Issue 102: Sep 03 2016
$50 for the! best letter
Outback Suspension transforms Trakka’s Torino Xtra
Hand-sized 12 volt emergency starters
Three more CMCA RV Friendly Towns
It’s little wonder Horizon’s Melaleuca is so popular…
Crack the whip! iMotorhome Join the Vans from Snowy River! There’ll be movement on the driveways now the word is getting ‘round that the next big iM weekend’s underway. Come and join the celebrations – it won’t cost a thousand pounds, but long will you remember the great days. There’ll be tried and noted recipes from places near and far and we’ll muster round the campsite for three nights. We’ve booked restaurant and winery, historic tour and more, so the inclusions sure will fill you with delight!
This October 28-31 iMotorhome invites you to come and experience Dalgety. The only NSW town on the famous Snowy River, Dalgety was the original site chosen to become Australia’s National Capital. Now a sleepy riverside town on the granite-studded Monaro Plains, we’ve arranged a weekend of fun, food and festivities you’ll never forget. Home for your three nights is the cosy Snowy River Holiday Park, nestled on the banks of the Town’s famous river. Owners Sue and Colin get things going Friday night with a welcome barbecue hosted by the local cricket team – Colin’s own – in the nearby CWA Hall. It’s you chance to meet and get to know the iMotorhome team, your fellow travellers and some locals as you settle in for the weekend’s fun. Saturday morning you’ll wake to the smell of bacon and egg rolls and coffee. Then you’re off on a guided historic walk that will help bring Dalgety’s story to life. There’s also a video on the mighty Snowy River and its story. Saturday afternoon you’re free to explore – maybe try trout fishing or watch for platypus when the sun goes down – before dinner across the road at the historic Buckely’s Crossing Hotel. We’ve booked the old dining room where new owners Deb and Sharon promise to put on a three course dinner of country proportions, so come prepared! Sunday morning there’s time to sleep in – but not too long – because have we got a day for you: We’ve booked out the Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery! Buses take the worry out of driving and host Wayne will take you through an informed and adventurous tasting of more than a dozen craft beers, flavoured schnapps and excellent cold-climate wines. There’ll be nibbles along the way plus a brewery and winery tour, then a memorable buffet lunch prepared by their accomplished chef. But wait, there’s more: We’ve booked The Barstars – including Gunther Gorman (Daddy Cool and Sherbet) and Dave Twohill (Mental As Anything, Dragon and Men At Work – to rock your afternoon! Perched on a hilltop with Snowy River and Mountain views, you’ll enjoy fine food and boutique ‘refreshments’ to the sounds of some of Australia’s classic rock musicians on what will be an exclusive and genuinely unforgettable long afternoon! Monday it’s a farewell bacon-and-egg roll breakfast and the chance to swap contacts before heading home or where ever the road might lead you. You’ll never forget Dalgety – or the weekend you were one of the Vans from Snowy River!
Due to n cancellatio f a couple o places now available!
The Vans from Snowy River!
When: 28-31 October 2016 Where: Dalgety, NSW What’s included: • 3 night’s un-powered camping at Snowy River Holiday Park • Friday night welcome barbecue dinner hosted by the cricket team • Saturday morning bacon & egg roll breakfast with juice/tea/coffee • Saturday morning guided historic Dalgety walking tour & video show • Saturday night three-course pub dinner • Sunday lunch at the Snowy Vineyard & Microbrewery including • Return bus transfers so you’re free to enjoy the day! • Craft beer, flavoured schnapps and cold-climate wine tasting, with nibbles • Exclusive brewery and winery tour • Leisurely buffet lunch • Live music by the Barstars • Monday morning farewell bacon & egg roll breakfast with juice/tea/coffee What’s it Cost? $229 per person What’s Extra?
$35 per site for power
Bookings: Numbers are strictly limited and it’s first-in best-dressed. Email email@example.com for a booking form. A nonrefundable $25 per-person deposit is required within 7 days of booking confirmation.
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
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Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting
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W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: email@example.com
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.
On my mind | 5
SPRUNG HAS SPRUNG! Apologies to our friends across The Ditch, but “The sprung has sprung, the grass has ruz and you’re wondering where iMotorhome New Zulland uz?” Well, a funny thing happened after publishing issue 101. Within an hour of it going out I received a serious call about selling iMotorhome and merging it into another niche publishing operation. Given the situation and subsequent negotiations, which are ongoing, it seems prudent to delay the launch until an outcome is reached. Whatever the outcome I’ll still be here, so stay tuned for further developments.
A shroud on Turin… As a bit of a motoring enthusiast I always look forward to new model releases and updates. The latest version of the Fiat Ducato is a case in point and I think it looks a million dollars. It certainly makes the Mercedes Benz Sprinter look dull and the latest Iveco Daily a bit ungainly, and so I was wanting it to be a giant slayer. Not that it isn’t already, being the most popular new motorhome base vehicle in Australia, New Zealand (I think) and certainly the UK and Europe. North America? What do they know? RV dinosaurs still roam over there, although things are changing… It’s only recently I’ve spent any time behind the wheel of the latest Ducato and I hate to say it but I feel Fiat has kicked some own goals. Firstly, there’s the satnav fiasco. Fiat installed a brilliant colour touch-screen infotainment system with all the bells and whistles – including sat-nav – but hasn’t (and it seems can’t/ won’t) provide Australian maps. Seriously? Then there are the cup holders. Fiat resisted for years because it seems to Italians drinking and driving are mutually exclusive activities. “You wanna drink coffee whena you drive? You musta be crazy!” But relent they did and we now have cup holders – down near the floor. Placing or retrieving a cup requires a considerable and less-than-ideal lean down, which
when driving is hardly conducive to total vehicle control. But the crowning turd in the water pipe (as Blackadder once remarked) is the instrument panel. Not only have the speedo markings regressed to European speed intervals (30/50/70/90/110 etc), they are very difficult to see for those of us with less than 20/20 vision. In daylight I have to lift my sunglasses to see the markings as they are so small and poorly displayed. Even driving with the lights on only improves things marginally. Fiat has also retained the European instrument positioning, which puts the speedo on the left and the tachometer on the right. In Europe that works a treat because in a left-hand drive vehicle your line of sight when driving is straight over the speedo. In Australia your line of sight is straight over the taco and the speedo is over to the left, with the most commonly used markings on the left side). All-in-all it’s a disappointing state of affairs that reflects Australia’s unimportance to Fiat and the larger motoring world (our Magna has the same speedo/ tacho positions, but at least the dials are big and well illuminated – and she’s 12 years old). There’s no doubt that as an owner you’d soon adapt to these foibles and I don’t want to discourage prospective buyers from considering a Fiat Ducatobased model. But given the age demographic of many RV buyers and the limited experience, if any, many have driving bigger vehicles, you’d think designers would be going out of their way to make new models more user friendly, not less. If you have one of these new Fiats please let me know how you’ve adapted. Am I overreacting (I haven’t even had a glass of red yet) or should the designers in Italy shroud their heads in shame. Do tell!
6 | Contents
Who we are, where and other legal stuff
Find back issues and more on our website
On my Mind
On your Mind
Sprung Has Sprung!
Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!
Freedom of Choice
Day Test: Horizon Motorhomes’ Melaleuca
Quick Spin: Trakka Torino Xtra
Techical: 12-volt lithium-ion jump starters
What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond
The latest Marketplace offers
Updating what’s happening in the world of Freedom Camping
It’s little wonder this compact motorhome is so popular…
Putting Trakka’s new Outback Suspension Pack through its paces!
Collyn Rivers separates the facts from fiction…
Three more RV Friendly Towns
Events The Dragon Dreaming Festival!
What’s on around Australia over the next three months…
An A to Z of who’s in this issue!
Next Issue What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!
Take Luxury with you
Inspiration Black Edition
Paradise are passionate about producing Australiaâ€™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 â„˘ ÂŠ 2016.
/paradise.m.homes *Oasis Platinum
OUR 2016 RELEASE
Meet Your Perfect Travelling Partner The Sunliner Navian series offers the ultimate in mid-sized Recreational Vehicles available in the Australian and New Zealand market. The Navian is fully equipped with a vast array of equipment and accessories; all as standard. Crafted to highest quality, the Navian series of motorhomes are tailored to the unique needs of their owners. We invite you to explore the Navian series and meet your perfect travelling partner.
