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iMotorhome

magazine

Issue 82: Oct 17 2015

because getting there is half the fun...

Making

The Switch!

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Reader Report…

A custom 4x4 Sprinter to get excited about!

TechTalk!

It’s time to spring clean your water system…

Travel

Concluding Malcolm’s Canadian adventure

Sunliner’ new model range on the new Iveco Daily...


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! Facebook “f ” Logo

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Contributors Jess Ciampa, Emily Barker and Allan Whiting

Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2576. Australia.

Design and Production

ABN: 34 142 547 719

Agnes Nielsen

T: +614 14 604 368

E: agnes@imotorhome.com.au

Design & Production Manager

E: info@imotorhome.com.au W: www.imotorhome.com.au Editorial Publisher/Managing Editor

Advertising Sales & Marketing Business Development Manager Clarinda Hoiberg E: clarinda@imotorhome.com.au

Richard Robertson 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.


TWIST

– SU4066 – $159,990 Drive Away

Slide Out, Loads of Extras, Fantastic Value!

Ovation M6 – AV2090 –

$141,499 Drive Away

Island Bed, Diesel Heater, Tow Bar.

Talvor Keppel – TA5008 –

$114,940 Drive Away Only 31,000kms, Bull Bar, Separate Shower/Toilet.

Winnebago Birdsville – U1191 –

$108,394 Drive Away

Only 24,000kms, Island bed, Suit New Buyer!


On my mind | 5

Mental As Anything? Last week was national Mental Health Week, while in New South Wales, October is Mental Health Month. Considering how taboo this subject was until recently it has come ‘out of the closet’ and into the lounge room of our lives at seemingly breakneck speed – rather like the issue of gay marriage, but that’s another story… The traditional Australian male’s hard-as-nails image – or at least the perception of it – has made talking about such issues all the more difficult. Yet these days it seems every second sport star and celebrity is dealing with ‘stuff’. I’m hoping it doesn’t soon become de rigueur for those in the public eye to ‘have an issue’ just to get noticed. Mental health is a serious issue and one I believe that affects a large part of the population on one level or another. Glamorising/trivialising it will do more harm than good, but I guess it’s better out in the open than still locked away in the closet. There has been a huge focus on men's mental health and in previous editorials I’ve spoken of my own encounters with the Black Dog. Yet we don’t seem to hear so much about women’s mental health issues. I bring this up because I only recently learned of a younger female friend’s battle with depression, lack of self-esteem and other issues that have brought about a marriage breakup and, for want of a better term, an early-onset midlife crisis. If you met this woman you’d find her a vivacious, intelligent and extroverted character who is the life of the party. Just goes to show you really can’t tell a book by its party dress. The good news is, being a woman, she’s sought professional help and is now undergoing a course of cognitive behaviour therapy, which is what helped me send that dog back to its kennel. While she probably didn’t seek help soon enough at least she has and appears to be on the path to recovery. Fingers crossed.

The stigma of having mental health issues – ‘being mental’ – is one that lingers and will take quite some time to pass, but the more it’s out in open and talked about the better. If you struggle with issues, Mental Health Month might be just the time to do something positive. Help is at hand; there’s nothing to be ashamed of and the more we normalise seeking and receiving treatment the better off society as a whole will be. Beyond Blue, the Black Dog Institute or the Mental Health Association of New South Wales are great starting points if you need a helping hand.

Cheers! On a lighter note, remember last issue I spoke about Coopers Ultra Light very-low alcohol beer? Well, I’ve since tried its 0% alcohol stablemate, Holsten, which is imported from Germany. It’s lighter in taste as you’d expect, but the main drawback is it has something like 8.6 grams of sugar per 375 mL bottle. While that’s nowhere near a can of Coke’s 33 grams, it’s significantly higher than the Ultra Light’s less than 1 gram. The Holsten is also a bit dearer. Speaking of price, Dan Murphy’s carries both brands and when I bought the Ultra Light in a carton (4 x 6 packs) it came to $24.99 for 24 bottles. That’s $1.04 per bottle, which is even cheaper than drinking bottled water. Who would have thought?

Short Break Time Due to the machinations of the calendar it’s three weeks until the next issue. So when notification of Issue 83 doesn't arrive in your inbox in a fortnight don’t panic. It will appear, it's just a matter of time – like the 69 sleeps ’til Christmas!

Richard


6 | Contents

3

About Us

9

Resources

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

5

On my Mind

11

On your Mind

22

Marketplace

Mental As Anything?

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

14

News

24

Day test: Sunliner Switch S541

40

Reader Report: Custom 4X4 Sprinter

44

Project Polly

48

Travel: Canada the Fraserway!

58

TechTalk

64

Mobile Tech

67

Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

Sunliner’s new Switch is a big motorhome with plenty to offer

My Motorhome – by Toni Moran…

All Ahead Slow – things have slowed down in the last couple of weeks

The final instalment of Malcolm's rental relocation adventure

Tips to keep your water systems shipshape

62

Book Review The Australian Bus and Coach Drivers’ Guide

Keeping Them Close – how to stay in touch with younger family members

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!

68

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


Enjoy the ultimate go-anywhere off road adventure with the Jabiru 4x4 Xtra. From Alice Springs to Halls Creek and via Tamani Track, reach isolated camp spots which require solid ground clearance and traction with this high performance luxury vehicle.

Jabiru 4x4 Xtra. Redefine your camping adventure.

Visit trakka.com or call 1800 TRAKKA


A Home for...

Find us at... Brisbane Showgrounds Thurs 29 Oct to Sun 1 Nov 2015 Stand 584

...Everything

Designed and built with travelling and the great outdoors in mind. The storage space you’ll find in each Horizon motorhome is surprising. Our innovative design team have used 20 years of experience to utilise every inch of available space, allowing you to take almost everything you could possibly want on your travels. With a mass of drawers, overhead

cupboards, shelving, wardrobes and large boot space, you have room for everything, including the kitchen sink. That’s why satisfaction really is built into each and every Horizon Motorhome.

LLI BA

horizonmotorhomes.com.au

NA

S

299 C A M O L D R PE EX 02 iver RVA CLU 66 Str N S I V 81 ee & M E L 1 55 t , B O Y B 5 | a l l TO Y bcm ina R H c.c NSW OME om 2 C E . a u 478 N T R

E

To find out more about our range of ‘built to perfection’ motorhomes visit horizonmotorhomes.com.au or call our exclusive dealer BCMC on 02 6681 1555

SGG Pty Ltd. Lic No. MD11739, MVRL23910


resources

iMotorhome

Resources | 9

because getting there is half the fun...

Magazine Resources Ask a Question

Back Issues

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iMotorhome

because getting there is half the fun...

Esprit de Cor Blimey!

Road Tests

User Guide

Marketplace

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

Reader Survey

Reader Review


AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Accept no imitations.

The Most Recognised Name in Motorhomes

2015 motorhome range now available nationwide. Proudly Australian designed and built in our Brisbane factory.

Spring deals out now! Find a Winnebago dealership near you. Visit: www.gowinnebago.com.au Licensee and authorised distributor of Winnebago Industries Inc., Forest City Iowa USA


On your mind | 11

Win $50 for the best letter! It’s only fitting that since Ed has his say in On My Mind, you should be able to have yours too. If you have anything to say – or ask – just drop a line to letters@imotorhome.com.au and we’ll share it with our readers. We’ll also reward

Canberra Show

The Canberra Show is on at the Canberra Exhibition Park from October 23 to 25 but isn’t on your events calendar, and I thought your readers would like to know. We get several motorhome dealers at the show even though there are no dealers in Canberra for motorhomes. Even the Jayco dealer does not, or is not, allowed by Jayco to sell motorhomes. There are quite a few motorhomes around Canberra but owners, like us, have to purchase at Nowra (Avida and Jayco), Albury or Sydney. We looked at the Canberra Show then ordered at the Sydney Show, with delivery through Jayco Nowra.

Auto-Trail Update This letter follows on from “Information Underload” is last issue’s Letters:

We took delivery (of an Auto-Trail Tracker FB) in late January this year after a 10 month wait due to an error in the local ordering process (professionalism!). Currently the speedo is reading just under 18,000 km. Our journeys have taken

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

They have been really good to us so we go back there every year for service and any mods needed. Regards Ray Sorry Ray, for some reason that shows seems to slip through the cracks each year. I’ve now updated the events calendar even though it’s rather short notice. Here’s $50 as a thank you for the reminder! Funny about Jayco Canberra not selling motorhomes. I’m thinking it’s more to do with not wanting to. Good to hear you’ve been looked after via Jayco Nowra, though.

us as far west as Ceduna, north to Cooktown and next week we start on the Murray via a week babysitting in Melbourne, then on to Broken Hill then home to Sydney. The Auto-Trail has provided almost faultless service and the co-driver and I love the freedom this lifestyle offers. For us it is as much about the continued...


