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iMotorhome

44 : March 15 2014

magazine

Issue

because getting there is half the fun...

On the RIGHT TRACK? Trakka’s new Torino bridges many needs… Melbourne Show

A swathe of new models for 2014

Hamilton Show

What’s happening in the NZ market

You’ve Got Mail!

Part 2 of our mail forwarding feature

Win!

$50 Caltex Fuel Card!

Win!

Travel Notebook


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• Built for Australian conditions. • Models available with or without slide-outs. • Superior finish with stylish new contoured exterior. • Patented moulded bins for maximum storage capacity. • Outstanding road handling & ride comfort. • Genuine island queen beds and huge wardrobes. • Spacious rear ensuites with separate toilet & shower. • Market leading layouts & lifestyle features. • Full living area slide-outs providing superior living space. • Proven reliability of Paradise’s patented slide-outs.

Enjoy the prestige of owning Australia’s best quality motorhome Paradise Motor Homes

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ph (07) 5597 4400 - email info@paradisemotorhomes.com.au Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ © 2013


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! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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 M: 0408 315 288 T: 03 9579 3079 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.


On my mind | 5

Things… Firstly, an apology for last issue’s editorial. Seems I accidentally sent the draft copy to our designer Agnes in the rush to get the issue out and nobody here noticed all the bloopers until it was too late. Thank goodness for digital publishing, the ability to update and reload an issue after initial publication – and your understanding! Part of the rush was due to Agnes (and family) heading to her native Germany the day after publishing for a few weeks holiday with her extended family. That’s no excuse, it’s more a segue into explaining that this issue has be designed and produced on a small laptop in Agnes’ parent’s home; complete with reportedly dodgy WiFi, a 10 hour time difference and all the distractions of really just wanting to be on holiday. Congratulations are in order, I believe! It’s also a reminder of what a truly mobile world we live in and how the Internet has changed everything. If you’ve downloaded this as you’re travelling I’m sure you’ll agree.

Show Time! The capital city RV show season is in full swing, with Adelaide and Melbourne shows done and Perth, Sydney and Brisbane still to go. Industry people tell me the Adelaide Show was a bit of a fizzer, in crowd terms, but Melbourne seemed to go very well. You might think these shows are just put on to display the latest and greatest, but make no mistake – for manufacturers and dealers they’re all about sales. This means if you’re in the market for a new vehicle a show is a great time to grab a bargain, or to find out otherwise difficult-to-discover information. Dealers always have show specials, while with directsales manufacturers it’s your chance to meet

the people who make the vehicles and get all the info you need without having to visit the factory. As for the Melbourne Show, we’re a little short of space in this issue, but watch our Facebook page for an album of extra images, soon.

Windscreen Wanted Motorhome insurance guru Ken Tame needs your help. Do you own or know someone who owns an Australian-built Winnebago Wilderness A-class motorhome that has had a windscreen replacement in the last 18 months? If so please call (03) 9853 5554 or email kent@kentame.com.au.

Reader Reports We need more Reader Reports! Just use the templates in the back of this issue and you’ll be in the running to win a beautiful custommade iMotorhome leather notebook.

Finally… Remember this emagazine and our website only exist thanks to our advertisers. We’d like to keep them both free for you, but to do so our advertisers need your support, where possible. All we ask is that whenever you need something for your campervan, motorhome or other recreational vehicle you visit their websites, take a good look around and if their products suit and are well priced then please choose them. It’s a simple request that benefits all of us. Thanks!

Richard


6 | Content

3

About us

5

On my Mind

8

User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Things…

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!

14

News

20

Road Test: Trakka Torino

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

On the Right Track? – A touring test just for two

Another hard day at the iMotorhome office…

Missed a Test? No problem. Click HERE to view the complete list of tests.


Content | 7

40

Feature: You've Got Mail Part 2

46

Show Report: Melbourne

52 58

Show Report: Hamilton

61

Reader Review Templates

62

Next Issue & Show Calendar

The final part of our look at mail forwarding services

Happy Anniversaries – 2014 was a big year at the Melbourne Show

Malcolm does the rounds of one of his favourite RV gatherings…

Mobile Tech: Wello A portable medical miracle about to hit the market

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

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

Send us your letters for a chance to win a $50 Caltex fuel card! Missed an Issue? No problem. 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 relevant 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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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


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.

same thing done with cutlery drainers. Malcolm could even take them with him when he holidays to avoid disappointment. Lol...

Thanks Val, what a great idea. I’m sure Malcolm will take it on board and as a reward, please accept this issue $50 Caltex fuel card as a thank you. It might even buy you a few extra shower caddies!

Winning Letter Hi Richard and Team, thanks for a great read. I have an idea that would probably suit Malcolm very well as he appears to be obsessed with bedside shelves! On the side of the wardrobe in our Suncamper Sherwood we have attached shower caddies which would usually hold soap and shampoos in the shower cubicle. We have also seen the

Kind regards and happy travelling, Val.

Over-cab bed Nirvana could be achieved with a shower caddy as a simple stick-on bedside storage solution.


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On your Mind | 13

The CCIA Responds iMotorhome recently asked the Caravan Camping Industry Association (CCIA) of NSW to explain its position on free camping. CEO Lyndel Grey responded and here’s what she had to say.

“Our Association recognises the need for a wide variety of choices to be available to the travelling public and certainly encourages the provision of both highend and more basic camping options.”

“We do not oppose the use of showgrounds and other Councilrun facilities. Our concerns are about non-compliant camping, that is, use of land that does not meet minimum requirements (for example, safety requirements) for camping.”

“Holiday parks and camping grounds support local economies and are an important part of tourism infrastructure. They provide a flow-on economic benefit to the local community of $1.38 for each $1 received by the operator. This does not include the spend by visitors when they come to a town.”

“The same laws that require a caravan park to ensure a safe environment for the travelling public should apply to anyone who wants to provide camping facilities – whether provided by a council or a small business operator. No more, no less.”

On This Day 15th March

“Currently there are over 50,000 sites available each night in NSW – they range from very basic to upmarket holiday resorts and everything in between.”

“We have made representations to many councils to ensure that they are aware of the regulations already in place to provide extra sites to cater for overflow or peak periods. We would welcome discussions with any council or community group to ensure that the travelling public are not disappointed by a lack of availability of sites.” While thankful for a response, iMotorhome still believes the driver behind the CCIA’s push is to profit its members, not ‘protect’ the travelling public. We do wonder, for example, just what “minimum safety requirements” a piece of land might require to be camped on? What do you think? Please write and let us know – we’ll share them with the CCIA.

44 BC – J ulius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March. 1493 – C  hristopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first New World voyage. 1948 – B  radman scores 115 for the Australian cricket team v Western Australia. 1971 – C  hatrooms make their debut on the Internet. 1985 – F  irst Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).


