Ultimate Camper Options

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 09:26
ThreadID: 131844 Views:3328 Replies:4 FollowUps:12
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G'day, We are on the brink of ordering a new Ultimate Explor GT and am wondering what options people think necessary. We will be towing with a Prado so the options I am thinking about are:
Extended draw bar
Water filter
Clear for 1 of each size window
Wrap around awning.
Under bed room for the young bloke (I offered him a new tent but he insists on the unde bed room)
We chose the GT as SWMBO wants the hot water, LED bed lights, EMP underlay and I want the 2 x 3.8kg gas cylinders, 30A Redarc, swing up jockey wheel and full length rear awning.
Any thoughts appreciated.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 13:30

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 13:30
Hurry up and order one before they sell them all !
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 14:29

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 14:29
Hi Phantom

I am not sure about pricing, but from our experience with our Prado, I purchased an extended Hayman Reese hitch ( give me extra 2" ) and with the car parked at a very slight angle, my back door opens fully.

Awnings, we have 4 may sound crazy but this is what we have. Over the front of the camper, we have the standard awning that never come off. For the rear, we the full length in 2 sizes. One that extends out more that 2.5 metres and we use that only for extended stays, as it uses 3 poles and ropes. It is great and give fantastic protection from sun and rain.

For stay of say a coupe of days, a full length, comes out fully over the back step area, but uses the spa rods which are dead easy to use and put up. For one nighters, we use the half awning that only uses the 2 spa rods.

I installed my own water filter, a dead easy job and I bet a lot cheaper than if they are going to buy and install by Ultimate. As for the under wrap around awning, save your money and stick with a tent or swag. Look at the second hand campers that come up for sale and those that have the wrap around awning usually say only ever used once or very little.

Yes for the EMP underlay, the two LED bed lights, the rest is up to you.
By the way, how much do they want for the extended drawbar?, as I let it is more than $110.

One must that is never ever spoken about and you order direct from Christian here in South Australia, is the Stone Stomper. Read the Ultimate Form and guys are honest and you and you will be surprised on how many have broken rear windows on their tow vehicle from ising no protection, also the gear they use now on the front of the campers is very brittle, compared to the older softer protection. Guys that do not use stone stompers have had major chipping on the nose cone from rocks hitting the camper, so do not let the salesman say it never happens, and will cost you mega dollars to get it resprayed.

Enjoy your new camper.


Cheers


Stephen


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Follow Up By: phantom - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 21:23

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 21:23
Thanks Stephen,
A Stone Stomper is a must and one of the first accessories we'll buy for the Prado when we get it.
The wrap around awning I am talking about is a "fox wing" type awning that shades the rear and the kitchen side.
Will check pricing for the extended draw bar and then chose which way to go as you posted pictures of your hitch in an earlier post of mine on the same topic.
Appreciate the feedback.

Cheers
Rob, Kim and Will
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Reply By: RobAck - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 18:23

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 18:23
To set the scene we have three Ultimates across our group of guides. An XPLor which is about the equivalent of a GT, an XTrak and Elite Gold. So I reckon I can offer some experience from our operations with them over the last five years depending on which one.

Your reasons for choosing the GT are fine

Extended drawer bar. Yes no hesitation it makes for an easier reversing experience and as you tow with a Prado, we have two, then it also allows for the rear door to be opened quite easily

Clear window covers. Yes if you camp/travel in winter. The kitchen one is the most important as that window has no canvas over it unless you select the "fox wing'" type four piece awning setup. Or wraparound awning as you have mentioned

Wrap around awning. Interesting we have it but are also getting the large awning so we can convert to a room when camped up for more than a couple of days. We will get Austral Canvas in Adelaide to make up some shade cloth sides for summer as well. We use the wrap around a bit as it is nice to have the shade over the kitchen end particularly when you don't really have any options to orientate the camper which is pretty common. So take your pick but you will most likely end up with more than one for flexibility.

Your package includes the DO35 hitch which is easier to use for some over a Tregg but a personal preference. We have used both and the Oz Hitch which is a great option but we are moving to the DO35 (V2) to see if the improvements they say they have made really do work for us

Rob

AnswerID: 597415

Follow Up By: phantom - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 21:10

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 21:10
Thanks Rob,
Looks like the wrap around awning it is to start with as I like the option of more shade jf we choose to cook outside. Might get the main later on down the track. I have heard about Geoff's canvas in Batemans Bay, so may use them for the main later on.
My exact thoughts about the clears as we want to be comfortable all year round.
Will see how much extra the extended draw bar is as Stephen's option sound workable as well.
Appreciate the feedback.

