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iMotorhome

55 : Sep 06 2014

magazine

Issue

Making

because getting there is half the fun...

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Trakks!

Touring in the Trakkaway 700…

Party Time!

It’s festival season in sunny Griffith…

Binnaway Free Camp How one town got free camping right!

Being Social…

The ins and outs of social media!


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About iMotorhome | 3

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

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Facebook “f ” Logo

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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jess Ciampa, Emily Barker, Rob Davis 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

Update Lowdown… It’s been an interesting three weeks since last issue, the highlight of which was a week away in two different Trakka motorhomes: The Trakkaway 700 featured in this issue and the Torino Xtra, scheduled for Issue 58 on 18 October. Part of what made it so interesting was swapping between the two after five days and heading straight off in the smaller model, the Torino. It was interesting because it wasn’t the psychological letdown you might imagine; assisted no doubt by both motorhomes being Fiat Ducatos and sharing the same interior style, as well as much of the same furniture and fittings. It showed us (once again) that you don’t need a lot of space for two people to travel comfortably – what you need is organisation. During our travels we stopped at a property on the outskirts of Oberon, owned by an iMotorhome reader with an interestingly modified Winnebago Birdsville. The owner – Colin – a retired engineer, made the mods primarily to provide easy access to his property, which is accessed via fire trails skirting one of the many State Forests. Oberon is hilly country that receives more than its fair share of rain and winter snows, and that combined with steep grades and loose/muddy surfaces is a recipe for trouble. We had a hands-on lesson in the issues confronting Colin – and any owner of a front-wheel drive motorhome – when trying to leave his property in our Fiat Ducato-based Trakka after our overnight stay. But you’ll have to wait until next issue to read all about it and have a look at Colin’s high-riding Birdsville. Patience…

Updates Our website homepage redesign has gone so well I’m now having the rest of it redesigned. Working with a contract web designer as well as our contract web guru means things progress at an often glacial pace and we're aiming for an early

November release of the totally new-look website. Consequently the iMotorhome app is also on hold, which probably isn't a bad thing given the imminent introduction of Apple’s iOS8 operating system and the iPhone 6; both of which will require a degree of app re-engineering. Almost forgot! There’s a new feature starting this issue, by the Freedom of Choice Camping people. It has updates on recent articles and information relating to the ongoing battle to preserve our right to choose where we stop overnight. Please read it well and click on the links that interest you. Your feedback would be appreciated, too.

Finally… I continue to be gladdened by the support received on my previous editorials about suicide and depression, as well as the positive feedback on psychologist Rob Davis’ new iTherapy column. I don’t want to seem to be harping on about it, but literally in the last few minutes a news item from the World Health Organisation appeared on the SMH website saying suicide kills more people globally every year than wars and natural disasters combined, with the highest rate amongst those over 70. One person dies every 40 seconds and Australia ranks in the second highest percentile band. Stay safe, stay connected and be sure to ask your friends – R U Ok?

Richard


6 | Content

3

About Us

5

On my Mind

8

User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Update Lowdown…

How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine

11

On your Mind

16

News

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

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

23 iMotorhome Marketplace The latest Marketplace offers

24 Freedom of Choice Camping News and information on the battle to keep our camping choices free

Choosing where to stop for the night is a right, not a compliance issue…


Content | 7

26

iTherapy

30

Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

48

Travel: Griffith

52

Travel: Binnaway

56

Reader Reviews

58

Mobile Tech

62

Next Issue & Show Calendar

The Primacy of Self – you really matter!

Grand Design Revisited – spending time again in a favourite motorhome

Party Time! Don’t miss Griffith’s fabulous October festivals!

Doing It Right – Binnaway’s excellent Pumphouse Free Camping Ground

My Motorhome and My Special Place – check them out!

Let’s Be Social – the lowdown on social media

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

On the road and free camping in the Trakkaway 700…


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.


" No one knows what works for you, better than you."

That is why at Sunliner we think you know what you are looking for in a motorhome. Our philosophy is to listen and work with you to create your motorhome dream.

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Personalise your journey....


On your mind | 11

Win $50 for the best letter! 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 $50 to help you on your way.

Staying In Step Hi Richard, I thought I would share something with you, and hopefully your readers, about daily fitness. I recently watched a program about our levels of daily activity and how we often do less moving in a day than we think. I am fast approaching 'middle age' and I am already aware of a thickening waste line. The program challenge was to wear a pedometer which counts the number of steps you take in a day. It suggests a target of 10,000, not including extra exercise. This seemed very easy to me as I am very active and 'don't stop' during the day. I am currently not working but live on a small rural property and am an avid gardener, often spending hours in my garden collecting animal manure and feeding my plants. I wasn't surprised that the ladies shown on the TV program struggled to meet the 10,000 step challenge, but consider my surprise, and horror, when after 2 weeks not once have I met it either! Towards the end of my days now I start watching my step count and it is encouraging me to make different choices;

like take the long way back to the garden shed, an extra 80 steps. I now walk to the letter box rather than checking it when I am on my way out to the shops, another 300 steps. I do now have concerns about sitting in a motorhome for long periods of time but feel with my new found pedometer challenge I will be able to confidently manage my daily movement levels. My pedometer cost $10 from Big W and I challenge anyone to give it a go. Like me you may be uncomfortably surprised at how little you do, which is a great thing if it gets you 'doing'. Kind Regards, Laura L. Hi Laura, well that is a challenge! I reckon I’d only do about 2-3000 step a day, max, given I spend so much time in front of the computer. I’m off to Big W now to find out how sedentary my lifestyle really is. Thanks goodness for my bicycle! Please accept and enjoy this issue’s $50 – now delivered directly to your mobile phone! Technology…


12 | On your mind

Chewing the Cud? I thought the Dentist in a Box (Issue 54) was an excellent idea. I am one of those who would most likely benefit, always experiencing the unexpected. I am not a gum chewer, however with all the bad luck I have had with my teeth my dentist suggested I carry chewing gum at all times should I break a tooth, etc, chew some gum then wedge it in/over the area concerned to keep the air out and protect the area – and still eat – until I get to the dentist (may need to change the gum occasionally).

fresh water tank. There I was sitting on the side of the road with one finger over the hole in the side of the tank, when Margaret (my wonderful wife) reached for the chewing gum, shoved it into my mouth and seconds later the hole was plugged, my nerves were settled and we were on our way! Regards, Barrie.

Well that’s certainly something to chew over, Barrie! Tell you what, I’m going to send you one of our great little leather-bound notebooks Not long ago my wife and I were travelling north of the Gateway Bridge (Brisbane) in very for your troubles. Who knows, it might thick traffic with nowhere to go when we were even come in handy one day to wedge in somewhere and keep your motorhome on the forced to drive over what looked like a thin piece of metal. Unfortunately it flicked up under road, should you run out of gum! the van and sliced off the flushing tap of our

About that Dog

Hi Richard, just want to commend you for your article regarding your battle with the “black dog”. Too many people hide it, so well done and hopefully it can encourage others to do likewise. It is hoped that eventually people will become more accepting of it and it will have a greater profile, so sufferers will no longer feel alone and more help will be available so we do not continue to see actions taken that have such a tragic end. The more it is put out in the open the better off everyone will be. Coming from a rural background I have seen what can happen and do not want to revisit that. It’s a bit like breast or prostate cancer – which was not mentioned so openly a few years ago and now look at where it is. More awareness has to be a good thing. Thanks, Lorraine.

Thanks Lorraine, these things are often difficult to share, especially amongst men – and older men at that. It’s seen as a sign of weakness (being open) rather than strength, which it takes to admit you’re not perfect/in control/ happy/fulfilled or whatever. There’s also a stigma to ‘mental’ health that simply doesn't exist with physical ailments. The sooner people realise the brain is an organ and that issues affecting its ‘output’ are really no different to kidney or liver problems, for example, the better off everyone will be. Thanks for your support, here's hoping we can provide a bit of encouragement to those out there doing it tough – men or women.


