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iMotorhome

magazine

Issue 97: Jun 18 2016

Vision

Splendid? Win!

$50 for the! best letter

Tax Time!

Changes mean this year is different…

Brisbane Show Report What’s new and interesting!

Project Polly…

Things we’ve been trying, inside and out

Even without sunlit plains, Explorer’s Vision has plenty going for it…


About iMotorhome | 3

iMotorhome eMagazine is published twice monthly and available by free subscription from www.imotorhome.com.au. Your letters and contributions are always welcome! Facebook “f ” Logo

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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Contributors Emily Barker, Sharon Hollamby and Allan Whiting

Published by iMotorhome PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 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


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?

$35 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 nonrefundable $25 per-person deposit is required within 7 days of booking confirmation.


On my mind | 5

SEALING WAX, CABBAGES AND TROLLS It was the Walrus in a Lewis Carroll poem from Through The Looking-Glass who said, “The time had come to think of many things.” From memory he was preoccupied with the thought of eating every oyster he could beat the Carpenter to, but that’s another story. This page is the last to be written of every issue of iMotorhome; not because of any strict structure regarding the magazine’s assembly, but rather because I usually haven’t a clue about what to write. And so once again it’s Friday afternoon and time to think of many things… As it happens, most editorials are written while riding my bike. Well not actually riding, but the ideas are formed while peddling local country roads. It’s a sort of mystic connection/I-haven’tgot-a-clue kind of thing that cycling somehow seems to help me with. And so down to business! Our local community is facing a push by a local trucking company to extend its hours of operation from 7 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, to 24/7. The company extracts water from a bore on its property, just 5 km from where I’m writing, and trucks it to Coca Cola in Sydney for bottling and selling Australia-wide. It’s one of two such operations and the other already has 24/7 approval. That company’s B-double tankers can be heard rumbling their way along our single lane road in the wee small hours come rain, snow, hail or shine. Apart from sleep disruption and road safety issues, there are often dead wombats and kangaroos on the road by dawn and they can’t all just be the fault of residents venturing out after dark. In my first foray into community activism I volunteered to set up a Change.org online petition and a Facebook page. I also wrote a leaflet that along with other neighbours we’ve letterbox dropped to several hundred properties likely to affected, as the trucks have to drive through the

centre of Mittagong on their way to/from Sydney. The idea is to lobby Council to maintain the status quo. The Facebook page has been an interesting experience. It’s ben my first and hopefully last brush with the mindless, hate-filled minority who use online anonymity to hurl vitriolic abuse at anyone who doesn’t think/speak/act like they do. In the social media world they’re known as Trolls. I’ve called them many things in my mind, but here I’ll just call them fools. After just four or five days I shut the Page down because it had become nothing but a platform to let these people vent their rage. The abuse was appalling, with no reasoned discussion possible. I’ve run the iMotorhome Facebook page, which now has nearly 31,000 Likes, for more than four years and copped less abuse in all that time than I did in 15 minutes just one night earlier this week. Twenty-something Pop diva Taylor Swift has a song called Shake It Off. It’s catchy and humours, but with a deeper message about the choice between being a Player and getting on with life or being a Hater. As she says, the Players are going to play and the Haters are going to hate, but she’s just going to shake it off. And so it is with the Trolls – I’m just gonna shake ‘em off! So beware if you take up the community activism challenge. It’s a great cause but unlikely to be easy, especially if you harness the power of social media. Now, in case you need a laugh click here to watch a dash cam video of an American policeman parodying Taylor Swift while driving his patrol car. It’s gold – and there’s not a troll in sight!

Richard


6 | Contents

3

About Us

9

Resources

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

Find back issues and more on our website

5

On my Mind

11

On your Mind

28

Marketplace

18

News

32

Day Test: Explorer Vision

46

Project Polly

54

Feature

64

Mobile Tech

72

What’s On?

79

Advertisers' Index

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

Sealing Wax, Cabbages and Trolls

Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!

The latest Marketplace offers

Is Explorer’s Vision the perfect vehicle for sunlit plains extended?

Inside and Out – things we’ve been using…

Tax Time!

Help finding TV signals…

58

Show Report

68

Events

Brisbane highlights

Charters Towers Rocks!

Our new feature on happenings around Australia over the next three months

An A to Z of who’s in this issue!

80

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


Best Seat in the House. Our Switch Mode Bathroom offers a room with a view... trakka.com.au


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

horizonmotorhomes.com.au


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


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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.

Don’t Do It! I read with alarm John's idea to install an electronic safe inside the gas cylinder compartment (iMotorhome 4 June 2016). I would never recommend that action for the following reasons: - The gas cylinder storage compartment has been designed to be safe if there is an inadvertent gas leak. Specifically, there are no ignition sources anywhere near the gas storage. By introducing a battery and electronics immediately defeats all of those safety design features.

- Such an installation will render the van/ motorhome as non complaint with Australian design safety rules and breach registration requirements. - Furthermore, I would venture to suggest it would mean the insurance cover would be voided. In short don't put any electrical or electronic gear in the gas storage compartment. Regards, Garry

Good points Garry and thanks for bringing it to - When drilling the holes in the compartment our attention. For your efforts please accept this walls an ignition source will be introduced into issue’s $50 prize! the area and could ignite any gas residues in hoses, pipes, etc.

LPG Locker Requirements? Having just read the edition 96 I was somewhat surprised by John's letter. My motorhome was built by a reputable manufacturer and has a gas cylinder compartment that the only way it can be closed is by locking it. The vehicle was

initially registered in NSW with no problems and as I have now moved to Qld has been registered here with no problems. I am keen to know if the law John is referring to is National or a law of a particular State or Territory. continued...


12 | On your mind ...continued.

Great magazine and I agree with Eric's comments about tips and ideas. Cheers, Paul. Well that’s an interesting question Paul and one that opens a real can of worms – and words! The definitive answers to your question are covered in Part 2 of Australian Standard AS 5601:2013, but in a masterful stroke the full information is only available for sale for hundreds of dollars. So much for safety and the Public interest. To my knowledge (and I stress that) a gas locker is supposed to be accessible from outside the vehicle without the need of a

tool. Interestingly, in Victoria and Queensland (at least) you can have the locker entirely inside the vehicle – behind locked doors – as long as the compartment is airtight, externally vented and inaccessible from inside the vehicle when the doors are shut (so when travelling). Anyway, Polly is registered in NSW but made in Queensland and has a keyed lock for the gas compartment, which I always leave unlocked. I’ll seek professional advice on this and follow it up with a future article as I don’t have the knowledge or expertise to comment definitively. Stay tuned.

Handy Reminders It was interesting to read the article about the new Regomate app in Issue 95. It appears to be a useful tool and think I have found a few uses for it, but not for the car or motorhome. I’m not sure what other states have to offer, but in SA,we have a monthly direct debit facility for registrations. With that in place, no need to worry – provided there is cash in the account! Admitted, they take it one month in advance, but no need worry about an unregistered vehicle. Email notifications are received to let us know when the payments will occur. So what will I use Regomate for? Well, admin fees for things like trailers make monthly/quarterly uneconomical, so the trailer is on there. I also have a variety of other registration fees, mostly related to my business. Because Regomate has a range of vehicle categories, including ‘spaceship’, I am using this one to record other

registrations. We’ll see how that works, or whether it is out of this world. Regards, Eric. Interesting about the rego arrangement in South Australia, Eric. That’s certainly not the case in NSW. I guess it helps not having those pesky annual mechanical inspections to contend with! Under ‘Spaeship’ I suppose you could list anything that needs a regular payment or renewal, which is indeed handy. I’m already using Regomate for our cars and Polly, but might try it with some other things too. Thanks for the suggestion.


14 | On your mind

In Hot Water? Regarding Polly's hot water issue, our 2002 Winnebago’s Suburban unit operated faultlessly during our 7 years of ownership (2005-2012). Then along came Jimmy, our Jayco Conquest purchased new in Nov 2012, which also has a Suburban unit (SW6DEA). It resets itself 3 to 4 times every time it is used and sometimes needs to be turned off and back on. The dealer claims it is fine and eventually hot water is obtained. In the attached photo a modification is displayed. I am told that when the unit it first turned on, at times it senses gas and will turn off until the gas dissipates. By drilling holes in the cover, allegedly, the problem will be eliminated or minimised. The photo is of a friend’s vehicle and I have now done the same with extra holes at the bottom as I believe that gas is heavier than air. Having a drive to Port Douglas from the ACT in July and hope to test it then, so watch this space!

That’s very interesting Lloyd, especially the bit about the dealer saying such operation is normal. I don’t think so! The SW6DEA designation of your current unit shows it's gas and electric, so at least if all else fails you can pop into a caravan park, plug in and get hot water. Polly doesn't afford us that luxury! Safe travels and please let us know how you go.

Best to you both and readers, Lloyd

Charging Forward! Thanks again for your great magazine that you deliver to my inbox wherever I am in Australia. It appears my article in Issue 94 caused a bit of a stir and it is good to get different sides to a story. I read with interest the replies and alternative ways of keeping the vehicle battery charged during longer periods of “free” camping or storage in issue 95. The solution that guru Collyn Rivers proposed was definitely the simplest in theory but unfortunately, not in

practice. It assumes that the batteries are readily accessible to be able to connect crocodile clips to them, which in my case it isn’t. In reality, the house batteries are near the rear of the motorhome, underneath the double bed, and the vehicle battery is in a metal recess under the carpet of the cabin floor. Not very practical to connect a cable through the motorhome while living in it at a free camp site. An alternative would be to make the wiring a permanent job, using a switch to isolate the batteries under normal running conditions.


