iMotorhome 11: October 06 2012 .com.au Issue because getting there is half the fun... EYRE APPARENT? Is the Eyre the shape of Winnebagos to come? Motorhome Safety The debate hots up... Happy Holiday? Malcolm tests the Sunliner Holiday... On my mind... W ell at least one person read my editorial last issue, regarding the potential need for roll-over protection in motorhomes. That person happened to be Dave Berry, Managing Director of Trakka and here’s what he had to say: “Why don’t we see Germany pushing for roll-over protection for motorhomes as they must be one of the most safety conscious manufacturers? Cars are covered for front, side and rear impacts but I don’t believe there is any ADR for roll over, so why on motorhomes?” “Hi Richard, a few things to think about regarding rollover protection in C-Class Motorhomes as mentioned in Issue 10 of iMotorhome.” “If roll over was introduced into motorhomes, no doubt it could result in them being less affordable, for maybe little benefit. Cabs from most of the vehicle manufacturers are designed to cope with a rollover as long as they are not tampered with (modifying the cab can affect the strength of the structure and seatbelt anchorages). If the cab is left intact, the driver and “Yes, roll-over protection was introduced into buses and coaches because there was little strength above the window line, which could collapse under the bus’s own weight, so passengers were very exposed in a roll-over situation.” front passenger are very well protected (as well as in any car and in some cases better).” “If there are additional ADR certified seating positions in the rear they are usually seated immediately behind the front cab which means they are quite well protected in the case of a roll-over, especially if the seating height is similar to those at the front.” “Paradise might suggest they have roll-over protection but has it been tested or have we seen any results? Do they modify the cabs?” “Currently, it’s more prudent for manufacturers to build vehicles to comply with what they have been certified to do, • Campervans • Motorhomes • Caravans • Hobby Haulers • Campervans • Motorhomes • 4x4 Campers • Caravans • Camper Trailers • Off-Road Caravans • Pop-top Caravans • Hard-top Caravans • Campervans • Motorhomes 5 Melrose Dr, Wodonga 3690 • Ph: 02 6024 4222 • awrvworld.com.au 3 On my mind... ...Continued any variation from this can be a far greater safety issue. Some manufacturers still modify the front cabins (removing rear walls and roofs) to reduce costs instead of ordering it OEM. Some add seating positions over what they have been certified for. Some add sleeping positions over what they have approval for. For example, it’s an ADR requirement not to have more sleeping positions than seating.” My thanks to Dave for his input and without wishing to open a can of worms on this matter, it would be good to hear from other manufacturers and/or interested parties for a range of views. On a different note, please welcome Collyn Rivers to the fold. Collyn is legendary in RV circles for his research, books and insights into all-thing RV and the first of his regular articles can be found on P42. Enjoy! d r a h c i R STOP PRESS!!! Read more about this on page 62. The iMotorhome Team Richard Robertson Malcolm Street Allan Whiting Publisher & Managing Editor Consulting Editor Technical Editor A long-time freelance RV, motoring and travel writer, Richard is a dedicated, longterm motorhome enthusiast. Unquestionably Australia and New Zealand’s best known RV journalist, Malcolm is a fixture at CMCA rallies and RV shows and is now in his second decade as a specialist RV writer. An experienced motoring writer when Japanese cars were a novelty, Allan’s career read’s like Australian motor writing royalty. email@example.com He has held senior editorial positions with some of the best know recreational vehicle magazines in Australia. Richard also has a passion for lifestyleenhancing technology, which is why he is the driving force behind the new iMotorhome eMagazine. firstname.lastname@example.org If it’s available on either side of the Tasman, Malcolm has probably driven it, slept in it, reported on it, knows how it’s made and can tell you just how good it really is. email@example.com Highly experienced in or on everything from motorcycles to B-doubles, Allan also runs www.outbacktravelaustralia. com – an invaluable free resource for anyone into four-wheel driving or touring remote corners of Australia. ©2012 iMotorhome. All rights reserved. Published by iMotorhome. ABN 34 142 547 719. PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW. 2576. Contact us on 0414 604 368 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org looking for a legends winner? take a trakka. >> TRAKKA’s Trakkaway 770 has just been awarded the >> If you would like to find out more information winner of the Caravan World Motorhome Legends Series. about the award winning Trakkaway 770, as well as >> Amoungst a strong field made up of the best RV’s in the have a look at our impressive full range of Motorhomes industry, the impressive Trakkaway 770 won by excelling and Campervans, simply visit us at www.trakka.com in a number of areas including •Value for money; or call 1800 TRAKKA (872 552). • Setting up on site; •Driveability; • Suitability for intended touring; • Layout liveability; • Quality of finish; •Build quality; • Creature comforts; • Innovation and • The X-Factor. trakkabout australia INSIDE EDISNI 2 ON MY MIND 7 NEWS The safety debate begins.... The latest happenings in the RV world 11 COVI SHOW 15 TESTED 29 TESTED 42 TECHNICAL Malcolm reports on Auckland’s recent RV show Breath of Fresh Eyre – Richard reviews the Winnebago Eyre Italian Holiday – Malcolm checks out Sunliner’s Holiday 17 48 CMCA MESSAGE Vehicle Dynamics – Part 1 of a series by Collyn Rivers Reduce your travel costs, not your enjoyment.... 54 ROADSIDE EATS 21 The Long Track Pantry – Richard lunches in the name of research! MOBILE TECH 60 23 62 STOP PRESS 64 NEXT ISSUE HeyTell – a free voice messaging system! Paradise Motor Homes continues the safety debate... What’s coming up, plus our show calendar Paradise Motor Homes have Moved Paradise Motor Homes is excited to announce we have moved to the former Swagman premises located at 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland. Our new headquarters houses a state-of-the-art production facility specially designed to meet the high demand for our new price-competitive Integrity Series. The exciting news for those wanting to trade will be the new 15,000sqm Paradise RV Sales & Service Division which will offer: • Paradise New & Used Sales • Consignment Listings • Annual Motorhome Body Servicing • Solar & GenSet Supply & Fitment • Tilta Car Trailers & A Frames • Trade-ins • Repairs to all makes & models • Insurance Repairs • Upgrades & modifications • RV Shop This exciting move into such a high profile and well-known location will delight you with its easy accessibility, improved parking and extended services. We look forward to seeing you at the new home of Paradise. Enjoy the prestige of owning Australia’s best quality motorhome Paradise Motor Homes www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters, Queensland, 4216 , Australia ph (07) 5597 4400 - fax (07) 5597 5500 - email email@example.com Paradise Motor Homes products are protected by registered designs, patents and copyrights ™ © 2012 7 News... TALVOR APPOINTS SYDNEY RV GROUP “The current Talvor range is the most exciting in the company’s history, including the dynamic Hayman slide-out 4-berth motorhome. We build tough for Australian conditions, but with European styling and innovation.” “As Australia’s largest motorhome manufacturer, we’re confident Talvor is set to become a market leader, and we look forward to building a long term relationship with Sydney RV,” he said. T its way to Sydney RV Centre’s showrooms at North Narrabeen and Penrith over the next nine months. Talvor CEO Luke Trouchet said $15 million worth of motorhome and caravan stock would make “Sydney RV Group is an award winning operation offering excellent customer service from initial enquiry to after-sales care, and we’re proud they’ll be showcasing our full range of Talvor vehicles,” he said. alvor has announced Sydney RV Group, which was recently given the Award of Excellence – Best Dealer/Retailer/Wholesaler in Sydney at the 2012 CCI Awards of Excellence, as its premier partner in NSW. Sydney RV Group owner Jeremy Pearce said the popularity of caravans and motorhomes was on the rise amongst Australians of all ages. “We have experienced very rapid growth over the past seven years to become the largest RV dealer in Sydney, with our team of 55 staff selling around 750 motorhomes and caravans each year.” “Talvor has invested significantly into understanding the needs and dreams of Australian motorhome and caravan enthusiasts, and I’m sure our customers will welcome the Talvor range,” he said. The Talvor story began back in 1985 with the launch of the rental company Apollo Motorhomes, whose manufacturing arm eventually evolved into an independent retail operation. News... CAN-DO SPRINTER 4X4 where most of the better off-road camper trailers will go. It’s good in soft sand and the twin wheel set up has little effect on its performance, which makes it a pretty good explorer for a lot of our desert treks like Simpson or even the Canning (Stock Route), set-up with the right equipment.” L ast issue we reviewed the Horizon Acacia, built on a 4X4 variant of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter van. We said it was better suited to dirt roads and tracks than real off-road work, but the good folks at Trakka have taken us to task on that and believe we have seriously underestimated the off-road capabilities of 4X4 Sprinter van. Dave Berry commented: iMotorhome has seen a video of Trakka’s Jabiru Sprint 4X4 amongst the dunes at Stockton Beach, near Newcastle, and it certainly seemed to get around well. We do have reservations about extracting a 4.5 tonne vehicle from deep sand, should an owner be travelling alone, and urge extreme caution for anyone venturing into such a situation. “I think the Sprinter 