14 | News

Handy Gas Checker

T

he Truma LevelCheck unit is a small, hand-held device that uses ultrasound waves to measure LPG level. It also doubles as a flashlight. The LevelCheck is calibrated to work on steel and aluminium LPG bottles with diameters of 200-350 mm, but will not work with plastic containers or butane cylinders. The unit is simply pressed against the LPG bottle and moved downwards until the red light becomes green, indicating the gas level. The LevelCheck is priced around $90 and is available at various online shops and on eBay.


News | 15

NEW MARKETPLACE LINKS

T

he iMotorhome website’s Marketplace Links pages are growing. They’re designed to link you with businesses that can help, 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: Send My Mail – Secure online and traditional mail forwarding services, world-wide. Tilta Trailers – Specialised light weight car trailers for your ‘Toad,’ that tilt. Tourism Wellington – Visit Victoria’s beautiful Gippsland region and discover its magic!

WikiCamps causes a stir Following the initial report a follow-up article stated that, “Extra signage and afternoon visits by compliance officers are part of a plan to control illegal campers, but the council doesn't want it to be seen as a crackdown. Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said extra signage would be installed, especially in areas where illegal campers were known to stay. He said compliance officers would visit the sites in the afternoons to let campers know it was illegal to stay overnight and to point them to the available caravan parks.”

A

recent report in the Fraser Coast Chronicle newspaper said, “An online app incorrectly directing travellers to ‘free camping’ at car parks on The Esplanade at Hervey Bay is adding to the number of vans and vehicles parking up for the night. Fraser Coast Regional Council has fielded reports from the public that backpackers were exploiting the Council's park facilities when they used the space for short-term stays. Users on the online WikiCamps Australia app gave the car park at the All Abilities Playground on Charlton Esplanade a 4.8-star rating.”

WikiCamps has subsequently removed the location from the app. Interestingly, an online poll conducted by the newspaper that asked, “Should tourists be allowed to camp for free at Esplanade car parks,” returned a predictable “No,” but only by the slimmest of margins (51%). iMotorhome wonders when a crack down isn’t a crackdown? We also wonder why the Council doesn’t realise that by only offering full-priced caravan parks as an alternative place to stay the local area will likely lose these people – and their spend – completely?


16 | News

East Arnhem Land Adventure before the trip for all guests to travel through and camp in the region. There is a minimum stay of two weeks (although guests can stay up to three months).” “The track in and some others are quite rough and whilst the area is only 80 km from Numbulwar this can take 3 to 4 hours. A 4WD is a must, therefore tents and off-road camper trailers are recommended (off-road caravans may be possible) and guests are advised to carry spare fuel and recovery gear for exploring the region.”

A

lan & Fiona Jennison are looking for fellow travellers with 4WD vehicles to join them and their big blue 4WD Mitsubishi Canter motorhome at Cape Barrow and Mewal in East Arnhem Land in July, August and September 2014. “A maximum of 60 couples will be allowed in this region over the three month period and there are thousands of acres in which to camp, with 180 kms of beaches, lagoons, rivers and lots of bush,” according to the Big Blue Bus Adventures website. “We will be meeting guests at Numbulwar (out from Roper River) and how you get there is entirely up to you. Permits will be sent out

“Barramundi, shark, queenfish etc. abound in the waterways and ocean so fishing expeditions can play a large part of this trip, some guided tours of the area will be available as will photography workshops run by myself,” said Alan. “The birdlife is stunning; magpie geese, bee catchers, herons, eagles, hawks, falcons and lots more can be found while dingos, lizards, kangaroos, buffalo and crocodile are just some of the animals in this area. Guests can also just relax and soak up the bush as much as they want.” Cost will be $500 per couple per week (children under 14 are free) and you can find out more at bigbluebusadventures.com

Cool Camper UK & Euro Rentals

I

f you ever dreamed of touring the UK or Europe in a classic Kombi camper, now you can.

Camperbug lists hundreds of privately owned campervans across the UK, with others available in Ireland, France, Spain, Germany

and as far afield as Turkey. According to its website, “Camperbug is a fantastic and unique travel agency. We have the coolest and largest selection of retro vehicles listed for hire anywhere on the internet. There are currently five different types of VW van Continues...


News | 17 ...continued.

which have been commonly converted for camping and we list them all. We have T5's, T4's, the beautiful wedge shaped T3, the famous bay window T2 and last but not least the ever iconic Split Screen or T1, which for many fans is the definitive camper.� “We let you hire campervans from enthusiasts all over the world! Our owners are looking to rent out their motorhomes for a week or two, a weekend or maybe even just for the day. Make an enquiry to find out more about your chosen van. The vehicle owners are happy to answer whatever questions you have. Our system is simple, visit a van page and send a message. You will receive a response through Camperbug's in built messaging system. Book a van and then go on holiday and have an amazing time!� To find out more visit www.camperbug.co.uk.

70% Buy back guarantee Ask for details on personal export.

Short term hire also available. www.webbsmotorcaravans.com.au info@webbsmotorcaravans.com.au Tel: 02 99494343/ 0449 824 972


18 | News

Aspen Discount Offer

A

spen Parks and Resorts is offering 20 per cent off stays booked before March 31 and completed by 30 June 2014. Savings are on everything from powered sites to cabins, but you need to check availability and restrictions apply. To find out more click HERE.

Something Fishy

A

new book from TV fishing guru Rob Paxevanos is a one-stop reference for successful fishing in Australian waters, both for novices and seasoned anglers. Rob Paxevanos’ Australian Fishing Basics has everything from selecting bait and hooks to tying the perfect knot and the secrets of polaroiding. In 224 pages Rob shows how to go after Australia's most popular catches, including flathead, golden perch, trout and barramundi. A

foreword by former Governor-General Michael Jeffery is a reminder of how many people of all ranks and callings have enjoyed learning about fishing from Rob. Australian Fishing Basics is illustrated with hundreds of photographs, plus step-by-step instructions for the fiddly techniques, in an exuberant and accessible guide to achieving fishing success everywhere and every time. Published by Macmillan and priced at $42.95, it’s available at major bookshops and from www.robpax.com.

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 | 19

New Appointments

R

VM Australia, the peak body for Australia’s RV manufacturing industry, has appointed an experienced mechanical engineer to its technical team. Former Holden engineer Anne Campbell joins Daniel Sahlberg, taking over from Murray Longe, who has completed his contract and moved back into the IT industry. RVM Australia CEO David Duncan said Anne and Daniel would continue the successful embedding of the RV Manufacturing Accreditation Program (RVMAP) processes within the industry.

“Anne has valuable experience in the car industry, having worked on several project teams at Holden, which complements Daniel’s first-hand experience in caravan manufacturing. Her specialty was in the electrical area, and she played a key role in developing the electrical systems of Commodores and Statesmans during her time at Fishermans Bend. “She has a strong affinity for caravanning, having enjoyed family caravan holidays as a child and now continuing the tradition with her own children.”

