Last Saturday in every month at 9:30am - 12:30pm
Camec, corner Kerry & Beaudesert Roads, Archerfield Qld
- Safety on the road
- Weight distribution and loading your caravan
- Insurance, road laws
- General information
- Practical exercise for driver and co-driver
Please call Camec on 07 3710 9000 and select option 2 (Retail Sales)
Tea, coffee, car and caravan supplied
Towing or reversing a caravan for the first time can be a daunting experience. Camec & Tow Ed invite you to participate in a practical hands on information session to learn the fundamentals of how to tow a caravan, or come along to brush up on your skills.
Join the party as the Bathurst 1000 celebrates 56 years of racing in October at Mount Panorama.
In what is expected to be one of Australia's largest sporting events this year, Mount Panorama will play host to racing fans from around the world coming together to celebrate the 56th running of the Bathurst 1000.
The 4 days will be marked by a bumper line-up of entertainment both on and off the track and crowds are expected in record numbers.
If racing is in your blood, this year is one year not to miss! For those new to the sport this is a chance in a life time to celebrate one of Australia's leading Motor racing events.
Accommodation and Camping areas have always been in great demand and this year's celebrations will see both go fast. Bookings for caravan hire for Bathurst have already commenced, earlier than previous years meaning demand will quickly outstrip supply as we get closer to October.
Getting in early, not only ensures you a wider choice of campers to select from, but also that the vehicle you want is available and at a cheaper rate.
Once you have booked your caravan the next step is to book a site in the Motor Home Park on Mount Panorama. Not all the sites have power and those that do will go quickly. There are additional charges for the powered sites. You can book your site online at the V8 Supercars Website which has everything you need to know. You do need to register before you can book your site - V8 Supercar registration. The Park is equipped with Showers and Toilets but does not have cooking facilities.
Tickets for Bathurst 1000 will be available through Ticketek.
If you have any questions or need any further caravan information please contact us.
What’s the weather like out there? To quote the late, great comedian Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, “It’s hot. Damn hot! Real hot!” Regardless of where you live in Australia, if you hit the roads in the summertime, it doesn’t take long for the temperature to rise.
Most of us are familiar with the original “Slip, Slop, Slap” SunSmart Campaign which was one of the most successful health campaigns in Australian history, with the mantra still uttered today. But we’d like to contribute our own sun-smart philosophy, aimed at keeping cool at camp this summer. We call it our iHEAL approach; insulation, hydration, evaporation, aeration, location.
Preparing for nature’s extremes should start before you decide what caravan or camper trailer to purchase. Think of your age, that of your kids, and how much heat (and cold) you’re prepared to tolerate when you head outdoors.
Many caravans are constructed with double fibreglass insulated bodies and pop-top roofs. Fibreglass and other insulators will do a lot to moderate temperature variations in your van.
If you’re sleeping under canvas, consider adding a tropical roof to your camper. The additional layer of material will create an air gap, which will allow heat to be absorbed by the air underneath and escape before reaching your living space. Alternatively, suspend a high quality space blanket from the internal framework above your bed space. This lining will create a reflective barrier, deflecting the heat that is beating down on the roof of your camper.
When the weather’s hot, you start losing body fluid at a far greater rate than in cooler conditions. Children in particular don’t always respond to the early signs of thirst. If your kids are starting to get cranky, lethargic, have a headache or seem to have developed the attention span of a goldfish, you’re probably seeing signs of dehydration.
Ensuring you and your family stay cool and hydrated on the road is a lot easier these days with the advent of in-cabin fridges. Ours is a 10.5L capacity fridge that, while small, is a great back up/overflow fridge that sits on the back seat, safely seat-belted via the lap-strap. Filled with fluids and whole fruit, it’s a great way to ensure that everyone arrives at camp with a full tank.
Turn your cabin fridge onto “freezer” setting and you open up a whole new range of hydration options. Electrolyte ice blocks and jellies are the perfect way to combat dehydration and the kids will love them. The products include water, glucose and electrolytes, which are essential to rapid rehydration.