12 | On your mind ...continued

journey as the destination. Based on our positive experience with this brand I am convinced that improved promotion and marketing would see an increase in their numbers on the road. While I think some dealers do an ok job at promoting the brands they sell, if you want to see how it should be done take a look at this dealer site in Wales. They offer both images and video of most models covering the brands they sell. Since my note to Elite some months ago (the Auto-Trail importers) I note they have updated the Auto-Trail Australian website.

Thanks Gary, it’s good to hear all is going well and that you’re still pleased with the Auto-Trail. You've certainly done some miles in your first year! Safe travels and please keep us in the loop as to how it’s all going.

Cheers, Gary

Thanks! Thanks for publishing the article we put together about out Tassie relocation. I have been meaning to drop you a line since it was published and your latest download reminder reminded me that I had been remiss in thanking you. I just wanted to say it was good to see it in print, and that it turned out much better than I expected and that you did a great job with the photos. Thank you very much! I guess you get the kind of buzz each fortnight with your whole magazine published that I got with the one article. I am really enjoying your Project Polly series and this is something that I am contemplating with a larger coach body style motorhome sometime in the future. Its great to see that little improvements can be done on a tight budget. I can't wait each fortnight to see what you have done next. I am keeping my eyes open for the right motorhome

and intend to utilise my building skills to make it better. Keep up the great work with iMotorhome. Regards, Dave Good to hear from you Dave and glad you enjoyed the story, I thought it came out well too. Mine’s more a sense of relief when another issue goes out. There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff that can go pear shaped, so when it all comes together and people start downloading I’m a happy man! Glad you’re enjoying Project Polly. It’s surprising what you can do or change for little outlay that really makes a difference. You’re fortunate to have builder’s skills and I’m fortunate to have Mrs iM (so she tells me). Please keep us in the loop on your quest for your own project vehicle. Good hunting!


14 | News

Tooraweenah Discount Offer

S

pring travellers receive a 10% discount on stays and two nights or longer until November 15 at the already budgetpriced Tooraweenah Caravan Park. The park is in the sleepy township of Tooraweenah just off the Newell Highway midway between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran, which is also the southern gateway to the Warrumbungle National Park. iMotorhome stopped there for a night earlier this year and found it to be a quiet and comfortable no-frills caravan park (although it does have a pool and camp kitchen) where you are greeted on arrival with a plate of scones with jam and cream! Reduced rates are offered for solo travellers and it’s a place we recommend to anyone touring in the area. Powered sites cost $25 a night for two people or $20 for a single, while non-powered self-contained sites are just $10 per night (but no generators allowed due to neighbours).

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• Unrivalled Safety including

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• Industry’s longest & most

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• 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


16 | News

Horizon Cleans Up

H

orizon Motorhomes owner and founder Clayton Kearney cleaned up this week at the 2015 Caravan Camping Industry Association (CCIA) and Manufacturing Housing Industry Association (MHIA ) Awards of Excellence, taking home two separate awards: Best NSW Manufacturer and Best of the Best Trade Business Award. “To be honoured as a finalist is a huge achievement and then to win two awards today I couldn’t be any prouder. We are grateful to be recognised by the Association for all the hard work and determination we have put in to our business. We take great pride in every aspect of the design, manufacturing, innovation, build, sales and after-¬sales of all Horizon Motorhomes that pass through the showroom. I thank my teams at Horizon and the Ballina Campervan & Motorhome Centre (BCMC) for all their hard work to get the brand to this level of national recognition.” Clayton said.

NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD


News | 17

Julia Creek’s Top Gong

J

ulia Creek’s Visitor Information Centre won the 2015 Queensland Visitor Information Centre of the Year award at the Queensland Information Centre Association (QICA) Conference and Awards on the Sunshine Coast in early October. Some 70 delegates attended the event and McKinlay Shire Council Mayor, Belinda Murphy, said the award was thanks to the Shire’s commitment to tourism excellence and willingness to take risks. She said that more than a decade ago it was decided constructing a tourist centre would provide additional economic, social and cultural benefits. "The collective efforts of staff and Council to provide our guests with unique and authentic

experiences have culminated in us receiving this recognition from our peers," she said. "This year, we have innovated how we connect with our guests. We have hosted long-table lunches with primary producers, town tours, morning teas and camp fire dinners. All of these experiences connect guests with locals. They find out pretty quickly what makes the Outback so special. Our guests leave feeling like they have made new friends. We can also deduce through visitor surveys that we have increased the wider economic impact of our actions ensuring that tourism is a viable industry for our local business operators and our entire region.” For 2015 the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre has seen a record number of tourist’s for the year with an increase of 30 per cent on last year’s figures.

Webasto – your gas free solution for independent travelling

  

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Dual Top – Combination Heaters   

Heat & hot water from one unit Easy to use multifunction controller Low power & fuel consumption

Thermo Top – Water Heaters

  

Compact and efficient Fast heat up times Can be combined with fan radiators to provide cabin heat

Diesel Cook Top

  

High cooking power up to 1800 W No naked flame and no fumes Robust high quality Ceran® cooking surface

Webasto Thermo & Comfort Australia Pty Ltd 423-427 The Boulevarde, Kirrawee NSW 2232 Freecall 1800 244 494 info@webasto.com.au www.webasto.com.au

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Extensive range of Uprights and Drawers Available as DC Only or AC/DC Robust high quality with Danfoss Compressors

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Air Top – Air Heaters


18 | News

PowerSmart Series from Briggs & Stratton ideal for outdoor recreational enthusiasts who require the power of an inverter generator but want the benefit of quiet operation,” says Briggs & Stratton Business Development Manager Grant Buck.

B

riggs & Stratton says its PowerSmart Series of inverter generators are ideal for those who like to head bush but don’t want the noise, fuel smells and power surges associated with traditional camping generators. "These are the next generation of smart, clean and affordable inverter generators. They’re

Both the PowerSmart Series P2000 (2 kVA) and P3000 (3 kVA) models feature computer controlled technology that continuously adjusts engine speed to reduce fuel consumption, whilst running up to 80% quieter than traditional camping generators. The P3000 has USB and 12 V charging outlets plus a StatStaion LCD wattage monitor/maintenance reminder. It also has inbuilt wheels, a retraceable carry handle and an RRP of $1799. The smaller P2000 is priced at $649.

Thinking about a self-drive touring adventure? Find all the inspiration and information you need for an awesome journey with our ebooks for iPad. Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country: Learn about Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly, on a wonderful tour through northeast Victoria. The Old Ghan Heritage Trail: Follow the legend of the Old Ghan railway from Quorn in South Australia, up the Oodnadatta Track and on to Alice Springs. The Googs Track: This remote 4WD adventure explores the southeastern extremity of the amazing Great Victoria Desert, SA. To The Inland Sea: Inspired by explorer Charles Sturt’s 1844-46 Central Expedition, To The Inland Sea takes travellers from Adelaide to the edge of the Simpson Desert at Birdsville.

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


News | 19

Exmouth Free Camping Ban

F

rom the Exmouth Council website: Throughout the Shire of Exmouth there is no free camping, which includes sleeping in a vehicle, tent, caravan, swag etc. Camping is only permitted in designated caravan parks or camping grounds such as one of the 4 licensed caravan parks or the Cape Range National Park. Camping on private property requires permission from the owner for periods up to 3 days or from Council for longer periods. Council Officers, in conjunction with the Western Australia Police and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, carry out regular patrols throughout the Shire to control any illegal camping activity. Any person found to be camping in an area that is not designated as a camping ground, licensed caravan park or private property without the owners or Councils consent may be liable for a $1000.00 penalty. If you are planning to come to Exmouth for a camping holiday between April and October, especially the school holiday periods, please book a camp site prior to arriving as it is highly likely that during this time the caravan parks will

be full. If during peak season the caravan parks reach capacity, the Shire withholds the right to open the Emergency Overflow Campground. Note: This facility is for Emergency Situations only, other means of accommodation must be sought and the use of the Overflow will only be accepted if it is your last resort. Please take time to view Council's Policy 8.8 Emergency Overflow Camping Ground for further information. Please note there are no designated Main Roads 24 hour road side rest areas within the Shire of Exmouth so please plan your trip wisely to ensure you arrive safely in Exmouth. For more information on 24 hour road side rests areas and travelling by road in Western Australia please visit the Touring WA Section of the Main Roads Website. For information on places to camp or other places to stay at Budget rates, please contact the Exmouth Visitors Centre on 9949 1176 or visit the Exmouth Visitor Centre website. For more information on Camping Rules and Regulations within Cape Range National Park please contact Department of Parks and Wildlife on 08 9947 8000 or visit the DPaW Website.

