Canvas on Ultimate Camper

Submitted: Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 09:01
ThreadID: 130960 Views:3214 Replies:3 FollowUps:11
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Seriously thinking of purchasing an Ultimate camper and was thinking about the spare room for Mr 13 yo and annex with wall kit for those cold and windy days. Most camping will be 2 to 4 days in the one spot going for up to 2 months at a time.
Salesman at recent caravan show recommended neither claiming that most owners never use them and we'd be better off with just a wrap around awning.
Any owners out there that can comment and advise?
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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 09:09

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 09:09
During my Ultimate days I only ever used the small awning over the door but there was just two of us.
Mr 13YO needs somewhere to sleep , perhaps a separate tent for him to give him some sense of independance and experience in erecting it. Erecting awnings for short stays is a pain.
Hope this helps.
Ross
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Follow Up By: phantom - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 09:48

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 09:48
Thanks Ross,
We do a lot of camping and Mr 13YO has 3 tents including a 2 man hiking tent as well as a 9 x 9 Southern Cross that he has no troubles setting up. The issue is that he wants to be part of the new camper with his own room (even though he can't stand up in it). Don't want to spend the money if it will only be used a couple of times.
I did offer to buy him a swag but not interested.

Cheers & Beers

Rob, Kim and Will
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 11:54

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 11:54
Another option is to put the 13yo in the camper and mum & dad in the SC tent. Should satisfy the expectations some of the next generation (not yours though) seems to be forming. Nice that your child wants to be part of it!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 12:10

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 12:10
If I recall the childrens tent attachment is under the opened bed of the camper which makes it easier to erect/dismantle but does not give the adults much privacy.
Ross
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 14:13

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 14:13
Hi Phantom

The saleman has given you wise information for a change.

When we were looking around for our Utimate, you will see many owners outlaying thousands of dollars for the under enclosed room, and when you read their adverts, will usually say along the lines of only ever used once.

You have a few options, but the cheapest would be to buy a small dome tent that will take up no room and a good self inflating mattress.

Even when we looked at a new Ultimate, I could not believe the price that they were wanting for them. If you still want to but the genuine room that will fit like a glove, give this guy a call at Batemans Bay in NSW.

Ian from 3D Sails/Geoff's Custom Canvas used to do all the canvas work for Ultimate and can do them for a lot cheaper price. Ian is a great guy to deal with and he has made a couple of awning for our Ultimate.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: phantom - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 14:54

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 14:54
Thanks Stephen,
Appreciate the salesman's honesty, he even steered us away from the hot water system.

Will definitely call Ian if we need any canvas work. We have good self inflating mattresses and tents so it's a matter of the young fella feeling as 'though he's part of the new set up. Maybe Ian can customise him his own "ultimate" tent.

Do you have and / or use the main awning at all?

Cheers

Rob
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Follow Up By: Roachie Silverado - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 16:02

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 16:02
We've had our 1998 Ultimate since Feb 1999....bought it second hand; 6 months old. It came with all the then-available extras (which back in those days was just the under-bed tent and a main awning plus walls etc to make a fully enclosed annexe).

We have 3 sons and at the height of our usage (say 1999 to 2010 or so), they used the under-bed tent extensively. However, the annexe was only used once and the big awning has probably been used about 10 times in the last 15 years.

What we found is that our kids started to resist going camping once they reached the age of about 13 or so and were also more interested in sleeping in a swag out in the open as opposed to using the tent, once they were about 8 to 10 y/old.

So, given the price of these items, I would tend to think that they would probably be a waste of your hard-earned money. If your sone wants to enjoy the experience associated with the new camper trailer, he would get the same benefit from setting up an existing dome tent underneath the bed of the camper. Once he's inside and goes to sleep he will have no sense of being in an "Ultimate tent" as opposed to a "normal tent".

These days we rarely use the camper as our kids don't want to go with us (youngest is now 15) and we have a German Shepherd that we are reluctant to take away or leave home with the two remaining lads.

Save your money is my advice.

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 17:00

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 17:00
Ditto the recommendation of Ian at Batemans Bay
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 20:35

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 20:35
Hi Rob

No we do not have the fully enclosed under room, as to be very honest, we would never use it.

When we purchased our Ultimate secondhand, it only had the rear half awning over the back door, which is ok for quick overnighters. Since buying it, we have purchased 3 awnings, two for the back and one for the front.