On your mind | 15 However there is no easy way to conceal the wiring between the batteries inside the motorhome. The only alternative would be to drill a hole through the metal plated wooden floor near the house batteries and drill another hole in the metal recess where the vehicle battery is situated or run the cable up through the engine compartment and then run the cable underneath the motorhome. When one lives in their motorhome, they don’t have or have room to carry the tools necessary for this type of installation. It is also surprising Collyn didn’t advocate using fuses in the cable as there is a lot of energy (from both batteries) that would burn up the cable if a fault was to occur. It would not surprise me if this were to contravene electrical wiring rules. So my solution may be

“over the top”, but in my situation it was the most practical and it works! Regards, Ronald. Yes Ronald, your letter certainly did ‘spark’ a lot of interest! Let me leave you with a response from “Guru” Collyn Rivers: “My response was simply a brief general comment, not an instructional article. It is not usual to include fuses in loose 'jumper-lead' style connections as suggested, but if done it would need a fuse at either end of the positive cable to protect fixed wiring, but there are no legal requirements regarding this. Re being labelled a Guru, having studied a few of the Kimberley's Aboriginal languages at Notre Dame Uni in Broome I am wary of the term as it means 'wallaby shit' in one of them!

Real Roadside Assistance Issue 96 jogged my memory and I thought I would share it with you. Around last September we reviewed our roadside assistance cover and decided that the Fiat cover supplied with our new 4.5 tonne GVM motorhome was insufficient, especially the towing cover. We decided to extend our RACV cover to add the Tow Pack. Two weeks to the day later we are in the free park at Ballarat and our rear driver’s-side wheel sank into the ground. We were well and truly stuck! A call to RACV and after a little wait we had a tow truck to winch us out; no harm done and no cost. Incidentally, we will be reluctant to return to Ballarat as it is impossible to find any long vehicle parking near the centre of town. Regards, Gerry and Linda. Well that was good timing! I had a few emails alerting me to the RAVC’s Tow Pack roadside

assistance option for bigger vehicles, which we missed in our article. According to the RAVC website, “The Tow Pack upgrade is specifically designed to give those travelling with a motorhome, caravan or trailer complete peace of mind. The increased size and weight allowances for towing coverage, added to your Total or Extra Care package, ensure that you’ll get the benefits of roadside assistance and be towed to a place of repair if we can’t get you going, avoiding additional fees.” Adding the Tow Pack increase the allowable GVM from 4 to 8 tonnes, height from 2.7 to 3.3 m, width from 2.3 to 2.5 m and length from 6.7 to 9 m. Cost varies from $57.60 to $72.00 extra depending on the colour of your RACV membership card and of course is in addition to the added costs of basic roadside assistance membership and the Total or Extra Care packages. For more information visit the website here.


16 | On your mind

Surf’s Up! Whilst reading the latest iMotorhome I picked up on your query in the letters section regarding a secure way to store a motorhome key externally. For some years I have been using a product called a Surflock as a secure solution to stopping the villains getting into my vehicles, especially my motorhome. For approximately $70 it has been the best way I have found to safely store my keys, especially in remote locations. The big advantage is it can be attached to various locations depending on a vehicle’s set up. For example on my Fiat Ducato I use either the nudge bar driving light mount or the metal bracket underneath at rear. I have found it great for my transponder keys which tend to be a bit large and being a four digit combination lock makes it very secure. I hope this is of use to some readers.

Thanks for that Wayne, it seems a simply solution especially well suited to those looking to leave keys with the vehicle when heading out for the day. Anyone looking for more information click here to visit the website.

Happy motorhoming, Wayne.

Still on a Roll! I was interested in the article about the toilet roll self unrolling in Issue 96. We have a 2011 Auto Trail Tracker EKS and experienced the same issue; occasionally the toilet roll would end up on the floor, totally unwound. I can tell you, it takes quite a while to rewind the roll and you can't get it as tidy as it was originally! The culprit, I discovered, is not the toilet roll holder in itself. Rather, it’s the fact the towel rail is immediately above and if the towel hangs down enough and contacts the toilet roll, then what happens is that the swaying towel, as you drive along, slowly unwinds the roll! Once I realised what was

going on I just had to make sure my towel was clear of the toilet roll before setting off. Problem solved – in our case at least! Cheers. Robert & Margaret, PS. We always look forward to each new issue. Thanks you two, the things you discover when you live in a motorhome. I wonder if other readers have had a similar experience. Your comments please!


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18 | News

DALGETY FILLING FAST!

R

eaders wishing to join the iMotorhome team and fellow motorhomers at the next iMotorhome get-together in Dalgety at the end of October had better hurry. The event is already more than half booked and filling fast! See the ad on page 4 for full details and get cracking. You don’t want to miss being part of the Vans from Snowy River experience!

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News | 19

MAGNETIC FRIDGE DEVELOPED

A

The basic structure of the system sounds similar to that of conventional refrigerators, which use chemical refrigerants and a compressor. According to Cooltech, the lack of a gas compression system means the MRS consumes only half the energy of a standard fridge, produces less noise and vibration, and requires less maintenance. And being known pollutants, refrigerant gases are under constant scrutiny by environmental agencies and regulations, so from a commercial point of view, it makes sense to avoid the whole issue.

The system is based on the magnetocaloric effect, which states that the temperature of a material can be changed by exposing it to a magnetic field. As magnetocaloric materials in the system are put through a cycle of magnetization and demagnetization, a water coolant is pumped through them, transferring the heat from the interior of the fridge to the outside air.

While magnetic emissions are a potential concern, the levels surrounding the devices are reportedly far lower than even an individual magnet you'd stick on the fridge. Cooltech's first commercial system, the MRS400, boasts 400 W of cooling power, keeping the internal temperature between 2° C and 5° C, which is within the recommended levels for safe food storage. Its first applications will be in the commercial sector, for use in refrigerated retail display cases, wine cellars and medical facilities. Meanwhile, larger industrial systems, capable of 20 kW of cooling power are also in development. No word of RV fridge plans are on their drawing board yet.

development that could have big implications for the RV industry is the advent of more efficient systems that cool using magnets. The idea has been around almost as long as the standard gascompression fridge, but it hasn't yet been viable for the household and commercial markets. Now, American company Cooltech Applications has launched the first magnetic refrigeration system (MRS) for commercial use.

RENTAL LEADER CHANGES HANDS

A

ustralian online travel company Webjet has bought New Zealand’s Online Republic, whose brands include the world’s largest online motorhome rental site, Motorhome Republic. The deal was for NZ$85m and Online Republic will keep its staff and management structure. Webjet operates in Australia, the UK, Mexico, the US and

Canada. It also runs Zuji in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Motorhome Republic took 28,000 bookings last year worth NZ$57m in the year ending March 2016, making it the largest online motorhome rental company in the world.


20 | News

UK PRODUCTION BOOMS

N

ew figures show the UK motorhome market continues to go from strength-to-strength. Registrations of new motorhomes increased by 20.4% in the month of March 2016 compared with March 2015. A total of 2352 units were sold in what is a peak month for the sector. New motorhome registrations for the first quarter of 2016 as a whole, compared with the same period last year, were also up nearly 20% to a total of 3042 units, with an estimated retail value of more than ÂŁ150 million. This is on top of a 21% increase in new motorhome registrations during 2015, making the UK one of the fastest growing markets in Europe.

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On my mind | 21

OUR 2016 RELEASE

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22 | News

LIVING THE DREAM!

A

young Tasmanian, Richard East, sold his house, adopted a cat named Willow and is travelling Australia in a campervan while actively documenting their travels on social media.

if it's a safe area, well I don't have Willow on a leash. She just explores, comes back to the van and usually climbs up onto the roof to have a nap. She knows the van is her home, but the only thing that changes is her backyard," Richard said, who adopted the cat from the Hobart Cat Centre.

“I wasn't happy at work,” said East, who had just arrived in Mount Isa. “I was at work for 10 years and I needed a change. I didn't want to go overseas for six months and then return to a similar job, with the same situation. That's why the van came in, so I could make a change for the longer term.” The travelling life has treated the pair well. “It’s amazing, because we just rock up anywhere and

The duo's adventures are chronicled on their Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages under the name VanCatMeow, developing into a diary which Richard hopes brings unadulterated joy to people. “For me, I don't want to make money off it. I just see that people are enjoying the photos so much that I want to keep it 100% pure like that. It's a place where people can log on and forget about the shit in their day, without people trying to sell to them. I'm trying to make good of social media.

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24 | News

NEW CARAVAN PARKS DIRECTORY

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amps Australia Wide has released a 4th edition of its popular Caravan Parks Australia Wide directory. The publisher says its book is becoming increasingly popular as it lists all caravan and tourist parks in Australia, regardless of the cost. That’s 2293 in all, with 1700 being pet friendly The book has been formatted very much like the Camps book, with Hema maps and full colour symbols. A numbered caravan symbol has been placed on the map at each town or location where a park can be found and each State has an index of parks at the beginning of the listing that can be used as a quick reference. You can also use the symbols in the

book to determine whether a park meets your needs. Coloured symbols included on each listing let you know what facilities are available, such as powered sites, en-suite sites, tent sites, BBQ, pool, approximate cost, pets allowed, large sites, drive thru sites and dump points. GPS co-ordinates are included to help you navigate. Until 30 June a 25% discount off the recommended retail price of $49.95 is being offered by quoting the code NLCPAW4 at checkout. Click on the code to go directly there.