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14 | On your mind

Remember the solos...

Richard and team, congratulations on becoming – at least to my knowledge – the first motorhome based magazine of any sort making a commitment to acknowledge, give space to, and encourage us all to think about mental health issues. Thanks too to the input from Rob, again a great initiative.

There are many travellers, especially those of us who are on the road long term and in some (and I would say a growing number of) instances, where people have chosen to live on the road because they can no longer afford to live alone in towns or cities. This sometimes results in people living at times a rather solitary life and both men and women sort of lose the ability to verbalise their feelings and inner most thoughts; mostly because no-one ever asks them or even seems to care as to how they may be feeling. Verbalising our feelings is something we all need to practice, to think

about for a short while on a daily basis. It’s something to ask each other in a friendly way in the rest area or at morning tea… The thing is that when we are on the road others often take it we are all out there 'living the dream,’ not living on the road due to no longer being able to afford life in a town or suburb, no longer able to afford running a home on their own. There is also the situation that in many of the more remote or isolated towns a traveller coming through may be the only non-local that many people would get to have a yarn with from one year to another. Thanks, Annie. Hi Annie, that’s a great point you raise and one I hadn’t considered. Glad you appreciate what we’re doing and I hope what you’ve said will encourage others to stop and take a little extra bit of time for a chat as they go. Safe travels!

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16 | News

Sydney RV Super Centre Wins Big!

T

he Team at Sydney RV Super Centre at Penrith are celebrating the outstanding result of winning three major awards at the Caravan & Camping Industry Association (CCIA) NSW Awards Of Excellence. Sydney RV triumphed in the following categories: • Best Dealer / Retailer / Wholesaler – Sydney Region • Outstanding Achievement by a Young Achiever – Shari Norman • The prestigious “Best Of The Best – NSW Trade” Award The Best of the Best award is the RV world’s equivalent to the Gold Logie at the end of the night and signifies excellence across all elements of the business.

“These awards are very special because they are a testament to the hard work, passion and dedication that our whole team shows, seven days a week, 365 days a year! We love nothing more than making our customer’s dreams become a reality and supporting them at every stage of their RV journey,” said Norman Roe, Sydney RV Group’s Managing Director Sydney RV Super Centre has grown considerably over the past 12 months. It now features a giant state-of-the-art service centre, well-stocked parts and accessories shop and e-commerce site and more than 250 new and used motorhomes and caravans, including the latest models from six leading manufacturers.

Sunliner Pinto 1 Update bland colour scheme. Colour preferences are a personal choice and Sunliner is keen to point out it has a extremely wide range of colour choices available. Spokesperson Candice Brittain said, “We take pride in the style and design of our motorhomes. We offer over 300 colour choices to our customers and are focused on personalising our motorhomes to individual needs and tastes of each Sunliner owner.”

L

ast issue Malcolm reviewed the Sunliner Pinto 1 and commented in the Con’s section at the end on its

“No two Sunliners are ever the same as our motorhomes are made to order. This particular motorhome (supplied by Australian Motor Homes) was designed as per the dealer’s request and is very much a blank canvas to appeal to the broadest audience.” She explained.


News | 17

Duvalay’s New Website

T

he Australian supplier of Duvalay luxury memory foam sleeping bags now has a new website, where you can check out its many uses across caravans, motorhomes, campervans, trucks, boats and even at home. iMotorhome has been using a pair of Duvalays

for about a year now in test motorhomes and absolutely swear by them. Click on the link above or type www.duvalayaustralia.com.au into your web browser to find out more.

Masquerade Ball

J

ulia Creek in North Western Queensland is having a Masquerade Ball on Saturday 18 October at the local shire hall. Fully catered and with proceeds going to the Julia

Creek kindergarten, you're asked to save the date for now and check the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre Facebook page for full details shortly.

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18 | News

Affordable New Range Hoods

C

ooking in a motorhome or camper can create unwanted smells and condensation, which is one reason many people cook outside. A range hood can go a long way to reducing or eliminating these problems, which is especially important in inclement weather. Online superstore RV Parts Express has a range of the latest Sphere Range Hoods comprising two models, the Touch Control

Range Hood and the Recessed Range Hood, both of which feature convenient LED strip lighting and easily removable filters. The Touch Control model is a slimline unit for installation beneath a cupboard, whilst the Recessed model is for installations inside a cupboard. Both also feature black tempered glass to accent your RV kitchen! Available online now at www.rvpartsexpress.com.au for $200.

Kiwi Engine Revealed

A

radical new axial engine from New Zealand’s Duke Engines could one day find its way into everything from generators and outboards to hybrid motor vehicles and aircraft. The 5 cylinder axial engine prototype does away with valves, 2-stroke style, but runs on regular 91 octane unleaded fuel and has even been trialled with jet fuel. It's smaller, lighter and simpler than conventional internal combustion engines, yet produces excellent power and torque in a virtually vibrationless package. Duke Engines' 3-litre, 5-cylinder test engine is already making 160 kW (215 hp) and 339 Nm (250 ft-lb), outperforming 2 conventional 3-litre reference engines that weigh nearly 20 per cent more and are nearly 2 times as big, for shipping purposes. The innovative valveless ported design appears to be on track to deliver superior performance, higher compression and increased efficiency in an compact and lightweight package with far fewer moving parts than conventional engines. The engine is an axial design, meaning its five cylinders encircle the drive shaft and run parallel with it. The pistons drive a star-shaped reciprocator, which nutates (wobbles) around the

drive shaft, rather like a spinning coin coming to rest on a table. The reciprocator's centre point is used to drive the central drive shaft, which rotates in the opposite direction to the reciprocator. "That counter-rotation keeps it in tidy balance," says Duke co-founder John Garvey. "If you lay your hand on it while it's running, you can barely detect any motion at all, it's quite remarkable.� That's borne out by a video, where the engine revving doesn't even cause enough vibrations to tip a coin off its side. Instead of cam or pneumatically-operated intake and outlet valves, the cylinders rotate past intake and outlet ports in a stationary head ring. The spark plugs are also mounted in this stationary ring – the cylinders simply slide past each port or plug at the stage of the cycle it's needed for and move on. In this way, Duke eliminates all the complexity of valve operation and manages to run a five-cylinder engine with just three spark plugs and three fuel injectors. The Duke engine ends up delivering as many power strokes per revolution as a six cylinder engine, but with huge weight savings and a vast reduction in the number of engine parts. Another video illustrates the differences between a conventional in-line engine and the innovative Duke design. To find out more visit the website here.


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lifetime with a TRAKKA Motorhome.

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know it, you’ll be seeing Australia in your own TRAKKA®.

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20 | News

Brew and Go!

T

he latest all-in-one brew-and-carry option, the Stanley Vacuum Coffee System, nests a boiling pot, French press and insulated mug into a neat, portable package. This makes it a handy all-in-one system for motorhoming, camping, backpacking, picnicking and other outdoor activities. To use the Coffee System you simply boil water in the pot over the top of a camp stove or other heat source, brew the coffee following the French press procedure, press the grounds down and pour the coffee into the vacuuminsulated, double-wall bottle. You now have 1 litre of coffee that'll stay hot for up to 24 hours. If you need to take all the components with you,

there's dry storage in the stopper for the coffee grounds and you can slide the French press and pot back over the base of the mug, carrying it all in one package. The system's lid includes two cups for sharing with someone special and the mug can also be used to keep a cold drink chilled for up to 20 hours. Stanley will launch the Vacuum Coffee System in 500 ml and 1 litre sizes in the Northern Hemisphere fall, with retail prices to be set at US$50 and $60 respectively. The 500-ml model has the same general design discussed above, but its insulation numbers drop to 15 hours hot and 13 hours cold.