Temporary Closure

W

orkman’s Beach Camping Ground near Agnes Water will be closed from October 19-30 to enable Gladstone Regional Council to conduct scheduled maintenance. Gladstone Region Mayor Gail Sellers said, “These grounds are very popular as they offer longer-term camping, so good management practices ensure they are available for recreational visitors year-round and in the long-term”. Cr Sellers said existing campers would be notified

by staff of the upcoming closure and temporary signage was planned for the site. "There are alternative camping sites in and around the Discovery Coast, so I encourage campers to consider these and make arrangements to relocate before 10am on October 19”. Information on camping and camping sites in the region can be found at Council's website gladstone.qld.gov.au/camping or phone Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited on 4972 4000.


20 | News

Tough Questions in Bundaberg

T

his opinion piece in the Bundaberg NewsMail highlights the dilemma facing the city and its mayoral candidates and received considerable comment: “The current Council's policy to protect caravan park owners at the expense of other businesses in the region is clearly a protectionist and discriminatory policy. All of the other businesses who would benefit from increased visitation rates resulting from attracting those tourists who do not wish to stay in van parks are being denied the opportunities to expand and employ. In addition, the message to RV tourists is that you cannot come to Bundaberg unless you stay in a van park. This effectively counters the very good work put in by tourist bodies to attract people here and also reduces the effectiveness of ratepayers'

money spent on regional promotion. One tourist publication says Bundy's caravan parks are “overflowing". Why would a visitor come here when being told you cannot stay outside of a van park and the van parks are overflowing? What are the arrangements for spillover visitors in peak times? To potential mayoral candidates: if you are elected as mayor, will you continue this current policy? What is your position and strategy for attracting the huge RV market that currently does not come here because there are currently no alternative overnight sites to van parks near the CBD or beaches?

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!

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


News | 21

VW World Record!

A

remarkable 51 people crammed into a 1974 VW window van to achieve a new Guinness World Record at Busfest in Malvern, Worcestershire, in early September. The record-breaking attempt also helped raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses. One participant, Calvin, added, “I didn’t think we could do it at first. People’s hands and arms were squashed in my face. When it came to the last person, everyone joined to pull him in. What a great atmosphere!” Busfest, held over three days, is billed as the “World’s Biggest VW Van Festival”. It attracts more than 8000 vehicles, 25,000 enthusiasts and 300 trade exhibitors from the UK, Europe and around the world.


22 | iMotorhome Marketplace

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!

bonymountainfolkfestival.com

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

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

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

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!


iMotorhome Marketplace | 23

Nomadic Solutions hitches fully ADR compliant no swaying increased towing safety easy reversing offroad vans available

5th wheeler specialist

Nomadic Solutions - the original, quality constructed ‘lifestyletable™’ that is easily attached to the side of your motorhome. Now available in ‘mill finish’ for custom painting.

T: (02) 9011 8144 W: nomadicsolutions.com.au

Southern Spirit Campervans

sliding & rear door FLY SCREEN

­ easy to self install ­ Australian & world wide delivery for Sprinter, Hiace, VW T4/T5, Ducato, Transit from

FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME Store those additional items up and out of the way using our adjustable, transportable and modular storage system!

$229

www.skytracks.com.au

Tiffin Motorhomes

America’s favourite motorhome is now available in Australia! Tiffin Motorhomes Australia is proud to offer the Allegro Breeze 32 to the Australian market. Click through to find out why they’re fast becoming Australia’s favourite too!

T: 0411 616 617 W: tiffinmotorhomes.com.au

Over 11  years  cover   manufacturing   experience  Australia   wide.Free  Measure  &  Quote  Call  in   Factory  1:354  Mons  Road    Forest  Glen  :   Sunshine  Coast  Queensland     PH-­‐1300  304  332/0754564818   www.caravancovers.com.au   info@caravancovers.com.au   Qld  Stockist  of  Duvalay.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                    The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults

Our vehicle-specific insulation screens are Australian made from specially designed and tested material to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. As featured in iMotorhome’s Project Polly!

T: (07) 3398 5500 W: solarscreen.com.au

LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS

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To find out more call Mark on 0412027330 or email mje240@adam.com.au www.e-twow.com 1


24 | Day Test: Sunliner Switch S541

The Big Switch!

The new Sunliner Switch is a big motorhome with plenty to offer‌ by Richard Robertson


Day Test | 25

At a whisker under 8 metres long the new Sunliner Switch is a substantial and imposing motorhome. It also pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on a standard car licence. Fortunately the chassis is rated to 5200 kg and an upgrade into the Light Rigid category is a no-cost option that is highly recommended.

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unliner’s new Switch range replaces the popular Twist series and is the entry point to the company’s range of premium motorhomes. There are eight floorplans (five with slide-outs) and three vehicle options (Fiat, Renault or Iveco), with lengths ranging between seven point one and seven point eight metres, although not every floorplan/vehicle combination is available. In short there should be a Switch to suit just about everyone.

Think of the Daily as a scaled down heavy truck rather than an upgraded light van. For a start the Daily is rear-wheel drive, with dual wheels on the back axle. Also, the 50 in 50C17 means it’s rated for a 5200 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM), although in this application it has been derated to 4495 kg to enable driving on a standard car licence. While doing this removes the need for the owner to move up to a Light Rigid (LR) licence, those ‘missing’ 705 kg come straight off payload capacity and significantly The subject of this review is a Switch S541 built constrain the Switch S541’s capabilities. The on Iveco’s new and significantly improved Daily test vehicle had a plated tare (empty) weight of 50C17. It’s a 4 berth C-class motorhome with 4100 kg, and while this included full fuel and a slide-out dinette and at 7.8 metres (25’ 7”) is fresh water – 100 litres of each – it only left 395 easily capable of longterm travel. kg for occupants, clothing, food, tools, outdoor furniture, etc. My advice to any prospective Daily Driver purchaser would be to upgrade your licence and unlock the true potential of this vehicle. veco is Fiat’s ‘serious’ truck division and while the Daily basically shares the same As far as the Iveco Daily itself goes there’s no 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine as the Ducato, denying it has come a long way. The latest overall it’s a very different kettle of pesce.

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26 | Day Test

Right: The Switch’s slideout comes with an easily accessed manual winder: Just remove the plastic cap, insert the handle and wind-away. Below: Cab seats swivel although the driver’s is awkward and a bit restricted due to the Iveco’s handbrake location. You won’t need to use them often, however, as the dinette is large and comfortable.

model is not only more streamlined, it’s more powerful, refined and an all-round better drive. Mechanically, the centrepiece is an eight-speed ZF torque converter automatic gearbox, which replaced the previous and largely unloved six-speed automated manual. Coupled to an uprated 125 kW/430 Nm engine, the new drivetrain is a formidable combination.

I found changes and kick-down smooth if not entirely seamless. While driving and mechanical refinement aren’t quite at Mercedes Benz Sprinter levels, neither is the price tag. All-round I found this vehicle easy and pleasant to drive, with good visibility, comfort and performance.

One of the Daily’s continuing strengths – literally – is its 3500 kg towing capacity. This makes it On the road the ‘box shifts smoothly and an ideal choice for anyone looking to tow a car, has very long legs. While I didn’t have the trailer or boat, and is a key part of the model’s opportunity to sample it on the truly open road or longstanding success in the motorhome market. freeway, 80 km/h came up at about 1500 rpm. Iveco backs the Daily with a 3 year/200,000 That is right at the bottom of the tachometer’s km warranty – the same as Fiat’s Ducato – and green range, which stretches to 3000 rpm, and recommends 40,000 km service intervals. In a


Day Test | 27

As far as the Iveco Daily itself goes there is no denying it has come a long way. trucking environment 40,000 km would come up quite regularly, but in a motorhome application it could take several years and I’d be changing the oil on an annual basis rather than a distance calculation. Inside, an all-new design has transformed the previously utilitarian cab into something far more appealing. There’s a

five-inch colour touchscreen with a whole range of features, from sound system display to trip computer, speed limit warning, service indicator and more. There’s also digital climate control, but the plastic steering wheel is a disappointment in this leatherbound age, even though it does place many ancillary controls at your fingertips.

Remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, cab airconditioning and a raft of safety features like dual airbags and ABS are also standard, as is expected these days.

Switching Topics

A

cross the Switch range the usual body style is B-class (no over-cab


28 | Day Test Below: The body has Sunliner's trademark rear fibreglass body mouldings to reduce the ‘white box’ effect. External storage is good with four lockers on the driver’s side, the rearmost of which accesses under-bed storage. Bottom: Restyled Iveco Daily is a good looker.

bed), but the S541 and range-topping S542 are both C-class designs, having extra sleeping accommodation above the cab. Like all Sunliner coachbuilts the Switch has a steel sub-chassis with one-piece floor that’s fully sealed below. Body construction uses frameless ThermoTough Wall panels that are rebated and interlocked to form a rigid box. Up top the DuraRoof system is said to be “strong enough to party on”. Front and rear fibreglass fairings are “glued and screwed in a way that can’t be seen,” providing Sunliner’s trademark integrated bumper and other unmistakable design cues. Single-hopper double-glazed windows with integrated insect and privacy screens are used all ‘round, while on the roof is an Aircommand airconditioner, TV aerial, hatches and standard 140 W solar panel. A welcome feature is the new Dometic CaraD entry door, with inbuilt security screen and


Day Test | 29

The slide-out, which houses the dinette and fridge, is a good size without adding too much weight or complexity to the vehicle.


30 | Day Test

Above: The dinette is a good size and has a removable table for more casual get-togethers. The blue upholstery accents match the kitchen splashback and add a bright, fun feeling to the interior. Right: This locker came with a barbecue slide but could also be used for general storage if you’re not a fan of outdoor cooking. four-point locking system. A dinette slide-out, sizeable roll-out awning, lights and external stereo speakers complete the body’s most notable features. External storage is good rather than outstanding, which likely reflects concerns owners might load-up cavernous storage if provided, given the weight limitations. On the kerbside is a single locker between the entry door and rear axle, plus another aft of the axle where the 2 x 100 AH house batteries and associated electrics, inc a 1000 W sine wave inverter, live. There’s also an external shower between it and the rear bumper. On the driver’s side there’s gas locker for the 2 x 4 kg cylinders with manual changeover, just aft of the cab door. Between it and the rear axle are two


Day Test | 31 more lockers, with the rearmost ideal for hoses as it has a drain hole. There’s a larger split-level boot at the very rear that accesses space under the main bed, while between it and the rear axle, and set up at waist height, is a smaller locker that had a barbecue slideout (but no barbecue on the test vehicle). The toilet cassette resides behind the only door in the back wall.

Step Inside…

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lectric entry steps lead you inside just to the rear of the passenger’s cab door and the floorplan is quite conventional: There’s a mid-mounted kitchen with a cafestyle dinette opposite in the slide-out, which also incorporates the fridge and microwave. An east-west bed runs off the driver’s side wall to the rear of the slide-out, while the bathroom sits across most of the back wall and is accessed via an aisle down the kerbside, past the foot of the bed. Decor is bright and breezy, with a mixture of light timber colours and overall white, accented by bright blue highlights on things like the kitchen splashback and even on the dinette upholstery. LED lighting is used throughout and there is extensive use of concealed strip lights, to good effect. All major electrical controls are grouped above and down one side of the entry door, making them easy to see and access. With the slide out extended there is quite expansive living room up front. Even when retracted there’s plenty of room to let you move down the centre of the vehicle or use the kitchen, like when stopping for a roadside cuppa or quick lunch. The combination of bright colours, large windows and open floorplan avoids any feeling of claustrophobia, meaning this would be an easy vehicle to live in long-term even if the weather kept you indoors.

Top to bottom: Open plan living; the over-cab bed tilts on gas struts to provide easy through-cab access; LED lights are used throughout, with plenty of recessed strip lighting for extra effect.


32 | Day Test

Looking forward from the bathroom door: With the slide-out extended there is plenty of open living space. The use of light coloured timber, bright blue accents and gloss white on everything from the ceiling to the walls and even the twodoor fridge adds a genuine sense of spaciousness.

Living Room

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he front of the Switch is where you’ll spend most of your waking hours and it’s a comfortable space to live in. Both cab seats swivel, but due to the Daily’s inboard handbrake location rotating the driver’s seat is a bit of a struggle. Everyone expected the handbrake issue to be resolved with the new Daily, but it seems we are one of the few markets to use this vehicle as a motorhome base. Consequently the issue doesn’t rate highly on Iveco’s Head Office Engineering

Department’s radar. In normal use you’re unlikely to swivel the seats as they don't readily integrate with the cafe style dinette. The dinette is a nice size for four. It has comfortable and well shaped seats and a generous table that can be removed if desired. Because it’s in a slide-out, which itself is effectively a pedestal-mounted box, there are no cupboards above; just a large picture window with pelmet and down lights, plus curtains for an extra dash of style. Two double power points are provided on the base


Day Test | 33

You step up into the dinette due to the slide-out’s raised base, but it’s something you quickly adapt to.


34 | Day Test of the forward-facing dinette seat, with one set linked directly to the inverter. While it’s an easy place to mount them it’s far from ideal as electrical cables could easily be knocked out or tripped over. Far better would be to have them mounted on the wall beneath the window.

Cooking Room

B

ucking the trend of minimalist kitchens the Switch’s is well equipped in terms of bench and storage space, plus standard equipment. The benchtop is sort of thermometer shaped, with the ‘bulb’ by the entry door that houses a round sink on top and a rounded cupboard with clamshell doors below. The cooker has three gas burners and one electric hotplate, plus a grill, and is set two thirds of the way along the bench, meaning there’s preparation and cleanup room on both sides. There are five drawers of varying sizes plus a rear corner cupboard, while overhead are three more cupboards with a rangehood below. Behind the kitchen bench is a window framed by a bright blue acrylic splashback, with cutouts on either side that serve as useful storage nooks. On the rear-facing side of the small panel that serves as a divider between the kitchen and bedroom is another double power point connected to the inverter, plus a TV point and a combination 12 V socket and 5 V USB charging outlet. These are quite handy to a couple of the nooks in the splashback, making them a good place to recharge your iDevices without them getting in the way. Across the aisle from the cooker is the fridge, which happens to be a 175-litre 2-door model, with microwave above. Both are hosed in a tall unit that serves as a divider between the dinette and main bed.

Sleeping Room The kitchen is spacious, well equipped and stylish. Note the recessed nooks in the splashback, by the window, and the clever clamshell doors that makes the most of the rounded bench end.

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he open plan design of the Switch means the bed is very much part of the living space and is on display to all who


Day Test | 35

Whilst the bed lifts for access to storage below, these two drawers provide quite decent storage that's more easily reached.

enter the vehicle. While it’s nice to sit up in bed in the morning and watch your partner make a cup of tea, it would also be nice to have a way of screening the bed (and bathroom) from visitors, or just the lights of your significant other sitting up late working on the computer or watching TV.

net to stop you rolling out in the dead of night (should you be that way inclined). Overhead beds are often used for extra storage and the safety net is probably more valuable for stopping things falling on your head when you travel than preventing wayward night time excursions!

The east-west bed has an innerspring mattress and lift-up orthopaedic slat base, plus an extendable bolster for added bed length at night and easy walk-through bathroom access during the day. There are a couple of deep storage drawers that save you having to lift the bed base to make the most of storage underneath, which is a particularly convenient feature. The bedhead window has a padded surround similar to the kitchen’s splashback, complete with nooks on either side. These are especially useful as there are no bedside tables, and one has a combination 12 V socket/5 V USB charging outlet.

Bathing Room

Over the cab the secondary bed lifts on gas struts to provide easy walk-through cab access. When lowered for use it’s accessed by the usual aluminium ladder and has a safety

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unning across the rear two thirds of the Switch, the bathroom has a full size shower cubicle in the driver’s side corner; a swivel head Thetford cassette toilet beneath a window in the centre and a vanity with freestanding china handbasin at the other end, where you enter. The only thing stopping the bathroom being full width is a full-height wardrobe in the kerbside rear corner. There are three overhead cupboards along the back wall, between the shower cubicle and wardrobe unit, with LED lighting above and below. There’s also a double cupboard below the hand basin and a mirror behind it. Nice design touches include the graceful, oversize tap by the handbasin and bright blue wall panel with two large chrome towel hooks, opposite the loo.


