4wd motorhomes v off road caravans

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 10, 2004 at 23:03
ThreadID: 11159 Views:6180 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Thanks to all how responded to my query about best heavy duty off road caravans. My hubby still fancies the idea of an all in one unit. (He has a bad back so needs something well sprung.) Can you share your experiences, and/ or why you chose one or the other to see Oz? What did you buy? How far off road could you take it? How long were you away from home? (Or was it your home?) All travellers tales appreciated.
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Reply By: ross - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 02:41

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 02:41
I had a 23 ft van a long time go,but Ive never had a camper van.
I think the positives for a van are that they allow extended stays in one spot.
The van can be left behind to go on day trips without having to take the kitchen sink along.

The positives for a campervan allow you to move with minimal fuss from one campsite to another on a daily basis.Suited for those who dont have the luxury of time.Probably use less fuel than a 4x4 towing a van.

My personal preference is for the van allowing the 4x4 to go places the offroad campervan would never go.
The campervans are also cab over which means the driver sits almost on top of the front wheels.This might not be too kind on hubbys back although the suspension is much improved.
I noticed a minor quarrel in a park recently between a couple in a campervan. The annex had been erected,fold up chairs laid out and luggage unloaded,but someone had forgotten the main ingrediant for the evening meal and it was 4klm back to the shop.
The camping and 4x4 shows are a great place to compare 30-40 options in one spot.
AnswerID: 49891

Follow Up By: Member - Baz (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 10:59

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 10:59
Saw the same argument at the Watagans only a little further than 4ks to the shop, wonder if it was the same couple ! anyway must agree with Ross the idea of packing up everything if you want to go exploring then unpacking when you get back, not for me but it's just my personal choice.
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FollowupID: 311713

Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 17:05

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 17:05
motherhen, it depends on your budget. For us it's a 4wd & a Kimberly Kamper, lex has some comfort & it will follow anywhere I want to go . It's been across the Gulf , thru Mongo NP & along the Murray so far, Barrington Tops this weekend & hopefully back to Birdsville in May if Lex can get hols but she said if they say no she will quit
AnswerID: 49942

Reply By: Davoe - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 18:32

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 18:32
I have a land cruiser campervan for sale if you are interested it has more room (slightly) than a troopy and has a permanently set up double bed sink with running water stove fridge heaps of storage. will go every where a normal l/c will go except for tight overgrown tracks
AnswerID: 49960

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 20:21

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 20:21
Motherhen,

It also depends on what the sort of offroad you will be encountering.

For example some tracks are very narrow and sideways steep which would make it more difficult for a 4x4motorhome (top end heavy). This is a plus with a camper trailer especially with a treg hitch which allows horizontal/vertical independant movement between car and trailer.

Highway running a motorhome cops more wind resistance. If hubby has a bad back I would imagine that you wouldn't be traversing too many difficult tracks or corrugations. Motorhome is definitely a plus as mentioned when comes to camp setup - if you're organised you won't forget the essentials such as food. When it comes to blown backs even the slight wrestle with hitching/unhitching a trailer can be a challenge.

We completed the Gibb Road last year and all areas were accessible by normal vehicle (I saw them, one even towing a caravan!) except Mitchell plateau & Kalumburu areas. Obviously in the dry season that is. A 4x4motorhome would pee it in to be blunt and you'd get alot of jealous looks. Measure up on the map how much offroading you'll do and will be surprised how much will be on bitumen or normal 2wd tracks so a 4x4 motorhome may be the go. The closest I would go to campertrailers is a Jayco camper trailer that set's up quicker, much more luxurious and is still sprung for offroading otherwise I'm not interested in them - i'd rather the motorhome when it comes to a big trip around oz.

Don't forget the camper trailer itself is relatively quick to erect but the annexes are another ball game all together. Most people I observed on our last trip took 20-30minutes minimum in the morning to pack up. As we're a couple with no kids we had a 30 second Oztent which is more like a 60 second when comes to packing but still very quick and convenient. Will definitely change from a tent once the kids emerge onto the scene.

Hope it helps somewhat.

Best of luck with the hunting.
AnswerID: 49986

Reply By: Member - Fay D Away (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 20:23

Thursday, Mar 11, 2004 at 20:23
Motherhen, we have an exBritz camper and find it marvellous for us...and if your wondering NO we haven't had the "brawl" about who should have bought the evening meal back in town ..Yet...
The only drawback that I can visualize is the space, or lack of in the bedding department. With your hubby's bad back most campers are up above the cab or as in our case it pulls out at night. this could be very difficult for him to negotiate especially with the limited room left in the camper.
We personally looooove it but I can see some problems for us when we get a little older and less agile.
We expecially like the "get-up-an-go" aspect of this type of camper and I would say it is THE best thing about having your home on your back.
AnswerID: 49988

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