Page 1


Space Age! Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Travel Snapshot

Why Dalgety deserves your visit!

Motorhome 101 The agony of choice…


Taking care of your pop-top roof

There’s space in Avida’s Birdsville to last you an age…


Issue 101: Aug 20 2016

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


Published by iMotorhome

Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting

PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia. ABN: 34 142 547 719

Design and Production Design & Production Manager

T: +614 14 604 368

Agnes Nielsen

E: info@imotorhome.com.au

E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au

W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: richard@imotorhome.com.au Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@imotorhome.com.au

Legal 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.

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

On my mind | 5

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE Thank you to the many readers who wrote and congratulated us on 100 issues. Thank you also to those who reckon Issue 200 is just a formality. Your confidence is inspiring! This issue’s winning letter from John, about the need to slowdown and reset your mind when you retire, is an interesting one. His opening points about ‘rediscovering’ patience and consideration particularly strike a chord. This week I was driving on the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga, on Sydney’s northern outskirts. Up ahead was a big off-road caravan I’d first noticed in the traffic on the very busy Pennant Hills Road. It had been quite a way ahead of me when I first saw it and I thought it odd it was in the outside of the three lanes all that time, hugging the median strip. I’d gotten closer as we approached the motorway entrance as it was slow away from the traffic lights. The driver seemed quite nervous about the caravan’s size as he threaded the oversized thing amongst the myriad cars, buses, semis and B-doubles and I almost felt sorry for the wizened Grey Nomad at the wheel. It reached the motorway first but stayed in the outside lane, well below the 80 km/h speed limit in that first section. Once on the motorway I quickly caught up, all the while amazed/frustrated/becoming annoyed to see no indications the caravaner was even trying to move to the left. On passing (to his left, in the centre lane) I saw it was a brand new van with a Victorian trade numberplate, being towed by smallish dual-cab ute with no towing mirrors and driven by a guy in his late 30s/early 40s eating a sandwich. I gave him my most practiced evil glare but it was wasted; he was oblivious. The speed limit increased to 110 km/h and a long hill loomed, but the rig just sat there as a line of traffic grew behind him. For all I know he drove

like that all the way to wherever. Apart from what he did being illegal, his lack of consideration compounded the impatience of all surrounding drivers and the result was probably reinforcement in the mind of many road users that Grey Nomads are a pain in the you-know-what and/or should be banned. And I was with them! A few years back the NSW Government ran a road safety campaign with the tagline “The road is there to share”. It’s since come to mind on many occasions when I’ve been stuck behind a slower vehicle of any type, including a bicycle, doing its best on a narrow or winding road. But then there’s indifferent incompetence or plain bloodymindedness, both of which should be punishable by a trip to the gallows (which would surely prevent repeat behaviour). The main point of John’s letter was about making the mental switch to slow down in retirement and taking the time to enjoy the journey. While it’s sage advice, remember you also have legal (and moral) obligations to your fellow road users. In NSW disobeying the ‘Keep left unless overtaking’ sign on multi-lane roads carries a $253 penalty and the loss of 4 demerit points. So let’s all try to practice patience and be more mindful of others, whether retired or still running around the hamster wheel. It’s not only a good recipe for life in general, it will likely prevent any unexpected trips to the gallows…


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



Patience is a Virtue…

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!




Day Test: Avida Birdsville 7424SL


Motorhome 101




Mobile Tech


What’s On?


Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

Space Age – in this age of the slide-out the space is a major attraction

The Agony of Choice! – A first-timer’s guide to choosing the right RV

Pop-Top Tips!

Podcasting Apps


Travel Snapshot



Dalgety, NSW.

Adelaide Oktoberfest

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!




Not too big. Not too small. Just right. The Sunliner Pinto series provides the solution to the age old quest of a small motorhome with a big interior. The Pinto series offers spacious living areas, full en-suites and innovations such as electric drop down beds all in a compact package; no longer than 24 feet. At just a few feet longer than a dual-cab ute, they are easy to drive and park. You can be confident that the Sunliner Pinto series is crafted to the highest standard with over 40 years experience. We invite you to explore the Pinto series and experience the delight of a “ Just Right� RV.

www.sunliner.com.au VIDA







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

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

Trakkadu AT

Out of Bounds and Beyond


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

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.

Pacemaker… Hi Team, just thought I’d share a couple of things I rediscovered the other day, which could make life easier on the road – patience and consideration! Being newly retired and with our first motorhome (an older Winnebago on a Mazda to see if we really like the lifestyle) I’ve had to change my mindset from working pace to Grey Nomad pace. It’s not been as easy as you’d think because I’m used to racing everywhere, always trying to be on time for meetings and make the most of my days. Now we have all the time in the world (still a strange concept) and I’ve had to learn to adjust. So instead of trying to keep up with the traffic and always drive at the speed limit I cruise at a pace that suits the scenery, but always watch behind me and get out of the way or even pull over to let the less fortunate speed by (to their next meetings!). I also no longer fume when stuck behind a ‘bloody caravan’ or truck on a hill or winding road, and in fact often become that ‘bloody slow motorhome’ to others on those same roads (the old Mazda is no ball of fire!). The thing that strikes me is no matter

who you’ve been in the working world, being retired and a Grey Nomad is a great leveller. It’s time to put away the ego and always-beingfirst mentality and learn to relax. So now I wave a lot, pull over a lot and even let people in, and it’s wonderful. I’m sure it’s already added years to my life and I find myself smiling a lot more. It’s a tip I think others can learn from too! Cheers, John. Well that’s something of an epiphany John! Good on you and thanks for reminding us all. Please accept this issue’s $50 for sharing, which I hope you’ll put to good use over long, lazy drinks somewhere peaceful. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a deadline to keep. Beep beep!

12 | On your mind

Congratulations x 3 Many congratulations on reaching a pretty impressive milestone and for producing a magazine which seems to improve with every new edition. Here's to the next century. Kind regards, Neil. Dear Richard - Mrs iMotorhome - Malcolm and Team. Congratulations on reaching this amazing mile stone. We trust we are still around for the 2nd Century. A truly fantastic effort and meeting a real need in the RV World of Australia.

can't wait for the NZ issue to come out next month. I did a 14 day campervan trip only on the North Island there a long time ago with my wife and kids and had a great time. Everyone was so friendly and I'm sure it's only gotten better. I can see this mag going monthly as well, but that's only progress. At least we'll still have two mags to read from two great countries! I love the On Your Mind, Project Polly, and the Road Tests, and anything about VW campers. I’m sure your magazine will raise their awnings and aerials for a double century! Cheers, Les.

Best Wishes for the next 100, Bill & Dorothy.