Resources | 9 resources
Magazine Resources Just click any of the links below!
Ask a Question
90: Mar 05 2016 magazine
Time Traveller! Malcolm samples Bürstner’s stylish Ixeo Time IT 726G…
$50 for the best letter!
Webasto heater installation!
A quick dash to Melbourne and back
Keeping your gas cooker in top condition…
View All Units O nline 24/7
Fiat Ducato, Auto, Only car licence required, Sleeps 4, Electric drop down bed, Separate shower & toilet, 95amp battery, 103ltr fresh water, 110 grey water, Wind up TV antenna.
Diesel engine, 5sp manual, 255,755kms, Lounge converts to double bed, Shower toilet, 120amp battery, 300w inverter, 2x solar, Awning, Tow bar $33,500+ ORC $37,750 Drive Away VIC U1366
WE ARE BUYING CARAVANS, CAMPERVANS & MOTORHOMES Cash Paid. Contact us Today! NEW & USED SALES | RENTALS | SERVICE CENTRE 1A Watson St, Wodonga VIC 3690 Ph: 02 6024 4222 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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.
In the Fold… When I took delivery of my motorhome I was given a stack of instruction manuals for the vehicle and all the appliances, etc. I wanted to keep these on board for ready reference. At Cheap as Chips I found the ideal storage system in the form of coloured ring binders which are enclosed by a zip. The cost was $4 per folder, plus $1.50 for a set of 20 heavy weight sheet protectors. My manuals are colour-coded and are arranged in alphabetical order in the following manner: • Vehicle – Owner’s manual, roadside assist details, service records • Inside – Air conditioner, fridge, microwave oven, smoke alarm, washing machine • Outside – Awning, bike rack, generator • General – CMCA details, insurance policy, registration certificate • Purchase Information – Brochure, contract, handover checklist.
Whenever I buy something for the motorhome I keep the accompanying label, information or warranty card in the relevant folder. They would also be useful for storing maps and tourist information. The zip around the folder ensures all the booklets stay inside the fold and don't fall out onto my head whenever I take the folder from its overhead cupboard location. Best wishes, Di. Another great idea Di, and one I’m sure many readers will find helpful. Please accept this issue’s $50 promise for your ingenuity!
12 | On your mind
Awning Problem Unravelled
Re my letter last issue, I have now managed to get my awning unrolled. I think the main problem, other than no strap, was that it's probably been left in the retracted position for a long time and had simply seized or frozen into place. I climbed up a ladder and gently forced each end and it finally came lose. I now just need to get it dried out, lubricated and a new strap attached and we should be good to go. Thank you and our fellow members for your assistance. Kind Regards, Ian. P.S. Thank you also for your superb publication. Great to hear Ian! Thanks also to those who wrote in and/or answered the call on Facebook. There’s certainly no shortage of advice out there if you just ask…
Join us for our 10th Festival! 1 & 2 October 2016 Featuring... • Camp oven cooking • Bush Poetry • Market stalls • Damper throwing
DON’T MISS YOUR SPOT
Book your caravan site and tickets now!
• Live entertainment and demonstrations • Kids entertainment And much more! Headline Performer
Tickets available at the gate or online at acof.com.au
14 | On your mind
Porcupine Gorge Blues… I just opened issue 101 and a late congratulations on the milestone of 100 issues. We have recently returned from a two month trip in our 2013 A’Van M7 motorhome, starting from the Newcastle region then through Moree and up as far as Charters Towers, then we made a left turn and headed west.
the wrong information (NOT HAPPY JAN) and left town. Days later, when 50 kilometres west of Mt Isa at the World War II air strip rest area, I thought about checking our house batteries, which are located in the sub-floor but also hang a bit lower, protected by a plastic box. I saw that the box was split in several places and the batteries were loose. Next day it was When we were at Hughenden we called into back into Mt Isa to an engineering workshop the visitor info centre to get some brochures (can't remember the name) and they got onto and information about the road out to it straight away, spending three hours working Porcupine Gorge (100 km away and Australia's on it and charged me the princely sum of $150 version of the Grand Canyon). We were told for fixing the problem. There was the danger the road is bitumen all the way and in good that the batteries could have dropped onto the condition and were given a printed page with ground and god only knows what would have various interesting historic sites along the way. happened. The dips in the road could not be It said to start your odometer at zero at the info seen until you were about to enter them and centre and each l was marked at X amount of even braking sharply could not avoid them. kilometres between each one, plus the lady The rest of our trip to Darwin and back went marked a cross in biro at 40 kilometres and well though! said to "SLOW DOWN" as there was a big bump there with no signs to indicate it was Regards, Paul. there. Thanks for your congratulations and the headsSo out we went, travelling along between 90up on your adventures! Sounds like quite a trip, 95 kph in the 100 kph sign posted area. But especially the ‘bump’ and resulting damage. guess what? The bump wasn't 40 kilometres Good to hear you discovered the battery out it was 30, and it wasn't a bump, it was damage. Have you checked the water tank a fairly deep double dip, one in front of the mountings, spare wheel carrier and general unother. WELL, we entered the first dip and the body plumbing and ‘things’ as well? poor Fiat front-end bottomed out, then the back bottomed out, then the front bottomed out again in the second dip and then the back bottomed out again. As we left the second dip I swear the motorhome became airborne! Everything on the shower shelves and everything that wasn't secured became airborne, so we stopped to regain ourselves and tidied everything up again. After visiting Porcupine Gorge we returned to the info centre and informed them they had given us
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16 | On your mind
Isuzu Owners Group? Hi all, do you know of an owners group for Isuzu NPS 300 4x4 motorhome/ expedition truck? Regards, Gary.
Nothing specific Gary, although our readers might know something. Also check out the very active and helpful Motorhomes Australia Facebook Group, it highly likely you’ll find an answer there.
Survey Thumbs Up The survey results were enlightening and an interesting way to 'reward' respondents. Thank you for a very good read about our hobby. Regards, Robert.
Thanks for taking part Robert and glad you enjoyed seeing the results. It’s been interesting to watch how they developed since your letter, we’ll have another coming up after this issue so please watch out for it.
NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD
Hitting the great outdoors this summer? Get remote-ready with the Motorhome Doctor
18 | News
NEW REDARC MANAGER15
edarc is pleased to announce the introduction of The Manager15, which joins its bigger brother The Manager30 (as fitted to Project Polly) in its range of battery management systems. Available from September, the range now offers a choice to suit every power need.
Manager30 operate like six products in one:
Built on the proven Manager30 platform, the Manager15 has a 15 amp current output and is now compatible with all vehicle alternator systems including variable voltage alternators. It can also charge auxiliary battery from multiple power sources simultaneously via load sharing compatibilities. And just like the Manager30, it also features Green Power Priority, meaning it will use solar first before AC and DC inputs.
• A dual-battery isolator
The Manager15 is said to be perfect for those with smaller power needs, such as running a fridge and an LED light while on the road. The Manager30 on the other hand is able to handle more power intensive loads with the added benefit of charging lithium batteries down the track. Both the Manager15 and
• An auxiliary battery charger when on the move • A 240 volt charger • A solar charger
• A load disconnect controller • It incorporates a remote monitor to give you up-to-date battery information and charge status Whether you’re charging Lead Acid, Gel, Calcium, AGM or Lithium Ion Phosphate (Manager30 only) batteries, The Manager range represents a complete battery charging and maintenance solution for RV, 4WD, automotive and marine use. Both the Manager 15 and Manager 30 come with a two year warranty, the Manager15 retails for $1850 and the Manager30 for $2128. For more information click here.
20 | News
NZMCA SPRING CLEAN organisers are keen to stress that members don’t have to be staying at the rally to take part. All members are welcome to turn up just to help out at the Spring Clean. First initiated in 2013, the nationwide NZMCA project has proven a popular way for members to give back to their local communities. In each of the last three years hundreds of NZMCA members have shown the rest of New Zealand that Association members are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do their bit for the country.
he NZMCA’s national Spring Clean is on again. While some of the cleanups are run as part of Area rallies, the
“We recognise our club’s responsibility to play our part in keeping New Zealand beautiful and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of our members’ efforts from the Far North right down to Southland,” said President Bruce Stanger. For a complete schedule of dates and locations click here.
