – and lasted 2 years, but the final months were interminable. Then iMotorhome happened and Monday boredom has never been a problem since… Malcolm and I met working for Caravan & Motorhome magazine nearly 20 years ago. We’d remained in touch and he’d stayed in RV journalism, though I later ventured into cars, trucks and the dull world of industrial products. Returning to writing about recreational vehicles, for me it had to be motorhomes only. In hindsight we were remarkably naive and more than a little ahead of our time. We’ve also been lucky, but here we still are, 100 issues on. Who would have thought?

Second Innings If 100 issues marks the end of our or first innings, so to speak, news we’re launching iMotorhome New Zealand in September must be the start of our second. That’s right, iMotorhome New Zealand: A standalone monthly magazine about all things motorhome and campervan, across the ditch. It’s a big move and follows a couple of false starts, but the date’s now locked in and it’s all happening. The New Zealand motorhome scene is vibrant and dramatically different from Australia’s. The lack of protectionism allows vehicles from all over the world to compete in a consumer-driven market. One

Australian manufacturer told me the NZ market is ‘stuffed’, and thank goodness we have so many laws to ‘protect’ consumers. I see it differently, with Australian consumers missing out on many worldclass vehicles. Two sides of the coin, I guess. One thing’s for sure, the Australian market can’t stay ‘protected’ for ever. Change is coming and it’s a matter of when, not if. iMotorhome Australia will continue twice monthly – for now at least – and all current subscribers will receive a link to iM NZ when it launches on 3 September. I’d encourage you to read-up on what’s happening ‘over there’ because with airfares at record lows, beautiful scenery, great food and wine, and friendly locals, New Zealand is ‘A Slice of Heaven’ Australians should enjoy more. It’s also motorhome Mecca, with ‘motor caravans’ (to use the Kiwi’s quaint terminology) outnumbering caravans by three or four to one. Self-contained free camping is also encouraged – imagine that – making it even more attractive.

Results! Our recent email survey was enlightening and thanks to the hundreds of you who took part. In a nutshell Letters, News, this editorial and Road Tests are the top rated topics, with the others not far behind. More than 50% of you have been with us for 2-3 years, while almost 20% have been reading from the start. Not only that, a whisker under 66% keep all back issues. Thank you! More of you read iMotorhome on an iPad than any other device – 40% – while laptops come in next at 24%, then desktop computers at 18% and Android tablets at 11%. Very interesting! With New Zealand launching, more surveys coming, new events and other things planned, iMotorhome is entering a very exciting time. Anyone taking bets on a double century?


6 | Contents


About Us



Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website


On my Mind


On your Mind



Maiden Century…

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!




Day Test: Trakka Trakkadu All-Terrain


Project Polly: Upon Reflection!


Tech: Alternators ain’t Alternators




What’s On?


Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

To a Tee! – Trakka refines the latest T6 VW Transporter…

Looking back on 12 months with our ex-Apollo Rental

There’s trouble afoot with the latest crop of high-tech alternators…

Three more RF Friendly Towns profiled


Events Caloundra Music Festival!

What’s on around Australia over the next three months…

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!


Next Issue What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!

Hitting the great outdoors this summer? Get remote-ready with the Motorhome Doctor


Resources | 9 resources


Magazine Resources Just click any of the links below!

Ask a Question

Back Issues

Road Tests

User Guide




90: Mar 05 2016 magazine


Time Traveller! Malcolm samples Bürstner’s stylish Ixeo Time IT 726G…


$50 for the best letter!

Project Polly

Webasto heater installation!


A quick dash to Melbourne and back


Keeping your gas cooker in top condition…

Reader Survey

Reader Review

On your mind | 11

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. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to letters@imotorhome.com.au and

On The Shelf? Does anybody else have a problem sorting out the overhead cupboards in their Motorhome? I am vertically challenged and find it difficult to reach things, particularly on the top shelf. A friend put me onto these cheap baskets which will hold jars, cups, cleaning products – whatever you want – in a compact and easy to reach way. You just pull out the appropriate basket without disturbing the rest of the cupboard's contents. They come from the Reject Shop or K-Mart (or maybe other places) and only cost $3 each. A bargain I reckon! Conveniently, three just fit in a row on each shelf of my overhead cupboards. Regards, Stevie. Well that’s a cracking idea Stevie, thanks for sharing. I’m sure others will find it handy too. Please accept this issue’s $50 for enlightening us!!

we’ll 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.

12 | On your mind

Racking My Brain The following appeared in the Letters section of Issue 99 from Peter: “Help! My wife recently purchased a three wheel bike and we are having difficulty in storing it on our caravan. Are you aware of anyone who makes suitable bike carriers?” Gripsport in Melbourne make great racks that hold the bike firmly – they’re the best I’ve ever come across – including custom racks for three-wheelers, etc. However, the biggest

issue will be not exceeding the max 60% overhang compliance for your vehicle. Cheers, Charlie. Thanks Charlie, I passed that on to Peter and he was most appreciative. I have to say I had a look myself and Gripsport appear to make excellent racks – including one that will fit our tandem across the back of Polly and let us carry a second bike. Tempting indeed!

Grey Matters Just to set the record straight, so to speak, re not being able to dump the grey water at CMCA Rallies (Letters, Issue 99), no it is not a blanket policy. In fact at Murray Bridge and Albany rallies we let the grey water go in a trickle scenario providing the outlet had a sock on it (which was supplied by Bio Magic). At Bathurst it was the venue that would not allow it and even up to the Friday before the rally started we had a final meeting with Council to try to get the policy lifted

Cunning Plan?

Hi Richard. No doubt you are flat out on the 100th issue of the magazine. Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone.You should feel proud of what you have achieved and the iMotorhome online community that you have created. Of course I know the real reason for your hard slog – to be able to claim copious bottles or red wine as a business expense as you burn the midnight oil!

or watered down, but they would not budge. To my understanding, Canberra Rally will allow water on the ground, with a sock/strainer. Regards, Lorraine. Thanks for the background info Lorraine, most appreciated. Although with all the rain we’ve been having lately I’m wondering if Canberra will still want our grey water!

Cheers, Alan. Cheers indeed, Alan, how did you see though my cunningly disguised plan? No matter, thanks for your good wishes and support! It’s been quite a journey, but I’ve still got a few bottles left, so best I get on with the next hundred issues. Hope you’ll keep reading…

14 | On your mind


What a mag you put together! Love the articles about anything and everything; the mag doesn't get closed until I’ve read from it front to back. Very enjoyable! You were commenting last issue on the cycle racing and all the vans, and what a paradise France is for motorhomes. But on the subject of cycle riding (and you do your fair share) under the new laws we now have to give all riders one meter distance clearance. I have noticed weekend riders are now riding two and three abreast, which on the narrow roads around here is making it hard to try and obey the law. It makes it very hard to give any respect when drivers give respect and riders don’t. We both have to share the road, can you tell readers what the situation is please? And by the way, I do ride but now at my age I ride hybrid and still enjoy the ride. Well that's my moan, now can't wait until the next mags out. Keep up the good work.

cyclist a minimum of 1 m clearance when passing if the speed limit is 60 km/h or below. That increases to 1.5 m above 60 km/h. 2: As a motorist, to maintain clearance you’re now allowed to cross centre lines (even doubles) as long as it’s safe to do so. 3: Cyclists are legally allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 m apart. In some States (like Vic) it’s legal to ride more than two abreast on a multi-lane road. 4: In NSW at least, cyclists are required to keep as close to the left as is practicable (and safe) on a single lane road, but may occupy any position in the lane on a multi-lane road

1: Although rules vary by State, in NSW and Queensland now (at least) you must give all

Personally, I never ride two abreast on any road if there are cars around, never mind three or more! Yes the road is there to share but it has to work both ways. Many drivers have no regard for cyclists at any stage, but many riders do them and the larger cycling community no favours with their selfish and often illegal actions. The bottom line? A bike or group of bikes has as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle. What everyone needs is patience and a reminder the road is there to share.


to forward to the regular future issues.

Cheers, A J. Thanks AJ, glad you’re enjoying the magazine. Re cyclists, the road rules can be confusing so let me try to clarify them a little.

Thanks so much, what a great magazine. My wife and I live on the Sunshine Coast and have started the journey of trying to decide which motorhome would best suit our long term needs. We want to spend a few months travelling and then hope to return to outback Qld for a couple of years. So it has been great to read all the reviews in the past issues. I look

Many thanks, Mark. Cheers Mark, thanks for your kind words and glad we can help. Hope you enjoy Issue 100, you’ve certainly got a lot of back reading to catch up on!

On your mind | 15


I am a Kiwi and travelled your country with my husband between 2001-2015. We went to CMCA Rallies at Griffith, Northam, Mt Gambier, twice at Barcaldine, etc, and joined the Murray Borderliners and made great friendships. Also, we have friends with Mackay Sugarloafers. We loved travelling around your beautiful country. Our membership numbers "Kiwi's Kruzin" CMCA 19359 and NZMCA 12873. I have since lost my husband last year to cancer, so I am now travelling back in NZ by myself in my motorhome. We have the two best countries in the world, I reckon. Just writing this to let you know I still get your I-Magazine and love reading it. Brings back memories. Travel safe, Alison

Thanks Alison for your email and background – it sounds like you’ve seen more of Australia and met more people than we have – but truly sorry to hear of your loss… Hopefully you’ll be pleased to know that from 3 September there will be a separate iMotorhome New Zealand issue, coming out monthly. So now you’ll have memories of Australia and new things in NZ to look forward to as you continue your travels. Thanks for following us and all the very best. Perhaps we’ll meet up at an NZMCA rally or next year’s Covi Show? I’d be very happy to chat and treat you to a coffee (or two)…

16 | News

CENSUS NIGHT 9 AUGUST and people travelling in remote parts of Australia.


he Census is just three days away and no matter where you are in Australia you are required to complete it. iMotorhome contacted the Australian Bureau of Statistics to find out what Grey Nomads can do and here is its response: Everyone in Australia must complete the Census wherever they are on 9 August – even if you are away from home or an international visitor. This includes truckers, Grey Nomads

A Census form and instructions will be provided to people at pre-identified rest/truck stops. The Census form will have a unique 12-digit login which people can use to complete it online. Alternatively, the can complete the paper Census form provided and return it in the Reply Paid envelope (also supplied). Staff at Visitor Information Centres around the country will be able to advise of the preidentified locations. For further information call 1300 214 531 or visit the website by clicking here.

The Wirraway 260 SL

With it’s Full Length Slideout Room & Apartment Styled Layout !

From WIRRAWAY, “Australia’s Most Innovative Motorhomes” Wirraway is a dedicated family owned business striving for Motorhome excellence. Our Motorhomes are our passion! Every Wirraway Motorhome is handbuilt and designed by experienced motorhomers who know the importance of making life easier on the road. New to our Range is the brilliant ‘live like a movie star’ Wirraway 260 SL, the latest in our 260 series; our EuroStyle 260 with it’s European styled interior and “The Motorhome of the Year”, the Wirraway 260. Wirraway Motorhomes feature opulence, style and all the legendary design, electrical and construction innovations that are unique to all Wirraways.

Each Wirraway Model is unique! - All are a Must See!

View Our New Website to view All Models, Download Brochures &Virtual RealityTours For details contact: Rob Tonkin - Wirraway Motorhomes, 6 Hynes Court, Mildura Vic 3500

Phone / Fax: (03) 50 230 230 - New Email: info@wirraway.com.au & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer

View All Units O nline 24/7




Iveco 50C, Sleeps 4, Car licence, Dual rear wheel drive, Dinette slide out, Diesel heater, 140w solar, Wall mounted TV / DVD, 1000w inverter. $168,610 + ORC $174,100 Drive Away VIC SU4065

Mazda T400, 5sp manual, Sleeps 4, 176,000kms, A/con, shower toilet, 250w solar, 3 way fridge, Mechanical & technician checks completed. $39,990+ ORC $42,530 Drive Away VIC U1373


See us at Site 49 12-14 August


10% off all Caravan & Motorhome Rental Bookings in November. T&C’s apply.

