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iMotorhome

magazine

Issue 88: Feb 06 2016

Sweet &Sour? Day Test!

Traillite Karapiro 756

Project Polly

Solarscreen efficiency tested‌

TechTalk

12 V tips for better battery life!

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Is Kea’s Chinese takeaway a taste of things to come?


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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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Contributors Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby 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 This could be you! Interested? Contact us on richard@imotorhome.com.au

Richard Robertson T: 0414 604 368

Legal

E: richard@imotorhome.com.au

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.

Roadtest Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@imotorhome.com.au


DON'T MISS US AT THE FOLLOWING SHOWS! Newcastle 5-7 Feb Adelaide 17-21 Feb Melbourne 24-29 Feb Gold Coast 4-6 Mar

2015 MANUFACTURER

See website for more details

OF THE YEAR Motorhomes, Campervans & 5th Wheelers

For 20 years, Horizon Motorhomes have been crafting ‘built-in’ motorhomes using only the finest fixtures and fittings.

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LLI

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To find out more about our range of award winning motorhomes visit our website or call 02 6681 1555.

299 C A M O L D 02 R i v P E R E X C 66 er VA LUS 81 Str N 1 55 e e & I V E L 5 | t, B M O Y B i n f a l l TO R Y o@ ina H bcm NS O M c.c W 24 E CE o m 78 N T RE .au

Late last year we were 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.

horizonmotorhomes.com.au

SGG Pty Ltd. Lic No. MD11739, MVRL23910


On my mind | 5

MATTERS OF DESIRE… One of the strongest desires I hear from readers and people on social media is that of hitting the road full time. Specifically, selling up everything and becoming a genuine nomad – grey or otherwise. How does that sit with you? Are you already a full-time wanderer, with no fixed address and a well notated roadmap by your morning coffee? Or are you a home-base kind of person, travelling for weeks or months at a time but always gladly heading home? Having been in or around RV journalism for more than 15 years I’ve had a lot of time to ponder what I – that’s Mrs iMotorhome and I – will eventually like to do. There’s a romantic ideal to the notion of living one day at a time and travelling when and where the whim takes you, but how practical is it forever? To be honest I’m past wanting to be an eternal wanderer. Having spent much of my life moving, including long stints overseas, it’s good to finally have roots. And although those roots don’t involve children they do include good neighbours and local friends, and for the first time a genuine sense of community. Much of our current travel itch is scratched by our jobs – Mrs iM is an International flight attendant – and the opportunities they present, but it’s always good to come home. Perhaps if we’d been homebodies our whole lives we couldn’t wait to get away, but for us in the foreseeable future we will always be home-based travellers. One drawback to full-time travel that I hear about as regularly as the desire to get away is that of sickness on the road. It’s an inescapable fact most of us can’t travel full-time until retirement. If genetics and/or lifestyle choices haven’t been kind the spectre of succumbing to some condition that requires ongoing medical treatment is quite real. Not having the convenience and security –

physical and/or mental – of a bricks and mortar home is a price many are unwilling to pay, ourselves included. I know you can park a vehicle up in such situations and use it as a home base, but would it really be the same? I’m interested to hear from people in real life situations on both sides of these questions, so please let me know what you think. On Facebook I follow the adventures of a young couple in America, Rachel and James, now in their third year living full time on the road in a bright orange 1976 Kombi called Sunshine. As young idealists dissatisfied with the workaday world they sold everything and hit the road (you can follow their adventures under the name of Idle Theory Bus). We’ve become friends of sorts and regularly communicate, but as an older person I can’t help wonder how long they can/will continue. My questions on settling down, having kids and educating them seem to go vaguely unanswered… There is no right or wrong to my pondering. Each of us must make our own decisions and be able to live comfortably with the consequences. However, as my good wife often reminds me, because you make a plan with the best intentions and information doesn’t mean you can’t change it. And regularly, if needs be. Let me know your thoughts. And safe travels out there – wherever and whatever your present or desired situation!

Richard


6 | Contents

3

About Us

9

Resources

5

On my Mind

11

On your Mind

24

Marketplace

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

Matters of Desire…

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

16

News

28

Freedom Camping

30

NZ Day Test: Kea Breeze

42

NZ Day Test: Traillite Karapiro 756

52

Project Polly: Hot Box!

58

Travel: Byron Bay Bluesfest!

62

TechTalk

69

Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

Our monthly roundup from the world of freedom camping

Malcolm takes a spin in a compact Kea Breeze on a Chinese-built LDV

A big, capable B-class ideal for extended touring

Testing Solarscreens’ efficiency in the summer sun

If you’re a Blues fan, Byron Bay is the place to be in March…

12 Volt Tips

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!

66

Mobile Tech

70

Next Issue

Fishing Apps!

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


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.

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


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

Subscription

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

Reader Survey

Reader Review


Relax in Paradise

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money, competitively priced from $158,000.

• Unrivalled Safety including

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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


On your mind | 11

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

we’ll share it with our readers. We’ll also reward the most interesting, useful or thoughtful letter each issue with $50 to help you on your way.

Thanks to everyone who took the time and made the effort to share thoughts, experiences, tips and observations in 2015. Thanks also for the many good wishes for the festive season, which were most appreciated. Please keep writing in and feel free to share whatever’s on your mind. This is your forum and we know it’s also one of the most popular sections of the magazine, so keep those letters coming in 2016!

RV First Aid Extras We carry all the suggested items as described in last issue’s Tech Talk, but in addition carry a windscreen repair kit. These cost about $32 from stores like Supercheap and will do about 3 repairs. Due to Queensland roads we are on our second kit after using the first one to fix a few chips in our windscreen and a very large bulls-eye chip on another screen. We also run a insect screen/stone screen mesh on the grille to

stop stones denting the radiator/air conditioner condenser fins or putting a hole in same. It also stops insects clogging up the fins. Regards, John They sound like very worthwhile additions John and I’m sure many readers will follow suit. Please accept this issue’s $50 prize for such a helpful tip!

Something’s Rotten In Denmark… Hi Richard. Last March we bought a Horizon Motorhome that you had reviewed in your magazine. I have been meaning to thank you for the review as the motorhome was just what we were looking for and we are delighted with it. After collecting it from Ballina we spent four months travelling up and down the East Coast and Tassie before bringing it back to WA. My

husband doesn’t drive any more but I find the Merc Sprinter very easy to drive, even for long distances. The motorhome was everything you said it was! We live in Denmark WA and have seen letters in the CMCA Wanderer magazine about the fact that there is no free or low cost camping continued...


12 | On your mind in the Denmark Shire. Also the people writing the letters were rudely told that Denmark did not want Grey Nomads but were more interested in “up market” clientele. Would you please ask your readers to contact me on js.clay@bigpond.com if they have had similar experiences here or have not stopped in Denmark because of the attitude here or because the caravan parks are too expensive?

Great to hear your Horizon – a Waratah from memory – is going so well and that it has turned out to be just what you were looking for. That’s great news indeed, along with the fact you’ve had what sounds like a terrific time travelling in it. Let’s see if any of our readers have had issues with free camping in and around your home town, or if they can help take your message to Council. Good luck!

This would give me more ammunition with which to try and change the Council’s regulations about this. Many thanks, Selma Clay

Price Gouge Hi Richard. I read the following in the Sunday Telegraph (17/1/2016): South West Rocks – overnight rate $92. Enjoy the last of the school holidays with a stay at the BIG4 Sunshine South West Rocks on the NSW mid-north coast. Save with the Pay 5, Stay 7 deal from $92 a night for a powered site and from $257 a night for cabin accommodation, with the bonus nights for free. The special offers apply from January23 30, including the Australia Day long weekend. It’s no wonder why us travellers refuse to pay the ridiculous prices some caravan park owners are asking. It also makes one wonder why the motel and hotel industry are not jumping up and down about caravan parks taking business away from them when caravan parks are putting more and more cabins in their parks, especially as caravan parks are demanding councils close down freedom camps and rest areas. It’s crazy to expect

overnight travellers to pay these outrageous prices. Yes, they may have jumping castles, etc, etc, but us travellers who are more experienced in life don’t want or need these things. Cheers, Jane Thanks for your email and yes, absolutely outrageous. I guess the caravan park industry would argue it’s a case of supply and demand, but you and I call it price gouging. It’s a good illustration of how out of touch some members of the caravan park industry are with market needs and why it’s so important we stand up and fight for free and low-cost no-frills camping


14 | On my mind

Transit Tyre Troubles Hi guys. Like you, we own a Ford Transit (2002) two berth motorhome, purchased in November 2014. We have had a brilliant run but also had the dreaded “pull to the left problem”. We collected it with two new front tyres, with the previous front tyres having been put on the back. We noted that after our first rather long shakedown trip the Ford logo on the steering wheel was no longer horizontal, so took it in to get a wheel alignment. It also needed a wheel bearing replacement. All good and off we went again. Halfway through the next trip of a fortnight (we do some serious miles chasing storms in our motorhome), the logo started to angle up from the horizontal again – the front driver’s side tyre was starting to scrub – so we took it to a tyre dealer to get the tyres rotated. When we went back to collect it he showed us the passenger side rear tyre, which was down to the metal belting! That was a front tyre that had been rotated to the back when we bought it. We were also told that one of the rear wheels was 15” not 16” because someone had a flat, replaced it with the spare and never changed it back! Off we went again on our third trip and on the way home some 3000 km later the Ford logo was off horizontal again. By now we’re wondering if someone had run it into a gutter, but as we do our own oil changes and we had both spent quite a bit of time underneath inspecting, we knew that wasn’t the case. So, many reading hours later I finally found the answer.

