w e n The Black!
Issue 86: Dec 19 2015
because getting there is half the fun...
Win! Reader Report!
$50 for the! best letter
The Adventures of Father McSherry
Fixing up the leaning dining table!
Paradise’s new Black Edition Inspiration Supreme…
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
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The Most Recognised Name in Motorhomes
2015 motorhome range now available nationwide. Proudly Australian designed and built in our Brisbane factory.
Find a Winnebago dealership near you. Visit: www.gowinnebago.com.au Licensee and authorised distributor of Winnebago Industries Inc., Forest City Iowa USA
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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Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2576. Australia.
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Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: firstname.lastname@example.org
On my mind | 5
IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL This is our fourth Christmas, although our fourth anniversary isn’t until May, and as they say, “Who would have thought?” When we began, the critics said a purely electronic motorhome magazine would never get off the ground. Thanks for helping prove them wrong! Like previous end-of-year issues this one has had its challenges. Our designer Agnes fits the magazine in around a ‘real’ full time job and her young family. Combine that with Silly Season office and birthday parties, then throw in a trip home to Germany and you can see the difficulties. This issue has been put together in Sydney, Guangzhou Airport and a hotel room in Amsterdam, as well as ‘home’ in Germany. Talk about an international effort! It’s a reminder of how mobile the work world has become – I’ve previously put together two issues from a friend's kitchen bench in California and one from a motorhome dinette in Colorado – and how ‘connected’ our daily lives have become. I realise some view this connection as a negative thing. There seems to be a perception, especially amongst older people who grew up without technology as an integral part of their lives, that this all-pervasive connectedness is diminishing our lives. While it’s true you can spend an unhealthy amount of time online, I believe the advantages far outweigh the negatives. I also believe this attitude is sometimes adopted by those afraid of technology who use it as a defence. Years ago – long before iMotorhome – I made a decision to keep up with technology. I want to know what the trends are, where technology is heading and generally what’s going on. At the same time, however, I realised that while I’m something of an early adopter I don’t need (or want) every latest gizmo. In fact I believe the key to a healthy relationship with technology is to be aware of what’s going on, but always ask how or
why any of it would benefit your life or the lives of those you care for. My In-Laws are in their early 80s and both have iPads, although they struggle with them at times. One also has an iPhone while the other a Kindle. Wi-Fi is a marvellous mystery to them yet they regularly stay in touch via FaceTime with family and friends in the UK. Technology has enriched their lives in many ways, but especially at this time when international travel is becoming a bigger challenge. It helps keep them face-to-face with loved ones in a way that was previously unimaginable. In contrast, I know people decades younger who can’t turn on a computer and who basically poo-poo the thought they need “such nonsense” in their lives. My point is technology is what you make it. Or allow it to be. Given this is a time of increasing isolation amongst the ageing, technology can bring people together and keep them in touch in meaningful and beneficial ways. Perhaps this Christmas the greatest gift you can give someone is helping them stay in touch, and in the process feeling they haven’t been forgotten. As 2015 draws to a close, thanks again for your support. From all of us here at iMotorhome, best wishes to you and your family for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. See you in 2016!
6 | Contents
Who we are, where and other legal stuff
Find back issues and more on our website
On my Mind
On your Mind
It’s a Small World After All
Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!
Day Test: Paradise Inspiration Supreme Black Edition
Reader Report: Sunliner Pinto 3
Feature: Bush Poetry
What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond
The latest Marketplace offers
The New Black – An aspirational motorhome for the well healed!
Read what owners Mike and Cheryl think of their pride and joy...
Lagun Behind – a leaning table is fixed and a clever power point discovered
Poems from Mum – the tale of Father McSherry!
Don’t leave it too late…
DIY Awning Tips!
An A to Z of who’s in this issue!
Christchurch Show has much to offer
Xmas apps to get you in the mood!
What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!
Leading the industry since 1965
New 2015 modeLs
• NeW FULL length slide out • Two new floorplans • massive bench space • Increased storage • New upholstery design
• First time with slide out • Two new floorplans • All new interior look • Large 190 L two door fridge/freezer • New stove (3 gas/1 electric)
• First time with slide out • Two new floorplans • massive bench top design • Integrated mood lighting • Large 190 L two door fridge/freezer
Contact your Avida dealer for further information 1300 4 AVIDA or www.avidarv.com.au
Resources | 9
because getting there is half the fun...
Magazine Resources Ask a Question
because getting there is half the fun...
Esprit de Cor Blimey!
Dethleffs ‘baby’ A-class is something to ogle at… Review and images by Malcolm Street
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 email@example.com and we’ll share it with our readers. We’ll also reward
Hi Richard. Here is a bit of info I have put together from my experience to date with our Winnebago Birdsville that might be of some help for Kerry (Letters Issue 85). Since buying a new Winnebago Birdsville on a Fiat Ducato in December 2011 I have been keeping a record of tyre wear – tread depth sides and centre – at the service intervals. By rotating the front tyres from left to right and the rear tyres with the spare I have so far replaced the front tyres only after 31,390 km. The others still have more than 50% tread left now after 42,690 km. My replacement front tyres are a mud/snow pattern called ‘225/75 R16 Summit A/W Trail Climber 10 ply Light Truck’. They give a good grip in the wet, especially on take off, compared to the original Continentals (most of our trips include A-frame towing of a Grand Vitara). After 11,294 km with the new front tyres at 65 psi they have an average of 7-8 mm tread depth remaining, with slightly less on outers. Consequently I will be increasing front pressures to 70 psi, which is still much lower than the 80 psi recommended for the originals. As expected there is slightly extra tyre/road noise with the mud/snow tread style but it is well worth it, in my opinion. Having been involved, for most of my life until retiring, in heavy transport industry maintenance
the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.
and management, I have always been aware of how important the monitoring of tyre wear is for both safety and economy. Regards, Russ P.S. After the first 12 months finding that the front suspension bottomed out too easily, and after looking at various forums, I fitted "King Coil" springs. These have lifted the front 60 mm and greatly improved comfort and handling. Thanks Russ, very interesting and thanks for the information. You added you couldn’t find these tyres available online any longer, but I did a quick search and found them on eBay, while there also appears to be a new version designated the ‘225/75 R16 Summit C/T Trail Climber. The main thing for anyone looking to fit replacement tyres is to ensure they have LT (Light Truck) in their name and on the tyre, and are of the same or higher load index than the originals. I think the Continentals have a 116 load index, which means they can carry up to 1250 kg per tyre. For your efforts please accept this issue’s $50 prize – just in time for Christmas!
12 | On your mind
Just Thinking… Greetings team. I am always happy to receive the fortnightly mag. Unfortunately I read it as soon as I get it. Then I go through the extras looking for anything new. Anyway, I have three topics to talk about. The first one is that I get blank pages in every iMotorhome, including the first page every time. Has anyone else ever mentioned this? It is especially annoying when the first page of a story or informative subject is blank. May be that is the reason I get through the mag so quickly? Secondly, a couple of years ago we set off on our northerly meanderings away from the chilly winters, we headed over to Broome. The last free camp we utilised was 'the boab tree' rest area. I was disgusted with the amount of ‘streamers (toilet paper)’ marking nearly every track leading away from the camping area. The night I cleaned the site a young guy from overseas was heading out to do his business, so I suggested he take a bag with him and at least put the paper in the bag and place it in the bin. He was very understanding and complied. He also suggested it to the three young ladies travelling with him and they all did. I have often thought that maybe all the Whizzbangs should carry a 'Thunder Downunder' toilet bucket, which comes with biodegradable liners. The third topic is about two young girls who camped next to us last Christmas at Stockton, near the sailing club. Their fridge was not working, so I tried to help but without success. They had tried ringing the dealer who at first was not helpful at all; that was until my wife rang them and made a few inroads into the way he was thinking. He eventually sent out an auto electrician who found the problem
was the plug was not connected. Problem fixed! Another problem the girls had was an infestation of cockroaches, which the manager said was their problem. The girls had noticed them during the handover. Nice way to start a trip – unwanted pests tagging along. We used half a can of surface spray spraying into every nook and cranny. I suggested the girls take a walk while we watched the exodus of the afore-mentioned ‘pests'. There were dozens of them! I thought the hiring company should at least be responsible for the hygiene of their vehicles before they hire them out again! Well I have rambled on long enough. I hope you all a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and more fantastic subjects for your iMag! Cheers, Mike Gee Mike, that’s a lot to cover! Regarding the missing pages, I’m thinking it’s an issue with the device you’re reading iMotorhome on? Maybe an Android tablet with and old version (or none at all) of Adobe Acrobat Reader – the software you need to read a PDF file? Great idea about the toilet bucket and thanks for cleaning up the campsite. Maybe if we all carried a packet of the disposable and biodegradable liner bags we could give them to young campers in need (or clueless) we encounter? Finally, it’s a sad reflection on some sections of the rental industry that a van infested with ‘roaches and without a functioning fridge could be hired out. Well done for helping out where you could and please let me know if you resolve the magazine viewing problems.