Excellence in Dealer / Retailer of the Year 2016 Finalist

NEW & USED SALES | RENTALS | SERVICE CENTRE 1A Watson St, Wodonga VIC 3690 Ph: 02 6024 4222 E: info@awrvworld.com.au

18 | News



f you’re looking to buy a motorhome and can’t decide between models (or even between a motorhome or caravan), Australian Motor Homes near Newcastle, NSW, is holding an informal information evening on 21 September at 6:00 pm. This is a no-fuss, no-pressure evening billed as a chance to have a candid chat with like-minded people with real RV experience. However, places are limited to ensure everyone has a chance to ask questions, and you must RSVP by 15 September to secure a spot. Call (02) 4948 0433 or register online by clicking here



lease note the $134,990 price quoted for the Winnebago Burleigh last issue as driveaway was in fact excluding on-road costs.


20 | News

NEW SOLAR BLANKETS and strength and feature no grid lines, a solid copper backing and thick connectors for higher efficiency,” a spokesperson said. “The Solar Blanket Amorphous Cell offers superior flexibility in a light weight, convenient sized package. Its flexible design reduces the risk of cell breakage and cracks and is known to perform better in low light conditions compared to crystalline panels. The Amorphous cell blanket comes with Uni-Solar® cells which incorporates a triple layer system. These cells are optimised to capture the full spectrum of light compared to conventional Mono and Poly cells”.


VRedarc says it’s excited to release its new range of solar blankets and accessories, available this month. It says the new generation, state-of-theart solar blanket range heralds a new era in charging 12 V batteries from solar power. The new Redarc solar blanket range includes three black Solar Blankets SunPower® Cell in 115, 150 and 190 watt power ratings, plus a flexible 112 watt red Solar Blanket Amorphous cell. Portable and light weight, they can easily be moved to optimise energy from the sun. Importantly, the range is smaller and lighter than a comparable wattage portable glass panel. The range also includes genuine industry standard Anderson SB50 plug connectors, making installation easy – just plug and play. “Through extensive research and development, we have ensured we have the latest and the best when it comes to automotive solar cell technology. Our black solar blankets come with SunPower® cells. These cells have been designed for portability

The new range also includes newly designed solar regulators with Anderson SB50 connectors available in 10, 20 and 30 amp models. The regulator acts as the go-between to transfer power safely and efficiently from the blankets to the battery. In addition, Redarc’s cables and adaptors offer easy connection via the Anderson SB50 connectors and are available in lengths from 1.5 to 10m, so you can park in the shade but still get the most out of the sun. What’s more, they can be used with the company’s BCDC range and battery management systems. As a further service, Redarc has a solar calculator on its website to provide an indicative measure on how much power will be needed per day, depending on the battery size and appliances. Redarc also has Australia-wide back up and after-sales support and the new range of solar blankets is backed with a two-year construction warranty and 5 years on the cells. They can be purchased through 4WD accessories outlets and auto electrical stores.

News | 21



he following was posted on the iMotorhome Facebook page this week and makes interesting reading:

This is the Iveco 4x4 Daily Motorhome from 4x4 Motorhomes Australia. Fitted with a walk-through one shell coach body to the Iveco chassis, this will be displayed at the

Qld Outdoor Show (Toowoomba) on stand OS514 between 5-7 August. Show special price is $239,000. Fitted with a kitchen/fridge, queen bed, shower/toilet, generator, inverter, Weber BBQ, 2 x TV/DVD players with Intellisat satellite, roof-mount aircon, 4.2 m awning, 240 L water tanks, 3 x solar panels with Redarc charger and 3 x house batteries, bullbar and snorkel. This is the must-have vehicle for anyone who wants to travel through the real Australia. More pictures of the interior coming soon. 4x4 Motorhomes Australia is part of the Bus 4x4 Group of Companies based in Brisbane. Contact number is 1300 287 494 or you can visit their general website here.

The Caravan & Motorhome Book the complete guide

Collyn Rivers

This constantly updated top-selling book covers every aspect of caravan, fifth wheeler, campervan & motor home electrical systems. It combines rare technical accuracy with down-to-earth plain English writing. $42.50 plus $5.50 postage.

Installing solar for the first time, or trying to make an existing RV solar system work as you had hoped? This invaluable book shows how to build systems that do work - not just may work. And how to fix those that don’t. $42.50 plus $5.50 postage.

This (2016) totally new book covers every aspect of buying, building, modifying and enjoying camper trailers, caravans, fifth wheelers, slide-ons, motor homes, coach conversions and off-road vehicles. $42.50 plus $5.50 postage.

Discount: 10% off all books for any two or more!

caravanandmotorhomebooks.com P.O Box 356 Church Point, NSW 2105 Telephone: 02 9997 1052 (Africa DVD offer - $12.50 plus $3.50 post/packing - please order via post or telephone only.)

22 | News



he rise of social media has seen a dramatic increase in the number of online scams of all types. One doing the rounds at the moment promises to put you in the draw to win one of 50 A-class American motorhomes “they can’t sell” just by liking and sharing the post! Seriously? Yet thousands of people do it. What are they thinking? While this technically isn’t a scam as it’s not taking any personal details or asking for money, it is helping an unscrupulous Facebook Page operator get massive free advertising and achieve an online presence out of all proportion to their content. The bottom line is exercise a little judgement before liking and sharing things. Your friends will thank you, as will those people and businesses working hard to build a legitimate online presence.

Join us for our 10th Festival! 1 & 2 October 2016 Featuring... • Camp oven cooking • Bush Poetry • Market stalls • Damper throwing


Book your caravan site and tickets now!

• Live entertainment and demonstrations • Kids entertainment And much more! Headline Performer

Sara Storer

Tickets available at the gate or online at acof.com.au



We have a fully qualified team of service repairers that specialise in the service and repair of all brands of motorhomes and caravans We offer the following services:

• Service & Repairs for your RV & Caravan Drivetrain • Accessories & Spare Parts • Insurance Repairs • New and Used Sales • Consignment Sales • Trade-Ins.

Conveniently located on the Gold Coast PARADISE RV SALES & SERVICE PTY LTD - QUEENSLAND MOTOR DEALER 3463284 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au - info@paradisemotorhomes.com.au

(07) 5597 4400

24 | News



ustralian company Carhood has launched a service that offers free airport car parking in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in return for making your car available for rental (from which you earn 25%). All cars are insured for $35M, renters require pre-approval and even if you car isn’t rented out, parking is still free, plus it is washed and detailed. You can also rent a car without leaving one at the airport.

The new service has the blessing of Ford Australia, which has made 65 new vehicles of all sizes available as full-time rental vehicles between the depots. Rental rates start as low as $14/day fully inclusive, while both parkers and renters receive free transfers between the depot and airport. To find out more call 133 466 663 or visit the website here.



he New Zealand Motor Caravan Association has launched a service to members called NZMCA Data, which provides up to 150 GB per month of high-speed 4G data with no lock-in contracts. The deal has been launched in partnership with Wireless Nation following extensive trials by members around the island nation and is said to offer very competitive rates. NZMCA members can find full details in this month’s The Motor Caravanner magazine.

Expedition Vehicles



Luxurious interiors Flexible floorplans, On and off road models CUSTOM BUILT

BUY FACTORY DIRECT AND SAVE 222 Governor Road Braeside VIC 3195 Ph: 03 9588 0077



News | 25



yseo is a name New Zealand’s Smart RV says, “Discerning Kiwis will be getting to know as part of the 2017 showcase for Europe’s leading motorhome maker – Bürstner.” SmartRV said it had a ringside seat at the unveiling, sending Sales Leader Samantha Kidson and Marketing & Projects Manager Teearn Falconer to the annual dealer conference at Bürstner’s head office in Kehl, Germany. “It’s exciting to be among the first in the world to get an exclusive look at the new Lyseo range,” Samantha enthused. “They’re brimming with new features and in another first, the range includes both fully-integrated and semi-integrated models.” The new Lyseo range is made up of three vehicle types: the Lyseo T, Lyseo A and Lyseo E; although only the T will be launched this year. New features include a broader exterior, a more spacious interior (L-shaped kitchen with greater

work surface, and larger group seating in the living area), and an ergonomic bathroom (shower basin without step, more height in the shower and no wheel arches). “A change I liked was the functional double flooring,” said Teearn. “The cab and living area are all on one level inside the vehicle with no steps and more floor storage." The Lyseo range offers layouts with or without a drop down bed, meaning the same motorhome can be configured as a two or four berth. They’ve even come up with a floor plan with a rear lounge, which Kiwis will love. The dealer conference also signalled how Bürstner is simplifying its range so customers can easily see the product and price difference among the various vehicles. For more information on what SmartRV can offer, contact their team at imotorhome@smartrv.co.nz.

Webasto – your gas free solution for independent travelling


Quiet powerful operation Low power & fuel consumption Use whilst parked & on the move

Dual Top – Combination Heaters   

Heat & hot water from one unit Easy to use multifunction controller Low power & fuel consumption

Thermo Top – Water Heaters


Compact and efficient Fast heat up times Can be combined with fan radiators to provide cabin heat

Diesel Cook Top


High cooking power up to 1800 W No naked flame and no fumes Robust high quality Ceran® cooking surface

Webasto Thermo & Comfort Australia Pty Ltd 423-427 The Boulevarde, Kirrawee NSW 2232 Freecall 1800 244 494 info@webasto.com.au www.webasto.com.au

RV Compressor Fridges   

Extensive range of Uprights and Drawers Available as DC Only or AC/DC Robust high quality with Danfoss Compressors


Air Top – Air Heaters

26 | News



raillite says the first Fiat Ducato-based Auto-Sleepers have just touched down in NZ and are a great opportunity for a broad range of people and demographics to get into their dream lifestyle. Prices start from only $159,000 with premium upgrades already included and models are available in a range of floor plans including

permanent double and single beds. All feature open plan layouts with large open windows in the lounge area. The next range arrives in this month (August), complete with brand new Al-KO wide track chassis and up to 130L fresh water. New 2016 colour schemes combine the luxury of European interiors with the popular value of the Fiat. Of course, all are backed by Traillite’s local warranty scheme for complete peace of mind. Traillite says it’s taking registrations of interest for the next ones to arrive and those interested will be invited to a product launch of the new AL-KO chassis products. To register email sales@traillite.co.nz.

As Australia's only built-in campervan and motorhome specialist, we at BCMC have the knowledge and experience you can trust. We are the exclusive retailer of Horizon Motorhomes and Frontline Campervans* - which are built-in, not built-on, far a smoother and more enjoyable touring experience. Our Motorhomes and Campervans are fuel efficient, easy to manoeuvre and built in Australia by hand, using only the finest high quality materials. Alongside our New & Pre-Loved vehicles, the BCMC Service Centre offers a full range of accessories and maintenance far your RV - making sure your travels are safe and in comfort. Click below to find out why we're the built-in specialists. MOTORHOMES

•• Exclusive retailer of:

• North of Newcastle







be me.com.au 299 River Street, Ballina NSW 2478

02 6681 1555




28 | iMotorhome Marketplace

Thinking about a self-drive touring adventure? Find all the inspiration and information you need for an awesome journey with our ebooks for iPad. Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country: Learn about Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, on a wonderful tour through northeast Victoria. The Old Ghan Heritage Trail: Follow the legend of the Old Ghan railway from Quorn in South Australia, up the Oodnadatta Track and on to Alice Springs. The Googs Track: This remote 4WD adventure explores the southeastern extremity of the amazing Great Victoria Desert, SA. To The Inland Sea: Inspired by explorer Charles Sturt’s 1844-46 Central Expedition, To The Inland Sea takes travellers from Adelaide to the edge of the Simpson Desert at Birdsville.

