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iMotorhome

47 : May 03 2014

magazine

Issue

because getting there is half the fun...

Precious

Silverton A gem in Australia’s near Outback…

! n i W Win!

$50 Caltex Card! l e u F e in $1990 Eng ! Upgrade

Win!

Travel Notebook

Jacana Sirius SLX

A super A-class with style and a price tag to match…

Fifth Wheeler Feature!

Part 1 look at a motorhoming alternative…

5 Top Gadget Apps…

Because you can never have too many gadgets!


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! Contributors Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jess Ciampa, Emily Barker, Elizabeth & Helmut Mueller

Published by iMotorhome

Design and Production

PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2576. Australia.

Design Manager

ABN: 34 142 547 719

E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au

Agnes Nielsen

T: +614 14 604 368 E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial

Advertising Advertising Manager Keith Smyth M: 0408 315 288

Publisher/Managing Editor

T: 03 9579 3079

Richard Robertson

E: advertising@imotorhome.com.au

T: 0414 604 368 E: richard@imotorhome.com.au Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@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

Happy Birthday two Us! This issue marks our second anniversary and in the words of someone or other, "Who would have thought?" Thanks for your support, feedback and for the increasing support of our faithful advertisers. As my bank manager recently reminded me, I wouldn’t be here without you! It’s been quite a ride and a steep learning curve and a lot of fun, and if the graphs keep climbing we’ll be here for birthdays three and beyond. Fingers crossed. So please keep spreading the word, visiting our advertisers’ websites and suggesting ways we can improve things. Not only is this our second birthday, Mrs iMotorhome and I are in America for our second rental relocation experience. I’m actually writing this at the kitchen bench of friend’s who live on the edge of the Mojave Desert, about 90 minutes from Los Angeles airport. We’re acclimatising for a few days before our next big adventure begins; seeing the local sites and trying to get this issue together amidst cocktails, barbecues and plenty of shopping.

New Perspective Last year we drove Route 66 by ourselves. This time we’re travelling with friends Andrew and Jan (who will have their own motorhome, we’re not that friendly!), who will write up the journey as first-timers – both on the road in America and as motorhomers. Jan is an experienced photojournalist and it promises to be a great read. As I write they’re crossing America by train, having departed San Francisco this morning (Thursday 2 May Sydney time) and will meet us on Sunday in Minneapolis. From there we’ll drive to the Winnebago factory in Forest City, Iowa, on Monday to collect our Apollo rental

motorhome, followed by a factory tour and a meeting with Winnebago’s media/PR person. Word is Winnebago is going to be selling motorhomes in Australia quite soon, although they deny it. Remember, you heard it here first! This year we’re driving across the northern states, via iconic places like Mt Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument and the site of Custer’s Last Stand. From there we’re hoping to detour via Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful, although Jan is concerned the bison have left because they can detect impending earthquakes though their hooves. Fingers crossed they’ve just gone walkabout… Being in America quickly makes you realise how small the Australian RV scene is and how much we pay – not just for RVs – but for everything. I know, it’s to do with economies of scale, the cost of importing products to our shores and the fact we have a minimum wage people can actually live on (the US minimum wage is just over US$7/hr). Motorhomes and fifth wheelers are far and away the most popular vehicles here and it seems almost every second yard has an RV of some sort parked in it. Next issue will come to you from the dinette of our rental Winnebago and include a brief trip update. Watch for a special issue later in the year to commemorate this excellent adventure. In the mean time follow us on Facebook for daily updates and more than a laugh or two. Catch you in two weeks!

Richard


6 | Content

3

About us

5

On my Mind

8

User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Happy birthday to us!

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine

11 On your Mind 14 Win a $1990 Engine Upgrade! Share your thoughts for the chance to win a $50 Caltex fuel card!

Get your entry in NOW!

16

News

22

Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX

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

Sirius Business – Jacana’s desirable but expensive A-class

Jacana Sirius SLX unfolded…

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


Content | 7

34

Feature: Fifth Wheelers

44 46

iMotorhome Marketplace

57

Reader Review Templates

58

Mobile Tech

62

What's Cooking?

64

Next Issue & Show Calendar

Pt 1 of a 2 part look at these versatile RVs

The latest Marketplace offers

Feature: Travel Penrose Park A holiday gem on the quiet side of Broken Hill

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

5 Must-have gadget apps!

The World’s best carbonara…

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

Historic Broken Hill in Far Western NSW

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 that allow a degree of interactivity not possible with a conventional magazine. For example: The front cover and contents pages feature links in their headings that will take you directly to the relevant articles 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 link below it All advertisements are ‘live’ and linked to the advertisers’ websites. This means if you touch one (smartphone/tablet) or click on one (laptop/ desktop) you will be taken to the appropriate 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 or website of the topic being discussed, or open an email (if appropriate).

iPad and iPhone Users Important: Be sure you have the free iBooks app installed. Books 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 also has a Library function that displays a small thumbnail of the front cover of each issue. You can even create Collections so that you can store each year’s issues separately or by vehicle brand tested, or however you desire.

Using iBooks On downloading each issue of iMotorhome eMagazine on your iPad or iPhone 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. You need to do this with each issue you download. 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). To make the icons reappear just tap anywhere on the page again. 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 front 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 lefthand 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.


WE’VE BROADENED OUR HORIZONS

The Horizon Motorhomes family just got bigger and you’ll love the new additions. Introducing the BANKSIA +2 with additional seating and a permanent double bed and the CASUARINA, bringing extra space and flexibility to the Fiat Ducato*

*ELWB

BA

LL

IN 29 A C S 9 R AM OL ive PE D E r R X ba Stre VA CLU llin et N & SI ac , Ba M VEL am ll O Y pe ina TO BY rs. 0 RH co 2 6 OM m 68 E .au 1 C 15 EN 55 TR E

Now you can choose from eight Horizon models, all passionately built by master craftsmen using only the finest fixtures and fittings.


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 iMotorhome, thanks for a great mag. Some years ago we bought our first campervan and were driving it home, from Brisbane to Sydney. The first night it was pouring down and we’d flown up from Sydney that morning and were exhausted, so we booked into a cabin in Ballina and swore we’d sleep in the vehicle the next night. Night two found us up at Glen Innes or Tenterfield, I can’t remember which, at a lookout high above the town to the west.

dressed, with me going last in case we ran out of hot water - always the gallant one! Imagine our surprise when, within about a minute of me getting dressed, two car loads of sightseers pulled up to admire the view. They nearly got a view they hadn't bargained on! The moral of the story – situational awareness (as a mate used to tell me). We love the bathroom in our small motorhome now but often still laugh at that first showering experience.

After a fitful night watching the full moon pass and tossing and turning we fired up the engine to try the heat exchanger hot water system, which worked as promised. Phew. We then filled buckets of hot water from the shower just inside the tailgate and took them to a sheltered spot on the concrete, in the sun, at the lookout itself. Beautiful! Stark naked we both showered, laughed, towelled off and

Bobby.

