Page 1

iMotorhome Xtra! Xtra! Read All About it!

58 : Oct 18 2014



because getting there is half the fun...


$50 for the! best letter

On the road in Trakka’s Torino Xtra…

Rogues’ Gallery

Skydancer 7.5 – the convertible motorhome!


Bungendore Wood Works Gallery!

Mobile Tech!

Apple iOS8 tips and tricks…

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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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.

On my mind | 5

Evolution… The Federal Government is looking to ease or eliminate import restrictions on new and used motor vehicles – including motorhomes – in light of the impending demise of Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry. They’re also looking to bring Australia’s sometimes draconian (and occasionally absurd) design rules – known as ADRs – more into line with international standards. This would reduce compliance costs for Australian-bound new cars for all manufactures as well as increasing the number of used models that would then meet local standards. Some commentators believe the revised legislation and resultant Brave New World of motor vehicle imports is a fate accompli, but there is much local motor vehicle industry opposition to it – as I'm sure you can imagine. Such legislation would see a reduction in the price of new cars through reduced compliance costs and a fall in the value of used cars; both as a result of the drop in new car prices and an anticipated flood of imported used cars. Vehicle finance companies are particularly worried because much of its business is built on guaranteed and/or estimated future used car values. Needless to say there is a lot of behind-thescenes lobbying happening in Canberra at the moment. In a perfect outcome for consumers it will allow you to buy a vehicle overseas and bring it to Australia, as long as it complies with our revised and more internationally sympathetic design rules. A perfect outcome for the local automotive industry will be preservation of the status quo. The likely outcome is somewhere in between. The Caravan Industry Association Australia (CIAA) is worried the new legislation could open the flood gates to imported recreational vehicles. This week I took part in an online survey of theirs – Lord knows how I was invited – seeking members’

views on the Association’s draft submission to Government and on the whole it was balanced and reasonable. The primary concern seems to centre around people setting themselves up as backyard importers and I agree there needs to be a form of regulation to prevent this happening. Consumers need protection from shonky operators and the suggestion is a restriction on the number of personal imports over a given time. I did, however, voice my opposition to the proposal that vehicles need compliance approval before being allowed to be imported. My understanding of the suggestion is an engineer would have to sign off on a vehicle while it’s still on overseas. If this is the case would either mean Australian-based engineers would need an intimate knowledge of foreign vehicles, or a foreign engineer would need intimate knowledge of Australia regulations. I see this has an intentional stumbling block to further limit the possibility of imports, and therefore protect the Association’s members’ interests. I think the CIAA should be looking for opportunities for its members under this new regime and not just viewing it as a frontal assault on local business. We live in a globalised world whether we like it or not and the Federal Government has made it clear local industries will receive no favours as it ‘opens Australia for business’. To be honest, if I was a local manufacture I’d be worried. But changes are coming and how companies respond will determine their future. Adapt or die: It’s the story of evolution – and only the clever survive. What do you think?


6 | Content


About Us


On my Mind


User Guide

Who we are, where and other legal stuff


How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine


On your Mind



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


iTherapy Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - Putting your mind to it…

Locals watching Trakka’s Torino Xtra passing by…

Content | 7


Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra


Rogues’ Gallery: Skydancer 7.5


Tavel: Collector


Tavel: Bungendore Wood Work Gallery


Mobile Tech


Next Issue & Show Calendar

Xtra! Xtra! Read All About it! – Touring in Trakka’s versatile Torino Xtra…

A concept convertible motorhome!

Quiet free camping close to our National Capital

Wooden You Know? – A local attraction with national appeal…

She’s Apples – Tips and tricks for Apple’s new iOS8

What’s coming up and what shows are on soon

Not a bad view from Collector’s quiet free camping area…

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.

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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

Fiat Tyre Alert

Hi Richard, thank you for your informative and refreshing magazine. As we are on the road full time we don’t have to wait for our mail from the mail service which we choose to get monthly. Wherever we are, or should I say, wherever there is a Telstra mobile service, your magazine can be downloaded. Keep up the good work.

the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.

to check whether they are over-inflating the tyres of their motorhome. Regards, Ronald

Thanks for your letter Ronald, which I’ve published the highlights of in this issue’s News section on page 14. As a thank you for alerting I have attached a letter that describes a us and Fiat Ducato owners to the potential safety issue with some Fiat Ducato based problem, please accept this issue’s $50 reward. motorhomes and are hoping that you may publish it in your magazine so as to alert owners Safe travels!

Moped Licence

Hi Richard. Whilst researching our future travels I was looking at 50 cc mopeds for our trailer. I know in Queensland, Northern Territory, SA and WA you can ride these on a car licence, but imagine my surprise when I found out that in NSW, VIC, ACT and Tas you need a bike licence. I am sure I am not the only one who didn't realise there would be different rules throughout the country for this! I was wondering if this would be a good article to include in your magazine, maybe with the pros and cons of having these, towing a vehicle or using your beloved push bikes to do those short trips to the shops in/on. Just a thought. Regards, Allana

Hi Allana, I wasn’t aware there are States and a Territory where you can ride a 50 cc moped in Australian on a car licence; thanks for the heads up! So much for our harmonised national licensing system. It’s certainly a great idea for a story and I’ll see what we can come up with. Of course a bicycle will win on price, health and ecological grounds (not that I’m biased!), but the others have some merit too, I’ll admit. Let me know if you discover any more interesting anomalies in your research!

12 | On your mind

Illegal Overhang?

Hi Richard, difficult to tell without a tape measure (or at least a side-on pic) but I'll almost bet that Colin has an illegal "custom rear rack and storage box,” as featured in the Reader Feature last issue. Do you know about the 60% rule that states, “The maximum overhang behind the rear axle (or centre of the axle group where there is more than one rear axle) is 60% of the vehicle's wheelbase (the distance between the front & rear axle)”? Not only can it earn one a fine from the police/ RTA or the like and/or put the motorhome off

the road until the box is removed, it can also void one's insurance? Cheers, Laurie. Hi Laurie. Yep, I’m aware of the rule and Colin, a retired auto engineer, advises the total overhang is 2.4 m, which is spot-on 60 % of the Birdsville’s 4 m wheelbase. Thanks for bringing the subject up, though. There are many vehicles with similar rear add-ons on the roads and any readers with one are advised to accurately check their measurements or risk the consequences. Thanks also for this link to find out more.

Free Camping Info?

Hi, I enjoy reading your online magazine and have noticed that you seem to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding Council & other freedom camping spots around Australia. However, I wondered if you have produced a list of such places which we readers could have access to. Alternatively, do you know of any other simple lists available online? I have searched the internet but can't seem to find a simple list of towns/venues where there are details of free or cheaper camping sites

Canberra Show!

