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iMotorhome

49 : Jun 7 2014

magazine

Issue

Using

because getting there is half the fun...

its Knaus

A’Van partners with Europe to find a new way forward…

Win!

Travel Notebook

Win!

$50 Caltex Fuel Card!

WERKT Winner!

Who’s won the $1990 engine upgrade?

Making a V-Line… Auto Trail’s unusual van conversion

USA Updated

Finishing up our US adventure!


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

www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

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


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.


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On my mind | 5

Home Sweet Home The old adage about travel broadening the mind is indeed a wise one. Having just returned from a month in America my mind feels considerably broadened – as is my waistline despite my best intentions. Four weeks of relentless eating and drinking without exercise will do that to you, but I’ve digressed… Of the past 13 months I’ve spent about 2 in the USA and on this last trip I was less overwhelmed by its size/pace/excess/waste and more comfortable just slipping into the groove. I was also able to sit back a bit more and take the time to observe and contemplate the similarities and differences between our societies. I’m not sure if it’s because America is still emerging from the ills of the GFC, but for the most part the people I – indeed we – interacted with seemed happy to be doing what they were doing and genuinely pleased to help. For example, in large stores like Walmart and Target, if we asked a shop assistant for directions to find something they actually took us to it, even if they were in the middle of doing something. They didn't just point and wave us off in a general direction; or roll their eyes, sigh and then direct us. Of course not all was sweetness and light. The lack of basic medical cover unless you’re working was probably the reason we saw a lady who was obviously in the middle of a course of chemotherapy working a check out; while elsewhere a man with a small oxygen cylinder in his backpack and a nasal cannula was doing it tough, collecting trolleys in a supermarket car park at an elevation of about 7000 ft. Things are certainly cheaper in the USA, especially if you’re earning in US dollars, but remember the Federally mandated minimum

wage is just $7.25 an hour. While many people make more, a wage of $15-17 is considered quite good for a vast percentage of the population. Americans do, however, retain more of their pay in percentage terms, despite paying Federal, State and often City income tax, plus sales tax (think GST) in most states. Indeed, because American society is so fractious, contending with the bewildering levels of bureaucracy in daily life must be a pain. Motorhome-wise, as I’ve said in the past, prices generally are much cheaper due to economies of scale and massive local manufacturing. The Minnie Winnies we delivered for Apollo Rentals – 27 foot 4-berth C-classes on E450 Fords, with a slide-out dinette, gas heating, ducted aircon, a remote start generator, TV, etc – had a list price of just $71,000. I also saw an ad for a 29 ft C-class Jayco on the same E450 Ford but with a better spec and trim level, on special at $56,000! Yet Euro vans like the Fiat Ducato are arriving and are quite dear. A Winnebago conversion of one (like an Avida Escape here) is about $81,000 and comes with a V6 petrol engine only. Go figure! With prices like those it’s little wonder used motorhome values plummet. A 10 year old Minnie Winnie or the like is worth about $20,000, making it a tempting proposition to buy and keep in the US for regular holidays, as many Australians do. One day! My waistline is receding now I’m back on my bike and my appreciation for what a great country we have is growing. As much as I love America and despite protestations from my wallet, there’s no place like home!

Richard


6 | Content

3

About us

5

On my Mind

8

User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Home Sweet Home…

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine

11 On your Mind

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

14

News

22

Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto

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

Using Its Knaus – A’Van teams with German manufacturer Knaus on a new vehicle range

The Knaus A'Van Baveria Venverto: A little van with a big name and a lot of expectation riding on its shoulders... Missed a Test? No problem. Click HERE to view the complete list of tests.


Content | 7

34

Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

46

Reader Review Templates

47

iMotorhome Marketplace

48

Travel: USA Update Part 2

56

Mobile Tech

60

Next Issue & Show Calendar

Making A V-Line – Auto Trail’s charismatic Fiat Ducato van conversion!

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

The latest Marketplace offers

USA Updated – A final roundup of our great American motorhome adventure

Taste.com – The perfect recipe for a perfect recipe!

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

11,312 ft up – and loving it!

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.

TRUCK CAMPERS

FIFTH WHEELERS

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MODERN INTERIORS

SLIDE ON CAMPERS

ALL CUSTOM BUILT

OFF ROAD MODELS

Buy Factory Direct and SAVE


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.

Over Charged Under Charge Hi Guys. Just spent some time at Victoria Park Caravan Park, Queenscliffe over the Easter period. As you can imagine it is a cold time of the year. We hired a powered site so we could have heating. As night time came the power went off due to an overload. The caretaker there came and restored the power. This happened quite a few times and eventually the twelve sites concerned had to limit their use of power. The park never got an electrician to attempt to fix the problem or offer some sort of refund (we paid $30 a night). With this sort of service no wonder

people are going free camping. Kind Regards Kevin. Thanks Kevin, I’ve heard other tales of unreliable electricity at caravan parks over the years, plus blocked toilets, showers out of order, etc, and it does make me wonder how the operators can charge full rates without providing a full service. At least your letter will have alerted our readers to give that park a miss.

Advice Required Ok I need some help please. We are going to Lithgow and Newnes and would like to go and see the shale mine and glow worms. Does anyone know how a person without a four wheel drive can do it? Walking is not an option for me as I use a walking stick and am not very mobile. Any suggestions would be great please. Thanks, Patti.

Okay readers, anyone out there able to advise Patti on this? Email info@imotorhome.com. au and I’ll pass on your information. Fingers crossed, Patti.


12 | On your mind

Wet Blanket? Sorry to be a wet blanket (but not sorry to be a "proof reader") but so far I have picked up a couple of glaring errors in Issue 48, page 12: • Tony Roche was born in 1945 NOT 1966. Otherwise he would have played (and won) the Grand Final of the French Tennis Championship (pre the Open Era) when he was 2 weeks and 5 days old (Oops) :-) • When publishing an Obituary, the word to use is "VALE" - from the Latin valedicere meaning to say farewell, not VEIL being an item of clothing/headdress worn to cover the face. I might add that you are not the only one/s to bother me at this point in time. Whilst I am reading your wonderful mag, my hubby is watching a fishing programme on tv, where the presenter advised us all that Lord Howe Island is south-east of Sydney, on the same latitude as Port Macquarie. All I can say, is that I'm glad he is not navigating our travels!

