Christmas Camping

Murray River

Australian Summer

Christmas Camping in Australia is something that most people have experienced.

But with temperatures reaching 40° and higher, is it really enjoyable?

We look at the best ways to keep cool during your summer camping holiday.

1. The 12 volt Fan

Popular with camper trailer or tent owners this simple yet important device can help give you that reprieve you are after in the hot summer heat.

Adventure Kings 2in1 LED Light & Fan

2. Misting Fans

Cheap but effective. This is a must for the summer holiday, providing a nice cool breeze along with a fresh burst of water.

Mini Hand held Portable Manual Fan

3. The River or Lake

By far the most enjoyable way to keep cool. taking a swim in a river or lake with the family is what summer camping is all about.

Murray River

4. Water

Take plenty of water, water is vital when camping, not only to drink, but to shower, wash up the dishes…..


5. Shade

Find Shade, no better way to keep cool is to find shade. But this comes with risks, always make sure you stay away from limbs that could fall. Always look up before you pitch your tent.


We will continue to camp over the Christmas break in 40 plus degree temperatures, new toys will pop up every year to help keep us cool, but lets face it, that’s not why we do?

Its that feeling we get when we can forget the day to day hassles of the life, and just relax with family and friends.

We reflect on the year that has just past, and look forward to the next year.

So weather you have a tent, Camping Trailer or lucky enough to have a caravan with Air conditioning, its the experience we love, and one that will last a life time

How a Willow RV is Born


How a Willow RV is born

Part I

It all starts with the chassis

With a combined experience of 50 years, Willow have design their chassis in house and is manufactured by Rollcraft in Melbourne Victoria.

The suspensions are manufactured by AL-KO International in Melbourne Victoria.
These suspensions have been designed and tested for Australian conditions.

The chassis has four locations for water tanks, these are purposed to enable the moving of the two 95 L water tanks into various positions to distribute the load balance of the van to suit the customers option choices.

Willow RV

The floor is a one piece composite floor 33mm thick. Construction is 6mm commercial ply top and bottom filled with high density foam supported by a polyurethane structure. The floor final shape is precision machined to ensure the squareness of the caravan body.

Willow RV

The chassis is now prepared to receive the floor. Adhesive is applied on all the chassis members to form a secure bond between the chassis and the floor.

Willow RV

Now it’s time for the furniture

The furniture has been designed for ease of manufacture and also furniture panels interlock into each other for the following reasons:
Strength of the furniture
Only the correct panels can be used the correct in their appropriate places.
Avoid the use of tape measures and subsequent mistakes.

All cut outs are cut out in the furniture during machining process for the following reasons:
No need for production personnel to cut into the furniture with hand tools.
All wiring corridors are allowed for
All cut outs for equipment are in their precise locations and the correct sizes.

Willow RV

Once the furniture to floor process has been completed the electricians and plumbers can now commence feeding the wiring and piping through the furniture

Willow RV

Willow RV

Once the wiring and the plumbing have been installed the splash backs are installed in to cut outs provided.

Willow RV

Willow RV

Willow RV

The van is now ready to receive the walls.
A sealant is applied around the entire perimeter where the walls meet the floor, this has two functions:
Forms a bond between the wall and the floor
Forms a water barrier

Willow RV

The wall is then lifted into position.
Ensuring that it locates in the provisions in the floor (wall cannot be incorrectly positioned once fitted into its locators)

The wall is then located to the furniture that slots into the walls.

Willow RV

The walls are mechanically fixed by screwing through the sides of the wall and up through the floor.

Willow RV

The furniture is then screwed up to the walls.

Where ever the furniture meets up with the wall the is a corresponding polyurethane rail inside the wall that will allow a solid anchor.

Willow RV

The one piece composite roof is now lifted onto the van.The roof is mechanically fixed to the van body.The insulation of the walls and roof, confirming that the Willow RV vans are truly insulated.
Roof overlap onto the walls, these walls and roofs are hail resistant and the roof is strong enough to walk on.

Willow RV

Willow RV

Willow RV

Introducing Lumberjack Camper trailers

Lumberjack campers


Houlihan’s caravan and RV centre are proud to announce we are now the Lumberjack dealers for the northeast and southern NSW region.

