Touring in the Trakkaway 700…

iMotorhome
55 : Sep 06 2014
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Trakks!
Touring in the
Trakkaway 700…
Party Time!
It’s festival season in sunny Griffith…
Binnaway Free Camp
How one town got free camping right!
Being Social…
The ins and outs of social media!
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About iMotorhome | 3
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On my mind | 5
Update Lowdown…
It’s been an interesting three weeks since last issue,
the highlight of which was a week away in two
different Trakka motorhomes: The Trakkaway
700 featured in this issue and the Torino Xtra,
scheduled for Issue 58 on 18 October. Part of what
made it so interesting was swapping between
the two after five days and heading straight off in
the smaller model, the Torino. It was interesting
because it wasn’t the psychological letdown
you might imagine; assisted no doubt by both
motorhomes being Fiat Ducatos and sharing the
same interior style, as well as much of the same
furniture and fittings. It showed us (once again) that
you don’t need a lot of space for two people to
travel comfortably – what you need is organisation.
During our travels we stopped at a property on
the outskirts of Oberon, owned by an iMotorhome
reader with an interestingly modified Winnebago
Birdsville. The owner – Colin – a retired engineer,
made the mods primarily to provide easy access
to his property, which is accessed via fire trails
skirting one of the many State Forests. Oberon is
hilly country that receives more than its fair share
of rain and winter snows, and that combined
with steep grades and loose/muddy surfaces is
a recipe for trouble. We had a hands-on lesson in
the issues confronting Colin – and any owner of a
front-wheel drive motorhome – when trying to leave
his property in our Fiat Ducato-based Trakka after
our overnight stay. But you’ll have to wait until next
issue to read all about it and have a look at Colin’s
high-riding Birdsville. Patience…
Updates
Our website homepage redesign has gone so
well I’m now having the rest of it redesigned.
Working with a contract web designer as well as
our contract web guru means things progress at
an often glacial pace and we're aiming for an early
November release of the totally new-look website.
Consequently the iMotorhome app is also on hold,
which probably isn't a bad thing given the imminent
introduction of Apple’s iOS8 operating system and
the iPhone 6; both of which will require a degree of
app re-engineering.
Almost forgot! There’s a new feature starting this
issue, by the Freedom of Choice Camping
people. It has updates on recent articles and
information relating to the ongoing battle to
preserve our right to choose where we stop
overnight. Please read it well and click on the
links that interest you. Your feedback would be
appreciated, too.
Finally…
I continue to be gladdened by the support received
on my previous editorials about suicide and
depression, as well as the positive feedback on
psychologist Rob Davis’ new iTherapy column.
I don’t want to seem to be harping on about it,
but literally in the last few minutes a news item
from the World Health Organisation appeared on
the SMH website saying suicide kills more people
globally every year than wars and natural disasters
combined, with the highest rate amongst those
over 70. One person dies every 40 seconds and
Australia ranks in the second highest percentile
band. Stay safe, stay connected and be sure to
ask your friends – R U Ok?
Richard
6 | Content
3
About Us
5
On my Mind
8
User Guide
Who we are, where and other legal stuff
Update Lowdown…
How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine
11
On your Mind
16
News
Share your thoughts for the chance to win $50!
What’s happening in the wider RV world - and beyond
23 iMotorhome Marketplace
The latest Marketplace offers
24 Freedom of Choice Camping
News and information on the battle to keep our camping choices free
Choosing where to stop for the night is a right,
not a compliance issue…
Content | 7
26
iTherapy
30
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
48
Travel: Griffith
52
Travel: Binnaway
56
Reader Reviews
58
Mobile Tech
62
Next Issue & Show Calendar
The Primacy of Self – you really matter!
Grand Design Revisited – spending time again in a favourite motorhome
Party Time! Don’t miss Griffith’s fabulous October festivals!
Doing It Right – Binnaway’s excellent Pumphouse Free Camping Ground
My Motorhome and My Special Place – check them out!
Let’s Be Social – the lowdown on social media
What’s coming up and what shows are on soon
On the road and free camping in the Trakkaway 700…
8 | User Guide
How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine
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User Guide | 9
How to get the best from iMotorhome eMagazine
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for you, better than you."
That is why at Sunliner we think you know what you are looking for in a motorhome.
Our philosophy is to listen and work with you to create your motorhome dream.
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Personalise your journey....
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.
Staying In Step
Hi Richard, I thought I would share
something with you, and hopefully your
readers, about daily fitness. I recently
watched a program about our levels of daily
activity and how we often do less moving in
a day than we think. I am fast approaching
'middle age' and I am already aware of a
thickening waste line.
The program challenge was to wear a
pedometer which counts the number of
steps you take in a day. It suggests a target
of 10,000, not including extra exercise.
This seemed very easy to me as I am very
active and 'don't stop' during the day. I am
currently not working but live on a small rural
property and am an avid gardener, often
spending hours in my garden collecting
animal manure and feeding my plants. I
wasn't surprised that the ladies shown
on the TV program struggled to meet the
10,000 step challenge, but consider my
surprise, and horror, when after 2 weeks not
once have I met it either!
Towards the end of my days now I
start watching my step count and it is
encouraging me to make different choices;
like take the long way back to the garden
shed, an extra 80 steps. I now walk to
the letter box rather than checking it when
I am on my way out to the shops, another
300 steps.
I do now have concerns about sitting in a
motorhome for long periods of time but feel
with my new found pedometer challenge I
will be able to confidently manage my daily
movement levels. My pedometer cost $10
from Big W and I challenge anyone to give
it a go. Like me you may be uncomfortably
surprised at how little you do, which is a
great thing if it gets you 'doing'.
Kind Regards,
Laura L.
Hi Laura, well that is a challenge! I reckon
I’d only do about 2-3000 step a day, max,
given I spend so much time in front of the
computer. I’m off to Big W now to find out
how sedentary my lifestyle really is. Thanks
goodness for my bicycle! Please accept
and enjoy this issue’s $50 – now delivered
directly to your mobile phone! Technology…
12 | On your mind
Chewing the Cud?
I thought the Dentist in a Box (Issue 54) was
an excellent idea. I am one of those who would
most likely benefit, always experiencing the
unexpected. I am not a gum chewer, however
with all the bad luck I have had with my teeth
my dentist suggested I carry chewing gum
at all times should I break a tooth, etc, chew
some gum then wedge it in/over the area
concerned to keep the air out and protect the
area – and still eat – until I get to the dentist
(may need to change the gum occasionally).
fresh water tank. There I was sitting on the side
of the road with one finger over the hole in the
side of the tank, when Margaret (my wonderful
wife) reached for the chewing gum, shoved it
into my mouth and seconds later the hole was
plugged, my nerves were settled and we were
on our way!
Regards, Barrie.
Well that’s certainly something to chew over,
Barrie! Tell you what, I’m going to send you
one of our great little leather-bound notebooks
Not long ago my wife and I were travelling
north of the Gateway Bridge (Brisbane) in very for your troubles. Who knows, it might
thick traffic with nowhere to go when we were even come in handy one day to wedge in
somewhere and keep your motorhome on the
forced to drive over what looked like a thin
piece of metal. Unfortunately it flicked up under road, should you run out of gum!
the van and sliced off the flushing tap of our
About that Dog
Hi Richard, just want to commend you for your
article regarding your battle with the “black
dog”. Too many people hide it, so well done and
hopefully it can encourage others to do likewise.
It is hoped that eventually people will become
more accepting of it and it will have a greater
profile, so sufferers will no longer feel alone
and more help will be available so we do not
continue to see actions taken that have such a
tragic end.
The more it is put out in the open the better
off everyone will be. Coming from a rural
background I have seen what can happen and
do not want to revisit that. It’s a bit like breast or
prostate cancer – which was not mentioned so
openly a few years ago and now look at where
it is. More awareness has to be a good thing.
Thanks, Lorraine.
Thanks Lorraine, these things are often difficult
to share, especially amongst men – and older
men at that. It’s seen as a sign of weakness
(being open) rather than strength, which it
takes to admit you’re not perfect/in control/
happy/fulfilled or whatever. There’s also a
stigma to ‘mental’ health that simply doesn't
exist with physical ailments. The sooner people
realise the brain is an organ and that issues
affecting its ‘output’ are really no different
to kidney or liver problems, for example, the
better off everyone will be. Thanks for your
support, here's hoping we can provide a bit
of encouragement to those out there doing it
tough – men or women.
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14 | On your mind
Remember the solos...