Use the same space to freeze the “ice core” that is inbuilt into some water bottles. These types of bottles are a great way to keep your drinks cool for longer once you move away from the vehicle.
There are plenty of simple water evaporation techniques that will soon bring the heat down. For example, when you’re planning for a hot day, chuck a damp sheet in the fridge or freezer in the morning. Drape the sheet over yourself like a blanket when the heat gets too much. The breeze passing through the material will help keep your body temperature down and give you excellent relief from the heat. A similar idea is to pop a hot water bottle in the fridge and create a bed-friendly “cold-sac” to help keep you cool at night.
If you want a bit more technology to help the evaporative process, you might want to think about purchasing a travel-size evaporative cooler. Ours is less than 25cm high and wide and weighs just 1.5kg, so it’s a simple fix. We took it to the Red Centre during 40°C conditions, and our then two-year old enjoyed the experience.
When you’re hot, passing air across the beads of sweat on your skin naturally cools you down. So, when you set up camp on a hot day, open the side windows of your caravan for cross ventilation.
Also consider using fans to increase aeration when the wind drops. These days, 12V electric fans are an easy and inexpensive addition to your rig. Fans will increase circulation and are most effective when they are boosting the breeze in the prevailing wind direction.
When things get really warm, you might want to consider getting the kids off the floor/mattress and into the air. Set them up on a simple stretcher or rig up a hammock. Both techniques will increase airflow and help cool them down. In the middle of the day, string a damp hammock between trees to make a cool hangout zone – pun fully intended!
Your choice of campsite may be the simplest and most effective way of keeping everybody cool and happy on a trip away. Don’t just rely on your awning for shade. Did you know natural shade is cooler than artificial shade by up to seven degrees? That’s because living material — such as trees — absorb the sun’s heat and utilise the energy for photosynthesis, transpire and thus provide a natural cooling effect. By contrast, your awning will actually absorb the sun’s energy and radiate it as heat. Obviously, the lighter the colour of the awning, the less radiant heat the material absorbs.
So invest a bit of time in choosing the right campsite. If you set yourself up in the shade of a tree with prevailing crosswinds, you can almost guarantee you’ll have a happier holiday experience from the get-go.
Also, consider options for “mobile shade”. We have camp chairs that come complete with shade via a simple, flip-up canopy that creates instant sun relief, wherever you are.
Source: Without a Hitch
Caravan, motorhome or camper trailer? We look at the pros and cons of each of these RV types.
Self-drive travel is without a doubt the best way to see Australia. Sure, you could fly to Port Douglas, Qld, or to Broome, WA. But they say the journey is the destination. And when you’re exploring a country as diverse, large, and downright beautiful as ours, ain’t that the truth.
But the question of your accommodation while on the road remains. So what’s it going to be, caravan, motorhome, or camper trailer? There are good reasons for each… and, unfortunately, drawbacks, too. Let’s take a look at the pros, cons and considerations behind these main types of RV.
The humble caravan is the most popular type of RV in Australia, though it’s not so humble any more. Dishwashers, spas (yes, spas), washing machines and bathrooms can all be found in Aussie vans. Ultimately, a caravan is only limited by its size and, importantly, the potential weight of the finished product.
Before deciding if a caravan is right for you, carefully consider your needs and how you will travel. If it’s just the two of you, do you need that ostentatious 24-footer or will a well-appointed, comfortable 18ft van do the job just as well? The heavier the van, the harder your tow vehicle’s engine will have to work and the more fuel it will drink. The ongoing costs in tow-vehicle maintenance and fuel need to be part of the equation.
Speaking of the tow vehicle, don’t assume the car in your garage is up to the task. Ensuring your car can legally and safely tow the van is one of the most important factors in play.
The need to periodically hitch and unhitch your van is inescapable, and there may be certain items you’ll have to purchase to improve the towing experience, such as a weight distribution hitch and extension mirrors.
But once you’ve matched your tow vehicle to your caravan and everything is well set-up, what are the advantages of choosing a caravan over a motorhome or camper trailer?
First, a trailer such as a caravan can be left at the holiday park when you want to go for a drive around town. This mightn’t sound particularly beneficial, but consider how you’d cope if you had to pack up much of your campsite because you ran out of milk and needed to drive into town, as you would if your RV was a motorhome.