Best Caption!

The best caption for our funny photo in Issue 86 was, “I’m practicing to be a cocker spannerial when I grow up.” Congratulations Jeff, your special mystery prize should have arrived by now. Enjoy!

Apparently they all have the same problem with the way the front end is set up and alignment has nothing to do with it, it’s the frame. The problem is very noticeable in Victoria because of the road camber; it’s a little less noticeable in NSW, less of a problem in Qld and no problem in the NT. When we went and talked to the tyre specialist he said he had heard about it and that semis doing the highways between Adelaide and Perth actually had their frames bent to an average setting to compensate for the 136 different cambers in the road to stop tyre wear! We have found that if we religiously rotate the tyres every 10,000 km (that’s only one trip for us, so a cost of about $25 per month) and are prepared to buy 2 new tyres a year (we do about 50,000kms a year) we don’t have a problem. But we now check by feel the tread on all the tyres every couple of days – and the problem has been solved! Hope this helps. Cheers, Jane Thanks for your email Jane, sounds like quite an adventure you’ve been on (both chasing storms and tyre solutions). I’ve taken your advice onboard and plan to do the same. So far Polly isn’t exhibiting any particular wear issues and I intend to stay on top of it. Any other Transit owners out there with tyre wear issues who’d like to share experiences and solutions?


On your mind | 15

US Rental Advice Hi Richard. We love your mag and always wait impatiently for the next one. I know you are very busy, but I would like a little advice. We are flying in and out of San Fransisco at the end of April for a 10 day stay! Any advice on renting a camper and where to go in only 10 days? Any pointers would be fantastic! Kind regards, Hans and Maggie Thanks and glad you like what we’re doing! If you’re looking for rentals visit our Rentals page, put in your dates and see what it comes up with. I think you’ll find the rates pretty competitive and should

give you a decent range of options. As for where to go I’d suggest a few days in and around the beautiful Napa Valley, to the north east, plus taking the breathtaking coast road as far south as San Luis Obispo and looping back via Salinas (or just retrace the coast road). Yosemite National Park is also quite close by and a spectacular destination in itself, and could also be combined with the Napa Valley if you’re quick. So many choices! Anyway, whatever you choose to do you’re bound to have a ball. Just do San Francisco itself before picking up the vehicle as it’s not very RV friendly.

NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD


16 | News

THE MOTORHOME DOCTOR finishing off accessory fitting and other work on customers’ new vehicles. Focussed purely on motorhomes, the Motorhome Doctor is open to all motorhome owners looking for repairs and servicing of the non-mechanical part of their vehicle, plus accessory sales and installation. Plans are also afoot to include mechanical repairs and vehicle servicing in the not too distant future.

T

rakka has opened a dedicated aftersales service centre just around the corner from its showroom and factory in Mt Kuring-gai on Sydney’s northern fringe. Designed as a stand-alone business to better handle the service and accessory needs of customers, while also freeing up valuable factory space, the Motorhome Doctor only opened its door last week but already is

While waiting for work to be carried out, customers can browse a range of accessories and lifestyle items or just sit back and relax in a large lounge area. Tea, coffee and restroom facilities are also on hand. While the motorhomedoctor.com.au website isn’t up and running yet, to find out more call (02) 9457 6277.

The Wirraway 260 SL

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

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

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

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

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


18 | News

VODAFONE’S FREE NZ ROAMING

V

odafone Australia has abolished voice and data roaming charges for its Australian subscribers travelling to New Zealand, and other countries could follow in the radical ‘free roaming’ plan. The jaw-dropper of a deal, which took effect on Wed 3 Feb for customers on all Vodafone Red plans (starting from the $30/month SIMonly package) means trans-Tasman travellers can use data, make and take calls and swap text messages without paying any additional roaming fees. Arriving in NZ, just switch on your Vodafone mobile phone and it’ll be no different to being in Australia, with your Aussie plan’s full serve of data, voice and SMS allowance available for free. This also includes free calls within New Zealand and back to Australia plus free text messaging worldwide. If you exceed your monthly data cap, excess data is charged at the same 1c/ MB rate as in Australia. New Zealand is Australia’s most popular international destination, with Aussies making 1.2 million trans-Tasman trips a year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Vodafone chose New Zealand for

the launch of its revolutionary $5/day roaming plans in August 2013. The scheme now covers over 50 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and easily bests the more expensive ‘buy before you fly’ add-ons of competitors Telstra and Optus. By comparison, Telstra’s New Zealand roaming plans start at $15 for a 3 day ‘travel pass’ with a measly 225 MB and $35 for a 7-day pass with 525 MB, with excess data charged at 3c/MB. Optus sells $10 a day ‘travel packs’ for Kiwi roaming, with unlimited calls and texts plus 50 MB per day and 50c/ MB for excess data. Vodafone says it will consider extending free roaming to other countries in its $5/day network, depending on the viability of what Vodafone terms its NZ ‘experiment’, which will run until 1 December 2016. Vodafone has also announced a partnership with Qantas that will see selected mobile plans rebadged as Qantas Red plans and offered with up to 15,000 Qantas Points over the term of the contract.


News | 19

AUTO TRAIL MOTORHOME RECALL

T

he ACCC has issued a recall notice for owners of 2015 Model Year AutoTrail Motorhomes based on Fiat Ducato II Series cab. Variants are EKS, FB, Delaware and Comanche. It says that in certain situations it is possible for the weld joining the front TV bracket post to the base plate to fail, which could allow the TV monitor to become detached from its stored position. These vehicles were sold by Sydney RV and Elite RV and owners are urged to contact their supplying dealers to have to problem rectified as soon as possible.

Webasto – your gas free solution for independent travelling

  

Quiet powerful operation Low power & fuel consumption Use whilst parked & on the move

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

RV Compressor Fridges   

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

AU13252

Air Top – Air Heaters


20 | News

MOOLOOLABA ACTION GROUP

A

n action group is taking steps to prevent the Sunshine Coast Council from closing down the Mooloolaba Esplanade Caravan Park, which is scheduled for mid 2017. The Group says the caravan park at Mooloolaba is an iconic site that has been central to the development of camping and caravanning in Queensland and they are taking steps to apply to have it heritage listed. A petition has already attracted more than 3700 signatures to date and you can add yours by clicking HERE. Separately, a gofundme website page has been set up to raise funds for the fight, with nearly $3500 pledged so far. To make a donation click HERE.

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 | 21

MOBILE DIALYSIS FIRST

C

ravan parks in Victoria are welcoming holidaymakers who depend on dialysis machines to stay alive. In a world first, Kidney Health Australia (KHA) is operating a mobile dialysis unit that visits the state’s holiday spots, including caravan parks, enabling kidney disease patients and their families the freedom to travel. Hundreds of sufferers have already taken advantage of the Big Red Kidney Bus, which is equipped with three dialysis machines. The vehicle spends six weeks in caravan parks at popular locations, giving patients the opportunity to enjoy a holiday while receiving dialysis treatment as required. KHA chief executive and managing director Anne Wilson said the bus had allowed over 300 Australians on dialysis to take a holiday

and well-deserved break. For many, it had been their first holiday “in a very long time” and in a few cases their first ever. “Due to the success and impact of the first Big Red Kidney Bus, KHA is committed to a national expansion programme that will ultimately see each state of Australia equipped with a Big Red Kidney Bus,” she added. To find out more, including a schedule of parks to be visited this year and to check dialysis availability, visit KHA by clicking HERE. Also note that some parks provide special rates for patients.


22 | News

SUPER COMPACT B-CLASS

H

ymer’s new Van S is unlikely to make it to Australia (although NZ is another matter), but its compact dimensions and comprehensive features could inspire local manufacturers to develop a similar machine. Hymer classifies it as a super-compact motorhome designed to serve as both RV and second car. Essentially a B-class coachbuilt motorhome, “The Van can manoeuvre city spaces while still offering a comfortable home away from home. Van models fit comfortably between Hymercars (Hymer’s converted camper van line) and Hymer’s larger C-Class offerings,” the company says. Hymer introduced the Van model line in Europe in 2005 but put it on hold for a while before bringing it back last June. Most recently Continued...