We trust you are enjoying your time in the grand old US of A (you appear to be following, about three days behind, an Aussie friend of mine) and look forward, as always to more of your magazine. And like Les, we too are enjoying the 2-parter on 5th Wheelers, as this is our 'home on wheels' at the present point in time. Cheers, Gordon’n'Juanita Toad Hall Somewhere in Australia. Thanks Juanita, no apologies required as the Tony Roche birthdate was indeed a blooper that ‘slipped through to the keeper’ (whoops, wrong sport). Veil, on the other hand, was a deliberate usage because in this situation I believed the allusion to a garment covering a face in mourning to be more appropriate – if unconventional. It certainly reflected the way I, my wife and many who had known Sally felt after hearing such sad news.

Famous Birthdays! 1848 – P  aul Gauguin (b Paris). Post-Impressionist artist, only became famous after his death in 1903. Most recognised for artwork picturing Tahitian Islanders. 1917 – Dean Martin (b Ohio). Crooner and member of the Rat Pack (d 1995). 1958 – Prince (b Minnesota). Singer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor. He has produced 10 platinum albums and 30 Top 40 singles during his career. 1974 – Bear Gryllis (b England). Adventurer and reality TV star, one of the youngest people to climb Mt Everest.


WE’VE BROADENED OUR HORIZONS

The Horizon Motorhomes family just got bigger and you’ll love the new additions.

*ELWB

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

E

Introducing the BANKSIA +2 with additional seating and a permanent double bed and the CASUARINA, bringing extra space and flexibility to the Fiat Ducato*


14 | News

WERKT Winner!

C

ongratulations to Noel and Mandy Watchorn of Langwarrin, Victoria, who are the lucky winners in our $1990 WERKT engine upgrade promotion! Their Fiat Ducato powered 2005 Winnebago Free Spirit is about to get a whole new lease of life as WERKT’s Dom Garfi ‘werkts’ his magic on its engine management system, reprogramming it in line with Noel and Mandy’s

desire for increased performance and fuel economy. The upgrade is scheduled to be complete before next issue, which will feature a write-up on the process and outcomes, plus beforeand-after drive appraisals. Following that we’ll be keeping in touch to see how their fuel figures go and for their take on how the upgrade has benefited them.

CMCA barred from Brisbane RV Show? Q471 recruiting many new members. While this is disappointing, we will always look at new proactive options to recruit new members." This post then appeared on the Free Choice Camping community Facebook page and elicited many comments:

T

he conspicuous absence of the regular CMCA Stand at this year’s Queensland Caravan and Camping Show, run by Caravanning Queensland, has surprised many. The following post appeared on the CMCA website by way of explanation: "At the time of going to print for this month's The Wanderer magazine, I would like to advise all members that we have not been allocated a display site at the Queensland Caravan and Camping Show as an exhibitor. Over the past ten years the club has had a prominent display with long standing member Bill McClintock

“What an interesting move by Caravanning Queensland. Could it be that somebody has their feathers ruffled by the success of the CMCA in promoting freedom of choice when it comes to our lifestyle. Would love to hear an explanation from Caravanning Qld. I'm sure our readers here will have some interesting opinions.” iMotorhome has no further information on this at the time of going to press. However, we can see no obvious explanation for Show organisers not to allocate the CMCA, a longterm exhibitor, a stand unless they were over subscribed and/or the application arrived late. We’ll keep you informed if we learn more.


16 | News

Dream Job?

M

cKinlay Shire Council is seeking a friendly and enthusiastic individual or couple to manage the Julia Creek Caravan Park. This is a contract position with a highly competitive negotiated

remuneration package including housing, subject to experience and suitability. For further information or to apply, click HERE. Applications close 5.00pm on Friday 13th June 2014.

Special Duvalay Offer!

I

Motorhome has been ‘test sleeping’ a pair of luxurious Duvalay memory foam sleeping bags for months now and we believe them to be unrivalled for both comfort and convenience. So we’re pleased to announce another special offer for iMotorhome readers, available for just two weeks, starting today (7 June).

Here’s the deal – Save 25% off RRP! Buy 2 Duvalays (4 cm x 66 cm x 190 cm) in either cappuccino or plum and pay just $194.25 each (plus $21.95 P&P for both). The offer runs from June 7 to June 21 2014 and there is a minimum order of two. Call (08) 9336 7714 to order.

Latest Marketplace Advertisers!

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: Active Campers Active Campers is now featured in the SlideOn Campers category of our Marketplace. Slide-on campers give you independent transport when you reach your destination. And when you don’t go, or have to earn a living, you have a ute with useable space. Active Campers says its roofs opens super fast for quick travel breaks, too, while setting up at night is equally quick and the double bed is permanent.

Bonetti Campers Bonetti Campers of Campbelltown, NSW, is also now featured in the Slide-On Campers category of our Marketplace. Bonetti Campers was established in 2012 by Stefano Bonetti, the former National Fleet Operations Manager of KEA Campers Australia. When KEA closed he bought the KEA stock and is the only KEA parts stockist in Australia. Stefano repairs and maintains KEA vehicles as well as refurbishing and building other campers. He also imports the stylish Mondo-Pickup Slide-on camper "Musica" and shortly, the “Carbonio," both from Italy. Diesel Heating Australia Have you heard about the house, located in a cool climate, that doesn’t have any heating? No? Neither have we. Houses in cool climates Continued...


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


18 | News

NEW MARKETPLACE LINKS ...continued

without heating must be few and far between! The same should go for motorhomes, thanks to the Snugger diesel heater that is safe and economical. Diesel Heating Australia is now featured in the Heating category of our website Marketplace. Kits available in 2.3 kW and 4.2 kW versions, supported by a wealth of experience in installation and maintenance. Freedom Off Road You want to go motorhoming but you don’t really want to purchase another vehicle. You also have a work ute or flat tray truck. Problem solved – the answer is a slide-on! But you want to – get offroad a little too? Problem still solved according to Northstar Campers, the latest advertiser in the Slide-On Campers category of our Marketplace.

