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iMotorhome

magazine

Issue 67: Mar 07 2015

because getting there is half the fun...

Paradise

Found!

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Our mega touring test finds lots to like about Paradise’s new Integrity SL…

Win a Duvalay!

Win your very own Duvalay luxury sleeping bag…

Six of the Best

Part one of a fortunate reader’s report!

Kid’s Concept Camper…

Design ideas to make RVs more family friendly


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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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jess Ciampa, Emily Barker, Elizabeth & Helmut Mueller

Published by iMotorhome

Design and Production

PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2576. Australia.

Design & Production 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

Reality Virtue One of the blessings of our technological age is the ability to access information virtually anywhere, any time. On our travels across America last year and our recent adventures we’ve learned much about the things we’ve seen and the towns we’ve passed through by Googling them as we go. Even if you don't have a data package for your smart phone, tablet or laptop, the proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots means the ability to access information and satisfy your thirst for instant answers and immediate gratification isn't far away. What brought this to mind was a bicycle ride a few days ago. I’ve ridden one particular route at least 500 times – but probably closer to 700 – and in some subtle or obvious way each ride has been different. We have a small home gym with a traditional exercise bike; one that has largely gathered dust since I started iMotorhome. As efficient as it is at preserving cardiovascular fitness the experience is about as satisfying compared with a real bike as a $3 bottle of red compared to a Grange. Last winter, however, when the winds were strong and the temperature about as low as my enthusiasm to battle them I splashed out on a new high-tech exercise bike. Not only does it look like a proper road bike – complete with drop handlebars, (almost) proper gear shifters and cleats to lock in my bike shoes – its main attraction is its technology. The bike – called the Official Tour de France Exercise Bike no less – has a seven inch colour screen that lets me follow rides downloaded from the Internet or that I’ve created myself. It uses Google Maps and Google Street View to display them in real-time and let me ride pretty much anywhere in the world. It's real party piece, however, is it tilts up or down following the terrain as I go; as much as 20° in either direction.

It’s involving, clever, innovative and just damn cool, to be honest, but it's not real. There's no wind in the face, bumps from the road, temperature changes between sun and shade, rabbits darting across in front, squeaking brakes, cows mooing or exhilaration down my favourite hill. Admittedly there’s no chain to come off, no flat tires, no lunatic motorists and no swallowed insects. But on balance it still doesn't really cut the mustard. It's virtual reality without the virtues of reality. Travel can be like that. You can research any destination on the Internet and probably see more from the comfort of your favourite chair than by visiting. But when home becomes too comfortable; when you're too happy with the status quo; when the thought of launching out into the world creates more anxiety then anticipation; that’s when you need to go. Why travel? Why buy a motorhome? Why spend weeks on the road contending with all the vagaries, the weather and expense? Because we all need to know we’re alive and that our experiences count for something. There are friendships to form, memories to make and life to be lived. Really lived. So get on your ‘bike’, feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and remember what it's like to be truly alive. Reality is a virtue and it's precious. Catch it while you can.

Richard


6 | Content

3

About Us

7

Resources

5

On my Mind

9

On your Mind

22

Marketplace

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

Reality Virtue

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

12

News

24

Feature: Freedom Camping

26

Mega Touring Test: Paradise Integrity SL

50

Reader Report: Six of the Best!

56

Concept: Carakids Campers

62

Tips: Camping Health and Hygiene

66

Mobile Tech: Snap Send Solve. Simple!

70

Next Issue

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

A monthly round-up of what’s going on in the fight for your free camping rights

Stand & Deliver – and we did, from Adelaide via Broken Hill to the Gold Coast!

One fortunate reader shares his experiences in the first of a two part series…

Child friendly concepts to broaden RVings appeal!

Hints to make your time in the great outdoors safer more enjoyable

A free app to bring out the warrior citizen in all of us…

What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!


resources

iMotorhome

Resources | 7

because getting there is half the fun...

Magazine Resources Ask a Question

Back Issues

magazine

iMotorhome

because getting there is half the fun...

Esprit de Cor Blimey!

Road Tests

User Guide

Marketplace

Subscription

Dethleffs ‘baby’ A-class is something to ogle at… Review and images by Malcolm Street

Reader Survey

Reader Review


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On your mind | 9

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.

Happy Ex-Rental Owners

Hello Richard. It was interesting to read your review of the A'van Ovation, being a rental motorhome, and the prospect of purchasing such a vehicle. What made the read so interesting is that we have recently acquired a recently “retired” Britz motorhome. The vehicle we now have is a Jayco Maverick, similar in design to the Conquest, but I guess Jayco needed it to be different for a rental vehicle.

the second-hand motor vehicles legislation. We did elect to purchase a 3-year warranty package, which cost us just over $2000. Normally I am very cynical of these and ignore them, but decided in this instance it was not a major cost in relation to the purchase and hopefully will be worthwhile (if needed).

Having said that, the dealer did pay for a prepurchase mechanical check of the vehicle and Being able to compare your review with what we repair of all matters reported, including two new have acquired has made us feel happy that we tyres even though the existing were worn, but have made the right decision. As expected, we legal. They also replaced an intercooler hose that have encountered some wear and tear, but the showed some wear. They have also been good bulk of these things have been fixed with a little bit with a few minor queries post-purchase, such of lateral thinking. When combined with the leather as parts to fix a water flow issue with the water seating and timber-look finish, we feel equal to all pump. I was able to fix that by placing a one-way other motorhomes we have met on the road, with flow valve into the system. Other than that, wear a purchase that was within our budget. Similar and tear issues were minor, such as one drawer to your comments, a second house battery and that did not close easily as the rollers came off the inverter would have been good, but we can have track –a simple washer under a screw fixed that. them added later when the budget allows. Similarly, the shower door holding strap needed a larger washer to hold in place and a few loose The 3-year old motorhome has travelled just over screws needed a match and glue to make the 130,000 km and cost $75,000. I have noticed holes smaller so they gripped. others of the same model for sale by the same and other "Britz/Maui" sellers in various states for Other than these points, we really cannot between the same price and $80,000. This link find any issues with the Jayco. As would be will show you an identical Jayco the same agent is expected, there are a few wear and tear marks on now advertising. cupboards, but really they are minor and generally not noticed. The leather upholstery is in excellent We were not given any warranty but did condition and the timber-look flooring shows little understand that these vehicles are not covered by wear. Continued...


10 | On your mind While we have made our decision and know it was right for us, what may have been useful would have been being able to find more information on what to look for when buying pre-loved or “retired” motorhomes. Maybe this is an area iMotorhome can investigate for future articles, or if they have already been published, an index to them on your website. Anyway, keep up the good work in the magazine. We only discovered it about 2 months ago, but have already downloaded past editions onto the laptop for future reading.

...continued

issues after what's not likely to have been an easy first three years for it. Fingers crossed you never need to find out if the warranty was a good investment, but please keep us informed if you ever have to call on it. Third party aftermarket warranties generally have a poor name and it would be interesting to hear of any experiences you have. Safe travels and please take this issue’s $50 Best Letter reward with you to help you on your way!

Regards, Eric. That’s very interesting Eric, I'm sure our readers will value your information and insights – especially if they're in the market for a similar vehicle. It's good to hear the dealer – Camperagent RV Centre in Adelaide – did the right thing by you. It's also good to hear the Jayco has held up well, and with apparently few structural or mechanical

Self-Uncontained…

Hi Richard. I know how you love these beasts and would like this one in particular because it has the special rare windscreen that pops out! The two middle-aged fellows travelling in it said they were in this self-contained camping area because the fridge was in the back with one swag and a water container. I think the bushes behind us were the toilet. The “ute” was parked next to me like they were in a parking lot and then they laid the second swag out under my bedroom window, about a metre from me. I told the chap that he would be unhappy doing that because the water pump would wake him up when I showered early in the morning, but he wasn’t worried. A bit of a stare and he got the message and moved it to the other side. However, at 3:23 am I heard a

terrible choking noise repeated over and over and thought my dog was having a fit of some sort, so jumped out of bed to check on him. It wasn’t Tim! It was one of those two having an apnea attack. I slammed the window open and closed a few times and that must have made him turn over! Cheers, Laurie. Thanks Laurie, I love the photos but I love the story more! They obviously meant no harm but it really does show how people push the limits of ‘self-contained’ camping, which can so easily give those opposed to this freedom ammunition for their cause. Happy travels and please share with us any other unusual ‘RVs’ you find on your travels.


Personalise your journey... Last year we celebrated our 40th anniversary manufacturing Australia’s most beautiful recreational vehicles. This year we are looking forward. In 2015 we are excited to release 3 new models on new chassis’, including the grandest motorhome to leave our production facility. We are investing in our customer support with new team members and resources to ensure our Sunliner customers, new and old, feel the same care and attention that we invest in our motorhomes. We have several new projects including our new website release and the introductinon of a new Sunliner Online Community. We look forward to meeting and sharing with you our beautiful motorhomes and campervans throughout the year at the Camping and Caravan Shows, at our dealerships and online.

2015 www.sunliner.com.au


12 | News

Free WiFi at Devils Marbles

I

nternet access is now available at one of the Northern Territory’s most remote tourist locations, with free WiFi switched on at Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles), 105 km south of Tennant Creek. Chief Minister Adam Giles said it was the third and final location in the rollout of a free WiFi trial across Territory parks and reserves. Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park was hooked up last October and Watarrka (Kings Canyon) went mobile last month. “This free WiFi will allow tourists and Territorians to instantly upload their happy snaps from one of our spectacular landmarks to a word-wide audience. There is nothing more effective than word-ofmouth marketing with visitors using social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to

showcase some of the NT’s best natural assets.” Mr Giles said. Minister for Parks and Wildlife Bess Price said the free WiFi was great news for Karlu Karlu, which receives 177,000 visitors a year. “The service will operate during daylight hours and extend from the day-use car park area where there is a clear line of sight. We’ve worked closely with the Central Land Council and traditional owners to establish the service, which will incorporate a Welcome to Country and important Park information.” Other sites may be considered for Wifi in the future depending on outcomes of the trial. The NT Government has set up new interpretative signage at Karlu Karlu from a $1.3 million pool of NT and Commonwealth funding for tourism infrastructure and development projects.

