The Australian Caravan Club (ACC) staged the initial National Muster at Byron Bay in 2007 with much discussion on the formation of branches around the country.
An enthusiastic new ACC member, Brian Semmler set about establishing a branch with its base in Dubbo, NSW. In June 2008 the Golden Westerners were established during a muster at the Molong Caravan Park.
In November this year Golden Westerner members were invited to Gulgong to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the branch establishment. This was a week-long celebration based at the Gulgong Showground with 23 RV’s attending. The week’s activities included barefoot bowls, golf and a ‘blind’ wine tasting where members were given the opportunity to test their knowledge of the wines of the local district.
The 10th anniversary dinner was the muster highlight involving 50 members and special guests at the Gulgong RSL.
Branch President Graham Humphreys welcomed guests and spoke about the establishment and history of the branch. “Some of our branch founding members have reluctantly retired from the RVing lifestyle but we felt it important we include as many as possible on this special occasion. Their efforts and contributions in those early years resulted in the branch growing to 40 units today and it was wonderful to see Brian and other inaugural members able to join us” said Mr Humphreys.
Members were entertained during the dinner with a slide show of photographs that have been captured from the 43 musters and tag-a-longs held over those 10 years. This revived many fond memories and also a few good laughs.
The Golden Westerners initially targeted caravanners living in Western NSW. The branch can now lay claim to members from all corners of the state.
ACC Chairman Craig Humphrey congratulated the Golden Westerners on reaching their 10 year milestone. “The Golden Westerners was our Club’s third NSW branch to form and has successfully served RVers across NSW country regions for the past 10 years. On behalf of all ACC members, I congratulate the branch” said Mr Humphrey.
Any RVer requiring further information about the ACC or its Golden Westerners branch can contact the ACC on 1800 734 493.
At the 12th Annual National Muster of the Australian Caravan Club (ACC) the Board was pleased to announce that following a call to members, and to which the Board also contributed, the Club had raised $5,000 to assist drought affected farmers.
“Following the muster the ACC Board has been seeking input in how best to distribute these funds to needy farmers”, said Craig Humphrey, ACC Chairman.
“Your Board has listened to members across Australia and they are telling us they want to have their say into how and where the funds are distributed. As a group of senior RV travellers covering the four corners of this great country our members have seen the devastation caused by drought.” said Mr Humphrey.
To this end the ACC are encouraging their branches and individual members to identify appropriate rural community groups or other not-for-profit support organisations that they would like to help.
“Our members already travel all over Australia staying in rural areas and with our research indicating that our members spend up to $100 per day we are already assisting these areas. However members have been very strong in wanting to provide more support to the drought affected areas. ACC Branches and individual members can now work with communities to provide some relief to the effects of the devastating drought.”
“Some examples of rural initiatives may include a BBQ within an affected area, donation to a local charity working in an affected region, personal support of farmers through buying groceries and donating to an affected areas charity or a local Council initiative” stated Mr Humphrey.
Further details on the process for accessing the funds is available from ACC Branch Secretaries.
The ACC was founded in September 2006 and is now the second largest multi brand RV club in Australia.
The Australian Caravan Club wish you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
This office will be closing from Friday 7th December 2018 to Monday 21st January 2019.
The Board and Club Officials will be taking a break during this period.
Please note only urgent matters during this time will be responded to.
Following the National Muster in Denmark WA, ACC Chairman Craig Humphrey announced that the 2020 ACC Chairman’s Muster would be staged in Charters Towers QLD from 14-19 May 2020.
“I am very pleased that the Charters Towers Regional Council has confirmed that the Club will be able to stage the 2020 Muster at a time that will allow those members who travel north each year to plan their attendance. I am also announcing this now to ensure that members have plenty of time to make their travel plans”, said Mr Humphrey.
This will be a great opportunity for the local region, as ACC members spend up to $100 per day when travelling and, from previous Chairman’s Musters, the Club has injected up to $55,000 into local communities.
The Muster will be held at the Charters Towers showground with facilities available to host at least 70 RV’s.
“I am also greatly encouraged from the openness and warm reception that the Club’s representatives have received from the Council and the local community. Nothing has been too much trouble and, as we move forward, I’m sure this partnership will deliver a great muster for members to enjoy in a wonderful region of North Queensland. I must also thank the representatives of the ACC Tropical Tourers branch – Judy and Linda – for working so closely with the Council to confirm the Muster” added ACC Chairman Craig Humphrey.
Charters Towers Regional Council’s Deputy Mayor, Cr Sonia Bennetto welcomed the announcement. “We are thrilled with this decision to stage the 2020 ACC Chairman’s Muster in our region.
“Our region has a rich history, with many grand buildings and two national parks for ACC members to explore. Members can enjoy inland fishing, boating and canoeing on the Burdekin River, or visit the World War II bunkers on Towers Hill.
“Other attractions include the Venus Gold Battery, the Stock Exchange Arcade and the World Theatre.” said Cr Bennetto.
For more information about the Charters Towers Region, visit www.visitcharterstowers.com.au
Further details of the Muster will be released in the latter half of 2019.