14 | On your mind
Gauging Interest I recently had a problem with my motorhome that I need to put out to everyone. I was driving and could feel some vibrations coming up the steering and realised there was a problem with the tyres. I stopped the vehicle and inspected the tyres, but couldn't find anything wrong. I called into a tyre place and told them what I had experienced, they then looked at the tyres and checked the tyre pressures and said the tyres were 10 psi over the recommended pressure. I told them I do my tyres with a compressor I carry and they said to check its pressure gauge. Sure enough it was reading 10 psi below. So in short I recommend
everyone to check their tyre pressure gauge against several other to be sure it’s accurate. Cheers, Lloyd Thanks Ron, that is interesting. I’ll certainly be checking my gauge now to make sure it’s on the money. I know from experience, however, that service station gauges are often seriously inaccurate (my local Woollies used to be about 20 psi out!) and I recommend everyone carries a good quality gauge in the glovebox. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference.
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Webasto Thermo & Comfort Australia Pty Ltd 423-427 The Boulevarde, Kirrawee NSW 2232 Freecall 1800 244 494 firstname.lastname@example.org www.webasto.com.au
RV Compressor Fridges
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Air Top – Air Heaters
On your mind | 15
Appy Customer Hi Richard, I’ve just downloaded Issue 85 via the iMotorhome app. It shifted very easily into iBooks and I could save it in the library. It seems you have solved the problem!
Thanks Margaret and yes, it is working properly now. Still some more features to develop but we’ll get there. Thanks for confirmation!
Kind regards, Margaret
GPS Tracker Discount Hi Richard, I thought you and your subscribers may be interested in this vehicle theft tracker. It’s from a company called UFind GPS Tracking Solutions that has offered a $200 discount if readers use the code TS25 when buying online. Apparently there are 1000 units available at the discounted rate. They also mentioned CIL give a premium discount although at this time Ken Tame Associates do not. Given how much our motorhomes are worth and if travelling, all the gear we have, for the small cost it looks a good investment – especially with the discount. Also, you can allocate access for family, etc. The offer is for the basic Protect Plan and
there are no ongoing fees, although you can upgrade to extra features at extra cost if desired. To find out more or purchase the tracker click HERE. Anyway all the best to you and Mrs iMotorhome for a Merry Christmas and safe new year. Looking forward to next year’s issues. Cheers, Wayne Thanks for that Wayne. It certainly sounds like a great idea and hopefully will help some of our readers sleep easier at night. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs Wayne too!
caption this... We’ve got special mystery prize for the best caption for this very ‘interesting’ photo. Email to email@example.com – and good luck!
16 | News
MOTORHOME 101 DAY
Motorhome and Southern Spirit Campervans are hosting a free day for beginners in Brisbane on Saturday March 12th 2016 between 10 am and 3 pm. The event is designed to show new owners – and those looking to purchase – how basic vehicle
systems work and tips for making on-road life easier. Topics covered will include gas cylinder hook-up and operation, different brands of hot water systems, heaters and air conditioners, fresh and mains water connections, mains power hook-up, toilet cassette operation, awnings and more. The ticketed event is limited in numbers to ensure everyone gets a close look and hands-on experience if desired, plus there will be plenty of time for questions. A sausage sizzle and refreshments will also be provided, so (only) if you’re new to the RV scene and the basics are a bit of a mystery, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to have your name/s put on the Motorhome 101 Day list!
NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD
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For 20 years, Horizon Motorhomes have been crafting ‘built-in’ motorhomes using only the finest fixtures and fittings. This year we have been recognised for our passion and enthusiasm invested into developing Horizon Motorhomes as the RV with ‘Satisfaction Built-In’ – by being named Best Manufacturer of 2015 by the Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW.
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To find out more about our range of award winning motorhomes visit our website or call 02 6681 1555.
SGG Pty Ltd. Lic No. MD11739, MVRL23910
18 | News
WEATHERPROOF ANTENNA CONNECTIONS
he Maxview TV/SAT outlet socket is a weatherproof external wall socket for TV and satellite aerial leads. It provides a neat and tidy solution that also looks good and is easy to install. The Maxview system works perfectly in conjunction with mobile antennas such as Wanderer antennas or most portable sat dishes and is available in two versions: • Outlet with F-connector and 3 m cable only • Outlet with F-connector and coax cable (both 3 m) Available from Southern Spirit Campervans for $55.95 plus postage, while installation is also offered at additional cost. Visit sscampervans.com/shop/gadgets or call 0401 797179 for orders or more information.
NEW FIAT CUP HOLDERS
new smart armrest cup holder to suit Fiat Ducatos and other vehicles with folding arm rests is now available. A velcro strap secures it to the arm rest and three adjusting positions are provided. The cupholder is very sturdy and has a top quality finish – ceramic coating in satin titanium colour and black – and weighs in at just 220 grams. It’s designed for cups and cans with a diameter of 65-80 mm and a minimum height of 95 mm, while the holder’s dimensions are 88 x 165 x 96 mm. Price is $55 each and while this might seem expensive these are top quality European items that not only work well, they add a real touch of style! Contact Southern Spirit Campervans on 0401 797179 for orders or more information.
News | 19
or the last two issues we’ve asked you to caption photos seen on Facebook. Thanks for all your entries, here are the winners…
Congratulations to Monty (Issue 84) and Dianne (Issue 85)! Your mystery prizes will be with you for Christmas – Australia Post permitting!
Issue 84: “Why couldn’t you just buy a swivelling seat like everyone else?” Issue 85: On the first day of Christmas My true love gave to me A tinselled Kombi on the front lawn. On the second day of Christmas My true love gave to me Two twinkly reindeer And a tinselled Kombi on the front lawn…
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: email@example.com & New Website: www.wirraway.com.au On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer
20 | News
VICTORIAN CAMPING CHARGES REDUCED
he Andrews Labor Government has dropped camping fees for a range of Victoriaâ€™s parks in time for summer, following a state-wide review. Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville announced changes to fees as of Friday 18 December, which follows the removal of fees at 500 basic campsites earlier this year.
The fee for camping at mid-level campsites have been reduced from $38.90 to $28 per site in peak season. The change will affect campgrounds such as Borough Huts and Jimmy Creek in the Grampians National Park, and popular sites in the Great Otway National Park including Johanna Beach, Blanket Bay and Aire River West, and Bear Gully at Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. In addition, fees to camp at the popular boat based campgrounds at Bunga Arm in Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park will be reduced from $38.90 per site to $21 per site. In total, there are 55 campgrounds where fees have been reduced. To book your stay visit Parks Victoria at www.parks.vic.gov.au
News | 21
KAKADU FEE HIKE BACKLASH
he backlash against massive hikes in the fee to visit Kakadu National Park is growing with Northern Territory Chief Minister, Adam Giles, now joining the chorus of condemnation. He has written to the federal Tourism Minister urging him to reverse the controversial decision to increase entry fees to Kakadu by up to 60% from April 1 next year. The NT News reports there is growing concern that the hikes will further hit park visitor numbers, which have slowly declined since the reintroduction of a fee in 2010. Budgetconscious travellers like backpackers and many grey nomads are among those who might think again about a trip into the iconic park. An adult visiting Kakadu in the dry season will now pay $40 while a wet season pass will cost $25. Mr Giles, in his letter to federal Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck, said the decision was a ‘disincentive’ in a competitive tourism market.