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14 | News

Butane ‘Lunchbox’ Cookers Banned in NSW suspended by the independent safety certifiers and cookers of this type can no longer be sold lawfully in NSW.

N

SW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning consumers not to buy portable butane ‘lunchbox’ type cookers due to safety issues, including overheating. Compliance certification for all current models of ‘lunchbox’ type gas cookers has been

Testing, undertaken at the request of NSW Fair Trading and other State gas regulators, has found a fault with the cookers’ shut-off valves, posing a risk that the devices may overheat and could explode. Consumers who have purchased a non-compliant gas cooker and have proof of the purchase should seek a refund as soon as possible. For consumer safety information and advice visit the NSW Fair Trading website or phone the Call Centre on 13 32 20.

WIN A DUVALAY!

Win your very own 4 cm x 66 cm Duvalay luxury memory foam sleeping bag and matching Duvalay tote bag, valued at $288.95! The Duvalay memory foam sleeping system is simply changing the way people are sleeping away from home. For 2015 the range of colours and sizes has increased, allowing Duvalay to meet most style and size of bed requirements.

• Top quality memory foam comfort • Seconds to make the bed • Bedding that stays put • Easy to store • Easy to wash • Many many uses! Simply go to the Duvalay Australia website – www.duvalay.com.au – and find the answer to the following question by watching the video on the Duvalay memory foam sleeping bag page. Q: What thickness of memory foam is Liz demonstrating in the Duvalay video?

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News | 15

Mackay Considers Park Proposal

M

ackay Regional Council in North Queensland is considering a new application to develop 57 ha (141 acres) of bushland at the mouth of the Pioneer River. The project, which would include a 238-site caravan park, has been in limbo for a decade after environmental concerns. Developer BMD said it had now dealt with the problems. General manager Wayne Rex told media: "The major caravan park will be for grey nomads that have nowhere to stay at the moment.”

New WA Rest Stop

C

onstruction is expected to begin this month on a new $455,000 rest area near the old Western Australian gold rush town of Mount Magnet. The facility on the Great Northern Highway about 60km south of the town should be ready before June. Transport Minister Dean Nalder said it would be situated at Kirkalocka Station. "This rest area will provide a place for road users to make overnight stops, with camping facilities and sealed parking bays for heavy vehicles," he said. Funding has been made available through The Western Australian Caravan and Camping Action Plan funded by the Royalties for Regions program.

From the ocean to the outback and destinations in between. Fancy some scenic touring through the Flinders Ranges, or paddling a kayak on Cooper Creek? Perhaps a bit of camping solitude in the Gawler Ranges is more to your liking. Maybe a spot of fishing at Beachport or just lazing back at Melrose for a couple of days. Whatever your fancy, this ebook for iPad contains a selection of 12 of South Australia’s most accessible and beautiful destinations that offer travellers great touring and fantastic camping opportunities. Whether you’re travelling by motorhome, towing a caravan or just packing a tent, there are destinations for everyone!

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The Wirraway 260 SL

With it’s Full Length Slideout Room & Apartment Styled Layout !

From WIRRAWAY, “Australia’s Most Innovative Motorhomes” Wirraway is a dedicated family owned business striving for Motorhome excellence. Our Motorhomes are our passion! Every Wirraway Motorhome is handbuilt and designed by experienced motorhomers who know the importance of making life easier on the road. New to our Range is the brilliant ‘live like a movie star’ Wirraway 260 SL, the latest in our 260 series; our EuroStyle 260 with it’s European styled interior and “The Motorhome of the Year”, the Wirraway 260. Wirraway Motorhomes feature opulence, style and all the legendary design, electrical and construction innovations that are unique to all Wirraways.

Each Wirraway Model is unique! - All are a Must See!

View Our New Website to view All Models, Download Brochures &Virtual RealityTours For details contact: Rob Tonkin - Wirraway Motorhomes, 6 Hynes Court, Mildura Vic 3500

Phone / Fax: (03) 50 230 230 - New Email: info@wirraway.com.au & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer

WA Camping Area Rules Changed Simpson said the new regulations required nature-based parks to meet consistent minimum standards wherever they were. This would provide assurance for holidaymakers and encourage greater investment in the industry.

R

ules banning small nature-based camping areas within 50 km of West Australian caravan parks have been scrapped. Changes to the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997 will now allow more of them throughout the state. WA has 25 licensed nature-based parks, small-scale tourist camping areas in natural landscapes. Local Government Minister Tony

"The new regulations define a nature-based park, where there was ambiguity before. They improve the minimum health and safety requirements and impose a responsibility on the owners to advertise limited facilities. Visitors will have greater clarity about what to expect.” Mr Simpson said. The changes were the result of a three-month consultation by the Department of Local Government and Communities with local governments and other stakeholders. The Western Australian State Government has launched a Parks for People Caravan and Camping initiative; a $21 million investment over four years.


News | 17

Pioneer Village Easter Festival of Pioneering life. These include arts, crafts, music, vintage machinery and age-old crafts such as silversmithing, tinsmithing and blacksmithing. They say kids will love the old steam and stationary engines at work, while the heavy horses are always a favourite.

A

ccording to organisers at Highfields Pioneer Village near Toowoomba, volunteers are gearing up for the huge annual 3-day Easter Vintage Festival, held over the Easter long weekend April 4 to 6. “The theme is ‘Reminiscing the past,’ so come and experience rural life in the Australian Pioneer days! Milk a cow, learn to crack a whip or how to be a blacksmith. Enjoy billy tea and damper made on authentic camp ovens and don't miss the spectacular Grand Parade, plus all the baby animals in the nursery.”

“There truly is something for everyone at the Easter Vintage Festival, so gather up your family and friends and help keep the ‘Australian Pioneering Spirit Alive’ – just 15 mins north of Toowoomba at Highfields Pioneer Village, Wirraglen Rd, Highfields, Queensland.” The Village is open from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm daily. Entry Fees are $20 for adults, $15 for concessions, $5 for children, or $45 for a family (2A + 4Ch <15yrs). EFTPOS and credit cards are welcome but you can save time and money by buying specially discounted tickets online at www.trybooking.com.

Organisers also promise there will be live music and great food, and that you might even encounter the infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly. The festival is billed as an affordable, entertaining weekend for all ages featuring displays and demonstrations from all aspects

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18 | News

Featured Marketplace Links

T

he iMotorhome website’s Marketplace Directory is growing. It’s designed to link you with businesses that can help you, no matter what you’re looking for. Here are our featured links for this month, please visit to discover their specialised services and find out if they have something you might just be looking for! Ozcape Campers, West Burleigh, Qld: Luxurious slide-ons, suitable for most one-ton table top utes. European-style design provides maximum living space and storage.

no matter where you are. Create “your other address” at their address. Trail Mail Australia: The customer focused team forwards mail for all travellers, taking care of it so you can concentrate on having the greatest holiday/lifestyle possible. The Goodwins and Son, Loganholme, Qld: Converting a bus or need repairs or modifications like roof lifts, door relocations, slide-outs, etc? See The Goodwins and Son!

Pass The Post: Travelling? What about your post? We ensure you receive it wherever you are, when you require. Choose them to become your personal postman!

Fifth Wheelers Australia, Warrenheip (near Ballarat), Vic. Specialist importers of quality new and used fifth-wheelers, each fully converted and registered to Australian standards.

Northcoach Equipment, Nerang, Qld: Converting a vehicle to a motorhome or upgrading your existing motorhome? Find everything at their friendly one-stop shop.

Tilta Trailers, Brisbane, Qld. Tilta Trailers supplies lightweight single-axle car trailers weighing only 300 kg. No extra ramps required, and easy to reverse and manoeuvre!

Aussie Mailman: Providing the ideal service to help keep you up to date with all your mail


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20 | News

Recently on facebook.... #quokkaselfie Move over, wombats â&#x20AC;&#x201D; there is a new Aussie animal that is taking over the social media feeds of everyone with a pulse. The quokka (pronounced kwoka) tasted fame in 2013, when it was dubbed the "happiest animal in the world" by the Huffington Post. The furry marsupial, once described as "a kind of rat as big as a common cat," has been pottering away on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, getting in as many selfies as animaly possible. Under the hashtag #quokkaselfie, the mini wallaby has become a thing. With its cartoon-like face and friendly demeanor, tourists have fallen in love with the Aussie legend. by Jenni Ryall for Mashable


News | 21

Kombi Sets Price Record restoration over 5 years and had won several awards at Day Of The Volkswagens competition in November, including President’s Choice and Best In Class. Shannons’ manager Christophe Boribon said the restoration process involved the entire car.

A

fully restored 1960 Volkswagen Kombi Samba bus sold for a staggering $202,000 last week at Shannons Auctions in Melbourne. Believed to be one of just three examples delivered to Australia in this configuration, the 23-window Kombi sparked a wild bidding frenzy, nabbing a record price for the vehicle in Australia. The auctioned Kombi Samba had undergone some $100,000 of

“They redid the body, paint, interior and mechanicals. It was a complete rebuild. The bidding started at $100,000 from a crowd of 600 on the floor, and several hundred internet and phone bidders. Prices quickly rose to $150,000 and a phone bidder eventually made the top bid.” Mr Boribon said. The sale comes after a string of lucrative Kombi sales in Australia recently. Last year a battered Kombi went under the hammer for $30,000, while a restored version was auctioned off for $74,000 just before Christmas.

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22 | iMotorhome Marketplace

Parkland RV Centre

Roberts RV World

RV Specialists

Parkland RV is the official dealer for Avida Motorhomes, Crossroads RV and Opal Caravans in WA. We stock quality used RVs and our modern service department can look after everything.

An official Avida motorhome dealer, with more than 50 new motorhomes in the largest undercover RV showroom in the Southern Hemisphere. Our service department is here for all your needs too.