Richard and team, congratulations on
becoming – at least to my knowledge – the
first motorhome based magazine of any sort
making a commitment to acknowledge, give
space to, and encourage us all to think about
mental health issues. Thanks too to the input
from Rob, again a great initiative.
There are many travellers, especially those
of us who are on the road long term and in
some (and I would say a growing number of)
instances, where people have chosen to live
on the road because they can no longer afford
to live alone in towns or cities. This sometimes
results in people living at times a rather solitary
life and both men and women sort of lose
the ability to verbalise their feelings and inner
most thoughts; mostly because no-one ever
asks them or even seems to care as to how
they may be feeling. Verbalising our feelings
is something we all need to practice, to think
about for a short while on a daily basis. It’s
something to ask each other in a friendly way
in the rest area or at morning tea…
The thing is that when we are on the road
others often take it we are all out there 'living
the dream,’ not living on the road due to no
longer being able to afford life in a town or
suburb, no longer able to afford running a
home on their own. There is also the situation
that in many of the more remote or isolated
towns a traveller coming through may be the
only non-local that many people would get to
have a yarn with from one year to another.
Thanks, Annie.
Hi Annie, that’s a great point you raise and one
I hadn’t considered. Glad you appreciate what
we’re doing and I hope what you’ve said will
encourage others to stop and take a little extra
bit of time for a chat as they go. Safe travels!
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On The Road Wirraway 260SL Slideout Motorhome - 2012 © Rex Willmer
16 | News
Sydney RV Super Centre Wins Big!
T
he Team at Sydney RV Super Centre at
Penrith are celebrating the outstanding
result of winning three major awards at
the Caravan & Camping Industry Association
(CCIA) NSW Awards Of Excellence.
Sydney RV triumphed in the following
categories:
• Best Dealer / Retailer / Wholesaler –
Sydney Region
• Outstanding Achievement by a Young
Achiever – Shari Norman
• The prestigious “Best Of The Best –
NSW Trade” Award
The Best of the Best award is the RV world’s
equivalent to the Gold Logie at the end of
the night and signifies excellence across all
elements of the business.
“These awards are very special because they
are a testament to the hard work, passion
and dedication that our whole team shows,
seven days a week, 365 days a year! We love
nothing more than making our customer’s
dreams become a reality and supporting
them at every stage of their RV journey,” said
Norman Roe, Sydney RV Group’s Managing
Director
Sydney RV Super Centre has grown
considerably over the past 12 months. It now
features a giant state-of-the-art service centre,
well-stocked parts and accessories shop and
e-commerce site and more than 250 new and
used motorhomes and caravans, including the
latest models from six leading manufacturers.
Sunliner Pinto 1 Update
bland colour scheme. Colour preferences
are a personal choice and Sunliner is keen
to point out it has a extremely wide range of
colour choices available.
Spokesperson Candice Brittain said, “We
take pride in the style and design of our
motorhomes. We offer over 300 colour
choices to our customers and are focused on
personalising our motorhomes to individual
needs and tastes of each Sunliner owner.”
L
ast issue Malcolm reviewed the
Sunliner Pinto 1 and commented in
the Con’s section at the end on its
“No two Sunliners are ever the same as
our motorhomes are made to order. This
particular motorhome (supplied by Australian
Motor Homes) was designed as per the
dealer’s request and is very much a blank
canvas to appeal to the broadest audience.”
She explained.
News | 17
Duvalay’s New Website
T
he Australian supplier of Duvalay luxury
memory foam sleeping bags now has a
new website, where you can check out
its many uses across caravans, motorhomes,
campervans, trucks, boats and even at home.
iMotorhome has been using a pair of Duvalays
for about a year now in test motorhomes and
absolutely swear by them.
Click on the link above or type www.duvalayaustralia.com.au into your web browser to
find out more.
Masquerade Ball
J
ulia Creek in North Western Queensland
is having a Masquerade Ball on Saturday
18 October at the local shire hall. Fully
catered and with proceeds going to the Julia
Creek kindergarten, you're asked to save the
date for now and check the Julia Creek Visitor
Information Centre Facebook page for full
details shortly.
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CAMPERS
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18 | News
Affordable New Range Hoods
C
ooking in a motorhome or camper
can create unwanted smells and
condensation, which is one reason
many people cook outside. A range hood can
go a long way to reducing or eliminating these
problems, which is especially important in
inclement weather.
Online superstore RV Parts Express has
a range of the latest Sphere Range Hoods
comprising two models, the Touch Control
Range Hood and the Recessed Range Hood,
both of which feature convenient LED strip
lighting and easily removable filters.
The Touch Control model is a slimline unit for
installation beneath a cupboard, whilst the
Recessed model is for installations inside a
cupboard. Both also feature black tempered
glass to accent your RV kitchen! Available online
now at www.rvpartsexpress.com.au for $200.
Kiwi Engine Revealed
A
radical new axial engine from New
Zealand’s Duke Engines could one
day find its way into everything from
generators and outboards to hybrid motor
vehicles and aircraft.
The 5 cylinder axial engine prototype does away
with valves, 2-stroke style, but runs on regular 91
octane unleaded fuel and has even been trialled
with jet fuel. It's smaller, lighter and simpler than
conventional internal combustion engines, yet
produces excellent power and torque in a virtually
vibrationless package.
Duke Engines' 3-litre, 5-cylinder test engine is
already making 160 kW (215 hp) and 339 Nm
(250 ft-lb), outperforming 2 conventional 3-litre
reference engines that weigh nearly 20 per cent
more and are nearly 2 times as big, for shipping
purposes. The innovative valveless ported
design appears to be on track to deliver superior
performance, higher compression and increased
efficiency in an compact and lightweight package
with far fewer moving parts than conventional
engines.
The engine is an axial design, meaning its
five cylinders encircle the drive shaft and run
parallel with it. The pistons drive a star-shaped
reciprocator, which nutates (wobbles) around the
drive shaft, rather like a spinning coin coming to
rest on a table. The reciprocator's centre point is
used to drive the central drive shaft, which rotates
in the opposite direction to the reciprocator.
"That counter-rotation keeps it in tidy balance,"
says Duke co-founder John Garvey. "If you lay
your hand on it while it's running, you can barely
detect any motion at all, it's quite remarkable.”
That's borne out by a video, where the engine
revving doesn't even cause enough vibrations to
tip a coin off its side.
Instead of cam or pneumatically-operated intake
and outlet valves, the cylinders rotate past intake
and outlet ports in a stationary head ring. The
spark plugs are also mounted in this stationary
ring – the cylinders simply slide past each port
or plug at the stage of the cycle it's needed for
and move on. In this way, Duke eliminates all the
complexity of valve operation and manages to
run a five-cylinder engine with just three spark
plugs and three fuel injectors. The Duke engine
ends up delivering as many power strokes per
revolution as a six cylinder engine, but with
huge weight savings and a vast reduction in the
number of engine parts. Another video illustrates
the differences between a conventional in-line
engine and the innovative Duke design. To find
out more visit the website here.
trakkabout
australia
®
Trakkaway 800
Trakkaway 700
trakka. your motorhome away from home.
>> Turn your dreams into a reality and take the journey of a
>> Visit www.trakka.com or call 1800 TRAKKA to find out why
lifetime with a TRAKKA Motorhome.
Trakka have been voted “Best of the Best” and before you
>> The TRAKKA team have a proven track record designing
know it, you’ll be seeing Australia in your own TRAKKA®.
and building thousands of exceptional motorcampers
especially for Australian conditions for over 40 years.
>> The respected TRAKKA name is synonymous with
supreme quality, innovation, functionality and outstanding
value, endorsed by the numerous industry awards won year
after year.
Visit trakka.com or call 1800
TRAKKA
(1800 872 552)
20 | News
Brew and Go!
T
he latest all-in-one brew-and-carry option,
the Stanley Vacuum Coffee System,
nests a boiling pot, French press and
insulated mug into a neat, portable package.
This makes it a handy all-in-one system for
motorhoming, camping, backpacking, picnicking
and other outdoor activities.
To use the Coffee System you simply boil
water in the pot over the top of a camp stove
or other heat source, brew the coffee following
the French press procedure, press the grounds
down and pour the coffee into the vacuuminsulated, double-wall bottle. You now have 1
litre of coffee that'll stay hot for up to 24 hours.
If you need to take all the components with you,
there's dry storage in the stopper for the coffee
grounds and you can slide the French press and
pot back over the base of the mug, carrying it all
in one package.
The system's lid includes two cups for sharing
with someone special and the mug can also be
used to keep a cold drink chilled for up to 20
hours. Stanley will launch the Vacuum Coffee
System in 500 ml and 1 litre sizes in the Northern
Hemisphere fall, with retail prices to be set at
US$50 and $60 respectively. The 500-ml model
has the same general design discussed above,
but its insulation numbers drop to 15 hours hot
and 13 hours cold.