“They also provide technical advice to members and work on our submissions to government on important industry matters,” he said.

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20 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

The Light Vantastic Trakka’s Torino raises the bar‌ Review and Images by Richard Robertson


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 21

Exploring out-of-the-way campsites is fun and easy in a van the size of Trakka’s new Torino. The Fiat Ducato’s wide stance provides a stable base at night, while decent ground clearance makes light work of ‘mild’ dirt tracks.

I

different. In a nutshell, the Xtra in Torino Xtra means it can carry two extra people. The new Torino is strictly for two, which for most potential owners is unlikely to be an issue.

Trakka’s new Torino is an alternative to the highly successful Torino Xtra – the company’s top selling model. Both are based on the Fiat Ducato XLWB van, but their layouts are very

Eschewing the Xtra’s east-west double bed and four-place dinette with seat belts, in favour of lengthways single beds (that can also become a king) and two smaller two-seat dining areas, the New Torino is very different.

’m lying in bed and can’t feel my toes. It’s not cold, I just can’t feel them touching the wall I know is down there somewhere. For me at 185 cm (6 ft 1 in) that’s remarkable – especially in a van conversion motorhome.


22 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Despite the naysayers we’ve had no issues with the Ducato’s front-wheel drive, even climbing quite steep and loose tracks. Perhaps it’s the van configuration weight distribution that makes a difference, but we haven’t even needed to switch on the electronic traction control. “We actually spent about a year thinking through this design, refining it and working out all the details before building this first model,” said Dave Berry, Trakka’s managing director. “A lot of thought has gone into the design and we’re really pleased with it.” “This first model” is the subject of this review and Mrs iMotorhome and I borrowed it for a few days to put it though its paces. Here’s what we thought…

Van Go

F

iat’s Ducato, even in basic delivery van form, is built with motorhome conversion in mind. Swivelling cab seats and a pleasurable car-like driving environment are just the beginning. It’s wider than its main rival – Mercedes’ Sprinter – by 57 mm (2.24 in) and has a lower floor height, thanks to being front-wheel drive. There’s also more room underneath for water tanks due to the absence of a rearwheel drive tail shaft and associated componentry, plus it has a much larger fuel tank (120-litres), carries 500 kg


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 23

We actually spent about a year thinking through

this design, refining it and working out all the details before building this first model. extra load and has its cables and wires routed to maximise conversion ease. The Ducato even comes with Michelin Agile Camping tyres that are specially designed to resist flat-spotting when left sitting for extended periods in one spot. Remote central locking (locks all but independently

opens cab or cargo), electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning, power steering, cruise, steering wheel mounted audio, Blue&Me Bluetooth with voice commands, media input socket, integrated but removable TomTom satnav system and more; the Ducato’s standard equipment list is most comprehensive.

Dual air bags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction and stability controls are standard too. Trakka ads a Waeco dual-lens reversing camera that shows a distance view out the back when driving and a downward view with distance markers when reversing. It’s simply the best setup I’ve used.


24 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino REMIF cab blinds are quick, effective and elegant. Below: Two Italian beauties. Despite the Ferrari’s appeal I’d take the Torino any day. Honestly!

Van Goes

T

rakka specifies the largest engine option, Fiat’s 3.0-litre turbodiesel that puts out 132 kW and 400 Nm and matches it to the manufacturer’s proprietary Comfortmatic 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). It’s a strong, refined and economical combination that makes for easy cruising when loaded and makes easy work of the cut-and-thrust of city driving. Although I failed to note the departure distance on the odometer my roughas-guts fuel figures seem to show an average of about 11 L/100 km (25.7 mpg). Not bad for a brand new vehicle driven twice across Sydney and at maximum cruising speeds down the Hume Highway to Yass and return (and all easily on the one tankful).


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 25

IMotorhome has been accused of being Trakka biased. Given this is a company at the top of its game, and the quality of its products, it’s difficult to sound any other way.


26 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

New windows with much sturdier fly screens and privacy blinds are a Godsend. Below: Even with our (excellent) Duvalays folded during the day there was still good, comfortable sitting room in the rear.

It’s low stance, wheel-in-each-corner design and wide track gives the Ducato a firm but secure ride. There’s minimal body roll, good visibility, high comfort levels and low engine and wind noise; all of which combine into a civilised and refined driving experience once you’re accustomed to the AMT’s slightly unusual shifting habits.

The Converted

i

Motorhome has been accused by some readers of being Trakka biased. Given this is a company at the top of its game, and the quality of its products, it’s difficult to sound any other way. Trakka is also one of the few manufacturers with properly registered demonstrators we can travel in and use. And


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 27 it’s only by living in a motorhome that it’s true character is revealed. Trakka’s Euro-inspired interior decor – a stylish combination of subtle wood tones and silvergrey highlights and roller shutter cupboard doors – reflects the care and attention to detail of the overall fit out, which starts with an idea and becomes 3D CAD drawings before ever seeing the light of day. “We spend a lot of time ensuring all aspects of our interior designs fit in. For example, all corners are rounded; we don’t just build square box cupboards and stick them up.” Dave Berry explained. “Have a look at the way all the cupboard end panels match up, and look at

the way we’ve angled the concertina privacy door so it provides more standing room to get changed.” Indeed the more you look into the new Torino the more thoughtful design touches you find. Outside, new design elements like carbon fibrelook body decals that look good but are just for show, and practical things like a new, fixed TV antenna that looks like a car radio aerial and flush-fit windows with black aluminium frames instead of white plastic. Inside, things like the REMIF blinds, which during the day are tucked neatly out of sight around the windscreen and cab door windows and within a few seconds provide total privacy with maximum space

The six self-closing kitchen drawers are cleverly concealed behind two sideways-sliding roller shutters when not in use.


28 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino efficiency are the best of their type I’ve used. Speaking of blinds, anyone who’s battled with the combination flyscreen/blinds of Seitz hopper windows will know how flimsy and fiddly they are. Not these new ones! Solid and easy to slide up and down, they don’t try to spring open, don’t require a delicate touch to operate and the flyscreen section is finished in black (not the usual grey/white), which makes it easy to see through. Back outside, Trakka fits a wind-out Fiamma awning and includes a power cord with circuit breaker that’s a permanent part of the vehicle and is concealed in its own locker. Unusually, this is fitted on the kerb side on this vehicle, due to legal spacing requirements with the gas bottle storage locker on the driver’s side, I’m thinking.

Escape!

P

re-arranged social commitments and publishing constraints only allowed us two nights away in the new Torino. We left in a hurry, late on a Sunday afternoon after lunch guests departed, and to a large degree just threw our things in and went. Trakka does the best job of equipping its test/demonstrator vehicles; from bedding (if required), through crockery and cutlery and right down to

The bedroom’s concertina privacy door is a nice touch in a small van.