Famous Birthdays

What can I say? What a great story. Thanks for sharing – I wonder what similar experiences other readers out there have had? Please accept our $50 Caltex fuel card and happy travels (but do try to keep your clothes on in public)…

1898 – Golda Meir, Ukraine, World Leader – Prime Minister of Israel 1903 – Bing Crosby, Washington, Singer and Actor 1933 – James Brown, South Carolina, ' The Godfather of Soul', Gospel Singer 1934 – Frankie Valli, New Jersey, Singer, Frontman of the Four Seasons


12 | On your mind

Thumbs Up!

I’d like to give a big thumbs up to the McKinlay Shire Council with their initiative at Julia Ck, Qld. They are doing a great job to provide a free camp on the creek just east of the town and even provide push bikes free of charge to anyone wanting to ride into the township. With several water taps positioned around the camp it is easy to stay a few days and just relax. You might even catch a fish or some red claw. The people are friendly and there is a caretaker on site at present for registrations and as one council worker said that if they get

More Thumbs up!

Dear Editor. Time I thanked you and your team for a great online read. It is a wonderful resource both for people looking to purchase an RV and for those, especially novices like us, who have made the investment and are looking to get the most out of our purchase. I am especially motivated to write after seeing your article about Charleville Bush Camp and want to plead with all of your readers to look after this site and don’t bend the rules. If we can show one Council that we can all act responsibly and appreciate the benefits of a camp like this, who knows, maybe others will follow the example of this forward-thinking Council. It is especially pleasing to see a dump

On This Day 3rd May

enough people staying at the park they will be encouraged to put even more resources into the camp, so make sure you register. So if you are heading north this winter, can I suggest you plan your trip around staying at Julia Creek free camp. Via Facebook. Sorry to lose your name in the transition from Facebook, but that’s for sharing and the update. I’m sure Julia Creek will become an increasingly popular place this year!

site and a pet area included, and all for $5 a night. I, for one, will be heading that way just as soon as I can convince my husband to retire! Again, many thanks for the help we have received by reading your magazine. Kind regards, Kaye. Thanks Kaye, very glad you enjoy what we’re doing and find it helpful. Thanks also for your thoughts on the Charleville Bush Camp – I’m certain our readers will do the right thing and encourage others to do the same. Safe travels and please send us some photos when you get up there, once you convince your husband to retire!

1808 – Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are executed near Príncipe Pío hill. 1973 – The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world's tallest building. 1979 – After the general election, Margaret Thatcher forms her first government as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


SLIDEOUT ISLAND BED

SPACIOUS LIVING AREA

TRAKKAWAY 800

seeing australia? take a trakka. >> TRAKKA’s new Trakkaway 800 brilliantly combines the luxury of

>> The Mercedes Benz Sprinter 519 provides the Trakkaway 800 with

space inside without frustration of a large motorhome outside.

140 kW and a massive 440 Nm of torque, making performance under all

>> Using every single cubic centimetre enables luxury features to be

conditions effortless, thanks to a seven speed self-shifting gearbox.

fitted in a size of vehicle which in the past would not have been possible.

>> Visit www.trakka.com or call 1800 TRAKKA to find out why Trakka have

>> A ingenious powered sliding section at the rear enables a full double

been voted “Best of the Best” and before you know it,

island bed, with free and easy access from three sides.

you’ll be seeing Australia in your own TRAKKA.

trakkabout australia


$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 – and a write-up in iMotorhome eMagazine!

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.

To win this outstanding prize simply email your name, address, motorhome make, model and engine type and your telephone number to werkt@imotorhome.com.au by 31 May 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 Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Adelaide for consultation and the engine upgrade and test-drive program to be completed by the end of June 2014. iMotorhome representative must be insured and allowed to drive the vehicle pre-and-post upgrade for comparison purposes. You must consent to you and your vehicle being featured in iMotorhome eMagazine.


Relax in Paradise

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money, competitively priced from $158,000.

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

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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


16 | News

Victoria’s Supershow moves in 2015

V

ictoria’s Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow is moving to Melbourne Showgrounds next February to accommodate its ever-expanding exhibits. The Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA Vic) will move the show to its expansive new home over six big days from 11 to 16 February 2015. CIA Vic President, Peter May, said the move from Caulfield to the Showgrounds would make room for many exhibitors who had been desperate for display space in recent years.

“Moving to Melbourne Showgrounds means we can make the Supershow bigger for exhibitors and better for the consumers, reflecting Victoria’s vibrant caravan and camping industry.” Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria CEO Mark O’Sullivan welcomed the Supershow to its new home. “It is a high quality and trusted event for exhibitors and consumers alike, and we look forward to it growing as an important event at the iconic Melbourne Showgrounds.”

“We are delighted that Victoria’s biggest and most important caravan and camping show will be able to fit in all those exhibitors we have had to turn away,” he said.

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News | 17

Rental Companies could cop fines

A

ccording to a report in the Sunshine Coast Daily, Social media and quirky new apps are encouraging campers to bunker down at Noosa hotspots illegally, creating a headache for council and residents. The problem, which has sparked 36 formal complaints since the start of the year, has prompted the Noosa Council to look at changing the local law to better deal with the issue.

Campervan drivers caught camping illegally had informed local laws officers Wicked Camperhire - best known for its crass graffiti on the sides of its vans - had been advising customers of free places to camp.

Strategic planning officer Anne Wilson said the council was looking at changing the law so the owner of the vehicle, instead of the driver, could receive the $550 fine.This was because many of the drivers were overseas backpackers who were difficult to trace once they'd left the country. The Noosa Spit, Noosa Heads Lions Park, Noosa Lookout, Noosa River foreshore areas and beachside car parks have become hotspots for illegal campers in and out of peak season.

The officers also had to blog Wicked's site to let readers know free camping was against the law in Noosa. A campaign in 2010 advising campervan hire companies free camping was not permitted in most areas had a "positive, albeit minor" influence in reducing the number of illegal campers. With mobile travellers in recreational vehicles the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Australia, the council was looking to ensure there were adequate places for such visitors. Council officers have recommended in a report to be voted on tomorrow that the infrastructure charges rebate for community organisations policy be amended to enable community organisations providing a camp ground to be eligible for a rebate.

Council officers will write to campervan hire companies Wicked, Juicy, Space Vans, Apollo, Brits and others, advising free camping is not allowed on council-controlled land in Noosa and will provide advice on where people can stay.

"In discussions with the drivers (camping illegally), local laws officers found an app on their phone advising they could camp in Noosa free," Mrs Wilson said.

Self Cleaning Paint?

