Is Your Caravan Ready for the Road Standards Laws coming in 2020?

A caravan manufacturer that is a member of accreditation organisations means that manufacturer has been through all the checks and balances and audited regularly for quality standards.

A caravan manufacturer that participates in R&D and Safety Testing is one that is always improving to meet your needs. New Age Caravans owned by Walkinshaw use premier Walkinshaw HSV facilities and expertise in all aspects of design and testing.

With the upcoming RVSA Laws and Legislation taking affect in 2020, rest assured New Age Caravans are ADR Compliant for peace-of-mind on the road. All of our new caravans comply with applicable Australian Design Rules ensuring their legality in ALL Australan states and territories.


lady in a caravan

More Aussie Women are Embarking on Caravanning

To mark International Women’s Day, new research from Caravan Camping Sales has emerged indicating more female travellers are enjoying caravanning in Australia’s great outdoors.
Latest figures from the Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey have revealed that in the year ending September 2018, 5.2 million caravan and camping trips were taken by women – up by more than a million trips compared to similar stats taken in 2013.
Total nights spent camping by women were also up over the 12 month period – from 18.5 million nights caravan and camping in Australia in 2013, to 24.4 million in 2018.
According to the most recent survey, the largest age group of women camping was aged 30-54, which made up 49% of overall trips, followed by the 55-plus group (29% of trips).
The most popular activity amongst women whilst caravan and camping was dining at local eateries, with three million women making the most of restaurants and cafes in the areas they visited. This was followed by outdoor activities which included going to the beach, sightseeing and bushwalking.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests more women are taking major or active roles in the Australian RV Industry, from senior executive positions to consumer advocate roles.
Women-only RV travel communities are also on the rise, driven by online groups like Rolling Solo Australia, which is holding its 3rd annual ‘Stuck in the Middle’ all-female camping trip this year from October 18-25, on West Australia’s Coral Coast.

Click here to view a range of New Age caravans for sale that are popular to women caravanners.


hand tool maintaining wheel of caravan

Tips for Caravan Maintenance between Services

New Age Caravans require 10000km/Annual Services but between this period here are some preventative tips to help avoid those last minute panic situations that occur moments before you head off on your caravan holiday.

AES/Compressor Fridge: When the caravan’s fridge is not in use, it’s a good idea to wipe out the interior, dry it, and then to leave the door partially opened to prevent the occurrence of mould or smell.

Air-Conditioner: Regularly inspect the air conditioner’s filters for wasp nests which can form and if the filters clog, the air conditioner will struggle to operate especially in warm weather.

Hot Water Service (HWS) Anode: On a monthly basis inspect your anode in the hot water system. The anode is specially designed to corrode and depending on the condition of the water, this can occur rapidly or slowly.

Solar Panels: Solar panels are popular on off road caravans. If you have roof mounted solar panels they can get dirty and collect dust so regularly wipe down the panels with warm soapy water which will aid in the improvement of solar electricity creation.

Diesel Heater: For those with off road caravans, the diesel heater is a popular appliance, but bare in mind the fuel can go off over time and when travelling in tropical climates. For when the heater is not planned to be used for a long time: 1) drain all the diesel out of the tank. 2) run the heater until it runs out of fuel – it will turn off when it runs dry and won’t hurt it. 3)Plug both the fresh air inlet pipe to the burner and the exhaust pipe. (This will stop insects building nests in the pipes.)

Awning: Like Solar panels, the awning can build up with dirt and grime so wash the awning skin with warm soapy water. Leave the awning extended and only retract once clean and dry.


Caravan Tyre Pressure Formula

Ever wondered what the correct tyre pressure for your New Age Caravan is? Rest assured we have developed a formula for you to use. Before beginning, make sure you have gone and looked in the tunnel boot of your caravan and cited the compliance plate (you will need to note down the ATM on the compliance plate). Then go and look at the tyres on your caravan – you will need to note down the Max Tyre Pressure which is written on the wall of the tyre (in PSI)

MAX TYRE PRESSURE (PSI)÷ MAX TYRE LOAD (KG) = ????

