caravans

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 15:07
ThreadID: 102839 Views:2400 Replies:3 FollowUps:14
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Ready to purchase a new / second hand off road van, looking for coments on the structural difference between marienti or allumimun of the vans.


Larry M
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 16:10

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 16:10
Larry

If you are really going off road I would be steering clear of anything with a timber frame. Have a look at caravans like Bushtracker or Kimberley or Kedron who all have very substantial frames and cladding. There may be others, too.

DW
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 00:08

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 00:08
You wont get much agreement on that. The best off road van second hand would be a Pheonix. They have a timber frame.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 07:57

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 07:57
Hi Peter

Are you sure that they have a timber frame my friend?



Phil
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:47

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:47
Phil, the OP is going for a second hand van. That will mean getting one built by the Davidsons. They have pine timber from NZ that is treated with rot resistant chemical.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:01

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:01
I bow to your superior knowledge.

I just wonder if a wooden one would be strong enough to go what I call off road. I don't know what other people call off road, but just a dirt or gravel road is not what I would call off road. Something like the OTL, Simpson or CSR or the narrow and rocky mountain tracks in the Vic high country is what I call off road. And for that I would think that a metal chassis would be first choice. But if it's just for driving on roads like the GRR, PDR (cape York) or Oodnadatta/Birdsville then maybe it would be okay.

Some people who do not know that there is a life west of Sydney would say that anything not on a motorway or bitumen would be off road. Ha

Phil
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 15:50

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 15:50
Phil, obviously you know little of the history of the caravan industry. The Davidsons have been in the van repair industry for years. Before that Barry was a NSW copper in the accident inspection division, there he saw how vans fell apart. From there he went north and opened the Caboolture Caravan Repair company. It would be one of the premier repair companies in Oz. Barry has been a campaigner to try to improve the build in vans. You can see some of his efforts in these pages. I'm not normally one who cross promotes other forums but if you go to this sub-forum and use the search facility and insert "cabcar" you will see some of his efforts to assist vanners.

After much experience in seeing how vans fell apart Barry started Phoenix Caravans to sell vans to those ho want to explore the outback. He pioneered off road vans. When he had serious health problems he had to part with Phoenix as Adrian could not carry both the repair and building sides of the firm. The original company did not go down the tubes because of Barry's bad designs, it was because of the financial management of the subsequent owners. When you look at the current Phoenix web site, their claims to fame date mostly from Barry's time.

I consider questioning Barry's wooden van designs is either from a great lack of understanding of van designs or denigration and malice. If in the market for an off road van I would sooner one of the old Phoenix vans then the modern over engineered metal concoctions and shipping crates on wheels.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 17:05

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 17:05
Woa mate. Slow down a bit and take it easy.

"or denigration and malice" is a bit rough Peter. I just feel that a van made from wood would not be strong enough to go where I call off road. I really don't not have any preferences either way as I have no intention of ever getting one again. Been there and done that mate.

You are really reading too much into it. I did say "I just wonder if a wooden one would be strong enough to go what I call off road". I then went on to explain what I considered off road. I also said that if a wooden one will do the job then fine but I would stick with steel.

I prefer yellow fog lights and you may prefer white ones. No need to get on your high horse over what I prefer is there and say that I don't know a lot about the lights industry and that my comments are denigrating or of a malicious nature of our good friend Davy who invented the very first light globe back in 1800. Even if my decision is crap and the yellow ones are useless. It's just my preference. As is my preference for a metal chassis over a wooden one.

Where on earth do you see the "denigration or malice"? For the life of me I cannot.

Fair go mate.

Phil
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Follow Up By: landseka - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 18:34

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 18:34
Phil, I think going by the video you posted you are confusing Frame with Chassis.

The OP wanted advice about Timber v Aluminium FRAME which is the wall frames.

Your video talks of the CHASSIS being steel which all caravans use.