4x4 is more of an off road vehicle than you make out. Of course its size restricts things a little on where you can go, but apart from that it’s very good. It will go further than a 4x4 pulling an off-road caravan and go We have also seen impressive photos of Sally Berry’s off-road adventures in her personal Jabiru 4X4 and are looking forward to the chance to ‘get our hands dirty’, helping her explore its limitations. Watch these pages! TRAKKA WINS COMMERCIAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD C onfirming its reputation as a leader in the Australian RV industry, family-owned Trakka was awarded the coveted title of 2012 NSW Commercial Vehicle Business of the Year at the recent Motor Industry State Awards for Excellence, on 22 September 2012. The awards are staged by the Motor Trader’s Association of NSW (MTA) which currently has over 6,000 members across NSW. The annual awards recognise motor traders for business excellence and in 2012 the awards attracted over 200 finalists. Continued... News... ...Continued Martin Poate, General Manager at Trakka, says the award win can be attributed to a focus on business development and innovation, as well as a passionate Trakka team. Against solid competition from the top 10% of all NSW motor dealerships in the category, a panel of independent industry judges awarded Trakka the 2012 title. Judges assessed entrants on eight criteria including relevance and commitment to the motor industry, profile within the local community, premises presentation, continued business development, commitment to training and staff development, commitment to good environmental practices, keeping up to date with technology and new innovations. “Our new campervan and motorhome developments over the years have differentiated Trakka in the market and helped us to become one of the leading players in the Australian RV industry. Trakka has been in business for close to 40 years and we constantly strive to find clever and unique ways to integrate new technology and build techniques into our motorhomes. This commitment is reflected in this exciting award,” Martin explained. “Our designers, engineers, craftsmen, production and sales team are the heart of the company 9 and can also take credit for our win. The team present a professional image and treat all Trakka customers like a member of the family.” Trakka also recently achieved Silver Gumnut Award status as presented by the Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW for their commitment to sustainable business practices. Trakka also aligns environmental sustainability in motorhome design, with the company designing a Rain Water Retrieval (RWR) System that collects, stores and distributes rainwater from the roof for use inside and outside the motorhome to reduce the reliance on mains water during extended trips. TOP 10 REASONS TO BUY FROM BCMC... 1 2 3 4 5 6 Superior vehicles ‘Satisfaction built-in’ is BCMC’s bi-line. We are the only retailer in Australia focused solely on the sales and support of ‘built-in’ recreational motorhomes and campervans. Deal direct with the manufacturer It’s great to know that the people that sold you your motorhome, also built it. Most of our staff have spent extensive time in built-in recreational vehicles, tap into their experience and their handy travel hints. Proven track record Since 1988 BCMC have seen many companies come and go. With no big city overheads, you’ll realise that the total on-road prices represent the best value in Australia. Research & development BCMC are constantly testing and improving all aspects of vehicles in line with customer expectations and demands. Horizon and Frontline vehicles are at the leading edge of design. Large range of new & pre-loved ‘The range of Horizon Motorhomes and Frontline Campervans on display is substantial, so too is our fine range of pre-loved vehicles. Horizon models are designed and built by BCMC in Ballina. Accessories galore Full inventory of spare parts and accessories. Our staff will explain the value of optional add-ons such as air conditioning, solar power, or fly screens to make your touring even more pleasurable. 7 8 9 10 p.02 6681 1555 www.ballinacampers.com.au 299 River Street Ballina NSW 2478 After sales service BCMC are industry leaders in their approach to servicing your vehicle. Totally professional, always prompt. Complete diagnostic and maintenance programmes. Visit our factory You are invited to inspect our modern Ballina factory where our skilled craftsmen work to achieve Horizon’s ‘satisfaction built-in’ Australian family owned Since 1988, MD Clayton Kearney has strived to produce the very best product at the most affordable price. Clayton knows repeat and referral business comes from very satisfied customers. Country courtesy BCMC pride themselves in giving the best delivery service. We spend time to orientate you with your new camper and give you free nights at local parks to be on hand if you need further advice. 11 VISIT!! Feature: Covi Show, Auckland FLYING A jet-setting Malcolm Street crossed the Tasman to bring you this report from the Covi Supershow... It looks like a Land Rover, has a name that sounds like Trakka (Aussie motorhome manufacturer) but is a fully NZ built Trekka (circa mid 60's), in this case converted into a camper with some concepts that are still used today. Feature: Covi Show, Auckland Not for everyone, but Jucy Rentals are good for the budget traveller. O ne of the benefits of air travel is that it was possible to leave Sydney very early in the morning and arrive in Auckland in time for an afternoon at the Covi Motorhome, Caravan & Outdoor Supershow. This was helped by a speedy motorhome pickup from United Campervans and I was grateful for the understanding customer service person who processed me through in double-quick time! This is not a recommended way to see the Covi Supershow, by the way: A full day is certainly recommended. However, Like most NZ shows, motorhome "camping" was available and both old and new were to be seen. I was still able to get around and check out all the latest in the NZ motorhome and caravan scene. That included Kea’s new Legend, Traillite’s new slide-out model, several new Burstners from Smart Motorhomes as well as British motorhomes from the Auckland Motorhome Centre and some very impressive units from Wakerley. Several Australian names were there too – Winnebago, Talvor, Jurgens (caravans) and Jayco. Feature: Covi Show, Auckland Just briefly to mention Burstner, one of their B-Class motorhomes had a very clever rising bed above the driver’s cab: no electrics or mechanicals, just a simple lever mechanism that was demonstrated easily by a very young (and short) salesgirl. 13 Of interest too were items like the historic Trekka (yes Trekka, not Trakka); an historic NZ-built vehicle that looks a bit like a Land Rover but with a camper conversion on the back. There was industry gossip to be had, of course. Most not to be revealed here, but naturally the fallout from the thl/Kea/United merger was hot on the list, as was At the Smart stand, the latest and greatest from German manufacturer Burstner drew the crowd. (Top) Something for everyone: This semi-trailer sized 5th wheeler certainly drew attention! Feature: Covi Show, Auckland RV compliance – an issue I have long suspected has to be addressed but maybe not the way it appears to be happening. As always at a show it’s a good opportunity to catch up with industry people like Kea’s Steve Lane, UCC’s Rob Floris, Traillite’s Shaun Newman and Explorer Motorhomes’ Richard Ninness. The Covi Supershow appeared a success, as always, and a show like this is always a good way for anyone interested in the RV scene to get along and have a look at the latest and greatest available. Even if you only have a day to spare... Kea's Inspiration certainly inspired a few buyers. 15 BREATH OF FRESH Tested: Winnebago Eyre EYRE Winnebago brings Euro style to the streets Review and images by Richard Robertson Tested: Winnebago Eyre The Eyre is a good looking motorhome and a departure from Winnebago’s usual US design influence. A ustralian motorhomes have traditionally been styled along American lines because many early design and engineering influences emanated from US shores. Both our countries enjoy wide open spaces and the emphasis has usually been on vehicle ‘real estate’ and perceived bang-for-yourbuck. European influence is a more recent phenomenon, reflecting increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes and a general downsizing of motor vehicles as roads become more crowded and the cost of fuel soars. In recent years Australian motorhome manufacturers have begun to embrace Euro- influence in their designs and the Winnebago Eyre is a good example of a vehicle that marks a watershed in design for its maker. Euro To Go... he Eyre is a B-Class motorhome that rides on Fiat’s stylish and popular Ducato cabchassis. Made specifically as T 17 Tested: Winnebago Eyre a motorhome base vehicle by Fiat in Italy, the Ducato has a low ride height, high load carrying capacity (by class standards) and one of the most powerful turbodiesel engines available in an Australian-made motorhome. and mirrors, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, Bluetooth and a trip computer are some of the standard features fitted. enjoyable motorhome to drive. The engine is powerful and smooth and the AMT shift equally smoothly, although it does take a little getting used to, compared with a ‘normal’ full-automatic transmission. Under the bonnet the Ducato The driving position provides has a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel excellent visibility and the Typically Italian in looks and engine that is both powerful combination of a long performance the Ducato also and fuel efficient. Rated at 115 wheelbase, wide track and boasts a high degree of safety, kW and 400 Nm and mated low ride-height provide secure including dual front airbags to a six-speed automated and predictable handling. and anti-lock disc brakes manual transmission -– or with integrated traction and AMT (basically a manual Stepping Inside... electronic stability controls. gearbox with a computer that leek, long and low, the