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45 : April 5 2014



because getting there is half the fun...

Paradise in Hell!

Paradise tests its Free Time to the limit…


ine $1990 Eng ! Upgrade


$50 Caltex Fuel Card!

UCC Tekapo!

A Kiwi motorhome with a difference…


Travel Notebook

Rugged Outdoor Type… A quick spin in Earthcruiser’s latest!

Express Plus

A Government app to make official life easier




seeing australia? take a trakka. >> TRAKKA’s versatile range lets you see Australia in luxury, comfort

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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


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 & Emily Barker

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.

Relax in Paradise

Australia’s Best Quality Motorhomes • Outstanding value for

money, competitively priced from $158,000.

• Unrivalled Safety including

rollover protection, auto-locking cabinetry and superior appliance mounting systems.

• Industry’s longest & most

comprehensive motorhome warranty.

• 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


245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland, 4216

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

On my mind | 5

Who’s afraid of VirginiaWolf.com? It’s been said we learn what we need to know to get by, but not much more. Nowhere do I see this more in action than with technology – and I’m as guilty as you.

don’t embrace them. What I do now is look at the latest technologies and ask myself if they would benefit my life or if they’re just interesting/amusing/pointless.

Do you have a smartphone? Can you use all its features? Do you know what defines a smartphone? Can you program a digital TV without a 12-year old present? Do you know your near-field technology from your digital camera lens’ chromatic aberration? Do you even care? Hopefully yes. And no (of course).

And the point?

Although born and raised in a world without mobile phones (we didn’t have our first home phone until I was about 12), computers, the Internet and – perish the thought – Apple (except the one that kept the doctor away), I was fortunate enough to have been in my early twenties when it all started to happen. I remember seeing the very first Apple MacIntosh demonstrated in a store in Los Angeles in the early ‘80s and thinking, “Wow, that’s amazing. I’m going to have one of those one day. I don’t know what I’ll do with it, though.” True. As it turned out I’ve had a PC since before there was a PC; when computers were truly magical things that cost a fortune, did little and dazzled everyone. But I’ve only ever learned what I need to know to get by – and recently I realised that’s quite okay. You see, a few years ago I realised there is no way I’ll ever be able to keep up with all the changes in technology; know all the features all my digital companions possess – or even need to. I’ve come to realise technology is like an all-you-can-eat buffet: you know you can eat everything but you know you never will. So I’ve learned to cherry pick. I keep abreast of developments but no longer worry about falling behind if I

I was reminded of all this when talking to a new motorhomer a little while back. They’d moved up from a campervan and now had space, comfort and even a bathroom. Not that they’d used the shower, mind, or even cranked up the ageing hot water system. “No, I’m happy to use the facilities at the caravan park when I’m not free camping.” It struck me that technology phobia comes in many shapes, sizes and stages. This person had an iPhone and iPad, was Internet savvy and used a GPS. But the old hot water system was too much. We all have our phobias and thresholds – I’m still grappling with shooting and editing videos to bring this mag and our website into the 21st Century. The bottom line? Don’t be afraid of technology, whatever form it takes. Learn to pick and chose what suits, but do at least find out how basic things work so that they can serve you – not the other way ‘round. Time for a hot shower, I think…


6 | Content


About us


On my Mind


User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Who’s afraid of VirginiaWolf.com

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!




Win a $1990 Engine Upgrade!


Day Test: UCC Tekapo

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

Get your entry in NOW!

Southern Delight – something different from NZ’s South Island…

Graphic thoughts on UCC’s new Tekapo

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

Content | 7


Feature: Paradise in Hell

43 44

iMotorhome Marketplace


Mobile Tech: Express Plus


Reader Review Templates


What's Cooking?


Next Issue & Show Calendar

Five days on a torture track for the new Paradise Free Time

The latest Marketplace offers

Short Drive: Earthcruiser Rugged Outdoor Type – could this be the ultimate motorhome?

Free Government apps to make your life easier

Review your vehicle, a favourite place or whatever for a chance to win a Travel Notebook

Zucchini and ham bakes fresh from your oven…

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

Make your own tracks in Earthcruiser’s Expedition 440T

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 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.

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

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.

Winning Letter Hi Richard. At the outset may I congratulate you, Mrs iMotorhome and your various colleagues and contributors. Your iMotorhome Magazine is a brilliant concept, well produced and worthwhile. Well done. However (and there is inevitably a “however” and/or a “but” in these situations) may I refer you to your the Editorial headed “Line In The Sand” in Issue 41: In the RV world you have to have been living under a rock to have missed the vitriolic ‘debate’ raging between the proponents of free camping (I abhor the politically correct Freedom Camping tag) and those of the general tourism industry. In particular, I refer to your bracketed personal editorialising comment “(I abhor the politically correct Freedom Camping tag)”, My view (and it appears to be the general view of Australia’s primary campervan and motorhome owners’ club) is that the term refers to a “Freedom of Choice Camping”. It is a philosophy - not just “politically correct” weasel words. I travel in my fully self-contained motorhome almost full time through this great nation of ours, acknowledging that wherever I choose to overnight (obviously off the road) is “owned” by some-body, be it private,

tribal, council, corporate etc. Facilities may range from a simple, cleared, unsealed area with no services/amenities at all - to a fully-serviced, bells, whistles and jumping-pillows caravan park. The only free camping I anticipate, is the freedom to choose at any level - from a safe dusty off-road area with no amenities at all, to a fully-optioned caravan park. And I am happy to contribute to some-body’s costs in providing me with whatever facilities I choose to park nearby even if I don’t use them all. What I abhor, is the attempted removal of this freedom of choice in which style of “camping” I wish to undertake; and the attempts made to compel me to compulsorily pay for facilities and/ or services I neither want nor will use. In summary Richard - I believe there is a significant philosophical and physical difference between “Free Camping” and “Freedom Camping”. Both have their place and supporters, but in my humble opinion, in the interests of good journalism and clarity, they should not be considered interchangeable. And you should certainly continue your campaign of support - preferably of both philosophies. Keep up your Good Work! Regards, John Horsley Continues...