Get your FREE eBOOK for iPad* www.ebooktraveller.com.au * Applies to Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country eBook for iPad

Tax2016 TimeTax is fast approaching. Are time has arrived. you ready? Are you ready? For tax advice and assistance at competitive rates by a registered tax agent, send me an email.

Grey Nomad Tax Advisers

Southern Highlands Service Centre

Our office - 4 wheels and a Luton peak. • • • • • •

Eric Taylor, FIPA, CTA, Reg. Tax Agent ABN 76 114 458 058 Email: eric@greynomadtax.com.au www.greynomadtax.com.au

More Versatile Than Any Other RV Camp Anywhere - It’s Self Contained Large Bathroom With Shower & Toilet Easy To Operate With Electric Jacks Models For Single, Extra & Dual Cabs Plus! Famous Ozcape Quality & Support

An Authorised Repco Service Centre just off the Hume Highway at Mittagong. Auto electrical and mechanical service specialists happy to look after your motorhome or campervan! Call Mark or Sharon and tell them iMotorhome sent you!

T: (02) 4872 2822 E: mwauto@hinet.net.au

iMotorhome Marketplace | 29 MOBILE



Our new App is now available for Android & iPhone



Scan QR code or click below to download

Scan QR code or click below to download


Bony Mountain Folk Festival This great Aussie festival in the bush is on again, featuring the legendary Murphy’s Pigs! Many other great artists, a Bush Poets breakfast, billy tea, damper, great tucker – don’t miss it!


The Duvalay Memory Foam Sleeping System – No lifting, no tucking, no fighting over the doona and bedding that stays put. Find out why it’s Europes bedding of choice for caravans & motorhomes. The premium grade memory foam ensures total comfort and the award winning design cover means your bed is made in seconds.

duvalay.com.au | (02) 6653 4640


30 | iMotorhome Marketplace

Parkland RV Centre

Roberts RV World

RV Specialists

Parkland RV is the official dealer for Avida Motorhomes, Crossroads RV and Opal Caravans in WA. We stock quality used RVs and our modern service department can look after everything.

An official Avida motorhome dealer, with more than 50 new motorhomes in the largest undercover RV showroom in the Southern Hemisphere. Our service department is here for all your needs too.

Australia’s leading fifth wheelers, designed here in Australia and built to suit our demanding conditions. Fifth wheelers from 24’ to 36’ available. Call 02 4953 7141 for information!

T: (08) 9493 7933 W: parklandrv.com.au

T: 1800 273 136 W: robertsrv.com.au

T: (02) 4953 7141 W: summerliferv.com.au

Battery Traders Super Store

Airbag Man

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

We design and manufacture air suspension kits for all types of vehicles including motorhomes. Easy to install they let you ‘level up’ for stability and safety.

Batteries, solar panels, inverters, alternators and all electrical parts including cables and switches for your motorhome! We can find and fix all electrical faults and are 12 V power specialists.

Visit our world famous 300 ha open range sanctuary, home to some of the most exotic and endangered animals on earth. Explore by foot, bike, electric cart or in your motorhome!

T: 1800 AIRBAG W: airbagman.com.au

T: (07) 3209 3144 W: batterytraders.com.au

T: (02) 6881 1400 W: taronga.org.au

iTech World

Wellington Shire

Australia’s leading solar power and satellite TV manufacturers! We stock the revolutionary In Flex and Mini Flex panels, Plus our Complete Traveler Satellite TV package is perfect for motorhomes.

In the heart of Victoria’s Gippsland region. Come and enjoy our natural beauty, famous lakes, High Country and expansive beaches. Find ‘Experience 40 Great Things to Do’ on our website too!

T: 1300 483 249 W: itechworld.com.au

T: (03) 5144 1108 W: tourismwellington.com.au



Connect at home! Connect anywhere!

15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection


iMotorhome Marketplace | 31 The dawn of a new era in solar. Our vehicle-specific insulation screens are Australian made from specially designed and tested material to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. As featured in iMotorhome’s Project Polly!

T: (07) 3398 5500 W: solarscreen.com.au

The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS

The alternative to a bike!!

25km/h with a range of 40km in ideal conditions! Super light too at 10.8kg Folds away quite compact for small storage

New state-of-the-art solar blankets from REDARC. Click here.

To find out more call Mark on 0412027330 or email mje240@adam.com.au www.e-twow.com 1

Nomadic Solutions hitches fully ADR compliant no swaying increased towing safety easy reversing offroad vans available

5th wheeler specialist

Nomadic Solutions - the original, quality constructed ‘lifestyletable™’ that is easily attached to the side of your motorhome. Now available in ‘mill finish’ for custom painting.

T: (02) 9011 8144 W: nomadicsolutions.com.au

Southern Spirit Campervans FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME Full & part fitouts Hitop, Poptop and Reimo roofs True custom­made conversions Repairs & improvements BYO van from Hiace to Sprinter

Store those additional items up and out of the way using our adjustable, transportable and modular storage system!


Tiffin Motorhomes

America’s favourite motorhome is now available in Australia! Tiffin Motorhomes Australia is proud to offer the Allegro Breeze 32 to the Australian market. Click through to find out why they’re fast becoming Australia’s favourite too!

T: 0411 616 617 W: tiffinmotorhomes.com.au

Over 11  years  cover   manufacturing   experience  Australia   wide.Free  Measure  &  Quote  Call  in   Factory  1:354  Mons  Road    Forest  Glen  :   Sunshine  Coast  Queensland     PH-­‐1300  304  332/0754564818   www.caravancovers.com.au   info@caravancovers.com.au   Qld  Stockist  of  Duvalay.                                                                                                                                                                                                      


32 | Day Test: Trakka Trakkadu All-Terrain

To a Tee! Trakka refines the T6 VW Transporter to a tee with its latest Trakkadu campervan ‌ by Richard Robertson.

Day Test | 33

The Trakkadu continues to redefine what a campervan is. In this case it’s far from a budget RV or wannabe motorhome. Sophisticated, luxurious, practical and versatile, the latest version – built on the new VW T6 Transporter – can be a daily driver, shopping trolley and holiday machine without compromising any roles. It also looks great, but it’s not for the financially challenged…


he Trakkadu has long ruled the premium end of the campervan market, but it didn’t start out that way. Spiritually, the model traces its lineage to the company’s earliest days, when founder Dave Berry converted his first VW van and unknowingly embarked on a lifetime journey. From genuinely humble beginnings more than 40 years ago Trakka and its campervans, which have become the Trakkadu range, have come a very long way. A Trakka hallmark is the ongoing refinement and development of all models, but the release of a new base vehicle is always the occasion for major upgrades. The Trakkadu has reached the point where major changes are unlikely, but the sixth generation of Volkswagen’s Transporter is a big deal and Trakka has pulled out all stops to make the latest incarnation something special. The result is a campervan without peer in refinement and practicality. Trakkadu models can be divided into two camps: on and off-road. The former can be

front or all-wheel drive, feature seven-speed automatics and have normal road-height suspension. The latter are all-wheel drive, have raised suspension and one comes with a special six-speed manual transmission with a super-low first gear. Drive-away prices range from $85,000 to $137,000 before options boxes are ticked and the subject of this review is the Trakkadu All-Terrain, priced at $120,000 on the road. As I said earlier these are premium level campervans but you get a lot for your money. Let’s start to have a look at that by checking out the new Volkswagen T6 Transporter.



olkswagen doesn’t rush into model changes. It’s more than a decade since we met the T5, even though it had some freshening up over the years. So the T6 is a big deal. New headlights and a sleeker nose brings the T6 into line with Volkswagen’s latest passenger car design language. Aesthetics

34 | Day Test

Right: The sound system features Apple CarPlay (pictured) or Android Auto, both of which let users connect smartphones and make the most of handsfree features and a range of apps. Below: Optional metallic paint, alloy bull bar and alloy wheels really add to the Trakkadu All-Terrain’s appeal.

aside, safety is the area in which the T6 makes its biggest advances. The vehicle is awash with systems designed to keep you safe driving, out of accidents if possible, and as safe as possible in the worst case scenarios. In daily driving the new Driver Alert System cleverly assesses your fatigue levels by monitoring things like erratic steering wheel movements and uses visual and acoustic signals to suggest it’s time for a break. A reversing camera and rear parking sensors are also included. Daytime running lights, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, hill-start assist, traction control, electronic differential lock and electronic stability control are also standard now and go a long way to preventing you getting into trouble.

Should an accident occur, driver and passenger front, side and head airbags are now standard – a significant advance in a commercial van – as is a new Multi-Collision Braking System. This latter system triggers after a collision, with the aim of preventing secondary ones and activates when two sensors detect an accident. After a short delay the vehicle begins a phased breaking action down to 10 km/h, although the driver is free to take over any time. Internally, the dashboard appears much as before, although with many new storage places, nooks and crannies. Also now standard is a height-and-reach adjustable leatherwrapped multifunction steering wheel that’s a beauty. Not only does it imbue the T6 with a sporting feel, it's tactile qualities are a match for

Day Test | 35

In a nutshell it (Apple Car Play) means iPhone owners can use the majority of their phone’s inbuilt systems. any European luxury car.

streaming, plus Apple’s new CarPlay software. In a nutshell The test Trakkadu – the Allit means iPhone owners Terrain model – featured the can use the majority of their upgraded Composition Media phone’s inbuilt systems radio system. Its 16.5 cm through a combination of (6.33”) touchscreen colour voice and button controls. display is a central part of the While you can't access all your driving experience. Apart from apps and display them onoperating the sophisticated screen you can make phone sound system and displaying calls to your contacts, play the reversing camera image, it music, send and receive text includes Bluetooth connectivity messages, play podcasts, for telephone calls and music listen to audiobooks and use

Apple Maps as a navigation system, negating the need for a separate GPS (provided you have phone and data connectivity). Your iPhone does need to be plugged in via a USB cable to use this system, but this also charges it up in the process. Android smartphone owners are apparently equally well catered for, using the Android Auto media interface!

36 | Day Test Below: The leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel is the perfect size and and includes controls for the audio system, phone, etc. Note the USB phone cable connection to use Apple CarPlay. Bottom: The wardrobe has removable shelves so you can choose between handing and/or stacking clothes. Trakka’s trademark roller shutter doors provide excellent access without getting in the way.

Mechanically, the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine from the T5 has be retained, but with some important differences. Most noticeable is the inclusion of a stopstart system that reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions in traffic. Also new is regenerative braking, which charges the vehicle battery when braking. Both are part of VW’s BlueMotion Technology package, which shouldn’t be confused with other manufacturers’ AdBlue systems that require the injection of a urea solution to the combustion process to achieve desired exhaust emission standards. Engine output is the same power as before – 103 kW/340 Nm or 132 kW/400Nm – achieved through a single or dual turbochargers. A 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) is standard on the Trakkadu AT. Although touted as an automatic, the DSG is essentially two manual gearboxes and two clutches in a single transmission casing. Computer controlled, it

Day Test | 37

Facts, figures and inclusions aside, what sets the T6 Trakkadu apart is style.