These passive and active changes gears for you) – it’s Eyre is a good looking safety features work behind also capable of delivering machine that attracts the scenes, but in the cab around 10-litre/100km fuel attention as you travel. this is no bread-and-butter figures in regular touring Stepping inside you find the commercial vehicle. conditions. dining table directly ahead Remote central locking, power Facts and figures aside, the and the lounge area to your steering, electric windows Ducato-based Eyre is an left. The kitchen is to the right S Fiat’s Ducato is a good choice, with a low floor height that doesn’t require an entry step. Tested: Winnebago Eyre You could easily forget the Fiat Ducato is a light commercial vehicle! Tested: Winnebago Eyre 19 The dinette seats up to five, but table space is more limited. It also converts to a second bed. and beyond it, the bathroom and bedroom at the rear. In layout terms this is pretty conventional, but there’s a lot about the Eyre that isn’t. For starters, there’s an enormous skylight directly above the front cab seats that floods the cab and dinette with sunlight, but can be shaded or closed off as required. Also unusual in this class and vehicle is an extra seat behind the front passenger seat that faces inwards, towards the dinette. The shower and toilet/powder room are separate, which is usually the province of larger Outside, the Eyre has a large boot that can be accessed from both sides and through a large rear door, as well as a couple of extra storage lockers that can even handle things like fishing rods. And if you’re into the great outdoors you’ll certainly appreciate the external hot-and-cold shower, plus the wind-out awning. swivelling front seats into the lounge/dinette design. Combined with a fixed, forward-facing dinette seat that is also seatbelt equipped for two (and the aforementioned inwards-facing side seat), up to five people can sit around with a drink at the end of the day. If all five want to stay for dinner it is possible thanks to a highly adjustable dining table, but actual table space would be in short supply. Relax o maximise space the designers at Winnebago have incorporated The Eyre has what is known as a galley-style kitchen, which means it straddles both sides of the vehicle’s central vehicles, while the bed is one of the most unusual I’ve come across, but more on that later. T Tested: Winnebago Eyre aisle. Because it’s aft of the entry door, people coming or going from the lounge area won’t disturb the cook, unless they want something from the fridge. Compact but well equipped, the kitchen’s main work area is on the driver’s side, right behind the dinette. Squeezed into quite a small area is a three-burner gas cooktop and a deep bowl sink with lift-up flick-mixer tap; both with heavy-duty glass lids that provide valuable additional workspace when the units aren’t in use. This is just as well, because work bench space is at an absolute premium, although there is also a recessed, circular draining board between the sink and cooker that can also double as work space. There’s also a small rangehood above the cooker. Bench space is limited but every inch is used to maximum efficiency. The bathroom door swing open to provide privacy if required. Tested: Winnebago Eyre An under-bench slideout pantry, a deep corner cupboard and three drawers (plus a single overhead cupboard) provide reasonable storage space; while across the aisle are a tall 150-litre fridge/freezer and a Sharp convection microwave. The Dometic fridge features Automatic Energy Selection (AES), which means it switches itself between 12v electric, LPG and mains power depending on what’s available. Having a convection microwave is a great idea as the Eyre has no oven or grill and at least this allows for more than just one-pot wonders at meal times. 21 Tested: Winnebago Eyre The TV/DVD player tucks ingeniously away, above the microwave, while the separate shower is a great feature in a vehicle this size. And just so you don’t miss your favourite shows or movies while travelling, in the cupboard above the microwave is a flat-screen TV with inbuilt DVD player. Mounted on an ingenious slide-out-fold-down-and-twistaround arm, it can be easily viewed from the lounge, but only partially viewed from the bedroom. After Hours aImmediately aft of the kitchen, two cylindrical towers guard the entry to the Eyre’s bedroom: The one to the left being the shower and the one right housing a ‘powder room’ and loo. The shower is a decent size and has an opaque door to help it feel more spacious, while the powder room is nicely appointed with plenty of S lights and mirrors, plus decent storage space. The toilet is a Dometic swivel-head unit and it’s defiantly a plus have the loo separate from the shower. However, it’s the Eyre’s bedroom that is its eyepopping party trick. Central to it – literally – is a pedestal bed that seems to float in the air, a metre or Tested: Winnebago Eyre 23 The separate powder room/loo is nicely finished and better than the usual all-in-one bathroom. more off the floor. Semi-spiral stairs sweep up both sides, providing good access, while small bedside cupboards form something of a recessed bed-head, complete with reading lights and plenty of storage for books, iPods and knickknacks. For easier stair access the mattress has rounded corners at the foot-end. The shape probably won’t suit taller people but you could probably fit a more conventional shaped mattress if desired and still have sufficient side access room. However, it’s what’s beneath the bed that is one of the most innovative features I’ve seen in any motorhome. Lifting the bed-base on its gas struts reveals, of all things, a walk-in wardrobe complete with hanging space, drawers and shelves! Initially I thought it more gimmick than substance, but my wife quickly dispelled my maleorientated disbelief (and to be honest, what do I know about wardrobes?). It makes good use of available space, provides more hanging space than most and far easier access than trying to reach into the back of a deep wardrobe cupboard. You can also access it quite well without lifting the bed. I should note that Winnebago offers an Eyre floorplan with high-mounted single beds at the rear and loads of storage beneath, although it loses the walk-in wardrobe in favour of a more conventional setup between the beds. Also, in both Eyre floorplans the dinette can be converted to a supplementary double bed, so it can sleep four, but it’s probably better suited to kids. Tested: Winnebago Eyre Final Thoughts here’s no doubt the Winnebago Eyre’s combination of eyecatching looks, drivability, performance and fuel economy make it a desirable package. Couple that with a well thought-out interior, quality appointments and some truly innovate design features and you have a package that many people will find irresistible. You could call it a breath of fresh Eyre… T The high-mounted bed is accessed by spiral stairs on both sides, but the shape won’t suit taller people. Tested: Winnebago Eyre 25 The bed lifts to reveal a walk-in wardrobe that can also be accessed with the bed in place. Clever! Tested: Winnebago Eyre 27 Tested: Winnebago Eyre Specifications Manufacturer Winnebago Industries Model Eyre Lowline Base Vehicle Fiat Ducato X250 Engine 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel Power 115 kW @ 3500 rpm Torque 400 Nm @ 1700 rpm Gearbox AMT – 6 speed Brakes Disc ABS Tare Weight 3432 kg Gross Vehicle Mass 4490 kg Licence Car Passengers 4 External Length 7.597 m External Width 2.423 m External Height 2.785 m Internal Height 1.984 m Rear Bed Size 1980 mm x 1540 mm Cooktop Dometic 3-burner gas Fridge Dometic 3-way 150 litre Microwave Sharp Convection Gas 2 x 4.0 kg Lighting 12V Fluoro/halogen/LED Batteries 2 x 100 AH Solar Panels Optional Air Conditioner Standard Hot Water Heater Truma 14-litre Toilet Dometic cassette 19-litres Shower Flexible hose, variable height Heater Optional Fresh Water Tank 124-litres Grey Water Tank 124-litres Price $134,990 + ORC Pros • Excellent Fiat Ducato • Fuel efficient • Good looks • Stylish interior • Innovative design Cons • Bed short for tall people • Limited kitchen bench space • No reversing camera Contact Winnebago Industries 32 David Road, Emu Plains. NSW. 2750 Click for Google Maps Ph: 1800 102 201 (Aus) Ph: 0800 946 643 (NZ) W: www.winnebago.com.au BeTTer BUILT 4 meTaL UnDerBODY prOTecTIOn 4 meTaL STrUcTUraL BODY Frame 4 FULLY InSULaTeD BODY 4 THIcKer STrOnGer FLOOrS 4 STrOnG WeIGHT BearInG rOOFS 4 DOmeD prOFILe rOOFS (most models) 4 FUrnITUre IS ScreWeD nOT STapLeD 4 2 Year Or 1,000,000 Km WarranTY 4 5 Year STrUcTUraL GUaranTee 4 nrma prOven FUeL eFFIcIencY 4 aDvanceD BUILDInG prOceSSeS 4 45 YearS experIence BUILDInG rvS 4 naTIOnaL aFTerSaLeS neTWOrK 4 FULL SaFeTY cOmpLIance IT’S WHaT YOU DOn’T See THaT cOUnTS See for yourself, just call 1800 102 201 for your nearest Winnebago Dealer www.winnebago.com.au Italian Tested: Sunliner Holiday Holiday Testing Sunliner’s Holiday on Iveco’s capable Daily cab-chassis... Review and images by Malcolm Street 29 Tested: Sunliner Holiday A nyone vaguely familiar with the Sunliner range of motorhomes will know they offer a wide range of motorhomes, from the van-based Vida to the luxury Monte Carlo: Just about something for every taste and budget. Fitting more into the budget end of the market, but still a coachbuilt motorhome, is the Holiday. To be specific: The G53 model. It’s a motorhome designed mainly for two people but does have both travel seating and beds for four. Unmistakably Sunliner, the Holiday rides on Iveco’s excellent Daily cab-chassis, which is built in the same factory as the Fiat Ducato. 