Great job on the magazine, I enjoy reading it. In regards to the shows list on the back page, I notice that you do not mention the Canberra Home, Leisure, Caravan, 4WD & Camping Show, on October 24-26! Do you only list ones you are going to? Cheers, Ian.

available. We live on the far north coast of NSW and are mainly interested in NSW & Qld sites. Thanks & Regards, Barrie. Thanks Barrie, glad you enjoy what we’re doing. Re free camping sites, the best place to find them is on the Wikicamps app, which is available for Android and Apple devices and also Windows 8.1 PC. Also, if you’re in the CMCA look up their list of RV Friendly Towns and Destinations. Hope this helps.

Ian thanks for the information and glad you’re enjoying the magazine. Regarding the shows, I use a third party website for information and the Canberra show isn’t listed on it. Show organisers don’t often send me information (hint to any show organisers reading) and I don’t have the time to go chasing them, so I rely on what I find online. Hope you enjoy the Canberra show and keep on reading our magazine!

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14 | News

Fiat Ducato Tyre Overinflation Alert


he following letter was received from Ronald a concerned reader and is reproduced in good faith. The potential overinflation alert only pertains to Fiat Ducato motorhomes with Continental-brand tyres. The overinflation of the tyres on my 3 year old motorhome was brought to my attention in early June 2014 by an alert tyre mechanic at a tyre retail business when I asked if he could inflate one of the tyres that had been partially deflated by a faulty compressed air facility at a local service station. He asked me what pressure I put in the tyres and I quoted the recommended pressure that Fiat stated on their tyre inflation chart (80 psi). He queried as to why I was overinflating the tyres as he said that the maximum recommended pressure for that tyre was only 69 psi (this represents a 15% over-inflation). He showed me where this recommended maximum inflation pressure was shown on the wall of the tyre (I was unaware that the writing on the tyres contained this information). He also expressed the view that this was a very serious situation that gave a substantially higher risk of a blowout occurring. I requested that he reduce the pressure in the other tyres to 69 psi and have been running at that pressure since that time. I subsequently contacted the manufacturer of my motorhome and supplied photos of Fiat’s recommended tyre inflation chart together with the information on the tyres. They took this to Fiat Australia, who were not very receptive. As I travelled I spoke to several Fiat Ducato motorhome owners who still had the original tyres and they were inflating them to Fiat’s recommended 80 psi. A check on the tyres revealed most of them had a 69 psi rating.

As it appeared that there were potentially a lot of Fiat Ducato owners who were running a higher risk of a blowout, I chased up my motorhome manufacturer several times about a resolution to this safety issue and they eventually informed me that Fiat were now fitting a different tyre with an 80 psi rating and didn’t know how many units were affected and were not going to do anything about it. I understand that it was not until I threatened to escalate the problem and contact Government road safety authorities throughout Australia that Fiat started to take this safety issue more seriously. I understand that they have now contacted their parent company Fiat in Italy with the aim of supplying alternative recommended Tyre inflation charts for those affected vehicles. Fiat Australia, through its network of service centres, should have access to the contact details of most of its Fiat Ducato customers, so an alert could be sent out asking them to check if they are in the affected category and if so, reduce the tyre pressures to that stated on the tyre. This surely is the minimum that should be done to ensure the safety of its customers. In discussion with my motorhome manufacturer in early October 2014, they agreed that as there is a substantially higher risk of a blowout, with possible deadly consequences, this information should be released to the RV travelling public without further delay, so that affected owners can take corrective action and reduce the tyre pressures to that shown on the vehicles tyres. I will continue to follow up this safety issue with my motorhome manufacturer until the matter is fully resolved. Note: iMotorhome has contact Fiat Australia for comment but at this stage has received no reply.

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16 | News

Emergency Radio


ere's a handy little find! The Australian Red Cross is offering a solar powered and hand-cranked emergency AM/FM/shortwave radio with LED torch that can also charge your smartphone, for $69.95. It also features a glow-in-the-dark locator and headphone jack and includes a USB cable and user’s manual. Click HERE to find out more.

RV Registrations Up


he latest Caravan & Campervan Data Report has been finalised, with findings showing an increase in recreational vehicle registrations in Australia. The report, commissioned by Caravan Industry Association of Australia, found that the number of registered

Custom Truck Campers

RVs in Australia, as at January 2013, was 528,869 – an increase of over 5% on the previous year. Of those 54,103 were motorised (i.e. motorhomes or campervans), or 10.23% of the total.

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18 | News

International Perspective


ecently this post was made on the Free Choice Camping website by international visitors calling themselves the Swiss Nomads. It makes interesting reading given it’s international perspective. "We love Australia and we are road tripping already for the second time. But we are a bit worried about free camping. Australia is a great country for camping! It's the camping nation of the planet and camping is part of the

culture. Free camp spots are provided and the infrastructure for freedom camping is just amazing. But is this slowly changing? In some places camping is already a major crime and needs to be targeted by rangers. How will the future of camping look like in Australia?”

Police Revise Accident Attendance Requirements


olice in NSW will no longer be required to attend tow-away only crashes, in a bid to cut red tape. According to a statement by NSW Police, at accidents where no-one is hurt, information is exchanged and none of the parties appear to be either intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, drivers will be able to organise their own tow vehicle if required. However, if one of the parties fails to exchange details, someone is hurt or one of the drivers is clearly intoxicated then the NSW Police will attend. Reporting an accident to the NSW Police Assistance Line, for insurance purposes, will from October 15 no longer be required either, although it has said if drivers aren’t able to organise a tow vehicle themselves, “After having exhausted all other options,” then the NSW Police Assistance Line will organise one.

According to Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, removing the requirement for NSW Police to attend minor accidents would remove the likelihood of secondary accidents at the scene and free-up police resources. “With drivers now able to move their cars off the road quicker and more efficiently, we will ultimately see a reduction in blocked lanes and traffic delays.The changes will mean drivers involved in tow-away only collisions will now be able to safely make their way off the road and organise their own tow from the area,” he said. NSW Police have released an information graphic explaining the steps you should take if you’re involved in a minor accident, which you can download by clicking HERE.

News | 19

Coffs Harbour Trial Failure


12 month trial of subsidised camping sites at Park Beach Holiday Park has been a failure, but enforcing illegal camping restrictions at the Jetty has been a success, according to a report to be considered by Coffs Harbour City councillors tomorrow. The report recommends that councillors give up providing subsidised $10-a-night camping sites for fully selfcontained recreational vehicles from November 30, but continue pursuing and fining free campers. The 10 unpowered sites, which have been available since December 2013, except for the Christmas or Easter school holidays, have raised $400 and recorded an occupancy rate of 12% as compared with 23.9% for other unpowered sites in the park, which are more expensive. Meanwhile, council rangers have

issued 78 fines for illegal camping at the Jetty, totalling $6270. Of those fined, 95% were overseas backpackers. from The Coffs Coast Advocate iMotorhome questions the efficacy of the trial and would like to hear from readers who have stayed in Coffs Harbour since December last year and whether you were aware the sites were available. Facebook comments indicate the facility wasn’t promoted and on face value it would appear the trail was set-up to fail. It’s interesting to see Coffs Harbour Council so keen to keep generating fine revenue, but we wonder how many are paid given 95% are to international tourists?

