Off Road Pop Top Caravan

Submitted: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 22:08
ThreadID: 132530 Views:3229 Replies:9 FollowUps:12
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Looking to purchase a good off road pop top caravan - recommendations please. Upgrading from off road camper, there are so many manufacturers on the market, want something that can handle the rough conditions without falling apart. Dont want to spend millions - your thoughts please :)
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 00:12

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 00:12
Hi Goldlink. Why specifically a poop top? These are not a sturdy as the structure of a full caravan.
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Follow Up By: goldlink - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:02

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:02
Thinking of height and fuel consumption, towing lower height van.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:50

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 20:50
Those who have towed both types have found no difference in fuel consumption.

Lower height is usually only needed for those who can't fit a full height in their garage. Ours stays outside all the time anyway, just like it would if touring full time.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 14:30

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 14:30
So that means Kimberley Karavans have miss calculated and miss advised people about the aerodynamics of low profile vans wind drag is a myth.http://info.kimberleykaravans.com/blog/bid/200815/How-to-save-on-fuel-costs-when-towing-offroad-caravans
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2016 at 12:54

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2016 at 12:54
Pop-tops are heavier than a full height for the same layout. When you cut the top of a van you loose the strength provided by the top holding the sides in place. To regain the strength you need a very heavy beam around the top. Also the lid you put on top is much heavier than the original top as there is no sides holding the top from twisting.

As far as Kimberley's claim for reduced wind resistance, do you trust the ramblings of marketing people.

The main thing I see with pop-top off road vans is off road vans should be built on a single axle for manoeuvrability and as small as possible to get through and under trees.


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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2016 at 14:07

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2016 at 14:07
Kimberley is also a cross-over - more a camper than a caravan.

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Reply By: KiwiAngler - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 08:41

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 08:41
I can thoroughly recommend the UEV 490 from www.conqueroraustralia.com.au
Having travelled some 200,000 km in one over the last 5+ years across a lot of Australia with no major issues
Not the cheapest unit around but certainly meets your off-road requirements
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Follow Up By: Alan A (WA) - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 18:33

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 18:33
I have been looking a bit at the Conqueror, and am seriously impressed. No dealer in WA it would appear? Out of interest, can I ask what a new 490 is roughly worth?

Thanks

Alan
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 18:44

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 18:44
Gidday Alan
Not sure of current pricing which can be influenced greatly by the options that you want
Can only suggest you contact Conqueror direct for pricing
Well worth the money regardless IMHO
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:14

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:14
Hi Goldlink

Australian Off Road make nothing but off road caravans / campers. Expensive but you get what you pay for. I bought a 2nd hand Quantum last year - wherever you can take your 4x4 this thing will happily follow. My thoughts anyway

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 13:51

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 13:51
Agree with John's post above - we have an AOR Eclipse and are very pleased with it.
Also, AOR are just about to launch a new smaller unit at the Brisbane show, and will be taking it out towards Birdsville on a trial run in the next few weeks.
It really looks the goods - more compact and lighter than their current range, but still with a lot of good value inclusions, and a step up in comfort and fittings from a camper trailer.
The model is not named as yet, but you may get some info from their website, or by emailing their Caloundra (Sunshine Coast) factory.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:38

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:38
Goldlink,

When I was originally planning the purchase of a pop top caravan, I narrowed the products down to either a Goldstream or a Coromal pop top.

I went to a dealer to take a closer look and realised the height was still too high to fit under my carport's roller door, thus increasing the potential cost outlay.
Whilst there we checked out the Goldstream RL Vacationer, which just meant a little more time to wind up and pull out the beds.
However, for a moderately priced van, the Goldstream (or Coromal) takes some beating and is a cut above the Jayco level of van.
Goldstream guarantee in writing that their offroad products are suitable for offroad use.
Extremely happy with our choice.