12 | On your mind ...Continued

Hi John, Thanks for your email and glad you enjoy what we’re doing. I certainly understand and agree with what you’re saying; I guess my point is we shouldn’t need to constantly explain ourselves – I think most people understand that freedom of choice is integral within the “free” of free camping. Our society continues down a Nanny State path that allows for no common sense. In itself it’s a removal of freedom/dumbing down of the common sense we all take for granted – like knowing that when there are no line markings on a new section of road that you should only try

Readers Respond

Two letters following last issue’s statement of position by Lyndel Grey, CEO of the Caravan, Camping Industry Association (CCIA) of NSW. For Ms Grey a few questions: The CCIA (and affiliates) ARE campaigning against showgrounds and other free/low-cost campgrounds or “parking“ areas in contradiction to your statement. What "safety requirements" do showgrounds NOT have when used for the community "show" for a week, horse events, general club events (dare I say a CMCA Rally?) and general use by the community? If I park my fully self contained motorhome in the showgrounds for an event during the day, what changes at night, that my safety or that of my motorhome, is compromised and that I can't continue my parking there and must use a caravan/cabin park (CCP)? When a showground, public area or similar is used as an “overflow” area because the local CCP/s are full, how come your Association overlooks (or blind eyes) the lack of “safety requirements” you so solidly claim to be necessary – yet you demand the local CCP operator has “control” over the area AND charge the same price? The showground cannot be

to overtake when it’s safe. I’ll certainly continue to campaign for freedom of choice and will try to clarify my position, lest no one thinks I’m advocating ‘free-loading.’ Thanks for sharing your point of view. Please keep me on my toes and continue to point out issues you believe need clarification/attention. In the mean time I hope you enjoy this issue’s $50 Caltex fuel card – but that you use it in an appropriate and responsible manner that doesn’t endorse or imply reckless spending in any manner!

used by general travellers, yet it becomes “suitable” when the CCP is full, your members can allow “camping” AND profiteer in the process. Do you consider that moral? What is your definition of “camping”? What is your definition of “parking” in an RV? Could you outline your policy where I can legally park my fully self-contained motorhome in a regulated (painted) parking space all day, closed up, with or without anyone inside; yet your Association demands/lobbies that I must use a CCP because at or near darkness, in that I am “camping” to the detriment of your members' profits? Please don't blame Councils with your answer – you are the ones deeming/lobbying that it's unsafe or the local CCPs will go broke! Could you please advise of any other business that has legislation enforcing its use when the service/product is not required/desired, other than CCPs? For example, would you personally object if you were “required”, under threat of a disproportionate fine, to buy food from a shop when visiting a town, having brought your sandwiches with you? Mitch. Continues...

On your mind / News | 13 ...Continued

Hi Richard – comments to your CCIA article: There is only one view of the CCIA: There is no compromise, no turning a blind eye, etc – it is all into a caravan park or you will be shot. They say they “do not oppose the use of showgrounds and other council run facilities,” yet they want to see all fully compliant – that only means one thing – that they become a caravan park to comply – no ifs or buts. This is not what the traveller wants. If some caravan parks had to be compliant compared to showgrounds and the likes they would leave a lot to be desired. Many caravan parks have no sullage points and allow the waste to go into rivers, creeks and lakes. Many have “dodgy” power connections, e.g. burnt points, asking you to hook into an extension lead connection (which will void your RV insurance and is also illegal), some do not have dump points and some ask you to share a site but no reduction in the fee. They need to clean up their act before spruiking how safe they are. The press lately is full of examples of the non-safety factor of a caravan park, even to the extent that in one town the visitor information centre will not

recommend the two local caravan parks and in fact sends you out of town to the next shire! I am sure they have made lots of representations to Councils but on behalf of WHOM? Not the traveller, that’s for sure. We do not all go around wearing the same clothes (e.g. Maoism) so why should we all want the same camping experience, in a sardine can aka a caravan park? Where is the travelling public’s choice? We do not always choose a caravan park but we do when we want to. Why is that concept so hard for the lobby to grasp? They are alienating their potential customers at an alarming rate and wonder why we are shunning them more and more. No one wants to go where they are forced, but might if they are allowed the choice. Simple. Lorraine. Fair comments from you both. I’ll be passing these on and, interestingly, have been invited to a meeting with Ms Grey on the Tuesday morning of the Sydney Supershow. I wonder what that can be about? Stay tuned…



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: Duvalay Memory Foam Sleep System – Luxury sleeping that’s nothing like a conventional sleeping bag. Eastern Downs Storage – Family run vehicle storage and stopover facility just near Toowoomba.

Explorer Motorhomes (Australia) – Compact motorhomes on Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger 2 and 2WD models. Fifth Wheelers Australia – A one-stop shop for imported fifth wheelers , parts, service and more! Koloona Industries – LED lighting specialists for all your RV needs, with Australia-wide availability. Roberts RV World – RV sales, parts and service under the largest roof in the Southern Hemisphere!

$1990 ENGINE WERKT and iMotorhome are giving you the chance to win an amazing prize – an electronic engine upgrade for your campervan or motorhome, valued at $1990!

WERKT specialises in digital engine management systems customisation and tailors engine performance upgrades to suit your individual requirements. Not a one-size-fits-all solution, WERKT consults to establish your performance goals – be they extra pulling power, fuel economy, performance or across the board improvements – and then reprograms your engine’s electronic control module to deliver.

On June 2nd WERKT will consult to establish your requirements and electronically check your vehicle. This can be at your home, caravan park or agreed meeting place. On June 3rd you must bring your vehicle to Melbourne Airport for the upgrade and a pre-andpost upgrade drive and interview by iMotorhome Publisher and Managing Editor, Richard Robertson. To enter simply email your name, address, motorhome make, model and engine type and your telephone number to werkt@imotorhome.com.au by 30 April 2014. The winner will be notified by email and announced in iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 49 on Saturday 7 June.

To find out more about WERKT visit www.werkt.com.au/motorhome *Prize only applicable to a turbo-diesel motorhome or campervan. You and the vehicle must be available in Melbourne, Victoria, for consultation on 2 June and for the engine upgrade and test-drive program on 3 June 2014. iMotorhome representative must be insured and allowed to drive the vehicle pre-andpost upgrade for comparison purposes. You must consent to you and your vehicle being featured in an iMotorhome feature story.