Compared to camper trailers, caravans (generally speaking) are simpler and quicker to set-up, offer more ‘home-like’ comforts, such as an inside lounge, bed, large fridge, built-in cooking facilities, a washing machine, and even heating. Many vans even have offroad capabilities though their inherent size might preclude touring tight bush tracks and the like.
So if comforts and living space are important to you, not to mention the freedom to drive your tow car whenever needed, a caravan makes good sense.
MOTORHOME RV HIRE
When it comes to motorhomes, the sky is the limit. If money is no object, then why not splash out a few thousand dollars on a converted coach that has every comfort of the most expensive caravan and twice the living space? Well, for starters, you’ll need to upgrade your driver’s licence. You see, any vehicle weighing over 4500kg Gross Vehicle Mass will require a Light Rigid or Heavy Rigid licence, depending on the weight of the vehicle.
But the good news is, there’s a lot of very special motorhomes that can be driven on a standard licence, with all the space and comforts of top-end caravans.
In terms of benefits, the biggest is the no-fuss factor. No towing (unless you’re A-framing a little Suzuki or towing a trailer), no hitching and unhitching. Just pack your gear, turn the ignition, and hit the road. For a lot of people, this holds a lot of appeal.
Unfortunately, for most motorhomers, their rig is their primary mode of transport. And this means packing up much of the campsite to get that litre of milk from town. However, this is also why they make portable foldable bikes and similar portable means of transportation. It’s also why many tow a little hatchback behind their motorhome.
If pack-up-and-go touring appeals, and the idea of towing makes you uncomfortable, a motorhome may be the answer. Just try to remember to get the milk before setting up camp…
CAMPER TRAILER HIRE For CAMPING
Camper trailers can be as kitted-out and innovative, or as cheap and cheerful, as you like. There are high-end hard floor trailers with hard-core offroadability, extensive 12V power, plenty of refrigeration and water storage capacity, just begging to hit the bush.
Typically light (anywhere between 1000kg and 1500kg Tare, if not less), a camper trailer is a good option if you like to keep the weight behind your vehicle light and thereby reduce your fuel bill. The lower towing profile of a camper trailer, as compared to a caravan, is said to reduce drag and therefore improve fuel efficiency, too. The inherently lighter weight of camper trailers also makes it more likely you won’t need to upgrade the tow vehicle UNLESS you're towing a lightweight caravan.
A new budget camper trailer will inevitably require a fair amount of manual setting-up, at least 15 to 30 minutes’ worth. Think canvas awnings, telescopic tensioning poles, etc.
Camper trailers are, typically, much more manoeuvrable than caravans, and a good offroad trailer should follow your 4WD almost anywhere, even on the tight bush tracks that’d trip up an offroad caravan. However, most camper trailers aren’t known for offering the comforts of home. You’ll be cooking in the great outdoors, sleeping next to canvas walls, doing midnight toilet runs (unless you’ve stashed a portable toilet somewhere) and generally living much closer to nature.
If you don’t mind some campsite fettling, want to be closer to the great outdoors, and need to keep the towed weight as light as possible, why not consider a camper trailer hire? They offer a very different camping hire experience to motorhomes and caravans, but for some people, that’s the point – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Check out our 2016 JAYCO swan camper trailer page here
What makes a good tow vehicle? There are a number of factors, but a high tow rating, a heavy body, long wheelbase and a relatively short distance from the rear axle to the towball are all important. Here are Without a Hitch's top five 4WD tow vehicles of 2016.
Here, we’re looking at ‘conventional’ vehicles with the maximum 3500kg tow rating (as opposed to the big US trucks that can, with appropriate towing gear, haul up to six tonnes).
Most of the vehicles below are quite pricey – the best doesn’t necessarily come cheap. Join us as we count down to number 1.
5th – JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE OVERLAND 3.0 TD
Maximum towing capacity: 3500kg
Towball maximum: 350kg
The Grand Cherokee was developed in the USA, where such vehicles are designed with towing in mind. The Jeep feels very stable with a van behind and while the Overland’s air suspension does not feel quite as compliant as it does when there is no load, it is very stable and predictable in its response to wind buffeting and road surface changes.
