Shakin to bits

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 20:28
ThreadID: 14636 Views:2320 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Dove Camper"On Road".Will it survive Cape-York? Will change axle to under side of leaf springs to allow more ground clearance and will be taking the easy route.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie SA- Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 20:49

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 20:49
Went on a tag-a-long trip a few years ago (Great Divide Tours). There were 3 Ultimates and 1 Jayco "Outback". The trip was what they called "Corner Country" and took in the relatively modestly difficult tracks around Innaminka and Birdsville. Unfortunately the Jayco's shockers both broke off as he went over a cattle grid; I was behind him at the time and couldn't believe what I was seeing. When we got to Birdsville, the bloke at the servo knew what the owner wanted done before he even drove onto the servo property (he saw the van come into town). New brackets had to be welded to the chassis to mount the top lugs of the shocks. Other than that, the owners had a lot of dust ingression and couldn't seem to prevent this from happening.
Good luck
AnswerID: 67663

Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 21:57

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 21:57
I know what you spent the $20000 on....
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie SA- Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:15

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:15
You know what I spend my dosh on, but we still don't know what you lashed out and bought Jen for her birthday yet??????? I saw you asking a couple of days ago about camper trailer wiring etc, so I can guess that you've now saved up enough sheckles to splash out for a C/T of your own; what brand are you getting????
BTW, Pesty welded up my wheel carriers really well and now they're as good as new. Have you made any progress on that score yet??

Sorry for hijacking the thread.......

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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:49

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:49
I am looking for that LOL (Little old lady) with the $20000 that visited the bank. Hahaha - I reckon that we should have "Sorry for hijacking the thread....." as our tag line next to our Rig pic - pretty good at it we are. No camper in the garage yet but will have one before our trip in September all going well ...... just need a LOL.

My wheel carrier is booked in at Opposite Lock on Thursday so will report on Thursday night what they have done to it. Glad Pesty fixed yours up. Incredible that both had cracked.

FollowupID: 328387

Reply By: rolande- Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:53

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:53
Most problems occur because people drive in a manner not appropriate to the equipment they have. If it is only an on-road and not built to take the hard stuff, then slow down and take it easy. If you spend hours on corrugations at 80 km/h then most things will fall apart eventually
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Reply By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:54

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:54
There is a very short answer to this question Jeffrus - NO!!! The on-road dove will be lucky to make it to Coen - it certainly will not survive the OTL or bypass roads. This road is hard on top quality off road gear the lightweight dove simply will not cut it.
AnswerID: 67688

Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:57

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004 at 22:57
Hi Jeffrus

I went to Cape York last year and found that the Bypass roads were tougher on the vehicles than the telegraph track. The telegraph track was slower and twisted and turned and was up and down though creeks etc but road was pleasant.

The bypass roads were just hundreds of kilometres of corrugations. I blew the oil out of one front shock, and the other front and the back two just leaked out slowly and died peacefully. We met quite a lot of people getting bits and pieces welded in Weipa and Seisha - tanks, wheel carriers (mine!), bullbars, lots of shocks getting replaced. It was not much fun getting stuff fixed up and I would be pretty hesitant taking an on road camper up there. I guess it would make if it you went really slow and had plenty of stops when the shocks got really hot. There are quite a lot of places you couldnt take the camper so I reckon I would leave it in Cooktown.

AnswerID: 67691

Follow Up By: Member - PatC - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:21

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:21
Spot on Andrew,
I travelled with a couple that tried to take an on-road trailer to the cape last year. It died 50k north of Coen. Broke a spring and the axle disappeared out the back. They took it easy across the cooregations etc. but one bit of lost concentration and a pothole and that was it.
The onroad gear is just not built to be tossed around and shaken like it is up there.
See Ya
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Reply By: motherhen - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:30

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:30
We took a fairly old off-roader who probably started life as a Jayco Dove around the Pilbara last year - choosing to stay off the black as often as we could; nothing serious 4wd at all though. Flogged along at comfort speed for the Nissan and the poor little thing followed and bounced behind & suffered; a stone holed the water tank, the cuboard hinges kept on coming adrift (will fit piano style hinges), the bottom of the UHT milk cartons wore through, and milk and dust mixed up to a lovely paste with all the food cans! Even milk cartons in the door of the fridge wore through with the vibrations. A weld on one of the slide out beds broke - difficult sleeping until we got to a town to get it welded. The front of the van took a bashing with stone damage. but it stayed all together. To cut a long story short we saw our first Bushtracker in the Karajini NP - and just had to have one! No dust, no movement of food in the cupboards, sheer luxury! Travellers we meet tell us tales of helping screw people's Jayco's back together in the outback. Follow the above advice of leaving it in Cooktown - it's the corrugations that kill 'em. A few years ago when i was in Cairns, someone came back from the Cape - one day they'd only done 8 km it was so rough.
AnswerID: 67703

Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:33

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 00:33
coupla simple tips for ya....
(1).. As soon as you leave the black-top, let some air outa ya tyres....(trailer & vehicle too)... On rough/corrugated roads, the less pressure ya got in there the better.... Believe me, this will make a significant difference to the ride, & is much kinder to the gear...
BTW, if you're changing to spring-over-axle, give some serious thought to fitting the biggest wheels/tyres you can fit under there... Reason?? As a general "rule of thumb", the bigger the volume of air, the less pressure required to carry the same weight... If you can get those trailer tyres down around 15psi, you (and others) may be surprised where you may be able take it!! .. (presumably, you have an off-road coupling???)

(2).. DO NOT fall for that "old husbands' tale" about doing 80+Km/h (or whatever) & "riding the top of the corrugations".... I never cease to be amazed at the number of people I've heard sprout this one... They quite obviously have absolutely no idea how their vehicles' suspension actually works, & I believe this would be a major factor in the majority of suspension/damper failures... not to mention everything else that shakes to bits due to vibration...

In a nutshell, it gets down to TYRE PRESSURES (oops sorry, didn't mean to shout), and SPEED (or lack thereof)....

Enjoy your trip....

Regards, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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AnswerID: 67704

Follow Up By: Member - Ed. C.- Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 10:40
Forgot one.....
If you do decide to take your camper offroad, in addition to the above, make sure you get underneath it every day and tighten up those
U-bolts!!!! (Might as well check the shackle pins while you're under there)... In fact, it is good policy to regularly check all threaded fittings on vehicle and trailer (Loctite????)

Please note that I am not recommending that you take an on-road camper off road, however(since it's what you have), with "due care & attention", your chances of bringing it home in one piece are increased...

Regards, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

My Profile  Send Message

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Follow Up By: Gazzaa - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 13:27

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 13:27
My experience is that running lower air pressures at anything over walking pace is EXTREMELY Dangerous advice and will lead to premature tyre failure and to do it for more than about 20km will cause a blowout of monumental proportions.

Ask the heavily laden escort drivers for Tag along tours and you'll find they run 50PSI in the rear tyres on their Tojo Utes.

I led a trip to Cape York this time last year and I would not recommend you take a on road camper on either the OTT or the bypass.

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Reply By: pmacks - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 12:47

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2004 at 12:47
My advise would be it doesn't matter what type of camper you have it is how you drive that really counts assuming that the ground clearance is ok. If it is corrugated let the tyres down and slow down. As for the dust getting in we have a goldstream off road camper and have dust proofed it as best we could by making sure the door vents are closed off and sealed from the inside. We have also added another seal where the top meets the bottom by using a compressible gasket stuck to the top of the bottom ( if you know what i mean ) and if the fridge is located behind the wheels of the camper you will need to filter these vents as well, we just use
a corse filter media available from hardware for about $10.
As for protection for the water tanks we replaced the tin protector with 1.6mm checker plate. After doing the above we have never had a problem structually with the camper and it has done about 20,000 klms off road, we also get very little dust in it as well.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 67736

Reply By: lozza - Thursday, Jul 15, 2004 at 16:56

Thursday, Jul 15, 2004 at 16:56
Just returned from the Cape,my opinion DONT take it,if you do the cape only on the bypass roads you are wasting your time.
You need to go on the OTL a lot easier on the vehicle and a lot more fun and it is not difficult at all and far more to see.

I drive a 100series TD,pulled into top end motors,shockers loose,side steps loose,their was a line up waiting for repairs.

AnswerID: 67914

Follow Up By: Jeffrus - Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 20:56

Monday, Jul 19, 2004 at 20:56
Thanks everybody,
Will probably take the tent, but the adventurous side of me says we still might give it a go with the camper. So if you see us with the winch out, dragging a drowned camper out of that mongrel creek crossing, don't laugh, give us a hand and l'll throw you a beer!
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