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20 | News

On This Day 18th October

1851: Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale, by Richard Bentley of London. 1926: Birth of Chuck Berry, one of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll, who released influential songs such as Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode. 1944: World War II: Soviet Union begins the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany. 1956: Birth of Martina Navratilova, tennis legend who won 20 Wimbledon tennis titles including singles, doubles and mixed doubles. 1962: Dr Watson (US) and Drs Crick and Wilkins (Britain) win Nobel Prize for Medicine, for work in determining structure of DNA.

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 1967: Walt Disney's Jungle Book is released.

1977: German Autumn: a set of events revolving around the kidnapping of Hanns Martin Schleyer and the hijacking of a Lufthansa flight by the Red Army Faction (RAF) comes to an end when Schleyer is murdered and various RAF members allegedly commit suicide.

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22 | Resources resources


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...

Taste of Freedom!

because getting there is half the fun...

Grand Design -

because getting there is half the fun...


English Holiday









because getting there is half the fun...

Esprit de Cor Blimey!

Malcolm Street spends time roaming New Zealand in this compact ex-rental Kea…

Two years on how has the Trakkaway 700 evolved?

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

Review and images by Richard Robertson

Story and Images by Malcolm Street

Review and images by Malcolm Street

iMotorhome Marketplace | 23

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24 | Feature: iTherapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Putting your mind to it‌ by Robert Davis, Consulting Psychologist

Mental Health Week 2014

Mental Health Week ran from October 5 to 12 this year. World Mental Health Day is October 10 every year.


1010.org.au Mental Health Australia World Federation for Mental Health


ental Health Week's objective is to inform, motivate and engage Australians about mental health issues through a week of interactive events across the country. Mental health disorders are partly assessed and defined by the degree of impairment they cause. It is not uncommon in my experience to encounter lay opinions based on selfdiagnosis that a certain mental disorder exists. So if you happen to be a bit obsessive or preoccupied with cleanliness at home (or with your motorhome) you will not necessarily be diagnosed by a professional with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Why not? Because unless the time and effort you take in the pursuit of your cleanliness goals result in inadequate time to do the essential other things in your life then you are not likely to be impaired. I have

Feature: iTherapy | 25

Was my behaviour disloyal? spent countless hours washing and polishing my Longreach and enjoyed every minute of it. My wife began comparing the time I spent with her versus the long hours on the motorhome. Her conclusions did not result in a divorce (impairment) but I did take on board her observations. I diagnosed myself with an obsessive preoccupation with a love object whose very appealing presence gave me much satisfaction, so you can see my wife's concern. Was my behaviour disloyal? Was I cheating on her? She knew she couldn't compete with such a substantial presence, but compromise saved the day. Impaired? Not really. There are many therapy models used by mental health practitioners to treat the very real and distressing mental disorders that impair the lives of those afflicted. One such therapy that has an extensive reputation for treatment efficacy

is known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT. In issue 54’s editorial Richard disclosed that he had fought off his demons using CBT and gave some helpful links to relevant websites. So I thought some clarification of just what this therapy is and how it works might be in order. The Cognitive bit is about thought processes that include how we learn, encode data and retrieve information from memory. The behavioural component, as the name suggests, relates to what we do, the actions we take. CBT is a well-researched evidence based therapy that has an established record of success in addressing a variety of mental disorders. So how does it work and what do you as a participant get out of it? In a basic sense if you think negatively most of the time you will most likely be miserable, maybe even depressed. We have all met those

26 | Feature: iTherapy

CBT helps people to think more realistically who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time complaining and turning even positive and constructive thought into negatives. Unrealistic thinking includes making assumptions without reasonable evidence to support them and catastrophising that things will go wrong and that bad things will happen. For example, believing you really know what another person is thinking or going to do, and basing your actions upon those thoughts. I'm fond of asking clients who it is that knows what the other person is really thinking, you or them? So if you want to know what someone is thinking, why not ask. After all, why speculate on someone else's thoughts when all you have to do is go to the source to get the facts. CBT helps people to think more realistically in a grounded real-world way. If something is actually negative then it needs to be acknowledged as such and a plan to resolve the difficulties presented would be a realistic endeavour of

focus. You may recall a previous article in which I put to you that the world is constructed in our heads by the way we process information; by the way we think. Our feelings are dependent upon our thinking and our thinking is affected by our feelings. So learning how to think more objectively, accurately and with precision will change the way you feel and that will change the way you behave. It beats taking drugs because you are dealing with the causes of your mood or anxiety not using a chemical band aide to mask the cause. Having said that I do want to point out that when a mental condition like depression reaches a point of severity that the individual cannot find the motivation or energy to participate in the work involved in CBT, then antidepressants are an appropriate choice and such drugs do have an important role in addressing incapacitating moods and do save lives. In our western society we have become familiar

Feature: iTherapy | 27

They will not judge you... with the 'medical model' for treating our health problems. This model is one of assessment, diagnosis and treatment using drugs and physical interventions. We have become used to the idea that 'a pill' will fix the problem and that one just has to sit back and wait for it to work. In CBT, as with most psychotherapies, the client works in collaboration with the therapist in a joint effort where the therapist is the guide and the client does the work that they need to get better. Your guide will challenge you at times, encourage you and listen carefully to all you have to say. They will not judge you, but will endeavour to be there for you in your darkest moments and if that's not possible, ensure someone who cares is. They will work to build your self-esteem and they will care about what you are going through. This empathic and scientific treatment approach avoids dependency by gradually increasing your sense of self-mastery. When you work with a professional therapist and you get a positive

result you will own your success. That outcome will be derived in no small part from your own courage and effort to confront and overcome what for many can be a mentally crippling problem. Psychologists are, in my biased view, hugely underrated in the vital work they do and the lives they quietly save and improve. In the US nobody blinks at going to see their ‘shrink,' after all there is the GP for the physical and the 'shrink' for the mental. Stigma here in Australia keeps a lot of people away from the enormous benefits psychologists have to offer. Mental Health Week seeks to address this deficit. If you encountered a Mental Health Week activity in your travels I hope you stopped and asked a question or two. As they say, the more the merrier‌

28 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

Xtra! Xtra! Read All About it!