The front one stays on all the time and gives great protection over the kitchen area and the bed and is great when it is wet.

For the rear door, as I said the half one is great if not wet or for very quick overnighters. The two extra ones we purchased for the back door area are different in two ways. They both offer full protection along the back of the camper.

The first one and the one we use most uses the spas as the half one, but gives full protection and is wide enough to cover the full back door step. The second one we only use for extended stays and sits out over two and a half metres over the back, but required 3 poles and guy ropes. this wide awning is great for setting up table and chairs for extra living area outside.




Cheers



Stephen




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Follow Up By: phantom - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 21:38

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 21:38
Thanks Stephen,
Pictures appreciated ??.
Do you have the extended drawer bar as well, as thats another option I'm thinking a out as we'll most likely buy a Prado, though, a lot more research to do on that topic.

Cheers & Beers,
Rob, Kim and Will
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 08:21

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 08:21
Hi Rob

When we found our camper, it had the standard drawbar and according to Ultimate, we would not be able to fully open the back door without the extended drawbar.

There is a very simple and easy way to be able to fully open the back door and it cost me around $100. As I have the standard Toyota tower on our Prado, I purchased a Hayman Reese 50mm extended tow hitch and to make the camper sit level on the car of the car, went for the inverted Hitch. Works perfect, sits dead level on the back of the car and when parked on a slight angle, I can fully open the back door.

One option that I think any caravan or camper manufacturer should also sell is the Stone Stomper. We were told that the Ultimates were very good in regards to stone damage to vehicle and back windows of vehicles, which is not the case. In our June trip with over 2500 of dirt road travel, we had not protection and even though we did not damage the rear window, the back door have a number of stone chips from stones coming back from the camper, as well as a few chips on the front of the camper.

The coating on the front of our camper is far better than the coating that they now use. On the Ultimate forum, the new coating is a hard coating and chips really bad to the point that some guys have had to have it reapplied after one trip on the dirt. Also broken back windows are quite common, even on bitumen roads, so it now makes we wonder that we were very lucky not to damage our back window as well. If anyone tries to tell you any different, do not believe them, as I am talking first hand experience and from other owners that have told many stories and photos direct on the Ultimate forum.

Christian in Adelaide runs a very professional business and his product is the best. Dead easy to install to the camper, the Stone Stomper will give you full protection to the front of the camper, as well as to your tow vehicle. It is a very small world indeed, as when I went to a local EO SA members gathering a few years ago at Berri, Christian was there and thinking of becoming a member and was only just starting out in his business. He approached EO to try and promote his new venture, but the powers to be would not have anything to do with his, which is a real shame, as Christian could have been a real asset to Exploroz. Here is a link to his great business, and when you phone him, let him know that Steve from Clare and EO has put you in contact with him, and he might be even able to give you a special price.

Stone Stomper

Here is an image of my 50mm extended Hayman Reese hitch that I now use and an image of us stopped on the Strzelecki Track for our lunch break with the back door fully open.


Cheers



Stephen



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Follow Up By: phantom - Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 11:47

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 11:47
Thanks Stephen,
Really appreciate your feedback and advice.
The Stone Stomper is on our list as a must have so nice to hear your positive report. Looks like the extended hitch works well and as long as you can access the boot (where we'll be having our Engel, though with a largish fridge in the Ultimate, I'll have to reconsider the need for a second fridge).

On a side note, we were in Clare last month on our way over to WA where we spent 2 months camping with our tents. That will be our last big trip with our tents and setting up and pulling down every 2 to 4 days. Can't wait for the Ultimate!

Safe travels and once again, appreciate your feedback.

Cheers

Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 14:25

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015 at 14:25
Hi Rob

Re the Fridges.....We have a set of Black Widow drawers in the back of the Prado and our Engel sits on LHS drawer. We always take our Engel with is, as you can never have enough fridge space, even though the one in the Ultimate is 110 litres. A very good example of needing the second fridge was when we were at Adels Grove for 4 days. When we went into Lawn Hill National Park, to either kayak, or do the walks, it was great to return back to the car after a number of hours away and have a nice cold drink and fruit from the Engel.

In the drawers I have have my tools, jack, saws, axes and the usual gear that you take away. In the event that we stop and we do not get that angel to open to back door fully, we still have enough room to slide out the Engel and access to the full LHS drawer.



Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 20:49

Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 20:49
Ian also sells refurbished Ultimate campers.
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