36 | Day Test

The three-quarter width rear bathroom is nicely appointed, although a little extra depth to the benchtop around the handbasin wouldn’t go amiss. Hot water comes from a 20 L Atwood unit, while fresh and grey water capacities are smallish for this size vehicle at 100 L and 55 L respectively (a consequence of the weight limitation I guess).

What I Think

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here’s a lot to like about the new Sunliner Switch S541. It’s stylish, spacious and well-equipped – I forgot to mention it comes with a diesel heater, barbecue point, 22-inch TV/DVD and Bluetooth sound system as well – and well priced, especially given the technology and equipment levels.

Iveco’s new Daily is a beauty that builds on an already rock solid reputation. The eight speed auto and optional factory rear air suspension will surely steal many sales from MercedesBenz, while it’s a walk up start for those looking to tow. It’s just a shame to shackle it with a carlicence weight restriction. All-in-all I think the new range will keep Sunliner very busy, with many people making the Switch – big or small – to this impressive range of motorhomes.


Day Test | 37

Specifications Manufacturer

Sunliner RV

Model

Switch S541

Base Vehicle

Iveco Daily 50C17

Class

C

Berths

4

Approved Seating

3

Licence

Car

Engine

3.0 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

125 kW @ 2900-3500 rpm

Torque

420 Nm @ 1500-2600 rpm

Gearbox

8-speed automatic

Brakes

ABS Disc

Tare Weight

4100 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4495 kg

Towing Capacity

3500 kg

External Length

7.80 m (25’ 7”)

External Width

2.40 m (7’ 10”)

External Height

3.30 m (10’ 10”)

Internal Height

2.02 m (6’ 8’)

Main Bed Size

2.00 m x 1.46 m (6’ 7” x 4’ 8”)

Luton Bed Size

1.85 m x 1.46 m (6’ 0” x 4’ 8”)

Cooktop

3-gas/1-electric plus grill

Fridge

Dometic 3-way 2-door 175 L

Microwave

Yes

Lighting

12 V LED

Batteries

2 x 100 AH

Solar Panels

1 x 140 W

Air Conditioner

Aircommand

Space Heater

Eberspacher diesel with digital control

Hot Water

Atwood 22 L LPG/electric

Toilet

Dometic ceramic

Shower

Separate cubicle

Gas Propane Tank

2 x 4 kg

Water Tank

100 L

Grey Water Tank

55 L

Toilet Cassette

19 L

Price on-road NSW (as tested)

$166,990.00

Pros • • • • • • • •

New Iveco Daily 8-speed auto Towing capacity Car licence Spacious living Slide-out dinette High equipment levels Attractive decor

Cons

• Payload constraints • Limited water capacities • Driver’s seat swivel

Manufactured by Sunliner RV

T: (03) 8761 6411 W: www.sunliner.com.au

Thanks to

Sydney RV Group Click for Google Maps

13-22 Lemko Place Penrith. NSW. 2750. T: (02) 4735 8116 E: info@sydneyrvgroup.com.au W: www.sydneyrvgroup.com.au


38 | Day Test

There’s a lot to like about the new Sunliner Switch S541. It’s stylish, spacious and well equipped.


40 | Reader Report

My Motorhome

by Toni Moran Type: Van conversion motorhome Factory or Custom built: Custom Built Make and Model: Southern Spirit Campervans Year: 2014 Bought: New Mileage when bought: 45 km Mileage Now: 20,000 km Length: 6 m License Required: Car Base Vehicle: 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter 316 cdi MWB Engine Size: 2.2-litre turbo-diesel Transmission: 5-speed Auto Average fuel economy: 12.7 L/100 km No of berths: 2 No of Seats: 4 (originally 2) Why did I choose it: I wanted a 4x4 motorhome that wasn’t too big.

First Vehicle or replacement: Replacement/ upgraded from a 2002 Toyota HiAce. Options Fitted – Vehicle: 4x4, swivel seats, nav system, reversing camera, alloy wheels, alloy bumper with winch. Options Fitted – Camper: Queen-size bed, swivel table, 2-hob gas cooker, grill, TV and wind-up antenna, hot water system, outdoor shower, 110 L fridge, fans, roof hatches, built-in safe, fresh and grey water tanks, sink, pump, gas cylinder, plenty of storage, 200 AH house battery, 150 W solar panel, 2 extra seats with seat belts, custom fly screens, bike racks, outside light built into sliding door, wind out awning. Best Features: 4x4, spacious, lots of natural light, swivel table, big bed with several options (ie queen, double with table permanently up or two singles), built-in safe, TV comes out on an arm and can be stored in cupboard, various USB and 12 volt charging ports, vibrant colour scheme.


Reader Report | 41 Worst Features: Can’t think of any! Warranty Issues: House battery needed replacing. We were on the road so Pia organised a replacement for us from afar with no problems. Dealer Support: Good. Manufacture Support: Southern Spirit Campervans were exceptional and continue to be even now, one year after delivery. Recommend to a friend: Absolutely! General Comments: Ever since travelling around Australia in a 2WD HiAce for 12 months in 2009 I wanted to do it again. For the new camper I wanted a vehicle that was capable of going to more remote areas and more pristine "off the beaten Track" places in Australia (so far in 12 months we have been to Cape York, the Tasmanian wilderness and into the Outback). To do this the camper had to feature enough storage space and all the appliances to make travel and living as convenient as possible for up to a year on the road.

Also, I wanted an every day and easy-to-handle vehicle with compact dimensions so it was easy to drive, handle and park everywhere. I also needed to keep my conversion to a set budget to not exceed $45,000. The Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 MWB was the ideal base vehicle to cover the performance and handling requirements and Southern Spirit Campervans were my choice for the conversion. Southern Spirit Campervans were competent and really wanted to help me rather than just take my money. A lot of thought and innovation went into every addition and Pia and Oli had great knowledge about suitable, high quality products, which were implemented as the right solution for my many requests. Cupboard heights and widths were thought out so we wouldn’t bump our heads and USB charging points and 12 V points were placed around to make our life easy.


42 | Reader Report

I thought storage may be a problem but Southern Spirit came up with a design with plenty of various sized storage areas. These include a massive area under the bed that holds our belongings, including all recovery gear, golf clubs, BBQ, etc. The furniture and cabinets are quality built from lightweight products, with a lifetime warranty on Hettich hinges and still not one rattle after a year of driving around on corrugated roads in Australia! Our ceilings and walls are insulated and modern white (no carpet). When we travelled to Tasmania we were surprised by snow and the outside temperatures dropped to below freezing. We were pleasantly surprised that even with no heating the insulation kept us quite comfortable. We have travelled up north with temperatures as high as 45ºC degrees and down south as low as -8ºC and I can tell you, the insulation really makes a difference. Oli went to a lot of trouble to install an outside light. Due to the van being only mid wheelbase there wasn’t really anywhere suitable to put it without it being covered by the sliding door when open.


Reader Report | 43

The solution: Put it on the sliding door itself, which is harder than it sounds! It’s nice touches like this that makes my campervan so special to me and the end result has far exceeded my expectations. I now have a real head turner that is also functional, while the workmanship is amazing. Aftermarket service is also no problem. Pia has always been available to me for troubleshooting and a couple of warranty claims (grill and house battery) were replaced without hassle. Even while I was on the road Pia organised my new battery and I just had to turn up in Melbourne for a replacement. I could go on raving all day about how happy I am with my conversion. After previously owning an “off the shelf” conversion I can really recommend having your camper custom built. Just make sure you take the time to find the right builders, like the team from Southern Spirit!


44 | Project Polly

All Ahead Slow‌ Not much progress on the Project Polly front as time constraints bite‌ by Richard Robertson


Project Polly | 45

Above: Apollo’s Sydney Depot is in the southern suburb of Taren Point. Due to the on-site mechanic’s daily workload they called in extra help to attend to Polly’s issues. Perhaps the most serious (below) was this water tank bracket, which had broken off where it joined the body. The fix is much more substantial than the original and should easily last the life of the vehicle.