“The issue of the impending fee increases at Kakadu National Park is causing nervousness, confusion and anger among operators at arguably the jewel of Australia’s tourism crown,” Mr Giles wrote. “On numerous occasions, I have publicly stated my opposition to fees in our national parks, particularly at a time when Federally-managed parks such as Kakadu have been struggling to turn tourism numbers around. According to statistics quoted in the NT News, Kakadu visitor numbers were at 202,000 in 2005 when the gate fee was removed and, since the reintroduction of the fee in 2010, visitor numbers dropped to 190,000. The Federal Department of the Environment says there has been widespread consultation about the increased fees, and insists any extra revenue will be reinvested directly back into the park.
22 | News
FORD-BRAND RVS IN USA Ford chassis to create all-Ford motorhomes.
ord USA is set to have its own line of branded RVs. It announced last week it is working with Indiana-based Livin Lite to offer Ford-licensed RVs in a variety of styles and sizes. The first wave of products will include camping trailers, toy hauling trailers and truckbed (slide-on) campers. Livin Lite specialises in trailers and slide-ons, but Ford makes no mention of Ford-branded camper shells being built onto
Ford Truck Design has worked with Livin Lite over the past 15 months to develop the first product designs. In addition to large Ford badges on the sides Ford has injected its DNA into the line with an F-Series-inspired front window, F-Seriesstyle wheels and Lariat trim-inspired interior appointments. Each initial model that Ford has revealed also includes a curved front. Ford says the line will launch in early 2016 with slide-on truck campers built for 6 and 8-foot (1.8 and 2.4 m) beds. Travel trailers and toy haulers in 22 and 24-foot (6.7 and 7.3 m) lengths will join the lineup in the second quarter, while Ford has plans to add future models including more compact pop-up campers and longer fifth wheels. The models will be available through certified Livin Lite dealerships.
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 | 23
CANOWINDRA FISH ESCAPE! to 360 million years old, based on the number of specimens found and their importance. It’s an ideal holiday day out for budding palaeontologists of all ages!
anowindra’s Age of Fishes Museum needs young people to help find hundreds of fish that have escaped into the museum complex. Apparently they’ve hidden themselves everywhere; under rocks, through the exhibits and even in the trees! They’re asking all budding palaeontologists to help them, with every fish found earning points based on its rarity and importance to science. All of that hard work will not go unrewarded, however, and the more fish found the better. Budding palaeontologists will receive a genuine gemstone or fossil that could be up
While there visitors can now see the only specimens in the world of the new State Fossil Emblem of NSW – Mandageria fairfaxi. There’s also the Little Fossils Kids Club, with memberships available for 2016. Members will receive four exciting newsletters a year, exclusive competitions to enter and be the first informed of ground-breaking news in the season. The Age of Fishes Museum is open from 10 am until 4 pm every day except Christmas, these holidays. Visit the website HERE or call (02) 6344 1008 for further information.
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24 | News
FUSION ADDS DAB FUNCTIONALITY
ew Zealand-based Fusion – manufacturers of quality marine and RV audio systems – has announced the release of its Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receiver and antenna package.
The new MS-DAB100A module offers users a plug-and-play converter for existing Fusion stereo systems, allowing access to the latest DAB and DAB+ radio stations. The Fusion Sion DAB module is IPx3 rated and, like all Fusion Entertainment components is designed to withstand the harsh marine environment. Installations are discreet as the unit has a compact footprint and the included adhesive pad or screw-mounted bracket make set-up easy. “Audio broadcasting technology is constantly evolving,” said Chris Baird, Managing Director, Fusion Entertainment. “As the migration from analog to digital radio continues to develop we want customers to know our systems are able to adapt with the changing times. An investment in a Fusion stereo system is an investment in years of the highest quality, in-RV or on-the-water entertainment available.” The MS-DAB100A package will be available in 2016 and will be compatible with the following stereos: MS-UD650, MS-AV650, MS-UD750 and MS-AV750. For more information on the Fusion MS-DAB100A, compatible stereos, Fusion or its line of audio products visit www. fusionentertainment.com.
iMotorhome Marketplace | 25
Southern Highlands Service Centre An Authorised Repco Service Centre just off the Hume Highway at Mittagong. Auto electrical and mechanical service specialists happy to look after your motorhome or campervan! Call Mark or Sharon and tell them iMotorhome sent you!
T: (02) 4872 2822 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
The Duvalay Memory Foam Sleeping System – No lifting, no tucking, no fighting over the doona and bedding that stays put. Find out why it’s Europes bedding of choice for caravans & motorhomes. The premium grade memory foam ensures total comfort and the award winning design cover means your bed is made in seconds.
duvalay.com.au | (02) 6653 4640
Our new App is now available for Andriod & iPhone
Scan QR code or click below to download
Scan QR code or click below to download
26 | iMotorhome Marketplace
Connect at home! Connect anywhere!
15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection
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
Parkland RV Centre
Roberts RV World
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
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
iMotorhome Marketplace | 27
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!
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
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 email@example.com Qld Stockist of Duvalay.
The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS
The alternative to a bike!!
25km/h with a range of 40km in ideal conditions! Super light too at 10.8kg
Australian-built In-vehicle Dual Battery Chargers, Battery Management Systems and 52mm monitoring gauges that won’t let you down.
Folds away quite compact for small storage
To ﬁnd out more call Mark on 0412027330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.e-twow.com 1
Nomadic Solutions hitches fully ADR compliant no swaying increased towing safety easy reversing offroad vans available
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28 | Day Test: Paradise Inspiration Supreme Black Edition
The New Black!
Iveco is the new chassis of choice and ideally suited to Paradise’ Black Edition Inspiration Supreme… by Richard Robertson
Day Test | 29
At just 7.8 m the Paradise Inspiration isn’t huge, but a near-full-length slideout on the driver’s side adds considerably to the living space. Cleverly designed, beautifully built and crammed with innovative features and systems it provides big-motorhome living in a compact and easily manoeuvrable package. The Black Edition pack adds mainly trim items – and a Nespresso coffee machine – while the new Iveco Daily 50C205 is an excellent choice.
aradise Motor Homes, located on the northern end of Queensland’s glitzy Gold Coast, builds arguably the most luxurious and well engineered production motorhomes in Australia today. That's a big call I know, but you only have to spend a little time touring the factory to develop a deep respect for the engineering and workmanship that goes into each vehicle. Interestingly, the Paradise factory is where Swagman used to manufacture what were considered in their day to be the best, most luxurious motorhomes on the market. Proprietor Colin MacLean cut his motorhome teeth with Swagman and it seems fitting he has come full circle. The difference is he has built a highly successful business making motorhomes his old employer could only have aspired to. I have to confess that writing a Paradise Motor
Home review is a daunting task. The vehicles features are so numerous and the innovation so integral to the design that there simply isn't space to touch on everything. In Issue 67 I wrote an extensive review of the Paradise Integrity SL, which we toured in from Adelaide to the Gold Coast via Broken Hill. While there are differences between it and this Black Edition Inspiration Supreme – a longer slideout being the most obvious – the basic dimensions, layout and systems remain the same. What I want to do with this review is explain more about the company's model range as well as the salient points of the Black Edition. I also want to bring you driving impressions of the first Iveco Daily I’ve driven sporting the complete package of upgraded engine, eightspeed automatic transmission and factory rear airbag suspension.
30 | Day Test
Beautifully leather trimmed suspension seats are also heated and both swivel easily as Paradise replaces the Iveco’s floor-mounted handbrake with a dashmounted electric one. The new Daily’s dash is a big step forward compromised only by a plastic steering wheel and lack of touch screen infotainment system.
Paradise by Names
here are six models in the Paradise Motor Home’s range: from entry level up they are the Oasis, Free Time, Integrity, Inspiration, Liberation and Independence. The Oasis is a luxurious Mercedes-Benz sprinter van conversion; the Free Time is entry-level to the company’s coach-built motorhome range and rides on a Fiat Ducato with AL-KO chassis; the Integrity balances luxury with affordability and has more of the layout and styling features of the top range models; the Inspiration is the most upmarket Paradise model you can drive on a standard car licence; the Liberation
ratchets the features and luxury up another level but requires a light rigid (LR) driver’s license, while the Independence is the flagship of the range with all the bells and whistles, but also requires an LR licence. Prices range from $159,000 for the smallest Free Time (yes, cheaper than an Oasis) to $504,000plus for a top-shelf Independence. Between those two extremes is a vehicle at basically every price point because within various model series is a range of vehicle size and layout options. Confusing? A Little. Comprehensive? Absolutely.