News | 23 ...Continued

it rolled the new Sprinter-based Van S out next to the standard Fiat-based Van. The Van S 500 is based on a Mercedes’ Sprinter cab-chassis with 3.25 m wheelbase. The motorhome is just 5.65 m long, meaning it will comfortably fit into a normal car spaces, and 2.9 m tall. It features a double bed against the rear wall, sleeping two people with the option for one more. Sandwiched between that bed and the dining area is a 70 x 95 cm bathroom with toilet and fold-down sink. Opposite the bathroom, the kitchen houses a two-burner stove, sink and 65-litre compressor fridge. The vehicle has a 95 AH AGM house battery, 90-litre fresh water tank and 100-litre grey water tank. LEDs light the interior while a

Truma Combi 4 air heater warms it. The van is prewired for radio and TV, and Hymer offers a number of TV and radio options. Other options include air conditioning, an outdoor shower and a second house battery. Hymer showed the Van S at the recent CMT travel and leisure show in Stuttgart and it will bring it to market this July. The 500 model will start at €56,990 (approx. A$88,000) and a larger 6.36 m 520 S with two single beds in place of the double bed will start at €59,990 ($93,000).

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info@trailblazersrv.com


24 | News/ iMotorhome Marketplace

MORE FREE NT WI-FI

N

T Chief Minister Adam Giles said free internet access is now available at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. The historic Reserve marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, it is the best preserved of the 12 stations along the Overland Telegraph Line. But now the iconic station has caught up with modern connectivity with the installation of free wi-fi for visiting tourists. Mr Giles said the new facility followed the successful roll-out at Wangi Falls (Litchfield National Park), Watarrka (Kings Canyon), Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles), the Todd Mall, Anzac Oval and TIO Traeger Park.

Are you living that dream? Tax returns need lodging? Do you have income from working or investments? Use a tax agent who understands. We do, because our office has 4 wheels and a Luton peak. Whether you’re in FNQ, WA or Tas., email for info Grey Nomad Tax Advisers ABN 76 114 458 058 Eric Taylor, FIPA, CTA, Reg. Tax Agent Email: eric@greynomadtax.com.au www.greynomadtax.com.au

Southern Highlands Service Centre • • • • • •

More Versatile Than Any Other RV Camp Anywhere - It’s Self Contained Large Bathroom With Shower & Toilet Easy To Operate With Electric Jacks Models For Single, Extra & Dual Cabs Plus! Famous Ozcape Quality & Support

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: mwauto@hinet.net.au


iMotorhome Marketplace | 25 MOBILE

iMotorhome

NEW

Our new App is now available for Android & iPhone

iPhone

Android

Scan QR code or click below to download

Scan QR code or click below to download

iPhone

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

bonymountainfolkfestival.com

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

Android


26 | iMotorhome Marketplace

Battery Traders Super Store

Airbag Man

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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

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

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

T: 1800 AIRBAG W: airbagman.com.au

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

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

iTech World

Wellington Shire

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

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

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

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

POWER CHOICE

TM

Connect at home! Connect anywhere!

15Amp to 10Amp Adaptor with RCD and overload protection

www.ampfibian.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.

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iMotorhome Marketplace | 27

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28 | Feature

FREEDOM CAMPING O ur regular feature keeping you in touch with what’s happened and happening in the world of freedom camping in Australia.

These stories and more can be found in detail at the Freedom of Choice website, indexed by state and town, while you can also find the latest news and updates on their Facebook page. 1 Jan – Should they be called “Caravan Parks”?

“In fact TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards found room for two caravan parks (Gold Coast and Cairns) in its Top 10 Hotels list” & “Our property is now more like a hotel, but with different types of accommodation”. Also important is this statement: “Multi award-winning caravan park but these days only one-third of its sites hold caravans and tents”. Just where are we expected to go in the future and why all the angst about free choice camping, we ask, when this is the trend? 3 Jan – Some Interesting comment in this story While obviously written as a promotion for the caravan park industry some interesting comments were made. So why the anti-freedom camping stance of the industry? “Sometimes people think caravan parks cater for the lower end of the market but that is not the case,” Mr Wright said. “Many parks are also becoming integrated resort style parks, complete with lagoon swimming pools, water parks, water sports, ropes courses and gyms”. Mr Wright said their holiday parks are

also catering to the higher end of the market by ¬offering four-star accommodation to compete with the hotel market. “Camping sites range from $30-$70 per night, while cabins can are between $150-$400”. 3 Jan – Bloody Caravanners A very interesting post on the Coorong District Council Facebook page that brought a huge response for all the right reasons. 8 Jan – T  rial of freedom camping at Tuncurry Rockpool Over the festive period, Council has been trialling a free camping area at Tuncurry Rockpool. The aim was to look at encouraging a new type of visitation to Forster-Tuncurry to help the tourist economy 9 Jan – A Current Affair – an interesting story We are the first to admit this piece is about the high end of the market, but it does show a trend in the caravan park industry. 9 Jan – The contentious issue of free camping. A very interesting blog entry written by a caravan park proprietor. Makes a lot of sense of the issues. 13 Jan – C  ampers unite in a bid to save a caravan park A team of six long-time campers are going doorto-door visiting Mooloolaba shop keepers as they begin a campaign to defeat Sunshine Coast Council’s plans to close the park as part of its Placemaking Mooloolaba foreshore rejuvenation.


Feature | 29 15 Jan – C  ouncil acts to restrict free campers at Crescent Head

20 Jan – T  uncurry free camping trial a surprise to Mayor

Four hour time-limited parking and designated ‘no stopping’ zones may soon be implemented in Crescent Head as part of Council’s bid to crackdown on free camping in the town.

This would have to be the strangest story of the month with the council web site having details of the trial and asking for feedback.

15 Jan – A  n invitation to “road test” RV Parking in the Redland City Council You’re invited to road test two Redland City trial overnight parking sites. You can stay overnight in these locations for free in the designated areas with a self-contained vehicle. After your visit you are asked to provide feedback via email, mail or the form on the link above. 18 Jan – Opinion Piece: Fraser Coast RV strategy just isn’t working Trying to force RVs to use caravan parks, or RV sites managed by private caravan parks, is laughable. They will simply continue to do what they are already doing – they will bypass us completely. There are now no free RV camping sites on the Fraser Coast. Instead we have the Stop and Shop campaign, in which we expect RV owners to “prove” they have made some financial contribution to the region. 19 Jan – Collinsville declared RV Friendly Town Whitsunday Regional Council has formalised its agreement with the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) to have Collinsville declared an RV Friendly Town. Mayor Jenny Whitney said that RV Friendly status would enable Collinsville to be better promoted to RV travellers and drive tourists as an ideal destination to stop, shop and explore. 20 Jan – H  oliday makers and locals fight to save caravan park What is going on with the Tweed shire? They have been closing down freedom camps and now want to bulldoze a caravan park as well. With 585,000 registered RVs in Australia and the industry booming, where are all these people going to holiday in the future? Freedom camps might be the only answer.

21 Jan – M  oira Shire is looking for feedback on their RV Friendly Strategy You can have your say by downloading a copy of the Draft Recreational Vehicle (RV) Friendly Strategy and completing the online submission 22 Jan – B  undaberg freedom camping an election issue It would appear that freedom of choice will become a real election issue in the Bundaberg Regional Council elections in March as two Mayoral candidates have both come out in support of it and now another candidate also writing letters to the editor on the subject. 26 Jan – Camping debate at Mt Isa Locals generally seemed to side with having camping at Lake Moondarra on the North West Star’s Facebook page, although enforcement and rubbish were concerns. The Mount Isa Water Board is considering the policies of recreational use at the lake, particularly camping. Community member and camper Samara Turnbull believes it was sad that the lake was not being used to its full potential. r 28 Jan – P  ort Hedland free campground to reopen again Grey nomads could flock to Hedland in greater numbers than ever this year after councillors voted to open the Turf Club as a free camp ground each winter. Under the December council meeting decision, tourists driving self-contained campervans with showers, toilets and waste disposal units will likely be able to stop for two nights free of charge at the Port Hedland race course grounds between 1 May and 31 August. Town of Port Hedland economic and land development officer, Brie Holland, said in her council report the free campground had been trialled successfully in 2015.


30 | Day Test: Kea Breeze LDV

Breezing In!

Kea’s LDV-based Breeze is a fresh face in the NZ motorhome world… by Malcolm Street


Day Test | 31

The Chinese-built LDV is a modern and good looking base vehicle, while Kea’s new Breeze motorhome body has a streamlined nose leading to a conventional, boxy body. How well the LDV stands up to the rental market remains to be seen, but Kea is a dab hand at building durable bodies.

U

p until the latter part of last year there had been few surprises from the Kea motorhome stable; owners Tourism Holdings Ltd (THL) apparently happy to run with the status quo. That all changed with the arrival of Kea’s Breeze, built on a Chinese LDV V80 cab-chassis. If that wasn’t enough it’s also Kea’s first design with a drop down bed, while at 6.3 m (20’ 8”) it’s one of the shortest Kea coachbuilts ever. Before passing judgement on the Breeze it's probably good to understand Kea's design thinking. Mostly built for their rental fleet, it had to be small to mid-sized while price matching the more basic motorhomes coming out of Britain and Europe. And of course it still had to be be suitable for New Zealand conditions. Hence the choice of the LDV cab-chassis. In case you’re wondering LDV stands for Leyland DAF Vehicles. Dutch manufacturer DAF took over what was left of the Leyland empire in Thatcherite Britain

to form LDV, which via several subsequent owners has ended up with the Chinese SAIC group.

