Off road caravans

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:39
ThreadID: 133033 Views:5017 Replies:14 FollowUps:20
This Thread has been Archived
Can anyone help me with some advice on off-road vans . There are lots of them on the road and I would love to hear from anyone that owns one and opinions on the best make. A 17 /18 ft would be about the right size for us. Thanks johno
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:43
Here is a good place to ask as its a dedicated owners group
Ask here

How much you want to spend would be good to know as a real off roader is not cheap even at the size you state.
Also what are you going to tow it with.

More info = better answers

Sometimes a good second hand one is worthwhile
AnswerID: 602537

Follow Up By: johno59 - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:28

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:28
I have a 2.8 litre Diesal Prado. Not sure of how much I need to spend but would be looking at second hand one to try and save some money.
0
FollowupID: 872168

Follow Up By: Member - Gadget - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 20:54

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 20:54
We did the GRR with a 18ft 2010 Coromal 522 XC with no issues. When we did Mitchell falls and Kalumburu we left the van in storage at Drysdale station for a few days and did the tent. I don't think it would have been much fun dragging a van into this area, just would have put extra stress and wear and tear on the van and vehicle. Purchased the van 2nd hand and had no issues, the only issue is 3 years latter still finding red dust that creeps out.
0
FollowupID: 872190

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 12:59

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 12:59
Used Bushtrackers

Here is also a site worth reading

Alan
AnswerID: 602545

Reply By: pmacks - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 13:31

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 13:31
Hi Johno,

I think the first question should be what do think off road means? if you mean formed gravel roads like the Birdsville track then any van with independent suspension will be fine, if however you mean no roads or tracks at all then a specialist builder is what you are after. My thoughts are that any van at 18 ft is to big to be a true off roader. Bushtrackers have a reputation for being the best of the best but geeze how far off road can you really get one? especially if you need an f series truck to tow it?

Peter...
AnswerID: 602546

Follow Up By: johno59 - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:34

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:34
Thanks Peter, I need a van that can safely do theBirdsville track and similar roads. the Gibb River road would be another example. Tanami Track?? True, any off-road caravan surely has limits. I guess if you really want to go far off road your looking at one of the off-road Camper Trailers. John
0
FollowupID: 872170

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:14

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 14:14
We have a Crusader X-Country and have found it to be most satisfactory. It has Control Rider Suspension from G&S. We travel gravel roads with it but if we want to do 'real' 4wdriving we take our Vista RV Crossover which is designed for such tracks.

Di
AnswerID: 602548

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 15:13

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 15:13
We own a New Age MR16E Deluxe van - full height, single axle offroad. 16'is the inside length but closer to 18'outside. It's the sort of van the caravan "forum experts" would say is not a proper offroad van.
But at $67k on the roadit cost half the price of a Bushtracker and had a few more inclusions.
The limitation to offroad travel quite simply the height (3.2m), the width (2.4m) and the weight (2430kg ATM).
You can't take it on the Anne Beadell Hwy because its overgrown.
You can't take it across the Simpson because its too heavy and you'll get bogged. And you can't take it into some secluded camps because it won't fit under the trees to get in there.
But the Tanami, Gary Junction Rd, Gibb River Rd, Cape Yorke, Birdsville Track, Innamincka are all fair game. All those roads regularly see a grader these days and are not the tracks they once were.
The suspension is Vehicle Components Independent 2.6T with 4 shocks and adjustable wheel alignment and greasable bushes; wheels are 1450kg, tyres are Cooper STT, 12" Alko brakes, I don't expect any of this to be an issue.
The chassis is duragal and not hot dipped but made by a specialist chassis manufacturer (Preston). The stone protection underneath is lacking and that would be my main criticism of the van for the usual outback roads, but was easily fixed.
But we got a lot for our money. The build quality was superb - nothing has needed warranty in the first 12 months although I fixed a dribble from a water tank myself. For the money we got a diesel heater, 240W of solar, 35A power supply and 15A charger, ALKO ESC, Reverse camera, gas/electric water, air cond, leather, marine BBQ, etc etc
I added a 3rd water tank and grey water tank, bike rack, and as I said, added some stone protection.
But we have kept our Tvan and it gets used by our family. And the Tvan is superb when we go somewhere unsuitable for the caravan.
My advice is to consider the height/width/weight and rear overhang which is what will limit your offroad travel.
AnswerID: 602550

