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iMotorhome

42 : February 15 2014

magazine

Issue

Littlest

because getting there is half the fun...

Value for money or just too small?

Conquest Win!

$50 Caltex Fuel Card!

Win!

MYSTERY PRIZE!

Trakka Dakar!

Tackling the World’s toughest race…

Newcastle Show Report Kicking off the 2014 show season

Budgeting Tips Win a Hema Road Atlas!


THE BUILT-IN SPECIALISTS Whether you are buying a replacement or your first recreational vehicle you’ll want the confidence in knowing that you are dealing with a company that can offer you expert advice every time. That’s why Ballina Campervan & Motorhome Centre pride themselves on being the Built-In Specialists. With over 25 years experience selling Built-in Campervans & Motorhomes, BCMC are the exclusive retailer of Frontline Campervans* and Horizon Motorhomes - whose range of vehicles include the Toyota Hiace, VW Transporter, Fiat Ducato and Mercedes Sprinter. We don’t just sell Campervans and Motorhomes, but we service, repair, and accessorise them too. We also sell them ‘pre-loved’, accommodating everyone’s budget.

So if you’re thinking of a new or pre-loved Campervan or Motorhome - speak to the Built-in specialists.

*north of Newcastle

BALLINA CAMPERVAN & MOTORHOME CENTRE, 299 River Street, Ballina, NSW 2478

P: 02 6681 1555 E: info@ballinacampers.com.au W: www.ballinacampers.com.au


About iMotorhome | 3

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

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Contributor/s

Published by iMotorhome

Design and Production

PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2576. Australia. ABN: 34 142 547 719 T: +614 14 604 368 E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368 E: richard@imotorhome.com.au Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@imotorhome.com.au

Jess Ciampa

Design Manager Agnes Nielsen E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au Advertising Advertising Manager Keith Smyth T: 0408 315 288 E: advertising@imotorhome.com.au Legal All content of iMotorhome eMagazine and website is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, however no responsibility is accepted for any inconvenience and/or loss arising from reading and/or acting upon information contained within iMotorhome eMagazine or the iMotorhome website.


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On my mind | 5

CLICHÉ DIEM We’re regularly challenged to “seize the day” in all manner of endeavours: a concept that’s become somewhat clichéd since Robin Williams’ character uttered “Carpe Diem” to his English literature students in the grammatically incorrectly-titled movie, Dead Poets Society. A week ago, Mrs iMotorhome and I were out to dinner with the husband of the couple who are coming with us in May on another excellent motorhome relocation adventure across America. His wife was home, resting, after several days of illness, but he wanted to catch up so we could discuss some detail points of the journey. As we sat down to dinner he told us one of our mutually close neighbours had been admitted to hospital that week due to a blood vessel in his brain haemorrhaging – just like that. This man is late 40s, fit and active, and although expected to make a full recovery after about another week in hospital, the event will likely cast a long shadow over the remainder of his life. But he was lucky. Towards the end of dinner I received a text message advising another mutual friend from our local area – an man in his late 50s/early 60s with a thriving business – had just that day been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. It was a dinner the three of us will never forget – but for all the wrong reasons. I’m sharing this because these events have sharply reminded me of life’s fragility, brevity and the need for all of us to get on and do the things we want to do. I’m sure you’ve heard stories of retired people who “left their run too late,” bought an RV but didn't get to use it due to incapacitating illness. Don’t become one of them.

If you’re retired and looking to buy a campervan, motorhome or whatever – or head off on that special, big trip – but are concerned about the state of the economy, your superannuation returns or hanging out for that extra $10,000 for your property I’ve only got two words for you: Carpe Diem. You never know when it might be your friends receiving the bad news.

Fertiliser… This week’s winning letter about supporting local businesses wherever you travel is a good one. In these times of drought, any farmer or person on the land whose property you pass in your travels and who has fruit, veggies, jam, eggs or whatever for sale needs your coin more than ever. The beautiful thing about the wave of people travelling this great land of ours is the otherwise lost effect of economic redistribution. As you travel your spending acts like fertiliser on local individuals and communities alike. It’s a wonderful concept to embrace and I’d encourage you to choose wisely who and where you “fertilise.” Woollies and Coles, for example, ship profits back to head office, even though they employ locals and are vital in their communities. But local businesses keep the money local and employ locals. Think about it as you travel – and spend wisely!

Richard


6 | Content

3

About us

5

On my Mind

8

User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Seize the cliché

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine

11 On your Mind

Share your thoughts for the chance to win a $50 Caltex fuel card!

13

News

18

Road Test: Jayco Conquest

32

Newcastle Show

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

Better Budget Beater? Malcolm tests Jayco’s baby Conquest to find out

First Past the Post: Newcastle kicks off the RV show season

Outstanding or just out, standing in its field? Malcolm reviews Jayco’s baby Conquest.


Content | 7

36

Trakka Dakar

48 52

Motorhome 101: Budgets

54

Mobile Tech: Apple Radio

58

Reader Reviews

62

Reader Review Templates

Two first-hand accounts from the World’s toughest race

Budget tips to drive your dollars further

Rogues’ Gallery 1927 Land Yacht: The World’s first A-class motorhome?

Streaming radio just got a whole lot better!

Paradise Oasis & A’van Applause: What owners really think.

Review your vehicle, a favourite place or whatever for a chance to win a mystery prize

63 Cook-up

The time’s ripe for a summer salsa – and so are the mangos!

64

Next Issue & Show Calendar What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

Missed a Test? No problem.

Missed an Issue? No problem.

Click HERE to view the complete list of tests.

Click HERE to view the complete list of back issues.


8 | User Guide

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine Note: This magazine is designed to deliver the best reading experience on an Apple iPad.

General This magazine is published in the Portable Document Format (PDF). This means that once downloaded it is a self-contained document that can be stored on your smartphone, tablet device, e-reader, laptop or desktop computer and read off-line at your convenience. PDFs are clever things and allow a degree of interactivity not possible with a conventional magazine. For example: The front cover and contents page features links in their headings that will take you directly to the appropriate article in the magazine. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer you will see the mouse cursor change to a small hand with a pointing finger, which signifies you can click on the page below All advertisements are ‘live’ and linked to the advertiser’s website. This means if you touch one (smartphone/tablet) or click on one (laptop/ desktop) you will be taken to the relevant website automatically, if you are connected to the Internet. If you are not connected to the Internet you will be asked if you want to connect, to complete the action. Text that is highlighted and/or underlined in blue is also a ‘live’ link that will either take you to the webpage of the topic being discussed, or open an email (if appropriate).

iPad and iPhone Users Important: Be sure you have the free in iBooks app installed. It displays a full page at a time and allows you to read the magazine by swiping the pages sideways, just like turning the pages in a printed magazine. iBooks has a Library function that displays a small thumbnail of the front cover of each issue. You can also create Collections, so you could store each year’s issues separately, for example.

Using iBooks On downloading each issue of iMotorhome eMagazine you’ll briefly see a message at the very top of the front cover that says “Open in iBooks.” If you miss it, don’t worry. Just tap the space immediately above the iMotorhome title and it will reappear for a few seconds. When it does, tap it and your issue will be moved to iBooks and reopen. Once open in iBooks you’ll see a number of icons across the very top of the page and a strip of tiny page thumbnails across the very bottom. To get rid of them simply tap the page anywhere there isn't text (touching text will take you to the revenant article inside). To make the icons reappear just tap anywhere on the page. To read your copy of iMotorhome eMagazine, swipe the page from right to left. Reverse this to go back a page. To go to the font cover at any time just tap on the page your on and then touch the tiny page icon at the far left, along the very bottom. To leave the issue you’re reading and go back to your Library, tap the page and then touch Library in the top left hand corner.