Thinking about a self-drive touring adventure?
Find all the inspiration and information you need for an awesome
journey with our ebooks for iPad.
Get your FREE eBOOK for iPad*
www.ebooktraveller.com.au
* Applies to Touring Victoria’s Kelly Country eBook for iPad
WE’VE BROADENED
OUR HORIZONS
The Horizon Motorhomes family just got bigger
and you’ll love the new additions.
Introducing the BANKSIA +2 with additional seating and a permanent double bed
and the CASUARINA, bringing extra space and flexibility to the Fiat Ducato*
*ELWB
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Now you can choose from eight Horizon models, all passionately built by
master craftsmen using only the finest fixtures and fittings.
22 | Resources
resources
iMotorhome
because getting them is half the fun...
Missed an Issue? We've got them all saved in one spot for
you. Click HERE to view the complete list of back issues.
Missed a road test? No problem!
Click HERE to find them all listed by manufacturer.
because getting there is half the fun...
Major
Landmark!
because getting there is half the fun...
Making a V-Line!
because getting there is half the fun...
English Holiday
iMotorhome
magazine
iMotorhome
magazine
iMotorhome
magazine
magazine
iMotorhome
because getting there is half the fun...
Esprit de Cor
Blimey!
If you’re looking for luxury and ability,
Traillite’s Landmark Oakura 758 could
be just the ticket…
Auto Trail dares to be different
with its V-Line 600…
Auto-Sleeper’s Malvern is an English
motorhome that’s a fine holiday
destination in its own right…
Dethleffs ‘baby’ A-class is
something to ogle at…
Story and Images by Malcolm Street
Story and Images by Malcolm Street
Story and Images by Malcolm Street
Review and images by Malcolm Street
iMotorhome Marketplace | 23
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03 9588 0077
www.trailblazersrv.com
info@trailblazersrv.com
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receiving TV anywhere!
To order simply call
(08) 9336 7714 or
email info@duvalay.net and
mention iMotorhome.
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Standard Halogen, Incandescent + Fluro
bulbs are easily replaced with our wide
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NEW! Infrared sensor;
Convert your existing lights
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Visit our website;
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No Black spots - No poor reception
• Fully automatic tv reception
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SNIPE / VAST bundle : $1495 (rrp $2545)
SNIPE without VAST : $1295 (rrp $2195)
SNIPE TWIN, no VAST : $1895 (rrp $2345)
Special pricing subject to availability.
Get in Early - Closes Sunday 4 May 2014
Order at show or on line
02 9829 1688
Travelling Australia?
Can you say “hello” to
your neighbour?
Yes? Then you can earn money
to keep tavelling.
www.privatebox.co.nz
Call 0800 122 335 /
+64 4 831 1333
9-5pm Mon/Fri (NZT)
No sales experience necessary.
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Medical product.
thepainman.com.au
Call 0404 661 895
24 | Feature: Freedom of Choice Camping
Freedom of Choice!
A
new regular feature keeping you in touch
with what’s happened and happening
in the world of freedom camping in
Australia. These stories and more can be found
in detail at the Freedom of Choice website,
indexed by state and town, while you can
also find the latest news and updates on their
Facebook page.
4 August – Queensland Rest Area Guide
A best practice guide to roadside rest areas
in Queensland has been issued. An interesting
comment in the guidelines says:
"When siting roadside rest areas it is important
to consider the impacts on commercial caravan
park operators and to ensure that roadside
rest areas are situated an acceptable distance
away from them to avoid competition and loss
of revenue. To enhance the economic benefit of
tourism for the local community it is preferable
for tourists to use local accommodation and
caravan parks for overnight stays.”
7 Aug – Self Interest Group?
It was interesting that when 40 industry
operators gathered in Warwick, Queensland, to
discuss "illegal" camping it was described as
a "good cross section of the local community.”
We wonder if they have ever heard of the
consumers who also form part of that same
community?
8 Aug – Social Media Rebuke
A story on opening a freedom camping
area in Rockhampton, Queensland, brought
swift response on social media. The story
of complaint by a local caravan park owner
brought a quick and large response to the
newspaper article, in support of the proposal.
12 Aug – Looking Forward
The Victorian Caravan Parks Association’s
Elizabeth White said, "Key recommendations
from the Victorian Tourism Industry Council
conference are to stop fighting the old and
focus on the new; new customers, new ways of
doing business and new technology systems,
she said."
13 Aug – Ballarat Victory
In Ballarat, Victoria, a long saga of claims and
counter claims came to an end when Council
approved a 12 month trial of a new freedom
camping area despite stiff opposition. In the
course of this we come across material that
dramatically displays just how the Caravan Park
Lobby goes about its ‘work’ of trying to get its
own way when it come to freedom camping.
Feature: Freedom of Choice Camping | 25
13 Aug – Forward Thinking!
A caravan park owner in Cobar, NSW, said he
sees free camping as motivation to provide the
best facilities he can. Mr Simmonds said that in
his experience there are always travellers who
look for free camping, but it is not something
that impacts greatly on his business.
“At this stage we know there are anywhere from
half a dozen to a dozen down at May’s Bend
there and it is a beautiful little spot. You can’t
blame people for wanting to stop and camp
there,” he told The Western Herald.
18 Aug – Hard Lesson for Van Packers
Van Packers receive large fines, while social
media’s not too sympathetic with people who
camp where they are not supposed to and
leave rubbish around.
19 Aug – N
oosa Council Embracing
RV tourists
Noosa Council is showing some real leadership
in an endeavour to attract the RV traveller, with
various proposals being considered for van
packers and self-contained RVs.
25 Aug – From Ghost Town to
Freedom Camp
With a bit of lateral thinking, this just goes to
show what can be achieved.
"A former sportsground at a ghost town site
has been transformed into a free bush camping
area in the latest effort to further develop
tourism within the Central Wheat Belt.” Concept
receives good support in social media.
27 Aug – Innisfail Controversy Erupts
Motorhome group subject to an Innisfail
Advocate article hits back with excellent
response to derogatory article.
27 Aug – Byron Bay
Byron Bay Council to consider opening a free
or low-cost camp for Vanpackers and Grey
Nomads. This would be a major breakthrough
if proceeded with as the town is considered
widely the most RV unfriendly in Australia.
28 Aug – Cobar
Council decides NOT to regulate Freedom
Camping. After a long saga of camping being
banned, then reinstated and challenged again,
the Shire of Cobar has decided to continue to
allow freedom camping.
19 Aug – M
oira Shire Embracing
RV Concept
Council to establish an RV advisory committee
to make the shire more RV Friendly. Applications 29 Aug – RV Friendly Plans Unveiled
for Geraldton WA
to join the advisory group are now open.
Three-month trials of short stay, low or no-cost
21 Aug – N
ewspaper Article in Innisfail
camping for recreational vehicle travellers have
Sparks Facebook Frenzy
been suggested in a draft RV friendly strategy
An article about a caravan park owner making
approved by the City of Greater Geraldton
claims about freedom camping brings a swift
council. The draft is to be advertised for public
and large response from the community and
comment over 42 days.
travellers alike (full story on our Facebook page
same date).
25 Aug – A Win for Common Sense
Court overturns camping rules in NZ after the
New Zealand Motorcaravan Club takes the
matter to court. Judgment has ramifications for
all councils in NZ.
26 | Feature: iTherapy
The Primacy of the Self
It really is all about you!
by Rob Davis, psychologist
I
others who have always nurtured the dream of
travelling Australia when perhaps you were not
that keen (unlikely as that is)? Well, try asking
yourself, “What’s in it for me?”
When I discuss this concept with my clients
they sometimes remark that this idea sounds
a little bit 'selfish'. So let’s examine why
we operate in the ways we do. When you
acquired your motorhome did you do it for
you or someone else, or a bit of both? I want
to suggest that whatever your reasons were
they amount to doing it for yourself in the first
instance. How can that be if, for example, you
purchased your motorhome for the benefit of
Would you feel good confirming yourself as
generous, thoughtful, kind and thinking of
others first? I'm sure you would, especially
when you perceived an opportunity to make
yourself feel good. Your motivation to be this
generous person was based upon how good
you would feel making someone important
to you happy. Selfish? Not really. The selfish
kid that won't share their lollies at school is
motivated by keeping them all to himself for
his gratification. He's looking after number one
and putting himself first. It’s just he doesn't
know or believe there’s a better way for him to
benefit. When other kids won't share with him
he begins to realise something's not quite right.