Motor Homes International Motor Homes International, manufacturer of the Columbus motorhome using the Mercedes Benz Sprinter extra long as a base, is now featured in the Manufacturers category our Marketplace. Motor Homes International claims the most storage space of any vanbased motorhome. Impressively, there are no structural changes to the body – you get a Mercedes as the Mercedes people tested it! Videosat Campersat is now featured in the TV, Satellite TV, TV Aerials, Audio & Video category of our Marketplace. Television has always been on the ‘essentials’ list of motorhome equipment, but now satellite TV is the new must-have. Satellite TV used to be very expensive – but

Continued...

Thinking about a self-drive touring adventure?

Find all the inspiration and information you need for an awesome journey with our ebooks for iPad.

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


News | 19

NEW MARKETPLACE LINKS ...continued

check out the price of the Snipe and you might very well have it sooner than you expected! Snipe is small-suitcase sized compact, provides instant connection and immediate or delayed viewing. It’s also Foxtel compatible! Southern Spirit Campervans Southern Spirit Campervans is the latest advertiser in the Bus and Van Conversions category of our Marketplace. They specialise in full and part custom fitouts, repairs and improvements. They work with you to implement your ideas with practical solutions combined with top craftsman's work. They also understand that you have a budget – they’ll work within your budget! BYO vehicle for a conversion, repairs or upgrade.

Wedgetail Campers Wedgetail Campers of Newcastle, NSW, is now featured in the Slide-On Campers category of our Marketplace. The interior is spacious, has many large windows and is well ventilated. The Wedgetail, with its innerspring queen mattress and versatile inside/ outside access to all amenities (including ensuite toilet/shower) means comfort is never compromised. The Wedgetail is built tough so your destination is never compromised!


20 | News

Welders Beware…

Y

ou wouldn’t think a few seconds welding of a steel tyre rim could kill you – but it can. If you’re heading bush this winter and possibly travelling on roads that could crack a wheel, please view this video, shared by Outback Travel Australia from Bridgestone Tyres in the USA. It’s sobering stuff, and be sure to watch right through for extra information on what can go wrong.

Did you know?

Computer keyboards can carry more than 200 times the bacteria of a toilet seat (it's a dangerous business we’re in!). There are sharks in Greenland that eat polar bears and can potentially live for 200 years. “The key to happiness is spending your money on experiences rather than possession (think we knew this one).

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Time Travel depictions in films and TV are banned in China (No Dr Who?).

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News | 21

ICAC Called to Investigate Lobbying

A

controversial law governing mobile home villages should be stalled and an investigation into lobbying by industry figures conducted, according to the Greens and village residents. The call for a review follows a Fairfax Media report that park owner Norton Whitmont was a donor to Liberal MP Chris Hartcher's election campaign, named in the Independent Commission Against Corruption Inquiry into alleged laundering of donations, and had benefited from the law. Mr Whitmont's son Theo lobbied Anthony Roberts, who was then the fair trading minister, to win major changes that will financially benefit park owners while removing protections against steep rent rises for pensioners.

''It should be delayed, reviewed and an investigation held into what lobbying happened,'' Greens upper house MP Jan Barham said. ''The evidence that has come to light is that it is going to be disastrous for older people living in these parks and the advantage is solely with the owners of properties.'' Ms Barham said there was no quality consultation process and the people who stood to benefit appeared to have had a big say. A parliamentary inquiry into homelessness was told on Friday that the reforms risked ''making parks unaffordable'', according to the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association. To read the full article in the Sydney Morning Herald click HERE

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


22 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto

A’van uses its Knaus Local and European manufacturers team-up to offer more choice‌ Review and images by Malcolm Street


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 23

The new partnership sees A’Van building Knaus motorhomes in Australia, thus circumventing many of the compliance and warranty issues associated with full imports.

U

ndoubtedly one of the surprises of the recent the Sydney Supershow was the launch of a very European looking range of motorhomes and caravans being built here in Australia. There's a very good reason for the European look: German manufacture Knaus (the K isn’t silent!) has teamed up with Australian manufacturer A'van to build recreational vehicles in Australia. That gets around a number of problems, mostly

compliance and warranty matters, whilst giving Australian RV buyers a Euro looking rig that many desire. I had hoped to bring you an early review on either the Sun Ti or Sky Wave B-class models, but when I turned up to the A'van dealership for a review, the only thing I saw was the rear of the motorhomes on a delivery truck as they disappeared around a corner. Still, that


24 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto

Fiat’s Ducato van is a familiar sight on Australian roads and there is nothing special in the design or finish to make the BV stand out. Except maybe the lack of rear side windows.

meant I could concentrate my attention on the unusually named Baveria Vanverto (BV). In a knutshell, this Fiat Ducato van conversion has several clever features that one might expect to find in a German designed van, but also one oddity. Read on.

The Vehicle

F

or the BV, Knaus A'van has used the Fiat Ducato Multijet 150 LWB Mid Roof van. It comes with a 2.3-litre 109 kW/350 Nm turbo-diesel and, with Australian drivers in mind, Fiat’s 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Externally it has all the visual clues to being a motorhome rather than a delivery van, like windows, Prostor awning, electric step, roof mounted air conditioner and a cassette toilet door. What it does not have is a gas cylinder bin door, because the gas bin is behind the rear doors, under the bed. Rear doors don't often come in for comment, but these have been neatly fitted with opening

windows and panelling to match the rest of the van. I couldn't help wondering though if a couple of small built-in pockets could have made better use of the door's air space.

On The Road

B

eing only 6 metres (19 ft 8in) long makes this a very easy vehicle to drive. Having the midrange engine means the BV gets along nicely in most road conditions and driver aids like the standard TomTom Satnav and rear view camera are much appreciated. A feature of all Ducatos are the

relatively thick windscreen pillars that are only an occasional problem on places like roundabouts, but I often wonder why they are not used for something useful like grab handles – very handy for those less able.

Living Inside

A

s I looked around the very compact interior, with its east-west rear bed, front lounge/dining area and mid-section kitchen and bathroom I did wonder why Knaus A'van hadn’t opted to use the longer XLWB Ducato van. The size difference – 300 mm/12 in – might not sound


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 25

Undoubtedly the standout feature in the BV is the bathroom.

much, but it makes a heck of a difference in a motorhome this size. Although there isn't a great deal of free space in this design the natural light level is quite good, at least in the front area. A feature of the windows is that in addition to being double glazed they are easy to open, thanks to a very clever single lever operation.