38 | Day Test

Above: Swivelling cab seats make best use of the living area, even though the driver’s seats doesn’t turn completely. Note the new cab-ceiling strip light that replaces intrusive individual reading lights. Stand-up headroom is impressive, as is natural light and ventilation. Right: Cab seats are excellent – supportive and comfortable – while Volkswagen’s standard of fit and finish is equally impressive.

provides unbelievably crisp and quick gear shifts. You can select normal or sport-mode automatic (the latter holds gears longer), or flick between gears using manual mode. It’s a slick, impressive gearbox that’s a long way removed from the older (or new) automated manuals of the early Mercedes Sprinters or even current Fiat Ducatos.



rakka does a lot mechanically to transform an ‘ordinary’ road-going Trakkadu into an off-roader. Firstly, the standard 3000 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) is upgrade to 3200 kg. That mightn’t sound like much but what it allows is the fitting of full-height off-road suspension and a fulllength alloy engine and gearbox guard from

Day Test | 39

specialist German manufacturer Seikel. As a result, ground clearance increases from 180 to 220 mm, measured under the engine guard. Clearance under the rest of the body subjectively appears to increase more, especially as the water tanks are internal and nothing hangs lower than the standard chassis underpinnings. All terrain tyres (215/60s) on 17-inch wheels (alloys optional) are part of the package, as is a rear differential lock for tough going. It’s also good to see a heavy-duty bottle jack included to compensate for the extra weight. Trakka’s trademark rear-hinged roof is easy to use and provides plenty of headroom, plus it mates seamlessly with the VW’s roofline. It even has a natty little spoiler at the rear. The black finish of the electric awning is also a new touch and helps disguise its bulk. Electric awnings are basically unheard of in this class of vehicle and although it might sound like overkill, in reality it’s a genuinely useful inclusion. Like Trakkadus for a while now the latest versions are LPG-free, using diesel from the vehicle’s fuel tank for heating the Webasto ceramic cooktop. Water heating, which is standard on the All-Terrain model, comes from

Top: Trakka’s in-house low profile roof blends seamlessly and keeps external height to a minimum. Above: The T6’s nose features new headlights and bonnet and keeps the appearance fresh and edgy. Optional alloy bull bar looks great too.

40 | Day Test

The Trakkadu All-Terrain gets full-height off-road suspension from German manufacturer Seikel. There’s 220 mm clearance under the alloy engine and gearbox guard, and seemingly more under the rest of the vehicle. VW’s latest generation 4Motion all-wheel drive system is further refined and automatically adjusts to road conditions.

an engine heat exchange unit. While simple, it does mean the engine needs to be running and up to temperature whenever you want hot water. All this means the only external modifications to the body are for the mains power connector and water filler, although there are mounts for the awning feet and outdoor table.

differences. Suffice to say the T6 continues the tradition, while the new steering wheel and entertainment system add to the driving pleasure. Quiet, smooth and manoeuvrable, it’s just like driving any quality European car.

aving recently spent time behind the wheel of a HiAce-based campervan, jumping into the T6 Trakkadu was affirmation of how superior Volkswagen’s delivery van is compared to Toyota’s. And while both do their jobs, the T6 does it so much better it really is in a whole other class.


Nobody mentioned the new engine stop/ start system and when the engine suddenly fell silent at the first set of lights it was a little disconcerting (what have I done?). But before panic set in I momentarily lifted my foot from the brake just to check and sure enough the engine immediately fired up. The system doesn’t work during engine warmup, but otherwise is handy for saving fuel and emissions in city conditions. While stopped, the rest of the vehicle’s system continue to operate via the battery (in case you’re wondering).

The T5 was already a highly refined vehicle and in a blindfold test I’m not sure I’d pick the

There is one standout feature to mention – the suspension. The genius of Seikel’s engineering


Day Test | 41 is it doesn’t compromise handling or ride comfort. Despite increased ground clearance and longer travel there is no increase in body roll ride or ride harshness, as you’d expect from heavy-duty off-road dampers and springs. Overall height is still a compact 2.13 m, meaning all but the tightest underground car parks should be easily accessible. Couple this with approved seating for four, easy passenger access, a versatile load carrying area and payload capacity up to 650 kg, and the Trakkadu All-Terrain is perhaps the most versatile European luxury SUV available.

Inside Living


hile many campervans feel cluttered and claustrophobic the Trakkadu is open, inviting and spacious. That’s because the designers haven’t simply filled every spot while ticking off the ‘must include’ list. Rather, they’ve thought about the design and come up with some clever and innovative solutions. The sliding side door provides excellent access and the fact the designers haven’t chosen to put a cabinet with the cooker or whatever right

Above: This slide-out rack is a beauty, holding plates, bowls and mugs. It’s also accessible when the rear seat is run forward for dining. Note under-bench-edge lighting. Below: Kitchen space is generous and storage is good. New framed motorhome-style blinds with combination privacy/insect screens are a real improvement.

42 | Day Test

Above: The rear seat has integrated seatbelt and slides fore-aft over quite a distance, providing maximum versatility. The dining table slides on a long track too and can be taken outside and attached to the vehicle. Right: The dining table now stores on its side, behind the driver’s seat. It previously stored vertically, reducing seat travel and increasing pitch. behind the passenger seat goes a long way to opening up the interior. At the rear the tailgate not only lifts for unimpeded access, it also provides valuable shelter in wet weather and a handy attachment point for an ensuite tent. The VW’s walk-through cab is another major attribute, allowing the front seats to be swivelled to become an integral part of the living area. Admittedly the driver’s seat doesn’t completely turn and at first is a bit fiddly to operate, but when set up and used in conjunction with the rear passenger seat – with or without the dining table in place – it creates a practical and surprisingly spacious living area. It also means one person can go to bed while the other sits up in comfort (and even uses the table), largely unheard of in a campervan. The table itself now stores on its side behind the driver’s seat, not vertically like before, providing

Day Test | 43

Above: The fixed bed cushion (closest) sits on a removable board. There’s good storage below when the bed’s in position, and extra on top during the day. Remove it and there’s a mass of rear cargo space. Right: The seat folds flat by simply pulling a webbing loop and pushing the back down. There’s also a storage drawer under the front of the seat. valuable extra seat travel. And as in Trakkadus before it, the table can be used indoors or out on the same type of track-mount, which provides plenty of fore-aft travel, plus it has an adjustable leg for uneven ground. Clever. The rear seat is a masterpiece. It provides comfortable travel space for two thanks to integrated seat belts while the ability to slide fore and aft over a wide range means you can have passengers close to the cab (great with kids) or a long way back, stretching out in first class comfort. At night you flip the hinged headrests over, pull a webbing loop and the seat back folds flat, so it can mate up with a fixed rear cushion to become a reasonable sized bed. I say ‘reasonable’ because although long enough at 1.95 m (6’5”), at 1.25 m (4’1”) wide it’s 7 cm (2.7”) narrower than a pair of 66 cm Duvalays. While dimensions like this aren’t

44 | Day Test unusual in the RV world this bed wouldn’t suit a Water capacity is 55 L fresh and 30 L grey, pair of what I’d call ‘average’ size Aussies. which are on par for this size vehicle. Across the rear is a board that carries the head section Adding to the Trakkadu’s uncluttered interior is of the bed cushioning and when the bed is the one-piece kitchen and wardrobe unit that made up there’s still good storage beneath it runs full length down the kerb side, from behind (it’s a good spot for a Porta Potti) With the seat the driver’s seat. Up front it holds the Webasto in its daytime position there’s good storage on diesel cooker and single bowl sink, with the top as well for things like bedding, while with 80-litre 12/240 V compressor fridge beneath the seat run fully forward a large amount of them. A great new feature is a slide-out rack for storage space opens up. And for transporting plates, dishes and cups that tucks away near big things you can remove the rear board and floor level in the cupboard next to the fridge. bed cushion, run the seat fully forward and Trakka’s trademark roller shutter doors are used open up a cavernous load area. Very versatile! to good effect in the kitchen and wardrobe; the latter having two doors and removable shelving Style! that lets you choose between clothes stacking acts, figures and inclusions aside, what or hanging space, or a combination. sets the T6 Trakkadu apart is style. Gone Finishing off the long cabinetry unit is a small are the usual campervan window curtains; shelf in the corner by the tailgate, which has a in their place motorhome-style integrated insect pull-out hand shower on top and storage for screens and privacy blinds. Lighting is now a the power lead and waste water hose below. combination of slimline LED strips to replace


Perhaps the Trakkadu’s Achilles heel is bed width. At 1.25 m (4’ 1”) it’s perfect for a solo traveller but narrow for a couple. Note the overlap of the supplied Duvalays.

Day Test | 45 protruding reading lights and individual ceiling lights, and discreet, hidden ‘shadow’ lighting that’s dimmable to change with your mood – or to change your mood! New decor panels move away from the old timber tones, while softtouch trim replaces the marine carpet so long a staple of campervan fit-outs. There’s also a new, slimline touch-screen control panel for all systems operations and monitoring.

style and refinement of ultramodern living. And yet while designed for life in the great outdoors – the very essence of a campervan’s purpose – the Trakkadu All-Terrain is also totally at home in the city.

This duality of purpose; the very ease with which it slips between worlds is what so appeals. It beckons lovers of all things outdoors to venture down the beaten track, make a The sum of these things is a quantum shift in sharp turn and head well off it. Then, when feel, with the new T6 Trakkadu now looking and ready it will take them home again and be feeling very much like a luxury motorhome and ready for the morning commute. If that doesn’t far removed from the traditional campervan. sound like a campervan done to a tee I don’t know what does.

What I Think


he Trakkadu All-Terrain is a masterclass in what’s possible in a compact recreational vehicle. It combines the comfort and driving pleasure of a luxury European SUV with the practicality of a small people mover and the The new motorhome-style blinds transform the Trakkadu’s interior, doing away with fiddly curtains and featuring insect screens as well over opening windows. It makes for a neat, stylish interior that befits the vehicle’s premium market position and pricing. Note the table is still in place, meaning one person can stay up if the other goes to bed early – impressive in a campervan!

46 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make



Trakkadu All-Terrain





Approved Seating




VEHICLE Make/Model

Volkswagen T6 Transporter


2.0 L 4-cylinder Bi-turbo diesel


132 kW @ 4000 rpm


400 Nm @ 1500 rpm


7-speed DSG auto


ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, 6 Airbags, MCB


80 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

2550 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3200 kg

Max Payload

650 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

2000 kg max

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

5.29 m (17’ 4”)

Overall Width

1.90 m (6’ 3”)

Overall Height

2.13 m (7’)

Internal Height

1.48m/1.95+ m (4’ 10”/6’ 4”+) Roof down/up

Double Bed

1.95 m x 1.25 m (6’ 5” x 4’ 1”)

Luton Bed


Dinette Bed


Day Test | 47

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out




Entry Steps



Webasto Ceramic top – diesel fired




Dometic round with fold-down flick mixer, glass lid


Waeco 80 L compressor




12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets


Air Conditioner

Cab only

Space Heater


Hot Water System

Engine heat exchanger






1x 100 AH AGM





Fresh Water

55 L

Grey Water

30 L

Hot Water

No separate tank





As Tested – on used HiAce


Warranty – Vehicle

3 yrs/Unlimityed km

Warranty – Conversion

2 yrs build/1 yr Seikel suspension

Options fitted

Metallic paint, diesel space heater, alloy wheels, alloy bull bar, light bar

Pros • • • • • • • • • •

Quality Style Innovation Refinement Versatility Practicality Driving pleasure Four seats Safety Standard equipment


• Price • Bed size • Hot water requires engine running


Trakka Pty Ltd 9 Beaumont Rd Mt Kuring-gai, NSW. 2080. T: 1800 825 867 E: trakka@trakka.com.au W: www.trakka.com.au

Click for Google Maps

48 | Day Test

The Trakkadu All-Terrain is a masterclass in what’s possible in a compact recreational vehicle.

