The giant American motorhome and caravan builder Winnebago has finally made an entry into the Australian market and has appointed a Perth agent.

For many years a NSW company owned by the Binns family was building motorhomes using the Winnebago name, after seeking permission from the US company in 1978.

There was no relationship between the two organisations and there was no comparison in the range of models it produced.

Three years ago, the US company won a Federal Court action to stop the Australian entity using the Winnebago tag. The Binns company appealed the decision but, in preparation for a negative outcome, changed its branding to Avida.

The Australian firm won some concessions on appeal but by this time had decided to stick with its new moniker. It also started building caravans, using the Avida name.

There was chatter at the time of the initial court action that the US company would one day tackle the Australian market and didn’t want any confusion with the name.

That eventuated in February with the first dealerships appointed in the Eastern States. Now, All Boats and Caravans in Kingsley has become the Iowa-based company’s WA dealer for both its caravans and motorhomes and will officially unveil the range today.

Meanwhile, the longstanding Perth dealer for Australian Winnebago-cum-Avida motorhomes, Parkland RV, will continue to sell the Avida motorhome range.

In launching Winnebago in Australia, US chief executive Randy Potts said the new range of models built for Australia in its US factory captured the essence of the brand.

All Boats and Caravans has all four caravan models available in Australia on display, ranging from internal lengths of 15ft 3in (4.6m) to two versions at 23ft (7.01m) and priced from $50,990 to $72,490.

While the smaller models will find a niche, it is the two biggest versions which should attract most interest. Both have the same weight specifications.

One is a family van (Minnie 2406) with bunks and the other (Minnie 2206) can accommodate four adults using a dinette that converts into a sofa bed. The main queen is completely cut-off from the living area.

Both have similar layouts apart from the back end, also completely enclosed, which houses the ensuite and in the case of the family version, the bunk beds. In the other model, a big wardrobe replaces the bunks and the ensuite layout is slightly rejigged.

Interior space is generously enhanced with an electric slide-out housing the dinette.

A 24-inch TV is built into a reversible centre pane. Other appointments include a 186 litre fridge/freezer, 25 litre microwave, Jensen FM/CD/ DVD player, 3.2kW reverse- cycle air-conditioner, double- bowl kitchen sink, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, electric awning and outside shower and 140 litre water- storage tank.

The exterior walls, available in four bright colours, are constructed in gel-coated fibreglass with R7 insulation on an all-aluminium frame.

All Boats and Caravans will also today unveil the Adria brand of lightweight vans.

The American influence is obvious both with the exterior and the interior. With a 7m interior plus slide-out, they are roomy units and the completely enclosed ensuites and main bedroom will have definite appeal.


WINNEBAGO 2206 and 2406

Price $67,990 (2206)-$72,490 (2406)
Internal length 23ft (7.01m)
Suitable for On-road
Tare 1940kg
ATM 2490kg
Ball weight 185kg

Dealer:  All Boats and Caravans, 4 Hocking Road, Kingsley

Phone 9309 4200

© The West Australian

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