30 31 Tested: Sunliner Holiday The Daily is a non-nonsense workhorse with a touch of Italian style. The Vehicle unliner builds its motorhomes on a range of cab-chassis and ours was on an Iveco Daily 45C18. It comes with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel motor that delivers 130 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. All that drives through a sixspeed Agile gearbox, which is Iveco speak for an automated manual transmission (AMT). A driver’s air bag is standard on an Iveco Daily, but Sunliner has taken the option of a passenger air bag as well. S In some ways, the Iveco Daily is a bit like its Italian stable A simple latch holds the door open to stop it hitting the window. Tested: Sunliner Holiday The cab is functional if not lavish, but has good equipment levels and is comfortable. mate the Fiat Ducato, which isn’t surprising given they come out of the same factory. The major differences being that whilst the Ducato is front wheel drive, the Daily is rear wheel drive and the Daily is available with heavier load capacities. In both cases they have a fair chunk of the motorhome market in Europe, which makes them fairly motorhome friendly from both a manufacturer’s and user’s point of view. In converting the motorhome Sunliner added a fully-welded sub-chassis, which they call Torquo™, to the main Iveco chassis rails. According to Sunliner this was done to improve both the vehicle handling and general weight distribution. For the body, Sunliner use one-piece walls and a roof that uses a bonded Duplo foam-core structure that is designed to give insulation and strength, whilst keeping weight in check. Those familiar with Sunliner motorhomes will immediately recognise the characteristic fibreglass mouldings at the rear, as well as the driver’s cab side-steps. Like many a motorhome manufacturer, Sunliner use Seitz hopper windows to full advantage, whilst staying with the convenience of a Camec triple-locker security door. An item of interest here is the door and forward window. Given their proximity, it’s not possible to have both the door and window fully open at the same time, but what Sunliner has done is fitted a simple hook-and-eye, such that the door is held open at 90 degrees to the motorhome body. Now this might sound like the bleeding obvious, but it’s surprising the number of Recreational Tested: Sunliner Holiday 33 The bed lifts for storage, which can also be accessed from outside. The single house battery seems a cost-cutting measure and looks difficult to reach. Vehicle manufacturers that don’t provide this simple arrangement! External body fittings consist of the nearside-wall-fitted Dometic awning and external wall light above the door, whilst the roof features a few items like a windup TV antenna and Air Command Cormorant air conditioner. External storage, apart from the Thetford toilet cassette compartment and the gas cylinder bin, consists of the under-bed area that can be accessed from both the offside door and from the inside, by lifting the bed. It’s certainly a convenient arrangement, but can be a problem in very dusty conditions. Hoses and the like should certainly be kept in drip-proof containers, while under the bed is the 100 amp-hour battery and associated charger that are really only accessible from the inside. Out of sight under the rear are corner stabilisers which are a standard Sunliner feature. Whilst most caravans have them, most motorhomes do not. They’re not essential, but it’s surprising how much rock n’ roll a heavy footed person going out the door can create, not to mention anything else! Tested: Sunliner Holiday The two 4.0 kg gas bottles are easily reached, as it the toilet cassette. All that built into the Holiday gives it a tare weight of 3555 kg. Given the Daily’s gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4490kg, it certainly leaves a more-than-adequate payload capacity. On the Road iven this 3.0-litre turbo-diesel often powers much larger motorhomes; it certainly didn’t have any trouble handling the roughly 4000 kg of the test Holiday. In many ways no different from its contemporaries, the AMT gearbox is reasonably smooth on most changes, but has the usual sometimes-slow kickdowns and hesitations at slower speed. Again like G Tested: Sunliner Holiday its contemporaries, although it’s a light commercial vehicle it’s more car-like than trucklike and as long as the usual precautions are taken for a slightly wider and longer vehicle, it really isn’t a difficult drive. A reversing camera isn’t standard on this model, but I reckon that for cautious drivers or those who wish to avoid marital disputes, one might be a good buy. Living Inside his Holiday design features a mid-side entry door. Inside, the nearside kitchen bench and offside dinette are towards the front and the bedroom and bathroom are to the rear. In a way the interior of the motorhome looks quite plain, doesn’t have the usual Sunliner curves and is not done with the usual T 35 timber finish, but that is in some ways to do with its budget-driven theme. That doesn’t mean it lacks for anything important. Lighting throughout the Holiday is a mixture of halogen and fluorescent fittings, mostly ceiling mounted and the 12V switches are all located conveniently above the doorway. All windows have standard integrated blinds and insect screens and except for the kitchen and bathroom, all the rest have curtains. Up front, the Holiday has a swivelling passenger seat. Iveco’s Daily can have both cab seats swivel, but in this case, with a café-style dinette immediately behind the driver’s seat, only the passenger seat swivels. In a way, this dinette set-up The passenger seat swivels to provide extra seating. There’s plenty of light and fresh air in the Holiday’s rear bedroom. Tested: Sunliner Holiday Functional but bland, the Holiday’s interior lacks Sunliner’s usual pizzazz. negates using the driver’s cab area to its fullest; i.e. with both seats turned, but it does mean the dinette can be used comfortably by two people and by four at a pinch. Just a footnote here: I have seen a similar layout in which the owner cut out part of the back of the front seat – an interesting compromise that meant the swivelled cab seat could be used in tandem with the dinette seat as a leg rest! Time to Eat itted in between the entry door and the passenger seat, the kitchen bench looks quite small, which is mainly because it is. Taking up all F Tested: Sunliner Holiday 37 Kitchen bench space basically nonexistent, so expect to frequently use the dining table. the bench top area are a three burner Thetford cooktop and grill/oven, leaving space underneath for four good sized drawers. As with the dinette opposite, a couple of overhead lockers supply the upper storage areas. Slightly offset from the kitchen bench and fitting between the dinette and bedroom is a good sized 175-litre Dometic fridge with a Whirlpool microwave oven above. Given the fridge is floor mounted, the microwave oven is set at a reasonable height and allows for one more overhead locker. After Hours n the rear the east-west bed, with its head against the offside wall, takes up a fair bit of space. Featuring a posture slat bed-base with inner spring mattress, I the bed measures 1.75 m x 1.37 m (5 ft 9 in x 4 ft 6 in) unextended and 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) extended. Although the longer length will be adequate for most people, it does cut down the walkway space considerably, while large windows on both sides ensure good cross flow ventilation. Like the dinette, the bed does not have any reading lights, neither does it have a close by Tested: Sunliner Holiday switch for the overhead light, which does seem to me one economy too many. Fitting a swivel-arm mounted TV in this layout was always going to be a bit of a challenge but it fits into the corner created by the wardrobe. That means it can also be seen from the dinette, but viewing angles and seating comfort are certainly compromised. In the space available there isn’t going to be a great deal of bedroom storage, but there are three overhead lockers above the bed and a small full-height wardrobe beside the entry door. It has both hanging and shelf space, but the lower area is entirely taken by the hot water heater. 39 Tested: Sunliner Holiday The full-width rear bathroom ads a real feeling of space. Up front the Luton bed, measuring 1.93 m x 0.97 m (6 ft 4 in x 3 ft 2 in) is certainly only for smaller couples or a single sleeper as it’s not particularly wide, but does offer a large general storage area. To give easier internal access to and from the front seats, the Luton bed can be lifted up out of the way if not needed. In many motorhomes the bathroom takes up a fair bit of space, both real and perceived. Now the fullwidth rear one in this Holiday certainly takes up space but the perception bit has been improved by having a combination of a sliding door and a concertina curtain to close the bathroom off. Left open, space perception and access is improved, whilst close up, they offer the usual privacy. In the bathroom, filling all the offside corner is the shower cubicle, whilst the Thetford cassette toilet takes up the nearside area and the simply vanity cabinet occupies centre stage. Above the rear wall window is a small shaving cabinet and for those who don’t like to bend their necks too much, a larger wall mirror sits above the loo. What We Think n a way the Sunliner Holiday looks a little downmarket from the usual Sunliner products. However, what should be kept firmly in mind is the Holiday is very much aimed at the budget end of the market; maybe in particular for a small family. That said, it does come with a few compromises, yet still has just about everything necessary for enjoying the motorhome lifestyle. I Tested: Sunliner Holiday Sunliner’s Holiday is small enough to get into out-of-the way places, but big enough for extended touring. 