Follow Up By: Member - BUSH CAMPER - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 12:42

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 12:42
we have a Big Red new age 17 ft. off road delux and have been to the cape and Birdsville last year.
only dust in van thru back of fridge.
would take it anywhere in aust, barring height and width restrictions.
our has no gas, all Diesel, except compressor fridge.
0
FollowupID: 872214

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 15:30

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 15:30
Nice. With no gas, I'd guess you can cover up all the vents. We'd never heard of New Age until we camped next to a Big Red last year at Carnarvon Gorge. Liked the look of it, went to the caravan show the weekend after we got back and bought the Manta Ray on display.
0
FollowupID: 872216

Reply By: mynance - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 15:25

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 15:25
We have a 19'6" Seachange 595 from the Haines group, tows well with a Pajero or Prado.
If you can find a 2nd hand one it would be an excellent buy


I don't think there is a Bushtracker that you could tow with a Prado

Myles
AnswerID: 602551

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:35

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:35
Your Seachange has an ATM of 3000kgs. His Prado is rated at 2500kgs. No way can he legally tow it.

Bushtracker make small vans too - down to 14' with single axle.
0
FollowupID: 872192

Follow Up By: mynance - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:49

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:49
Didn't realise that, mine weighs in at 2.5 fully loaded with 220lt water and gas bottles full, 240 on the ball and GCM of 5.5 t.

Wouldn't he be legal at that weight?

The Pajero can go to 6.020 t GCM don't know what the Prado can gross at.

Myles
0
FollowupID: 872194

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 07:19

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 07:19
Gday Myles,
Yes he'd be legal........but a slab of beer will tip him over!!
If you give the average caravanner a 3000kg ATM, they will use every bit of it.
Wouldn't want too much mud on the Prado!
And in my opinion, you never want to tow at the maximum weights.
0
FollowupID: 872201

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:32

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:32
Actually it is legal to tow a van with a higher ATM than specified PROVIDED that at the time of towing its actual weight does not exceed the vehicles legal capacity.

I have that in writing from the NSW RTA

But who goes on holiday with an empty van
0
FollowupID: 872206

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 17:30

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 17:30
LandRover recommends, and this is endorsed by Robert Pepper, that an offroad trailer should be no more than about a third of the max ATM stated as suitable by the tug's manufacturer.

'Unsealed road' is different.
AnswerID: 602556

Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 19:11

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 19:11
Gday all
I'm not a van owner , I do have a 4x4, camper trailer ,Isuzu truck based motorhome and motorbikes.
Doesn't matter what your travelling with be towing something or just 4x4 or a motorbike, if you go hard you'll break anything!
We came down from Birdsville last year on bikes, I couldn't believe how fast some people towing various trailers and vans were going. Just asking for s..t to break. Maybe they were gunna sell them when they had done the trip!
Buy the highest quality you can afford, but if you thrash it it will break!
Cheers
Robbo
AnswerID: 602560

Follow Up By: Member - Gadget - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:05

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:05
Agree, when we did the Gibb we saw trailers going flat-out, we saw about 4 trailers broken down with broken axels, tyres etc as you said if they just drove to the road conditions I am sure they would have no issue.
0
FollowupID: 872191

Reply By: wendys - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 19:41

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 19:41
Trakmaster have been making offroad vans since 1990's. They are regarded as one of the "proper" off road vans. We had a 14' (interior) Kimberley poptop for some 14 years. Towed it about 130,000kms in that time, and over some pretty rough tracks. Only sold it due to health issues - and we know that since its sale it has been back up to the Kimberley, taking the Tanami, Gibb, Mitchell Plateau etc . Great product..
AnswerID: 602562

Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:03

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:03
You will be limited to what you can buy because of the Prado's tow capacity of only 2500kg.