Thanks Neil, Bill and Dorothy, Les and the many others who wrote in offering congratulations. I'm a newbie to your mag – maybe 12 months It’s certainly good to know what the whole team – and just love it, but unlike most readers who here does is appreciated! Les, we’re looking want to read all the mag in one go I have to forward to the NZ issue too and hopefully you’ll make it last. I'll read a few pages at a time and be able to get back there one day for a look then leave it so I have something to come back around the spectacular South Island. to later. A fortnight seems a long time and I

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

14 | On your mind

Slide-Ons? I have written in the hopes that you may consider an article outlining the available products in the slide-on market. We’ve started the purchase of a slide-on from Beyond Caravan, which will be finished by November this year. The owners Li and Melissa are diligent and honest people and we have every confidence that they will honour their word with regards quality workmanship. Our task of finding a suitable manufacturer was made difficult by a seeming reluctance of some to even respond to my enquiries. We even drove to York's agent in Wauchope, and left with promises of followup and further information and quotes. Yet, as with others, no information was ever forthcoming! We also considered one Sydney motorhome manufacturer until my searches revealed financial issues including allegations of misappropriation of a customer's funds. Plus, they took over three months to even respond

to my email enquiries! Other searches revealed two slide-on manufacturers in Qld that have recently ceased trading. What a muddled state of affairs! I have read each of the 100 issues to date and offer my congratulations to you on an excellent emagazine that I have enjoyed from the start. By the way, the survey results were enlightening and an interesting way to 'reward' respondents. My kind regards, Robert. Sorry to learn of your frustrations Robert but good to hear you’ve found a manufacture you’re happy with. It has alway been our intention to include reviews of these handy units and thanks for the reminder. An overview of the sector seems like a good idea too, so best we get on to it. Thanks for being with us for so long and good to know you’re still enjoying our efforts (and the new surveys). Please send us some photos when you eventually take delivery!

Help! I hope you or your readers can help me. I recently bought a 2000 Leisure Seeker with a CareFree awning, but the awning hasn't got its "pull strap” attached. My question is how do I unfurl the awning without the strap? I have followed the instructions as far as possible without success, but I am reluctant to force anything in case I break something? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. . Regards, Ian.

The general consensus from Facebook seems to be to unlock the awning arms on both sides and then gently extend then one at a time. This is easier with two people but still manageably by yourself. Hope this helps – any other hints out there?



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

16 | On your mind

Well Done WA!

Thanks very much for printing my letter in last issue and awarding me the $50 monthly prize. I was delighted. It will help to fill the tank again as we continue our travels around this wonderful country. Incidentally, we are travelling through WA for probably the 4th time in 20 years and are really impressed with the free overnight camps provided by the Government/ Main Roads Department/whoever. They are all well laid out and have dump points and generally well stocked and mostly clean toilets, and usually large rubbish skips. Consequently these sites are much cleaner and much more pleasant to visit than they used to be.

Congratulations whoever is paying for it. The other States could follow the example. Regards, Stevie. My pleasure Stevie and good to know the money will help extend your travels. Thanks for the feedback on WA’s roadside rest areas. They’re provided by Mainroads Western Australia and are therefore taxpayer funded. The department has such rest ares on 17 major routes and you can find a PDF guide to them, including a map, and other useful information at their website by clicking here. Safe travels!

Stuck in Transit? I’ve bought a 2010 Ford Transit conversion, I think a Kea Freedom ex-rental, which internally looks different to yours. I haven't had a chance to travel much yet because the Webasto diesel heater died first time it was used and Sydney RV is having trouble getting a part or working out what's wrong. About six weeks ago they took it out so I could use the vehicle. Apparently Webasto don't have enough trained people to respond to problems. As I'm on my own the van is a good size and I can store it at home, which is an advantage. I noticed you have solar screens on your list of add ons. I just got some for the cab and are pleased with them, and I might look at ones for back windows in the summer. Apart from that I'm pleased with the ease of driving and handling, although storage is minimal. I’d like a reversing camera but I’m getting mixed opinions between wireless and wired

in. Not keen about ripping off panels to wire in and would prefer wireless so I can move to another vehicle if that time comes. At least I have reversing beeps in the meantime. Roll on summer! Regards, Pam. Welcome to the world of Ford Transit ownership but sorry to hear about your heater problems. I’m not so sure Webasto lacks the trained people, more likely the dealer isn’t putting a lot of effort into getting it fixed as it will probably be at their expense. Very disappointing either way. Yes, our Solarscreens are very good and well worth the cost. Regarding the reversing camera, Polly has one wired in and I have no experience with wireless units. Perhaps some helpful readers can shed light on the pros and cons of wireless via their experience? Watch this space!

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


18 | News



ccording to a report by the ABC, motorists are now able to check fuel prices at every service station in New South Wales in real-time. The Fuel Check website is now live, but NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said it was in a “beta mode”, being fine-tuned prior to the official launch next week. “I think it's a real game changer,” Mr Stowe said. “For the very first time you'll be able to access information about fuel prices for service stations near you and get the very best bargain for your dollar.” Service stations are now required by law to notify the government every time they change their price. Operators have a secure weblink to do that, and many do it on their smart

phone at the same time as they are changing the price board. Motorists will also be able to report a fuel retailer when the prices do not match the website, and Mr Stowe encouraged drivers to point out any disparity. He said service station operators could be fined $550 if they fail to update their price. “I think this is different to other information in the marketplace, because it is in real time. It does mean you'll be getting reliable information,” Mr Stowe said. The State Government will also create a Fuel Check smartphone app, but Mr Stowe said the raw data would also be made public, so other app developers could make their own.

20 | News

APOLLO OPENS IN CAMPBELLFIELD seen as a natural progression, a press release said. The expansion aims to complement their dealer network by providing a national presence.


pollo Motorhome Holidays has further expanded its business in the RV sales market with the opening of Apollo Caravan & RV Sales in Campbellfield, Melbourne. Due to established and successful retail supercentres in Northgate (Brisbane) and Taren Point (Sydney) this next venture into Australia’s primary RV hub, Campbellfield, Melbourne, is

The company says Apollo Caravan & RV Sales will provide customers with the opportunity to view a wide range of new and used motorhomes, campervans, and caravans from three prominent east coast locations. Apollo CEO Luke Trouchet said the group is excited to expand their retail division after their success in Brisbane and Sydney. “Campbellfield is right in the heart of the caravan and RV market, with over 80% of Australian manufacturing taking place there. Naturally we wanted to be right in the mix. We’re in with the big guys now and we’re keen to make our mark,” he said.

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

News | 21



erfect for the adventurer, Dolphin Eveready has introduced its latest product innovation and the brightest ever torch, with the launch of the new Dolphin LED Lantern. The

torch features new technology, ergonomic design and four powerful LEDs offering 200 lumens of light output, meaning it shines twice as bright as the previous model. The Dolphin LED Lantern maintains the brand’s core features of being tough, waterproof and floating. The design uses high quality LEDs that deliver a beam distance of 250 metres, as well as a wider beam width. In addition, improved battery efficiency offers 65 hours runtime. The contoured base allows the torch to easily stand upright and the antiroll shape of the torch is ideal when in rough situations. Priced at just $19.99 the latest generation Dolphin is sure to prove popular. Visit dolphintorches.com for more details, plus the chance to win $100 when you purchase a new Dolphin.


22 | News



espite being the world leader in volume terms, the US motorhome market lags behind much of the rest of the western world in terms of product diversity and innovation. An example is the recent display of a Winnebago 4X4 Sprinter van conversion as a proof of concept; a style of vehicle already well proven and popular in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The vehicle’s design goal is to carry two mountain bikes inside and be off-grid capable through solar and a lithium battery pack. Expected price is in the US$100-110,000 range and it will be interesting to see if it enters production.

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.)