Most of the lighting is subtly integrated beneath overhead locker strip fittings, but that does create a problem when trying to look into the overhead lockers at night. I did like the electrical controls handily located on the panel above the passenger seat, and especially the gooseneck LED light that can easily be switched on when stepping into a dark van.

Apart from the impressive circular bathroom that dominates the interior the layout is quite familiar in this size and class of van. Swing-out leaf for the dining table is a great inclusion. One of the problems of a van conversion is keeping the bugs out when the doors are open – a highly desirable feature in warmer weather. In this instance the BV comes with an insect screen for the sliding door, which is good, but I'd have to say I have seen alternatives done in a neater fashion.


26 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto A multi-piece door provides toilet privacy and full shower enclosure. A removable floor panel completes the shower set-up. The shower blocks bedroom access when being used and seems to have no ventilation. Below: Compact kitchen has masses of drawer space while the high-mounted fridge is a great idea.

Keeping Clean

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ndoubtedly the stand out feature in the BV is the bathroom. In many a small motorhome the bathroom takes up a big chunk of space, which it does here also, but what those clever Germans have done is to put the shower cubicle in the middle of the walkway. By using rotating circular screens, a fixed shower head and a removable floor, the shower cubicle has a dual purpose. It just means the person not in the shower can't get to and from the bed, however! Fitted in behind the shower screens is a swivelling Thetford cassette toilet, small wash basin and overhead locker. All up, I reckon it's a very clever space saving idea and quite simple to use.


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 27

Like most van conversion kitchens this one comes under the classification of compact.


28 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto

An insect screen is provided for the side door, while storage drawers under the dinette’s raised floor provides invaluable extra storage. The entry step is electric.

Time to eat

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ike most van conversion kitchens this one comes under the classification of compact, although it’s smaller than some I have seen. A two burner cooktop (no grill) sits adjacent to a round stainless steel sink, sans drainer. That leaves space under the bench top for an amazing five good-sized drawers. Above the bench are two lockers

and adjacent to the bench top is a full height cabinet; the top half of which contains a 90 litre Waeco fridge, whilst the area below is nicely shelved for pantry or clothing use. I did like the fridge height, which is easily accessible without bending over.


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 29 Lounging around

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ike any good design the BV's lounge/ dinette makes full use of the Ducato's factory-standard swivel seats. The driver seat swivels to face the table, which actually has a little swivel of its own: A second table under the top one swivels out to extend the table area for easy use by someone sitting in the swivelled passenger seat.

under-seat area beneath the dinette (mostly occupied by the water/space heater) and a neat little drawer under the slightly raised dinette floor.

After Hours

I

n the rear the east-west bed is restricted by the width of the van, in this case having a length of 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) and a width of 1.37 m (4 ft 6 in). Taller people, unless sleeping Two more can sit at the forward-facing dinette on their own diagonally, are going to have seat, but instead of the usual right-angled (read a bit of a problem. The bed height of 0.8 m uncomfortable) seat cushions, the seat backs (2 ft 7 in) is notable mostly because shorter are set up to make them comfortable for both people might find it awkward to reach without travelling and when parked up. a small step, but it does provide excellent storage underneath that’s accessible from In addition to the time honoured overhead inside and out. Extra storage is offered by alllockers, there is a hinged door to get to the

This is probably the most generous dining table we’ve seen in a van conversion motorhome.


30 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto round overhead lockers and a small bedside cabinet for the inboard sleeper. A real oddity in the bedroom is a lack of windows on either side. It makes the bed feel more cramped and although there are opening windows in both rear doors, I think the lack of ventilation on a warm night would be an issue for many.

What I think

I

n many ways the Knaus/A'van tie up is a smart move. In Australia and despite efforts by some, a selection of British/European-built motorhomes has either arrived or is on the way. In New Zealand things are a little different, with a considerable range of imported motorhomes readily available. So Australian manufacturers have several choices. One is to build a matching product while a second is as Traillite in New Zealand has done, which is to import a range of motorhomes to complement its existing designs. A third is as A'van has now done with Knaus – and there’s much to be said for this approach. The Bavaria Vanverto is certainly easy living for one and a little more compact for two. There's no doubt the circular shower cubicle is a very effective space saver, whilst still offering full bathroom services. There's also no doubt that just about all the interior space has been used effectively in one way or another, although I couldn't help wondering what might have been if the longer XLWB Ducato van had been used. That said, if European designed van conversions are your thing then here's a good opportunity to try one out!

The lack of side windows in the bedroom adds a feeling of claustrophobia and is a silly omission in an Australian-spec van, where airflow on hot nights is paramount. Optionally available, we wonder how long until they’re standard?


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 31 Under-bed storage is good and can be accessed internally as well as from the rear. Note gas cylinder locker in the left rear corner. Legal in Victoria but highly questionably in reality.

A real oddity in the bedroom is a lack of windows on either side.


32 | Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto

Specifications Manufacturer Model

Knaus by A'Van Baveria Vanverto

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato Multijet 150

Engine

2.3 litre turbo-diesel

Power

109 kW @ 3600 rpm

Torque

350 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

Six speed automated manual

Brakes

4-wheel ABS disc

Tare Weight

2860 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4005 kg

Towing Capacity

2500 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

4

External Length

6.00 m (19 ft 8 in)

External Width

2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)

External Height

2.70 m (8 ft 10 in)

Internal Height

1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.80 m x 1.37 m (5 ft 11 in x 4 ft 6 in)

Cooktop

Smev 2 burner

Fridge

Waeco Coolmatic 90-litre 12 V compressor

Microwave Lighting

No 12 V LED

Batteries

1 x 100 AH

Gas

1 x 4.5 kg

Heater

Truma Combi D600 Diesel

Solar Panels

n/a

Air Conditioner

Air Command Ibis

Hot Water Heater

Truma Combi D600 Diesel

Toilet

Thetford Cassette

Shower

Versatile separate cubicle

Fresh Water Tank

120-litre

Price (on road NSW)

$119,990

• • • • • •

Pros

Circular shower cubicle design Front lounge/dining area layout Swivelling table extension Subtle lighting Relatively comfortable rear seat Easy driving van

Cons

• No side windows in bedroom • Bed length for some • Lack of light in overhead lockers at night • Rear door needs to be unlocked if gas cylinders being used • No shower ventilation

Contact

Click for Google Maps

A'van Penrith

2142 - 2150 Castlereagh Road Penrith NSW 2750 Ph: 02 4721 2222 E: sales@avannsw.com.au W: www.avannsw.com.au For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Day Test: Knaus Baveria Vanverto | 33

As a launch vehicle into the Australian market the BV has some clever features but seems strangely underdone in some areas, like the interior lighting, shower ventilation and lack of bedroom windows – Ed.


