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Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013

GoSee 'Old Heads' provide practical snapshots of motorhome road touring

Phil and Alayne at home in their motorhome.
Phil and Alayne at home in
their motorhome.


Phil Jones with partner, copilot and navigator, Alayne Russell rolled up to the GoSee Bonbeach, Victorian southern office this week in time for morning tea complete with an excellent offering of chocolate chip biscuits.

Their motorhome home fitted into the Bondi Rd Bonbeach street parking scene as locals are relaxed about RV's of various shapes and sizes coming and going.

The motorhome base is Phil Jones's Travelling School of Photography and it delivers training and information about Digital Photography and Photographic Techniques to rural and outback clients. It is a self-contained motorhome travelling commitment for about six months of the year for Phil and Alayne.

By its nature this broad Australian travel schedule provides accurate insight into road touring for GoSeeAustralia. Phil is one of the key 'Old Heads' who help when they can with questions on the GoSee Forums.
Phil Jones 049
Phil Jones 049


A concern he shares with your correspondent is that the right of Australians to camp responsibly, where appropriate within the law be defended.

GoSee believes this position is supported by the majority of road touring stakeholders.

Phil and Alayne are part of 10.6 percent of the total Australian RV group which on 2011 figures provided by the Caravan, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA) number about 50,653 campervans and motorhomes.

In January 2011 there were 474,806 registered RV’s in Australia.

The numbers to watch for the future are the 2011 figures on the size of the road touring industry.

These show that 25 percent of the travelling RV public are active seniors (55 plus) with about 50 percent of the travelling RV public being 30 to 54 years old.

Phil is a leader among travellers he provides photographic 'how-to' training to rural and outback camera shops and pharmacies with a photo kiosk to provide businesses with accurate knowledge and information and to encourage the shops' clientele to improve their photo skills.

Phil's life-long interest is photography. Since the early 1960s this extends to experience in camera clubs in both Melbourne and Canberra and his work has been exhibited at both local and National exhibitions. In 2008 he held a one-man exhibition of panorama photographs from his 2007-2008 travels through outback Australia.
Camping with plenty of space Blackall Queensland
Camping with plenty of space Blackall Queensland


He has been an adult-education lecturer in Photographic Techniques since the mid 70s while developing a number of course streams for use in colleges around Canberra.

During his years at the Canberra College, Phil was nominated for the ACT Government award for 'best adult education trainer' on a number of occasions.The Learn Digital Photography courses he provides are based on the two courses he has conducted at the adult education campus of the Canberra College (ACT) in recent years.

"To conduct our workshops as efficiently as we can, we establish a travelling schedule for the 6 plus months of the year that we are on the road (April to September)", Phil said. When they are away from their Tuncurry , NSW, home base they live and travel in a fully self-contained motorhome. This means that Phil and Alayne place no accommodation expenses onto hosts.

There lifestyle choice makes Phil and Alayne knowledgeable exponents of responsible self-contained motorhome camping, at all levels, across the country. www.philjones.com.au

Here are figures on the size of the industry provided by our friends at CRVA:

In January 2011 there were 474,806 registered RV’s in Australia, of these the total number of campervans (including motorhomes) was 50,653 (10.66 per cent)

May 2013 production figures saw campervan / motorhome production reach 100 for only the second time in about 17 months (July 16). It represented 5.2 percent of current production of RV’s.

46 percent of the RV vehicles at January 2011 were under 1 tonne, a further 31 percent are between 1 tonne and 1.6 tonne.
Social  base camp with the Choofer  fired up Blackall Queensland.
Social base camp with the Choofer fired up Blackall Queensland.


The average age of campervans (including motorhomes) as at January 2011 was 17.8 years with 53 percent of these manufactured before 1996.

32.2 percent of the travelling public hold BIG4 membership, 29 percent hold Top Tourist membership, 11.2 percent Family Parks membership, and 3.8 percent are CMCA members.

15 percent of the RV travelling public will not consider caravan parks, 34 percent will exclusively use them and the balance use a mix of caravan parks and other accommodation options.

Of the 67.8 million site nights annually used in the caravanning and camping sector, 45.3 of these are in caravan holiday parks greater than 40 sites. The remaining 22.5 million are in smaller caravan holiday parks, campgrounds, national parks, hotels/motels, staying with family and friends, and staying on the side of the road.

25 percent of the travelling RV public are active seniors (55+) with about 50 percent of the travelling RV Public being 30-54 years old.

As CRVA Chief Executive Officer Stuart Lamont says- "These numbers present challenges to coming up with a solution which suits all parties. Free or low cost camping options are already part of the tourism mix and have been since the origins of caravanning and camping in Australia.

"It is also evident that caravan parks are an important component of the tourism mix as well. The challenge for the future is for industry, councils, and consumers to come up with practical solutions which satisfy the needs of the RV travelling public".
Welcome to campers in Blackall
Welcome to campers in Blackall


"What would be positive is consumers and consumer groups working with industry on some of these matters as well as the supply issues for the betterment of all of our stakeholders".

"Unfortunately we are pre-conditioned to legislate and regulate against the minority, and industry and consumer groups working together on matters such as education is a positive start to have the conversation turned to the benefit of the RV tourist rather than the burden".

" I welcome open dialogue on the role CRVA can play in working towards a manageable solution (including the development of new capacity – commercial or otherwise), and are very happy to have a constructive conversation with consumer groups, councils, and existing and potential caravan park or campground operators on how we can better manage supply based inequalities for the benefit of all", Stuart Lamont said.

Editors note: Travel pictures are  by Phil Jones.

Editor's Note: A byline on a GoSee story indicates opinion.

www.GoSeeAustralia.com.au and www.GoSeeNewZealand.co.nz are free touring websites set up by the Canberra based website building company ContACT Internet Solutions .

Both websites are designed  to provide an easy to use  free national source of information for travellers and the caravanning industry to assist drive tourism in Australia and New Zealand.

Our company policy is to recommend caravan parks for the security of travellers. Our staff members include long-term caravan park owners.  GoSee free camps when and where appropriate. GoSee will not free camp to the detriment of a caravan park.

When travelling GoSee pays its way. Usually this is at the commercial rack rate.

Here is a run of related Information Articles from the free GoSee library:

Vintage BDO answers caravan park business case need in council camping debate

Free, Freedom, llegal Camping are vexed questions for life on road RV's

Free-loaders and enviro-vandals threaten camping tourism freedoms in Australia says CMCA

Big caravan parks response says - No such thing as free camping, it is just not user pays

Not Bludgers - small budgets mean economies say Nomads but if caravan parks respond to small needs they will be used more

NZMCA membership good move for maximum motor caravanning enjoyment

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Email: garth@contact.com.au
Bowenville Q Oakey Ck The fisherman
Bowenville Q Oakey Ck ''The fisherman''
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Undara Q Campfire (1)
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Chinchilla Qld Linmar station Magpies
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Spider webs in morning dew (5)
This motor home is bull bar protected for country touring
This motor home is bull bar protected for country touring
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Brachina Gorge (1)
Flinders Range NP (27)
Flinders Range NP (27)
Hot-water artesian baths eastern end of Blackall Queensland.
Hot-water artesian baths eastern end of Blackall Queensland.


Phil Jones Travelling School of Photography
Phil Jones Travelling School of Photography

Visit my website to see details of photography courses!

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