Australia’s leading fifth wheelers, designed here in Australia and built to suit our demanding conditions. Fifth wheelers from 24’ to 36’ available. Call 02 4953 7141 for information!

T: (08) 9493 7933 W: parklandrv.com.au

T: 1800 253 136 W: robertsrv.com.au

T: (02) 4953 7141 W: summerliferv.com.au

Airbag Man

Battery Traders Super Store

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

We design and manufacture air suspension kits for all types of vehicles including motorhomes. Easy to install they let you ‘level up’ for stability and safety.

Batteries, solar panels, inverters, alternators and all electrical parts including cables and switches for your motorhome! We can find and fix all electrical faults and are 12 V power specialists.

Visit our world famous 300 ha open range sanctuary, home to some of the most exotic and endangered animals on earth. Explore by foot, bike, electric cart or in your motorhome!

T: 1800 AIRBAG W: airbagman.com.au

T: (07) 3209 3144 W: batterytraders.com.au

T: (02) 6881 1400 W: taronga.org.au

iTech World

Wellington Shire

Australia’s leading solar power and satellite TV manufacturers! We stock the revolutionary In Flex and Mini Flex panels, Plus our Complete Traveler Satellite TV package is perfect for motorhomes.

In the heart of Victoria’s Gippsland region. Come and enjoy our natural beauty, famous lakes, High Country and expansive beaches. Find ‘Experience 40 Great Things to Do’ on our website too!

T: 1300 483 249 W: itechworld.com.au

T: (03) 5144 1108 W: tourismwellington.com.au

Bony Mountain Folk Festival This great Aussie festival in the bush is on again, featuring the legendary Murphy’s Pigs! Many other great artists, a Bush Poets breakfast, billy tea, damper, great tucker – don’t miss it!

bonymountainfolkfestival.com


iMotorhome Marketplace | 23

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24 | Feature

Freedom of Choice! A

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. 1 Feb – A positive story about backpackers While this story is NZ based there are parallels with the Australian scene and two sides to every coin. Nice to see a dispassionate report on the whole issue. 2 Feb – Somerset Regional Council gets friendly “Great news with Lowood now the second nationally recognised RV Friendly town in Somerset. Kilcoy is also an RV Friendly town. Let's spread the word and bring more tourists to town.” 5 Feb – Growth making Councils more aware of our needs There has been an increase in caravans and motorhomes on NSW’s roads recently, which validates Maitland City Council’s decision to

install a waste dump facility for the recreational vehicles and their owners in the city. 6 Feb – Byron Bay (Yet Again) Ten people were fined in Byron Local Court on Thursday (5 February) as Byron Shire Council continued its action against illegal overnight camping. The defendants – nine of whom pleaded guilty – were fined a combined total of $5,350, including court costs. 9 Feb – Camping at Moss Vale Showground a step closer Wingecarribee Council is likely to approve a planning proposal that will permit short stay camping at the Moss Vale Showground. The NSW State Government has given approval to amend the Shire's local environmental plan to enable camping at the showground, which is on the Illawarra Highway. The proposal was placed on public exhibition in December and there was very little objection from nearby residents. 10 Feb – Innovation from the CMCA In the February edition of the Club's magazine the Board announced they were starting a


Feature | 25 program of Club owned minimum facility camp sites. This article in the Herbert River Express seems to be a positive step forward in the process. (information in the newspaper article appear largely incorrect and advise contacting the club for accurate information) 11 Feb – I think this is called karma For many years the caravan park industry has turned its back on the RV tourism industry in search of more lucrative markets. "Bernie McGovern converted a caravan park in Chinchilla into a motel about three years ago to capitalise on the lack of accommodation during the mining boom. However, he said with the boom now cooling off, accommodation houses in the town had seen a drop in tenants, while mining camps remained full. He said he could not understand why mining companies still used the camps when so many accommodation houses had vacancies."

20 Feb – Caravan Park proprietor creates social media storm “Why should East Gippsland Shire allow campers to stay in designated zones in Lakes Entrance for free, when it’s not proved they spend money in the town? Lakes Entrance’s Deb McTighe cannot see a future for designated free parking areas for campervans and recreational vehicles in town. While the owner of Riviera Country Caravan Park understands the Shire’s vision to possibly trial free parking at the Gippsland Lakes Fishing Club car park and atop Jemmys Point at Rotary Park, she believes the campers who do not holiday with local accommodation providers don’t put enough money back into the economy.” 23 Feb – Council finds solution to backpacker problem Or have they just relocated their problem elsewhere without providing a solution?

17 Feb – The Facts of Life This story is sad but true and many people are being hurt, but it is a classic example of what happens when you put all your eggs in the one basket. It is an ill wind but it might in an odd-ball way be good for tourism as towns start to realise that home grown RV tourism might just be part of the answer to their problems.

25 Feb – Wimmera Mallee Tourism concerned about camping trends Wimmera Mallee Tourism believes changing trends in camping could be detrimental to the region’s caravan parks. Chairman Richard Wait said more tourists now had self-contained caravans, complete with bathroom and kitchen equipment, meaning they could set up anywhere and no longer needed to rely on caravan parks for services. He said this changing nature of caravanning was something Wimmera Councils would have to grapple with in the future. (This article brought a swift response on social media).

20 Feb – P  ort Macquarie report of freedom camping available The full report can be read on page 352 of this council document (warning - download is large document 235 MB).

27 Feb – Wikicamps App helping backpackers take over Sydney parks The article is one of many similar articles critical of the “backpacker problem”

16 Feb – D  o you agree with Keith Suter’s theory? RV Industry needs to sell the sizzle not the sausage.


26 | Mega Touring Test: Paradise Integrity SL

Stand Deliver! From the Adelaide Show stand to delivery back at the Gold Coast factory, we stretch the limits of our tour testingâ&#x20AC;Ś by Richard Robertson


Mega Touring Test | 27

The new Iveco Daily cab looks good and a bit more Italian/less mainstream commercial than its predecessor. Boxy body maximises living space, while electric awning upgrade is a must, as is the external barbecue for lovers of outdoor cooking.

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hat simply seemed a good idea at the time ended up our longest touring test to date: some 2250 km over 6 days/5 nights, from Adelaide to the Gold Coast via Broken Hill. Not only was it an epic road test, it provided a real world living experience in what many consider to be the best production motorhome available in Australia: a Paradise. Paradise believes its motorhomes are lighter, stronger and safer, and sights the following reasons (amongst others) as evidence: • Rollover protection – courtesy of a purposebuilt high tensile alloy rollover frame

• Walls – interlocking composite semimonocoque construction • Roof – one-piece composite domed roof for strength and light weight • Cabinets – bonded and screwed to the walls using full-length pieces of alloy angle • Drawers – have a 90 kg load rating with metal runners and locks tested to 20 Gs • Door hinges – full length stainless steel piano hinges • Acrylic mirrors – light and safe in an accident


28 | Mega Touring Test At 7.8 m (26 ft) the Integrity SL is a good size compromise between long-term liveability and touring manoeuvrability. Twin 150 W solar panels are standard but the lack of a diesel space heater at this price point is puzzling. It’s my experience that companies make all sorts of claims regarding their products. But having spent the best part of a week living in the Integrity SL the overwhelming impression it left us with was one of strength. Every part of it – particularly the interior – felt solid, almost to the point of over engineering. Mrs iMotorhome regularly drew my attention to how solid and secure the cupboard and wardrobe doors were; ditto the shelves. The bathroom door, she remarked one day, “Feels more substantial than the one in our bathroom,” while the flip-up dining table, “Is the easiest to use and most secure I can remember.” But more on all that later…

Integrity Matters

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he subject of this review is the Integrity SL on the all-new and eagerly awaited Iveco cabchassis. Well, almost. You see, although it sported the new cab and interior, the test vehicle actually used the outgoing model’s engine and gearbox. What this vehicle is, in fact, is what they call a ‘conforming prototype’ in the


Mega Touring Test | 29

Interlocking composite panels produce a body that is strong and rigid. automotive world. Motorhome manufacturers use them to build new body moulds and work out the associated engineering whilst awaiting the arrival of the all-new production vehicles, which in this case are slated for May delivery (fingers crossed). The Integrity series is probably best described as Paradise Motor Homesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; entry level into

the big time. It sits above the Free Time and Oasis Platinum series and is visually very similar inside and out to the more expensive Inspiration, Liberation and Independence series. There are eight models in the Integrity range, starting with the 7.62 m (25 ft) Integrity Lite and culminating in the 7.92 (26 ft) Integrity Supreme, and

Setting up camp at Tooraweenah Caravan Park, between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran, NSW. The long wheelbase, which softens the ride and avoids pitching, is evident in this photo. all can be driven on a normal car licence. Of the eight the two entry-level models have no slide-out, while the next two up â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the Integrity SL â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have a small bedroom slide-out. The top four models all feature a full-length slideout that includes the bed and various combinations of the lounge and/or kitchen, depending on the floor plan.


30 | Mega Touring Test Robust utility connections are conveniently grouped together and make campsite set-up quick and easy.

Integrities are available on the new Iveco Daily 50C or Mercedes Sprinter 519 CDI, with driveaway pricing in Queensland ranging from $184,589 to $250,157. All models are 2-berth B-class motorhomes, although an over-cab bed that converts them to a 4-berth C-class is available across the range for $9500. Also, a 4X4 upgrade pack is available on the Sprinterbased models for $26,500. An Integrity SL on the all-new Iveco Daily 50C has a base price of $193,296. The test vehicle also had the following options: front loading washing machine $1495; electric awning upgrade $1295; slide-out stainless steel barbecue $1395; external drop-down table $495; kitchen bench extension $895; external TV/DVD/HD $695, and an 80-channel UHF CB radio for $695. In total the options added $7165, bringing the price to $200,461. Onroad costs added another $6932.75 (stamp duty at 3% accounted for $6015), taking it to the drive-away price of $207,393.75 in Queensland. These prices are pushing into what I term the luxury end of the market, but like all products of quality the price is more than just a simple reflection of the sum of its component parts.

