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RV & Camping Leisurefest Bendigo shows 3-days of latest caravans, campers, motorhomes, tents and camp gear 

November 16, 2009
RV & Camping Leisurefest Bendigo shows 3-days of latest caravans, campers, motorhomes, tents and camp gear

A great range of motorhomes plus displays from Australia's leading Recreational Vehicle brandswere on show for three days November 20-22 at the RV Camping Leisurefest at Bendigo Racecourse.

Among the latest industry productswere more than 200 new caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, off-road vehicles, campervans, pop tops, tent trailers, fifth wheelers, slide ons and 4WD's.

More and more Victorians are choosing caravanning and camping for their holidays because its a fun, affordable option to get away with family and friends, experience pockets of Australia and relax and take a break, Peter Wright, show manager and executive officer of Caravan Industry Victoria said.

In response to this demand we put together a great mix of products, accessories and tourism information so that visitors to Leisurefest can find everything they need at the one event, Peter said.

All the big brands including Jayco, Winnebago, Sunliner and AVanwere among Leisurefest exhibitors with their latest models this year and visitors had the biggest line up of caravans, motorhomes, camper vans and fifth wheelers ever, Peter Wright said.

Therewas also a massive range of camper and tent trailers for those wanting a touch of luxury on their camping holidays.

With the addition of Anaconda this year, Bendigo Leisurefesthad the biggest display of tents, camping and outdoor equipment in its history.

Plus this years tourism display was the largest ever with destinations as far as the Northern Territory exhibiting at Leisurefest.

Therewere free daily seminars from industry experts each day.

Meet the Experts at Leisurefest

Back by popular demand, the RV Camping Leisurefest offered a program of free daily seminars conducted by industry experts who shared their knowledge, experience and expertise on caravanning and camping in Australia.

Avan layout has space and style
Avan layout has space and style

So whether show goers were looking for new family holiday ideas, planning to set out on their dream caravanning holiday, considering heading off road on their own adventure, or looking for towing tips,its was aunique opportunity to get answers to caravanning, outdoor and camping questions.

Former AFL footballer and host of The Great Australian Doorstep Peter Spida Everitt offered guests interesting tales and useful tips about caravanning and camping as a family in his daily seminars.

Garth Morrison, internet savvy editor of Australias biggest caravanning and touring website gave a live presention of how to use GoSeeAustralia on the internet to get the best from touring, RV's caravans and camping.

Garth helps thousands of camping newbies get on the road in his freewheeling RV internet information seminar where there is no such thing as a silly question.

Peter Spida Everitt

Garth is particularly proud of a Recognition of Service to the Victorian Caravan Parks Industry Award presented to him by the Victorian Caravan Parks Association.

He was Editor of the RACV's Touring Publications State and National Tourism award winning team as Editor and then AAA Tourism Editor before joining the ContACT Internet Solutions team six years ago to create the now internationally popular and websites.

John Eggenhuizen, one of Australias most experienced and respected towing instructors and owner of Tow-Ed shared his expertise and knowledge on towing a caravan.

Tow-Ed is a CCIA Trade Business of the Year award winner. John discussed towing and weight distribution for a safer journey, hitching and unhitching, travelling on road and off, and most importantly, enjoying the adventure.

In August the GoSeeAustralia Team took part in competancy based 4WD training led by John.

His Registered Training Organisation (RTO) delivers the outdoor Recreational Industry Training Package (SRO03), Nationally Recognised 4WD Training.

The competency Units covered are SRODRV001B Drive and Recover a 4WD vehicle and SROODR002A Plan Outdoor Recreational Activities.

GoSee Editor Garth Morrison
GoSee Editor Garth Morrison

Getabouts Senior Trainer John Eggenhuizen and his team of instructors lead from the front to keep all aspects of the training safely on 4WD track.

The experience is a great way to spend productive time with interesting people outdoors.

Tow-Ed, of Prospect NSW, is the Best Product or Service Provider for 2009 in NSW.

Tow Ed was named winner at the annual Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW (CCIA) Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner at Cypress Lakes Resort in Cessnock on Wednesday July 29.