User Guide | 9

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine Laptop/Desktop Computer Users The software that allows you to view a PDF document – Acrobat Reader – has a number of controls at the top of the page. Chief amongst these are two square buttons in the centre; one showing a page with an arrow across it and the other showing a page with arrows across and top to bottom. Press these and you can view the page at the full width of your screen, or the whole page fitted to you screen, respectively. For further help or information email info@imotorhome.com.au.

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On your mind | 11

It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to letters@imotorhome. com.au and we’ll share it with

our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with a $50 Caltex fuel card to help you on your way.

know that 100% of our money is going to them. Eggs, veg and jams all seem to taste better when you think it can help. We found one road side farmer even selling a lawn mower. He obviously has no need for it!

hearts at this terrible time and support 'extremely' local farm gate sales where possible? On the off chance you think this letter suitable to receive the 'winning letter' for this issue could you please donate my prize to farmers aid or something like that?

Winning Letter Hi Richard, it is with some sadness that I write to you and hope you and your readers can help. My husband and I have recently returned from a rural trip through VIC and NSW. We have heard a lot on the news about the farmers and their hardship during the drought but nothing makes you understand how lucky we are as seeing it first hand. The ground is so dry it is just a dust bowl and the cattle and sheep are so skinny it is truly alarming. In our own way we have been trying to help these people by adopting the habit of buying directly from them if when they have front gate stalls. At least we

My husband had a great idea also. He is a keen gardner so on our last day before getting home we stopped at one farm and filled up the boot of the motorhome with cow manure in old feed bags for $3 each! Managed to get them all in, about 10, as we had not water or waste on board. So could you suggest to your readers that they think with their

A Line is Drawn

Congratulations on Issue 41’s editorial. Nothing could have been more timely in view of the past couple of stories on our site. I think the first line in the sand has been drawn! Regards, Arthur

Regards, Heather Thanks Heather, what more can I say? Come on everyone, get on board – and Heather – $50 is on its way to Aussie Helpers, who do a great job of helping rural people in need. Bless you!

Thanks Arthur, it’s a subject dear to many people's hearts and one iMotorhome plans to keep very much in people’s minds.


12 | On your mind

History Lesson

Mr Publisher, I read through your editorial on Free Camping – good read. One comment; several years ago, the CMCA did try to get a forum together where all interested parties – rental operators, CCIA, CRVA, CIA, local council reps, tourist associations and anyone else they thought might be interested or have a view point. It was based on a model used in NZ and held at a hotel out near the airport, thus being convenient for everyone. They had several meetings over about three years (I know, I went to them all) and the CMCA organised them, chaired them and in part, funded them. The main problem they were trying to come to grips with was the issue of backpackers; where they parked and the amount of rubbish and other undesirables that they left behind. Also on the agenda was free camping, etc . I thought the CMCA, although it was not strictly their problem, did at least try to do something. It fell apart in the end for various reasons: 1: Although Kea, Britz Maui and Around Australia turned up each time, it was more difficult to get the backpacker camper operators like Wicked along. They of course are the ones with the major problem but the Wicked owner

Thanks

Hi Richard, I have just read my letter in yesterday's mag. Thanks very much for the inclusion – as you said –  let's hope we get some great responses to the template and other correspondence. I will write again when you have long forgotten me, to tell you of the assistance your readers are over the coming months.

showed little interest in doing anything. 2: The CCIA et al, all turned up with their own agendas – mainly how to end free camping – and were not really interested in anything else. 3: The CCIA et al were not even prepared to let the CMCA put out press releases about the forum – they wanted their own slant. 4: Although the CMCA initiated it, what they wanted was an industry group to take the reins and drive the issue and simply did not happen. 5: As far as I can remember, no politicians turned up. Thought our readers might like to know. Regards, Malcolm. Thanks Malcolm, what can I say – apart from nothing you’ve said surprises me. Power plays, self-interested agendas and the ultimate abolition of free camping – predominantly to benefit caravan park operators’ bottom lines – continues to be the order of the day. Thanks for the insights. Perhaps CMCA members can pressure their elected officials to get everyone back to the table and drive a fair and sustainable solution?

Please keep up the great standards you have set for yourselves. The re-visit of the Esperance (and its original test) was really interesting and in-depth. Regards, Russell. Thanks Russell, finger’s crossed – we seem to be off to a good start!


News | 13

NEW – Trakkaway 800

F

or a year or two Trakka’s range-topping Trakkaway coach-built motorhome range has been built exclusively on Fiat’s front-wheel drive Ducato. Despite this being a capable and desirable vehicle, for some people – especially those who want to tow – the lack of a rear-wheel drive option has been a deal breaker. The only Trakkaway with RWD was the VW Crafter-based 790, but when Volkswagen quietly dropped the auto gearbox option it slipped silently from Trakka’s range. Enter the Trakkaway 800. An 8-metre motorhome (hence the 800) built on Mercedes’ hugely popular Sprinter cab-chassis – a 519 CDI – it’s more than just a 790 with a three pointed star on the bonnet. To begin with, the latest Sprinter packs 140 kW and 440 Nm of power against the Crafter’s rather sedate 100 kW and 300 Nm, plus a 7-speed full automatic against the Crafter’s 6-speed slow-shifting automated manual. It’s a big step forward by any measure!

Inside, the Trakkaway 800 uses the same basic layout as the 790 up-front, but down the back it’s a very different proposition. The main feature is a rear slide-out island bed, as pioneered on the smaller Trakkaway 700. It also has a separate shower and toilet. Standard equipment includes metallic paint, approved seating for 4 (an over-cab bed is optional), dual front and side airbags, satnav, Bluetooth, 2 reversing cameras, leather upholstery, 2 TVs, a diesel heater, ducted reverse-cycle airconditioning, a 120 W solar panel and much more. Given the high quality of both the Mercedes Benz Sprinter and Trakka’s body work, plus the high standard equipment list (there are very few options) the driveway price of $210,000 makes sense. Watch out for an upcoming review, but in the mean time you can find out more by visiting Trakka’s website HERE


14 | News

CLASSIFIED Scams – BEWARE!

W

e had a too-good-to-be-true classified ad submitted this week here at iMotorhome. It was for a 2005 Winnebago Free Spirit, NSW rego number AG 87 WR, for just $35,000 – probably just over half its market value. It came via a hotmail email address and efforts to contact the person to confirm the price proved fruitless. A bit of investigating found it on tradingpost. com.au website – where it still is – at the same price, but with a Queensland address and contact number in place of the Sydney contact details from our ad submission. We’ve contacted Tradingpost and informed them of the discrepancies but so far they’ve not actioned our concerns. The moral of the story: Never part with any

money, even for a deposit, on any vehicle from a private buyer you find in online classifieds until you’ve done an online check through the REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicle Search) in your state and are with the owner, having verified their details and ownership credentials (rego/insurance/ service papers, for example). The only exception would be on eBay where you can pay via Paypal, which guarantees your money back if there’s a problem, under certain conditions (best check them out first). A friend of ours found a horse float online last year and the ‘owner’ was going to bring it from Queensland to Sydney for a COD delivery. On the due day the owner called to say they had car problems along the way and could our friend transfer $3000 to help them fix the car and deliver continues next page

The Wirraway 260 SL

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

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

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

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

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


News | 15 continued from previous page

the float. They did and, of course, lost their money in the process. They later found out, via a police investigation, it was an Eastern European crime ring using an old couple in Queensland as their ‘bank,’ paying a small percentage as commission. The old folks were charged but as far as we know, no substantial monies were ever recovered. They

B

ig 4 Holiday Parks free Quick & Healthy Recipe Book is now available for download from its website. Big 4 says:

“There are few things more satisfying than enjoying a welldeserved meal after a long drive. However, preparing lunch and dinner may be the furthest thing on your mind after spending hours on the

also found out one woman lost $30,000 on a caravan purchase, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Most private sales are legitimate, but if this is all too scary then buy only from a licensed motor dealer, who by law has to guarantee title.

road. With the help of your fellow traveller’s (sic), we have created the 2nd Edition of our Quick & Healthy Recipe Book packed full of simple, tried and tested, delicious meals when you are in need of a quick and healthy meal for the family.” “The recipe book is available for FREE DOWNLOAD HERE and printed copies can be purchased for $15.50 for BIG4 Loyalty Club Members and $18.50 for Non-Members (including postage).”