If he decides to share his stash of confectionery
n my previous article I wrote about putting
yourself first by expressing your feelings
so that you may benefit from the positive
responses of others. I also briefly mentioned
that others feel good about helping those who
seek help. Now I want to tell you why I believe
all organisms, including humans, function in
their own self-interest; that everything we think,
feel or do is primarily to gratify our own needs in
the first instance – no exceptions.
Feature: iTherapy | 27
The world is of your making,
constructed by your brain.
it’s likely others will share with him, so he gets
some of his own lollies, some of the other kids
lollies and something far more important – a
potentially enduring social relationship based
upon friendship. The point is, both approaches
are intended to gratify the self, with the
better second option derived from increased
awareness of the value of social exchange. It’s
the preparedness for change to more positive
ways of making yourself feel good that results in
others feeling good about you. You might recall
that term 'social reciprocity' from my previous
article.
Consider this…
Y
ou may be thinking “Okay Rob, if
everything a person does is about
attempting to gratify their needs,
how do you explain self-mutilation or suicide?
How can those behaviours be beneficial?”
Well, I have yet to see a client who self-harms
who does not believe they 'benefit' from their
behaviour. On the principle of ‘everything we do
we do for our own benefit in the first instance,’
those who self-harm will often explain that when
they cut or burn themselves they feel a sense of
relief. The pain feels good because it distracts
them from feelings of panic or depression or
desperation. There are numerous variations on
this theme. Is this healthy? Obviously not from
an objective standpoint, but whilst most selfharmers know it isn't right at some level, the
urgency of their circumstances and the desire
for immediate gratification prevails.
Consider suicidality, smoking, drug and
alcohol abuse. It’s all about gratification in an
environment often of despair, habit and/or
addiction. When I ask why a client wants to
take their life it’s not unusual to hear that they
want the pain to stop. This is a belief based
28 | Feature: iTherapy
upon the perceived benefit of relief from pain,
be it physical, mental or both. The principle of
the 'self as primary' still holds. What it doesn't
mean is that the actions the client intends are
actually going to be beneficial in a healthy way.
It is, nonetheless, the influence of a profound
belief (regardless of how potentially damaging)
held by an individual that motivates this type of
dysfunctional behaviour, unless that belief can
be changed. This is the domain of perception.
What is Reality?
H
ow do we know anything exists? Only
by processing information from our
senses with help from memory. Our
eyes don't see, their job is to convert light
waves at the retina into electrochemical pulses
that travel via the optic nerves to the brain's
visual processing area. Only when the brain
processes those pulses do we actually see. If
the brain cannot process vision, even if the eyes
are in top working order, we will be blind. So we
create our world in our heads.
It’s the same for the other senses. If you are
anaesthetised ask yourself how, at a time when
all your conscious thinking has ceased, can
you know the world exists? By processing
information from our senses our brain can
tell us what's going on out there. If it’s not
processing then as far as we are concerned
nothing exists. So if you can only know of the
world by your brain’s processing sensory data,
how can anyone be more important than you?
After all, you create that person in your mind. In
a curious way, no one else can exist unless you
make them so.
We have evolved to survive by putting our
needs first, by scanning the environment to
obtain the gratifications we desire. Gratification
in this context includes feelings of pleasure and
Feature: iTherapy | 29
You are No.1
and no one is
more important!
relief as well as behaviours aimed at keeping
ourselves safe. If we effectively seek gratification
and value ourselves as primary we will seek
those around us who make us feel good. To
motivate them to give us what we want we will
start by making them feel good. That doesn't
mean giving anyone whatever they desire at
your expense, it means strategically identifying
the important people in your life and selectively
providing value to those who have a high
potential to reciprocate. This is a process of
successive refinements.
The Bottom Line?
I
t’s okay to identify yourself as primary.
The world is of your making, constructed
by your brain. This means you really are
number one and no one is more important than
you. When you can be there for others they will
be there for you. We humans are primarily social
beings and our greatest and most frequent
gratifications arise from meaningful social
contact. Refining the way we perceive our world
has benefits for everyone.
I would like to issue a challenge: If you can think
of anything a person does, no matter what,
that you believe offers no benefit as perceived
by that person – no matter how unhealthy or
otherwise – please let me know. I will be happy
to respond.
30 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
Grand Design -
Revisited
Two years on how has the
Trakkaway 700 evolved?
Review and images by Richard Robertson
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 31
Only about 60 cm longer than a
typical Fiat Ducato van conversion the
Trakkaway 700 feels much larger inside
yet retains easy manoeuvrability, making
it ideal for exploring small country towns
– like Carcoar and its historic railway
station. The rear boot door (left) now
opens sideways instead of hinging up,
making access with the bed extended
much easier.
T
he best motorhome designs evolve and
the more perceptive manufacturers don’t
try to reinvent the wheel every model year,
they hone and refine proven designs to bring
out their very best.
Two years ago I spent a week by myself in
the production prototype of Trakka’s 2-berth
Trakkaway 700 – read about it here – the
smallest of Trakka’s coachbuilt motorhomes.
Since then it has become the top-selling model
of the Trakkaway range thanks to an appealing
blend of living space, features and compact
dimensions. Two years on and I was invited to
revisit and spend more time in this interesting
motorhome. So along with Mrs iMotorhome
we hit the road for a few days to see how the
design works for two people and what Trakka
has done to improve an already impressive
motorhome.
32 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
Flash Back:
The production prototype, with its
top-hinged boot door and smaller
bedroom and lounge windows. Bed
slide is now 150 mm lower, which
could make bike carrying trickier.
Models in the Trakkaway
range are easily identified
by number. For instance,
the Trakkaway 700 is 7 m
long while the Trakkaway
860 is – you guessed it – 8.6
m. Seven metres is a great
length for a touring vehicle;
big enough to provide some
decent living room but small
enough for easy parking and
manoeuvring. All Trakkaways,
with the exception of the
recently introduced 800, ride
on a Fiat Ducato that features
AL-KO’s strong, low and light
chassis. Developed specifically
for motorhomes and tailored
to the individual needs of each
model, the AL-KO chassis is a
quantum leap over the ladder
chassis that comes with a
standard Fiat Ducato, or any
other brand of, cab-chassis.
The Trakkaway 700’s party
piece is a slide-out rear bed.
This not only keeps the overall
length down and provides
extra living space, it’s not a
no-go item – meaning if the
slide-out mechanism suffered
a catastrophic failure whilst
extended the vehicle is still
completely drivable (unlike a
side slide-out).
I should also point out the
Trakkaway 700 is designated
a “Remote” model, which in
Trakka speak means it's made
for off-grid travel (think free
camping). To this end it comes
standard with solar panels, a
pair of maintenance-free AGM
deep-cycle house batteries
and is LPG free – meaning
cooking, hot water and heating
are all diesel fired from the
Fiat’s fuel tank. For those
nights when you do check
into a caravan park – or hook
up a generator – electricity
takes over the water heating
and will allow you to run the
ducted Truma reverse-cycle
airconditioning system.
What’s Changed?
I
n the best traditions of
evolution the overall design
and layout are unchanged,
but externally, larger windows
have been fitted to the lounge
and bedroom while at the rear
the bed slide-out has been
lowered 150 mm and the lift-up
boot door has been replaced
by a sideways opening unit.
The AL-KO chassis also now
features automatic level control
(ALC) as standard, which
keeps the ride height constant
despite load, when travelling,
and inhibits cornering body roll.
Inside there’s a new lighting
system with touch dimmable
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 33
Larger bedroom side windows are
a welcome development, while the
bedroom TV’s pole mounting means
it can easily be adjusted for viewing
height and angle. Optional 12 V fan
is a must-have inclusion.
There’s a Tardis-like quality to the Trakkaway
700’s interior that means you occasionally need to
remind yourself it is ‘only’ a 7-metre motorhome.
LEDs and, it seems, quite a
few more of them. New stickon solar panels (2 x 120 W)
conform to the roof’s curved
profile and reduce weight
and wind resistance, while
looking a whole lot better: The
loss of 35 watts (total) output
over the previous 2 x 135 W
system deemed negligible in
view of the gains. The lower
bed makes access easier –
not that I remember it being
difficult to begin with – and a
new Eberspacher diesel/240volt Hydronic hot water and
heater unit complements the
Webasto diesel cooktop.