34 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

Making a V-Line! Auto Trail dares to be different with its V-Line 600‌ Story and Images by Malcolm Street


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 35

Custom high roof is unusual in a van this size. Also, note the custom windows that look much bigger than they are. The smaller 150 Multijet engine is a good choice for the V-Line’s size.

G

enerally speaking large van conversions take a predictable route with the layouts used. There are some good reasons for that, the prime one being a finite space that means only a few layouts are practical and customers like. Every now and again, though, one comes along that is right outside the box and definitely attention getting: A case in point being British manufacturer Auto Trail's V-Line 600. I first saw it at the NZ Hamilton show in March this year. Freedom RV's Neil Whithear was extremely keen to show it to me and it did not take long to understand his enthusiasm For a start, it's very sporty looking. I consider the Fiat Ducato on which this motorhome is based to be the sports car of the motorhome


36 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

Colour-coded all white exterior with black window treatment looks smart. Integrated awning is a nice touch, although the roof is a little bulbous. world and so it is quite impressive just to look at this conversion. What Auto Trail has done is raise the roof by cutting off the original Ducato roof and fitting its own moulding. Apart from improving the interior height, one of the side benefits has been the fully recessed awning, which looks a whole lot better than the usual add-on item on many vans. Also interesting are the windows, which take the "flush fitting" concept to a whole new level because the panels of the windows, both real and pseudo, run the length of the motorhome. It's a good look and quite a clever design as the window apertures are actually smaller than the window “panes”. Low profile tyres aren’t a usual motorhome characteristic, but they’re what AutoTrail has used, all in the name of adding to the V-line 600’s ‘look’.

Low profile tyres (are) what Auto Trail has used, all in the name of adding to the V-Line 600’s look.


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 37

Even with camper doors open the V-Line 600 keeps a low profile, looking more like an up-market mini-bus than a minimotorhome.

On The Road

Living Inside

iven what else I have seen out of the British motorhome industry I sort of understand why AutoTrail has used the Ducato Multijet 150, the 2.3-litre midpowered turbo-diesel. But given the image this motorhome projects it would seem more fitting to have the 3.0 litre 132 kW/400 Nm engine as standard, which is certainly an option. Having said that, the AutoTrail certainly moves along smartly enough, with the 2.3-litre engine bolted to the optional 6-speed AMT gearbox. I guess a true sports car would have a manual gearbox, but I am aware most of our readers prefer the more relaxing style of automated gears.

s noted above, the layout in this van conversion is a little different to the usual. It comes with a front dining/ lounge/bed area, a mid (mostly offside) kitchen, a nearside rear corner bathroom and a large cupboard area opposite.

G

A

Setting the general tone of the interior is the black leather upholstery, along with the skyview hatch at the front and concealed LED lighting. In some ways the rear area looks a bit cramped, but it's actually very cleverly designed. One of the benefits of the new roofline is that there is plenty of overhead locker space. And like any good design, most of the electrical controls are located above the sliding side entry door.


38 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

The raised ceiling, big front hatch and light timber finish provide an open and airy feel. Black leather lounges provide flexible relaxing space and double as the dinette and bed.

Rear Area

O

pening the rear barn doors reveals a few surprises. Sometimes doors have pockets inside (as this does), but in addition the nearside rear door has been fitted with a storage cover for two folding camp chairs, whilst the other door, a little more conventionally, has a shoe holder covering the window area. Next, the rear wall of the toilet/shower cubicle isn't just a rear wall. It's designed to hold the table above (tripod style leg in the corner) and battery box below. Under the floor walkway is a semi-concealed drawer that could be used for small valuables. Filling the space between the cabinet and the rear door is a floor level gas cylinder bin. Whether that arrangement is legal in Australia, should the V-Line 600 ever


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 39 Clever use of the rear doors provides storage for outdoor chairs and shoes. The under-floor drawer is handy, too.

get there, might depend on which State its compliance is done in, but I digress. Above the gas cylinder bin is a drainage tray, which might sound a bit odd but it's been designed to take a pair of wet shoes and a couple of wet jackets hanging above. In rainy Britain, and to a less extent NZ, it makes a considerable amount of sense. Finally, under the hanging area is a small slot designed to accommodate two levelling chocks. In short, this entire area has been designed to fit a number of items that otherwise might be floating around the motorhome somewhere. In a van conversion where


40 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 external bin space is usually limited, it's a winning idea!

Keeping Clean

S

tepping into the van itself, the shower/ toilet cubicle door can be used to close off the rear area, thus giving both privacy and an extended (dry) area for the bathroom. That same area contains a fixedhead shower, moulded-in wash basin and a Thetford cassette toilet, along with a few racks for bathroom essentials. Facing the bathroom, the cabinet area opposite is fitted with an exceptional amount of cupboard and drawer space.

Catering

M

oving forward in the motorhome brings us to the kitchen. One of its more interesting features is that it doesn’t look like a kitchen and, like several other features in the V-Line 600, is done a little differently. The flush lids above the sink and hob on the nearside look like part of the bench top and match neatly in with the bench top on the opposite side. Also, the area under the

More clever design in the bathroom and kitchen. The V-Line 600 makes the most of the Fiat Ducato’s limited internal space. Note unusual lids that completely cover the sink and cooker. Drawer-style fridge pulls out beneath cooker!


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 41

Split kitchen design sees the oven and grill snuggled up against the lounge. Interesting! Overhead cupboards have strip lighting below, making night time use difficult.

cooktop, where you might ordinarily find a grill/ oven, is occupied by a drawer style Isotherm 65-litre fridge. This drawer style unit might sound a bit odd, but in the confines of a van conversion it's actually much easier to use. About its only downside is its relatively small capacity. Taking up the rest of the under-bench area is cupboard space and wire basket slideout pantry.