41 Tested: Sunliner Holiday Specifications Manufacturer Sunliner Motorhomes Model Holiday G53 Base Vehicle Iveco 45 C18 Engine 3.0-litre turbo-diesel Power 130 kW @ 3200-3500rpm Torque 400 Nm @ 1250-3000rpm Gearbox 5 speed AMT Fuel Capacity 75-litres Brakes ABS Discs Tare Weight 3555 kg Gross Vehicle Mass 4495 kg Licence Car Passengers 4 External Length 7.24 m (23 ft 9 in) External Width 2.39 m (7 ft 10 in) Includes awning External Height 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in) Internal Height 2.13 m (7 ft) Internal Height 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) rear area Rear bed size 1.75 m x 1.37 m (5 ft 9 in x 4 ft 6 in) Luton bed size 1.93 m x 0.97m ( 3 ft 2 in) Cooktop Thetford Triplex Fridge Dometic RM 7851 175-litre Microwave Whirlpool Gas 2 x 4.0 kg Lighting 12V Fluro & halogen Batteries 1 x 100 AH Air conditioner Air Command Coromant Hot water heater Truma 14-litre Toilet Thetford cassette Shower Separate cubicle Fresh water tank 120-litres Grey water tank 55-litres Price $143,550* on-road NSW *On-road prices vary by State. Pros • Good internal living length • Can be used for family travel • Open bathroom area at rear • Good internal storage Cons • No bed reading lights • No light switch near bed • Extended bed difficult to move around • Small kitchen • TV not really viewable from the dinette Contact Australian Motor Homes Click for Google Maps 31 Pacific Highway Bennetts Green NSW 2290. Ph: 02 4948 0433 E: enquiries@australianmotorhomes. com.au W: australianmotorhomes.com.au Technical... Vehicle Dynamics How vehicles behave on road is rarely described. This two-part article by engineer/writer Collyn Rivers explains what happens, in non-academic terms. I n 1686, Sir Isaac Newton deduced that, unless influenced otherwise by an external force, things continue in a state of rest, or continue to move in a totally straight line. Early farm wagons and carriages demonstrated this accidentally from time to time. They had large diameter wheels shod with iron or (and later) solid rubber tyres with front axles pivoted so they could turn in the direction they were pulled. But,as many a Western shows, the wagons would plough straight on, just as Newton predicted, if the horses lost their footing. Tyres back then had primarily to revolve, not sink in soft going, and not fail under load. Surface grip helped restrain sliding sideways and, (by levering against a tyre, (rudimentary) braking. The forces required for traction, steering and control downhill were exerted externally, via animal and human power. Carriage suspension however was surprisingly advanced (right). The best examples totally shame many a trailer maker of today. The advent of motive power profoundly changed all this. Horseless carriages too, were subject to Newton’s findings, but the forces required for propulsion, braking and steering, now had to be applied and reacted solely through the tyres. The issues were initially simple. Engines developed little power, so traction was rarely an issue. Nor was speed, so little braking was needed - or provided. Their solid rubber tyres rolled much where pointed, so steering too was not a problem. Pneumatic tyres, already used for bicycles became available: initially of oversized bicycle proportions and behaving much like softer but still solid tyres. When they ran out of the little grip they had, they slid in a relatively gentle manner. (I have experienced this frequently having owned many veteran and vintage cars in my earlier days). Early carriage suspension surprisingly advanced. Technical... 43 By 1930 or so, cars had become far more powerful, heavier and faster, yet retained carriage-era underpinnings that had ceased to cope a decade before (it became said of the then Rolls-Royce, ‘that it was a triumph of workmanship over design’). Essentially, suspension that was adequate for horsedrawn speeds had (with rare exceptions - e.g. Lancia) remained almost static, excepting for wheels that became progressively smaller in diameter, but with balloonlike tyres. Most cars of the era handled in variously undesirable and often only semi-predictable ways. Problems included directional instability, ‘tramping’ of the entire front suspension despite well balanced tyres, and a ride that was still harsh. Recreational (as opposed to Romany) caravans date back at least to Dr Gordon Stables’ horsedrawn ‘Wanderer’ of the late 1800s. Vehicle drawn caravans were common by the mid-1920s, but from the very beginning, encountered handling problems. Little has changed since. Apart from studies at Bath University (UK), a few academics, and the military in the UK and USA, the trailer industry awaits a latter-day Maurice Olley to fully explain why. The following attempts to précis current thinking (and some views of my own resulting from close to fifty years interest). What was not realised was that the increasingly larger crosssection tyres virtually dictated on-road behaviour. This necessitated a total rethink of vehicle dynamics. And that was superbly provided by General Motors Research Division (Special Projects) engineer, Maurice Olley. Between 1930 and 1936, Olley studied every conceivable aspect of vehicle behaviour both theoretically and practically. Morgan three-wheeler 1931 - note sliding pillar independent front suspension (the author used to own one just like this.) Technical... e-wheeler 1931 - note sliding pillar independent He established the basic author usedthat toare own one to just like this. principles followed OUTthisNUMBER PLATE PLEASE! day. The New Era rly dampedaurice and/or Olleysoft first established that the ‘tramping’ effect (both lly dangerous front wheels smashing up and slowing down,down meanwhile swinging y by decreasing theto lock) was violently from lock gyroscopic precessions. sing due thetoamplitude This effect occurs when a e extent of occasional fast-rotating, steerable wheel rose and fell in an arc, i.e. over bumps,and and particularly with disturbing poorly damped and/or soft posed by gyroscopic suspension. M prevented by This was a potentially ces. dangerous phenomenon in liased suspension thatthat slowing down conserved the energy by decreasing w steerable wheels to the frequency but increasing the (i.e.amplitude never inof the arc movement - to the a tilting axle).breakages. extentbeam of occasional eredOlley wheels to be realised this disturbing nded.and dangerous effect, imposed by gyroscopic forces, did not invent could only be prevented by uspension (IFS): Dr eliminating those forces. round 1901. In particular, he realised that on his original tricar suspension geometry must system used by allowissteerable wheels to rise and fall vertically (i.e. never in the arc forced upon them ate 1920s) by a tilting beam axle). This n thatnecessitated foundation, butwheels to steered independently suspended. rungbemass and imprive ndamental necessity. But Maurice Olley did not invent independent front ertainly the first tosuspension (IFS): Dr Lanchester did that mplications. around 1901. om 1931-1938, the motor industry’s hicle dynamics, how that behaviour still virtually dictates a road vehicle’s design, and on-road behaviour. Tyre Behaviour substantially proportional to tyre pressure. correctly inflated tyre Its action is more akin to a caterpillar does not so much roll over the surface track than a rotating wheel and, that aptly as lay down a rectangular section called ‘footprint’, grips theof surface withof which tread (footprint) considerable tenacity. the length of that footprint is to tyre Steering action is akin tosubstantially twisting proportional an pressure. A inflated balloon. The steering mechanism Its action is more applies torque, via the wheels’ rims, toakin theto a caterpillar track than a rotating Gyroscopic precession. These flex, tyres’ sidewalls. and (primarily) wheel and, that aptly called Image courtesy Early Victorian twits. via the air compressed within, cause ‘footprint’, gripsthe the surface considerable tenacity. HFS Morgan used IFS on his footprint to distort in the with direction required. original tricar (and the much But, because the footprintSteering is deflected via to a action is akin same system is used by twistingtakes an inflated balloon. springy media, it never totally up the Morgan today!). The steering mechanism angle that the steered road wheels attempt applies torque, via the wheels’ Dubonnet (in the late 1920s) to impose.built on that rims, to the tyres’ sidewalls. subsequently These flex, and (primarily) via foundation, but more to reduce Unsteered tyres act similarly. the air compressed within, unsprung mass and imprive As a vehicle turns, it still attempts to the ride, than as a fundamental cause the footprint to distort in continue in a straight line,theand forces so direction required. necessity. generated thrust slip angles upon them. But, because the footprint is Olley was almost certainly Side and/or too, causemedia, it deflected via a springy the firstwinds to understand theroad full cambers never totally takes up the angle implications. mainly sidewallsHis to work, be deflected laterally. that the steered road wheels from 1931-1938, completely Slip Angles attempt to impose. Unsteered changed the motor industry’s tyres act similarly. understanding of difference vehicle The angular between where dynamics, particularly how the wheels point and their footprints lead, is tyres of that era (and still today) As a vehicle turns, it still to continue calledbehaved, the ‘slip angle’. greater the tyrein a actually and why andTheattempts FIG 4. The ‘slipwhilst angle’ formed The so-called ‘slipso-called angle’ formed cornering - thewhilst tyres does cornering the tyres does not so much slip as not so much slip as distort. distort. Technical... straight line, and forces so generated thrust slip angles upon them. Side winds and/ or road cambers too, cause sidewalls to be deflected laterally. Slip Angles he angular difference between where wheels point and their footprints lead, is called the ‘slip angle’. The greater the tyre width and tread stability, the stiffer the sidewalls, and the higher the tyre pressure, the less the slip angle. Conversely, it increases with the applied forces, and loads. Under normal conditions, the footprint does not actually slip as such, instead, it is subjected, by torque applied by the sidewalls, to a diagonal-like stretching/distortion. (It’s a bit like pulling a weight via a rubber band.) T Having established the above, Maurice Olley showed how the way in which slip angles interact substantially dictates how a road vehicle behaves. He showed that, if front/rear slip angles remain identical, a vehicle maintains a balanced state. If driven in a circle with the steering wheel held constant, it will continue to follow a curve that increases in radius as speed increases. This condition, known as neutral steer, causes a car to feel ‘responsive’, but results also in wind gusts and changes in road camber necessitating constant albeit minor steering correction. A neutrally steering car thus tends to be demanding and tiring to drive, and less than safe for semi- and unskilled drivers. 