Chassis Wars…

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hen the all-new Iveco Daily 50C finally arrives it’s likely to give Mercedes’ Sprinter a serious run for its money. It’s the result of a €500 million (A$729 M) investment by the Italian manufacturer and will lift the Daily to a new level. In the Integrity SL the Iveco chassis represents a base-price saving of $7792 over the Sprinter, yet it will out-spec it in some major and desirable ways. For starters it will have an 11 kW power advantage (up 22 kW on the current Iveco), taking output for the 3.0 L turbo-diesel engine to 151 kW and a whopping 470 Nm. More importantly, it will have an 8-speed fully automatic transmission, consigning the current 6-speed automated manual to history. The all-new drivetrain not only promises improved performance, drivability and economy, it has an ratio advantage over the Sprinter’s 7-speed full auto. The pièce de résistance is factory airbag rear suspension, which although optional on the new Iveco will be standard across the Paradise range. The new Iveco retains its current rear-wheel drive setup and 3.5 tonne towing capacity, ensuring it will remain a favourite with those who want or need to take a trailer or toad along on their travels.


Mega Touring Test | 31 Free camping by the old Hartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mill in Port Adelaide on the first night.


32 | Mega Touring Test The new Iveco’s cab is much more inviting and car like than the old model. Digital climate control is standard, whilst the instrument cluster is clear and easy to read. Note the new handbrake switch on the dash, between the gear selector and instruments.

New model upgrades aside, Paradise does things differently with its Iveco Daily 50C cabchassis, ordering the longer wheelbase from the next-model-up Daily 70C. This provides a smoother ride, while the chassis itself is derated from a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 5200 kg to 4495 kg, to allow use on a standard car licence. The added reserve of strength and durability is a bonus because it means the chassis isn’t continuously operating at its design maximum when fully loaded. Speaking of weights, the Integrity SL as tested had a tare weight of 3870 kg, providing a payload of 625 kg. With full fuel (100 L ) and full water (127 L) its wet weight was 4080 kg, allowing 415 kg for 2 occupants and their worldly possessions. While there are other motorhomes with larger load capacities, considering how solidly the Integrity SL is built these figures are quite respectable. For the record the test vehicle returned an average

15.51 L/100 km (18.21 mpg), although I was sitting at the 110 km/h limit most of the trip (115 indicated/110 actual by GPS). Normal touring driving would improve those figures substantially.

In the Driver’s Seat

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he driving experience of this particular vehicle is largely irrelevant, given the whole mechanical set-up is about to change. It’s worth noting that with the ‘old’ engine and six-speed automated manual transmission performance was good and very similar to a Fiat Ducato. Cab noise at cruising speeds on coarse bitumen – most of the trip – was quite high and conversations often required elevated voice levels. The open nature of the interior, with its hard, flat surfaces probably accentuated this, while the side entry door moved/squeaked a bit in its mount (remember, this was a prototype). Given we


Mega Touring Test | 33 Top: Cab access is good, although the Iveco sits taller than, say, a Fiat Ducato and requires more of a climb in. Below: The passenger seat swivels easily to become a main dining seat. Note the reading light above and the air conditioning’s remote control on the wall by the dinette.

were very light, with virtually no load aboard and little thought to packing things properly away, I’m sure the overall interior noise was higher than would have been normal. The new cab interior looks and feels good, but for the money (and comfort) a leather-wrapped steering wheel would be nice. There are cup holders on the dash and bottle holders in the doors, so you never need go thirsty, while all controls, as they say, fall easily to hand. Visibility was good – the new windscreen is a few inches taller and the seat bases slightly lower – while the turning circle proved quite good despite the longer wheelbase. Body roll was minimal and braking was strong, making it an all-round comfortable and confidence inspiring package. Only a driver’s airbag was fitted to the test vehicle (from what I could see) but a passenger air bag will be standard, while side airbags look like being offered by Iveco as an option. Antilock brakes (ABS), electronic traction control (ETC) and electronic stability control (ESC) will all also be standard on the new Iveco. There were two stand-out items; the first being the heated leather cab seats; highly comfortable suspension units with dial adjustment to suit your weight. At no time in our long driving days did either of us experience back ache or a numb you-knowwhat, while the high quality leather upholstery added a real feeling of luxury. Paradise uses its own ADR-approved swivel seat bases and both seats – yes, including the driver’s – could easily be turned around. The secret is the other stand-out item: A dash-mounted electric handbrake!


34 | Mega Touring Test

The Integrity SL is right at home on the open road. Heated leather suspension seats provide ultimate touring comfort for the driver and passenger alike. Owners of Iveco-based motorhomes have long bemoaned the conventional handbrake’s position – to the left of the driver’s seat – and in this new model, unbelievably, nothing changed. So Paradise took it upon themselves to develop a totally new solution: an electromagnetic handbrake that does away with the in-cab lever. The new arrangement incorporates the existing handbrake mechanicals but uses a dash-mounted switch to engage and release it. The subject of much pre-production testing the new handbrake worked flawlessly during our test and quickly became second nature to use. It’s so good in fact it seems Iveco is keen to buy the kit from Paradise! In use it takes a few seconds

to completely engage or release, which isn’t a problem, but my only concern is what happens if you accidentally activate it while driving. Some sort of over-speed cut out switch or just a physical guard around the switch, which is right by the steering wheel, is worth considering.

Body Matters

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s mentioned, interlocking composite panels produce a body that is strong and rigid. Double glazed acrylic Seitz single-hopper windows are used all-round, but without the usual three detent opening positions. Instead, the windows can be opened to pretty much any degree you like


Mega Touring Test | 35

Clockwise from top: Under-bed storage is also the deepest external locker and best for bulky items. Batteries, charger and electrical connections are easily accessed in this rear locker. Optional outdoor barbecue, TV and folddown table are perfect for entertaining, whilst twin 4 kg gas cylinders still leave half a locker for storage. and just pulled closed again, instead of having to push them further out to first release the locking mechanism as is usual. They do, however, still have the integrated insect screens/privacy blinds which are a bit fiddly and require a delicate touch. On a couple of occasions the wind closed the windows with a light ‘thud’, which took a while to figure out the first time it happened.

batteries and associated electrics – all readily accessible. It's worth noting 2 x 150 W solar panels and a 30 amp regulator are standard and a great inclusion. None of the lockers are particularly tall, so more bulky items will probably need to go in the locker under the bed, but overall there’s plenty or room for ‘travelling essentials’. The driver’s side mid-height locker accesses underbed storage, which can also be reached from inside by lifting the bed. The corresponding kerb-side locker in this case housed the optional outdoor barbecue and TV and took up part of the lower wardrobe space inside, but wasn’t internally accessible.

External storage is excellent. There are three lower-body dust-and-waterproof lockers and a mid-body locker that accesses internal storage on each side. On the driver’s side all three lower-body lockers are available for storage, with the centre one ideal for longer items. On the kerb side the front one is completely empty, the middle one houses 2 x 4 kg gas bottles but The connections for mains, tank and grey still has storage room alongside, while the rear water are neatly grouped together under is basically occupied by the 2 x 100 AH house the body at the back on the driver’s side,


36 | Mega Touring Test

Above left: The slide-out uses this electrically driven actuator that’s easily accessed in the under-bed storage area. Above right: This wind down jack by the driver's side rear wheels provides added stability when the slide-out’s extended, but seems like overkill for such a small unit. beneath the rear locker. The mains and tank water inlets have conventional male brass hose connections, while the grey outlet is a simple pipe the hose pushes over. I did have reservations about the latter as the hose didn’t feel too secure when pushed on, but it didn’t fall off or leak (more than a few drops) during three nights of use. All three connections open and close via sturdy swing handles, while the mains and fresh water connectors were the most sturdy and easiest to connect to I’ve used. Only their position – quite low at the back of the vehicle – gave me cause for concern lest they drag on a driveway or something, but in practice there were no issues during our test. Another item worth noting is a wind-down leg to provide stability when the slide-out’s extended. A sturdy AL-KO unit, I have to admit to thinking it’s rather overkill given how little

the bed-only slide-out protrudes, or how much weight it carries. And on the topic of the slideout, it’s electrically operated from a switch above the entry door and via an actuator under the bed that’s easily reached if maintenance is required, and takes about 30 seconds or so to complete its travels. When extended it doesn’t protrude much and is quite high up, meaning you’re unlikely to find parking or camping situations where it can’t be extended. The electric awning upgrade was perhaps the most desirable option fitted to the test vehicle and an absolute must-have. Outdoor lighting consists of two bright LED strips on the kerb side, with one directly above the door. That’s good in theory, but in practice I found the overdoor light attracted insects instantly to the top of the door, making insect-free entry – even quickly – largely impossible. If the over-door light couldn’t easily be relocated then putting


Mega Touring Test | 37

Above: Awning lights are brilliant, literally, but overdoor light attracts insects. Dimmers would be good, or maybe a separate switch for the front light. Right: Mrs iM loved the kitchen, especially the optional bench extension that sits over the sofa. it on a separate switch would be a good idea to leave the rear light on for security at night. Also, it would be good to be able to dim the lights as they are very bright.

Moving Inside…

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hile a Paradise motorhome might slip past unnoticed on the highway, there’s no mistaking one if you look inside! Central to Paradise Motor Homes’ design philosophy is open plan living. Entry is via a door with security fly screen, while an electric step retracts automatically when the ignition is turned on. Once inside you’ll find the lounge/dinette to the left, the kitchen straight ahead, the east-west bed right next to the kitchen (to the right) and a full-width bathroom across the back. The fridge sits in a tall unit immediately to the right of the entry door and the whole wall between it and the bathroom is taken with floor-to-ceiling wardrobes and cupboards.