News | 23



ouncillors in Queensland have decided to go ahead and investigate the possibility of short-term camping facilities on notoriously flood-prone land. A Bundaberg Regional Council report argued that being mobile, caravans and motorhomes would easily escape any impending floods. But one councillor - Jason Bartels - went against the flow, claiming that with 23 registered caravan parks and camping spots already available throughout the region there were sufficient sites available to cater for RVers. Council will now consult local businesses and residents living near the two suggested sites; one adjacent to the old showground and the other in the city's north which bore the full brunt of devastating floods in 2011. Dozens of homes and a shopping centre adjoining the proposed northern site were destroyed, and two caravan parks just a stone's throw away wiped out – one permanently. The council had said it would

call for expressions of interest to build the RV Park near the rum city's centre after calls from travellers and a deputation to former mayor Mal Forman. The developer of the new short-stay park for self-contained RVs would be responsible for all costs associated with building and running the facility, including maintenance and insurance. Under the proposal, the council would be able to give the operator six months' notice to quit. A council report admits that a council charter bans temporary accommodation in the city's floodprone areas. But it added: "The high mobility of RV users and the development of a sufficient emergency exit plan could justify an exception.� It claimed that despite a high demand, there was evidence that existing "cheap short-term accommodation" in the Bundaberg region was of "low quality�. from caravanning news

24 | News



Vers and campers will have to wait until later this year before they can become property tycoons on a unique Monopoly board with a real true blue Aussie caravanning theme, believed to be a world first. The board game is expected to be released in November and follows a joint effort by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and Monopoly. Monopoly is the world’s biggest selling board game of all time, played by a billion people in over 111 countries. “This is a great branding opportunity for our industry,” a spokesperson for the association said. Businesses involved in the project had been “super excited” at the opportunity to align with one of the world's biggest brands, which would not have been possible alone. All had fond memories of playing the game themselves and wanted to be part of the world-first Australian edition. When approached by the association, Monopoly had been delighted to have its brand associated with the RV and camping lifestyle.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia will produce a limited quantity of Monopoly boards, customised for the Australian caravanning and camping market. This includes special playing pieces together with Chance and Community cards specific to the industry and lifestyle. Houses and hotels will become tents and cabins. An industry auction for the board's 22 properties was held to raise funds for the initiative, with caravan and holidays parks bidding for their place on the board. "The auction winners have secured a place in Monopoly history and the money raised is being invested into the project," the spokesperson added. News of the new game attracted much attention on social media, with one of the 9447 people reached pondering, "Wonder if there are any free camping squares on the board”. from caravanning news

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

26 | News



rey Nomads have been urged to take extra care while driving near the central Queensland town of Dingo. New statistics from insurer AAMI have revealed the area is the Sunshine State's top hotspot for animal-related road accidents. Thousands of RVers pass through the area every year

in search of Queensland's winter sunshine. But they risk hitting kangaroos (88% of insurance claims), wallabies (6%), wombats (3%), dogs (2%) and other wildlife (1%). AAMI reported that nationally, Queanbeyan in New South Wales is the riskiest region. The most hazardous areas for individual states included Bendigo (Victoria), Madura (WA), Canberra (ACT), Mount Gambier (SA) and Launceston (Tasmania). No figures were given for the Northern Territory. The average cost of an animal collision claim was $5123, AAMI said. from caravanning news

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 | 27



Vers will soon find it easier to park their rigs in the NSW city of Orange as Council has agreed to set aside more parking facilities in the CBD. Extra space will be located around the corner from the new Visitor Information Centre in Peisley Street. Traffic committee chairman Russell Turner said the council wanted to make things as convenient as possible for travellers. “There's potentially dozens of caravans and RVs stopping in Orange to see what's on,” he explained.

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

28 | News

THE WEST INVESTS said the Royalties for Regions funding would provide attractive and functional camping areas with appropriate amenities such as designated camping areas, walkways, eco toilets and rubbish bins. The project built on the Government's Caravan and Camping Action Plan and aimed to make WA the nation's most attractive caravan and camping destination.


he WA Government is investing another $1.072 million in improving caravan and camping grounds in the State's Mid-West. Dandaragan, Coorow, Irwin and Northampton shires will use the money to develop new nature-based campgrounds across seven coastal areas, adding 300 sites.

"It will encourage more visitors to explore our regions through RV and camping holidays by establishing attractive and affordable coastal destinations for intrastate, interstate and overseas tourists. Regional tourism is an important contributor to the State's economy," Mr Redman said. "In 2015, visitors spent $4 billion while visiting regional WA. The Royalties for Regions program has allocated $6.9 billion into more than 3700 projects across regional WA since 2008. from caravanning news

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman



oad tripping around Australia is experiencing a strong revival in the wake of low fuel prices and historically low interest rates. That's the view of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. “We are witnessing a new and robust era in domestic tourism that has the potential to introduce new consumers to the RV and camping experience,” chief executive Stuart Lamont said. “There is also a reconnect with existing markets who in the past may have holidayed internationally.”

Tourism Research Australia has indicated concerns over uncertain economic conditions created by the fallout from Britain's pending exit from the European Union and unstable EU monetary policies. It is suggested this could lead to a fall in European visitors to Australia. However, any fluctuations in the Euro could encourage more Australians to travel at home and provide further opportunities for domestic tourism and the caravan and camping sector, it is claimed. from caravanning news

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




30 | iMotorhome Marketplace Tax Time is fast approaching. 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 | 31

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




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



32 | iMotorhome Marketplace



Connect at home! Connect anywhere!

15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection


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

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

Airbag Man

Battery Traders Super Store

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

iMotorhome Marketplace | 33

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!


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

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.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                    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

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

34 | Day Test: Avida Birdsville C7424SL

Space Age! In this age of the slide-out, the space is a major attraction‌ by Malcolm Street

Day Test | 35

Combining a comparatively compact size with good looks and the driving ease of Fiat’s Ducato, the Birdsville has always been a top seller. Now it has the option of a three-quarter slideout it’s an even more attractive proposition. Note how the roof-top airconditioner is protected by the rise of the Luton peak over the cab.


vida’s Birdsville model has been around for a few years now and like much of its range, Avida tends to work on upgrades and refinements rather than creating entirely new models. In the case of the current Birdsville there are two layouts; one with a slide-out and the other without, and both available as B or C-class. The major difference between the slide-out and non-slide-out versions is the former has an east-west island bed while the latter has only single beds. For this review I opted for the slide-out version of the C-class, supplied by my good friends at Australian Motor Homes.

Nuts and Bolts


nderpinning the Birdsville is a Fiat Ducato X295 cab-chassis. Being a Multijet 180 model it comes with the powerful 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 132 kW and 400 Nm, driving through a 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). The Luton peak, which houses the over-cab

bed and denotes the motorhome as a C-class, isn’t usually the subject of much discussion. Some manufacturers seem to do a better job of making it look like part of the body rather than an afterthought stuck on the front of the motorhome, and Avida has done a good job of integrating it. Body construction is in keeping with the rest of Avida’s range, using a welded metal frame for the walls, floor and roof. That's covered by a fully moulded fibreglass Luton front and rear walls, along with fibreglass composite sides and a one-piece roof moulding. Included in the body structure is the slide-out, which takes up about two thirds of the driver’s-side wall area and adds considerably to the living space. Avida seem reluctant to include a security door as standard in its motorhomes, so the familiar Hehr door with separate insect screen is fitted. Dometic acrylic double-glazed windows are used all ‘round, most being a standard rectangular shape, except for the unusual but stylish Luton windows, which give the front area a distinctive character.