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RV Compressor Fridges
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News | 21
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
he Caravan and Camping State of the Industry 2016 report represents the first in an annual series of reports that examine growth and trends within the manufacturing, accommodation and tourism sectors. This inaugural report, officially released at the recent Let’s Go National Conference on the Gold Coast, reveals the value of the caravan and camping industry to Australia’s economy. The research provides a detailed overview of domestic and international caravan and camping visitor behaviour and distribution by state, consumer demographics, analysis of RV manufacturing and insights into accommodation yield and occupancy.
Key Highlights from the Report are: • A total of 22,711 recreational vehicles (towable and motorised) were manufactured in 2015,
representing a significant 6.6% increase from production outputs in 2014 – the highest production levels in 37 years • 586,585 recreational vehicles were registered across the country, comprising 58,375 motorised and 528,210 caravans, an increase of 4.5% • Domestic and international visitors generated 49.7 million nights in caravan parks and camping grounds around Australia, contributing AU$8.6 billion of visitor expenditure to the economy •11 million overnight caravan and camping trips (domestic and international) were undertaken throughout Australia in 2015, a 7% increase from 2014
22 | News
$100 GIFT CARDS UP FOR GRABS
et’s Go Caravanning and Camping is seeking your thoughts via it’s new My Voice program. As a member you will be part of an Australian community of people who share their opinions on caravan and camping in return for points and rewards. They say it couldn’t be easier to be part of the panel. “We email you a survey link, you complete the survey at your convenience and earn points
for doing so!” Once you’ve reached 1000 points you can redeem a $100 gift card. Plus occasionally there will also be the opportunity to get involved with product testing and focus groups, where you’ll be reimbursed for your time. To find out more and sign up click here.
BRISBANE RV SALES EVENT Show Manager Jason Plant said there’s something for everyone this year – no matter what’s on their wish list. “This is such a great time of year to be buying a RV. Exhibitors are offering fantastic deals, some at thousands of dollars off the retail value, so people can hit the road quicker.
rom 27 to 30 October the Brisbane Showgrounds will host the Caravanning Queensland Pre-Christmas Caravan and Camping Sale, with more than 400 caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes on display with great pre-Christmas price tags.
The sale will be open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Tickets start at $8 for concession (they charge to attend a sale? - Ed) with free train travel to the event for all ticket holders from the Gold Coast to Gympie. A Stoney Creek Camper Trailer valued at $16,990 will be up for grabs, thanks to Ipswich Lifestyle Centre. For tickets or more information click here.
Donâ€™t miss the Horizon Melaleuca day test on page 36!
24 | News
RVERS BLOCKING TRUCK REST STOPS provided in truck-only bays informing caravanners they could be woken up and moved on. “Nothing nasty, but a reminder they are doing the wrong thing,” he said.
utraged truckies have blasted the Grey Nomad brigade for taking over their parking spots at a major Queensland rest area. They complain of being forced out of the Bruce Highway's Waverley Creek facility, 11 km south of St Lawrence, by irresponsible caravanners and motorhomers persisting in parking overnight in the truck-only area. Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Department is now liaising with police in an effort to resolve the problem. It is also considering improving signage so police can enforce parking restrictions. Veteran truckie and safety advocate Rod Hannifey, who contributed to the design of the site, said the problem was getting worse as more and more caravanners hit the road. “I don't know why but there seems to be an enormous influx of caravans on the road this year," he said. “Many of them want to spend their money in towns and on the road instead of at caravan parks, which are becoming much more expensive. So they are free-camping and there's just not enough rest areas for all of us.” Mr Hannifey has raised the issue many times but said it was still an “unseen” problem to most politicians and authorities. “They are not out there at night ... they don't care,” he complained. “We are only truck drivers and they don't regard us very highly, which is really disheartening.” He suggested signs be
Another drive commented, “Rest areas are not camping grounds, just as camping grounds are not rest areas for truck drivers. It is one thing for a wobble-box pilot (caravanner) to stop for a rest during the day, quite another to set up camp at five in the afternoon and not leave till nine the next morning.” The Waverley Creek rest area is divided into separate areas for RVs and trucks. Located between Mackay and Rockhampton, the Waverley Creek site is regarded as an ideal place for tourists and regular highway users to stop. It operates as a Driver Reviver site in holiday periods and is a regular venue for BBQs and gettogethers organised by local organisations. An upgrade several years ago and costing $18 million saw improved toilets, lighting, road surface and separate parking spaces for 14 B-double trucks. from Caravanning News
26 | News
AVAN CLUB MEET
ast month's 17th national gathering and annual general meeting of the Avan Club of Australia attracted around 600 members. More than 270 Avans flooded into the Murray River town of Renmark in South Australia for the event. Four caravan parks were used to accommodate the influx. The
packed programme of events included happy hours, games, wine tasting, craft sessions and the annual dinner, which had to be split into two sittings because of the numbers. Club founders Brendon (secretary) and Joan Smith (original president for nine years) were thanked for their significant contributions to the club after announcing their retirement from the committee. Both will remain members of the club. Cliff Hicks, who has been at the helm for the past three years, also retired. from Caravanning News
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: firstname.lastname@example.org & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer
News | 27
MELBOURNE LEISUREFEST RAMPS UP Show manager Scott Leahy had created a better flow throughout the venue which would, “Enhance the visitor experience. The new layout will mean an even better opportunity for visitors to see even more," Mr Lucas explained.
elbourne Leisurefest organisers say they have been busy at the drawing board to ensure visitors see more. Caravan Industry Association Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said improvements at Sandown Racecourse would mean a brand new layout at next month's show.
The Melbourne Leisurefest, from October 6 to 9, will showcase thousands of the latest RV, camping, 4WD and outdoor products and accessories from Australia's leading manufacturers. It will also feature live music, cooking demonstrations and seminars on the centre stage, while radio station 3AW will return to broadcast live. For more information click here.
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28 | News
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
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
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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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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32 | iMotorhome Marketplace
Parkland RV Centre
Roberts RV World
Parkland RV is the official dealer for Avida Motorhomes, Crossroads RV and Opal Caravans in WA. We stock quality used RVs and our modern service department can look after everything.
An official Avida motorhome dealer, with more than 50 new motorhomes in the largest undercover RV showroom in the Southern Hemisphere. Our service department is here for all your needs too.
Australia’s leading fifth wheelers, designed here in Australia and built to suit our demanding conditions. Fifth wheelers from 24’ to 36’ available. Call 02 4953 7141 for information!
T: (08) 9493 7933 W: parklandrv.com.au
T: 1800 273 136 W: robertsrv.com.au
T: (02) 4953 7141 W: summerliferv.com.au
Battery Traders Super Store
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
Australia’s leading solar power and satellite TV manufacturers! We stock the revolutionary In Flex and Mini Flex panels, Plus our Complete Traveler Satellite TV package is perfect for motorhomes.
In the heart of Victoria’s Gippsland region. Come and enjoy our natural beauty, famous lakes, High Country and expansive beaches. Find ‘Experience 40 Great Things to Do’ on our website too!
T: 1300 483 249 W: itechworld.com.au
T: (03) 5144 1108 W: tourismwellington.com.au
Connect at home! Connect anywhere!
15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection
iMotorhome Marketplace | 33 The dawn of a new era in solar. Our vehicle-specific insulation screens are Australian made from specially designed and tested material to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. As featured in iMotorhome’s Project Polly!
T: (07) 3398 5500 W: solarscreen.com.au
The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS
The alternative to a bike!!
25km/h with a range of 40km in ideal conditions! Super light too at 10.8kg Folds away quite compact for small storage
New state-of-the-art solar blankets from REDARC. Click here.
To ﬁnd out more call Mark on 0412027330 or email email@example.com www.e-twow.com 1
Nomadic Solutions hitches fully ADR compliant no swaying increased towing safety easy reversing offroad vans available
5th wheeler specialist
Nomadic Solutions - the original, quality constructed ‘lifestyletable™’ that is easily attached to the side of your motorhome. Now available in ‘mill finish’ for custom painting.
