Page 1

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AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

MARCH 2018

Taking The Fifth!

Spectrum RV’s new Emerald Coast Sorrento…

Products

LED headlight upgrade

Project Polly Big day out

Bürstner Nexxo T685

Real Life

Outback emergency!


2 | About iMotorhome

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

Editorial

Design & Production

Richard Robertson

Agnes Nielsen

Publisher/Managing Editor

Manager/Lead Designer

(+61) 0414 604 368

agnes@imotorhome.com.au

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

Designer

Road Test Editor

chris@imotorhome.com.au

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

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

Contributors

ABN: 34 142 547 719

Emily Barker

T: +614 14 604 368

Sharon Hollamby Allan Whiting

E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au

Ian Pedly

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Digital

© 2018 iMotorhome Pty Ltd.

Mitch Crowle

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

Manager - Digital (+61) 0400 378 593 mitch@imotorhome.com.au


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A New Kind of Playground


4 | On My Mind

Truth and Consequences Last issue I asked if you’d be prepared to pay for issues of iMotorhome Magazine. I received more email on the subject than any previously and the first response came though just 20 minutes after pressing the Publish button. All bar one were in the affirmative and the only negative was a, “Probably not”. I’ve published a selection in this issue’s Letters section to illustrate the various reasons for the overwhelming Yes vote. All I can say is ‘thanks’. It’s both satisfying and humbling to know so many of you value what we do. Now that you’ve been truthful with me, there are consequences. iMotorhome Magazine – Australia & New Zealand will become a bysubscription publication later this year. You’re safe for now and I’ll give you plenty of notice. Making it available for laptops/desktops as well as by apps for Apple & Android devices is the issue, and it’s the former that presents the challenge (and adds expense). So, another question: If the magazine was only available for iPads and Android tablets (plus smartphones), would that be a deal breaker?

Truth Or Consequences I’m writing this from the dinette of a small rental motorhome in the Walmart carpark at Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. I flew out of Sydney on the Monday after last issue (5 Feb) and don’t get home until 7 March, making it not just my longest motorhoming trip in The USA but also my longest mostly-solo adventure. Sadly, Mrs iM had to stay home due to her real job, plus serious objections from our three rescue horses concerned they might again require rescuing. Why am I here and why so long? Well, if you follow iM on Facebook you’ll have been following our adventures (Mitch, guru of all things Digital, was with me for the first three weeks in his own rental camper).

You’ll also know we’ve been to the 2018 RV Entrepreneurs Summit in Fredericksburg, Texas. For a week we listened to keynote addresses, attended workshops and generally mixed with, chatted to and networked amongst some 250 like-minded RVers – including 2 other Australians! Some are full timers with mobile businesses, others aspire to be and still others just want to know how to escape the rat race while keeping money coming in. It was eye opening, intense and highly worthwhile as it mainly focused on online business opportunities. It was also the second time the event has been held: last year was the first and it attracted about 120. Next year looks like outgrowing the venue and selling out fast once announced, but barring catastrophes we’ll be there. Perhaps I should organise a tour? Interested? Let me know. However, even if you have been following us on Facebook, you’ll only have half the story….

#RV For five years – ever since our first motorhoming adventure down Route 66 – I’ve wanted to launch iMotorhome in America. It’s a numbers thing due to the population size and enormous popularity of recreational vehicles here. The free-PDF-funded-by-advertising business model wasn’t realistic, but a paid subscription is. So, last November Mitch and I travelled to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) huge annual trade-only show and run the idea past industry people. The thing was, we got distracted by days of talks from Industry people and outside specialists, all taking about the future of RVing in North America. The Industry is on fire here – witness the more the half million new RVs of continued...


On My Mind | 5 all persuasions built last year – as reported last issue. However, the talks were mainly focused on the up-and-coming generations – X, Y and Z (the Millennials!) – and where the industry is headed. Mitch and I came away with our heads spinning (although no green projectile vomit, fortunately). It had become apparent that while the Baby Boomer market is already huge – and more than 10,000 reach retirement age every day from now until the end of 2029 – the upcoming generations are more than twice that number. They’re also largely ignored. And so #RV Magazine was born (and hence our attendance at the Summit)! Launching in April, #RV Magazine will cover all vehicle types and all ages, but focus on younger, aspirational RVers. From van-lifers to solo women to full-timing families to custom builders to RV entrepreneurs, #RV Magazine will span the lot – and more. I’ve recruited some great local talent to cover a broad spectrum

of topics and, of course, vehicle reviews will be central. Published monthly and available globally via the App Store, Google Play and Amazon, #RV Magazine will be big, visual and engaging. Encouragingly, pre-release interest and support at the Summit was overwhelming. So there you have it: The dirty little secret I’ve been dying to tell you about for months is out. Until we launch you can follow us across our fledgling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, using @hashtagRVmag. It’s early days but we’re on our way… Apart from that, not much, how about you? Oh, if you’re wondering why specifically I’m in Truth Or Consequences, I’ll get back to you on that…

Richard

NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD


6 | Contents

4

On my Mind

10

On Your Mind

30

Tested: Emerald Coast Sorrento Fifth-Wheeler

44

Tested: Bürstner Nexxo T685

58

Polly

64

Technical

68

Product

72

Real Life

82

Meals

88

MobileTech

Truth and Consequences

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

8 18

Street View Haera Mai!

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

Taking The Fifth – an impressive newcomer arrives Down Under

Value Proposition – how does an ex-rental Euro motorhome stack up?

Big Day Out – well, not really big or a full day, but out!

Galileo! Galileo! Explaining Europe’s new GPS satellite network

LED Headlight Upgrade

Outback Emergency!

Garlic Prawn Cheese Pies!

Voxer App

70

Feature

78

Feature

84

RVFT

92

Next Issue

Farmer Needs a Hand

Wandering with Wanda

Three more RV Friendly Towns

What’s coming up!


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8 | Street View

Haera Mai!

A

s I write this I’m sitting in the Qantas Lounge at Auckland airport, having spent the last four days travelling around the Auckland area visiting a few manufacturers/importers and having a play with their latest and greatest. There’s no doubt even from my brief visit that the RV industry in Kiwi Land – well the motorhome side of things at least – is booming along. You can expect to see the results of my efforts over the next few months, but here’s a few sidelines. On day one of my arrival I heard a few locals complaining about the traffic and how bad it was. Taking the superior attitude of one who lives in a major capital city in the Western Isle, I thought, “You have no idea what you are complaining about”. That thought lasted about as long as my efforts in getting out of the RV Super Centre at Albany and on to the Northern Motorway at around 4.30 pm on a weekday afternoon. So much so in fact that I abandoned my intention to stay somewhere near TrailLite at Pukekohe; instead opting for a North Auckland overnight and a relaxing evening followed by a very early start the next day. You Aucklanders sure have a traffic problem! You might also be interested to know that the traffic flows very well – at 5.30 am! Something else that threw me was that I had not realised the campervan park near Auckland airport has closed. I’d stayed there before and although very basic, it was sort of handy for a last night stop to clean up and pack up (and for me the ease of getting to nearby Smart RV to look over their vehicles and also return my borrowed Wilderness motorhome). As a consequence of the lack of the airport RV park, I stayed further south at Ramarama and was highly amused by a number of hire campervans and motorhomes that turned up, with the passengers clearly intent on cleaning up and packing up before heading to the airport in the morning. I should have

been doing that too at a leisurely pace, except I had photos to download and back-up. For my travels, Wilderness was kind enough to lend me one of its Alpine 2 models, aka the Bürstner Lyseo IT7286G. You can get my impressions in a later issue, but one of the characteristics of all Bürstner motorhomes is that the habitation door is on the driver’s side. It hasn’t bothered me in the past and I realised that it had not on this occasion either. Indeed, one gets very used to German-built motorhomes with ease. What any of us are used to was clearly an issue for an American couple who happened to be at Wilderness at the same time I was. Their problem was that they had not coped with the lack of interior space in their motorhome. Which, given they had rented one of the largest motorhomes, was something the staff member was having trouble understanding. I had less so, having been to the USA in recent times and noticing that ‘small’ is a relative term, and that by our understanding a 26’ x 8’ 6” (8 m x 2,6 m) Minnie Winnie wasn’t mini at all. I was with the staff member. A little bit of research by the US couple prior to hiring anything would have told them all they needed to know about relative sizes, both length and width, which in NZ and Australia are often shorter and narrower. We often talk about length but it is surprising how much difference the 150 mm (6 in) of extra width makes. That’s the long and short for now. See you at the Covi Show!

Haere ra!

Malcolm


10 | On your mind

WIN $50 FOR THE BEST LETTER!

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

Bargain Covers In the article by Shirley on page 11 of your Feb 2018 issue called “Ducato Seats Covered”, we had a similar frustration in trying to source a ready-made solution that would fit our Fiat Ducato 2015 model. Eventually I chanced upon a set of covers in K-Mart selling for about $15 and they actually fitted without alteration. So you can get lucky sometimes and save on big dollars too! Shirley’s solution does have other advantages though and was quite unique.

Thanks Jeff, well spotted. Now I think there will be a run on K-Marts across the country! For sharing your find please accept this issues $50 prize, which covers the covers (so to speak) with change. Enjoy!

Regards, Jeff.

The Ayes Have it! A BIG thank you for the literally overwhelming and positive response to the question on subscriptions last issue. Honestly, it was humbling. Here’s a small selection of replies and the many and varied reasons for your support.

I believe your idea of paid membership, to receive a good quality informative publication, has merit. My answer is yes I would be prepared to pay. John

continued..


On your mind | 11 Taking into account your time, experience, and the very demanding task of putting together a varied and fantastic newsletter packed with information, I would be more than happy to pay an annual subscription fee. More to the point, I have saved hundreds of dollars in money saving tips highlighted in iMotorhome, and potentially thousands by implementing ideas/warnings that the experts have been kind enough to share with readers. I urge people to consider just how much you save them when asked to part with a (by comparison) very tiny fee. Regards, Bea

Just reading the article about a subscription for the magazine. I find it very informative and covers a wide range of areas that are of interest. I wouldn’t have any concerns with an annual fee of $25$40. My NRMA subscription is about $40 per year and not nearly as interesting as your product. Thanks for a great read. Mick

In answer to your question about ‘would we pay’ for your magazine: Absolutely! It is a great publication and I’m surprised that ‘some’ readers expect this great mag to be free. We would definitely be one of your ‘paid’ subscribers should that be the direction you’ll need to go. Love your mag. Steve P.S. A standard ‘long black’ coffee here at Main Beach is $4.50. We each have a coffee out every day, so more than happy to pay for a mag as well. Just saying….