The Vehicle

A

lthough the LDV is Chinese built it does have a few non-Chinese items, like the Italian VM Motori-designed 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine, the Bosch fuel injection systems and the Euro designed automated manual transmission (AMT). It's no Fiat Ducato, though, so apart from anything else it doesn’t have swivelling cab seats. In fact the LDV comes with a bench seat that Kea has replaced with two bucket seats. Apart from being more comfortable they allow easy through-cab access. I have to say the fibreglass composite body shape is a contrast in style. From the front it looks quite streamlined, with a slight cab overhang, yet still very low profile. Looking


32 | Day Test Right: Central instrumentation makes left-to-righthand-drive modifications easy for the manufacturer, but with the speedo way over on the left it’s a compromise likely to put private buyers off. Below: The traditional New Zealand Back – windows surrounding the rear lounge – is a great feature ideal for out-of-the-weather sightseeing.

at it the other way it is much more boxy, although small side and top mouldings take the edge off things. Large tinted glass windows at the rear – the side ones having lower slide openings – do give the game away that this is a New Zealand-built motorhome. The door is a fairly standard style with a top half-window and a separate, non security insect screen. Being a relatively small motorhome there aren't many external storage bins but the tunnel boot across the rear should suffice for most needs. There are quite a few other

doors along the driver’s side but they are mostly for items like gas cylinders, hot water heater, toilet cassette and electrical connections.

On the Road

B

ehind the wheel the first thing that meets the eye is that the instrumentation and controls are all in the centre of the dashboard. It’s done to make it easier for the manufacturer when producing left or right-hand drive vehicles, but it's definitely a distraction for the driver and takes a little getting used to, especially when the speedo is on the far left of


Day Test | 33

The body shape is a contrast in styles. From the front it looks quite streamlined, but looking at it the other way it is much more boxy, although small side and top mouldings take the edge off things. the panel. All the other controls are more or less where they should be, including the AMT gear shift, which isn’t far from your left hand. Generally speaking the fit and finish of the LDV is okay but in some places it looked a bit Land Roverish, which given the Leyland heritage might not be a surprise.

On the road the 2.5 litre turbo-diesel was a bit sluggish at lower revs and the AMT gearbox a bit hesitant changing gear in the lower ranges, but given that earlier Sprinter and Ducato AMTs were like that it wasn't really surprising. Once up and running the LDV powered along well enough and

maintained highway speeds without a problem.

Inside Living

T

he Breeze is a fourseater with a forwardfacing passenger seat for two quite close behind the driver's seat. Unusually, it’s a purely passenger carrying set-up that doesn’t double as


34 | Day Test Below: The main bed stores against the ceiling and can be left made-up. It has several positions for use including this one, which still allows the dinette to be used or become a second double bed. Bottom: This unit is the ideal place for a TV, while the net pockets are perfect for thongs, torches or other ‘stuff’ needed close to the door.

a dinette. The entry door is directly behind the passenger’s cab seat, which leave space along the same wall for the kitchen bench. Opposite that is the centrally positioned bathroom. Older readers will remember the time honoured New Zealand back – a rear club lounge surrounded by windows – and that’s what the Breeze has. A problem with this arrangement is the bed had to be made up every night, but not this time: Kea’s fitted a drop-down double above the lounge (even if it is a little awkward to initially make up). In the rear and with the bed up out of the way the club lounge seats four without much trouble. A single pole mount is used for the table but it's not set in the floor. Rather, it’s on the side against the kitchen bench. It might not always keep the table totally stable but it can be swung against the kitchen bench to be used as extra work space. Two LED down lights are fitted under the bed for night time illumination of the rear lounge/table area and overall, internal decor is typically Kea.


Day Test | 35

Mostly built for their rental fleet (the Breeze) had to be small to mid-sized while price matching the more basic motorhomes coming out of Britain and Europe.


36 | Day Test

Above: The roof bed is manually operated and all the better for it. It’s simple, easy to use and saves weight. Right: For a compact rental the kitchen is quite generous and well equipped.

Given the way the front is designed I wouldn't be surprised if Kea fits swivelling cab seats eventually; the general design certainly lends itself to that. Still up the front, the small waisthigh cabinet is good for not only storage but also a flat screen TV location. It would be an appropriate place for a 12 V socket /5 V USB charging point, rather than the base of the rear passenger seat. Above the cab open shelves, some with nets, offer yet more storage.

Meal Time

F

illing most of the kitchen bench is a four burner hob (one electric, three gas) with grill underneath, plus a stainless steel sink/drainer, and both appliances have


Day Test | 37

smoked glass tops. Under the sink is a 130-litre Isotherm fridge, which leaves space alongside for a cupboard and three drawers complete with cut outs to suit plates, cups and bowls. While it does take up a bit more space it keeps items secure and reduces travel rattling. Three overhead lockers are also provided.

Bed Time

Q

uite a few drop down beds are electrically operated, but those from Europe are often hand operated – and quite easily too. Apart from anything else it means less to break down! Kea has opted for the latter and here and it seems to work well. The bed can be lowered fully, but for four people it can only be lowered half way. I tried a few heights to see if this was practical and it was. A curtain for the lower bed might be a good thing, especially for children.

Keeping Clean

T

he Breeze is a compact motorhome and that means a compact bathroom, but there's certainly room for the

Top: The basic bathroom has the essentials but nothing more. Above: Passenger seats are really for travelling only as the lack of any kind of table limits use after hours.


38 | Day Test Thetford cassette toilet, small corner basin and flexible hose shower. Other fittings include a towel rail and vent fan. A good sized mirror is fitted to the outside wall.

What I Think

A

s far as I know Kea is the first manufacturer on either side of the Tasman to produce an LDVbased motorhome. In some ways it's a brave move but it's hard to argue with the pricing. Certainly though, the LDV lacks the sophistication (and probably safety – Ed) of its European rivals. Since Kea is producing this motorhome for its rental fleet and private buyers there is the terrific opportunity to try before you buy. On the motorhome side of things I reckon Kea has produced a nicely balanced layout for this length motorhome and it certainly has the potential for future improvements. Watch this space and if interested, take a Kea motorhome holiday soon!

Left: Malcolm thinks swivelling cab seats are likely on the drawing board and would significantly enhance the Breeze’s already-good liveability. Above: The Breeze is compact and should be well received in the rental and private markets.


Specifications

Make Model Type Berths Approved Seating Licence VEHICLE Make/Model Engine Power Torque Gearbox Safety Fuel WEIGHTS Tare Weight Gross Vehicle Mass Max Payload Braked Towing Capacity Dimensions Overall Length Overall Width Overall Height Internal Height Main Bed Luton Bed Dinette Bed EQUIPMENT Slide-Out Awning Entry Steps Hob Rangehood Sink Fridge Microwave Lighting 12 V Sockets/USB Outlets Air Conditioner Space Heater Hot Water System Toilet Shower CAPACITIES Batteries Solar LPG Fresh Water Grey Water Hot Water Toilet PRICE From As Tested

KEA Breeze B-Class 4 4 Car LDV 2.5 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel 100 kW @ 3800 rpm 330 Nm @ 1800-2600 rpm 6 speed AMT ABS, EBD, BAS 80 L 2700 kg 3480 kg 780 kg 2000 kg 6.30 m (20’ 8”) 2.24 m (7’ 4”) 3.00 m (9’ 10”) 2.06 m (6’ 9”) 2.00 m x 1.47 m (6’ 7” x 4’ 7”) N/A 2.10 m x 1.47 m (6’ 11” x 4’ 7in) No No Body moulded Dometic 3-gas/1-electric with grill, smoked glass lid Dometic with 2 lights, externally vented Stainless steel with drainer, smoked glass lid 130 L Isotherm 12 V compressor No 12 V LED 1 x 12 V, 2 x 5 V USB No Electric Atwood LPG only Dometic ceramic, cassette Separate cubicle 1 x 100AH No 2 x 4 kg auto changover 100 L 55 L 22 L 19 L cassette NZ$99,990 NZ$99,990

Pros

Day Test | 39

• Stylish looking body • Balanced motorhome layout • Hand operated drop-down bed • New Zealand back lounge layout • Just over 6.3 m long • Tunnel boot storage

Cons

• LDV untried in motorhome world • Cab a bit basic • Centre mounted instrumentation • Location of 12 V/5 V charger outlets • Smallish kitchen • Bed fiddly to make up • 12 V/5 V sockets not so handy for inside use • Awning not standard

Contact

Click for Google Maps

RV Super Centre Auckland RV Super Centre Auckland 169 Bush Road Albany, Auckland. T: 0800 52 00 55 E: info@rvsupercentre.co.nz W: www.rvsupercentre.co.nz RV Super Centre Christchurch

Click for Google Maps

159 Orchard Road Christchurch Airport T: 0800 52 00 55 E: info@rvsupercentre.co.nz W: www.rvsupercentre.co.nz


40 | Day Test

As far as I know Kea is the first manufacturer on either side of the Tasman to produce an LDV-based motorhome. In some ways it’s a brave move but it’s hard to argue with the pricing.


EVENTS

iMotorhome

Free Motorhome 101 Day: 12 March – Brisbane Calling All Beginners!