Four-seats adds versatility to Trakka’s desirable Torino Xtra‌ by Richard Robertson

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 29

Trakka’s Torino Xtra has a full-size dinette for four and packs a of lot of features into its compact dimensions. The seatbelt-equipped dinette seat is properly shaped for comfort over longer distances, while its close proximity to the cab means conversations on-themove would be easy, too.


he Torino Xtra is Trakka’s top selling model. A versatile and compact van conversion packed with quality inclusions and backed by intelligent design, it walks a fine line between nimble camper and longdistance tourer. Approved seating for four and a bed that raises for additional boot space simply adds to its appeal. From doubling as a family station wagon to whisking friends to the golf club it has practical uses well beyond

its primary role. The Tornio Xtra also sits at the more affordable end of the Trakka pricing spectrum and as many will attest, buying something smaller but of good quality is a better bet in the long run. Earlier this year we spent a few days touring in the Trakka Torino, the two-seat two-berth sibling of the Torino Xtra, and I'm going to borrow heavily from that review because

30 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

Easily swivellable cab seats and a flip-up corner table make quick coffee stops simple. Slippers are optional and recommended…

much is interchangeable between these two vehicles. The obvious differences lie in the dinette and sleeping arrangements, and which of these two models is best suited to you comes down to personal preferences. Both are conversions of Fiat’s popular and proven Ducato van and both are built to Trakka’s same high standards.

Van Go


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

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 31

The Fiat Ducato delivers a civilised and refined driving experience. all door but opens the cab or cargo doors separately), electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning, power steering, cruise, steering wheel mounted audio, Blue&Me Bluetooth with voice commands, media input socket, integrated but removable TomTom satnav system and more; the Ducato’s standard equipment

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

Mrs iMotorhome is truly at home in a Fiat Ducato-based van conversion like the Torino Xtra and finds it easier than our car to drive, thanks to better visibility from the raised driving position.

Van Goes


rakka specifies Fiat’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel, which puts out 132 kW and 400 Nm, and matches it to the manufacturer’s proprietary Comfortmatic 6-speed automated manual transmission. It’s a strong, refined and economical combination that makes for

32 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra When you’re done zipping down the highway it only takes a minute to slide open the side door, flip up the kitchen’s outdoor table and open a bottle of wine. How good is that?

easy cruising when loaded yet makes easy work of the cut-and-thrust of city driving. The Ducato’s low stance, wheel-in-eachcorner design and wide track gives it a firm but secure ride. There’s minimal body roll, good visibility, high comfort levels and low engine and wind noise; all of which combine to deliver a civilised and refined driving experience, once you’re accustomed to the AMT’s slightly unusual shifting habits. We stepped into the Torino Xtra straight from the Trakkaway 700, which featured chassis

and suspension manufacturer AL-KO’s new front suspension upgrade. As explained in the Trakkaway 700 review Fiat Ducatos sit slightly nose down. The upgrade – new MacPherson struts and springs – raises the nose some 40 mm, resulting in an even stance and more comfortable ride. Stepping straight back into a standard Ducato the difference was certainly noticeable. Trakka can perform the same conversion on its Ducato vans in-house but don’t view it as a must-have, it’s just a desirable upgrade.

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 33

Outside, new design elements like carbon fibre-look body decals and flush-fit windows are new and enhance practicality.

34 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

From any angle the Trakka’s Torino Xtra looks good. As this vehicle is Remote-pack equipped and therefore LPG free there are only two external hatches: One for the toilet cassette (top) and one for the built-in power lead (left). Blue is a solid colour (so a no-cost option) and makes a nice change from white.

The Converted


Motorhome has been accused of being Trakka centric. Given this is a company at the top of its game and the quality of its products, it’s difficult to sound any other way. And as I’ve previously noted, Trakka is also one of the few manufacturers with registered demonstrators we can travel in and use. Only by living in a motorhome is it’s true character revealed. Outside, new design elements like carbon

fibre-look body decals look good, while things like a fixed TV antenna that looks like a car radio aerial and flush-fit windows with black aluminium frames (instead of white plastic) are new and enhance practicality. Inside, things like the REMIF blinds, which during the day are tucked neatly out of sight around the windscreen and cab door windows and within a few seconds provide total privacy with maximum space efficiency are the best of their type I’ve used. Speaking of blinds, anyone who’s battled with the combination flyscreen/

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 35

blinds of Seitz hopper windows will know how fiddly they can be. Not these new ones! Solid and easy to slide up and down, they don’t try to spring open, don’t require a delicate touch to operate and the flyscreen section is finished in black (not the usual grey/white), which makes it easy to see through. Back outside, Trakka fits a wind-out Fiamma awning and includes a power cord with circuit breaker that’s a permanent part of the vehicle and is concealed in its own locker. Unusually, this is fitted on the kerb side on this vehicle, due to legal spacing requirements with the gas bottle storage locker on the driver’s side, I’m thinking. Two dimmable LED exterior lights brighten things up at night and/or provide security when you’re absent, while an electric entry step makes access just that bit easier. We also liked the flip-up outdoor table that’s revealed when the side door is slid open, as

The dinette seat has proper room for two and a big window for on-road or campsite viewing (when the iPad’s away). The pole-mounted TV is height adjustable and can be swivelled for outdoor entertainment. It can also be moved to the bedroom.

36 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra This flip-up table is very handy and one of two supplied for outdoor use. The other clips to a rail on the sliding side door and stows in the boot.

well as Trakka’s signature removable outdoor table, which attaches to a rail on the sliding door and stows in the boot at other times.

Inside Story

Remote Control


he test vehicle included Trakka’s Remote pack that does away with the LPG system by using diesel to power the cooker, make hot water and provide room heating. The pack also includes a 135 W solar charging system and additional sound and thermal insulation. It adds $8500 to the basic $126,500 drive-away price, but interestingly the majority of Torino models leaving the factory are Remotes.

Trakka’s interiors are second to none. Blending European design with local experience the finish of light timbers, grey and silver accents, and roller shutters in place of conventional


nside is where the Xtra's differences become apparent. The layout features swivelling cab seats and a forward-facing dinette seat for two; a mid-positioned kerb-side kitchen and driver’s-side bathroom, plus an east-west rear bed. What it provides is a surprisingly spacious front living area, a generous kitchen and bathroom, and a bedroom that at first looks a bit cramped but is surprisingly practical.

We spend a lot of time ensuring all aspects of our interior designs fit.

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 37 Top: The kitchen bench has usable space any cook will love. Bottom: Cab seats swivel 90º and are very comfortable for after hours relaxing, even after a long day of driving.

cupboard doors produces a unique look carried across Trakka’s range. LED lighting is used throughout, along with the Company’s signature concealed purple/blue strip mood lighting. “We spend a lot of time ensuring all aspects of our interior designs fit. For example, all corners are rounded; we don’t just build square box cupboards and stick them up.” Trakka’s managing director Dave Berry explained. Indeed the more you look into the Torino Xtra the more thoughtful design touches you find.