Just reading the Feb issue and see your question on financial support. I would be happy to pay $1/issue or $20/yr towards costs. I enjoy the read and look forward to receiving it and realise that everything has to be paid for no matter that we all like a “free magazine” Kerry

Thank you for a great Magazine, we always look forward to the email that it is “Now ready to download”. We would have no worries paying $20 or $30 per year for your Magazine and think it would be cheap at that. A lot of your readers have been there done that, and realise the cost of things. We all look at value for money and your Mag is definitely the best around. Kind regards, Kieron continued..


12 | On your mind continued.. I am moved to write to you as a result of Allan Whiting’s (Outback Travel Australia) suggestion of sponsorship in exchange for access to his organisation’s resources and knowledge. I am not averse to the idea but as 4WD off-roading is not my thing I would be unlikely to take up his suggestion. However, I do see where he is coming from. iMotorhome is an entirely different matter. I think your publication is excellent and my wife and I get a lot of enjoyment and useful information from it. I do not support the idea it should be free because it is online. Of course you enjoy a major saving in not having to print and post but you still have publication expenses which exist regardless of mode of delivery. Our motorhome activities constitute our major retirement hobby. The magazine hits the sweet spot for us in what it delivers. No other RV publication does it quite as well, although we still enjoy reading other RV publications. Would we be willing to be a subscriber? Well we are retired and we do have a limited income but it’s all about value for money and enjoyment in retirement. So the answer is a resounding YES. Would we be willing to pay $1.99 per download. No because I hate those little one cent pieces in my pocket but I would pay $2.00! Hey I might even agree to $24 pa! Keep up the good work. Bevan

The Only Nay… Charging for reading an online magazine is an interesting topic. My immediate reaction was well it is only $20-$25 so why not. Then I started to think about it a little more: • Do I pay for any of the motorhome sites/forums I read regularly? No. • Do I pay for any of the motoring magazine sites from AU or OS? No. • Do I pay for music online? No. In fact I realise I do not pay for anything I read online except for the daily paper and the only reason we buy that is so my wife can do the crossword page. So the short answer to your question is probably not. Gary


14 | On your mind

Ducato Details I read the letter in the latest iMotorhome magazine with interest. Our Ducato has the same engine and is similarly 7 metres long (a 2009 Winnebago Birdsville). We bought it at 36,000 kms and on original tyres, which we replaced as they were 6 years old even though they still had legal tread. We bought the same tyres, Vancamper by Continental. Our odometer now reads 56,000 kms and we have just had the tyres rotated front and rear. There is still plenty of tread at the 20,000 km stage.

Thanks Cliff. Good to hear things are going well with your Ducato; it will be interesting to hear how much tyre life you get on your new Contis. I’m not sure why, but there seems to be a wide variation in people’s experiences. Please keep us updated!

Regards, Cliff.

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16 | On your mind

More Ducato Thoughts I enjoyed reading all the comments about the vagaries of the Fiat Ducato. We will certainly try Chris’s suggestion about the Digihub App, as we too have found it very difficult to read our actual speed. Another annoying feature with the inbuilt GPS is the fact that it seems to take you round the truck routes. You come to a strange town and think its time for coffee and before you know where you are you have avoided all the coffee shops and have come out on the open road on the other side of town. I suppose this is probably good for our health if not our tempers!

and overall find the experience very enjoyable. However, we don’t find the tyres wearing out as fast as he does. The ones we have on our C-Class motorhome run at 69 psi. This is annoying because most garage’s tyre pressure gauges only go up to 45 psi. We therefore have to find a truck garage, or more often than not go to one of the tyre dealers and rely on their good will to check the pressure. By the way I am enjoying the cooking segment. Keep up the good work. Regards, Stevie

Regarding seat covers, Shirley might find that if she takes off the seat covers provided with the motorhome there may be standard Fiat seats underneath. We did just that and found a great quantity of foam had been added to the existing seats making it appear that they had built in headrests. We bought standard sheepskin covers which fit perfectly and have pockets in the back for whatever you want to store.

Thanks for your email Stevie and thoughts/ comments on your Ducato. Very interesting. Regarding tyre pressures, I use a compressor at home, but suggest people carry a small but capable one with them – especially in a Ducato where there might be the chance of needing to lower tyre pressures to exit a soft/slippery campsite. Also good to hear you’re enjoying the cooking segment – I’ll let Jess know!

I generally agree with Gary’s comments about his likes and dislikes with driving a Fiat Ducato

Speed Reading I read in the latest iMotorhome about readers using phone apps so they could read speed in their Fiat Ducato’s. But I just changed the speedo face in my 2016 Benimar (ex UK) to a European-type km/h face. It is so much better and cost me about $NZ120. The only problem is it shows 90 and 110 as big numbers whereas the speed limit in NZ is usually 100. Regards, Cliff

That’s an interesting fix, Cliff, but I’m not sure it’s that easy with the current X295-series Fiat Ducato. I think your model still has the larger dials from the previous model – I’ve seen a few of them in Australia and they’re excellent. The problem stems from the latest instruments being smaller and more deeply recessed. While that is no problem for a 25 year old designer wanting to make the thing look sexy, it’s pretty useless for the rest of us. Fingers crossed Fiat get it right next time around…


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18 | On your mind /News

GMT? My thoughts on Malcolm’s editorial, on time speeding up as we get older, is unfortunately something we all have to live with. Anyway, my take on this is that it is all relative - thank you Einstein. For example, say you are 5 years old and someone says you will get the best present ever on your next birthday – well that is 20% of your life time away. At age 70 a year in the future is only 1.42% of your existence. Keep up the excellent work on the mag.

Mel, you’re right of course, but I have my own theory: despite what we’re told, GMT actually stands for genetically modified time. The Powers That Be have been speeding us up all along to make more money from us, while they stay younger and reap the rewards. Of course I could be wrong – only time will tell!

Mel

JAYCO RECALL

A

ccording to the ACCC, Jayco Ivecobased motorhomes fitted with a Cummins Onan generator may have a condition that allows the fuel line from the petrol tank in the storage locker to the generator to sag into proximity with the vehicle’s exhaust. This leads to the potential for melting of the petrol fuel line when the sagging fuel line touches the exhaust pipe, which could cause a fire hazard.

Consumers will be notified by mail and asked to contact their local Jayco Dealer or Jayco authorised service agent to book their motorhome in for inspection and possible rectification. For a list of affected chassis click HERE and to find a Jayco dealer or service agent click HERE


20 | News

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

T

he Australian Motorhoming Lions Club (AMLC) is organising a Guinness World Record Attempt for the, “Greatest number of camper vans and caravans and the longest continuous line of LED rope lights”.

set-up branch of the Lions Club that caters to the mobile lifestyle of Grey Nomads.

The event will take place in Barcaldine, Qld, from 25-26 May 2019 and all motorhomes, campervans, caravans and fifth-wheelers are invited. To register, email amlc201q4@gmail. com, call 0418 902 004 or visit the AMLC website to find out more about this specially

NEW MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER

T

he third generation Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz has broken cover in Europe. Externally the design is evolutionary rather than revolutionary but the most noticeable changes will be inside, including the integration of technology. Mechanically, Sprinter Mk3 will introduce frontwheel drive (FWD) for the first time, in addition to traditional rear-wheel drive and a 4x4 option. The FWD Sprinter will be the only model available with a new nine-speed automatic and it will carry 50 kg more than its RWD equivalent, plus have an 80 mm lower floor height. Super-single tyres in place of dual rear wheels for models up to 5 tonnes GVM appear to be an option, too. No word yet on when the new Sprinter will make it Down Under, but it’s due in the UK in June. Expect later 2018 or early 2019 as a likely launch date.


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22 | News

SMART SHOW LINE-UP

I

nnovative new motorhome designs will be on display in New Zealand for the first time as part of SmartRV’s display pavilion at the Covi SuperShow in Auckland from March 16-18. The event is New Zealand’s largest annual motorhome expo and a must-visit for motorhome enthusiasts. SmartRV is planning its biggest ever display pavilion to showcase more than 25 RVs from its exclusive portfolio of European motorhomes, which includes valuebrand Carado, popular Bürstner and premium

HYMER motorhomes, imported directly from German manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group. A special feature this year will be the HYMER Duomobil integrated motorhome. Newly arrived in New Zealand, it’s tailor-made for couples who want to be flexible on their travels without compromising comfort. It features a dual function cab/bedroom to save space, a living area with a U-shaped seating group with panoramic window at the rear, and a kitchen with plenty of worktop space. It has found continued..


News | 23 continued.. countless fans since launching in 2014 and is expected to wow the Kiwi crowds too. The Covi Supershow is also a chance to see Bürstner’s revolutionary ‘Wohnfühlen’ interior design up close, in the new Lyseo Harmony Line models that arrived in NZ late last year. Wohnfühlen translates as ‘well-being’ or ‘comfortable living’ and offers more spacious designs and relaxed-yet-stylish interiors in response to motorhomers seeking a truly homely experience on the road. SmartRV’s After Sales and Service team will also have a dedicated counter within the pavilion. They’ll be on hand to assist RV owners with any accessory enquiries or

help those who would like to book a service or water tightness test. European-trained mechanics at SmartRV’s specialist service centres in Auckland and Christchurch offer a full range of services for all European-made RVs. SmartRV Sales Manager, Samantha Kidson, says there will also be a range of show specials including used premium rental vehicles from sister company Wilderness, on display. Find out more at smartrv.co.nz or for more information call SmartRV on 0800 005 312.


24 | News

NZMCA BAN EXTENSION of being true members and our reputation was being tarnished.”