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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

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22 | Resources resources

iMotorhome

because getting them is half the fun...

Missed an Issue? We've got them all saved in one spot for you. Click HERE to view the complete list of back issues.

Missed a road test? No problem! Click HERE to find them all listed by manufacturer. because getting there is half the fun...

Major Landmark!

because getting there is half the fun...

Making a V-Line!

because getting there is half the fun...

English Holiday

iMotorhome

magazine

iMotorhome

magazine

iMotorhome

magazine

magazine

iMotorhome

because getting there is half the fun...

Esprit de Cor Blimey!

If you’re looking for luxury and ability, Traillite’s Landmark Oakura 758 could be just the ticket…

Auto Trail dares to be different with its V-Line 600…

Auto-Sleeper’s Malvern is an English motorhome that’s a fine holiday destination in its own right…

Dethleffs ‘baby’ A-class is something to ogle at…

Story and Images by Malcolm Street

Story and Images by Malcolm Street

Story and Images by Malcolm Street

Review and images by Malcolm Street


iMotorhome Marketplace | 23

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Snipe... The new way of receiving TV anywhere!

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

12V Fluro

LED Replacement Lamps For Motorhomes & Caravans

Standard Halogen, Incandescent + Fluro bulbs are easily replaced with our wide LED range

NEW! Infrared sensor; Convert your existing lights to security lights!

Visit our website;

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24 | Feature: Freedom of Choice Camping

Freedom of Choice! A

new regular feature keeping you in touch with what’s happened and happening in the world of freedom camping in Australia. These stories and more can be found in detail at the Freedom of Choice website, indexed by state and town, while you can also find the latest news and updates on their Facebook page. 4 August – Queensland Rest Area Guide A best practice guide to roadside rest areas in Queensland has been issued. An interesting comment in the guidelines says: "When siting roadside rest areas it is important to consider the impacts on commercial caravan park operators and to ensure that roadside rest areas are situated an acceptable distance away from them to avoid competition and loss of revenue. To enhance the economic benefit of tourism for the local community it is preferable for tourists to use local accommodation and caravan parks for overnight stays.” 7 Aug – Self Interest Group? It was interesting that when 40 industry operators gathered in Warwick, Queensland, to discuss "illegal" camping it was described as a "good cross section of the local community.” We wonder if they have ever heard of the

consumers who also form part of that same community? 8 Aug – Social Media Rebuke A story on opening a freedom camping area in Rockhampton, Queensland, brought swift response on social media. The story of complaint by a local caravan park owner brought a quick and large response to the newspaper article, in support of the proposal. 12 Aug – Looking Forward The Victorian Caravan Parks Association’s Elizabeth White said, "Key recommendations from the Victorian Tourism Industry Council conference are to stop fighting the old and focus on the new; new customers, new ways of doing business and new technology systems, she said." 13 Aug – Ballarat Victory In Ballarat, Victoria, a long saga of claims and counter claims came to an end when Council approved a 12 month trial of a new freedom camping area despite stiff opposition. In the course of this we come across material that dramatically displays just how the Caravan Park Lobby goes about its ‘work’ of trying to get its own way when it come to freedom camping.


Feature: Freedom of Choice Camping | 25 13 Aug – Forward Thinking! A caravan park owner in Cobar, NSW, said he sees free camping as motivation to provide the best facilities he can. Mr Simmonds said that in his experience there are always travellers who look for free camping, but it is not something that impacts greatly on his business. “At this stage we know there are anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen down at May’s Bend there and it is a beautiful little spot. You can’t blame people for wanting to stop and camp there,” he told The Western Herald. 18 Aug – Hard Lesson for Van Packers Van Packers receive large fines, while social media’s not too sympathetic with people who camp where they are not supposed to and leave rubbish around. 19 Aug – N  oosa Council Embracing RV tourists Noosa Council is showing some real leadership in an endeavour to attract the RV traveller, with various proposals being considered for van packers and self-contained RVs.

25 Aug – From Ghost Town to Freedom Camp With a bit of lateral thinking, this just goes to show what can be achieved. "A former sportsground at a ghost town site has been transformed into a free bush camping area in the latest effort to further develop tourism within the Central Wheat Belt.” Concept receives good support in social media. 27 Aug – Innisfail Controversy Erupts Motorhome group subject to an Innisfail Advocate article hits back with excellent response to derogatory article. 27 Aug – Byron Bay Byron Bay Council to consider opening a free or low-cost camp for Vanpackers and Grey Nomads. This would be a major breakthrough if proceeded with as the town is considered widely the most RV unfriendly in Australia. 28 Aug – Cobar Council decides NOT to regulate Freedom Camping. After a long saga of camping being banned, then reinstated and challenged again, the Shire of Cobar has decided to continue to allow freedom camping.

19 Aug – M  oira Shire Embracing RV Concept Council to establish an RV advisory committee to make the shire more RV Friendly. Applications 29 Aug – RV Friendly Plans Unveiled for Geraldton WA to join the advisory group are now open. Three-month trials of short stay, low or no-cost 21 Aug – N  ewspaper Article in Innisfail camping for recreational vehicle travellers have Sparks Facebook Frenzy been suggested in a draft RV friendly strategy An article about a caravan park owner making approved by the City of Greater Geraldton claims about freedom camping brings a swift council. The draft is to be advertised for public and large response from the community and comment over 42 days. travellers alike (full story on our Facebook page same date). 25 Aug – A Win for Common Sense Court overturns camping rules in NZ after the New Zealand Motorcaravan Club takes the matter to court. Judgment has ramifications for all councils in NZ.


26 | Feature: iTherapy

The Primacy of the Self It really is all about you! by Rob Davis, psychologist

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others who have always nurtured the dream of travelling Australia when perhaps you were not that keen (unlikely as that is)? Well, try asking yourself, “What’s in it for me?”

When I discuss this concept with my clients they sometimes remark that this idea sounds a little bit 'selfish'. So let’s examine why we operate in the ways we do. When you acquired your motorhome did you do it for you or someone else, or a bit of both? I want to suggest that whatever your reasons were they amount to doing it for yourself in the first instance. How can that be if, for example, you purchased your motorhome for the benefit of

Would you feel good confirming yourself as generous, thoughtful, kind and thinking of others first? I'm sure you would, especially when you perceived an opportunity to make yourself feel good. Your motivation to be this generous person was based upon how good you would feel making someone important to you happy. Selfish? Not really. The selfish kid that won't share their lollies at school is motivated by keeping them all to himself for his gratification. He's looking after number one and putting himself first. It’s just he doesn't know or believe there’s a better way for him to benefit. When other kids won't share with him he begins to realise something's not quite right. If he decides to share his stash of confectionery

n my previous article I wrote about putting yourself first by expressing your feelings so that you may benefit from the positive responses of others. I also briefly mentioned that others feel good about helping those who seek help. Now I want to tell you why I believe all organisms, including humans, function in their own self-interest; that everything we think, feel or do is primarily to gratify our own needs in the first instance – no exceptions.


Feature: iTherapy | 27

The world is of your making, constructed by your brain. it’s likely others will share with him, so he gets some of his own lollies, some of the other kids lollies and something far more important – a potentially enduring social relationship based upon friendship. The point is, both approaches are intended to gratify the self, with the better second option derived from increased awareness of the value of social exchange. It’s the preparedness for change to more positive ways of making yourself feel good that results in others feeling good about you. You might recall that term 'social reciprocity' from my previous article.

Consider this…

Y

ou may be thinking “Okay Rob, if everything a person does is about attempting to gratify their needs, how do you explain self-mutilation or suicide? How can those behaviours be beneficial?”