Living Room


he front living area could well be transplanted straight from the Trakkaway 700. Both cab seats swivel easily on their factory-fitted mounts, while the forward facing dinette seat is not only seatbelt equipped for two, it's

38 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

The outdoor table stows just beneath the bed and is accessed through the rear barn doors, along with the awning winder. Note the dining table mount protruding through the bed base (left rear of pic). You need to lift the mattress and bedding to get the dining table out and it’s designed so you can access the table from inside. This is difficult, however, and deserves a rethink. actually shaped to be a comfortable longdistance travel seat. This seat lifts to reveal useful storage (there’s more over the cab) and a double 240 V power point. it’s also where Trakka installs the optional sine wave inverter. There’s also a double USB charging outlet in the side wall beneath the dinette window, conveniently placed for when the flip-up corner table is in place. The main dining table is a removable pole unit with multi-adjustable Zwaardvis mount. The pole stores securely in the storage/wardrobe space behind the long roller shutter at the forward end of the kitchen bench. The table, on the other hand, stores beneath the bed mattress in a cutout atop the bed base. It is perhaps the most awkward design feature of the vehicle, brought on by space constraints and a desire to access the table from inside the vehicle. Personally I'd be happy to pop outside, open the rear doors and slide the table out of a mounting either where the current outside table stows or from somewhere else in the boot area. Trying to lift and hold the mattress (especially when bedding’s in place) while extracting the table from its current

position is difficult. The good news is that once in place the table can be positioned to provide generous dining space for two and acceptable room for four. Evening entertainment is provided by a 48 cm (19 in) HDTV/DVD combo unit mounted on a pole at the front end of the kitchen bench. It’s height adjustable and can be swivelled around for viewing from outside. Inside it's ideally viewed from the swivelled cab seats and can also be removed and relocated to the bedroom.

In The Kitchen


s someone who actually likes to cook while she travels, Mrs iMotorhome is always happy to ‘work’ in a Trakka kitchen. The long, curved benchtop has usable workspace (aside from room for the cooker and sink) and even incorporates a small, lift out rubbish container that can double as a wine bottle holder. Six deep drawers featuring soft-close/self-close and push button locking provide plenty of storage, along with three overhead cupboards. The central overhead cupboard actually houses the Torino Xtra’s

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 39 Top: An over-kitchen cupboard houses these controls (L to R): Webasto hot water and room heater; Webasto diesel cooker; control panel for tank and battery levels, 12 V, water pump, lights and many other functions, including inside and outside temperatures. The two small switches (top left) operate the LED mood lighting. Bottom: The Webasto diesel cooker’s flush-fitting ceramic top is easy to keep clean but does limit you to two pots. It also takes a fair while to boil a kettle.

electrical controls (lights/tank levels/battery condition/inside & outside temp, etc) plus controls for the Webasto diesel cooker, hot water system and room heater. A glass splashback between the benchtop and overhead cupboards is another nice feature, as is a filtered drinking water system. As mentioned earlier, the long roller shutter at the front end of the main kitchen bench conceales the dining table pole and has a hanging rack for clothes, as well as providing storage for bulky items. Appliance-wise the Remote-specced Torino Xtra gets a Webasto diesel cooker with ceramic top, a single-bowl round sink with glass lid (but no drainer) and a rangehood on the working (kerb) side of the kitchen. Across the aisle, behind the dinette seat, is a tall unit containing a high mounted 136 L Waeco 12/240 V compressor fridge/freezer with a microwave above it, which many Remote customers delete as a tradeoff for extra storage. There’s a deep cupboard below the fridge, too, ideal for a dustpan and brush, thongs, etc.

40 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

The fridge and microwave are both mounted high for convenience. The kitchen’s corner shelves are ideal for phone charging, while the glass splashback is a nice touch. While Mrs iMotorhome is still ‘warming’ to the diesel cooker we both loved Webasto’s combined hot water and room heater. Quick and easy to use, the heater fan worked near silently on a thermostat to keep us warm as the mercury dropped just below freezing overnight. The appeal of a totally gas free motorhome is strong: no bottle refills and no annual gas inspection. But Mrs iM remarked that for someone like herself who loves to cook she’d rather have the standard Xtra’s three gas burners and the instant temperature control gas provides (plus the ability to quickly boil a kettle). One final kitchen feature certainly worth mentioning is the double recessed shelf in the end panel by the bedroom. It has room for all sorts of nicknacks but is ideal for charging

A glass splashback between the benchtop and overhead cupboards is another nice feature.

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 41

When not in use the toilet tucks away beneath the vanity, providing a spacious shower cubicle with a clever, fitted wrap-around curtain that keeps towels and even the loo paper dry. phones or tablets as it has a double 12 V USB outlet and a double 240 V power point.



We were bemused by the bathroom’s sideopening window, which although heavily tinted for daytime use has no privacy blind. I understand its positioning makes a blind unworkable but I’m surprised an opaque finish isn’t standard. Also, removing the Thetford toilet’s cassette is unusual. It requires opening a hatch in the bathroom wall before using the remote to move the toilet forward and lining the end of it up with the open hatch. You then need to open an exterior vehicle hatch to access the cassette. It sounds more complex than it is and you’d soon get used to it, but the double door arrangement is unusual. Opening the external hatch reveals a cleverly concealed outside shower, which neatly tucks away into the cavity between the vehicle and bathroom cubicle walls.

espite its small size the Torino Xtra has quite a large bathroom. Trakka’s Switch Mode Bathroom is a cleverly executed, slightly convex shaped cubicle Dr Who would be proud of. The trick is a retractable toilet unit that whirrs out from under the vanity when required and whirrs away when finished – all by the magic of remote control (yes, there is a manual override). When retracted the shower size is comparable to a domestic unit. Another great feature is a wrap-around shower curtain that covers your towels, toilet paper and the doorway. It press studs tightly into place and provides maximum showering space with minimal intrusion. There’s a small rectangle sink Mrs iM was thoroughly impressed by the SMB and a triple paned mirror, the left-hand side of and decided its best to leave the loo retracted which conceals a medicine cabinet. at night, enter the bathroom and then bring

42 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

The bed might look a bit small for two but works quite well. Note the small pole by the kitchen divider that holds the TV, and the coat rack and magazine holder on the rear wall of the bathroom. The optional 12 V fan just inside the left door is a must, too, for hot summer nights. it out. We both like the wooden board that covers a recesses in the shower floor, so you stand above any water, too.

Sweet Dreams


ositioned east-west across the rear of the vehicle, the bed measures 1860 mm (6 ft 1 in) x 1350 mm (4 ft 5 in) but looks smaller than it is. It makes the most of the Fiat Ducato’s boxy body and was big enough for us to lay our two single Duvalay memory foam sleeping bags side-by-side. Prior to the trip I had concerns the bed wasn't going to be long or wide enough, but was pleasantly surprised on the first night. Despite being as tall as the bed is long, keeping my legs slightly bent (the way I normally sleep) avoided any length issues.