B

ruce Lochore, CEO of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, has asked the Board to, “Consider making the temporary ban (on non-resident NZ members) permanent”. The move is supported by President Bruce Stanger, who said the restriction was put in place because the Board’s decision late last year to stop providing certified self-contained (CSC) checks to nonmembers had resulted in significantly more overseas visitors looking to join the Association to get around the ban. “They were joining just so they could get CSC – they had no intention

Lochore also highlighted the impact on members’ reputations. “We need to ask ourselves, who are we here to service? I believe the decision needs to be about our memberships’ needs.” Given the complexity of the issue, the Board decided to give itself more time to consider the wider issues of CSC, freedom camping and membership and accepted Board member Brian Stanley’s suggestion that the temporary ban on non-NZ residents be replaced and extended by a moratorium for up to two years. As previously, the moratorium does not apply to existing members; nor to genuine members of sister organisations like the CMCA in Australia.

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News | 25

NSW CUSTOM PLATES

C

olourful Wanderlust and Australiana number plate ranges have been added by myplates.com.au, the custom numberplate arm of the NSW Government. Actually designed for caravans and trailers, they’re equally at home on motorhomes and cars. The Wanderlust series comprises, “Six photographic plates that have been designed to capture the spirit of adventure and call of the open road. Using inspiring travel quotes and imagery, the Wanderlust range allows you to evoke great road trip memories and inspire new adventures”.

Alternatively, the Australiana series, “Evokes a sense of Australian patriotism with fourteen plates that include such iconic images as the Australian flag, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Three Sisters, Snowy Mountains and the Outback; images of Australia that make us the envy of the world”. Of course, extra costs apply to your annual registration charges. Find out more by visit the My Plates website through the link above.


26 | News

3D PRINTED CAMPER

A

project that will stretch the limits of 3D printing is set to get underway in Saskatoon, Canada. Randy Janes, owner and operator of Wave of the Future 3D is working with Saskatchewan Polytechnic to build a camper using a large-scale 3D printer. “It’ll come off the line roughly around 600 to 700 pounds, with the seats and the kitchen walls and closet walls all printed into place as one uni-body trailer,” he explained. Janes said he came up with the idea to 3D

print a camper based on his 11 years working as an RV product expert and sales trainer. The trailer will be built using an ErectorBot 3D printer at Create Cafe a cafe the specialises in 3D printing and coffee! Nicknamed “Printron,” the unit is the only one of its kind in Canada and is the largest 3D printer in North America. Saskatchewan Polytechnic was brought in to develop high-flow nozzles needed to work with the large volumes of plastic that will be used for the build. Janes said the trailer will shatter a world record once it’s completed. continued...


News | 27 continued... “The world record is 82 cubic feet for an indoor print and we’re going to be just over 500 cubic feet,” he said. Once out of the printer, the trailer will be displayed at Create Cafe, where people will be able to tour the interior.

POWER CHOICE

From there, Janes said the trailer will be taken to the Oak Centre RV Mall in Martensville, where it will be fitted with a furnace, stove and other appliances. The finished model will then be put on display there.

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28 | iMotorhome Marketplace

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iMotorhome Marketplace | 29

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30 | Tested: Spectrum RV Emerald Coast Sorrento

Taking the Fifth!

Spectrum RVs’ new Emerald Coast Sorrento fifth wheeler is worth taking anywhere you can… by Malcolm Street


Tested | 31

In North America, fifth-wheelers rule the roost on the Interstates, largely due to an abundance of huge tow vehicles, like the dual-rear wheel Ford pictured here. The Emerald Coast Sorrento is a big fifth-wheeler and requires a big tow vehicle, but the limited vehicle choice and significant costs – on top of the substantial cost of the fifth-wheeler itself – will be major factors in its market acceptance.

S

pectrum RV is a small but long established importer of US built fifth wheelers, based on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Fifth wheelers are very much a North American institution but strangely, considerably less popular in Australia. That said, the Spectrum RV team under the direction of David and Jennifer Thorley have maintained an active presence in the Australian market. The company’s modus operandi to date has been the importation from the USA of fifth wheelers to customer order and the subsequent compliance and rectification work necessary to bring them up to Australian standards. For the most part that’s been limited

to engineering and build items (not exactly a small process) rather than décor items.

All Change

T

hat’s why when I stepped into one of their latest fifth wheeler, the Emerald Coast with three slide-outs, I received something of a surprise. I was expecting the typical North American interior look that does not always gel with Australian buyers. Instead, it was clear the Spectrum RV team has gone for a very contemporary look; somewhat European and one that is not only appealing to the eye, but one that is good for space perceptions as well. Not that the latter is really necessary as


32 | Tested the 11.2 m (36’ 9”) external length– combined with the open slide-outs – give a considerable amount of interior space. What has made this considerable change possible is that instead of relying on US manufacturers for the basic product, Spectrum RV has set up its own factory in Elkart, Indiana. It’s a fairly radical step, but one that eliminates the ‘rebuild’ process and includes items like the wheels and suspension, which have always been something of a weak point on US products. Also of course, it means a full habitation door can be built into the kerb side.

Construction

L

ike many a US product the Sorrento has a powder coated steel chassis, with 75 mm aluminium for the sidewall frames

and 125 mm for the roof trusses. Under the fibreglass mouldings and composite walls, batten insulation is used. Up top is a seamless one-piece commercial grade rubber roof (not used in Australia before), while underfoot the fibreglass and composite flooring has a thickness of 80 mm. According to David Thorley, although much attention has been placed on preventing water ingress, where possible materials that are not affected by water have been used, thus if there is a leak the damage is minimal. It’s not often a subject of major discussion, but the entry steps made by MORryde are worth a comment. For a start they give easy access, while secondly they are very easy to lift up and down, with minimal effort.

Because of the lounge slide-out the awning only runs half length, which looks odd but is quite effective.


Tested | 33 Large tinted windows give this fifth wheeler quite a distinctive look, although compared to their size they have relatively small openings

Inside

A

nyone desiring a spacious layout need look no further. Indeed, this is one clue that the Emerald Coast comes External Storage from the USA, where many rigs are built for ne of the more noticeable features of predominantly inside living. What makes most the Sorrento is its external bin space. of the living space are the opposing slideIt’s behind the overhang and enormous, outs; the driver’s-side one running the entire to say the least. Additionally, there is access length of the main living area while the deeper, from both sides and the front, under the kerb side one basically runs from the rear to overhang. Conveniently, both side bin doors the habitation door. Combined, they add an lift up, so there is some protection in wet amazing amount of living space to the rig. weather. Not taking up any of the main space, in separate bins are both the gas cylinders and To the left of the entry door are steps up to the bathroom and bedroom areas. Walking forward batteries. leads to the catering department, including a substantial island kitchen bench, leaving the rear area for the lounge, dining and reclining.

O

All systems are neatly integrated and well thought out. Bin space is significant, in keeping with the rig’s overall size.


34 | Tested Oh, and there is one other USA clue here – a fireplace in the rear wall; something oft seen in US rigs, but not here, where ducted heaters are far more common.

Small Things

A

s well as the big things in this fifth wheeler it’s the little things that count, and there are plenty of them. For instance, there are no door catches to be seen as Hettich extra grip ‘no screw’ hinges are used on the doors; all the metal-sided drawers have fascias that can easily be removed for repair or changing the finish, while the electrical

control panel (which sits in a ‘drawer’ under the bathroom steps) has all the circuits clearly marked – a feature that seems to defy many local manufacturers. Other little items like the garbage bin in the kitchen – a solution to the problem of where to hang the plastic bag when you don’t have door handles – and the table with its extension flap out of the way on the wall side all make a difference. Even lighting in the Sorrento is quite unique and certainly not your run-of-the-mill fittings, nor standard US fare. In some cases its custom made by proprietor Thorley. Now that is dedication!

Opposing slide-outs create a spacious living and entertaining area, although Malcolm’s not sure about the electric fireplace in the end cabinet, which is a standard feature in most new, big rigs in the US.


Tested | 35

Decor is a world away from the the clunky wooden cabinets and dark colours that (still) characterise American RVs. Bright, subtly lit and attractive, the Emerald Coast’s interior is equal to any contemporary city apartment.

Domestic cleaning isn’t something most people get their jollies from, except from the satisfaction when finished, but this RV is going to take a little longer than usual given the amount of real estate. That’s why the built-in vacuum system with a hose long enough to reach every corner is going to help speed up the process…

Kicking Back

I

f there’s layout designed for sitting back and relaxing, this is it. There’s the choice of an enormous sofa-bed lounge, two recliner chairs or the more formal dining table setting. Just like the dining table, the coffee table does a fancy trick too: its top can be lifted to act as either a dining table or a work table for the lounge. The observant might notice the lack of a TV but it is there, just hiding in the cabinet across the rear wall and waiting to rise into viewing position at the touch of a button.


36 | Tested Kitchen space is significant and well thought out, and comes with an island bench and massive four-door fridge-freezer.

Catering

T

here are kitchens and there are kitchens, with many looking the same, but that’s not the case here. Certainly, the island bench that contains a double sink and plenty of cupboard space cuts a difference, but there’s the 225-litre, 4-door fridge/freezer and an acre of bench top space too. Surprisingly, the four burner cooker with grill and oven is a standard Thetford Caprice unit. A non-kitchen item but still useful (well maybe for some who like to look neat) is the ironing board, built into the end wall unit.

Up Front

A

s with everything else, the bathroom and bedroom have been designed in the knowledge a lack of space really wasn’t a consideration. That’s especially true as a third slide-out contains the head of the queen size bed and thus allows for plenty of walk around space when extended. All the nose cone area at the front is dedicated to a wardrobe and clothing storage, except for the driver-side side corner, which is fitted out to accept a washing machine. Much of the kerb-side wall area is fitted out with cabinetry that not only contains drawers, but also the mounting point for a second flat screen TV. A bathroom with two entrances – one from the bed side and one from hallway – isn’t something seen in every RV, but this one has one. With enough space for a good sized shower cubicle, black-tank toilet, vanity cabinet and a linen closet, it’s all finished in a very classy style indeed.


Tested | 37


38 | Tested The bedroom sits over the tow vehicle and is huge by RV standards. The bathroom is also large and has two doors: one from the bedroom and the other from the hallway. Of course…

Electrics

Y

ou’ll have no worries remote camping with this unit. Indeed, I suspect there is many a caravan park it wouldn’t fit in to. Six hundred and sixty amp hours of deep-cycle batteries keep the twelve volt electrics running, backed up by an eight hundred watt solar panel installation. On the water front, a 350-litre fresh water tank is standard, with the option of a second. Grey water is 175 L, as is the black water (toilet) holding tank.