Lounging

U

p front the lounge/dining area has to be one of the largest I have seen in a van conversion this size. Both lounge seats mesh in well with the swivelled cab seats and there is certainly room to stretch out. An upside down lap-top-style TV, mounted on the ceiling above the cab seats, ensures it can be seen from both lounge seats and yet remains unobtrusive and head-banging free when not On the opposite side of the motorhome the smaller section of the kitchen bench is where the being watched. A centrally located pole hole grill and oven can be found. I have to say that like ensures the table can be used from the seats the rest of this motorhome the kitchen is a slightly on either side. different design to the norm, but there certainly isn't anything unworkable about it.


42 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

The V-Line 600’s biggest drawback is having to make the bed up every night, along with its relatively limited dimensions.

After Hours

I

f there is a disadvantage with this layout it’s the fact the bed has to be made up every night and there is an obvious restriction on length, given the van’s width. So your choice is either a double bed at 1.85 m x 1.33 m (6 ft 1 in x 4 ft 4 in) or 2 singles, made up the other way and incorporating the swivelled cab seats. You have to be a little creative here!


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 43

What I think

A

lthough this layout might not be for everyone – there are more ‘standard’ alternatives available – it’s hard not to be impressed by the Auto Trail V-Line 600’s design. In addition to the height raising roof, it incorporates a number of space saving and convenience items that are typical of

many a Euro design. In a van conversion, given the space constraints, these become very important. It's also certainly a very sophisticated design, with features like the recessed awning, extensive LED lighting and ducted heating – all of which adds up to a very classy package indeed.


44 | Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600

Specifications Manufacturer

AutoTrail

Model

V-Line 600

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato Multijet 150

Engine

2.3 litre turbo-diesel

Power

109 kW @ 3600 rpm

Torque

350 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

Six speed automated manual

Brakes

4-wheel ABS disc

Tare Weight

3090 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3500 kg

Towing Capacity

2500 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

2

External Length

5.99 m (19 ft 8 in)

External Width

2.03 m (7 ft 8 in)

External Height

2.81 m (9 ft 3 in)

Internal Height

1.94 m (6 ft 5 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.80 m x 1.37 m (5 ft 11 in x 4 ft 6 in)

Cooktop/Hob

2 burner

Separate Grill/Oven

Thetford

Fridge

Isotherm 65-litre 12V compressor

Microwave

no

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

1 x 100 AH

Gas

2 x 4.5kg

Heater

Truma Combi CP plus

Solar Panels

1 x 100W

Air Conditioner

Optional

Hot Water Heater

Truma Combi CP plus

Toilet

Thetford Cassette

Shower

Fixed height, combo

Fresh Water Tank

70-litre

Grey Water Tank

70-litre

Price (on road NZ)

$135,000.00

Pros

• Stunning looking van conversion • Different style windows • Excellent interior storage • Recessed awning • Effective use of interior space • Hinged kitchen bench tops • "Wet" drainage in rear

Cons

• Bed has to be made up each night • Bed length • No external storage • Pricey

Contact

Click for Google Maps

Auckland Motorhomes 61 Creek Street Drury 2113, Auckland, New Zealand Ph: +64 (9) 294 6500 E: info@aucklandmotorhomes.co.nz W: www.aucklandmotorhomes.co.nz Freedom RV 449 Ferry Road, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand Click for Google Maps Ph: +64 (3) 389 5346 E: info@freedomrv.co.nz W: www.freedomrv.co.nz

For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Day Test: Auto Trail V-Line 600 | 45

Every now and again (a van conversion) comes along that is right out of the box and definitely attention getting.


46 | Reader Review Templates

Win!

Travel Notebook

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

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

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


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48 | Travel: US Update – Part 2

Post blizzard problems on I-80: No power so no fuelling up and hundreds of trucks stranded. What’s a man to do, Andrew ponders? Good thing we had a Plan B!

U.S.UPDATED! Thoughts after nearly three weeks in our rental motorhome… By Richard Robertson

W

e made it! The spring snows that broke our journey at the time of my last instalment and brought swathes of the American Mid-West to a halt passed after two blizzardy days, although we got caught with major road closures and had to alter our itinerary significantly. As I said last issue, in America there is (almost) always a Plan B, because there are roads almost everywhere. It was interesting arriving at a ‘travel plaza’ (gas station) on Interstate 80 just outside Rawlins, Wyoming, after a cross-country drive avoiding

snow-closed backroads, only to find about 180 miles (290 km) of the Interstate also closed. We also found several hundred trucks jammed into the travel plaza – some of which had likely been there for days – plus no electricity to power the pumps, open the cafe or provide some relief for the stranded drivers. But at least the sun was shining! So we developed a quick Plan B, headed the opposite way a short distance along an open stretch of the Interstate and found another back road. Thankfully it was open and our ticket far away from stranded truck driver hell.


Travel: US Update – Part 2 | 49

We overnighted at the Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy. Despite being late spring it dropped to -7ºC overnight, but we were at 8,200 ft (the mountain behind is 14,000 ft)! Monarch Pass was the highest point we reached on our travels.

Postcards!

P

ost blizzard Colorado became a veritable winter wonderland, with blue skies, white peaks and postcard opportunities at every turn. We spent about two weeks of this trip above 5000 ft (1500 m), with much of it above 7500 ft (2250 m). I counted four mountain passes we drove over higher than 10,000 ft (3000 m), with the highest – Monarch Pass – topping out at a literally breathtaking 11,312 ft (3448 m). Monarch Pass is one of many points along the Rocky Mountains that marks the Continental Divide, where water runoff on the east heads to the Atlantic and to the west, the Pacific.

It’s also home to a cafe and souvenir shop – of course – plus a chair lift to the peak itself which, sadly, wasn’t operating on the day of our brief visit. When you think of Colorado do you think of the Rockies? Probably. Don't forget, however, this mighty mountain range runs for some 3000plus miles (about 5000 km), from the Province of British Colombia in Eastern Canada to the State of New Mexico in South Western USA. Mt Elbert is its highest peak at 14,440 ft (4400 m), but Colorado is home to more than 50 “Fourteeners,” as mountains exceeding 14,000 ft are known in the Mid West.