The test vehicle only sported
two options: a 12 V fan in
the bedroom – and raised
front suspension. AL-KO
now offers a makeover that
replaces the MacPherson
struts and springs, raising
the nose by about 40 mm so
the vehicle now sits level (Fiat
Ducatos sit nose-down) and,
most importantly, dramatically
improving ride quality whilst
eliminating the harsh frontend ride and bottoming out
Ducatos are famous for. The
revised front end provides
about 190 mm of ground
34 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
On the open road or camping in a
farmer’s paddock, the new higherriding front suspension delivers
handling, comfort and ground
clearance advantages that really
make it a must-have upgrade.
clearance – heading for 4WD territory – and
imbues the vehicle with an almost-Mercedes
Sprinter ride quality. Importantly, the new front
suspension is covered by Fiat’s 5-year/200,000
km factory warranty, while tare (empty) weight
has decreased by 100 kg.
What’s Not?
S
uspension upgrades aside the Fiat
Ducato base vehicle remains unchanged,
which means it still features a 3.0-litre
turbo diesel engine producing 132 kW and
400 Nm that drives the front wheels through a
6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT).
The Fiat comes standard with the 120-litre
long-range fuel tank, four-wheel ventilated
disc brakes with ABS and traction control and
225/75 R16 Michelin Agile Camping tyres that
resist flat-spotting when parked for prolonged
periods. The vehicle has a tare weight of 3590
kg and a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4490 kg,
leaving approximately 900 kg carrying capacity
for passengers, fuel, water and load. It also has
a reduced towing capacity of 1500 kg due to
the AL-KO chassis (2500 kg is Fiat’s standard).
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 35
At the rear the bed slide-out has
been lowered 150 mm and the lift-up
boot door has been replaced by a
sideways opening unit.
36 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
Clockwise from top: LED mood
lighting really adds to the after
hours ambience, while the dinette
seat is seatbelt equipped for two
and the larger side windows afford
great viewing. The Ducato’s red
instrument lighting is easy on the
eyes at night, but the central info
screen can be difficult for older
eyes to read.
Inside, the Fiat’s refreshing Italian design shines
through. From the sporty, thick leather-wrapped
steering wheel to the slightly odd pedal
placement it’s pure Italian. Standard features
include dual front airbags, air conditioning,
cruise control, remote central locking, power
steering, electric windows, electric mirrors,
adjustable headlights, trip computer, Blue &
Me Bluetooth system with voice activated
commands and an integrated-but-removable
TomTom GPS. It's also the most visually
pleasing commercial vehicle cockpit on the
market today. If only the Italians realised the rest
of the world likes to drink coffee while travelling
and included factory cupholders – Trakka adds
its own – plus reach adjustment to the steering
wheel because not all arms are the same
length, it would be perfect!
Moving On…
D
espite being so very familiar – a Fiat
Ducato is a Fiat Ducato is a Fiat Ducato
– this one drove like no other. Gone
was the familiar front-end harshness over road
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 37
irregularities big and small, while in our five days
away the front suspension steadfastly refused
to bottom out over big bumps at speed. In its
place was a compliant and comfortable ride
experience I quickly forgot to notice, simply
because it felt ‘normal’.
Quiet and comfortable on the highway – the
engine turns about 2000 RPM at freeway
speeds – the Fiat Ducato is a consummate
long distance tourer. This Ducato, however,
seemed to have a poorly calibrated cruise
control that lagged on hills and overran
noticeably at the top. It also had an overly
optimistic trip computer that showed average
fuel consumption of 12.5 and 11.7 L/100 km
over two refills compared to the real figures of
13.94 and 13.28 L/100 km, respectively. From
experience all trip computers err on the side of
optimism, but in this instance I think it mightn’t
be entirely to blame.
As mentioned earlier, this vehicle was fitted with
a new Eberspacher Hyrdronic unit for hot water
and vehicle heating. Being the middle of August
and given we spent much of our time at higher
altitudes in places like Oberon, the Eberspacher
did a fair bit of work. Mrs iMotorhome also
cooked at least two meals a day on the
Webasto diesel cooker and I have a feeling the
combined usage of these diesel-fuelled devices
Easy driving, easy cooking and easy outdoor living; the
Trakkaway 700 has much to recommend it –
including a handy electric awning.
38 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
The Aero2 nose reduces
drag, but an optional Aero4
nose is available if you want
an over-cab bed to make the
Trakkaway 700 a 4-berth
motorhome.
probably accounts for a large part of the trip
computer’s discrepancies.
Body Image
T
he Trakkaway 700’s body is made of
high-tech vacuum moulded composite
panels that eschew an internal frame in
favour of the strength, rigidity and weight saving
of, what is essentially, monocoque construction
(as used in cars and aircraft). Underneath, the
AL-KO chassis is already hot-dipped galvanised
for long-term corrosion protection. Windows
are Seitz double glazed acrylic items, with
inbuilt privacy and insect screens, which I was
surprised to see as Trakka has shifted to a new
style window in its van conversion range that
feature sturdier and easier to use blinds/insect
screens.
The Trakkaway 700 has a distinctive, streamed
“Aero2” nose with a large Skyview hatch, which
can be replaced with an “Aero4” nose that
includes an over-cab bed and side windows
should you wish to sleep four. This would be an
excellent solution if you were looking to travel
with kids as the forward facing dinette seat has
belts for two, but dinner time around the dinette
for four adults would be rather squeezy.
Because the AL-KO chassis does away with
the pair of heavy steel beams that run down the
spine of a conventional truck chassis, Trakka
has been able to build the 700’s body ‘deeper,’
providing a low entry-step height, excellent
internal head room and a low overall roof line.
Perhaps the only downside is relatively limited
external storage, because any lockers impinge
on internal living space. This is in contrast to a
conventional motorhome where they occupy
the space below the floor line, in the cavity
between the lower body panels and chassis. In
the Trakkaway 700’s case there is a reasonably
sized rear boot that also has access via a
smallish hatch on the driver’s side, but that’s
it. The hatch in the passenger side rear corner
houses the hot water/heating system.
Step Inside…
F
eaturing a front lounge, mid kitchen/
bathroom and a rear bedroom the
floorplan is thoroughly conventional.
Decor, on the other hand, is textbook Trakka:
Euro contemporary with a total absence of
bling.
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 39
Top to bottom: Secondary flip-up table is invaluable, but larger dinette window makes it
harder to sit across the dinette comfortably for reading or watching TV. The vehicle can be
driven with the slide-out bed extended (handy should it malfunction), but there’s not quite
enough bed-head room to sit up and read or watch TV.
Decades of design experience is evidenced
by the subtle delineation of living, cooking and
sleeping zones, accentuated by differing floor
heights: each feels self-contained yet part of
an organic whole. Similarly the bathroom, a
substantial unit opposite the kitchen, blends
away as you move through the vehicle. Light
wood hues contrast with silver and grey trim,
while at night concealed purple/blue strip
lighting enhances mood and confers intimacy.
Roller shutters on overhead cupboards and
wardrobes, curved drawer fronts and bench
tops, carefully profiled cupboard ends and trim
panels all combine to cocoon and impress.
It’s the clever use of curves and an integrated
interior design approach that sees the
Trakkaway 700 – and all Trakkaways – stand
in stark contrast to many other motorhomes,
whose interiors feel like they were cobbled
together from a hardware store’s Father's Day
bargain catalogue.
Living Thing
T
here’s a Tardis-like quality to the
Trakkaway 700’s interior that means you
occasionally need to remind yourself it is
‘only’ a 7-metre long motorhome and there are
some compromises. For example, to access
the bedroom you need to extend the slide-out.
This is no chore as it’s done by remote control,
but you can’t just walk in to grab something.
Ditto the Switch Mode Bathroom, or SMB.
The loo tucks away beneath the vanity until
needed, providing a generous shower cubicle,
but it does mean when Nature calls you need
to extend it – again by remote control and again
no chore, but something that introduces an
extra step into the process. The dinette also
is a compromise, because the main table is
40 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
The main dining table uses a
Zwaardvis multi-adjustable mount
and is a good size. It stores neatly
against the bedroom wall when not
required.
removable and stored snugly in the bedroom.
This means if you need it at lunch time you
need to first extend the bed and then walk right
through the vehicle with its separate pole and
top before assembling and adjusting them once
in place (fortunately there’s also a handy flipup mini table ideal for sandwiches and coffee
or pre-dinner drinks and nibbles). These little
things, designed to maximise living space whilst
minimising vehicle size, need to be embraced to
enjoy the Trakkaway 700 to its maximum.