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ast issue, if you recall, Polly was in the Apollo Rentals depot in Sydney having a few matters attended to and she emerged from ‘surgery’ on the holiday Monday of the New South Wales October long weekend. Fixed was a list of problems comprising an intermittent hot water service (one I can now remove the external cover from!); a broken support bracket on the freshwater tank; a level gauge that only read one-third full when the freshwater tank was overflowing; an entry step that slid out progressively as we drove along; a roof hatch that had just started leaking water onto the passenger-side bed, and a safe we were unable to open, but are now custodians of the secret combination. All-in-all 10 out of 10 for effort and a special thank you to 2 new Apollo people I dealt with: Steve Millard the After Sales Manager and Julie the Sydney Branch manager. Along with Fleet Manager Shayne Culverhouse in Brisbane they went above and beyond in getting the problems fixed as a matter of good faith. Apollo’s warranty on ex-rental vehicles is one month on the motorhome conversion and appliances, which all the above problems would have been covered under. Unfortunately, by lending Polly to Reverse Alert Australia for the six weeks immediately after purchase I


46 | Project Polly didn’t become aware of these issues until well outside the warranty period. While I’m in no doubt they were fixed without charge largely because of who Polly and I are, I’m sure Apollo would have fixed the issues as easily in that first month had I been aware of them. As an interstate purchaser it’s also worth noting I wasn’t required to take Polly to the Apollo’s Sydney depot to have the problems fixed. That was my choice – I figured they’d have more experience on this vehicle model than anyone else – but I was also offered the option of having the items fixed by a local RV service specialist, had one been available.

Home Again

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he return journey from Sydney gave me an opportunity to top up the half-empty fuel tank and see if the HEET Diesel Complete Fuel System Treatment added at the previous fill had produced any fuel economy benefit. As noted in Issue 80 when I added it, the treatment claims to increase torque by up to 6.7% (a curiously precise figure), power by 2% and fuel economy by 3-7% depending on fuel quality. Without a dyno the power figures are impossible to verify and subjectively there is no noticeable difference, but the fuel consumption figures are interesting. Since purchase and no matter what sort of driving I’ve done, Polly has returned a consistent 10.44 to 10.49 L/100 km. Adding 47.75 litres to the 80 litre tank this time around produced a figure of 10.20 L/100 km, an improvement very close to 3% off the highest previous figure. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues or improves – half a tank is really too early to tell – but it’s a promising start.

Looking Forward…

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e’ve now got a backlog of things sitting in the garage awaiting installation. Among them are LED interior light upgrades, a pair of towel rails

Although the quick release catch is long gone I can at least now access the Suburban hot water system, which needs a good clean.


Project Polly | 47 destined for an unusual location (within the parameters of traditional towel rail locations!) and some heavy-duty suction-cup accessories for the bathroom. Most interesting, though, is what’s happening in the week following publication of this issue. RV accessory giant Webasto is generously providing Project Polly with an Air Top dieselfired central heating system and a new Cruise Elegance refrigerator! The heater arrives just in time for summer (of course!) but the fridge is timely and will be very interesting. It’s 12 V only and works in conjunction with Webasto’s proprietary Isotherm Smart Energy Control, or SEC. Being 12 V only does away with the need for separate 240 V fridge wiring as it runs off the house battery even when plugged into mains power. Also, SEC claims to deliver up to 35% power savings through the use of a more efficient compressor and up to 50% through the combined cooling effect of stored cooling energy in the fridge contents. With summer approaching and given Polly’s limited house battery capacity when free camping, it will be very interesting to see how the new fridge fares. Watch this space!

Above: On the way home I detoured via Webasto, where installers measured the existing fridge for the correct size replacement. Above right: The hot water system anode, which should be replaced annually, appears never to have been touched. It accounts for rust in the hot water and is another project for the list!


48 | Travel – Canada Part 2

Canada the Fraserway Concluding Malcolm Street’s Halifax to Toronto rental relocation adventure…


Travel | 49

Last issue we made to our to Halifax, Nova Scotia and collected a Fraserway Adventurer rental motorhome for a relocation trip to Toronto in Ontario. This issue we’re on the final leg and nearing our destination.

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he Trans Canada Highway proved useful once again to get us quickly and easily into the Province of Ontario. Once across the border from Quebec we stopped at the tourist information centre, where English was again the first language. As informative as ever, it also had free Wi-Fi and a very nice picnic area in addition to a large café and parking area.

looking buildings, but also that clincher: an old style British telephone box! Another intriguing item was a very prominent looking structure that looked like a shot tower, but wasn’t. Our campground for the night was in the very rustic and lightly populated town of Gananoque.

Very popular in this part of the world is the 1000 Island Cruise, which is boarded in either The advice (again) was to leave the Trans Kingston or Gananoque, and we chose the Canada and follow the St Lawrence River former. Unfortunately, on the day we booked and Route 2. The river is the border between our cruise there was some sort of triathlon Canada and the USA and the ‘States can easily going on in Kingston, with multiple street be seen across the water. It's quite a scenic closures and a considerable amount of drive, with an item of note being the town of traffic confusion that neither the Sat Nav nor Maitland. Not only did it have several Britishourselves were coping with. Fortunately, a very


50 | Travel Top to bottom: The 1000 Islands River cruise made a nice break from driving, cycling and walking tours. The St Lawrence river is surprisingly large and there are actually something like 1800 islands dotted throughout this area. helpful female police officer decided it was better for her if we were not adding to the traffic confusion and pointed us in the direction of an appropriate car park. Are there 1000 islands? Apparently there are about 1800, but who’s counting? It would have been smarter to have booked the cruise out of Gananoque, but how were we to know? Still, the onboard two person band kept everyone entertained and the commentary was certainly informative. For packing and cleaning purposes on our final motorhome night we tried to get into a campground near the Fraserway RV depot in Toronto, but it was booked out. Our third choice was expensive, not exactly topline and not particularly rustic either. Moral of the story: Book ahead when location is essential! After packing up and cleaning out the motorhome as best we could we made our way to the Fraserway depot at Cookstown. The only problem being the slightly


Travel | 51

Our third choice campground was expensive, not exactly top-line and not particularly rustic. Moral of the story: book ahead. rural route meant no petrol (gas) stations were available. There was one, however, not far from the depot, but in the opposite direction. We filled the petrol tank for the last time and returned the motorhome before boarding the courtesy bus for the airport.

This was actually our third motorhome trip to Canada. The first done nearly 20 years ago was in a Vancouver/ Vancouver Island winter, complete with snow. The second was some years later around Banff/Lake Louise in summer. Would we do it

again and in a Fraserway motorhome? Most definitely – I’m already considering my next trip!


52 | Travel Below: Toronto’s skyline is dominated by the CN Tower and no trip to this impressive city is complete without a visit to its observation deck. Bottom: Toronto’s Islands are also well worth a visit and provide a tranquil respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Toronto

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ike Montreal we visited Toronto – pronounced ‘Tronno' by the locals – at the start of our Canadian trip and like Montreal I’ll share a few points of interest. Note: if you don't want to take your motorhome into town there are good train services from the outlying towns, where traffic and parking are much easier. One of the standout attractions in Toronto is the CN Tower, from where the view over the city and surrounds is spectacular (try walking on the glass floor section – Ed!). At ground level are two other items of particular interest; one being Ripley's Aquarium in which, apart from anything else, the fresh water fish from nearby Lake Ontario can be seen. Not far away is the Toronto Railway Museum, not for everyone perhaps, but the railways of Canada had much to do with building the nation and are

a significant part of the country's history. The Canadian provinces at least managed to get all the main line gauges the same when they were first built .....


Travel | 53

If the weather is good take a trip to the Toronto Islands, accessed by a quick ferry trip. The islands themselves are interconnected by bridges and have waterways and lakes in between, not to mention a small airport (light aircraft only) and a surprising number of residential homes. The latter are very much an oddity in that they must be lived in all the time (interesting in a Canadian winter!), cannot be sold-on, cannot be redeveloped (repairs and upgrade only) and in some cases have no road transport access. Residents aside, the islands are very much used for recreational activities and even have beaches, with lifesavers, on the ‘waterfront’; a ‘clothing optional’ beach and plenty of walking and cycling tracks, plus places to eat out. We hired a couple of bicycles for a island tour (all very flat) and enjoyed some of the sights, including those of the city skyline with the ever present CN Tower.

Below: Ripley’s Aquarium is not only spectacular, it’s a great place to see the fish native to Lake Ontario. Bottom: Railways shaped Canada in the 19th and early 20th centuries and we took the train to Montréal to do some sightseeing before travelling to Halifax to collect our rental motorhome.


54 | Travel

As mentioned last issue, the massive Anglican Cathedral in Québec City was a surprise, given this is a Catholic dominated province. It is well worth a visit if only to admire the beauty of its ornate decorations.