38 | Mega Touring Test

Left: Bathroom and wardrobe access are easy when the slide-out is closed simply by lifting the bed, which tilts easily on strong gas struts. Right: Bed walk-around room is good with the slide out extended. Mirrored sliding bathroom door and the sense of spaciousness even when open, like this. I mentioned earlier there is a distinctive Gold Coast feel to the interior of any Paradise motorhome, including the Integrity SL. What that translates to in practice is an open plan design ideal for warm weather touring and one that’s bright and airy without feeling at all claustrophobic. It’s quite different to a Euro-based design yet lacks nothing in terms of storage or usability by comparison. One of the key features that promotes this open and spacious feeling is the flat fronts of the overhead cupboards and their relatively shallow depth. Euro designs tend to have large, deep and rounded overhead cupboards to maximise storage, but they can feel like they're encroaching on you at head level. By comparison there are only vertical interior lines in the Integrity SL and the effect is noticeable and enjoyable. The most obvious concern with the layout appears to be the bed, which when the slideout is retracted blocks access to the bathroom and wardrobes. Of course Paradise has thought of this and the bed tilts up with literally one hand on strong gas struts to provide a perfectly acceptable aisle to the bathroom;

one that also allows access to all the wardrobe doors. The only real compromise with this open plan living concept is the lack of bedroom privacy. Apart from the bathroom there is nowhere out of view where you can get dressed, nor is their any way to screen the bedroom from visitor’s prying eyes, or at night so one person can stay up while the other retires. A resourceful owner could rig-up a curtain of some sort, but it would be good to see the factory come up with a workable privacy solution.

Living Room

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he lounge area of the Integrity SL is roomy and practical. Apart from both cab seats swivelling there’s a single forwardfacing automotive style seat that’s recline and reach adjustable, just to the left of the entry stairs. It faces the passenger’s cab seat when it’s swivelled, while across the aisle is a two seat sofa between the kitchen and driver’s seat. You could comfortably seat five people up front for drinks, while another one or two could sit on the edge of the bed. And unlike many motorhome sofas with their upright


Mega Touring Test | 39 backs and hard cushions, this one is a beauty: deep, soft and comfortable. Between the single seat and swivelled passenger seat is the table, which during the day folds neatly out of the way against the wall but leaves a decent shelf on top that’s actually very handy in day-to-day life. When required you simply lift the table end from floor level and it hinges up and out, locking firmly into place on two metal arms. Not only is it as solid as all get-out, it's also cantilevered so there's no annoying leg under the end to kick or trip over. Once the table’s in position the shelf area becomes a return along the wall to the left of the person sitting in the single forward facing seat. At meal times it's incredibly useful for keeping things like condiments, glasses and bottles off the main dining table and out of harm’s way. Mrs iMotorhome decided it's the most sturdy and user friendly dining table she's used and I have to admit I can't readily think of others to challenge it. It's certainly so far ahead of removable tables with multiadjustable mounts and poles in terms of ease of use and security in position as to feel everything else should be consigned to a dolls house. Incidentally, at lunch stops I often ate while sitting on the sofa, which still gave easy table access and avoided the need to swivel the passenger seat (even though it was easy). If I was nitpicking – it’s my job – I’d like the single forward-facing seat to be slightly higher in relation to the table (or the table slightly lower) and an inch or two to the left so it's directly in line with the swivelled passenger seat. This latter consideration would give the person sitting there a bit more table space to the right of their right-hand, not only enhancing the dining experience but making it an ideal workstation for someone with a laptop and a mouse. Someone like me for instance… The over-cab area was neatly, if rather plainly, finished to provide quite deep-but-open storage areas above the cab seats, plus a

Top to bottom: Cantilever dining table is strong and stable, and probably the best we've used. Bedside shelves and deep drawers are great, but power points/USB charging outlets would make them perfect. Two seat sofa is comfortable, practical and just an easy reach from the table.


40 | Mega Touring Test

surprisingly useful across-cab shelf. There was a secondary, very thin shelf between the top of the sun visors and the full-width shelf and it was where the optional UHF CB radio was housed; a super-compact 80-channel GME TX3345 with all controls (inc the channel display) in the microphone. The body was hidden out of view and to use it I just reached into the thin shelf and pulled out the microphone, which dangled down trucker-style in front of me. Or it would have if I had A: Discovered it before the second last day and B: Remembered it was there, once discovered! There were a pair of slender, flexible chrome reading lights above the passenger’s and driver’s seats that had two positions; one providing a bright white reading light and the other a dark blue mood/nightlight. However, there was no reading light for the single seat occupant. On the subject of lights those in the Integrity SL were literally brilliant. I think I counted nine in the main ceiling, each with three LEDs, plus when you turned on the rangehood light there was a recessed LED strip running the length of the kitchen’s overhead cupboards. If anything the lights were a little too brilliant and although they could be zoned (kitchen, lounge, bedroom) they couldn’t be dimmed, which I think is an oversight. Speaking of oversights, although there was a generally plentiful supply of double 240-volt mains power points throughout the living area there were no USB charging outlets, or 12-volt sockets apart from the two in the cab. Also, there were no bedside power points even though there were the same reading lights as the cab, so there was power in the slide-out. Just sayin’….

The Cook-Up!

B Reading lights have white or blue light options. Overcab storage boxes are handy but a door would help secure taller items.

ecause this was a brand-new vehicle that had just made its debut at the Adelaide Caravan and Camping Show there were restrictions on how we could use it. Specifically and quite understandably we were unable to use the cooker or barbecue to prevent discolouration. So we took along a $20 single burner gas table-top stove; the type


Mega Touring Test | 41

Main kitchen unit is compact but lacks bench space apart from the cooker lid (when closed). Cooker has a single electric hotplate and electric oven, while the tap has a filtered drinking water function. Deep drawers provide excellent storage. that uses a disposable butane canister you buy in a pack of four from Big W for about $5. Fortunately the weather was hot and we ate cereal for breakfast and a lot of salads, but we were allowed to use the microwave, which proved useful at dinner time as we stayed in caravan parks all the way across. As stated the main kitchen unit sits along the driver’s-side wall opposite the entry door, between the bed and sofa. It’s well-equipped but there isn’t a lot of bench space as standard, although the cooker is recessed and has a flush-fitting benchtop lid that’s invaluable when its not being used. You can transform the kitchen by ordering the lift-up-and-over bench extension that covers the two seat sofa and effectively doubles work space. It's another must-have option and stores neatly away between the sofa back and wall. Appliances in the main unit comprise a cooker with three gas rings and one electric element, with a gas grill and electric oven

with turntable below. There’s also a stainless steel rangehood, stainless steel single-bowl sink with drainer, and a substantial chrome flick-mixer tap with selectable filtered drinking water. There’s a small splashback beside the sink at the bench-end that serves double duty stopping water splashing onto the bed as well as visually and mentally delineating the cooking and sleeping areas. Three drawers below the sink and one beneath the oven provide good storage space along with overhead cupboards between the bedroom and cab. As also stated earlier the two-door Dometic 175 L fridge freezer sits in a tall unit to the right of the entry door, opposite the sink. Above it is a thin open shelf, above which is another piece of laminated benchtop that's home to the TV/DVD on a very sturdy swivel mount. The fridge appears to be identical to the one we recently used in the A’van Ovation; a three-way (12/240v/LPG) unit requiring manual switching between power sources,


42 | Mega Touring Test

Clockwise from top: Recessed LED strip provides excellent kitchen lighting. Swiveling TV can easily be watched from bed or the lounge. Kitchen drawers have dividers that can be adjusted to suit individual needs.

which in a vehicle of this price isn’t going to impress many customers, I’m thinking. Either a compressor fridge (as specified for the Integrity range on the Paradise website) or a three-way unit with auto switching is more suitable. The microwave’s position is interesting, to the left of the fridge and recessed into the wall at perfect height for a normal person to use. How often have Malcolm and I railed against microwaves mounted so high as to make their use by the average person next to impossible? It's even externally vented – how often do you see that?

Bedtime…

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he Integrity SL's bedroom is really just an extension of the lounge/kitchen area. The queen sized east-west island bed has its head in the slide-out and good walkaround room. There's a small bolster piece that drops in at the head, which is ideal for taller occupants – or those who simply like a long lie-in (sorry). The mattress proved quite comfortable although it sits on a solid board and a slat base would be a worthwhile upgrade to consider.


Mega Touring Test | 43

Clockwise from top left: How smart/spacious is this, including the optional washing machine? Quality shower fittings include a bulk dispenser for shampoo, etc. Bathroom bench and basin are generous, as are the drawers and shaving cabinet. If I had reservations at the beginning about the bedroom being too open and exposed to the living area, it had an unexpected reverse benefit. After I’d made the morning cups of tea and returned to bed we’d sit up for a while (it’s easy despite the window behind), then Mrs iM would get the bowls of cereal ready and we’d also have breakfast in bed. Being so close to the kitchen it was a ‘snack’ (no pun intended) to just pass them across, as was chatting with her while she was preparing them. We also found the wide bedside shelves with deep drawers below very useful, but lamented the lack of charging points for our i-devices. Another clue to the Integrity SL’s Queensland origins is the provision of a rooftop Truma Aventa air conditioning/heater but no dieselfired space heater, except as an option. The Aventa is a good air-conditioner that even has a sleep function mode for quiet night time operation when cooling (and a night light), but of course requires mains power or a generator. Power considerations aside, heating doesn't have the quiet nighttime mode and

if you're free camping there's no substitute for a diesel heater. To not have one standard in a motorhome of this price seems quite an omission.