Day Test | 31
Coming from the Gold Coast it should be no surprise there is a touch of glitz and glamour in every Paradise motorhome. Changing of the Guard?
he Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has ruled the roost as the motorhome chassis-of-choice for years, but it appears times, they are a changin’. Over the last couple of years the Iveco Daily has started to
make serious inroads into Mercedes’ territory. The reason is partly to do with cost, but also suitability. Whereas the Sprinter is essentially a scaled-up light commercial vehicle, the Daily is a scaleddown medium truck. Iveco has a serious presence right across Australia in the trucking industry – it bought
International some years back – and the brand has built a strong reputation for durability and reliability. Mercedes, of course, has also been in trucks of all shapes and sizes for decades, but in many ways the company is slow to respond to changing market conditions. Both brands have their diehard supporters as
32 | Day Test Below: The interior is open plan and with the slide-out extended provides plenty of room to move. A bedroom privacy divider is optionally available and I think would be a worthwhile investment. Middle and bottom: The Black Package’s centrepiece is this slide-out Nespresso coffee machine, complete with matching cups and saucers!
well as strong and weak points, but the once unassailable position of Mercedes as market leader is now in jeopardy. Across Paradise’s upper model range Sprinter is still available, but I'm told the Iveco now makes up the majority of sales. Central to that was the release at the beginning of 2015 of a significantly upgraded Daily cab-chassis, although in typical Italian style it has taken the best part of the year for all the worthwhile features of the new model range to drip feed their way Down Under.
he most obvious feature of the new Iveco Daily – a 50C210 in this particular instance – is the restyled cab, but its beauty is more than skin deep. For the occupants it has new seating, a new dashboard and a whole new look, even if some of the slightly truck-like feel of its predecessor is still apparent. That's most noticeable through
Day Test | 33 With the windows closed and generator running the aircon the Black Edition was right at home on a muggy Gold Coast December afternoon. This vehicle was heavily optioned by its new owners and is one of the best equipped motorhomes weâ€™ve reviewed
34 | Day Test
Above: External lockers are built as fully moulded, dust-sealed units that can be replaced in the event of accident damage. Note the water out/in connections under rear locker and the aluminium fuel tank for the generator in the middle locker. Right: The optional remote start 3 kVA Honda generator lives in the front driverâ€™s side locker, complete with a custom-made vibration-isolating mounting system. the steering wheel, which disappointingly is still plastic. Not only is it at odds with a vehicle in this price range, the steering wheel is the driverâ€™s physically connection to the vehicle and the tactile qualities of a good wheel are a significant part of the driving experience. The other nod to its predecessor is the engine. The Daily uses the same 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine as the Fiat Ducato, although in this application it now has twin turbos. While giving nothing away in terms of power or durability, itâ€™s not quite as refined as the V6 turbodiesel in a top spec Sprinter. Where the new Daily shines is in its new class leading features: engine output, transmission and rear suspension. The newly uprated engine produces 153 kW (205 hp) and
Day Test | 35 470 Nm, trumping the V6 Benz’s 140 kW and 440 Nm. Power outputs aside, the jewel in the Iveco's crown is its eight speed fully automatic transmission. Not only is it a quantum improvement over its predecessor’s six speed automated manual, it’s also three gears up on the Sprinters ageing auto. Last but certainly not least; in a first for its class the Daily now has the option of rear airbag suspension. It’s this trifecta of features that catapults the new Daily into class leadership contention and all three are standard on Iveco-based Paradise models.
n the road the changes deliver a transformed driving experience. My time in this particular vehicle was extremely limited and I spent no more than an hour behind the wheel, mostly in stop-start Gold Coast traffic. Even so, the engine’s willing performance and the smoothness of the transmission where apparent. Gear shifts were detectable by the change in engine note alone and there was no hesitation or hunting to find the right ratio. The transmission has two modes – Power and Economy – and I drove only in the latter during my brief spell. I did notice that when accelerating from a standing start under a light throttle the transmission would shift from first to third almost instantly. It seemed quite eager to find as high a gear as possible, which of course aids economy, but equally seems to have no problem finding a lower gear just as quickly when called upon. Only time will tell, but this seems like an excellent gearbox that will become the new industry standard. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the rear air suspension. What really stood out was that nothing really stood out. There was no banging, crashing or heavy thumping from the rear axle over potholes or irregular surfaces, just a controlled, smooth ride. Not floaty-smooth as you might expect,
Top: Dual 100 AH house batteries live in the kerb-side rear locker, along with readily accessible electrical controls. Above: The optional Fiamma bike rack adds versatility, while a second (optional) Truma Aventa rooftop airconditioner ensures this is one cool motorhome. The hatch beneath the slide-out’s rear window accesses under-bed storage.
36 | Day Test
Mrs iM and I love this dinette arrangement. The single forward-facing automotive-style seat is very comfortable and perfectly matches the swivelled passenger seat. The table folds down against the wall if desired, but is otherwise super sturdy and equally good as a dining table or office desk. A huge window provides oodles of natural light and fresh air too. just firm but unobtrusive. Indeed I only realised what an improvement it was when the front suspension ‘reacted’ to a couple of road patches undergoing roadworks, while the rear end followed with nary a murmur. Impressive!
swivelling the driver’s seat a bit of a nightmare. In its place is a patented electric handbrake with a simple dash switch that frees up the floor space completely. Very clever.
As mentioned, the Inspiration Series is the top In the cab a new inclusion in the Inspiration of Paradise’s range you can drive on a standard Series is a dash mounted iPad Mini, along car licence. That means it has a gross vehicle with a credit voucher to buy the navigation mass (GVM) below 4500 kg. However, the test app of your choice (I’d choose TomTom). This vehicle had a considerable number of options is in response, I guess, to the absence of a and consequently a GVM upgraded to 5200 flatscreen infotainment unit in the Iveco’s dash. kg, necessitating an LR licence. Fortunately A conventional automotive-style AM/FM/CD/ that's not a problem for the Daily 50C210, MP3 sound system is all that’s supplied and which is built to that spec originally but derated it’s another reminder of the Daily’s commercial to 4495 kg for car licence applications. The roots. test vehicle, with all its options plus full water and fuel tanks, weighed in at 4640 kg. That A clear demonstration of Paradise’s engineering left a healthy 560 kg for occupants, goods innovation is its removal of Iveco’s bothersome and chattels. Had the buyers – the vehicle floor mounted handbrake, which makes
Day Test | 37 was being delivered the day after I drove it I believe (no pressure!) – opted for a Sprinter base vehicle the payload would have been reduced by 200 kg as it has a 5000 kg GVM. Regardless of the GVM, however, a 3500 kg braked towing capacity is standard on all Iveco-based models.
Supreme to Go!
he Inspiration Supreme sits second from the top in the five-model range of the Inspiration series. It’s 7.8 m (25’ 7”) long and has an almost full-length 4.2 m slideout on the driver’s side that encompasses the lounge, kitchen and bedroom (only the bathroom misses out). Coming from the Gold Coast it should be no surprise there is a touch of glitz and glamour in every Paradise motorhome interior. The layouts are decidedly open plan and in my review of the Integrity SL earlier this year about the only fault I could pick was the lack of privacy between the bedroom and living areas. I mentioned that when picking up this vehicle and was told there is absolutely no problem fitting a divider. In fact the Paradise team will do its best to accommodate any reasonable customer requests during the build period.
Top to bottom: This mount is for an included iPad Mini that doubles as an entertainment centre and SatNav system; The kitchen has generous drawer space plus a range of overheads cupboards; A lift-up bench extension stores behind the two seat sofa but provides invaluable additional workspace every chef will appreciate.