Montreal

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ike Toronto, Montreal didn’t quite fit into the motorhome part of our travels but I’ve included it here because if you have the time it’s a great city to visit. We arrived by rail at Montreal’s main station and needed to find the Bonaventure Metro Station. What we had failed to understand is that much of Montreal is connected underground and the Metro stations are actually in buildings. We made the mistake of going to the surface, instead of finding the right tunnel! If only in Montreal for a day or so the best way to explore is either by bicycle or one of the eastern or western walking tours – or all of the above. The walking tours are very informative and give a snapshot view of the city’s history, as well as an understanding of the present day. In addition, Montreal is a cycle friendly city – there are city-supplied bike hire stands as well as several bike hire places that offer a better class of bike. The City Authorities have the novel idea

that motor vehicles, cyclists and walkers should all be separated to make everyone as safe as possible. So there are cycling paths along a number of roads and where pedestrians and cyclists mix, the tracks are normally quite wide, thus avoiding accidents. I’m sure it will never catch on in Sydney where I live… We used our bikes to explore the Lachine Canal, formerly a working canal for the grain industry that is now a National Historic Site of Canada with walking/cycle tracks on both sides. A compulsory stop is the Atwater markets where fresh fruit of all types and good coffee is readily available. For getting to the airport, Montreal has an excellent bus service. Someone with a sense of humour came up with the bright idea of giving the airport bus routes numbers like 747 and 767 – extremely helpful for tourists! Indeed our bus driver acted like he was flying a 747 and must have been paid more for getting us to the airport in the shortest possible time!


Travel | 55

This was actually our third visit to Canada in a motorhome. Would we do it again? Most definitely!


56 | Travel

Tips! 1: P  ack soft sided bags if possible. You don't always know what motorhome you'll be getting and soft sided bags are easier to store. 2: F  or left hand drive vehicles, if possible get a hire car for a few days prior to the motorhome. That will get you familiar with driving ‘on the wrong side of the road’, meaning you can concentrate more on the motorhome than what side of the road you are on. 3: J argon buster (Australian to Canadian) – caravan parks are campgrounds; petrol is gas; LPG is propane, and entree on Canadian (and US) menus refers to the main meal (what we call entrees are Starters over there - Ed). I did wonder why this wrong use of the French word was acceptable in a country where French was widely spoken….. 4: T  ry to get a handle on local holidays and long weekends. During those times, like at home,


Travel | 57

campgrounds get very busy and booking ahead is highly recommended. 5: Use local tourist information centres – they are incredibly helpful for not only local information and the best way to get from A to B, but also frequently have free Wi-Fi. 6: Provincial (think National) Park campgrounds are great places to overnight. 7: Mobile phone use is up to you. I did try to get a Canadian SIM card for my phone but that was a bit expensive, I thought, although given our phone bill when we arrived home it wasn't such a bad deal. A better choice might be a travel SIM from your local post office or a company like Lebara. Ed’s note: Vodafone’s excellent $5 a day global roaming deal isn’t valid in Canada. 8: Wi-Fi is frequently free in many places. We became regular customers at Tim Horton’s, which offered good Wi-Fi especially if you sign up for the Premium Service (no charge). Tim Horton's is a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain (and institution) that also serves light meals. Apart from the Wi-Fi I reckon the coffee – especially the iced coffee – was considerably better than Starbucks! 9: If flying between the USA and Canada, Air Canada is considerably better than American Airlines. The former might be more expensive but provides more leg room, better seats and better service. LA to Toronto is a five hour trip. Guess you gets what you pays for! 10: Do a Canadian motorhome trip sometime soon! What's even better at the moment is that the Canadian dollar is much better value for Australians and New Zealanders than the US dollar!


58 | TechTalk

Tanks A Lot! Our new resident Techspert from Southern Spirit Campervans shares tips and invites your questions‌


TechTalk | 59

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his issue we take a look at your vehicle's fresh water system and how to get the most from it. Regular maintenance is – or should be – part and parcel of the RV ownership experience. A recent survey of motorhome owners by a German magazine found 58% perform an annual system cleanout and 16% clean more than once a year, but 26% have never cleaned their systems. It’s likely statistics in Australia would the same or worse! All except the oldest or most basic campervans and motorhomes have a fresh water tank and at least one filter fitted. Basically there are two types of filters: Those for the water pump and those to improve the quality of your fresh water.

Pump Filters

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very water pump has a filter to protect it from damage. The filter is installed between the tank and 12 V (or 24 V) pump, which you’ll often find under the body of your vehicle. One reason such a filter is important is that without it most pump manufacturers will void the warranty. These little filters often have a cap that can be unscrewed without uninstalling the whole filter. Inside the cap is usually a small fine filter that can be taken out and cleaned, which you do simply by rinsing and cleaning away any muck with clean water. As the filter’s job is to protect the water pump from sand, sediment and small particles it’s essential to check and clean this filter on a regular base. I would suggest


60 | TechTalk

every couple of months as the job should take less than five minutes. If you find a lot of residue in the filter in a short period of time the chances are you have a lot of ‘rubbish’ in your tank. What you definitely don’t want is a broken water pump while on a trip, so check and clean the filter regularly and you’ll likely get a longer life span out of your pump too.

Other Filters

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nother filter type is one that attaches to you filler hose, filtering the water before it enters the tank. One such popular product is the inline filter from BEST, which can also be used when connected to mains water. This way you not only prevent sediment and other solids entering, you also prevent the formation of biofilm – a slimy film of microorganisms – in your water system. Often you’ll find drinking water filters as permanent fittings in your vehicle’s plumbing system and chances are you’ll find them somewhere underneath the sink. With these,

make sure you follow the instructions of the filter manufacture and change the filters or cartridges as required (some have reminder/ information stickers). In case you’ve bought a used RV or are just unsure, change them


TechTalk | 61

anyway. Such filter systems can also be fitted aftermarket and are a worthwhile inclusion in any recreational vehicle. The life cycle of most filters is one year. However, if your system is infected with biofilm they might only last a couple of months. Such water filters not only make your water taste better, they also make it healthier and safer.

recommend using proven products and not DIY recipes with baking soda, chlorine or vinegar, especially as some actually encourage biofilm development.

Cleaning Up

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inally, how often do you clean your RV’s water system? Have you ever cleaned it? Well, there’s no time like the present! It’s recommended at least once a year. If your tank has a large inspection cap – like Fiamma tanks – you can do a visual check and manual clean. If not, give the tank a flush by filling it while leaving the pump filter cap off to let the water run out, as a first step. Then use a tank sanitiser like Waterpure or Tank Cleen to improve the quality in your fresh water tank as well as the whole system. We

Ask The Techspert! If you have any maintenance questions or problems email us at techtalk@imotorhome.com.au and we’ll see what we can sort out. Please include photos as well as a description of any problems and we’ll share them and the answers with all our readers.


62 | Book Review

Australian Bus and Coach Drivers’ Guide John Duffy’s comprehensive guide for Australian bus and coach drivers…

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s its name suggests the Australian Bus and Coach Drivers’ Guide is – or attempts to be – a comprehensive manual with “Everything to help you obtain a licence and driver authorisation to drive any bus in Australia, towards the highest professional qualifications.”

to build a career. As such, much focuses on the regulatory and compliance side of things, which at best of course is of limited interest to motorhomers.

Inside

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he contents are divided into six main sections titled Pre-Drive, Author John Duffy approached me about Vehicle Operation and Control, Low reviewing the book and it seemed a good Risk Driving, Compliance, Additional Risk idea, given many people behind the wheel of mid to large-sized motorhomes have little prior Management, and The Professional Bus and Coach Driver. These are then subdivided heavy vehicle driving experience. The book, into section-relevant topics. Whilst there are a paperback of some 206 pages, is certainly comprehensive, but it targets those new to the a reasonable number of photos, diagrams bus and coach driving industry who are looking and charts, the bulk of the content is in bullet


Book Review Travel | 63 point form under various headings and you really need to be focused to take it all in. Much appears to be simple common sense but I admire the effort John has put into compiling a mountain of information and collating it into a cohesive, structured and relevant reference work. Factually he has succeeded although much of the content, by its very nature, is rather dry. Having been a bus and coach driver for many of my younger years I found the book interesting. But like many older people revisiting a job they fondly remember, I came away a little dismayed by the level of regulation that has infiltrated the industry. Just say’n…

Australia for vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) exceeding 4.5 tonnes. While it wasn’t mentioned in John’s book, some online ferreting around clarified the logbook – now called a National Work Diary – position regarding motorhomes. Such diaries aren’t required for drivers of every heavy vehicle, just those classified as “fatigue-related heavy vehicles”. The good news is the regulations say “motor homes specifically modified for residential purposes” are not such vehicles, so no ‘log book’ is required.