???? x  ATM (KG) ÷ HOW MANY WHEELS ON ROAD = CORRECT TYRE PRESSURE

For Example:

  • For a Single Axle Caravan (2 wheels on the Road)
  • Max Tyre Pressure 80psi
  • Max Tyre Load 1400kg
  • ATM 2000KG

80 ÷ 1400 = 0.05714286

0.05714256 x 2000 ÷ 2 = 57psi

 


hand tool maintaining wheel of caravan

Caravan Safety Checks

Before leaving on your next caravan journey, or prior to travelling to your next holiday, run through this checklist to help ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

1. Inside your caravan, make sure that:

  • all the cupboards are securely closed
  • the refrigerator door is locked
  • all hatches are secured
  • the TV antenna is wound down and secured in the travel position
  • loose items in the caravan secured (eg wedge TV  under seating or bed do not leave on bracket)
  • window mechanism locked but shades open

2. Ensure the caravan is correctly coupled to the tow vehicle. Then check your safety chain/s. Two chains are normally fitted. Crisscross the chains and use ‘D’ shackles to connect them to the secure points on the towbar.

3. Ensure that the electrical plug between the caravan and tow vehicle is connected. Then, check the brake lights, tail lights, turn indicators, clearance lights and electric brakes (if fitted) to make sure they are working.

4. Check that the wheel nuts on all wheels have been tightened to the manufacturers specifications. These should be tightened with a torque wrench to 90ft lb or 125nm and they should be retightened at intervals of 100km for the first 400km and every 1000km after that.

5. Ensure that the tyre pressures are correct as per manufacturer specifications. Adjust if required. (tyre pressures can be found on the side wall of the tyre)

6. Before moving off, make sure that:

  • the gas is turned off
  • door locked
  • picnic table locked
  • jockey wheel removed and secured in a safe location
  • levelling jacks (drop legs) fully wound up
  • step near the door raised
  • caravan handbrake released

7. Finally, walk around the caravan for one last check. It can be very embarrassing to drive off with the electrical lead still connected!


Using your NCE Smart TV

Many New Age Caravans feature a NCE Smart TV? Here are a few tips and tricks that we would like to share with you

The NCE Smart TV operates on 12V power (there is also a 240V power cord if you need it).

Ensure a 12V power supply is running to your caravan (the Drifter unit connected to your batteries near the door entry needs to be on).

Ensure the 12V power cord is connected to the TV at the back *before* plugging the cord into the caravan’s ceiling power point (which looks like a cigarette lighter). This often will prevent the fuse blowing.

For Free to Air TV, ensure you have erected your caravan antenna and booster is on. Then plug your antenna cable from the caravan into the RF In point of the TV.

For Satellite TV, ensure you have erected your Satellite and the booster is on. Then plug your coaxial cable from the satellite/caravan into the Coax In point of the TV.

If a fuse has blown you will know because the power cord will not display a light and also the LED ceiling lights in your caravan will not be working. The fuse to replace in this instance is in the connecter of the power cord going into the roof.

Still Need Assistance?

For further assistance feel free to call the helpful team at NCE

sales@nce.com.au

Tel: 1300 366 024

 


Gas vs Diesel Heating?

If you are planning on caravanning in a bitter winter, fitment of a floor mounted heating unit is a great idea.

A standard caravan air conditioner will not

But what is best – Diesel or Gas powered heaters

There are benefits of both systems.

Gas powered heating like the Truma Vario Eco below is very quiet and features a carbon-monoxide monitor for your safety.

This features improved room temperature control, requires minimal maintenance and you can set to an actual temperature. This fan motor in the heater is stronger than previous models for serious off-road caravanning.

Diesel heaters such as above are thought to be more robust and slightly cheaper to run . They do make slightly more noise, from the air intake and exhaust (outside, underneath the van) when initially heating the van. The noise inside the van from a diesel heater is quieter than a 240volt electric fan heater and is certainly quieter than a reverse cycle air-conditioner.

Those that have a preference for a Diesel heater like the fact that it is running off it’s own power source. Bare in mind, Diesel fuel can go off in tropical climates so it is something to keep in mind.

For pricing on heater fitment have a look here

Still Need Assistance?

If you need further assistance feel free to call the helpful Service team at New Age Caravans Adelaide or email service@newageadel.com.au


AES Fridges in New Age Caravans

AES (Automatic Energy Selection) fridges are the most popular fridge choice in New Age Caravans. These fridges are available in single and 2-door options.