T: (02) 9011 8144 W: nomadicsolutions.com.au
Southern Spirit Campervans FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME Full & part fitouts Hitop, Poptop and Reimo roofs True custommade conversions Repairs & improvements BYO van from Hiace to Sprinter
Store those additional items up and out of the way using our adjustable, transportable and modular storage system!
America’s favourite motorhome is now available in Australia! Tiffin Motorhomes Australia is proud to offer the Allegro Breeze 32 to the Australian market. Click through to find out why they’re fast becoming Australia’s favourite too!
T: 0411 616 617 W: tiffinmotorhomes.com.au
Over 11 years cover manufacturing experience Australia wide.Free Measure & Quote Call in Factory 1:354 Mons Road Forest Glen : Sunshine Coast Queensland PH-‐1300 304 332/0754564818 www.caravancovers.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Qld Stockist of Duvalay.
34 | Feature
FREEDOM OF CHOICE!
roundup for August, keeping you in touch with whatâ€™s happened and happening in the world of freedom camping in Australiaâ€Ś
These stories and more can be found in detail at the Freedom of Choice website, indexed by state and town, while you can also find the latest news and updates on their Facebook page.
Sunshine Coast Bureaucracy getting in the way When a struggling dairy farmer shows some initiative to keep his farm alive by providing alternatives to traditional camping the powers that be get into the act. See it all on this Channel 7 News report.
Bundaberg moving to establish RV Park The Bundaberg Regional Council passed a motion by an overwhelming majority to take to public consultation the proposal to establish an RV Park in the region. The one councillor who spoke against it has an article published in
the local newspaper which brought a swift response on social media.
Maryborough public opinion moves Council The Fraser Coast has had a dubious record when it comes to being RV Friendly and we have run various stories on Maryborough, Qld, over the years. This latest story is yet another attempt to get Council to change it's attitude for the better, and we wish them well.
Gawler, South Australia, revives moves to become RV Friendly Attracting RV drivers to the region would significantly boost the local economy and tourism industry, according to Gawler councillor Ian Tooley. Reigniting fresh debate, Cr Tooley revealed moves to make Gawler an accredited RV-friendly town.
More RV Friendly news It only seems like yesterday the CMCA had
Feature | 35
a presentation to celebrate their 200th RV Friendly Town. Now we hear the figure is approaching 350! Towns and business communities must be recognising the benefits of the RV tourist and no doubt we are all benefiting from this surge in interest in the scheme. This report on Exeter in Tasmania makes interesting reading.
Small sign inshop brings enormous social media response
Council passes motion to review its RV strategy
This small sign on the cash register in the Dongara, WA, IGA store brought an enormous response with over 31,000 views, plus share to almost 100 other sites. This is just one example of how business appreciate RV Travellers and RV Travellers appreciate being welcomed to towns
Fraser Coast Councilâ€™s Camping Options Strategy may be amended after a motion was passed at a recent meeting.
Surprise, surprise. Guess who is fighting RV Friendly?
Progressive council plans for future of RV tourism According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council Mayor, Andrew Hope, Freedom Camping Grounds are planned in the Shire for both Werris Creek and Willow Tree to complement the existing facilities at Wallabadah, Currabubula and Premer. Read more here.
Regarding the report on Gawler Council calling for a report on becoming RV Friendly, why are we not surprised to see this followup story? Guess who is complaining? Same old same oldâ€Ś
36 | Day Test: Horizon Melaleuca
It’s little wonder Horizon Motorhomes’ Melaleuca is so popular… by Richard Robertson
Day Test | 37
The Melaleuca’s compact size lets you get into places bigger motorhomes can’t. Horizon buys its Fiat Ducatos without rear windows so it can fit its own and they make a world of difference to ventilation.
hile many aspire to the largest, flashiest motorhome they can afford, there’s much to be said for small and compact, especially for single travellers. Horizon Motorhomes’ Melaleuca is perhaps the smallest motorhome available in Australia today yet it’s consistently one of its best sellers. Why? Because size isn’t everything… Horizon is a niche manufacturer specialising in what it calls ‘built-in’ motorhomes. By that it means it builds in vans rather than making seperate bodies that go on a cab-chassis – known as a coachbuilt – which is the motorhome industry norm. The ‘built-in’ tag is an effort to establish a point of difference, although most people call such vehicles van conversions. Many people also confuse them with campervans, so here’s RV identification lesson 101: A motorhome has a bathroom, a campervan doesn't.
If you've been reading my road tests for a while you’ll know I’m a fan of van conversions. In a nutshell they retain the structural strength of the original box-like vehicle, while the metal body is more durable than fibreglass, especially sitting out in all weathers. It’s also less prone to water leaks as there are no body panel seams that need regular inspection and resealing. The trade-off is reduced interior width compared to a coachbuilt body and little if any external storage. But being narrower means they’re easier to park in a carpark space, manoeuvre in traffic and you have an an unimpeded view down the sides. You also don’t have to worry as much about hitting tree branches and the like due to lower overall height. Three years ago Mrs iMotorhome and I borrowed a Melaleuca after the Sydney Show and spent a couple of nights making our way back to Horizon’s head office in Ballina, on
38 | Day Test Right: The new Ducato’s instruments are difficult to read in daylight, even with the lights on, while the speedo is marked for European speeds, compounding the problem. Below: Flashback three years and one hairstyle: Though the driver's seat has limited swivel the front dinette is still practical and comfortable. Note cab blinds for quick and easy privacy.
the NSW Far North Coast. We came away surprised and impressed by just how liveable the company’s ‘littlest’ motorhome was and it made us reassess our requirements. This issue I revisited the updated model, but have decided to use some photos from the original review as the interior has changed little and it’s best to show how well a vehicle works when actually living in it.
Size and Other Matters
he Melaleuca is built ‘in’ a Fiat Ducato long wheelbase (LWB) van that measures 5.99 m in length. That number is important because 6 m is the length of a standard, marked car parking space. Park a longer vehicle in a standard space and you risk
a fine, plus probably being at fault if someone runs into you. Surprisingly, the LWB Ducato is only 365 mm (just over a foot) shorter than an extra-long wheelbase (XLWB) version, which is used in Horizon’s Casuarina and Banksia models. The Casuarina is the vehicle we enjoyed for three months as a long-term test vehicle just over a year ago, and that extra space is remarkably noticeable. Another interesting observation is the engine. In the Melaleuca, Horizon has opted for the smaller 2.3-litre 150 MultiJet turbo-diesel that produces 109 kW and 350 Nm. By comparison the 3.0-litre 180 MultiJet is the norm in its XLWB models and it produces 130 kW and
Day Test | 39
The main (rear) dinette provides two inwards-facing seats and a multi-adjustable Lagun-mount table of good size. 300 Nm. To be honest that’s no real issue as the ‘little’ engine has almost as much power and torque as the most popular engine in the Mercedes Sprinter range, so it still moves along nicely. It drives the front wheels through the usual six-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) that most people leave in auto mode and drive like an automatic, but to get the best
from it a quick flick across to manual mode certainly helps. The latest Fiat Ducato – the X295 series – has a fresh face and some welcome additions. Most noticeable is the colour touchscreen ‘infotainment’ system and – at last – cup holders! It also gets a new instrument cluster with chrome surrounds. Not all these upgrades are without
issue, however (see editorial), but they come from Fiat and are not a reflection on the Melaleuca. The Ducato itself retains its driving ease and comfort. Most importantly, it retains its 57 mm width, 125 kg gross vehicle mass and 25-litre fuel tank capacity advantages over the Mercedes Sprinter. If those figures don’t sound like
40 | Day Test Below: Drop the table to make up the largest bed combination possible and it becomes a giant king. Reading lights in each corner plus windows all around make it a truly versatile and comfortable sleeping area. Bottom: The U-shaped bed/dinette unit provides a large amount of storage. That suitcase is a monster and there was still plenty of space left over. Note optional roll-down-then-zip insect screen, which is a must have accessory in my opinion.
much consider this: 57 mm can be enough to allow sleeping across the vehicle rather than lengthways; 125 kg is a LOT of extra food/ water and 25-litres of fuel is more than 200 km additional range. What they add up to is a considerable advantage, and at a lower price.
orizon is unique in buying its Ducatos without windows in the rear barn doors. That allows it to fit proper opening windows at the back rather than opting for the fixed-glass factory windows other manufacturers use. In any van conversion ventilation is paramount and this gives Horizon vehicles a real advantage (I’ve never understood why others haven’t followed suit). In fact the Melaleuca has five windows and all are double-glazed acrylic with integrated insect and privacy screens. It also has four roof hatches, including a thermostatically controlled fan hatch up the front that’s great for venting hot air or bringing cooling air in. Also on the
Day Test | 41
Second time around the Melaleuca continues to impress.