Trakkadu AT

Out of Bounds and Beyond


50 | Project Polly

Upon Reflection Time to look back on Project Polly and decide if our ex-rental was a good buy…

Project Polly | 51

Picking up from Apollo Rentals in Brisbane. Note the Victorian registration, which had to be changed to NSW, but Apollo footed the bill for that. All fixed-glass sides are less than ideal, allowing large temperature variations and providing only tiny opening windows at the very back. They do provide good interior light and viewing, though.  


t seems fitting our 100th issue is also the completion of our year-long project with Apollo Rentals to bring you a wartsand-all look at life with one of their ex-rental motorhomes. To refresh your memory our project vehicle Polly is a 2010 Ford Transit Euro Tourer built by Apollo’s in-house manufacturer Talvor. You can still find them on Apollo’s website selling for around the $45-47,000 mark. When bought she’d covered 258,000 km and was a month past her 5th birthday (and you thought child labour was illegal). I chose the Transit because even with high mileage I felt service and repair costs should be reasonable, which they are. Ford dealers are common and there’s a healthy online business in genuine and after-market parts. It’s also mechanically

simple, relatively speaking, compared with it’s German and Italian rivals, especially by not having an automatic gearbox. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying an ex-rental VW or Mercedes with a quarter of a million kilometres on the clock. The costs of a replacement gearbox, turbocharger or engine would be considerable, and probably out of proportion to the value of the vehicle. The Transit model is a VM-series Jumbo LWB high-roof van. At 6.5 m it’s quite long and provides a decent amount of living room. The high roof is also good, allowing me at 1.83 m (6’ 1”) to avoid stooping in the aisle. The VM series was introduced in 2006 and ran until 2013. It’s generally regarded as the first Transit model really well suited to motorhome conversion because the gear lever was moved from the floor to the dash, thus providing easy walk-through cab access.

52 | Project Polly

Solarscreens have proven invaluable, providing seven layers of thermal insulation that make a substantial difference in hot and cold weather. Note the louvered insect-screened vents for the cab windows, which slide into place for extra ventilation.

It also received a considerable power boost over its predecessor and a range of comfort, convenience and safety upgrades. Power comes from a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel rated at 103 kW and 375 Nm and driving the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox. Ford’s biggest mistake with the Transit has been the lack of an automatic transmission since pre-VM days. Even today this situation continues. It’s why so few motorhomes – if any, apart from custom orders – now use the Transit. As an aside, the latest Transit is now available in America and comes with a six-speed automatic, but Ford seems oblivious to the need for this gearbox elsewhere, to their detriment.

Facts and Figures


lthough outright power (kW) is comparatively low by current standards the torque figure is quite competitive. This is aided by low overall gearing, with 6th being a practical gear even in suburbia. On the freeway the engine spins at a rather busy 2750 rpm at 110 km/h. What this all means is Polly pulls like a train in top gear, making a mockery of most hills and allowing easy and prolonged open-road travel using cruise control. On the road the lower kW rating means Polly runs out of ‘zing’ up the rev range so there’s no real value in revving her. But with all that low-down pulling power she easily handles

Project Polly | 53 The diesel-fired Webasto Air Top 2000 heater has been an absolute Godsend. It keeps Polly’s interior toasty in cold weather and can be run while travelling, or set on a timer to have things warmed up for wake-up or on upon returning from a day out. Very civilised! early upshifts. In fact there’s a green arrow that comes on when the engine management computer thinks it’s time for an upshift (which is usually before I do!). Cruise control is precise and well calibrated while steering is a bit on the heavy side, but certainly not excessively. The thick leather-wrapped wheel feels quite sporting, too. Handling is stable and predictable, and as Polly is rather heavy even empty (about 500 kg below her 3550 kg max weight) she rides solidly and is little disturbed by road surface changes, potholes and the like. Safety features like dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and traction controls, brake assist and hill-start assist mean Polly is still pretty much on par with current vehicles in her class. The comparatively small side mirrors and lack of adjustment of their lower convex lenses betray her design age, as does cab noise level refinement and general ‘ambience’, but these are small compromises.



nside, Polly came well equipped. Features like airconditioning (with a heater element), microwave, range hood, and a TV/DVD system are all inclusions that could easily have been extras. The bathroom is as basic as they come – not even a place for the soap or a roof hatch – but does the job. We’ve since added a stick-on soap dish and matching oddments basket. Considering the mileage and five years rental usage the interior has stood up well, even though it’s made of MDF (chipboard) and heavy as hell. We’ve had to tighten/adjust all the door hinges and put rubber dots, strips and patches in strategic places to reduce

54 | Project Polly

Mr’s iM has risen to the DIY challenge in heroic fashion, making and installing a kitchen shelf and much more. Meanwhile, the Redarc solar power system has revolutionised our free camping ability and is a must-have accessory on any motorhome or campervan. squeaks and rattles, but in that regard she’s no worse than many other vehicles I’d driven. The option of single beds or a gigantic king is nice to have. We usually stick to singles as Mrs iM goes to bed early and the table is hinged off ‘my’ bed (on the driver’s side), so I can work late if required. Without a swivelling cab seat there is no secondary seating position, which is a disappointment. And the house battery and associated electrics under the passenger seat – the only one that could be swivelled – makes the job complex and an unlikely one. Overall storage space is adequate and while the open framework rather than cabinetry under the beds looks odd at first, it’s really very practical. Not only does it save weight it also lets you mix-and-match storage containers and things of various shapes and sizes.

Perhaps Polly’s biggest design drawback is the lack of ventilation. Apart from two small sliding side windows at the rear and a small roof hatch, you have to open the big side door or rear barn doors – or plug into power for the airconditioning. Perhaps that suits the rental market but it’s not good in the private world. We’ve added a rear insect screen so we can keep the barn doors open and have another ordered for the side door, but both require us to be parked somewhere secure to leave open at night. Hardly ideal.



n 22,000 km Polly’s engine hasn’t missed a beat, except for when she twice cut out at idle but restarted straight away. This I put down to a clogged fuel filter and it coincidentally happened the afternoon before a major service! The clutch and gearbox have

Project Polly | 55 been fine, ditto the exhaust and suspension systems, although she does pull strongly to the left (a Transit foible) and is scrubbing the driver’s side front tyre. Body-wise, the bearings in the sliding side door are going and not only are they noisy and rough, they seem to prevent the central locking from engaging the door lock on most occasions. This means when I press ‘lock’ on the remote fob the horn sounds, indicating the door’s not locked. Very annoying. I’ve learned to ‘assist’ the lock to engage by strategically giving the rear of the door a shove as it closes, but this is far from satisfactory. I’m still waiting for new bearings (and a gas cylinder) from Apollo – which I’m buying as Polly is long out of warranty – but communication is ‘patchy’ at present and I’m not holding my breath. Speaking of gas, I went out last week and bought a small 2 kg cylinder as an interim measure to get us back on the road. The 4 kg original, which is a shape not commonly available, has been leaking from the valve (I think as long as we’ve had it, but much worse recently). Along with the leaking kitchen tap I recently replaced, these two things have prevented any recent travels. We now have leak-free kitchen water and gas for the cooker, but no matter what I do the Suburban hot water system won’t ignite. It’s been temperamental from he beginning and ‘fixed’ by Apollo under warranty, but never reliable. At around $750 online for a new one I’m thinking that might be the go. However, I’m giving it one last chance and will soon have it ‘looked at’ by someone who (hopefully) knows what they’re doing.

Final Thoughts


ould I put my hand on my heart and recommend buying an ex-rental motorhome to my best friend? Yes, with provisos…

Top to bottom: Our first night! The bed makes into a nearking that has masses of room; The awful, heavy red woollen curtains had to go, so Mrs iM ran up a new lightweight set that are more ‘sympathetic’ to the decor. They’re much more practical too.

56 | Project Polly Firstly, know what you want. That sounds obvious, but by it I mean how you travel and how the vehicle will work for you. Don’t let a low price or limited availability push you into a decision if you’re not ready. There will always be another ex-rental, although not always the same model. Secondly, don’t expect a silk purse for the price of a sow’s ear. The cheaper an ex-rental the older it is and the more miles it will have covered. Age plus usage equals problems! They might not be immediately obvious or terribly major, but they will be there. As a rule of thumb an ex-rental is best suited to an enthusiastic DIYer. Thirdly, have it thoroughly inspected and get as much done under warranty – if you have one – as quickly as possible. Mileage aside, because of their commercial vehicle basis there’s no requirement for a used motorhome to be covered by warranty. As an act of good faith, Apollo provides one month’s warranty on the vehicle fit-out and systems, so use that time to ensure everything works properly and if not, get it fixed to your satisfaction. If it takes multiple visits, so be it. Don’t lose that brief window of opportunity! Apollo also provides an after-market warranty for 12 months via a third party, but the conditions are onerous and the payout meagre, so in my opinion it’s not worth bothering with. Finally, would I specifically recommend Apollo RV Sales in Brisbane as a company to buy an ex-rental motorhome from? Yes, with the above provisos. The purchase process is simple, they provide that one month warranty which is quite comprehensive, and if you live outside Queensland you can get work done locally if required. They also reimburse the costs of getting the vehicle reregistered in your home State, which I wasn’t expecting and think is commendable! Their in-house conversion business Talvor builds a solid product that appears to go the distance, too.

Overnighting at Macksville on the NSW mid north coast. Much of our travel is long distance ‘express’ and the chance to pull over just about anywhere for a break, due to Polly’s relatively compact dimensions, is a real bonus.

Just be quick if you want a Ford Transit as the last ones are coming up for sale now. An ex-rental won’t suit everyone but it can provide a way of getting into a newer or bigger vehicle than you might otherwise afford. You just need to have realistic expectations, do your homework and be prepared to put some effort into the ownership experience from the outset. Project Polly will continue to appear as we’re far from finished with all the minor upgrades and improvements planned, although she might not be in every issue. Buying, owning and improving her has been quite an experience and I’d do it all over again – so long as Mrs iMotorhome, the DIY champion, was at my side! Adding the Redarc solar power system and Webasto diesel heater have been the most worthwhile improvements and now she’s a true year-round free-camping proposition. Upon reflection, finding the time to use her has become the biggest challenge, but we’ll keep trying. Watch this space and thanks for coming along for the ride…

Project Polly | 57 Southern Spirit Campervans supplied and fitted this custom rear insect screen, which has been terrific. One for the sliding side door is already booked for fitting.

58 | Project Polly

An ex-rental won’t suit everyone but it can provide a way of getting into a newer or bigger vehicle than you might otherwise afford.

Project Polly | 59

Project Polly Costings to Date Previous Accessories/Modifications Various accessories – see previous issues



Solarscreens – cab ($350) and barn doors ($96) plus freight



Solarscreens – custom side windows x 5



Webasto EL CR 85-litre Compressor



303 Spot Cleaner






Narva Oval LED light P/N 87516



2 x Century heavy duty batteries, test and fit (approx)



Set of 4 genuine Ford Transit hubcaps



Lagun table replacement splines and handle



240 Double adaptor with 2 x USB outlets



Webasto Air Top 2000 STC diesel heater

$ 1,883.00

Heater fitting



Levelling blocks



Custom insect screen for rear doors inc fitting



Cab window air vents



Redarc solar equipment

$ 3,028.64

Installation (estimate to be confirmed)

$ 1,350.00

Kenwood DDX5015BT audio system, parts and installation



Smartspace saucepan and frypan set



Silicone bucket and drainer – approx



Komodo outdoor table and sand-free mat



Frolic plate, cup and glass holders, plus Easyline clothesline approx



Kitchen tap



2 kg gas cylinder & fill



Total Accessory/Modification Spend to Date

$ 13,136.09

Vehicle On-Road and Insurance costs in NSW

$ 43,428.31

Total Spend to Date

$ 56,564.40


$ 50,000.00

Budget overrun!