Off Road Fifth Wheeler HT

G EI

TW ' LE H 20 AX G I L LE G N SI

Trailblazers RV compact 20' Fifth Wheeler has been designed to go to anywhere. With all the features of a much larger van the 200E is fitted with independent off road suspension for those who want to go off the beaten track. Standard features include a well fitted kitchen with180L 2 way fridge, combo cooktop and grill and plenty of bench space and storage. In the living area a rear club lounge and large windows make this a bright, comfortable space. The modular bathroom with shower, toilet and handbasin has a mirror door. The front bedroom has a queen innerspring mattress and heaps of storage. External features include rollout awning, storage and electric landing jacks, two 180L water tanks, two 130W solar panels, two batteries and two gas bottles.


16 | News

IDIOTS AWARD: ARMIDALE COUNCIL

I

n Issue 40 (18 Jan) we brought you news of the temporary closure of Dumaresq Dam campsite, near Armidale in Northern NSW, due to the failure of the ageing public toilets. The facilities were going to be upgraded and reopened, but now it seems Armidale Council’s solution is something very different. Here’s a report from the Armidale Express newspaper, dated 14 Feb: “A number of options for the site were mulled over by councillors, including turning the area into an ecotourism facility. That venture would have cost ratepayers about 27,300 a year, although about $23,200 of that would have been recouped with camping and licence fees. Instead, councillors opted for the cheaper option of maintaining the facility exclusively for Armidale residents and their visitors.That will cost about $12,250 a year to maintain.” “Currently, council officers pick up about 13 tonnes of unsorted waste from the grounds, making about 98 visits a year. Concerns were raised that should

Council allow camping at the site, toilet facilities would not be sufficient for a predicted influx of about 30 campers a day. The new management plan for Dumaresq Dam is tipped to be adopted at a full council meeting later this month.” “It allows for expressions of interest for a business to hire kayaks and canoes and also for events to be held on site, although prior approval would need to be granted. Also, the University of New England will continue to lease northern parts of Dumaresq Dam at an annual rate of $110 for research. Permanent signs will be erected, prohibiting camping and Council will use websites and camping publications to advise of the change.” In the name of all that is sensible and fair, iMotorhome asks you voice your comments in the newspaper’s online story by clicking HERE and send an email to Armidale Council voicing your concerns. Their email address is: council@ armidale.nsw.gov.au

SPECIAL READER OFFER

S

pecialist mail forwarding service Pass The Post is offering iMotorhome readers a remarkable 50% off 12 months mail forwarding just for mentioning our name! That's right, pay $120 for six months mail forwarding and get an extra 6 months free! To take advantage of this special off visit Pass The Post by clicking HERE and tell Jo that iMotorhome sent you!


News | 17

MARKETPLACE LINKS

T

he iMotorhome website’s Marketplace Links pages are growing! They’re designed to link you with businesses that can help you no matter what you’re looking for. We’d like to welcome the following companies and hope you’ll consider them if and when you’re in need of their specialised services:

Pass The Post – See our special iMotorhome reader offer! Tourizm Online – Motorhome rental and relocation deal specialists. Trail Mail – A Melbourne-based family business looking after.

Aussie Mailman – A Sydney-based mail forwarding service with global reach

On This Day - 14th February 1633 – Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before Inquisition for professing belief that earth revolves around the Sun. 1866 – Jesse James holds up his 1st bank, Liberty, Missouri ($15,000). 2000 – The last original Peanuts comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.


18 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft

Better Budget

Beater?

Is Jayco’s entry-level motorhome the bargain it appears? Review and images by Malcolm Street


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 19

The baby Conquest’s diminutive dimensions should make for easy campsite access, whilst a good level of standard equipment means even in base form you won't be wanting for too much. Even with the optional alloy wheels, security door and leather upholstery it shouldn’t break the bank.

J

ayco (Australia) is best known for its multiple ranges of caravans – those things without an engine up front. More recently it’s added fifth wheelers and of course motorhomes. There were various models available for this review, but I opted for the smallest and cheapest, Jayco’s Conquest 20 ft (6.4 m). Although it's a coachbuilt motorhome it's actually an alternative to some of the large van conversions available.

The Vehicle

F

or the baby Conquest, Jayco has used the tried and trusted Fiat Ducato cabchassis: In this case the equally-baby 130 Multijet model with a 96 kW/320 Nm 2.3-litre turbo-diesel and six-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Behind the driver's cab all the walls and roof are a vacuum bonded fibreglass structure.


20 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft

The optional Crimsafe security door is well worthwhile, while the standard slide out tray for the gas bottles, although basic, is effective nonetheless. There are fibreglass mouldings too – the top and side cab surrounds, along with the top and bottom mouldings at the rear. Underfoot the floor surprisingly has a timber frame sandwiched together with polystyrene. According to Jayco it provides both sound proofing and insulation qualities. Dometic double glazed acrylic windows are used all round and the standard door has a top half, non-opening window. Undoubtedly the winner option on my review vehicle was the Crimsafe security flyscreen, which allows the main door to be left open without intruding insects – or worse. Probably the advantage a coachbuilt motorhome has over a van conversion is that a bit more external bin space can be built in. Naturally there were dedicated bins for the gas cylinder and Thetford toilet cassette, but there were also two small mid-mounted bins on both sides. Not large enough for a great deal of gear, but certainly good enough for power cords, hoses and camp chairs.


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 21

In Europe, Fiamma-style bike

racks are all the rage.

Basic though it was, I did like the slide-out tray for the gas cylinders, which makes access so much easier. I've not long returned from a brief holiday in England and France and something I noticed on a considerable number of motorhomes were Fiamma-style bike racks. The Brits and Euro folk prefer

biking to towing a car and it was with interest I noticed our review motorhome had an optional Fiamma bike rack fitted – mostly because I also have a bike!

On The Road

A

bit of background on Fiat Ducatos here before we go further. Until recently, most Ducatos

Rear mouldings enhance the appearance, but at what cost in terms of weight, dollars and damage susceptibility? Thank goodness for the standard reversing camera. used in van and cab-chassis conversions came with the largest and most powerful Fiat turbo-diesel available. For the most part it was the 3.0-litre 160 Multijet engine (115.5 kW/400 Nm) until the arrival of the 180 Multijet (132 kW/400 Nm). Recently a few 2.3-litre 150 Multijet (109 kW/350 Nm) engines have been used, mostly in van conversions,


22 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft To keep the price down the smallest Conquest comes with Fiat’s smallest engine. At just 96 kW and 320 Nm it's no ball of fire when combined with the automated manual transmission. An engine upgrade could be money well spent.

but apart from imported motorhomes that have come with the ‘tiny’ 2.3 litre 130 Multijet (96 kW/320 Nm) engine attached to six speed manual gearbox, this is one of the first opportunities I have had to test out a 130 Mulijet in tandem with a six speed AMT. Now to be fair it was a very new engine/gearbox combination and might have needed a couple of thousand kilometres to loosen up, but I found the combination a bit wanting. I like driving Ducatos, despite all the reservations people have – some real, some imagined– about frontwheel drive, but on my test drive the mostly unladen Conquest was wanting on two counts. From Emu Plains, west of Sydney, there are a couple of ways to get to Blaxland in the Blue Mountains. One is straight up the Great Western Highway and the other is up the Old


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 23

Despite being a coachbuilt motorhome the little Jayco’s not much wider than a vanconversion.


24 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft

The streamlined nosecone of the Jayco’s B-class design should help keep fuel bills down.