The layout itself has a front lounge/dinette that incorporates the swivelled cab seats; a centre kitchen opposite the entry door; an east-west queen bed with its head next to the kitchen, and a full-width rear bathroom. Unlike Eurostyle motorhomes that can feel a bit cramped as they endeavour to maximise every inch of space, the Paradise layouts feel much more open and roomy. That doesn’t appear to compromise storage space, however, with plenty on offer and perhaps the largest and most useable wardrobe system of any production motorhome. Aside from the inclusion of the kitchen and two-seat inwards-facing lounge in the slideout there is no difference to the floor plan between
38 | Day Test
The comfortable east-west queen bed has sensible bedside drawers and even USB charging outlets. When the slideout’s retracted the bed can easily be tilted up to provide good access to the wardrobe units or bathroom.
this vehicle and the Integrity SL I previously reviewed. It's a terrific layout to live with and perhaps the closest thing we’ve experienced to a one-bedroom apartment on wheels, as far as liveability is concerned. The other aspect that stands out in my memory is how well the thing is made. It is customary for us to pussyfoot a bit around new motorhomes we have on test as it's not unusual to have shelves fall out, doors droop on hinges and so on. But if I had a dollar for every time Mrs iMotorhome remarked on how solid and sturdy the cabinetry was in the Integrity SL, and how she felt she could swing off the doors or shelves without ill effect (she didn’t try, I hasten to add!) during our week on the road I’d have enough for a decent cup of coffee. Maybe two.
t would probably require this whole article to detail the standard inclusions and features in an Inspiration Supreme. Instead, here’s what's included in the Black Edition, which is available on Inspiration, Liberation and Independence models at a cost of $4335: • Slide-out Nespresso Coffee machine setup
(most important!) • Black framed windows • Black framed entry door • Limited Black Edition graphics • Black external speakers • Front cab entry steps in black • Black fridge and microwave vents • Black external power points • Black front cab bonnet and grill vents On the subject of lists, here's a rundown of the options fitted to this particular vehicle: • Four post fully automatic hydraulic levelling leg system • Built-in Honda 3 kVA generator with Paradise’s own mounting system • External drop-down table • 3500 kg tow bar
Day Test | 39 • Second Truma roof top airconditioner • Bosch instant hot water system • Oyster fully automatic Satellite TV system with Vast TV • External HD TV • Fiamma dual rear-mounted bike rack • 3 kg front loading washing machine • Full alloy polished bullbar A standard Paradise Inspiration Supreme (hold the anchovies) has a list price of $251,000. Add on the Black Edition package and all the other extras and the price of the test vehicle climbed to a not inconsiderable $292,312.50, plus on-roads. While that’s a lot of money it’s also a lot of motorhome. What you don't see, of course, is the depth of engineering behind the price tag. In my review of the Integrity SL I said, “Paradise believes its motorhomes are lighter, stronger and safer, and cites 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 Structurally, one thing I didn't fully appreciate until my factory tour is the way Paradise
The full-width rear bathroom with separate domestic sized shower cubicle has plenty of room, good storage and a full size basin and vanity. It wouldn’t be out of place in a small apartment. Note optional washing machine and the control panel for the Bosch instant hot water system.
40 | Day Test constructs its motorhomes. The above mentioned high tensile alloy rollover frame is constructed on a specially built floor-frame forming, in effect, a high-strength box skeleton for the vehicle. The walls then interlock with the frame and each other. The result is an extremely rigid structure designed to withstand a full vehicle rollover, in a worst-case scenario, plus years of structural-trouble free ownership.
What I Think
he Paradise Integrity Supreme is a seriously impressive motorhome. It certainly commands a price premium but as they say, quality is its own reward. The test vehicle was loaded with extras I didn't have time to play with, but I'm sure will make its new owners very happy. The new Iveco Daily, with its uprated engine, slick transmission and smooth air suspension is close to the perfect motorhome base vehicle and must be keeping Mercedes awake at night. Overall this vehicle is difficult to fault. From first hand experience I know the design to be extremely liveable, while newly gained insights into Paradise’s engineering and production methods only increase my confidence in
its quality. This is a world-class motorhome anyone would be proud to own and it should be on your shopping list if you're in this (heady) market. Trust me: You’ll look good in Black…
Day Test | 41
Paradise Motor Homes
Inspiration Supreme Black Edition
Iveco Daily 50C210
Car (std). LR as tested
3.0 L 4-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
152 kW @ 2900-3500 rpm
470 Nm @ 1400-3000 rpm
Tare Weight inc Full Fuel and Water
4220 kg (std). 4640 kg as tested
Gross Vehicle Mass
4495 kg (std). 5200 kg as tested
7.80 m (25’ 7”)
2.40 m (7’ 10”)
3.30 m (10’ 10”)
2.0 m (6’ 8’)
Main Bed Size
2.01 m x 1.50 m (6ft 7 in x 4 ft 11 in)
Luton Bed Size
2.01 m x 1.22 m (6 ft 7 in x 4 ft)
Smev 3-gas/1-electric plus grill
Waeco 2-way 2-door 215 L
12 V LED
2 x 100 AH
2 x 150 W
Dometic ducted with living room and bathroom outlets
Truma 14 L LPG/Electric
Gas Propane Tank
2 x 4 kg std. 3 x 4 kg as tested
127 L std. Extra 127 L as tested
Grey Water Tank
Price ex-Factory (plus on-roads)
From $251,000. As tested $292,312.50
• New Iveco Daily upgrades • Quality • Standard equipment • Spacious • Liveability • Practicality • Driving enjoyment
• Smallish standard water capacity • Smallish gas capacity • Price
Manufacturer & Sales
Paradise Motor Homes 245 Brisbane Rd, Biggera Waters. Qld. 4216. T: (07) 5597-4400 E: admin@paradisemotorhomes. com.au W: paradisemotorhomes.com.au Click for Google Maps
42 | Day Test
Reflecting on quality. A mirrored bathroom door adds a real feeling of space and in this pic shows one of the best design features: full length piano-style wardrobe door hinges.
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
245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland, 4216
ph (07) 5597 4400 - email email@example.com Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ © 2013
44 | Reader Report
by Mike Hallinan
y wife Cheryl and I are both very pleased with our Sunliner Pinto 3. The solid construction, thoughtful layout and lots of internal storage make it almost ideal for our purpose. The elevating bed, the kitchen area with everything at hand and the fine bathroom with its circular shower recess and separate toilet are particular favourites of Cheryl’s. There are only four criticisms that we can make of our Sunliner, and some are common across the range: • The grey water tank needs to have the same capacity as the fresh water tank • The quantity of solar panels needs to be at least double, if not triple, the size of those provided
• Battery capacity needs to be doubled in most cases • Surely there are other colours than beige? The Iveco 45C17 with the automated manual transmission (AMT) is very economical. In fact it uses less fuel than my Mazda Bravo Diesel ute even though it is twice as heavy. It also has lots of very useful torque. I am, however, very sceptical of Iveco’s recommended 40,000km service intervals – I doubt very much that oils can last that long – so I schedule an oil change every 10,000 km. The AMT can be a bit of a handful in very hilly country with its occasional indecision, but I overcome that problem whenever it appears by driving it as a clutchless manual. We use our Sunliner between two and three weeks every month during school term in
Reader Report | 45
Above: Mike and Cheryl with their compact but versatile Sunliner Pinto 3. Below: Free camping outside Carcoar’s disused railway station. Cheryl’s role as South West NSW Scripture Advisor. She supervises paid scripture teachers in secondary schools and advises the Local Boards who provide the funding for this initiative. I’m the unpaid driver and logistics manager for this enterprise! We service about a quarter of the high and central schools in NSW; from Cooma to the South Australian Border and from the Murray River to the Parkes-Broken Hill Railway line with Dubbo, Mudgee, Wellington and Gulgong thrown in for good measure. There is also talk of us including Batemans Bay, Bega and Eden in this mix. We are retired chalkies, both of us having worked as teacher, principal and in education administration within the NSW Department of Education. We travel about 35,000 km per year in our current role and almost exclusively free camp. We meet great country people in all walks of life, race and religion and are having a ball doing it.