No Compromise Bathroom

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t last I've found the no compromise bathroom!” Mrs iMotorhome declared “ on the first evening. A Paradise Motor Homes’ design signature, the full width bathroom proved one of the highlights of living with the integrity SL. It’s separated from the bedroom by a large sliding door, which on the


44 | Mega Touring Test

Clockwise from top left: Dometic SOG toilet is odourless and chemical free. Bathroom vanity set-up is perhaps the best we’ve ever used and there’s a ton of storage in the shaving cabinet. Note the size/strength of cabinet wall mountings. bedroom side is covered by a shatterproof acrylic mirror that adds an extra feeling of spaciousness to the whole vehicle when closed. The bathroom features a separate shower cubicle in the driver’s-side corner, a central toilet, and a hand basin, bench and vanity unit in the kerb-side corner. The shower is domestic sized and has a sliding opaque roller door that provides unimpeded shower access when open. A height-adjustable chrome finished shower with removable hand-held nozzle has a real quality feel, while high in the rear corner away from the door is a chrome finished bulk dispenser with three outlets for bath gel, shampoo and conditioner. It’s probably something a lot of people won’t use, but the small moulded-in ledge for holding a cake of soap is. Ditto the fold-out clothes rack. There’s only a single, central drain hole but it does drain well, and

once showered there’s room to dry off inside the cubicle if you want to. I’m sure the shower is as big as ours at home and, as we were plugged into mains water and drainage, for the first time ever in a motorhome I stood under the shower one evening until the hot water ran out, which took about seven minutes. That’s not bad considering the Truma electric or gas hot water system is just 14 L capacity and I only had it on the 60º C setting, not 70º C. The toilet is a Dometic SOG unit that is chemical free and uses a small fan to draw away odours whenever the slide-valve is opened to empty the bowl. It’s a terrific system that not only removes the need for expensive chemicals (and their potential long-term effects), it removes the chemical toilet smell from the vehicle and is one less thing to attend


Mega Touring Test | 45 to when emptying the toilet cassette. The bathroom vanity bench, with its highset ceramic basin and chrome flick-mixer tap, is spacious and user friendly. I shaved twice during our travels – a record – simply because the bowl was big, the bench spacious and the mirrors on the two shaving cabinet doors so large they made the whole process a pleasure. There’s a reversible fan hatch between the shower and loo for fast ventilation or extra cooling, a rear window for light and fresh air, and an LED ceiling light for nighttime illumination. There are also three drawers below the bench, plus the test vehicle had an optional 3 kg front loading washing machine. All-in-all it’s a very well equipped and genuinely spacious bathroom that requires no getting used to and makes most others look tiny/ cramped/tricky/bothersome.

What We Think!

I

t’s been a decade or more since we’d last slept in a Paradise Motor Home, in another RV journalism life and when Paradise was a far younger company. Since then we have all matured, yet the basics of the Paradise design remain largely unchanged – proof of what a sound and basically timeless concept it is.

I was expecting good things of this extended touring test, but time had dulled my memories and I was regularly surprised and impressed by so many aspects of the Integrity SL’s design and construction. Paradise builds to an almost industrial strength standard – and it shows. “There is nothing tricky or fiddly with the way everything works in this motorhome. It’s honest, straight forward and functional, and feels like it was made to last a lifetime.” That’s how Mrs iMotorhome summed it up and I’m inclined to agree. It’s also stylish, comfortable,


46 | Mega Touring Test Bedroom slide-out sits high and doesn’t protrude much so you're unlikely to find situations where it can't be extended, even during the day for a quick nap.

practical and just plain nice/fun to live with. It’s not prefect – at least based on our personal preferences – but the few flaws we picked are minor and readily rectified. It’s also not cheap, but like all things of quality you get what you pay for – and in this case you get a lot back when it’s time to trade up or out. If you’re looking for an quality motorhome that reflects your values of style and substance you need to take a close look at the Integrity SL, and indeed the whole Paradise Motor Homes’

range. There are so many model variations you will likely be surprised by what you find. We started at the Adelaide Show stand and delivered back to the Gold Coast factory. The only difficult part was handing back the keys. That’s not always the case, but this time we certainly weren’t ready to go home. We even considered just keeping on going. It’s an intoxicating idea you know – being lost in Paradise. Maybe next time?

There is nothing tricky or fiddly with the way everything works in this motorhome. It’s honest, straight forward and functional, and feels like it was made to last a lifetime.


Mega Touring Test | 47

Specifications Manufacturer

Paradise Motor Homes

Model

Integrity SL

Base Vehicle

2015 Iveco Daily 50C

Engine

3.0 L 4-cylinder twin-turbo diesel

Power

151 kW @ 3500 rpm (est)

Torque

470 Nm @ 1500 rpm (est)

Gearbox

8-speed full automatic

Brakes

ABS Disc

Tare Weight

3870 kg (as tested)

Gross Vehicle Mass

4495 kg

Towing Capacity

3500 kg

Licence

Car

Approved Seating

2

External Length

7.80 m (25 ft 7 in)

External Width

2.42 m (7 ft 11 in)

External Height

3.12 m (10 ft 3 in)

Internal Height

2.00 m (6 ft 6 in)

Bed Size (with bolster)

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

Over-cab bed

Optional

Cooktop

Gas/electric cooktop with gas grill & electric oven

Fridge

175 L 3-way 2-door Dometic

Microwave

Yes

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

2 x 100 amp AGM

Solar Panels

2 x 150 W

Air Conditioner

Truma Aventa

Space Heater

Optional

Hot Water

Truma 14 L

Toilet

Dometic SOG cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

Gas Cylinders

2 x 4.0 kg

Water Tank

127 L

Grey Water Tank

100 L

Price on Road QLD

$200,007

Price as tested

$207,393.75 (on road VIC)

Pros

• • • • • • • • • • •

Open plan living Quality inclusions Construction strength Excellent lounge/dinette Spacious bathroom Standard solar Cavernous storage General liveability Iveco’s towing capacity Cab suspension seats Electric handbrake

Cons

• • • •

Price Long options list Some design features No space heater.

Manufacturer & Sales Paradise Motor Homes

Click for Google Maps

245 Brisbane Rd, Biggera Waters. Qld. 4216 Ph: (07) 5597 4400 E: admin@paradisemotorhomes.com.au W: www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au For more iMotorhome Road Tests click here


48 | Mega Touring Test

The new Paradise Free Time spent five days pounding the course around an automotive test track and came though with flying colours. Read all about it in iMotorhome Issue 45.

Paradise in Hell… I shouldn’t have been surprised the Integrity SL felt so solid, given that I witnessed firsthand the week-long torture testing Paradise put its new Free Time model through on the Australian Automotive Research Centre’s purpose-built test track in Victoria, almost exactly a year ago. It featured in issue 45 on 5 April 2014 and in case you missed it, or want to refresh your memory, you can download it and read my report by clicking HERE. Note: Following our comments upon returning the vehicle Paradise has since confirmed it has identified a number of road noise sources and is re-engineering them to reduce ambient sound levels.


Relax in Paradise

Australia’s Best Quality Motorhomes • Outstanding value for

money, competitively priced from $158,000.

• Unrivalled Safety including

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

• Industry’s longest & most

comprehensive motorhome warranty.

• Built for Australian conditions. • Models available with or without slide-outs. • Superior finish with stylish new contoured exterior. • Patented moulded bins for maximum storage capacity. • Outstanding road handling & ride comfort. • Genuine island queen beds and huge wardrobes. • Spacious rear ensuites with separate toilet & shower. • Market leading layouts & lifestyle features. • Full living area slide-outs providing superior living space. • Proven reliability of Paradise’s patented slide-outs.

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

www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland, 4216

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


50 | Reader Report – Part 1

Six of the Best! Musings, tips and insights into full-time travel, and a small fleet of motorhomes… by Keith Hemburrow

S

ince 2000 my wife and I are lucky enough to have had six new motorhomes, and we’ve enjoyed each and every one. My brother, who is also a motorhome person, has had a similar number. We are not locked into a particular vendor and have owned motorhomes from Winnebago, Jayco, A'Van, Getaway, Avida and Horizon between us. I think we have a great deal of experience and here I’m sharing the pros and cons of our choices. I speak only for myself when making the following comments. When travelling, I guess we are like most other ‘Grey Nomads’ in that we have to budget and carefully think ahead on where we spend our dollars. But we still like to enjoy life to the fullest. Yes we have had more than one motorhome, but I know quite a few people

who spend more on their hobbies and habits each year than we do on our motorhomes. To begin, we were somewhat forced into our lifestyle because of my health issues. We sold our large house and chose a smaller place that we could maintain as our base. We plan short and long trips and probably on average spend at least six months on the road every year. I can't remember how many times we have travelled around the country, but I did do a count of trips across the Nullarbor: 22! Even so, 200 km a day seems to be the maximum that we travel comfortably and safely. On our travels we do utilise a lot of the so called ‘free camping’ spots, especially if they are in town or in close proximity. That allows us to walk into town, go out for a meal, shop for our goodies and refuel both diesel and water,


Reader Report | 51

hopefully helping the economy of the town. Certainly we do not like blowing our budget in caravan parks, especially as we don’t use what they are offering and it leaves us no money to spend elsewhere. Having said that, there are a number of caravan parks that we have stayed in and do stay in, which are close to town and do not overcharge (a minority). We like to think we are helping the local economy, especially in smaller country towns. They seem to be a lot more friendly than those along the coastal regions of our country.

Independent Travellers

O

ur style of travelling is such that we – I – do not like to stop in a location for very long. Hence we stay for one to three days, but have within our motorhome

the ability to remain self-sustained for three to seven days, using the loo and bathroom as we would at home. We use an average 30 litres of water a day, while solar panels keep the power up to our TV satellite system. It is very rare that we would use the 2 kVA generator we have on board. In fact it’s only required for the air-conditioner or the microwave oven (which is predominantly used as a bread bin!). Our travels have not always been in motorhomes. We are lucky to have owned different sorts of RVs over the years and have travelled Australia, camping every night in a tent in a different location, sometimes sleeping in the cabin of our 4WD. We also used a rooftop camper on our 4WD and on a trailer, with our canoe and or motorbike. We’ve pulled an off-road Supreme caravan across the


52 | Reader Report

country, dragged a standard old style caravan over roads we should not have, and ridden a motorcycle trying to miss the rain drops. In conversation with others, I like to think, "We have been there and done that". But of course we haven't. There is so much to see and do and no matter what type of transport you have, or what or where you go, someone else has done it more recently and seen more and can tell you things that are of interest and can help. At my age of close-on 70, and perhaps not being the easiest of characters to get on with (seems common with Vietnam Vets), we find it comforting to travel by ourselves, taking a few calculated risks and enjoying our own company and the country. Sometimes we do meet and travel with friends, but being by

ourselves allows greater flexibility. Although we enjoy the outside environment and a campfire, it is not the central aspect of our travels. In fact I find it rather annoying at times when someone pulls up in close proximity and smokes you out. But everyone to their own thing!