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 | 25

OUTBACK HEALTHCARE STRAIN

A

ccording to a report in Caravanning News, ill-prepared Grey Nomads heading for Australia's remote regions are causing some Outback medical centres to buckle under the pressure. Some have pleaded with the ageing travellers to better pre-plan their adventures and make sure they have provided for their health needs. A survey of travellers aged over 50 years staying in motorhomes or tents in WA's Kimberley region revealed that an astonishing 68 per cent had chronic diseases. Alarmingly, over 60 per cent were taking regular medications, but only half carried enough to last them the whole trip. Only 9 per cent had a health summary from their usual GP, while 39.2 per cent were not adequately vaccinated, according to recommendations made by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. A team of researchers put the health problems of Grey Nomads under the microscope and has now published its report. One of them, Dr Catherine Hungerford from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, believes more trained nurse practitioners could help remote medical centres cope. Holders of

a masters degree, they are able to refer patients to other health care professionals, prescribe medications and order diagnostic investigations. "They actually do very similar things to the general practitioner, but the beauty of it for the Government is they're not quite as expensive," Dr Hungerford, head of the university's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, said. The researchers said many Grey Nomads had an expectation that medical services they needed would be available in the bush as required, regardless of location or capacity of the local communities to provide them. "This generates a number of challenges for health service providers with the brief to meet the health needs and preferences of all consumers who present to them for help. Generally speaking, the health profile of Grey Nomads is similar to that of the wider population of Australians aged 65 years or older. This includes high rates of chronic disease and medication use�.


26 | News

THE GREAT AUSSIE HOLIDAY The Association says the increase of 16% on the previous year reflects an overall resurgence in domestic holidays and a desire for connectedness and time out to relax with the family and friends.

A

ustralians are strongly returning to the great ‘Aussie’ holiday – the caravan and camping getaway – spending a massive 15.7 million visitor nights caravan and camping in NSW in the past 12 months, according to the Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW.

The latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) figures for the March 2016 quarter, show domestic travellers are increasingly looking to outdoor activities such as visits to botanical gardens, bushwalking and the beach. Holidays, in particular, are driving the overall increase in domestic visitation with Australians now taking a record 36.1 million domestic overnight holiday trips (up 9%) annually. “NSW has recorded one of the strongest quarters of growth in the country for the caravan and camping sector and nationally, caravan continued...


News | 27 ...continued.

and camping is the fastest growing commercial accommodation type outside of private rental accommodation.

more of us are reconnecting with the joys of the great Aussie holiday,” said Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW CEO, Lyndel Gray.

“This is a pleasing result as our sector has worked hard to ensure it's meeting the needs of today’s visitors, with many of our holiday parks across the state providing outstanding facilities - from campsites to luxury ‘glamping’ and family sized cabins. We also have amazing caravan and camping product available including state of the art, high quality motorhomes and extraordinarily equipped, all terrain camper trailers and caravans which offer people the freedom to holiday the way they like.

iMotorhome can’t help but note that despite the record growth, also likely driven by the decline in the value of the Australian dollar, the caravan park industry still seems to oppose freedom camping as a whole and the concept of RF Friendly Towns providing low or no-cost overnight parking for self-contained RVs. Given the State-wide boom in visitor nights it’s difficult to believe the cries of an unlevel playing field and commercial disadvantage we hear of so regularly. Perhaps one day the CCIANSW and its “Australians have a wonderful tradition of caravan members will realise and accept there is room for everyone out there. and camping getaways and it is great to see

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


28 | News

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 | 29 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


30 | 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 | 31

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


32 | Day Test: Explorer Vision

The Vision Splendid?

Is this 4X4 Explorer Vision just the thing for exploring sunlit plains extended? Words by Richard Robertson, images by Malcolm Street


Day Test | 33

Explorer’s Vision is a compact, capable and largely go anywhere C-class motorhome that exists in a segment buyers often overlook. Perhaps its biggest drawback is the lack of proper through-cab access, but the Vision has plenty going for it, starting with a leak-proof one-piece fibreglass body.

I

n the motorhome world there is an oftoverlooked niche that provides a unique combination of size, ability and livability. It’s the ‘baby’ C-class market on light commercial cab-chassis like Toyota’s HiLux and Ford’s Ranger. Compared to equivalent sized van conversions these compact coachbuilts feel far less cramped, have some external storage and avoid many vans’ ‘tunnel-like’ interiors. Amongst mainstream manufacturers in this special niche, Suncamper and Sunliner have their Sherwood and Ranger models, respectively, but there is another player – Explorer Motorhomes – and its Vision is really something, well, quite ‘splendid’. Unlike the others, the Vision has a seamless fibreglass body, which gives it a big advantage. It’s effectively a waterproof, leakproof shell that is also lighter and stronger than a conventional motorhome body. Explorer is so confident of this, in fact, it backs each body with a five year structural warranty.

Line-Up

T

he Vision is currently the sole model in the Explorer line-up and it’s available on either the HiLux or Ranger. The HiLux version is 4x4-only, but you can choose 2x4 or 4x4 on the Ranger. That’s because Ford has a Hi-Rider version of the Ranger that has the same ride height and ground clearance as the 4x4, but without the added weight, complexity or cost of four-wheel drive. It’s actually a clever arrangement and would suit a lot of buyers not really interested in venturing too far off the beaten track. The Vision reviewed here, however, is built on a Ford Ranger XL 4X4 and is probably Explorer’s top-selling model. Mechanically it comes with a 3.2-litre 5-cylinder turbo-diesel pumping out 147 kW and 470 Nm, and drives through a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s a terrific package that out-muscles and out-refines the Toyota, and also has a high level of interior comfort. It’s worth noting a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel is also


34 | Day Test

Right: Electrics, tank readouts and switches are all in this overhead cupboard by the entry door. Below: The new Ford Ranger’s interior is truly car-like and comfortable. The driving experience is excellent, aided by a powerful turbo-diesel and smooth six-speed auto.

available and it’s the sole engine available in the two-wheel drive model, where it also comes with the six-speed auto. However, if it’s four-wheel drive you’re after the smaller engine is only available with a manual gearbox, which will severely limit its appeal. Another limitation of this class of cab-chassis is the usual 3200 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM). However, the Vision has an approved 3500 kg GVM modification that incorporates upgraded front and rear suspension, and the extra 300 kg makes a world of difference to usable payload. In this instance it increases it to a very useful 750 kg. Body-wise, such a compact motorhome is never going to have a huge amount

of external storage, but the double compartments aft of the entry door are a welcome inclusion. Other external lockers are for the 2 x 4 kg gas cylinders and the toilet cassette. Still outside, it’s good to see a security flyscreen door as standard, along with an electric entry step. A sturdy rollout awning with sensor light is included, as are top-hinged Seitz double-glazed acrylic windows all-round. Before continuing it’s worth noting the test vehicle was heavily optioned, which is not unusual for a demonstrator. Those fitted to the motorhome body comprised 3 x120 watt solar panels and a second 100 AH house battery; Dometic diesel heater, a pull-out


Day Test | 35

The Vision has a seamless fibreglass body, which gives it a big advantage. It’s effectively a waterproof, leakproof shell that is also lighter and stronger than a conventional motorhome body. pantry and stainless steel splashback; Crimsafe security screen door, an external fold-down table and a Waeco dual-lens reversing camera. The Ford Ranger also had Clearview extendable side mirrors, an ECB heavy duty polished alloy bull bar, UHF CB radio, Wi-Fi connectivity, side steps and 17-inch

alloys with Pirelli ATR 265 tyres. That's quite a package and it took the price from a standard Queensland drive-away of $145,000 to $157,484.

Driving

I

f you’ve never driven this style of vehicle it can seem a little strange at first.

That’s because it’s like getting into a normal car that has a motorhome on its back! The size of the body can also lead you to think it might be ponderous around corners and in strong winds, and without suspension mods that can be the case. However, the Vision’s uprated suspension and the body’s relatively light


36 | Day Test Below: The alloy bullbar, alloy wheels, all-terrain tyres and extending Clearview side mirrors are all extras. Bottom: A security screen door is standard, but this one is an optional Crimsafe unit.

weight make this a stable and surefooted machine that’s actually fun to drive. Despite the increased GVM the Ranger’s 3.2-litre turbo-diesel/6-speed auto combination is more than up to the task. Whether you’re cruising the highway or picking your way down a sandy track to the beach, there’s plenty of performance and ability. In case you’re an old-school offroader who believes a manual gearbox is the only way to go, automatics actually deliver smoother power with less wheel spin and provide more controllability in slow going. As mentioned, the test vehicle had optional Clearview extending side mirrors; the sort usually seen on caravan and horse float tow cars. When required they provide a ‘clear view’ down both sides, but also retract when the going gets tight, and I think they should be standard fitment.


Day Test | 37

The Vision has an approved 3500 kg GVM modification that incorporates upgraded front and rear suspension, and the extra 300 kg makes a world of difference to usable payload. In this instance it increases it to a very useful 750 kg.


38 | Day Test

Above: The 2-metre long single beds are pictured with their ends extended over the kitchen bench (left) and dinette, but many people wouldn’t even need to extend them. Note the step box between them that hinges up to allow some cab access. It also makes a handy extra seat! Also note the lessthan-ideal TV location. Right: The kitchen is well equipped and generally well thought out. Only the microwave position lets it down.

Inside

L

ayout-wise, the Vision has twin over-cab single beds that can also convert to a queen; a kerbside kitchen in the middle with the dinette opposite and an almost fullwidth rear bathroom. Entry is via a door in the rear kerbside corner and it’s really the only practical way to get between the cab and living area. There is a ‘hatch’ between the cab seats, but you’d need to be quite gymnastic to use it other than in an emergency. Despite the compact dimensions there’s a reasonable feeling of spaciousness, thanks in no small part to the light decor and large windows; the latter also providing good ventilation. Speaking of ventilation, there’s a sign on the window frame by the dinette


Day Test | 39

requiring the window to be closed when operating the hot water or room heater on gas. That’s because the exhaust vents are directly below it, which is less than ideal. You sit quite high off the ground in the Vision, so all-round visibility when parkedup is very good. Come the dark and LED lights, including strips, brighten things up as required. Outside, the sensor-operated awning light is a good inclusion.