Lumberjack brings along some exciting campers. specializing in the forward fold section, this will will only add value to our already vast rang and help complement our current brands.

One of Lumberjacks strengths is being a family run business, they knows the importance of customer service.

Having a dedicated manufacture concentrating on the forward fold range gives them the upper hand on other manufactures. 


Introducing the very popular Allendale, the big brother to the Buckley camper. Whether you’re taking the family away for the weekend or a long trek this camper can handle it.

Featuring not only a queen size main bed, the Allendale also comes with a slide out double bed on the rear and a convertible lounge bed in the dining area.

Meaning there’s always room for family and friends on any trip. Loaded with storage compartments, toolboxes and a fridge slide, you’ll be left wondering what else to take with you.


Check out this little beauty. The Buckley is a forward fold hard floor camper trailer and has a spacious bed and lounge area that converts into another bed.

Full kitchen facilities, water storage, loads of 12v ports, fridge and pantry storage slide…we could go on forever.

Being a great lightweight camper trailer, you’ll have it up in no time with only 2 poles to insert inside the trailer, it couldn’t be any easier.


Our little sister to our Otway camper, Johanna is perfect for those who want a little class, loads of comfort and all the bells and whistles!Its not just a forward fold camper trailer.

The draw bar boasts loads of storage and fridge slide, inside cabin provides 5 internal storage cupboards as well as a dining area that converts into a bed. An amazingly popular model, spacious, classy and a little posh.


Redefining the meaning of camping, the Glenaire has it all and more.

Whether you’re in the red center, or going along the coast, this camper has all the creature comforts.

This double fold camper trailer is fully motorized making opening and closing as easy as pressing a button.

One end of the cabin is a king bed and the other a queen bed.  But wait, there’s more, the lounge is a spacious convertible bed.  There’s loads of room for sleeping. But that’s not all with full PU leather seats and a 17” flat screen TV in the dining room, you’ll never feel more like you’re at home in the great outdoors.


This camper will blow you away. The Otway absolutely oozes class and comfort from the moment you step in.
Whether you’re a couple or a growing family, this camper is perfect for everyone.
Our most popular model by far. Loads of storage and fridge slide, inside cabin provides 5 internal storage cupboards as well as a dining area that converts into a bed. But wait, there’s more, its not just a king bed, and convertible dining area into another sleeping space, our unique design offers a slide out double bed at the rear of the trailer to sleep another two people.

Best Camp Oven Recipes

Camp Oven Cooking

What goes with caravaning and camping? Camp Ovens of course.

Who doesn’t love a good  old camp oven roast dinner in winter? I would think no-one.

Here at Houlihan’s, we have been debating on what, besides a roast, is the best camp oven recipe while camping in winter to warm you up?

So we wold like to hear from you. 
submit your favorite Camp oven recipe and if we like it, we will publish it here on our website.  

Daniel has kick us off with Golden Syrup Dumblings

3/4 cup (155g) brown sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) golden syrup
100g butter
1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
3/4 cup (185ml) milk
Step 1
Combine 2 cups (500ml) water, brown sugar, 1/4 cup (60ml) golden syrup and 50g butter in a large saucepan. Stir over a low heat until melted.
Step 2
Meanwhile, use your fingertips to rub in 50g butter into flour. Combine milk and 1 tablespoon golden syrup. Stir into the flour mixture until well combined.
Step 3
Bring the sauce to the boil then drop heaped dessert spoonfuls of the mixture into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Serve with ice cream

Tell us What your favorite receipt is?



Came across this great read by  the rv plumber .

Being winter, we have been inundated with calls about which is better, Gas or Diesel? We found this article great to help our customers make an informed decision without been convinced to purchase something that does not suit their needs.

