Caravan World — 7 October 2009

If you think that RV shows are all about the rigs, think again. You’ll find some amazing products which make life on the road comfortable and easy.

Here is a selection of our favourites on display at Melbourne Leisurefest, Sandown.

1 and 2 - polarised bifocals

Managing director and former Australian surf champion, Kevin Bar, demonstrated embedded bifocal magnifiers by sports eyewear specialist Barz Optics.

The glasses are available in many styles in two basic lens designs: a traditional bifocal with a non-polarised reader, and a full polarised lens.

The traditional bifocal design with polarised lens affords sun protection but has a non-polarised bifocal for reading devices such as mobile phones. The second design takes advantage of new lens technology from Japan, and has polarised readers (up to +2.50 magnification) that blend seamlessly into the main, polarised lenses.

Kevin, who developed the concept, started Barz Optics about 13 years ago.  “I recognised that there was a need for quality eyewear for watersports use. We developed the polarised reader range from there,” he said.

The traditional bifocal Non Polarised Reader lens retails for $75, plus postage, while the PC Reader Polarised range, assembled in Australia, starts from $150, plus postage.

Travellers who mention this article can purchase the glasses freight-free.

For more information, or to purchase online, visit www.barzoptics.com

3 and 4 - Multimat

The Multimat, by CGear, is a lightweight mat with a patented design that help keeps the area around your RV clean. Multimat’s dual-layer construction allows dirt, which would normally settle on a mat, to pass through one way, without having the dirt beneath the mat rise to the surface. The Multimat is made from UV-stabilised materials, is easy to wipe clean, and is available in a range of sizes, staring at 1.8x2.4m.

Prices start from $109. For more information, including your nearest stockist, visit www.cgear.com/rec_product.html

5 - Mini-compact TV aerial

The Australian-made, digital-ready Mini-compact TV aerial nicknamed “Stubby” is a favourite among RVers due to its simple yet effective design. The low-cost unit has two manually adjustable arms (one vertical, one horizontal), which simultaneously receive VHF and UHF signals. The Mini-compact TV antenna with amplifier weighs 1kg and measures 3m, and retails for $210, plus postage and handling. For more information, or to purchase online, visit www.minicompact.com.au

6 and 7 - Hide-away safe

Hide-away safe produces safes of various sizes and configurations that are suitable for securing valuables in a car, motorhome or caravan.

Each safe comes with a docking station which can be securely fixed in your towing vehicle or RV. Docking stations can be purchased separately so you can securely stow your laptop or passports in different locations.

Safes start from $395, but ‘mates rates’ apply if you mention this story. For more information, or to purchase online, visit www.hideawaysafe.com.au

8 and 9 - Galleymate 1100

Marine Barbecues Australia managing director Andrew McGowan demonstrated the Galleymate 1100 at Melbourne Leisurefest. According to Andrew, the Australia-made unit differs from other barbecues due to its “glass viewing lid and second burner”.

The Galleymate 1100 is made from marine-grade stainless steel, has three power settings, and two burners which generate a combined heat output of up to 20,000BTU. The Galleymate 1100 may be fixed into an RV slide, or attached to a rod. The Galleymate 1100 sells for $1098.99, plus postage. For more information, or to purchase online, visit www.marinebarbecues.com.au

10 and 11 - Truma Combi D hot water and heater unit

The brand new, dual-purpose Truma Combi D hot water and heating unit was on display at the Caravan Refrigeration Services stand. The diesel unit warms the interior of your RV and simultaneously acts as a hot water service. It’s 10L hot water holding tank takes about 20 minutes to heat and draws from your existing water supply. The heater has three heat settings, recirculates air for maximum efficiency, and has four air outlets and one air intake vent.

The Combi D unit, sold with the external wall exhaust, starts from $4350. Ducting is supplied separately. For more information, visit www.dometic.com.au or visit Caravan Refrigeration Services at www.caravanrefrigeration.com.au

12 - QuickBite dual jaw locking couplers

Managing director Ashley Tappin demonstrated the QuickBite, Peninsula Motorhomes’ newest coupling from America. The easy-to-load coupling, which mates to standard 50mm ball and Hyland hitches, has a dual jaw lock system. It also has a guiding flange, which helps travellers locate their RV as they reverse.

The QuickBite is available in straight bar or A-frame styles for caravans or box trailers and has a recommended retail price of $199. Details on the Peninsular Motorhomes website, www.peninsulamotorhomes.com.au, will be available soon. A stainless steel version will also be available soon.

13 and 14 - Zhe Feng 

The comfy Zhe Feng back support was on display at the Mini Clothes Hoists stand. Managing director and motorhomer George Whiteman purchased the Mini Clothes Hoists business at CMCA’s 23rd National Rally in Bingara last October.

After putting in serious hours on the blacktop travelling to and from outdoor shows Australia-wide, he purchased the Zhe Feng five months ago for his own purposes.

“I know that it works,” says George.

George sells Zhe Feng back supports for $15 each, plus postage. For contact information, visit www.miniclotheshoists.com.au

Alternatively, Mini Clothes Hoists will be visiting the South Coast Supershow, NSW, and Bendigo Leisurefest, Vic. Show specials available.

15 and 16 - LEDS at Award RV Superstore

Managing director Rod Francis demonstrated the Coleman LED Quad Lantern at the Award RV Superstore stand.

This clever unit, consisting of four individual LED lamps, separates so that campers can take a light to the bathroom at night without leaving the main campsite in darkness.

According to Rod, RVers have been fast to adopt LED technology even though the cost is close to twice the price of conventional light sources of equivalent brilliance.

“Consumers can see the benefits of LEDs immediately,” says Rod.

Now that travellers are enjoying the benefits of energy-efficient LEDs, Rod says that many want to become more self-sufficient, and this has led to increased sales of solar panels and generators.

For more information, visit www.awardrv.com.au


RV inventions Melbourne Leisurefest Barz Optics Multimat Mini-compact TV aerial Hide-away safe Galleymate 1100 Truma Combi D QuickBite Dual Jaw locking couplers Zhe Feng Mini Clothes Hoists Coleman LED Quad Lantern Award RV

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