Living Room

E

xplorer has opted for a semi-U-shaped lounge that doubles as the dinette, thanks to an oval-shaped table. It does a good job of seating two and while I’d prefer a cafe-style dinette to make working at the ‘desk’ easier, most people probably prefer to spread out a bit and relax. Internal storage is surprisingly good overall, with decent overhead cupboard space throughout and a large wardrobe between the lounge and bathroom. There’s also valuable storage in the bathroom’s outside wall, by the entry door.

Top: This bathroom window, in the rear wall, is bisected by the shower frame. Above: Wire baskets save weight and let you see what’s stored. Overall internal storage space is surprisingly good.


40 | Day Test

Mrs iMotorhome would mostly like the kitchen, which comes with a 3-burner cooktop, round stainless steel sink and under-bench 136-litre Waeco fridge. Unfortunately, the under-bench position of the microwave would probably drive her to distraction. There are cupboards below and above the kitchen, plus the electrical control panel is in the cupboard closest to the door.

After Hours

T

he over-cab bedroom is very clever. Usually, an over-cab bed is a double/ queen positioned east-west across the vehicle. This is always a compromise, however, especially because the person closest to the front has to clamber over their partner for a ‘walk in the night’. In the Vision Top: Decor is light and the interior’s bright, with good ventilation and visibility. The oval table works well while the semi-U-shaped dinette/lounge can accommodate an extra person (or two at a pinch) if visitors stop by for a drink. Right: An electric entry step is standard, while there’s valuable external storage in a pair of lockers in the rear corner (obscured by the door in this shot).


Day Test | 41 the default sleeping configuration is a pair of single beds that run lengthways (north-south) along the vehicle. But how is there enough room, you ask? The trick is, at night the bed-ends extend over the kitchen and dinette. It’s not much – maybe 30 cm – but means each bed is a full 2 metres long, as well as 70 cm wide. By comparison, Project Polly’s beds are 1.85 metres long and 66 cm wide. Made into a queen the bed measure a generous 2 m x 1.5 m, so there are no shortage of sleeping options. Getting into bed is interesting, however. For single beds, a clever swing-down box over the motorhome body-cab access hatch provides a very handy step. But make up the queen and the step is covered, so you’ll need to use the end of the lounge, although it’s not a big step up. Singles or queen, if you do need to go for a walk in the night you’ll need to trek right down the back, as the bathroom is almost full width across the rear. I say almost because the bathroom is about three quarters the vehicle’s width, with the corner by the entry

Above: The big optional Clearview mirrors provide good side viewing even when retracted (here). They can also be folded if the going gets squeezy. Below: Through access is mainly for passing things to/from the cab, but at a pinch – literally – you could get through, depending on your size and gymnastic ability!


42 | Day Test

The bathroom is a surprise in a vehicle this compact. It includes a full size shower cubicle plus a swivel-head cassette toilet, small hand basin and overhead shaving cabinet. The window is a nice touch, aiding ventilation and making it feel even larger. door occupied by storage. Despite that it’s a good compromise because it provides a seperate shower cubicle and loo, plus a handbasin and an over-loo shaving cabinet. All-in-all it’s spacious for a small motorhome, although curiously the shower frame bisects the rear wall window. While it might look odd, or even like an afterthought, it actually provides excellent ventilation while showering!

What I Think

T

rue 4x4 motorhomes are thin on the ground and many are big, brash and expensive. Sadly, I didn’t have the chance to properly try Explorer’s Vision off road. But having driven many 4x4s – we used to own a 4x4 training school – it was easy


Day Test | 43

Off-road, on rough tracks or dirt roads the Explorer Vision is as at home as it is on the open highway. Overhead clearance is often the limiting factor as at 2.18 m, body width is easily managed. Note the extended Clearview mirrors in the shot above. to tell the combination of gutsy turbo-diesel, slick auto and good suspension would make light work of most likely off-road situations, overhead clearance permitting. At less than 6-metres the Vision fits a standard car space and is comfortable, economical and relatively affordable. But like many smaller motorhomes it walks the fine line between external size and internal space/ liveability. Two-wheel drive or four, it’s well built, well appointed and well worth checking out. It could be just the thing for those sunlight plains extended, or just a weekend break off the beaten track‌


44 | Day Test

Specs GENERAL Make

Explorer Motorhomes

Model

Vision

Type

C-class

Berths

2

Approved Seating

2

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

Ford Ranger XL 4x4

Engine

3.2 L 5-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

147 kW @ 3000 rpm

Torque

470 Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed automatic

Safety

ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, Airbags

Fuel

80 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

2750 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3500 kg

Max Payload

750 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

3500 kg max

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

5.80 m (18’)

Overall Width

2.18 m (7’ 2”)

Overall Height

3.10 m (10’ 2”)

Internal Height

1.94 m (6’ 4’)

Single Beds

2.00 m x 0.70 m (6’ 7” x 2’ 4”)

Queen

2.00 m x 1.5 m (6’ 7” x 4’ 11”)

Dinette Bed

N/A


Day Test | 45

Specs EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

No

Awning

Roll out

Entry Steps

Electric

Cooker

Dometic 3-burner

Rangehood

Dometic externally vented

Sink

Dometic round with fold-down flick mixer, glass lid

Fridge

Waeco 136 L compressor

Microwave

Panasonic

Lighting

12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

2 x 12 V

Air Conditioner

Dometic reverse cycle

Space Heater

Optional

Hot Water System

Truma gas/electric

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Seperate cubicle

CAPACITIES Batteries

1x 100 AH AGM

Solar

Opt

LPG

2 x 4.0 kg

Fresh Water

110 L

Grey Water

50 L

Hot Water

10 L

Toilet

19 L cassette

PRICE From

$145,000

As Tested – on-road Qld

$157,484

Warranty – Vehicle

3 yrs/100,000 km

Warranty – Body

5 years structural

Pros • • • • • • • •

Quality Inclusions Compact dimensions Increased payload Off-road ability Comfort Sleeping options Large bathroom

Cons

• LPG exhaust positioning • TV location for bed viewing • Price with options

Contacts:

Click for Explorer Motorhomes Google Maps 22 Redcliffe Gardens Drive Clontarf, Qld 4019 T: 0418 798 702 E: info@explorermotorhomes.com. au W: explorermotorhomes.com.au


46 | Project Polly

Inside & Out!

Here’s what we’ve been trying out, inside and out…


Project Polly | 47

The plate holder is portable and comes with interleaved mats to stop plates rattling. The modular glass and cup holders lock together and although you can screw them down, on our non-slip mats they don’t move. German designed and made, all items are robust and will likely outlast Polly.

A

part from a few local trips, our exApollo Rentals project vehicle Polly has been sitting on the driveway for some time. The weather, publishing dates and Mrs iM’s real-life work roster have conspired to keep us close to home, but so too have a leaking kitchen sink tap and suspected LPG fittings in the gas box. Until those two are fixed we’re going nowhere, overnight at least. So it seems a good time to bring you a look at some products we’ve been using over the last few months. You might think we are given everything we use in Polly, but we’re not. From the vehicle herself (yes, we did get a good deal )to many of the bits and pieces we use, we’ve paid our own money. Here are some of our favourites, both gifted and bought, that have helped make Polly a much more liveable and likeable motorhome…

Plate, mug and glass holders

P

olly’s basic fit out makes securely storing plates, mugs and glasses difficult. At the Bathurst rally we met Chris and Lynda Barker from RV Living in New Zealand, who are friends of Neil and Dee from Duvalay (they all have the NZ Duvalay rights). They generously gave us a set of German Froli products to sample and report on, so here we go. We got a 6-plate holder – horizontal, 2 x 2-packs of glass holders and a single set of 2 cup holders. We also got a 6-plate holder – upright, but couldn’t find a spot to make it work. The horizontal plate stacker is a beauty. Effectively it’s a frame, with the plates inside, that you can remove from the cupboard for easy stacking and unstacking. It comes with silicone mats anchored at one end (so you can’t lose them) which interleave between


48 | Project Polly

The sand-free mat worked well keeping Polly grass-and-muck free in Bathurst, while the lightweight table proved surprisingly sturdy and easy to use and store. The blue thing is Mrs iM’s collapsable silicone dish stacker/drainer/sink thing, ideal for washing up outside. We’ve also bought a new, approved portable gas cooker and it fits our new square frypan perfectly. Note the bike covers (handy) and hooks for hand and tea towels, plus rubbish bags, inside – very handy! the plates to stop rattling. Light, strong and very well made, it works a treat. The cup and glass holders are modular and lock together securely; as many as you need or space permits. They can be screwed to the cupboard floor, but we just have them sitting on non-slip matting and they don't move. Brilliant for easy access and securely holding things in place, even our upturned champagne glasses, which look a little tall/ precarious, don’t budge. And nothing rattles! Like most things in life you get what you pay for. These are German and therefore well designed, sturdy and well made, if a bit pricey. The plate holder costs NZ$42, the packs of glass holders are NZ$22 each and the cup holders cost NZ$19 a set. The vertical plate holder is NZ$19. Check out their online shop here, I’m sure they’ll do some deal with shipping if you tell them iMotorhome sent you!