16 | News

Get to WERKT!


ngine power upgrades of modern turbodiesel engines are commonplace and usually require the replacement of a micro chip in the engine’s electronic control module (ECM). These chips control things like fuel injection amount, fuel/ air mixture ratio, timing and a host of parameters that are factory set to provide a standardised, across-the-board driving experience. Like all mass produced things this one-size-fit’sall approach is a compromise and that’s where a specially programmed power-up chip comes in. Unfortunately, buying an off-the-shelf chip is in itself a compromise because it, like its factory counterpart, has been preset to deliver a specific outcome. Melbourne-based WERKT is a specialist tuning company that takes a different approach. An authorised dealer for Viezu Australia, WERKT

consults you to find out what you're after – more pulling power, better fuel economy, outright performance or across the board improvements – and then reprograms the existing files within your engine’s ECM to deliver those results. All work is done by simply plugging into the OBD port – where mechanics pug-it to test and diagnose for faults – so there is no physical tampering with any part of your vehicle. Impressively, all work is backed by a 30 day money-back guarantee. iMotorhome and WERKT are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a free engine upgrade for their campervan or motorhome – valued at $1990 – and have their vehicle featured in this magazine. See PAGE 14 for entry details, but to find out more about the range of services WERKT provides visit its website HERE.

New Duvalay Reader Offer Hobbs said he shouldn’t have been surprised that Australians, like Americans, have gone straight for the thickest and widest Duvalays available, and has stocked-up accordingly. Also available are covers and matching pillows, plus carry bags. iMotorhome continues to be very impressed with our two test Duvalays and Mrs iM even takes hers (sans duvet) in her luggage when staying in Asian hotels, which have notoriously hard beds.


ollowing the sell-out success of its first container load of Duvalay luxury memory foam sleeping bags the Duvalay people tell us new stock has arrived and they have a special iMotorhome reader offer! The new stock includes a new colour – chocolate – and a good supply of the most popular 4 cm thick by 77 cm wide Duvalays. Proprietor Neil

Mention iMotorhome when you call you’ll receive a 15% discount off the recommended retail price of individual items, or a 20% discount if you buy 2 Duvalays of any size, 2 spare covers, 2 matching pillow cases and 2 carry bags (all orders plus postage and handling). Click HERE to visit the website or call (08) 9336 7714 for more details or to order.

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


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

18 | News

Scam Watch! overseas and offering to ship the vehicle to you for inspection, free of change. All you need do is deposit the full price with a third-party transport company who will hold the money in trust until you agreed to buy it.


e aware of campervan, motorhome and caravan classifieds sales scams happening across the Internet. In Issue 42 on 15 February we told you of a scam involving a Winnebago Free Spirit being offered for $30,000, about half its market value. iMotorhome has followed this up and the scam involves a supposedly deceased estate with the seller being

We were contacted by Benalla (Vic) Police this week for any information following a local couple losing their $30,000 in the deal. We have also found another scam motorhome and been notified of other close calls via our Facebook followers. The bottom line? If you’re buying privately, unless you can inspect the vehicle, verify the owner and do a rego check, stay clear. Especially if it’s bargain priced. Of course, buying from a licensed motor dealer avoids these issues as they are required by law to guarantee title of ownership.








Buy Factory Direct and SAVE

News | 19

New Hema Navigator


he latest Hema Navigator is the HN7 model that features a seven-inch screen with finger-touch display and new 'finger friendly' EziOzi user-interface for simple 4WD navigation.

The HN7 comes with the complete Hema digital map collection preloaded: Hema seamless 1:1 million road maps; 1:250k Topographic maps; regional 4WD maps and national park maps and Hema New Zealand touring maps. Read more HERE.

Sealed Deal


amping specialist Anaconda now has a 12/240-volt vacuum food sealer available for those who’ve discovered the benefits of this terrific method of food preservation. Complete with 5 x 8” and 5 x 11” pre-cut bags, the unit allows for manual or

automatic sealing and has a drip tray and bag cutter. Price is $249.99 (plus delivery). To find out more click HERE.

20 | News

Tasmanian Whisky World’s Best Scottish and Japanese distilleries. The distillery's Patrick Maguire says the award means everything to him. "It's probably the world's biggest award you can win for whiskies," he said. "The World Whisky Awards are run by the Whisky Magazine out of the UK; what they do is whisky, everything they do is whisky. If you can win that, you've made it. There's no doubt about it."


Tasmanian whisky has been named best single malt at the prestigious World Whisky Awards in London. Tasmania Distillery's Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask took out the honour, judged against more than 300 other whiskies. It is the first time a Tasmanian distillery has won the award, which has been dominated by

Mr Maguire says Sullivans Cove has been winning local and international awards for several years. But he says this one will put the product firmly on the map and will be good for the entire Tasmanian industry. "Tasmania is now is becoming recognised as one of the better whisky producing countries or areas, so it is a pretty major thing," he said. Continues...




NEW Avan Applause – Double & Single beds available


NEW Avan Cruiseliner – Light weight & no canvas


Holden Colorado – Turbo Diesel 4x4 $26,950 Drive Away - XVX593

Family Flair Caravan 2 to 6 berth available, Unlimited kms

NEW Sunliner Pinto – Electric drop down bed

NEW Avan Aspire 563 – Light weight, shower / toilet

Holden Cruze – CD, Petrol, Auto $14,450 Drive Away - YMM918

Hayman 2 to 6 berth available, Unlimited kms NEW Royal Flair Enhance – Single axle with full ensuite

nEw SunlinER PRE-OWNED Winnebago Diversion – Low kms

Mercedes Benz Sprinter – Turbo diesel, Auto $26,950 Drive Away - WRW145

nEw AvAn

NEW Royal Flair Designer Series – Simplicity suspension


Nissan Triton $23,850 Drive Away - XPN184

Murana 2-6 berth available, Unlimited kms

View stock online 24/7

5 Melrose Drive, Wodonga



PRE-OWNED Talvor Hayman – Slide out

6024 4222

News | 21 ...Continued

"We are all very small producers, we are boutique producers and we have the luxury of being able to tweak things personally. So when we are running the still, they are not automatic systems, we actually run it from the heart if you like. So we cut our runs, manage our runs on the way it smells,

flows, tastes. There is science behind it but we are not running computers that turn things on and off.” To visit Sullivan’s Cove website click HERE. From the ABC online.