As far as I know no one has manged a GVM upgrade on a Prado and even if you did it wont increase the tow capacity and as it has a stated GCM it may in fact lower it.

Sad but true.
AnswerID: 602565

Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 08:54

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 08:54
The Pajero has a braked tow capacity of 3000kg not 2500kg
The Prado has a braked towing capacity of 2500kg

Redbook - Pajero capacities under dimentions (click here)
TonyV

Cairns FNQ.

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 872204

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:35

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:35
????????? I never mentioned a Pajero so why are you answering me with a reference to it I do in fact know that but he has a Prado so its not relevant.
0
FollowupID: 872207

Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:56

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 09:56
Opps,
Was a simple mistake in placement.
Was in reference to a post above by mynuance further up..
"We have a 19'6" Seachange 595 from the Haines group, tows well with a Pajero or Prado."
Just hit the wrong slot and is relevant to that post.
TonyV

Cairns FNQ.

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 872208

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:47

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:47
Fair enough Had me wondering
1
FollowupID: 872210

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 14:24

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 14:24
I own a 2014 Pajero and anyone who would tow a 3000kg van is just asking for trouble. 2000kg is more like it. Todays vehicles suffer badly from one upmanship towing capacities. 2.8 litre prado would struggle towing 2500kg. Smooth, flat bitumen..fine. Offroad...have a fat wallet and time to spare for the inevitable brakdown. No-one should be towing off road at full capacity. I reckon a small single axle poptop off roader at about 15ookg would suit. Or a forward fold camper.

Good luck.
1
FollowupID: 872215

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:32

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:32
As a matter of interest, which model Prado has a 2.8 diesel?
AnswerID: 602566

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:39

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:39
Current model 2016 has the new 2.8 (same as Hilux and Fortuner).
0
FollowupID: 872193

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 22:30

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 22:30
That just confirms that I do live in the past!
2
FollowupID: 872195

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:56

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 21:56
In my view, after travelling extensively off-road for several months each year for the past decade, you have to look beyond the "pretend" and real off-road vans, and anything too big or heavy - even if strongly built - won't travel along narrow windy tracks.
I reckon the best on the market comes from the following - Australian Offroad at Caloundra; Track Trailer at Bayswater (Melbourne), Kimberley Campers at Ballina, and Complete Campsite (Grafton I think).
I admit to bias because we had a Track TVan which performed faultlessly for the past four years, and their larger Topaz is a great unit. Now we have had an AOR Ecllipse, which is a fantastic unit behind our Hilux.
Whatever you get, make sure it's made in Aus, not in China or imported and just locally assembled - we've had travelling companions whose "bargain" fell apart on the road.
And do your research by talking to or visiting the manufacturers, and getting on to their owners' forums to check on things like warranty and after sales service.
Good luck with the search!!
Wildmax
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 602569

Follow Up By: braggy - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 07:19

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 07:19
Good advise from Wildmax,
but I would add Ultimate camper to that list

0
FollowupID: 872200

Follow Up By: Hewy54 - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 08:02

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 08:02
We could get into lots of discussion here about what could be added to the list. We have a Vista Crossover that certainly qualifies.
I believe that the qualifying mark is not the quality of the van, but the length.
Many "off road vans" may be really well built, but anything over about 15 foot will not be offroad. They may tackle non sealed roads well, but will not be truly off road due to the length and implications for tight turns and ramp angles.
5
FollowupID: 872202

Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 16:34

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 16:34
If you are like me you probably can't afford one but this looks like a good new toy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2VvmqADlrY
AnswerID: 602580

Follow Up By: tazbaz - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 17:35

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 17:35
Is the blond maid included?
1
FollowupID: 872218

Reply By: lizard - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 17:38

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 at 17:38
Your requirements are probably met by what is termed 'dirt road capable' van , plenty of manufacturers make these . We have a Billabong Broometime 2 - 21'6" - no problems at all on our trips these last 6 years , Birdsville , Lake Eyre , Kimberley etc
AnswerID: 602582

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)