And yet again the flourishing caravan and motorhome segment came to the fore with an assortment of new models on show.
JB Caravans exhibited a raft of new models, including the Dirt Roader Extreme, the Dreamline Platinum, the Milano, and the Scorpion Sting. It also unveiled a new three-year warranty on the whole van, excluding appliances.
Industry heavyweight Jayco commanded attention, as always, with its enormous stand, and showgoers were treated to the unveiling of the new Adventurer series of offroad caravans. The Adventure was 4-5 years in the planning and the first prototype was built two years ago. After showing off the prototype at Leisurefest 2016, Jayco did a further 12,000km of testing and collated customer feedback from the show before putting creating production models. Jayco’s own JTECH suspension has been completely redesigned for the Adventurer.
Jayco also showed off its fleet of new motorhomes which is spread across all levels of buyers – entry, mid and top-of-the line. The range starts with the Jayco Freedom HiAce campervan at just $64,890 and travels up to the flagship Optimimum on display for $208,990.
Dometic made a splash at the show with its new branding and re-launch. The new motto ‘Mobile Living Made Easy’ carries across Dometic’s 5000-plus RV products and exhibits the company’s commitment to great technology to aid the RV lifestyle.
Three-time Best Aussie Vans winner On The Move Caravans launched its little Vortex Bullet – smaller, lighter, cheaper version of the winning Vortex van from 2016. The weight has been reduced to allow the van to suit Prado-sized tow vehicles and also includes a motorbike rack and grey water tank as standard.
Small vans were everywhere this year and the Legend Kickback made a great impression. The 13ft full offroader retails for about $52,000 and has single beds, a combo bathroom, washing machine and wireless device charging.
And Winnebago entered the offroad market with its first ever Australian-built offroader, the Burke X-Country. With a Tare of 2100kg, 500kg payload, external kitchen and AL-KO Enduro Cross Country suspension, the Burke will sell for around $70,000.
On the motorhome front, Trakka unveiled a couple of new releases – a ‘remote’ model motorhome dubbed the Trakkaway 700, which boasts a compact exterior, spacious interior and five-star finishes throughout. It also launched an ‘all-terrain’ campervan, christened the Trakkadu Off-Road, which vaunts impressive front cabin/lounge, kitchen and bedroom features plus a ‘switch mode’ bathroom with a toilet that slides out from under the washbasin at the touch of a button.
Meanwhile, Victorian-based Sunliner Motorhomes showed off a couple of exciting models including the full 4WD Ranger, priced at $123, 231. Also on show at the Sunliner stand was the Habitat motorhome ($192,943), built on an Iveco chassis with diff locks, a king-size bed, 450W of solar power, 400L of fresh water, and 100L of grey water capacity.
But the Habitat's stand-out feature is in safety suite which enables you to completely pack up the motorhome – stabilisers up, awning in, external lights on, etc – at the flick of a button from inside the rig, allowing you to steal away from noisy, rowdy or intimidating campmates without setting foot outside! It can be driven away from camp within 30 seconds if required.
More than 400 exhibitors presented their wares during the six-day extravaganza – everything from caravans, roof toppers, slide-ons and tents, to boating and fishing, and touring vehicles.
There were also displays for air-conditioning and heating; annexes & awnings and canvas products; camping, outdoor & RV accessories; communication, navigation, satellite & antennas; food & wine; fridges; health & well-being; hire & rental services; lighting, power & generators; magazines, maps & travel guides; rear vision systems; RV industry related services & training; RV insurance; RV repair services; safety & security; storage systems; tourism & holiday parks; towing, breaking & suspension; and washing & cleaning systems.