Truma Gas Heater

Truma E2400 Gas Heater​

Heating Power – 2400 Watts

Air Flow – 78 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 0.6 to 1.1 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 170 grams/hour LPG

Weight – 4.7 kg

Dimensions – 370mm (plus 47mm gas inlet) x 248mm x 123mm high

Max. outlets – 2

Eberspacher Airtronic D2 Diesel Heater

Eberspacher Diesel Heater

Heating Power – 2200 Watts

Air Flow – 87 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 0.67 to 2.83 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 0.15 to 0.23 litres/hour DIESEL

Weight – 2.5 kg

Dimensions – 122mm x 310mm x 115mm high

Max. outlets – 2

Webasto Air Top 2000STC

Heating Power – 2000 Watts

Air Flow – 93 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 1.16 to 2.41 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 0.12 to 0.24 litres/hour DIESEL

Weight – 2.6 kg

Dimensions – 120mm x 311mm x 121mm highh

Max. outlets – 2

Which One is Better?

Both heaters are the perfect addition to the caravan for the modern traveller. And based on the specifications above, not one stands out above the rest. The fuel consumption is relatively similar in comparison. 10 litres of diesel would last of 43 hours, and a 9kg gas bottle would run the heater for 52 hours. Keeping in mind that this consumption is based on maximum consumption.

Both heaters are completely sealed burners, meaning the oxygen used in combustion is drawn from outside and exhaust fumes are expelled outside.

For the typical 18 to 24 ft caravan, half an hour is enough time for these heaters to heat up the space to a more than comfortable temperature. Both heaters have built in thermostats to maintain that comfortable setting.

The Eberspacher and Webasto Diesel heater has three burner settings which it automatically selects during operation, based on the thermostat reading. This makes the Diesel Heater very fuel efficient, and allows the heater to maintain a constant temperature. Sometimes a small adjustment of temperature setting is required to allow the heater to maintain temperature while operating on it’s low setting, which is the best situation as while in low setting, it is even more quieter than the Truma E2400 gas heater when operating on it’s low setting.

The E2400 gas heater only has On and Off setting which is automatically controlled by the thermostat, the thermostat has a setting of 1 to 5, this means that it can be a little bit more temperamental when trying to maintain a constant temperature.

The location of the heater can play an important part in how well it will heat the van. For the typical layout of the double bed up the front of the van, with a middle kitchen/dining area, the best location is under the bed with an outlet pointing straight down the centre isle of the living area. This creates the best flow of air.

The location is also determined by regulation factors. The gas heater flue cannot be installed too close to a window, door, other gas appliance inlet or outlet, or under an enclosed annexe. These regulations will sometimes rule out the possibility of installing a gas heater, in which case a diesel heater would be the way to go.

The diesel heater does not have a flue that goes through the wall like the gas heater does, it has an exhaust that goes through the floor of the caravan. This requires clear space directly below the heater location.

The Webasto 2000 STC Diesel Heater now comes with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models. The Eberspacher has the option of an air intake silencer, but it is not a standard item in the kit. The Webasto now also has a digital programmable timer as standard in the kit, whereas it previously only had a rheostat dial controller. I, The RV Plumber is now installing Webasto diesel heaters rather than the Eberspacher heaters.

If you still can’t decide which one to go for, consider this; Do you want to carry extra diesel? And do you have a suitable spot for the diesel tank to be installed on the caravan or motorhome? There are different options for the diesel tank. The best thing for you to do is have a think about some different locations that might work, and tell me about them when calling for your over the phone quote.

In my opinion, diesel heaters are better for aftermarket installations. The gas ducted heater such as the E2400 is more ideally installed during manufacturing stages to allow for it’s suitable location during design stages, based on the Gas Installation Standards.

Using diesel fuel to heat the RV is a good way to maximise your ability to free camp in remote locations without the need to go and refuel or refill gas cylinders. Save your LPG for your fridge, HWS and cooktop.

The BIG Question; Are they noisy?

I would definitely not consider the gas heater to be noisy. The only part you hear on these is the fan, which is a considerable amount quitter than rooftop air conditioners.

The diesel heater (Dometic Eberspacher D2) is louder than the gas heater (Truma E2400). The motor of the diesel heater is a bit more powerful and has the capacity to push more air, creating a little more noise than the gas heater. It is still considerably more quiet than rooftop air conditioners.

Outside, underneath the RV is the fuel pump, combustion air intake and exhaust of the diesel heater. These parts also contribute to the noise of the heater. The air intake and exhaust are a bit louder than the noise of the internal fan, but hardly noticed from inside the van. The fuel pump is most likely the one to upset you or your neighbouring camps. The fuel pump ticks, it’s not overly loud, but it’s just the right pitch to be heard easily, and if possible the fuel pump would best be installed further away from the sleeping area as possible.