Bathurst Road. The latter has some steep winding curves – an excellent testing ground – and the gearbox couldn't make up its mind whether to be in first or second gear. In the end I manually shifted down to first to get a constant speed. In a different setting along the freeway, the Conquest refused to get to the posted speed limit of 110 km/h even when coaxed.

As noted it was a very new Ducato, but I wonder if Jayco, in keeping the price of the Conquest down by literally giving less bang for your buck, is doing itself any favours. For my money, the optional 3.0 litre 132kW engine at $5,400 is good deal when compared to the relative purchase price and would make for a very easy driving, fuel efficient motorhome. Do make sure you have a test


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 25 drive to see what you are happy with. Apart from the engine, the Conquest was quite a good handling motorhome, with excellent rear vision from the Ducato’s mirrors and without too much road noise inside the cab.

test drive who was puzzled by the fact that his motorhome had four legal passenger seats but only beds for two. I pointed out that many smaller motorhomes have that so they can be used as people movers.

Living Inside

Certainly this Conquest only has sleeping for two – in the nearside corner bed – and its just wide enough to allow for a bathroom in the opposite corner. All that leaves the mid area for a nearside kitchen bench with fridge and microwave opposite, plus a reasonably sized wardrobe area. It’s a fairly bright and breezy interior thanks to Jayco’s interpretation of the Euro Look and it incorporates Jayco’s touch pad lighting system.

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n advantage of a coachbuilt motorhome over a van conversion is quite simple: there’s more interior space because of the width. Jayco has used the Ducato cab, with its factory-fitted swivelling seats, to full advantage: there being a table behind the driver's seat and a two person, seat belt fitted lounge behind that. I was a little entertained recently by an RV colleague on a motorhome

Light coloured panelling helps keep the interior bright, whilst the optional leather upholstery is practical and ads a touch of style. For a small motorhome the interior has a surprising amount of living space.


26 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft Lounging Around

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s noted, both cab seats swivel and although the rear lounge seat is better for dining, the cab seats are winners in the sit-back-and-relax department. The table is fixed to the wall on a rail, which means it can be moved forwards and backwards and also lifted out of the way if not required, but Jayco recommends it be removed if carrying passengers in the rear seats. Around the front lounge/cab area is a combination of compartments, overhead lockers and underlocker shelving for storage. What there isn't is a power point near the table.

Time to Eat

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iven the available space the kitchen is a split arrangement. The main bench, containing both a sideways-fitted twoburner cooktop sans grill and stainless steel sink, is along the nearside wall and a shorter second bench area is opposite, with a 3-way, 121-litre fridge below and microwave above. Although it cuts down on the fridge capacity, having the extra shelf area is a nice touch. Generally speaking the under-bench kitchen storage is well sorted, with plenty of good and variously sized drawers.

Kitchen is compact and well-equipped, but bench space is at a premium.


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 27

Rear corner bed should suit most people but best you check before buying. Underbed storage is easily accessed and quite generous.

After Hours

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easuring 1.88 m x 1.34 m (6 ft 2 in x 4 ft 5 in), the bed fits neatly into the rear corner. Of course it's not a true island

bed, but both sleepers should be able to get in and out without too much trouble. The windows on both sides should provide a good crossflow of fresh air.

Lifting the posture slat bed base reveals generous under bed storage, the only occupants being the house batteries and gas cylinder bin. Above the bed are both


28 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft

Basic but functional the bathroom is long, if narrow, and sits in the rear corner beside the bed.

lockers and open shelving; the latter being somewhat useful, given there's no bedside shelf area. Additional storage is provided by the cabinet that fits beside the bathroom cubicle and offers a selection of a good sized hanging area and drawers.

Keeping Clean

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o real surprises in the bathroom; compact it might be, but with room for a cassette toilet, variably-height flexiblehose shower, shaving cabinet and small corner wash basin with mirror it’s well equipped. There's enough room to turn around in without too much elbow scraping and the vent fan does a reasonable job on keeping the air flow going.

No real surprises in the bathroom.


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 29 What I Think

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t's worth pointing out our review Conquest had a number of options fitted: Alloy wheels, leather upholstery, upgraded air conditioner, Crimsafe door, 120 W solar panel, bike rack and upsized fridge. That added $8920 to the base price of $102,000 and 28 kg to the standard tare weight of 3280 kg. Although this motorhome is definitely aimed at the budget market, some of the options like the security door should be kept in mind at purchase time. In many ways this Jayco Conquest in its base form is good for purchasers on a tight budget. It certainly offers all the motorhoming essentials, including a reasonably spacious living area, and is a viable alternative to a similarly priced van conversion motorhome. Just be sure the standard engine is right for you.

The Jayco Conquest 20ft sleeps two but has approved seating for four. Given its compact dimensions it could possibly double as a second car.


30 | Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft

Specifications Manufacturer

Jayco

Model

Conquest 20ft

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato

Engine

2.3-litre turbo-diesel

Power

96 kW @ 3600 rpm

Torque

320 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed AMT

Brakes

ABS Disc

Tare Weight

3308 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4250 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

4

External Length

6.44 m (21 ft)

External Width

2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)

External Height

3.08 m (10 ft)

Internal Height

1.97 m (6 ft 6 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.88 m x 1.34 m (6 ft 2 in x 4 ft 5 in)

Cooktop

Smev 2 burner

Fridge

Dometic RM 2455 121-litre

Microwave

Stainless steel no name

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

1 x 100 AH

Gas

2 x 4.0 kg

Heater

Optional

Solar Panels

1 x 120 AH (optional)

Air Conditioner

Air Command Ibis

Hot Water Heater

Suburban 23-litre

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Variable height flexible hose

Fresh Water Tank

120-litres

Grey Water Tank

75-litres

Price on road NSW

$102,000

Price as tested

$110,920

Pros

• Good living area for vehicle size • Good storage, especially in kitchen • Passenger carrying capacity • Touch pad lighting • Shelves under overhead lockers • Front lounge/dining area

• • • •

Cons

Low powered engine No grill in kitchen The odd quality issue No power point near table

Contact

Jayco Sydney

63-67 Glossop Street St Marys NSW 2760. Ph: 02 9623 1971 E: sales@jaycosydney.com.au W: jaycosydney.com.au

Click for Google Maps

For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Day Test: Jayco Conquest 20ft | 31

In many ways this Jayco Conquest in its base form is good for purchasers on a tight budget. It certainly offers all the motorhoming essentials.


32 | Show Report: Newcastle

1st

Past the Post

Newcastle kicks off the 2014 show season with fine weather and good crowds‌


Show Report: Newcastle | 33

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here seemed to be a more festive mood in the air this year at the Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo, which ran from Friday Feb 7 to Sunday Feb 9. Visitor numbers were up, from what we understand, and all exhibitors we spoke to reported strong interest for their products. Despite the heatwave sweeping Southeastern Australia, the temperature on the Saturday of our visit was a pleasant, if humid, 25ºC, although the lack of breeze in the confines of the show arena did make it feel rather warmer than that! The Newcastle show is a bit of a city-andcountry affair; being almost right in the middle of downtown Newcastle City and close enough to Sydney to attract keen day trippers like us, yet drawing considerable numbers from the Hunter Valley region and well beyond. The show’s compact nature also makes it easy to

There was plenty of interest in motorhomes and campervans of all shapes and sizes, with Fiat’s Ducatobased products figuring prominently.


34 | Show Report: Newcastle circumnavigate in a relatively short time, unlike Sydney’s sprawling spectacular, so those looking for a specific display or musthave bargain are able to do so more easily. Frontline Campervans, Horizon Motor Homes and Trakka each had a significant presence, as did Sydney RV with its fully imported Auto Trail range, which attracted considerable attention. Fiat was also on hand, with an empty Ducato van and a bare Ducato cab-chassis, and it was good to see a vehicle manufacturer getting out to a regional show to directly answer customer enquiries. Trakka’s all-new Trakkaway 800 was perhaps the star of the show, being an all-new 8-metre coach-built model built on Mercedes’ popular Sprinter cab-chassis. Combining the slide-out rear bed of the smaller Trakkaway 700 with the spacious lounge/dinette of the larger Trakkaway models, the 800 is Trakka’s first rear-wheel drive Trakkaway model since the demise of the VW Crafter-based Trakkaway models.


