An extremely strong list of exhibitors signed up for Melbourne Leisurefest at Sandown Racecourse, Springvale, from October 6 to 9. The weather held fine which helped the show and produced the good buzz which goes with enthusiastic crowds. Organised jointly by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA), Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIA) and Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), Leisurefest had the latest from all three industries.
The weather was unexpectedly good although it threatened from the start, it actually held off raining for the entire first three days, then bucketed down briefly around opening time Sunday before becoming another lovely day, mild, overcast, very gentle breeze. Attendance was well in the range of the previous three years. Final attendance figures are on the way and GoSee will post them as soon as they are available.
CIA chief executive officer Robert Lucas said - We had at least six new brands of caravans that havent been seen here before, an impressive four-wheel-drive showing led by Isuzu Ute Australia and several top 4WD clubs, and great new boat exhibits headlined by Crawford Marine and Ranger Tugs making their Leisurefest debuts.
Hands-on towing experience available at Leisurefest
Therewas a huge array of tents, camping gear, destinations, industry associations, electronics, lighting, safety gear and accessories for just about any purpose imaginable.
The new Fifth-Wheeler Precinct and Motorhome Precinct delivered the luxury RV wow factor, but therewas just as much on offer for the budget-conscious camper, plus every price point and lifestyle option in between, Robert Lucas said.
Therewas test towing for caravans and boats down the Sandown main straight, test rides in campers and motor homes, and four-wheel-drive demonstration rides on Sandowns off-road circuit, all with expert drivers at the wheel to keep it safe.
Ticket priceswere the same for the fourth year in a row, with adult entry just $12, pensioner and concession holders $10 and kids under 15 free when accompanied by an adult.
GoSee met old friends with proven products and newcomers with fresh ideas at Sandown:
GoSee uses Dream-Pot every day on the road and at home. 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.
GoSee extended evaluation over five years 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, warming oven, cooler, ice bucket and yoghurt maker. The Dream-Pot is energy efficient and easy to use and clean. It is also supported by an excellent recipe book and regular e-news recipe updates.
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 need to eat.
Dream-Pot is available in its home town of Rockhampton, Queensland or from retailers thoughout Australia. www.dreampot.com.au
Preparing a gourmet meal at the end of a day on the road can be a chore most campers dodge. There is often a lack of choices of hearty gourmet meals that are easy, ready to cook and eat straight out of the container, without the need for special cooking implements and instructions.
Happy Camper Gourmet meals has come up with the latest food storage technology mixed with the benefits of real food cooked to perfection, ready to eat. Meatballs are ready in about 3 min. shanks in 6 min in microwave.
In a saucepan on the camp stove and in an oven meatballs are ready in 10min and shanks in 15min. Tear off the bag top, heat in a pot of water on the campfire, and eat from the bag or serve up on a plate of rice, spaghetti, mashed potato, or vegetables to make the meal even larger.
For most people, refrigeration and frozen products are carefully chosen, usually to allow more room for cool beverages. With Happy Camper Gourmet meals no refrigeration or freezing is required and the meal is not tasteless freeze-dried food. Happy Camper meals have an 18-month shelf life.
Happy Camper supports Australian Farmers. Some of the meat in their meals comes direct from their own farm in Gippsland Victoria. There is no MSG, no artificial preservatives or flavourings and next to no imported ingredients in the gourmet meals.
The result is completely portable gourmet meals for camping, caravan adventurers, motor home tourers, motorbike endurance riders, country pubs, overnight boating, horse riders, fishermen, cross country snow skiers, bush walkers/hikers, military, work site camps, school camps, small food service outlets, fundraisers, and a quick meal at home. A carton of nine 450g Lamb shank meals or veal shanks costs $88.20 ($9.80 each). The 300g meatballs in tomato and basil come in a carton of 12 meals. Each single serve contains six meatballs.