36 | Day Test

Right: Yes Virginia, those are cupholders at the bottom of the centre console – the latest Fiat Ducato finally has them. Below: Although the cab seats swivel they don’t ‘mesh’ well with the dining area for when extra visitors drop by.

External bin space on the Birdsville is fairly generous, but none of the bins are particularly large. There is the usual problem associated with the lower bins fitted under the slide-out, which require a serious crouch to get at when the slide-out is open. However, the bin doors that give access to the under-seat areas in the slide-out itself are at a much more user friendly height. A pair of 4 kg gas cylinders are to be found in the rear offside gas bin.



ayout wise, the entry door splits the kitchen in two. The fridge is in the forward section, behind the passenger seat, while the mid kerb-side wall is taken by the kitchen bench. Occupying the slide-out is both the

café-style dinette (which has two seat belts) and the east-west double bed, which leaves space across the rear for a full-width bathroom. Being a Ducato, the cab seats swivel easily. They do of course provide alternative/additional seating to the dinette, but with this layout they don’t quite mesh with everything else and the passenger seat is blocked to some degree by the fridge cabinet. Above the cab the Luton bed, which measures 1.9 m x 1.32 m (6’ 3” x 4’ 4”), can easily be lifted out of the way if not needed. Because it’s sitting in the slideout there is a small step to get up and into the dinette seats, something probably better remembered when departing the seating area! Having a Zwaardvis mounting means the dining table is quite firm for most uses.

Day Test | 37

The slide-out, which takes up about two thirds of the driver’s-side wall area adds considerably to the living space. Behind the dinette is the bed, which measures 1.83 m x 1.37 m (6’ 4” x 4’ 6”). There aren’t any bedside cabinets but there is a reasonably sized wardrobe as well as the usual overhead lockers. At the base of the cupboard the shelf area just happens to be useful for the nearby 12V/5V USB outlets. In addition to the bedhead area, the wall at the foot of the bed is also fitted out with a below-

window selection of drawers and cupboards. Although the shelf on top has a curved shape to aid walking by, when the slide-out is closed the bed butts right up against the cabinet, leaving no walkthrough room to reach the bathroom. A flatscreen TV is mounted above the kerbside window and can be seen easily from the bed, but less so from the front seats. I suspect

owners might be looking to the Luton bed area for a second TV location. In the rear, the bathroom comes with the full complement of shower cubicle, cassette toilet and vanity unit. A sliding door offers privacy but takes up minimal space, while ventilation is assured courtesy of a large rear-wall window and a

38 | Day Test Below: The kitchen bench morphs into a bedroom unit that curves to fit the bed when closed. Bottom: The TV is fine for watching from bed but not so good from the dinette. Note the extra cupboards near floor level, below the kitchen/bedroom bench.

ventilation fan hatch above the shower. General storage is provided by overhead lockers and a vanity cupboard, whilst the wall area behind the loo provides for not only a large mirror but a towel rack as well. Proportion wise, the kitchen bench area is quite small in this motorhome. It’s just long enough to fit a four burner cooktop/grill and a stainless steel sink/drainer, and has the accompanying cupboards, drawers, wire basket pantry and overhead lockers. Benchtop space is minimal but fitted into the fridge cabinet is a hinged bench extension that lowers into the doorway. I suspect the hot tip here is to keep the entry door closed when using the extension! In addition to the extension, the cabinet also has the microwave above the fridge and is a handy location for the 12V control panel.

Day Test | 39

Avida has done a good job of integrating the Over-cab Luton peak.

40 | Day Test

Above: The dinette and bed are in the slide-out, which really opens up the floor space. However, the bed is only a domestic double in width and there are no bedside tables. Right: The full-width rear bathroom has a separate shower cubicle and good space, light and ventilation, which is always appreciated.

What I think


ndoubtedly the slide-out fitted to the Birdsville adds not only a bit of living space but the ability to fit a double bed into the layout. Having said that, if the island double bed isn’t a prime requirement then the non slide-out model with its single beds is quite practical too. Whichever layout you chose, this 7.4 m/24’ 3” motorhome makes for a great mid-size offering. The twin benefits of a relatively compact and easy handling rig, yet one that offers a good sized living area makes the Avida Birdsville well worth considering.

Day Test | 41

Win Me!

Australian Motor Homes is supporting fund raising efforts for Damian Jobson, who became a quadriplegic when seriously injured in a rugby league accident. As part of this an Avida Birdsville will be offered as first prize in a raffle to be drawn on The Footy Show at the end of next year’s season. Tickets will go on sale soon and more details will be announced in the near future. Watch this space!

42 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make



Birdsville C7424SL





Approved Seating




VEHICLE Make/Model

Fiat Ducato X295


3.0 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel


132kW @ 3500 rpm


400Nm @ 1700 rpm


6 speed AMT


Dual front airbags, ABS, EBD, ETC,


125 litres

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

3706 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4400 kg

Max Payload

694 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

2000 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

7.39 m (24’ 3”)

Overall Width

2.32 m (7’ 7”)

Overall Height

3.13 m (10’ 3”)

Internal Height

1.96 m (6’ 5”)

Main Bed

1.83 m x 1.37 m (6’ 4” x 4’ 6”)

Luton Bed

1.9 m x 1.32 m (6’ 3” x 4’ 4”)

Day Test | 43

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out




Entry Steps



Dometic 4 burner & grill




Stainless steel


Dometic 4 burner & grill





12 V Sockets/USB Outlets


Air Conditioner

Dometic roof

Space Heater


Hot Water System

Truma 240V/12V


Thetford cassette


Separate cubicle


1 x 100 AH




2 x 4 kg

Fresh Water

124 L

Grey Water

124 L

Hot Water

14 L


19 L cassette

PRICE As Tested


Options fitted

Silver Filon paint finish

Warranty - vehicle

3 years/200,000 km

Warranty - Body

3 years/1M km plus 5 years structural guarantee


As per manufacturers’ schedules

Pros • • • • • •

Nice driving motorhome Streamlined for a C-class External bin storage General bedroom storage Living area Generous bathroom


• TV location • Bathroom access when slideout closed • Non-security insect screen • Step up to dinette

Supplied by:

Australian Motor Homes Click for 31 Pacific Highway Google Maps Bennetts Green NSW 2290 T: (02) 4948 0433 E: enquiries@australianmotorhomes.com.au W: australianmotorhomes.com.au

Manufactured by: Avida RV 32 David Rd Emu Plains. NSW. 2750. T: 1300 428 432 W: www.avidarv.com.au

Click for Google Maps

44 | Day Test

Whichever layout you chose this 7.4 m motorhome makes for a great midsize offering.

46 | Motorhome 101: The Basics

The Agony of Choice!

First timers need to think carefully about what kind of RV best suits their needs...

Motorhome 101 | 47

Campervans like this Campino by Southern Spirit Campervans can fit just about anywhere and double as daily drivers, but you still need to spend a lot of time outside.


lthough the term RV – short for Recreational Vehicle – applies to any vehicle you can live in while travelling, in Australia it’s most commonly (and incorrectly) applied to self-powered vehicles.

a decision until you’re ready and comfortable with it.