AES fridges require  12-pin wiring for your tow vehicle, in particular the 12th pin to be wired correctly. You can check further auto-electrical instruction on this here.

In Auto operation (when fridge is not set to Manual mode) an AES fridge will select the most preferred option of power. When towing your caravan, the fridge will run through the power of the car until you turn the vehicle’s ignition off.

Upon turning off the ignition of your vehicle, the fridge in the caravan will look for 240V power (EG when you are plugged in to power at a caravan park). If 240V power is not detected, the fridge will switch over and ignite from the gas in your caravan’s gas bottles.

If you currently own a single door Thetford fridge in your New Age Caravan and need to understand it further click here

If you currently own a 2 door Thetford fridge in your New Age Caravan and need to understand it further click here

If you currently own a Dometic fridge in your New Age Caravan and need to understand it further click here


5 Things to Look for when Buying a Used Caravan

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Caravan

With the high price tag of new caravan customers on a budget look for used caravans for sale instead.  And while investing in a used caravan may seem like a sensible option, buyers still need to be smart in their choices.

Used caravans that are sold with hidden damage such as that from hail may become costly problems for the unsuspecting buyer. Here is a checklist from New Age Caravans of 5 ways to help check the condition and value before buying a used caravan.

Here are some steps to take when inspecting a used caravan for issues:

  • Look carefully at the caravans exterior and interior.
  • Look underneath the chassis for any existence of rust, plumbing and electrical work
  • Check if the used caravan’s hitch and wiring is compatible with your tow vehicle
  • Perform a leak test (use a hose if necessary)
  • Have an engineer inspect the preloved caravan.

Look Carefully at the Caravans Exterior and Interior

Both the inside and outside condition of the used caravan may play a large role in its value. Make sure to check the interior upholstery carefully, along with any repairs to the exterior of the caravan. That’s not to say you shouldn’t purchase a caravan that has minor dents and scratches but you’ll want to make sure the exterior was repaired professionally and that the results are barely visible to the eye. Always open the toolboxes and tunnel boots and take a good look at the suspension and wheels. Overly rusted chassis or gas plumbing damage can be a strong indication that there may be trouble down the road. Infact the caravan may not pass a roadworthy test or gas compliance if these exist.

Check the Hitch and Caravan Wiring

You are responsible for the compatibility of your tow vehicle to the used caravan. Is your car’s hitch receiver tongue compatible for the hitch of the caravan? Do you require a ball mount hitch or is the hitch self-articulating? Most caravans have caravan wiring including a 12-pin plug, Anderson plug for power and sometimes a plug for a reverse camera and ESC sway control.  The best person to check that the wiring is compatible and safe is an authorised auto-electrician. The caravan must have operational wiring to ensure a Roadworthy test is passed.

Perform a Leak Test

Any caravan that is leaking through the roof is needed repair. While you are inspecting the used caravan, request a hose to water the caravan on the roof and see how it fairs. If possible, use a ladder to see how the silicon seal conditions to hatches and airconditioning are. Mould, bubbling, flaking and mustiness in the used caravan’s interior is an indication of leaking.

Have an Engineer Inspect Your Caravan

Some people don’t want to pay for an Engineer inspect their used caravan before purchase. This may lead to unforeseen issues down the road. The cost to have a caravan inspected by a professional can be well worth the price. A mechanic is also a professional who can help you discover hidden problems and also assist with determining the caravans value.

See our Current Quality Used Caravans for Sale. Feel free to chat Live to us to Enquire


Caravan Storage Ideas

While caravanning and camping remains a quintessential Australian holiday, one of the biggest issues for holiday makers is organisation and utilising their limited space to its maximum capacity.

To tackle the problem head on, Howards Expert Organiser, Cathy Player, does a storage case study in a new New Age caravan (New Age Manta Ray 18), with a range of Howards organising essentials.

This is the New Age Manta Ray 18; it’s one of New Age’s biggest sellers, a perfect touring van for couples. It is ideal for the couple going off on a big trip and has all the luxuries the holiday makers expect.

“When it comes to what needs to be considered in a caravan, the most important thing is to prevent movement for items like glasses, eggs, plates; you need a place for everything and everything in its place. Organisation and accessibility is also really important; when you haven’t got endless storage you need to be able to use and access everything you’ve got.”