45 Further, maintaining that neutral balance precluded any substantial changing in load front/rear - but less of an issue until overhung rear luggage boots replaced Jeeves carrying the Roll’s owners luggage in the following Bentley. If the rear slip angle exceeds that of the front (e.g. early Porsches), if circled as above, the car turns in a tightening spiral, with slip angles progressively increasing as it turns. If not corrected (by applying opposite steering lock, or reducing speed) slip angles may increase until the rear tyres’ footprints lose control, and the vehicle spins. This (unstable) condition is called ‘oversteer’. Pneumatically tyred vehicles of today follow the upper (mild understeering) path. Middle curve is that of a solid tyre. Lower: that of an early VW if cornered too hard! Technical... Tyre slip angles: cornering forces act such that the tyres footprint follows an arc that is wider than that traced by the wheels’ rims. If cornering a little to fast, the slightly greater slip angle at the front causes the vehicle to run wide slightly, thus increasing the radius of turn and decreasing the turning forces. For most drivers and conditions, optimum balance requires front slip angles to exceed rear slip angles by a slight but totally maintained degree. The effect, called understeer, causes vehicles to veer slightly away from sidedisturbing forces (as does a correctly trimmed yacht and all aircraft). Thus, if cornered too fast the vehicle automatically runs slightly wide thus reducing the slip angles and hence forces. Understeering vehicles (now virtually all post 1950s vehicles) are marginally less responsive to steering input, but safer for most drivers. People in disciplines as dissimilar as economics and PA systems will recognise this automatically-correcting action as negative feedback. Maintaining the Footprint ajor problems may arise when suppliers and trailer builders modify or build, without understanding that dynamic behaviour depends ultimately on optimum tyre footprint and slip angle behaviour being maintained. M And, whilst blindingly obvious, but nevertheless only too often overlooked, that footprint only works if it is in firm contact with the ground! Some trailer markers (almost incredibly) still claim, ‘trailer’s don’t need shock absorbers mate’. They argue that interleaf friction provides sufficient damping. But it does so, crudely, insufficiently and only and less necessarily, on compression. The problem-causing rebound is totally unrestrained - the spring leaves are not then in held sliding contact and release their energy like the sling shots that they are. Weight Transfer ecause slip angles increase with load, and decrease with tyre pressure, higher loads require higher tyre pressures to restore/ retain the required characteristics. B Side loads too affect tyre loading as more weight is transferred, via the suspension, to the outside tyres. If the tyre’s weight balance is unchanged front/rear, front and rear slip angles simply increase proportionally and the vehicle’s balance is maintained. But if the tyre loading is substantially changed (front/ 47 Technical... rear) the relative slip angles change accordingly - to excess understeer (where the vehicle runs overly wide), or oversteer (where the vehicle either spins or hits something tail first). The relative tyre loading front/ rear (and hence slip angles) is not simply a function of weight distribution. It depends on how the suspension resists roll. Stiffening the rear springs, or adding rear airbags only, transfers more of the roll resistance to the rear. This further loads up the outer rear tyre whilst cornering thus increasing its slip angle to the point where the footprint collapses, or slides, at a real risk of jack-knifing the rig. This is not theoretical conjecture: it can and does happen. by the outer front tyres, thus increasing understeer. The manufacturer’s intended front/rear slip angle relationship should not be changed. roll a bit more about that axis. This increases tyre slip angles slightly, but generally equally. Independent suspension front and rear results in a roll centre close to ground level. If the rear suspension is This geometry causes the stiffened (or air bags fitted) so, body to sway (like an inverted and to the same degree, must pendulum) about that ground be the front (or a stiffer roll bar level point resulting in sideways added) to maintain the intended weight transference that roll resistance balance. increases slip angles, reducing ultimate cornering ability. With Not doing this may result in independent front (but beam a close to neutrally steering axle rear) suspension, front\ rear vehicle that is triggered into balance (and hence slip angles) sudden oversteer by a suddenly will, if the suspension is raised, swaying trailer. Such changes inevitably be altered. require serious engineering expertise. It is, to put it mildly, difficult sustain claimsrearthat economics and PA systems willtorecognise airbags only, transfers more Raising Suspension this automatically-correcting action as the rear. This furth suspension lifts resistance do not to affect negative feedback. up the outer rear tyre whilst cor beam-axle 4WD rolls stability (withoutthus suspending increasing its slip angle to t Maintaining the Footprint about an axis about where the footprint collapses, o some of Newton’s more Major problems may arise when suppliers at a real risk of jack-knifing the r 700-800 andmm trailerabove builders modify or fundamental build, without laws). not theoretical conjecture: it can lower thanthat thedynamic behaviour Roll stiffness is also changeable ground - a bit understanding happen. depends ultimately on optimum tyre of gravity. Lifting Roll stiffness is also changeabl by varying anti-roll bar stiffness. vehicle’s centrefootprint To be continued. and slip angle behaviour being anti-roll bar stiffness. Increasing maintained. Increasing front roll bar stiffness, the suspension raises the bar stiffness, for example, cause And, whilst blindingly obvious, but © 2012 Collyn Rivers. No part of this story may centre of gravity relative to the for example, causes more of roll couple to bewritten resisted by nevertheless only too often overlooked, be reproduced for anythe purpose without front tyres, thus increasing unde that footprint works in firm roll centre - causing the only body toif it ispermission. the roll couple to be resisted The manufacturer’s intended f A contact with the ground! Some trailer markers (almost incredibly) Pix 8. slip angle relationship should no changed. If the rear suspension is stiffen bags fitted) so, and to the same must be the front (or a stiffer ro added) to maintain the intended resistance balance. Not doing this may result in a c neutrally steering vehicle that is into sudden oversteer by a sudd swaying trailer. Such changes re serious engineering expertise. Raising Suspension Leaf springs rub hard together A beam-axle 4WD rolls about an Left: The MC2The suspension ofnot the author’s own TVan. Big on compression. rebound clips do 700-800 mm above ground - a b enough friction to beshock of use on absorbers coilprovide springs and (Koni) (the brakes than thedisk vehicle’s centre of grav release. Shock absorbers are vital. the suspension raises the centre here are not standard). still claim, ‘trailer’s don’t need shock relative to the roll centre - causi Image courtesy Caravan & Motorhome Books, absorbers mate’.ofThey argue that interleaf body Broome, to roll a bit WA. more about tha friction provides sufficient damping. tyre slip angles sli Above: Leaf springs rub hard togetherThis onincreases compression. But it does so, crudely, insufficiently and generally equally. The rebound clips do provide enough frictionsuspension to be front only and less necessarily, on not compression. Independent The problem-causing rebound is totally results in a roll centre close to g of unrestrained use on release. Shock absorbers are vital. - the spring leaves are not This geometry causes the bod A Message From CMCA... M s a r k a es ‘C l l o D ent g n i v s’ a S There are many ways to save while still enjoying life on the road... By Michelle Hogan, CMCA - Communications and Marketing Team 49 A Message From CMCA... With some smart tips you can save a bundle and still enjoy your travels. W ith a new year around the corner it’s the perfect time to review your finances and consider incorporating a budget for the future. Financial budgets make sure that you maximise your spending, without exceeding your limitations. It is important that we all enjoy every day to the fullest, but it is also vital that we consider tomorrow as well. Budgeting ensures that your money is distributed evenly, according to your lifestyle. The Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia found, through the Balfour Consulting, Rest Area Research, 2010 Survey, that the estimated average weekly spend of RV tourists when travelling is $572. Travelling in an RV is an ideal way to see Australia, but as many travellers know, spending a large amount of time on the road can become quite costly if you don’t have a regular source of income. However, with appropriate budgeting, this figure can be reduced well below $350 without affecting the enjoyment of your trip. The Australian Government and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released MoneySmart: Simple guidance you can trust. By visiting you get access to a variety of tools to not only help you plan for your holiday, but continue to budget while travelling. MoneySmart will calculate where your money is going, if you are spending more than you can afford, and whether your money is going towards your priorities. MoneySmart is a free service and also offers a range of other budget calculators, such as superannuation, retirement planner, mortgage, savings goals and more. MoneySmart budget planners are not only available online, but can be used as an app on your iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Using a budget planner as an app will ensure that you can not only plan for the