I

n a development that could easily make its way to the RV world, Nissan recently demonstrated a new nano-paint coating, dubbed Ultra-Ever Dry, that keeps dirt and debris from actually sticking to the paint. The custom super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint can repel everything from mud, rain, dirt and oil, so the vehicle effectively cleans itself without the need to break out the soap, sponge and bucket. Nissan is now attempting to determine if the material is durable for long-

term use on vehicles and if it will hold up in different weather conditions around the globe. The Japanese automaker plans to test its custom technology this summer in Europe, with researchers based in its English technical facility using a Versa Note for testing. To watch a video of the paint in action click HERE


18 | News

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: Harrison F-Trucks – They say nothing tows like an F-Truck: Fully imported, converted and complied Ford F-Series pick-ups ideal for fifth wheelers, horse floats and more!

RV Relocations – Now with 24/7 free call numbers for campervan and motorhome relocations in Australia, NZ, the US and Canada. Sky Tracks – A new, flexible modular storage system for RVs that uses the space above your head to store everything from clothes and supplies to fishing rods and more. Saturn Manufacturing – Manufacturer of the renowned Saturn Omni 3000 television aerial and backed by more than 40 years experience in this specialised business.

Parkland RV – The WA dealer for Avida motorhomes and Crossroads RV Fifth Wheelers, they also have a large range of new and used RVs, including caravans.

The Pain Man – Make money as you travel simply by demonstrating this highly effective pain relieving medical equipment.

RV Parts Express – Parts and accessories delivered fast, to your door or your nearest RV store. Check out their huge range now!

Truck Whisperer – Advanced steering management systems to get you motorhome tracking straight and true, while reducing fatigue and keeping you safe.

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

More Good WERKT

D

on’t forget there’s still time to enter our terrific “Win a $1990 WERKT engine upgrade” competition. If you’re in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Adelaide and get your entry in by 31 May, 2014, you’ll be in the running. You just need to be available over two days in June at a mutually convenient time.

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 plug-in 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.

Melbourne-based WERKT is a specialist tuning company that consults you to find out what you're after – more pulling power, better fuel economy, outright performance or across the

To find out more about the competition see page 14 for details, but to find out more about the range of services WERKT provides visit its website HERE

McKinlay Races and Community Day event and the usual foot race, kids activities (including lolly drop), bar and catering, and as always – free camping! As we get closer and closer to the day, more and more exciting things are being finalised and we will keep you up to date with added extras and improvements to last years races. We have even been having regular meetings with Mother Nature to keep the weather warm, hopefully she will keep up her side of the bargain.”

T

he Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre invites you to come along for another year of good old fashioned bush racing on 21 June. “As well as the races we have the The CrackUp Sisters, a classic car display, a bigger then ever Fashions of the Field

Also, the Centre wishes to advise it now has, for free, brightly coloured cruiser bicycles to ride from the Town’s free camping site into town on the specially made and fully sealed walking/riding track. How’s that for progressive thinking? Julia Creek is in Western Queensland, on the Flinders Highway (just east of Cloncurry) between Townsville and Mt Isa.


20 | News

More QLD Free Camping

H

inchinbrook Shire Council has approved a 6 month trial of a 48-hr parking/free camping site for self-contained RVs, opposite the TYTO Wetlands at Ingham (about 100 km north of Townsville) in Far North Queensland. Council intends to record the number of visitors and even their spending habits during the trial before deciding if the location will become a permanent fixture. “There is evidence from similar facilities established in other shires like ours that there is a significant economic benefit by encouraging these visitors to stay longer in our district and spend locally while they are here,” Councillor Marc Tack said. “But it is important council undertakes this type of assessment to determine the economic benefit to the community.” Continues...

TRUCK CAMPERS

FIFTH WHEELERS

FUNCTIONAL SPACES

MODERN INTERIORS

SLIDE ON CAMPERS

ALL CUSTOM BUILT

OFF ROAD MODELS

Buy Factory Direct and SAVE


News | 21

...Continued

Local caravan park operators are reportedly not too happy about the facility, which will be signposted to promote its existence as well as the attractions (inc caravan parks) of the local area. Council hopes that in a perfect world all parties will benefit and notes the trial will run until the end of October.” Located 800 metres from the township of Ingham and just off the Bruce Highway, the TYTO Wetlands is not only a carefully preserved natural environment integrating lagoons, walking tracks and native flora, but also considered by many as truly a bird watchers paradise. The revegetated and repaired 120 hectare site is home to over

230 species of bird, numerous tropical plant species and an abundant wallaby population. “Experience the natural beauty and tranquility of this tropical environment by leisurely strolling along the 4 km walkways. Interpretive signs, marked lookouts and specially created viewing platforms allow you to view local wildlife without interference or disturbance to their habitats,” according to the Wetland’s website.

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: Jacana Sirius SLX

Sirius Business Jacana is deadly serious about its big A-class coach conversion‌ Review and images by Malcolm Street


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 23

Twin slide-outs on the off (driver’s) side provide added bedroom and lounge room space. The Sirius SLX obviously tows well, although no official figure was available.

J

acana Motorhomes, based in Taree, NSW, is definitely what I call a boutique manufacturer: not particularly large in size, but having a well established niche in the industry. The company builds a range of motorhomes to order and is currently one of the few manufacturers in Australia to produce

an A-class motorhome – from coach/bus conversions rather than ground-up chassis builds, I should point out. A case in point being this Sirius SLX, which I had a lengthy look over at the recent CMCA rally at Robinvale, when Jacana’s proprietor Barry Drury invited me in to sit down and relax.


24 | Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX Bedroom slide-out has side windows for extra light and fresh air. All-over paint not only looks good, it helps protects the body. Note awnings over both slides to reduce water ingress on retraction.

The Vehicle

F

or the Sirius SLX conversion, Jacana use a Chinese-built Higer coach. It’s 10.42 m (34 ft 2 in) long, so anyone who desires a larger motorhome will find it an ideal conversion base. Although built in China, Barry Drury is keen to point out it comes with a genuine USmade Cummins turbo-diesel engine and an equally genuine US-built Allison six-speed auto gearbox. I have to say that from the outside the Higer is a very smart looking vehicle and the coach-like look has not been lost by the motorhome items added. One of the items I particularly liked was the panoramic windscreen, which gives a tremendous view and also incorporates some essential blinds for when the sun is low. I did wonder about stone chips and even replacing the windscreen, but I understand Higer has quite a few coaches running around the country. So it might just be an issue of time spent locating one rather than availability.


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 25

There’s no doubt this is a

very self-contained vehicle.

One of the assets of the coach body is that it allows for plenty of external bin space. The nearside ones being particularly impressive because they come with a washing machine, slideout kitchen complete with Weber BBQ and external entertainment unit! Despite all that there is still space for essential al fresco items like a table and chairs.