46 | Project Polly
Finally getting around to fixing the tableâ€Ś by Richard Robertson
Project Polly | 47
Our well worn Lagun table mount has seen plenty of action and the plastic insert bush – or spline as Lagun calls them – at the far right end was crumbling.
he table in Project Polly, our ex-Apollo Rental’s motorhome, had developed a bit of a lean and it was time to fix it before things went, well, downhill… The table uses a multi-adjustable Lagun (pronounced lagoon) mounting system from Sweden, which is pretty much an industry standard. Made from aluminium and comprising two arms, two mounting plates (one for the table and one for the vehicle) and three springloaded adjustment handles, Lagun mounts can be found in RVs and boats the world over. Our problem seemed to stem from a worn plastic bush – or spline in Lagun language – where the table mounting spigot sits in the horizontal support arm. This allowed movement and hence the lean. Northcoach RV Equipment in Loganholme, Queensland, is the Australian distributor for Lagun and came to the rescue with a pack of two splines for $28. So with Mrs iMotorhome
somewhere overseas I though it would be good to fix the problem and surprise her. The trick was going to be removing the old one to get the new one in. Anyway, how difficult could this quick job be? There’s probably a formula describing the time a job takes and the degree of difficulty as an inverse of its apparent simplicity. In this instance removing the old spline proved quite a challenge. In hindsight I probably should have Googled it and watched a video, but I was already in the garage when the DIY urge hit and anyway, popping back inside would have taken 30 seconds – and I’m a busy man…
Out with the Old!
here was no way on earth the old spline was coming out easily. Even talking reasonably to it had no effect. As you'll see from the photos the ends of the arm are slotted, leading up to the hole when the spline
48 | Project Polly
sits. It seemed obvious the thing to do would be to prise the soft aluminium ends apart, thus enlarging the hole and allowing for easy spline removal. Not a bit of it. Rummaging through Mrs iMâ€™s draws â€“ in her chest toolbox â€“ I discovered an end-plug for black irrigation hose that appeared to have the same diameter as the spline. I was in luck! Wrapping the Lagun arm in a piece of horse cool coat (love living in the country!) I secured it carefully in the vice and, ensuring the end plug and spline aligned, gently tapped it with a hammer. Nothing much happened so I beat the crap out of it and the thing popped out. On first sight the instructions accompanying the pack of splines appeared scant, comprising a simple illustration on a two square inch piece of paper. But the more I looked at the spline I removed and new one to be inserted the more it made sense. It didn't give me any clue as to how to actually fit the new spline, but at least I knew which way it aligned! Once again I tried prising the aluminium ends apart but eventually came to realise there was no way I was going to get them far enough apart to then slip the new spline in. So back to the vice and with the
Clockwise from top: Replacement splines come in pairs, with scant instructions. But the more I looked at the image the more sense it made; Tapping the old spline out using an irrigation hose plug; Levering the end apart to fit the new spline. Note alignment compared to the instructions.
Project Polly | 49
Left: This 240 V double adapter also has a pair of 5 V USB charging outlets. Considering the number of devices we need to charge when travelling it’s a great find. Right: A USB-powered LED light seemed like a good idea and like the double adapter can also be used at home. arm again firmly held in its cool coat cradle I managed to prise one end open momentarily with a long handled screwdriver whilst simultaneously pushing the new spline in. After that it was simply a matter of gently tapping the thing fully into place and congratulating myself on a job well done. I even managed to align the new spline exactly as per the instructions. Almost. The proof of the pudding was in it not rolling off the table, and in that regard the job was a complete success. There are numerous screwdriver marks on the soft aluminium arm, but fortunately they’re hidden by the table. I'm getting the hang of this DIY thing now and starting to lift my sights – for better or for worse!
Plug & Play
olly’s primary role in the iMotorhome Scheme of Things is as a mobile office, should we ever find the time to go anywhere. As such she needs to provide
adequate power for an array of electronic devices like laptops, iDevices, battery chargers and so on. Being an ex-rental, power outlets are in short supply (and inconvenient locations). There is one double 240 V outlet under the overhead cupboard by the range hood and another in the wardrobe, with all the electrical switches. The latter already has one outlet permanently taken by the plug for the Heron 2.2 airconditioner. So, what to do… Some time back I bought a Narva combination 12 V socket and double 5V USB outlet on eBay for about $22, but it requires mounting into a cabinet wall and wiring in. When I was killing time in the duty free technical section at Sydney airport in October I discovered something very interesting: A single-outlet 240 V double adapter with two USB outlets! I didn't buy it, but did some research upon my return and bought, from eBay again, a double adaptor with 2 x 240 V sockets and 2 x 5 V USB outlets that also includes a surge protector, for $38. Not only doesn't it require permanent
50 | Project Polly
The double adapter also has independent surge protection and a light to show it’s ‘live’.
mounting or wiring-in, it adds an extra 240 V power outlet and can be removed and used at home. Given the philosophy behind Project Polly is to add useful extras as simply as possible, it fits the bill nicely. I've since bought a full size powerboard with 4 x 240 V outlets and 4 x 5 V USB outlets that I’ll permanently mount on the wall above the TV, so watch out for that one in an upcoming issue. One last little must-have gadget I picked up in my travels is a USB powered LED light on a flexible stalk. It can be used for general illumination within Polly but also as a reading/work light plugged into the side of my laptop, wherever I am. For a few dollars it seemed like a good investment! We actually plan to use Polly in the next couple of weeks, even if it's just for an overnight down the coast. Hopefully by next issue we’ll have more upgrades/improvements to report on and maybe even a short travel story. A very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year to you from Polly and her minions (that’s us). See you in January!
Project Polly | 51 The only easily accessible mains power point is underneath the overhead cupboards, next to the range hood. The flexible arm of the USB light is handy and it provides a surprising amount of illumination.
52 | Bush Poetry A colleague of Mrs iMotorhome shared a series of his Mother’s bush poems. Here’s one we think you’ll enjoy… by Mrs Wilson
Father McSherry He was born, bred and nurtured on the outskirts of Derry, a bright boy was he, young Rowan McSherry. He was schooled in the traditional Catholic way, and he thought he would go to Australia one day. The family he was born to was hardworking but poor, so into the priesthood he was sent, to be sure. Young Rowan arrived here in late ’54, a young and impressionable lad, 24. He was sent up to Gladstone to tend to the flock, and what he found here was a bit of a shock. His territory covered a huge tract of land, and he worked hard so the Micks didn’t get out of hand. Now the normal events in those days of old, was a Mass in each township, each month, we are told. So to Bilo he went in the diocese car, on a road, a bush track, without any tar.
Bush Poetry | 53 He got to the range and the trip was quite boring, but soon it was raining and then it was pouring. Then the car, by itself, took a turn to the left, and Father McSherry was left quite bereft. For up to the axles it was stuck in the mud, the road couldn’t take this impossible flood. He stood by the car, to his knees he was stuck, and he asked God for his help to get out of the muck. An wouldn’t you know it? God answered the call. He sent along farmer, old Ferdinand Ball. Mr Ball, with two sons, driving a tractor, a Ford, a long rope, some muscle and the car was restored. Well Father McSherry arrived for the service, he was newly appointed and feeling quite nervous. He realised he’d left his sermon behind, and now he was in a ‘Hell’ of a bind. So he told them the story of the poor old bogged car, and how God had helped him in getting this far. But the church rocked with laughter. It chimed off the walls, when the parishioners heard he’d been “pulled out by the Balls”!
54 | Solo Traveller
Don’t Leave It Too Late There’s certainly no time like the present… by Sharon Hollamby
Solo Traveller | 55
Meeting Sharen was a real inspiration. Despite so many limitations she’s ‘out there doing it’ – with huge help, love and support from William of course – and is a real reminder our time is limited and we have to make the most of every day.
any years ago, when I was working in the vineyards, there was a lovely old couple who worked hard in all types of weather to raise enough money to do up their motor home. They were a friendly pair, but single minded in their purpose. The only time they would stop work was when it was stormy, because a lightning strike on the wire can kill a person (I’ve seen lightning take out an entire row of grape vines).
addiction is that I’m still paying for it many years later. Then I thought of the old couple and I realised that things don’t have to be perfect. As long as the bus is mechanically sound, roadworthy and doesn’t leak, I can make do and get things done along the way.
Seize the Days!
The only thing they had left to do was their shower. Their excitement grew and they worked harder than ever. Then one day they didn’t show up for work. We all wondered where they were as they never missed a day. Then our supervisor gave us the sad news that the man had died in his sleep. The dream that they had worked so hard for was over.
rowsing through Facebook one day looking for ideas I discovered a lovely couple called William and Sharen. For much of Sharen’s life she was hospitalised due to multiple sclerosis and was not happy about it. All she wanted to do was get out and travel Australia: A dream she thought impossible. It was then she met William; they fell in love, married and he is now resolutely making her dream come true.
