Shopping advice for new rig required :)

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 17:52
ThreadID: 108580 Views:2454 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone

After thinking my dream of exploring our amazing land was a memory I have decided that next year is the year!!!! Now the decision is how to do it? So I will bow to the knowledge of others and ask for opinions please.
My scenario is this- Single mum of 2 aged 11 & 8 with no towing experience but plenty of beach/offroad camping. I am restricted by a condition known as ducks disease which rules out most camper trailers as I cannot reach to set up! So I am considering along the lines of a Goldstream offroad camper or small caravan. My concerns are obviously first and foremost our safety & security. Also I want something that doesn't take forever to set up. As for our tow vehicle, I will be selling my mazda 3 (won't get far in that!) and looking at either a 2nd hand dual cab or 4wd. I will probably not take van offroad, opting for a tent where we need it.
So hit me with your advice. I have approx $30000 to spend on both vehicles combined.
Thank you in advance for your valued opinions :)
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Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 19:23

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 19:23
Lesley, welcome, you may find the following more useful than a van, allowing you to get into more rugged places......... and designed for those with ducks disease.
For some reason I can't post the links properly, so this will have to do

Good luck
John and Jan

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 535353

Reply By: mountainman - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 19:27

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 at 19:27
Toyota troop carrier
Plenty of room in the back
Parts plentifull
Fairly cheap to buy
Economical to run.

Or stretch your budget to a new dualcab triton and buy some tents and gear.
Theyre going dirt cheap.
AnswerID: 535355

Reply By: Ozrover - Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:49

Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:49

My advice, keep it simple, the Goldstream campers are great (travelled/lived in one for two years), but having to wind it up every day does get tiresome, I'd get a smallish pop top caravan, you can get them with twin single beds & the dining area converts into another bed, have the wheel bearings/brakes replaced & checked regularly, & make sure that it has decent suspension, not "slipper" springs, it will probably weigh less than an equivalent Goldstream.

As far as a tow vehicle, just get a "known" brand, easier to get repaired if it needs it, most dual cabs are good, but can be a bit tight in the back seat for long periods on the road, a mid sized wagon, i.e. Prado/Pajero etc. will give you almost as much storage, but will be a lot more comfortable. Stick a rooftop tent & an awning on for off road excursions.

That'll do for now, lots more things to add if you need it!
AnswerID: 535389

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:53

Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:53
Oh!! Do a towing course with a reputable training mob, learn how to reverse the van well & you will be set forever...

FollowupID: 819254

Follow Up By: Lesley A - Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 07:15

Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 07:15
Thanks for the advice Ozrover,

I wont leave home without doing a course, never fear! My concern with the wind up was exactly what you said so I am leaning more towards a
van, also for security. Can you recommend any?
FollowupID: 819279

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 09:10

Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 09:10

If the van is staying on the bitumen, then any of the smaller vans i.e. Jayco StarCraft will be fine, but I'd hedge my bets & get a "dirt" road capable van such as the Supreme Getaway series, a newer one will be outside your price range but you should be able to get an older one at a reasonable price.

There are lots out there, you just have to start trolling the online sales sites to get an idea of the prices they are asking, don't be afraid to haggle... most people think that their van is worth a lot more than it actually is!
FollowupID: 819285

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:49

Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 17:49

Would you consider a dual cab ute, and a tent? On the positive side of the ledger for a camper or van is that it takes little to set up. On the negative side is the inconvenience of towing, increased fuel consumption and initial cost.

Swags in a tent are very comfortable and warm. After a while you will find you don't bother with the tent. Tents take little effort to put up and down and weigh not much at all.

I'd spend $25k on a ute (dual cab Triton etc) and $5k on camping gear (tent, swags, gas stove, Engel, folding chairs etc)

AnswerID: 535390

Reply By: Lesley A - Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 20:16

Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 20:16
Thanks everyone, it is all food for thought. I think that we will probably look along the lines of a small caravan. My reasoning is that I will need somewhere for the kids to do their home schooling and also (and more for my sanity) they both prefer beds of their own rather than sharing. I have previously owned a camper trailer & think the kids would feel more secure in a van. We are looking at travelling for at least 10 months.
I appreciate all input!
AnswerID: 535397

Reply By: Eric Experience - Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 21:43

Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 at 21:43
Fuel consumption is a major factor now and more so in the future, Towing is not good for fuel and security. The best vehicle for you would be a German van either a VW or a Mercedes Sprinter. Both are available in 4x4. A Japanese vehicle towing a van will end up costing at least twice as much in fuel. Eric
AnswerID: 535402

Reply By: Mudguard - Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 13:38

Friday, Jul 04, 2014 at 13:38
Hi Lesley, When its pouring with rain & blowing a gale would your rather be stuck in a tent or a van? Keep the troops happy and they will be jumping for the NEXT trip
AnswerID: 535445

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 05, 2014 at 10:42

Saturday, Jul 05, 2014 at 10:42
The single most imortant thing is buying a rig that is adequate, fit for purpose and well within its capacity.

All too often we hear of people running right up to the load carrying and towing capacities and finding that they have problems with breaking stuff AND that they are infact past their legal capacities....then they are looking for GVM, towing or load carrying upgrades.....none of which are cheap, easy or good options.

A rig loaded well within its capacity is far far safer and more pleasant to drive.

Consider too that there are all sorts of stereotypes that simpley are not true......

You simply do not need a 4wd to tow a caravan....there are other options, large sedans and waggons are still well and truly viable as are 2wd utes and small trucks.

That is what we all towed with before 4wds became more common and more comfortable.
AND we towed with them on dirt roads.

If you particularly want a 4wd that is a whole other story.

Remember these days, the whole world will try and push you into bigger and bigger vans with more " comforts of home".

If you want to keep the weight and the price down, keep to a smaller more modest rig.

AnswerID: 535482

Follow Up By: Lesley A - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 08:35

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 08:35
Good words of advice thanks Bantam.
I am worried that I will find towing a small van difficult and have decided that my kids will just have to suck it up and share a bed! Probably do them good :)
The reason I am considering a dual cab is because I am always borrowing friends. I have no preference for either a 4x4 or 2wd but was thinking there may be places we want to go that may not be suitable for a 2wd.
No worries about overloading, less is best in my mind. Less cleaning up!
FollowupID: 819541

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