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 29

Externally accessed under-bed storage is quite reasonable. The small hatch accesses the hot water system and provides limited extra storage. Left: Optional, swivelling 12 V fan with timer is a must-have and does a good job of keeping the air moving in the bedroom on still nights.

matches and a myriad of hand wipes. Talk about thorough! We took our own bedding – two Duvalay memory foam sleeping bags we’ve been trialling – clothing, camera

gear and whatever else; so when we pulled up for the evening just 90 minutes down the road our first night was as much about finding places to put things than relaxing with a

drink. It always takes time to settle into a new vehicle and this one was no exception.


30 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

Cab offers full dining or small workstation versatility. Very clever. It’s a good place to keep out of the Chef’s way, too.

Inside Story

T

o understand the new Torino’s layout picture this: Swivelling cab seats form a casual seating/dining area; there’s a mid kitchen on the kerb side with the fridge and bathroom opposite and down the back the two single beds (that can be made into a king) also serve as a more spacious inwards-facing dining area. At this level it’s pretty standard stuff but

forget the Devil; in this vehicle the pleasure is in the detail… On the road I’m the boss, but when the engine shuts down Mrs iM becomes Lady of all she surveys. That includes me and I know my place – which is out of her way. In this vehicle that can be up the front, with the driver’s seat facing aft and the little flip-up table on the fridge end-panel serving as a small but practical iPad

Forget the Devil; in this vehicle the pleasure is in the detail…


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 31

workstation. It can also be in the same seat but with the pole-mounted dining table in place. The table top is elliptically mounted, so you can rotate it it out of the way for easier access. “My place” could also be down the back, where the beds meet the kitchen and bathroom. There, facing inwards and with the same dining table moved to its aft position, I could work without impeding her royal progress through the kitchen or other dominions.

Cooking and Dining

T

he new Torino’s kerbside kitchen is small, but even so it partially blocks the sliding side door opening. When cooking you

Kitchen bench space is limited and a smaller, secondary table is planned to help ease this.


32 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

Torino comes with an over-sink cupboard set up for crockery. Below: LED reading lights and a privacy door means one person can read or sleep while the other reads or watches TV up front. need to use the sink’s glass lid for bench space, and when washing up it works the other way around. The cooker is a small, two-burner gas unit and the sink is round, sans drainer and has a lift-up flick mixer tap. There’s also a filtered water tap. The main kitchen bench unit has two rows of three self-closing drawers, the depths of which increase towards the floor. Cleverly, all are concealed behind two big sidewaysopening roller shutter doors when not in use, which not only looks good, it means you don’t need to lock and unlock individual drawers. Above the sink is a crockery cupboard fitted for plates and mugs. Above the cooker is a stainless steel rangehood with a small cupboard above it that houses Trakka’s integrated electrical command centre. This incorporates fresh and grey water tank levels, truck and house battery readouts, internal and external temperatures, water pump operation, 12 V master control and a separate master switch for the dimmable exterior lights. The cupboard


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 33 also houses the fridge master switch, hot water controls and two switches for the sexy purple LED strip lights that hide beneath the main kitchen unit and under the overhead lockers (and which we forgot to use, hence no photos). House lighting is via ceiling mounted LEDs and both these and the exterior lights are dimmable and controlled from a custom switch unit on the pillar behind the front passenger seat. Opposite the forward end of the kitchen bench (where the sliding door opens) is a tall unit with a cupboard below that contains the house batteries, a mid-positioned 136-litre 12/240 V fridge/ freezer and a cupboard above that hides the microwave. Like most vehicles the Torino uses a combination gas/electric system for cooking and hot water, but an optional Remote pack does away with gas entirely, replacing it with diesel-fired hot water,

House batteries live in handy underfridge cupboard. Below right: Clever design behind the driver’s seat provides storage for the dining table pole; a flip-up coffee table-cumwork station and a small pole up high to mount the removable TV, with connections in the cupboard above.


34 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

The remote controlled toilet module stores under the sink until needed. Slimline sink is surprisingly generous. cooking and (as a bonus) central heating. The pack also includes a 135 W solar system and a thermal and sound insulation package. We tried the forward and rear dining options and preferred the rear, despite the front seats being a bit more comfortable. Trakka is implementing a secondary, smaller coffee table and extra table leg, which will work best up front while also supplying much needed additional bench space to the chef. The rear dining position allows better leg room and just feels more open. When not in use the dining table stores flush against the wall, above the foot of the bed that abuts the kitchen bench.

SMB

T

rakka’s Switch Mode Bathroom is a cleverly executed, slightly convex shaped cubicle Dr Who would be proud of. The trick is a retractable toilet unit that whirrs out from under the vanity when required and whirrs away when finished – all by the magic of remote control (yes, there is a manual override). When retracted the shower size is comparable to a domestic unit. Another great feature is wrap-around shower curtain that covers your towels, toilet paper and the doorway. It press studs tightly into place and provides maximum showering space with minimal intrusion. There’s a small rectangle sink and a triple paned mirror, the left-hand side of which conceals a medicine cabinet. The Torino has no side window due to the location of a vehicle body structural member, but it does have a large, clear roof hatch. A fan hatch might be a worthwhile option.


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 35 Sink tap doubles as a pull-out shower while the floor board keeps your feet out of the grey water. Convex bathroom wall (below) maximises interior room without impinging noticeably on living space.

Mrs iM was thoroughly impressed by the SMB, although she decided you’re best off to leave the loo retracted at night, enter the bathroom and then bring it out. We both also loved the wooden board that covers a recesses in the shower floor, so you stand above any water. It also has a bilge-type pump in a small sump that sucks water out when detected, thus avoiding slow drains and pooling grey water. All very clever…

After Ours

A

fter our dinner we experimented with the TV, which is a 48 cm (19 in) TV/DVD unit that’s pole mounted and sits at the junction of the kitchen end panel and bedroom. It can be watched from the bedroom or swivelled for viewing from the kitchen and front seats, but it’s also easily removable and can be reattached to a small pole in the recess above the space behind the driver’s seat, by the fridge end panel. There it’s best viewed from the front passenger seat, which is good if one of you wants to go to bed. What’s also good is a concertina privacy door that screens off the bedroom from the rest of the vehicle, and as mentioned earlier follows an angled path to provide added standing/changing room in the bedroom.


36 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Versatile bed space can be ‘formalised’ singles, like this, or a massive king with the drawer removed, and a centre board and cushions in place.