With fuel quickly heading towards $2 or more a litre and our large cars needing upgrades to tow the ever-increasing weight of vans when is the consumer about to say enough. The construction materials, chassis design, aerodynamics of vans can be looked at by our manufactures. A lighter van means not as heavy and expensive tow vehicle as well as the daily saving on fuel. Lightweight materials do not mean a compromise in strength and in fact some are stronger than those currently used.
Those who have been caravanning long enough will remember their old Viscount or Millard that weighed no more than 1000 – 1200 kg. We see them today still travelling down to the seaside parks where they have been going for 50 years.
As we get older a light van with a smaller tow vehicle all coming with cost savings may be desirable but will our Australian manufactures change? Only if there is a need, a change of buying habit by the consumers.
Traditional Aussie caravans are all much the same.
You need the big fridge, spacious ensuite, washing machine, enough lead-acid batteries to stay off the grid for two years and water to fill a swimming pool, you’ve got a heavy van. These days, you’ve got the other ‘basic’ necessities like a slide-out and a tough off-road chassis and suspension, add a longer A- frame to carry a nice big tool box stuffed with heavy "come in handy one day" stuff, space to carry your firewood, a bracket to carry your outboard motor, a fuel tank for your diesel heater etc, and your luxury van will hit the scales at 3500kg-plus.
Why must the typical Aussie caravan be so heavy? The love affair with a strong chassis and relatively weak timber frame and thin plywood floor might have something to do with it or maybe those who build lightweight, composite interlocking frames are too nervous about market perception if they don’t whack 6in-deep rails of BHP’s finest under it.
So there you have it: with a few exceptions, is there a need for a heavy caravan for Australian conditions or have we just talked ourselves into it?
A lightweight caravan is a wise money saving decision (i.e. under 2000 kg ATM, which includes most imported European caravans and some shorter Australian ones including pop tops) towed by a suitable environmentally responsible low fuel use tow vehicle. In fact, Lionel Mussell was wondering when and who will be our first member with an electric tow vehicle.
Learn more in our forum area.
Ben Somerville has taken a keen interest in Lightweight Caravanning for the past 6 years and wants to share his experience and research with members. Ben will be writing articles for the Nomad as well as submitting information on our Lightweight Caravanning Forum which is open to all members. Please take up the opportunity to read about this subject and if you have any questions or information to add, please post on the forum as Ben will be only too happy to respond
The Australian Caravan Club (ACC) has been vocal on the issue of the flow on effects of the court ruling against the use of Kershaw Gardens as an overnight stop.
The Caravan Parks Association of Queensland has won its legal battle to ban free overnight camping at Rockhampton's Kershaw Gardens. The Environment and Planning Court today decided that camping is illegal and ruled that overnight stays must cease on February 15 next year and all signs removed.
“Interstate tourists avoiding the southern winter, traditionally travel throughout regional and rural Queensland which could be the regions most affected directly by restrictive camping issues. Many southern grey nomads may wipe Queensland off their winter destinations and will stop at the border or head to SA and up the Centre. Qld communities will lose the economic benefits their tourism brings as they head north each winter” said ACC Chairman Craig Humphrey.
“The ACC absolutely respects the decision of the Court but our call is to ensure that RV travellers have a freedom of choice in options available to stay in Queensland destinations” said Mr Humphrey.
It is estimated that, at any one time, 120 000 of the 600 000 registered RVs in Australia are on the road. RV Travellers spend up to $100 per day (ACC survey) covering fuel, groceries and other necessities. This injects approximately $ 12 million daily into local communities.
“The Australian Caravan Club in February this year wrote to 7 Queensland Ministers expressing our concern regarding the possible ramifications of the Kershaw Gardens decision. I also met with the Queensland Assistant Tourism Minister in March to outline the ACC concerns regarding the implications of the court case and possible ways through the issue.” said Mr Humphrey
“As I explained to the Assistant Minister the ACC concerns included the following-
- Reputational Risk – the issue relates to the perception by RV travellers that Queensland is RV unfriendly through their formal and social networks,
- Regional/Rural Queensland routes will be affected as the perception may grow especially with grey nomads. This is particularly a concern for ACC members,
- possible major effect of a decision will be on such providers as show grounds, pub camping, You camp etc. – all a part of the RV traveller freedom of choice decisions,
- In some areas of Queensland where local show grounds offer the only option for RV travellers the financing of possible the need to upgrade infrastructure will be difficult.
- The inability of many caravan parks to cater for bigger rigs and 5th wheelers leaving nowhere for these RV travellers to go, and not all parks allow pets and
- Issues with fatigue management if there's nowhere for RV travellers to pull up and accessing Caravan Parks at certain times of the year can be difficult” said Mr Humphrey.
“At the meeting with the Assistant Minister I suggested that the Queensland Government should consider the Primitive Camp Ground regime implemented with in New South Wales” said Mr Humphrey
Primitive Camping Grounds are lower key than conventional camping grounds and are not required to have, for example, sealed roads, hot water or laundries. These are often in scenic locations such as in bushland, near rivers or on the coast. The New South Wales Government has such legislation operating effectively throughout their state.
“The Australian Caravan Club calls on the Queensland Government to convene a round table of stakeholders including the relevant RV consumer organisations to work collaboratively to ensure appropriate strategies are developed for regional and rural areas continue to attract RV travellers who may now bypass these areas as a result of the Kershaw Gardens decision” said Mr Humphrey.