The Vehiclesâ&#x20AC;Ś

S

ince the year 2000, when breast cancer affected our lifestyle and I could no longer handle the stress of towing and setting-up each evening, we chose to get our first motorhome. Our own purchases have been a T4000 Mazda-based Winnebago Leisure seeker; a 2.8 L Fiat-based Winnebago Freestyle; a 3.0 L Fiat-based Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;van


Reader Report | 53

Ovation; a Winnebago Esperance on a 3.0 L Iveco; a Fiat 3.0 L Avida Eyre – the best one so far – and now have a Mercedes Benz 4x4 Horizon Acacia with a motorhome-type door.

Thoughts!

A

fter we went to a motorhome in 2000 he sold his caravan and purchased his first motorhome. We often laugh at the different approaches and attitudes My brother has been a traveller all his life, motorhomers and caravaners have. The with many early 8 mm movies and heaps of motorhome driver stops and is straight away photos of his past, very remote travels. A lot ready for his glass of wine or nice cold beer, of his movies make the professionals look whereas the caravanner has to even up, amateurish. He had one of the first Jayco disconnect, raise the roof, etc, etc. It changed motorhomes based on the 2.8 L Fiat Ducato; our lifestyle, but does not stop us getting out a Getaway on an Iveco 3.0 L; an Iveco 3.0 L Winnebago Esperance and now one of the 4x4 and discussing all the pros and cons of each, of which there are many. We don’t, as many Horizon Acacia units – a real good choice. He suggest, have to pack up to go and get a has done his usual hard work on selecting a vehicle to meet his needs; so good in fact that bottle of milk or something we forgot: That just doesn't happen and is a furphy to suggest on inspection we decided to follow. it does. We don't need another car towed


54 | Reader Report

behind to help us get about, as six-to-eight metres is not much longer than a car anyway and the new motorhomes are so easy to drive. We often sit back and listen to people tell who is the best manufacturer or, better still, who is the worst; which configuration is better than another and even statements like, “I'd never have a front-wheel drive” or similar. I ask (sometimes not very tactfully) have you owned or driven what you criticise? Do you know that approx 83 - 87% of motorhomes in Europe are front-wheel drive Fiats. Just making statements without thought, experience or true knowledge does tend to bias a conversation. If not maintained properly every motorhome will have problems. In our experience, every vendor tries very hard to sell you a vehicle that is trouble free and will serve you well. In fact consumer law in Australia demands them to do so. But nothing is perfect and sometimes things can and do go wrong. And if you drive your vehicle into potholes or hit gutters that cause wheel alignment problems, or in other ways stress your vehicle, you can't expect the dealer to just fix things at no cost. It has been very rare indeed for us to get annoyed by a dealer for not looking after the product they sell. Now, let me talk about the various motorhomes we’ve had. They have all been

good and served us well. I am very particular in making sure the body and mechanicals are always in top condition, whilst my wife is, shall we say, quite fastidious in her desire to make sure the inside is looked after. This arrangement has always worked well for us, especially when the time has come to look for the next vehicle. They still look like new when we sell and we are proud of that.

2000 Winnebago Leisure Seeker Mazda T4000

W

e had just finished designing and were about to build a nice offroad caravan when health issues intervened. Not knowing what the future held we decided to buy a motorhome that we could manage, meaning no truck licence. It ended up allowing us to travel continuously for 18 months. It was a truck in that it looked like a truck, used fuel like a truck, and had a 5 speed gear box and a splitter, giving us 10 speeds – just like a truck. But it was good and did the job fantastically. My wife and I shared the driving and we were very comfortable. There was only one small external locker and it was packed to the hilt. All other stuff was packed under the couch inside. The bed was a double within the Luton peak, which worked well for us, and although the


Reader Report | 55

bathroom was ‘wet’ style it was not as bad as people suggested. Mechanically there was only one major problem, which in hindsight it still makes me laugh. The vehicle about four months old and a real whine started in the gear box when we were near Broome. Remember, there were no mobile telephones in that region then! There weren't even many travellers on the road, and even fewer motorhomes. Over a short time the gearbox noise became very loud and some of the gears could not be selected. We got to Broome and made a telephone call from the public phone to “Mazda Help” or whatever they were called then. “No problems” said the young lady on the telephone, “take it to your nearest Mazda dealer and they will fix it up”.

I tried to tell the young lady, who had obviously never been out of Sydney, that I didn't think the truck would make it to Darwin. “If it stops,” she said, “Just give us a call on your mobile telephone and we will arrange a tow truck for you.” I tried to tell her that the mobile network didn't work for practically the next 2000 km we had to drive. “Well, make a call from a public telephone,” was her reply. We did drive to Darwin, scared to go off the road in case the gearbox seized and we managed to get there with only first and fifth gears. It took a week for a new/rebuilt gearbox, caused by a bearing failure, but was the only mechanical problem we ever had. Next issue Kevin concludes, with insights into the five remaining motorhomes from his private ‘fleet’.


56 | Concept

Weinsberg CaraKids Concept Campers Could these concepts help bring RVing to the masses? by C.C. Weiss, Gizmag

W

hile families with children make up a key demographic of the overall RV industry, the industry focuses its design and features overwhelmingly on adults. Features like illuminated wine cabinets and slide-out espresso machines do little to make the trip better for junior (though we guess they do keep mum and dad jovial). Sure the adults are the ones buying the RV, but as any parent knows, keeping the little ones happy during the trip is priority number one. The CaraKids motorhome and caravan design studies from Weinsberg were constructed from start to finish with children in mind, and they feature a number of smart details that promise to make RV camping more fun and convenient for the smallest campers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and, thereby, the adults, too.

Weinsberg is the entry level camper brand of the Knaus Tabbert family tree, and Knaus likes to explore the future of the industry and liven up trade shows with concept campers. The two CaraKids designs are among their latest concepts, this time exploring how the industry's future could be more kid-friendly. Weinsberg worked with Germany's Caravaning and Promobil trade publications, enlisting the help of readers to identify the types of features they'd want in a more family-friendly camping vehicle. It reworked the interiors of both its CaraHome 700 DG motorhome and CaraOne 550 QDK caravan, showing how its child-focused design could easily fit the two vehicle types.


Concept | 57

Making RVs of all types more child friendly, especially at the entry level, could encourage more families to hit the road. Unlike the outlandish style and features we often see in the concept cars of auto shows, the CaraKids' designs follow a much simpler, more pragmatic approach. Weinsberg and its partners redesigned very specific parts of the interiors to create a more child-friendly whole. The CaraKids designs may or may not prove marketable, but they're definitely thoughtful exercises with some interesting ideas, nothing flashy or outlandish getting in the way.

The Motorhome

W

einsberg's CaraHome 700 DG is a 24.4-ft-long (7.43-m) C-class motorhome built on a Fiat Ducato. It sleeps up to six on a combination of above-cab double bed, rear double bed and convertible dining-area bed. It has a kitchen, bathroom and storage, along with the amenities expected of a full-fledged motorhome. The biggest, most noticeable update in the CaraKids version of the CaraHome is the extensive use of fall-out protection. Weinsberg

adds stretch side netting to the convertible dining area/bed and a fold-away wall on the alcove bed, helping to keep children safe and in place. The raised rear bed also features fall-out


58 | Concept

Many of the ideas are common sense rather than revolutionary. Plastic storage tubs make transferring kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; things between home and vehicle much easier, while places like over-cab beds can be made into safe and fun play and sleeping areas to keep young ones occupied and out of their parents hair! protection in the form of the robust, slide-up ladder that makes it easy (and fun) for children to climb into bed. The ladder even includes indoor climbing wall-style grips, which kids should enjoy using to manipulate a few extra minutes out of the day by taking a slower, more challenging route up to bed. Once up on the rear bed, children can keep books and other belongings close at hand with the integrated elastic straps on the fabric wall. Because children don't stretch out as far as adults, Weinsberg uses the foot of the rear bed as a storage alcove that houses plastic bins. The bins make loading/unloading between house and camper a bit easier than drawers or cabinets. These type of plastic bins are also featured on the tall shelving unit just behind the driver's cab, secured with a hinged quarterdoor. The dining area keeps children safe, neat and occupied. Children can keep their ever-soimportant electronic devices topped off using

the two USB ports. The cupholder mounted to the side wall helps to stop spills, but since it's unlikely to catch every tipped cup, the table has a slightly raised, spill-proof edge. Post-trip clean-up becomes easier with the help of the washable, zip-away fabric panels on the seats and seat backs. The bench seating includes Isofix hardware for affixing car seats. The bathroom gets its own happy kid-camper updates, most notably the drop-down stepping stool built into the wall. The stool helps boost small children up to toilet level. Fabric storage bags keep up to six occupants' personal hygiene items organised, while childsecurity electrical outlets provide added safety throughout.

The Caravan

A

s its "550" trim level makes clear, the CaraOne 550 QDK caravan is shorter and smaller than the CaraKids motorhome. It features a double front bed, rear-corner bunks and a convertible dining area


Concept | 59

Easily removable and washable seat covers, plus things like a fold down toilet step are simple but highly effective child friendly improvements. bed. Weinsberg says it can sleep up to seven with an added bunk bed and dining-area bed extension. It includes a kitchen, bathroom, storage, heat, water, etc. Not unexpectedly, the CaraKids concept caravan shares many features with the larger CaraKids motorhome. Where the caravan version separates itself from the CaraKids motorhome is in its bunk section. The dual bunk area of the rear corner is carved out from the rest of the cabin, creating a sort of dedicated child's play and sleep area. The lower bunk folds up into the wall when not in use, opening up floor space, and the ladder/lower bunk fallout protector swings out to serve as a divider door. The plastic storage bins on the floor below the bunks have cushioned tops to double as comfy chairs, and children can use the floor space for play. There's also a flip-up bedside table and wall-mounted chalkboard. Each of the two bunks has its own USB port and fabric wall with elastic straps.