42 | Day Test
Above: The latest Fiat Ducato is a good looking vehicle. Right: Twin four kilo LPG cylinders mean you’ll never be caught short, like when a single bigger cylinder runs out. Bottom Right: The 3.7 m Fiamma awning looks huge on the ‘little’ Melaleuca.
roof is the TV aerial (of course!), while a 3.7 m Fiamma F65 wind-out awning comes as standard too. Still outside, a gas box for the dual 4 kg LPG cylinders, a fresh water tank-filler, 240 V power point and a 12 V socket are fitted on the kerb side. That leaves the driver’s side for the Truma gas hot water system outlet, mains power and water inlets, fridge vents and toilet cassette hatch. Other standard features not obvious but well worth mentioning include 150-litres of fresh water (though only 55-litres grey, dictated by underbody space), a generous 200 amphour AGM deep cycle house battery, LED lighting all ‘round, a robust Redarc electrical charging system and an electric entry step. Drive away price for a standard Melaleuca is a very reasonable $109,500. The test model also had metallic paint, an external gas bayonet
Day Test | 43
Thoughtful window placement means you can’t accidentally slide the door open and hit the open rear window. Entry step is electric, but could be bigger, while front and rear external LED lights provide a wide field of coverage. point and a Scirocco 12 V internal swivel fan, taking the drive away price to $112,100.
Kitchen and Bathroom Matters
liding the side door open (if only Fiat offered an electric option like Mercedes Inside Matters does in the Sprinter), the 110-lite Waeco he Melaleuca follows the expected front 12/240-volt compressor fridge is directly dinette, mid kitchen/bathroom and rear ahead. It occupies the bottom half of a floorbedroom layout. At 5.99 m long there’s to-ceiling unit whose top half is vertically split, never going to be a surfeit of internal space, but providing a small hanging wardrobe on the right those extra millimetres of width seem to help and three quite deep shelves on the left. To the alleviate any tunnel feeling. right of the entry door is the kitchen bench unit, the top of which is almost entirely covered by The cab seats swivel, but the driver’s is an all-in-one three-burner cooker and a sink restricted due to the wardrobe and fridge with fold-up flick-mixer tap. There’s a glass immediately behind it. The best you get is a sort lid over each, which provides invaluable extra of three quarter turn, but it’s more than enough work space, plus a small but equally invaluable to use the front dining position or get yourself flip-up bench extension beside the sink, which out of the way of the chef when required. The extends partially across the doorway. Horizon front table is a small, pole-mounted unit that also fits a filtered water tap, which is another tucks away in the wardrobe when not required. great inclusion across its model range. It’s also the secondary dining position because a larger Lagun-mounted table is situated further Despite the limited benchtop the designers aft, but more on that later. have managed to include a microwave below the cooktop and a pair of deep drawers
44 | Day Test
Above: While the kitchen unit is small it’s made more usable by the flip-up bench extension Mrs iM is using here to prepare lunch. The absence of cupboards over the kitchen really opens up the interior too. Right: Clever use of space, right down to this drawer under the fridge, is a Horizon trademark. Note the front dinette table and pole stored in the right half of the wardrobe. beneath that, plus a stack of four drawers beneath the sink. This makes storage surprisingly good, although there are no overhead cupboards. That space is left open to provide more headroom, small roof hatch in lieu of a rangehood, a swivel mounting point for the 48 cm TV/DVD and space above for the electrical switches and tank gauges. The bathroom has all the essentials but can best be described as compact. It reflects Horizon’s founder and CEO Clayton Kearney’s concept that its size is commensurate with the amount of time you’ll spend in it, and in this size vehicle I agree. However, in this age of increasing girth I can see some prospective buyers struggling with it…
Day Test | 45
Above: The main dining position uses the ends of the single beds as inwards-facing seats. Innerspring mattresses are an option and if you can sleep eastwest you can leave the rear bed area made up and still use the dinette. Clever! Note deep over-bed cupboards. Right: That’s a very big bed!
Dining and Sleeping Matters
iven the Melaleuca’s diminutive dimensions, Horizon’s designers made the cleverest choice possible when it came to the rear half of the vehicle. Instead of the usual pair of single beds that could be converted to a king, they opted to provide three sleeping options. Essentially, what they’ve built is a U-shaped base that provides single beds down either side plus a cushion across the rear that’s deep enough to work as an east-west double bed in its own right. The front of the ‘U’ provides space for the afore-mentioned Lagun-mounted dining table and the single-bed ends become a pair of inward-facing dining seats. Removing the table and inserting it in the ‘U’ converts the whole thing into a gigantic king bed! On top
46 | Day Test
of that there’s quite cavernous storage below, accessed via the rear doors and also a small hatch by the dining table leg. But wait, there’s more. Above the U-shaped bed is a set of U-shaped cupboards that are surprisingly deep. All-in-all it’s a good thing the Melaleuca comes with a hefty 1092 kg maximum payload capacity! Whichever way you sleep – north-south or east-west – there are windows on each side plus those in the back doors and another hatch overhead, assuring plenty of fresh air. At night, reading lights in every bed corner are very handy, while the TV is easily viewable from bed (as it is from the front dinette).
What I Think
econd time around the Melaleuca continues to impresses. It’s a compact and thoughtfully designed motorhome with a high standard of fit, finish and standard
Clockwise from top left: The shaving cabinet is surprisingly generous; Height-adjustable flex-hose shower doubles as the handbasin tap; bathroom space is limited but adequate, but would be a tight fit for ‘bigger’ Australians.
Day Test | 47 Look at the under-bed storage! There’s also a hatch at the end of the aisle that provides internal access.
equipment. Ideal for a single traveller it’s also highly liveable for two, providing a good balance of size, manoeuvrability, economy and, most importantly, affordability. Two people might find the room to get changed or dry off after a shower a bit of a juggle – you have to stand in the kitchen – but it’s something you would soon get used to. Having two seating/dining areas, however, is a real bonus and adds significantly to usability. Three years on I’d like to see a decor freshenup. There are new trends in materials, finishes, switch gear and the like and it would be good to see them incorporated. As it stands, however, it’s little wonder the Melaleuca is so popular. It has much to offer and very few drawbacks. Little Wonder indeed…
48 | Day Test
Specs GENERAL Make
Fiat Ducato LWB van
2.3 L 4-cylinder 150 MultiJet turbo-diesel
109 kW @ 3600 rpm
350 Nm @ 1500 rpm
6-speed automated manual (AMT)
ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, Dual Front Airbags,
WEIGHTS Tare Weight
Gross Vehicle Mass
Braked Towing Capacity
DIMENSIONS Overall Length
5.99 m (19’ 8”)
2.05 m (6’ 9”)
2.62 m (8’ 8”)
1.90 m (6’ 3”)
Single Bed Option
1.87 m x 0.66 m (6’ 2” x 2’ 2”)
Double Bed Option
1.85 m x 1.22 m (6’ 1 “ x 4’)
King Bed Option
1.87 m x 1.85 m (6’ 2” x 6’ 1”)
Day Test | 49
Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out
Fiamma F65 wind-out
1 x electric
3 x burner gas, glass lid
No (roof vent)
Round with fold-down flick mixer, glass lid
Waeco 110 L 12/240 V compressor
12 V LED (12 internal/2 external)
12 V Sockets/USB Outlets
Cab only. Body optional
Hot Water System
1x 200 AH AGM
2 x 4 kg
19 L cassette
Pros • • • • • • • • •
Value Quality Compact size Parking ease Manoeuvrability Standard equipment Sleeping options Dual dining/seating positions Excellent warranty
• • • • •
Smaller engine Small bathroom Limited changing area Reversing camera optional Ageing decor
Warranty – Vehicle
5 yrs/200,000 km
Warranty – Conversion
3 yrs conversion. Appliances as per manufacturer.