future, but keep on track as your travel. Once you have your budget set, and you are ready to leave the driveway, there are still a multitude of ways you can ‘cut costs’ without having to cut back on your trip. If you join CMCA you will not only gain the invaluable benefit of being a part of a Club that A Message From CMCA... is committed to enhancing every RV travellers’ experience while on and off the road, but you will also gain a wide range of resources and financial benefits as a Member. RV dream, join today and consider incorporating the following CMCA costing tips into your new budget as well. The Balfour Consulting, Rest Area Research, 2010 Survey Joining CMCA is cheaper than showed that when RV tourists filling the tank of most vehicles. were travelling their average weekly spend was: The advantages of being a member includes discounted • Fuel – $255: services and products, a - No matter what, spending customised insurance scheme, money on fuel is inevitable. GeoWiki – a constantly However, if you plan ahead updated database containing you can take advantage of vital points of interests cheaper petrol prices in the throughout Australia, and larger urban cities. more. If you would rather not touch your nest egg, but still - Tyre pressure is vital: If your want to achieve the Australian RV has under-inflated tyres you will be burning much more fuel than you planned for. - Drive economically! It’s not a race, so slow down and enjoy ever kilometre! • Food and beverages – $190: - When driving, always ensure you have a bottle of water and some pieces of fruit readily available. Having a sweet piece of fruit helps put those chocolate bar cravings at bay when you pull up at the petrol station. Also, keeping a thermos of boiled water in the RV will eliminate A Message From CMCA... 51 Shop at roadside stalls for the freshest food, often at bargain prices. the need to purchase an afternoon cuppa. - Shopping at roadside stalls and farmers’ markets is a great way to reduce the cost of fresh produce, such as fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, etc. Buying direct from the growers will not only save you money, it gives you the opportunity to meet locals and learn about the region. if you do want to eat out, consider enjoying a decadent lunch instead of dining at night. While lunch and dinner menus are often similar, the price will usually increase for the dinner rush. selecting a CMCA Friendly Caravan Park. A list of these Parks can be found in The Wanderer’s Mate and on the CMCA website at www.cmca.net.au/ memberadvantages. • Tourist attractions – $75: - If you enjoy reading, try to avoid the large book stores - Free camping is a great and consider purchasing way to save money and your new novels from experience the tranquil second-hand stores, or solitude of the land. However, invest in an eBook. The if you do wish to stay in - Plan your meals for the week. price of online books, in a caravan park, being a Making a dish such as pasta comparison to hard copies Member of CMCA gives is perfect for freezing extra is drastically different and the you access to discounts portions and will guarantee eBook reader will eventually for various caravan parks there is always a healthy, pay for itself. Don’t forget throughout Australia. Be sure home-cooked meal ready that as a Member of CMCA to book ahead and save to be re-heated. However, you will also be entitled to yourself some money by A Message From CMCA... Taking photos instead of buying souvenirs will save you a bundle! Ready... Smile!! The Wanderer, a monthly magazine tailored to RV travellers. - Although souvenirs make nice keepsakes from each town and are a great way to remember your trip, they can become quite costly. Rather than spending a few dollars every week, decide on one place where you would like to buy something, and for everywhere else take a camera with you. A photo can certainly capture the moment much better than a fridge magnet. • Vehicle repairs/ maintenance – $171: - Investing in an efficient electrical set-up with solar panels, batteries, and charging systems will ensure air-conditioning, hot water and a cold fridge all year round. And, if one of the systems requires maintenance while travelling, you will not be forced to put your trip on hold. Why not have a look at the CMCA Marketplace for a comprehensive list of retailers. - There are plenty of free community classes available where you would be able to develop some basic RV knowledge. Learning the ‘ins-and-outs’ of your vehicle before you leave may help you overcome future mechanical problems and avoid having to pay for unexpected repairs. - Ensuring your RV has had a thorough service prior to departing: This will reduce the risk of having mechanical problems when travelling. Anyone’s wallet would shudder at the idea of breaking down in a rural town where towing for hundreds of kilometres is the only option. A Message From CMCA... 53 Local fairs and charity events always have plenty to offer. • Other – $96: - Pre-paid mobile phone plans can be quite economical as you only pay for what you use and you will never risk ‘blowing out’ your budget when you get carried away talking to a loved one back home. - Staying with the mobile phone theme, many phones can now be used with a tethering capability. If you organise a pre-paid mobile phone option that offers a substantial amount of data you will be able to use this for your broadband as well, rather than paying for two services. Simply connect your phone to your computer and you will have service even when you are at an unpowered site. - Now that you have your mobile phone and computer system set-up, consider staying in touch with loved ones back home through the internet. Data is cheaper than call rates and with the development of Skype, an online video phone service, not only can you call home but you will also be able to see them, while the cost is kept at a minimum. Roadside Eats... The Long Track Discover the pleasures of the Long Track Pantry... By Richard Robertson Roadside Eats... 55 O ne of the delights of RV travel is having no pressing schedules. So while the spread of freeways is pushing small towns into obscurity as they become nothing more than curious place names to timepoor travellers, those with time to spare can find some true delights when venturing off the beaten track. For example, take the township of Jugiong – Aboriginal for Valley of the Crows – which sits in on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River some 40 kilometres north of Gundagai. Bypassed by the high-speed dual carriageway of the Hume Highway in 1995, Jugiong struggles to attract visitors yet it’s steeped in history and worth a detour. The township sprang up around the Sir George Tavern, a coaching inn on the then Great Southern Road, which dates back to 1845. Jugiong’s history is liberally sprinkled with famous explorers and infamous bushrangers but today the sleepy village is regaining notoriety for an unassuming roadside eatery: the Long Track Pantry. Situated next door to the Sir George Tavern – claimed to be Australia’s oldest family-owned inn and still in the hands of Roadside Eats... descendants of its builder, Irishman John Philip Sheahan – the Long Track Pantry blends bucolic charm with culinary excellence in a most unlikely setting. The Long Track Pantry opened its doors in January 2006 and has reached something approaching cult status with Canberra residents, for whom it’s the focal point of a pleasant weekend day-trip. Fresh cakes, coffee from Wagga’s awardwinning Premium Coffee Roasters and homemade jams and chutneys are ideal for those in a hurry, but to pass this cafe by without a planned stop for lunch is to do yourself a distinct disservice. Fully licensed and open daily from 8 ‘til 4 (except Tuesdays), the menu features locallysourced seasonal produce, Roadside Eats... while the rustic nature of the building and quirky decor adds to the experience. Thankfully, this is no slick city restaurant that rushes you in and out in a desperate attempt to free-up a table for a second sitting. Instead, expect laid-back country service that makes the wait for lunch all the more worthwhile. Run by Jules Lenehan and Juliet Robb, their years of experience and love of what they do is evident. The dining experience is excellent, imaginative and backed by 57 Roadside Eats... Long Track Pantry Menu an eclectic wine list with a strong emphasis on local and near-country wineries. You can also sign-up for a regular newsletter, sign-on for smallgroup cooking classes and go online to order jams, chutneys, local olive oil, balsamic vinegar and even cookbooks and boxed gift hampers. Entrees Hummus served with toasted flatbread 8.0 LTP Olive tapenade with toasted Turkish bread 9.0 LTP smoked trout pate served with toasted Turkish bread 9.0 Mains Soup of the Day – Please see Main Blackboard Oven roasted tomato, Meredith dairy goat’s cheese on sourdough with eggplant jam Sweet lentil salad with currants, goats cheese and fresh herbs 11.0 16.0 16.0 Long Track burger with pancetta, coleslaw and LTP relish 17.0 Slow cooked lamb curry 20.0 Long Track lunch plate with LTP smoked trout pate, marinated feta, chicken and pistachio terrine, artichokes, LTP red onion relish and toasted Turkish bread 20.0 Homemade Pie of the Day - Please see main Blackboard 19.0 Desserts Apple & Walnut Cake Tunisian Orange & Lemon Cake Chocolate, Date & Almond Torte (gluten free) Raspberry & White Chocolate Muffins Chocolate Brownies Beer 6.5 6.5 6.5 5.0 5.0 Red Wine Melbourne Bitter 4.0 08 Long Track Shiraz Cascade Premium Light 3.5 10 Two Italian Boys Cabernet Sauvignon 25.0 The Apple Thief Pink Lady Cider 6.0 08 Silent Range Merlot 35.0 08 Sally’s Hill Cabernet Franc 40.0 09 Sally’s Paddock 85.00 White Wine ‘Sasha’ NV Brut 25.0 11 Two Italian Boys Pinot Grigio 5.0 / 20.0 6.0/25.0 08 Hundred Tree Hill Chardonnay 25.0 10 Gallagher Wines Riesling 30.00 10 Silent Range Sauvignon Blanc 30.00 Locally Roasted Espresso Coffee Leaf Teas and Milkshakes Gluten Free & Vegetarian options on request LTP Products available here PLEASE ORDER AT THE COUNTER It’s also great to know that Jugiong welcomes RVers of all persuasions and almost straight across