Keep in mind that the many comments you read on the forums about noisy fuel pumps, might be a reflection of the fact that many caravaners DIY their diesel heater installations. And possibly refer to the cheaper eBay diesel heaters. Eberspacher provides the best fuel pump mount, which if installed correctly can substantially reduce the noise heard from the fuel pump in comparison to the Planar fuel pump mount.

The Webasto Air Top 2000 STC now comes standard with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and an updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models.

Will you sleep with the heater on during the night? It is perfectly safe to do so, however most of my customers say no

Eberspacher or Webasto Diesel Heater?

In my opinion they are equally as good as each other in their reliability and quality of product. For a long time my preference was the Eberspacher as it came standard with a digital controller, and a good quality rubber fuel pump mount, as well as the exhaust muffler as standard. Now that the Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Diesel Heater comes standard with a digital programmable controller, upgraded fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models, exhaust muffler and an air intake silencer. Webasto is now my choice of heater and will be my standard supplied heater that I install.


Article credit:

The RV Plumper

The RV Technicians Pty Ltd offers a complete caravan services workshop.

Offering brakes and bearings, repairs for damaged caravans, upgrades,

modifications and aftermarket accessories.

The team offers a combined industry experience of over 30 years in the Manufacturing, Repairs and Servicing sector of the Caravan and Motorhome Industry.

The RV Plumber has provided quality service for many years in the RV industry. Specialising in Diesel Heaters and Gas Heaters for caravans and full plumbing system installations.

Located in the Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne, with a conveniently located workshop on the Warburton Highway. Some on-site services are available to customers located in the Yarra Valley.

With extensive product knowledge, comes specialised advice and support

Caravan Buying Tips

caravan buying tips

Caravan Buyers Tips

Caravan Buyers Tips, If you’re considering taking time to explore what Australia has to offer, then buying your own caravan is a great option.

But when you look at the size and extent of the range, it’s easy to get a bit confused.

But fear not! We have put together a comprehensive list of questions and answers to help guide your decision making.

Also, check out our Free Buyers Service, to inquire about any caravan or RV product from a range of dealers Australia wide.

Question 1: What do you intend to do with it? 

Don’t just think about the first trip, plan forward a couple of years: will your caravan be mainly used for weekend escapes to a favourite getaway destination?

Is it for family holidays with the kids? Is it for the fulfillment of a lifelong dream – the trip around Australia that may take months or even years to complete? Or have you perhaps decided to adopt an itinerant lifestyle and make the caravan your only home?

The purpose will determine your caravan’s size and configuration, its layout and the extent of its fittings. The amount of travel will determine how important features such as independent rear suspension and off-road capability will be to your new van.

Question 2: How are you going to tow the caravan?

Unless you are in the enviable position of purchasing the caravan first and the vehicle to suit it, you need check the tow capacity of your current vehicle as this will set a ‘maximum’ weight for your dream van.

Question 3: Big or small? (Yes, size matters)

If you want complete independence and you’re comfortable towing a long wheel base caravan, then a large, luxury caravan with separate bedroom, shower and toilet are a delight.

Alternatively, if you prefer the idea of travelling light, the convenience of towing a short wheel base caravan – a small caravan is a good, cheaper option. The trade off is simply the share of facilities at local caravan and holiday parks – don’t forget that bumping into like minded travellers at the local holiday park can be a highlight of the trip!

Question 4: What about Pop-Tops and Camper Trailers?

The ‘pop-top’ caravan, with its fold-down roof section, is proving to be one of the most innovative small to medium size caravan styles.

Pop-ups are ideal if you want to store your caravan under a carport or in your garage when not in use – no need to construct special high roofline carports!

The low profile of the pop-top and camper trailer when closed also offers the advantage of less wind resistance and better fuel economy when towing.

The alternative choice of a camper trailer, with a wind-up canvas upper section and extendable sleeping accommodation on each side, is a great one for families with children.

Question 5: Buy New or Used?