Show Report: Newcastle | 35 Speaking of Crafters, a Trakka Jabiru van conversion of one, with a six-speed manual gearbox, was on display. Volkswagen has dropped the automatic transmission option from the Crafter range and replaced the old, rather asthmatic 2.5-litre 5-cylinder diesel engine with a smaller but more powerful 2.0-litre unit. iMotorhome is keen to have a drive of both these new models (along with the updated Torino) and thinks the manual Crafter might just suit those looking for a quality manual shifting van in a sea of automatics. Another interesting model on display was the Vantage slide-on from Active Campers. Featuring a queen or king bed, a bathroom, kitchen, dinette seating for four and an electrically actuated roof – all in a 500 kg package suitable for a dual cab (it was mounted on a VW Amorak) – it uses thermoplastic sandwich panel construction and is priced at $39,500. Also, it had a side entry door so you

can still use your towbar. Very impressive. Some major and specialist exhibitors, like Paradise Motor Homes, Trailblazers RV and Wirraway, for example, were absent, while manufacturers like Jayco, Avida and Sunliner relied on dealer representation rather than making the journey themselves. Maybe next year?


36 | Travel: Trakka Dakar

Trakka

Dakar Dirty deeds done but far from dirt cheap‌


Travel: Trakka Dakar | 37

I

n Issue 7, way back on August 4th 2012, we brought you a custom made Trakka Jabiru Xtra 4X4 destined for the high plains and high life of the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America. Owner Mark Davidson didn't make the journey as planned, but did get to Dakar 2014 – along with his custom Jabiru as his trusty support vehicle. The Dakar is the toughest race of its kind on earth and is open to motorcycles, quad bikes, cars and trucks. Mark was riding a specially built KTM motorcycle and the Trakka Dakar (as we christened it) served as team transport, sleeping accommodation and workshop.

The unique Mano del Desierto sculpture is 11 m tall and sits in the Atacama Desert. Custom Trakka (below) served as a mobile workshop and bike transport.


38 | Travel: Trakka Dakar

Photo Credit: Marc Van Der Aa/ Shakedown Team, Etape 04 San Juan - Chilecito 8-Jan-2014

Trakka’s service manager, Jeff Cripps, landed the enviable job of steering the Trakka Dakar in support of Mark and another rider, Troy, sharing the vehicle and its facilities. Mark had raced in the 2010 and 2011 Dakar rallies but failed to finish on both occasions, such is the physical effort, mechanical reliability and sheer luck required. Would 2014 be his breakthrough year? Read on to find out.

The Dakar is the toughest race of its kind Earth.


Travel: Trakka Dakar | 39

Trakka’s service manager, Jeff Cripps, drove the custom Trakka Jabiru Xtra in the support role.

Jeff's Story

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fter spending three weeks with the Dakar Rally in South America I’m struggling a bit to put it into perspective: From New Years Eve, spent in the home of an extended Argentinian family (whose hospitality and generosity towards us, a bunch of strangers, was exceptional) to the lush, green of the Argentinian countryside and the friendly, excited enthusiasm of the Argentinian people; to the incomprehensibly vast wasteland west of the Andes that makes up the northern part of Chile and incorporates the Atacama Desert, where rain hasn't fallen for hundreds of years.

Laid over the top of this patchwork we spent almost a week in the Argentinian city of Rosario, preparing for the start, then two weeks sucked into the whirlwind that is the Dakar Rally. We drove relentlessly; north through Argentina, across the Andes and south through Chile to end in the coastal city of Valparaiso.

quite some time for the full extent of it all to fully sink in.

Our support vehicle, a Jabiru Xtra built on a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 was able to transport the crew and all gear needed for our mobile 'service workshop' with comfort and ease. We crossed all manner of terrain and the 4x4 facility helped us get out of some sticky situations a lot easier That was more than 6200 km than some of the heavier, for us in the support crew, more elaborate setups we comprising Max the mechanic, were travelling with could Riley the manager and me, the manage. driver. Our riders, Mark and Troy, would have to cover over Despite our extensive load 8,700 km of road sections and of people and equipment selective sections to complete and some re-fills from what could only be described the rally. It's going to take as 'questionable' refuelling


40 | Travel: Trakka Dakar Organised chaos at the port in Calama, Argentina, where all the vehicles had to be collected and scrutinised for compliance, including the support vehicles.

stations, the Jabiru performed faultlessly. It also pulled through the 12 hour drive over the Andes crossing at 4860 metres (15,900 ft ) without missing a beat. Truly impressive! The Dakar Rally is described in the documentary 'Madness in the Desert' as something that has become a “victim of it's own success.” With an international TV audience that's outnumbered only by the World Cup and the Olympics (which are only held once every four years) the annual Dakar Rally is extraordinary to behold and mind boggling to be a part of. It's no wonder that it's now referred to as "The Odyssey”...

The Adventure Revealed

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akar rider and Takka Dakar owner Mark Richard writes, “I was looking forward to the adventure and was not short changed.” Day 3 starts at 5 am I’m running 103 rd after having a good previous day in first dune stage. Stage 3 was the first of the two marathon stages and the route was to take us to an unprecedented elevation of 4400 m. I was aware of my previous problems with altitude sickness, but thought I had conquered it with months of training at a synthetic 3000 m and taking medication for the previous 5 days. The route had been altered due to some significant rainfall and was reduced from 350 km to 230 km. The feature and challenge of the stage were the three mountain climbs. The


42 | Travel: Trakka Dakar

Multi-tasking Jabiru: Transporter, shelter, accommodation, workshop, communication base and National symbol all in one.

road book (my map) showed we would climb from 1000 to 4400 m in just under 80 km, traversing the three summits. This altitude had been reached in previous years but not on a competitive stage and not in the extreme conditions that awaited us. I reached the first mountain and cleared it well, but the second was a different matter. It was so long and so steep I couldn’t see the top because of the neck brace restriction. I hit it as fast and as hard as I could. The strength of the engine is well known but here even it started to falter due to the lack of oxygen. I got to about 300 m short of the summit and could feel the altitude hit both me and the bike – but the KTM fared best. I was slipping the clutch for the final 100 m and the head spin became serious. At the top of this climb I was feeling very weird. I had to rest, but the more I rested the worse I got.


Travel: Trakka Dakar | 43 Photo credit: Gigi Soldano Etape 11 Antofagasta El Salvador 16/01/2014 Race organisers operate a fleet of medical rescue helicopters that performance genuinely lifesaving services in some of the most remote and difficult terrain in the world.

For those who have never experienced altitude sickness it’s a strange, un-nerving and potentially life threatening experience. For me, first comes dizziness, then a migraine-like headache followed by vomiting. I cleared the second summit (I think) at about 4 pm. I then took a look at the final climb – 1,500 m in one go. F**k me, I thought. This is where it all becomes a little vague. I took the air filter off to help the bike breath but I don’t really remember the climb itself. I got stuck just short of the summit in what can only be described as a rock garden the likes of which wouldn’t be out of place in an extreme event. The only way through was to walk the 200 kg bike through – hard at the best of

times, but add the altitude and the tiredness it became almost an impossible task. I’m not really sure how long it took but I managed to get through and rest at the top. If I dropped the bike once I dropped it 20 times and each time I picked it up it got heavier. I took stock of my situation: It was now late, about 7 pm, I had reached the top and only had 70 km to ride to the bivouac and dinner, bed and rest. There were a myriad of tracks at the summit; some leading to another summit in the distance, some to the left and some to the right. I decided to take the one to the left that vaguely looked like the cap bearing on the road book. It led to very steep ravine – once

I reached the first mountain and cleared it well, but the second was a different matter.