And in the Trainee of the Year Trade, Lynette Eggenhuizen of Tow-Ed earned a commendation in a double for the national training company.

With many more Australians towing caravans and using 4WD and AWDs GoSee believes that training with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) is essential for anyone who uses a 4WD or pulls camping trailers, caravans, boats and horse floats.

GoSee believes that many accidents and fatalities can be avoided with skills learned through RTO training.

Tow-Ed says towing involves several key competencies. Tow-Ed says the main focus of towing training includes - safety and maintenance checks.

The legal aspects of towing are also covered plus trailer dimensions, loads and loading, types of hitches, driving and manoeuvring techniques, braking techniques,reversing, launching and recovery of boats (if applicable).

Vehicle and trailer pre and post trip inspections is built into the definitive course.

Tow-Ed and Getabout courses are designed to build confidence and skills with lots of practice.

Tow-Ed and Getabout have a variety of venues for training. Tow-Ed also conducts Off Road Towing courses for the owners of camper trailers who want to get off the beaten track to enjoy their asset.

Justine Smith (l) from Tourism NSW with award winners Julie and John Eggenhuizen of Tow-Ed.
Justine Smith (l) from Tourism NSW with award winners Julie and John Eggenhuizen of Tow-Ed.

Edgar Burtscher from the Bendigo 4WD Club spoke at Leisurefest for the first time about preparinga 4x4 with all the right gear for touring on and off road.

Bendigo Four Wheel Drive Club runs camping trips and 4WD driving tours for all skill levels.

It is among 4WD clubs throughout Australia who encourage members to take a responsible approach to using 4WD's.

Skills required to get the best, safely from a 4WD are fostered within the Bendigo Four Wheel Drive Club program of camping trips and touring.

The club meets at The Foundry Arms hotel, 2 Old High Street, Golden Square Bendigo on the second Wednesday of each month.

Hosted in the seminar room located at the back of the grandstand, the free seminarsran for 30 to 40 minutes followed by open question time. The speakerswere also be available at Leisurefest throughout the event.

Spidas Family Adventures

After 16 years of putting AFL footy ahead of his family, Peter Spida Everitt has given up the game and is now spending many months of the year caravanning and camping around Australia with his wife Sheree and their four children.

Together they are producing The Great Australian Doorstep, a travel program on Foxtels How To channel about small Australian towns and the people who live there.

Edgar Burtscher
Edgar Burtscher

When you are caravanning and camping you are faced with many challenges and plenty of surprises. Its a great way to live, says Spida. But by far the most exciting and rewarding part has been the family bond weve developed on the road.

After six months of travelling with his family, Spida has developed an arsenal of interesting tales and useful tips about caravanning and camping as a family. He is appearing at this years Bendigo Leisurefest and offering free daily seminars on his family RV adventures.

We asked Spida a few questions about travelling with the family.

Q: Is travelling with children a never ending up hill battle?

A: Not at all. You would be surprised how many are doing it and how easy it is as long as everyone pulls their weight.

Q: Whats your favourite destination for the whole family?

A: Geraldton, WA. The local council has spent a fortune on entertainment (all free) for children. It really is a holiday for the whole family.

Q: How do your kids do their schooling?

A: Their teachers wrote out a list of must dos which we followed religiously. Everyday at the same time it was school time for our kids. Always keep a routine and be responsible.

Q: What is your favourite dish to cook on the road?

A: Banana pancakes cooked on the BBQ.

Q: What has been your most unforgettable moment?

A: When we began our day intending on a leisurely 40 minute drive to our next town (Two Rocks), only for it to turn into a nine-hour drive to Busselton.

Challenge Campers from SA attracts families
Challenge Campers from SA attracts families

Therewas a range of outdoor original thought at Leisurefest camper builders like Heaslip, Red Rock and Challenge had options which make comfortable, independent camping possible anywhere the tow or tray-top vehicle can go with safety.

Solar-panel supported battery systems back-up real home comforts.

Storage space and custom options turn camper trailer and tray-back products into roomy, comfortable outdoor living space which shrug off weather changes, including wild wind and heavy rain.