Considerations for first time buyers include budget, circumstance, abilities and travel preferences, but if there’s one golden rule to remember it’s ‘don’t rush’. There are plenty of RVs out there so don’t let a sales person or ‘distressed’ owner pressure you into making

Pros… • Best suited to lovers of camping who spend most time outdoors

Campervans, motorhomes and slide-ons each have their pros and cons. Choose well and it’s a marriage made in heaven. Choose poorly Buying your first RV is very exciting, although and you’ll soon be looking for a replacement. it can seem a daunting task. Assuming you’ve Think of it as the agony of choice (with a fair realised towing a home behind you is as degree of ecstasy too). Here’s a quick but by attractive a proposition as being a dog wagged no-means exhaustive look at the pros and by its tail (and caravans will certainly do that to cons for each type. you) then a campervan, motorhome or slide-on is really the only way to go. Campervans

• Lowest-cost entry to self-powered RV market

48 | Motorhome 101

Bed width and length are things to consider, as is the ability for one person to sit up and read or watch TV while the other sleeps. This is the ‘bedroom’ in Trakka’s latest Trakkadu campervan and it’s impressive. So too is interior space, which lets the table remain in situ while the swivelled cab seats provide comfortable alternate seating.

• Can replace a car as only transport or serve as a second vehicle • Manoeuvrable, easy to park and cheap(ish) to run • Great for solo travellers • Good security for belongings when parked and when free-camping • Easy to park on a suburban street or in a small driveway

• Useful when shopping as the fridge keeps things cold and there’s plenty of storage space • You can easily have an older van professionally fitted out • DIY conversion a possibility for the enthusiast Cons… • Limited models available • Limited living space

• Quick set-up/pack-up and not weather affected (unless you have a tailgate tent)

• Can be claustrophobic in bad weather

• Handy for day trips, roadside cuppas and/or a quick nap

• No bathroom, although Porta Potti optional

• Bed options limited

Motorhome 101 | 49 Campervan or van conversion motorhome? The differences are size – campervans are smaller – plus there’s a full bathroom in a motorhome.

• Limited storage for longer trips • Not self-contained unless a grey water tank and potty fitted • Too tall for many garages and some underground car parks • Rego, insurance and running costs if just an extra vehicle • DIY conversions can open Pandora’s Box of rego/compliance and insurance issues

Motorhomes Pros… • Self-contained (has a bathroom) • More living, dining and sleeping space • Wide variety of makes and models • Smaller units quite affordable • Surprising number can be driven on a car licence • Raised driving height highly desirable/ enjoyable • Raised living height provides better views and reduces chances of middle-of-the-night flooding or animal/insect visits • A-class vehicles with front lounge and captain’s chairs provide truly panoramic views • Excellent for singles or couples • Quick set-up/pack-up and no need to exit vehicle if the weather is bad. Just stop and enjoy!s

50 | Motorhome 101

This is a C-class motorhome, identifiable by the over-cab bed in a body extension known to ‘old timers’ as a Luton peak. In good nick an older motorhome like this can provide years of reliable service and a very affordable ownership entry point. • Excellent security when free-camping. Can just drive off if feeling unsafe.

• Bigger units, like A-class and big bus conversions, can be very thirsty

• Smaller Euro-based motorhomes can be surprisingly fuel efficient, especially when driven gently

• Can be difficult to find suitable parking at home

• Best for on-the-go holidays with short stays and regular travel • Excellent for remote and longer term freecamping. Easier to make power and water independent

Cons… • Can be expensive, especially the larger units • Ongoing rego, insurance and maintenance costs in addition to your day-to-day car, at home

• Vehicle height and weight must be considered, especially with larger vehicles, as many roads and bridges have limitations. Also need to watch tree branches, etc • Can be difficult to manoeuvre in some caravan parks • Secondary transport needed for go-and-stay holidays • Special drivers’ licence required for motorhomes over 4500 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM)

Motorhome 101 | 51 Slide-Ons Pros… • A tow-free alternative to a caravan or camper trailer • Models to fit utes or tray-backs • Basic models can be a cost-effective entry to weather-proof touring • Tray-back models can be quite spacious • Bigger units have bathrooms • Over-cab beds are usually big • Good for both daily travel and stop-and-stay touring • Can leave at camp to secure your site and use vehicle for local sightseeing • Easy set-up/pack-up (when left on vehicle) and good for singles • Many have powered legs for easier loading/ unloading, and for levelling when on the ground • Good remote area access on suitable 4WD • No registration requirements • Great views from lofty perch!

Cons… • Can be tricky to load/unload until well practiced. Not a five-minute job • Requires ute or tray-back host vehicle • Some require mods to host vehicle to attach tie-down points • Can increase fuel consumption considerably, especially if the distance between the vehicle’s cab roof and the over-cab bed isn’t snug

Slide-ons come in many styles. Making sure it suits your vehicle is the primary requisite.

52 | Motorhome 101

• Load height detracts from vehicle stability, especially if exploring off-road. Might require supplementary suspension mods, like airbags or heavy-duty shocks and springs • Overall height needs to be considered when travelling • Storage space at a premium • Access when on-vehicle can be tricky, requiring long/tall stairs, usually without handrails, so not good for older travellers or those with mobility issues • Limited water capacities • Bigger units heavy and need serious American-style host vehicle • Can be difficult to store at home, but not suited to on-street parking

Final Thoughts


ike so many things in life, buying and owning an RV requires compromise on many levels. From purchase price to living space to features there are many aspect to consider and it’s rare, if impossible, to find one machine to perfectly meet every need. But with thought, patience, humour and a good sense of adventure buying a recreational vehicle – of any sort – can be the best thing you’ll ever do. If you become paralysed with indecision then just make a list, pin it to a wall and throw a dart. Sometimes life can be that simple. Otherwise, wrestle with the agony of choice because eventually the ecstasy of reward is worth it!

Motorhome 101 | 53

The road to RV ownership isn’t always straight as the choices can seem bewildering. Taking the time to establish your needs and choosing carefully will reap big rewards‌

54 | TechTalk

Top PopTips! Looking after your campervan’s pop-top can pay big dividends in the long run says our Techspert, Pia from Southern Spirit Campervans…


n Australia the most common campervan roofs are the so called pop-tops. They operate using a mechanism that elevates the roof to an equal horizontal level, providing around 180-190 cm headroom in most conversions. The lifting system in almost all cases is a set of three ‘scissor’ mechanisms and once the roof is pushed up about a quarter of the way springs take over and fully extend it. The roofs are usually made from gel coated fibreglass and their thickness varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If the roof is suitable for roof racks you have to check with the manufacturer how much load it can handle. Most often pop-tops come with a soft internal lining and don’t have insulation built in.

What makes a pop-top roof easier or harder to operate?

1 The tension of the springs. There are different

‘loads’ available as each spring can lift a particular weight. So if the scissors are rated to lift a 120 kg roof but your roof only weighs 75 kg it will be much harder to operate as the scissor springs are heavy duty. Certainly, over the years the springs can become ‘tired’ and will become softer.

2 A factor affecting how easily the roof will

come down is how high it goes up. When the scissors form a low ‘X’ when the roof is up this will reduce headroom but make for easier closing. A tall ‘X’ will provide more headroom but requires more closing effort.

TechTalk | 55

This European roof has special rear hinges and uses strong gas struts to assist opening.

Note: The height of the canvas gusset obviously regulates how high the scissor can lift!