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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 14:33

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 14:33
Take no notice of any written or otherwise guarantee from these people or others in the van industry unless they are the top end type which only makes off road vans. Be careful even then as the caravan industry loves saying "All done to industry standards" which basically means whatever they can get away with under that pretty skin.
We have an off road pop top from one you mention and were constantly told by the agent when things went wrong (serious tyre scrubbing, steel 16" wheels so badly made they couldn't be balanced, pelmets dropping off, curtains with holes in, compliance/info plate falling off) that we had abused it by going off road....and never an answer from them (manufacturer) to our emails.
In the end I took action through consumer affairs WA and then the small claims court.
Got new shocks, 1 new tyre and they paid up for alignment and shock absorber testing, new wheels and balancing etc. New curtains came screwed up in a plastic rubbish bag which shows exactly what they thought of customers daring to complain.
And still the agents general manager said "I wouldn't have paid".
I've had threats from their solicitors but have ignored them and still show what I think of the agents with a customised wheel cover. :-))
All documented and copies of everything kept plus pics of wheels etc.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: Cheeky1 - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 14:28

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 14:28
We have had a Goldstream Explorer 14' off-road van for nearly 4 years now. Can't fault the thing! We've been on some extremely rough roads and the worst thing that has ever happened is the ensuite door managed to open up once. We carry glass bottles and drinking glasses in the van and never had a breakage. The Cruisemaster Independant suspension is superb. I was prepared to pay for a name brand off-roader but when I did my homework the Goldstream was built exactly the same as the particular brand we were considering and it was around $10k cheaper. I did a lot of homework and chose what suited me. I suggest you do the same because everyone has different needs. Good luck and happy trails.
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Reply By: wendys - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 15:24
If you want one that will genuinely handle rough conditions, you do have to be prepared to pay for the quality of the build. There are any number of supposed "off road" upgrades to on-road models that you should be really wary about. The price might be attractive, but......
Our Trakmaster was a genuine, dedicated off road van. Can recommend.
Keep it as small as you can manage, and without too many bells and whistles that will be adversely affected by corrugations and dust!
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Reply By: Hewy54 - Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:04

Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 18:04
Lots out there, just depends on what you want to pay and your needs.
For the 2 of us we opted for a Vista Crossover. True off road and plenty of room for us.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 23:30

Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 23:30
I bought a new Crossover & due to changing circumstances, now have an AORC Quantum. I would have to say that the build of the Vista RV Crossover is head & shoulders above the Quantum!

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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Friday, May 27, 2016 at 16:04

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 16:04
We also have no complaints about our 14' pop top off road Goldstream caravan.

We've given it a good workout and have found it sturdy, manoeuvrable and comfortable. We bought the ensuite model.

Previously, we used a strong off road but very basic camper trailer or a tent. I love them all.

I feel sorry for the member who always criticises Goldstreams - they clearly had a bad and unfortunate experience.

Based on our experience, I would buy another.
Megan
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 09:41

Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 09:41
Actually Megan that's the very reason we bought a (another) Goldstream..... our first one was a wind up camper and was excellent in fit and finish.
What we could never understand was the shocking dealer attitude towards customers who'd bought 3 new RVs off them, plus the makers attitude to a two time purchaser.
All because the wheels were such bad cheaply made crap that caused all the problems.
Cheap enough fix and wouldn't have caused all the nasty feelings if our complaints had been attended to in a decent manner.
We're not the only ones to have been badly treated by this and other dealers in WA, we meet many during our travels who have had no support at all from them once they parted with their money.
Glad your GS is good and enjoy your travels as we do now ours is fixed.
Cheers.
Alan.
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Reply By: Adam H - Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 21:28

Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 21:28
Hi goldlink
Go to the MDC Facebook page to get some good info from owners of caravans poptops or full caravan. We r very happy with ours. I know of too owners who have taken there's up to the cape and across the simmo. Not bad for a pop top caravan to pull that off.
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Reply By: Lurchwa - Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 19:21

Monday, Jun 06, 2016 at 19:21
I was looking to do the same kind of thing as you and bought a used Coromal Pioneer PC542 that very well looked after.
Bought it privately with all the fruit for about 22K from memory
We love it and there isn't much that it hasn't been able to do though it is starting to get a bit small for our needs
We were in the market for a while and were checking the online sites very regularly waiting for the right one to come up.

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