One final thought on this subject, Mrs
iMotorhome pointed out that for her – and
probably many people – the bedroom also
needs to be a secondary living area: a place
of retreat when you’ve been together 24/7,
I again found the dinette made a
good office desk while on the road
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 41
where you can have some ‘me time’ reading
and/or watching television. In this vehicle the
dimensions of the slide-out bedroom’s bedhead ‘box’ means it’s not possible to sit up
in bed to do these things, even though a
concertina privacy door makes it all the more
desirable. Also, having a full-size window at
the bed head would negate it even if there was
room. Upon returning the vehicle Trakka told us
the bed-head box is being made 120 mm taller
to help address this, and we recommended
reducing the size of or removing the window
completely, given the size of the bedroom’s side
windows and roof hatch, plus the fan option,
to circulate air on a warm summer night. Given
that I’m not a sit-up-in-bed type of person her
observations eluded me when I spent my week
in the production prototype two years ago.
Lesson learned!
Right: Electrical, heating/hot water and cooktop controls
are neatly grouped in an over-kitchen cupboard. Below:
Swivelling cab seats are great for reading, watching TV
or just kicking back.
Daily Life
W
e quickly settled into the Trakkaway
700 for our five days/four nights
away. Being winter we appreciated
the convenience and comfort of the new
Eberspacher Hydronic heating and hot water
system, which uses a heavily insulated 20 L
storage tank to provide long-lasting hot water as
42 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
well as vehicle interior heating. It's digital control
unit meant we could set a precise interior
temperature and we left it running overnight,
although we found the fan quite noisy. I've since
discovered the unit has a multispeed fan with a
quiet night mode and Trakka was checking to
see why it was misbehaving.
The concept of a completely LPG-free
motorhome is appealing, not only because it
does away with the tedious task of checking
gas bottle levels and having to refill them, but
also because it avoids an annual gas inspection
at registration time. The Webasto diesel cooker
is the centrepiece of this system, replacing the
traditional three or four gas burner cooktop,
but it does take a while to get used to and
is painfully slow boiling a kettle due to its
prolonged heat-up/cool-down cycle. Those
Good bench space and easy access to everything kept
Mrs iMotorhome happy (she really does love cooking!).
A 20-litre storage tank provides plenty of hot water and
heat for the heating system. Clever…
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 43
Mrs iM demonstrates the genteel art of multi-tasking
while the Webasto diesel cooktop comes up to
temperature. Boiling the kettle from scratch takes 10plus minutes, so a thermos during the day is a good idea.
who regularly want to cook three or four things
at once might want to revert to a gas cooking
system – even with its attendant complexities
and drawbacks – as the Webasto system is
best suited to one pot wonders and reheating.
Alternatively, carry a portable gas stove that
uses a gas canister (they’re about $20 a Big W)
for quick/extra cooking and a quick cuppa (and
carry a thermos).
Mrs iM loved the spaciousness of the kitchen;
it’s bench top and clever perimeter shelf
plus deep, soft-closing drawers. All electrical
controls are grouped in a central overhead
cupboard, between the microwave and carefully
compartmentalised crockery cupboard. I again
found the dinette made a good office, with the
multi-adjustable Zwaardvis table providing a
44 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
Plenty of mirrors make the
spacious bathroom appear
even larger, while the toilet
tucks neatly beneath the vanity
when not required. Bottom:
Reading lights aren’t quite in
the right place for bedtime
reading, though.
wide range of options. The
bathroom’s wrap-around
shower curtain kept towels
and loo paper dry, with press
studs holding it securely in
place preventing it becoming
an enveloping wet white cloud.
Despite its rounded corners
the bed proved long and wide
enough to accept our pair of
Duvalay memory foam sleeping
bags, while small bedside
shelves provided enough room
for mobile phones, books, etc.
Other touches like the inclusion
of dual 12 V USB charging
outlets; two TVs, the front one
of which can be swivelled and
watched from outside through
the window; an electric awning
with dimmable LED exterior
lighting; REMIS privacy blinds
for the cab; a reversing camera
with two lenses, one for
straight down when parking
and the other as a rear view
camera; drinking water filtration
system; heater outlets in the
bedroom, bathroom and
lounge; outdoor table; inbuilt
240 V power lead; an external
shower and more – all as
standard equipment – make
for very easy living.
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 45
The Waeco dual lens rear camera
is the best I’ve used, providing a
distance view while driving and a
downward view when reversing.
One For The Road…
T
he Trakkaway 700 is certainly one
for the road. And whether that road
is long or short, straight or twisty,
smooth or rough it will get you there – and
back – in comfort and style.
Packing so much equipment into a
small motorhome is always going to
cause compromises, but like any good
relationship, once you understand what
you’re dealing with it’s simple to adjust and
get the most from it.
Trakka’s devotion/obsession with
innovation is what keeps it ahead of the
pack. Also, it’s willingness to take feedback
onboard and implement it quickly to
help improve already great designs is
impressive. The Trakkaway 700 is a grand
design, one made better with time, insight
and effort, and one of the best – if not the
best – in class. It was well worth revisiting!
Quiet and comfortable on the highway, the Fiat
Ducato is a consummate long distance tourer.
46 | Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700
Specifications
Manufacturer
Trakka
Model
Trakkaway 700
Base Vehicle
Fiat Ducato 180
Engine
3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel
Power
132 kW @ 4000 rpm
Torque
400 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Gearbox
6-speed automated manual
Brakes
ABS ventilated 4-wheel discs
Tare Weight
3590 kg
Gross Vehicle Mass
4490 kg
Towing Capacity
1500 kg
Licence
Car
Approved Seating
4
External Length
6.99 m (22 ft 11 in)
External Width
2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)
External Height
2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
Internal Height
2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)
Rear Bed Size
1.95 m x 1.350 m (6 ft 5 in x 4 ft 5 in)
Cooktop
Webasto diesel-fired stove
Fridge
136-litre 12/240 V
Microwave
Yes
Lighting
12 V LED
Batteries
2 x 100 AH
Heater
20-litre Eberspacher Hydronic
Solar Panels
2 x 120 W
Air Conditioner
Truma ducted reverse cycle
Hot Water Heater
20-litre Eberspacher Hydronic
Toilet
Shower
Retractable Thetford cassette
Shared cubicle
Fresh Water Tank
165-litre
Contact
Grey Water Tank
135-litre
Trakka
Price (drive away NSW)
$169,500
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pros
Quality
Innovation
Liveability
Standard equipment
Off-grid ability
New heater/hot water system
LPG free
Cons
• Limited external storage
• Diesel cooker won’t suit
everyone
9 Beaumont Rd,
Mt-Kuring-gai, NSW. 2080
T: (02) 1800 872 552
E: trakka@trakka.com.au
W: www.trakka.com.au
Click for
Google Maps
For more iMotorhome
Road Tests click here
Touring Test: Trakka Trakkaway 700 | 47
The Trakkaway 700 is a grand
design; one made better with time,
insight and effort, and one of the
best – if not the best – in class.
48 | Travel: Griffith
Party Time!
It’s festival time in glorious Griffith.
What are you waiting for?
T
he bustling city of Griffith sits on
the edge of the expansive Riverina
agricultural area in South Western NSW.
A planned town that now enjoys city status,
Griffith has the distinction of being designed
by American architect Walter Burley Griffin,
famous for creating our National Capital,
Canberra.
Home to a large Italian community that has
thrived under semi-Mediterranean climatic
conditions and with an abundance of water
from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area
(MIA), plus highly fertile soil, Griffith is also a
community that knows how to enjoy itself.
There are many festivals and special events
throughout the year, but October is when
the celebrations reach fever pitch. There are
also worthwhile lead-up events in September,
including the Griffith Readers’ Festival
(12-13 Sep) and Yellowtail Griffith Cup Race
Meeting (13 Sep).
October Fun!
T
his year the Festival of Gardens
launches on Friday 17 October amongst
the Real Juice Company Citrus
Sculptures. With live music, entertainment,
family fun and paella pans bubbling, the
Travel: Griffith | 49
With citrus sculptures like this giant guitar dotting the
streetscape it’s no wonder Griffith attracts visitors from
near and far every October!
evening will be a great family event. The
Festival of Gardens features nine open
gardens ranging from large country estates
to compact cottage gardens. Also, 60
magnificent Citrus Sculptures are on display in
the CBD!
Tino Carnevale of the ABC’s Gardening
Australia is the special guest who will be
mingling with gardening enthusiasts over the
festival weekend, providing opportunity for
general gardening Q&A. Tino will also run
informal information sessions at the gardens,
such as how to espalier fruit trees; grow and
care for natives; garden edging and growing
amazing lawns. The walks and talks with Tino
are included in the garden entry fee and if you
pick up a Festival of Gardens program you’ll
find times and details.