Hope this helps
Neil.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 19:02

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 19:02
Bugger you Neil. You spolied it.

I realised that when he said that they built a new one. Of course the chassis was metal. And that's why I bowed to his superior knowledge.

And that is why I continued to use the two terms of chassis and frame.

This is an excellent example of how people do not read a post properly and go off the deep end accusing of others being malicious or derogatory.

I was actually have fun Neil.

Have a good one

Phil
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:24

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:24
Don't think you'll find many caravans, timber or aluminium doing what you call offroad, ie: CSR, OTL or the Simmo.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 08:46

Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 08:46
Me neither Steve.

The term "off road" is so vague. It's like "how long is a piece of string".

Catchya

Phil
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 16:11

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 16:11
A search here might bring up some posts - I also recommend you join the Caravaners Forum - lots of posts there in recent years on the subject. Van repairers are a good place to ask too - they'd know the + and - aspects of all types, first hand.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:08

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:08
Yep, Caravanners would be a better forum for this

Most advice on here can't see past Kedron/bushtracker

There are plenty of smaller and very well built vans by Trackmaster, Goldstream, Regent, Blue Heeler as well as the Supreme Getaway and more.

Depends whether you want large/small/medium, new/used and as for the timber/aluminium issue, you'd be here until they decide the Patrol/Cruiser winner. The most knowledgable and experienced can't agree on that one so I wouldn't make it a big issue all things considered. Do you need an internal shower or less weight and convenience of an ext shower? Lots of considerations. Plenty of options around amongst genuine offroad vans. Size would be a starting point.

Good luck.
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:26

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:26
Do not look at any Goldstream new or used. We've had no end of trouble with our Explorer purchased new 18 months or so ago with absolutely no assistance from them or the retailer in WA, George Day Caravans.
The only way we've been able to get important stuff done under warranty is through consumer protection or the minor claims court.
If anything can be fixed with a tube of silicone it's all smiles but don't make a claim for anything else.
You may also like to check the blog out (not mine) at Off Road Caravanning in Australia, it's a great read.
The above is all documented so they can't argue about it.
Cheers and happy hunting.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:17

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 20:17
Sorry to hear of your troubles. Really is not on to be fobbed off like that if you have a genuine issue that needs fixing.

However, Goldstream do have an excellent pedigree and I've come across some very happy owners while researching my current van (not a Goldstream) and the van I had in mind was the single axle with rear cut away on control rider suspension, very similar to my own. All round very well made and capable offroader.

Unfortunately, some top quality products still have their faults but they should be addressed by the dealer/manufacturer.
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 11:00

Friday, Jun 21, 2013 at 11:00
Quite right Steve, any thing, top quality vans included can have faults but it's the response to having those faults addressed which is wrong.
Even a little thing like an info plate falling off the front of the chassis won't be fixed on our van and in fact the manu refuses to communicate in any way whatsoever aabout anything.
We too know owners who've had a good relationship with them but they live in Melbourne just round the corner from them, we live in Perth so can safely (they think) be ignored.
Just wait until our court action to have the van declared "not fit for purpose". :-)
The retailer dismisses everything as misuse, inappropritate use, neglect or wear and tear in an effort to avoid a warranty claim.
When the manu decided to settle our claim against them the attitude of GD Caravans was "we wouldn't have done"!
And to think we've bought 3 RVs of these bleep s and 2 of them have been Goldstreams!
As our wheel cover says "NO WAY" George Day Caravans "NEVER EVER AGAIN".
AlanH.


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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 00:14

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 00:14
I saw a rolled Kedron near Kakadu a couple of years back....that one was timber framed.

If you are doing serious offroad, the heavy weights are heavy "weights" and do limit how far you can go. Nothing like dragging 3 to 3.5 tonne out of a boggy river crossing....you need a decent winch!

With Bushtracker, if second hand and depending on its age, make sure its had the suspension update with the simplicity suspension...new bushes.

Brett....
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