• Fridges

Southern Spirit Campervans, in conjunction with iMotorhome, is running a special day for anyone new to motorhomes and campervans who wants to see and learn the basics. If you’re looking to buy your first vehicle, a new owner or just heading off on a rental holiday for the first time and want a head start on how things work, this is the day for you!

• Solar

This special event will include demonstrations of the various types, usage and maintenance of items like: • Awnings

• Cookers • 12 V Lighting and Electrical Systems There will also be a question and answer session, plus a free sausage sizzle and refreshments. Caravan park and motel accommodation is available near by and details will be supplied if requested upon booking. You’ll also be able to book a one-onone session with Southern Spirit Campervans for a small fee after the event, if you’d like a personal rundown on your vehicle’s individual systems and features.

• Toilets • Batteries

Book early as numbers are limited!

• Hot Water Systems

Email your name and contact details to contact@sscampervans.com or call Pia on (07) 3112 6114.

• Fresh and Grey Water Systems • Gas systems


42 | Day Test: Trailite Karapiro 756

Heavyweight Traillite

The Trailite Karapiro 756 is a serious piece of motorhome kit... by Malcolm Street


Day Test | 43

Traillite builds impressive motorhomes and the Karapiro 756 is no exception. Solidly constructed and very well equipped, it’s especially well suited to longer term free camping. The new Iveco Daily 70C17 makes a good base vehicle, especially for towing. Note the standard solar panels, which feed into a huge-capacity 325 AH house battery.

T

raillite is a long established New Zealand motorhome manufacturer and one of its strong points is it offers a wide range of motorhomes and layout options. For the most part Traillites are built on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter cab-chassis although there are heavier models on the Isuzu NPR. In this particular case, however, the Karapiro 756 rides on a new Iveco Daily 70C17 With an external length of 8.2 m (26’ 11”), the Karapiro certainly offers potential for a motorhome with a spacious interior well suited to long term travel.

The Vehicle

U

sing the Daily 70C17 the Karapiro comes with a choice of a 5995 kg or 7000 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM).

In the case of the lower rating it means being able to drive on a normal car licence, in New Zealand that is. In the power department the 70C17 comes with a 3.0-litre, 126 kW/430 Nm 4-cylinder turbo-diesel that drives through Iveco’s new 8 speed fully automatic gearbox. With the GVM – in this case of 5995 kg – and a tare weight of 4680 kg the Karapiro 756 certainly has an impressive payload capacity. In the Traillite style of doing things, the motorhome body is built using sandwich panel construction with a foam core, ply wall-lining on the inside and Alufiber on the outside. Alufiber is a layer of fibreglass with a thin layer of powder coated aluminium on the outside. The windows are the very familiar Seitz double-glazed acrylics and the door is


44 | Day Test Right: A wide aisle leads past seperate shower and toilet cubicles to twin beds set above a rear tunnel boot. Bed access is easy thanks to a central step. Bottom: This large Skyview hatch floods the cab and lounge/dining area with light and can be left slightly open when driving. a Euro-style Dometic item with upper window, lower (inside) garbage bin and a separate concertina-style insect screen. Roof hatches comprise a large Skyview unit above the cab, a marinestyle hatch over the lounge and shower and toilet fan hatches. There’s also a Satellite dish and two 140 W solar panels, making the roof a very busy area indeed. In addition to a good sized rear tunnel boot (garage in Euro speak) there are two other storage compartments: the kerbside one for the huge capacity 325 AH battery plus some storage room to spare, and the driver’s side one for the 2 x 9.0 kg gas cylinders. A Traillite trademark is the impressive water capacity, in this case being 375 litres for fresh and 200 litres for grey water. A full tank would add considerable weight and it’s interesting to compare to the capacity of most Australian motorhomes, there being many a place where water is scarce.


Day Test | 45

A good sized pole-mounted table fits between the lounges and can be moved out of the way if it’s desired to convert the lounges into a second bed. On the Road

A

nyone who has been to Christchurch will know there are some areas very flat. Others, however, like the more mountainous Governor’s Bay Road around Lyttleton Harbour, provide a more comprehensive workout for the engine and gearbox (as well as great water views). The

Karapiro came through without a bit disappointing that the much trouble, especially standard Iveco radio/CD thanks to the new eight speed player has been fitted. automatic. A little something to All of the Iveco’s controls remember with this and instrumentation are in motorhome is that it has the usual places while a a fairly long overhang Traillite addition is a rear view – something to keep in camera where the normal mind when turning and/or interior mirror usually is. In reversing. a motorhome like this it’s


46 | Day Test The lounge works well with the swivelled cab seats and provides a spacious and comfortable area to socialise. Note the large windows and removable table. Insert: A custom handbrake solution allows easy swivelling of the driver’s seat. Sheepskin seat covers are a nice touch too.

Inside Living

Lounging

ne of the obvious features of this motorhome is its single beds; these being at the rear, aft of the separate shower and toilet cubicles. That leaves the rest of the mid area for the kitchen and front for lounging and dining.

p front the lounge area consists of long inwards facing lounges that work well with the swivelled cab seats. Unusually for an Iveco Daily the cab seats swivel easily, too.

O

This arrangement effectively splits the layout in two, but it’s quite a practical setup. In particular the front area has a nice open feel about it. Most of the internal colour scheme is either white or various shades of light beige, only offset by the darker shades of the kitchen cabinets, but the end result is a nice airy interior. Roman blinds are used on all windows except the kitchen and can be used in conjunction with the windows’ integrated screens/blinds. Well appointed light fittings are located throughout the motorhome and consist mostly of LED down lights or reading lights.

U

A good sized pole-mounted table fits between the lounges and can be moved out of the way if it’s desired to convert the lounges into a second bed. There’s no shortage of storage in this area either, with plenty under the seats, in the overhead lockers and the open shelves around the cab roof. The locker above the doorway has one additional function, it contains all the 12 V switching, water tank gauges and hot water switch. A little surprisingly, the battery voltage gauge is an analogue item. Still on electrics, on the other side of the entry door the side of the fridge cabinet has a recess that hosts the flat screen TV. It can be swung out for easy viewing but tall people would have to be a little careful when entering or leaving.


ReaderDay Report Test | 47

The Karapiro came through without trouble, especially thanks to the new eight speed automatic.


48 | Day Test A full cooker with grill and oven will be appreciated by those who actually like to cook when travelling, especially taking advantage of NZ’s plentiful fresh produce and seafood. The kitchen’s dark finish is a styling accent in an otherwise light and bright interior. Impressive drawer space is another welcome feature.

Meal Time

L

ike all the rest of the cabinetry the kitchen is made from plywood with an external covering of high pressure laminate. One of the best kitchen features is the number of good sized drawers, including a top drawer shaped to fit around the sink plumbing. There’s also a reasonable amount of bench area whilst still having room for a four burner hob, grill and oven, plus stainless steel sink avec drainer. A 190 litre fridge, with microwave above, is to be found on the opposite side.

Keeping Clean

T

here’s much to be said for a split bathroom. The smaller driver’s side cubicle contains the shower, whilst the larger cubicle opposite comes with not only a Thetford cassette toilet but also a decent vanity


Day Test | 49 setup with a pedestal wash basin, upper and lower cupboard space and a generous wall mirror.

After Hours

F

or some, especially those who are less able, the 1.83 m x 0.79 m (6’ x 2’ 7”) single beds are more practical than an island or corner double. They sit quite high because of the garage storage area underneath, but there’s a handy step for easy bed access. The step also contains a floor level storage compartment that only adds to the generous drawer and overhead locker storage also provided. The space between the bed heads allows for a half-height wardrobe, along with both a shared bedside shelf and a common drawer. Above the shelf are both a 230 V double power point and a single 12 V socket.

Electrics

W

ell sorted might be the best comment on the electrical circuits, with the 375 AH AGM battery being charged by both a 25 A CTEK charger and two 140 W solar panels. It all works well with energy efficient LED lighting and a three-way fridge. A couple more 12 V and 5 V USB outlets wouldn’t go astray, given we carry all manner of electronic devices these days.

What I Think

T

he Karapiro 756 is certainly very well appointed and I’d have to say that although it is built for New Zealand it would be well set up for an extended Australian trip. However, before you get any ideas I don’t think Traillite has any plans in that direction! On the road the Karapiro was a pleasure to drive and it takes minimal time to get ready for use when parking up. I’d be quite happy to take a long trip in the Traillite Karapiro 756 motorhome – to anywhere really!

Below: Twin beds are separated by a central half-height wardrobe but share a common table and drawer. Light and fresh air are good too. Bottom: The main bathroom cubicle is well equipped, stylish and practical.


50 | Day Test

On the road the Karapiro was a pleasure to drive and takes minimal time to get ready for use when parking up.