Cheers
Rob, Kim and Will
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Follow Up By: RobAck - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 09:18

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 09:18
Extended drawer bar cannot be retrofitted as it forms an integral part of the chassis on the camper. The cost is not prohibitive and can easily be negotiated into the purchase as part of the process so I strongly recommend taking that path rather than fitting an aftermarket item which moves the down ball effort rearward from the vehicle

Stone stompers. Yes read plenty of comments on this issue and do not understand it. We have three and none of us use any form of aftermarket stone protection. Yes we get stone chips but nothing as radical as some on the Ultimate forum. As well we operate from Cape York to the Kimberley., Simpson Desert and High Country with our campers and spend a considerable time off bitumen every year. I suggest you make this a secondary purchase after some ownership time if and when this issue becomes obvious

Rob
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Follow Up By: phantom - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 10:40

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 10:40
Thanks Rob,
Did I meet you in Port Augusta last year around late October?
we met and talked to a couple that had an Ultimate and I think did tag along tours. They also had 3 Ulti's in the group.
We did a 2 month camping trip from Melbourne to WA and only saw 2 Ultimate's on the journey.
Will get the extended draw bar and review the stone stomper.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 866488

Follow Up By: RobAck - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 10:49

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 10:49
Yes we did meet at PA. I was wondering about that myself. We were on the way back from sorting out a camper trailer tour crossing the lower part of EP. Ult.'s don't tend to hang around in groups by the look of it unless at a muster when they flock together in large numbers. This year the SA Muster will be at Alpana station just out of Blinman in late October.

Just negotiate with James or Steve or whomever is selling you your camper on what you want fitted as there is always a deal. But be aware that factory production is currently full until, I think, around June. So if you want a camper by a specific time then best start talking to them.

Not sure what suspension you have fitted to your Prado but you do not need polyair bags with an Ulti on the back

Rob
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Follow Up By: phantom - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 12:34

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 12:34
G'day Rob,
Looking at August pick up time for the new camper.
We are yet to purchase the Prado and are looking at buying a new one prior to picking up the Ultimate. This will be our first 4WD so a huge learning curve for us with lots of goodies to get.
Previous camping for the last 4 years has been in Southern Cross tents. Current tug is a 2012 Volkswagen Passat and we tow a lock up trailer with the camping gear, including Drifta kitchen, solar etc.
The Ulti will make a huge difference to our camping style and very much looking forward to it.

Cheers

Rob
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Follow Up By: RobAck - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 12:54

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 12:54
Rob sounds great and you will certainly enjoy the changes all around. PM me if you need any advice on either purchasing or fitting out either

Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:26

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:26
Hi Rob

The extension is not for the Ultimate Camper, bit for the car tow bar. It is a standard Hayman Resse extension and work a treat, and as I was saying, I bet the extra length in the extended section in the Ultimate would be a lot more than $100

Using this I am able to open the rear tailgate fully when parked at a very slight angle.

As for the Stone Stomper, it is the best value money spent, as it is not only your camper that gets chopped, but the rear back door, plus the added security on no broken rear window.

Cheers


Stephen


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Follow Up By: RobAck - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 16:31

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 16:31
Stephen understood but as I have suggested the extension is a marginal cost to Ultimate when the total purchase is taken into account and so is a simple request to have it factored in to the final purchase price so effectively there is no cost. As well and from experience this is then a full engineered and warranted solution for Ultimate and the owner to be safe in. Equally and whilst I recommend Hayman Reese products the consequences of moving the down ball weight further away from the vehicle quite simply is an increase in repetitive down force which is transferred to the rear suspension and tyres. It may be marginal for some yet in some instances we have seen some savage damage caused quite quickly. My preference is to take a fully engineered solution that is warrantable and cost effective which is what I have suggested

We never bothered with any extensions simply did the Ulti jig to open the rear door. That is arrive straight and reverse with a slight jack knife, works a treat. As well having the fridge on the LHS rather than the RHS helps as well

We operate thee as I have already mentioned over all of the outback on a very regular basis and have never suffered any damage to the cars from stones bouncing around and only minimal impact cuts and abrasions on the nose cones. Consequently my recommendation to not make that purchase an immediate one rather take it easy and see what level of chipping occurs. One car and Ulti has completed four trips to the Kimberley with no issues over the last three years

Our feedback is premised on our experiences. Happy for readers to form their own views as all we are doing is contributing to the debate by offering what we know

Rob

Rob
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Follow Up By: phantom - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 19:59

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 19:59
Spoke to Ultimate today and the price of an extended draw bar is $300.
Thats before bargaining begins. A no brainer I think.

Cheers
Rob
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Follow Up By: RobAck - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 20:51

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 20:51
Go for it and all the best

Rob
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FollowupID: 866518

Follow Up By: phantom - Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 13:04

Thursday, Mar 31, 2016 at 13:04
Placed our deposit on the Xplor Gt today, pick up is scheduled for 22nd September where we will take a week off (Vic school holidays). Extended draw bar thrown in for free. Got the external galley as well.
C'mon September.
Thanks for all your input.
Now to order the Prado!

Cheers & Beers

Rob, Kim and Will
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FollowupID: 867127

Reply By: Mark - Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 13:04

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 13:04
We have had our Elite since 2010 and shortly after purchase we upgraded to inner spring mattress. Made a huge difference over the foam mattress and was well worthwhile. Some are happy with the foam mattress though so this is something you can decide on later. As mentioned the clear window covers get used regularly especially the one in the kitchen. The main awning is good for stays longer than a couple of nights. Cheers
AnswerID: 597579

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