Get iMoova on


pecialist motorhome rental and relocations website imoova.com has some amazing relocation deals, including free fuel. A press release said it has, “Great Deals from $1/day in Australia & USA include free fuel allowance and in New Zealand we also have Auckland to Christchurch trips including a free ferry for the vehicle and driver.” Book online by clicking HERE.

Thinking about a self-drive touring adventure? Find all the inspiration and information you need for an awesome journey with our ebooks for iPad. Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country: Learn about Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, on a wonderful tour through northeast Victoria. The Old Ghan Heritage Trail: Follow the legend of the Old Ghan railway from Quorn in South Australia, up the Oodnadatta Track and on to Alice Springs. The Googs Track: This remote 4WD adventure explores the southeastern extremity of the amazing Great Victoria Desert, SA. To The Inland Sea: Inspired by explorer Charles Sturt’s 1844-46 Central Expedition, To The Inland Sea takes travellers from Adelaide to the edge of the Simpson Desert at Birdsville.

Get your FREE eBOOK for iPad* www.ebooktraveller.com.au * Applies to Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country eBook for iPad

22 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo

Southern Delight They do things a little differently on NZ’s South Island… Review and images by Malcolm Street

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 23

The test Tekapo’s slightly chunky body was well disguised by beautiful custom graphics of Lake Tekapo, from which it takes its name.


CC Motorhomes is a little unusual in being located on New Zealand’s South Island, rather than with most of the NZ industry on the North Island. That, however, hasn’t stopped Rob Floris and his team producing a small but varied range of well made motorhomes with a good choice of layouts. UCC also features a good range of base vehicles and in this short test I’m looking at the

Tekapo model on Ford’s popular Transit. The existing Transit, in case you aren’t aware, is just about to be superseded with an all-new model – something iMotorhome is certainly looking forward to.

The Vehicle


he UCC Tekapo is available either on Ford’s Transit or Mercedes’ Sprinter cabchassis. There are several factors that

24 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo

Ford’s Transit is still a good choice, offering a strong engine and significantly lower purchase price than its Mercedes Benz alternative. Both are rear-wheel drive. might help your decision about motive power, but two of them are quite simple. First up, the Transit based motorhome is about $20,000 cheaper than the Benz and the second is that the Transit is only available with a manual gearbox, whereas the Benz is auto. Our review motorhome came on a Transit cab-chassis and in some ways although the Ford is regarded as the poor relation in the Euro cab-chassis family it’s really not a bad motor at all and there are plenty of Ford dealers around, too! Undoubtedly the most striking feature of our review Tekapo, were the striking graphics along the side. For those not familiar with the south island of New Zealand, it’s a stunning image of Lake Tekapo, with the famed Church of the Good Shepherd right in the middle. Moving away from the art department to the construction department, the exterior of the motorhome body is fibreglass. The walls have a fibreglass exterior, aluminium framing with insulation inserted and plywood for the interior; all of

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 25

I quite like driving a manual gearbox,

Huge rear window provides panoramic views, but only from the bedroom.

so the Transit wasn’t exactly a hardship. which are vacuum bonded together. Above, the roof is a full composite structure. Entry is via a Camec triple-lock security screen door, while tinted sliding glass windows are used all round – even those behind the Tekapo graphic.

sides are mostly available, except for the gas cylinder in the nearside bin. A second gas cylinder is available as an option and it depends a bit on how you travel, but I think I’d prefer two smaller cylinders than just one large nine kilo item. Mid offside is where the house battery bin is located, There are three external bins with both batteries on a slideand the two at the rear on both out tray for easy access.

On The Road


quite like driving a manual gearbox so the Transit wasn’t exactly a hardship and the turbo-diesel engine performed willingly enough. Generally speaking the motorhome tracked along very nicely, with only a nominal amount of rock and roll. Like all motorhomes there were a

26 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo Sliding windows work well but can’t be left open in the rain. The Luton peak over the cab provides a degree of streamlining to help reduce fuel consumption.

few movement noises coming from the rear, but they were not annoying and didn’t disrupt cab conversation. Persons of a taller height might need to check out the proximity of the cab roofline. Like its contemporaries the Transit is really a commercial vehicle, but has just about all the necessary safety and convenience items, like driver and passenger air bags and handy drink bottle holders. Although the radio/CD player is the standard item, hiding in the glove box is a handy 3.5 mm socket connection you can plug your iPod/mp3 player/whatever into the sound system without difficulty. Above, the over-cab bedbase can be pushed back if not needed, giving more head room and easier cab access, but can also be slid back into position if the 2.1 m x 1.5 m (6 ft 11 in x 4 ft 11 in) Luton bed is required.

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 27

Generally speaking the motorhome tracked along very nicely, with only a nominal amount of rock and roll .

28 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo

Left: Shelves replace overhead cupboards where the sloping cab roofline meets the body. Below: Swivelling cab seats make the best use of available seating, as the Tekapo’s lounge is at the front.

Living Inside


o me one of the characteristics of the UCC range is that the interiors generally have a lightly hued colour scheme and the Tekapo is no exception, having cabinetry work and wall colourings that assist greatly with space perceptions. I found the layout not so much interesting, but a little surprising in some ways. Moving

through the entry door reveals a lounge/ dining area to the left, a kitchen area on the opposite wall, the bathroom to the right and a double bed across the rear. Given many people seem to desire an island bed these days, I was a little surprised by this but UCC’s Rob Floris told me that is what a number of his customers had asked for within the given 7.4 m of the motorhome’s length, so who was he to disagree? A fair and reasonable point I thought.

