4wd and Caravan / Camping Advice needed please.

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 23:52
ThreadID: 106331 Views:5607 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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Hello All - Newbie here.
I am the proud father of 4 girls, 8,6,4,2.
My wife and I are looking at taking a a 6 - 12 month holiday around Australia with the kids next year.

We have not done this before and would appreciate the thoughts of people more experienced than ourselves. The list of wants are as follows:

Easy set up / pull down.
Privacy for the wife and I when we want it.
Ample Storage
Ability to run for at least a week self sufficiently.

We have been looking at the Jayco Basestation as a possible solution. I like the idea of this as it can be set up in literally 1 minute. We are able to pack it and pick up the kids from school on a friday afternoon and head straight out for a weekend with no set up time. (Did I also mention I ride dirtbikes) ;)
The kids get their own bedroom with the 4 bunks

One of the downsides to the basestation is the weight, as it means buying a new vehicle, however, I need to upgrade the JK CRD Unlimited as I need minimum 7 seats. I have been looking at the 200 series and a 3.0 Patrol. We also own a 2011 VW diesel multivan which is an unbelievable car, however only tows 2000 kgs.

Would appreciate comments on the above, but also welcome alternative suggestions. We saw a custom made camper when we went to Merrimbula last year that seemed to be able to be put up very quickly.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 07:43

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 07:43
Many cars can tow that weight Lueage but I think you will be well severed with a 200 series.

You don't say though how cost will affect your choices.

Friends of ours use a Work & Play - great with the bikes , but not suitable with 5 young kids.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 07:45

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 07:45
4 young kids - I was wondering why 7 seats - some other friends have 100 series cruiser which can come with 6 seats.
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:36

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:36
If you are planning to tow Base Station why not look at the Jeep, not sure about the 7 seats but they are well specced and quite a bit less expensive than the LC200.

I would avoid the patrol as it is under powered for towing something like the Base Station.
AnswerID: 526849

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:46

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:46
Just checked on Jeep, no 7 seat model that I can find. Ah well back to the Yota!
FollowupID: 809219

Follow Up By: lukeage - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:33

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:33
yeah - test drove the CRD auto Grand Cherokee when i only had 3 kids - drove really well. cant believe they dont do a 7 seat version.
FollowupID: 809224

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:53

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:53
I did find an article that said they were "Working on it".
FollowupID: 809230

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:30

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:30
The LR Discovery is also a 7 seater and would tow that easily as well. Nearly bought one of those a while ago, but my instinct went with the LC200. They are probably equally reliable nowadays, but the availability of spare parts and service in remote areas was the clincher. On our travels, I'd say you would pass 100 Landcruisers and about 1 Landrover...so there has got to be something in that (apart from their marketing budget).

In terms of accommodation, the Basestation looks good...you would need to spec it up a little in terms of solar power, batteries and water if you wanted to camp remotely for a week though - you are taking a whole netball team with you!


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Follow Up By: lukeage - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:36

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:36
thanks Chris -
I used to own a Disco 2, and it was a good car.

the Disco 4 is comparable in price to the 200 series. My pref would be the 200 series.
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Reply By: lukeage - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:38

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:38
any other suggestions of alternatives to the basestation that align with our parameters?

camper trailers?

regarding budget - I have a self imposed budget of about 130 - 150k. It is all about value for money incl resale value. If I can get what we need for only 70k, then fantastic.
AnswerID: 526855

Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:57

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:57
Depends if you want comfort, or the ability to go to more remote places.

There are plenty of camper trailers that would accomodate your family, basically tented accommodation but if you don't mind roughing it then that would be a good way to go.

With the Base Station you'd get Air Con and all the home comforts, but wouldn't go to a lot of places.

I think Coromal, or one of the other makers makes something similar to the Jayco, called a toy hauler I think.
FollowupID: 809231

Follow Up By: lukeage - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 11:24

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 11:24
thanks Notso.
Jayco make an outback version of the basestation with better ground clearance and bigger wheels. It has a higher weight though. We are planning for the outback version.
FollowupID: 809239

Reply By: Member - evaredy - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:08

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:08
It really depends on what you want to do while travelling.

Do you intend to just stay on the blacktop or do you want to be able to have the freedom to explore?

If you only intend to stay on the blacktop, then vans are somewhat cheaper. If you want to explore then a 4x4 van can cost quite a lot.

