__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

iMotorhome

magazine

Issue 96: Jun 04 2016

Spanish

Eyes!

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Roadside Assistance! A guide to what’s available in Australia

Project Polly

Has our fridge been fixed? Find out!

TechTalk

Power lead health check and tips…

There’s much to croon about in this compact Spanish motorhome…


EVENTS

Crack the whip! iMotorhome Join the Vans from Snowy River! There’ll be movement on the driveways now the word is getting ‘round that the next big iM weekend’s underway. Come and join the celebrations – it won’t cost a thousand pounds, but long will you remember the great days. There’ll be tried and noted recipes from places near and far and we’ll muster round the campsite for three nights. We’ve booked restaurant and winery, historic tour and more, so the inclusions sure will fill you with delight!

This October 28-31 iMotorhome invites you to come and experience Dalgety. The only NSW town on the famous Snowy River, Dalgety was the original site chosen to become Australia’s National Capital. Now a sleepy riverside town on the granite-studded Monaro Plains, we’ve arranged a weekend of fun, food and festivities you’ll never forget. Home for your three nights is the cosy Snowy River Holiday Park, nestled on the banks of the Town’s famous river. Owners Sue and Colin get things going Friday night with a welcome barbecue hosted by the local cricket team – Colin’s own – in the nearby CWA Hall. It’s you chance to meet and get to know the iMotorhome team, your fellow travellers and some locals as you settle in for the weekend’s fun. Saturday morning you’ll wake to the smell of bacon and egg rolls and coffee. Then you’re off on a guided historic walk that will help bring Dalgety’s story to life. There’s also a video on the mighty Snowy River and its story. Saturday afternoon you’re free to explore – maybe try trout fishing or watch for platypus when the sun goes down – before dinner across the road at the historic Buckely’s Crossing Hotel. We’ve booked the old dining room where new owners Deb and Sharon promise to put on a three course dinner of country proportions, so come prepared! Sunday morning there’s time to sleep in – but not too long – because have we got a day for you: We’ve booked out the Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery! Buses take the worry out of driving and host Wayne will take you through an informed and adventurous tasting of more than a dozen craft beers, flavoured schnapps and excellent cold-climate wines. There’ll be nibbles along the way plus a brewery and winery tour, then a memorable buffet lunch prepared by their accomplished chef. But wait, there’s more: We’ve booked The Barstars – including Gunther Gorman (Daddy Cool and Sherbet) and Dave Twohill (Mental As Anything, Dragon and Men At Work – to rock your afternoon! Perched on a hilltop with Snowy River and Mountain views, you’ll enjoy fine food and boutique ‘refreshments’ to the sounds of some of Australia’s classic rock musicians on what will be an exclusive and genuinely unforgettable long afternoon! Monday it’s a farewell bacon-and-egg roll breakfast and the chance to swap contacts before heading home or where ever the road might lead you. You’ll never forget Dalgety – or the weekend you were one of the Vans from Snowy River!

What:

The Vans from Snowy River!

When: 28-31 October 2016 Where: Dalgety, NSW What’s included: • 3 night’s un-powered camping at Snowy River Holiday Park • Friday night welcome barbecue dinner hosted by the cricket team • Saturday morning bacon & egg roll breakfast with juice/tea/coffee • Saturday morning guided historic Dalgety walking tour & video show • Saturday night three-course pub dinner • Sunday lunch at the Snowy Vineyard & Microbrewery including • Return bus transfers so you’re free to enjoy the day! • Craft beer, flavoured schnapps and cold-climate wine tasting, with nibbles • Exclusive brewery and winery tour • Leisurely buffet lunch • Live music by the Barstars • Monday morning farewell bacon & egg roll breakfast with juice/tea/coffee What’s it Cost? $229 per person What’s Extra?

$45 per site for power

Bookings: Numbers are strictly limited and it’s first-in best-dressed. Email dalgety@imotorhome.com.au for a booking form. A non-refundable $25 per-person deposit is required within 7 days of booking confirmation.


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

RGB / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

RGB / .ai

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Contributors Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting

Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. 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


Open the doors to exibility trakka.com.au


On my mind | 5

WIN WIN! At the CMCA’s 30th Anniversary rally in Bathurst I was invited to meet Chairman Garry Lee and CEO Richard Barwick. It was a friendly meeting in which we discussed ways the Club and iMotorhome can work together, and this month marks the beginning of, let’ say, ‘a new spirit of cooperation’! To begin with, each month we’ll be profiling a couple of RV Friendly Towns, providing you an with overview of some of the communities across Australia that have gone out of their way to roll out the RV welcome mat. You might be quite familiar with the RV Friendly Towns concept, but considering how many towns and major regional centre seem to almost go out of their way not to welcome us, it’s a timely reminder. Like voting, individually you and I have little influence on things; be they the political direction of the Nation or its economic health. Collectively, however, we can make a difference. There are hundreds of thousands of us travelling the country at any one time, and where we choose to stop and spend our money has a significant impact. A while back I coined the expression ‘financial fertiliser’ and it’s exactly what we spread as we travel. By collectively being selective about where we choose to ‘fertilise’ we can help communities not only weather cyclical economic storms, we can help stabilise and even grow them. So whether you’re travelling now or planning your next trip, visit the CMCA’s RV Friendly Town map (click here), zoom in and see how many of the 281 towns you can visit. The more the merrier! It’s winwin, and you can’t ask for better than that.

The Vans from Snowy River! October 28-31 is the next iMotorhome get together and this time we’re descending on Dalgety, in South Eastern NSW. It’s a charming little town on the banks of the Snowy River and as mentioned in previous issues it’s also the only town in NSW on the State’s

most famous river. Originally an river crossing point for travellers and graziers, Dalgety was for a brief time earmarked as the site of Australia’s National Capital. Today it’s home to just a few dozen full-time residents, I’m told (despite what the sign says when you drive in) and we’re looking to financially fertilise the sleepy hamlet and its surrounds. But we need your help. Mrs iM and I have put together a whip-cracking Vans From Snowy River package that you really shouldn’t miss. It includes exploration of the old town with a local guide, provides two dinners, two breakfasts and a very long lunch; gives you time to relax, fish, meet the locals, and best of all, helps support this small community. Our hosts are Sue and Colin at the Snowy River Holiday Park, right on the river’s edge. They’re a dynamic young couple not long arrived from Far North Queensland and they’re on a mission to revitalise their adopted town. An absolute highlight will be the long Sunday lunch at the nearby Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery. Not only have we booked the place out, we’ve booked a group comprising former members of some of Australia’s best know rock groups to entertain us! Called the Barstars, it includes Gunther Gorman (Daddy Cool and Sherbet) and Dave Twohill (Mental As Anything, Dragon and Men At Work), and they promise to make it an afternoon nobody will forget. Oh yes; the craft beers, boutique wine and fine food are a highlight too! Numbers are genuinely limited and it really will be a fabulous weekend, so see the ad on page 2 for details and get booking. See you down there!

Richard


6 | Contents

3

About Us

9

Resources

5

On my Mind

11

On your Mind

26

Marketplace

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

Win Win!

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

16

News

30

Freedom of Choice

32

Day Test: Benimar Mileo 243

44

Feature: Roadside Assistance

52

Project Polly

60

TechTalk: Taking The Lead

66

RV Friendly Towns

71

Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

The latest Marketplace offers

A freshen-up for our regular look at the world of freedom camping

Spanish Eyes – it seems Malcolm has fallen for them…

A look at your options for help when you’re travelling

Cool Runnin’

58

Reader Report Buyin’ Miz Cee Cee

Time to take some care of your power leads…

Wingham and Andamooka!

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!

68

Events

72

Next Issue

Kelly Country Pick 2016!

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


2015 MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR Motorhomes, Campervans & 5th Wheelers

horizonmotorhomes.com.au


AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

The Most Recognised Name in Motorhomes

ÂŽ

Experience the quality, reliability and value for yourself. Genuine Winnebago motorhomes, campervans and caravans proudly Australian designed and manufactured in our Brisbane factory.

www.gowinnebago.com.au Licensee and authorised distributor of Winnebago Industries Inc., Forest City Iowa USA


Resources | 9 resources

iMotorhome Magazine Resources Ask a Question

Back Issues

Road Tests

User Guide

Marketplace

Subscription

iMotorhome

90: Mar 05 2016 magazine

Issue

Time Traveller! Malcolm samples Bürstner’s stylish Ixeo Time IT 726G…

Win!

$50 for the best letter!

Project Polly

Webasto heater installation!

Travel…

A quick dash to Melbourne and back

TechTalk!

Keeping your gas cooker in top condition…

Reader Survey

Reader Review


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.

Checking It Out! The big supermarkets seem to be taking over our lives and while I’m a fan of convenience I’m happy to take advantage of them if I find a way that saves a few dollars as I travel. I’m not sure about Coles, but at Woolies when you spend $30 or more you get a 4 cents a litre petrol discount docket (or it gets put on your Rewards card). But spend $60 or $90 or more and you still just get the one docket. Using the self-service checkout I tried splitting the payment into $30 lots, but still got the one

docket. So now when I’m doing a bigger shop I stop every $30 and complete the transaction, then start again. It’s a bit more time consuming but it works – and every little bit helps! Kind regards, Polly Thanks for the tip Polly – and what a great name! Please accept this issue’s $50 prize for helping readers save a few bob as they travel. Add $10 shopping and you’ll get 2 fuel vouchers for it!

Leading Topic In my motorhome travels, when staying in caravan parks and when free camping, I have noticed quite a few vehicles with power leads for mains power or generators that look a little bit worse for wear. I was thinking in some cases they could be quite dangerous and it might be best to replace them or get them repaired by a licensed electrician. I have my leads tagged every 12 months for around $10 plus tags. The information is stored electronically on his machine and it reminds me

when the tag is expired. It’s a peace of mind thing with me. Best Regards, Greg Thanks for your letter Greg, which arrived some time ago and ‘sparked’ this issue’s TechTalk column. It’s a timely reminder to everyone that electricity is dangerous and power leads shouldn’t be taken for granted. FYI, at a major CMCA rally power lead inspection and tagging is a free service to members!