In simple terms, new caravans offer all the benefits, safety features and comforts of recent design advancements, including independent rear suspension and durable, lightweight construction material.

Buying new also gives you the choice to ‘custom-build’ the layout of your caravan to your needs and desires!

If you choose to buy a used caravan always buy from a licenced dealer. This is the only way to guarantee clear title on the unit you are buying.

Licenced dealers do many exhaustive checks to ensure that the units they are selling are in fact not stolen (and often re-identified) or encumbered (ie. they don’t have any money owing on them).


Before you set off to the showrooms take time to answer these questions and take them along to a dealer:

List everything you want in the caravan then classify them into ‘You Wish’ & “Ýou Need’
Where do you plan to go in your caravan in the next two years? (Calculate how many trips and total distance)
Where will you store the caravan? (Calculate the maximum height restriction)
What is the towing capacity of your vehicle? (Match the caravan to your car)
How much space do you need inside?
What is more important: the comforts of home or economy of light travel?

Size of the Caravan

The most popular size for today’s vans range between 11ft and 24ft (note the use of imperial measurements – the caravan industry continues to cater for those who have a built-in resistance to metric).

Anything smaller is not particularly comfortable for more than one person, and anything larger becomes a towing challenge that will take much of the fun out of caravanning. Generally, the smaller the van the easier the towing.

Of course the shape, height and weight of the van will also influence towing performance.

Today’s slimline, lightweight and low profile models are a complete contrast to the lumbering wheeled pagodas of bygone years.

If you can afford the right type of towing vehicle and have no qualms about towing a larger van, it’s a delight to own a luxury home on wheels complete with its own en-suite, flushing toilet, hot and cold running water, separate bedroom and full sized kitchen.

Pop-tops and Camper Trailers

The development and subsequent improvements to the ‘pop-top’ caravan, with its fold-down reef section, have solved several problems which might once have discouraged people from buying a van.

If you prefer – or are obliged – to store your van under a carport or in a low roofed garage when not in use, the pop-top with a height of less than 7ft when closed is the type you need.

It should be remembered that pop-tops are only available in small and medium sizes. A pop-top of 17ft or over is a rarity, since the larger the roof is the more unwieldy it is to raise and lower.

The task of raising and lowering however, is very much easier in modern pop-tops, usually aided by gas-filled struts and often the addition of retractable ‘easy-lift’ handles inside to provide grip and leverage.

Pop-top owners who spend much time in the tropics praise the superior ventilation afforded by the canvas upper wall section with its zippered flaps that open to let in cooling breezes.

The low profile of the pop-top when closed also offers the advantage of less wind resistance when towing, giving marginally greater economy as well as a better performance.

The choice of a camper trailer, with a wind-up canvas upper section and extendable sleeping accommodation on each side, is often made for the wrong reasons. Older couples may buy a trailer for its easy towing characteristics, but forget that one of the greatest pleasures of the touring caravanner – the ability to pull up at any time of the day for a cup of tea and a cap nap – will be denied them unless they’re prepared to go through the process every time.

For families with young children however, the camper trailer is one of the world’s greatest inventions.

The ability to fit numerous beds into a small towing package, the relatively low cost of the unit compared with that of a full sized caravan, and the trailer’s economy all appeal to the younger buyers who make up a large percentage of the market for this product.

Frame and Axle Questions

The old argument about whether a wooden frame is better than an aluminium one still persists in some areas.

The fact is that it doesn’t really matter. But the signs are already clear that aluminium is likely to be the material of the future as softwoods become scarcer and costlier and more responsible ecological practices prevail.

Prospective buyers can often be confused about the number of axles that it’s best to have. This is not really a matter of choice.

The provision of two axles instead of one applies when vans reach a certain size and it becomes imperative, for safety reasons, to share the weight between four wheels instead of two.

You won’t often find many tandem axles fitted to vans of less than 16ft, and only rarely will you come across a single axle model of 17ft or more.

What kind of Suspension?caravan buying tips

Whether you choose a van with independent suspension or a basic solid axle and leaf spring, once again there’s no reason for anyone to challenge your decision.

Smooth riding independent suspension (any of the numerous designs available) is great to have on most Australian roads, kind to your van, and these days problems with it are rare indeed.