Towing

W

ith an ATM of 900 kg, the Sorrento certainly needs a heavy-duty tow vehicle. In saying that, an fifth wheeler this size is a much better towing proposition than an equivalent size caravan. Apart from anything the overall caravan towing length would be substantially more, given the bedroom of a fifth wheeler sits about the tray of the tow vehicle. A point of note here also is the relative ease with which the towing combination can be turned around. When reversing it’s possible to get into an almost jack knife situation, which makes doing a slightly odd U turn very practical. Don’t try that with a caravan!


Tested | 39

The queen bed has its head in its own slide-out, creating a spacious bedroom anyone would be happy to call their own. Note the ducted airconditioning.

What I Think

I

t’s hard not to be impressed by the Emerald Coast Sorrento. It’s very different to a fifth wheeler that I last saw from Spectrum RV and poles apart from the standard US RV product, especially in looks and finish. There has been a considerable amount of attention paid to details and some very obvious user experience built in. My only criticism is that the Sorrento’s size might be a turn-off for some buyers because of the lack of appropriate tow vehicles. However, I understand there is a smaller unit on the way; one well suited to being towed by something like a Ford Ranger. Bring it on I say!


40 | Tested

Specs GENERAL Make

Spectrum RV

Model

Emerald Coast Sorrento 35RE

Hitch type

MORride

Beds

4

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

6050 kg

Aggregate Trailer Mass

8000 kg

Max Payload

1950 kg

Pin weight

1050 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

11.20 m (36’ 9")

Overall Width

2.50 m (8’ 2")

Overall Height

4.00 m (13’ 1”)

Internal Height main area

2.70 m (8’ 10")

Internal Height bedroom

2.05 m (6’ 9")

Main Bed dimensions

2.03 m x 1.53 m (6' 8" x 5') or 2.03 m x 1.83 m (6' 8" x 6')


Tested | 41

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

3 x Electric

Leveling

Equalizer 4 point Hydraulic Auto Leveling

Awning

6.4 m (21')

Entry Steps

MORride

Cooker

4-burner (3-gas/1-electric) Thetford with grill & oven

Rangehood

Integrated 12 V

Sink

Double Bowl large underslung

Fridge

385 L 4-door Dometic Gas/240v

Microwave

Convection

Lighting

LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

4 x 12 Vand 4 x USB

Air Conditioner

2 x Dometic 15,000 BTU

Space Heater

LP Gas Underfloor/Electric Fireplace/Optional Carbonic Floor

Hot Water System

Fast recovery 240/LP Gas

Toilet

Dometic Electric Flush with Tank and Mascerator

Shower

Double Size with Turbo water pressure button

Pros… • Light and airy Euro finish inside • External bin capacity • Electrical and lighting setup • Good sized kitchen • Considerable number of detail enhancements • Still manoeuvrable despite size

CONs… • Finding a suitable tow vehicle • Fitting into caravan parks • Price • Don’t know about that fire place!

CAPACITIES Click for Google Maps

Batteries

660 AH Sonnenschein Super Deep-Cycle Gel

CONTACT:

Battery management

Victron

Solar

800 W Flat walk-on flexible

Inverter

Victron 3000 W

LPG

2 x Auto-changeover 9.0 kg

Fresh Water

350 L (2nd 350 L optional)

Grey Water

175 L

Spectrum RV 339 Reedy Creek Road, Burleigh Heads. Qld. 4220. T: 1300 789 604 E: sales@spectrumrv.com.au W: www.spectrumrv.com.au

Hot Water

38 L Fast recovery

Toilet

175 L

PRICE - ON ROAD QLD From

$223,000

As Tested

$249,000


42 | Tested

“Spectrum RV has set up its own factory in Elkart, Indiana. It’s a fairly radical step, but one that eliminates the ‘rebuild’ process and includes items like the wheels and suspension, which have always been something of a weak point on US products”.


SEE A 3D WALKTHROUGH

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44 | Tested: BĂźrstner Nexxo T685

Value Proposition?

Does this ex-rental BĂźrstner Nexxo T685 stack up as a good value buying proposition? By Malcolm Street


Tested | 45

Wilderness differs from most rental companies in that it buys ‘normal’ production motorhomes for its rental fleet, rather than basic-but-tough special builds. This four year old Bürstner Nexxo T685 is a premium vehicle with a lot of life left in it for a private buyer, but at a considerable discount to its replacement cost.

I

t shouldn’t really, but it constantly surprises me just how much motorhome the Europeans, well the Germans in this case, can jam into a given body length. It happened again when I borrowed a Bürstner Nexxo T685 from Smart RV in Christchurch. It was not, I should point out, a new vehicle, but one that had very recently come off their sister company Wilderness’s rental fleet. It had about 150,000km on the clock and I was particularly interested to see how it had fared under those conditions. Many rental operators order motorhomes that are purpose built for rental operation, but Wilderness doesn’t. It uses ‘normal’ production vehicles you or I would buy, so how they hold up is particularly interesting. Another little surprise awaited me when I drove out of the Smart RV depot not far from

Christchurch airport. Johns and Russley Roads, which more or less form a bypass around the CBD, have been a construction zone for much of the past decade it seems to me (not helped by the earthquake in 2011 I should point out). However, as I headed north to my photo location on the Waimakariri River, I noticed there were considerably fewer orange cones and much more road, making it a much faster trip!

The Motorhome

M

y Nexxo T685 was a 2014 model and had an external length of 6.99 m (22’ 11”). It featured a rather stunning colour scheme of a dark metallic grey for the cab area – roof included – and white with striking decals for the bodywork. There’s no doubt the low profile front gives a very stylish


46 | Tested

look. Even from the rear (often a square box look) the curved roofline improves the overall appearance. For the body structure, the Nexxo features the familiar fibreglass composite panels with large doubleglazed acrylic windows and the somewhat familiar Euro style door, with an upper-half window and lower-half complete with garbage bin. Annoying insects are kept at bay by the internal concertina screen that slides across. Of course, the windows have the usual integrated blinds and screens. A benefit of the low slung body style is that the moulded entry step (coupe entry in BĂźrstner speak) is more than adequate for stepping in and out. Big windows and roof hatch, plus an equally large garage/boot, provide plenty of fresh air, light and storage space, respectively.

Rental motorhomes often suffer from limited external locker space, so using a vehicle like this Nexxo is something of a winner. It comes with a substantial garage (Euro-speak


Tested | 47

for big boot) that measures 0.8 m (2’ 7”) high x 0.95 m (3’ 1”) wide x 1.4m (4’ 7”) deep. A look inside is interesting; there are a few essential items like the spare wheel and zipped vinyl hose storage bag, but there are also tie down rings fitted to the lower front and rear wall corners. In addition to that, access is available from the inside by lifting the bed. It’s all done with that understated German efficiency and that includes the spare wheel: It might take up a bit of valuable space but I’d rather have it there than in some difficult to access area underneath the motorhome. Away from the rear garage/boot, the gas cylinder compartment is larger than it looks because it contains a 9.0 kg and a 4.5 kg cylinder. Having run out of gas in a very inconvenient and cold place last year – think mid winter, snow covered Lake Tekapo – there is much to be said for having a second cylinder, even if only 4.5kg!

Despite the entry door being on the driver’s side it’s really a non issue and takes very little time to adjust to.


48 | Tested

Motive Power

N

o surprises to find Europe’s largest supplier of motorhome cab-chassis, aka Fiat, powering the Nexxo. It is the lowest powered of the Ducato stable – the Multijet 130 with its 2.3 litre 96 kW/320 Nm turbo- diesel – but it is still a Fiat with the 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Weighing things up, the Nexxo has a tare mass of 2986 kg and a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3850 kg, giving it a good payload capacity of 864 kg. It’s probably not likely to be an issue for most, but given the gross combined mass (GCM) is 5500 kg, if the motorhome if fully loaded then the maximum tow rating is only going to be 1650 kg (GCM GVM), not the 2000 kg that the motorhome is rated at.

Top: There’s no denying the metallic grey cab and nosecone look good against the white body. Above: The lounge has seat belts while the dining table has a handy swing-out leaf extension.


Tested | 49

Electrics

T

here isn’t a solar panel, but the Nexxo comes with a pair of 90 AH deep cycle batteries, so for travellers planning on freedom camping and who are driving each day that should not be much of a problem. Fitted behind the driver’s seat is a 600 W inverter. While not really for hair dryers it is certainly good for laptop battery charging and the like and is certainly handy for use at the table.

Inside

I

n the Australian caravan market, the current layout of choice in a variety of body lengths seems to be a front island bed, full width rear bathroom with kitchen and dinette in various configurations in between. British and Euro caravans take a different approach but a common theme seems to be the front, which has two sideways facing lounges that can be used as seats and made up into single beds or a double.

The leather upholstery has worn well while the lounge/dinette is a spacious and comfortable place to relax or dine in. Note the Skyview hatch, which can also be left ajar while driving.


50 | Tested

Above: The swivelled cab seats are also the most comfortable for after-hours relaxing. Below: Although the kitchen looks small, experience has taught us it’s surprisingly useable. In motorhomes that come out of Europe there’s a common theme too, which this Nexxo has. It’s one based very much around swivelled cab seats. They form part of a spacious front lounge area behind which are both the kitchen and bathroom, thus leaving the rear for the bedroom, which in this case comes with an island double bed. It might just be me, but dark colours, as used on all the cabinetry work, really don’t go together with confined spaces. They do give a classy look I have to say, but contribute to a needlessly claustrophobic feel that could easily be avoided.

Rear Area

I

n this case there is a slight variation on the usual theme, because this T685 model not only has a split bathroom, but it’s designed in such a way so that the shower cubicle is fitted into the kerb-side rear corner – achieved by having an offset island bed – and the toilet cubicle is located in the mid area between the bed and entry door. It’s an interesting variation on the French bed layout, which has the bed in one corner and a full bathroom in the other. A definite advantage of this Nexxo layout is that


Tested | 51

you still get an island bed with a full walkaround. There is a step up to get to the window-side of the bed, but that may well suit those with shorter legs. The bed itself measures 2.0 m x 1.5 m (6’ 9” x 4’ 10”) and has reading lights for both occupants, but only the driver’sside sleeper gets a set of shelves on the side wall. Overhead lockers are fitted all around, except above the window. At the base of the bed, two roller shutter doors give access to a decent storage compartment, occupied in part by the combination space and water heater (something good I have discovered if the under-bed area is needed for drying wet clothes and, in my case, ski boots).