Well, I have yet to see a client who self-harms who does not believe they 'benefit' from their behaviour. On the principle of ‘everything we do we do for our own benefit in the first instance,’ those who self-harm will often explain that when they cut or burn themselves they feel a sense of relief. The pain feels good because it distracts them from feelings of panic or depression or desperation. There are numerous variations on this theme. Is this healthy? Obviously not from an objective standpoint, but whilst most selfharmers know it isn't right at some level, the urgency of their circumstances and the desire for immediate gratification prevails. Consider suicidality, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse. It’s all about gratification in an environment often of despair, habit and/or addiction. When I ask why a client wants to take their life it’s not unusual to hear that they want the pain to stop. This is a belief based


28 | Feature: iTherapy

upon the perceived benefit of relief from pain, be it physical, mental or both. The principle of the 'self as primary' still holds. What it doesn't mean is that the actions the client intends are actually going to be beneficial in a healthy way. It is, nonetheless, the influence of a profound belief (regardless of how potentially damaging) held by an individual that motivates this type of dysfunctional behaviour, unless that belief can be changed. This is the domain of perception.

What is Reality?

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ow do we know anything exists? Only by processing information from our senses with help from memory. Our eyes don't see, their job is to convert light waves at the retina into electrochemical pulses that travel via the optic nerves to the brain's visual processing area. Only when the brain processes those pulses do we actually see. If

the brain cannot process vision, even if the eyes are in top working order, we will be blind. So we create our world in our heads. It’s the same for the other senses. If you are anaesthetised ask yourself how, at a time when all your conscious thinking has ceased, can you know the world exists? By processing information from our senses our brain can tell us what's going on out there. If it’s not processing then as far as we are concerned nothing exists. So if you can only know of the world by your brain’s processing sensory data, how can anyone be more important than you? After all, you create that person in your mind. In a curious way, no one else can exist unless you make them so. We have evolved to survive by putting our needs first, by scanning the environment to obtain the gratifications we desire. Gratification in this context includes feelings of pleasure and


Feature: iTherapy | 29

You are No.1 and no one is more important! relief as well as behaviours aimed at keeping ourselves safe. If we effectively seek gratification and value ourselves as primary we will seek those around us who make us feel good. To motivate them to give us what we want we will start by making them feel good. That doesn't mean giving anyone whatever they desire at your expense, it means strategically identifying the important people in your life and selectively providing value to those who have a high potential to reciprocate. This is a process of successive refinements.

The Bottom Line?

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t’s okay to identify yourself as primary. The world is of your making, constructed by your brain. This means you really are number one and no one is more important than you. When you can be there for others they will be there for you. We humans are primarily social

beings and our greatest and most frequent gratifications arise from meaningful social contact. Refining the way we perceive our world has benefits for everyone. I would like to issue a challenge: If you can think of anything a person does, no matter what, that you believe offers no benefit as perceived by that person – no matter how unhealthy or otherwise – please let me know. I will be happy to respond.


30 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

Grand Design -

Revisited

Two years on how has the Trakkaway 700 evolved? Review and images by Richard Robertson


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 31

Only about 60 cm longer than a typical Fiat Ducato van conversion the Trakkaway 700 feels much larger inside yet retains easy manoeuvrability, making it ideal for exploring small country towns – like Carcoar and its historic railway station. The rear boot door (left) now opens sideways instead of hinging up, making access with the bed extended much easier.

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he best motorhome designs evolve and the more perceptive manufacturers don’t try to reinvent the wheel every model year, they hone and refine proven designs to bring out their very best. Two years ago I spent a week by myself in the production prototype of Trakka’s 2-berth Trakkaway 700 – read about it here – the smallest of Trakka’s coachbuilt motorhomes.

Since then it has become the top-selling model of the Trakkaway range thanks to an appealing blend of living space, features and compact dimensions. Two years on and I was invited to revisit and spend more time in this interesting motorhome. So along with Mrs iMotorhome we hit the road for a few days to see how the design works for two people and what Trakka has done to improve an already impressive motorhome.


32 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 Flash Back: The production prototype, with its top-hinged boot door and smaller bedroom and lounge windows. Bed slide is now 150 mm lower, which could make bike carrying trickier.

Models in the Trakkaway range are easily identified by number. For instance, the Trakkaway 700 is 7 m long while the Trakkaway 860 is – you guessed it – 8.6 m. Seven metres is a great length for a touring vehicle; big enough to provide some decent living room but small enough for easy parking and manoeuvring. All Trakkaways, with the exception of the recently introduced 800, ride on a Fiat Ducato that features AL-KO’s strong, low and light chassis. Developed specifically for motorhomes and tailored to the individual needs of each model, the AL-KO chassis is a quantum leap over the ladder chassis that comes with a standard Fiat Ducato, or any other brand of, cab-chassis. The Trakkaway 700’s party piece is a slide-out rear bed. This not only keeps the overall length down and provides extra living space, it’s not a no-go item – meaning if the slide-out mechanism suffered a catastrophic failure whilst extended the vehicle is still completely drivable (unlike a side slide-out).

I should also point out the Trakkaway 700 is designated a “Remote” model, which in Trakka speak means it's made for off-grid travel (think free camping). To this end it comes standard with solar panels, a pair of maintenance-free AGM deep-cycle house batteries and is LPG free – meaning cooking, hot water and heating are all diesel fired from the Fiat’s fuel tank. For those nights when you do check into a caravan park – or hook up a generator – electricity takes over the water heating and will allow you to run the ducted Truma reverse-cycle airconditioning system.

What’s Changed?

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n the best traditions of evolution the overall design and layout are unchanged, but externally, larger windows have been fitted to the lounge and bedroom while at the rear the bed slide-out has been lowered 150 mm and the lift-up boot door has been replaced by a sideways opening unit. The AL-KO chassis also now features automatic level control (ALC) as standard, which keeps the ride height constant despite load, when travelling, and inhibits cornering body roll. Inside there’s a new lighting system with touch dimmable


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 33

Larger bedroom side windows are a welcome development, while the bedroom TV’s pole mounting means it can easily be adjusted for viewing height and angle. Optional 12 V fan is a must-have inclusion.

There’s a Tardis-like quality to the Trakkaway 700’s interior that means you occasionally need to remind yourself it is ‘only’ a 7-metre motorhome. LEDs and, it seems, quite a few more of them. New stickon solar panels (2 x 120 W) conform to the roof’s curved profile and reduce weight and wind resistance, while looking a whole lot better: The loss of 35 watts (total) output over the previous 2 x 135 W system deemed negligible in view of the gains. The lower bed makes access easier –

not that I remember it being difficult to begin with – and a new Eberspacher diesel/240volt Hydronic hot water and heater unit complements the Webasto diesel cooktop. The test vehicle only sported two options: a 12 V fan in the bedroom – and raised front suspension. AL-KO now offers a makeover that

replaces the MacPherson struts and springs, raising the nose by about 40 mm so the vehicle now sits level (Fiat Ducatos sit nose-down) and, most importantly, dramatically improving ride quality whilst eliminating the harsh frontend ride and bottoming out Ducatos are famous for. The revised front end provides about 190 mm of ground


34 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 On the open road or camping in a farmer’s paddock, the new higherriding front suspension delivers handling, comfort and ground clearance advantages that really make it a must-have upgrade.

clearance – heading for 4WD territory – and imbues the vehicle with an almost-Mercedes Sprinter ride quality. Importantly, the new front suspension is covered by Fiat’s 5-year/200,000 km factory warranty, while tare (empty) weight has decreased by 100 kg.

What’s Not?

S

uspension upgrades aside the Fiat Ducato base vehicle remains unchanged, which means it still features a 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine producing 132 kW and 400 Nm that drives the front wheels through a

6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). The Fiat comes standard with the 120-litre long-range fuel tank, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and traction control and 225/75 R16 Michelin Agile Camping tyres that resist flat-spotting when parked for prolonged periods. The vehicle has a tare weight of 3590 kg and a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4490 kg, leaving approximately 900 kg carrying capacity for passengers, fuel, water and load. It also has a reduced towing capacity of 1500 kg due to the AL-KO chassis (2500 kg is Fiat’s standard).