44 | Travel: Trakka Dakar

Credit: Gigi Soldano Etape 3 San Rafael - San Juan 07/01/2014 - Argentine Support vehicles follow public roads and are satellite tracked to ensure speed limit compliance. entered, there was no return. There where tracks in front of me, I passed a very smashedup quad bike of last year’s winner, Marcos Patronelli. This was a good sign; if he had been here I must have the good track. I had dropped may be 300 to 400 m in the space of 1 or 2 km and it was like going down a black ski run, it was so steep and rocky. As the ravine levelled out I came across another quad bike: Number 284. It had overturned in the big rocks and its pilot was trapped underneath. I stopped and managed to pull him free; his right arm was broken in several places and he complained of either broken ribs or some internal injuries – he had no English and I no Spanish. I called Paris on the Iritrac (a satellite tracking system) to report. This is where the real fun began. By now it’s about 7:45 pm and starting to get dark in the ravine. Paris tells me, “You are in the wrong ravine and unless 284’s injuries are life threatening there will be no helicopter

tonight. It’s mayhem on the mountain and too dangerous to send a helicopter into a ravine with failing light – besides you will not be able to find your way out in the dark you have two rivers to cross and there are steep cliffs. Stay with 284 and we will have a chopper to you at first light.” I looked at the quad, Ricky Rios it said was its pilot, was he going to die? I didn’t think so, but I’m no doctor. I told Paris this and also about my illness. “Very good monsieur, keep him warm, relax yourself and try not to sleep, it is best if you stay awake and drink lots of water – you do have your safety equipment, yes?” Ricky and I spent a long night in that cold ravine; 4000 m up, no food, water from my bash plate and a space blanket each. At about 10 pm I gave him two morphine tablets that I had been carrying and poor old Ricky goes comatose on me. I think I’ve killed him. He won’t wake up and has a pulse but it’s only slight. Around 2 am he stirs, but with a raging


Credit: Eric Vargiolu / DPPI Etape 11 - Antofagasta El Salvador - 16/01/2014 Chili - Ambiance course

Travel: Trakka Dakar | 45

The annual Dakar Rally is extraordinary to behold and mind-boggling to be a part of.


46 | Travel: Trakka Dakar thirst and wants to consume all our water. He talks in his native tongue, me in mine and neither of us knowing what each other is saying. Did we care? No, at least we could both talk.

in the quad for a jump start – must be there somewhere you’d think, wouldn’t you? I can’t find it anywhere. I look where the little chopper just took off from. I’ve got, say, 30 m of down hill before big rocks. Bump start Sure. Choke on or At dawn I hear the chopper approaching. I set off choke off? Get one go at this – no choke – lets my safety flare to signal our location but wonder go – bang – nailed it! Better not stall! where it’s going to land, the only flat spot is about the size of a small kitchen. The chopper is I call Paris and tell ‘em I’m ready to roll. one of those really small little bubble jobs – pilot “Okay 121 you have about 50 km of off-piste to and doctor and nothing else – looks like Ricky’s ride and it will be hard, it will take some time. This going home on the outside. is what we will do. You press your green button now, that will give me your position, I will then We wrap up old Ricky in a trick suction blanket give you cap and distance to follow, when you thing that restricts all movement (I don’t tell the get to the distance press the green button again doctor about the morphine) and haul him aboard then call me back and we repeat the process. – doctor gives me some water and biscuits and Roger that 121?” tells me to call Paris and they will “walk” me out. Hasta la Vista, Ricky. That 50 km took me 5 hours. Sometimes old Pierre in Paris was on the money, other times he I pack up, put the bash plate back on and pad would send me to a vertical cliff face and up. Hit the starter – f**k, flat battery – all the calls I’d then back track to find a better way, and to Paris all night.  I go searching for the battery so it went for hours.

Credit: Gigi Soldano / DPPI Etape 5 - Chilecito - Tucumàn 09/01/2014 - Argentine


Travel: Trakka Dakar | 47 I rolled into the bivouac at about 11:30 am – I left the last bivouac the previous morning at 5 am – Id’e been going for some 29 hours. And that’s where the TV picks up the story: 10 minutes to rest then go into the next stage – 340 km of hard rocky terrain, still at 3000 m. What happened next? I rode as well as I could but crashed often, I was so exhausted. Sometime around 6 pm, at the 120km mark, I parked up and called Paris for the last time. Old Pierre answered. “Nice to hear from you 121. The medics have been shadowing you for some time. Stay where you are they will be with you shortly, Bravo to you.” That’s where my Dakar ended, on that lonely plain. Credit: Frederic Le Floch / DPPI Etape 13 - La Serena - Valparaiso 18-01-2014 - Chile

Credit: Francois Flamand/ DPPI Etape 5 - Chilecito - Tucumàn 09/01/2014 - Argentina


48 | Motorhome 101: Budgeting

Budget Well & Prosper

Tips to help you make ‘cents’ of your travelling finances… by Anthony Hayden, courtesy of Hema Maps.


Motorhome 101: Budgeting | 49

Win

WIN A HEMA AUSTRALIA CARAVAN AND MOTORHOME ATLAS VALUED AT $39.95!

Hema Maps, Australia’s on and off-road mapping specialists, is offering iMotorhome eMagazine readers the chance to win one of its excellent Australia Caravan and Motorhome Atlases. Just send us your best budgeting tips – for travelling or at home – and you’ll be in the draw to win. The winner will be announced in Issue 44 on March 15, so get cracking now!

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udgeting is a step many people don’t do when preparing for the next big adventure. For some expert budgeting tips we talked to Anthony Hayden from Highway Dreams Around Oz. Anthony and his wife Jane have been living on the road while travelling Australia for the better part of the last four years, with their two sons Cooper and Leo and their daughter Isabella.

When making a budget for your next adventure, what is the first thing you should do?

little things add up quickly and the budget will take a quick hit if not prepared. Our budget has changed dramatically since we first left home and now contains even the smallest of expenses such as laundromat costs and a few dollars for a car wash.

How long does a trip need to be for budgeting to become a necessity?

In our eyes any amount of touring requires some form of budgeting, particularly if like most people you need to watch your pennies. The When starting to construct a budget for any length of a road trip is irrelevant as a month of travel adventure it’s important to start by making free camping and exploring in the bush could a list of all expenses you can anticipate. The still work out to be much cheaper than just a usual ones like fuel, food and any caravan week travelling through popular coastal towns. park fees make the list straight away, but it’s It’s the style of travel and objectives of the trip important to consider others relevant to your that determine its cost, not the duration. travel plans, such as the permits (land access), ferry costs and so on. Even the smallest of costs should be included, simply because the


50 | Motorhome 101: Budgeting

If you formulate a budget and it’s more than you can manage, what areas do you look to cut down on? For us doing long-term travel, our biggest variables are accommodation and fuel costs. We always look to save money where we can and often we search for cheaper camping alternatives such as national parks and reserves or bush camping. Sitting idle in one spot for an amount of time can help stabilise the bank account, as long as you have an income stream replenishing your funds like we do.

How harsh do you have to be on yourself to balance ‘enjoying yourself’ with actually getting through the trip with some money in the bank? It’s only important to have money left in the bank if you want there to be money left.

Otherwise, set yourself aside a pool of money that you are happy to part with and use every little bit of it to enjoy yourself 100%."

How accurate is your pre-trip budget in comparison to the costs in real-time? Our first few weeks on the road were pretty spot on, but as we started to travel more remotely and started travelling much further distances each day in areas where fuel became more expensive and food was dearer, our budget began to change. We were lucky in one respect that through these more remote areas, budget camping options were more prevalent. We were able to off-set some of our increased costs by saving money with accommodation and camping fees. We now budget for fortnightly periods at a time. We know exactly where we are headed, what type of accommodation we will have, and

Budgeting is something most people don't do when preparing for the next big adventure.