12 | On your mind

Ballarat Blues

Just a comment on the article about non-NSW based manufacturers exhibiting in NSW. I have always understood that in Victoria at least, any manufacturer or parts supplier, or any other business or organisation could not exhibit at the major shows each year if they were not a Member of the CCIA or whatever they call themselves that run the Shows. If this isn't almost the same thing as what is going on in NSW I must need an explanation. Now it’s legislated it’s even worse. It also is the same nonsensical organisation that is prepared to have caravan parks in their ranks alongside the caravan and motorhome manufacturers and then support the push to have any free or low-cost camping site in the State closed down. This of course prevents buyers of those self-contained RVs from staying anywhere other than in caravan parks (and also wasting money on self containment). How the Manufacturers can remain members of such an organisation defies belief. A simple local case is that of the CEO of our City's Sovereign Hill, the award-winning and most successful tourism venture in Victoria. He writes to our Ballarat Council, as Chairman of the Victorian Tourism Industry Council on its letterhead, with advice that our freedom camping site at Pioneer Park should be closed immediately. Yet Sovereign Hill was happy to have hundreds of additional visitors enter the park and spend thousands of dollars there. Daily, their huge car park welcomes dozens of RVs of all types. That same man also is Chairman of our Sewerage Authority, which totally bans any possible installation of unsupervised public dump points in the district; a much desired facility used by almost every RV on our roads.

Ballarat Chamber of Commerce and Ballarat Regional Tourism, both also forwarded letters demanding that our trial should be stopped immediately, so with friends like those around us how could we continue? I wonder if their members knew those letters were written! The Federal and State Governments spend millions to try and encourage tourism and our Councils tell them to stay away! It's almost laughable that our main objector, a caravan park of course, was quoted in the local paper saying, “Business was great!” the week prior to our closure by Council, and yet that same operator was standing up at the Council meeting almost crying that we Freedom Campers were “destroying” her business. The Director of Ballarat Regional Tourism said in media print that "RV Tourists are not worth considering.” So why would anyone bother trying to boost tourism under any name? It was noted in the local press that tourist numbers were down for our Begonia Festival, but the Council voted only two days beforehand to immediately close the Freedom Park. Brainless! It’s interesting that the freedom camp in Pioneer Park averaged just five vehicles per night. That’s just one potential loss for each caravan park in town. Yet 76% of the freedom campers surveyed said they would not have visited Ballarat if Pioneer Park hadn't been available. Hardly business destroying figures. The above comments are just me letting off steam but may prompt thoughts. There are hundreds of thousands of us on the roads who want to be understood and allowed freedom of choice in where we stay at night and spend continued...


Take Luxury with you

Independence Deluxe

Paradise are passionate about producing Australia’s best motorhomes From the moment you step into our spacious interiors, open one of our smooth automatic locking drawers and take in the aroma of the genuine high quality leather seating it will become clear that touring in a Paradise will give you the unrivalled freedom and comfort you deserve. Look beneath the surface to find the unique engineering and safety features that will put your mind at ease while travelling. Features such as the rollover bar, high strength alloy frame, composite body, pull-tested cabinetry, appliances and locks will become your priority once you realise they are missing from other mainstream construction methods.

From only $170,000* you can step into luxury and style without compromising safety. Paradise Motor Homes - 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland 4216 www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

(07) 5597 4400

Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ Š 2016.

/paradise.m.homes *Oasis Platinum


14 | On your mind continued...

our dollars. I love your “financially fertilising” sentence – it should be repeated! Finally, I wonder if the retiring Director of Regional Tourism told caravan parks that “RVs are not worth considering,” would they all close up? Oh sorry, he was only meaning the ones that stayed with us. Regards, Bill Brady, Pioneer Park Co-Supervisor, Ballarat. Well Bill, that’s quite a letter and thanks for your thoughts and insights. I’m not in a position to

comment on any of the specific details, but overall it seems Ballarat can only lose from the Pioneer Park debacle. That of course includes all residents, rate payers, workers young and old, plus all local businesses – including the caravan parks. The stupidity of all involved is a salutary lesson in how not to bring economic development to your town or city. I’m sure many people will avoid Ballarat as a result, but that can only benefit the surrounding communities as travellers like you and I choose where we spread our financial fertiliser…

Safe as Houses? It is hard to find a place to hide the spare key, yet hiding one is better than having a second person carrying it. In this day of electronic ignition locks, loss of the spare key is a monumental problem, apart from the cost of getting a new key. Hiding it on the chassis leaves it open to contamination from the elements. However, the one compartment in my motorhome that is not locked (by law) is the LP gas compartment. This to me was the ideal place to hide the spare key.

drilled in the bottom of the safe to allow the key to fit inside. High quality and sharp drills, plus patience, are needed to drill this hole as the safe is made of extremely high quality material. A 4 digit PIN that all motorhome occupants would remember (e.g. driver’s birth year) is then programmed into the keypad combination lid. A flexible rubber cover covers the keypad lid for added protection!

For approximately $23 I purchased on eBay an “outdoor combination key safe” that is commonly used next to doors in independent living units in retirement complexes, for emergency access. This was securely bolted to the wall inside the LP gas compartment. Unfortunately the spare key was longer than the safe so a half-inch (12.5 mm) hole was

That’s an interesting and innovative solution John, although I’m not sure all of us are setup to handle the drilling process! Is there a bigger version available or something similar to securely take the key without modification? Any readers care to comment?

Regards, John.


On your mind | 15

Enabling the Disabled Hi Richard, I've joined a Facebook Page called Caravanning/Camping with Disabilities. It is a very positive group despite the difficulties faced. There is a lot of discussion at the moment on disabled facilities in caravan parks and on the road. There is also a lot of interest in gadgets and tools, etc, to assist in their travels. The page was set up after the creator of the group received abuse on another travel page for travelling while disabled; things like “If you are disabled how can you travel?” and “Travelling on our money.” That sort of thing. The group only started a couple of weeks back but already has well over 500 members. I

thought it might be of interest and/or a help to some of your readers. Regards, Sharon. Thanks Sharon, I’m saddened and angered that people with disabilities face such comments in addition to the hand life has already dealt them. Simply unbelievable. Hopefully your letter will act as a conduit for putting people in touch with likeminded and supportive travellers, and perhaps even open doors for those who thought they could never travel. Thanks again!

On a Roll! It was with interest that I read the article about Clarrie and Joyce and their Auto Trail in Issue 93. As we all read the various articles in iMotorhome, it is surprising what we learn, and so it was with that article. Maybe it is something that those who have been on the road for years already know, but many of us are still learning. In this particular case it was not what I read, but what I saw. Recently we decided the position of that essential item, the toilet paper roll, was not in the best position for how we had that room set up. All seemed good, except that the new holder we installed regularly allowed the paper to unravel as we travel, meaning we had to remove it for each journey. As I read about

Clarrie and Joyce I noted in one of the photos that the roll was no longer round, but had an oval shape thanks to a bit of mild squashing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words! Anyway, problem now solved with such a simple answer. Thanks Richard, Malcolm, Clarrie and Joyce for that useful pictorial information! Regards, Eric. Well, the things you learn! I’ve never thought about it, especially as we don’t have the luxury of a toilet paper dispenser in Polly. But you’re right, what a great idea. It’s so simple I’m sure other readers will adopt it, and I’ll keep it in mind should we ever upgrade Project Polly!


16 | News

RV PRODUCTION BOOMING

T

he Caravan Industry Association of Australia said recreational vehicle production rose 6.6 per cent in 2015 to 22,711, the highest number in 37 years. Of those, however, only 1074 were campervans or motorhomes. According to registration figures there are now 586,585 RVs of all types on Australian roads, of which 58,375 are motorised. By comparison, in America the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported 374,246 RVs were shipped in 2015. That’s the most since a record 390,500 were shipped in 2006, followed by a low of 165,700 in 2009 in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. The RVIA projects shipments will total a new record of 396,400 this year and will hit 404,800 next year.

NORTHCOACH EQUIPMENT PTY LTD


PINTO

2016

RELEASE

Not too big. Not too small. Just right. The Sunliner Pinto series provides the solution to the age old quest of a small motorhome with a big interior. The Pinto series offers spacious living areas, full en-suites and innovations such as electric drop down beds all in a compact package; no longer than 24 feet. At just a few feet longer than a dual-cab ute, they are easy to drive and park. You can be confident that the Sunliner Pinto series is crafted to the highest standard with over 40 years experience. We invite you to explore the Pinto series and experience the delight of a “ Just Right� RV.

www.sunliner.com.au VIDA

RIALTA

RANGER

SWITCH

PINTO

NAVIAN

MONTE CARLO


18 | News

CHEAPER LPG

A

new, free website has been created to guide you to the best deals for refilling or Swap&Go gas cylinders. The website – www.gasbottlerefills.com – relies on user input to update prices and is searchable by town or postcode. Searches produce a map with pins for outlets in the area, plus a listing below in distance order

from your location. Clicking on a pin provides full outlet details, including prices and the date they were last reported. You can even click a link for directions. The site is the work of A’van owners Gordon and Barbara Campbell and is a development of their successful Facebook group BBQGasBottleRefills. Congratulations to them on such a terrific effort!

MELBOURNE IVECO AND MERCEDES SERVICE

I

Motorhome was recently contacted by John Rizzetti, an Iveco truck mechanic who recently started with Mercedes van specialist Eurostar Diesels in Melbourne’s South East. It seems Eurostar is seeking to broaden its business to cater for the increasingly popular Iveco Daily van and

light truck range. John believes the move will provide Melbourne-based Iveco (and Mercedes) owners with better service and prices than currently available. To find out more call Eurostar Diesels on (03) 8795 7997 or call into 29-31 Star Crescent, Hallam, 3803.