Last week I was thinking that my trip will have to wait a little longer because even though my credit rating is good again now I am asset poor, therefore I will have difficulty getting a loan. Another consequence of a gambling
Last week they came to Gawler and I was delighted to be able to go and meet them in person. They were staying at the Gawler caravan park and I’m happy to say the manager there was helpful and friendly. The
56 | Solo Traveller park looks clean and tidy and there is lots of shade. It was a lovely afternoon and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sharen has such a delightful sense of humour, a sparkle in her eyes, a ready smile, and at times a good grasp of French (if you know what I mean). She may not be able to do anything for herself, but that has not dampened her spirit. One of her dreams was to meet the Freemantle Dockers and her face lights up at the memory of fulfilling that dream last year. William is a caring soul with an optimistic air who obviously adores his wife. He suffered a series of heart attacks at a young age and has back problems now, but nothing seems to stop this spirited couple. They started out in a tent, advanced to a camper and now have a lovely caravan that William has adapted to suit their needs. He had to make some modifications to the wheelchair to fit it through the door and buy a sling to help lift Sharen, but nothing is too much trouble when it comes to making his wife comfortable. Freedom camping is not an option for this couple as power is essential for medical supplies, heating and cooling. The medical supplies are expensive and difficult to obtain at times, but the lifestyle is clearly doing both of them a power of good despite the difficulties they endure. As William told me, “We may be badly damaged, but our spirit is not broken”. William has suffered some abuse for ‘forcing’ his wife to live like that but it truly is Sharen’s idea. She thumps her chair and proclaims adamantly, ‘I wanna travel.’ It is a credit to William that Sharen is so healthy and happy! Meeting this wonderful couple made me even more determined to get started. I thought about a campervan but it really
wouldn’t suit my needs. So, I am still on the lookout for a bus, but my expectations need to be lowered a little for now. It has taken four years to get to this point and I just don’t want to wait any longer. Trials and tribulations can make a journey even more memorable when you realise you endured it, survived it and are still here to laugh as you tell the tale. Admittedly, being stuck on the side of the road in a broken down bus does not sound like fun, but I don’t want to be sitting here in a few years time saying, “I wish I had just done it.”
’m hoping that some of our readers have also started out this way and may be able to offer me some ideas for setting up a bus on a tight budget. Solar power will have to be the first thing to go on as I want to Freedom camp as much as possible. I will need to run a 12 V fridge, lights, fan and a computer, so can anyone give me an idea on what set up I would need and an approximate cost? Are there any other absolute essentials that you wouldn’t travel without? I do have a gas cooker, water containers, a toilet, shower, table and chairs, plus a tent for emergencies. I’m not fussed about percolated coffee, microwaves or thermal cookers at this point. My mission is to travel Australia with a focus on how pokies are affecting our communities, particularly in country areas. To that end I have been told to apply for government grants, so there may be extra money available in the future. Some of you may have seen me in the Ka Ching documentary which aired on the ABC last month. We had a lot of fun filming it and I hope it has given people a better understanding of gambling addiction. The Social Effects Inquiry is continuing and has been a real eye opener for me. My play – “It’s
Solo Traveller | 57
The name says it all… only a dollar” – was finally performed on the When I went across to the West with my tent I 23rd and 24th of November at the Relationships stopped at a service station in Eneabba. I didn’t Australia conference. Very satisfying! have enough money to get what I wanted and I was abused by the owner. She told me that if I didn’t have enough money to travel then I Nearly There! should stay at home. Needless to say I didn’t go ith only a few assignments left to go back there when I got paid the next day. Is she on my TAFE course I will soon be able right though? to concentrate fully on getting set up to travel. Even though I have had some financial Personally I can’t see any difference between setbacks it is still exciting to think that very soon being a little short of money when you are I will be out there living the dream. travelling, and being in the same position at
There have been a few buses on Gumtree and eBay for around $5,000, which is how much I will have saved by the end of November, but Mr Motorhome has expressed concern about buying an older bus. What are your thoughts?
home. You just do the essentials and leave the luxuries until you can afford them.
So the search goes on, and one way or another I’ll be heading off early next year. To start with I will be camping around South Australia until my graduation in May, which will also give me time I’ve been looking at Toyota Coasters and Mazda to do a few things to the bus as finances allow. T3500s, which I can drive on my car licence. I realise that diesel is more economical in the long The National Parks pass in South Australia has run, but are repairs expensive? Mechanically I increased in price recently, but it is still good can do the basics on older motors, (well at least value and will allow me to visit friends in the enough to get me out of trouble), but I know area before I head off on the big trip. I have the nothing about diesel motors. Some buses have Camps Australia book and Wiki Camps, but petrol/gas, but is it worth having gas on a bus? I’m hoping that readers may also know of some To start with I am happy with a mattress on the floor. As long as I have somewhere to sit and write, the inside does not matter at all. A home is what you make it!
hidden gems they can share. So what is your opinion? Should I wait until everything is perfect or is living the dream too important to wait for? Please let me know.
58 | Show Product Report: Review: Christchurch Ampfibian
ome on It's no Spitfire but KEA's new Breeze motorh an LDV cab chassis is creating interest.
UCC motorhomes are made in Christchurch, so they were not far from home at all!
The Top 10 Holiday Parks' rally site offered
plenty of space for showgoers.
NZ Show Time! Christchurch puts on a world class show thatâ€™s well worth visitingâ€Ś By Malcolm Street.
Product Show Review Report | 59
There was a bit of magic on the Dethleffs stand.
RV Super Centre not only had KEA motorhomes on display but also their new Roller Team line up.
KEA, Auto Sleeper, Benimar, Traillite and Dethleffs â€“ something for everyone!
ere are a two or three international shows us RV journo types dream of getting to year after year. One is in Kentucky: the National RV Trade Show. Another is in Manchester: the NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show. But the plum is the Caravan Salon in Frankfurt. Sadly these remain just a dream for now. However, the next best thing in this part of the world is to be found in New Zealand. Yep, New
Zealand. In this case, the recent Motorhome and Caravan Leisure Show in Christchurch. The market in NZ is somewhat different to Australia (as some Aussie manufacturers have found to their cost) and over the last few years there has been a growing list of readily available European imports. All major NZ manufacturers, having seen the writing on the wall, not only still build their own motorhomes, but have a line of imports
60 | Show Report
bi trailer? How about the fully equipped matching Kom Here's a familiar brand from Australia!
The Freedom RV team ready to serve!
as well. So we have Traillite, who are now the agents for Auto Sleeper from Britain and Spanish manufacturer Benimar; THL/ KEA, who have done an interesting deal with their British motorhome rental arm and are bringing in not very old Roller Team vehicles from Germany, and UCC who are the South Island agents for the German brand Dethleffs. One of the upcoming major players, Smart RV, has been importing Bürstner motorhomes
for some time but now has a line of Carados, both from Germany. Also in the market are Auckland Motorhomes and Freedom RV. They have the British Auto Trail franchise as well as in the latter case, Avida, Sunliner. In addition, a relatively recent entrant in the NZ market is Australia’s own Talvor/Winnebago. There are still a couple of small local NZ manufacturers – Campro and Boothy's
Show Report | 61 A pre-loved Burstner Ixeo, all yours for less that NZ$105,000. Dream on Australia!
Love the cab view from the aptly named Burstner Grand Panorama.
Both the UK-built Auto Sleeper and Spanish Benimar are available from Traillite.
Diamond Motorhomes – who were also present at the show, as well as dealers like Ashburton RV who bring in both new Roller Teams and British-built Tributes. When you put all that together, the end result is a very good sample of what New Zealand, Australia and Europe has to offer in the world of motorhomes. Even that list didn’t included two names – Swift and Jayco – both of which are available in NZ but were not the show.
New Zealand motorhome and caravans shows are quite small by Australian standards but as noted above, there is much on offer and I certainly had a good couple of leisurely days wandering around taking everything in. It was like a little sneak peek at the Caravan Salon in Frankfurt. Maybe next year?
62 | TechTalk
A Last Word of Awning! DIY awning installers beware, says our resident Techspert from Southern Spirit Campervans...
o van owners considering a DIY fitting of a wall mounted awning like Fiammaâ€™s F45 series, please pay attention to the following important advice to make sure you have fun with your awning! Box awnings usually only come with standard wall brackets that have been designed for flat walls like you find on big coachbuilt
motorhomes. So if you own a HiAce, Transporter, Ducato, Transit, etc, you will discover there are no flat side walls at all! Also, smaller awnings need two brackets and larger ones usually need three, and manufacturers mark specific places where the brackets must be fitted to the rear of the awning. However, this is not where the brackets would fit most easily, so pay special attention. If the brackets
TechTalk | 63 T4 and T5 Volkswagen Transporters. Of course they also make kits for the other popular van models too. Alternatively, if you are a handy person you might be able to fabricate your own bracket adapters by using the original brackets and designing an adapter/spacer bracket. If going to a ‘professional’ installer ensure the awning box is fitted vertically and is neither leaning towards or away from the side of the vehicle. Remember, in the long run getting a perfect fit at this stage is the foundation of many happy years of awning use!