Clothesline

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egging out your washing or towels to dry is just part and parcel of the RV life. Another product we got from the RV Living people is the Easyline pegless clothesline. It’s actually an Australian designed and manufactured product, and the fact you need no pegs makes it a ripper. Easylines come in two metre lengths, in packs that also contain a spring and some cord, which can be used in various ways to secure the ends. We used a pack straight away at the Rally, tying it between the outdoor table and Polly’s side mirror, and it worked perfectly. Calling it a clothesline is a bit of a misnomer because the Easyline is made of short plastic segments joined together, with a large opening at one end that tapers to a very narrow slit at the other. You put the end of


Project Polly | 49

you towel/sock/sheet or whatever into the opening and slide it down the taper, which then grips quite securely. Removal is the reverse and you can just walk along and take everything off the line on one continuous movement. The segments also neatly fold up, making it space efficient to store. If you need more hanging space just join multiple lengths together, and you can actually replace all the wires on a conventional clothes line with Easylines and ditch pegs forever. Available in a wide range of colours, the price in Australia is $12 per pack directly from Easyline here, with free shipping on 3 packs of more. In NZ, RV Living sells them for NZ$19.99 a pack and you can find them here.

Pots and pans

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ver since we started testing Trakka motorhomes, Mrs iM has been after a set of Smartspace's unique, square cookware. Trakka include them in its demonstrators and it isn’t difficult to see why. Smartspace makes a set of three square saucepans that nest in each other, lids and all, so they take up minimal space. They also come with a removable handle that fits any unit

Top: The Easyline is a perfect peg-free clothesline you can just string up and use in the proverbial jiffy. Stick the end of your clothes into the hole and then slide into the tapered slot. Easy! Above: Our new Smartspace cookware sits like square pegs in a square hole. Makes you wonder why pots were ever round! One removable handle fits them all, plus the matching frypan.


50 | Project Polly

Above: See how neatly the pots nest, with the handle in the smallest one. Very clever. Right: This is how the plate stacker, pot and frypan set, and the collapsable dish drainer store in Polly’s only under-bench kitchen cupboard: brilliantly – and there’s still room for more. on any side. There’s a seperate frypan available too that uses the same handle, and which the saucepan set can sit in, again taking up minimal space.

Collapsable silicone ware

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he advent in recent years of silicone as a material for everything from oven wear to buckets has been a huge boon for travellers. Prior to and since buying Polly we’ve This is serious, high quality cookware with accumulated a number of silicone items, as 3 mm walls and Teflon coated interiors. their ability to collapse to a fraction of their The bases are also designed for induction working size, when not in use, can’t be beaten. cooking, while the lids are stainless steel and We have a colander Mrs iM bought ages ago, very well made. Being square they perfectly but most recently Aldi had a special and we fit small cooktops like those in an RV, plus picked up two invaluable items: a collapsible small storage areas. After all, they were bucket and a collapsible dish stacker/drainer, designed for boating and come from New Zealand. As someone who loves to cook, who both around $20 each. The former stows in Polly’s rear storage compartment with the appreciates quality and craves an organised power lead, hoses, etc, while the drainer slots and accessible kitchen, Mrs iMotorhome perfectly into the otherwise useless space on absolutely loves them. We paid $270 for the top the airconditioner unit in the bottom of one set from Trakka and they should last us a of the kitchen cupboards (see pics). Mrs iM is lifetime. You can also buy them online from so in love with her collapsible silicone ware I’m the Smartspace shop for $279 plus postage just hoping they don’t bring out a collapsible by clicking here. Highly recommended! husband or I’ll be in trouble…


Project Polly | 51 Outdoor table and mat

with a removable slat top that rolls up, while the legs collapse and the whole thing stores he virtues of a large mat to spread in a bag like a folding camp chair. Despite my outside the entry door to stop grass, dirt misgivings it’s surprisingly easy and quick to and muck from being trodden inside can’t set-up or pack away (the bag has separate be overstated. Neither can having a compact compartments for the legs and rolled-up top), but sturdy outdoor table. But in a motorhome and it’s surprisingly sturdy in use. like Polly, finding space to store them is a challenge. Cost for the mat was about $35, while the table was $45; both with free shipping. At Online retailer Kogan has its own brand of the time of writing the table was out of stock outdoor equipment called Komodo, and we and the sand-free mat wasn’t listed, but you found both a mat and table that work very can always join Kogan’s mailing list and wait well. The sand-free mat is about 2 m x 3 for them to return. Here’s a link to the table m and made of synthetic material claimed and website. Of course, similar products are to allow sand (and dirt, presumably) to fall available elsewhere, but I’ve found Kogan’s through it but not come back up. It seems products to be decent quality and well priced, well made, folds nicely and did a good job while the (usually) free shipping is bonus – at the CMCA Rally in Bathurst. Our Komodo especially if you’re travelling. portable aluminium table weighs just 2.8 kg and measures 70 cm square. It’s the type

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It was almost spooky finding another Ford Transit with a rear bike rack to park beside at the Bathurst Rally. It’s an exKea rentals’ Freedom, but note how much shorter than Polly it is behind the rear wheels. This was the first time we’d travelled with individual bikes on a rack, rather than our tandem in the aisle. It worked very well and with the bikes removed, both doors could be opened with the rack still in place.


52 | Project Polly

Mrs iMotorhome loves her new Smartspace cookware, with the frypan getting a real workout at the Bathurst rally.


Project Polly | 53

Project Polly Costings to Date Previous Accessories/Modifications Various accessories – see previous issues

$

516.64

Solarscreens – cab ($350) and barn doors ($96) plus freight

$

471.00

Solarscreens – custom side windows x 5

$

332.96

Webasto EL CR 85-litre Compressor

$

1,483.00

303 Spot Cleaner

$

11.99

Ampfibian

$

269.00

Narva Oval LED light P/N 87516

$

47.00

2 x Century heavy duty batteries, test and fit (approx)

$

600.00

Set of 4 genuine Ford Transit hubcaps

$

181.03

Lagun table replacement splines and handle

$

63.00

240 Double adaptor with 2 x USB outlets

$

38.00

Webasto Air Top 2000 STC diesel heater

$ 1,883.00

Heater fitting

$

700.00

Levelling blocks

$

40.00

Custom insect screen for rear doors inc fitting

$

417.00

Cab window air vents

$

165.00

Redarc solar equipment

$ 3,028.64

Installation (estimate to be confirmed)

$ 1,350.00

Kenwood DDX5015BT audio system, parts and installation

$

Sub-total

$ 11,597.26

967.83

Purchases This Issue Smartspace saucepan and frypan set

$

270.00

Silicone bucket and drainer – approx

$

40.00

Komodo outdoor table and sand-free mat

$

80.00

Frolic plate, cup and glass holders, plus Easyline clothesline - approx

$

112.00

Sub-total

$

502.00

Total Accessory/Modification Spend to Date

$ 12,099.26

Vehicle On-Road and Insurance costs in NSW

$ 43,428.31

Total Spend to Date

$ 55,527.57

Budget

$ 50,000.00

Budget overrun!

$ 5,527.57


54 | Feature: Tax Time

TAXING TIMES It’s the end of the financial year and tax return time. Are you ready? By Eric Taylor

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ncome tax in Australia is complex. The following are a few points you might wish to consider as you travel Australia living that dream.

Are you still in the Zone?

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or years, taxpayers who ventured into Australia’s remote Outback might have been entitled to a reduction in their tax liability by claiming a Zone rebate. Effectively it was a concession for being in our remote areas. Those remote areas have been divided into three different Zones, known as Zones A, B and Special, which are specified by legislation. The values of the rebates range from $57 to $1173 per year, with additional amounts added where dependents are involved. Previously, to qualify for this rebate, a taxpayer simply had to be within the prescribed zones for at least 183 days during the year. Furthermore, where a taxpayer failed to reach the 183 day requirement in one year, the number of qualifying days could be carried forward to the following year. This meant the

taxpayer might still have been eligible if the number of days over 2 combined years totalled at least 183. However, the rules have changed from the 2016 financial year. Now, your usual place of residence must be within the zone. While this will reduce the eligibility for many, such as fly-in, fly out workers, it may still be a consideration where your usual place of residence is your RV. The Australian Tax Office website has an Excel spreadsheet to help find out if you are indeed ‘in a zone’. Search that website for ‘Australian Zone List’ and download.

Can you claim the cost of travel?

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his is the question many people ask when earning income while they travel around Australia. To claim travel expenses the use of the motor vehicle must have a direct connection to your income and


Feature | 55

there are a number of situations where this can apply: • Travelling to work from your normal place of residence, or travel to look for work, is generally not deductible. If you travel between places of work that travel might be deductible, but not always.

to return is not specified, it would need to be on a regular basis. The home base would be where you are registered for the electoral role and things like your motor vehicle registrations and drivers’ licences. You are NOT an itinerant worker if your RV is your normal place of residence.

• If you have commenced work and need to • What about itinerant workers? Travel use your vehicle to travel to obtain supplies might be deductible. While there are no or to undertake your work, such as travelling set guidelines, the frequency of travel is around a property, then that travel is an important element. Who is an itinerant deductible. worker? Someone living away from their normal place of residence because of work. • Many Grey Nomads earn money while they In addition, you need to have that next job travel by selling their goods and services, arranged before moving from the last one. You either at local markets or even within caravan cannot move, then find work. Staying longer parks. This can range from arts and crafts in one place may reduce the likelihood that to providing handyman services and even you will qualify. Importantly, If you do not have maintenance on fellow travellers’ RVs. a permanent base you are not an itinerant While the cost of moving yourself may not worker. One option may be to permanently be deductible in such situation, the cost of rent somewhere, say a room at your children’s transporting bulky goods, such as the items home, and return to that home base from time that you sell or the tools that you use, might to time. While the regularity of when you need be.


