Elite Caravans

Submitted: Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 12:11
ThreadID: 132264 Views:5375 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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We are seriously considering building an Elite Hume Bunk off road van. I would love to hear from anyone that has had any experience with Elite Caravans be it good or bad. It's a huge investment and we want to get it right.
Some others on our list are Lotus and On the Move. If anyone has anything to say about either of these as well that would be good.
Are there any others we should consider?
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 18:21

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 18:21
"We are seriously considering building"
We are seriously considering buying ??

There is a slight difference. LOL

AnswerID: 599329

Follow Up By: Ross M - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 19:44

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 19:44
My thoughts exactly!
No one but Elite will be building an Elite Van me thinks.
FollowupID: 868558

Follow Up By: tribe-of-5 - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 10:25

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 10:25
FFS sorry I worded it wrong. We are considering having one built. Is that better for you? Clearly you have too much time on your hands.
FollowupID: 868577

Reply By: Bobjl - Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 21:56

Friday, Apr 29, 2016 at 21:56
I have owned an Elite Van, it was an Atlantic 23,6 Off Road Van the weighed 3450 kg fully laden, it was built by the previous owners of the Elite caravan manufacturing business in 2009. I replaced that Van with a smaller length Van - still off road style and still weighing more than I would prefer. I have not had dealings with the current owners of Elite. I am aware that they have manufactured a significant number of Vans and expect they aspire to build vans to reasonable standards.

I note the weight of the Off Road Hume bunk Van has a Tare weight of 3400kg, this will mean you will need a big strong Vehicle to pull it. The weights will likely increase if you have kids and need to carry all their gear.

There are numerous Van builders out there and given the large investment involved to get what you want, careful consideration is as you realise imperative.

If this is to be your first big van, then you will want to contemplate weights and legal requirements for towing and safety. What is the towing vehicle you propose to use?

AnswerID: 599343

Follow Up By: tribe-of-5 - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 10:32

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 10:32
Thank you for your constructive reply, unlike the tool above.
Anyway....it's not our first van and our tug is not an issue.
We have been extensively researching caravans and we are starting to narrow it down, Elite is one of the ones on top. There are so many to choose from and of course each manufacturer is going to tell you their van is the best. This is why I am wanting to hear from people who own them to see what they really think.
Our other top choice at the moment is Kedron and possibly Lotus. I like Bushtracker as well but think they may be out of our price range.
FollowupID: 868578

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 11:42

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 11:42
T-of-5 - I doubt whether you'll receive much feedback because you're talking a premium, nearly 25 foot, top of the range 'van, that has a retail price of well over $100,000. The numbers of these 'vans produced is low.

However, the people in the link below have purchased one, and provide positive feedback.

Elite Hume - owners website and opinion

There is also a "journalism" style test and review of the 'van below.

Elite Hume Series 2 off-roader - Caravan & Camping Sales road test and review

Elite, as a manufacturer, has only been in business since 2008 and the business changed hands in 2010, it appears.
The general opinion appears to be, that Elite can have niggly manufacturing problems, but they provide good backup and competent customer service.

There are two things that come to mind, IMO. One is, you're looking at van which is heavy - very heavy - by it's very design and construction.

It's likely that you could have weight problems if you aren't disciplined on what you load in it and what you carry.

IMO, this 'van runs very close to needing another axle. In previous decades I've owned two 27" Viscount Supremes and a 30' Modern.
The Viscounts were tri-axle, but the late-1950's-build Modern only used a single axle with Landrover wheels and hubs!
Needless to say, the Modern never got any long-distance travel, whereas the Viscounts were happy at any distance and speed.

The other factor is you are speaking of Bushtracker in the same vein as the Elite. I don't think there's any real comparison. It's like comparing a Holden Statesman with a Rolls Royce.
The Elite uses a Meranti frame. Fine for most purposes, but always susceptible to damage and dry rot.
The Bushtracker uses wall frames that are fully welded, four-sided, box aluminium wall frames made to aircraft grade levels, and rot-proof.

There's just no real comparison, it's apples to oranges. If you want the ultimate in off-road 'vans, you buy a Bushtracker, and pay accordingly.

I always like to get factory tours when I'm considering a major purchase that involves complex construction and input from purchasers and constructors.

If the company is happy to let you tour their factory and inspect their operations, then that should reveal how well-organised the constructor is, what the company morale is like, and what the attention to detail is like in the construction and design.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 599359

Follow Up By: tribe-of-5 - Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 13:11

Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 at 13:11
Thanks Ron. I was looking for reviews on Elite in general, not so much the van itself. We know it's heavy. That is our first question when looking at vans.
We have been to the Lotus and On The Move factories so far and were quite happy with what we saw. We are heading north soon so hopefully we can get in to see Kedron, Bushtracker and Zone and possibly some others to have a look. We are in no hurry and need to sell our current van first so we have lots of time to do our research.
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Reply By: Member - Robbie S - Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 00:12

Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 00:12
The word OFF ROAD is used widely and conjures up the thought of toughness.
We were the owners of a lotus TROOPER , a very strong chassis, but the rest was the same as a on road van. They are sheer luxury if you stay on the black top, but go OFF ROAD as the manufacturer says is another story. Just did not handle dirt roads, too many vents to seal.
Now own a Australia off road MATRIX very happy.
AnswerID: 599454

Follow Up By: tribe-of-5 - Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 07:14

Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 07:14
Haven't heard of those before so had a bit of a Google. Looks interesting but doesn't tick the family box, we need triple bunks.
We have now found a Kedron for a decent price and has way more kit than the Elite so now we are leaning Kedrons way.
FollowupID: 868682

Reply By: Julie w11 - Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 10:54

Tuesday, May 03, 2016 at 10:54
We have just bought our 3rd Elite very well made, love them. we have had our current one 6 months, had a few warranty issues like any van does but we are very happy.
AnswerID: 599459

Follow Up By: Crowman1712 - Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 14:15

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 at 14:15
Hi Julie. Just saw your post re owning your 3rd Elite Van. We have ordered an Elite Ballistic Off Road Van with lot's of fruit....very pricey. Just wondering what type of van you have, your experiences with them and if On - or Off Road. If off road , just how rugged are they!


FollowupID: 868757

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