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


awrvworld.com.au On my mind | 19 View Un Onli its ne 24/7

The RV World Experience Large Showroom showcasing NEW products • Personal handover on delivery • Family owned & operated

NEW Sunliner Navian

Iveco, auto 8sp, GVM 5200kg, slide out bed, diesel heater, electric awning, many features $199,950 + ORC $206,200 Drive Away VIC SU4077

Drive-thru Service Centre • Relax in our Customer Lounge • Warranty* available on pre-owned motorhomes

NEW Avan Ovation M3

Fiat Ducato, ensuite with separate shower & toilet, diesel heater, alloy bull bar, towbar $124,880 + ORC $129,075 Drive Away VIC AV2087

NEW & USED SALES | RENTALS | SERVICE CENTRE 1A Watson St, Wodonga VIC 3690 Ph: 02 6024 4222 E: info@awrvworld.com.au

LIKE US ON


20 | News

IS GENUINE BEST?

T

he counterfeiting of automotive spare parts and accessories is seen by some as a worrying and growing trend, especially out of China. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has an ongoing campaign to encourage vehicle owners to buy ‘genuine’ parts (from its members), but how much of a problem is counterfeiting really? In a well balanced article, Robert Pepper from the Practical Motoring website provides an in-depth look at the issue behind the hype, and it makes interesting reading. To read it click here.

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


22 | News

VODAFONE PREPAID MYMIX

U

sers of prepaid mobile phones can now mix and match their call and data requirements through Vodafone’s new MyMix service. Starting with a $1 sim card you use an online calculator to match expected voice call, text message and data usage for 7, 28 or 90 days periods. For example, 7 days with 500 MB of data, 120 mins of national calls, no international calls and an infinite number of national text messages costs just $8. At the other end of the scale, 90 days with 12 GB of data, unlimited national calls and text messages, and 300 minutes of international calls costs $110. Between those two extremes the system is highly customisable, with prices adjusted accordingly. To find out more click here.

Expedition Vehicles

LEAVE THE OTHERS BEHIND GO WHERE THE OTHERS CAN’T GO, DO WHAT THE OTHERS CAN’T DO COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT FIFTH WHEELERS

EXPEDITION VEHICLES DEMOUNTABLE PODS

Luxurious interiors Flexible floorplans, On and off road models CUSTOM BUILT

BUY FACTORY DIRECT AND SAVE 222 Governor Road Braeside VIC 3195 Ph: 03 9588 0077

www.trailblazersrv.com

info@trailblazersrv.com


News | 23

NZMCA’S THREE POINT PLAN

I

n an email to members, New Zealand Motor Caravan Association CEO Bruce Lochore reported on the urgent need to promote a three-point plan to other key players in motorhome tourism to counter what the NZMCA believes is a serious threat to freedom camping. That threat has come from an explosion in the number of ill-equipped, Wicked-type campers across the country, which overflowed newly-established Council freedom camping areas over summer. The three-point plan involves: 1. A simple, consistent approach from every council in the country, welcoming motorhome tourism – with the strict proviso that freedom camping on council-controlled land is limited to certified self contained (CSC) vehicles only 2. The NZMCA working with the Standards Authority to ‘raise the bar’ on the existing CSC Standard 3. Motorhome rental companies following through with their commitment (which was made in the last few weeks) to support councils in collecting unpaid infringement fines. Raising the bar on Certified SelfContainment: As the major certifying agency under the SelfContainment Standard, the NZMCA Board has taken action to protect the credibility of the Standard by ensuring that ill-equipped ‘bottom end’ vehicles can no longer to be certified as self-contained. At the meeting Board members agreed that raising the benchmark for permitted toilets in CSC vehicles will require the Standards Authority to approve the following amendments (in red) to sections 6.1 and 6.3 of NZS 5465:

Minimum requirements The motor caravan or caravan shall be equipped with a toilet that is adequately restrained or secured when travelling. The toilet shall be readily usable within the vehicle including sufficient head and elbow room at all times, even with the bed made up. Permanent toilets are to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or to comply with the sanitary requirements of the NZBC. Toilets All toilet systems shall provide sufficient waste holding capacity for the occupants of the motor caravan or caravan for a minimum of three days. The waste holding capacity shall be the net capacity after deducting the initial charge, or the internal flushing water. The minimum capacity required per person, per day, shall be one litre. Using the toilet on the ground, under an awning or inside a toilet tent is not permitted. Immediately after the meeting the NZMCA advised its nationwide network of 300 SelfContainment Officers of the detail of the amendments, which address the major concern for communities nationwide: the proliferation of the 'sleepervans' that have managed to slip through a loophole in the existing Standard. In addition, effective immediately, the SCOs have been asked to no longer grant certification to this sector of vehicles - even though they theoretically meet the criteria.


24 | News

BROOME’S CHANGE OF HEART

B

roome Shire Council in WA has had a change of heart and will now allow travellers with pets to stay for more than seven nights at temporary or overflow caravan parks. Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the move after numerous complaints from pet-loving RVers that the limit unfairly restricted their time in the beachside town. They pointed out that all six caravan parks in the area banned animals. New rules will now provide them with priority access to temporary or overflow facilities at the local PCYC, pistol club and Seventh Day Adventist Church.


News | 25

SHOWGROUND CAPACITY DOUBLES

M

urray Bridge Showground on the Princes Highway in South Australia has been given the green light to double its overnight capacity for recreational vehicles. The local council has approved an enlarged overflow area that will be used during major events or holiday periods. Councillor Fred Toogood said, "I

don’t think we'll send any caravan park owners broke." The Murray Bridge Agricultural and Horticultural Society had requested the extra space for RVs after reaching its capacity during the Masters Games.

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


26 | News

CAMP OVEN FESTIVAL! Additionally, this year’s featured star performer will be country music darling and Golden Guitar winner, Sara Storer!

T

he coals will be stoked, RVs parked and the damper rising when the sleepy Queensland township of Millmerran welcomes travellers and locals alike for the Australian Camp Oven Festival, October 1 and 2. The popular festival is a one of a kind experience, showcasing traditional bush and camp oven-cooking skills synonymous with Australian heritage. It offers a quirky program that celebrates authentic traditions including camp oven cooking demonstrations, damper throwing, billy boiling, bush poetry, celebrity chef appearances, bush craft displays and much more.

Katrina Grundon, representative of the Australian Camp Oven Festival said “The festival has definitely been embraced by campers and motorhome owners alike. Last event we welcomed over 7,000 tourists that come in their caravans, motor homes, tents and trailers. There’s nothing more Australian than sitting around a fire and sharing a warm slice of damper. Visitors can experience the unique tastes and scents of camp oven cooking while enjoying the live entertainment and other bush traditions that we have on offer.” The 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival will be held from 1 to 2 October at the Millmerran Showgrounds, Queensland and tickets are now on-sale. To book online or for further information visit www.acof.com.au.

Tax Time is fast approaching. Are you ready? For tax advice and assistance at competitive rates by a registered tax agent, send me an email.

Grey Nomad Tax Advisers

Southern Highlands Service Centre

Our office - 4 wheels and a Luton peak. • • • • • •

Eric Taylor, FIPA, CTA, Reg. Tax Agent ABN 76 114 458 058 Email: eric@greynomadtax.com.au www.greynomadtax.com.au

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 | 27 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


28 | 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.

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

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

T: 1800 273 136 W: robertsrv.com.au

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


iMotorhome Marketplace | 29

Tiffin Motorhomes

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

5th wheeler specialist

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

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

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

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

Southern Spirit Campervans FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR CAMPERVAN OR MOTORHOME Full & part fitouts Hitop, Poptop and Reimo roofs True custom­made conversions Repairs & improvements BYO van from Hiace to Sprinter

Store those additional items up and out of the way using our adjustable, transportable and modular storage system!

                                                                                         

www.skytracks.com.au

®

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

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

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

                                                                                                                    The E-Twow Electric scooter for adults LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR RV OWNERS

The alternative to a bike!!

25km/h with a range of 40km in ideal conditions! Super light too at 10.8kg

Australian-built In-vehicle Dual Battery Chargers, Battery Management Systems and 52mm monitoring gauges that won’t let you down.

redarc.com.au

Folds away quite compact for small storage

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


30 | Feature

FREEDOM OF CHOICE!

A

roundup for April and May, 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.

Easter Camping Rubbish The consequences of being irresponsible while camping has an effect on all of us. While this story is not specifically related to freedom campers, but rather Easter campers, the resultant reaction from authorities falls back on all of us. It behoves us all to be responsible no matter wherever we camp.

Backpacker Accommodation Proposition The Margaret River area in WA has always had a problem with the need to have backpacker workers but a lack of camping facilities for them. This article might provide some of the solution, but of course there is the expected repercussions from some quarters. To quote, “But the move has angered some caravan park operators, who fear losing vital business outside the peak season.” Will they ever learn?

Lake Foreshore Camping Quandary To be or not to be RV Friendly is one of the quandaries that face councils. This story is really about Benalla and whether it wants RV tourism or not. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is of this Council’s decisions.

Fraser Coast Camping Rethink After the Fraser Coast Council trialled their disastrous Shop and Stop scheme, where you were allowed to stop for 20 hours if you produced a shopping docket, Council seems to be taking a more enlightened approach. It’s now calling for expressions of interest to provide low cost camping. We await the outcome with interest.

Alice Springs Uproar Towards the end of April it came to our notice that Blatherskite Park in Alice Springs had been forced to stop allowing camping on the site after years of pressure from the local caravan parks. This news created a storm on social media. So much so that ABC Radio picked up the story and did interviews with both the CMCA and Free Choice Camping with regard to the possible effects of this closure. It will be interesting to see if this retrograde step has a downturn effect on Alice tourism.


Feature | 31

New RV Farm Stays In the ever changing world of RV tourism we see new initiatives starting up and this one was kicked off in Tasmania in May. While similar to other farm stays, this one is based on a place to camp in exchange for purchase of the farmers produce. Will be interesting to see how it shapes up over time.

Tambo Toilet’s a Wrap! Facing the constant problem of toilet rolls being stolen from public toilets, Tambo has turned the toilet roll into a talking point. At the same time it has a tourist promotion with a difference, which has attracted a lot of comment in the media and on social media. We wish them well!

RV Friendly Future? The township of Meningie is having a debate on whether to become RV Friendly and we will watch the outcome with interest.

Maffra Redevelopment The Wellington Shire Council is set to redevelop the Maffra Caravan Park into a short term RV Parking site.