56 | Feature

• To be eligible to claim a deduction the income earned must be declared. You cannot treat the income as a hobby and claim a deduction for the expenses.

you can only claim your share of the travel costs. While on face value, this suggests that you can only claim 50% of the cost, life is not that simple. If a couple is travelling and only one member is earning the income, the • While travelling away from a permanent place amount claimed may be the portion that the of residence, accommodation and even individual would have incurred had they been some meal costs may be deductible. travelling alone. In the case of motor vehicle costs, it costs no more to transport two people Is that a car you’re driving? than one, so the full motor vehicle costs may be claimable, subject to being work related. he next requirement is to know whether With regard to accommodation, it is often the you are driving a ‘motor vehicle’ or a same cost for one person as for two, so the ‘car’. It might sound silly, but they are same would apply. However, you should find not the same in the world of taxation! A car out the cost for a single person if applicable. is a specific sub-class of motor vehicle with a load capacity of less than one tonne and The world of claiming travel expenses is able to carry fewer than nine passengers. This quite complex. If you believe you might be means that most motorhomes and some 4x4 able to claim a deduction you should seek tow-tugs are not cars. While cars have the professional advice from your tax adviser. If benefit of using statutory methods for claiming you feel you could claim a deduction, but have expenses, other motor vehicles cannot do so. not retained the necessary records, now is All costs must be able to be substantiated. the time to start so that you do not miss out in This means maintaining all receipts and future years. keeping a travel diary and log book continually, not just 12 weeks like you can for cars. Costs What about protective clothing? need to be apportioned based on the work enerally, clothing worn for work is related proportion. not deductible, but there are a few When travelling with a spouse, any travel costs exceptions. The main area that may need to be apportioned. This will mean that involve Grey Nomads is protective clothing.

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G


Feature | 57

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. For those who are working outdoors, sun protection would qualify. This can include sun hats and sunglasses. While not clothing, sunscreen is also included here. Other areas of clothing that may be deductible would include overalls and aprons, worn to protect ordinary clothing. Other protective clothing includes steel-capped boots, where the work involved might cause injury. Ordinary clothing, including jeans, are not protective clothing. Be

aware that where clothing and other items, like sunglasses, are used for both work and other activities, the cost must be apportioned. In conclusion, if you spend money and think there is half a chance it qualifies as a tax deduction, keep the receipt. If you are uncertain whether you are entitled to deductions or tax offset, make sure you ask your tax adviser. The worst they can say is no.

Eric Taylor has been a registered tax agent for over 25 years. He is the principal of Grey Nomad Tax Advisers and his motorhome becomes his office while on the road. The information contained within this article is of a general nature and should not be treated as specific tax advice. No taxpayer should rely only on the information contained herein and should obtain information specific to their situation from a registered tax professional.


58 | Show Report

Happy Days!

Winnebago adds the Iveco Daily to its range in the new Burleigh. With an RRP of $134,990 it should prove popular.


Show Report | 59

Above: Winnebago’s new Burleigh has a gloss white interior that feels quite open and spacious. Below: At $124,990 the Adria Coral 6-berth created a lot of interest.

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he Queensland Caravan, Camping & Touring Holiday Show has been and gone and from what we saw on the opening day it appeared to be a good one. Despite the venue – Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds is an archaic rabbit warren quite unsuited to hosting such an event – the crowd seemed to be enjoying it and making the best of things. “Where is such and such?” was the most common phrase I heard as people tried to make sense of the map, but confusion aside all exhibits seemed to get their fair share of visitors. The usual motorhome and campervan suspects were in attendance but there was little new, with only Winnebago, Wirraway and Trailblazers RV exhibiting new models (that I could find). Winnebago had its new C-class Burleigh, a model built on the latest Iveco Daily. It’s


60 | Show Report

Winnebago’s upgraded its two Bondi van conversions, with the 4-seat 4S (left) now featuring a rear club lounge (below). The two-seat 2S has a lengthways rear double bed, which is unusual in a van conversion.

available with three floorplans; one with a rear club lounge with an electric roof bed above, one with a rear club lounge that simply converts to a queen bed, and the other with a permanent east-west bed against the rear wall. Each has approved seating for four and sleeping for up to six. The Iveco provides Winnebago with a 3500 kg tow-capable motorhome and an alternative to its usual Fiat Ducato/Mercedes Sprinter offerings. Two new versions of Winnebago’s Bondi, a Sprinter van conversion, were also on display: the 4-seat 4S and 2-seat 2S. The 4S features a rear club lounge, which is unusual in a van conversion, while the 2S has a lengthways rear double bed with side access (also unusual). Interestingly, a six-berth Adria Coral C-class from Slovenia was also on the Winnebago stand as parent company Apollo still has plans for the brand in Australia. Keenly priced it generated real interest.


Show Report | 61

A real show highlight for me was Winnebago's Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Adams, almost inadvertently selling one of their motorhomes while just lending a hand on the stand. She was so excited! Another surprise was Rob Tonkin from Wirraway turning up in an Iveco Daily-based version of his popular 260 SL. Admittedly a customer order, Wirraways have always been

Clockwise from Top: Jess celebrates her first sale; Deb from Paradise shows a printed copy of iMotorhome!; Clayton looking pleased on the Horizon stand.


62 | Show Report

Above: Wirraway’s now in on the Iveco act, with this customer-ordered 260 SL. Below: Tassie myrtle cabinetry is a Wirraway feature, as is top quality workmanship.

built on Mercedes Sprinters as far as we can remember, so this was quite a departure. A quick peek inside showed it up to Rob’s usual premium quality, and now it means Wirraway has a motorhome with a substantial towing capacity if required. Slide-on and fifth-wheel specialists, Trailblazers RV, also had a real head turner on its stand: a monster slide-on toy hauler on the back of an equally monstrous 4x4 Isuzu dual-cab truck! Also a customer order and I think bound for next year’s Dakar Rally, it was quite a sight. Of interest to anyone looking for a hardcore 4x4, Trailblazers is reportedly commencing production of a compact motorhome built on an Iveco 4x4, which we’re keen to get out hands on. Other interesting and impressive machines included Sunliner’s flagship Monte Carlo on a big Isuzu truck cab-chassis, which seemed


Show Report | 63

to take up about half a pavilion with its many slideouts, bells and whistles. Also, Avida’s specially modified Esperance, set-up with a wheelchair lift to provide access to the bedroom, was good to see. This was the last of the major capital city shows for the year, although smaller regional shows roll on throughout the remainder of 2016. There’s always a sigh of relief from manufacturers when this show is over and their lives can return to some kind of normality. That’s until early 2017 when the show season starts again. See you there?

Top: Sunliner’s flagship Monte Carlo, built on an Isuzu chassis, has four slides, an outdoor kitchen and all the trimmings for luxury longterm living. Right: It was good to see a mainstream manufacturer like Avida offering a wheelchair lift option on the Esperance.


64 | Mobile Tech

Tower Finders! Helping you tune in to tune out as you travel… By Emily Barker

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echnology has come a long way in helping provide all the comforts of home, away from home. And why not? Freeto-air TV is still, for now, one of the remaining absolutely free things in Australia. Whether its news, sports, weather, entertainment or reality shows, it’s a great resource to have access to, especially when travelling. Choosing between digital or satellite is an entire discussion in its own right. Technology has pretty much sprouted wings and taken off into the never never in terms of providing

quality access to TV signals from one corner of the country to the other. The difference is what signals you’re chasing; terrestrial or extraterrestrial. A dish receives extra-terrestrial signals bounced off satellites, and while your position in respect to a satellite’s will vary, it’s locations is geosynchronous, meaning it orbits above the exact same spot. Interestingly, for Australia it’s usually the Optus C1 Satellite, orbiting above Papua New Guinea!


Mobile Tech | 65 TV Antennas, however, can receive two different types of local terrestrial signals broadcast by ground-based stations: UHF or VHF. This is where it can get a little tricky as there are hundreds of towers throughout Australia – more than 2000 in fact – and each one faces its own unique direction. They even vary in polarisation to minimise signal interference. And while some broadcast horizontally and others vertically, some send one channel vertical and another horizontal! This is the tricky part: it doesn’t matter how strong the signal is, it will not work with the wrong polarity. Thankfully though (go technology!) there are several apps now that can help you find the nearest transmission tower and assist you to align your antenna correctly. They might even help save your marriage!

Tower Finder Cost: Free Size: 8.5MB iOS only Tower finder is an app that takes all the guess work out of arriving in a new destination and attempting to detect a TV signal. Designed and produced by the national franchise company Jim’s Antennas, this app has by default become the leading free authority on transmission towers for travellers. In terms of an app it makes life easy as it does exactly what it promises. Just enter the details of your location, or enable location services and let your device’s GPS do its thing and automatically detect your location. Tower Finder will then give you a list of available towers, including their distance from your location, their longitude and latitude, and their bearing in degrees. Clicking on one of the towers brings up an interactive map; from there it’s literally a matter of turning and tilting your phone, and your antenna, in the direction of the highlighted tower until your bearings align. There’s a bearing meter that changes from blue (cold) to orange (getting warmer), to green (Bingo!). Once you’ve selected a tower from the initial list, if you head across the app to the Tower Summary tab you can locate all the technical information, including the all-important polarisation, channels available, the gain, the band, and even the antenna type required and recommended height. As signals can be affected by terrain, buildings and even weather if your antenna is aligned but the signal poor, try a different tower, as the app does not factor in terrestrial interruptions such as mountains! Reviews of this app have all been good; it’s technically sound and certainly beats trying to mimic the orientation of nearby house antennas, especially if there are none for miles!


66 | Mobile Tech app contains complete listings of all digital transmitters available at each broadcasting site. Data includes frequency (MHz), channel, polarisation, and maximum power output (kW).

