Camping Van selection - Advice requested please

Submitted: Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 17:34
ThreadID: 109243 Views:1680 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Hi Fellow Oz Travellers. We do live in a wonderful country, and sometimes its easy to take it for granted hey? I hope I never do.

I am retired now and need to move from a 2010 Lifestyle heavy duty off road Camper Trailer ( for sale as of now - as new) to something bigger but in a camper caravan style.

Here's out criteria, and Im hoping someone who has been this path with similar requirements can help my wife and I with getting a short list a bit quicker. We have never had a van of any type.

1.We prefer national park camping grounds where there is more area to spread out.We dont need to have a powered site.
2. We need a semi- off road camper around 4.5 - 5 metres, low profile for towing behind a 3.4 litre petrol Prado. We dont expect to be doing 4WD rough stuff.
3. We'd need a double or queen bed, a bigger 3 way fridge/freezer than the normal 90 litre jobs, a gas cooktop, a table for two with comfortable seats. Room for a grandchild or two to bunk in somewhere inside.
4. We dont need a shower, toilet, a big cooking area (we cook outside on the BBQ) or separate lounge seats (we mainly sit outside).
5. An easy and quick to assemble quality awning
6. Good ventilation for summers, as we wont have air con. Not freezing in winter.
7. Good lighting
8. No built-in leak problems
8. 20 minute max set up and tear down time for all of the above

We will be buying second hand with a budget of $15,000. Happy to look at pop tops and the pop up and expanding canvas campers.

All opinions and advice will be appreciated .

Thank you,

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Reply By: Danna - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 17:51

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 17:51
Hi Don
Are you puzzled that nobody answered?
I think / maybe you can't get anything decent for that money .....
Cheers Dana
AnswerID: 538091

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 19:45

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 19:45
It's like asking "what should I have for tea Thursday night" on a forum.....

Yes it goes with..... What sort of 4x4 should I buy, where should I go for my holidays, that sort of camper trailer do I need, how much money do I need for my holiday......

Don mayI suggest you grab your partner and spend a day looking at caravans, narrow it down and then ask questions about the one's you like.

A few thousand users on this forum PLUS 100's of different caravans in their price range would make for avery long boring post......LOL
FollowupID: 822437

Follow Up By: Danna - Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:12

Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:12
Hi Don
LOL it did happened.... I had a bet with my better half, that if I write only two net very controversial lines, there will be at least 1 interest and 1 followup .....
I won.
Cheers Dana
FollowupID: 822459

Reply By: disco driver - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 20:22

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 20:22
Hi Don,
Don't be put off by any negative responses here, there are poptop caravans out there. Plenty in your price range too, you just have to find them.

Firstly you won't get a 2000 up model in your price range, more likely to be late 80's early to mid 90's so they may be a bit dated internally and externally (appearance wise) and may need new tyres, perhaps springs and a good tidy up.

Most of the original issues, drawers not staying closed, roof and other leaks etc , will have been fixed by the previous owners and a good handyman could do most other things that may need any attention (Two things you don't touch are 240V wiring and any Gas work, they require the use of licensed tradesmen).
If it looks badly rusty anywhere on the chassis, walk away and look somewhere else

Where do You find these vans??
1. Back part of new caravan sales yards (Trade ins) Ask if there are any in your price range (My local WA sales yard had 5 last time I looked)
2. Saturday and Sunday papers and their online adverts
3. Shopping Centre Notice Boards
4. Local Newspapers and notice boards
5. Ebay and Gumtree (Be sure of what you are doing here, easy to be screwed, Don't buy sight unseen)

Always take someone with a bit of knowledge of caravans with you when you look at any vans, that way it limits the chance of landing a lemon

Hope this helps in your search.

AnswerID: 538131

Reply By: Don B10 - Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 08:01

Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 08:01
OK, I see the differing views here. In my defense, while I did ask what should I have for dinner, I did add a list of food categories preferred within my budget.

I have been doing research over the weekend and see on the caravancampingsales website a 2003 Jayco Penguin at $13,500 and the Outback model same year at $14,990, listed under the website's "caravans' category. These appear to meet our criteria, but I appreciate its one thing to look at photos of a house and another to 'live' in it.

Looked also at the next thing up from that type of unit to a 2008 Jayco Discovery pop top at $17,990 and a 2003 Coromal Seka at $16,990, and the latter was snapped up. There's a couple of other Discoveries around the $20,000 mark negotiable same year, but these appear to be outside the normal price range around the $24,000 mark, so may come with issues.

So at this early stage, Id be looking at the Penguin type in Jayco and Coromal brands, but if I see a Discovery or Seka for up to $5,000 more (than my preferred $15K budget) and with our preferred layout.....

QUOTE "Jayco Discovery 2008 16Ft Poptop Caravan Tare 1100Kgs,REDUCED TO CLEAR, EXCELLENT CONDITION, Rear Double Island Bed, Cafe Lounge, 3 Gas 1 Electric Stove & Grill, Raised 90lt 3 way Fridge / Freezer, Heron 2.2 Air Con, Microwave, Rollout Awning," UNQUOTE ..... it seems for the features and benefits Id be wise to find the extra money (??) This one is listed on another website at $21,990 negotiable.

When I get it down to a few vans, I will make sure I take along an experienced caravaner as advised, and to get me started, I would appreciate comments on the two categories/styles and brands mentioned, as I start the buying journey. thank you. Regards, Don

AnswerID: 538142

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 08:22

Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 08:22
I am not having a dig at you but buying a caravan is a very personnel thing and what one may like in a caravan you may hate..... choose what you like and want in a caravan.

When you bought a house you didn't ask all you friends and family what the wanted and they thought you should by and then based your decision on their recommendation.

What you may see as important in a caravan others may not and see something else important to them giving you the wrong impression.

You are the only one who can make that choice of caravan and your the one who has to live with it for years to come..... not me or the other forum members.

Once you have narrowed it down then ask the question of what do people think of X,Y and Z caravan.

Caravans are like buying a house so don't just look at 2 or 3 and then buy..... look at many including in a higher price range..... that way you get a good understanding of what you want and how it varies in different makes and price points.
FollowupID: 822454

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