Metallic paint, external gas bayonet, 12 V Scirocco fan
Contact: Ballina Campervan & Motorhome Centre (BCMC) Click for 299 River Street, Google Maps Ballina. NSW. 2478 T: (02) 6681 1555 E: email@example.com W: horizonmotorhomes.com.au
50 | Day Test
The Melaleuca is ideal for a single traveller. itâ€™s also highly liveable for two, providing a good balance of size, manoeuvrability, economy and, most importantly, affordability.
52 | Quick Spin: Trakka Torino Xtra
Suspension of Disbelief! It’s difficult to believe what a difference the Outback Suspension Pack makes to Trakka’s latest Torino series…
Quick Spin | 53
The Torino Xtra’s raised ride height is evident here, especially at the front. Ride quality is significantly improved and is perhaps the biggest reason to order the Outback Suspension Pack.
he Torino has long been a best seller for Trakka, combining as it does the brand’s signatures of style and innovation in an affordable and liveable package. Never one to rest on its laurels, Trakka’s R&D team is always developing and refining existing models between major updates. This quest for improvement has resulted in extensive collaboration with chassis and suspension specialist AL-KO on its Fiat Ducato-based Trakkaway coachbuilt models. Now, lessons learned are making their way to the Fiat Ducato van-based Torino series.
iat’s Ducato is the preeminent base vehicle for Australian built motorhomes. The model is unique in being supplied three ways: as a van, a factory cab-chassis or
cab-only for AL-KO’s aftermarket motorhome chassis. Because AL-KO works closely with Fiat and makes its own rear suspension for its own chassis, it has turned its expertise to the Ducato’s front suspension, one of the model’s few shortcomings. Ducato’s are noted for limited front suspension travel that crashes heavily over bumps at speed and a general nose-down stance, particularly evident on vans. To counter this, a few years back AL-KO Comfort Suspension (ACS) was released, which is a “high performance strut for a perfectly tuned front axle,” according to the brochure. Not only does it improve ride and handling via a totally new shock absorber and coil spring arrangement, it increase front ride height by 40 mm (1.5 inches). Recently, AL-KO released a complementary
54 | Quick Spin
The rear suspension upgrade retains the Ducato’s factory leaf springs and adds these ‘helper’ coil springs (a standard Ducato just has the rubber bump-stop in this location). The shock absorbers are also replaced and specially tuned to the new spring combination. rear suspension upgrade for the Ducato that carries the fitting acronym of ARS – for AL-KO Rear Suspension. Who said Germans have no sense of humour? Ducato vans, like the factory cab-chassis, have conventional and quite unsophisticated rear suspension, comprising a beam axle with leaf springs and shock absorbers. It’s about as basic as systems come these days but is common on commercial vehicles. The ARS system improves it by adding a pair of coil springs at the rear axle, which basically act as ‘helpers’ specially tuned for campervan work, plus a new set of shock absorbers. Combined with ACS up front, the promise of the new ARS (sorry!) is a total Fiat Ducato suspension solution that improves ride comfort, reduces roll and pitching at the front and increases roll stability and crosswind resistance at the rear.
rakka now installs ACS as standard on the front of its third generation Trakkaway 700 to complement its tailored AL-KO chassis. It has also offered ACS as an option on the front of Torino and Torino Xtras for some time. The advent of ARS now allows Trakka to offer a total suspension upgrade on the Torino series vans, which it has decided to release as an option called the Outback Suspension Pack (rather than explain ACS, ARS and AL-KO to every prospective customer). The other idea behind the Outback Suspension Pack name is it increases ground clearance and wheel travel (at the front at least) making the vehicle more suitable for dirt road touring and bush track exploration. I’ve previously driven both the latest Trakkaway 700 and a Torino van with ACS and been
Top to bottom: New front struts are a total replacement; On corrugations the front wheel travel is smoother and better controlled; Basic rear beam axle (visible between back wheels) is now the lowest point underneath; Increased ride height pays dividends in many ways, like here when pulling over on a narrow dirt road. mighty impressed by the difference it makes. It unobtrusively transforms the driving experience and puts Fiat’s Ducato about on par with Mercedes’ Sprinter in terms of steering feel, ride comfort and quality. When the Trakka team told me about ARS and offered a spin in the first fully equipped Torino I was keen to experience the total package. I first reviewed the Torino Xtra in a touring test in Issue 58 on 18 October 2014. Malcolm took one to the snow and penned his thoughts on it in Issue 79 on 5 September last year. We both came to the conclusion it’s a highly practical and desirable vehicle that would suit many buyers. So the purpose of this ‘quick spin’ was to see how the new suspension worked rather than review the vehicle again (although it’s still highly desirable!). As a reminder, the Torino series comprises two models: Torino and Torino Xtra. Torino is a twoseat, two-berth motorhome with single beds at the rear running lengthwise that can also be made into a king bed. Torino Xtra is a fourseat, two-berth motorhome that adds a proper front dinette by sacrificing bed length; offering instead an east-west double whose party trick is to hinge up on one side to provide a clear aisle for carrying bikes, a kayak or other lifestyle gear.
Down the Track
borrowed the Torino Xtra while putting last issue together, so time was limited – especially considering a visit to the Trakka showroom is a 300 km round-trip. The good thing about the drive home was it revealed just how refined the total suspension makeover is. Ride quality and comfort on the mix of Sydney suburban roads and freeways was good enough to basically go unnoticed. The
Quick Spin | 55
56 | Quick Spin
The Outback Suspension Pack doesn’t transform the Torino Xtra into a serious off-road machine, but it does provide enough clearance to venture down bush tracks like this one, with increased confidence.
Torino Xtra no longer felt like a converted light commercial vehicle, it was more car like and composed, with a degree of suppleness and fluidity to the ride that Fiat could learn a lot from. But it was dirt roads I was keen to reach… Those time constraints kept us closer to home than desired, but a mix of recently resurfaced dirt back roads and a couple of minor tracks soon revealed the Outback Suspension Pack’s worth. The Torino Xtra remained composed on all surfaces, even when ‘pushing on’. There was no adverse steering kickback or shake on rougher sections, nor was there any indication of bottoming out or hitting the front suspension’s bump stops. Tyre adhesion on the fine loose surface was the biggest limitation, while the back end followed dutifully without hopping sideways on rough corners or feeling strained or out of its depth.
Then I ventured down a narrow track that led to a creek crossing. The improved front wheel travel was obvious, as was the ground clearance. It added considerably to my confidence, although I still got out to assess the final section before committing $134,000-plus of brand new Trakka demonstrator to the water! Rocks, logs, underslung water tanks and exhaust pipe aside, ground clearance is ultimately limited by what’s called ‘ramp-over angle’. That’s the amount of clearance under the body between the font and rear axles when transitioning from a level surface to a decline, or vice versa. Even with the Outback Suspension Pack it’s important to remember the Torino Xtra is not a proper off-road machine. Rather, it’s a light duty explorer that requires care but is probably more capable than most people think – or owners will likely venture to find out. A set of good quality and slightly wider all-terrain
Quick Spin | 57 tyres would extend its capabilities even further. You could also run them at somewhat reduced pressures than the standard road tyres, which do the Ducato no favours when the going gets muddy, slippery and/or lose. The creek crossing approach required negotiating a couple of small rock outcrops, and not being sure of the track beyond the creek (it’s years since I’d been down there), I elected to reverse down the small hill and cross the creek backwards – perhaps a first for a Trakka demonstrator? Coming back up the rise the Torino walked over the obstacles and cleared the small ledges with ease. On the drive back out along the track the suspension coped admirably with the rough surface, ruts and rocky outcrops, even when purposely pushed a bit to check its reaction.
he Torino Xtra ‘comes of age’ with the Outback Suspension Pack, which is to say the Fiat Ducato reaches its potential. From a basic commercial delivery van with price-driven underpinnings to a compact luxury motorhome riding like it ought, AL-KO’s suspension work is transformative. Priced at $2850 this transformation isn’t cheap, but at around 2% of the cost of a new vehicle it’s money well spent. In fact I can’t think of anything else you could do that would make such a daily difference to the ownership experience. To me it’s a no-brainer even if you don’t plan venturing off the beaten track. Think of it as the extra that makes the Torino Xtra extra special. It also puts it another step ahead of the pack. Not that that’s difficult to believe…
Top to bottom: Off the beaten track: A set of all-terrain tyres would help you explore even further; Increased rear ride height helps keep underbody bits like the grey water tank drain tap clear of obstacles; The distance between the axles is still the limiting clearance factor, plus things like the exhaust, but the Outback Suspension Pack certainly improves the Fiat’s abilities.