$ 6,564.40

60 | Technical: Alternators

Alternators Ain't Alternators RV owners beware. There’s trouble afoot and more brewing in the highly charged world of alternators… by Collyn Rivers


lternators made prior to 2000 or so had varying voltages – typically 14.4-14.7 volts – which is adequate for charging an RV’s auxiliary battery or two. Whilst a fair number of caravan and motor home owners experienced problems it was almost always due to using interconnecting cables of far less than adequate size. Voltage boosting units vaguely assisted, but could not recover energy lost as heat along that cable. Nor did they have any facility for optimising charging of various types of batteries. There were generally no problems with charging starter batteries. The actual energy draw required to start an engine is far less than most people think (way back in the past my 51 kg girlfriend could hand start my 1927 4.5 litre

Bentley with ease, replenishing the energy used with a single gin and tonic). By year 2000 or so, emission reduction was being taken increasingly seriously and in the motor vehicle field this was done in various ways. It involved burning the fuel as completely as possible, reducing vehicle weight, minimising tyre and air drag, and reducing wasted energy – particularly electrical.

Temperature Compensating Alternators


rom 2000 or so onwards, many vehicle makers began to use alternators that reduced voltage output as the engine warmed up. They typically produced 14.1 – 14.2 volts when cold, which would adequately

Technical | 61

Modern alternators are an integral part of a vehicle’s emission control system. As such they supply reduced output to lessen drag (and fuel use), which can play havoc with auxiliary battery charging. charge the starter battery because, as noted above, that need is tiny: typically 2% of capacity and needs only 2-3 minutes to do so. As the engine heats up the output of these alternators drops away to about 13.2 volts. This is fine for the vehicle’s electrics, but not remotely enough to charge lead acid and AGM types of auxiliary batteries. This was fixed by the development of DC-DC alternator charging. They accept whatever voltage is available and juggle the available volts and amps to the levels and regimes required for optimum auxiliary battery charging. They work particularly well when installed in a caravan as it also correctly charges the caravan battery and assists fridge performance. Adequate interconnecting cable is still required or energy will be lost as heat, which reduces the amperage (amount of current available) accordingly.

the alternator until the starter battery charge reaches about 13.2 volts (typically 2-3 minutes). The relay also isolates the starter battery when its voltage falls below about 12.6, due say to a big Engel in the back of a ute, and/or when the engine is not running. Most DC-DC alternator chargers can be made to work with all traditional alternators and most temperature compensating alternators (in essence any alternator that never drops below 12.7 volts whilst driving). If not, DC-DC charger manufacturers usually have solutions.

Variable Voltage Alternators


ut emissions regulations tightened further. In late 2009 (and more commonly from 2013) vehicles began to be designed such that the main engine control computer (ECU) varied alternator voltage according to Any system that charges both the starter battery need – from 12.3 V (and sometimes zero) to as and RV batteries necessitates the starter battery high as 15.4 V. The variable voltage alternator introduced a problem (to put it mildly) with the having charging priority. This has been done since the early 1990s though a voltage sensing above mentioned DC-DC charging. It also relay. This relay isolates the auxiliary battery from precludes the use of that voltage sensing relay.

62 | Technical

A Redarc BC-DC charger in place. It’s all to do with so-called regenerative braking. A motor vehicle at speed has a lot of so-called kinetic energy. Braking normally dissipates that energy in the form of heat. It may do so by pressing a brake pad against a steel drum or disk; by taking one’s foot off the accelerator pedal during a hill descent, or just slowing down by using engine compression. Any such form of slowing results in that kinetic energy being lost. This often considerable energy can however now be recovered. It works by the ECU sensing that the vehicle needs to be slowed down, or speed constrained in traffic or a steep downhill gradient. The ECU uses the high current output alternator to boost charge the main (starter) battery. It does this at up to 200 amps or more at 15 volts-plus, which is about 3 kW), and this load effectively slows the vehicle.

Doing so, however, requires readily available battery capacity to accept the high rate of charge. Rather than adding a battery dedicated for this purpose, the main (starter) battery is thus normally only charged to 80%. Depressing the brake pedal, or reducing speed, boosts alternator voltage. This increases its previous (80%) state of charge – often to 100%. Sensing this, the ECU cuts the alternator voltage to only 12.3 volts or so, but some alternators are turned off altogether. The vehicle’s electrics then run only off that now ‘excess’ charge until battery capacity eventually falls to 80%. This constantly varying alternator voltage presents several problems for auxiliary battery charging. The 15-plus volts (some exceed 15.4 volts) wrecks AGM and lead acid batteries.

Technical | 63

A total battery management system, like this Redarc Manager30 (as fitted to Project Polly) can juggle various alternator outputs to ensure proper house battery charging. Anything below 14 volts is of little value except for float charging. Further, every time that voltage drops below 12.6-12.7 volts, which is a fair part of the time, the voltage sensing relay drops out too. This cuts the charge to the RV auxiliary battery for two minutes or so each time. This sequence not only precludes using a voltage sensing relay, but conventional DC-DC charging as well. Vehicles that have variable voltage regulators (many from 2013 on including some RVs) require a specialised charging unit. These are beginning to be known as BC-DC. The main makers are currently Redarc and Sterling Electrics (UK). These work by using the main (starter) battery voltage to indicate what the alternator is doing and the BC-DC optimises battery charging accordingly. Starter battery priority protection is handled within that unit (a direct feed from the ignition switch to that unit is required.) A normal DC-DC charger will not work successfully in a vehicle with a variable voltage regulator.

Alternator and Requirement Summary


ixed Voltage Alternators and Temperature Compensating Alternators – 12.7 volts and above whilst driving. Most conventional DC-DC alternator chargers and voltage sensing relays should work (contact their makers if in doubt). Controlled Variable Voltage Alternators – If less than 12.7 volts at any time whilst driving. These require a specialised BC-DC unit that senses various voltage levels, etc. None will charge an auxiliary battery satisfactorily with a voltage sensing relay still in place.

How to know which alternator is which?


his is a tricky one. Those used for regenerative braking are likely to be larger and have multiple drive belts. Those with some knowledge of electrics can establish it by connecting a multimeter across the main battery. You’ll need to extend the leads and make 100% sure they do not get wound up by the fan or drive belt. Do not, as

64 | Technical

a UK equipment maker advises, use a vehicle cigarette plug and socket for this. Some vehicles have them fed at a constant voltage! Have an assistant check the voltage over a range of driving – particularly whilst braking for a distance down a hill. This may increase voltage to 15 or more. If it then drops below 12.7 volts, typically to 12.3 volts or even zero, it’s all but certain to be a variable voltage alternator. My main website will soon list vehicles known to need BC-DC units. See also the dual battery system selector that indicates RV alternator types, etc, here.

Chassis Earthing Cable Note: In many post-2003 vehicles the main cable (sometimes Y-shaped) from the chassis to the engine and/or starter battery doubles as a so-called current shunt: i.e. it provides load current indication to the alternator or central control unit (CPU). All negative return leads from RV appliances, etc, MUST be taken to the chassis side of that cable. That cable must not be altered in any way. If you do you will have more problems than Anne Boleyn on her way to the Tower of London.

Euro Emission Regulations


ehicle makers must ensure their products do not exceed specific EU emission levels. They are free to achieve this however they wish and that’s why not all vehicles might have the same system. The variable-voltage way reduces fuel usage and thus has promotional value. It will inevitably be retained. The Euro Emission regulations change again in 2017 but details are not yet known for certain. Whist this is currently only speculation, many automobile engineers (including myself) feel it is probable that EU regulations might eventually preclude all alternator use for charging auxiliary batteries. If/when is unknown, but by my guess it’s by 2020.

Collyn Rivers Collyn’s globally selling books include the all-new Caravan & Motorhome Book, Caravan & Motorhome Electrics, Solar That Really Works (for cabins and RVs), Solar Success (for homes and property systems, and the Camper Trailer Book - v.

Technical | 65

It takes surprisingly little energy to crank a car engine! Starter batteries recover in 2-3 minutes, but deep-cycle house batteries are another matter‌

66 | Travel: CMCA RV Friendly Towns

CMCA RV Friendly Towns


he RV Friendly program is a Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) initiative aimed at assisting RV travellers as they journey throughout this wonderful country. An RV Friendly Town™ (RVFT) is one that provides a certain number of amenities and a certain level of services for these travellers. When RV tourists enter a town displaying the RVFT sign they know they will be welcome. Certain services will be provided for them that may not be available in other centres, and they will have access to a safe place to stay overnight and possibly for a longer period. To find out more about RV Friendly Towns and Destinations visit the CMCA’s website by clicking here. For an interactive map of all RV friendly Towns, click here. This month’s featured RV Friendly Towns are:

Dongara, WA


ongara is situated on the Irwin River, approximately 350 km north-west of Perth on the Brand Highway. It is the

first town after leaving Perth at the end of the Indian Ocean Drive along Western Australia’s iconic Coral Coast region. Dongara’s twin town of Port Denison lies on the opposite side of the Irwin River and is the home to a successful rock lobster fishing fleet. A charming coastal town, Dongara offers beautiful beaches, excellent fishing, many boardwalks, and lookouts for viewing the estuary, flora, and fauna. Visitors can enjoy scenic nature trail walks, kayaking through the river or bird watching. Dongara Town Oval offers 24-hour parking for self-contained travellers at no cost. There is also a free dump point available on site and potable water is located nearby at the recreational jetty. The town has plenty of services to stock up on your travels and a visit to the historical visitors information centre, which was originally the post office, is a must.

Travel | 67

Dongara, WA Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Dongara-Port Denison Visitor Centre, 9 Waldeck St, Dongara, Ph: 08 9927 1404 www.dongaraportdenison.com.au

Casual Parking

Dongara Town Oval, Cnr Waldeck & Walton St. There are also a few parks at the front of the VIC and in Moreton Tce along the yellow building

Short Term Parking

Dongara Town Oval, Waldeck St, 24hr, Nil charge. Note: this is not the same spot on the oval as the short term parking Dongara Town Oval, Waldeck St

Dump Point Potable Water Hospital Doctors Surgery

Dentist Pharmacy Supermarket

Recreational Jetty, Point Leander Drive, Port Denison, Located on the wall of the public toilet Dongara Eneabba Mingenew Health Service, 48 Blenheim Rd, Dongara, Ph: 08 9927 0200 Dongara Medical Centre, 48 Blenheim Rd, Dongara. Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri – 8.15am – 5.00pm / Tues & Thurs – 8.00am – 3.00pm, Ph: 08 9927 0250 Dongara Dental Clinic, 9 Moreton Tce, Ph: 08 9921 4795 Guardian Pharmacy, Shop 9, 33 Moreton Tce, Dongara, Ph: 08 9927 1132 IGA plus liquor, 25 Moreton Tce, Dongara, Ph: 08 9927 1021

68 | Travel Merredin – WA


erredin is on the Great Eastern Highway approximately 260 km east of Perth and 330 km west of Kalgoorlie. Visiting Merredin is a step back in time with attractions including the Merredin Railway Museum, Pioneer Park and Military Museum. The self-guided Heritage Walk Trail will take you past historic buildings in the CBD, including the beautifully restored Cummins Theatre.