The 3L turbodiesel V6 is a strong performer when there’s a caravan hooked up – its assertive mid-range response makes overtaking more confidence-inspiring and only the steepest highway hills will peg back the Grand Cherokee’s touring speed. Engine braking is fairly good while the eight-speed auto is a smooth shifter and seems to have a ratio for every occasion.
The Grand Cherokee is pretty good when the road turns to tracks, especially with its air suspension that lifts the body out of harm’s way offroad. The Jeep also has a comfortable interior and its controls are very easy to use.
There’s a fair wedge of up-to-the-minute standard equipment, too, with heated/cooled front seats and active cruise control among the highlights.
4th – FORD RANGER WILDTRAK
Maximum towing capacity: 3500kg
Towball maximum: 350kg
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak was also on our list of last year’s best tow vehicles but a late-2015 upgrade has made a good tow vehicle even better.
Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist are all available on Wildtrak as an option for just $600. This is one ute with a rock-solid chassis, and that doesn’t change even with a van hooked up. The Ford, together with the Mazda BT-50, has the longest wheelbase and shortest rear axle-to-towball measurement of the one-tonne utes, and the 3.2L in-line five-cylinder diesel makes for a relaxed vehicle when touring on the plains but has strong reserves of power and torque when hill-climbing or overtaking is called for.
Engine braking is also very strong, and the smooth six-speed auto has an excellent easy-to-use manual mode when you need to hold gears on descents.
The Ranger’s safety suite includes trailer sway control which, hopefully, you won’t ever need to use.
With its 230mm ground clearance, up to 800mm fording ability and locking rear diff, the Ranger is a strong offroad proposition. The interior is one of the most car-like of the utes, too, with plenty of comfort and convenience features such as the SYNC3 infotainment system.
3rd – RANGE ROVER SPORT SCV6 HSE
Maximum towing capacity: 3500kg
Towball maximum: 350kg
Last year, we nominated the turbodiesel Range Rover Sport SDV6 SE. This year, however, we’re going to do something controversial and nominate the supercharged petrol Range Rover Sport SCV6. Hear us out…
When it comes to towing, this is a fantastic vehicle. It’s also a very good vehicle in just about every other way.
With a caravan hitched up, the Sport’s air suspension automatically adjusts for the load and, with its good dimensions and solid kerb weight, it doesn’t easily get pushed around by a caravan.
As with the Land Rover Discovery 4, the manufacturer doesn’t recommend the use of a weight distribution hitch with this vehicle, which for some caravanners is a disappointment.
Nonetheless, the Sport’s supercharged petrol V6 offers incredible performance, with or without a caravan behind. There will not be many hills you’ll be forced to slow down for when climbing in the Sport. With its 280kW/450Nm outputs, the Rangie also makes quick work of overtaking, which is important when you need to pass a slow B-double when an overtaking lane opens up.
This petrol Sport does have a big thirst when towing, but with a decent 105L fuel tank, range won’t be a problem.
2nd – LAND ROVER DISCOVERY 4 SE SDV6 – SCV6
Maximum towing capacity: 3500kg
Towball maximum: 350kg
With its 3L SDV6 engine, the Land Rover Discovery 4 tows very well. The big Disco, like most on this list, has plenty of kerb weight to keep almost any van from shoving it around, and it also has a natural stability with a relatively lanky wheelbase and rear axle-to-towball dimensions.
This is a very comfortable and luxurious hauler with plenty of performance on offer. Fuel consumption is not bad, and the twin-turbo diesel has a lot of get up and go, thanks to its 183kW and stonking 600Nm of torque.
Land Rover doesn’t recommend the use of a weight distribution hitch for its vehicles, so for some that might be a deal-breaker.