Some people decry an east-west bed because access isn’t as easy as an island bed, especially when nature calls in the dead of night. The truth is if anybody gets up in the night in a motorhome it wakes the other person, and in this instance it's a small price to pay to have a full four-seat dinette in the front of the vehicle. In fact far from being a liability, in this instance it's allowed Trakka’s designers to incorporate an electrically raised bed that increases the boot capacity substantially while still allowing bed use (albeit with an added degree of access difficulty). An interesting thing about the bed's design is it’s shaped slightly wider at the kerbside end, for shoulder room we’d presume, and that’s where we put our pillows. But Trakka’s floor plan shows the pillows at the opposite end,

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 43

Above: Touch operated LED reading lights work a treat, as do the roller shutter cupboard doors you can’t leave unlatched or hit your head on. Right, top to bottom: When the bed is raised in increases boot space more than this photo does justice, yet can still be slept on. which is also the only end with reading lights. Due to the slightly protruding bathroom corner the bed is marginally easier to access as per their floorplan, but I think most people would prefer reading lights at both ends so they can choose which way to sleep. As mentioned earlier the TV can be moved to the bedroom, attaching to a short pole just behind the bedroom/kitchen divider, and this requires you to be ‘Trakka-way-round’ on the bed to watch. Conversely there are a couple of coat hooks (and a magazine holder) on the rear of the bathroom wall, but long jackets placed there would drape on the head or shoulders of the person sleeping on that side if you did sleep ‘Trakka-way-round’. So many things to consider! The concertina privacy door doesn’t need considering, though. It’s a great

44 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra touch and one that provides precious privacy, especially if one of you is an early sleeper or night owl.

What I think.


very vehicle is a compromise and the smaller the vehicle the greater the compromises. That Trakka has managed to fit a full sized four-seat dinette, chef-friendly kitchen, large bathroom and a decent bed into something as small as a Fiat Ducato shows compromise isn’t always a negative thing. The Torino Xtra is an ideal van-conversion motorhome if you need to carry extra passengers and/or want a large lounge/dinette that can even double as a mobile office. It’s built to Trakka’s high standards and is a pleasure to drive and live in. What more can I say, except that if you don’t need the extra seats take a look at the ‘standard’ Torino, with its larger bedroom and more flexible sleeping options. Either way it’s certainly something worth shouting about!

Trakka’s Torino Xtra is built for adventure and will get you in and out of places bigger motorhomes can’t/ wont go. Being a van conversion the body doesn’t require special looking after and it stands up to the elements very well.

Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra | 45

The Torino Xtra is an ideal vanconversion motorhome if you need to carry extra passengers and/or want a large lounge/dinette that can even double as a mobile office.

46 | Touring Test: Trakka Torino Xtra

Specifications Manufacturer



Torino Xtra Remote

Base Vehicle

Fiat Ducato 180 Multijet


3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel


132 kW @ 3500 rpm


400 Nm @ 1500 rpm


6-speed automated manual


ABS ventilated 4-wheel discs

Tare Weight

3200 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4005 kg

Towing Capacity

2500 kg



Approved Seating


External Length

6.365 m (20 ft 11 in)

External Width

2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)

External Height

2.675 m (8 ft 9 in)

Internal Height

1.930 m (6 ft 4 in)

Rear Bed Size (single)

1.860 m x 1.350 m (6 ft 1 in x 4 ft 5 in)


Webasto diesel with ceramic top


136 L 12/240 V




12 V LED


2 x 100 AH

Solar Panels

1 x 135 W

Air Conditioner

Optional (roof mounted)

Hot Water & Room Heater

Webasto Dual Top Evo diesel


Thetford cassette


Flexible hose, variable height

Gas cylinders

2 x 4.0 kg

Fresh Water Tank


Grey Water Tank


Price drive away NSW

from $126,500

Price as tested

from $135,000


• • • • • • • • •

Design innovation Overall quality 4 Seat dinette Kitchen size Spacious bathroom LPG free (Remote Pack) Vehicle economy & equipment Rear boot size Liveability


• Bed size won’t suit everyone • Awkward table stowage



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

trakkabout australia ®




trakka. your motorhome away from home. >> Turn your dreams into a reality and take the journey of a

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

lifetime with a TRAKKA Motorhome.

Trakka have been voted “Best of the Best” and before you

>> The TRAKKA team have a proven track record designing

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

and building thousands of exceptional motorcampers especially for Australian conditions for over 40 years. >> The respected TRAKKA name is synonymous with supreme quality, innovation, functionality and outstanding value, endorsed by the numerous industry awards won year after year.

Visit trakka.com or call 1800 TRAKKA (1800 872 552)

48 | Rogues' Gallery: Skydancer 7.5

The World’s first convertible motorhome? by Gizmag

Rogues' Gallery: Skydancer 7.5 | 49

Built on a Mercedes Benz Actross truck chassis, the Skydancer 7.5 concept vehicle has a sliding glass roof and a face only its mother could love.


rom the ubiquitous soft top to multipanel glass retractables, car convertibles have always been highly desirable. As accustomed to the wide range of convertibles as we've become, nothing quite prepared us for the convertible motorhome, a concept that appeared at the recent Dßsseldorf Caravan Salon. The one-of-a-kind "Penthouse-onWheels" lets wind flow through everyone’s hair with the retraction of its sliding roof.

While an 8.2 m (27 ft), 7.5 tonne RV doesn't seem like a vehicle screaming for a "cabriolet" conversion, the advantages of a convertible panoramic glass roof are clear almost immediately after you see the Skydancer 7.5 concept. As motorhomes are designed for extended travel through scenic landscapes, sitting in a high, glass-surround cabin provides a much better view than a traditional twoperson driver cab/camper cabin. And what long-distance ride isn't better in a convertible?

50 | Rogues' Gallery: Skydancer 7.5

Skydancer's 7.5 prototype puts four people in a raised platform cab reminiscent of the upper deck of a double-decker bus. The panoramic glasshouse creates the feel of a tourist bus designed specifically for enhancing sight lines. The glass enclosure also slides backward, opening up the cabin to the sky above, while the design includes a frame below the glass for structural integrity when in convertible mode. The Mercedes Atego-based 7.5 prototype builds on Skydancer's reverse alcove concept, a camper construction that uses structural reinforcements to push the driver/passenger cell forward over the top of the engine. The design opens up room for a bed below the driver's cab, standing in contrast to the common design of a bed-equipped roof alcove at the top of the cab. At last year’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Skydancer presented a skeletal reverse alcove prototype based on the Fiat Ducato. The Ducato driver is typically set back behind the short nose, but in Skydancer's design they are pushed up and forward, along with three passengers. Compare the Skydancer's reverse alcove design to the average motorhome and the advantages become clear. The design keeps all passengers together and, in the case of the 7.5 convertible, gives everyone crystal-clear views of the region they're visiting. The high seating position is also envisioned as a safety measure, keeping the occupants up above the average vehicle in the event of a collision and pulling passengers out of the motorhome body cabin, where everyday objects can turn into projectiles. The 7.5's driver cab can also double as a sort of outdoor deck for eating and relaxing.

Top to Bottom: The boxy Skydancer 7.5 is a proof-of-concept design. Two Fiat Ducato cab-chassis have been modified using the same concept of a raised, open-air driving platform. Note the orange bedspread on the under-platform bed of the bottom version – cosy sleeping for sure!

