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We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary in the $2B caravanning industry this month!

With 30 years in the business, we’re still the only Australian manufacturer of custom made awnings

It’s been a mammoth few months for the Aussie Traveller team, as we attended our thirtieth show at the Queensland Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow at the Brisbane Showgrounds, while we’ve simultaneously been celebrating a big 30 years in the business!

How time flies! From what started out as two-person operation with just one product for sale (our famous Coolabah awning), to what’s grown into a substantial business with more than 50 staff members and a wide range of loved products by caravanning enthusiasts, it’s been a crazy three decades for Aussie Traveller.

We had a chat to Aussie Traveller’s Founder and Director Michael Freney to find out more about how today’s caravanning and RV industry is vastly different to how it was in the 1980s. Here’s what he had to say.

Mike, tell us a little bit about what the caravanning industry looked like when you first started out in 1988?

Back then, family holidays were spent at beachside caravan parks every school holiday in May, August and December. Caravanning was affordable and offered a chance to reconnect with nature and enjoy a relatively cheap holiday.

It was also the mining boom era where there were no mining camps available to house workers. They all stayed in caravans and awnings and annexes offered respite from the four walls of the small van, while offering protection from the elements.

Have you witnessed a growth or decline in the caravanning industry since you started out? 

Caravan production grew very quickly in the eighties. The eighties really were the peak years for caravans, with up to 37,000 caravans manufactured each year in Australia during that time. After that, it dropped significantly to around 4,500 caravans manufactured around 1991 and since then we’ve seen it grow pretty steadily to where the industry has been producing 20,000 to 22,000 units of caravans, campers and motorhomes each year for the last five years.

You’ve recently attended your 30th Brisbane Caravan Show. How have you seen the caravan shows change over the last 30 years?

The caravan shows brought in a good 70 percent of our annual revenue in the first ten years of running the business. Shows were limited to one major show per state and people travelled from all over to look at vans, awnings, annexes and accessories and ordered on the spot. We would then spend the next few weeks travelling to visit show customers at their home, to measure up their touring vehicles for awnings and annexes. These days, shows form another part of the research phase alongside digital research, but the number of options on the market make the decision-making stage much harder. We also measure and fit in our own facilities now!

The show we just attended at the Brisbane Showgrounds was great! We had a really busy week speaking with customers about our latest products. This year, we found the star of the Show was our Euro Walls which received a lot of interest from attendees!

Want to know more about the incredible products behind Aussie Traveller’s 30-year strong reputation? Check out our full suite of products here.

 Aussie Traveller 1988

1988

Aussie Traveller 2018 

2018

12 Jul 2018 12:05:18 pm By Zoe Green Comments Exhibitions/Shows,
Driving off into the suset
Everything you need to know about awnings

Awnings are quite literally the extension to your touring vehicle, offering you a space of respite and comfort outside the walls of your Caravan, Camper or Motor Home. While we all love to get away, it’s usually for the great outdoors, and not to be stuck inside a four or five-meter space all day! The area becomes a great entertaining spot for neighbouring travellers, without having to invite them into the confines of your home away from home.

A great awning set up will set you apart from other travellers!

 

What you need to know about awnings

Awnings are great for both personal and commercial use

Awnings aren’t just for caravanning and motorhome travellers, though we fit many of these every week! Awnings are great particularly for businesses and not for profits who engage with the community through events and meet and greets. Awnings allow you to set up a shaded area and chairs for a comfortable chat and can help you convert the community into customers or engaged stakeholders.

We often fit awnings for charities, ambulance, SES and police vehicles to give them respite from the harsh sun when working outside, which helps stimulate the senses and improve alertness for the day ahead.

 

There are different types of awnings

Depending on where your touring vehicle is manufactured, you are likely to have either a roll out awning or box awning fitted to your van, which will either be manual or electric.

Roll out awnings are often associated with vans of USA origin, while European brands favour box awnings (also called the cassette awning or folding arm awning). Both awning styles obviously do the job of framing and giving structure to your canvas or vinyl, they are just designed differently.

The roll out awning is mostly an uncovered roller with vinyl fabric attached that is affixed to the side of your van. It provides shade with two sturdy arms and rolls back into position with ease. Some believe this is the stronger of the two awning styles but we have not seen this in our every day dealings with both styles. It does expose the material to the elements though but we sell  Awning Protectors to minimise UV and moisture damage.

The box awning engages springs in the folding arms that extend from the side of the van. The legs fold down from the front profile and can be fixed to the ground or back to the side of the van. These along with the arms provide stability.

 

Popular awnings in Australia

For popular awnings in Australia, check out Coolabah and Sunburst for awnings manufactured and assembled in Australia, and Thule of which we are the exclusive distributor. If these aren’t quite right for your needs, have a chat with us because Aussie Traveller is the only Australian manufacturer with the ability to custom make awnings using premium materials and products.

 

Sizing up your awning

Awnings come in different sizes, from small window privacy awnings to full length bus awnings, and everything in between.

When you need to install the awning from scratch, you will need to take into consideration lights, curved roofing, doors and hatches and more to help work out the best position. When measuring your roll our awning awning for a replacement fabric, be sure to use the imperial system and measure between the centre of the two awning arms, as well as the fabric itself to make sure you don’t find yourself short!