Antenna Mate Cost: $4.99 Size: 4.1MB iOS and Android Devices Available for both Android and iOS devices, Antenna Mate with a find radius of 200 km is a paid app with very similar capabilities to Tower Finder. It detects all transmission sites near your current location using the device's magnetometer and the site's power output. It estimates the field strength for all sites near your current location and automatically plots a bearing to the best site. Tower sites are listed from strongest to weakest or closest to furthest. Pick any site from the list and Antenna Mate will instantly plot a new bearing to the selected site. In addition to locating transmission towers the


Mobile Tech | 67 DishPointer Augmented Reality Cost: $14.99 Size: 0.3MB iOS and Android Devices The DishPointer Augmented Reality app was apparently designed for use by satellite installation technicians and there are two versions available, Pro and Standard. For domestic use though Standard is more than sufficient. It doesn’t require a phone signal or internet access so it will work in remote areas and is available for both iOS and Android devices. Similar to many astronomy apps it utilises augmented reality technology to provide a ‘live’ view of the sky. You just need to authorise it access to your device’s camera or it won’t work. Don’t worry though, it won’t store or record any images! What it will provide is all the essential data required to align your satellite dish including elevation, compass bearing and LNB skew. If you point your smartphone or iPad skyward in the general direction of north you will see a red arc on the screen. Move around until you see 156E, which is the exact position of the Optus C1 satellite. With the Augmented Reality feature you can see on the screen any objects blocking the view to the sky. All you need to do then is move one step at a time until all obstructions are out of the way. Remember to tick the correct satellite "Optus C1 156E" at the bottom of the page at the time of purchase. There are several cheaper apps available (including iSatFinder for $2.99) that calculate the right elevation, azimuth and LNB skew required, without the flashy technology!


68 | Events

Towers Rock!

Charters Towers, that is, and it’s going to rock your socks off… by Sharon Hollamby

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ituated on the beautiful Burdekin River, Bivouac Junction is normally a quiet, relaxing holiday camp. But from 2 to 4 September the area will explode with the sounds of classic Aussie rock. If you have a love of the music and performers from the 70s and 80s, this is a concert you can’t miss! From beer to refreshing frozen boutique ‘rocktails;’ from the simple sounds of nature to live rock music, this event has a distinct Aussie flavour with a generous dash of flair. Organisers say, “It’s not just about the music it’s about the whole experience” – and there’s plenty to see and do! Starting Friday night, campers will be treated to a pre-festival party, with entertainment by DJ Dazza from 6 to10 pm. Delicious meals will be available for around $12, with drinks comparable to pub prices, and the night will set the scene for an unforgettable weekend of legendary rock.

Saturday The festival proper kicks off Saturday with the food village opening from 7 to 9 for breakfast. Live music fires up at noon, with one of Australia’s most politically-oriented rock bands, Spy V Spy, hitting the stage. Saturday afternoon features a fantastic line up of stars including Gang Gajang, Euroglider and The Radiators, while local duo, Twisted Whisker will keep patrons dancing in the beer garden. The legendary Ross Wilson, former frontman for Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock, will rock the stage early Saturday night. Wilson, who started his first band at 13, still performs over 100 shows a year. Australian music icon, singer, songwriter and performer, Joe Camilleri will wind up the main stage performances that night with his band the Black Sorrows, while popular rock-a-billy band The Koffin Rockers will keep people rocking-on in the beer garden until 11pm.


Events | 69

Sunday Early risers can take advantage of breakfast at the food village again, while those who need to recover can relax until the entertainment fires up again when The Outlaws hit the stage at 11am. Sunday’s line up includes The Koffin Rockers, Catalyst and Aussie legends The Bad Loves, who will close the festival with their own brand of pop rock. Inspired by music from the past, The Bad Loves are responsible for influencing a generation of musicians and music lovers. Local talent will keep you entertained all weekend at the beer garden during breaks on the main stage. As organisers strive to ensure that local produce and contractors are used, not only will you have a rocking good weekend you will be contributing to the local economy. Various charities will also benefit from the Towers Rocks festival through car parking, a cloak room service, stalls, front gate and other operations. Music aside there is much to see and do at the Towers Rocks Festival, like enjoy a quality sit-down meal or take a stroll around the many market stalls. You can also purchase any of the official Towers Rocks and Slydogz merchandise from the stall next to the main stage, and have it signed by your favourite performers.


70 | Events Fast Facts

Prices

What: Towers Rocks Festival

Tickets – Early Bird prices for June • 2 day pass – $119 • Saturday-only pass – $109 • Sunday-only pass – $30 • Children’s tickets (6-15) – $45 • Children under 6 – free

When: 2 to 4 September Where: Bivouac Junction, Flinders Highway 20 km from Charters Towers, Queensland. Why: Organisers say the festival is aimed at people who have, “A zest for life, a thirst for fun and quality lifestyle expectations”.

Getting There Bivouac Junction is 20 km from Charters Towers and an hour from Townsville on the Flinders Highway. Slydogz will be running bus services to and from various pick up points in Charter Towers on Saturday and Sunday. Bus tickets must be pre-purchased at a cost of $25 pp return. Are there facilities for the handicapped? Yes, disabled parking and toilets are available on-site, as well as a set aside viewing area for you and your carer. However, this is an outdoor event so some areas may be sloped and uneven.

Prices increase • $10 in July • $20 in August/Sept Early Bird Competition: Buy your tickets to Towers Rocks in June and go in the draw to win a VIP package valued at $680. The Package includes two VIP upgrades to Sly's Hideaway, two nights accommodation at the Cattleman's Rest and bus transfers. Onsite unpowered camping: • $20 pp per night • Children under 16 camp free There are a variety of camping, glamping, group and festival packages available. For more details follow the website link below. Further Information: Visit the website HERE.


Events | 71


72 | What’s On?

What's On? Our new, ongoing round-up of events across Australia for the next three months. From food and wine festivals to music of all types, arts, crafts and more, there’s something for you somewhere, so get planning and get out there!

QUEENSLAND 17-19 – Broadbeach: Broadbeach Country Music Festival, Country music on the beach! Free, three day festival showcasing premier Australian Country music.

01-03 – Cloncurry: Rockhana Gem and Mineral Festival. A unique festival showcasing locally sourced minerals and gems. 02 – Brisbane Show Grounds: Brisbane Barbecue Festival. Fire it up with the largest sanctioned barbecue competition in Australia, food stalls, cooking demonstrations and product demos. 15-17 – Rockhampton: Rockhampton River Festival. Celebrate the past, present and future in this colourful, cultural and sensational extravaganza. Free entry! 15-17 – Yowah via Cunnamulla: Yowah Opal Festival. Immerse yourself in outback history and hospitality. Plenty of food, entertainment, novelty events, opal displays, mine tours and activities for everyone. 23 – Winton: Winton Camel Races. Part of the Western Queensland Camel Festival, experience a truly unique outback event. Camel racing and family fun day.


What’s On? | 73 29-31 – Childers: Childers Festival, They’re closing down the Highway and throwing a party! Free entry to a great weekend of food, entertainment and festivities!

26-28 – Camooweal: Drovers Camp Festival. Marking its 20th anniversary, celebrate the droving history and tradition of Outback Queensland. An atmospheric weekend filled with classic events! For more Queensland events click here!

05-14 – Airlie Beach: Whitsunday Reef Festival. Discover the ‘Heart of the Great Barrier Reef’ in this delicious combination of family fun, community events, food, fashion and fireworks.

NEW SOUTH WALES

06 – Bargara: Bargara Strawberry Fair. Celebrate the mighty Strawberry in an iconic coastside township. Full day of fun and festivities!

18 – Katoomba: Winter Magic Festival. The town becomes a performance space and is taken over by local artists, musicians, dancers, drummers, choirs, stalls and community.

11-14 – Anakie: Gemfest – Festival of Gems. Set on the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere, something for everyone! Fossick for your own family heirloom or simply marvel at the rare and impressive collections on display.

25 – Pokolbin: Cheese Lovers Festival. All things cheese and craft beer. Celebrate the great diversity and taste that cheese has to offer in a one-day indulgence festival.

12-14 – Port Douglas: Taste Port Douglas Food and Wine Festival. Far North Queensland's annual premier food, beverage and restaurant event. Showcasing the regional culinary successes; local produce and producers, chefs, cooking demonstrations, food stalls and entertainment. 20-21 – Dalby: Dalby’s Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival. Two day free festival devoted to embracing and celebrating multiculturalism and inclusivity. 25-28 – Cairns: Cairns Ukulele Festival. Multiday festival dedicated to the humble yet versatile Ukulele!

25 – Lismore: Lismore Lantern Parade Festival. The Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community arts festival held on or around the longest night of the year – the Winter Solstice. 28 – Wollombi: A Taste of Wollombi. Part of the month long Hunter Valley Wine and Food festival; meet the vignerons and artisans, sample fine wines and great food. 11 – Brunswick Heads: Old and Gold Festival. A bargain hunter’s paradise steeped in local festive atmosphere!

26 – Cairns: Cairns Festival. In its 53rd year this 10 daylong celebration is a vibrant eruption of arts and culture!

01-03 – Ballina: Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival. Showcasing the best produce, products, restaurants, culinary expertise and entertainment the region has to offer.


74 | What’s On? 02 – Sawtell: Sawtell Chilli Festival. Blast away the winter blues with this fiery culinary festival! 03-04 – Berry: Berry Spinners and Weavers Open Days. Celebrate 'The Year of the Sheep' with displays and demonstrations of working with fibre. Spinning, weaving, felting, braiding, knitting, crotchet, rug making, dyeing and much more. 03 – Norah Head: Whale Dreamers Festival. For those dedicated to the conservation and celebration of whales. 08-10 – Wentworth: 60th Great Flood Rally 1956-2016. A Tractor Rally is held every five years in Wentworth to commemorate the role tractors played in saving the township of Wentworth during the 1956 floods.