Here are some innovative outdoor products GoSee spotted in the RV Camping Leisurefest line-up at Bendigo this year -

Heaslip Campers options included a go-anywhere camper trailer, a slide-on traytop camper that suits both standard and dual-cab traytop vehicles and a traytop or trailer kitchen camper known as the Gourmet Getaway. This fully-equipped kitchen fits to traytops and trailers for camping.

Easy going Heaslip camper with stone guard and solar panels
Easy going Heaslip camper with stone guard and solar panels

The Heaslip Traytop Camper won Best Camping Product in the 4x4 Industry Awards in 1998 and Best Slide On - Camper Trailer in the Caravan Motorhome Awards in 2004; and the Dual Cab Traytop was finalist in 2000 for the 4x4 Industry Award.

Heaslip options include a Boat Rack which is adjustable and removable.

Living area can be doubled with annex options and sleeping can be queen size with wardrobe and storage areas.

Avan designs include patented panel pop-top. The Avan Slideout range of Pop-Top caravans offers versatility and comfort with Avans patented Panel Construction.

The rear double bedroom has superior insulation and security when compared to canvas-based designs. The Avan Slideout is compact and lightweight.

A'mazing A'van RV's is Victoria's only Avan dealer, based in Seaford, Melbourne and it showed the latest Adventure design at Bendigo Leisurefest. A'mazing A'van RV's was opened in May 2006 by experienced RV retailer Andrew Page.

Heaslip Campers Judy and Rob Heaslip
Heaslip Campers Judy and Rob Heaslip

The showroom and outdoor display area, has a full Avan RV display which includes the complete range of Avan campers, Eurostar caravans, Gran Turis caravans, hard-top caravans, pop-top caravans, slide-out caravans and motorhomes.

Dream-Pot is on show at RV Camping Leisurefest, Bendigo. The thermal cooker delivers easy-cook nutritious food when it is wanted, where it is wanted. Nothing does more for happy, healthy touring and camping than good nutritious food when it is wanted, where it is wanted.

A GoSee extended evaluation on the road and at home of thermal cooking and Dream-Pot shows it delivers on time every time. It saves big time on fuel, gas or electricity and does not demand that someone watches the pot.

Completely portable the Dream-Pot keeps cooking indoors or out once the recipe start-up has been followed. So please read the instructions.

We use the 6 litre Dream-Pot which comes with a 2 litre inner pot. This allows cooking variety with recipes which run from soup to cake and most things in between.

On the road the Dream-Pot cooks along under a safety cargo net which restrains it upright in the truck as GoSee travels. It is a good easy to carry friend at the end of a touring day and it cleans up quickly.

Cakes, bread, scones are Dream-Pot options and fruit tea cake, spiced apple muffins and sugarless fruit loaf suit a diabetic meal plan.

Dream-Pot is also a rice cooker, Bain Marie, cooler and yoghurt maker.

GoSee also finds that the Dream-Pot is a convenient and power-saving method of cooking for working people when they want a meal ready when they get home.

Avan Adventure rates a second look
Avan Adventure rates a second look

Campers who build for campers trigger for versatile Challenge

Challenge Camper Trailers is a Edwardstown, South Australia, family business run by campers who build for campers.

Gareth and Sandy Handshin put their considerable camping experience into designing and manufacturing a camper trailer which included all their holiday needs.

So many of their fellow campers were impressed they made a business of building affordable campers for Australia.

The Challenge Camper Trailers feature quality, heavy duty, lightweight and practical features which make a camping holiday easy.

They took the challenge and now produce -Off and on-road camper trailers.

Tents are supplied on a steel bed base to suit existing trailers. Awnings, annexes, walls to customer specifications. Standard trailers.

Boat trailers. Transport trailers. Upgrades and repairs to existing trailers (South Australia only). Trayback campers. Plus traytop tents and sheep-feeders.

BioMagic Environmental Solutions covers cleaning, toilets, odour elimination, water filters in the Recreational Vehicle and the home. BioMagic has established itself as an Environmental Solutions company which provides 100 per cent environmentally sustainable products and solutions which work with and promote nature.