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 29 One of the assets of the front lounge area with its swivelled cab seats and sideways facing lounges is that they create a reasonable area to sit around in. The cab seats aren't quite at the same level as the lounge seats but it's all quite workable. For dining and anything else that needs a table a Lagun swivel mounted item is provided. The Lagun mount has an advantage and a disadvantage: it can be moved around quite easily but tends to be a bit wobbly at the far end, if using something like a lap top computer. I reckon a free standing table might be a useful investment for those who might

need a firm worktop. On that subject there's a bit of a lack of power points – either 12 or 240 V – in this area. TV viewing is quite easy in the lounge. With the flat screen TV mounted on the bathroom cabinet, by the entry door, it can be seen with relative comfort from most seats. Something that is a little different in this motorhome are the curved shelves that sit above the lounges, instead of the more usual overhead lockers. It does cut down on internal storage a bit but at the same time offers a usable alternative.

Front lounge is unusual in an NZ motorhome, but provides ample seating and dining options. TV is best viewed from the lounge.

30 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo Time to Eat


n some ways the kitchen bench is a bit European in size. Most of the bench area is taken up by the four -burner cooktop and stainless steel sink, sans drainer. Like any good design the under-bench area not taken by the grill/oven has a good set of drawers as well as a wire basket slide-out. Above the bench two lockers fill the space, but I did ponder about extra shelving – although the angle of the roof line would make that a bit awkward. Part of one locker is taken by the 12 V switch/ battery voltmeter/water tank gauge/radio & CD player panel – hidden but easily accessible. On the subject of electrics, there are power points on both sides of the kitchen bench. Filling the space between the lounge seat and kitchen bench is a 190 litre two-door three-way fridge, with microwave above. The latter is set back a bit, along with an open compartment above.

After Hours


illing the entire rear of the Tekapo is the 2.1 m x 1.4 m (6 ft 11 in x 4 ft 7 in) bed. Given surrounding walls and cabinetry it might feel a bit closed in, but the surrounding

Mid-mounted kitchen is compact but has all the essentials, including a cooker with a grill and full oven. Bench space, however, is limited.

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 31

East-west main bed at the rear is unusual, but comes as a response to buyer requests. Under-bed storage is useful and includes a handy drawer.

windows help offset that very nicely. Overhead lockers are fitted all round and there are under-locker lights at both ends. The sleeper at the rear doesn't get anything but the

inboard person does score a bedside cabinet with two drawers, power point and wardrobe hanging space above. Under the timber slatted bed base, there's a

handy drawer and the bed base can be lifted to stash larger items.

32 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo

Reasonably spacious bathroom includes a separate shower cubicle – something any owner will welcome.

Keeping Clean


ne of the key features of the Tekapo is a fairy spacious bathroom; large enough to have a separate shower cubicle, Dometic cassette toilet and small vanity cabinet.

Other useful items include a towel rail and wall mirror. Ventilation is courtesy of an extraction fan-fitted light in the shower, as well as a large sliding window.

The Tekapo has a fairly spacious bathroom; large enough to have a separate shower cubicle.

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 33

What I think


did wonder about the rear east-west bed layout of the Tekapo, given buyers these days seem to prefer an island bed. But as stated earlier this is in response to buyer requests, so who am I to argue? Generally speaking the Tekapo’s layout works well, in particular the front area with its swivelled seats and sideways lounges – especially if there is just a couple travelling. I suspect that what also makes this model attractive is the availability of either the Ford or Mercedes chassis.

Large mirror on the bathroom’s outside wall helps avoid that tunnel feeling.

34 | Day Test: UCC Tekapo

Specifications Manufacturer

UCC Motorhomes



Base Vehicle

Ford Transit




114 kW @ 3500 rpm


385 Nm @ 1600-2300 rpm


6-speed manual


4-wheel ABS Disc

Tare Weight

3600 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4490 kg



Approved Seating


External Length

7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)

External Width

2.25 m (7 ft 5 in)

External Height

3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)

Internal Height

2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)

Main Bed Size

2.1 m x 1.4 m (6 ft 11 in x 4 ft 7 in)

Luton Bed Size

2.1 m x 1.5 m (6 ft 11 in x 4 ft 11 in)


Dometic 4-burner, grill and oven


Dometic RM


Sharp Carousel


12 V LED


2 x 105 AH


1 x 9.0 kg (2nd cylinder an option)


Eberspacher diesel

Solar Panels


Air Conditioner


Hot Water Heater

Truma 14-litre gas/electric


Dometic cassette


Separate cubicle

Fresh Water Tank


Grey Water Tank


Price (plus onroad)



• Lake Tekapo graphic (looks classy) • Front lounge/dining area • Reasonable internal storage • Generous water capacities • Relatively large bathroom • Fit and finish


• Sliding windows can’t be left open in rain • Smallish kitchen • Single gas cylinder


UCC Motorhomes

Click for Google Maps

238 Main South Road, Sockburn, Christchurch New Zealand. Ph: +64 3 348 2247 E: info@uccmotorhomes.co.nz W: uccmotorhomes.co.nz For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here

Day Test: UCC Tekapo | 35

The Tekapo’s layout works well, in particular the front area with its swivelled seats and sideways lounges – especially if there is just a couple travelling.

36 | Feature

e s i d a Par ! l l e in H

Paradise Motor Homes’ new Free Time on the automotive torture track‌ by Richard Robertson

Feature | 37

The Australian Automotive Research Centre’s sprawling facility has roads and tracks of every type and is well hidden from prying eyes. Below: AL-KO product development engineer Simon Cox logs another round of test laps.


ost motorhomers err on the side of caution when heading down any road not swathed in bitumen – and who can blame them? Manufacturers claim all kinds of construction strength and durability, but who wants to test them and risk an investment that might have pushed well into six figures? So when Paradise Motor Homes’ Colin Maclean told me he was taking his all-new Free Time to the Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC) proving grounds for five days of torture testing I was surprised – and couldn’t get there quickly enough. The AARC is a secretive place well off the beaten track (sorry rental car people) that’s hidden behind tall fences in the bush on the outskirts of Anglesea, Victoria. Mum’s the word because it’s where car companies put new models through their paces, safe from prying eyes. Indeed, they have a “no cameras” policy

38 | Feature

Colin (L), Craig and the Free Time taking a short break. that made my heart sink upon arrival, although Colin had negotiated special dispensation on pain of death (and forfeiture of my first born). The complex sprawls over hundreds of acres, I’d estimate, and encompasses test tracks for every road surface – from high-speed freeways to Belgium cobblestones – as well as kilometres of rough dirt roads.