58 | Quick Spin
The Outback Suspension Pack greatly enhances Trakka’s Torino Xtra and makes it a true all-road touring vehicle that will probably go further than most owners dare. AL-KO isn’t alone in offering a front suspension upgrade for the Fiat Ducato. King Springs and Pedders both offer aftermarket front spring replacements that many owners opt for as a cheaper alternative. Replacing just the springs, however, is really only doing half the job. Ducato front suspension employs a MacPherson strut, which is a system widely used in passenger vehicles. It’s a long strut with a shock absorber in the top and a coil spring around it, which saves space, weight and complexity compared to other independent front suspension systems. The shock absorber and spring are designed with complementary compression and damping rates. Changing the spring on its own upsets the design balance. That’s not to say it’s dangerous or not worth doing, you just need to be mindful that you get what you pay for. Only AL-KO offers a total
MacPherson strut replacement with a properly engineered spring and damper combination. It’s also now the only company with a specifically engineered rear suspension solution, although some people fit supplementary helper air bags from other aftermarket sources. Again, these aren’t vehicle specific and haven’t been designed to work as a total system. Saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars is an obvious attraction, but in the overall purchase price a properly designed and fully warranted suspension upgrade is obviously the best solution. In good news for exisiting Fiat Ducato owners, AL-KO can supply and fit ACS, ARS or both to your vehicle and I’m sure Trakka would be happy to accommodate owners of older Torinos if requested.
Open the doors to ďŹ‚exibility trakka.com.au
60 | Technical
LithiumIon Jump Starters Getting the jump on the facts and fiction behind these handy little devices… by Collyn Rivers
ook-sized lithium-ion jump starters claiming to be able to start a big 4WD many times have inevitably lead to forum claims (a) that the typically 18 Ah units therefore equal traditional batteries of many times that capacity or (b) they cannot possibly work. Misconceptions escalate until debate becomes meaningless. Here’s what it’s really all about. People tend to see energy as just another word for power. It isn’t, but mostly doesn’t matter. In issues such as this, however, whilst energy and power are related they are quite different concepts. Energy is the ability to perform work. Power is the rate at which energy is used.
lightly built supermarket staffer can readily stack 200 x 1 kg cans on a shelf 2 m high, taking maybe 15 minutes to do so. A competition weight lifter can heave a 200 kg barbell over their head – some two
metres above ground – in a second or so. Both uses exactly the same amount of energy, but the weight lifter releases that energy (as does a 4WD starter motor) in an explosive burst of only a second or two. The rarely realised reality is it only takes a tiny amount of energy to start a car. The starter motor might use 500 amps but does so for only 2 to 3 seconds. That’s less than 0.5 amp hour – about the same draw as a 6 watt LED for an hour. Once the engine starts the alternator restores that energy within a minute or two (starter batteries are now rated in so-called Cranking Amps but a typical lead acid or AGM starter battery for a big 4WD would be 50-75 amp hours if discharged at 10 to 20 amps). A 100 amp hour lead acid or AGM battery stores much the same amount of energy as a 100 Ah lithium-ion battery. All will readily do the electrical equivalent of stacking those cans, but only the lithium ion battery can provide that weight lifting burst of energy.
Technical | 61
Collyn Rivers’ books The all-new Caravan & Motorhome 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.
Caravan & Motorhome Book the complete guide
The Camper Trailer Book
Camper Trailer Book
Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of all RV electrical systems. It combines exceptional technical accuracy with plain English writing. The Camper Trailer Book covers buying, building and using camper trailers of every kind. Solar That Really Works shows how to build systems that work first time and every time, and how to fix those that don’t. Whether installing solar for the first time, or trying to make an existing RV solar system work as you had hoped - this is the book for you.
Individual books are $42.50 each.
Postage per book Australia $5.50, New Zealand A$7.50, all other countries A$12.50
Special Discount Offer = 10% of all books for two or more! To order (and full details) see: caravanandmotorhomebooks.com Caravan & Motorhome Books, PO Box 356, Church Point NSW 2015
That 18 amp hour (12 volt) jump starter can thus start a big engine many times. In terms of power it is equivalent to a much larger lead acid or AGM battery. It’s physics, not magic! It’s also worth noting that in practice a lithium-ion battery can routinely be discharged to quite a low level with little effect on its life, whereas a lead acid AGM battery is shortened by so doing.
How Power Was Defined
ower was originally defined, albeit optimistically, by the rate at which a London brewery horse could lift weight. Such a horse’s ability to lift 550 lbs by 1 foot in 1 second was deemed as 1 horse power. Horsepower can also be expressed in watts. Most of the world accepts that one horse power is about 745.7 watts or 0.7457 kW. The French and Americans however – presumably having inferior horses – rate one horse power as only 735.5 watts (0.7355 kW).
Collyn’s books follow much the same approach as this article. They explain complex stuff accurately but in relatively plain English. His books include the all-new Caravan & Motorhome Book, Caravan & Motorhome Electrics, the Camper Trailer Book, Solar That Really Works and Solar Success (for homes and properties): caravanandmotorhomebooks.com
62 | Travel: CMCA RV Friendly Towns
CMCA RV Friendly Towns
he RV Friendly program is a Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) initiative aimed at assisting RV travellers as they journey throughout this wonderful country. An RV Friendly Town™ (RVFT) is one that provides a certain number of amenities and a certain level of services for these travellers. When RV tourists enter a town displaying the RVFT sign they know they will be welcome. Certain services will be provided for them that may not be available in other centres, and they will have access to a safe place to stay overnight and possibly for a longer period. To find out more about RV Friendly Towns and Destinations visit the CMCA’s website by clicking here. For an interactive map of all RV friendly Towns, click here. This month’s featured RV Friendly Towns are:
owood is located in the beautiful Somerset region of Queensland just 66 kilometres west of Brisbane. The town
has a relaxed country lifestyle, despite its close proximity to the city, and retains much of its historical charm from the late 1800s. Lowood developed into a bustling railway town with the arrival of the first section of the Brisbane Valley Railway in 1884. It was also the centre of commerce delivering cotton, horticultural produce and beef to the Brisbane markets from the late 1800s to 1980s. Water enthusiasts are attracted to Atkinson Dam for power boating and water skiing, or on land the energetic may choose to horse ride, cycle or walk the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail east to Fernvale or north to Coominya. The Lowood Showground on Station Street provides a dump point and potable water as well as convenient facilities including showers, toilets, water and powered sites. Visitors can stay for up to seven nights, with unpowered sites starting from only $10 per night.
Travel | 63
Lowood, QLD Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
Fernvale Visitor Futures Complex 1483 Brisbane Valley Highway Fernvale, QLD 4306 Ph: 07 5427 0200
Railway Park, Railway St, Lowood
Short Term Parking
Lowood Showground, Station St, Lowood. $10pvpn unpwr; $15pvpn pwr, (7 night limit), tlts, shwrs, bins, water, pets ok, parking permit required
Dongara Town Oval, Waldeck St
Long Term Parking
Lowood Showground, Station St, Lowood. $10pvpn unpwr; $15pvpn pwr, (7 night limit), tlts, shwrs, bins, water, pets ok, parking permit required Lowood Showground, Station St (Lat Long: -27.46248, 152.5827)
Dump Point Potable Water
Lowood Showground, Station St
64 | Travel Brighton & Pontville, TAS
he townships of Brighton and Pontville are located on the outskirts of Greater Hobart, approximately 28 kilometres north of the Stateâ€™s capital. Situated on the Jordan River, the area is a quiet and peaceful place to stopover, while still providing easy access to Hobartâ€™s attractions.
fact, the Crown Inn still operates and sells excellent meals in its dining room. Just a short drive up the road is the main street of Brighton, a lively town with all the necessary amenities and more.