Gold Coin Camping! In what must be a first for the caravan park

industry, a caravan park in Northern NSW is offering an unpowered site during the slack season for a gold coin donation. This will be an interesting experiment, but if the response on social media is anything to judge by it is already an outstanding success!

Qld Police Safety Campaign With all the recent RV accidents, caravan rollovers, etc, we have seen reported, perhaps if readers are attending the Brisbane Caravan and Camping show it might pay to call in and have a chat to the Boys (and girls) in Blue and brush up on safety when country driving. As the say – safety is no accident!


32 | Day Test: Benimar Mileo 243

Spanish Eyes

There’s much to croon about in this compact Spanish motorhome, reports Malcolm Street‌


Day Test | 33

Like many European manufacturers Benimar specifies the smaller 2.3-litre engine in this Fiat Ducato-based model. But while manuals still rule the European roost, the Mileo 243 has Fiat’s 6-speed AMT gearbox. Importer Traillite wisely recognises Antipodeans are no longer fond of changing gears…

H

ola! Bienvenido a nuestra última revisión autocaravana Europea. Please do not adjust your set – iMotorhome has not gone all Spanish – but since this is the first Spanish built motorhome we have looked at I could not resist the temptation. It’s just a shame it’s only available across the Tasman (for the moment at least).

Spanish Takeaway

The Benimar Mileo 243 is imported into NZ by well known manufacturer Traillite. Like other Kiwi manufacturers Traillite has peered into the future of local manufacturing and rather than pretending imports don't exist, has embraced them by offering buyers an alternate range.

Something else very familiar is that the Mileo is based on a Fiat Ducato cab-chassis, in this case the Multijet 150. In typical European style the motorhome is built using GRP (fibreglass) composite walls and mouldings to give the front and rear a streamlined shape. Twenty five mm XPS (styrofoam) insulation is used in the walls and it doubles to 53 mm for the roof. Being built for European winters, you can bet it works very well! A 4 m awning is an option.

Just to give a bit of background, Benimar has been producing motorhomes in Spain for the last 40 years or so and was an independent manufacturer until it joined the Trigano group in 2002. Trigano is French-based but is a typical European conglomerate and has a number of well known European and British motorhome brands in its stable.

O

ne of the more notable features of Benimar motorhomes built for New Zealand is that unlike many German and French brands they have the entry door on the ‘correct’ side – something Traillite is keen to point out!

Dometic windows are used all ‘round and whilst they don't normally rate much comment, Benimar has fitted a sliding window beside the entry door to avoid the common


34 | Day Test

Right: The Truma Combi hot water and space heater is easily reached under the inwards-facing lounge seat. Below: Swivelled cab seats make the most of the cosy lounge/ dinette set-up. Note the folding table.

open window/open door conflict. There's also a long window across the rear and one on each side that appear to be oddly located, but I'll get to them in a moment. Also of interest is the apparently large external storage bin – ‘garage’ in Euro-speak – at the rear. I mention it because it's connected to the window location. Rear corner stabilisers are another interesting and unusual feature.

En El Camino!

A

lthough it was a grey day for my little test drive out of Traillite's Christchurch depot, I opted to visit the hills above the Governor's Bay/Lyttleton Harbour area. Not only are there some great views, it's also

a good test run for a motorhome. Surprisingly the ‘little’ 2.3-litre 109 kW/350 Nm turbo diesel performed better than I thought it might, even with the sometimes twitchy 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Since this is a four berth motorhome it would certainly be slower with a full load, but you'd get there. I don't quite understand European manufacturer's reluctance to supply the larger 3.0-litre engine, although it's probably available as a factory order, as is the 4250 kg rated chassis. Oh, did mention that when I was handed the motorhome keyring there were just two keys – one for the Fiat cab and another for everything else? Brilliant!


Day Test | 35

Of interest is the apparently large external storage bin – ‘garage’ in Euro-speak – at the rear. Dentro…

T

he interior layout is slightly different to the usual, at least as far as we Down Under are concerned. Up front both cab seats swivel, while behind the driver's seat is a table plus two more forward-facing seats, complete with seat belts.

Along the kerb-side wall is a inwards facing lounge with a small waist high cabinet between it and the entry door.

wardrobe (next to the fridge) and the bedroom.

Decor is an interesting mix of a dark faux-timber for most All the mid area on the driver’s of the cabinetry and lighter side is filled by an L-shaped colours for the walls, ceiling kitchen with adjoining fridge, and overhead lockers. All which faces the bathroom the seats are matching and across the aisle. That leaves have a mixture of dark brown all the rear for a full height and cream upholstry. I'm not


36 | Day Test Below: Although perhaps a little ‘busy’ by local standards, the Mileo’s interior is typically Euro-chic and packs a lot of features into a compact space. Bottom: Dual east-west beds across the back provide sleeping for four, although two adults and two kids is probably the optimal contingent. Note the bedroom privacy curtain and bathroom wall coat hooks.

usually a fan of dark colours but it's all kept quite light, even on a dull day, by two large roof hatches and a big Skyview hatch above the cab. In the mid area it does look a little cramped, but that’s mostly because of what has been achieved in this 7 m (23’) motorhome. In the rear is not one but two 2 m (6’ 7”) bunk-style double beds; the top one having a width of 1.2 m (4’) and the lower one varying from 1.2 to 1.35 m (4’ to 4’ 5”). What's more interesting is they are both height adjustable (by hand, no fancy electrics) but if you just use the lower bed, it can be set higher. That's the reason for the slightly odd looking window locations! An Aluminium ladder gives access to the top bed, while box steps with hinged lids for storage are provided for the lower bed. Earlier I mentioned the large external bin doors. Well, it’s the lower bed that determines the ‘garage’ height. Lift the bed by winding


Decor is an interesting mix of a dark faux-timber for most of the cabinetry and lighter colours for the walls, ceiling and overhead lockers

Day Test | 37


38 | Day Test

Above: You can use one or two beds, but if you use just the lower one it can be raised considerably to increase rear boot storage space underneath. Manual operation is simple and avoids unnecessary electrics. Right: The entry area is nicely finished, with the small cabinet forming a good divider and providing valuable storage, including room for wine bottles! Electrical control panel is on the wall above. the handle (in the nearside bin) and you have a very tall storage compartment. There're even a couple of boards on either side that fill the gap left when the bed is in the low position. All-up it’s a very clever arrangement. Sure there are a few compromises, but the design shows just why the Europeans are the masters of multiple use of the same space. Bed making might be a bit of a chore, but a Duvalay or two would sort that out very easily.

Más Adentro

I

must admit that after checking out the bed area I was looking for something just as clever in the bathroom, but no. There was ‘just’ a round space-saver shower cubicle, Thetford cassette toilet and a small vanity cabinet. One feature I liked, given the small


Day Test | 39

space, was the opening window. Although this is a relatively small bathroom there’s enough room for everything and it doesn't use more floor space than necessary. Given the bedroom and lounge sizes, about the only suitable kitchen arrangement was an L-shaped one. Along the wall the bench has a three-burner hob plus a grill and oven, while the stainless steel sink is in the L-section. The sink has a smoked glass lid and separate swivel tap, which you have to move away from the sink to close the lid (just like Polly – Ed). I’m the clumsy sort that manages to turn the tap on when it's not over the sink, so this isn’t my favourite set-up. Below the bench, by the hob, are both a mains 230 V outlet and a 12 V socket but they are awkwardly located. Cupboards are fitted above the kitchen bench and there are drawers in the freestanding end, which are a welcome feature, but I suspect the push button catches are going to be difficult for arthritic hands. Given the limited storage in the main bench area, the full-height wire basket pantry beside the fridge is an asset. Often not seen in Euro motorhomes is the microwave, which is above the fridge. There isn't a rangehood;

Top: Kitchen space is limited and less than ideal. Ditto the tap, which can be accidental nudged on when not over the sink! At least there’s a full cooker, which will please travelling chefs. Above: This tall pantry will also please travelling chefs, as kitchen storage is a bit limited.


40 | Day Test

instead, a large Fiamma fan in the roof does cooking ventilation duties. Demonstrating the versatility seen in the bedroom, the front lounge/dining area can seat four or five without difficulty. Often a weak point with this sort of setup is the table, but this is one with a very steady, height-adjustable pole mount that designed to slide every which-way. It also has a hinged top so four people can not only sit comfortably, they can use the table without much trouble. Slightly less user friendly is the flat screen TV. It's mounted on the bathroom wall by the entry door and best seen from the swivelled cab seats. Clockwise from top: Although compact the midpositioned bathroom comes with more than just the basics and even includes a seperate shower cubicle; The TV’s location is good for cab-seat viewers, but no good for those in bed.


Day Test | 41 Hiding under the inwards-facing lounge is the Truma Combi water/space heater, mains 230 V circuit breakers and 12 V fuses. In keeping with RV tradition, the fuses are a bit awkward to get at! Not so awkward is the cabinet wall area between the lounge and door. On first glance the cabinet has a useful shelf, but lift the lid and there's wine bottle storage underneath! On the door side, the hinged door there makes for a nice shoe/whatever locker. Running up the wall (in addition to the light switches) are the Truma heater control panel and a touch screen electrical control panel for the motorhome in general.

Lo Que Pienso

I

t's hard not to be impressed with the Benimar Mileo 243, especially if you happen to like space that’s effectively used rather than just empty. That’s especially evident in the bedroom, which might not suit those who like an island bed, but does demonstrate how it's possible to sleep four in a compact motorhome without using a Luton bed. For a 7 m (23’) motorhome it's an interesting demonstration of a very flexible layout that combines European innovation and style with features like the entry door being on the ‘normal’ side. All-in-all muy impresionate!

Above: Electrical systems are controlled from this big touch screen panel by the door, while water and room heating is controlled from the separate Truma panel below. Below: The over-cab Skyview hatch and seperate lounge roof hatch provide excellent light to brighten things up. They can also provide plenty of fresh air.