European elevated roofs:


n Europe the trend in roofs since the mid 80s has been to conversions hinged at one end that tilt up, usually lifting at the front but The condition of the scissor channels and sometimes at the rear. This type of roof uses a rollers. Maintenance hint: Make sure the pair of special hinges and a set of gas struts for channels are clean and free of dust and dirt. Using a non-greasy spray such as lanolin can lifting. Changing the struts allows a lower roof profile and therefore a lower total height of the make the operation of the rollers easier. vehicle, plus easier opening and closing. Impact and wind damage. Often people These roofs look quite streamlined and follow don’t realise there are small bends and the original shape of the vehicle, only increasing damage to the scissors. The easiest way to figure out if the scissors are bent is if the roof height when closed by 65-80 mm. Also, as the becomes harder to close. The roof lid should standing height is often more then 2.35 m these roofs are ideal for installing upper beds without sit nicely in position, in the centre of the roof base. If you have to pull or push the roof into causing a claustrophobic feeling. position to close it then most likely there is a German manufacturers such as Reimo or bend in the scissors. Also, when the roof is elevated both sides should be equal in height SCA make a roof which is extremely sturdy but still light in weight, built from up to six and the roof should not lean or sag to one different layers and including insulation for better side. temperature control inside the vehicle. These roofs are also suitable for racks and can carry up to 42 kg.

56 | TechTalk

Above: The style of ‘X’ the scissors make shows how far the roof is opening. The taller it is the higher the roof, and the more effort needed to open and close.

Looking after your roof


• Make sure when you close your roof the canvas skirt isn’t caught in the scissor mechanism or between the base and lid

here are some simple ways to keep your camper roof in a good condition. Here are a few every owner can carry out: • If the skirt has a bungy rope or fold-in mechanism, check from time to time that it’s • Don’t open the roof in torrential weather still elastic and tight and pulls the skirt in conditions to avoid damage to the scissors • To avoid leaks it’s advisable at least once a • Try to avoid letting the roof ‘pop’ up or ‘bang’ year to treat all the threads on your skirt, e.g. down. When the roof pops it’s only being around the windows, in the corners, etc. You stopped by the skirt, which might just be can use bees wax and thread sealant to make stapled or screwed into the fibreglass. If it sure water will not come through the little pops often without being held by the handles pinholes and to improve the thread’s overall to soften the movement the result can be condition. We discovered www.otterwax. damage to the canvas, which becomes loose com works very well and they also have a and/or frayed over time. Also, letting the roof good cleaner to take grease and dirt off the bang down can damage the lid or base as canvas if required there is usually only a rubber strip between the two

TechTalk | 57

Check the scissor mechanisms to ensure they’re not bent, and clean and dry-lube them regularly. • Look after your zips and make sure they operate easily. Candle (bees) wax or graphite powder is handy when zippers start to run a bit sticky. • Avoid the skirt getting mouldy or smelly. In case you have to close the roof when it was wet, make sure that as soon as possible after the rain the van is parked with the roof open to let it dry out • Check the rubber pinch weld, which in most cases is fitted to the lid. The rubber is initially installed to make the roof weatherproof when closed. After some years the rubber might become ‘tired’, perished, brittle or flat after being squeezed shut for so long. This will then allow wind and water to reach the skirt and eventually inside the vehcile, even when your roof is closed. You can replace the rubber weld quite easily, just make sure that you buy the same original shape and thickness.

• Check the roof surface frequently – at least every six months. Scratches from trees or falling branches, storm/hail damage or even sun damage can occur over the years. Roofs are made from fibreglass and should have a smooth surface (gel coat). If you wipe white ‘dust’ away your roof needs attention! There are very good fibreglass polishes around to clean and protect you roof again. • Rips and tears on the canvas or fly screen material are usually an easy fix, if the damage is not too big. We’ve had good experience with Tear Aid A, especially where the damaged area was small and removing the whole canvas skirt was not feasible. A short instruction on how to apply the patches is shown here. The repair kits can be purchased in most camping shops or online.

58 | TechTalk

Installing an aftermarket pop-top at the Southern Spirit Campervans' workshop.

Improvements for your roof:

1 For people who struggle with opening the

3 For European style roofs there are thermal

mats available, which are similar to the solar screens for windows.

roof manually, companies such as Airlifter in Queensland have developed a system that Fibreglass roofs can be painted with a UV can also be retrofitted and works using 4 air and sun reflective paint to reduce heat bags inflated via a small 12 V compressor. transfer. Widely used are Globalcote’s Van Apart from us at Southern Spirit Campervans Pack roof surface or Thermoshield there are businesses around who assist with products. Some of these paints also close retro fitting such a system, while Trakka is hair lines cracks in the roof. now offering this feature as a option on new With a little care and attention a pop-top or Trakkadus. hinged roof can provide years of trouble free Add on some insulation. Nearly all pop-up service. It’s worth making the effort to look after roofs can be retrofitted with insulation if there it not just because you’ll enjoy it so much more, is none installed originally. Some can take up but because at sale time an elevating roof in to 25 mm, which makes a huge difference good condition makes a big difference. in summer and winter and also reduces condensation.



TechTalk | 59

As the standing height is often more then 2.35 m these (European) roofs are ideal for installing upper beds without causing a claustrophobic feeling.

60 | Travel Snapshot: Dalgety

Buckley’s Chance?

It didn’t become our national capital but there’s no chance Dalgety isn’t worth a visit…

Travel Snapshot | 61

The once might Snowy River has long been tamed and is now more of a peaceful stream. The weir is just behind the caravan park and a top place for a summer swim. Apparently the river is full of trout and largely unfished, so be sure to bring your fly rod! The second iMotorhome Reader GetTogether is just over two months away. Already fully booked, it’s centred on the tiny NSW town of Dalgety and promises to be a lot of fun. Of course Dalgety is worth a visit any time and here’s a look at why you should put it on your ‘must visit’ list.



algety is the only town in NSW on the banks of the Snowy River. It lies on the Monaro Plain amongst rolling hills dotted with granite boulders, and those familiar with NSW’s New England district will feel right at home. The town sits some 760 metres above sea level and due to its inland location experiences very cold winter nights (-10ºC isn’t unusual) and hot dry summers.

Edward Buckley established a small property in 1832, close to the site of a river crossing for livestock moving between Gippsland and the Snowy Mountains regions. The settlement that grew around the ford was informally known as Buckley’s Crossing, before becoming Barnes Crossing just before 1850. Due to steady growth – well, to 23 people, sundry animals and a punt – it was officially surveyed in 1874 and named Dalgety (after the surveyor’s wife’s maiden name). An influx of Irish migrants prospecting for gold saw a Catholic school open in 1874 and the first bridge across the Snowy River opened there in 1888, replacing the punt. Seasonally, members of the Thaua and Ngarigo Aboriginal tribes camped on the river banks and met with the white settlers.

62 | Travel Snapshot

Right: This is a town where kids still ride horses down the street to the showground on pony club days. Below: The Buckley’s Crossing Hotel has a wealth of history and its sprawling verandah is the place to be to meet the locals or just enjoy a cold drink and the views.

