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Out the door: 10,000 units from Avida (Winnebago) (copyright image)

Bruce Binns (centre) with Michael and Lucy Davis

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4th August, 2013

Avida Managing Director and co-founder, Bruce Binns handed the keys to the 10,000th unit manufactured by Avida, to customers Michael and Lucy Davis, from Brisbane at a ceremony held at Hinterland Motorhomes/Avida Gold Coast.

For Michael and Lucy, this is their first motor home and they are looking forward to travelling in their new Esperance C7934SL to experience the lifestyle. "The honour of owning the 10,000th Avida motor home was unexpected" they said "We love our motor home and we are so excited to get out there and live a dream we have had for a long time".

The brand new Avida Esperance luxury motor home is a far cry from vehicle number one, an aluminium sided slide-on unit designed for a 1964 EH Holden utility, built by Mr Binns in his parent's garage at home in North West Sydney way back in 1965.

"Number 10,000 was a long time coming" said Mr Binns "but it certainly has been an exciting and enjoyable journey" he said.

The Freeway Motor Camper Company was established by the Bruce and his wife Ruth as an adjunct to their building/joinery business in Hornsby NSW where they began manufacturing ‘slide-in' campers on a build and sell basis, but soon found that demand was outstripping supply.

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The first unit Bruce built was for his Holden EH Ute and this stimulated enough interest to warrant greater investment in production. It wasn't long before dedicated staff and facilities were required to cater for the demand.

In 1978 the first of the Australian Winnebago branded motor homes rolled off the production line.

Over the next few decades demand for motor homes continued to grow as did pressure on factory space until a technologically advanced, purpose built facility was opened at Emu Plains, a suburb in far western Sydney, in January 2001.

Featuring dedicated manufacturing, R&D and service facilities, the Emu Plains facility is a 10 acre site with the factories covering 17,000 square metres.

In recent times, Avida has been embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to the Winnebago name in Australia. In brief, Winnebago in the USA had sought legal rights to the name in Australia despite their long standing agreement enabling Avida to use the name. A court had ruled in favour of the American company but on appeal to the Federal Court of Australia Avida won the case and therefore retain the right to the Winnebago name in Australia.

However, the company undertook a rebranding exercise earlier in the year, transforming itself into Avida RV. "I'm asked constantly where the Avida name came from" said Bruce, "simply put, it means passion and that is what our team have always felt about our motor homes and the motor home Industry in Australia".

Avida now manufactures around 34 models in eight model ranges of motor homes all of which offer admired comfort levels for a desirable lifestyle.


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