They provide an entire ECO package which takes care of toilets, grey water, Odour, laundry, all cleaning and now safe drinking Water treatment. It is effective, saves money, storage space, water and most of all has no detriment to the environment.

All BioMagics products are non-toxic, non-hazardous and 100 per cent environmentally friendly. The range of products is suitable for RV, leisure, domestic, industrial and commercial applications.

WaterPure BioMagic's new drinking water purifier has been well received by many people concerned about what is in their water supply or water tanks. The big question is what do you do with the caravan tanks when they are not being used?

BioMagic say this is now a thing of the past as RV owners can have clean, safe, odour and taste free water in a short time which is also safe to store for many months. The water purifier is economical and takes away the risks, BioMagic says.

Challenge Camper Trailer off-road deluxe  package
Challenge Camper Trailer off-road deluxe package

Serenity Motorhome Holidays provides the Freedom to travel and stay anywhere you please at your own pace with all the luxuries of home.

The Bendigo, Victoria based motorhome rental company is an Australian owned and operated family business. Serenity Motorhomes was developed to answer a need to provide a value for money regional Motorhome Holiday experience.

Their Motorhomes are fully featured, late model, regularily serviced and professionally maintained. One tank of fuel come free with 10 days hire or more. Special rates are available.

Red Rock Campers owner David McCormick built his first trailer with his father 15 years ago. He and his wife Roslyn and their two boys Cameron, 10, and Jason, 3, are keen recreational campers.

Roslyn has extensive experience in the camping wholesale side so she and David provide good advice for Bendio Leisurefest goers on all aspects of recreational camping needs.

Motorhomes get plenty of interest
Motorhomes get plenty of interest

In recent years Red Rock Campers moved into specialized trailer building, and work with the Salvation Army Emergency Services to produce bushfire relief trailers designed to feed and assist at emergencies or disasters.

Red Rock also works with other emergency service providers including the SES. Red Rock Campers is a wholly Australian family owned business.

BoatHoist both auto loader and boat trailer

BoatHoist makes light of getting a boat loaded and unloaded at RV roof height. The Boat loader, motor and fuel tank storage and boat trailer combine in one robust system.

So a tinnie aluminium boat goes too when caravanning, touring and 5th wheeling with the Australian designed BoatHoist system. The electric front loading 12volt BoatHoist is designed to lift and secure the boat to the existing vehicle roof racks.

Red Rock Traveller off road camper kitchen
Red Rock Traveller off road camper kitchen

It transports motor and fuel tank within the low profile framework in the upturned boat on the vehicles roof.

Then when the caravan is unhitched and fishing and adventure are on the menu the BoatHoist re-assembles into a registrable boat trailer suitable for highway.

The BoatHoist bolts onto existing heavy duty roof racks. The boat then glides (using the winch) up and down frontloading detachable aluminium arms that connect to the roof load frame and rest on the existing bull bar.

BoatHoist's Steve Scott designed the BoatHoist so that all the parts used to carry and load the boat are re-used and convert into a sturdy boat trailer. He says the system fits most RV 4WD's, Dual Cab Utes and 5th Wheel tow vehicles.

Get Around Campers uses 14 oz canvas for side-wall and roof construction in their products.

This means their new campers which were on show at the RV Camping Leisurefest at Bendigo are much cooler in Summer and much warmer in Winter because of the quality canvas and the double roof over the sleeping quarters. All their models are now available with rip stop canvas which offers increased strength and durability.

Get Around Campers trailers are relatively inexpensive, yet offer lots of sleeping capacity. This includes a queen-sized bed, plus the annex areas which has plenty of space to set up more beds. For Leisurefest goers who want a low cost holiday option camper trailers are worth a look.

Vista RV of Bayswater, Victoria set out in 2006 to produce an off-road camper capable of going anywhere a four wheel drive could go.As the design evolved it was determined that a camper-caravan would give everyone the opportunity to enjoy what the Australian Outback and other hard to access destinations have to offer.