Dalgety could have remained a fledgling town in rural obscurity had it not been selected in 1903 by a Royal Commission as the location for the National Capital. The choice was based on criteria including climate, food supply, land ownership and the ability to support major industries, and was formalised in the Seat of Government Act 1904. Almost immediately the decision was opposed by the New South Wales Government on the grounds it was too close to Melbourne and too far from Sydney! More practical was the objection to the distance of the town from the Sydney-Melbourne railway line and the expense that would be involved constructing a spur line. Four years later the objections were resolved and Dalgety was passed over in favour of Canberra. The rest of that story, as they say, is history…

In more recent years Dalgety has had a couple more brushes with fame. Locations in and around the town featured in the 2006 movie Jindabyne, while it was also the setting for the 2008 novel The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon: “A stunning epic novel that encompasses twentieth-century Australia,” according to the goodreads.com website.

Dalgety Today


he sign just before the recently renovated road bridge, which is a masterpiece of wooden engineering from a bygone age, proudly proclaims a population around 1100 (from memory), but that probably includes the surrounding district. The 2011 census showed a population of 214 and today we’re reliably

Travel Snapshot | 63

Above: The Dalgety bridge opened in 1888. It’s one of only seven of its type – a lattice truss wrought iron and timber bridge set on iron columns – and is an important part of NSW road transport history. It’s also the Town’s iconic landmark and recently most of its wooden structure was rebuilt in a significant restoration project. Bottom: There’s no fuel in Dalgety, just these rusting bowsers at the long-closed servo. informed there are fewer than 50 full-time residents. You can drive through Dalgety in a couple of minutes, following the road between Berridale (where you leave the Cooma-Jindabyne road) and Bombala. That road will eventually take you into Victoria and the town of Cann River, where it joins the Princes Highway. But that’s another story… Dalgety is a one-of-a-kind town, meaning it has one pub, one caravan park, one general store-cum-coffee shop and one school, but how much more do you need? What would be nice is fuel, but the only bowsers are derelict so be sure you have sufficient for onward travels. Sleepy might be a clichéd term but sleepy is exactly what Dalgety is (except Friday and Saturday nights at the Buckley’s Crossing Hotel). But that sleepiness is part of the town’s allure. This is a town where you can listen to the wind rustle through the poplars on the river bank; where you can lazily fish for trout just five minutes walk from the pub or take a cooling swim by the weir, then watch platypus

cavorting just upstream at dusk. It’s a town where a father and his children ride horses down the main street to the showground on pony club days; where the pub verandah is still the place to be on a weekend afternoon and where the big sky puts on cloud and light shows to wow even the most jaded city dweller. Dalgety is a little slice of Australia that deserves a visit and we’re doing our bit. In fact, over the last weekend of October iMotorhome readers will double its population! If you get there before or after us don’t worry, just take the time to

64 | Travel Snapshot stop and enjoy it. There’s Buckley’s chance you’ll be disappointed…

Fast Facts: Where: Dalgety, NSW What: Sleepy country town with a historic brush with fame When: All year ‘round, but cold mid-winter and hot in summer. A great spring and autumn destination! Why: Because you deserve a couple of days total relaxation and the town needs your ‘financial fertiliser’. It’s also a great spot for trout fishing (be sure to take your fly rod and fishing licence) and platypus watching – riverbank chairs provided! Where to Stay – Snowy River Holiday Park: Compact and neat as a pin, hosts Sue and Colin have done a fabulous job bringing this small park back to life. Average cost $35/ night for a powered site for two people and the recently renovated amenities are spotless. Call (02) 6456 5000 for information and bookings.

Where to Eat – Buckley’s Crossing Hotel: Just across the road from the caravan park and (thankfully) under new management. Great pub food and roaring fires on cold nights. Call (02) 6456 5023 for lunch or dinner bookings. Where to Coffee – Iona Gardens Cafe & Nursery: Also just across the road, apart from great coffee there are basic grocery items, local produce, jams and handicrafts. It’s also the local post office and features a small nursery, making it a truly essential local business. Call (02) 6456 5130 for any information. Where to Go – Snowy Vineyard Estate and Microbrewery: About 15 minutes out of town, this popular spot was established in the early 80s and features impressive cool climate wines plus a wide range of craft beers and schnapps brewed on site. Tastings operate Wednesday to Sunday while the restaurant, with food to match the quality of the wine and beer, opens on weekends and often has live music. Call 1300 766 608 for further information.

Sue, Colin and Cheese keep the Snowy River Holiday neat as a pin. With recently renovated amenities and an ideal location it’s a great place to relax for a few days.

Travel Snapshot | 65 The things you find when nosing around in old sheds‌

66 | Mobile Tech

Are You


Podcasts let you download audio content and listen at your leisure‌ By Emily Barker

Mobile Tech | 67


odcasts are free audio programs distributed over the Internet. They come from a multitude of sources and it’s fair to say there are podcasts covering every topic imaginable. Think of it as an audio-only YouTube! You can search for a subject and get a list of results, then sample and select the ones you like and essentially create a radio station of just the areas of interest you want to listen to. Importantly, the files are stored on your device ready for offline listening, unlike webcasting or streaming. Having said that, most podcasts can also be streamed on demand as an alternative to downloading. Podcasts are increasing popular and have created their own important niche as a convenient form of accessible media. As a result of this surge in popularity the quality, content and abundance of podcasts is increasing daily. Many popular radio programs are also available in podcast form, but don’t let yourself be limited to duplicated content. There is endless content out there and the hardest part might actually be narrowing down your options. Once you’ve selected your podcasts and downloaded them you are free to access them whenever and wherever you like. One thing that will make the process easier and ultimately more enjoyable is a Podcasting app. Also known as podcatchers, there is an abundance of podcasting apps available for both iOS and Android devices. Like all apps they vary in price and functionality, but if selected carefully, can offer a range of assistive functions to enhance your entire experience. Many podcast players (apps as well as dedicated devices) allow certain audio adjustments such as the playback speed. Some can help manage your subscriptions by automatically downloading and sorting the newest episodes and they might also include a variety of audio tools and features to provide the best listening experience possible.

Here is a brief overview of the most popular podcasting apps for iOS and Android devices. Overcast Size: 5.5 MB Cost: Free iOS only Overcast is an iOS -only application which means it’s not suitable if you have a combination of devices, but in fairness, this is its only drawback. It’s sometimes hard to figure out why an app is free and that’s certainly true in this case. In terms of features it ticks all the boxes with its clear and simple efficiency. You can easily search, filter, locate, sample and subscribe to podcasts and you are presented

68 | Mobile Tech intuitive and neat in its simplicity, and despite the multitudes of options available it is easy to navigate.

with options such as to download or stream or keep audio effects for a series. Overcast also contains powerful audio features that improve the playback of podcasts by subtly removing any unwanted pauses and boosting voice audio to enhance delivery. Its interface is

Custom playlists are easily created, edited and erased, with priority play a useful option. Played episodes can be deleted automatically or reserved for manual deletion. Automatic downloads can be limited to Wi-Fi connection only, ensuring no cellular data is used, while it can be navigated with car play on supported Bluetooth radios or with headphone controls. There are options for setting sleep timers and you can even opt to receive push notifications when new episodes arrive. Overcast used to be a premium paid app, now it’s a free premium app, filled with modern features, that, just like podcasts themselves are convenient and dynamic. Pocket Casts Size: 18.3 MB Cost: $5.99 iOS and Android devices Arguably, Pocket Casts is the best podcast app for Android. While not free the absolute wealth of free content available to download makes the one-off purchase price entirely reasonable. It has excellent modern features and abundant customisable options in an interface that really works. It also allows for easy syncing of your listening experience across multiple devices as it supports both iOS and Android platforms. Some reviews even suggest Pocket Casts might have it over Overcast in a few key areas, such as advanced filtering and trim silence audio controls. In many areas though the two apps align, with useful features such as access to extensive libraries, regulated cellular data usage, priority play and audio enhancements. Once you familiarise yourself with the interface this app should run smoothly. Early bugs and crashes were well documented but all issues