Motorhome 101: Budgeting | 51 a better idea of distance and availability of fresh food or major supermarkets. A great example is from our time in the Margaret River area in WA. We overspent by more than a thousand dollars in that fortnight on unexpected purchases and gifts (wine, food etc.). We thought we were only going to be there once, so we made the most of it. Our backup funds helped make the experience possible and the following month was spent free camping and doing basic activities.

You’ve travelled over 70,000km in four years, in the meantime growing your family from three to five. How do you do it? When we first left on our trip our son was two-and-a-half, so he didn’t pose too many extra impacts on our budget (he ate what we ate, went where we went and most caravan parks didn’t charge for him). As our family grew, so did our budget. Things got more expensive in most areas and the way we travelled had to change. We now do a lot more budget camping and participate in more ‘free’ activities like spending time at the beach, going fishing and to playgrounds instead of visiting costly local attractions. We still splurge when necessary and prepare for that in advance by putting money aside or accepting that we will need to lay-low for a while afterwards whilst the money is replenished. We are lucky that our kids are so young and they aren’t pushing our personal budget to its limit just yet. We have an online business that brings in a modest passive income whilst we travel but recently we have taken an opportunity to write articles on travel for magazines that bring in a little extra pocket money (plus we really enjoy doing it). Anthony is a part of Highway Dreams Around Oz, a family of five that have been living on the road for the better part of the last four years. You can keep up with their adventures on Facebook and contact them via email at highwaydreamsaroundoz@gmail.com.

Helpful Links & Downloads Highway Dreams Around Oz has an excellent budgeting spreadsheet you can download here from their website. Also, The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has an excellent website called Moneysmart (www.moneysmart.gov.au). It includes invaluable calculators like a budget planner, super planner and a retirement

planner, plus link to financial counselling, scams to watch out for and a myriad of other invaluable information. It also has the excellent, free TrackMySpend app, which is available for Apple and Android devices and was reviewed Issue 17 of iMotorhome eMagazine on January 10, 2013.


52 | Rogues' Gallery

1927 ROAD YACHT And you thought flash A-class motorhomes were an American invention…

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ack in the 1920s an ambitious English company, with its registered office in London’s Square Mile and its factory in the shadow of today’s Heathrow airport developed what might well be the World’s first A-class motorhome. The quaintly but impressively named Road Yachts Limited advertised two models in 1927, but efforts so far to find out more about the history and ultimate fate of the company have drawn a blank. The subject of this write-up is The Light Cruiser, which sold for 375 guineas in standard form or 495 guineas for the De Luxe

version. A guinea was worth £1.1s (1 pound 1 shilling or 21 shillings). The Light Cruiser came from that transition era when motor vehicle manufacturers manufactured the chassis (with engine) and coach works built the body. Therefore, the aforementioned price was for the body only, although it did include all the fittings. According to the advertisement the Light Cruiser came, “Completely equipped as per specification, ready to fit on any standard chassis of over 20 h.p., 12 ft. wheel base.”


Rogues' Gallery | 53

In many ways the Light Cruiser was years ahead of its time. The layout reflects a nautical heritage in a time when there were no real road-going preconceptions.

Taking a look at the floor plan, what’s really interesting is it has a just slightly off-centre steering position up front and two cabins – yacht style – at the rear: one for her and one for him. In the middle is a “Refrigerator Gally” and a “Shower Bath Lavatory,” while the area atop the instrument panel doubles as a “Tea Table.” The De Luxe model even included a wireless and gramophone – surely the last word in on-road sophistication at the time.

The separate rear cabin layout is an intriguing one that could well be revived to suit some travellers today. The concept of total privacy in the evening, when travelling with a friend, is one I’m certain many people would readily embrace. Perhaps a 21st century Light Cruiser might reappear one day; a tribute to the foresight of the visionaries who could only have dreamed of the variety, affordability and reliability of land yachts we now take for granted?


54 | Mobile Tech

iTunes Radio Streaming radio just took a whole step forward‌


Mobile Tech | 55

iTunes radio lets you listen to music streamed live to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or desktop computer and adapts to your listening preferences.

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treaming music – that is, music you listen to ‘live’ via the Internet – has been around for a while and in various forms.

Free apps like TuneIn Radio allow you to access hundreds, if not thousands of Internet radio stations from all over the world. You can choose by categories like Local radio, Music, Sports, News, Talk, Trending and Location, as well as make lists of favourites, and in each category you choose from all manner of genres. It’s a powerful and endlessly fascinating app for anyone with a good Internet connection and a lot of time to explore. You can also record what you’re listening to. Then there are services like Pandora, which launched in Australia in 2012 and lets you choose the artists or genres you like and compile play lists and so on. It’s a high quality service that’s free if you don’t mind ads or can be ad-free for a $36 annual subscription or $3.99 monthly. Subscription also includes better quality audio and a desktop application

for your laptop or desktop computer. Naturally, Pandora is available as a mobile app, but also plays via your web browser.

Enter the Apple iTunes Radio launched in Australia just this week (11 Feb) and we’re the first market outside the US to receive it. Like Pandora it’s available free with ads or ad-free for an annual fee ($34.99), although there’s no monthly option. Unlike Pandora, iTunes Radio is a match made in heaven for existing iTunes users. Apple says, “This is radio reimagined. Browse more than 100 stations based on genres or music handpicked by iTunes. Or create stations based on music you love. Listen on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Apple TV – for free. All of your stations are stored in iCloud so you can create a station on one device and find it on another. The more you use iTunes radio and iTunes, the


56 | Mobile Tech more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalised your experience becomes.” iTunes Radio is now included in you iTunes payer, be it on an iPhone, iPad or computer. Just look for the transistor radio-style icon in iTunes on your iPhone or iPad, or the Radio button on the iTunes player on your computer. Press it and away you go. Browse genres or search by artist or song title. You can also buy the song/s you’re listening to, or add them to an iTunes Wish List for later. You can also ask iTunes Radio to play you more songs like the one you’re listening to, or never play it again. Apparently, skipping a song reduces the likelihood you’ll hear it again, too. iTunes Radio only launched in America in September and has already attracted more than 20 million active listeners. By contrast, Pandora’s 64 million listeners took the company 8 years to attract. So, if you’ve got a good WiFi connection or a robust data plan, iTunes Radio could become your new best friend at home and on the road. So too could Pandora or Spotify (check them out) or… One things’s for sure, this is radio – but not as you’ve known it!

Famous Birthdays 14th February

1743 – Joseph Banks, English botanist and naturalist. 1934 – Marlene Matthews, Australia, sprinter (Olympic bronze-1956.) 1940 – Porpoise, 1st born in captivity in US (Marineland, Florida). 1977 – Cadel Evans, Australian cyclist.


com.au

iMotorhome

iMotorhome Rentals lets you browse or book campervan or motorhome holidays live online, almost anywhere in the World! • Campervans and Motorhomes • Worldwide coverage • Huge vehicle range • Highly competitive rates • Instant pricing • Regular special offers • Book with confidence!

Visit www.imotorhome.com.au today


58 | Reader Report: My Motorhome

My Motorhome

Paradise Oasis by Garry Sounness Type: Factory built van conversion motorhome Make & Model: Paradise Oasis Platinum (features slide out bed) Year: 2013 Bought: Bought new from the manufacturer on Gold Coast Mileage now: 9000 km Licence required: Car. I found it nearly as easy to drive and manoeuvre as a Toyota Land Cruiser Base vehicle brand: Mercedes Sprinter 316 CDI Engine size: 2.2-litre 4-cylinder inter-cooled turbo-diesel Transmission: 7 speed automatic Average fuel economy: 9.1 l/100 km (31 mpg) average so far over 9000 km No of berths: 2 No of seatbelt-equipped seats: 4 Why did I choose it? We felt it was the best available in that size range. We also wanted a change from car/ caravan travelling. It is great because being narrower than a caravan it is easier to handle in cities and on the open road,

plus it has a better fuel economy. First vehicle or replacement: Replaces Land Cruiser and semi off-road caravan. Options fitted: Bike carrier for two bikes, a nudge bar, two extra seat belts and a fold down picnic table for outside cooking.