DIYers take note: Make sure the awning box is vertically mounted or you’ll create problems for the future. are not in the correct position along the rear it can cause huge problems for the big awning arms that support your awning when extended. Brackets in the wrong positions can, for example, cause the awning box to bow and bend. Also, they can cause fixtures like bolts to shear off after a while due to force and movement, with the awning falling off the vehicle as you travel! Unfortunately I have seen many awnings fitted to vans – both DIY jobs and professional installations – where this vital step has been ignored. The result is the awning box doesn't sit vertically; instead usually leaning inwards towards the vehicle. This issue will harm your awning and the mechanism as you wind it in and out against gravity. Not only will it wear the mechanism much more quickly, it might result in damage to the whole awning. The easiest solution is a bracket kit for your van, like Fiamma’s Van Bracket Kit specifically for
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.
64 | Mobile Tech
Christmas Cheer! An app-ropriate bunch to end your Mobile Tech year on… By Emily Barker
hristmas in Australia truly is a wonderful time of year. Wherever you are in this vast lucky country the seasons are changing and the pre-Christmas rush is intensifying as everyone prepares to gear down for the holidays. Kids have finished school and are adding to the general chaos; storms roll in and leave just as suddenly, and we all try our best to keep cool. In the North, giant tree frogs sing loudly and locals discuss the prospects of getting a ‘decent wet’. No matter how or where you’re celebrating this year it’s almost guaranteed to be a glowing summer. So stay cool, stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas!
Mobile Tech | 65 NORAD Tracks Santa Size: 37.5 MB Cost: Free iOS & Android
app has become an annual holiday tradition throughout the western world, and while we might not have the winter wonderland to match we can still have a little fun. Turn yourself and your friends and family into the stars of a personalised video as incredibly talented and The NORAD Tracks Santa App is the official nimble elves. Simply upload up to five photos mobile app of the North American Aerospace from your camera roll or Facebook, select Defence Command (NORAD) Tracks Santa program. As with many great traditions, America’s a dance theme, and the app will generate a custom ElfYourself video that you can share via high-tech Santa tracking system began with email or post on Facebook! a mistake; a misprint to be precise. Instead of calling Santa’s official workshop at the North Pole, Santa's Naughty or Nice List Kids were dialling into the Continental Air Defence Size: 23.6 MB Command’s public hotline. As the story goes Cost: Free instead of spoiling the fun, they ran with it, giving children across America and Canada updates iOS & Android on the Big Man’s progress whenever they called. Flash forward 60 years to today and hello If we can track Santa across the skies with federally funded hi-tech satellite imagery then it’s technology! Love or hate Big Brother there are many many eyes in the skies today and luckily for only fair that he too can check in on us at any us, Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature time, so you really better watch out! It certainly must make his life easier. Imagine the reindeer similar to a missile, apparently, so as they say, feed saved now he can remotely check if you’re “We have the watch”. sleeping, awake or behaving? The advanced The app is backed up by an impressive website and you can discover some amazing facts including theories on how Santa functions within his own time-space continuum. Watch the countdown to Santa's flight, follow Santa's progress on December 24 and plot his journey as he tracks across the world! This is a free festive app guaranteed to delight kids – of all ages! ElfYourself by Office Depot, Inc. Size: 99.3 MB Cost: Free iOS & Android I don’t care how young, old or otherwise you are, ElfYourself is infectiously adorable. I can highly recommend it to assist with de-grinching the staunchest of Christmas heel diggers! Simply Elf them and watch just how much kitten powered Christmas joy they can spread. This
66 | Mobile Tech fingerprint technology utilised assures both accuracy and efficiency, so there’s no fooling Father Christmas. This app, like so many others, is just about fun. It’s a great way to captivate little ones attention for a moment or two and there is something special about the magic of Christmas. Aussie children may lead the world as the youngest to stop believing in Santa, but there’s nothing wrong with teaching them to embrace the spirit of Christmas, which is all about behaving, right? Christmas Carols the 100 Most Beautiful Songs Size: 27.6MB Cost: Free iOS & Android “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree….hmmm hmm la la…’ When it comes to Christmas carols there is nothing better than belting out some tunes to get the festive spirit freely flowing. That is if you can remember the words. To be fair we really only need to recall them once a year and if you have a hard enough time remembering where you left your keys, wallet, phone or vehicle like I do, then the third verse of Jingle Bells can easily remain a mystery. As you can imagine there are a multitude of apps dedicated to Christmas carols; some with sheet music, others with tablature and some with dancing elves. The list is endless. Some are free while others cost a few dollars, but selecting the right one will depend on what you need it for. This app is simply lyrics. It has few ads and runs quite smoothly with no obvious glitches or problems; perfect for helping belt through some wonderful Christmas classics! Shake 'n' Create Christmas Cocktails Size: 22.9 MB Cost: Free iOS & Android
This app is pretty self-explanatory and I think the ideal addition to any festive plan, guaranteed to put some extra ‘cheer’ into your day! Whether you are into starting the morning with the ever healthy vitamin C enriched Mimosas; looking to create some decadent mulled cider or wine, or searching for some crisp and icy concoctions, this app has it covered! You can select from a list of popular festive cocktails or mix it up by ‘shaking’ for a random recipe. Warning: Ensure lunch is cooked before attempting these activities! Like most things, moderation and responsibly is the key – of course! Christmas means different things to many people and it can often be a stressful time, let a little light-heartedness in with these quirky apps! No matter how you spend your day might it be filled with the creation of wonderful memories as you reflect upon the year gone by, enjoy the ‘presence’ of loved ones and share the ‘gifts’ of joy! Merry Christmas!
Advertisers' Index | 67
Advertisers' Index AirBag Man
Albury Wodonga RV World
Robertâ€™s RV World
Australian Motor Homes
Avida8 Battery Traders Super Store Bony Mountain Folk Festival Caravan & Motorhome Covers
26 27 27
Duvalay25 eBook Traveller e-Twow Electric Scooters Horizon Motorhomes iMotorhome App iTech World Nomadic Solutions Northcoach Equipment Outback Travel Australia
22 27 17 25 26 27 16 20
Paradise Motor Homes
Parkland RV Centre
Southern Highlands Service Centre
Southern Spirit Campervans
Skytracks27 Sunliner7 Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Trakka13 Trailblazers RV
Webasto14 Wellington Shire
Winnebago2 Winjana RV
Wirraway Motor Homes
68 | Next Issue
IT’S A VIDA!
Fiat Ducato with a layout virtually identical to Project Polly, so should be interesting! We’re taking a well earned Christmas and New Year break and will return in four weeks time. Agnes tells us she’s working on some fresh new styling ideas and we have some new regular feature ideas coming up we think you’ll like. Of course Project Polly will have had some more extras added while TechTalk will bring you the promised RV First Aid Kit article, plus there will be more apps to kickstart the new year.
e’re still chasing the elusive Jayco Conquest we hoped for last issue – they seem to be flying out of dealers’ yards – but in the mean time have a new Sunliner Vida V21 to report on. It’s a van conversion of the new model
Feb 05-07 24-29 17-21
Issue 87 will be out on Saturday 16 January. Thank you for your support in 2015 and the many encouraging letters and contributions. From the iMotorhome Team we wish you and your loved ones the merriest of Christmases and happiest of new years. See you in 2016!
Newcastle Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo
Adelaide Let’s Go Caravan & Camping Lifestyle Show
Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow
Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground Brown Rd, Broadmeadow. NSW. 2292
Adelaide Showground Goodwood Rd, Wayville. SA. 5034.
Melbourne Showgrounds Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale. Vic. 3032.
• • • • •
• Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00 final day) • Parking: TBA • Adults: $20 • Seniors: $16 • Kids: U 15 free
• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $12 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: U 16 free with adult
Visit Website Click for Google Maps
Open 10:00-5:00 daily Parking: Limited Adults: $13 Seniors: $10 Kids: U 15 free with adult
Visit Website Click for Google Maps
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar.
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