Just in case you don’t think the existing body of the Higer would give enough internal living area, there are two offside slide-outs built in as well. There's no doubt that this is a very self contained vehicle. It runs on a 24 V DC system, rather than the more usual 12 V, and comes with 660 AH of deep cycle batteries and an

Outdoor living is well catered for with this comprehensive kitchen, plus a front-load washer for laundry days. amazing 800 W of solar panel power! All that is backed up by a generator, of course. In the fluids department, a 500 litre water tank and 300 litre black water tank ensure self-sufficiency, as does (to a lesser extent), the 150 litre grey water tank.


26 | Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX The lounge and fourseat dinette live in the slide-out, while the main entertainment centre (below) sits between the front passenger seat and side entry door.

Living Inside

S

tepping in through the entry door reveals a very impressive layout. The place to head for while taking everything in is the front offside lounge. Along with the dinette behind it, it’s set into the front slide-out. Taking up most of the midnearside wall is the kitchen bench area, leaving the rear part of the vehicle for a split bathroom in front of the bedroom (the latter having an east west-bed set into the rear offside slide-out). First impressions are everything and the cabinetry work, along with the leather upholstery, looks to be beautifully done. Living comfort is assured by two Mitsubishi air conditioners mounted at either end of the motorhome; one above the driver's cab and the other in the rear bedroom area.


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 27

The rear part of the Sirius SLX has a split bathroom and east-west bed. Cabinetry work is excellent and all features are completely customisable.


28 | Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX

Contemporary design and light colours keep the interior functional and looking good. Kitchen bench space is excellent while the front captains’ chairs (below) swivel for added after-hours convenience. Note the split-system A/C outlet between the front overhead cabinets.

Lounging Around

T

he layout allows for a spacious lounge area up front. Both the cab captain’s chairs swivel around, while all the nearside area between the entry door and the passenger seat is filled with an extensive entertainment cabinet that comprises a flat screen TV, radio/CD player, DVD player and satellite TV. This area also includes a number of cupboards and drawers, so storage of CDs and DVDs is not a problem.

Four people can comfortably sit in this area without a problem, but if a couple more guests come along there is always the dinette as well. Being cafe-style the dinette can accommodate two people for dining without a problem, but seats four at a pinch. The rear seat has two seat belts fitted, meaning two passengers can be carried without a problem.


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 29 Time to Eat

I

f a spacious kitchen is desired there is really no excuses not to deliver in a 10.42 m A-class motorhome and this regard the Jacana certainly delivers in style. Of course it comes with a four burner cooktop/grill/oven, under-bench microwave oven and a stainless steel sink that is nicely hidden by a top that matches the granite bench. There's both a generous amount of bench top working space and cupboard/overhead locker storage space. All the overhead lockers

Few motorhomes have such a spacious (or good looking) kitchen!

have internal lights and there are two slide-out pantries: a full-height wire basket unit next to the stove and a timbered under-bench glass/ bottle holder at the other end of the bench. Internal cupboard lighting might sound like a luxury, but a frequent problem in many an RV is that the position of the main lighting creates black holes in the cupboards. Digressing slightly, my non-favourite arrangement is the under overhead locker fluorescent that shines directly in your face, so you cannot see a thing in the cupboard....


30 | Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX Keeping Clean

H

aving a split bathroom doesn't mean any lack of space in either the shower or the toilet cubicles, the latter having a vanity sink in addition to the black-tank loo. Being adjacent to the bedroom, both sides of the bathroom are convenient for day and night time use.

After Hours

I

n the rear, the second slide-out is designed to accept the 1.53 m x 2.04 m (5 ft x 6 ft 8 in) island bed. The slide-out is wide enough to have bedside cabinets on either side as well as a rear wall mirror with lockers above. Small windows built into the slide-out sides offer light and ventilation. Although the person on the forward side of the bed gets flat-floor access, the sleeper on the other side has to climb a few steps (the engine is underneath) to get to bed. The same applies for access to the full set of cupboards across the rear wall. Underneath the nearside window, the wall cabinet not only gives more storage area but also contains a flat screen TV that slides down out of sight when not being viewed.

The split bathroom provides a separate toilet and vanity on the driver’s side and a separate shower cubicle across the hall. The eastwest bed and overhead cupboards are in the rear slide-out, providing extra room in the bedroom.


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 31 The near-king-size bed has plenty of walk-around room, while the bedroom is lined with cupboards and hanging space. It also has its own TV and air conditioning system.

What I think

J

acana's Sirius SLX is certainly a very well equipped motorhome, as it should be given the bottom line. I should point out that the Sirius is a custom built motorhome and reflects a number of the owner's

custom requirements. Almost the entire electrical system – either 12 V or 24 V – is built to the purchaser's order, as are the air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, water heating and layout features. It certainly looked to me like it was put together with a high

level of general construction quality and design. Being one of the few A-class designs presently built in Australia, Jacana looks a good manufacturer to consider if this style of motorhome is what you’re considering.

Jacana’s Sirius SLX is certainly a very well equipped motorhome, as it should be given the bottom line.


32 | Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX

Specifications Manufacturer

Jacana Motorhomes

Model

Sirius SLX

Base Vehicle

HigerI

Engine

Cummins ISB

Power

209 kW @ 2200 rpm

Torque

1020 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

Allison Auto 6 speed

Brakes

ABS Disc

Tare Weight

13,500 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

15,000 kg

Towing Capacity

n/a

Licence

MR truck

Approved Seating

4

External Length

10.42 m (34 ft 2 in)

External Width

2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)

External Height

3.37 m (11 ft 10 in)

Internal Height

2.0 m (6 ft 6 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.53m x 2.04m (5 ft x 6 ft 8in)

Cooktop

Smev 4 burner, grill & oven

Fridge

320 litre 12 V compressor

Microwave

Samsung

Lighting

24 V LED

Batteries

24 V /660 AH

Gas

2 x 9.0 kg

Heater

Webasto

Solar Panels

4 x 200 kW

Air Conditioner

2 x Mitsubishi

Hot Water Heater

Rinnai instantaneous

Toilet

Jabsco, macerator

Shower

Separate cubicle

Fresh Water Tank

500-litres

Grey Water Tank

150-litres

Black Water Tank

300-litre

Price (on road NSW)

$599,000

Pros

• • • • •

Very well constructed Good external bin space Well proportioned layout Spacious kitchen High capacity electrical system

Cons

• Pricey, but you gets what you pays for!

Contact

Jacana Motorhomes

Click for Google Maps

118 Manning River Drive Taree South NSW 2430 Ph: 02 6551 7706 E: adrik@jacanamotorhomes.com.au W: www.jacanamotorhomes.com.au For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Day Test: Jacana Sirius SLX | 33

The sleeper on the (rear) side has to climb a few steps (the engine is underneath) to get to bed. The wall cabinet also contains a flat screen TV that slides down out of sight when not being viewed.


34 | Feature: Fifth Wheelers – Part 1

Hang 5! Neither motorhome nor conventional caravan, fifth wheelers are a hybrid RV well worth considering‌ Story and Images by Malcolm Street


Feature: Fifth Wheelers – Part 1 | 35

Winjana’s compact single-axle fifth wheeler is well set up for mild off-roading and sits well behind a typical Aussie ute.