Cleaning Up

A

s noted, the shower cubicle is beside the bed. It’s not oversized but there is room to turn around, plus a roof hatch, but one without a fan. Unusually, the island bed is slightly offset to accommodate a corner shower. That leaves the ‘loo’ in its own cubicle, opposite the kitchen. Nice.


52 | Tested If visitors happen to be inside there is a curtain to close off the bedroom from the front half of the motorhome. Without the shower the toilet cubicle is downsized to accommodate just the cassette toilet, a small vanity cabinet with wash basin and a good sized shaving cabinet with a full mirror. There is certainly enough shelf space for all the bathroom essentials.

Catering

E

uro kitchen areas are often quite compact but this one scores well with an L-shaped bench that contains both a four burner hob along the wall and a good sized sink (sans drainer) in the right angled section. Three generous drawers and a cupboard are fitted into the under-bench area while the overhead lockers come with both an extra shelf and a cup and plate holder. Fitted between the kitchen bench and bedroom is a 160-litre Dometic 3-way fridge with an oven/grill above. So without walking too far, you can have a grilled breakfast in bed!

Lounging and Dining

U

p front the cab and adjacent area behind is a bright and breezy place, with windows all around and a Skyview hatch above. Both cab seats swivel of course, while behind the passenger seat is a table with a two-person, seat-belt fitted seat behind it. A fifth sideways-facing lounge behind the driver’s seat completes the seating arrangement. Four people can sit around the table without too much trouble, plus there is a swivelling extension to increase the table area and reach the extra seat as well. It’s all neatly done. In Euro style, the flat screen TV is hidden in a roller shutter cabinet above the rear passenger seat. When pulled out, it can be seen from the front and side seats, but certainly not the rear seat. Swivelled around, the TV can also be seen from the bed.

Below: With the leaf extended the dining table easily accommodates all seating positions. Bottom: Kitchen storage is good despite the compact dimensions.


Tested | 53

The front seats can become a second bed, however it’s best left to kids.

On the subject of beds, the front seating can be made up into a bed that measures 2.1 m x 1.1 m (6’ 11” x 3’ 7”).

What I think

A

side from any general motorhome comments, I have to say as a former rental motorhome, this Nexxo T685 scrubs up very nicely. Yes, there are the expected signs of wear and tear but nothing worth a comment on. This means either it has had some careful users or Wilderness/Smart RV is right on top of keeping its rigs in good shape. Given the use it’s priced quite nicely, certainly in NZ. Across the Tasman and at that same price in Aussie dollars, Smart RV might have difficulty in keeping up with the demand….. That aside, I like the Nexxo layout. As noted it’s based on a familiar arrangement, but having the split bathroom and offset rear bed adds a different dimension. Like many a Euro-built rig, its an easy handling motorhome.


54 | Tested

Specs GENERAL Make

Bürstner

Model

2014 Nexxo T685

Type

B-Class

Berths

3

Approved Seating

4

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

Fiat Ducato Multijet 130

Engine

2.3 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

96 kW @ 3600 rpm

Torque

320 Nm @ 1800 rpm

Gearbox

6 speed AMT

Safety

ABS, ESP, hill holder, dual air bags

Fuel Tank

90 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

2986 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3850 kg

Max Payload

864 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

2000 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

6.99 m (22' 11")

Overall Width

2.30 m (7' 7")

Overall Height

2.75 m (9')

Internal Height

1.95 m (6' 5")

Main Bed

2.0 m x 1.5 m (6' 9" x 4' 10")

Dinette Bed

2.1 m x 1.1 m (6' 11" x 3' 7")


Tested | 55

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

No

Awning

Thule Omnistor

Entry Steps

Body moulding

Cooker

3 burner Dometic with Smev grill/oven

Rangehood

No

Sink

Stainless steel

Fridge

160 L Dometic 2-door

Microwave

No

Lighting

12V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

TBA

Air Conditioner

Cab only

Space Heater

Truma Combi 6E

Hot Water System

Truma Combi 6E

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

CAPACITIES Batteries

2 x 90 AH

Solar

No

LPG

1 x 9.0 kg, 1 x 4.5 kg

Fresh Water

120 L

Grey Water

90 L

Hot Water

10 L

Toilet

17 L

PRICE ON-ROAD NEW ZEALAND As Tested

NZ$98,900

Warranty - Used

3 months

Pros… • Nice driving motorhome • Overall layout • Island bed size • External garage capacity • Two gas cylinders • Front lounge arrangement • Effective use of space

CONs… • Dark internal colour scheme • More powerful engine would be nice • Decorative but nonfunctional curtains • No USB/12V charger points in rear

CONTACT:

Click for Google Maps

North Island SmartRV Auckland 11 Pavilion Drive Airport Oaks, Auckland. 2022. T: 0800 007 627 E: sales@smartrv.co.nz W: smartmotorhomes.co.nz Click for

Google Maps South Island SmartRV Christchurch 3 Export Ave Harewood. ChCh. 8051. T: 0800 007 628 E: ccsales@smartrv.co.nz W: smartmotorhomes.co.nz


56 | Tested

“There’s no doubt the low profile front gives a very stylish look...”


More than a motorhome At SmartRV, it’s about more than buying a motorhome. From helping you find your dream vehicle, to taking care of your on-road needs (whether you’re on an adventure or simply planning one), our team will be with you every step of the way. We pride ourselves on customer service and satisfaction that will exceed your expectations. Come and see us today – we’ve got the coffee on.

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16-18 March, 2018

From our first introduction right through to the purchase of our new motorhome, we have felt nothing but satisfaction and pleasure. We love being part of the SmartRV family and can’t speak highly enough of the team. Raye & Graham Miles – Proud motorhome owners

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58 | Project Polly

Big Day Out Okay, not so big and not a full day, but still out…


Project Polly | 59

Having flyscreens on the rear and side doors allows a bug-free through-breeze and adds a real feeling of open air living. Having a lunchbox cooker means quick and easy outdoor cooking virtually anywhere, especially when it comes with an operator…

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he day after publishing the February issue and before flying off to the USA the next day, Mrs iM and I cranked up a sleepy Polly and headed off for a battery-charging drive. I don’t think Polly had been started for at least a month – remiss I know – and she only just woke up. It was a beautiful and comparatively mild summer’s day and so Mrs iM quickly packed a picnic and we headed off; first to Bunnings for important Stuff and then Somewhere for a drive and lunch. Feeling undecided I gave Polly her head and before we knew it we were barreling down the Hume Highway towards Goulburn…

History Restored

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decade or so ago Mrs iM and I were invited to the opening of the Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum. The central attraction is the original 1883 steampowered beam engine that’s still in perfect working order.

By way of background, here’s what the Museum’s website says, “This rare facility is the only complete, steam powered municipal water supply left in its original location, in the Southern Hemisphere. The buildings and engine are of national significance and are now protected by a permanent conservation order. The Waterworks is listed on the State Heritage and National Trust Registers” “The Goulburn Waterworks engine is of medium size and produces 120 horse power. It has Woolf compound cylinders and a jet condenser. The fly wheel is 5 m in diameter and at 18 rpm the pumps delivered 130,000 litres of water per hour. This engine was ‘moth-balled’ in 1918 after 32 years of service. In 1918 a new era commenced at the Waterworks with the introduction of electric pumps. These operated in tandem with a duplex steam pump, installed in 1887 and designed by G.F. Blake & Co of New York. In 1932 the Waterworks abandoned steam and electricity took over completely. Idle for 40 years the Appleby Bros. Beam Engine


60 | Project Polly

was restored in 1958 by Bruce McDonald, an engineer and steam enthusiast. At this time the electric pumps were still supplying some of Goulburn with it’s water. In 1977 the operation moved to Rossi Weir and the Waterworks was shut down.” These days the museum is open Sundays to Tuesdays and “most” school and public holidays. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past plus an unexpected riverside oasis on the outskirts of Goulburn.

But Wait There’s More…

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aving previously visited the museum we settled for finding a shady riverbank parking spot, with a view, to stop for lunch. There aren’t a lot of spots along the road in, although if you have a smaller vehicle there is a lower, grassed area you can drive down to. Just be sure to check it for bogginess before venturing off the beaten track.

From our partially shaded vantage point we could see the waterworks at one end, on a bend in the Wollondilly River, and the Marsden Weir just to our right. The still waters are a haven for waterbirds, while a gentle breeze through the trees made the location idyllic. Even the summer flies seemed to have taken the day off…


Project Polly | 61

I set up the outdoor table and chairs while Mrs iM got the new-and-approved lunchbox cooker fired up to cook a salmon fillet. While that was happening she also whipped a salad into shape – complete with our homegrown tomatoes – and before I could say, “Get me out of here, I’ve got to get home and packed”, we were relaxing over an indecently healthy lunch in this bucolic setting. Having a fully equipped motorhome sitting on the driveway and ready to go is a wonderful thing. It’s even better when you get/remember to use it. Even with all the Solarscreens in place and lunch supplies needing loading it was only a 15 minute job to ready Polly for our short adventure; an effort well worthwhile. I’m writing this in Fredericksburg, Texas, on the eve of the 2018 RV Entrepreneurs Summit. Polly, the Waterworks and our too-brief lunch seem a million miles away. In fact Google says it’s only 8501 miles to Goulburn as the crow flies, although doubtless said crow would be buggered when it got there. Polly is back on the driveway, on a vehicle battery tricklecharger and perhaps dreaming of future adventures – as am I. If home is where you park it then right now I’m ‘home’ in Texas. But Polly and Mrs iM are calling and it won’t be too long until our next Big Day Out. Can’t wait…

Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum Marsden Weir (Off Fitzroy Street) Goulburn. NSW. 2580 Hours & Cost Sundays: 10 am to 4 pm Mon-Tue: 10 am to 2 pm Most school and public holidays: 10 am to 4 pm Entry to grounds: Free Entry to Museum: Donation Contact: T: (02) 4823-4492 E: museums@goulburn.nsw.gov.au W: www.goulburnwaterworks.com.au


62 | Project Polly

Marsden Weir Park & Dump Point

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ntry to the Waterworks is via a lane off Fitzroy St, just where it crosses the Wollondilly River and becomes Crookwell Rd. Marsden Weir Park is on the corner and apart from free barbecues, picnic tables and a shady, riverside parking spot it also has a dump post and public toilets. The picnic area was busy on the Sunday of our visit, but week days this would be a quiet and easily accessible place that also seems to have potential for freedom camping (there are no signs to the contrary). Click for Google Maps


Salad Daze?