42 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make

Benimar

Model

Mileo 243

Type

B Class

Berths

4

Approved Seating

4

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

Fiat Ducao Multijet 150

Engine

2.3 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

109 kW @ 3900 rpm

Torque

350 Nm @ 1500 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed AMT

Safety

ABS, ESC, Hill Holder, Dual Airbags

Fuel

60 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

2995 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3500 kg (3650 kg optional)

Max Payload

505 kg (std)

Braked Towing Capacity

2500 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

6.99 m (22’ 11”)

Overall Width

2.30 m (7’ 6”)

Overall Height

2.89 m (9’ 6”)

Internal Height

2.11 m (6’ 11”)

Lower Bed

2.00 m x 1.30 m - 1.22 m (6’ 7” x 4’ 5” - 4’)

Upper Bed

2.00 m x 1.22 m (6’ 7” x 4’)

Dinette Bed

N/A


Day DayTest Test | 43

Specs

Pros

EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

N/A

Awning

Opt

Entry Steps

Moulded internal

Hob

Thetford 3 burner (2 gas, 1 elec), grill and oven

Rangehood

No

Sink

Stainless steel

Fridge

Thetford N3150 2-way 230 V/LPG

Microwave

Cata

Lighting

12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

1 x 12 V

Air Conditioner

No

Space Heater

Truma Combi 6E

Hot Water System

Truma Combi 6E

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

CAPACITIES Batteries

1 x 90 AH

Solar

1 x 140 W

LPG

2 x 9 kg

Fresh Water

1 x 127 L

Grey Water

1 x 105 L

Hot Water

10 L

Toilet

19 L cassette

PRICE From

NZ$142,000 (on road NZ)

• Multiple uses of space • Large external bin if needed • Comfortable lounge/dining area • Good table size • Large window/hatch area – light interior • Overall bedroom/external ‘garage’ design • Internal storage space • Two key operation

Cons

• P ower point location and numbers • Beds fiddly to easily make up • Bed area ventilation could be an issue for some • Sink/tap location without drainer • Smaller engine/lower power as standard

Contacts:

Traillite North Island 77 Paerata Road Pukekohe. NZ. 2120 Traillite North 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


44 | Feature: Roadside Assist

Helping Hands? A look at the options available for national roadside assistance‌ by Emily Barker


Feature | 45

W

hen you’re living the dream the last thing you need is reality getting in the way. Most if not all new campervans and motorhomes come with some form of roadside assistance supplied by the basevehicle manufacturer. But what do you do when your ‘baby’ is out of warranty or if it’s simply ‘older’ to begin with? Nobody wants a breakdown or other emergency situation, but if one strikes it’s good to have a plan in place. There are a number of organisations providing various degrees of roadside assistance, but to be honest it’s a pretty limited field. From those available, deciding on the level of cover you require is important as there is great variation between and even within roadside assistance packages. Primarily, what you get depends upon the type of vehicle you have, its dimensions and just how much practical assistance you might require.

every scenario: breakdowns, accidents, vehicle damage, appliance, fittings and accessory damage, vehicle retrieval and relocation costs due to injury or illness, theft, emergency accommodation and car hire costs. The aim of standard roadside assistance is to get you back on the road or to a service centre as quickly and affordably as possible. Most provide user-pays services unless specifically stated, as roadside assistance is generally separate to insurance. This distinction is important to consider, particularity as motorhome roadside assistance is an incredibly specialised field; one that is slowly but gradually expanding throughout Australia. Supply might not have met demand just yet and many providers will be the first to admit there is a significant deficiency in options for heavier vehicles.

Stand-alone roadside assistance is primarily focused on mobilisation; either for the vehicle Matters of Policy by supply of basic equipment or repair; or for olicies range from basic lock-out, flat tyre, you, if the vehicle requires towing. Coordination no-fuel/flat battery services, regardless of relocation and repair services are also of your RV’s gross vehicle mass (GVM) often included. Some organisations place and extend up incrementally to cover virtually

P


46 | Feature

When it comes to motorhomes it seems most State auto clubs don’t want to know you. Only the NRMA has suitable packages and although it’s a NSW organisation, anyone in Australia can join. The irony is the NRMA works with other State organisations, like Queensland’s RACQ, to provide assistance when you’re in their territory. Go figure… restrictions on the level of roadside assistance for motorhomes when the GVM exceeds a certain weight, height or length. Specifications and limitations vary from company to company and it’s essential to contact providers directly to discuss your individual requirements. The level of assistance may even vary from region to region within a state, depending upon the availability of suitable retrieval vehicles. Note: many policies only cover 2WD accessible roads and few if any will assist if you’re bogged!

conditions often begin by excluding vehicles over a certain GVM. For example the RACQ rules out any vehicle over 2.5 tonne, but this varies from organisation to organisation. Only the NRMA has policies that cover motorhomes and these are available regardless of where you live in Australia, but even so there are significant towing limitations.

The level of assistance might even vary from region to region within a State, depending upon the availability of specialist equipment capable of handling large and heavy vehicles. If you hold The Bad News a current policy for a standard vehicle contact ndividual State motoring organisations are your provider directly to find out what options, often the first place many people turn to when if any, are available. When contacted, most it comes to searching for roadside assistance companies with motorhome exclusions openly packages. Unfortunately, all have limitations, declare their limitations and directly suggest exclusions and long lists of conditions on sourcing a motorhome specific policy. their general policies that exclude larger motorhomes, unless specifically stated. Such

I


Feature | 47 service is not applicable to diesel or LPG vehicles, which will be towed to the nearest service station at the customers cost (seems ridiculous for a motorhome service – Ed) • Lockout and lost key cover up to $77

What’s On Offer…

M

otoring 24-7 National Roadside Assistance and Rescue Services This private company has a specialised $88 per year motorhome plan offering a range of user-pays assistance services for all vehicle sizes. With a call centre operational 24 hours a day, Motoring 24/7 can be contacted from anywhere in Australia at any time. Exclusions include vehicle damage due to accident, theft or fire, bogged vehicles and vehicles unable to be accessed by 2WD roads or on private land (other than residences). Towing costs are not included in the plan. However, you will be provided with the contact details of a towing company capable of relocating your specific vehicle. Vehicles over 3-tonne are classed as ‘overweight’ and will incur further towing costs. Extra charges may also apply for vehicles over 3.5 tonne that requires specialist equipment for tyre changes. Callouts are unlimited and a no call-out bonus in the form of a discount is offered for those fortunate enough to not need assistance in a year. Think of Motoring 24/7 as part roadside assistance, part on-road concierge in times of trouble. Membership is cheap but included services are limited. However, they can arrange just about any help you need, which you pay for at the time. The peace of mind of knowing there is always someone you can call in times of trouble can’t be underestimated. Motoring 24/7 – key points • Nationwide breakdown towing (fuel and towing at your cost) • Flat tyre changes, jump-starts and emergency fuel. Fuel is at customers cost and this

•E  xtras cover is included in this package in the form of accommodation, car hire and onward travel ($400 per claim over 100 km from home for a breakdown lasting longer than 48 hrs) •A  mbulance cover (in the event of an accident $400 can be claimed towards ambulance costs) Click here to visit the Motoring 24/7 website for more information.

Avida RV Help

A

vida offers free two-year roadside assistance called RV Help on its new vehicles. Within RV Help are two categories: Advantage Help for motorhomes and Sovereign Help for caravans. Covering both Australia and New Zealand, you can also join if you don’t own an Avida, although your vehicle must be less than 10 years old. This programme is one of the few without weight or height restrictions and has been specifically developed for the RV industry. From minor roadside repairs and vehicle recovery following breakdown, this programme covers you throughout Australia and New Zealand. Repairing minor electrical problems, jumpstarting flat batteries, changing tyres and replacing lost keys, they can also arrange emergency fuel up to $10 or transport to the closest refuelling depot.


48 | Feature Avida RV Help (Advantage Help) – key points •E  mergency breakdown response Australia wide • 150 km towing inclusion • Emergency taxi trips ($50 per event) • Hotel accommodation assistance (max 5 nights, $120 per night) • Rental car assistance • Relocation costs • Off-road recovery assistance (at customers cost) • Avida Lifestyle Concierge Service, assistance for those special moments!

Providing unlimited callouts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, both policies contain a range of features to keep you on the move. NRMA premium memberships come with a host of additional benefits such as free child seat fitting, complementary pet insurance and a range of discounts (movie tickets, Thrifty car rental, NRMA holiday parks, MotorServe car servicing). Premium Care covers vehicles up to 3.5-tonnes GVM and not more than 5.5 metres in length, 2.5 metres in width or 2.6 metres in height. Premium Plus covers vehicles with a GVM up to 10 tonnes, but for towing the same size limitations for Premium Care still apply. With either package, trailers are not eligible for transport if they are greater than 2-tonnes GVM, 12.5 metres in length, 2.5 metres in width, or 2.6 metres in height.

Click here to visit the Avida RV website for more NRMA Premium Plus – key points information. • Coverage for vehicles up to 10 tonnes including 4WDs, SUVs, minivans and motorhomes • Breakdown and accident assistance, up to $3,000, including accommodation, car hire and onward travel costs if the vehicle cannot be repaired roadside

NRMA

T

he NRMA is a nationally recognised provider of a range of automotive products and services, and yes, their broad reach now extends to motorhomes. Primarily servicing NSW and ACT, NRMA Premium Care membership is open to all residents of Australia, with services accessible nationally via affiliated motoring organisations. Offering several roadside assistance packages, motorhome and campervan owners will need to look towards their Premium Care ($199 per annum) and Premium Plus ($328 per annum) policies, these cover vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes and from 3.5 to 10 tonne, respectively.

• Free towing options from 50 km metro to 100 km in remote areas, size restrictions not withstanding • Free towing in country areas back to the town of the attending NRMA Country Service Centre or 50 km in any direction • Emergency taxi trips (3) if the vehicle requires towing (up to $50 each time, 1 taxi trip per breakdown). • Major mechanical breakdown entitlements even if you suffer a major mechanical breakdown less than 100km from home. • Up to $100 towards a vehicle locksmith.


Feature | 49 • Caravan/trailer roadside assistance and minor repairs (including salvage assistance if bogged) • Flat tyre changes, jump-starts and emergency fuel. • Protection for your pet, on and off the road, with free Pet Plus cover. • Free on-the-spot 6-point vehicle health check, including windscreen, tyre tread, oil, battery, charging system and water. Click here to visit the NRMA website for more information.