Cathy explains, “From a storage point of view, I always recommend putting your things in well organised, labelled groups. The strategy in a small space is to make the most of every single space opportunity.”

The Kitchen

Cathy continues, “When you’re dealing with deep drawers it’s easy to lose things at the back of them, so I had to look for solutions that were very contained, that wouldn’t rattle around when you’re travelling and that could be easily pulled out so you can get to items at the back, that way you’re using all your available space. I placed glasses in one of the drawers and to prevent them from knocking over easily my solution was a Non Slip Mat and Fifi Drawer Dividers.”

“Some of the other key organisers used within the kitchen are the Mimi Separators Wide and Narrow because they’re very high, light and narrow. The Aamina Organisers are also excellent because they’ve got lids; they’re food safe and stackable. By using clever organisers, we’ve used every square centimeter.”

Using the full depth of the shelf can be an even greater challenge on lower shelves. Cathy found a great quality solution usually specified in higher end kitchens – but also ideal for the caravan. It’s the  simplehuman Pull Out Organiser  and it’s available in 3 different sizes. They are constructed from stainless steel and have ball bearing runners that can be fixed to the shelf. Cathy says “These are a joy to use and remarkably space efficient. They are also very simple to install with the supplied screws”.

The Fridge

“Marie Fridge Baskets were the perfect choice for the fridge, keeping everything nicely contained. We also used a selection of VacSeal food containers that will keep food fresh longer.”

The Pantry

The cupboards above the fridge are nice and deep, so I chose to make that the pantry and used good quality Oxo Pop Containers. They have a square design so they stack, are made of acrylic so they’re not going to break like glass, have really good capacity and are an efficient container for using your space well.”

i-hooks

“One range of products I was really impressed with when we were doing this makeover in the caravan were the i-hooks,” says Cathy.

“They’re a new generation of suction storage and have a unique patented nano-suction system that binds to any smooth sealed surface. They are heat, water, sun and cold resistant and can be re-positioned hundreds of times.”

“There are lots of variations in the range so there’s lots of choice; and it’s the whole idea of being able to move it around so you’re not fixed with a solution. Throughout the van we’ve used the i-hooks in various places; in the bathroom, over the sink.  I created a charger station and used an i-hook rack in the living room for things you use most like insect repellent and sunscreen; there’s also a broom hook at the front door to keep things nice and tidy.”

“i-hooks are perfect for caravans as you don’t need to drill through the walls of your van so they won’t compromise the finish or void your caravan warranty.”

The Bedroom

“In the bedroom area to maximise storage under the bed by including some stacking under-bed boxes. Plus I’ve even been able to fit a Tabletop Ironing Board in there as it folds flat. We’ve used Flocked Hangers in the wardrobe for storing clothes because they’re space saving and non-slip.”

The Tunnel Boot

One last area within the caravan that’s essential for happy travels is somewhere to put all the boxes, ropes, fishing gear, your laundry needs and your poles.

We used the Capri Airer because it is lightweight and narrow. The Jaclyn Collapsible Box is really handy together with the Cesto Basket which can be used for laundry, shopping or the beach. Other essentials for a relaxing holiday is the Pop Up Hamper which folds flat, and the Portable Clothes Dryer which is perfect for hanging over the arm of your awning to dry small items!

How to Solve your Caravan Storage Dilemma

To get these results, the fastest way is to take some photos and dimensions of your space. Have a look online or visit our instore experts (with measurements in hand!). Once you know roughly the space you’re dealing with you’re on your way to creating a really great solution.

When it comes to the “do’s and dont’s” of caravanning  “Don’t over fill your van and be conscious of your weight limit and payload. People often look at what they’ve got at home and think they’ve got to take it all. You need to be quite vigilant when you’re looking at something to take; ask yourself: “am I definitely going to use it,” and if you’re not 100% sure, don’t take it because the chances are you won’t need it. Don’t over complicate things with taking too much stuff would be the biggest “don’t”. He continues, “DO remember that you’re there to have fun and enjoy yourself; and being well organised can really help.”

So when you’re ready to go on your big trip, what essential items are required on any caravanning adventure? “I’m tempted to say a corkscrew but wine is mostly screw top these days! Don’t forget to have everything safely contained and organised and you’ll be set for a great holiday