30 Jul-07 Aug – Walgett: The Walgett Bulldust to Bitumen Festival. A diverse showcase of the region and its people; quilting, astronomy, farm tours, high tea, art exhibitions, cooking competitions and more! 13-14 – The Entrance: Central Coast Country Music Festival. Take a trip to The Entrance to enjoy a weekend of free country music by the seaside! 13-14 – Maitland: Maitland Aroma - Coffee and Chocolate Festival. What more can we say? It’s a Celebration of Coffee and Chocolate. Bliss!

16-26 – Singleton: Singleton Festival. The Singleton Festival is a dynamic biennial event that transforms the town into a visual, acoustic and delectable feast!

19-24 – Nymboida: Clarence Valley Camp Oven Festival. Celebrate the outdoor lifestyle and family traditions of camping, campfire cooking and just sitting around the campfire with good food, good people and good yarns.

23 – Gloucester: Chill Out. Annual winter community event; market stalls, street entertainment, gourmet food, and local wine and cheese. 29-31 – Echuca Moama: Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival. Beat the winter blues with an atmospheric and invigorating blues and roots event! 28-31 – Lightening Ridge: Lightning Ridge Opal and Gem Festival. An impressive Opal and Gem Expo with over 150 stalls with a huge range of products including gemstones, tools, lapidary supplies and lifestyle products.

28 – Griffith: Festa delle Salsicce (Festival of the Sausage). Enjoy traditional homemade Italian cuisine, local wines, entertainment and lots of salami. For more New South Wales events click here!

VICTORIA 18 – Mansfield: Mansfield Lantern Festival. Light up the Winter Solstice and celebrate winter, community, family and fun on the longest night of the year! 15-26 – Melbourne: Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Experience two weeks of atmospheric,


What’s On? | 75 seductive and soul-stirring entertainment in one of Melbourne's key winter arts events.

15-24 – Fitzroy: The Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Unique free celebration of projected media transforms Gertrude Street into an illuminated outdoor gallery.

01 – Corryong: Corryong Historic Machinery Club Rally. Historic machinery is only the beginning of this unique and iconic event!

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 10-25 – Adelaide: Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The very best local, national and international cabaret artists perform an eclectic program of classic and contemporary performances.

08-10 – Adelaide: Adelaide Beer and Barbecue Festival. A unique South Australian event held over three days showcasing local, national and international beers, ciders and produce.

05-06 – Falls Creek: Falls Creek Sled Dog Classic. Watch as Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Alaskan huskies and various hounds compete head to head in this unique event.

01-28 – Walhalla: Walhalla Vinter Ljusfest. Visitors to Walhalla during August get to experience Swedish tradition of celebrating the winter with an evening light and audio show. 20-21 – Mount Waverley: Camellia and Garden Show. In its 45th year this annual event showcases and celebrates the spectacular winter blooms! 28 – Hurstbridge: Hurstbridge Wattle Festival. Embrace true small-town spirt with a day filled with festivities including iconic steam trains and classic CWA vintage markets. For more Victorian events click here!

09 – Cleve: A Taste Of Eyre Peninsula. A festival dedicated to supporting and promoting the production and sale of fresh local seasonal produce from the Eyre Peninsula. 11-14 – Adelaide: Adelaide Guitar Festival. Four day biennial festival dedicated to the world’s most popular instrument.


76 | What’s On? 15-19 – Marree-Coober Pedy: Queen of the Desert Festival. A tribute to the strong role SA plays in the Australian film industry and the importance of men’s health! Choose your favourite Aussie flick, dress up your four-wheel drive and join the longest street parade on the planet!

19-21 – Collie Motorplex: 24 Hours of LeMons. Are you ready for the ‘Weirdest’ race of your life? 21 – Ballajura: Ballajura Community Fair. The Rotary Club of Ballajura-Malaga and Lions Club of Ballajura host a fun filled annual community fair! 24-28 – Busselton: CinefestOZ. Australia's premier destination film festival. 20-21 – Fleurieu Peninsula: Strathalbyn Collectors, Hobbies and Antiques Fair. Australia’s best antique and collectors fair, incorporating appraisals and entertainment. For more South Australian events click here!

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

27 – Mullewa: Mullewa Agricultural Show. In its 82nd year, experience a true taste of the west. 28 – Chittering: A Taste of Chittering. Free entry, wine tasting, market stalls, live entertainment, local displays and information, links to walk trails, drive trails and picnic spots around the Shire. For more Western Australian events

click here! 24-26 – Manjimup: Truffle Kerfuffle - Southern Forest Food Festival. Highlighting and celebrating regional foods and wines and the cultures that brought them to Australia.

01 – Broome: A Taste of Broome. Experience what makes Broome such a unique and iconic place as its culture and soul is showcased through, food, music and art! 07 – Derby: Mowanjum Festival. Western Australia's largest Indigenous performance. Celebrating the rich heritage and culture of the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbal peoples of the West Kimberley. 08-10 – Perth: The Good Food and Wine Show. Celebrate the best of the best! Be surrounded by iconic chefs and restaurateurs at the top of their game.

TASMANIA 15-19 – Hobart: City Of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast. An annual midwinter communal banquet on Hobart's historic waterfront, look for the hellfire at the gates and take a seat at Hades' table!


What’s On? | 77

NORTHERN TERRITORY 30 June-17 July – Hobart: Festival Of Voices. Australia's premier celebration of the voice, attracting thousands of singers, choristers and music lovers. 15-17 – Huon Valley: Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival. Rejoice in age old traditions of ‘applepickin' yesteryear with a mini midwinter festival to celebrate the region's history.

14 – Latrobe: Chocolate Winterfest. Latrobe's wickedly delicious festival celebrating all things chocolate. For more Tasmanian events click here!

17-19 – Katherine: Pine Creek Goldrush. A true Outback celebration, pan for gold or enter the damper making competition! 24-27 – Alice Springs: The Alice Springs Beanie Festival. A unique event celebrating all things beanies; a weekend of music, Beanie Olympics, textile workshops, music and more!

01 – Darwin: Teraritory Day. Mark the Northern Territory's anniversary of self-governance by lighting a banger or watching fireworks sparkle over the Timor Sea from Mindil Beach.


78 | What’s On?

05 – Ali Curung: Ali Curung Traditional Dance Festival. Celebrate indigenous culture via music, dance, visual art and artefacts, with workshops plus thrilling spear throwing and fire making contests.

29 July-02 August – Tennant Creek: Desert Harmony Festival. See a different side to Tennant Creek when the Barkly Region lets its hair down for festival time, with music, stories, theatre, film, and parades.

21-23 – Darwin: Royal Darwin Show. Showcasing the State’s agricultural industries, local arts crafts and multicultural heritage.

17-21 – Alice Springs: Red Centre Bird Festival. The Red Centre Bird Festival is your chance to get to know the Northern Territory's abundant plumed inhabitants better.

15-24 – Darwin: Darwin Fringe Festival. A 10 day open access, community driven arts festival supporting independent and diverse local artists. 24 – Beswick Falls: Walking With Spirits. Witness a traditional corroboree from several Arnhem Land languages in partnership with the Australian Shakespeare Company over an exclusive weekend.

29 July-01 August – Gulkula: Garma Festival. The largest and most vibrant annual celebration of Yolngu (Aboriginal people of north-east Arnhem Land) culture.

20 – Alice Springs: Henley-On-Todd Regatta. A boat race with a unique difference: Its 1500 kilometres from the nearest large body of water! 25 August-04 Sep – Alice Springs: Alice Desert Festival. Celebrate the desert and its peoples as artists and performers from remote Central Australian communities perform alongside Australia’s hottest acts. For more Northern Territory events click here!


Advertisers' Index | 79

Advertisers' Index AirBag Man 

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Paradise Motor Homes

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Albury Wodonga RV World 

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Parkland RV Centre

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Amphibian30

Redarc31

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Robert’s RV World

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Avida2

RV Specialists

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Battery Traders Super Store

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Solarscreen30

Bony Mountain Folk Festival

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Caravan & Motorhome Covers

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Southern Highlands  Service Centre Southern Spirit Campervans

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Dalgety Experience

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Duvalay31 eBook Traveller

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e-Twow Electric Scooters

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Grey Nomad Tax Advisers

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Northcoach Equipment

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Outback Travel Australia

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80 | Next Issue

SWEET CAMPINO!

that’s largely lacked imagination and competition far too long. Best of all it’s an entry-level machine so it won’t break the bank!

A

part from being a brand of German sweets and the name of a popular German singersongwriter, Campino is the name of the newest campervan in the Australian market. Designed and built by German husband and wife team Olli and Pia from Southern Spirit Campervans – hence the Germanic connection – it promises to be a breath of fresh air in a market

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

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

We’ll also have the first instalment of Collyn River’s epic trans-African 4x4 truck camper adventure. It’s believed to be the last known drive across the Continent via the Sahara before the desert route’s closure – the night they got through. Don’t miss it! Issue 98 is out on Saturday 2 July. Until then why not join our more than 31,000 Facebook Friends and followers on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram ?

Aug 12-14

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Border Caravan & Camping Expo

Rockhampton Home, Caravan & Camping Show

Wodonga Racecourse, Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga. VIC. 3690.

Rockhampton Showgrounds, Rockhampton, Qld. 4700.

• Open 9:30-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: TBA • Seniors: TBA • Kids: TBA

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

• Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Parking: Free • Adults: $10 • Seniors: $8 • Kids: Free with adult

Visit Website Click for Google Maps

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

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iMotorhome Magazine Issue 97 - 18 Jun 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!

iMotorhome Magazine Issue 97 - 18 Jun 2016  

Get a FREE subscription from our website now!