Butwithout roughing it under canvas, as well as provide a suitable portable camp site that was as comfortable as it was practical.

With the addition of accessories like a solar panel, full annexe and an en suite, campers are fully independent and can go to any chosen destination.

Layout includes Queen size bed rear half converts to dining configuration. Kitchen across rear wall with big bench area, sink, Engel fridge, storage space and cutlery drawer.

A wardrobe is included. Storage space includes seat boxes, in the seat backs, wall mounted shelves and storage pockets.

An MP3-CD-radio is standard. The Crossover features a suspension system which is the heart of its off-road capabilities. Tare is 1100kg with a Payload of 350kg.

Intellisat is about easy to operate automatic satellite systems for people on the move. The Autosat 2S Control is 100 per cent compatible with Foxtel, Austar, Aurora and SelectTV satellite-receivers.

The Autosat 2S Control is easy to operate and reliable, as it is build for Australian conditions. With an offset 85cm dish Autosat 2S Control is fast tracking, opening from its fold-down position and automatically locking onto the satellite signal.

When closed the units profile is about 20cm. It mounts on an RV roof with its profile reversed to protect it from potential wind damage caused by high speed driving. It will work with all DVB-Compatible digital receiver (Digibox) allowing access to a full range of channels.

With the user friendly control unit: Switch on your Television. Switch on your Autosat. Sit back and watch preferred programs. Once connected to the RV's ignition the Autossat 2S Control dish automatically closes when the vehicles engine is started.

Shuttle Chef offers a free padded carry bag with every thermo unit sold in November. So RV Camping Leisurefest benefit too.

One piece of cookware which cooks highly nutritious meals, which can be served when ready or kept hot for eight hours plus. Thermal Cookware is the obvious solution for the time or space-stressed families of today and is ideal for people on the run, camping, caravaning, four wheel driving, recreational vehicles and boating.

The efficiency of Thermal Insulation makes it possible to start cooking the meal on a stove for a minimal time and then have it finish itself off without any additional energy inputs - saving effort, time and money.

The Thermos Shuttle Chef uses patented Thermax vacuum technology which virtually eliminates temperature change by creating an airless vacuum space between two stainless steel walls.

Caravan industry supports Bendigo's Kalianna School

Caravan Industry Victoria donated an interactive whiteboard valued at $5000 to Bendigos Kalianna Special School which caters for students aged 5 18 years of age who have a mild to moderate intellectual disability.

A presentationwas made to Principal Alison Byron and Kalianna students at the RV Camping Leisurefest at midday on Friday 20 November.

Each year Caravan Industry Victoria donates $5000 to a local community charity or association on the opening day of Leisurefest and to date weve donated $40000 in cash or kind in Bendigo, said Peter Wright, executive officer of Caravan Industry Victoria.

Weve chosen Kalianna as this years recipient because the school provides an invaluable education to families in the local Bendigo community, said Peter.

Kalianna School provides individual learning programs for all students and new technology such as interactive whiteboards help provide engaging and motivating learning activities for students, no matter what age or ability, said Alison Byron.

The generous donation from Caravan Industry Victoria will enable the school to place an adjustable interactive whiteboard in a classroom for younger students and students with a physical disability.

Over the past seven years Leisurefests event organisers have donated a total of $35,000 to local charities and organisations including St Lukes Anglicare, Bendigo Health, the State Emergency Service, Otis Foundation, Country Fire Authority, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bendigo Hospital.


Bendigo Racecourse, Heinz Street, Epsom


Friday 20 November to Sunday 22 November 2009


9.30 am to 6 pm, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 November 2009

9.30 am to 4 pm Sunday 22 November 2009


Adults $9; pensioner concession Seniors Card holders $7; Kids under

15 Free

Getting around

Disabled access throughout the venue


Plenty of free parking all day


There are toilets throughout the venue

Food drinks

You will find plenty of food and drink in restaurants and food courts throughout the venue.

Editor's Note: Here are some Bendigo Leisurefest related free Information Articles from the GoSee data library:

5th Wheeler with front loading Boathoist
5th Wheeler with front loading Boathoist
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