Reader Report: My Motorhome | 59 Features

Comments

Best features: Island double bed when bed slides out. Enough storage for any inter-state trips we plan. Plus, it is well made, comfortable and easy to drive. Worst features: Aftermarket hub caps are fairly ordinary. Having to travel 10,000 km on a round trip from Western Australia to Queensland for yearly check over, service is a joke and should be rectified. Occasional rattles, being traced and rectified. Window near entry door has to be closed while door open. Dealer and manufacturer support: Not tested yet but we are hopeful it exists if and when required. Recommend to a friend: Yes, we are very proud of it and hope to get a lot of use travelling all over this country.Â

Early days yet but the motorhome is well made and the perfect size for us as we are alwayson-the-move-type travellers. The Sprinter is an excellent base vehicle. Maybe one day I will regret not buying a 4WD model, but these days we tend to stick to the bitumen.There is always the option of tours to out of the way places in someone else’s vehicle.


60 | Reader Report: My Motorhome

My Motorhome

A’van Applause by Peter Manins Type: Factory built conversion motorhome Make & Model: A’van Applause 500 Year: 2006 Bought: Used, from dealer Mileage when bought: 3736 km (1 year old) Mileage now: 93,876 km Length: 5.599 m Licence required: Car. Base vehicle brand: Fiat Ducato 2.8 JTD maxi Engine size: 2.8-litre turbo-diesel Transmission: 5-speed manual Average fuel economy: 9.94 l/100 km (23.7 mpg) No of berths: 3 (one double, one child)t No of seatbelt-equipped seats: 4 Why did I choose it? Very good value; size, seating (driver, passenger seats swivel 180°), bed, toilet/shower, Ducato. First vehicle or replacement: Replacement

Options fitted: Cruise control, compass, towbar (unused), reversing and rear-view cameras, 245 W solar panels, diesel blownair heater, LED lighting throughout, shelves and lighting in all cupboards, flyscreens to cab windows and sliding door, filtered water, 1/3 extra water capacity, mirror and clothes hanging facilities and night light in shower room, two air fans, extra insulation and internal and external fans and monitoring and control for 12 V 90 litre fridge, small and large 230 V inverters, 100 Ah lithium battery, comprehensive electrics monitoring, vacuum toilet override switch. Winegard TV antenna tilt for vertical signals, replaced TV with 12 V version with DVD/USB player, replaced 4-channel sound system with much better radio with USB/iPlayer support, mobile phone antenna on top of TV antenna, weather station, table steady. Porta-bote on the side, with outboard motor and dolly wheels on the rear. Provision for two push bikes on the rear. Fiamma anti-flap system for awning. Awning wall. Rear light and tools on rear wall.


Reader Report: My Motorhome | 61 Features Best features: Size, performance and usability/comfort. Worst features: Not 4WD. Warranty issues: Minor – Ducato agent replaced a damaged cab air vent and kinked rear door wiring. Dealer support: Good – gas regulator failed first day, replaced in camping area free. Manufacturer support: Good when it mattered most – first few weeks of ownership. Recommend to a friend: Yes.

Comments This has been an excellent camper. Will go most places, fits in urban shopping centres, a delight to drive and to live in for short and long periods. When fully loaded with boat and bikes still has 100 kg margin. All operations, changes and additions are fully documented (including 760 images) at: www.manins.net/motorhome.


62 | Reader Review Templates

Win!

MYSTERY PRIZE!

Share your experience for a chance to win a mystery prize!

Y

our fellow iMotorhome readers have told us they want to know all about the rig your drive and those special places you’ve discovered during your travels. To make it easy simply use the appropriate template below!

Copy and paste the template, fill in as much information as you think relevant under each category and email it, along with a maximum of 12 photos, to reviews@imotorhome.com.au. Not only might you see your name in print, you’ll be in the draw for a monthly mystery prize! Vehicle Report: My name My email address My location

Special Place Report: My name My email address My location

Vehicle: Type (e.g. camper/motorhome/bus conversion) Factory or Custom built Make & Model Year Bought new/used/dealer/private Mileage when bought Mileage now Length Licence required (car/LR/MR/HR) Base vehicle brand Engine size (litres) Transmission (man/auto) Average fuel economy No of berths No of seatbelt-equipped seats Why did I choose it First vehicle or replacement Options fitted Best features Worst features Warranty issues Dealer support Manufacturer support Recommend to a friend (Yes/No) General comments

Place Location: Name Address State Phone E-mail Website Details: Description Visited (month/year) How I found it Why I visited Was it RV Friendly (parking/dump point/etc) Price range (cheap/average/expensive) What I liked What I didn’t Would I go back General comments


Cook-up | 63

a

iamp C s s e J y b

Summer Days

As summer draws to a close here’s a seasonal recipe to help it linger on…

I

t’s the last fortnight of summer and the shops and roadside stalls are flooded with ripe, cheap mangos. Yum! But there’s still plenty of warm weather ahead, so what better way to enjoy two of Australia’s most iconic summer delights than combining them into one delicious dish? Enjoy!

Prawns with Mango Salsa You’ll need...

Then...

• 16 Fresh king prawns, peeled and de-veined • Skewers soaked in water • 8 Lemon wedges • Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate prawns for 2 hours in ½ tablespoon honey, 1 clove crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Thread 2 prawns on skewer with a lemon wedge in between (marinate lemon wedges with the prawns) Char grill on a barbecue to taste

Mango Salsa • 2 Mangos, peeled, pip removed and diced • 2 Small red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 1 Tablespoon finely grated ginger • 30 ml White wine vinegar • 30 ml Olive oil

• Cracked black pepper and sea salt • 2 Tablespoon chopped coriander

Then... Serve with boiled rice on the side. Bon appetite!


64 | Next Issue

It's a Classic!

We'll be looking into mail forwarding services to see what they can do for you as you travel, while Rogues’ Gallery will continue with another interesting and unusual motorhome. We’ll also show you a terrific 4X4 Coaster conversion from a specialist Queensland conversion company.

A

Until March 1 be sure to follow us on and Twitter for news, Facebook comments and more than a laugh or two. Stay safe and look forward, with us, to the first month of Autumn.

Sunliner G510 Classic, to be precise. That’s the subject of next issue’s new vehicle road test – and it’s a request, which will make it even more anticipated for at least one reader. Featuring two slide-outs and a full-width rear bathroom, it promises spacious living and easy travelling. MAR

MAR

20-24 February6-11 19-23

FEB

19-23

Adelaide Caravan & Camping Show Adelaide Showground. • Open 10:00-6:00 daily • Parking: Free • Adults: $13 • Seniors: $10 • Kids: Free U 15 with adult

http://www.caravanandcampingsa.com.au/page. asp?parentid=257 Click for Google Maps

March 06-11

MAR

6-11

Melbourne Caravan, Camping & Holiday Supershow Caulfield Racecourse, Station St, Caulfield. VIC. • Open 9:30-5:00 daily (4:00 final day) • Parking: Free • Adults: $17 • Seniors: $13 • Kids: Free U 15 with adult http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/melbourne_ details.php?id=10988 Click for Google Maps

MAR

20-24

FEB

19-23 March

20-24

MAR

6-11

MAR

20-24

Perth Caravan & Camping Show Claremont Showgrounds, Claremont. WA. 6010. • Open 9:30-5:30 daily (2 pm on 24th) • Parking: Limited $5. Take train. • Adults: $18.50 • Concession: $12.50 • Kids: U 16 free http://caravanandcampingshow.com.au/ 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.

19

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 42 - 15 Feb 2014  

Subscribe FREE at www.imotorhome.com.au

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