On Saturday night, after a day of visiting
gardens and exhausting the senses, why not
join the Long Italian Table with Tino Carnevale,
as a visit to Griffith would be incomplete
without an Italian meal with new and old
friends. Tino also hails from Italian heritage
and will talk about growing food for the whole
family. The Italian night will be held at Pioneer
Park Museum, but bookings are essential
(phone 1800 681 141).
The Visitor Information Centre also runs a
daily coach to the gardens with the driver
providing passengers fabulous insights into
Griffith. Lunch is provided and morning and/or
afternoon tea can be purchased, so you can
sit back, relax and enjoy the country setting.
Sculptures of a Peel!
T
he Real Juice Company Citrus
Sculptures make one of the most
unique exhibitions in Australia. Created
with more than 100,000 oranges, rubber
50 | Travel: Griffith
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Plenty of sunshine and abundant
irrigation water means many local
gardens rival the best in the Country
– another reason the annual Festival
of Gardens is so popular.
bands and an army of 700 volunteers, the
creative sculptures attract thousands every
year. The exhibition, now in its 14th year, is
based on the lemon sculptures in Menton,
France. A yellow-footed rock wallaby, robot,
horse and carriage, fire-truck, readingglasses, Jeep, piano and guitar are amongst
the amazing collection. These remarkable
sculptures are up for two weeks, from Sunday
12 October through to Saturday 25 October.
October in Griffith also celebrates the Taste
Riverina Festival, Griffith Multi-Cultural
Festival and the Griffith Agricultural Show.
These events capture the vitality and essence
of Griffith, offering plenty of great food to
discover, wonderful people to meet and
exciting places and stories to explore. Don’t
miss them!
Festival Facts
Where: Griffith, NSW.
Click for
Google Maps
Contact: Griffith Visitor
Information Centre
Call: 1800 681 141
Email: visitgriffith@griffith.com.au
Web: www.visitgriffith.com.au
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13-26 OCTOBER
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FESTIVAL
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18-21 OCTOBER
12-25 OCTOBER 2014
EASTER 2014
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Festa, Jet Boats,
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FESTIVAL
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JUNE 2014
17-20 OCTOBER
unWINEd,
Sikh Games 2014
Come and visit us this Spring!
There’s plenty to explore, see and do. More than sixty large
There’s plenty to explore, see and do. More than fifty large
3D
citrus sculptures. Nine private gardens, cottage gardens
3D citrus sculptures. Eight private gardens (cottage gardens
totocountry
estates.Meet
Weekend
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country estates).
ABC Gardening
Australia’s
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Carnevale. Enjoy fabulous local wine, great food and coffee.
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visitgriffith
www.visitgriffith.com.au
52 | Travel: Binnaway
Doing the
Right Thing!
Sleepy Binnaway shows
other towns how to look
after RV travellers…
By Michael & Sylvia Murphy
ate in 2009 we were returning from a trip
through North Western Queensland in our
motorhome and we decided to call in at
the small NSW town of Binnaway. You see, my
wife spent her entire school life in the town and
her parents reside in the Binnaway Cemetery.
L
Coming into town from Coonabarabran we
spotted what appeared to be a new caravan
and motorhome camp spot. We already knew
there was a toilet block and a camp spot near
the new bridge and thought we might camp
there. But, on spotting this new camp we
called in to have a look. We met one of the
local men who appeared to be doing some
sort of work there and on speaking with him
learned how the ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’
came about. At that time it was not quite
finished; the caravan power outlets were still
to be connected and the ground work was not
complete.
The local fellow said he belonged to the
Binnaway Progress Association and they
were responsible for the creation of this camp
spot. He said, “We don’t know if anybody will
use this place, but the old one was not up to
scratch and may be closed down.” We asked
if we could camp there for the night without
power and the reply was, You certainly can –
and you may like to leave a donation in the box
on the wall.” That we did.
The toilet block also has hot showers for ‘$2 in
the slot’ for five minutes. Three times we have
been there now it has been clean and tidy on
Travel: Binnaway | 53
Clean, modern facilities are well cared
for and a credit to the town.
all occasions. The caravan sites have ‘coin in
the slot’ power outlets, complete with site light
and water tap. This ‘coin in the slot’ system
seems to work well and we can’t see why all
camp spots don’t use it.
We overnighted there again on the 9th of June
and were surprised to see many units camped
there. I counted 11 as I walked around and
some came in after dark. I spoke to one
gentleman from a lovely motorhome and he
said, “I’ve been here since Wednesday and
it’s been like this every night,” adding that he
came in to get off the highways for the long
week-end and found it was nice and quiet.
The ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’ is now cared
for and kept clean and tidy by the Binnaway
Men’s Shed Group; and they do a marvellous
job. There have been new trees planted,
fences erected and a new gun emplacement
shelter erected. It’s on the northern side of
town on the Castlereagh River and there’s even
a concrete path that winds through a park-like
riverside setting all the way to the shops. It’s
also right on the main road to Coonabarabran,
but this isn’t noisy.
On departing the camp we drove to the main
street and parked, then walked along admiring
the old buildings, especially the old time pubs
54 | Travel: Binnaway
By Sunset the Pumphouse
Camping Ground is usually
well patronised.
and banks; some now private residences
but still well cared for. One interesting note
is that the Royal Hotel, commonly called the
“top pub” was used in the making of the film
‘Shiralee’ in late 1956, staring Peter Finch.
On entering the local – and only – butcher’s
shop we were engulfed in conversation with
Tony, the butcher. He’s been in the main
street of Binnaway all his working life and
told us how the ‘Pumphouse Camp Ground’
came about. He also said the number of
caravans and motorhomes coming through
Binnaway has increased dramatically, since it
was establishment. And I agree; we saw a lot
in the short time we were there and all I can
say is, “Well done!” to the locals of Binnaway.
Fast Facts
Click for
Google Maps
Where: Pumphouse
Camping Ground, Bullinda St,
Binnaway. NSW. 2395
Cost: Free for unpowered sites
Max stay: 3 nights
Powered sites: 8 ($2/3hrs)
Showers: $2/5 mins
Note: $2 coins only
The ground is now cared for by the Binnaway
Men’s Shed Group and they do a marvellous job.
Travel: Binnaway | 55
We saw a lot of activity in the
short time we were there and all
I can say is, ‘Well done!’ to the
locals of Binnaway.
56 | Reader Report: My Motorhome
My Motorhome
Avida Esperance C7934SL
Features
by Chris Bradsworth & Michelle Ramsay aka
Young Nomads Travelling Australia
Best features: If it’s raining we just pull up and
wait for it to stop.
Worst features: Double bed.
Warranty issues: Floor lifting, cabinetry
issues, tyres scrubbing due to needing wheel
alignment, electrical issues with control panel
and GPS, and turbo leaking. So yes there have
been a few.
Dealer support: Very little (Ed’s note - Chris
& Michelle are travelling Australia and live in
Port Douglas, so support from a Wodonga
dealership would be difficult).
Manufacturer support: Ongoing at dealers
around Australia.
Recommend to a friend: Probably not. Type: Factory-built motorhome
Make & Model: Avida Esperance C7934SL
Year: 2013
Mileage now: 18,000 km
Length: 7.936 m (26 ft)
Licence required: Car.
Base vehicle brand: Iveco 50C17
Engine size: 4-cylinder turbo diesel 2998 cc
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Average fuel economy: 16.1 L/100km.
No of berths: 4
No of seatbelt-equipped seats: 4
Why did I choose it? Because of the
Winnebago name and its size.
First vehicle or replacement: First
Options fitted: Secondary TV outside, 2 x
solar roof panels, solar blockout system for the
front windows and a bike rack.
Comments
Generally disappointing.
Reader Report: My Special Place | 57
My Special Place
Cosy Corner, WA
by Chris Bradsworth & Michelle Ramsay
Location
Address: Cosy Corner Road,
Kronkup.
State: Western Australia.
Click for
Google Maps
Details
Free beachside camp.
Description: Relaxing beach location.
Visited: March 2014.
How I found it: Wikicamps.
Why I visited: Free/fishing/beach.
Was it RV Friendly: Dump point on site.
Price range: Free!
What I liked: Beach location, fishing and the
people.
What I didn’t: People staying longer than the
allotted 7 day limit.
Would I go back: For sure, it was one of the
most relaxing places I have visited.
Comments
Go to Shelly Beach for the salmon season
Feb-April.
58 | Mobile Tech: Social Media
Let’s be Social!
