Slide-on comments?

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 01:39
ThreadID: 104987 Views:4090 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Is there anyone out there travelling in a slide-on on a LandCruiser tray back? We are thinking of changing from our LC wagon and robust Golf caravan to a Palomino slide on (pop top with toilet and shower). Just wondering if anyone has done similar and can compare re comfort, space, convenience, etc, etc. We have had a good look at the Palominos and are quite impressed, but it's a big decision to change both vehicle and van- both of which we are pretty happy with ( although both a bit dated). Thanks.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 06:34

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 06:34
See the thread from yesterday 104977.
Basically too heavy for a Cruiser, minimum an Ftruck or similar.
AnswerID: 520871

Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 10:04

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 10:04
As Pete has mentioned below, there is an earlier thread that covers a bit of detail for you.

Vikki and I purchased a new Palomino Real Lite Slide on in the US last year. It was mounted on an ex utility company F250 Super Duty we purchased at the auctions in Toronto. Ours was a pop top unit so was a good deal lighter and somewhat more streamlined than a hard top, cab-over bed model. Weight is a key concern and needs to be measured carefully in your decision.

We loved the camper and the prices in the US made it actually cheaper to buy one than hire one for our extended Holiday there. The appointment was good but they are made for the Americans idea of touring. Ours tends to be a little more interesting and rougher as far as roads and tracks go. Only weak spots were the finite size of the inside toilet and shower. I'm a big bloke and could not fit in it. (Make sure you have an outside shower, it's infinitely more useable) and also the table was a bit poor. Easily replaced with a better, swinging mounting system. It handled everything we threw at it well enough including the Dempster & the Top O' the World Highways and some back-country roads in Alaska and Canada.

I own a 2010 VDJ79 Toyota Cab Chassis (V8 diesel model). Standard suspension will be too soft for the slide on. You would need to ensure you upgrade the suspension pretty much straight away and this should allow you to up the GVM to the maximum allowable which I believe is 3920kgs. I’d also supplement this with a set of airbags for levelling purposes.

We considered importing ours back to Australia (and I still wish I had) but ours was a big unit (9 foot floor) meaning it jutted well over the back of the tray. This is not an enviable situation as it puts a lot more strain on the rear suspension.

Depending on your budget, another alternative is to undertake the mods I did to my ute in having the chassis extended as part of the GVM upgrade. It will add another few thousand to the cost but allows you to add up to 500mm into the chassis rails with additional strengthening and a GVM upgrade to suit. This would allow you to customise the tray by up to an addition 700 mm (added length plus 200 extra past the rear axle). The added chassis length will ensure a much better load scenario for your slide on and give you a ute tray that will be the envy of all your mates heh heh. It will also give you some flexibility on the size of your camper and this is important.

I don’t know where you are based but Multidrive Technology in Geelong did the work on my Car (Darryl is the go too man). They cut and stretch about 20 utes a week for emergency services as part of their GVM packages (200mm insert and a 400kg upgrade – fully engineered and certified with secondary compliance plate) so I simply asked them to insert the maximum their engineer was happy to certify.

I’ve covered this exercise in the first entries of my ute build blog so that should give you an idea of the process involved. Cost then was about $7K. Sounds a lot but that included a GVM upgrade which would cost up to $4K in the first place.

Creating the dream off roader

Hope that’s of help to you.



''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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AnswerID: 520874

Reply By: JimDi - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 14:23

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 14:23
We did the changeover two years ago. 79 series Landcruiser diesel and a slide on. Same with us, we approached ARB and had the suspension improved as well as airbags. It is a must do with slideons.

It is a different way of travelling. I was over towing a 20ft off road caravan and wanted to get to the more remote areas as well as continue normal touring. The downside (I think) is that you lose the comfort etc of a caravan. I have improved our outside comfort by installing canopies and purchasing some good lightweight ground covers.
But so far we have survived and are quite happy with our lot.

I was also in the same situation as you with both car and caravan ageing rapidly.
Have a good look around at slideons as they are many and varied.
AnswerID: 520893

Reply By: Andrew D. - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 14:28

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 14:28
Would never own another slideon
Spent a fortune on suspension and was still a top heavy dog
Major issue couldn't carry sufficient gear and water
Slideon was an expensive painful sorry exercise as many slideon owners have found out and changed out to something more suitable
AnswerID: 520895

Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 15:06

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 15:06
Andrew, out of interests sake, what type of vehicle did you have the slide-on mounted to?