• Loss or damage to the vehicle anywhere in Australia (including Ferries) • Loss or damage to all accessories, fittings and/or appliances permanently attached to the vehicle. • Windscreen or window glass replacements only cover (imported vehicles limited to maximum of $1000 per event) •Loss or damage to any trailer, valued up to $1000 • $2000 for loss or damage to personal belongings kept within the vehicle • Fusion of electric motors up to 12 years old. If your freezer breaks down as a result of accidental breakdown or failure of the power supply they cover $300 in food spoilage • Third party property damage liability for $20,000,000.

Ken Tame & Associates

T

he Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) offers general RV insurance to its members via Ken Tame & Associates Pty Ltd; an Allianz affiliated, exclusively recreational vehicle Insurer. Policies are quoted on application, ensuring each vehicle is individually covered. The policies are without doubt the most comprehensive in Australia and with over 20 years experience, every potential insurance aspect is covered. Roadside assistance, however, is limited to emergency situations resulting from an accident, breakdown or criminal incident. You are eligible for two breakdown-related tows per year (the first tow must not exceed $600). Unfortunately, general situations such as a flat tyre, out of fuel, flat battery or lost key are not covered. Ken Tame & Associates Pty Ltd – key points • 24 hour accident/breakdown towing assistance

• Personal bodily and property damage liability for $10,000,000. • Reasonable towing and storage costs as a result of an accident or damage to the vehicle • Up to $1000 per policy period for mechanical breakdown towing assistance to the closest repairer • Emergency repairs up to $500 • Hire of replacement vehicle in the event the vehicle is stolen or severely damaged • Alternative accommodation following an accident, theft or total loss of the vehicle • Relocation costs, including that of the vehicle, to home following a medical emergency or injury or major accident or theft of the vehicle. Click here to visit the Ken Tame website for more information.


50 | Feature • $1000 cover for partial loss or damage to your personal contents e.g. bicycles, scooters, motorised wheelchairs. • $20 million motorhome legal liability and $20 million personal liability.

CIL Caravan and RV Insurance

P

art of the Suncorp Group, CIL says it “Offers comprehensive and enhanced insurance for virtually any type of recreational vehicle”. While it doesn’t offer stand-alone roadside assistance, the emergency breakdown cover incorporated in it policies can provide protection for unexpected troubles. They even protect your pets, with up to $500 veterinary expenses. CIL Caravan and RV Insurance – key points • Full replacement if the vehicle is a total loss and the incident occurs within two years of its first registration • No basic excess payable for the first windscreen replacement claim in any one period of insurance • Automatic $1000 cover for contents kept in the motorhome • Up to $1000 cover for towing to the nearest repairer following a mechanical breakdown • Cover to get you home if your vehicle is stolen or cannot be driven following an accident • Cover for emergency accommodation following an accident, fire or theft • Transport home following emergency medical treatment • Returning home for emergency medical treatment (up to $5,000)

Click here to visit the CIL website for more information.

The Bottom Line

R

oadside assistance options for motorhomers in Australia are pretty limited. The following chart is a brief overview and comparison of a few key Australian service providers, insurers included. Every provider has unique terms and conditions and it’s essential to always refer to the product disclosure statement (PDS) for specific terms and conditions. Ed’s note: Project Polly has roadside assistance through NRMA Business Wise, a part of NRMA that specialises in business vehicle assistance. The Absolute package costs $389 pa and is basically the same as the Premium Care package Emily noted earlier. However, it covers vehicles from 3.5 to 12-tonnes GVM and includes 50 km vehicle and trailer towing in city and rural areas, and 100 km (or back to the nearest NRMA Country Service Centre) in remote areas. NRMA also has an Assist package for vehicles over 12-tonnes GVM for $349 pa and while it doesn’t include towing the charge is billed to you on a 30 day account. You need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to take advantage on these (and other) NRMA Business Wise packages, but if you have one or can register for one it’s well worth looking into, To find out more about NRMA Business Wise click here. To find out more about registering an ABN click here.


Feature | 51 Motoring 24-7

NRMA Premium Plus

RACQ ULTIMATE

Ken Tame

Avida RV Help

CIL Caravan & RV Insurance (Primarily Insurance)

-7 24

ü ü ü ü ü ü

) VM e el tr (G Fu it en y im lC nc L al ge ht C g er ei W Em

ü

ü ü

$100 pa

û ü

$10 fuel

û

ith sm ck Lo

ü

ü

û

ü

û

ee Fr

n ow kd ea Br

û

ü

g in w To

50km Metro 100km Regional 50km or to service centre Rural.

ü

ü

ü

ü

rt ta ps m nt Ju e ry em tte lac Ba ep R

ü

ü

Replacement Battery at Customers cost.

ü

û ü

û

150 kilometres Replacement anywhere in Australia or Battery at New Zealand Customers cost

Eligible for 2 Breakdown tows per year up to $1000

Batteries not serviced or fitted 100km in any direction to motor homes or up to 200km to if limited access $300 Locksmith the attending RACQ tobattery or cover Contractor’s premises substantial plus $250 towards removal of special towing vehicle panels is required.

ü

$100 Locksmith cover

3.5t Replacement at Overweight, Lockout & lost Organisation of suitable Battery at but covered customers key cover to $77 tow service cost Customers cost. 10 tonnes

3.0 tonnes

Individual

N/A

N/A

$1,000 cover for towing vehicle following a mechanical breakdown.

or

re Ty at Fl

ü

Extra charges may apply if GVM >3.5T.

o N

ü

Maximum of 5 nights $120.00 per night. Rental car arranged for up to 5 days at $100.00 per day.

ü

*conditional Accident, breakdown related.

ü

3 days/$110 per day up to $330 pa.

ü

$3,000 accommodation car hire & onward travel costs if repairs > 24hrs.

ü

$400 per claim, 100km from home, >48hr breakdown

ü

& it on m y ati Li nc od ut lo ge m al er om ire C Emcc r h A a C

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

û

û

ü

û

ü

û

Cover for emergency accommodation following an accident, fire or theft


52 | Project Polly

The fridge is fixed, but not the way we expected…


Project Polly | 53

The blue box is the Smart Energy Controller, which electronically controls internal temperature to minimise current draw. Note how compact the compressor, cooling fins and fan assembly are.

A

s recently reported, Polly’s 85-litre 12-volt compressor fridge has been ‘unwell’. The fridge was new in October last year and we reported on its installation in Issue 83. It’s an Isotherm unit supplied by Webasto (see explanation at the end of this story) and featured a hi-tech blue box called a Smart Energy Controller or SEC. This was claimed to provide optimum energy efficiency by closely monitoring the internal temperature, and it promised great things. The first inkling of trouble came during my trip to Melbourne in February for the annual Supershow. The weather down and back was stinking hot and on a couple of occasions drinks didn’t feel particularly cool. I put it down to 40ºC heat and the fridge’s internal venting, which not only added to Polly’s internal temperature, it must have reduced the fridge’s efficiency. Mrs iMotorhome subsequently alerted me to the widely varying temperatures

on trips in cooler weather. Running the fridge at home for several days and using a digital thermometer confirmed my suspicions: When set to maximum the internal temp varied between +5º and +10ºC. Not good. We persisted and went to Bathurst for the CMCA Rally in April, where the fluctuations seemed even more pronounced. Sometimes we’d find ice in the big drink bottles in the door and frozen food on the bottom shelf; other times it only just felt cool inside. The bottom line was the fridge was sick, but it took some time to organise an appointment to have it looked at. In the mean time something strangely coincidental happened.

Life Imitating Life…

O

ur good friends Allan and Kerryn Whiting from Outback Travel Australia have been using an identical Isotherm fridge in their slide-on camper for three or four


54 | Project Polly

Polly’s original Waeco fridge. Note how bulky the compressor and cooling system was. Not good, given the limited venting (right). Fortunately, the new fridge’s fan is right in line with this vent at the rear of the kitchen cupboards. years. The fridge has done serious off-road work in remote Central Australia for months at a time, but as they were heading away in May on another long adventure, it died. Luckily it was the first day and in the end they returned home to get it fixed. It turned out the ‘blue box’ or SEC had fried, but there is no authorised Webasto service centre near us on the Southern Highlands, so Allan found a company in Wollongong who would look at it. A replacement SEC was around $350 but an alternative was to remove it and use a conventional mechanical thermometer instead, costing about $65. This was Al’s chosen option and after several days of bench running and data logging all was good. It was then reinstalled and test-run on the driveway for a further few days. The result was the fridge ran colder than ever and was again in perfect working order. Because Polly’s fridge is under warranty – two years on new Isotherm fridges – it needed to go to an authorised workshop. Swamy from

Webasto arranged a visit to Alternate Gas Refrigeration in Arundel park, in Sydney’s West. I wasn’t sure if it was an issue with Polly’s power supply or the fridge, but a quick test on arrival suggested the latter. The fridge was removed for testing, repair and subsequent bench running, which required leaving it with them. We were in and out in 30 minutes, although it was a 3 hour roundtrip drive to get there and back. Two days later it was fixed and ready to go. To my surprise the blue SEC was gone; a simple mechanical thermometer in its place! This came about partially as a misunderstanding – Swamy thought I’d wanted it in light of Allan’s experience – but as it happens it was also recommended by Bob, who did the repair. The printout from the data logger was enlightening. As mentioned, we’d run the fridge on max – six and a bit on the dial - with mixed results. Bob’s bench test showed that with the SEC gone it now held an average of 1.4ºC on a


Project Polly | 55

setting of just 3.5 on the dial, over 12 hours. He also said the freezer section was getting down around -15ºC. All-up a remarkable turnaround!