The Disco 4 is getting long in the tooth, though, being based on the 2005 Discovery 3, but it remains thoroughly up to date in terms of its technology
1st – TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 200 GXL TDV8
Maximum towing capacity: 3500kg
Towball maximum: 350kg
The LandCruiser 200 Series wagon has been on the market for 10 years and it still is the best all-round tow tug money can buy. Without A Hitch nominated it as one of its best tow vehicles last year and we still can’t go past its uncanny ability to hitch up almost any caravan and barely feel the weight – it really is outstanding.
Sure, performance begins to drop off once you’ve got 2.5 tonnes or more behind it, but it takes a very poorly balanced van to upset the LandCruiser’s inherent stability.
It has good towing dimensions, with a decent wheelbase and fairly short distance between the rear axle and the towball, and its hefty 2.6-tonne kerb weight helps to keep the rig firmly planted to the road.
With a minor update last year, the Cruiser now has 200kW of power (up 5kW), new front sheetmetal and some spec changes.
The LandCruiser has a large interior capable of swallowing a lot of gear – including up to eight occupants – and comfortable seats. The Cruiser is also a fantastic offroader and, with Toyota’s extensive parts and service network, you won’t have far to go to a Toyota dealer when on tour.
Click here to read about what you need to know about 2WD, AWD and 4WD towing vehicles
Being on a caravan holiday with the kids can be wonderful and exhausting at the same time.
When you’re in a confined space for an extended period however, it’s sometimes hard to keep the little ones happy – and if they’re not, you won’t be.
Here are a few ideas for things to do during the holidays, plus some tips for keeping little ones entertained on the road.
The secret to successful holiday activities is to be prepared.
On the road
When you first arrive at a new park, go for a walk, check out the features and make sure the kids know how to find their way around. Set up the awning or awning to work as a spare room, and throw down matting to keep sand, dirt and water at bay.
It’s hard to deny the advantages of lightweight caravans. It doesn’t matter what vehicle you’re towing them with, a lightweight caravan is better. You’ll get better fuel economy and a more relaxed drive with a lighter van.
Bailey Caravans have lead the industry for building lightweight caravans without compromise for years now. Their Alu-Tech construction has many advantages in terms of weight and rigidity. You get the benefits have having a lightweight caravan plus one that is stronger and with greater insulation.
Body shell panels are up to 30% thicker than those used in conventional caravans and feature a high density polystyrene core to provide the shell with superior thermal insulation properties – allowing you to holiday all year round.
Bailey have gone further than just making thicker walls though. They used thermal imaging technology to identify the cold spots and added more insulation to those areas. You get a lightweight caravan that is warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Lighter towing weight can result in its own fuel savings but Bailey have also designed an aerodynamic single span front and roof panel. With fuel prices climbing a lighter more fuel efficient caravan has obvious advantages when you’re considering your next holiday.
A lighter van has advantage when towing, especially if your car is a medium sized family vehicle. Bailey caravans are fitted with the latest road safety equipment – Trailer Control Systems; Stabilisers & Shock Absorbers which all makes for a reduced yaw inertia.
Introducing Rangefinder Gemini - BUILT IN AUSTRALIA
Luxury Caravan Hire is proud to introduce the new all-new Australian designed and built lightweight Bailey Rangefinder Gemini into its fleet.
We were so impressed, we actually bought three of them!
Bailey Australia is the first European manufacturer to undertake local caravan production in Australia, bringing the latest construction techniques, processes and cutting-edge design and technology to our travellers.
The process begins with an understanding of Australian caravanning needs, including feedback from current Bailey caravan owners, as well as understanding the preference of the Australian caravanning public for specific interior layouts. Space, usability, comfort and liveability are key considerations in every step of the process.
Bailey Rangefinders are built from the inside out, with local CNC-cut furniture securely fixed in place before being bonded and fastened to the caravan walls and ceiling panels to create an immensely strong overall body structure. Australian designed and sourced chassis, furniture, windows and doors, kitchen, bathroom and laundry appliances are all chosen for their suitability for our conditions and their local service and support.
What makes Rangefinder different?
To make a BOOKING, click here.
One of the best things about life on the road is meeting new people. It’s really easy to make friends with likeminded travellers. Here are our tips for finding caravanning buddies and becoming part of the great wandering community.