Specifications

Make Model Type Berths Approved Seating Licence VEHICLE Make/Model Engine Power Torque Gearbox Safety Fuel WEIGHTS Tare Weight Gross Vehicle Mass Max Payload Braked Towing Capacity Dimensions Overall Length Overall Width Overall Height Internal Height Main Bed (singles) Luton Bed Dinette Bed EQUIPMENT Slide-Out Awning Entry Steps Hob Rangehood Sink Fridge Microwave Lighting 12 V Sockets/USB Outlets Air Conditioner Space Heater Hot Water System Toilet Shower CAPACITIES Batteries Solar LPG Fresh Water Grey Water Hot Water Toilet PRICE From As Tested

Traillite Karapiro 756 B-Class 4 4 Car (NZ only) Iveco Daily 70C17 3.0 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel 126 kW @ 3000-3500 rpm 430 Nm @ 1400-3600 rpm 8 speed automatic ABS, EBD, BAS, Hill holder 100 L 4680 kg 5995 kg 1315 kg 3500 kg 8.20 m (26’ 11”) 2.44 m (8’) 3.10 m (10’ 2”) 2.00 m (6’ 7’) 1.83 m x 0.79 m (6’ x 2’ 7”) N/A TBA No Thule Omnistor Electric Thetford Caprice 4 gas burner, grill & oven Dometic with 2 lights, externally vented Dometic square with lid 190 L, 3-way 2-door Dometic RMD 8555 Panasonic inverter 12 V LED 2 x 5 V USB Optional Propex gas heater Suburban 22 litre gas/230 V Thetford cassette Separate cubicle 325 AH AGM 2 x 140 W 2 x 9.0 kg 375 L 200 L 22 L 19 L cassette NZ$228,384 NZ$234,804

Pros

Day DayTest Test | 51

• New Iveco Daily with 8-speed auto • Storage inside and out • Kitchen with excellent drawer space • Comfortable lounge/dining • Space efficient split bathroom • Well finished interior • Great battery/solar panel capacity • Large water capacity • Single bed layout that works well

Cons

• Single beds only 1.83 m (6’) long • Basic driver’s cab radio • Not many 12 V sockets /5 V USB outlets

Contacts

Traillite North Island 77 Paerata Road Pukekohe. NZ. 2120. T: 0800 872 455 W: www.traillite.co.nz

Traillite South Island 280 Main South Road Hornby, Christchurch. NZ. 8042 T: 0800 872 455 W: www.traillite.co.nz

Click for Google Maps

Click for Google Maps


Hot Box! 52 | Project Polly

Can Solarscreens really make a difference to a hot metal box like Polly?? by Richard Robertson


Project Polly | 53

Essentially a metal box with windows all around, Polly is the perfect testbed to see if simply putting reflective screens in the windows can make a real difference to interior temperatures. Note the rear wheel: The brand new hubcap was lost on the first trip. Grr….

I

n Project Polly’s former life as an Apollo Rentals' van she travelled the length and breadth of Australia, but would rarely have stopped in one place for long. Having windows almost all the way around provides plenty of light and good viewing, which I’m sure holiday makers appreciated, but also means she warms up quickly in the sun. Apollo fitted long, heavy curtains that would have gone some way to reducing heat build-up, but with all that glass any curtains were fighting a losing battle. Also, the lack of windscreen or cab window protection simply added to the problem. Now that Polly is largely a lady of leisure, and even though Mrs iMotorhome ran up a set of curtains with insulated backing, keeping her cool inside when parked for days or weeks on end on our driveway, as well as when travelling, is a priority. So when the good people from Solarscreen offered a set of their highly regarded insulation screens for all of Polly’s windows it was an offer too good to refuse. The company makes standard sets for the cabs and rear doors of popular vehicles, but we needed a custom set for our side windows. If you’ve been following this series you’ll know we’ve had our Solarscreens since spring and subjectively they do an excellent job. But

with summer in full swing – at least for a few days – it seemed like the perfect time to do some objective research on their real world effectiveness. To put the test results into perspective it's important to first consider some salient points. Polly is essentially a big metal box that as an ex rental is unlikely to have much insulation. As such she heats up (and cools down) quickly. ‘Proper’ van conversions sold into the private market should be much better insulated, with most having far less glass area and proper double glazed windows. Coach-built motor homes have even better insulation courtesy of their panelled wall construction. In both these cases the cab becomes the primary source of heat gain/loss via the windscreen and side windows. So in many ways a vehicle like Polly is the worst case scenario – or the best for a test like this.

The Test

J

amie from Solarscreen sent us a high-tech digital thermometer with two, one-metre long leads with sensors at the ends. The unit was placed at the forward end of the kitchen bench, with one lead attached to the side of the cab’s passenger seat and the other placed on top of the fridge door; both out of


54 | Project Polly direct sunlight. While both sensors were only about half way between the floor and ceiling it was impractical to position them higher, which undoubtedly would have led to higher readings. Two consecutive days were forecast with tops of 33°C and in Polly's usual parking spot she receives full sun along the sides from dawn to dusk. Readings were taken hourly from 6 am ‘till 6 pm, with sunrise around 6:07 am and sunset just before 8 pm. The vehicle was entered via the rear door to minimise the chance of inaccurate readings due to sudden external air exposure. Two outdoor thermometers were placed in the shade and their readings compared to that from a nearby Bureau of Meteorology weather station. The results were averaged out to best represent the likely external air temperature. Day one saw Polly completely screened and in brilliant sunshine from sunrise until just before 3 pm, at which point storm clouds gathered and the temperature began to fall although no rain did. Day two found Polly ‘screenless’ since the previous evening. Once again brilliant sunshine started at sunrise, but by 2:15 the clouds again gathered and just before 4 pm the heavens opened as a change moved through and the temperature plummeted.

The Results

D

espite the weather not fully cooperating I believe sufficient data was recorded to clearly establish the benefits of our Solarscreens. See the tables and graphs at the end of this story for precise readings and trends. On day one (screened) the internal temperature rose at a comparable rate to the outside temperature. The average was 3ºC to 4ºC warmer inside, peaking 5.6ºC warmer at 3 pm (which is usually the hottest time of day here during daylight saving), before the clouds rolled

Top to bottom: The thermometer set-up was simple but effective; Getting hot in the cab; the cab sensor on the seat side, to keep it out of the sun.


Project Polly | 55

Insert: Shade air temperature was averaged from the readings of these two thermometers plus a nearby Bureau of Meteorology weather station. Above: With the screens removed the interior temperature rose much more rapidly and was nudging 50ºC at 2 pm when storms arrived. Winter heat loss would be just as dramatic. in. Overall the cab was fractionally warmer than the kitchen and as expected the interior cooled more slowly once the outside temperature started to fall. On day two the rate of internal temperature rise was significantly faster, peaking at an average 10.1°C at 2 pm just before the storm clouds gathered. That’s nearly twice the difference from the previous day and an hour earlier. At that time the cab was also 7ºC hotter than the kitchen, nudging 50ºC. Had the storms not intervened I believe the internal temperature readings would have gone significantly higher. Of course, when the outside temperature plummeted the internal temperature fell more rapidly too.

Conclusion

I

n the real world you're unlikely to park your vehicle in the sun in the middle of summer and sit in it all day long with all the windows and roof hatches closed. What these test results show, however, is that even in a worstcase scenario the addition of Solarscreens to a

vehicle like Polly made a significant difference. Comfort levels aside, the reduced temperature is important for the efficiency of the fridge as well as the life of the house batteries, other electronic items and stored food. In a real world situation – say in a caravan park with the aircon on in the middle of summer – they would dramatically reduce airconditioner workload, while in winter they would keep heat in and lessen the effort of your heating system. In between, when just parked up and needing to keep the interior more comfortable, a few screens in strategic positions, coupled with open windows and hatches would make a world of difference. While solarscreens aren’t the cheapest reflective window screen option, I’ve had a look at some competitors and so far seen nothing that compares in terms of material density – ours are seven layers thick – or quality. At the end of the day any reflective window screens are better than nothing, but for quality and efficiency I believe Solarscreens are hard to beat.


56 | Project Polly

y l l o P t c e j Pro ure Charts Temperat

Day 1 - with Solarscreens

Shade Air Temp ºC

Cab Temp ºC

Kitchen Temp ºC

Difference -/+ ºC

46.9

31.3

15.6

0.0

-15.6 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00

Day 2 - without Solarscreens Shade Air Temp ºC Difference -/+ ºC

Cab Temp ºC

Kitchen Temp ºC

50.0

37.5

25.0

12.5

0.0

-12.5 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00


y l l o P t c e j Pro ure Charts Temperat

Project Polly | 57

Day 1 - with Solarscreens

06:00

Shade Air Temp ºC 21.0

Cab Temp ºC 16.9

Kitchen Temp ºC 16.9

Average Temp ºC 16.9

Difference -/+ ºC (4.1)

07:00

20.2

17.6

17.5

17.6

(2.7)

08:00

23.5

22.7

22.5

22.6

(0.9)

09:00

26.9

27.2

27.8

27.5

0.6

10:00

28.2

30.9

31.3

31.1

2.9

11:00

30.1

33.1

33.7

33.4

3.3

12:00

31.9

35.6

36.1

35.9

4.0

13:00

33.3

36.8

37.3

37.1

3.8

14:00

36.2

38.7

38.9

38.8

2.6

15:00

34.4

39.8

40.1

40.0

5.6

16:00

33.2

37.7

38.3

38.0

4.8

17:00

30.5

35.2

35.9

35.6

5.1

18:00

25.5

32.2

33.1

32.7

7.2

Time

06:00

Shade Air Temp ºC 21.2

Cab Temp ºC 18.2

07:00

19.0

08:00

Day 2 - without Solarscreens Kitchen Temp ºC 18.2

Average Temp ºC 18.2

Difference -/+ ºC (3.0)

18.1

20.4

19.3

0.3

23.5

24.6

21.7

23.2

(0.4)

09:00

27.0

31.9

29.8

30.9

3.9

10:00

27.8

36.2

34.3

35.3

7.5

11:00

29.8

39.4

37.5

38.5

8.7

12:00

31.5

40.9

39.0

40.0

8.5

13:00

33.2

42.9

40.4

41.7

8.5

14:00

35.7

49.3

42.3

45.8

10.1

15:00

34.0

42.2

40.8

41.5

7.6

16:00

28.9

36.7

36.2

36.5

7.6

17:00

23.2

29.9

30.0

30.0

6.8

18:00

21.9

27.0

27.0

27.0

5.1

Time


58 | Travel: Byron Bay Bluesfest

S

wingin’ The Blues!