Sweet Dreams

A

pair of single beds run between the rear doors and the kitchen/bathroom, down either side of the Torino. The kerb side bed is slightly shorter but each is countered to be wider at the top (rear) for added shoulder room. Because the Ducato is wide there is good space between the beds, but at the rear a centre cushion is fitted that bridges the gap and fills in half the length of them as well. To convert the singles to a king you stand between the beds and pull out a sliding, recessed board from under the centre cushion. The two small backrest cushions you used at dinner time fill in the space and you have one of the biggest and most comfortable beds on

the road. Interestingly, the foam cushioning is ‘pillow topped’ with memory foam, providing very comfortable seating/bedding straight off the showroom floor. When you open the rear barn doors there’s a substantial boot beneath the bed heads, while inside the feet of both beds hinge up for added storage space. The whole bedroom sits on a slightly raised floor that you step up to from the aisle and the space between the feet of the beds has a shallow storage compartment built in that’s ideal for outdoor shoes, etc. An unusual three quarter height wardrobe with rounded roller shutter door seems suspended above the foot of the longer bed. It sits above where the bed meets the bathroom wall and


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 37 The rear dining area is actually the most comfortable.

provides enough room to move your feet around under without smacking into it. Inside the wardrobe is a long, narrow slide-out drawer that can be removed by undoing a single screw. This is one of the cleverest design features of all, because when removed it’s designed to be positioned between the bed heads, once the centre cushion is removed. “Doing this can ‘formalise’ the twin bed arrangement if it’s just friends/mates travelling and makes a handy bedside storage unit as well,” an excited Dave Berry had said as he showed us how it worked, before we left Trakka’s showroom. We tried the bed as a king the first night and as ‘formalised’ singles the second and in both cases it/ they worked perfectly, proving very comfortable. The optional 12 V swivel fan above the bed proved a real winner, too, moving the air around on our two warm nights where our sheltered sites limited any breezes.

And the Winner is…

Y

ou! For a new design the new Trakka Torino is very well sorted. It’s a compact vehicle ideally suited to shorter breaks and occasional longer touring for two people – be they an item or just good friends – but It would be close to perfect for a single traveller.

Which brings me back to my toes. I wish there were more motorhomes I couldn’t feel them in…


38 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino

Specifications Manufacturer

Trakka

Model

Torino

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato 180 Multijet

Engine

3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

132 kW @ 3500 rpm

Torque

400 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed automated manual

Brakes

ABS ventilated 4-wheel discs

Fuel Capacity

120-litres

Tare Weight

3200 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4005 kg

Towing Capacity

2500 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

2

External Length

6.365 m (20 ft 11 in)

External Width

2.050 m (6 ft 9 in)

External Height

2.675 m (8 ft 9 in)

Internal Height

1.930 m (6 ft 4 in)

Rear Bed Size (single)

2.0 m x 0.7 m (6 ft 7 in x 2 ft 4 in)

Rear Bed Size (king)

2.0 m x 1.8 m (6ft 7in x 5 ft 11 in)

Cooktop

2-burner gas

Fridge

136 L 12/240 V

Microwave

Yes

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

2 x 100 AH

Gas

4 kg

Webasto Heater

Optional

Solar Panels

1 x 135 W (optional)

Air Conditioner

Optional (roof mounted)

Hot Water Heater

Truma 14-litre gas/electric

Toilet

Retractable Thetford cassette

Shower

Variable height, flexible hose

Fresh Water Tank

120-litres

Grey Water Tank

80-litres

Price NSW

From $119,000 drive-away

• • • • • • • • •

Pros

Design innovation Bed layout Mattress comfort Overall quality Spacious bathroom Flexible dining Vehicle economy Vehicle equipment levels Liveability

Cons

• Limited storage • Limited bench space

Contact

Trakka

Click for Google Maps

9 Beaumont Rd, Mt-Kuring-gai, NSW. 2080. Ph: 02 4722 3444 E: trakka@trakka.com.au W: www.trakka.com.au

For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Touring Test: Trakka Torino | 39

The new Torino is strictly for two, which for most potential owners is unlikely to be an issue.


40 | Feature: Mail Forwarding

l i a M t o 've G

u o Y

2 t r a P

What to do with your post when you’re on the road and a long way from home‌


Feature: Mail Forwarding | 41

L

ast issue we looked at the various options, pros and cons of organising your mail when travelling for extended periods. This time we’re letting seven mail forwarding services speak for themselves and to tell you in their words what they do and what they have to offer.

• A family owned business since 2006

SOS Mail Solutions of Yatala (Brisbane), Qld, allows you to receive your mail while you are anywhere in the World. If you’re thinking of travelling interstate or overseas and don't really want to rely on family and friends to collect and forward your mail then look no further than SOS Mail Solutions for a cost effective, secure mail forwarding service.

• Secure website protects your online information

A family business established eight years ago, we’ll collect your mail from our secure PO Box facility, let you know what you have received via our secure website and, if necessary, scan the mail so you can view and act on it if required. Our advantages include:

• Your mail is in safe hands! • Confidential service and guaranteed discretion • Unique in-house software allows us to log and track every single item of client mail

• Same-day set-up is standard • Scanned PDF images saved with character recognition • Established streamlined processes for bulk order deliveries to Australian customers • Virtual office facilities available, i.e. photocopying/printing, fax forwarding, banking, and virtual assistant services.


42 | Feature: Mail Forwarding

Aussie Mailman in Cherrybrook (Sydney), NSW, says it caters for all aspects of forwarding mail. We allow our clients to keep up to date with all their mail either electronically or by post. It’s their choice no matter where they are, by creating ‘Your Other Address’ at our address.

that is well travelled we understand the dilemma of how to get physical mail while on the road. That’s how Pass The Post began!

We collect and hold your mail until you make contact to have it forwarded. Wherever in the World you are – in a Motorhome, on a yacht Clients have told us that they need somebody or house sitting – we will get it to you. We can to manage all their mail, but they don’t want to also forward your mail to post offices, caravan impose on family or friends to clear their letter parks and private addresses. In fact our service box and send the mail on to them. We provide is perfect for anyone living on the road. We also quality mail forwarding services as an alternative offer a Scan Mail service where your mail is to Australia Post by providing the means to scanned and emailed to you, giving you instant send to variable addresses, which Australia access to it. Post isn’t able to do. Interested in finding out more? Call Jo on 1800 Pass the Post of Brisbane, Qld, is a family 022 547 or email service@passthepost.com.au owned mail forwarding business. As a family

Mail forwarding services come in various shapes and sizes… so do some research and shop around.


