Off road caravans

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 16:38
ThreadID: 104522 Views:2226 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Looking at buying an off road camper 20 feet up has anyone got any suggestions on a good make
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Reply By: Narrabrisparky - Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 17:35

Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 17:35
After personal experience I would suggest you keep well clear of Junco, sorry Jayco. Ours has been nothing but trouble and the workmanship is so poor I kick myself everytime I fix something because I was so stupid to buy a Sterling Outback new last year

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Follow Up By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 18:57

Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 18:57
me and the wife have decided to buy a caravan that we will take off road at times and after a fair bit of research on the subject would consider a jayco .knowing the quality might need some attention the price is value for money .last year on the way from the tip we past a bloke [about 4 times] before we got half way back to cairns ,he was towing an old viscount 70s look about 16 ft behind a 720 duel cab [I think it may have been only a two wheel drive ]doing about 40kl on the dirt road and seemed to have no trouble at all whilst newer and more expensive rigs had some breakdowns.the point is the 720 driver was driving to capability of his vehicle and van. if other people did the same instead of watching the Gall boys on you tube and thinking they can do the same their would be less damage to repair .best of luck with whatever you buy but at the moment it is hard for us to make a final decision on what to buy .cheers warren
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:27

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:27
I really take offense to the term "Junko". There are very few makes that do not have some manufacturing problems, Jayco included. It is how they treat the owner and their van faults that leaves people with the "let down" feelings. I have no hesitation in recomending them but as Warren above says, they are not a rugged off road van and need to be towed to the conditions. Our 22ft Outback Sterling has travelled around 15k so far on some pretty rough dirt roads and is yet to show any signs of falling apart. Cheers,Bob
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Reply By: Peter W - Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 20:17

Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 20:17
What is your budget Gail?
When you say "camper" are you meaning caravan/pop top and what type of trips do you see yourself taking.
Unlike the Jayco owner above I have been more than happy with our 2009 21.5ft Jayco Outback Sterling and for the price it has been a good buy although it is limited in regard to serious off road work.
It will go off the bitumen and work well if packed and towed correctly but it is not built for the serious stuff....even with Simplicity Independent Suspension as mine has.
As we now propose to do a bit more serious off road travel we are upgrading to a new E series Evernew and are selling our current Jayco.
The finish and capabilities of both vans are some way apart but then again so is the price tag on each.
It really boils down to budget and intended usage and if you are just starting out then a Jayco could be, along with many other brands, a good starting point.

Peter
AnswerID: 518912

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 20:20

Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 20:20
Gail S3
Off road or on Rough road ie Oodnadatta track? therefore off bitumen roads.
20' + isn't really an Off Road size as it will hold most back and drag if really off road.

There are many large vans on the above mentioned track.

The quality and integrity/performance of the suspension system in such a van will be the thing which will give the most satisfaction and be long lasting. The suspension is the critical thing which you should consider, the box above, well they all make those to varying degrees.
I would study suspension first and name/style/size of van second if use is to be rough and off road.
AnswerID: 518914

Reply By: bluefella - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 08:15

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 08:15
Second hand GOLF one of the best built vans on the market.
AnswerID: 518928

Follow Up By: toffytrailertrash - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 08:52

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 08:52
What price are you looking at? Any of the following either new or second hand fit the bill. Kedron, Sunland, Bushtracker and Spinifex, all top off road caravans and most are self sufficient.

Cheers

Merv
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Reply By: braggy - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 09:17

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 09:17
Gail S3

Don't forget to check about their after sales service and warranty back up for off road use.

Some will boast of their off road ability but when theres a problem, even on dirt roads, seem to always blame the driver for abuse, which in some cases may be true, and sometimes just their standard warranty denial clause.

Sunland seem to back their vans off road, some of the other major players just say they do.


I have no affiliation with Sunland, don't even have one .

Cheers Ken
AnswerID: 518930

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 11:01

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 11:01
This is exactly what happened to us and our Goldstream Explore so called off roader.
We complained to the bloke who the company here in WA is named after, about badly buckled wheels and his immediate response was "inappropriate use".
Absolutely no effort to find solutions whenever we've made complaints about workmanship, materials etc and no response at all from the manufacturer.
They're in Vic and have our money and we're in WA so why should they bother?
Our solution was the consumer affairs people and we also made a claim through the small claims court for new wheels and expences etc. which was paid immediately.
They certainly didn't want the publicity but it's badly made with many design and workmanship faults. Try no fusing on the fridge, awning clips installed upside down, pelmets which fall off, holes throughout curtain lining material (changed by Goldstream) and no doubt others I haven't yet found.
I've kept all records and if any further problems will try to have it declared as "unfit for purpose"!
Good luck.
AlanH.
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FollowupID: 798895

Reply By: Peter W - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:37

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:37
Think also Gail about what you will be towing it with as weight capabilities of the tug will have a huge bearing on what combination you could/should go for.

Peter
AnswerID: 518949

Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 14:24

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 at 14:24
There is a lot of vagueness about the "offroad" term, which is half the problem. As previously mentioned, almost any van can be towed on rough roads with appropriate care but that usually means taking your time, which a lot of people can't/won't do and therein lies the problem. On the other hand, you have the Gall boys pulling their vans through the roughest tracks at top speed because they have a limited time and also say that it does test the product and they rarely come back without damage to van or vehicle or both. They say that they spot the weaknesses in this way and improve the van. So on the one hand you have an excellent product like a Kedron van coming back damaged and on the other, somebody will nurse an old Viscount or current model Jayco through some rough country. Clearly, some vans are built better than others but the way they are towed has as much effect on their wellbeing on these tracks.

As for the original post, it appears you have a 70 series cruiser which should be enough to pull most vans but you don't say if you are looking for new or used or budget limitations. Apart from the obvious Bushtracker, Trakmaster, Kedron, Phoenix etc there are umpteen other worthy vans on the market these days. Depends what your needs are.
AnswerID: 518955

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