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 35

At the rear the bed slide-out has been lowered 150 mm and the lift-up boot door has been replaced by a sideways opening unit.


36 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

Clockwise from top: LED mood lighting really adds to the after hours ambience, while the dinette seat is seatbelt equipped for two and the larger side windows afford great viewing. The Ducato’s red instrument lighting is easy on the eyes at night, but the central info screen can be difficult for older eyes to read.

Inside, the Fiat’s refreshing Italian design shines through. From the sporty, thick leather-wrapped steering wheel to the slightly odd pedal placement it’s pure Italian. Standard features include dual front airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, remote central locking, power steering, electric windows, electric mirrors, adjustable headlights, trip computer, Blue & Me Bluetooth system with voice activated commands and an integrated-but-removable TomTom GPS. It's also the most visually pleasing commercial vehicle cockpit on the

market today. If only the Italians realised the rest of the world likes to drink coffee while travelling and included factory cupholders – Trakka adds its own – plus reach adjustment to the steering wheel because not all arms are the same length, it would be perfect!

Moving On…

D

espite being so very familiar – a Fiat Ducato is a Fiat Ducato is a Fiat Ducato – this one drove like no other. Gone was the familiar front-end harshness over road


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 37 irregularities big and small, while in our five days away the front suspension steadfastly refused to bottom out over big bumps at speed. In its place was a compliant and comfortable ride experience I quickly forgot to notice, simply because it felt ‘normal’. Quiet and comfortable on the highway – the engine turns about 2000 RPM at freeway speeds – the Fiat Ducato is a consummate long distance tourer. This Ducato, however, seemed to have a poorly calibrated cruise control that lagged on hills and overran noticeably at the top. It also had an overly optimistic trip computer that showed average fuel consumption of 12.5 and 11.7 L/100 km over two refills compared to the real figures of 13.94 and 13.28 L/100 km, respectively. From experience all trip computers err on the side of optimism, but in this instance I think it mightn’t be entirely to blame. As mentioned earlier, this vehicle was fitted with a new Eberspacher Hyrdronic unit for hot water and vehicle heating. Being the middle of August and given we spent much of our time at higher altitudes in places like Oberon, the Eberspacher did a fair bit of work. Mrs iMotorhome also cooked at least two meals a day on the Webasto diesel cooker and I have a feeling the combined usage of these diesel-fuelled devices

Easy driving, easy cooking and easy outdoor living; the Trakkaway 700 has much to recommend it – including a handy electric awning.


38 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

The Aero2 nose reduces drag, but an optional Aero4 nose is available if you want an over-cab bed to make the Trakkaway 700 a 4-berth motorhome. probably accounts for a large part of the trip computer’s discrepancies.

Body Image

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he Trakkaway 700’s body is made of high-tech vacuum moulded composite panels that eschew an internal frame in favour of the strength, rigidity and weight saving of, what is essentially, monocoque construction (as used in cars and aircraft). Underneath, the AL-KO chassis is already hot-dipped galvanised for long-term corrosion protection. Windows are Seitz double glazed acrylic items, with inbuilt privacy and insect screens, which I was surprised to see as Trakka has shifted to a new style window in its van conversion range that feature sturdier and easier to use blinds/insect screens. The Trakkaway 700 has a distinctive, streamed “Aero2” nose with a large Skyview hatch, which can be replaced with an “Aero4” nose that includes an over-cab bed and side windows should you wish to sleep four. This would be an excellent solution if you were looking to travel with kids as the forward facing dinette seat has belts for two, but dinner time around the dinette

for four adults would be rather squeezy. Because the AL-KO chassis does away with the pair of heavy steel beams that run down the spine of a conventional truck chassis, Trakka has been able to build the 700’s body ‘deeper,’ providing a low entry-step height, excellent internal head room and a low overall roof line. Perhaps the only downside is relatively limited external storage, because any lockers impinge on internal living space. This is in contrast to a conventional motorhome where they occupy the space below the floor line, in the cavity between the lower body panels and chassis. In the Trakkaway 700’s case there is a reasonably sized rear boot that also has access via a smallish hatch on the driver’s side, but that’s it. The hatch in the passenger side rear corner houses the hot water/heating system.

Step Inside…

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eaturing a front lounge, mid kitchen/ bathroom and a rear bedroom the floorplan is thoroughly conventional. Decor, on the other hand, is textbook Trakka: Euro contemporary with a total absence of bling.


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 39 Top to bottom: Secondary flip-up table is invaluable, but larger dinette window makes it harder to sit across the dinette comfortably for reading or watching TV. The vehicle can be driven with the slide-out bed extended (handy should it malfunction), but there’s not quite enough bed-head room to sit up and read or watch TV. Decades of design experience is evidenced by the subtle delineation of living, cooking and sleeping zones, accentuated by differing floor heights: each feels self-contained yet part of an organic whole. Similarly the bathroom, a substantial unit opposite the kitchen, blends away as you move through the vehicle. Light wood hues contrast with silver and grey trim, while at night concealed purple/blue strip lighting enhances mood and confers intimacy. Roller shutters on overhead cupboards and wardrobes, curved drawer fronts and bench tops, carefully profiled cupboard ends and trim panels all combine to cocoon and impress. It’s the clever use of curves and an integrated interior design approach that sees the Trakkaway 700 – and all Trakkaways – stand in stark contrast to many other motorhomes, whose interiors feel like they were cobbled together from a hardware store’s Father's Day bargain catalogue.

Living Thing

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here’s a Tardis-like quality to the Trakkaway 700’s interior that means you occasionally need to remind yourself it is ‘only’ a 7-metre long motorhome and there are some compromises. For example, to access the bedroom you need to extend the slide-out. This is no chore as it’s done by remote control, but you can’t just walk in to grab something. Ditto the Switch Mode Bathroom, or SMB. The loo tucks away beneath the vanity until needed, providing a generous shower cubicle, but it does mean when Nature calls you need to extend it – again by remote control and again no chore, but something that introduces an extra step into the process. The dinette also is a compromise, because the main table is


40 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

The main dining table uses a Zwaardvis multi-adjustable mount and is a good size. It stores neatly against the bedroom wall when not required.

removable and stored snugly in the bedroom. This means if you need it at lunch time you need to first extend the bed and then walk right through the vehicle with its separate pole and top before assembling and adjusting them once in place (fortunately there’s also a handy flipup mini table ideal for sandwiches and coffee or pre-dinner drinks and nibbles). These little

things, designed to maximise living space whilst minimising vehicle size, need to be embraced to enjoy the Trakkaway 700 to its maximum. One final thought on this subject, Mrs iMotorhome pointed out that for her – and probably many people – the bedroom also needs to be a secondary living area: a place of retreat when you’ve been together 24/7,

I again found the dinette made a good office desk while on the road


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 41 where you can have some ‘me time’ reading and/or watching television. In this vehicle the dimensions of the slide-out bedroom’s bedhead ‘box’ means it’s not possible to sit up in bed to do these things, even though a concertina privacy door makes it all the more desirable. Also, having a full-size window at the bed head would negate it even if there was room. Upon returning the vehicle Trakka told us the bed-head box is being made 120 mm taller to help address this, and we recommended reducing the size of or removing the window completely, given the size of the bedroom’s side windows and roof hatch, plus the fan option, to circulate air on a warm summer night. Given that I’m not a sit-up-in-bed type of person her observations eluded me when I spent my week in the production prototype two years ago. Lesson learned! Right: Electrical, heating/hot water and cooktop controls are neatly grouped in an over-kitchen cupboard. Below: Swivelling cab seats are great for reading, watching TV or just kicking back.