Byron Bay Bluesfest will be music to fans’ ears again this year… By Sharon Hollamby


Travel | 59

I

f you love the blues then the Byron Bay Bluesfest is the place to be in March. With artists like Melissa Etheridge, Richard Clapton, Russell Morris, Tom Jones, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, the Original Blues Brothers Band and many more on offer you won’t be disappointed.

festival atmosphere there will be market stalls, a merchandise shop, artist signings, undercover food courts with seating, an undercover coffee tent with seating, five licensed bars and daily activities for the kids.

The Boomerang Indigenous Festival is also part of Bluesfest this year. Featuring an Bluesfest is an annual music festival held over assortment of music, dance, theatre, comedy the Easter long weekend – 24-28 March this and workshops, Boomerang aims to stimulate year – at Tyagarah, near Byron Bay. Showcasing conversations about cultural knowledge and both local talent and music from around the unity. They are currently crowd funding to help world, Bluesfest will present more than 200 take their festival out to more people and make performances during the 5 day festival. it a stand-alone event, but you get to see it as part of Bluesfest. Kendrick Lamar is one of the young artists at this year’s festival. Recently nominated for Budding Artists Wanted! 11 Aria awards including song of the year f you’re a budding artist why not enter the for ‘alright,’ this young man has a powerful open Bluesfest busking competition? With message to impart. For fans of Graham Nash, prizes like recording packages and the The National, Joe Bonamassa, UB40, Astro, opportunity to open on the Delta stage, this is a and Mickey Virtue, the only place you will great opportunity. To enter you need to submit be able to see them is at the Bluesfest. The legendary Brian Wilson will be performing all his a recent video of your full original song, so dust of that guitar and get busy recording! greatest hits, plus Pet Sounds in its entirety.

I

But Bluesfest isn’t just all about the artists that you know and love, it’s about discovering up-and-coming Australian talent. And there’s more than just music. To add to the fun and

The under-18s don’t miss out either. The Grommet event caters for our young performers with heats held on 19 and 20 March. Three performers will then be chosen to go into the


60 | Travel finals at the Beach hotel on the 25 March. A selection of performers will be given the opportunity to perform at the busking stage and once again recording opportunities are up for grabs. Applications for the Grommet event close on 2 March. To enter either of these competitions click HERE.

Facts and Figures

T

here are a variety of day passes and whole-of-festival packages available but they are selling fast. Admission passes for 1, 3 or 5 days start at $159, $380 and $575 respectively, while 2 x 5 day passes with 5 days camping comes in at a hefty $1630. Other package options are listed on the website too. You can camp on site at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, but you will need to purchase the addon camping tickets. For those of you with big rigs this will also require a large vehicle camping ticket for up to 7.5 metres or an extra large for 9.5 metres. Be aware that there is no power at the festival campsite, although mobile phones can be charged at the cloak room for a small fee. Toilets, showers and a laundry are available. No animals are permitted on the campground or at the festival, except of course for assistance dogs. For those looking for a unique camping experience, large canvas Tipis are available for five day ticket holders only. Each Tipi has single mattresses, a floor, table and lantern, but you will need your own bedding. To book a Tipi you will need to ring the Bluesfest office on (02) 6685 8310. If you are not keen on camping at the festival itself and want something a bit quieter, shuttle buses will be running from Byron Bay, Ballina, Lennox Head, Bangalow, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Billinudgel, Ocean Shores, South Golden Beach and New Brighton.


Travel | 61

Bluesfest raises money to support charities, so not only will you have a great time you will be helping as well. Parking and Accommodation Options

Another accommodation option is that some of the townsfolk open their yards to accommodate campers while here is parking for those some offer rooms to rent. with a day ticket but it’s So if you are having trouble not suitable for big rigs finding somewhere to stay, and you’re recommended to keep your eye on the websites park in one of the above towns accommodation page for and catch the shuttle in. Those private deals. with smaller vehicles can park Bluesfest caters for those at the festival but the shuttle with a disability not only with is a great idea, especially if you have a drink or three. The parking, toilets and exclusive camping areas, but with shuttle bus costs $5 each special viewing platforms way for most towns, with the exception of Lennox Head and as well. These platforms are specifically designed for those Ballina at $10 each way. who use wheelchairs, although

T

there is seating available for your carer as well. A steward will be on hand to assist if necessary. Bluesfest raises money to support charities like the Cancer Council, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Australian Seabird Rescue, the Uncle Project, Westpac Helicopter Rescue and the Byron Youth service, to name a few. So, not only will you have a great time you will be helping to support charities as well. Get in quickly if you want to enjoy this standout event!


62 | TechTalk

12 Volt Tips!

Tips on preserving your house battery, from our resident Techspert at Southern Spirit Campervans...

H

ere are some simple but effective ways to preserve your house battery’s power. All you need to do is change your power consumption habits and you’ll soon be able to stay longer in your favourite camping spots!

12 Volt Lights

T

ake a close look at the bulbs in your lights. Halogen, fluoro and LEDs are the most common. I still see a lot of

motorhomes with halogen and fluoro lights, especially outside (think awning). There is usually a way to change the whole fitting to a modern and less power consuming LED, but if not possible consider replacing the bulb with an LED. You’ll save big on power with LEDs, especially if you have four or more lights on at once. To check your bulbs take the covers off and write down the wattage of the bulb. Some lights


TechTalk | 63 water systems, etc, but especially important is the TV (I’m referring to LCD models here). Often I see people turn off the TV with the remote but it’s still in stand-by mode, meaning it’s still using power. You can see this by the little red light on the front when the TV is off. An average TV in standby mode consumes 1.5 to 3.5 amps per 24 hours in your motorhome!

have a sticker on the back but you’ll need to remove the fitting to see it. Write down the wattage for each light and when finished add up all the figures to get the consumption in watts. Say you have 4 lights and added together they consume 40 watts. Now convert this to amps as follows: Watts ÷ volts = amps. So 40 W ÷ 12 V = 3.33 amps, per hour. Click HERE for an online calculator. Your house battery is rated in amp hours (AH); for example 100 AH. This means that if all 4 lights are on for 10 hours you will have drained 33.3 amps. Swap to LED lights and you could easy reduce consumption by 50 to 60%. TIP: If you are considering changing the light fitting check out the option of multi-voltage lights. They usually have a operating range of 9 to 33 volts instead of just 12 volts. Multivoltage lights can therefore deal with current fluctuations and as a result will last longer. They also eliminate the flickering sometimes seen with LEDs. Replacement bulbs and new lights can be easy found in RV accessory shops, on Ebay or other online stores, or at RV shows.

Turn Things Off!

T

his is a simple rule but one often ignored or forgotten. It means make sure things you don’t need are turned off and applies to all things such as water pumps, lights, hot

The same caution can apply to some antenna and antenna boosters: Make sure they are really turned off when not in use. It’s also a very good idea to get into the habit of always switching off everything not in use – particularly when leaving your vehicle for a while.

Your Hungry Fridge

M

ake sure your fridge is used the smart way, so don’t overload it and don’t place warm food inside (don’t under load either, a near-empty fridge take a lot of celling down). Also, don’t open the door every 10 minutes. Get your head around what you want to take out and/or put in before opening the door, to avoid having it open too long. Try to park in the shade or at least avoid full sun on the side where the fridge is. These little hints can save you a couple of amps every day – and every little bit counts!


64 | TechTalk

In iMotorhome Issue 81 I wrote a long article about your fridge and related consumption improvements. You might like to download the back issue HERE or the article as a PDF from our website HERE.

Charge and Go!