Feature: Mail Forwarding | 43 Post Haste Australia (PHA) of Loganholme (Brisbane), Qld, believes a strong value proposition gives it a real edge. It’s services and advantages include: • Personalised Service PHA offers the best possible personalised service. All mail is “booked-in” on arrival and “booked-out” on dispatching to the client. Using this unique custom system, no mail can be missed. We’re available 7 days a week by phone or e-mail. • Competitive Rates

Private Box of Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, gives you a physical address and the freedom to live anywhere. When mail arrives we send an email alert, tell you who it is from and type, be it a letter or a parcel. You then instruct us to forward it, scan it, shred it, hold it or pick it up. Operating since 2005, Private Box is located in Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand and fully owned by Kiwis. We have over 1200 customers and are a Registered Postal Operator (under Postal Services Act 1998). Here are some of our advantages:

PHA has always been and will remain one of the most cost effective mail forwarding services in • Permanent address – live your life anywhere Australia. and get your mail sorted! • Experience PHA was established in 2002 after a camping holiday at Midge Point. We chatted with our fellow campers and recognised the need for a mail forwarding service. We then developed a business model, acquired an ABN and have never looked back. • Excellent relationship with Australia Post Most mail transactions are with Australia Post and after 12 years at the same post office, a considerable report has been built-up with the staff.

• Mail forwarding or scanning – forward mail by post or email, or read securely online, too • Private – NZ are leaders in Privacy and enforced NZ law (Privacy Act 1993). • Security – our website is online-bank-quality secure, audited by Aura Security and scanned daily • Online – fully online so you can access your mail 24/7

• Repeat Business

For more information visit our website, email support@privatebox.co.nz, call +64 4 831 1333 or Skype PrivateBoxNZ.

PHA has had many clients over the years. Importantly, many clients return for a second, third and even fourth time for their annual get-away.

Send My Mail of Redcliffe, Qld, says that for less than $1 a day they will provide a secure way to get you your mail, anywhere in the world.

• Referrals

If you’re planning a trip around Australia, around the world or temporarily working away from your usual place of residence, then Send My Mail can keep you connected with the rest of your family, friends and businesses through your mail.

A great proportion of our clients have been referred by existing clients or their families. PHA has a discount incentive scheme for clients who successfully refer a new client to us.


44 | Feature: Mail Forwarding “We are very flexible with other services such as the banking of cheques and the storage of documents. Send My Mail is a family owned business that has been providing a full range of services, including mail scanning, to our clients for more than six years.” Trail Mail of Chelsea (Melbourne), Vic, is a family run mail forwarding business that services the RV and nomad lifestyle, although that's just the tip of the iceberg of what we do. Trail Mail has been forwarding mail to travellers for more than 10 years and we also offer a virtual office with scanning services for businesses that travel, as well as mail scanning for our travelling clients. Our advantages? • The ability to deal with one person – personalised service to each individual client • Prompt service – only a phone call, text or email away • Reliability – mail is collected and sorted daily. • Melbourne based • Scanning and emailing services available

Remember… Finding the right mail forwarding service for your needs is a personal decision based on trust and should be about more than just finding the cheapest service. For example, physical location is a major consideration if you’ll want to collect parcels or bulk mail periodically or at the end of our journey. So too are scan/email and fax services, and even virtual office facilities if you’re running a business on the move. Choose carefully and you’ll be in good hands whenever – and wherever – you have mail!

Famous Birthdays

76 – Hadrian, Roman Emperor and builder of Hadrian's Wall. 1944 – Sly Stone, Dallas, rocker. 1957 – Park Overall, American actress (Mississippi Burning) 1959 – Lisa Holton, American writer. 1962 – Terrence Trent D'Arby, NYC, rock vocalist. 1966 – Chris Bruno, actor.


iMotorhome Marketplace | 45

A Sydney-based company offering ideal mail forwarding services across Australia and the World

www.sosmail.com.au

aussiemailman.com.au Call 02 9980 2044

To order simply call (08) 9336 7714 or email info@duvalay.net and mention iMotorhome.

www.privatebox.co.nz Call 0800 122 335 / +64 4 831 1333 9-5pm Mon/Fri (NZT)

Simple and straight forward mail forwarding for Australians and international travellers

posthasteaustralia.com.au

Call 07 3801 3454 iMotorhome website’s Marketplace Links and new magazine Marketplace Ads link you with businesses that can help, no matter what you’re looking for.

A small family-run business that for more than 10 years has provided excellent mail forwarding services

www.trailmail.com.au Contact 0425 86 0070

We understand how important your mail is to you and that when you are using our services your traveling is more enjoyable!

www.sendmymail.com.au Contact 07 3102 6007

To advertise here or online call or email Keith on M: 0408 315 288 or T: 03 9579 3079 E: advertising@ imotorhome.com.au


46 | Show Report: Melbourne

Happy

Anniversaries!

It was cakes and candles all ‘round on the opening day of the Melbourne Supershow…


Show Report: Melbourne | 47

T

his years Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse was not only “bigger and better than ever,” it was also the event’s 60th anniversary and 60th consecutive running. Beginning in 1954 with just a few exhibitors on a site now occupied by the Arts Centre on St Kilda Road, the event has come a long way – literally and figuratively – in the subsequent six decades. This year more than 420 exhibitors vied for business amongst the expected 60,000-plus crowd. Officially opening the show was The Hon. David Hodgett, Victoria’s minister for manufacturing. It was interesting to hear him quote figures that said Victoria is home to 85 per cent of Australia’s RV manufacturing industry and is worth about $1.4 billion to the local economy. Of course most of that 85 per cent would be making caravans

Avida’s redesigned Menindee was a major show attraction, as was Paradise’s Free Time, their first on a Fiat Ducato.


48 | Show Report: Melbourne The smiling grill of Sunliner’s new Renault Master-based Holiday and below, inside the new Vibe. We’re thing the funky decor matches the funky name…

and camper trailers, but it does help explain why the Melbourne Supershow is so large and well attended. Also celebrating a major anniversary – albeit ‘only’ 40 years – was Sunliner, which started in 1974 and is still a family business. “Since the beginning we've had a commitment to craftsmanship and quality manufacturing that continues to this day," Said Nick Hunter, Sunliner’s general manager. Sunliner – also a proud Victorian company – unveiled a number of new models to celebrate, with the focus on the new Fiat Ducato-based Vibe. This is a compact entry level B-class coachbuilt motorhome that’s well equipped, priced around $110,000 drive-away it’s a real challenger to Jayco’s baby Conquest and has some interesting features, like a king size electric roof bed, LED lighting, air-con and more. Sunliner also featured a new range-topping Holiday series – the H600s – which are 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in) long: a size previously


Show Report: Melbourne | 49 reversed for the top-end Monte Carlo series. The H603 on display, riding on a big Iveco Daily and featuring an east-west bedroom slide-out and full-width rear bathroom was priced at $198,999 on the road. We were particularly interested in a preproduction Holiday H504 with a rear slide-out built on a Renault Master X62. Renault is new to the Australian motorhoming scene, but the French manufacturer now has a whollyowned Australian operation and is aggressively pursuing market share and expanding its dealer network. Powered by a 2.3-litre 110 kW/350 Nm turbo-diesel driving through a 6-speed automated manual transmission it’s priced at $145,499 drive away and we’ll be very interested to review it when we get the chance.

east-west queen bed in a slide-out, full-width rear bathroom (with washer), leather upholstery, masses of wardrobe space and a 900-plus kg payload for $166,900 plus on roads, and it can be driven on a standard car licence. Watch for a review when we can prise it out of their hands! Avida finally unveiled its much-anticipated updated Menindee. Riding on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter and with a side and rear slide-

More New Models… Paradise proudly displayed the new Free Time, its first Fiat Ducato-based motorhome. Featuring all the glitz and glamour Paradise is famous for, the four-berth Free Time has an

Decor to be different! Typically Paradise, the new Free Time (left) is all glitz and glamour, while Avida’s new Menindee (above) takes a more conservative approach.