You also have to think about towing it, you are not experienced (nor am I). I think you would be well served to do a course that teaches you how to load it, how to tow it and how to recover in an emergency, as well as other aspects of owning a caravan.

While I don't have 4 kids at home anymore (we have 9 rugrats). I do care fulltime for my adult son who travels with us.
When I was trying to decide on what to get, it took me ages, I have always wanted a van. If it was just the two of us the choice would have been a lot easier, but because we had to take into account our son, it meant we had to look at vans that were quite large and had a bed for him, but also allowed us some privacy.

I finally decided on a camper trailer, it much easier store at home, easy to tow, uses a lot less fuel and can get me into a lot more out of the way places than a van would. It was not about the cost, the camper cost us quite a lot but it is what we want.

If you decided to go with a camper, get a soft floor, there is more room. Also look for one that doesn't take all day to setup and has minimal poles.

The Camper we have is a Grand Tourer Elite, made by Adventure Campers. It's called the Elite because we had a diesel hot water system added along with a shower, spare room and some other options.
The design is very different than most other campers out there, it can be fully setup in 15mins, with very little effort.


AnswerID: 526874

Reply By: Cheeky1 - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:58

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:58
Hi Lukeage.
My opinion for what it's worth...
There are some great advantages that come with camper trailers - most go everywhere your car goes for example.
I've done the camper trailer bit, with the kids, and had a great time.
We have a van now and I wish I got it sooner.
Most camper trailers have heaps of canvas to set up, but it's usually only worth the effort of setting it all up when you are camped up for an extended stay. It possibly could become a chore over time???
The van will be much better for both on the road, and extended stays.
We had great intentions of pulling over and making lunches while on the road (with the c/t).
But when you are faced with wind, flies, hot, cold, etc, it became easier to buy lunch at a roadhouse. This is not only expensive, but also a lucky dip with the quality of the tucker.
It all depends on you circumstances and budget when planning your travel outfit.
I think you are on the right track given your circumstances.
The 200 series and the outback Basestation will probably be your best bet, given the amount of time you will be spending on the road, with such a large family. Like someone has already stated, you will need to set yourself up with plenty of solar and battery power - and that's a whole new thread for you to open up here on Exploroz. :-)
AnswerID: 526876

Follow Up By: lukeage - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 14:52

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 14:52
just found a u tube clip of the exact setup


FollowupID: 809258

Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 19:52

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 19:52
Fully agree with cheeky, four young ones in a camper not on, now a Jayco Toyhauler a 27.73-6 OB tare weight 2730, a 21.66-6 OB is 2373 tare. So the bigger one you will need a 200, LR D4 but if you go for the smaller one you will only need to buy, lets say hahaha, an Isuzu MU-X, I think they are about $40K less than the above.
FollowupID: 809299

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 23:40

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 23:40
With 6 in a tug and caravan for that period, you will be overloaded.
Don't take that risk.
Buy a motorhome.

OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 526906

Follow Up By: lukeage - Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 07:32

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 07:32
FollowupID: 809316

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 22:29

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 22:29
If you look at the GVM then the curb weight of most of the 4wd station waggons.
you would be lucky to put 2 adults and 4 children, varous, ( none overweight) with their school bags and not be over loaded.

some of these wagons have as lltlle as 600KG payload.

Buy a truck or buss bassed motorhome and tow your toys.

For example.
The Iveco turbo daily has been mentioned in the past.
Its a propper small truck..seats 6 and will carry a full 2 tonnes in the tray whole towing 3.5 tonnes....and it costs less than a landcruser.

OH and remember... the OP is traveling with 5 women.....there will be half a tonne of shoes and make up alone.


FollowupID: 809359

Reply By: Member - powernut (AFL Power) - Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 15:33

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 15:33
Interesting comments on 200 series Toyota versus a Discovery 4. Some say parts are more available for the Toyota? Have you ever asked for a reasonable simple part for a 200 series in Katherine or Alice Springs and found they actually had it? Often anything slightly out of the norm needs to be flown in.

I wouldn't argue that the Toyota is much more common in the bush and with dealers in most large towns, and that does give a sense of security.
I am an apprentice retire. Its looking like my most successful career to date.

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AnswerID: 526953

Reply By: lukeage - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 21:51

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 21:51
Well on Tuesday bought a jayco expander 21 foot 2014 model at melbournes caravan and camping show.
Wednesday bought a 200 series landcruiser.
Can't wait!
Thanks for everyone's input.
AnswerID: 528282

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