O

ne of the mysteries in the Recreational Vehicle (RV) world in Australia is why fifth wheelers aren't more popular. Well at least in my opinion it's something of a mystery. Perceptions are everything and I suspect one of the reasons for their lack of popularity is that in many people's minds fifth wheelers are giant American RVs that require a Chevy Silverado or Ford F250 for towing. That perception certainly isn’t correct. What is correct is that fifth wheelers come in all sizes, are a much better towing proposition than a caravan in terms of handling, weight distribution and towing capacity, and that the front overhang certainly gives some layout advantages. Let me start at the beginning and explain just what a fifth wheeler is. A fifth wheeler is a towed RV like a caravan, with the main difference being the way it is hitched up. Caravans are


36 | Feature: Fifth Wheelers – Part 1

A Gooseneck has a conventional tow ball or king pin located in the tow vehicle’s tray. They’re particularly popular in the equestrian world.

hitched to a tow bar at the rear of the tow vehicle, down low at bumper bar level, while fifth wheelers attach to a hitch mounted higher up (semi-trailer style) in the tray of the tow vehicle, above or just in front of its rear axle. As a consequence a fifth wheeler has part of its body – usually the bedroom – above the hitch and over the back of the tow vehicle. Fifth wheelers are probably better known in the horse world as horse floats – also known as goosenecks – and are quite common. Occasionally here and more often in New Zealand, you’ll see fifth wheelers where the RV and horse worlds have crossed, with the front half of the rig for the two legged travellers and the rear half for the quadrupeds!

One of the mysteries of the RV world in Australia is why fifth wheelers aren’t more popular.


Feature: Fifth Wheelers – Part 1 | 37

The bed in a conventional fifth wheeler sits over the tow vehicle and helps provide maximum interior space for a given overall vehicle length.

Inside Story

A

n internal design advantage that fifth wheelers have over both caravans and motorhomes is to do with the usual location of the main bed. In normal RVs the bed takes up space in its overall on-road length, although in C-class motorhomes it can go above the cab, but this isn’t usually easy to climb into. In a fifth wheeler most designers put the bed in the overhang above the tray of the towing vehicle. This not only maximises space, it reduces the overall length of the rig – but more on that next issue. Even overhangs that have a low roof height it is still a set up that works well. Not all manufacturers put the bed up front, though.

Pacific RV has a unique drop-down floor in the overhang that is home to a pair of reclining armchairs, while the bedroom is at the rear. It produces a flat-floor design throughout and is certainly innovative! Winjana, on the other hand, does something different in its hybrid Cattai design, which has the bed up the front at floor level and the overhang space dedicated to storage.

Disadvantages?

L

ike any comparison, the advantages do not all go the fifth wheeler’s way. Being a relatively small volume market they are often more expensive than their caravan counterparts. The tow vehicle has to be a ute, tray top, light commercial truck


38 | Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1 How big can a fifth wheeler be? As big as you like – like this Australian-built Dryden unit. Sadly, Dryden is no longer in the fifth wheeler manufacturing business.

or in some very large cases, a prime mover. Some dual cab tow vehicles can be used, but not all, given the length of the load bed/ tray. The bed or tray of the tow vehicle must have the correct hitch fitted, whether it be a locked ball or the turntable variety and in an emergency breakdown/towing situation special arrangements might have to be made. Hitches do take up space in the ute/truck bed but some designs allow the hitch to be totally removed so that the bed can be used conventionally.

Fifth Wheel?

T

he term ‘fifth wheeler’ does sound a bit odd, but it's considered to derive its name from two places. Stage coaches (think Cobb and Co or Wells Fargo) had four wheels on the ground, but it was the fifth wheel (turntable) fitted to the front axle and upon which the stage coach sat that allowed it to turn corners. A later derivative was the turntable hitch used on articulated semi

trailers: It takes the weight of the trailer, yet still allows the prime mover to turn corners. A smaller version of that turntable hitch is often used on fifth wheelers, but a different variant altogether is a locking ball hitch, similar to a caravan, except that the hitch is mounted on a flat tray above the rear axle of the tow vehicle. In road transport authority speak, fifth wheelers are technically known as "goose neck trailers,” which is more correct in the ball-hitch case, but the fifth wheeler term is definitely more generic and seems here to stay

Tow Vehicles and Licences

A

s noted, part of the explanation of the lack of popularity of fifth wheelers has to do with the tow vehicles. In North America fifth wheelers are very common, as is the ubiquitous US-style pick-up truck used for towing. Consequently, fifth wheelers are mostly built to suit those size vehicles and not the smaller Aussie style ute.


Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1 | 39

With a double-pivot hitch, high-set suspension and a limited rear overhang a fifth wheeler can be surprisingly nimble off-road. Both Winjana and Trailblazers make such units However, several local manufacturers and importers have seen the light and been making fifth wheelers of a size suitable for our utes and tray tops. Given the relative proliferation of the ute it’s not surprising that fifth wheeler interest has finally started to increase. There is one local manufacturer who recently produced a large fifth wheeler, but given its size and tow vehicle requirement I do wonder about their market research. For me I reckon the Aussieute towable fifth wheeler is where the money should be. Drivers’ licence requirements aren’t much different to a car, truck or motorhome. Most fifth wheelers are not classed as semi trailers and therefore do not require a Heavy Combination (HC) licence. If the tow vehicle


40 | Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1 has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of less than 4.5 tonnes then just a normal car licence is required. For a tow vehicle with a GVM between 4.5 and 8.0 tonnes a Light Rigid (LR) truck licence is needed (this will cover most fifth wheelers). Exactly the same design rules apply to fifth wheelers as to caravans, with the exception that if a fifth wheeler has an Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) of more than 4.5 tonnes then larger axles and air brakes have to be fitted. Up to 4.5 tonnes, conventional caravan electric brakes are legal. Digressing slightly here, some time ago I did hear of an importer who dodged the air brake requirement by downgrading the ATM of the fifth wheeler. It was quite legal but the problem created was that in order to carry any sort of effective load, the water tanks had to be empty when travelling..... Like towing a caravan, having the correct tow vehicle for a fifth wheeler is equally important – and there are certainly a few misconceptions around. Tow vehicles must have adequate towing capacity to legally tow the weight of a fifth wheeler. Common sense statement for sure, but how do you apply it? Tow vehicle

Utes aside, popular tow vehicles these days are light trucks like this Iveco Daily dual cab, which combine considerable towing capability with turbo-diesel economy and a spacious cab.


Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1 | 41

Toy Haulers for trail bikes or other essential recreational vehicles are a fifth-wheeler specialty. The load area doubles as sleeping accommodation, often with fold-down beds, when the toys are outside or not along for the weekend. manufacturers generally specify maximum towing weight, assuming that a conventional towbar is being used, but what happens if you are towing a fifth wheeler? Few manufacturers state a maximum fifth wheeler towing weight, so another figure, the Gross Combination Mass (GCM), along with a bit of mathematics has to be used.

Doing the Math

T

he GCM is specified by the tow vehicle manufacturer and refers to the maximum legal loaded weight of both tow vehicle and trailer. Taking an Isuzu dual cab 4X4 ute for example, Isuzu specify the GCM as 5950

kg. The tare weight of the Isuzu ute is listed as 1915 kg. Now let’s say you have a fifth wheeler with a tare weight of 2500 kg. Adding the two tare weights together (1915 kg + 2500 kg) and subtracting them from the Isuzu GCM (5950 kg) leaves a total of 1535 kg for load in the vehicles, which must include the driver and passenger weights. In this calculation the individual Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) weights of the tow vehicle and trailer must not be exceeded either, but whichever way you look at it, a load capacity of 1535 kg is quite impressive and a larger fifth wheeler could certainly be towed.


42 | Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1

For stay-and-explore holidays a fifth wheeler/4WD ute combination makes a terrific combination.

Unhelpfully, not all vehicle manufacturers specify a GCM figure. For example, the Nissan Navara’s GCM isn't specified, so the maximum combination weight is arrived at by adding the GVM of, say, a Navara DX dual cab (2860 kg) to the maximum trailer weight (3000 kg), giving a figure of 5860 kg. Something else to remember with trucks and utes is that manufacturers specify the maximum load that can be carried on the tray, but when towing a


Feature: Fifth Wheelers - Part 1 | 43

Given the relative proliferation of the ute it’s not surprising that fifth wheeler interest has finally started to increase. fifth wheeler that maximum load is reduced by the pin weight of the fifth wheeler. There’s an interesting anomaly here to do with caravan towing. Theoretically, if you tow a caravan, then the tow ball weight does not affect the maximum load that can be carried in the tow vehicle but if you tow a fifth wheeler, a more stable combination, the maximum load is reduced. Finally on tow vehicles, I've noted above that either utes or pick-up trucks are mostly used

as tow vehicles. An interesting alternative is something like an Iveco Daily cab-chassis, with a modified tray back. In many ways they are cheaper to buy and run than the big US alternatives and certainly handle better on the road. Next issue we’ll look at towing, hitches, compliance and more, so don’t miss part two of Take Five! in issue 48 of iMotorhome eMagazine on 17 May.


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46 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park

The quiet side of the Hill Penrose Park might be in the shadow of Broken Hill but it sure is a nice place to stay‌ Story by Elizabeth Mueller, images by Helmut Mueller


Feature: Travel – Penrose Park | 47

O

n the edge of the Outback in Western New South Wales, Broken Hill is a must-visit destination. It’s a big regional city with a history to match and its mining heritage can be seen just about everywhere – from its opulent architecture to the massive slagheap that dominates the skyline. Over the past handful of years Broken Hill has grown in its tourist-friendliness. The attractions and events around the “Hill” are pretty impressive, with museums that feature collections of minerals or railway memories or cultural experiences; institutions such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air, and drawcards that celebrate the outback landscape. It’s got a huge art scene as well, with more than 30 galleries that reflect the creativity of renowned and upcoming artists.

Cover previous page: A landscape of hills near the Mundi Mundi lookout. Below: Outback kaleidoscope at Umberumberka Reservoir.


48 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park

Below: One of Penrose’s bunkhouses. Right: Silverton’s municipal chambers, one of many restored buildings

Travellers Welcome

A

n infrastructure to suit travellers is there, too. Broken Hill has plenty of places to eat or restock; services from vehicle repairs to medical to banks, and a couple of fully-equipped caravan parks. It’s a popular spot, and especially busy during the cooler months of the year.

Penrose Park, about 30 km from the Hill at Silverton, is a quiet alternative to the peakseason bustle of Broken Hill. It’s bitumen all the way, through rolling country painted with outback colours and punctuated by small creeks and run-offs. Apparently, there are 39 dips between the Hill and Silverton, so it’s a road to take at a suitably leisurely pace.

Penrose Park is a quiet alternative to the peak-season bustle of Broken Hill.


Feature: Travel – Penrose Park | 49

Top: Bicycles with a purpose – artistic installation at one of Silverton’s galleries. Bottom: Station sign at the Sulphide Street railway museum. Penrose Park has a tradition of being a place of respite and for many decades Broken Hill miners and their families would take what was known as the “picnic train” to the Penrose Park recreational reserve for some good old family fun. Interest waned over the years as the mining industry changed pace and Penrose Park is now a reserve that attracts travellers with their own accommodation, be it motorhome, tent, camper or caravan.


50 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park

Top: Early morning at the Catholic Church. This is now a private residence. Below: Previously known as the leaning dunny of Silverton, the old outhouse has been given a new lease of life.

“Casual” is probably the best way to describe the atmosphere at Penrose and sites aren’t allocated at the manager’s discretion. Rather, a sign asks campers to call in at the caretaker’s office to find out about the layout of the park as well as to pay the modest fees. From there, travellers are free to take a slow drive around the park’s 70-odd acres to select their own perfect park-up. A perimeter road gives an orientation of facilities here, while smaller tracks intersect the central areas. Penrose offers power in a few locations around the reserve (a long power cord can help alleviate any side-by-side with other campers). Those not dependent on power have the run of the place – almost – as there are a few semi-manicured spots near recreation facilities that are out of bounds to all campers. Toilet blocks are also at a number of locations, but there’s only one shower block each for men and women, with four cubicles apiece. There’s


Feature: Travel – Penrose Park | 51

Old and umm, older. Vee-Dubs seem to gravitate to Silverton.


52 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park not much more to the facilities at Penrose, save a few coin-operated gas barbecues, picnic shelters here and there, a laundry and some welcome rain water tanks.

Beautiful…

R

elaxing back in an outback location such as Penrose Park and Silverton has its advantages. To the top of this list is the night sky, which can be simply magnificent. The reserve has its fair share of big old trees but there’s enough room here to see a wide sky, and even a hint of purple-hued ranges way off in the distance at the right time of day. The trees add another layer as well, and provide a high-rise habitat for birds, especially galahs, which seem to delight in shrill, raucous chatter. Of course there’s a flip side to the Outback that encompasses hot summer days, cold winter nights, an arid climate and as much red dirt as one can imagine: Don’t expect pristine amenities. As with many outback settings, mostly everything carries a red tinge. A hand broom is a good accessory for folk heading for the picnic tables and barbecue areas and it’s a good place to utilise annexe-type matting. It’s all part of the outback charm.

Top: No guesses where this road leads… Middle:Just a little camp at Penrose Park. Bottom: Silverton picnic train exhibit at the park, donated by the Silverton Tramway Co. Ltd.