the road from the Long Track Pantry is an excellent and well patronised free camping area (a donation to Council in the honesty box is most appreciated). There’s also a fresh fruit and veg shop right next door and a great local wine tasting centre, in case you get thirsty. To find out more about the Long Track Pantry, plus what else to see and do in Jugiong, visit www.longtrackpantry. com.au or call (02) 6945 4144 Roadside Eats... 59 If you have a favourite roadside eatery please let us know so we can share it with everyone! Mobile Tech... HEYTELL YOUR friends Send short voice messages just like texts... S ending a text message is a great way of keeping in touch, but let’s face it: writing them can be a pain. Enter HeyTell, a free app that sends short voice messages to other HeyTell users for free, over Wi-Fi or your phone’s data service. HeyTell is available for Apple, Android and Windows Phone users and is very simple to use. In the words of the Developers, “HeyTell is a cross-platform voice message that allows you to instantly talk with friends and family. No account needed – just start the app, choose a contact and push the button to start talking!” In reality it’s not quite that simple, mainly because the other person has to have HeyTell installed, too. That isn’t a problem though, because from within the app you can send an email or text message inviting them to join up. Once installed, you’re both in business. To use HeyTell all you do is select a contact, hold down the bright orange button and talk. The other person then receives notification of an incoming message, which they can play at their leisure, and reply to yours in exactly the same way. It’s sort of like a telephone-based walkietalkie system and is particularly useful for people with vision problems, who hate typing or otherwise have their hands full. You can store messages and also set the program to 61 Mobile Tech... Just hold the button and speak: HeyTell delivers short voice messages that are much easier than texting! show your location on Google maps so family and friends can keep track of your travels. All-in-all, HeyTell is very useful program and even when running on your phone or iPad’s inbuilt data allowance uses such a small amount of capacity as to be pretty-much inconsequential. So hey, tell your friends all about it and get voice messaging. It makes text messages look like something from the Stone Age! Stop Press... ST ESS!! R P P O ! PARADISE TALKS MOTORHOME SAFETY Further to Dave Berry’s comments in this issue’s Editorial, Paradise Motor Homes’ Managing Director, Colin MacLean, has added the following to the conversation: Hi Richard Thanks so much for opening up this discussion on the need to improve motorhome safety. It was media & public pressure after those horrific bus accidents on the north coast of NSW that resulted in the government introducing ADR 49/00 - Bus Rollover Strength (and yes it did put some bus manufacturers out of business but it certainly improved public safety). Your readers may find it unbelievable, but 1998 research sponsored by the Federal Office of Road Safety into Roof Crush Strength concluded that between 13 - 16% of all fatalities were primarily as a result of rollovers, yet no ADR Standard for Rollover in cars has ever been introduced into Australia. This highlights the problem that manufacturers only legally have to build to the minimum statutory regulations. Thankfully the majority of car manufacturers understand that consumers demand vastly superior levels of safety than the minimum standards and now build vehicles that are well above the minimum ADR guidelines and provide a myriad of safety features, including rollover protection. Unfortunately, the lack of rollover protection is only one of the many major safety deficiencies with the way the current ADRs allow motorhomes to be constructed. Because there are no structural or strength requirements for motorhome bodies they are allowed to be built with the same construction processes and materials (including polystyrene foam and ply) as those used to build caravans. Anyone who has seen how easily a caravan disintegrates in an accident will understand the ramifications of being in an accident in a motorhome built like a caravan. Because the rear wall of the driver’s compartment is almost always removed, the driver and passenger are exposed to everything, including the fridge, microwave, TV and kitchen sink, when it disintegrates. The SA Transport Department’s “Information Bulletin 28” dated March 2003 as well as its current “Caravan and Motorhome Fact Sheet” both specify that “All fittings including such items as fold away tables, fire extinguishers, stoves, cupboards etc must be capable of withstanding a force of 20 times their weight without becoming detached.” This makes me question why the ADRs don’t already identify the need for pull testing of appliances and cupboards, etc, in motorhomes to certify they are adequately attached. Sadly no RV is audited to this standard, which could mean that every RV registered in SA could be non-compliant. In an effort to improve motorhome safety standards Paradise Motor Homes Stop Press... has made a submission* to the National Transport Commission’s Review of the ADRs, recommending major changes to the standards and the removal of the current self-auditing process. Our recommendations include: • Minimum Construction Standards to prevent motorhomes disintegrating like caravans in an accident • Guidelines for the attachment of the motorhome body to the vehicle chassis • Slide-out construction strength; adequate attachment to vehicle chassis; suitability for seatbelts & occupant safety; strength of locking system in travel mode • Mandatory Roll Over Protection • Structural strength of the body after a slide-out has been fitted • Pull Testing on the anchorage & attachment of Appliances, Fittings & Fixtures • Seat swivel fitment and the ability for the driver’s seat to swivelled without having to release the handbrake • Adequate Underbody Storage Capacity to prevent heavy items like tool boxes, golf bags, batteries etc being carried inside the motorhome • Weight allowance for occupants & load needs to be increased. Current 68kg person & 60kg load including food & clothes needs to be 63 increased to suit today’s demographic • Implement independent government audits to prevent manufacturers from selling non-compliant motorhomes I understand we have upset the other manufacturers by trying to improve the safety standards of motorhomes. But the good news for consumers is if the other manufacturers want to compete with our new price-competitive Integrity Range, they will have to absorb the cost of safety improvements without increasing their prices.” * A copy of Paradise Motor Homes' submission is available for download from www.imotorhome.com.au/ downloads BEHIND THE WHEEL WITH OUTBACK TRUCKERS the mindset of those behind the wheel of these enormous machines. For the first time on television, Outback Truckers jumps into the cab with some men and women behind the wheel of road trains that travel Australia’s vast and remote Outback. The new show should be of interest to motorhomers and caravaners alike, providing insight into “When initially approached we liked the concept, and with the support of our dealers, Cat Trucks agreed to support Prospero Productions to help this project come to fruition”, Bill Fulton, Managing Director for Cat Trucks said. “The program is raw reality; it shows these professional truck drivers in their genuine work environment operating in challenging conditions to deliver the goods for their customers. There is no glitz, no glamour, just the real challenges faced day in and day out with truck drivers all over Australia.” Fulton added. Outback Truckers first of five episodes premiers on 7Mate, Thursday 18th October 9.30pm, followed by episode two airing the following day, on Friday 19th at 7.30pm. Show Calendar... NOV NOV OCTOBER 2-4 26-28 9-11 OCT 26-28 Canberra Leisure, Caravan, 4WD & Camping Show Exhibition Park, Canberra. ACT. • Open 10:00-5:00 daily • Free parking • Adults $15 • Seniors $12 • Website: www.rncas.org. au/homeshow/site/ Click for Google Maps November 2-4 NOV 2-4 NOV OCT 9-11 November 26-28 NOV 9-112-4 South Coast Caravan, Camping & Holiday Expo NZ Motorhome & Caravan Show Mackay Park, Batemans Bay. NSW. CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch. NZ. • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00 Sunday) • Free parking • Adults $12 • Kids U12 Free • Open 9:00-5:00 daily (4:00pm Sunday) • Free parking • Adults $10 • Seniors $6 • Accompanied kids free • Website: http://southcoast.supershow.com.au Click for Google Maps NOV 9-11 • Website: www. nzmotorhomeshow. co.nz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily promote it in this calendar. OCT 26-2 65 Next Issue.. iMOTORHOME SCOOPS AN EXCLUSIVE WITH TRAKKA! I n an iMotorhome exclusive, next issue will come to you ‘live’ from the CMCA Rally in Boonah, Queensland, from the comfort of Trakka’s allnew Trakkaway 700 B-Class motorhome. Built on a Fiat Ducato cab-chassis the ‘little’ Trakkaway promises to set new standards and should also be a lot of fun. It features, amongst other things, Trakka’s first slide-out (a rear bed extension) and a rainwater harvesting system from the roof! The trip will also be an experiment in mobile technology and I’ll be posting on Facebook during the rally and looking for interesting people to talk with and unusual rigs to report on. The plan is to be there from Wednesday to Sunday, so drop me a line if you’d like to catch up. Our big feature review for Issue 12 will be the luxurious and impressive Aquarius A-Class motorhome that’s Australian designed but American built. Running a Ford petrol V10 on LPG makes it even more interesting... Malcolm Street will also bring us a review from his recent adventures across the Tasman, which will be of particular interest to our many keen readers in New Zealand. Lots to look forward to; see you on Saturday 20 October – or in Boonah! Remember, until then you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook. and com/iMotorhome) Twitter (@iMotorhomeMag) As always, please drive safely!