Awnings really make a caravan or touring vehicle come to life! It’s where you will find yourself preparing and eating meals, playing cards or scrabble, enjoying happy hour with neighbours, reading a book and planning your next adventure! Make sure you get the shade and space right first time, and book an appointment with our team to work out what’s best for you and your vehicle. 

We also have a video tutorial here on how to set up your awning in under 10 minutes – it's an oldie but a goodie!

28 May 2018 4:32:40 pm By Zoe Green Comments Tutorials,

Aussie Traveller’s new 3-way fridge puts the tropics to the test

Keep your cool with our new 3-way absorption fridge!

When it comes to caravanning and motorhome touring, there are equipment and components that are nice-to-have, and then there’s those items that are essential to staying on the road longer.

As passionate travellers ourselves, we know that keeping your food and drinks cold is essential, meaning a fridge is a must have for any caravan or motorhome.

If you’re in the market for a fridge upgrade – perhaps your seals aren’t performing, it’s starting to run loud and hot, or the temperatures just aren’t cutting it – you need to check out Aussie Traveller’s new Australian made XCD caravan and motorhome fridge.

The XCD offers exceptional cooling power with the functionality of an absorption fridge to accommodate even the harshest of summer temperatures. That’s right! It’s a ‘Tropics’ graded fridge meaning it acts as the perfect cooling solution for travellers on the road without compromising efficiency.

If you’re weighing up the pros and cons between compressor and three-way fridges, you will likely find that each one sacrifices and compromises in some way.

Usually three-way fridges fair really well with their silent running and ability to power up by battery, electricity or gas, but are sometimes let down on just how cool they get.

We wanted to create a solution that offered customers the best of both worlds!

The XCD fridge comes in both a 90L and 180L capacity, with the fridge temperatures capable of achieving temperatures of 2-3 degrees Celsius, and the freezers -15 to -18 degrees Celsius.

It also features a handy Energy Selection option so that it automatically chooses the best power supply available, or you can set it to have manual control of preferred power consumption.

The three-way fridge could solve potential power supply issues, which is extremely handy when on the road for long periods of time and away from main power supply, as it is extremely efficient on 13g/hr propane gas and can stay cold for up to three weeks on a single 9kg gas bottle.

With a latch to prevent opening while travelling, the ability to select the hinge on either the left side or the right, and the choice of two sizes in a stylish black design, we have designed Aussie Traveller’s XCD fridge to suit a range of weather conditions and replace most existing 3-way fridges in caravans and motorhomes.

To see Aussie Traveller’s XCD 3-way fridge up close, visit our showroom in Clontarf Queensland or Campbellfield Victoria.

2 May 2018 4:24:12 pm By Zoe Green New Product, Fridge, Comments Products,

Sydney Caravan Show

Ready to upgrade accessories for your caravan or motorhome? Check out our exclusive show specials first!

Bag a bargain at the 2018 NSW Caravanning Camping Holiday Supershow

We’re gearing up for another great show at the Caravanning Camping Holiday Supershow, with the Rosehill Garden Racecourse gates opening from 24-29 April 2018.

Our new Aussie Traveller XCD three-way fridge and roof-mounted 3600 air conditioner will be on show for you to see up close, and we encourage you to ask as many questions as you want! Open and close the fridge door, listen to how quiet it runs, check out its easy to use control panel, and feel first-hand how efficient the air conditioner runs, even in a busy show ground!

Our new 90L and 180L XCD fridge comes complete with removable shelves, custom hinges and an Energy Selection feature so it chooses the best power supply for you. Capable of achieving temperatures of 2-3 degrees Celsius and freezer temperatures at -15 to -18 degrees Celsius, the absorption fridge is perfect for long off-road journeys and will withstand the warmer climates of Australia.

Also combatting our warm weather and heavy rains is our new roof mounted air conditioner with an adjustable airflow and added LED lighting. Unobtrusive and quiet running, the Aussie Traveller 3600W air conditioner will create a pleasant environment inside when it's tough going outside.

The 90L fridge normally retails from $1,164, but show customers can bag a bargain for $1,050 or if you need more space, pick up the 180L fridge and freezer combo for $1,850.

The air conditioner can be purchased with a show special for just $1,600 normally $1,750 so now is a great time to buy! These prices are only valid if purchased at the show, and go back to full price after the show.

Of course, there’s plenty more on display at our exhibition stand! Check out our show specials on annexes, awnings, doors, air conditioners, generators and more. Did you know we are the only Australian manufacturer with the ability to custom-make awnings? Come over to us for a chat at the show and tell us know about your touring vehicle so we can help bring shade, coolness and safety to your caravan or motorhome.  

Tickets to the show are available at the Caravanning Camping Holiday Supershow,

Make a note of Stand 296 – that’s where you will find us!

2018 Sydney Caravan Show
Stand 296 at Rosehill Racecourse
24th to 29th April 2018
9:30am to 5pm daily

 

24 Apr 2018 8:23:00 am By admin Show, 2018, Sydney, NSW, Comments Exhibitions/Shows,
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