Feature: Travel – Penrose Park | 53 The Broken Earth complex sits atop the highest point of Broken Hill’s slagheap. It incorporates a restaurant, visitors’ centre and Miner’s Memorial.

As far as activities go, Penrose Park is pretty low key. Tennis courts hark back to Penrose’s grand picnic days, as do groupings of old fashioned play equipment – real slippery dips and real swings – not modern interpretations. There are also animals to admire, apparently donated to the park as a different kind of attraction. Among these are goats and sheep, a miniature horse and a variety of birds. The most curious of these would have to be Jack the talking log, though by all accounts Jack is really a little corella with a penchant for hiding in dark, hollow spaces. By far, the most interesting activity would be exploring Silverton, just a short walk across Umberumberka Creek. The creek itself is pretty interesting and like most creeks out here it’s usually dry and lined by gnarled trees with multi-coloured bark. Silverton’s definitely a town with character. It flourished in the 1880s thanks to mineral

wealth and at its peak about 3000 people called the place home. It’s almost a ghost town these days, but not quite. Silverton’s taken on a new life as a retreat for artists, who work in a number of mediums and in different styles. Some blend their works with a good dose of outback humour, too.

Downtown

M

ost of Silverton’s remaining buildings have a warm and austere simplicity, and restoration works appear to be quite sympathetic. These can be seen on a vaguely marked heritage trail (brochures are available at Penrose), with the suggested walking track extending to areas inaccessible to vehicles. Either way, walking or driving, there are some good things to see. There’s the old courthouse and municipal chambers, St Carthage’s Catholic Church, the Masonic lodge and the old public school. Beyond 39 Dips, which is housed in an old


54 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park

Above: An outback town’s not complete without a pub. Right: Silver City Comet at Broken Hill’s Railway and Historical Museum. Kidman Brothers butcher shop, is also the local info centre. Like many buildings in Silverton, Beyond 39 Dips doubles as a gallery, in this case displaying beautiful glasswork and leather goods. Silverton is home to a number of artists and this is the place to see their works in the environment they were created in. Of course, most of the artworks are for sale. An outback town wouldn’t be the same without a pub and Silverton’s is a beauty. It’s probably also recognisable as it’s played a part in many movies over the years. In fact, the surrounding area is in demand for television and big screen productions, the most famous of which would have to be Mad Max 2. Not

There’s a museum devoted to Mad Max 2 up the hill from the pub (that) includes a number of Mel Gibson-inspired exhibits.


Feature: Travel – Penrose Park | 55

One for all the Mad Max fans out there, at the Mad Max museum. surprisingly, there’s a museum devoted to Mad Max 2 up the hill from the pub and it includes a number of original Mel Gibson-inspired exhibits.

Silverton at dusk as kangaroos and emus like to leave their daytime resting places to graze near the road.

The Mundi Mundi lookout, which is passed There’s more to explore around Silverton and on the way to Umberumberka Reservoir, is by all accounts a visit to the Day Dream Mine is where dedicated sunset-watchers gather late an enjoyable and eye-opening experience. The afternoon. It’s a good place to hear the silence turn-off to Day Dream is a few kilometres back of the outback, with the tranquility broken only toward Broken Hill. by the rush of a breeze, a few far-off bird calls and the murmur of other spectators. Here, In the opposite direction travellers will find the plains stretch far off, way away towards Umberumberka Reservoir and the Mundi the smudge of a distant mountain range. The Mundi Plains. It’s in these wide-open spaces lookout platform’s backed by low hills that that you can get a good taste of the real change colours in sync with the setting sun, outback, its colours and expanses. Access to with the low-light highlighting the subtle shapes the reservoir is limited to picnic grounds that of the land. And the finale is a blindingly strong overlook an expanse of water contained by blaze of a sun ball sinking in the west. colourful hills. The reflections here can be quite exquisite. Just be cautious if driving back to It’s an experience that’s good for the soul.


56 | Feature: Travel – Penrose Park

Silver City Comet at Broken Hill’s Railway and Historical Museum.

Fact File

P

enrose Park is at Silverton in NSW, about 30 km from Broken Hill. Site rates are $10 per person per night, with an extra $5 per night for power. Penrose also has roomed accommodation in bunkhouses and a large hall for hire.

As far as provisions go, Broken Hill is the place to stock up. Penrose Park does have a small “shop” selling mostly treats like drinks and ice creams. The Silverton Hotel offers pub grub and cold drinks, while a couple of cafes sell snacks and meals. There’s no fuel available at Silverton. Both Silverton and Broken Hill operate on Central Standard Time. For more info see www.silverton.org.au


Reader Review Templates | 57

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Travel Notebook

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

Y

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


58 | Mobile Tech

Five Top Gadget Apps

Because you can never have too many gadgets‌ By Emily Barker


Mobile Tech | 59

M

obile technology has given us the power to turn our once humble phones and tablets into a variety of different and often useful tools and gadgets. These days, technology has evolved to the point where imagination is the only thing slowing the gadget world down. Smartphones have revolutionised the way in which we interact with the world and whether for convenience, productivity or just entertainment there’s bound to be an app that will save you time, money or maybe even both. Most great apps focus on optimising the employment of your phone’s/device’s existing features, such as the camera, GPS, microphone and audio abilities.

Cost: Free, although you can upgrade some features inside the application using the in-app purchase option. Platform: iOS Size: 8.4MB

2. Find My iPhone

The following is a list of handy apps with some practical applications for use in a variety of everyday situations. Try them!

1. TiltMeter – Advanced Level and Inclinometer Incorporating an inclinometer and bubble level, this app is a useful addition for many situations. Whether it’s setting up and positioning satellite dishes, solar panels, telescopes or photographic tripods, levelling tables or simply straightening a picture frame, it can provide remarkably accurate assistance. Naturally backlit by your device, this gadget is visible in almost any situation. Features include a motion-sensitive lock, the ability to log and email data, audio feedback, easy calibration, different precision modes and customisable graphics. This Integrasoft version is currently only available via the iTunes store, however similar applications can be found for Android devices.