Those who go for a van with the traditional leaf spring design will probably pay a little less and can enjoy the reassuring thought that there isn’t much that can go wrong.

When do you need an Off-Road Caravan?

There are vans designed and built to cope with the varying degrees of rough road to be found in this country.

The most rugged of these could perhaps be described as ‘off-road’. More common are the models which can appropriately be described as ‘out back’ caravans.

These are fairly conventional in design and are usually beefed up versions of a manufacturers normal range, with added strengthening to the chassis and items such as under van protection for water tanks, bumper bars that extend underneath for protection when emerging from washways, special dust-proofing and perhaps externally mounted jerry cans or other sensible additions.

There are many makes that carry a warranty covering towing with a 4WD vehicle. This may not seem as important as it was a few years ago when 4WD suspension was rough enough to traumatize a van’s chassis.

Today’s 4WDs are greatly improved in this regard, but you can be sure that the caravan with such a warranty can take a moderate amount of punishment if necessary.

An entirely stock standard caravan can usually travel on rough corrugated roads for short distances without suffering damage, providing care is exercised.

Outback travel with a caravan is really a matter of using commonsense. Read the condition of the road, watch the van and if things appear to be getting too rough for it, go back.

Check weather conditions before you go to ensure that you don’t get stranded, and if you want to disappear into the real wilderness for a few days, leave your van on site in the nearest town and take a tent.

We’d also like to point out that Australia today is well served with bitumen roads and these are supplemented by many unsealed roads of reasonable standard in most weather conditions.

Almost anywhere you are likely to want to visit on your own, the first time around at least, is accessible without the need to risk life, limb or property.

Where layout is concerned the most popular caravan today, as we are constantly told by retailers, is a 15-16ft pop-top with front kitchen, island double bed at the rear and an L-shaped dinette at one side with a small lounge seat opposite.

Consequently this is the size and layout that is offered without fail at every caravan retail outlet around the country.

Don’t be rushed into buying this floorplan though if you think you would prefer a model with a side kitchen and a big club lounge under the front window.

Custom-building is the norm these days, and it’s usually worth waiting a month or two for the van you’ve set your heart on if it isn’t available ‘off the peg’.

The question of double or single beds makes many couples smile, but it’s really a serious point to consider.

Smaller than home-sized double beds (often only 4ft wide) may look cosy and appealing in a salesyard, but on-site in tropical Cairns they can turn cuddly couples into hostile insomniacs.

Unless you are both sound sleepers and accustomed to tropical climes, it may be more practical to opt for a single bed layout. One consolation is that this will give you more usable living space in your van, including seats for visitors.

The standard of a caravan’s finish is usually easy to determine by glancing inside cupboards and under seats.

Most manufacturers have abandoned the heavy and less durable chipboard and returned to genuine timber for cupboard shelves and doors.

Ill-fitting joints and rough splintery surfaces, too, are mostly things of the past, but vigilance is still recommended.


You’ll be faced with an alluring array of internal features when you start to shop around the caravan retail outlets.

Having decided on the size and style of van that’s right for you, the huge variety of choices that remain mean that the final decision is still by no means easy.

Space restrictions make it difficult for us to advise you but we can tell you that most modern features have been suggested by real caravaners and are genuinely worthwhile additions.

The Bottom Line

New buyers are sometimes astonished by what they consider to be the high price of today’s caravans, but they have always kept in step with inflation. When you look carefully at the improvements in design and the excellent modern materials and accessories used in today’s models you’ll see that most of them represent real value for money.

Prices do vary, of course. There are budget models and makes that traditionally cater for the lower end of the market, and there are also some makes that are rather superior and might be regarded as status symbols in the same way as certain motor vehicles are more desirable than others.

On the whole what you get is what you pay for, but the caravan industry today is competitive enough for a little shopping around to be worthwhile if you have the time and inclination.

Serious bargain hunters generally wait for the annual state caravan and camping shows when manufacturers and dealers become very generous, offering impressive discounts and well priced ‘show specials’.

Whatever you pay, if the caravan brings you a pleasurable lifestyle it’s money well spent. Reproduced courtesy of Caravan World Magazine.

Available at Newsagents monthly.


Caravan Buying Tips