The lowdown on social media…
by Emily Barker
U
nless you’ve been living under a
comfortable rock for the last decade
you will have noticed the astounding
and sometimes overwhelming growth of
social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google Plus
– the list goes on – Myspace, Tumblr, Flickr,
Vine, Snapchat and more. The rise and rise
of social media has been complemented by
a rapid succession of technological advances
producing the ability to connect and share a
variety of media with virtually anyone, anywhere
and in real time. Throw in blog sites and social
communication tools such as Skype and Viber,
which utilise Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
and it’s no wonder even tech savvy generation
Xs are sometimes left feeling a little dazed and
confused.
Mobile Tech: Social Media | 59
is powerful enough that some governments ban
it and valuable enough it’s revolutionising the
way business operates – and all while turning
an astounding profit.
The Players
Each social network has its own merits. For
example Twitter talk is limited to 140 characters
in a very public domain, whereas Facebook is
literally free for all and often a more private affair.
Pinterest is a visual link directory based upon a
traditional ideas corkboard, while Instagram is
an image capture, edit and share environment
and LinkedIn is where professionals gather
to share CVs, accomplishments and look for
new jobs. What you choose to participate in
will depend upon your interests, intentions
Recent advances in mobile technology have
finally placed all the convenience of online social and what you wish to share or experience.
Many people, however, have serious and quite
networking sites directly into the palm of your
justified concerns over online privacy and
hand, making it more convenient than ever to
stay connected. Every app is free and available security, especially with regard to social media.
for both Apple and Android devices, turning the Understanding how to navigate and operate a
safe social media account is therefore essential.
once humble telephone into a communication
Regardless of which networking platform you
tool with seemingly limitless capabilities. It is,
however, important to carefully consider the way choose there are a few key points to keep in
mind specifically regarding privacy, security and
in which you interact with social media. Just as
general correct use:
you wouldn’t use a hammer to tighten a screw
or a wrench to hammer a nail, it’s important to
• It’s a Public Space – The first of these is
know how to use social media appropriately.
to never share, say or do anything that you
Social media applications are tools too, handy
wouldn’t want the world to see. Think carefully
when used correctly but with the potential to
before posting; once something is online and
cause serious harm if mishandled. Social media
regardless of your privacy settings it can be very
hard to erase. Pretty much every device has the
ability to screen capture images or cache files,
which makes your digital footprint a potentially
permanent one.
• Control your settings – Each site and
application has a series of adjustable privacy
settings that include who can see what you
post and how they can interact with you. So it’s
up to you to set the level of security you require.
Generally, the default setting when you set up
60 | Mobile Tech: Social Media
an account is Public, meaning anyone can
access your information, photos and posts, but
you can customise settings to restrict access
to only certain people. It’s important you control
your privacy settings carefully, not only for your
own benefit but to protect your friends. Take
the time to regularly assess your settings too
as Facebook in particular regularly changes
options, often with little notification.
• Limit personal sharing – What you
choose to share is entirely up to you, but just
because an application asks for your name,
phone number, birthdate and a variety of other
personal information does not necessarily
mean you need to oblige, or that these need
be publicly displayed. You are more than able
to name yourself John Smith, knock 15 years
off your age and provide a photo of your cat
as a profile picture. This is important to realise
too, for just as you can choose to remain
anonymous so too can everyone else and
unfortunately people may not actually be who
they say they are for a variety of reasons. It’s
always a good idea to limit what you share
and while ‘checking in’ might be fun, keep it
general. Never divulge information that could
compromise your personal safety.
different to Facebook, but you can still protect
your tweets and only approve certain followers
should you wish. The same goes for links
and applications; be wary of authorising any
applications that wish to post on your behalf or
access your information.
• Use Strong passwords – It may sound
simple but protecting your accounts with
un-guessable passwords is the best way to
deter hackers. It may be tempting to use one
password for all of our many online activities but
this is not a good idea, especially with regard to
online banking.
• Check privacy policies – Some sites may
share information such as email addresses or
user preferences with other companies and this
might lead to an increase in spam. Games in
particular continue to send notifications to your
friends long after you have lost interest.
•
Be Skeptical – Don’t trust everything you read
online. Unfortunately there are those who prey
upon the good faith and honesty of others.
For this reason always double check facts and
never accept friend requests from people you
do not know. If in doubt, ask. Twitter is a little
• Get Acquainted – Facebook has a handy
feature in which you can choose to ‘classify’
your friends and in the process simplify your
privacy controls. Often adding someone on
Facebook is the easiest way to stay in contact,
particularly when meeting new people on the
road as phone numbers and emails can be
too formal and complicated. If you wish to add
someone as a friend but you don’t know them
too well, add them as an acquaintance and
then simply post personal material to ‘friends
except acquaintances’. You can filter your posts
in many ways and it pays to familiarise yourself
Mobile Tech: Social Media | 61
with the various options and customise these to
suit your requirements.
media can be a great experience and it’s often
the perfect travel companion, too.
• Avoid confrontations – Social media has
given everybody a platform to voice their
opinions, thoughts and feelings, and many
people do – loudly and with little thought or
consideration for others. Keep your online
environment a positive place by refusing to
engage with bullies or ‘Trolls’. While the majority
of people use social networks in a respectful
manner the audacity of some is often stunning.
Swiftly resolve any problems by simply using
the block feature.
You can keep up to date with news from
home and share your experiences; securely
capture, upload and store masses of digital
media, access current information about your
destination, follow business or interest pages
(never miss an iMotorhome update!), join or
create groups for likeminded individuals and of
course share a laugh or two.
• Be sensitive - A good proportion of my social
networking is the sharing of humour, but I do
realise that what I find hilarious my elderly aunt
might see as rather distasteful. In order to keep
her up-to-date with my kids’ cute antics but
ignorant of my feral funnies I use the list feature
where I can select the audience for my posts
from pre-designated groups, leaving the more
conservative of my friends blissfully unaware of
Let social media be a resource you use to
my shenanigans!
your own benefit. Dictate the terms upon how
your information and material is seen, used
Consumers and businesses alike know social
and shared and ultimately enjoy your role as a
media is a very powerful tool. When used
member of one of the world’s largest and most
correctly it’s a great way to stay in contact with
diverse communities!
friends and family, share precious memories and
keep up to date with the latest news, offers and
to network broadly with people who share your
interests. Using a mobile device to access social
Join us on Facebook!
iMotorhome has more than 13,000 Friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. If you
aren’t already one of them just click on the links below to share in daily updates, see photos
of interesting, unusual and funny campers and motorhomes from around the world and to find
out what other people and companies are up to. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date and stay
in touch.
Twitter
62 | Next Issue
Alluring Leura?
W
e're back in the two week swing of
things now and next issue Malcolm
brings us the all-new Avida Leura, a
compact two-berth B-class motorhome that
becomes Avida’s entry level coachbuilt model.
Built on a Fiat Ducato and featuring a roll-down
electric bed, large lounge and a full-width rear
bathroom, it’s keenly priced and could become
Avida’s top seller.
September 05-07
SEP
05-07
Penrith Caravan,
Camping & Holiday Expo
Penrith Panthers, Mulgoa
Rd, Penrith. NSW.
• Open 9:00-5:00 daily
(4:00 Sunday)
• Parking: Free
• Adults: $10
• Seniors: $6
• Kids: U16 Free with adult
SEP
26-28
Malcolm’s also reporting on a compact Bürstner
B-class he spent a week in last month as a base
for a New Zealand skiing holiday. Tough life for
some! He’ll also bring us the lowdown on his
adventures, with insight and tips on motorhoming
in extreme conditions. We also take a look at
front-wheel drive motorhoming in a real world
uphill/wet grass situation and showcase a reader’s
custom Winnebago Birdsville.
And that’s just for starters! Next issue is on
Sep 20, so until then why not join our more than
Friends and Twitter
13,000 Facebook
followers for news and more than a few laughs?
See you in two weeks!
SEP
OCT
SEP
September
26-28
05-07 26-28
02-05
Central Coast 4WD,
Caravan, Camping &
Boat Show
Mingara Recreation Club,
Tumbi Umbi. NSW. 2261.
• Open 10:00-4:00 daily
• Parking: Not specified
• Adults: $10
• Seniors: $8
• Kids: 5-16 years $5
Visit Website
Visit Website
Click for
Google Maps
Click for
Google Maps
OCT
02-05
SEP
SEP
October05-07
02-0526-28
OCT
02-05
Sandown RV & Camping
Leisurefest
Sandown Racecourse,
Princes Highway,
Springvale.
• Open 10:00-5:00 daily
(4:00 Sunday)
• Parking: Free
• Adults: $15 ($13 online)
• Seniors: $10 ($8 online)
• Kids: U15 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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