This app is an essential for any Apple users if you have more than one device in the family, including iPhones, iPads, iPod touches or Macs. Its practical functionality is sure to appeal and the most obvious benefit is if your phone goes missing, is lost or stolen: Finding it is simply a matter of pinpointing the location on a map! This can also be handy if your device is in a vehicle that similarly ‘goes walkabout.’ Note: If your phone, device or car is stolen you should always involve the police and never try to retrieve it/them yourself. To set up this app you first of all need an iCloud account. iCloud is a convenient way to share and store pretty much everything between your Apple devices. You will need to have the Find My iPhone app installed on each device you would like discoverable. You can then access this data from any computer by logging into your iCloud account or straight from a device. In addition to discovering the physical location of a missing device you can


60 | Mobile Tech also perform a number of useful tasks. These include playing a sound (very handy if you’ve misplaced it in the house somewhere), lock the device (bed time children!) and even remotely wipe all data (this can then be restored from backup later). Google play has a similar app called ‘Find My Phone’ for all Android devices. Cost: Free (and so is an iCloud account, although you have the option to buy more storage space) Platform: iOS (Similar Android app available) Size: 5.1 MB

3. BuySmartQLD – MyShopRights (VIC) – ShopSmart (NSW)

have an electronic record of your purchases on hand at all times. Warranty terms and conditions may vary slightly in different states and territories, but the fundamental proof of purchase requirements are the same. This app enables you to access useful information regarding refunds, warranties and lay-bys, frequently ask questions are addressed and your rights as a consumer are explained in detail for each situation. You can use the app to set warranty and gift card expiry reminders and importantly keep a photographic record of receipts. For each item recorded you can include details of the transaction, including store information, cost, date of purchase and any warranty conditions. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this is an incredibly useful and practical application, regardless of which state or even country you are from. Cost: Free Platform: iOS and Android Size: 0.7MB

4. Fishing Deluxe

These apps are all slightly different but they all include some very handy features for consumers. Keeping track of purchases throughout the years and recalling the length of each individual warranty term can often be difficult. ‘Chaotic’ is actually the word that comes to mind for me! Receipts fade, get lost, have phone numbers written on them or simply disappear from that ‘safe spot.’ But BuySmartQLD lets you

In terms of a ‘gadgety’ app this one is a little recreational, but personally I think it’s an essential! It pretty much takes the guess work out of when to go fishing by predicting the very best times according to the probability of hooking up, dependent upon the tides and the moon. It also has a stack of other fun features that make it an incredibly useful tool. Utilising


Mobile Tech | 61 your device’s GPS capabilities to pinpoint your location, it also has the ability to record the coordinates and details of fish caught at any exceptionally good spots!

use it – and by how bright it really is.

Designed to be used for short periods and in emergency type situations, iTorch Flashlight utilises your phone’s flash to provide Sunrise, sunset, an amazingly moon phase and bright light. With high-and-low tide its ‘instant ON’ times for your feature this app specific location has one of the are displayed each day, along with the optimal fastest start bite times. You can record details of your times, with an catches, including photos, weather conditions, inbuilt brightness rig and bait details, GPS or map coordinates, control, strobe and these details can be shared directly via mode and SOS email or Twitter if you choose! The calendar signal for actual function allows you to plan a trip up to a month emergencies. in advance, again taking into consideration the Available for both best times according to the conditions. You iOS and android can even change location by simply dropping devices this app a pin, and by location I mean anywhere in the has many practical world, perfect for planning ahead! applications, from peering Cost: Free (with no ads!) into cupboards, Platform: iOS and Android engines and Size: 15.4 MB crevices to finding a set of dropped 5. iTorch Flashlight keys. You’ll never be left in the dark again! LED torches these day are amazing. Any Cost: Free seasoned camper or weekend warrior will be Platform: iOS and Android able to discuss the pros and cons of battery Size: 8.2 MB verse rechargeable, how many lumens are enough and what special features complete the perfect torch. Well the perfect torch to me is the one that is on hand exactly when There’s always room for one you need it! And this is where iTorch flashlight more gadget app – or five! Try comes in. It’s not designed for prolonged use these great free apps, which so you won’t use it marching around the bush, are actually useful as well as but you will be surprised by how often you do good fun.


62 | What's Cooking?

World’s Best Carbonara! A very special recipe from Nonna, a very special lady‌

By Torrhen (via email)


What's Cooking? | 63

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ere’s a recipe for the World’s best Carbonara. No kidding! Nonna was my neighbour’s grandmother. My neighbour’s dad was divorced and living with his mother (Nonna) and his two kids, who where my age. Nonna was born not far to the south of Rome and when she was a teen, just before WW2, she met a man who worked in a nearby coal mine. She would visit the workers there regularly, mostly just to see him and would make fresh pasta for all the workers, although I’m not sure if it was the carbonara! Unfortunately, when war broke out the man was drafted to the army and later died in action. After the war Nonna ‘escaped’ Italy for Australia, eventually residing in New Zealand. There she met another man and the rest if history. Nonna used to look after us boys after school as we grew up, telling us tales of her younger days in Italy – and she would make us pasta – including the carbonara. One day I asked her how it was made, so she gave me a piece of paper with the recipe and told me this is how! Nonna passed away eight years ago but her spirit lives on, through her tales and the recipes she shared. She was one of the best cooks I had ever known (even better than my mum and that's saying something). Nonna would always cook simple but flavourful dishes packed with amazing taste – and she always had a story to tell.

Spaghetti Carbonara You’ll need...

Then...

• • • • • • • • •

Chop onions, garlic, pancetta and chicken into small pieces.

Bring heat up and add chicken and cook until no longer pink

Grate Pecorino (fine)

Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil, adding enough salt to make the water taste slightly salty

Add pecorino and stir through

Remove from heat and combine al dente pasta. Do not apply to heat past this point.

Crack eggs on top and toss pasta to combine all ingredients together

Serve immediately!

1 Red onion 2 Cloves garlic 100 g Pancetta 100 g Chicken thighs 70 g Pecorino cheese 2 Eggs Olive oil Salt Fresh egg tagliatelle pasta

• •

In another pan, sweat the red onion and garlic in olive oil until golden and soft Add pasta to boiling water cook to al dente Add pancetta and combine with the red onion mix. Cook for 3 minutes


64 | Next Issue

iMotorhome On Tour!

Malcolm is holding the fort at home and in the aftermath of the Sydney Supershow is being very secretive about which motorhome will grace our next front cover. What he has revealed is the second instalment of our twopart look at fifth wheelers; their pros, cons and considerations for the Australian market. If you’re looking at all your options before taking the RV plunge, don’t miss this interesting and informative feature.

N

ext issue promises to be a real surprise package as it will come to you ‘live’ from the dinette of a rental Winnebago somewhere in America. Could be the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas, but wherever it is we’ll be sure to include an update of our travels.

May 16-18

MAY

16-18

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

JUN

4-10

MAY

MAY

Until Saturday 17 May be sure to join our more and Twitter than 7000 Facebook followers for daily travel updates and more than a few laughs. See you from somewhere in America!

JUN

May 23-25 16-18 4-10 23-25

MAY

23-25

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 HERE

CLICK HERE

Click for Google Maps

Click for Google Maps

June 4-10

MAY

16-18

JUN

4-10

Brisbane Caravan, Camping and Touring Holiday Show RNA Showgrounds, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane. QLD • Open 10:00-6:00 daily (4:00 final day) • Parking: Limited, take special train • Adults: $18 / Seniors: $12 • Kids: Accompanied school age free

CLICK HERE 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.

M

23


iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 47 - 03 May 2014  

Get your FREE subscription at www.imotorhome.com.au

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