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eals on the road in summer often revolve around salad. Prepackaged salad greens are easy and convenient, especially as they’re washed and ready to eat. However, if you want to add dressing and ‘toss’ your salad before serving – but don’t want the mess of a big bowl to wash up afterwards – just use a bag: either the one the salad came in or a bigger one (but be sure it’s leak proof). With all salad components in the bag, pour in your dressing and vigorously shake. You can nicely coat everything in a short time and then serve from the bag without any cleaning-up mess. Perfect! Also, if you want to get more fish into your diet, a fillet of something ‘substantial’ – like salmon – when flaked goes a long way and when served warm over salad is simply delicious.

Project Polly | 63


64 | Technical

Galileo! Galileo! When complete the European Space Agency’s Galileo GPS satellite system will be magnifico‌ by Allan Whiting of outbacktravelaustralia.com.au


Technical | 65

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e know that after being shown the instruments of torture Galileo recanted his ‘heresies’ and avowed that the Catholic Church knew more about heliocentricity than he did. Nice people, the Renaissance Catholics. However, this scientific colossus’ name has been applied to Europe’s challenge to the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and it’s potentially a very good thing for all of us. On paper there are currently three global navigation satellite systems: America’s GPS, the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the European Galileo system. GPS, as we all know, is operational and Galileo has been working (in part) since 2013. GPS was developed in the 1970s by the United States’ Department of Defence (USDD). However, President Ronny Raygun made the decision to widen GPS use in 1983, after a

Korean Airlines Jumbo strayed into Soviet airspace and was shot down, with the loss of all onboard.

Limitations

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lthough available for civilian use, initial GPS access was ‘selective’ at the whim of the USDD, until selective availability was disabled by President Bill Clinton. Nonetheless, Europe has always been edgy about US ownership of a global navigation system on which virtually everyone relies – hence Galileo. A private-sector group of eight companies, called European Satellite Navigation Industries (ESNI), took on the Galileo project in 2003 and the first test satellite was launched in 2005. Not much happened after that and ESNI abandoned Galileo in early 2007.


66 | Technical

In May 2007 the European Union’s European Space Agency took control of the Galileo project and there were 4 test satellites, out of a stage-1 target of 22, in place by April 2012. The original Galileo plan was for 30 satellites, but that has been cut back to 28. The target date for full satellite deployment is 2019 and as of early 2018 there are 24 in place.

What Can Galileo Do for Us?

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atellite navigation relies on a number of satellites to provide accurate location of a position on Earth by ‘triangulation’. A GPS unit measures the time taken for signals from several satellites to reach it. Computer programming converts the time differences and the angles between the satellites into a focussed point that’s expressed as Earth latitude and longitude.

GPS and Galileo rely on this same principle, but there are differences. Like GPS, basic Galileo access will be free to everyone. However, also like GPS, highaccuracy capabilities will be restricted to military use and paying commercial users, who will have access to ground-station referencing as well as satellite locations. The first Galileo ground station was built in 2009 in French Guiana.


Technical | 67

Galileo, when fully functional, will use 28 satellites, compared with the GPS system’s average of 24, but the biggest difference is ownership. The US military retains control over GPS, but Galileo has been developed primarily as a civilian system. At least that’s what the EEC says… Galileo is intended to provide more precise measurements than those available through GPS or GLONASS and should be accurate within a few metres at its most basic level. It’s also expected to be more accurate than GPS at high altitudes and latitudes.

Ambitions

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ehind the technical differences is a political aim to provide European nations with a location system if Russia or the USA deny access to their systems. American military agencies have voiced concern over Galileo as an unrestricted system that could be used by enemies and at one stage there were

threats they would blast Galileo satellites if they were aiding a US enemy! Because of its civilian bias Galileo is open to more development than GPS, and German researchers are already planning interaction with terminal locations so that a Galileocompatible mobile phone can give voice direction instructions automatically. Galileo and GPS compatibility seems assured and all the Galileo navigation devices developed to date work with both systems. They use signals from all available satellites, but can work exclusively on one or the other. For example, Apple’s iPhone 8 and X work on both systems. By combining GPS and Galileo these newgeneration navigation units may be marketed under yet another acronym: Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Whatever they call it I think the original Galileo would be proud…


68 | Products

LEDing the Way… Here’s an affordable LED headlight conversion well worth considering… by Allan Whiting of outbacktravelaustralia.com.au


Products | 69

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e’ve been testing two sets of Narva Ultima LED globes for the past three months and we love ‘em. However, they’re not ADR-approved yet, so if you go down that route, make sure your headlights are adjusted carefully. The Narva Ultima LED replacement globe series is a plug and play range that’s easy to fit to most vehicles. Exceptions are some projector beam housings with small globe mounting holes that won’t accept the large heat sink that’s part of the LED globe system and some headlight locations that have no space for that heat sink between the back of the housing and engine bay components. To aid some tight fitments the heat sink can be spun off the back of the globe and reversed, to change its profile. Where space permits it’s very easy to remove the standard halogen globe and slip in the LED replacement.The external driver for the LED globe has a tail that simply plugs into the standard three-pin headlight supply socket. In a 12-volt system each LED globe only draws about 2 amps, so some vehicle CANBUS electrical systems may register the

low current draw as a fault. Fortunately, Narva has a module to correct that. Our video shows the white LED light produced by the Narva replacements and both distance and spread are enhanced as well. The LEDs have a globe life estimated at 30,000 hours, compared with as little as 600 hours from a halogen globe, ND come with a 3-year warranty. Narva has ensured that the beam cut-off mirrors standard lighting, unlike the situation with some LED replacement kits that produce a dazzling effect. Pricing ranges from around $150 to $250 per pair, depending on the type of globe.


70 | Feature

Farmer Needs a Hand Use your skills to help farmers and get more than just thanks in return‌

by Allan Whiting of outbacktravelaustralia.com.au


Feature | 71

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any travellers get great satisfaction from helping bush people as part of an extended holiday or the retirement trip. Involvement with the ‘locals’ enhances any bush trip and many helpers make lifelong friends from the experience. Rural Aid was founded in 2015 to provide a holistic support program to rural Australia. The starting point for the charity was the success of the Buy a Bale campaign, which to date has received over $4.5 million in donations and distributed this through fodder, hampers and more. Rural Aid says it understands the needs of primary producers and aims to lend a helping hand when times are tough. Recent weather events have meant there is even more call for its services than ever before and they have a number of programs designed

with rebuilding and repairing in mind. These include the Farm Rescue and Weekend Warriors programs, as well as the Farm Army job board, where farmers can find help that they need. Rural Aid Ltd has announced that its Farm Army venture, a database of volunteers who are actively assisting rural Australians, has reached 6000 members. “The Farm Army is a unique way for farmers and other rural Australians to connect with people who are keen to get in and do some hard work,” said Charles Alder, Chief Executive Officer, Rural Aid Limited. “We are excited about how many more people can be helped with more volunteers.” We think Rural Aid is a brilliant concept that deserves everyone’s support.


72 | Real Life

Outback Emergency! On a trip into the heart of the Simpson Desert we found our preparedness being put to the test‌

by Richard Robertson


Real Life | 73 The rumble of heavy rocks crashing down the steep slope froze us in our tracks. Then came a piteous cry: “Help me! Help me!” One of our party had fallen down the boulder-strewn slope and was obviously badly injured. As we scrambled across the unstable, rocky slope towards the accident I ran through the most likely first aid process in my mind: “He yelled out, so that suggests no major head injury – that’s a positive”. I expected spinal damage and the extremely unpleasant sight of compound fractures, but when I arrived at the spot where he’d finished up – some 20 metres down the slope from where he’d dislodged a huge rock – I was surprised to see him sitting up. There were no visible broken bones, but he was moaning softly, had difficulty breathing and was obviously in great pain.

Lucky…

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e were lucky to have a couple of nurses in our group and one retired nursing sister. The girls set

to work assessing the injury situation. Our mate’s breathing difficulty and his inability to move from a sitting position indicated rib and possibly spinal and internal organ damage. He had full feeling in his extremities, so that was a plus. They determined it was unwise to move him, so we made him as comfortable as possible while we decided on the next step. Pillows were brought up from our nearby campsite to provide a padded back rest against the rocky face and we put a fly mesh over his cap. We also took turns holding an umbrella over him to keep the desert sun’s heat at bay. The retired sister always travels with a compact, battery-powered blood pressure machine, so this was put to good use, confirming that our mate’s heart was working reasonably well, if showing the expected signs of shock. She also set up a patient log in a notebook that could be used to record blood pressure, pulse and respiration-count readings every quarter hour. We gave the patient some water to sip and a couple of paracetamol tablets to dull the pain somewhat.


74 | Real Life

The Plan

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way from the accident site, while the nurses kept him company, we had a quiet meeting to determine the next step. We acknowledged that we couldn’t move him safely and even if we could have got him off the rocky slope, what would we do next? We couldn’t drive him out of the area without bouncing him over spinifex clumps and sand ridges for a minimum of 60 kilometres to the nearest fixedwing aircraft landing strip. If he had spinal injury or a punctured lung the trip out could paralyse or even kill him. The obvious rescue solution was a Flying Doctor helicopter. We had several hand-held GPS units plus four satellite phones on both the Globalstar and Iridium networks, so communication and providing our location weren’t going to be a problem. We went back up to our mate and told him that we planned to

request a chopper to airlift him out and that news cheered him enormously. We rang the RFDS number in Alice and were transferred very quickly to a doctor at the Remote Area Medical Service. We spelled out the situation and it didn’t take the RAMS staff long to agree with us that an airlift was the best option. However, there was a helicopter flying range issue, because the accident site was exactly 391 kilometres from The Alice, meaning that the chopper would have to fuel up somewhere en route. Fortunately, our Aboriginal guide knew that there were four drums of Jet A1 fuel at a nearby property, so we were able to give the doc the approximate position of that property’s landing strip. Our guide also knew a chopper pilot who was familiar with the property and the area where the accident had occurred. The rescue plans were falling into place nicely, but we knew


Real Life | 75

that it would take several hours to organise the chopper, kit it out with a stretcher, get the flying doctor aboard and then fly the best part of 400 kilometres, with time out to refuel en route.