Parking is available for up to 48 hours at the Pontville RV Park, located at Glen Lea Road, for a small fee of $5 per night. A dump point, potable water, covered seating and bins are Originally settled in 1821, Pontville contains all available at this site. Within the area are a many examples of colonial architecture, number of attractions including MONA, the including the Police Station (1939), Saint Marks Derwent Valley, Bonorong Park and the city of Church (1939) and the Crown Inn (1835). In Hobart.
Brighton & Pontville, TAS Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
Brighton Council 1 Tivoli Rd, Brighton, TAS 7017 Ph: 03 6268 7021
Midland Hwy, Brighton
Short Term Parking
Pontville RV Park, Glen Lea Rd, (48hr), bins, c/seating, water, pets allowed, $5pvpn to Brighton PO or Brighton IGA Supermarket Pontville RV Park, Glen Lea Rd, Pontville (Lat Long: -42.687244, 147.260117) Pontville RV Park, Glen Lea Rd, Pontville
Dump Point Potable Water
Travel | 65
lliston is located on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, 641 kilometres west of Adelaide. The seaside town boasts pristine white-sand beaches, breathtaking sunsets and some of the best fishing in Australia. Ellistonâ€™s rugged coastline and cliffs are arguably the most spectacular on the Peninsula, making the town a memorable stopover while travelling the Great Ocean Drive. Ellistonâ€™s main industries are farming and fishing. Crayfish and abalone fisheries are thriving in the area, along with wheat farming
and sheep grazing. The Elliston Wool Show occurs every October and is said to be the largest and longest running wool show in Australia. The town has ample parking for larger vehicles within walking distance of shops and amenities. Elliston Golf Club allows parking for up to 96 hours for self-contained RVs only, for a fee of $10 per night. The free dump point and potable water can be found at the Elliston Community and Visitor Information Centre on Memorial Drive.
Elliston, SA Tourist/Visitor Information Centre
Casual Parking Short Term Parking
Long Term Parking
Dump Point Potable Water
Elliston Community & Visitor Information Centre (VIC) 6 Memorial Dr, Elliston SA Ph: 08 8687 9200 www.elliston.com.au Memorial Drive & Beach Tce, Elliston Elliston Golf Club, Beach Tce, Elliston, (96hr), $10pvpn payable to VIC, pets on lead, permit required, must be fully self-contained Elliston Golf Club, Beach Tce, Elliston, (96hr), $10pvpn payable to VIC, pets on lead, permit required, must be fully self-contained Elliston Community & VIC, 6 Memorial Drv, Elliston (Lat Long: -33.647491, 134.891139) Elliston Community & VIC, 6 Memorial Drv, Elliston
66 | Events
Dragon Dreaming Festival
Fire yourself up for this earthy festival celebrating the four vital elements… by Sharon Hollamby
ee Jasper is a charming village in the Goodradigbee Valley at the western foot of the Brindabella Ranges in New South Wales. Situated near the backwaters of the Burrinjuck Dam, it’s also a popular holiday destination. When gold was discovered in Kiandra, the track between Yass and Wee Jasper was frequented by thousands of settlers hoping to strike it rich. One of them was a Scotsman by the name of McBean, who brought home some tiny green gemstones he called ‘wee jaspers’ and so the town got its name. Banjo Patterson was a frequent visitor to the area in the 1900s as he wanted his children to experience country life. His time there is commemorated in the poems The Road to Hogan's Gap and The Mountain Squatter.
he Wee Jasper valley lies within the traditional country of the Wiradjuri people. Now in its eighth year, the Dragon Dreaming Festival focuses on the four core elements of fire, water, air and earth, and demonstrates the respect traditional owners have for them. The fifth element is in the heart that festival goers will bring with them. These elements are reflected in the stages with Earth as the main stage, Fire as the second, Water for the band stage and Air for the Lifestyle village. The Dragon Dreaming Festival celebrates art, music, nature and the freedom of self expression in a safe, family friendly environment. Confirmed artists include Kliment,
Events | 67 Kingfisha, Spacey Koala, Tribone, Whitebear, Bumble, Volkiene, Ugly Bunyip, Illume, and K-Do.
Spacey Koala, aka François Clavet, first learned to play the guitar at just eight years old. While studying jazz guitar in Montreal he discovered EDM, which completely changed his vision of Kliment is a modern day Beethoven, whose music and he began to create his own blend music has a deep atmosphere and solid groove of styles. Organisers say, “Spacey Koala brings that lifts the crowd on an emotional journey. you into a world where sprites drives trucks, EDM (Electronic dance music) is his first elves knock at your door to offer you candy love, but Bulgarian born Kliment also creates and where all transport is by rainbows.” scores for Hollywood movies. To enable him to perform the score from one of these movies to The Dragon Dreaming Festival promises a fireworks, the Bulgarian Government shut down carefully selected line up of music ranging Sofia (the Capital) for the performance. from live bands, gypsy, dub, tribal rhythms, psytrance, breaks, dubstep, glitch, progressive, Queensland group Kingfisha has built a solid ambient, house, and reggae. The market will following through their world-class dub reggae. have clothes, jewellery, musical instruments, Sultry and infectious, the Kingfisha sound fairy wings, crystals, precious rocks and of highlights deep, heavy rhythms with a feather course food and drinks. The Lifestyle Area is a light touch and perfect soul vocal. They have place to unwind and engage in one of the many earned their reputation as bass-heavy roofdifferent workshops and activities on offer. raisers!
68 | Events Fast Facts
What: The eighth annual Dragon Dreaming Festival.
Camping is available on the Wee Jasper reserves, located 15 minutes from the festival site. The rates are $11 a night for adults, with children under 16 free. Animals are permitted at the reserves but not on the festival site.
When: Friday 21 to Monday 24 October Where: W ee Jasper, NSW. Why: To celebrate art, music, nature and the freedom of self-expression.
Tickets Current Price – $220 Fourth release – $220 At the gate – $260 Children 12-15 years – half price Children under 12 years – free
Getting There Wee Jasper is situated 80 km north-west of Canberra and 54km south-west of Yass.
Facilities for the handicapped Conditions are basic and there are no specific facilities for the disabled. Further information available at:
Further Information Phone: 02 6227 9626 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.dragondreaming.com.au
Mobile Events Tech | 69
70 | 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? | 71 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!
NEW SOUTH WALES
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.
72 | 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? | 73 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!
74 | What’s On? SOUTH AUSTRALIA
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? | 75
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
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!
76 | 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 | 77
Advertisers' Index AirBag Man
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Australian Camp Oven Festival
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Parkland RV Centre
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Battery Traders Super Store
Bony Mountain Folk Festival
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Southern Highlands Service Centre
Caravan & Motorhome Books
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Duvalay33 eBook Traveller
e-Twow Electric Scooters
Grey Nomad Tax Advisers
iMotorhome App â€“ Dalgety
Sunliner8 Taronga Western Plains Zoo
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78 | Next Issue
ON A ROLLER…
from the RV Super Centre in Christchurch. Next issue we bring you his review of this interesting Italian made motorhome, which makes its way to New Zealand after spending a year in the UK as a rental vehicle. Don’t miss it! Project Polly will be back for sure – we ran out of space this issue – plus we’ll (hopefully) have another TechTalk feature, another app, more travel and, well, more! How good is that?
Issue 103 will be out on Saturday 17 September. Until then, please join our more Friends and than 33,000 Facebook followers on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram Facebook “f ” Logo
alcolm popped across to NZ last month on his annual winter ski pilgrimage and borrowed a six-berth Roller Team Rambler (he likes a lot of room)
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Penrith Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo Penrith Panthers Exhibition Centre Culgoa Rd, Penrith. NSW. 2750 • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $10 • Kids: U16 Free with adult
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Toowoomba Home Show
Sundown Racecourse Princes Highway, Springvale. Vic. 3171.
Toowoomba Showgrounds Toowoomba, Qld. 4350.
• Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $16 ($14 online) • Seniors: $12 ($10 online) • Kids: Not advised!
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• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: Free with adult
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Know of a local or regional show coming up that attracts and promotes motorhomes, campervans and the great RV lifestyle in general? Drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.
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