50 | Show Report: Melbourne

Frontline’s new wider bed in its bright orange VW is a real selling point. Avan brings Knaus’ Euro chic (bottom) to the Australian market, with high mounted rear single beds to allow for a large boot.

out, it packs a lot of equipment into a relatively compact space. Now requiring a light rigid (LR) driver’s licence due to its 5000 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM), the new Menindee has a revised interior, new decor and exterior colours and carries a price tag just over $214,000. Frontline campervans had arguably the most eye-catching vehicle on display: a bright orange VW campervan with jet black alloys, grille and accents. Inside it featured a grey fleck finish and a wider bed than usually found in a campervan. It certainly attracted lots of attention and at about $77,000 probably more than a few orders. We’re trying to get our hands on it soon for a full review, so watch out. A’van set a quiet cat amongst the unsuspecting pigeons by displaying its range of fully imported Knaus motorhomes, from Germany. Being offered alongside its own Ovation and Applause motorhomes, the two imports created considerable interest. Well finished, equipped and appointed, the two display vehicles – one with two singles (and a coffee machine) and the other with a rear corner bed and a roof bed – ride on Australianspec Fiat Ducato chassis delivered from the production line to Knaus before being built on and shipped to Australia. They also use the 3.0-litre engine/auto gearbox combination and prices start around $130,000. Wirraway had an interesting machine on display: A specially commissioned test vehicle for the Air Command airconditioning people (their second, I believe), built on a 4X4 Mercedes Sprinter. Apparently it gets taken to remote, hot locations to test the efficiency and durability of Air Command’s systems – and you thought we have the best job! The new Trakkaway 800, also built on a Sprinter and featuring a rear bedroom slideout, took centre stage of Trakka’s display and


Show Report: Melbourne | 51

Horizon’s range of van-based motorhomes continues to attract plenty of interest. Note opening windows in back doors – a nice touch. Fiat’s racing Abarth (bottom) added a real dash of colour to Jayco’s otherwise conservative stand.” attracted plenty of attention, while Ballina Campervan Centre’s display of Horizon Motorhome’s was also abuzz with visitors. We’re planning a touring test of the Horizon Casuarina not too far down the track, so watch out for that one. Trailblazer’s stand was missing it’s attentiongrabbing 4X4 Truck camper – they still have the truck but sold the slide-on camper – but a replacement is on the way, we’re told. An off-road single axle fifth wheeler was on show and garnering plenty of interest, while a new top-secret “something” is due for release at the Sydney show in April and we’ll bring you exclusive photos and news of it closer to the event. Suncamper was tucked away in a corner, but still managed to display a good range of its motorhomes, including the traditional and new twin bed versions of its popular Sherwood range. Jayco had its customary big display of models, but the most interesting thing on display was a brightly painted Fiat 500 Abarth racing car, to highlight the Company’s big tie-up with Fiat. All-in-all this years Melbourne Show had a terrific range of new and interesting vehicles on display, and along with much cooler conditions than last year, truly had something for everyone.

There was a genuine sense of optimism… here’s hoping this will be a very good year.


52 | Show Report: Hamilton

Mystery at the Show Malcolm Street does the rounds of one of his favourite annual RV shows‌


Show Report: Hamilton | 53 Cover: UCC’s Tekapo motorhome certainly had some impressive graphics. Top: Mystery Creek was a very scenic place to park for a few days. Bottom: This vintage motorhome sure drew some interest.

W

ell it was certainly very hard to find someone who was a bit disappointed with the 2014 Camper Care NZ Motorhome and Caravan Show. Although the show was held at Hamilton as usual, there was a change of venue this year to the Mystery Creek Events Centre, south of the city. Despite the rather curious name there was nothing mysterious about the venue; indeed as far as I could tell it proved to be a very good choice: certainly for those who stayed in their motorhomes, caravans and fifth wheelers at the Top 10 Holiday Parks rally. For those from the Western Isle (aka Australia), the major NZ RV shows are usually accompanied by a rally where showgoers can take along their own RV and stay on-site – as did yours truly – courtesy of a Kea Campers’ supplied motorhome.


54 | Show Report: Hamilton Apart from the venue centre, one of the more fascinating parts of Mystery Creek was the Heritage Village, but you’ll have to watch out for the upcoming UCC Tekapo motorhome review to see a bit more on that.

At the show itself there were a considerable number of manufacturers and importers with motorhomes, caravans and fifth-wheelers on display. Being NZ, motorhomes certainly had the numbers. Traillite, THL/Kea/United, Diamond, Coastal and UCC lead the charge For those not familiar with NZ RV shows, they with locally produced motorhomes, whilst are considerably smaller than the big city shows Leisure Line/Southern Star and Kea did the in Australia. That is not necessarily a bad thing same with the caravans. Differently from because it’s possible to get around and actually Australia, local manufacturers face some remember everything you’ve looked over (very considerable competition from the importers important for a visiting journalist!). Another little and certainly have their work cut out. From novelty was that I was given a Media Pass. Australia were Avida and Jayco motorhomes,

Top: NZ’s largest manufacturer, Traillite, had the largest display, with something for everyone. Left: Kea/Motek/United had an impressive lineup.