Mobile Tech | 69

have been resolved. In terms of an assistive tool, Pocket Casts does exactly what it says on the box: allows for easy discovery, download, organisation and playback of your podcasts.



istening to podcasts is somewhat addictive as there is so much interesting and entertaining content available. It’s an activity that’s also easy to slip into your daily routine; be it listening in the car, during

a morning walk, while gardening, shopping, cleaning or any number of regular activities. Every genre too is represented including fact, fiction, fantasy, science, religion, politics, drama, comedy and horror. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to explore this rapidly evolving new world. The results can be quite surprising!

70 | Events

Oktoberfest In The Gardens!

Adelaide hosts its inaugural beer fest on October 15th… by Sharon Hollamby


he inaugural Oktoberfest in the Gardens will be held within the Jubilee Pavilion and surrounding terraces of the Adelaide Showgrounds on Saturday, October 15th. In recent years this popular event has sold out in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, so now it’s Adelaide’s turn to enjoy this adult’s only celebration! Oktoberfest was first held in 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the royal event. So successful were the celebrations it became an annual event and an important part of Bavarian culture. Many other countries began to hold their own Oktoberfest celebrations and it is now the most famous festival in the world. Adelaide’s first Oktoberfest will certainly be a

festival for beer connoisseurs! Featuring three of the world’s finest, traditional ‘Oktoberfest bier’ on offer (made by only six licensed breweries in Germany), you won’t be disappointed. Other beers to tempt your tastebuds include: • Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier • Paulaner Original Lager • Bitburger Pilsner • Erdinger Hefe • Hundehaus Original Lager • Weidmann Pilsner • Henkell German Sparkling • Peach & Apple Schnapps Beer aside, at Oktoberfest in the Gardens you’ll

Events | 71 be tantalised by a wide variety of traditional foods like German bratwurst, kranski and curry wurst with sauerkraut. There’ll also be Bavarian meatloaf, German chevaps, woodfired flammkuchen, laugenbrezel (pretzels) and of course, German pastries and cakes. The venue will have seating for more than 6000, with the Adelaide Showground boasting the largest big-top beer hall seen at any Oktoberfest event in Australia! Then add a 20 piece brass band, magicians, yodellers, mimes, circus performers and a sideshow alley and you have an event that will keep any adult entertained all day. A feature of the event will be the silent disco featuring 30 local DJs across a variety of genres. Silent discos are a bizarre experience where people dance to music that is transmitted through wireless headphones rather than the traditional speaker system. Three different songs are broadcast at once, so you can choose what you listen to. Aside from

cutting down on noise complaints, silent discos have the added bonus of you not having to yell to be heard; simply slip off your earphones to chat with your friends! The stage will feature some of Adelaide’s best up and coming bands, all battling it out for Oktoberfest fame. There will also be many themed games and competitions including Miss and Mr Oktoberfest, stein holding, bratwurst eating, best traditional costume and more!



ign up as a fan of Oktoberfest in the Gardens for your chance to win a trip for two to Munich. The prize includes two return economy flights, airport transfers, 6 night’s accommodation and $500 spending money. You'll also be treated to a VIP experience at the 2017 Volksfest as guests of the Weihenstephan Brewery.

72 | Events Fast Facts What: Oktoberfest in the Gardens (Adelaide) When: Saturday 15 October, from 2 pm to 11 pm Where: A  delaide Showgrounds, Goodwood Rd, Wayville Why: Be a part of Adelaide’s very first Oktoberfest and taste your way across Germany with a large selection of specialist beers and delicious Germanic food.

Tickets Early Bird $39.90 Standard $49.90 Final Release $59.90 Prices includes booking fee plus a commemorative event stein and a can of German beer on entry!

Getting There Getting to the Adelaide Showground is easy. You can travel by car, bus, tram, taxi and even train during events. Bus – The Adelaide Showground is approximately a 15 minute bus ride from the city.

Tram – Trams depart from the city every 20 minutes, and takes five-minutes to reach Goodwood Road Station. It is a five-minute walk from the tram stop to the Showground. Train – Adelaide Showground Station is fully integrated with the Showground to provide a new, modern station that improves convenience for train users. Planning – Find complete public transport timetable information and a trip planner by clicking here. Car – There is ample paid parking available in areas surrounding the Showground, but please don’t drink and drive!

Facilities for the handicapped Organisers are committed to assisting disabled patrons wherever possible. The entrance is wide and all areas are accessible by wheelchairs. Disabled ablution facilities are provided and companion cards are available. For any queries relating to access or special requirements email info@nokturnlevents.com

Further Information Click HERE to visit the website

Mobile Events Tech | 73

Many countries (now) hold their own Oktoberfest celebrations and it is the most famous festival in the world.

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  Albury Wodonga RV World 


Northcoach Equipment



Outback Travel Australia




Australian Camp Oven Festival

Paradise Motor Homes

Australian Motor Homes Australian Motor Homes Information Evening

24 2 19

Avida45 Win a RV Adventure with Avida


Ballina Campers


Battery Traders Super Store


Bony Mountain Folk Festival


Paradise Sales & Service


Parkland RV Centre


Redarc33 Robert’s RV World


RV Specialists


Solarscreen31 30


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


Motorhome Doctor


Winjana RV


Nomadic Solutions


Wirraway Motor Homes


Taronga Western Plains Zoo


Tiffin Motorhomes


Trakka49 Trailblazers RV


82 | Next Issue


mighty impressed, so it seemed like time to catch up with this ‘Little Honey’ to see if it is still as ‘sweet’ as we originally thought. Project Polly will be back – yeah! – plus we’ve been playing on dirt roads in a Trakka Torino Xtra with optional Outback Suspension Pack to see what effect, if any, it has on a standard Fiat Ducato’s off-bitumen abilities. Very interesting…


t’s more than three years since we reviewed Horizon Motorhomes’ compact Melaleuca, which at a whisker under six metres but fully self-contained is about as small as Australian motorhomes come. When last reviewed were spent a few nights touring and came away

Aug 26-28








Issue 102 will be out on Saturday 3 September – along with Issue 1 of iMotorhome New Zealand – so don’t miss them! Until then, please join our more than 32,000 Friends and followers on Facebook Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram Facebook “f ” Logo


9-1106-09 26-28



Rockhampton Home, Caravan & Camping Show

Penrith Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo

Rockhampton Showgrounds, Rockhampton, Qld. 4700.

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

• 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

RGB / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

RGB / .ai


Oct 6-9


Melbourne Leisurefest Sundown Racecourse Princes Highway, Springvale. Vic. 3171. • Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $16 ($14 online) • Seniors: $12 ($10 online) • Kids: Not advised!

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 101 – 20 Aug 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

iMotorhome Magazine Issue 101 – 20 Aug 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!