Daily Life

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e quickly settled into the Trakkaway 700 for our five days/four nights away. Being winter we appreciated the convenience and comfort of the new Eberspacher Hydronic heating and hot water system, which uses a heavily insulated 20 L storage tank to provide long-lasting hot water as


42 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

well as vehicle interior heating. It's digital control unit meant we could set a precise interior temperature and we left it running overnight, although we found the fan quite noisy. I've since discovered the unit has a multispeed fan with a quiet night mode and Trakka was checking to see why it was misbehaving. The concept of a completely LPG-free motorhome is appealing, not only because it does away with the tedious task of checking gas bottle levels and having to refill them, but also because it avoids an annual gas inspection at registration time. The Webasto diesel cooker is the centrepiece of this system, replacing the traditional three or four gas burner cooktop, but it does take a while to get used to and is painfully slow boiling a kettle due to its prolonged heat-up/cool-down cycle. Those

Good bench space and easy access to everything kept Mrs iMotorhome happy (she really does love cooking!). A 20-litre storage tank provides plenty of hot water and heat for the heating system. Clever‌


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 43

Mrs iM demonstrates the genteel art of multi-tasking while the Webasto diesel cooktop comes up to temperature. Boiling the kettle from scratch takes 10plus minutes, so a thermos during the day is a good idea. who regularly want to cook three or four things at once might want to revert to a gas cooking system – even with its attendant complexities and drawbacks – as the Webasto system is best suited to one pot wonders and reheating. Alternatively, carry a portable gas stove that uses a gas canister (they’re about $20 a Big W) for quick/extra cooking and a quick cuppa (and carry a thermos). Mrs iM loved the spaciousness of the kitchen; it’s bench top and clever perimeter shelf plus deep, soft-closing drawers. All electrical controls are grouped in a central overhead cupboard, between the microwave and carefully compartmentalised crockery cupboard. I again found the dinette made a good office, with the multi-adjustable Zwaardvis table providing a


44 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 Plenty of mirrors make the spacious bathroom appear even larger, while the toilet tucks neatly beneath the vanity when not required. Bottom: Reading lights aren’t quite in the right place for bedtime reading, though. wide range of options. The bathroom’s wrap-around shower curtain kept towels and loo paper dry, with press studs holding it securely in place preventing it becoming an enveloping wet white cloud. Despite its rounded corners the bed proved long and wide enough to accept our pair of Duvalay memory foam sleeping bags, while small bedside shelves provided enough room for mobile phones, books, etc. Other touches like the inclusion of dual 12 V USB charging outlets; two TVs, the front one of which can be swivelled and watched from outside through the window; an electric awning with dimmable LED exterior lighting; REMIS privacy blinds for the cab; a reversing camera with two lenses, one for straight down when parking and the other as a rear view camera; drinking water filtration system; heater outlets in the bedroom, bathroom and lounge; outdoor table; inbuilt 240 V power lead; an external shower and more – all as standard equipment – make for very easy living.


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 45

The Waeco dual lens rear camera is the best I’ve used, providing a distance view while driving and a downward view when reversing.

One For The Road…

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he Trakkaway 700 is certainly one for the road. And whether that road is long or short, straight or twisty, smooth or rough it will get you there – and back – in comfort and style. Packing so much equipment into a small motorhome is always going to cause compromises, but like any good relationship, once you understand what you’re dealing with it’s simple to adjust and get the most from it. Trakka’s devotion/obsession with innovation is what keeps it ahead of the pack. Also, it’s willingness to take feedback onboard and implement it quickly to help improve already great designs is impressive. The Trakkaway 700 is a grand design, one made better with time, insight and effort, and one of the best – if not the best – in class. It was well worth revisiting!

Quiet and comfortable on the highway, the Fiat Ducato is a consummate long distance tourer.


46 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700

Specifications Manufacturer

Trakka

Model

Trakkaway 700

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato 180

Engine

3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

132 kW @ 4000 rpm

Torque

400 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed automated manual

Brakes

ABS ventilated 4-wheel discs

Tare Weight

3590 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4490 kg

Towing Capacity

1500 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

4

External Length

6.99 m (22 ft 11 in)

External Width

2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)

External Height

2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)

Internal Height

2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)

Rear Bed Size

1.95 m x 1.350 m (6 ft 5 in x 4 ft 5 in)

Cooktop

Webasto diesel-fired stove

Fridge

136-litre 12/240 V

Microwave

Yes

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

2 x 100 AH

Heater

20-litre Eberspacher Hydronic

Solar Panels

2 x 120 W

Air Conditioner

Truma ducted reverse cycle

Hot Water Heater

20-litre Eberspacher Hydronic

Toilet

Retractable Thetford cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

Fresh Water Tank

165-litre

Contact

Grey Water Tank

135-litre

Trakka

Price (drive away NSW)

$169,500

• • • • • • •

Pros

Quality Innovation Liveability Standard equipment Off-grid ability New heater/hot water system LPG free

Cons

• Limited external storage • Diesel cooker won’t suit everyone

9 Beaumont Rd, Mt-Kuring-gai, NSW. 2080 T: (02) 1800 872 552 E: trakka@trakka.com.au W: www.trakka.com.au

Click for Google Maps

For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 47

The Trakkaway 700 is a grand design; one made better with time, insight and effort, and one of the best – if not the best – in class.


48 | Travel: Griffith

Party Time!

It’s festival time in glorious Griffith. What are you waiting for?

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he bustling city of Griffith sits on the edge of the expansive Riverina agricultural area in South Western NSW. A planned town that now enjoys city status, Griffith has the distinction of being designed by American architect Walter Burley Griffin, famous for creating our National Capital, Canberra. Home to a large Italian community that has thrived under semi-Mediterranean climatic conditions and with an abundance of water from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), plus highly fertile soil, Griffith is also a community that knows how to enjoy itself.

There are many festivals and special events throughout the year, but October is when the celebrations reach fever pitch. There are also worthwhile lead-up events in September, including the Griffith Readers’ Festival (12-13 Sep) and Yellowtail Griffith Cup Race Meeting (13 Sep).

October Fun!

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his year the Festival of Gardens launches on Friday 17 October amongst the Real Juice Company Citrus Sculptures. With live music, entertainment, family fun and paella pans bubbling, the


Travel: Griffith | 49

With citrus sculptures like this giant guitar dotting the streetscape it’s no wonder Griffith attracts visitors from near and far every October! evening will be a great family event. The Festival of Gardens features nine open gardens ranging from large country estates to compact cottage gardens. Also, 60 magnificent Citrus Sculptures are on display in the CBD! Tino Carnevale of the ABC’s Gardening Australia is the special guest who will be mingling with gardening enthusiasts over the festival weekend, providing opportunity for general gardening Q&A. Tino will also run informal information sessions at the gardens, such as how to espalier fruit trees; grow and care for natives; garden edging and growing amazing lawns. The walks and talks with Tino are included in the garden entry fee and if you pick up a Festival of Gardens program you’ll find times and details. On Saturday night, after a day of visiting gardens and exhausting the senses, why not

join the Long Italian Table with Tino Carnevale, as a visit to Griffith would be incomplete without an Italian meal with new and old friends. Tino also hails from Italian heritage and will talk about growing food for the whole family. The Italian night will be held at Pioneer Park Museum, but bookings are essential (phone 1800 681 141). The Visitor Information Centre also runs a daily coach to the gardens with the driver providing passengers fabulous insights into Griffith. Lunch is provided and morning and/or afternoon tea can be purchased, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the country setting.

Sculptures of a Peel!