Show Report: Hamilton | 55

Top: Although a private motorhome BIG BS still commanded considerable attention. Bottom: Traillite’s Auto Sleeper range were all based on Mercedes Sprinters. the latter with an especially large display. Smart RV was there with its German built Bürstner range, as was Acacia Motorhomes with its Dethleffs (pronounced Deleffs) line. From the UK, Auckland Motorhomes had a considerable AutoTrail range on display, whilst Traillite had an equally impressive Auto Sleeper range on show. There were also Bessacar and Tribute motorhomes, along with the Ultima range of fifth-wheelers, similar to those found in Australia. Although not strictly motorhome related, one of the more interesting exhibits was the Resene (paint) do up challenge, in which two old caravans received a makeover during the show. Another was the Al-Ko Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system that has been developed for caravans. Accompanying the exhibits were a number of seminars – everything from cooking demonstrations to one run by the GallivantingOz team that was all about


56 | Show Report: Hamilton

Smart RV’s Bßrstner range drew the crowds. motorhome hire and touring in Australia. I especially liked the Buyers Guide to Motorhome Purchase run by the Traillite team. Although Traillite naturally have a vested interest, it's actually very helpful to anyone purchasing a motorhome from anywhere. Personally I always like a bit of a walk around the rally site - you never know what you might find. I particularly like old Bedfords and was delighted to find an old CF2 conversion. Then there was the (British) CI conversion on an old Ford Transit and the striking red coloured GMC lookalike on a tandem-axle rig. All up a great little show. I do understand there are going to be some changes in the NZ show calendar next year, so watch


Show Report: Hamilton | 57

Top Left: What more can we say? Top Right: Both the humans and the horses travel in style here. Bottom: Dethleffs is a relative newcomer but has much to offer the motorhomer.

this space. Also worth watching out for will be the number of motorhome reviews following on from this show over the next month or two: A UCC Tekapo, AutoTrail VLine 600, Traillite Landmark Oakura, Auto Sleeper Malvern, B端rstner Elegance i800, Dethleffs Esprit and a Kea motorhome. Stay tuned NZ readers!


58 | Mobile Tech: Wello

Get Wello Soon! This innovative device will be a God-send for health conscious travellers if it makes it Down Under… From Gizmag

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ealth monitoring start-up company Azoi has announced the availability of a significant product in the form of the Wello, a lightweight smartphone case embedded with sensors that measures blood pressure, electrocardiography (ECG), heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, and lung functions to a high level of accuracy. The US$199 Wello case will be initially available for iPhone 4S, 5 and 5S, but for those who don’t have one of

those phones, the case will still work with any IOS or android device which has Bluetooth LE functionality – you just won’t be able to use the case on your phone. With such functionality, the Wello has the potential to become a disruptive technology, enabling people in developed countries to track all their key vital health data, and make more informed lifestyle choices. In developing countries


Mobile Tech: Wello | 59

Wello could be a genuine life saver for full-time or regular travellers. Not yet approved in Australia, it’s likely to find its way on to eBay not long after its release. where the healthcare system is poor or non-existent, it has the potential to facilitate much more. “Over the last two years, we have focused our efforts on coming up with a technologically advanced yet easy-to-use tool to help you monitor health and facilitate better lifestyle choices,” Azoi's founder and CEO, Hamish Patel, told Gizmag.com. “We are proud to introduce Wello – a not so small engineering feat in microelectronics, nano sensors, imaging, data analytics and design, that we hope will make a big difference in helping the world become a healthier place. We have effectively put health monitoring equipment, typically in large form factors, into a highly convenient and accessible mobile phone case.”

According to the World Health Organisation, heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, hypertension afflicts nearly a billion people globally and 347 million people have diabetes. With simple, regular monitoring of health data, people are better equipped to identify potential issues and seek advice before they become serious illnesses. “All too often, health problems go undetected until they are too late to address,” says Patel. “We believe that through improved selfawareness of key vitals, technology could very easily reduce the incidence and impact of a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Not only could this help ensure healthier, happier lives, but it could also ease the growing burden on healthcare services.”


60 | Mobile Tech: Wello

Wello is the first device ever to allow you to measure and record your vitals from wherever you are. It conveniently slides onto a smartphone disguised as a case so you always have it with you. You simply hold it for a few moments while hidden sensors take measurements and pass on gathered information to the Wello app. Not only do you get instantaneous results and key data about your health, over time you’ll see patterns that hopefully will help you take better care of yourself. It also connects with other health and fitness devices such as pedometers and sleep trackers to help identify how different behaviours can affect one’s bodily state. Furthermore, Wello provides safe and secure remote access, so it can be used to track the key vitals of family members too. It seems quite easy to use. Click to start, put your fingers on the sensors for around 10 to 15 seconds and it begins to read out. "The Wello will read heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, ECG, and it does other heart functions too and it also does your lung function tests, which is the first of its kind", says Patel. "Lung function is very important because lung diseases are the third largest killer of people in

the world, killing a lot more people each year than diabetes. Respirometer prices start at US$1500 and upwards, and they are so big and intimidating, it restricts mass adoption of such devices. By miniaturising the technology and giving the same level of clinical accuracy, we’re taking lung function tests into the home for the first time, which is likely to create a very positive impact on your lifestyle and that of your family.” "The Wello is also not intimidating, and that was our big goal with this device. We set out to create a product that was with you most of the time, that disappears when you’re not using it. That was one of the most important goals for us and we cracked how to do it around six to seven months back and we’ve been refining the product ever since to get it into production and we’re ready now.” Wello is now available for pre-order in the United States, Canada, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and across the European Union. Through Azoi’s referral program, every purchaser gets a unique URL to share and when a Wello is ordered using that URL they will get a $10 credit. In the United States, Wello retails for US$199 and will ship in Q3, 2014 pending FDA approval. For more information, including when it might be available in Australia, visit their website HERE.


Reader Review Templates | 61

Win!

Travel Notebook

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

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our fellow iMotorhome readers have told us they want to know all about the rig you 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


62 | Next Issue

The Best Laid Plans…

motorhome tests from New Zealand, kicking off with a specially painted UCC Tekapo – a chunky C-class motorhome on Ford’s popular Transit. Malcolm will also bring you a look at Trakka’s new Trakkaway 800, the company’s first Mercedes Sprinter-based coachbuilt motorhome and one that comes complete with a rear slide-out bed. Its rear-wheel drive layout will certainly please many potential Trakka purchasers.

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here just never seems to be enough space to bring you all the things we plan! Next issue we will bring you the first of a series of

March 20-24

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A quirk in the calendar means it will be three weeks until the next issue comes out on April 5th, so until then be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, insights and more than a few laughs. Safe travels!

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Perth Caravan & Camping Show

Gold Coast 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

Mudgeeraba Showground Cnr Mudgeeraba & Worongary Rds, Mudgeeraba. QLD. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4 pm Sunday) • Parking: Not stated • Adults: $15 • Concession: $12 • Kids: U 16 free • Kids: Free U 15 with adult

http://caravanandcampingshow.com.au/ Click for Google Maps

http://www.campingshow.com.au/Events/CaravanCamping-4WD-Fish-Boat-Show/Gold-Coast/ Click for Google Maps

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South Queensland Caravan & Camping Expo Nambour Showgrounds Nambour. QLD. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily • (4 pm Sunday) • Parking: Not stated • Adults: $10 • Concession: $8 • Kids: Free with adult

http://www.caravancampingexpo.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.

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iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 44 - 15 Mar 2014  

Get your free subscription at www.imotorhome.com.au today!

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 44 - 15 Mar 2014  

Get your free subscription at www.imotorhome.com.au today!