50 | Travel: US Update – Part 2

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway is a must-do if you ever make it to Durango. The flags were flying in the lead up to Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, which is a national holiday in remembrance to fallen US Service personnel.

When in Durango…

W

e tarried in Durango, at the bottom of Colorado, for two nights and from where I published Issue 48 of iMotorhome eMagazine. Durango (pop 16,000) is an old mining town that sits about 6500 ft (2000 m) above sea level. It’s a health conscious tourist town these days, known for good food, good coffee – yes, espresso – and great cycling. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum is the town’s centrepiece and we took the must-do 3.5 hour steam train ride from Durango to Silverton, returning via

coach due to time constraints. Enroute we overdosed on jaw-dropping, gob-smaking beauty as the train wound its way – often precariously – betwixt mountain and river, across trestle bridges and through pristine pine forests ringed by snow-capped peaks. Unbelievable… On the Memorial Day long weekend in late May, Durango hosts the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic; a bike-versus-train torture test (for the cyclists) that started in 1972 and covers 50 miles/80 km, including a climb over the 10,990 ft Molas Pass. Surprisingly, the train has never won.


Travel: US Update – Part 2 | 51

The walking tour down to Mesa Verde’s famous Cliff Palace was something we’d waited 14 years to return and do. It’s another must! We camped up on the Mesa in a National Parks’ campground (no services), while the views from many points were simply breathtaking.

Nice Mesa

M

esa Verde, not far from Durango on the road heading west, was a detour and overnight stop that impressed us all. Mrs iMotorhome and I had visited briefly on a road trip 14 years earlier, but this time we stayed overnight up on the Mesa (it’s a National Park) and took a guided half-day tour the following morning. Remote as it is Mesa Verde was home to the ancient Pueblo people, also known as the Anasazi, between about 600 and 1300 AD. It was heavily farmed for corn and in its last century of occupation some Anasazi left their

simple mesa-top pit homes and built elaborate stone dwellings in the cliff faces. Our tour highlight was a guided walk down to the Cliff Palace, where we could experience first-hand the scale of the ancient buildings and gain a better appreciation for the ingenuity of their long departed residents. Heading west to the Grand Canyon we battled fierce head and cross winds and found ourselves enveloped in a fully fledged sandstorm at one stage. Being a Broken Hill girl our Jan was less than impressed and we all gritted our teeth – literally – and continued on. Overnighting in Tuba City (no brass instruments in sight), I spoke to a German cyclist who was


52 | Travel: US Update – Part 2

They don't call it the GRAND Canyon for nothing…

4000 km into a 5600 km trek from Annapolis, Maryland, to Los Angeles. He’d also battled the winds and sand that day and had spent 11 hours covering the 80 km from Monument Valley. Looking remarkably like Michael Schumacher, he was rake-thin and planned a rest day the following day to “eat-up big.” It was one of three rest days he still had up his sleeve according to his schedule. He was due to meet up with his wife in LA on June 6 and I wished him the best of luck as he set up his tiny tent and inflated his wafer thin air mattress. I love cycling, but…

Truly Grand…

T

he Grand Canyon didn’t disappoint – either us on our return after 14 years or Jan and Andrew on their first visit. It sneaks up on you, concealed by dense


Travel: US Update – Part 2 | 53

Even early in the season the Visitors’ Centre car parks were unable to cope. It was RV madness by the time we left. Bottom: A helicopter is the best way to see this remarkable place and the front seat is the best of the best – if you don't mind heights! low forest that gives no indication of the overwhelming grandeur lurking just metres from the rim road. Despite being mid-May the Visitors’ Centre was very busy and the car parks overflowing. I can’t imagine being there in peak season. We oohed and ahhed for a couple of hours and took countless photos, then bugged-out to the nearby Imax theatre. There we watched a National Geographic film about the Canyon and the initial conquering of the tempestuous Colorado River by insanely brave men in wooden boats in the 1870s. Snaking 277 miles (446 km) through the Grand Canyon the wild Colorado has long since been tamed by man and his dams. Even so, people flock to it each year to raft various sections through the Canyon, or its whole length, and in some places it’s still not for the feint hearted. The highlight of our visit was a 30-minute helicopter flight on which I drew the lucky straw for the frontseat. Helicopters cope better with turbulence than fixed-wing aircraft and despite strong winds it was an unforgettable experience I’d recommend to everyone who visits.


54 | Travel: US Update – Part 2 Vegas beckoned and again didn’t disappoint. It left first timers Jan and Andrew amazed. None of the Cirque du Soleil shows we wanted to see were available, but we did get into The Jersey Boys at the Paris casino, which exceeded all our expectations. We dined post-show in the Eiffel Tower, watching the choreographed dancing fountains in the eight acre lake across ‘the Strip’ at the lavish Bellagio resort between courses. Such is Las Vegas! From there it was but a day’s drive back to LA, more or less, and the end of a truly memorable journey. Three Aussies in New York’s Little Italy, inside the New York-New York Casino! Why not build a whole city inside a building?

Next Year!

i

’ve already planned a route for next year’s USA adventure and can’t wait to get back. Why? A diversity of scenic beauty we simply don’t have in Australia; affordability; shortish distances between places of interest; an elaborate system of roads in good repair; friendly people; no language barriers (more or less!) and a similar culture, ensuring ease of travel. Watch for an in-depth special issue on this year’s USA travels in the not too distant future, including a review of our rental Minnie Winnies and a breakdown of costs. If it’s not enough to get you packing I don’t know what will.

Vegas beckoned and again didn’t disappoint. It left first timers Jan and Andrew amazed.


Travel: US Update – Part 2 | 55

The Grand Canyon is concealed by dense low forest that gives no indication of the overwhelming grandeur lurking just metres from the rim road.


56 | Mobile Tech

taste This app is the perfect recipe to conjure up, um, the perfect recipe‌ By Emily Barker


Mobile Tech | 57

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here’s a very good reason why the Taste.com. au app is ranked so highly in the Food and Drinks category of the App Store: Because it’s simply that good! Now I don’t normally buy apps – it goes against my nature – and by the same token I’m not generally known for following recipes. After many years in the industry you tend to start making things up as you go along. But I love this app (and it’s only $2.49 - Ed)! It inspires me with new ideas and gives me just a little nudge to get moving and, most importantly, cook more frugally. It helps me to use the ingredients I have on hand in ways that keep all the mouths around me happy and quiet, and that’s a win-win situation!