Self-contained travellers can stay at Merredin Park Reserve for 24 hours at no cost, with toilets, bins and covered seating supplied. Pets are also allowed, on a lead. A dump point is located nearby at Merredin Tourist Park and potable water can be obtained from the Central Wheatbelt Visitors Centre. The area surrounding Merredin offers natural beauty; visitors can enjoy bush and rock walks at Merredin Peak and Tamma Parkland, and just two hours drive south is the famous Wave Rock at Hyden.

Merredin, WA Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Central Wheatbelt Visitor Centre, 85 Barrack St, Merredin WA 6415, Ph 08 9041 1666 www.wheatbelttourism.com

Casual Parking

Barrack Street Car Park, Entrance through Apex Park and Barrack St & Queens Street intersection, Day parking only

Short Term Parking

Merredin Peak Reserve, Entry at Benson & Watson Rds, 24hr, bins, c/seating, pets on a lead, no charge

Dump Point Potable Water

Merredin Tourist Park, 2 Oats St. Access to full circuit can be restricted if there is full occupancy at Tourist Park. Central Wheatbelt Visitor Centre, 85 Barrack St, Merredin


82 Haig Rd, Ph: 08 9081 3222

Doctors Surgery

Karis Medical Group, 35 Bates St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 3126 or 08 9041 5347. Mon – Fri: 9am-5pm / Sat: 9am – 12pm; Merredin Medical Centre, 91 Todd St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 2900. Mon-Thur: 9am-5pm / Fri: 8.30am – 3pm / Sat: 9am – 2pm (by appt) Bates Street Dental Clinic, 32 Bates St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 1735 Savings Plus, 102 Barrack St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 1311 IGA, Barrack St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 2447

Dentist Pharmacy Supermarket

Travel | 69 Penola – SA


enola is 388 km south-east of Adelaide in one of South Australia’s most productive wine growing regions. Heritage listed buildings line the wide streets that contain many restaurants, cafes, unique shops and galleries. It’s also a fantastic base to explore the quality vineyards of the Coonawarra area, plus the beautiful beaches nearby. The town is steeped in history and was once home to Mary Mackillop, the first Australian to gain Roman Catholic Sainthood. Visitors can take the self-guided ‘Walk with History’

tour, taking in many of the State heritage-listed buildings and cottages of the township. The John Riddoch Centre functions as the tourist information centre, art gallery and historical display centre. Short-term parking is available at Greenrise Lake Reserve for self-contained vehicles up to 11 metres, at no cost. Toilets, covered seating, bins and barbecues are provided, and pets on leads are permitted. A free dump point can also be found at McCorquindale Park off Cameron Street, while potable water is available at Portland Street in front of the Council depot.

Penola – SA Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Casual Parking Short Term Parking

Dump Point Potable Water Hospital Doctors Surgery Pharmacy Supermarket Supermarket

Penola VIC, 27 Arthur St, Penola SA Ph: 08 8737 2855 www.wattlerange.sa.gov.au Parking avail in main & side streets, 2hr limit. IGA also has large car park. Greenrise Lake, access from Riddoch Hwy, selfcontained only, 48hrs, tlts, bins, c/seating, BBQ, pets on lead, no charge McCorquindale Park (Showgrounds), Side of Rymill Hall off Cameron St Portland St, Penola, front of Council Depot Penola War Memorial Hospital, 18 Church St, Penola, Ph: 08 8737 2311 Penola Medical Clinic, 18 Church St, Penola, Ph: 08 8737 2218 Williams MG Pharmacy, 38 Church St, Penola, Ph: 08 8737 2273 Penola IGA Fresh, 23 Church St, Penola, Ph: 08 8737 2205 IGA, Barrack St, Merredin, Ph: 08 9041 2447

70 | Events

Help celebrate 10 years of sun, surf and soul… by Sharon Hollamby


ituated at the southern end of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Caloundra stretches from the serenity of the Hinterland Mountains to the clear blue ocean and pristine white beaches. This stunning backdrop sets the scene for the 10th anniversary of the Caloundra Music Festival, so prepare to be treated to plenty of sun, surf and soul! The festival will be held at Kings Beach Park, but as there is no parking at the beach organisers have arranged three park ’n ride locations for festival goers. This is a free service and wheelchair accessible.

big names, while the Sun Stage will operate between main stage sets and promises some fantastic emerging talent. The Surf Stage will host some great Australian Industry legends and funky, offbeat, international artists. Last but not least, the Songwriters Stage will feature the best of local and interstate guests. For a more refined experience you can enjoy all the music from the comfort of the Kings Club Duelling Piano Bar, located in the amphitheatre. Various pubs, clubs and cafes throughout town will also be offering entertainment throughout the weekend. Headline acts include:

Boasting four big stages, a piano bar and various venues around Caloundra, the town is going to be rocking all weekend.

• Guy Sebastian

The Soul Stage, with its stunning ocean backdrop, is where you can catch all the

• Ice House

• Darryl Braithwaite

Events | 71

• Kate Miller-Heidke • Incognito • GANGgajang • Erica Falls • Plus many more, with some still to be announced. This is also a family festival and kids have certainly not been forgotten. Let them dress up, create, explore and enjoy the day in the groovy Funky Forest, which features, face painting, jumping castles, nature mandalas, soccer, and African drumming workshops to name just a few. All children’s activities can be found in the CMF mini program, available at the festival gates. Most activities are free, but a few require a gold coin donation.

72 | Events Fast Facts


What: 10th Annual Caloundra Music Festival

Tickets: Season – Fri to Mon

When: Fri 30 September – Mon 3 October Where: K  ings Beach Park, De Vene Avenue, Kings Beach, Qld Why: Celebrate with Caloundra on their 10 years of sun, surf and soul! Caloundra State School is hosting the festival campground to raise money for their school. For more info and prices go to the website listed below.

Getting There Caloundra is situated 92 km north of Brisbane via the M1.

• Kings Club $404 • Adults (18+) $234 • Youth (13-17) $175 • Kids (1-12) $21 • Pensioners $175 Weekend – Fri to Sun • Kings Club $384 • Adults (18+) $214 • Youth (13-17) $160

Facilities for the disabled:

• Kids (1-12) $21

An Accessibility Map in PDF Format will be available closer to the event. The Companion Card will be accepted and disabled Toilets are provided. Viewing locations will also be available.

• Pensioners $160

For further queries contact: info@caloundramusicfestival.com

Day tickets also available from $53 to $100 (Adult). Check online for details.

Further information www.caloundramusicfestival.com

Mobile Events Tech | 73

74 | What’s On?

What's On? Our new, ongoing round-up of events across Australia for the next three months. From food and wine festivals to music of all types, arts, crafts and more, there’s something for you somewhere, so get planning and get out there!

QUEENSLAND 05-14 – Airlie Beach: Whitsunday Reef Festival. Discover the ‘Heart of the Great Barrier Reef’ in this delicious combination of family fun, community events, food, fashion and fireworks. 06 – Bargara: Bargara Strawberry Fair. Celebrate the mighty Strawberry in an iconic coast-side township. Full day of fun and festivities! 11-14 – Anakie: Gemfest – Festival of Gems. Set on the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere, something for everyone! Fossick for your own family heirloom or simply marvel at the rare and impressive collections on display.

12-14 – Port Douglas: Taste Port Douglas Food and Wine Festival. Far North Queensland's annual premier food, beverage and restaurant event. Showcasing the regional culinary successes; local produce and producers, chefs, cooking demonstrations, food stalls and entertainment. 20-21 – Dalby: Dalby’s Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival. Two day free festival devoted to embracing and celebrating multiculturalism and inclusivity. 25-28 – Cairns: Cairns Ukulele Festival. Multiday festival dedicated to the humble yet versatile Ukulele! 26 – Cairns: Cairns Festival. In its 53rd year this 10 daylong celebration is a vibrant eruption of arts and culture! 26-28 – Camooweal: Drovers Camp Festival. Marking its 20th anniversary, celebrate the droving history and tradition of Outback Queensland. An atmospheric weekend filled with classic events!

What’s On? | 75 03 – Ayr: Burdekin Water Festival. Part of a three month long celebration of produce and productivity, the Burdekin Water festival is the culmination of the festivities. 03 – Sarina: Sarina Beach Coconut Festival. A Free ‘nutty’ festival held in picturesque North Queensland, celebrate everything tropical and delicious!

15 – Townsville: 150 Defence Force Air Show and Townsville Bulletin Sky Show. Townsville celebrates 150 years in 2016, witness its premier celebration as the local RAAF take to the skies, followed by a community concert and fireworks! 16 – Atherton: Taste Of the Tablelands. Tropical showcase of the region’s culinary delights and prolific produce! 14-16 – Yeppoon: Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pinefest. Celebrate the mighty pineapple in this iconic QLD festival. For more Queensland events click here!


08-11 – Nanango: Heritage Nanango Country Muster. If you build it, they will come. Experience the warm country hospitality of Nanango and the South Burnett with this celebration of the bush! 16-18 – Rockhampton: Capricorn Food and Wine Festival. Showcasing Central Queensland regional gourmet food and wine. 18-25 – Monto: Monto Dairy Festival. A week long, event packed celebration of all things Dairy, it’s set to be Udderly divine!

1-2 – Millmerran: Australian Camp Oven Festival. Queensland’s most iconic biannual event! Fancy yourself a camp cook? Test you skills, join in the workshops or just enjoy the company and camaraderie!

30 Jul-07 Aug – Walgett: The Walgett Bulldust to Bitumen Festival. A diverse showcase of the region and its people; quilting, astronomy, farm tours, high tea, art exhibitions, cooking competitions and more! 13-14 – The Entrance: Central Coast Country Music Festival. Take a trip to The Entrance to enjoy a weekend of free country music by the seaside! 13-14 – Maitland: Maitland Aroma - Coffee and Chocolate Festival. What more can we say? It’s a Celebration of Coffee and Chocolate. Bliss! 19-24 – Nymboida: Clarence Valley Camp Oven Festival. Celebrate the outdoor lifestyle and family traditions of camping, campfire cooking and just sitting around the campfire with good food, good people and good yarns. 28 – Griffith: Festa delle Salsicce (Festival of the Sausage). Enjoy traditional homemade Italian cuisine, local wines, entertainment and lots of salami.

11 – Corowa: Corowa District Car Club Show. Modern classics, hot rods and beautifully restored historic vehicles of all types. 7-17 – Bundaberg: Crush Festival. Taste, See, Hear and Feel the incredible diversity & creativity of the Bundaberg region! A festival for all the senses.

10 – Gunning: Gunning Fireworks Festival. Combined community event and pyrotechnics trade show, it’ll be a blast! 19 – Gunnedah: Annual Porchetta Day.

76 | What’s On? Celebrate Gunnedah’s identity as one of Australia’s premier food baskets – as well as its Italian lineage. 24 – Port Macquarie: Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival. Some things are rustically (and refreshingly) simple. 24 – Mudgee: Flavours of Mudgee. Free community street festival featuring local stallholders and their regional wine, food, and produce. 24-25 – Pambula Beach: Pambula Motorfest. So much more than a just a motor show! 25 Sep-2 Oct – Coffs Harbour: Coffs Harbour International Buskers and Comedy Festival. The International Buskers and Comedy Festival involves a huge number of shows in 11 different venues over 7 days, including Australia's largest gathering of professional buskers. 30 Sep-2 Oct – Coonabarabran: StarFest. Siding Spring Observatory opens its doors to the general public in a weekend of tech talk

14-17 – Griffith: Griffith Festival of Gardens. Join the ABC’s Costa Georgiadis as Griffith throws open its front doors and back gates! 14-17 – Coffs Harbour: Smoke on the water Festival. Uniquely positioned, this is an epic showcase of planes, trains and automobiles! 15 – Griffith: Griffith Multicultural Festival. One-day free festival of food, dance and music celebrating the multicultural heritage of Griffith in the Riverina. 23 – Davistown: Davistown Putt Putt Regatta and Wooden Boat Festival. For the wooden boat enthusiasts a day not to be missed. 21-23 – Coleambally: Taste Coleambally - Food and Farm Festival. Sustainable local farming is more than just a trend, it’s the future! 21-23 – Newcastle: Newkulele Festival. Biannual event featuring international and local ukulele performances, workshops, market and feature concerts.