60 | Concept The CaraKids caravan study includes a lockable kitchen for keeping dangerous cleaners and chemicals safely out of reach, child-safety electrical sockets and a raised front bed designed for easier nappy changes. The front bed area also includes an under-bed storage cabinet with external access, designed with strollers in mind, and a bedside cabinet designed for baby accessory organisation.

To build, or not to build

G

iven that the CaraKids designs are just concepts, it's not clear if any of their features will see production or how much they'll cost. The upgrades do seem smart and straightforward enough as to at least be offered as options. The kidfriendly elements and bright colours would surely make the idea of a long, hot, bumpy family road trip much more enticing to children of all ages. According to Promobil, whose word we're inclined to take since it was integral in the creation of the CaraKids concepts, Weinsberg said that the CaraKids feature package would add about â&#x201A;Ź2,500 ($3500) to the price of the CaraHome 700 DG. iMotorhome wonders if any local manufactures might pick up and run with some of these ideas?

Spill resistant table edging, fall-out barriers and child-sized desks that can even include a blackboard are simple, innovative ideas.


62 | Tips

g n i p m a C & h t l a He iene g y H

Tips to make your life more enjoyable in the great outdoorsâ&#x20AC;Ś by Allan Whiting, outbacktravelaustralia.com.au


Tips | 63

Keeping the right insect sprays and repellents on hand is essential to ensure you enjoy your travels – wherever they might take you.

O

ne of the greatest health risks in the bush is illness caused by poor hygiene. We have a camp rule that we never touch food or eating utensils without washing our hands, so we have a pump-action bottle of waterless hand-wash and keep it near the food prep area. There’s another bottle in a pocket of the hold-all between the car seats and a small flip-top bottle in each toilet kit. We use disposable dish cloths as they dry out quickly after use and can be burnt or thrown in the bin after a couple of uses. Tea towels are laundered as normal with a capful of disinfectant

added to the washing water. Chopping boards are wiped down with anti-bacterial spray after each use and are left to dry thoroughly before packing away.

Personal Hygiene (when water is in short supply)

T

here’s nothing quite like a shower at the end of a hot day in the dusty Outback, but when water supplies are scarce, conserving water for drinking becomes much more important.


64 | Tips

Be selective with the brands you choose to look after you in the bush and buy on quality rather than price.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be smelly! A full body wipe down with baby wipes combined with a very small bowl of mildly soapy water is all that’s required to keep clean. Hair washing is usually left until a shower is available and is the only real complaint most of the girls have when they can’t shower, but it’s not all that bad. We take a dip whenever the opportunity arises.

Sunburn

S

pending more time outdoors means you need to protect your skin from burning. Apply a 30+ protection sunscreen and re-apply regularly. Look for sunscreen that dries on your skin after rubbing in and doesn’t make you feel sticky – that’s important in a hot, humid climate. Skin can be further protected by wearing UV protection clothing, available from most adventure sports stores. Wear a broad brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and neck. A pair of good quality sunglasses will help protect your eyes.

Flies

F

lies are very persistent in the bush. They’re out as soon as the sun gets up in the morning and don’t go away until the sun goes down. The best deterrent we’ve found so far is a product called Nature’s Botanical – Rosemary & Cedarwood Oils in Natural Crème. The fragrance is similar to that of Vicks VapoRub – and the flies don’t like it at all. They’ll still buzz around you, but if they do land on skin treated with the crème, they leave in a hurry. We haven’t had to wear fly veils since we started using it.

Other Insects

D

engue Fever and Ross River viruses are spread by mosquitoes and it’s important to protect yourself and your family from becoming infected. Bites from mosquitoes, sand flies and midges can be extremely itchy and irritating. Scratching can cause bites to become infected; in some cases people can have a severe allergic reaction


Tips | 65

When you're a long way from home staying healthy is essential. Common sense hygiene procedures and the right selection of preventative measures and treatments will keep you on the right track.

requiring medical attention. If you do get stung by mozzies, sandflies or midges, antihistamines (available from chemists) can provide relief. Anti-histamine tablets are an essential first aid kit inclusion. A non-drug insect-bite treatment is the ‘Mosquito Click’. We’ve had success using one for mosquito and sand fly bites. They’re also available from chemists for around $20. RID (roll on, pump or aerosol spray) and Bushman’s Water Resistant (80% DEET Heavy Duty) personal insect repellents are effective against biting insects, mosquitoes, sandflies, midges, ticks, leeches and march flies. Apply repellent before you get bitten, even if you think there’s no need to. If you’re out camping pack a can of insecticide and spray it inside your tent before you go to bed each night. Make sure to keep your tent ‘door’ zipped closed as much as possible. A little common sense goes a long way in the bush, so before you head off into it take time to make sure you’re properly equipped – then enjoy!


66 | Mobile Tech

Snap Send Solve. Simple!

Snap a pic, send the details and solve a problem. It really is that easyâ&#x20AC;Ś By Emily Barker


Mobile Tech | 67

T

here are some apps that stand out from the rest simply due to their sheer brilliance, Snap Send Solve is without a doubt one of these shining stars of the technological revolution. Its creators have considered a very common problem and developed a solution so ingenious it has to be tried to be believed. It’s free, incredibly easy to use and is creating real change – literally at street level. Snap Send Solve is a free app for your iPhone or Android device that lets you report issues and provide feedback to your local council or service provider in under 30 seconds, Australia wide.

Ring, Ring…

A

nyone who has ever tried to contact their local council regarding any problematic issues will understand this process can be a little ‘hit and miss’ at the best of times. And a frustrating nightmare at others. The role of Snap Send Solve is to facilitate a convenient and efficient way to document and report incidents requiring repair, attention or service to the relevant authorities, including local government and infrastructure providers. The beauty of this app is the simple four-step reporting process, which removes the need for lengthy phone calls, confusing department transfers and a level of personal involvement that casual bystanders shouldn’t have to have.

Snap!

U

sing your smart phone or camera equipped device you simply take a photo of the incident, be it a damaged sign, rubbish dumped in the bush, pot holes, graffiti, dirty restrooms, a burst water main, overflowing rubbish bins, a dangerous section of pavement, fallen tree or any other public space issues of concern. You then enter the address, which is incredibly simple as the app works out where you are by utilising GPS, or (now this is a little scary) if you take a photo of an incident and send it at a later date, the location will be automatically displayed, no need for writing down addresses.


68 | Mobile Tech

Become a citizen warrior and help bring problems of all types to the attention of the relevant local authorities. You then add incident details by selecting the appropriate category, add any additional notes if required, and then the entire report is sent directly to the correct contact who manages incidents within that particular area, as predetermined by the app. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all very automated, and anonymous too, although you can choose to include personal contact details should you wish to follow the matter up. This app utilises mobile technology at its best. Its creators Outware Mobile are an award winning Australian owned app development company at the forefront of technology. This translates into a highly advanced application free of bugs, glitches and importantly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; adds! Regardless of the size of the issue you can quickly and easily submit a report directly to the relevant channel, bypassing any drama or confusion. Glass on a footpath or a broken swing at a playground; issues we encounter every day that may previously have been too inconsequential or troublesome to report are now confidently and conveniently dealt with. By all reports councils are positively embracing this streamlined technology and recognising the importance of such community input within their boundaries.


Mobile Tech | 69 Optimised for smartphones, this app weighs in at only 12.4 MB making it a light weight addition to any device. Reports can be submitted with or without images and the app can also be used to submit general requests, concerns or questions, including positive feedback and comments regarding an area and its facilities. Over all this app is an incredibly useful tool, especially for travellers who might rely upon public facilities. As one Council said, “We can’t fix what we don’t know is broken!”

Fast Facts: Name: Snap Send Solve by Outware Mobile Cost: Free Platforms: iOS and Android Size: 12.4 MB


70 | Next Issue

Winnebago Airlie!

the rear lounge, plus there’s an optional over-cab bed if you need to sleep four.

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he new Winnebago Airlie will grace next issue’s cover and it will be interesting to see what roadtest guru Malcolm makes of it. Built on the popular Fiat Ducato this two berth design features a large U-shaped lounge with wraparound windows at the rear that’s separated from the kitchen and dinette up-front by shower and toilet cubicles on opposite sides of the aisle. Its party trick is an electric roll-down bed above March 06-08

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Having simply run out of room this time we'll also bring you the travel story behind this issue’s mega touring test of the Paradise Integrity SL. That's Adelaide to the Gold Coast via Broken Hill – and we promise only one emu photo. The story will include some terrific (and one rather ordinary) caravan parks, costs, distances and a whole lot more. But only one emu. Issue 68 will be out on 21 March. Until then we hope you enjoy this issue and invite you to join Friends our more than 22,000 Facebook and Twitter followers to share the laughs, fun and news. See you in two weeks!

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Gold Coast Caravan & Camping Expo

Perth Caravan & Camping Show

Sydney Caravan, Camping & Holiday Supershow

Metricon Stadium Nerang-Broadbeach Rd Carrara. Qld. 4211 • Open 9:30-5:00 daily • Parking: $5 • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: School age free with adult

Claremont Showgrounds Claremont. WA. 6010 • Open 9:30-5:30 daily (2 pm last day) • Parking: $5 • Adults: $19.50 • Seniors: $13 • Kids: Free U 16 years

Rosehill Racecourse, James Ruse Dr, Rosehill. NSW. 2142 • Open 10:30-5:00 daily (4 pm last day) • Parking: $5 • Adults: $25 • Seniors: $20 • Kids: Free U 16 free with adult

Visit Website

Visit Website

Visit Website

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Click for Google Maps

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

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 67 – 07 Mar 2015  

Get a FREE subscription form our website now!

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 67 – 07 Mar 2015  

Get a FREE subscription form our website now!

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