Cost is $105.60 ($8.80 each). A mixed carton bulk buy of 10 meals costs $94. All prices are GST free. Postage is not included in the price. www.happycampergourmet.com.au
The CTEK D250S charger system is a complete solution to camping power anywhere anytime. The CTEK 250s can handle both input from solar panels and an alternator to maximise charge to the secondary battery. This also saves on the cost of a solar regulator which until now was a required purchase with solar panels.
Typically in a Recreational Vehicle (RV) the CTEK D250S Dual is located between the start battery and the accessory battery, whether under bonnet in a four wheel drive or even mounted in a caravan or camper trailer.
The CTEK boosts the voltage from the alternator and applies a six stage charging process to achieve a 100 percent charged battery. All this and in a faster and more efficient method compared to regular dual battery systems.
The CTEK 250s has the capability to handle both input from your solar panels and your alternator to maximise charge to your secondary battery.
The solar regulator is also an MPPT (maximum power point tracking) to get the best efficiency from your solar panels.
This also saves on the cost of a solar regulator which until now was a required purchase with your solar panels.
The CTEK D250S Dual is also temperature compensated to provide the right amount of charge in any temperate conditions, from Cape York to the Snowy Mountains. www.baintech.com.au is a Battery World preferred supplier. Battery World has teamed up with Bainbridge Technologies to provide in-store 'how to' educational tools that will help design and install an integrated power system into any 4wd, camper, caravan or motor home. www.batteryworldcom.au
Sheree and Peter 'Spida' Everitt of The Great Australian Doorstep travel and TV show are just living the dream. They believe you cannot get a better family holiday than caravan and camping. Hooking up at amazing caravan parks with their JaycoExpanda caravans andmotorhome experiencing small Australian towns Sheree, a born Kiwi, says - I am into an eye-opening, at times challenging but forfilling travelling experience along with our son Boston and Peters three daughters.
Caravanning and camping is something I love doing and want to take to the next level and allow others to show off what they have right on their Doorstep, all around Australia, Peter says.
They aim to encourage school children to be proud of their town and Australia in general. Keep it clean, recycle and at the same time eat healthy and be active. More importantly help them educate other children to follow their lead, even the older kids at heart, their parents.www.greataustraliandoorstep.comand sponsor www.jayco.com.au
The Ozpig is based on a professionally converted 9 kg lpg gas bottle modified with legs, chimney, spark arrestor, cooking plates and internal fire box. We put the well seasoned GoSee camp oven on top and cook a wonderful Number 10 roast chicken and vegetable in 65 minutes. When finished, you can keep the kettle hot on the swinging side plates and sit around it for warmth just like a camp fire.
They are clean to use and come in a handy carry bag when packed up. At breakfast the pig as GoSee calls it, fires up and cooks eggs and bacon directly on the fire box lid, then for the evening meal, barbecue chops and chips in the same way.
You do need kindling, good wood and heatbeads. The heat can be regulated by the draft through opening the front door.
The chimney takes away any smoke. It can all be cleaned down with newspaper and packed up ready for the next trip. But please make sure the coals and Heatbeads are cold before emptying the firebox.
Ozpig is portable, collapsible and easy to transport. When transporting Ozpig, the legs and chimney will fit into the belly. Weighing about 16kgs, Ozpig comes with a vinyl carry bag. New accessories are available such as rostisserie, round barbecue plate, utensil holder, heat-bead box, and special stainless steel double-base kettle.
USES: Barbecue, Use with your camp oven heat can be adjusted with the hot plate, Cook with a wok, boil the billy, place boiler straight onto the flames, cook jaffles on slow fire.
SPECIFICATIONS: 9kg gas bottle converted into BBQ/heater. Detachable legs, chimney hot plate foreasy cleaning. Galvanised steel legs, screwed in for safety stability (300mm long). Chimney comes in 3 parts, each part 300mm in length. 1 warming plate has diameter of 270m. Total weight is approx. 16kgs.
Comes with multi-purpose tool for removing hot plate and camp oven lid. Includes vinyl carry bag for easy transportation. www.ozpig.com.au
Coromal Transforma sleeps up to 6
Avan design provides good access to bed and cupboards
Jayco Starcraft pop-top value option