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
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FollowupID: 801466

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 20:41

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 20:41
I tend to agree with Andrew. I'm yet to see a slideon on a 79series ute that remains suitably capable for a remote desert trip. Best I've seen was the Trayon - relatively lightweight design but still you struggle to find the extra space for spare tyres, fuel, water etc

But the issue that is usually the decider is whether you want to be packing the thing up everytime you want to go for a drive. Offloading a slideon onto their 4 stilts is a pain - I'm yet to see someone who can do it quickly and easily. Then you are leaving the fridge and water and food behind....too hard in my opinion.
FollowupID: 801493

Follow Up By: Tangam1 - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 21:26

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 21:26
Thanks everyone for your responses. We will take our time to make a decision whether to change to a slide on or not, but you have all given us good information to help us make that decision an informed one.
If anyone else wants to add to the conversation, we are still open to more opinions!
FollowupID: 801503

Follow Up By: JimDi - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 00:14

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 00:14
I am not convinced that some of the comments re lack of space hold up.
In my slide on I have a built in slide out kitchen.
Built in slide out 60 litre fridge/freezer.
Built in 100 litre water storage.
Two rear mounted swing out wheel carriers.
Add to that a comfortable double bed, 12 volt fan and sound system and enough clothing storage for three large suitcases.
Additional storage allows for the internal packing of two fold away chairs and two small tables, portable dunny and canvas shower. All of this without having to sleep under or erect canvas.

I don't carry the legs with me when travelling as they are too bulky. Unpacking and packing time is minimal and I do it quite regularly when travelling. Add another say 20 minutes to the above packing routine and I can have the whole thing enveloped in an annexe.
FollowupID: 801513

Follow Up By: Andrew D. - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 08:41

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 08:41
Mick 79 series
If you were near the shops and good water every 4-5 days the slideon was OK. Soon as you had to pack up for a big trip where you were away from supplies and good water for 2 to 4 weeks the slideon was hopeless. Cab was full of gear, slideon full of gear/food/water containers and did not make a happy wife. Have been able to go more places by dropping off the Cub Supa Camper and day tripping around the area. Forced to go much slower with slideon and top heavy weight can be FRIGHTENING at times on slopes. You cannot help overload the vehicle with a slideon on a decent trip.

There is no way would put 2 spare wheels hanging on the rear. Seen to many cracked chassis.
FollowupID: 801522

Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 11:56

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 11:56
Cheers Andrew. Yes I agree. Vikk and my vision for our slide on was for the more civilised trips only (ie the week spent down at the Prom over New Year etc) which it would have been perfect for. (the ones that involve bitumen or a dirt road to the camp site only). For my outback expeditions, we'd have reverted to the purpose built pod for the very reasons you've outlined.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 801544

Reply By: Rodge - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 22:36

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 22:36
Hi Tangam1. We have a slide-on on a L/C 79 tray back. It is made by Active Campers in Woolgoolga and it is excellent. Obviously you will have much less space than the caravan, but everything is a compromise.
Our rig has been through the Kimberly, inc. Mitchell Falls (appalling road!); Hay Rv track; Simpson Desert from Poeppel Cnr to Birdsville; Innamincka and Coongie Lakes etc. Both vehicle and camper have survived with minimal problems. We are still able to carry 2 spare tyres with our set up and the L/C has 180L fuel standard. So most outback trips are covered.
It is very fast to set up (maybe 2 mins) and pack up (maybe 3 mins)- so going for a drive from a set camp is no problem (We don't take the legs when we travel). The dry weight is just under 500kg. Our camper has no toilet (does have outside shower), but Active Campers have an upmarket model with a very cleverly designed inside shower/toilet; and the unit is not much heavier than ours.
The vehicle has standard suspension but with airbags. When fully loaded for an outback trip, our vehicle is probably over the GVM; and suggestions from others to look into a GVM upgrade are well worth considering. The L/C is a truck to drive compared to our previous Hiluxes, but it sure is strong and very capable.
We have no connection with Active Campers - just very happy customers.
Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 520915

Reply By: Member - Neil B (VIC.) - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 17:34

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 17:34
We have a 79 series and have had two bronco slide ons. The first we bought new and it had so many problems that we sent it back for a full refund - thanks the the amazing customer service from the guy we bought it off. We missed the damn thing so much that 6 months later we bought another second hand one, which we have just sold after 12 months enjoyment.

The first one had the shower and toilet built in, the second had neither but we converted a cupboard to hold a porta potti. As previously stated the inside shower was inadequately sized for anyone slightly (or greatly) larger than medium.

Although we had the strongest springs available we found them pretty much flattening out with a medium load, although we did have two belly tanks under the tray of the cruiser - which aided water capacity when remotely camped, but at the same time added weight. I didn't want to fit air bags as I have read too many accounts of broken chassis caused by overloading and airbags.

As previously stated, loading/unloading is not as easy as made out. We also found that stuffing in the vinyl around the pop top when dropping the roof was a chore when the unit was on the vehicle - unavoidable if you leave the unit on the tray.

Hand crank legs were a PITA, even when using cordless drills (2 of which I burnt out). The electric legs on the second one were so much nicer to use.

Despite all the shortfalls, we loved getting away in the Cruiser/Bronco combination and only got rid of it when we realised that it just wouldn't be up for steep high country use or a Simpson desert crossing - too heavy, too easy to knock the legs off or damage them, and a lot of the internals made from compressed board and staples.

Hope this helps. Happy to answer any more questions.

AnswerID: 521269

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