Inspiring…

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hen it comes to finding the motivation to prepare meals on a daily basis even the most passionate foodie can become jaded and uninspired, which can in turn lead not only to boring meals but often unhealthy ones (sausages again?). Throw into the mix limited storage, preparation and cooking space and that quick and easy heat-and-serve packet becomes more and more tempting. But good food need not be complicated or costly! With a little planning you can enjoy a healthy balanced diet regardless of your budget, culinary skills or time and space limitations. You might be familiar with the Taste brand; it’s a perfect example of using cross-platform media to reach the maximum audience. Taste. com.au is a News Corp Australia enterprise, it’s Australia’s number one food and recipe website, has both print and digital editions of its magazine, maintains an active social media presence and appears as a regular lift-out section in many newspapers. It’s all about the recipes, with a little extra foodie goodness thrown in and very limited ‘fluff,’ apart from the odd celebrity chef feature endorsement. Produced alongside some of Australia’s top selling food magazines such as ABC’s Delicious and Super Food Ideas, Taste is the ‘know it all’ little sister with something for everyone.

App-ealing!

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ut what does this mean when translated across into an iOS app? And why choose a paid recipe app when there are literally hundreds available for free? Well the main reason I’ve been using the website for years is the fact it has more than 27000 professionally developed and memberrated recipes. This means they work and are not only accurate, the accompanying stepby-step method instructions are clear and concise. You can also search by category:


58 | Mobile Tech cuisine, season, country, ingredient, region, theme, diet, health condition or even lifestyle ethos. Without question there is literally something for every individual style, preference or occasion. The app however takes this one step further, complementing the website perfectly by providing a neatly packaged and incredibly convenient way to have all this information in your hand or pocket, regardless of where you are. The other benefit of a paid app is the quality: Not only are they generally glitch free, but absence of advertising is what most people appreciate. The layout is quite simple, allowing you to search for a recipe, assemble ingredients, follow the process and create. You have five tabs including a home page that is updated daily with a feature dish, a recipe tab where dishes are sorted into collections, a straight-up search tab, a very handy favourites tab and your shopping list tab. You can either search by category via the collections tab or directly though the search bar. Because there are simply so many options it can often be easier to direct search for specific recipes – I counted 10 variations of Banana Bread! However, if it’s inspiration you are after the scroll function is incredibly handy, especially if you have a general idea or ingredient in mind. You can filter results too, although don’t try this by top rated, as it’s rare for a recipe to fall below four stars.

The Recipe Collections function lets you store your favourites for quick and easy future reference.

shopping list if desired. Below each ingredient list is a detailed nutritional summary, including all the usual information such as protein, fibre, Down to Business fats, energy, carbohydrates, sugars, sodium nce you’ve found a recipe you like, the and cholesterol; great for anyone with an eye on their diet. convenience of this app really kicks in. You have four info tabs for each Designed to be juggled while cooking and recipe; Ingredients, method, comments and notes and a ‘favourite’ button that allows you easily viewable on an iPad, each process has its own page, with a simple swipe taking you to save the recipe for future reference – very to the next step. The comments appear to handy You can also directly share via social be actual reader submissions too and most media or email should you be so inclined. are brief but incredibly honest, which certainly Each ingredient is listed in point form and can makes a refreshing change from reviews of be selected individually and/or added to your complete adoration. Quite often the notes tab

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Mobile Tech | 59

Perhaps the Taste.com app’s biggest appeal is its user friendliness and the way it lets you quickly and easily come up with meal ideas from even the most modest ingredient list. contains some very handy hints and tips on everything from storage directions to alternate ingredients. This app is a convenient way to manage long and short term meal planning and find some much needed inspiration to help fire things up in your kitchen! Often, eating healthily is less about the healthy foods you do eat and more about the junk foods you don’t. Taste is one app you will find yourself turning to again and again. It’s only available for iOS (Apple) devices at present, although there is talk of an Android release soon. At 7 MB it’s not huge, however there are in-app downloads so it may be a good idea to keep an eye on

your data usage. If you have ever bought a recipe book or magazine you will agree the $2.49 cost of this app is actually quite reasonable for the quality and quantity of content. Cost: $2.49 Platform: Apple (look under iPhone only) Size: 7.0 MB


60 | Next Issue

Esprit de Cor Blimey…

We’ll also bring you another Kiwi motorhome – this time a German Dethleffs Esprit – to show our NZ readers what’s hot and our Aussie readers what you’re missing out on. So near and yet so far…

O

nce again Malcolm is keeping his Australian road test close to his chest (okay, he hasn’t done it yet). It’s that time of year; when vehicles are at big shows and new models are hard to grab hold of. But don’t worry, he’s promised he’ll find one!

Jun 20-22

JUN

20-22

AUG

AUG

8-10 August 15-17

Elizabeth & Helmut Mueller return with another great travel yarn, this time about camping with beasts in the mid north of South Australia. Intrigued? You should be. So until Saturday 21 June why not join and our nearly 10,000 Facebook Twitter followers for news, updates and more than a few laughs.

JUN

08-1020-22

AUG

8-10

AUG

15-17

JUN

AUG

August 20-22 15-17 8-10

The Great Outdoor Expo – Mildura

Mid North Coast Caravan & Camping Show

Border RV & Camping Show

Mildura Racecourse, Cowra Ave, Mildura, VIC, 3500. • Open 11:00-5:00 daily (10:00-5:00 final day) • Parking: Not specified. • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: U15 Free with adult

Wauchope Showground, Beechwood Rd, Wauchope. NSW. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Not specified. • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $11 • Kids: U16 Free with adult

Wodonga Racecourse, Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga. VIC. • Open 9:30-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free. • Adults: $12 • Seniors: $10 • Kids: U15 Free with adult

CLICK HERE Click for Google Maps

CLICK HERE Click for Google Maps

AUG

15-17

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.

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 49 - 07 Jun 2014  

Also available via FREE subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 49 - 07 Jun 2014  

Also available via FREE subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au

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