Rogues' Gallery: Skydancer 7.5 | 51

Club seating is a possibility, but bed access looks tricky. Left: The Skydancer concept (far left) compared to a conventional A-class. The former delivers a raised driving/viewing position and better space efficiency, but iMotorhome wonders if the concept will catch on commercially. The 7.5 RV prototype sleeps its four passengers on two beds. The first two-person bed is set into the space below the raised driver cab and the second is at the rear. Outside of additional seating inside the camper cabin, Skydancer doesn't mention any other amenities. There's plenty of room for a kitchen, bathroom and storage, but the vehicle's status as an experimental prototype appears to have negated such inclusions. Skydancer seems zeroed in on pursuing its patented reverse alcove design as opposed to producing a 7.5 motorhome. The design does provide some very interesting food for thought, though, as to the eventual possibility of an open-top motorhome.

52 | Travel: Collector

Collector Your Thoughts!

An historic town with a bush-ranging past and quiet free camping‌

Travel: Collector | 53

The Bushranger Hotel (circa 1860) is still a popular place with weekend travellers. There bar’s a bit dark but the verandah is better and features a full wall mural entitled “The Holdup”.


he fate of towns often lies in the fickle meanderings and realignments of our road system. The tiny town of Collector, some 35 km south-west of Goulburn and 56 km northeast of Canberra, is a case in point. First settled around 1830, Collector had a post office in 1848 and experienced steady growth by virtue of its position a day’s travel from Goulburn, on the road to Yass. Named from the Aboriginal word “Colegar,” whose meaning has been lost to history, Collector at its height had five inns and a host of stores and stables to meet the needs of travellers and locals alike. Its future seemed assured when the newly constructed Barton Highway passed though it on the way to the equally new city of Canberra. But when

the Barton became the Federal Highway and bypassed Collector in 1988 the writing was well and truly on the wall. Today the town is basically a satellite residential community for Goulburn and Canberra, but it’s worth a stop to view it’s greatest claim to fame – and it has a pleasant and largely unknown free camping site.



oday only the Bushranger Hotel stands as a testament to busier and more prosperous times. The hotel was built from ironstone in 1860 and originally named Kimberley’s. Its moment in history arrived on January 26, 1865 (Australia Day before they knew it!) when the bushranger Ben Hall and his gang held up the

54 | Travel: Collector

The churchyard where Constable Nelson is buried; the monument by the pub that marks the sport where he was shot and the sign to look for to find the free camping area. publican. Creating a ruckus by firing on a passing horseman, they quickly attracted the attention of the town’s constable, 38-year-old Samuel Nelson. Nelson, the father of eight, hurried up the street to investigate and was confronted by John Dunn, a gang member left outside as guard. In the ensuing melee Constable Nelson was shot dead and the rest of the gang made good their escape. Dunn was captured on Christmas Day 1865 and hanged for his crime in Darlinghurst Gaol on March 19, 1866. Kimberley’s eventually became the Bushranger Hotel, no doubt as a moneymaking tribute to its moment in the spotlight, while a monument to Constable Nelson was erected outside the pub.

Nelson's grave is in the local Church of England cemetery and a memorial was placed there on Australia Day 1965 by the Wild Colonial Days Society to celebrate the centenary of his death.

Free Camping…


he Bushranger Hotel was up for auction on October 11 and at this stage its future is unknown. If it closes it will be the end of an era because it's the town’s last retail business. Not even the general store-cum-weekend cafe has managed to survive, so make sure you bring supplies with you. Collector has two entry and exit points with the northern one the most prominently signposted.

Travel: Collector | 55

There’s shady camping just a short walk from the newly renovated amenities block. Seems football isn’t a local strongpoint… That road, Church St, takes you past the Bushranger Hotel and further on brings you to the intersection with Bourke St, where you’ll see the war memorial and old store on the right. Turn left there and follow the road through to the sports ground, where as you turn in you’ll find a shady parking area to the right, near a newly installed children’s playground. There are clean, well equipped and recently renovated public toilets about 100 m away that you can park near if you wish, but the walk will do you good and keep you clear of the general parking area. It’s a basic site so don’t expect anything other than the public loos and a quiet night (although the Federal Highway is just beyond the trees at the end of the sports field). Collector’s glory days might be well and truly past but the residents must have a healthy local community life, given the work done to the sports ground facilities and the degree of care many homes exhibit. As a pleasant overnight stop between Sydney and Canberra it’s good and could even serve as a base for exploring Canberra. It’s also quiet and a good place to take a break and, dare I say, Collector your thoughts.

Fast Facts

Click for Google Maps

Where: Collector Sports Ground, Bourke St, Collector, NSW. 2581 Parking: Flat, dirt/grass. Some shade. Can handle big rigs. Facilities: Public toilets only. Pet Friendly: No restrictions displayed. Supplies: Bushranger Hotel only. Time Limit: None displayed.

56 | Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Wooden You Know?

On the outskirts of our National Capital a world renowned wood working gallery‌ by Richard Robertson

Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery | 57 Close-up of the centre of the remarkable Hannah Cabinet – a 6 year labour of love and yours for just $1.5 million! Bottom: The Gallery features works by more than 200 Australian artists, across most mediums, and many are surprisingly affordable. It’s also a great place to simply wander.


t seems all capital cities have their favourite day trip and weekend escape destinations and Canberra is no different. On weekends Canberrians flock down the perilous Kings Highway to Batemans Bay, a route that takes them through the small township of Bungendore, some 40 km to the north east. Bungendore is also a popular day trip destination and has become very much a tourist town in its own right. Home to about 2500 people, the population swells on weekends and it’s becoming increasingly popular as a place to live for those working in our National Capital who appreciate the pleasures of small town life. Film buffs will delight in knowing its heritage railway station was used in the filming of The Year My Voice Broke and Mick Jagger’s Ned Kelly.

58 | Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Dominating the busiest intersection on the main street is the Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, an unexpected find featuring exquisite hand crafted pieces ranging in price from just a few dollars to, wait for it, $1.5 million! Pride of place is given to the truly unique Hannah Cabinet, by master craftsman Geoff Hannah. Painstakingly constructed over 6 years using 34 Australian and international timbers, 4 species of shell, 23 carat gold and 17 varieties of precious stones, plus extensive marquetry inlays on 18 doors and on, and in, 140 drawers it seems more suitable for the Palace of Versailles than exhibition in Bungendore. In many ways the Gallery has put Bungendore on the map and it’s become internationally renowned, as well as being recipient of 2 National and 15 State and Territory Tourism Awards since opening in 1983. According to it’s website, “The Gallery continues to be a leading presenter of woodwork and fine arts and has

Woodwork aside, Bungendore has something for everyone; including leather goods and boutique accommodation. There are plenty of cafes and gift shops on the main street too.

Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery | 59

CafĂŠ Too The Gallery is also home to Cafe Wood Works in the original 1883 house that's part of the gallery complex, as well as an outdoor, streetside area. Open daily from 9 ‘till 5 it's a great place for coffee and cake or a lingering lunch. Cafe Wood Works also opens for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

60 | Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

over the past eight years been consistently recognised by artist as a most desirable place to exhibit their work. The Gallery now presents work by over 200 of Australia's leading designers, makers and artists in most mediums, including wood, painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, jewellery, printmaking, photography and textiles.� Be sure to take the time to stop and spend time wandering the Bungendore Wood Work Gallery. Exquisite artworks aside there are plenty of beautifully made pieces available starting around around $10-15 that make excellent gifts or beautiful home (and motorhome) decorations. In a world of mass production it’s a beautiful thing to own something lovingly crafted from a natural resource, which can also become a daily heirloom. Who wood have thought?

From hand carved bowls to jewellery cases and even wooden iPhone holders, there are plenty of gift ideas, with prices starting below $20. Regardless of price every piece is hand made and beautifully crafted.

Fast Facts

Click for Google Maps

What: Bungandore Wood Work Gallery Where: 22 Malbon Street, Bungendore, NSW. 2621 Opening Times: Open daily 9 am to 5 pm T: (02) 6238 1682 W: www.bungendorewoodworks.com.au E: gallery@woodworks.com.au

Travel: Bungendore Wood Works Gallery | 61 The Cage by Jogn Van Der Kolk: White beech, jarrah, stainless steel and aluminium – $3000.

62 | Mobile Tech: iOS8 Tips & Tricks

She’s Apples!

Tips and Tricks for Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system… from mashable.com

Mobile Tech: iOS8 Tips & Tricks | 63 a conversation, it makes messages you don't want others to see a little more inconspicuous. While this feature might be even better if it hid messages from the home screen all together, at least there's a way to keep the volume down if you're expecting an onset of texts from a certain someone throughout the day.

3: More Text Control


ome of the best new features in iOS 8 are the ones you probably haven't used yet. That's because Apple has hidden a collection of new tricks and tools deep in its new mobile operating system, and many aren't easy to find. From ways to keep photos private to credit card scanners and a timed camera feature for selfies, here's a look at some of the best kept secrets in iOS 8:

1: Hide Photos

There's a lot more you can do with the texts you send and receive with iOS 8, including deleting them one by one. By highlighting a text message, an option for More will pop up — from there, you'll be able to forward it along to someone else or tap to erase individual messages.

4: Credit Card Scanner

There's a neat feature that hides your photos without deleting them. Tap and hold a photo in the Photos app and an option to "hide" will surface. You'll be able to remove it from Collections, Moments and Years and keep it in the Hidden album. No one needs to know how many pictures of your cat you take on a daily basis.

2: Mute Texts iOS 8 gives you the option to mute alerts for text-message notifications from specific people. By choosing "Do Not Disturb" under "Details" in

When you're making a purchase via the Safari browser, you'll be shown an option to Scan Credit Card, rather than having to manually type in details. The feature automatically appears above the keyboard. After selecting it, hold your

64 | Mobile Tech: iOS8 Tips & Tricks credit card up to the field of frame (highlighted by the camera) and it will securely capture the information for you.

5: Dark Mode For those who want to give the device a vintage flare, visit General > Accessibility and turn on the Grayscale mode. Everything from the home screen to apps and email will be displayed in black and white.

6: Interactive Notifications

lets anyone access your emergency contact information in case of, well, an emergency. This means anyone that needs immediate access to your health information (or who they should call) can do so even if they don't know your phone's passcode.

8: Timed Selfies

You no longer have to stop what you're doing to respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages. A notification banner appears at the top of the screen and you can pull it down to respond. In fact, it's easily one of the best new touches of iOS 8.

7: Medical ID

Apple added a timer to its Camera app, allowing you either 3 or 10 seconds to get the shot exactly how you want it. You can also prop up the device before setting the timer, so you don't even need your hands to take a picture. Open the Camera app to take a picture, select the clock icon and set the timer. You can also use the timer with Burst Mode, which snaps a bunch at shots and you'll have plenty to pick from.

9: Update Keyboard Cycle The new Health app has a Medical ID that can be accessed via the lock screen that

If you have downloaded a keyboard app from a third-party provider, you can program it directly to your master keyboard settings instead of opting to use it every time by tapping the Globe

Mobile Tech: iOS8 Tips & Tricks | 65 icon. Instead, change your default keyboard and the order in which you cycle through your keyboards via Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Edit.

10: Bring Back Deleted Photos

of what apps are killing your battery life most. To identify which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day.

14: Multitasking With Email Drafts If you've accidentally deleted a photo, it's possible to bring it back: there's a new Recently Deleted album in the Photo app that stores deleted pictures for up to 30 days before they disappear for good.

11: Email Response Notifications If you're expecting an important response to an email, you can set it up to alert you when it rolls in. Visit your inbox, swipe an email to the left, select More > Notify Me to get alerts when anyone responds to the email thread.

12: Manage Apple ID You no longer have to go through iTunes or the Apple App Store to manage your Apple ID account, such as adding people to family sharing plan, add credit cards or update passwords. Now, head over to Settings > iCloud and log into your account by touching your email address highlighted at the top of the screen.

13: Battery Usage While the battery monitoring feature has been widely reported at this point, it's with good reason: the tool gives a percentage breakdown

If you're in the middle of an email, but want to go back to reading your inbox, you can hold the top of the message and drag down (but don't put your finger too high on the screen or the notifications tab will appear). You can do this with multiple drafts, too. Double tap the minimised draft at the bottom to see all of them at once — this makes them appear in a carousel view, similar to how it looks with Safari tabs in iOS 8 — and proceed to open or delete them with taps and swipes.

66 | Next Issue

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at how you could do the same trip (or one totally different), at a special iMotorhome reader rate!


ext issue has a distinctly American theme: Californian to be precise. We bring you the lowdown on our September adventures in El Monte RV’s big A-class rental, plus a review of the big vehicle itself and a look

October 24-26





26-28 November 02-05

We’ll take you inland from Los Angeles, up through the food bowl of America to the famous Napa Valley wine region. Then it’s across to San Francisco before a drive down the famous coastal Highway 1, from Monterey to Santa Barbara. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully might inspire you to start planning your own US motorhome adventures. Next issue is on November 1, so until then why not join our more than 15,000 Facebook Friends and Twitter followers for news and more than a few laughs? See you in two weeks! Facebook “f ” Logo



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SA Boat, Fishing and 4WD Adventure Show

Perth 4WD & Adventure Show

South Coast Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo

Adelaide Showground Adelaide. South Australia • Open 9:00-6:00 daily (5:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 ($13 online) • Seniors: $12 ($8 online) • Kids: Free U 16

McCallum Park (near the Causeway), Victoria Park, WA. 6100. • Open 9:00-6:00 daily (5:00 Sunday) • Paid parking nearby • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $12 • Kids: $7 5-15 years

Mackay Park, Batemans Bay, NSW. 2536 • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $6 • Kids: Free U-16 with adult

Visit Website

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

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iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 58 - 18 Oct 2014  

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iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 58 - 18 Oct 2014  

Get a FREE subscription from our website today!