Down to Business

of the bearers lost their footing. We hoped that when the doctor arrived he’d be able to dose our mate up with morphine to the point where he’d be able to walk off the hill.

One of our crew used to fly Jumbo Jets for a living so he was the obvious person to organise e reckoned on around six hours before the landing area and to communicate with the we saw the helicopter, so we set up chopper pilot. He had the crew move vehicles the accident site support system. The into an arrow shape that pointed directly at retired sister and the nurses rotated, so there the accident scene, with orange V-sheets were always two in attendance; food and drinks and bright safety vests on their roof racks. were ferried up and we kept as merry a flow of Meanwhile, the gang cleared the larger rocks conversation as we could to keep our mate as from a landing site close to the accident scene. relaxed as possible. As the afternoon wore on the blazing sun Other crew members set about the tricky dropped below the plateau and the temperature task of building a track of sorts, to get our dropped to a much more comfortable level. mate off the rocky slope. We cleared some The readings had filled a page in the notebook of the mallee scrub and did the best job of by the time we heard the soft pulsing of a rotor road building we could, but the track off in the distance. However, we needed satellite the craggy slope couldn’t be made smooth phone communication with the pilot, because enough for safe stretcher transport. Carrying the latitude and longitude ‘fix’ we’d given the him out on a stretcher risked further injury RFDS office had been incorrectly written down: and the possibility of another patient, if one ’04 degrees’ had been written as 40 degrees’!

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76 | Real Life He checked out our escape route and agreed that a stretcher party would involve too much risk to all concerned. A morphine-dosed, slow walk off the rocky slope was his choice. Doped somewhat, our mate was gently helped to his feet and, flanked by willing hands, was led gingerly off the slope. At the side of the chopper the doctor asked us to lay him on the aircraft stretcher, but even the morphine couldn’t dull the extreme pain this action caused, so the doc reluctantly opted for a seated transfer to hospital.

Mixed Feelings…

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ur feelings were mixed as we watched the helicopter bank away sharply towards the fast-setting sun: cheered that our mate was on his way to hospital care, but saddened that the trip had been marred by the accident.

What a sight when the glistening white bird dropped gently onto the landing pad!

No Time to Lose!

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he green-suited doctor lost no time scrambling up the slope and spent the next half hour examining our mate. He confirmed that we’d done the right thing in not trying to move the patient and was surprised to find that there wasn’t a doctor in our group, because of the notebook recordings and the quality of the medical information we’d given over the sat phone.

Next morning the sat phone crackled with the news that he was recovering, but with a punctured lung and five broken ribs he was going to be a sore boy for quite some time. However, when we looked at the accident scene and traced the path of the rock he’d accidentally dislodged and the extent of his fall down this dizzy slope with its sharp rocky surface we appreciated that he’d got off relatively lightly. It could have been fatal. We were also buoyed by the fact that we’d teamed up well in this crisis and that our bush first aid had done the job as well as it could. Without GPS location and satellite or HF radio communication we’d have had no choice but to try to get the patient to civilisation and the consequences of the rough handling he’d have had to endure could also have been fatal.


Real Life | 77

Be Prepared

• Satellite phone or HF radio, or both

If you plan to venture into remote corners of the country be sure you’re properly prepared. If not – keep out. Lives are genuinely at stake, but preparedness and the right equipment, plus cool heads in an emergency, can make all the difference.

• Hand-held GPS

Here’s what we consider essential remote area necessities: • At least two convoy members with current first aid certificates and preferably a Remote Area First Aidgrade comprehensive first aid kit • Thermal blanket • Water bottles

• Backup batteries for phone and GPS • Emergency phone numbers or radio call signs • V-sheet or fluoro clothing • Personal locator beacon (PLB)


78 | Feature

Wandering With Wanda Wanda goes west‌

By Sharon Hollamby


Feature | 79

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t was great to see all my family and friends over the holidays, but it was such a relief to escape the hustle and bustle of Adelaide. As we passed the last set of traffic lights, it felt as if I could finally breathe again. Of course the day I was finally able to get away was extremely hot and before long Wanda’s temperature began to rise. I couldn’t blame her though, as I felt rather overheated myself. Now I know the title is Wanda Goes West, but of course to go west from Adelaide, you must first go north. So, as we were sort of headed in that direction, I thought I would take a little detour down memory lane.

Memories…

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y Dad was a general foreman in the building trade and in 1973 he was sent to Peterborough to build the new section of their primary school. Usually, Dad just worked away from home, but this time Mum decided that we would go with him. I was enrolled at Peterborough High School and soon began to enjoy the smaller, more intimate feel of the place. Mum couldn’t handle the small town, though, and it wasn’t long before she headed back to Adelaide. Rather than change schools again, I was left with Dad. It was the best year of my young life.

Peterborough has changed a lot in the last 45 years and the council should be congratulated on all the improvements it has made. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the welcoming nature of the people and the air of calm about the town. It was just what I needed. Unemployment in Peterborough rose when the railway shut down in the mid-eighties. Sadly, the effects of this are reflected in the main street, where some shops are closed permanently or only open on certain days. Thankfully, this hasn’t dampened the spirit of the people and they certainly deserve their accreditation as an RV Friendly Town.


80 | Feature

Freedom Camping!

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here are two lovely free camps in Peterborough: One is a little closer to town and Council was busy laying lawn while I was there. Unfortunately there isn’t much shade at that one, but as the man from the council told me, “People with solar don’t want trees.” I think it is great that Council listened! The other camp, a bit further out of town, has lots of shade and apart from the odd truck and train is a pleasantly peaceful spot. There is also a lovely lawned caravan park right next to the pool, plus RV parking behind the pub, so accommodation-wise there are plenty of options. The town hall brought back memories of our school talent night, where I made my singing debut with Helen Reddy’s Keep on Singing. Unfortunately, it was closed while I was there, but it is the most beautiful country town hall; with polished wood, an upstairs balcony and a big stage. It is certainly impressive and is one of the largest heritage listed town halls in country South Australia. By the way, I came second in the talent quest, winning a light that clipped on to my headboard! The town hall is also home to an amazingly detailed quilt, which was lovingly made by the

local patchwork group to commemorate 100 years since Federation. It depicts the local area and is accompanied by an audio commentary. Apparently, it took 1700 hours to complete the 3 panels. The public library is located at the high school and it was great fun reminiscing with the ladies there. Of course, I took a walk to the primary school and was pleased to see the buildings still holding up well. When Dad was working there, a couple of young ones decided to graffiti the building. Dad spotted them and told the principal who made the kids clean it up!

On the right Track

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eterborough is a wonderland for railway enthusiasts and offers many train-related attractions. The steam train in the main street has a history of the impact of the railway on the town and also has a couple of sleeper carriages where you can experience a virtual train journey. Complete with moving scenery and accompanied by the sound of the train, it really does give you the feel of travelling on the train. The town has such a relaxing feel that I decided to stay a few extra days to unwind. As well as checking out all the attractions, I


Feature | 81 decided to give Wanda a mini make-over. On one of my many trips to Bunnings I had scored a small tin of paint for $3, so now all the bits of Wanda that were a boring old grey are now a pretty blue. Travelling on a limited budget is a challenge and little bargains like the paint can give you a real boost. Wanda is prettier and I am happier. We did eventually start heading west, stopping in at Port Augusta just long enough to stock up on necessities. With the shopping done and bills paid it was time to head off to Kimba. As the temperature began to rise both Wanda and I began to get hot and I decided to pull in at the next rest area to stretch and cool down.

Stroke of Fortune?

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hen we were about 60 km out of Kimba we passed a young man walking on the other side of the road. I thought the guy must be crazy walking in that heat, but figured if he wanted a ride he would have had his thumb out and been on my side of the road. Just after passing him there was a rest stop and I figured I would stop there and ask him if he needed a lift when he caught up to me. The young man’s name was Sam and he told me that he had a stroke when he was just 29 years old. He was fortunate that it was caught early and he recovered well, but during his recovery he met people that weren’t quite so lucky. One man who could no longer walk inspired him to do more. Now, Sam is walking around Australia to raise much needed funds for research and raising awareness of the issue, with a focus on staying active. The trek began in Geelong and he is currently on his way to the Nullarbor. From there he will go to Perth, along the mining roads to the Pilbara, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and back to Melbourne. Sam is a nice young bloke, so if you see him on the road, stop and say hello. He would

appreciate a nice cold drink on those really hot days and maybe even a donation to the cause. Check out his Facebook page and follow his journey on Stroll 4 Stroke (https:// www.facebook.com/stroll4stroke/). The lovely owners of the Kimba hotel were holding a fundraiser for Sam on the Friday night and it was a good excuse for me to go to the pub! Kimba is another great RV Friendly Town. You can choose from three free camps and one of the camps even has a shower. It is $1 for two minutes so make sure you have plenty of dollar coins. Aah, luxury! We will be staying a few days to enjoy the showers and explore the town.


82 | Meals

Garlic Prawn Cheese Pies! Seafood and garlic meet cheese in this great Aussie pie...


Meals | 83 arlic, prawns and cheese are all major food groups in the iMotorhome kitchen. This issue, our new resident chef Jess Ciampa has combined them into pies – another absolute favourite, especially in winter but

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brilliant any time of year! If your mouth isn’t already watering you’re probably still asleep. Grab another coffee, re-read this and get to work. It’s nearly dinner time…

You’ll Need…

Then…

2 pie tins. If you don’t carry them (what sort of road chef are you?), make the pies like pastry pillows/pasties.