1-2 – Narooma: Narooma Oyster Festival. Celebrating the region's oysters and their growers, natural clean quality produce, chefs and rich artistic and cultural talents. 1-3 – Goulburn: Streamliners. Rail fans from around the world gather to celebrate and indulge. 2 – Boorowa: Irish Woolfest. If it’s not on your bucket list it should be! Celebrate an Aussie icon with an Irish twist! 2-31 – Wagga Wagga: Taste Riverina Food Festival 2016. A food bowl this big needs an entire month to celebrate! 7 – Wagga Wagga: Cork and Fork. Local food, local wine, local music; atmosphere in abundance! 8-9 – Lockhart: Spirit of the Land Lockhart Festival. Celebrate the resourcefulness and creativity of rural communities with this unique farm sculpture festival. 9-11 – Balranald: 5 Rivers Outback Festival. Celebrate all that is wonderful about living in a rural and outback NSW community surrounded by five of the most iconic river systems in NSW.

21-23 – The Entrance: Chromefest. A three day tribute to classic American autos, hot rods, rock-nroll and rockabilly! 27-30 – Dungog: Dungog Festival. Feast on fine food, film and festivities! 29-30 – Eden: Eden Whale Festival. Celebrate the southern migration of whales with this spectacular two-day event. 30 – Marulan: Marulan Annual Kite Festival. Small town fun with high flying adventures!

What’s On? | 77 29 Oct - 6 Nov – Grafton: Grafton Jacaranda Festival. Celebrate the iconic lilac-blossoms that line the streets of Grafton.

08 Sep-4 Oct – Silvan: Tesselaar Tulip Festival. The tulips may be the stars of this show but there’s plenty more to see, do, taste and enjoy.

For more New South Wales events click here!

VICTORIA 05-06 – Falls Creek: Falls Creek Sled Dog Classic. Watch as Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Alaskan huskies and various hounds compete head to head in this unique event.

15 Sep-2 Oct – Melbourne: Melbourne Fringe Festival. Victoria's largest celebration of independent art, featuring local, national and international artists activating a variety of Melbourne spaces with works across every conceivable art form.

4-9 – Ballarat: Ballarat Cabaret Festival. Let the Stars shine and the audience roar! 01-28 – Walhalla: Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest. Visitors to Walhalla during August get to experience Swedish tradition of celebrating the winter with an evening light and audio show. 20-21 – Mount Waverley: Camellia and Garden Show. In its 45th year this annual event showcases and celebrates the spectacular winter blooms! 28 – Hurstbridge: Hurstbridge Wattle Festival. Embrace true small-town spirt with a day filled with festivities including iconic steam trains and classic CWA vintage markets.

01-11 – Kyneton: Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival. Something for everyone in abundance; flowers, ferrets, food and festivities.

15-16 – Glenrowan: Glenrowan Winemaker's Weekend 2016. Held in the heart of Kelly country, indulge in a gourmet weekend of roam-about dining and wine appreciation. 20-23 – Camperdown: Camperdown Cruise Rockabilly Weekend. 50s Rockabilly weekend, featuring custom cars, gorgeous glamour and authentic bands. 23 – Coldstream: Cuban Jazz Festival. Set in a luxurious boutique winery, it’s Jazz and all that! 28-31 – Maldon: Maldon Folk Festival. Set in the historical township of Maldon, boasting a legendary festival atmosphere, showcasing an abundance of music, dance and theatre. 28 Oct - 1 Nov – Mansfield: Mansfield High Country Festival. Celebrate in High Country style, something for everyone! For more Victorian events click here!



09 – Cleve: A Taste Of Eyre Peninsula. A festival dedicated to supporting and promoting the production and sale of fresh local seasonal produce from the Eyre Peninsula.

19-21 – Collie Motorplex: 24 Hours of LeMons. Are you ready for the ‘Weirdest’ race of your life?

11-14 – Adelaide: Adelaide Guitar Festival. Four day biennial festival dedicated to the world’s most popular instrument. 15-19 – Marree-Coober Pedy: Queen of the Desert Festival. A tribute to the strong role SA plays in the Australian film industry and the importance of men’s health! Choose your favourite Aussie flick, dress up your four-wheel drive and join the longest street parade on the planet! 20-21 – Fleurieu Peninsula: Strathalbyn Collectors, Hobbies and Antiques Fair. Australia’s best antique and collectors fair, incorporating appraisals and entertainment.

21 – Ballajura: Ballajura Community Fair. The Rotary Club of Ballajura-Malaga and Lions Club of Ballajura host a fun filled annual community fair! 24-28 – Busselton: CinefestOZ. Australia's premier destination film festival. 27 – Mullewa: Mullewa Agricultural Show. In its 82nd year, experience a true taste of the west. 28 – Chittering: A Taste of Chittering. Free entry, wine tasting, market stalls, live entertainment, local displays and information, links to walk trails, drive trails and picnic spots around the Shire.

01-30 – Perth: Kings Park Festival, Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Western Australia’s premier wild flower event. 03 – Koorda: Koorda Agricultural Show. Promoting the State’s agricultural, pastoral, horticultural, viticultural, rural, technological, commercial and industrial resources!

02-04 – Barossa Valley: Barossa Gourmet Weekend. Welcome spring with a culinary food and wine festival showcasing Barossa hospitality, premium wines, food and fantastic entertainment. 02-11 – Adelaide: Royal Adelaide Show. City meets Country in this nationally recognised extravaganza.

1-3 – Ceduna: Ceduna OysterFest. Celebrate the mighty mollusc in this iconic (and delicious) festival. For more South Australian events click here!

08-10 – Mukinbudin: Act-Belong-Commit Mukinbudin Spring Festival. With a Bush to Beach theme it’s an extravaganza of activities and festivities. 11-18 – Broome: Shinju Matsuri Festival. Celebrate Broome’s unique multicultural heritage and history thanks to its pearling heydays. 16-18 – Bindoon: Chittering Wildflower Festival. Local arts, crafts, and wildflower displays. Embrace spring like never before.

What’s On? | 79

17-18 – Kalbarri: Zest Festival. Uniting Indigenous and modern Australian culture and the multicultural community through performance, music, art, food, education, outdoor adventure, short film, puppetry, sculpture and community workshops. 18 – Bindoon: Bindoon Historic Vehicle Day. View the evolution of the automobile in the beautiful surroundings of one of Western Australia's most picturesque villages.

15 – Bindoon: Bindoon Ag Show and Rodeo. Let the region showcase its talents, resources and produce and all the spills and thrills that accompany country spirit! 20-23 – Carnarvon: Kickstarters Gascoyne Dash. It’s WA’s very own Finke Desert Race, just longer, tougher and dustier! 28 Oct – 6 Nov – Fremantle: Fremantle Festival. In its 111th year, the Fremantle Festival is packed with special events and happenings and bursting with verve, colour and Freo-style! For more Western Australian events

click here!

TASMANIA 14 – Latrobe: Chocolate Winterfest. Latrobe's wickedly delicious festival celebrating all things chocolate.

W08-11 – Hobart: Australian Antarctic Festival. Honouring the contribution made by the Antarctic community to the Tasmanian culture and economy. Aurora Australis and L’Astrolabe will be open for public inspection.

8 – Wynyard: Bloomin Tulips Festival. Celebrate spring, the spectacular tulip and all that is colourful, creative and charismatic about this local community. 14-16 – Queenstown: Unconformity, The. Previously known as the Queenstown Heritage & Arts Festival, a biennial three day festival that aims to be the most significant contemporary cultural programme in Tasmania. 23-25 – Cradle Mountain: Tastings at the Top. Two-day festival celebrating the finer things in life. For more Tasmanian events click here!

80 | What’s On?

NORTHERN TERRITORY 02-04 – Alice Springs: Red CentreNATS. The ultimate festival of wheels in the heart of Australia. 17-21 – Alice Springs: Red Centre Bird Festival. The Red Centre Bird Festival is your chance to get to know the Northern Territory's abundant plumed inhabitants better. 20 – Alice Springs: Henley-On-Todd Regatta. A boat race with a unique difference: Its 1500 kilometres from the nearest large body of water! 25 August-04 Sep – Alice Springs: Alice Desert Festival. Celebrate the desert and its peoples as artists and performers from remote Central Australian communities perform alongside Australia’s hottest acts.

06 – Kakadu: Jabiru Mahbilil Festival. Immerse yourself in culture through a variety of mediums; the arts, music, workshops, demonstrations and celebrate local traditions. 09-18 – Alice Springs: Desert Song Festival. A cultural smorgasbord of local, national and international artists and performers. 18-19 – Borroloola: DanceSite. A celebration of the richness and diversity of traditional dance in the NT. For more Northern Territory events click here!

Advertisers' Index | 81

Advertisers' Index AirBag Man 


Outback Travel Australia


Albury Wodonga RV World 




Paradise Motor Homes

Australian Camp Oven Festival


Paradise Sales & Service


Australian Motor Homes


Parkland RV Centre


Australian Motor Homes Information Evening


Redarc31 19

Avida7 Ballina Campers


Battery Traders Super Store


Bony Mountain Folk Festival

Robert’s RV World


RV Specialists


Solarscreen31 28


Southern Highlands  Service Centre

Caravan & Motorhome Books


Southern Spirit Campervans


Caravan & Motorhome Covers





eBook Traveller


e-Twow Electric Scooters


Grey Nomad Tax Advisers


Horizon Motorhomes


iMotorhome App


iTech World



Keybar Towing


Wellington Shire


Winjana RV


Wirraway Motor Homes


Motorhome Doctor


Nomadic Solutions


Northcoach Equipment


Taronga Western Plains Zoo


Tiffin Motorhomes


Trakka49 Trailblazers RV


82 | Next Issue


Melaleuca is also in our sights, weather permitting, so it will be interesting to see which appears first. Being Issue 101 we should revisit some Motorhome 101 topics for those new to the whole RV scene, while on the travel front we preview the inaugural Octoberfest, set to liven-up Adelaide on 15 October.


e have a couple of tests in the pipeline, but which will make it first? Malcolm has Avida’s latest Birdsville ‘in the bag’ but is away on holidays (again!) and has much to do getting our first NZ issue up and running. Horizon’s compact

Aug 12-14






Aug 26-28 09-11

We’re back in the two week groove now, meaning Issue 101 will be out on Saturday 20 August. Until then, why not join our more than 32,000 Facebook Friends and followers on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram ? Facebook “f ” Logo









9-1112-14 26-28

RGB / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

RGB / .ai



Border Caravan & Camping Expo

Rockhampton Home, Caravan & Camping Show

Penrith Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo

Wodonga Racecourse, Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga. VIC. 3690.

Rockhampton Showgrounds, Rockhampton, Qld. 4700.

Penrith Panthers Exhibition Centre Culgoa Rd, Penrith. NSW. 2750

• Open 9:30-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: TBA • Seniors: TBA • Kids: TBA

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: Free with adult

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $10 • Kids: U16 Free with adult

Visit Website 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.

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome Magazine Issue 100 - 6 Aug 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

iMotorhome Magazine Issue 100 - 6 Aug 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!