The AL-KO Connection


he Free Time is Paradise’s first model on the Fiat Ducato and uses an aftermarket AL-KO chassis instead of Fiat’s standard offering. AL-KO is a long-established German company specialising in vehicle chassis and suspension for motorhomes, caravans and trailers. It’s had a substantial Australian presence since 1988 and manufactures for the local market from a recently expanded factory in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s south east.

Road surfaces of every type and constant repetitive laps are designed to replicate years of real world driving in just a few days.

Feature | 39

The AL-KO chassis differs significantly from Fiat’s factory unit, starting with being literally bolted to the cab. It has a much lower floor height, is lighter and yet is claimed to be stronger. Impressively, AL-KO manufactures its chassis (in Australia) to the motorhome manufacture’s individual requirements. This allows cross members to be perfectly positioned to allow for water tanks, for example, but there is another big advantage. AL-KO’s trademark torsion bar suspension is housed in axle tubes that are themselves structural crossmembers of the chassis.This means that rather than having 250-plus kg of traditional rear axle and suspension hanging as a dead weight from the chassis and stressing it, the lighter AL-KO solution is adding substantial structural rigidity. Watch for an article on AL-KO in an upcoming issue as iMotorhome has been invited for a factory tour.

Torture Tests


ith so much riding on the new Free Time, both Paradise and AL-KO were keen to see how it would likely perform in the long run. So under the technical leadership of AL-KO’s production engineer motorhomes, Craig Greenaway (and Colin’s watchful eyes), an intensive five day program was devised to test the chassis and body – and the Fiat – for durability and structural integrity.

Above: The Chassis Twist track in all it’s menacing glory. Below: At speed over corrugations or crawling through the Twist track, the Free Time acquitted itself surprisingly well.

40 | Feature Appliance hell: The cooker’s lid and the fridge’s door fell apart/off early but the TV fared well. The microwave retired hurt, citing travel sickness. Sandbags provided 600 kg of ballast to bring weight to the maximum. It needs to be noted this was an endurance, not destruction, test: the objective being to uncover any structural deficiencies in the chassis and motorhome body. Each of the five days were divided into two, four-hour sets during which the Free Time did a pre-determined number of runs round three test tracks: the Second Class Surface (dirt roads), Chassis Twist and Rough Circuit (cobblestones/ concrete corrugations). Following each set an inspection session checked the vehicle, chassis and body for cracking or other wear indications and all drive sessions were carefully logged and any problems documented. The Free Time was loaded with full fuel, fresh and grey water tanks, and approximately 600 kg of sandbags on the floor in the lounge behind the cab, to bring it to its legal maximum of 4490 kg gross weight when the driver and a passenger were added. The test was designed to cover approximately 1000 km over the 5 days and AL-KO estimated it was equivalent to something like 100,000

Feature | 41 km of normal use. To be honest, having ridden shotgun on one lap of the 9.6 km Second Class Surface track at speed (70-80 km/h) and one each of the Chassis Twist and Rough Circuit, I doubt any owner would subject their motorhome to that much abuse in its lifetime.



y visit coincided with the second set on the Wednesday, so just over half way. The new Free Time was dirty and disheveled when I climbed into the passenger seat along side AL-KO’s product development engineer Simon Cox for my ‘hot laps.’ One lap of each was enough to impart a sense of the relentless punishment the vehicle must have endured in the week – and even by the time of my ride there were some notable casualties. Early on the Fridge lost its doors, the oven’s glass lid had shattered/come adrift and the microwave had to be removed due to “travel sickness.” Indeed, on completion of my two laps of the cobblestones and abominable concrete corrugations the fridge’s compressor lines cracked and the nauseating smell of refrigerant saw us quickly evacuate the cab. The good news was that the Fiat Ducato, Paradise’s body and cabinetry, and AL-KO’s chassis were all doing nicely. “We build on a 75 mm thick floor that the walls interlock into,” said Colin. “It provides a tremendous amount of structural strength and rigidity. If you check out the inside, the only cracking we’ve found is a hairline crack in the sealer where the cabinet just inside the door (that holds the TV and microwave) joins the wall.” So I did and it was there; all 30 cm (12 in) or so of it down near floor level – literally just a flesh wound. Although the interior was lightly coated in dust from an open driver’s window and venting due to LPG regulations, there was no sign of dust build-up around the windows or roof hatches. Cupboards opened and closed properly and

High-speed sections of the test track subjected the vehicle to considerable punishment. Note rear suspension extension and compression in this sequence.

42 | Feature even the little washing machine in the aft corner of the bathroom – a location sure to be experiencing significant stress – was sitting securely in place.

End Result


he Free Time finished its five day torture test pretty much the way it started, sans a few appliances and in need of a thoroughly good clean. That aside, the chassis and body work passed their five days in Hell with flying colours. “At the end of the five days we conducted a thorough check for cracking over the vehicle and chassis and found none. The whole unit came though incredibly well,” said Craig from AL-KO. It was good to see the Fiat Ducato passed these trials without incident, too. This test, along

with my experiences with a Mercedes Benz Sprinter across Central Australia last year has given me new-found respect for the durability of European vehicles operating in Australian conditions – especially the electronics. You might think this was a publicity stunt, but I believe otherwise. It was the first time to my knowledge a motorhome manufacturer has gone to such lengths specifically to test for durability. Congratulation to the Paradise Motor Homes team for putting together such a well built vehicle and to AL-KO, for tailoring an Australian solution from a European designed chassis. Oh, and to Fiat, of course! I’m guessing a few appliance companies will now be heading back to the drawing board to see why their products failed so spectacularly. Who knew life in the kitchen could be so demanding?

iMotorhome Marketplace | 43

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44 | Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T


OUTDOOR TYPE A go-anywhere motorhome for the great outdoors‌ Review by Richard Robertson. Images by Earthcruiser.

Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T | 45


arthcruiser has been around for a while, but last year the business changed hands and relocated from Queensland to Helensburgh, just south of Sydney. iMotorhome was recently invited to have a look at the new premises and take a quick spin in the Company’s latest creation: the Expedition 440T, built on a single-cab Iveco 4X4. The factory, in a secluded bush setting, is modest, but proprietor Mark Fawcett is focused and passionate about building the best expeditiongrade motorhomes possible.

46 | Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T

Solid fibreglass body has plenty of external storage and is narrow enough for driving into a shipping container. Pop-top is electrically operated, as is spare wheel mounting winch.

Iveco’s 4X4 Daily is an interesting beast. It’s a high-riding purpose-built off-roader with 24 gears (6 speed ‘box and 4 reduction ratios), big single wheels and masses of ground clearance. Earthcruiser builds on this – quite literally – adding unique wheels, shock absorbers and tyres plus its own fibreglass pop-top body to deliver a vehicle that can genuinely claim to be ‘go anywhere.’ You can read more about the vehicle’s features by clicking HERE but until we have time for a

more thorough review we’ll just talk about its general design and – most importantly – driving attributes.

Global Audience


he first thing to understand about Earthcruiser is that is has a global customer base. Average unit cost exceeds $250,000 and it’s not unusual for the price to go north of that as individual requirements are met. It’s vehicles can be

Designed for easy transportation by shipping container, the Earthcruiser’s body is the same width as the cab.

Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T | 47

found on most continents at any one time and customers include Arab sheiks, but for the most part the company sells to well healed Australians with ambitious travel horizons. Designed for easy transportation by shipping container, the Earthcruiser’s body is the same width as the cab and has a substantial pop-top that’s electrically operated by four stout screw jacks. Basic white is functional and easy to clean and the theme extends inside as well. Mark runs a program of continual development so

48 | Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T there’s probably no such thing as two identical Earthcruisers – at least not since he’s been in charge.

Details, Details…


t’s not just what you see in an Earthcruiser that’s impressive; the depth of engineering and thought that go into every detail is impressive. For example, the body sits on a kinetic mounting system atop the chassis, which provides for full wheel articulation. This has allowed the floor to be lowered to improve headroom and provide significantly increased storage without sacrificing ground clearance for off-road performance. Then there’s the mud room; a clever multi-use entry area where dirty and wet clothes and shoes can be removed and which, through a clever folding door arrangement, becomes the bathroom – complete with an electric slide-out cassette toilet that hides out of the way when not required. And I haven't even mentioned the purpose-built Finscan touch-screen electronic control system. This clever Australian-made system does everything from controlling the lighting to pumping water, transferring fuel and showing what’s outside on the reversing or optional four-side video recording cameras. It’s wired independently of the Iveco’s wiring loom and has manual switching back-up for built-in redundancy.

No-nonsense interior is practical and very well equipped. Kitchen has masses of bench space, while headroom, light and ventilation are great when the roof’s up.

Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T | 49

Command driving position is excellent. Touchscreen shows rear camera and provides many other functions. Front seats swivel and inwardsfacing interior seats are seatbelt-equipped. Front flyscreen opens so you can reach the cab roof rack.

Behind the Wheel


e took Mark’s personal dual-cab Iveco Earthcruiser for a run along a few local tracks before heading out in the single-cab for some town and highway driving.

Climbing into the Iveco’s cab – and it really is a climb – is worth the effort because the suspension seat is a beauty and the view commanding. Start-up is as simple as any other Iveco Daily and apart from the three gear levers

– one black, one red and one green – so is the driving experience. The black one is the normal gear lever for the six-speed manual ‘box. The green one is normal range and an overdrive range for general and highway driving,

50 | Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T High-tech Australian-built FinScan touch screens operate all electrical controls, monitor everything and can even transfer fuel as you travel, amongst many other things. Thankfully, there are discreetly concealed manual back-up switches as well.

while the red one has low and super-low for off-road driving. Drive is full-time 4WD spilt 32/68% front/rear and there are front, centre and rear-axle diff locks for when the going gets REALLY tough. Low/low reduction is a colossal 101:1 (a good 4WD is about 40:1)! The steering lock is ‘majestic’ and the first tight corners catch you out, but otherwise this is an easy and pleasant machine to drive. First-up we tackled some basic bush tracks, with a few small sandstone ledges thrown in. Child’s play. Mark’s work to improve the Iveco’s already impressive parabolic spring suspension delvers an offroad ride that’s surprisingly supple, controlled and comfortable. This is a vehicle you could spend long hours in on rough tracks with minimal discomfort. On-road – including a 100 km/h highway section – the

Short Drive: Earthcruiser Expedition 440T | 51 raised body and big wheels do result in a bit of body roll, as you’d expect, but overall stability and controllability are good. Slipping the green lever into ‘overdrive’ the big Earthcruiser delivered a quiet and refined cabin experience even at highway speeds and conversation was easy. Mark also builds on the Mitsubishi Fuso 4X4 light truck and says it has some advantages, like an exhaust brake for long descents and legendary Japanese reliability. But as Mark readily admits, for ride quality and sheer allterrain ability the Iveco is unbeatable. Oh, and the body on the back? Well it’s impressive also (take a look at the pics), but we’re trying to prise the big dual-cab from Mark’s tight grip for a touring test and don’t want to give away too much too soon. Can you blame us?


Earthcruiser Australia

Click for Google Maps

17 Old Farm Rd Helensburgh. NSW. 2508. Ph: 0412 642 437 E: sales@earthcruiser.net.au W: earthcruiser.net.au

For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here

The depth of engineering and thought that go into every detail is impressive.

52 | Mobile Tech

Express Plus!

Australian Government apps to help keep your official life in order‌ By Emily Barker

Mobile Tech | 53 The benefit of these apps is having all your relevant information conveniently at your fingertips. No more missing bits of paper or waiting on mail! Combined with the ability to input, lodge and update information literally on-the-go, keeping track of your benefits and entitlements has never been easier. Security-wise there is a four digit log-in code; meaning your valuable personal information is safe should your phone or device go missing. There is also an automatic log-out feature that is great if, like me, you often move on the next task without finishing the first.

