Jayco Expanda Vs Swan

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 21:58
ThreadID: 145575 Views:2283 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Hi all
Looking at doing a trip with the family (wife & 3 kids) through NSW & Central Aus and I’m torn between which van I should be getting
Swan seems good due to ease of towing and occasionally getting off the beaten track down some 4wd tracks but not having access into the van without setting up plus the extended set up & pack up time could be annoying
Expanda solves those problems but has the issues of being bigger for towing/4wding

Can anyone give me some sage advice :)
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 23:35

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 23:35
It looks like both units are suitable for you from my reading of your posting. You list the shortcomings of both. From hereon, I think it is up to you as to which shortcomings you can live with the easiest.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 06:58

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 06:58
The Swan would be my choice as I,m not a fan of the enclosed dog boxes. Plenty of room and you actually feel part of the nature around you with big , airy window views all round. Setting up each day is not hard and once a pattern is established it takes very little time. It just depends what your priorities are for a happy trip. Swanwill be a lot cheaper than a van that will sleep 5. Swan may also be crowded for 5 depending on kids ages. Some may even like to swag it next to the camper. Really you need to inspect both types and buy what suits the family. Even hire for a weekend if possible. Talk to people in van parks about their experiences...most are willing to share knowledge.
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 07:08

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 07:08
........." extended set up & pack up time" .... That's what your children are for. It gives them a job, they are contributing to the holiday.
Setting up camper trailers is probably even more fiddly, you see a lot more families in a soft floor camper trailer than a caravan, they provide a lot more space than a caravan and encourage outdoor living.
We have tented, had a soft floor then a hard floor camper trailer with our three kids and now have a small hybrid van now that our kids have left home.
Not sure what you tow with and what weight the Expanda is, but you should be well under the vehicle GVM and GCM when travelling rough roads, otherwise it's a recipe for an eventual disaster.
Most of the above I've learnt the hard way.
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Reply By: tonysmc - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 12:55

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 12:55
Hi Tristan, I would go with an expander or pop-top van rather than a swan. The reason being I have used both setups and I found the caravan much better for traveling with kids. When stopping for lunch, it was easy to jump in the van and make lunch rather than buy something or set up the camper. Also, at times when having a break, it was good to get out of the weather, wind, rain, flies, (and even aggressive birds at a couple of places), without having set it up. While a swan doesn’t take long to set up, I found you tend to avoid putting it up for a quick stop like lunch or a swim. When we had a quick swim, the van was also convenient for the kids getting changed. I think you’ll find most people upgrade from campers to a van for a reason. I recall the very first night of having a van, it was pouring rain and we pulled up at a roadside stop and bolted from the car into the van. Popped up the top from inside and stayed there the rest of the night. I was laying in bed listening to the rain and thinking how good it was not to be setting up my camper.
While both are good and have their pro’s and con’s, I believe an expander or similar would be a better choice overall.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 16:48

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 16:48
Totally agree with tonysmc. We had a Goldstream wind up, pull out. It was great as far as air flow was concerned, but it took 38 revolutions of the crank to wind up the top. Then you have to pull the ends out, and set the “bow” frames, which can take some effort. Now have a full size caravan. Would definitely not go back to a camper trailer, or a wind up.


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