• Cheese sauce: cook the flour and butter in a pan on low heat, stirring constantly and slowly adding the milk to make a sauce. Add the cheese last, take off the heat and let it melt through, with a crushed garlic clove and salt and pepper to taste

½ tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic crushed ½ tsp salt ½ kg green prawns peeled de-veined and chopped

• Place the oil, prawns, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest, and parsley in a glass bowl and stir to combine. Let it sit for 30 minutes, uncovered in the fridge

½ tsp black pepper to taste

• Empty bowl contents into pan and cook over high heat for 1-2minutes or until prawns are starting to change colour

Zest & juice ½ lemon

• Remove from heat to cool

Puff pastry sheets

• Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

1 egg for egg wash

• Thaw 2 sheets of puff pastry and cut each in half to line the pie tins and make a lid

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

Plus, for the cheese sauce… 2 tbsp flour 2 tbsp butter ½ cup milk ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

• Divide prawn mixture between the pies and top with the cheese sauce • Egg wash the edges of the pastry, then fold and seal the edges by using a fork and flattening them • Egg wash the pastry tops and bake 30 minutes or until brown • Serve with mash potato and peas

! e t i t e p p a n o B


84 | Travel Events: 32nd Illawarra Folk Festival

CMCA

RV Friendly Towns T

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. This month’s featured RV Friendly Towns are:


Travel | 85

Thallon, Queensland

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his lovely rural town 517 kilometres west of Brisbane along the Carnarvon Highway is known for prime grain growing, including wheat, chickpeas and oats. Thallon’s first permanent grain silo was built in 1969 and two famous giant silos were constructed later, in 1977. A stroll past the silos will bring you to Barney’s Beach on the banks of the Moonie River. Be sure to visit Thallon’s stunning Town Park and take a photo with William; the giant statue of a Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat, which celebrates the town’s unique connection to

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre NB: There is also tourist information available at Francis Hotel. Casual Parking (near retail centre) Short & Long Term Parking

Dump Point Potable Water

this critically endangered species. After a long day of exploring head to The Francis Hotel, the ultimate ‘one stop shop’ offering everything from delicious meals, to fresh groceries and even a post office. For those visiting town, parking is available at Thallon Recreational Grounds at the corner of Carnarvon Highway & Noondoo-Thallan Road. Parking is available for up to 96 hours free of charge, giving you plenty of time to explore the surrounding region. A dump point and potable water is also available on site at the recreational grounds.

Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre 114 St George’s Tce, St George, 4487 P: 07 4620 8877 www.balonne.qld.gov.au Pine St Thallon Recreational Grounds Cnr Carnarvon Hwy & Noondoo-Thallon Rd, nil cost, 96hrs, pets on lead, m/ coverage, shwrs, bins, tlts. Pwr avail with charge Thallon Recreational Grounds Cnr Carnarvon Hwy & Noondoo-Thallon Rd (Lat Long: -28.6325 148.8666) Thallon Recreational Grounds Cnr Carnarvon Hwy & Noondoo-Thallon Rd


86 | Travel

Lockington, Victoria

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ockington is a small, tight-knit dairy farming community 198 kilometres north of Melbourne. The Heritage Museum is a great place to learn more about the local farming history of this lovely little town. Take a walk along the tracks at the irrigation channel network to catch a glimpse of the famous ‘Loch Ness’ tabby (oh dear - Ed), a giant crustacean found in the area. Like many country towns, the pub is the heart of the community and features traditional home cooked meals and a friendly atmosphere.

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Casual Parking (near retail centre) Short Term Parking & Long Term Parking

Dump Point Potable Water

Casual parking is available in all main streets, while short and long term parking is available at Lockington Travellers Rest, on the corner of Lockington and Pannoo Roads. Your length of stay can be negotiated with a donation of $10 per vehicle per night for unpowered sites and $15 per van per night for powered sites. A dump point is also located at Lockington Travellers Rest and potable water is available at the Lions Park lawn area on Lockington Road

Lockington District Business Centre 9-11 Lockington Rd, Lockington P: 03 5486 2683 www.campaspe.vic.gov.au All main streets in Lockington Lockington Travellers Rest, Lockington Rd & Pannoo Rd, donation of $10 pvpn, unpwr; $15 pvpn pwr, neg stay limit, pets on lead, m/coverage, shwrs, pwr, bins, BBQ, tlts, water, c/seating Lockington Travellers Rest, Lockington Rd & Pannoo Rd (Lat Long: -36.270926, 144.534618) Lions Park lawn area, Lockington Rd


Travel | 87

Adelong, New South Wales

A

delong is a small historic town on the Snowy Valleys Way touring route, approximately 411 kilometres southwest of Sydney. It was pioneered during the 1800s gold rush and evidence of this era remains in its heritage listed main street, plus the Adelon Falls Gold Mill Ruins. By 1914 the Adelong Creek and hillsides had produced over 25 tonnes of gold, worth over $300 million in today’s currency! Adelong is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, with nearby rivers, creeks and

Tourist/Visitor Information Centre

Casual Parking (near retail centre) Short Term Parking

mountains providing scenic drives and tranquil picnic spots. The Snowy Mountains and ski fields of Kosciusko National Park are located within a day’s drive from Adelong, making it a convenient base to explore the area. Self-contained vehicles are welcome to stay at the pet-friendly Adelong Showgrounds for up to 72 hours at no cost. Facilities available include bins, toilets and access to water, with a dump point nearby on Travers Street. .

Tumut Region Visitors Centre 5 Adelong Rd, Tumut P: 02 6947 7025 www.visittumut.com.au Victoria Hill Rd parking area. On way to Tumut, over bridge on LH side Adelong Showgrounds, 5 Cromwell St, (72hrs), nil charge, S/C only, pets on lead, m/coverage, bins, tlts, water

Dump Point

Travers St, Adelong (Lat Long: -35.306380, 148.06118)

Potable Water

Victoria Hill Rd, Adelong, in caravan park


88 | Mobile Tech

Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger Just push a button to talk, and more‌ By Emily Barker


Mobile Tech | 89

Cost: Free Size: 79.2 MB Platforms: iOS and Android

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obile communication is taken to the next level with the Voxer app; it’s a combination of real-time audio, text and image sharing that is convenient, free and secure with end-to-end encryption available for private chatting. It’s an app that turns your smartphone or mobile device into a touch-totalk walkie-talkie, with a host of extra features. Established in 2007 as the result of its creators’ own experience with failed military field communication devices, ‘voxxing’ has become quietly popular throughout the world. What sets Voxer apart from the pack is the fact that not only is it an internationally accessible real-time live audio system between individuals or groups, but that text, images and videos can be interspersed throughout the conversation. In addition, all transmissions can


90 | Mobile Tech

be replayed and appear chronologically. For free users, messages are stored for 30 days, while subscribers have unlimited storage. To start using Voxer you must first sign in with some basic contact information to create an account. You will then be asked to ‘allow’ the app access to certain features, such as your microphone, contact lists, and location. You’ll also be asked if you would like to receive push notifications, and all these options are customisable through the settings menu and can be changed at any time. Adding people to chat with is easy: You can see if anyone in your contact list is already using Voxer or send out invites via text or email, directly from the app. To start a new chat, private chat or group chat, tap the onscreen pen icon and select recipients. Pro subscribers are presented with a few more options and these are generally

geared towards business or organisation use – including the ability to recall a message! A voxer chat appears like any other text or messenger conversation, with all messages shown in a standard text list view. Previous audio messages can be listened to by touching them. To transmit you simply touch a large button at the bottom to start speaking, letting go when you’re done. The app sends your voice in near-real time so your recipient can hear you as you’re talking. It’s faster, cheaper and far more expressive than texting. You can tap a field to type out text if required or add pictures, videos or documents from Dropbox. If location services are turned on you can view, via maps, the exact location from where each message was sent; a handy tool for those you trust, but something to be mindful of with casual encounters.


Mobile Tech | 91

The app itself has a simple and uncluttered interface, and it’s straightforward to use once you become accustomed to the back-andforth nature of the radio-like transmissions. Unlike other VoIP services, Vox’s are not like beginning-to-end phone calls, but more like talking texts that you can choose to hear live or at a later time. An incoming Vox presents as any other alert on your phone or device – it won’t automatically start broadcasting while you’re in line at the checkout or during a conversation until you swipe to activate.

Available and compatible across iOS and Android devices, you can send and receive over any 3G, 4G or WiFi network in the world. In summary, Voxer is a quiet achiever: It’s a global intercom free for anyone with an internet connection. It’s also somewhat refreshing to maintain our human nuances while communicating efficiently online. Vox on!


Next Issue | 92

LOST IN TRANSIT?

Ford Transit and features the hopefully-soonto-arrive six-speed automatic that will bring the Transit back into the local motorhoming fold. In contrast, Malcolm has the luxurious Niesmann & Bischoff Arto A-class from Germany. Built on a Fiat Ducato with a tandem rear-axle AL-KO chassis, it’s a recent entrant to NZ and certain to impress.

W

hile not exactly lost, next issue will review the 7.2 m C-class Coachman Freelander Mr iM is currently swanning around America in. It’s interesting to readers Down Under because it’s on the latest

March 16-18

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April 24-2924-29 21-25 16-18

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Covi Motorhome Caravan & Outdoor Supershow

Perth Caravan and Camping Show

NSW Caravan Camping RV & Holiday Supershow

ASB Showground 217 Green Lane. Auckland.1051.

Claremont Showground 1 Graylands Rd, Claremont. WA 6010

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

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (Last day 4:00 pm) • Parking: $5 (free weekend) • Adults: $19.50 • Seniors: $14.50 • Kids: U16 free with adult

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (Last day 4:00 pm) • Parking: Free via Griffiths Rd • Adults: $25 • Seniors: $20.00 • Kids: U16 free with adult

• • • • •

Open 9:00-5:00 daily Parking: $10 Day Pass: $16 Multi-Day Pass: $25.00 Kids: U16 free

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

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

Issue 123 iMotorhome Magazine – Australia & NZ – March 2018  

The only magazine dedicated to motorhomes and campervans in Australia & New Zealand

Issue 123 iMotorhome Magazine – Australia & NZ – March 2018  

The only magazine dedicated to motorhomes and campervans in Australia & New Zealand