Home on the Drive

R

eturning home after another three hour round trip it was time for a real test. I kept the dial on 3.5 and ran the fridge for five days, with frozen chicken in the freezer and a big bottle of water in the door. During the first full day my digital thermometer was reporting temps as low as -3.5ºC in the door, although the water wasn’t freezing, so I reset the dial to 3 to see what would happen. To be honest I was sceptical of the digital readout (why didn’t the water freeze?) and put a conventional thermometer inside as well. It perfectly matched the digital readout! At the reduced dial setting the temperature rose to an average 1.5ºC over the remaining days, but the chicken stayed frozen and the water remained liquid. So all good! It’s worth noting a coupe of things here. The ambient temperature inside Polly was around

Top: Repaired and ready to go back in. Note the blue box is gone, replaced by a conventional thermometer. Also note the white wire, originally coiled on top, has been properly positioned and taped down. All-in-all a great job by the guys at Alternate Gas Refrigeration. Above: Bob (L) and Graham about to do the reinstallation job.


56 | Project Polly

Clockwise from left: Before reinstalling the fridge there was some housekeeping to do from its original an apparently sloppy installation; Power connected and purple light glowing as Graham completes the reinstallation; Siting on the driveway showing 1.2ºC. Nice! 12ºC during the day and down to 7 or 8ºC at night for the duration of the test, so that might have helped. Also, the fridge cycles on and off to maintain internal temperature (as per Collyn River’s article last issue), and once cooled down and in ‘maintenance mode’ was only drawing between 0.8 and 1.2 amps when running. What’s really interesting is that with the SEC in place Webasto quotes a daily power draw of 380 watts. Divide by 12 (for volts) and it equals 31.66 amps, which divided by 24 (hours) equals 1.32 amps per hour. That means that without the SEC our fridge is doing as well or better than it’s supposed to with it. It will be interesting to see how internal temperature and current drawer go when the weather warms again next spring. I should also note that in last issue’s Polly instalment I remarked that the fridge venting – especially the internal vent – was probably about as wrong as such a set-up could be, in light of Collyn River’s article. However, Bob at Alternate Gas Refrigeration said that the

size and position of the vent was ideal for this fridge, especially given the location and compact dimensions of its compressor unit and cooling fan. It will be interesting to see who’s right! I’ll be keeping an eye on the fridge, but as winter has arrived I’m now more interested in the efficiencies of our Webasto AirTop 2000 diesel heater! It has shown no sign of repeating its one-off electronic brain snap. Fingers crossed it remains that way.


Project Polly | 57 The Game of the Name

website can’t quite seem to make up its mind, referring to them by either or both names in f you’ve been around RVs for a few years you different sections. Confused? From now on might know Polly’s brand of fridge by one of we’ll call it an Isotherm fridge as that seems several names: Indel, Isotherm, Webasto or to be the most readily recognised name within even Cruise Elegance. Which is it? Any of them, the industry. Problem solved! sort of. Let me explain…

I

In 2008 German auto products maker Webasto and Italian refrigeration manufacturer Indel B formed an alliance to produce Isotherm fridges for the RV and marine markets. In Australia (at least), Isotherm units are marketed by Webasto as Cruise Elegance refrigerators, but many people still use the Isotherm name. Indeed, Webasto’s

The Output Status screen on our Redarc Manager30 tells the story. When initially cooling down Polly’s Isotherm fridge draws up to 3.7 amps. Once cooled it cycles to maintain temperature and seems to draw between 0.8 and 1.2 amps when running. Very efficient. Note the Battery Management System (BMS on the screen) is only taking 1.5 amps from the solar panel and sending 1.1 to the fridge and 0.4 to the house battery – just enough for it to maintain 100% charge. Very clever!


58 | Reader Report

Buyin’ Miz Cee Cee! How Miz Cee Cee came into my life… by Jan Moore

D

ecisions, decisions! I’m always being asked by members of the Chicks Camping Crew how you know what kind of rig you want when there are so many choices available? The advice I give is based on the advice I took myself: Write out a list of your wants and needs, plus what you want to do with your rig. For example, right now as I'm still working and just need a weekender. After looking around on all the usual suspects I settled on an ex-Apollo Rentals Ford Transit Euro Tourer – a stable mate of Project Polly.

on which way I put the mattress. I'm used to a queen bed but wanted a bit of seating as well, so I elected to put in an east-west double mattress. This allows me to have face-to-face seating and a little table of some sort, which is down the track. From the first time I put her into gear and chuffed across the car yard I knew I'd found my rig: beautifully light and responsive gear changes and reversing was a dream. And boy, does she love a nudge along the open roads. I totally forget I have a house behind me, so easy to drive is she.

Miz Cee Cee ticked all the boxes – shower, toilet, TV, microwave, heaps of cupboard storage and I could make up the bed either as two singles or a double or queen depending

Outfitting her was something else. She came stock standard with the most horrendous burnt orange curtains – and lots of them. My budget was quite tight and I am not a dab hand with


Reader Report | 59

a sewing machine, so thought I'd decorate around the curtains and go for a bright, happy, jungle theme. I got the doona you see pictured for $65 and the seating cushion courtesy of Aldi, all up for $100. I am quite chuffed with the result, but nearly changed her name from Miz Cee Cee to Copa Cabana, and had to pull myself up from plonking bananas and pineapples everywhere! But then again I'm not finished yet, so watch this space‌


60 | TechTalk: Power leads

Taking the Lead

Power leads are vital yet often taken for granted says our resident Techspert, Pia from Southern Spirit Campervans‌


TechTalk | 61

RV power leads can handle15 amps, unlike domestic leads, which are only built for 10 amps (the output of a household power socket). Fifteen amp leads come with a larger earth pin (above) to stop people plugging them into home sockets and potentially overloading the household system. However, some people file down the big earth pin to make them fit, which is not only dangerous it’s illegal and would void home and vehicle insurance.

E

very RV needs a mains power connector – either by an extension lead or a lead hard-wired in – but do you know the basics and do you ever check it? Power leads used in Australian recreational vehicles are rated for 230 volts and 15 amps. They’re easy to tell apart from household power leads because they have a much larger earth pin where they plug into the mains power point, and a matching large earth pin socket where they connect to your vehicle (which has a large pin in its exterior power socket). The reason for this larger pin is the lead is rated for 15 amps, while domestic power sockets and extension leads are only rated for 10 amps. The 15 amp lead is needed to deal with the higher load required in your RVs should you turn everything on at once.

Because 230 volts is a lot of power and extension leads are often exposed to the elements, you need to regularly check them. Wear can come from things like UV light exposure, being tripped over, having vehicles drive over them, being stretched and so on.

Check!

P

ower leads usually have a PVC outer skin with three cables inside. In everyday use the cables can get twisted, kinked and even break, which you might not see from outside. Check your lead for kinks and any kind of damage to the outer skin. If you find the skin damaged and can see the copper of the internal cables, stop using it immediately! Replace it, or if it’s hard-wired into your vehicle, have it repaired.


62 | TechTalk

Above: The only legal way to plug a 15 amp lead into a 10 amp socket is via this 100% waterproof and earthed AmpFibian adaptor. Below: Look for damage and replace any lead whose outer casing has been compromised. Check the plug on your lead as well. The pins must be straight and the earth pin much larger than the other two. This is especially important if you’ve bought a used vehicle; check that no one has filed down the earth pin to make the 15 A lead fit into a household 10 A socket. This is very dangerous and it’s not for no reason such modified leads are called ‘death leads’! Ed’s Note: The only legal way to connect a 15 amp lead to a 10 amp household socket is via a device called an Amp-Fibian. This is a special weatherproof adapter that acts as a go-between. It’s the only safe and legal way to plug in to charge house batteries or to cool your fridge before heading away. Click here to find out more. Where the plugs join the cable at each end there should be no gaps and no play when you


TechTalk | 63

Taking the time to coil and properly store leads not only makes it easier next time you need them, it prolongs their lives by preventing kinking that can break internal wiring.

move the cable. This is not only to prevent dirt and water getting inside, it needs to be tight to ensure the connections inside (where the wires join the pins) don’t come loose.

Helpful Hints and Tips • If the lead is slightly twisted the best thing is to lay it fully out, untwist and then carefully roll it back up. Be careful not to let it re-twist as you go if it’s been like that for a while • Roll up your lead correctly: Yes, it sounds so easy, but how often do you find a mess when getting the lead out? By rolling the lead up neatly you will prevent kinks and any resulting damage. It will also significantly increase the lifespan of the lead and make it quick and easy to use when you arrive in camp. Click

here for a short video that explains the under and over roll up method, which in most cases is the best method to use. • An alternative is the use of a reel. Just make sure to use the lead completely unwound, to avoid heat buildup. • If you don’t want to or can’t use a reel, a ‘wrap’ is a great way to hold the rolled-up lead together. Click here for step-by-step instructions on making one. • A good idea is to have a fixed place for the lead inside your RV when not in use. Make sure there are no sharp objects nearby and it’s not hot. Some owners use a small storage bag for their leads, which is an excellent idea.


64 | TechTalk

AmpFibian’s new Hellbender power lead is rubber coated, can be tightly coiled and is effectively kink proof. It takes up very little room and is highly durable. We’re testing one in Project Polly, so watch for a report soon.

Which extension lead to use?

A

s a overall indicator, the thicker the outer casing the more robust the lead. When purchasing a new lead make sure that it’s for outdoor use (UV stabilised/resistant outer jacket). Leads with a rubber outer jacket instead of PVC are ideal. Rubber leads feel more ‘grippy’, you can curl them up smaller and they will not kink and twist as easily as PVC leads will.

A new product recently released into the Australian market is the Hellbender by Ampfibian, which is a good sample of a high quality rubber extension lead (we’ve just got one for Project Polly and will report on it soon – Ed). Buying extension leads in a bright, highly visible colour such as orange is a must as they are easier to see for everyone around your RV.


TechTalk | 65

Left: Outdoor leads should be a bright colour to make them easily seen. Above: Homemade ‘wraps’ are a great way to hold coiled leads together.

For peace of mind!

Y

ou might have come across a festival/ event or a caravan park where you’ve only been allowed to use a tested and tagged extension lead. For your own peace of mind we think it’s a great idea to get your lead/s tested and tagged once a year by a certified electrician. He will label/ tag the lead so you have proof that your lead was checked and is (or was at the time of testing) in tip-top condition.