Worth Buying?

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hilst all knowledge is valuable I can’t hand-on-heart say you MUST As an experienced heavy vehicle driver I didn’t rush out and buy this book. Many find anything in the book that made me sit up sections are irrelevant to motorhomers, as and think “Wow, I never knew that!”. What I did expected, but if you are new to heavy vehicle find were interesting little nuggets on things like driving it certainly has merit. It’s the sort of how to fit snow chains; jack placement points book you need to take out to your vehicle and for wheel changes, and an exhortation to use read section-by-section as you go through the the Fast Idle button on a two-stroke diesel motions. In this context you would remember to avoid glazing the cylinder walls when the things more easily and, I'm sure, pick up some engine’s cold (something of little use to anyone valuable tips and insights. these days, but a blast from my past). It also got me thinking about things like what I would \The bottom line? The Australian Bus and Coach Drivers’ Guide is a book best kept do in a roadside breakdown situation and if in your motorhome as a reference/refresher I should carry some warning triangles and a high-visy vest even though not required by law. rather than by your bedside (unless you need a sleep aid). A video/DVD version with real-world footage would be a good idea John… LRD and More…

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ll drivers could benefit from reading this section on Low Risk Driving (LRD), which is “the practice of actively applying driving skills and disciplines to minimise the risk of accidents”. Also interesting was the section on Fatigue-regulated Heavy Vehicles. In the ‘olden days’ drivers of vehicles with a tare weight exceeding 4.5 tonnes were required to carry a log book if operating more than 80 km from their base (in NSW at least). That included drivers of motorhomes. These days it’s much more complex (of course), but now at least there’s a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to enforce common rules across

Fast Facts: Title: The Australian Bus and Coach Drivers’ Guide Cost: $35 inc postage within Australia Available from: http://johnduffy.net.au/ book/ABCD_Guide.html


64 | Mobile Tech

Keeping Them Close Staying in touch with younger family members while on the road is essential for happy travels‌ By Emily Barker

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s 2015 slides to an end and the silly season approaches, many people will be starting to think of home and, in particular, the little people there. Keeping in contact is an important part of life on the road; for your comfort and peace of mind as well as theirs. But it can be tricky engaging little ones by phone alone, and given the speed with

which time passes as we age they can easily grow up before you know it! The following is a small sample of apps designed to keep people of all sizes in touch. Communication is rarely a chore, but adding in a little technological novelty can enhance the experience and help create long lasting memories!


Mobile Tech | 65 Skype Android, iOS, iPad optimised Size: 81 MB Cost: Free Without a doubt Skype is one of the most popular ways to connect in real time with people via video chat. Skype is a second generation provider of Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP – services and is also the largest and most trusted of such services. It’s often noted too as the most affordable, which considering it’s free to video and voice-call other Skype users, makes a lot of sense. All VoIP services allow you to make and receive calls via your broadband or Wi-Fi Internet connection rather than traditional telephone networks. Deciding if this is the right application for you will depend upon your connectivity as mobile data charges might apply if you’re not on Wi-Fi (depending on your plan), even though the service itself is free. Skype is available on a multitude of platforms in addition to computers, including iOS and Android devices, making it a versatile and accessible tool. Registering is simple: Users are identified by a unique Skype name and you can choose to use an existing phone number or adopt a new Skype number. You can search for friends and family within the directory and immediately send and receive free messages, voice and video calls. Calls can also be made to mobiles and landlines directly worldwide by purchasing Skype credits. Skype is now owned by Microsoft and in turn its apps are well presented and maintained. The features too just keep increasing. You can conduct free group video chats, send screen shots or even files during calls now. In terms of keeping in contact with friends and family, if you have a reliable online connection with reasonable data allowances then Skype is a wonderful way to bridge distance.

A Story Before Bed – Recordable Children's Books Android, iOS, iPad optimised Size: 42.2 MB Cost: Free* (App is free, some Free books offered, others offered at cost)

Some of the most treasured moments children can have with grandparents is the quiet sharing of a good book. This app is terribly American, but in its field it’s a clear leader. The creators have wisely identified a problem experienced by many families of distance and have developed a solution that is both enjoyable and economical. The idea is pretty straightforward: You select books from their library – some are free while others range in price from six to nine dollars – and then record yourself reading. Once a book has been recorded it can be emailed out to various recipients who can view it upon a computer or tablet. The idea is children get to see and hear a loved one as they listen to a story while viewing the pages illustrations and text. There is an option to take out a monthly subscription for unlimited access to the entire library of books, however anyone who has ever read to a child knows they will have their favourites and will stick to them – night after night after night! Books are such an important part of a child’s life; the stories they hold can teach valuable life lessons and time spent enjoying books can cultivate a lifelong love of reading. This app is globally popular, well presented and supported, and by all accounts, kids love it!


66 | Mobile Tech 23snaps – Family Album and Private Photo Sharing iOS & Android Size: 33.9 MB Cost: Free Social media such as Facebook and Instagram are not everyone’s cup of tea. Indeed there are many who deliberately avoid posting personal details, particularly photos of children on such public sites, regardless of the privacy settings available. 23 Snaps, however, is every proud parent and grandparents dream outlet: secure, completely private and no one will ever accuse you of over sharing or ‘spamming’ a timeline with toddler snaps or anecdotes! Apparently some people just don’t appreciate how cute or clever a two-year-old can be, even if they show you several times a day… This app is dedicated to watching little people grow, literally. Not only is it a photo, video and story-sharing outlet, you can include regular height and weight updates too. The real convenience of this app is its ability to be shared as a living journal. Close family and friends are invited to join the journey and have access to all or selected entries. It’s the perfect way to securely share the joy of children from the biggest milestones to the lovely everyday moments that family and friends far away simply can’t otherwise experience. 23 Snaps can be followed via iOS and Android devices or by email only, making it accessible to just about everyone. Followers can interact with content by commenting or ‘liking’, similar to social media, but without the risk of any unwanted views or attention. This app has received rave reviews from many parenting publications and private users alike. Grandparents particularly rate this app well as they indulge proudly in the joy only little people can create!


Advertisers' Index | 67

Advertisers' Index AirBag Man  Albury Wodonga RV World  Australian Motor Homes

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Battery Traders Super Store

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Skytracks23

Bony Mountain Folk Festival

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Sunliner39

Caravan & Motorhome Covers

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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eBook Traveller

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Tiffin Motorhomes

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e-Twow Electric Scooters

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Wellington Shire

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Winnebago10

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Winjana RV

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Ozcape Campers

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Wirraway Motor Homes

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Paradise Motor Homes

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Parkland RV Centre

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22


68 | Next Issue

Crystal Ball Gazing… W

e’re on a three week break until the next issue due to the workings of the calendar. At this stage determining what will grace the cover and be the subject of our roadtest requires some serious crystal ball gazing (and the batteries aren’t too flash)… What’s good to see is we're starting to get some regular reader reviews and next issue we’ll bring OCT

Oct 23-25

23-25

OCT

06-08

Canberra Home, Building, Caravan, Tourism, 4WD & Camping Show

you one on a 2007 Suncamper Sovereign Prestige. It’s an interesting account not only of the vehicle and ownership experience, but one that starts from a position of near tragedy. Don’t miss it! On the Project Polly front we’ll be taking a look at the fridge replacement and any other upgrades we manage to squeeze in along the way, plus there’ll be another TechTalk tip. Don’t forget you’re welcome to ask any questions of a technical nature and we’ll do our best to answer them. Issue 83 will be out on Saturday 7 November. Until then why not join our nearly 30,000 Facebook Friends and Twitter followers to share laughs, fun and keep an eye on what we’re up to? Facebook “f ” Logo

OCT

OCT

Oct 23-25 08-11

23-25

OCT

06-08

OCT

Nov 06-08 08-11

OCT

23-25

OCT

South Coast Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo

Exhibition Park, Flemington Rd Canberra. ACT. 2602.

Adelaide Showground Goodwood Rd, Adelaide. SA. 5034

Mackay Park Batemans Bay. NSW. 2536

• Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $12 • Kids: U 16 free

• Open 9:00-6:00 daily (5:00 pm Sunday) • Parking: Paid available • Adults: $16 • Seniors: $13 • Kids: Free with Adult

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Open 9:00-4:00 daily Parking: TBA Adults: TBA Seniors: TBA Kids: TBA

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

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

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06-08

SA Boat, Fishing & 4WD Adventure Show

• • • • •

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08

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 82 - 17 Oct 2015  

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iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 82 - 17 Oct 2015  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

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