A

lot of us carrying gadgets like phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, battery chargers for cameras. etc, and for most of these you can buy 12 V adapters/chargers that fit into a 12 V socket. A good way to preserve house battery power is to charge as many devices as possible while driving, via your vehicle’s 12 volt outlet/s. Another great idea is a portable 12 V battery bank (or two) you can charge-up at home before departure, through a 12 V socket while

driving or when plugged into mains power. Some of the large battery banks are even suitable to jump start your RV in case you accidentally flatten the starter battery. Compact in size and weight and attractive in price (around $100) they are very useful. Ed’s note: I carry a small Kogan Universal Power Bank (above) with 11,000 mAh capacity that has 2 USB outlets (1 A and 2.1 A). It’s sufficient to fully charge an iPhone 6 twice and even has a digital readout of its reserve power level. Cost was $59 inc shipping. Also, be sure to top up any portable devices when plugged into mains power – before departure from home or in a caravan park – or if your house batteries fully charged via solar during the day.


TechTalk | 65

Inverters and 240 V Appliances

H

ave a good think about if you really need a 240 V inverter, especially for electronics that can run on battery power and/or be charged via 12 V sockets or USB outlets. If you have 240 V appliances to run and no access to mains power be sensitive with the size of the inverter, the wattage of the appliance and the intended length of use. For example an 800 W microwave will use around 6 amps in only 6 minutes, while an induction cooktop on medium heat will use around 20 amps in just 15 minutes of cooking!

Also, make sure that straight after using the appliance you turn the inverter off. Most inverters suck power from your battery when switched on even if no appliances are plugged in or running. Inverters should be used keeping in mind how easily they can drain your house batteries and how the batteries will suffer after being drained – especially repeatedly – to a low level. I highly recommend fitting a Low Voltage Disconnect device (LVD) when using an inverter as it can prevent deep draining and battery damage.

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.


66 | Mobile Tech

Hooked!

Land these apps for a happier fishing experience… By Emily Barker

A

pps can be great tools for familiarising yourself with a new area, and not just for the local attractions. Diversity is a strong Australian trait and rules, regulations and local laws can vary greatly from state to state or territory – even for something as popular and simple as fishing. The agencies responsible are just as independent and a good example is the management of fisheries. The national body – Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) – look after commercial fisheries from three nautical miles offshore to the extent of the Australian Fishing Zone. But it’s up to the individual States and Territories to control recreational, commercial, coastal and inland fishing, and aquaculture. It’s a big task and one that generates much ‘discussion’ between anglers – both commercial and recreational – as well as the department heads and officers. Queensland, for example, has newly introduced Green Zones that provide enough of a headache for locals, never mind visitors. But with the risk of hefty

fines, if you intend to wet a line or drop a pot you need to know all about them. The following is a roundup of State and Territory fishing apps (with the exception of NSW because it doesn’t have one!). Follow their insights, rules and tips to enjoy an even happier fishing experience no matter where you are. Well, almost… Qld Fishing By Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Size: 19.3 MB Cost: Free Android and iOS Queensland is renowned for its healthy and diverse aquaculture and incredible fishing. It’s a fisherman’s dream destination, but there are a few things to know first. This app, produced by Qld fisheries, provides a basic yet comprehensive overview of all the rules, regulations and essential know-how you’ll


Mobile Tech | 67 need. Included are size and possession limits, species identification, closed seasons, closed water and stocked impoundment maps, Green Zone maps, lists of no-take fish and an extensive list of basic rules such as tackle and equipment restrictions, pest fish identification and details relating to fin and fillet removal for boats. There is even an angler diary and access to tide and weather information. It’s quite a simple app and technologically sound, but without frills or glamour. It does, however, fulfil its purpose of conveniently providing bulk information very well. Fishing in Queensland might be easy, but it’s somewhat complicated! Vic Fishing By Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria Size: 42.2 MB Cost: Free Android and iOS In terms of fisheries management Victoria certainly runs a tight ship. They also lead the way in terms of stocking and hatchery regulation. The result of such strict management is reaped as sustainable and thoroughly enjoyable recreational fishing opportunities. Fisheries Victoria (Department Of Environment and Primary Industries) has an impressive official app containing all the essential information you need to know to fish in Victoria. The Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide has all the usual information including size and bag limits, species identification, closed seasons and equipment restrictions. As with the Qld fishing app, the device’s internal GPS is utilised to help distinguish marine park or sanctuary boundaries. Other features include direct links to purchase fishing licences online, a licence outlet locator and connection to the 13FISH illegal fishing reporting line. Information is also categorised into marine and inland fisheries, making the quick search functions even easier to navigate.

WA PestWatch By Department of Fisheries Western Australia Size: 13.8MB Cost: Free Android and iOS Western Australia is as diverse as it is vast. From Rottnest to the Kimberly and every river, lake, bay and beach in between, recreational fishing is what WA does best. Due to the extensive size and scope of this state it’s understandable that the Western Australian Department of Fisheries don’t have a singular app outlining all of the rules, regulations and limits yet. They do, however, have a number of great apps directed at educating travellers about their unique coastal and marine areas. WA Pestwatch is a little more scientific in nature. Aimed at recreational fishers, it’s all about things you don’t want to be catching. Aquatic pests in Australian waters can threaten entire species, ecosystems and industries, the aim of this app is to collaborate with recreational fishers to collect data relating to the distribution of suspected pests. People can log in and report if they catch or find a suspected pest, once logged this information will be visible on a distribution map, assisting fisheries to monitor, control and where necessary act upon direct threats. NT Fishing Mate By Northern Territory of Australia Size: 9.6MB Cost: Free Android and iOS Who would you take fishing if you found yourself in the NT? Your mate of course! When it comes to healthy well-regulated fisheries, the Northern Territory has its finger well and truly on the pulse. The NT Fishing Mate is the free official NT Government app to assist fishers in the Northern Territory access fishing rules and related information. It’s well-designed


68 | Mobile Tech and boasts a number of features including quick reporting of things like fish kills, problem crocodiles, tagged fish recaptures, suspicious fishing activities and aquatic pests or ghost nets. It also has the usual fish identification species search, possession and size limits and general information, including restriction zones. You can even submit a day report of your catch to Fisheries. Content can be filtered by region, saving both time and data. Boat ramps are also included in the map feature – something Qld could learn from! The app periodically checks your location even whilst closed, alerting you to approaching restricted zones or boat ramps. It should be noted with all these apps that utilise the GPS, continued use of it running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. Tasmanian Sea Fishing Guide By Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Size: 58.6MB Cost: Free Android and iOS It’s interesting to note the subtle differences in this series of apps, and Tasmania gets my vote for ingenuity. In addition to the usual identification, size and possession limits, closure and restricted zone information, this app has a few surprises. These standout features include a precise guide on how to accurately measure fish, crayfish, crabs and abalone; a delicious recipe section detailing how to best cook popular species; line rigging illustrations, and the ability to cache maps. You can purchase licences online directly via the app and log your catches in the fishing diary, plus mark your favourite spots and even set it up to receive alerts and reminders of seasons and events. This app is not only incredibly functional it’s also quite an intriguing overview of the complex and delightfully unique ecosystems hidden to our south.

SA Recreational Fishing Guide By Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia Size: 63.5MB Cost: Free Android and iOS Their name might be a mouthful but the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the Department of Primary Industry and Regions, South Australia (PIRSA) have what it takes to develop a succinct app: anyone wanting to fish in South Australian waters will certainly appreciate its functionality. It’s professionally presented and features fast and easy access to the latest in fishing rules, regulations and other relevant news, such as area closures. Its interface is easy to navigate: home, rules, closures, report and more. The report tab gives you the opportunity to report shark sightings and make catch reports, as well as report suspicious or illegal fishing activity directly to Fishwatch. You can even add photos to your fishing diary! Very similar to the Queensland fishing app, you can expect to find a wealth of information on every aspect of fishing in SA, from what equipment is allowed to the correct way to handle fish for release.

Finally…

M

anaging Australian fisheries is no small task and each state and territory should be congratulated on their incorporation of mobile technology to get their individual messages out. I’m confident NSW is on its way with its own fisheries app and currently we have a very informative Sharkwatch app, but little in the way of rules and regulations.


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JUMP’N JABIRU!

while this one is a new Mercedes Benz Sprinter with the V6 turbo-diesel and silken 7-speed auto. It was quite an eyeopener.

W

e jumped into a 2016 Trakka Jabiru last week to bring you a touring test next issue on this desirable and capable large van conversion. We reviewed a Jabiru last April, but Trakka has since raised the bar with a range of interior design upgrades and styling tweaks. The April test was also on a last-of-series VW Crafter,

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Speaking of Sprinters, next issue we talk to Northcoach Equipment about heavy-duty sway bars for them, plus A-frame towing systems and the choices and costs associated with this increasingly popular activity. Of course there will be a Project Polly update, more apps and who knows what else? We’re back in the two week calendar cycle now so Issue 89 will be out on Saturday 20 February. Until then please join our more than 31,000 Friends and followers on Twitter Facebook , Pinterest and Instagram ?

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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 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) Parking: Free Adults: $12 Seniors: $8 Kids: U 16 free with adult

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Open 10:00-5:00 daily Parking: Limited Adults: $13 Seniors: $10 Kids: U 15 free with adult

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Open 10:00-5:00 daily (4:00 final day) Parking: TBA Adults: $20 Seniors: $16 Kids: U 15 free

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

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 88 - 06 February 2016  

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iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 88 - 06 February 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!