T

he Real Juice Company Citrus Sculptures make one of the most unique exhibitions in Australia. Created with more than 100,000 oranges, rubber


50 | Travel: Griffith

d f f f r rid d d i e e r l e e i c i i e o e e l n n i c uniqu endly d i o d u s ly ly Plenty of sunshine and abundant irrigation water means many local gardens rival the best in the Country – another reason the annual Festival of Gardens is so popular.

bands and an army of 700 volunteers, the creative sculptures attract thousands every year. The exhibition, now in its 14th year, is based on the lemon sculptures in Menton, France. A yellow-footed rock wallaby, robot, horse and carriage, fire-truck, readingglasses, Jeep, piano and guitar are amongst the amazing collection. These remarkable sculptures are up for two weeks, from Sunday 12 October through to Saturday 25 October. October in Griffith also celebrates the Taste Riverina Festival, Griffith Multi-Cultural Festival and the Griffith Agricultural Show. These events capture the vitality and essence of Griffith, offering plenty of great food to discover, wonderful people to meet and exciting places and stories to explore. Don’t miss them!

Festival Facts Where: Griffith, NSW.

Click for Google Maps

Contact: Griffith Visitor Information Centre Call: 1800 681 141 Email: visitgriffith@griffith.com.au Web: www.visitgriffith.com.au

y...royuG orurG r rfG ..y... ou if if itrf There are many festivals and special events throughout the year, but October is when celebrations reach fever pitch.

US URES SCULPTURES


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...your Griffith too.

CITRUS REAL SCULPTURES JUICE COMPANY 13-26 OCTOBER CITRUSOFSCULPTURES FESTIVAL GARDENS 18-21 OCTOBER 12-25 OCTOBER 2014 EASTER 2014 La Festa, Jet Boats, Pioneer Park Action Day FESTIVAL OF GARDENS JUNE 2014 17-20 OCTOBER unWINEd, Sikh Games 2014

Come and visit us this Spring! There’s plenty to explore, see and do. More than sixty large There’s plenty to explore, see and do. More than fifty large 3D citrus sculptures. Nine private gardens, cottage gardens 3D citrus sculptures. Eight private gardens (cottage gardens totocountry estates.Meet Weekend garden tours, festival country estates). ABC Gardening Australia’s Tinolaunch amongst sculptures. Meet ABCgreat Gardening Tino Carnevale.the Enjoy fabulous local wine, food andAustralia’s coffee. Carnevale. Enjoy fabulous local wine, great food and coffee.

ftrfhifittfhoitoth.otoo. o. visitgriffith

www.visitgriffith.com.au


52 | Travel: Binnaway

Doing the Right Thing! Sleepy Binnaway shows other towns how to look after RV travellers… By Michael & Sylvia Murphy

ate in 2009 we were returning from a trip through North Western Queensland in our motorhome and we decided to call in at the small NSW town of Binnaway. You see, my wife spent her entire school life in the town and her parents reside in the Binnaway Cemetery.

L

Coming into town from Coonabarabran we spotted what appeared to be a new caravan and motorhome camp spot. We already knew there was a toilet block and a camp spot near the new bridge and thought we might camp there. But, on spotting this new camp we called in to have a look. We met one of the local men who appeared to be doing some sort of work there and on speaking with him learned how the ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’ came about. At that time it was not quite

finished; the caravan power outlets were still to be connected and the ground work was not complete. The local fellow said he belonged to the Binnaway Progress Association and they were responsible for the creation of this camp spot. He said, “We don’t know if anybody will use this place, but the old one was not up to scratch and may be closed down.” We asked if we could camp there for the night without power and the reply was, You certainly can – and you may like to leave a donation in the box on the wall.” That we did. The toilet block also has hot showers for ‘$2 in the slot’ for five minutes. Three times we have been there now it has been clean and tidy on


Travel: Binnaway | 53

Clean, modern facilities are well cared for and a credit to the town.

all occasions. The caravan sites have ‘coin in the slot’ power outlets, complete with site light and water tap. This ‘coin in the slot’ system seems to work well and we can’t see why all camp spots don’t use it. We overnighted there again on the 9th of June and were surprised to see many units camped there. I counted 11 as I walked around and some came in after dark. I spoke to one gentleman from a lovely motorhome and he said, “I’ve been here since Wednesday and it’s been like this every night,” adding that he came in to get off the highways for the long week-end and found it was nice and quiet.

The ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’ is now cared for and kept clean and tidy by the Binnaway Men’s Shed Group; and they do a marvellous job. There have been new trees planted, fences erected and a new gun emplacement shelter erected. It’s on the northern side of town on the Castlereagh River and there’s even a concrete path that winds through a park-like riverside setting all the way to the shops. It’s also right on the main road to Coonabarabran, but this isn’t noisy. On departing the camp we drove to the main street and parked, then walked along admiring the old buildings, especially the old time pubs


54 | Travel: Binnaway

By Sunset the Pumphouse Camping Ground is usually well patronised.

and banks; some now private residences but still well cared for. One interesting note is that the Royal Hotel, commonly called the “top pub” was used in the making of the film ‘Shiralee’ in late 1956, staring Peter Finch. On entering the local – and only – butcher’s shop we were engulfed in conversation with Tony, the butcher. He’s been in the main street of Binnaway all his working life and told us how the ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’ came about. He also said the number of caravans and motorhomes coming through Binnaway has increased dramatically, since it was establishment. And I agree; we saw a lot in the short time we were there and all I can say is, “Well done!” to the locals of Binnaway.

Fast Facts

Click for Google Maps

Where: Pumphouse Camping Ground, Bullinda St, Binnaway. NSW. 2395 Cost: Free for unpowered sites Max stay: 3 nights Powered sites: 8 ($2/3hrs) Showers: $2/5 mins Note: $2 coins only

The ground is now cared for by the Binnaway Men’s Shed Group and they do a marvellous job.


Travel: Binnaway | 55

We saw a lot of activity in the short time we were there and all I can say is, ‘Well done!’ to the locals of Binnaway.


56 | Reader Report: My Motorhome

My Motorhome

Avida Esperance C7934SL

Features

by Chris Bradsworth & Michelle Ramsay aka Young Nomads Travelling Australia

Best features: If it’s raining we just pull up and wait for it to stop. Worst features: Double bed. Warranty issues: Floor lifting, cabinetry issues, tyres scrubbing due to needing wheel alignment, electrical issues with control panel and GPS, and turbo leaking. So yes there have been a few. Dealer support: Very little (Ed’s note - Chris & Michelle are travelling Australia and live in Port Douglas, so support from a Wodonga dealership would be difficult). Manufacturer support: Ongoing at dealers around Australia. Recommend to a friend: Probably not.

Type: Factory-built motorhome Make & Model: Avida Esperance C7934SL Year: 2013 Mileage now: 18,000 km Length: 7.936 m (26 ft) Licence required: Car. Base vehicle brand: Iveco 50C17 Engine size: 4-cylinder turbo diesel 2998 cc Transmission: 6-speed manual Average fuel economy: 16.1 L/100km. No of berths: 4 No of seatbelt-equipped seats: 4 Why did I choose it? Because of the Winnebago name and its size. First vehicle or replacement: First Options fitted: Secondary TV outside, 2 x solar roof panels, solar blockout system for the front windows and a bike rack.

Comments Generally disappointing.


Reader Report: My Special Place | 57

My Special Place

Cosy Corner, WA by Chris Bradsworth & Michelle Ramsay

Location Address: Cosy Corner Road, Kronkup. State: Western Australia.

Click for Google Maps

Details Free beachside camp. Description: Relaxing beach location. Visited: March 2014. How I found it: Wikicamps. Why I visited: Free/fishing/beach. Was it RV Friendly: Dump point on site. Price range: Free! What I liked: Beach location, fishing and the people.

What I didn’t: People staying longer than the allotted 7 day limit. Would I go back: For sure, it was one of the most relaxing places I have visited.

Comments Go to Shelly Beach for the salmon season Feb-April.


58 | Mobile Tech: Social Media

Let’s be Social! The lowdown on social media‌ by Emily Barker


U

nless you’ve been living under a comfortable rock for the last decade you will have noticed the astounding and sometimes overwhelming growth of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google Plus – the list goes on – Myspace, Tumblr, Flickr, Vine, Snapchat and more. The rise and rise of social media has been complemented by a rapid succession of technological advances producing the ability to connect and share a variety of media with virtually anyone, anywhere and in real time. Throw in blog sites and social communication tools such as Skype and Viber, which utilise Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) and it’s no wonder even tech savvy generation Xs are sometimes left feeling a little dazed and confused.