Ed’s Note: There is no national legal requirement for lead testing and tagging. However, operators of places you might want to use your lead, like at a rally or caravan park, have the right to require it as part of their onsite OH&S duty of care, and refuse connection of untagged leads.


66 | Travel: CMCA RV Friendly Towns

CMCA RV Friendly Towns

T

he RV Friendly program is a Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) initiative aimed at assisting RV travellers as they journey throughout this wonderful country. An RV Friendly Town™ (RVFT) is one that provides a certain number of amenities and a certain level of services for these travellers. When RV tourists enter a town displaying the RVFT sign they know they will be welcome. Certain services will be provided for them that may not be available in other centres, and they will have access to a safe place to stay overnight and possibly for a longer period. To find out more about RV Friendly Towns and Destinations visit the CMCA’s website by clicking here. For an interactive map of all RV friendly Towns, click here.

Wingham, NSW

W

ingham is located in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, in the city of Taree, 335 kilometres north of Sydney. The northern bank of the Manning River is 400 metres east of Central Park and this is where Wingham Riverside Reserve is located and where RV travellers can park at nil cost for 72 hours. There are BBQs, toilets and benches

provided, and pets are allowed on a lead. The dump point and access to potable water are located nearby at the Wingham Showground on Gloucester Road. A short stroll from the centre of Wingham is Wingham Brush Nature Reserve. Here you'll see a major colony of grey-headed flying foxes hanging head-down in the canopies of 1,000-year-old Moreton Bay and strangler figs. The Wingham self-guided heritage walk is another popular tourist attraction, leading visitors around Wingham and highlighting a number of built and natural items of significance to the history of the village.

Andamooka, SA

A

ndamooka is located approximately 600 kilometres north of Adelaide and is the largest town administered by the Outback Communities Authority. Andamooka Camping Ground is the ideal location to stop and explore the region. Parking is just $2.20 per van per night and includes access to toilets, bins, covered seating, water and BBQ facilities. Pets are allowed off leads and adjacent to the camping ground in the water dispensing unit on Water Way is potable water and a free dump point.


Travel | 67 Wingham, NSW Tourist/Visitor Wingham Museum (Manning Information Valley Historical Society Inc), Centre 12 Farquhar St, Wingham NSW Ph: 02 6553 5823 Email: mvhsmuseum@ internode.on.net www.manninghistorical.org Casual Adj to Wingham Post Office, Parking (near Wynter St; across the road retail centre) from Wingham Plaza entrance in Primrose St; adj to Central Park, Isabella St near Wynter St Short Term Parking

Wingham Riverside Reserve, Farquhar St, Wingham NSW, nil cost, (72hr), BBQ, tlts, benches, pets on lead

Long Term Parking

Wingham Riverside Reserve, Farquhar St, Wingham NSW, nil cost, (72hr), BBQ, tlts, benches, pets on lead

Dump Point

Wingham Showground, Gloucester Rd (Lat Long: -31.873674, 152.361901)

Potable Water

Wingham Showground, Gloucester Rd

Twenty-four separate fields comprise the Andamooka Opal Fields, giving the area the appearance of a lunar landscape. Public noodling is welcome in certain areas; however, the public should not enter any ‘pegged’ claims. There are a variety of things for visitors to do in Andamooka; tour the opal fields, absorb the history, visit an underground house or one of the many opal showrooms and buy directly from the miner or the cutter.

Andamooka, SA Tourist/Visitor Andamooka Dukes Information Bottlehouse Motel & Post Centre Office 275 Opal Creek Boulevard, Andamooka SA Ph: 08 8672 7007 Email: andamookaopal@ hotmail.com andamookaopal.com.au Casual Opal Creek Boulevard, at the Parking (near town parking bay approx. retail centre) 150m from shops & 500m from PO Short Term Andamooka Camping Ground, Parking Opal Creek Boulevard & Water Way, $2.20 pvpn payable to donation pole, incl. tlts, bins, c/seating, wtr, BBQ facs, pets OK off lead Long Term Andamooka Camping Ground, Parking Opal Creek Boulevard & Water Way, $2.20 pvpn payable to donation pole, incl. tlts, bins, c/seating, wtr, BBQ facs, pets OK off lead Dump Point Adjacent to camping ground in the water dispensing unit on Water Way (Lat Long: -30.453480, 137.159911) Potable Adjacent to camping ground Water in the water dispensing unit on Water Way


68 | Events

Kelly Country Pick 2016! by Sharon Hollamby

Head down to Beechworth this August for some cool weather and hot music…

T

he historic town of Beechworth in Victoria is holding the 18th annual Kelly Country Pick from 19-21 August. The festival began in 1999 as a relaxing music weekend get-together for pickers and their families but swiftly gained popularity, attracting visitors from Australia and overseas. Focused on sharing music, ‘picking’ and technical skills, the festival also offers a wide range of fun and informative workshops. These, along with afternoon concerts, will be held at the historic ‘Old Priory,’ a beautifully renovated 19th century convent. Evening concerts will be held in the cosy warmth of local hotels.

What’s on?

T

his years’ headline act features ‘Spencer and Rains,’ two old-time musicians from America with a uniquely powerful style. Having learnt their craft from an early age the pair is now dedicated to the preservation, performance and teaching of old-time music. Bob Buckingham from Fiddler magazine said, “These two fiddlers have found their groove and it’s rich.”

Melbourne’s own Gob-Iron String Band will get your toes tapping as they share their obsession for Appalachian and Cajun tunes. The addition of the harmonica to the mix ‘whoops’ it up and will get everyone dancing! Another group – Hillbilly Radio – is named after a song written by band member Dave Diprose and is about listening to hillbilly music on a Bakelite radio as a youngster. The


Events | 69

Group’s performances are packed with Aussie storytelling and humorous, heartfelt songs that lift the spirit. Also, Appalachian Heaven Stringband will celebrate its 10th year at the festival with a party in the Old Priory recreation room on Saturday and everyone is invited. Other artists include: • Golden Whistler • Black Mountain String Band • Cat and Clint • Silver City Highway • Slime dime • Tony O’rourke Festival director Peter Hisco, alias the Colonel, urges everyone to “Bring their instruments and take part in the many workshops on offer.” These include: • Fiddle • Double bass • Flatpicking guitar • Dobro • Autoharp • Mandolin • and many more “It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert who wants to jam, everyone is welcome,” he said.


70 | Events Fast Facts

Prices

What: 18th Annual Kelly Country Pick

• Early Bird weekend pass (till end July) – $75

When: 19-21 August 2016

• Weekend pass (after early bird closes) – $85

Where: Beechworth

• Weekend pass at the door (Fri - Sun) – $95 ($85 concession)

The Old Priory The Hibernian Hotel Bridge Rd Brewers The Nicholas Hotel

Getting There Beechworth is a three hour drive North east of Melbourne along the Hume Freeway. There are two caravan parks nearby and the Colonel has assured me that there are plenty of places to ‘park up.’ Why: The Colonel assured me ‘It will be a life changing experience.’ More info at: kellycountrypick.org/ wordpress/

• Sat/Sun Pass – $85 ($80 concession) • Sat Pass – $64 • Individual concerts – $15 (available at venues) • Individual workshop tickets – $10 (available at the Priory) • All Tickets will be also on sale at the Priory from 4 pm on the 19th. • Children under 17 free Online tickets available at: Ticketebo


Advertisers' Index | 71

Advertisers' Index AirBag Man 

28

Paradise Motor Homes

Albury Wodonga RV World 

19

Parkland RV Centre

713 28

Amphibian28

Redarc29

Australian Motor Homes

Robert’s RV World

29

Avida21

RV Specialists

28

Battery Traders Super Store

28

Solarscreen28

Bony Mountain Folk Festival

25

26

Caravan & Motorhome Covers

29

Southern Highlands  Service Centre Southern Spirit Campervans

29

Dalgety Experience

10

2

Duvalay29 eBook Traveller

25

e-Twow Electric Scooters

29

Grey Nomad Tax Advisers

26

Horizon Motorhomes

7

iMotorhome App

27

iTech World

28

Nomadic Solutions

29

Northcoach Equipment

16

Outback Travel Australia

24

OzCampers26

Skytracks29 Sunliner17 Taronga Western Plains Zoo

28

Tiffin Motorhomes

29

Trakka4 Trailblazers RV

22

Webasto20 Wellington Shire

28

Winnebago8 Winjana RV

29

Wirraway Motor Homes

18


72 | Next Issue

CRYSTAL BALL GAZING

In Project Polly we’ll be looking at a range of accessories we’ve been trialling recently and we think could find a useful home inside many campervans and motorhomes. There will also be a report on anything new sighted at the Queensland Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow, which opens in Brisbane on 8 June. Hopefully we’ll have first pics of the innovate Campino HiAce campervan we reported on in last issue’s news, too!

W

hile beating naval gazing, crystal ball gazing has its limitations. At the moment the reception from two weeks ahead is fuzzy and we can’t quite make out what will be gracing the cover or be the subject of our test. But don’t worry, something will crystallise soon. Trust us – we’re professionals… June 08-13

AUG

12-14

JUNE

08-13

JUL

22-24

Issue 97 is out on Saturday 18 June. Until then why not join our more than 31,000 Facebook Friends and followers on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram ?

AUG

Facebook “f ” Logo

JUNE

Jul 22-2412-14 08-13

JUL

22-24

Queensland Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow

Macarthur Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Show

Brisbane Showgrounds 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills. Qld. 4006.

TABCORP Park, Racecourse Avenue, Menangle. NSW. 2563

• • • •

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $15 • Seniors: $11 • Kids: Accompanied U16 free

Parking: Free Adults: $20 Seniors: $15 Kids: Accompanied school-age free

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

Aug 12-14

AUG

12-14

Border Caravan & Camping Expo Wodonga Racecourse, Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga. VIC. 3690. • Open 9:30-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: TBA • Seniors: TBA • Kids: TBA

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

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

RGB / .ai

Facebook “f ” Logo

JUNE

08-13

Profile for iMotorhome Magazine

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 96 - 04 June 2016  

Get a free subscription from our website now!

iMotorhome eMagazine Issue 96 - 04 June 2016  

Get a free subscription from our website now!

Advertisement