Medicare Express Plus…


n terms of features each app has its own gems. The Medicare Express Plus app gives you the convenience of the following features: • The ability to view your Medicare claim history • Submit new claims via direct image upload


entrelink and the Department of Human Services has released a series of free apps available for both Apple and Android devices that finally makes reporting, claiming and updating details an easy and efficient process. To use the Express Plus apps you first need to be registered for Centrelink Online Accounts and Medicare online services, plus have a myGov (my.gov.au) account. It is recommended that you register and link all services from a desktop or laptop computer prior to trying to use these apps. Please note, if you experience any difficulties ‘linking’ services such as Medicare to your myGov account don’t hesitate to ring the Helpline on 132 307. They can make completing the process incredibly easy by providing you with a ‘linking code’ and will even walk you through the registration process.

• View your profile and update your address and contact details • View and update your payment destination details • Request a duplicate or replacement card • View your up-to-date Medicare Safety Net Information and keep track of expenses • View your Medicare Benefit Tax Statement and Child Immunisation History Statement • View and access documents saved in ‘the Vault,’ including the ability to photograph receipts and upload them as part of a claim, store future appointment information and relevant contact details • There is also a ‘Digital Wallet’ feature containing an exact digital copy of your card

54 | Mobile Tech Centrelink Express Plus…


entrelink Express Plus has two versions: Families and Seniors. Both are incredibly functional apps designed for use by families, job seekers, students and seniors (the latter with a free monthly newsletter link). It allows you to complete a multitude of important tasks hat normally would take a lengthy telephone call or serious time copying, printing, verifying and posting documents Using Express Plus – Families and Seniors you can: • Report income, participation or study details • Request and view letters and statements, which can then be directly printed, saved or emailed • View and update your profile including contact details and payment destination • View detailed payments and transaction history • Apply for cash advances and manage payment plans • Report annual income estimates • Submit new claims • And capture and upload documents At 3.3 Mb this app is not huge. Document storage will obviously increase its size but for its functionality I think it’s more than worth it. The Apple app is optimised for the iPhone 5, but works well on all devices with a minimum of iOS 5.0 or later installed. You do need to grant these apps certain permissions such as access to your camera and location services, but be assured this is just to optimise all features and is not accessed or used for departmental purposes.

Mobile Tech | 55

Anyone who has regular dealings with Centrelink will find this app very useful, especially the versions tailored to Seniors.

User reviews are a little hit and miss, but this seems more due to technical issues than the apps themselves. Check your app store regularly and download any updates to install the latest ‘bug fixes’ and ensure glitch-free function. Otherwise, the general consensus is overwhelmingly in favour of these apps as incredibly convenient tools. They’re sure to be a hit with anyone who has ever had to place a call to Centrelink and been placed on hold – and felt a little of their life tick by!

“Love it! by GRikk I know a lot of others are saying its not working, but it's working fine for me and I love it. I never usually write a review but this app has made my life so much easier. I love how you can see all payments coming in and going out, helps with my budget, and how I can print statements straight from my phone to my printer, love it! No more standing in line for hours just for a simple statement. Thank you for making this.”

Fast Facts Name: Express Plus Medicare and Centrelink Express Plus Platforms: Apple iOS and Anrdoid Cost: Free Size: 3.3 Mb Click HERE for apps link

56 | Reader Review Templates


Travel Notebook

Share your experience for a chance to win a Travel Notebook!


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 Travel Notebook! 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

What's Cooking?| 57

Them’s The Bakes! Ham and zucchini bakes, to be precise…


ight and delicious, these ham and zucchini bakes – or perhaps muffins – are a great pre-lunch or dinner starter. Serve them with a fresh side salad and they make a great summer/autumn meal, too.

Ham & Zucchini Bakes


by Jess C

You’ll need... • • • •

1/2 zucchini, coarsely grated 12 slices thinly shaved ham 1/3 cup coarsely grated cheddar 6 eggs, lightly whisked

Then... • Preheat oven to 160°C • Lightly grease an 8 x 1/3 cup capacity muffin tin • Line the prepared muffin holes with shaved ham, being careful not to overlap the ham too much. Aim to cover as much of each muffin hole as possible • Squeeze all excess moisture out of the grated zucchini

• Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl, add the cheese and zucchini and stir gently to incorporate • Pour mixture into each ham-lined muffin hole, ensuring you get a little zucchini and cheese in each • Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and just set. • Allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack

58 | Next Issue

The Best Laid Plans – Mk II

Its rear-wheel drive layout will certainly please many potential Trakka purchasers. He’ll also bring us another NZ motorhome review (he hasn’t even told us what it is yet) and a rundown on the sights and happenings at the CMCA’s Anniversary Rally in Robinvale, Vic, which is just ending as we go to press.


s we said last issue, “There just never seems to be enough space to bring you all the things we plan!” So, next issue Malcolm WILL bring us 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. MAY

April 26-May 4 16-18



Sydney Caravan, Camping & Holiday Supershow Rosehill Racecourse, James Ruse Drive. Rose Hill. NSW • Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00 final day) • Parking: Free • Adults: $20 • Seniors: $15 • Kids U 16: Free with adult

CLICK HERE Click for Google Maps



We’re back into the two-week groove now the calendar has adjusted itself and the next issue will be out on Saturday 19 April. Until then be sure to join our more than 6000 and Twitter followers for Facebook news, insights and more than a few laughs. Safe travels!




Mackay Home Show & Caravan, Camping Expo Mackay Showgrounds, Mackay, QLD. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: Free with adult





May 16-18 23-2523-25





Hunter Valley Maitland Showground, Bloomfield St, Maitland. NSW. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $11 • Kids U16: Free with adult



Click for Google Maps

Click for Google Maps

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

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 45 - 05 April 2014  

Get a FREE subscription at www.imotorhome.com.au!

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 45 - 05 April 2014  

Get a FREE subscription at www.imotorhome.com.au!