Mobile Tech: Social Media | 59 is powerful enough that some governments ban it and valuable enough it’s revolutionising the way business operates – and all while turning an astounding profit.

The Players

Each social network has its own merits. For example Twitter talk is limited to 140 characters in a very public domain, whereas Facebook is literally free for all and often a more private affair. Pinterest is a visual link directory based upon a traditional ideas corkboard, while Instagram is an image capture, edit and share environment and LinkedIn is where professionals gather to share CVs, accomplishments and look for new jobs. What you choose to participate in will depend upon your interests, intentions Recent advances in mobile technology have finally placed all the convenience of online social and what you wish to share or experience. Many people, however, have serious and quite networking sites directly into the palm of your justified concerns over online privacy and hand, making it more convenient than ever to stay connected. Every app is free and available security, especially with regard to social media. for both Apple and Android devices, turning the Understanding how to navigate and operate a safe social media account is therefore essential. once humble telephone into a communication Regardless of which networking platform you tool with seemingly limitless capabilities. It is, however, important to carefully consider the way choose there are a few key points to keep in mind specifically regarding privacy, security and in which you interact with social media. Just as general correct use: you wouldn’t use a hammer to tighten a screw or a wrench to hammer a nail, it’s important to • It’s a Public Space – The first of these is know how to use social media appropriately. to never share, say or do anything that you Social media applications are tools too, handy wouldn’t want the world to see. Think carefully when used correctly but with the potential to before posting; once something is online and cause serious harm if mishandled. Social media regardless of your privacy settings it can be very hard to erase. Pretty much every device has the ability to screen capture images or cache files, which makes your digital footprint a potentially permanent one. • Control your settings – Each site and application has a series of adjustable privacy settings that include who can see what you post and how they can interact with you. So it’s up to you to set the level of security you require. Generally, the default setting when you set up


60 | Mobile Tech: Social Media an account is Public, meaning anyone can access your information, photos and posts, but you can customise settings to restrict access to only certain people. It’s important you control your privacy settings carefully, not only for your own benefit but to protect your friends. Take the time to regularly assess your settings too as Facebook in particular regularly changes options, often with little notification. • Limit personal sharing – What you choose to share is entirely up to you, but just because an application asks for your name, phone number, birthdate and a variety of other personal information does not necessarily mean you need to oblige, or that these need be publicly displayed. You are more than able to name yourself John Smith, knock 15 years off your age and provide a photo of your cat as a profile picture. This is important to realise too, for just as you can choose to remain anonymous so too can everyone else and unfortunately people may not actually be who they say they are for a variety of reasons. It’s always a good idea to limit what you share and while ‘checking in’ might be fun, keep it general. Never divulge information that could compromise your personal safety.

different to Facebook, but you can still protect your tweets and only approve certain followers should you wish. The same goes for links and applications; be wary of authorising any applications that wish to post on your behalf or access your information. • Use Strong passwords – It may sound simple but protecting your accounts with un-guessable passwords is the best way to deter hackers. It may be tempting to use one password for all of our many online activities but this is not a good idea, especially with regard to online banking. • Check privacy policies – Some sites may share information such as email addresses or user preferences with other companies and this might lead to an increase in spam. Games in particular continue to send notifications to your friends long after you have lost interest.

Be Skeptical – Don’t trust everything you read online. Unfortunately there are those who prey upon the good faith and honesty of others. For this reason always double check facts and never accept friend requests from people you do not know. If in doubt, ask. Twitter is a little

• Get Acquainted – Facebook has a handy feature in which you can choose to ‘classify’ your friends and in the process simplify your privacy controls. Often adding someone on Facebook is the easiest way to stay in contact, particularly when meeting new people on the road as phone numbers and emails can be too formal and complicated. If you wish to add someone as a friend but you don’t know them too well, add them as an acquaintance and then simply post personal material to ‘friends except acquaintances’. You can filter your posts in many ways and it pays to familiarise yourself


Mobile Tech: Social Media | 61 with the various options and customise these to suit your requirements.

media can be a great experience and it’s often the perfect travel companion, too.

• Avoid confrontations – Social media has given everybody a platform to voice their opinions, thoughts and feelings, and many people do – loudly and with little thought or consideration for others. Keep your online environment a positive place by refusing to engage with bullies or ‘Trolls’. While the majority of people use social networks in a respectful manner the audacity of some is often stunning. Swiftly resolve any problems by simply using the block feature.

You can keep up to date with news from home and share your experiences; securely capture, upload and store masses of digital media, access current information about your destination, follow business or interest pages (never miss an iMotorhome update!), join or create groups for likeminded individuals and of course share a laugh or two.

• Be sensitive - A good proportion of my social networking is the sharing of humour, but I do realise that what I find hilarious my elderly aunt might see as rather distasteful. In order to keep her up-to-date with my kids’ cute antics but ignorant of my feral funnies I use the list feature where I can select the audience for my posts from pre-designated groups, leaving the more conservative of my friends blissfully unaware of Let social media be a resource you use to my shenanigans! your own benefit. Dictate the terms upon how your information and material is seen, used Consumers and businesses alike know social and shared and ultimately enjoy your role as a media is a very powerful tool. When used member of one of the world’s largest and most correctly it’s a great way to stay in contact with diverse communities! friends and family, share precious memories and keep up to date with the latest news, offers and to network broadly with people who share your interests. Using a mobile device to access social

Join us on Facebook! iMotorhome has more than 13,000 Friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. If you aren’t already one of them just click on the links below to share in daily updates, see photos of interesting, unusual and funny campers and motorhomes from around the world and to find out what other people and companies are up to. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date and stay in touch.

Twitter


62 | Next Issue

Alluring Leura? W

e're back in the two week swing of things now and next issue Malcolm brings us the all-new Avida Leura, a compact two-berth B-class motorhome that becomes Avida’s entry level coachbuilt model. Built on a Fiat Ducato and featuring a roll-down electric bed, large lounge and a full-width rear bathroom, it’s keenly priced and could become Avida’s top seller. September 05-07

SEP

05-07

Penrith Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo Penrith Panthers, Mulgoa Rd, Penrith. NSW. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $6 • Kids: U16 Free with adult

SEP

26-28

Malcolm’s also reporting on a compact Bürstner B-class he spent a week in last month as a base for a New Zealand skiing holiday. Tough life for some! He’ll also bring us the lowdown on his adventures, with insight and tips on motorhoming in extreme conditions. We also take a look at front-wheel drive motorhoming in a real world uphill/wet grass situation and showcase a reader’s custom Winnebago Birdsville. And that’s just for starters! Next issue is on Sep 20, so until then why not join our more than Friends and Twitter 13,000 Facebook followers for news and more than a few laughs? See you in two weeks!

SEP

OCT

SEP

September 26-28 05-07 26-28 02-05 Central Coast 4WD, Caravan, Camping & Boat Show Mingara Recreation Club, Tumbi Umbi. NSW. 2261. • Open 10:00-4:00 daily • Parking: Not specified • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: 5-16 years $5

Visit Website

Visit Website

Click for Google Maps

Click for Google Maps

OCT

02-05

SEP

SEP

October05-07 02-0526-28

OCT

02-05

Sandown RV & Camping Leisurefest Sandown Racecourse, Princes Highway, Springvale. • Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 ($13 online) • Seniors: $10 ($8 online) • Kids: U15 free with adult

Visit Website 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.

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 55 – 06 Sep 2014 final 2  

Get a FREE subscription from our website!

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 55 – 06 Sep 2014 final 2  

Get a FREE subscription from our website!