A Few Friendly Tips
You will usually find that the people you meet are friendly and happy to help out or share a cold one. If you’re that way inclined, most people will respond in the same way.
Observe The Rules Of The Road
People everywhere appreciate others who are courteous and respectful, and etiquette is as important on the road as it is anywhere. You can be sure that if others consider you a ‘nuisance’ it’s not going to be easy making friends!
When camped, keep your caravan, vehicle, furniture, fishing tackle, bikes and other belongings well within your site and avoid walking through other people’s sites.
Most campers appreciate peace and quiet so keep noise to a minimum especially after dark and in the early morning.
Join A Club
A caravan enthusiasts’ club is a great way to make contact with others, gather handy tips, hear about different destinations and even find friends to go on holiday with.
There are plenty of national, state and local clubs for caravan enthusiasts; these state-based directories will get you started.
You might be travelling solo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join up with others to share a leg of the journey, or perhaps arrange to meet up somewhere further along the way. With the internet and mobile phones, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with others.
Planning on chatting on the CB radio with your travelling buddies? Here’s a guide to the channels you should use.
The Sunshine Coast Council has a proposed plan for Mooloolaba that involves removing the Ocean Beach Caravan park for a walkway and parklands.
We strongly oppose this plan for the following reasons:
1) The Ocean Beach caravan park is one of only a handful of true beachfront caravan parks left in S.E Qld. The park is iconic and renowned Australia wide. The caravanning industry is one of the highest booming industries in Australia and this park is on the must visit list for many people, each bringing their tourism dollars to Mooloolaba.
2) Mooloolaba is much loved because of its relaxed coastal vibe. Destroying this park is contradictory to that. The caravan park offers the community an opportunity to enjoy a holiday whilst also providing a community based social aspect, children and adults making new friends alike,
3) The caravan park offers families an affordable beach Mooloolaba holiday. Many families cannot afford the unit prices in Mooloolaba and removing this park would impact greatly. Amalgamating the 34 sites into other parks would be inadequate as they are already at overflowing during peak times and they do not offer the same quality, safety or location.
4) There are already ample parkland areas in and around Mooloolaba that could be upgraded and improved without having to sacrifice the caravan park. Greater use could be made of the parkland between the esplanade and the main beach (where Steve Irwin statue is), and a multi storey car park near Brisbane rd and removing the beach front car parks would provide ample space for any requirements. Improvements could be made to the exisiting walkway width etc between Mooloolaba and Alex Heads.
PLEASE SAVE OUR OCEAN BEACH FRONT CARAVAN PARK & SIGN A PETITION
Sudden gusts of wind may arise at any time during caravan travel, but more so when you are being overtaken by large vehicles.
Let's have a look at what occurs when you're struck by wind, how to deal with it when it happens, and what you can do to make your caravan travel as safe as possible.
When a wind gust causes the moving caravan to sway (technically known as 'yaw'), that yawing force is usually counteracted by the tow vehicles inertia, plus the grip of the van’s tyres on the road.
Quite often during caravan travel, you will experience nothing more than one or two lurches in your van. In some cases, especially when adding other factors, such as slippery roads, it increases the chance that the caravan can over-correct, thus yawing in the opposite direction. This leads to amplified swaying which, if not corrected, could possibly cause the van to roll.
HOW TO DEAL WITH YAWING
It might not always be possible, but the best way to react when the caravan starts to sway or snake is to drive slowly and stay in control.
A good electronic stability control system, such as AL-KO ESC, BPW IDC or DEXTER DSC will monitor for critical driving situations, such as a build up of swings or one large sudden lateral movement. When needed it activates and applies the caravan brakes immediately without driver intervention, preventing further oscillation.
You can lessen the potential for disaster by ensuring you have the best sway control system and being aware of the conditions that you are driving in at all times.
All of our hire caravans excluding Jayco are fitted with AL-KO ESC, BPW IDC or DEXTER DSC systems thereby enhancing your safety.
Welcome to Luxury Caravan Hire's BLOG. We are excited about using this new communications tools as we hope it will increase collaboration and interaction with fellow enthusiasts. We hope you will comment on our posts and on the comments of others too. Enjoy!