More on "off raod "caravans

Submitted: Friday, Sep 20, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2014 Views:4292 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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My wife & I are planning part time retirement.We have a 100 series td cruiser and have been researching what type of van to buy.We have been camping for the past 12 years firstly with a tent then "off road" camper trailer and more recently with on "off road" Jayco swift camper trailer..We towed these with a td 4runner..We now feel we have the ultimate towing veichle [some would disagree] and plan on being away for a number of years working [I don't like that word] for a couple of weeks when we want to.We have a profession that will enable us to do that.Therefore we need something that is comfortable for longer stays and for the rest of the time wewould like to go exploring.We realize we can't take the van across the Simpson or Cape York but we would like to take it along the Gibb River Road etc.We have done a lot of home work,van shows internet exploring reading just about every forum on the Aussie net and havn't really read much written by people who have Phoenix , Bushtracker, Trackmaster,Kedron and the host of other so called "off road" vans..I would welcome any input by people who have any first hand experience..Thanks in advance Greg g
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Reply By: compaq - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Greg
Have a look at the website - the trailers have been to all the places you want to visit
AnswerID: 6810

Reply By: Graham - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
Don't know if your aware of these 2 forums that may help you
AnswerID: 6812

Reply By: Member - Greg - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks guys the ultimate site is a beauty however I couldn't see us living in one for 3 to 5 years..Regards Greg g
AnswerID: 6813

Follow Up By: Graham - Monday, Sep 23, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 23, 2002 at 00:00
Sure would be a bit 'close' for that long.. Greg we recently purchased a 17ft Evernew "All Road' van (I can't really think of a van as 'off road' unless it was such that you tow it thru the Simpson etc.) Anyway we will be spending around 8 months a year in the van over the next 10/15 yrs as we have a further look around. We have walls for the roll out awning and its big enough for us and as we spend 99% of the time in van parks etc. haven't got a shower. We take elcheapo from kmart plastic bag for that. as well as sleeping bags and a little tent under the van bed for the Simpson and like trips where we leave the van back at camp.

There are a few good builders around, I went for Evernew because they've been in business for 35 yrs, have good rep and are local to me.

Pathfinder & 17ft Evernew 'All Roads' van.
FollowupID: 3066

Reply By: greg g - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Graham for your input, I thought I would get more replies to this post however it seems that people with these "all road","off Road" vans must all be out in the bush away from their computors See Ya Greg g
AnswerID: 6857

Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Greg
I believe that pop top caravan is what you after.We travelled around Oz with Jayco Swift but eventually I got sick of winding it up and down.
Strong wind is a major problem with wind up trailers when set up.
Off road caravan that impressed me on the trip was Coromal Seca 505
off road.They strong enough for GRB and Great North Road , good value for money and very well made. Owner towed this 15 -16 foot van with Defender Tdi and fuel consumption was around 12 l/100km.
Check this web site also:
AnswerID: 6866

Reply By: Member - Kevin - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00

I think to key thing to look at in an 'off-road' van, in addition to how the chassis and running gear is constructed, is how the rest of the van is put together. Seems to me that a lot of off-road vans are really the same on-road van with heavier or reinforced chassis and suspension. Certainly is the case with Coromal and Roadstar variants according to dealsers I have spoken with - local Coromal dealer stating that the chassis was so strong it didn't matter what the rest of the van was like (he also asked me where the GBR was).

Must stress I have no practical caravanning experience yet - having just aquired a second hand Supreme Getaway 15' off-road van. I have towed a Trak Shak Camping Trailer for 4 years though and can attest that overall strength and quality of construction is most important.

Cheers & good luck
AnswerID: 6867

Reply By: Bob - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
G'Day Greg
Late reply but we just returned from trip.
Towed an 18' Bushtracker along following route with almost no problems.
Plenty Road to Alice, Tanami Track to Halls Creek, Broome to Kununurra via Gibb River Road and several side trips including Old Mornington Station then to Darwin.
Darwin to Cairns via Gulf Road, Borroloola, Burketown, etc with plenty of side trips on TRACKS.
We came across several so called "off road" vans that did not make the grade. They just fell to bits with all the hammering of the corrugations etc.
If you (or others) care to e-mail me at I can give more detailed info.
AnswerID: 8164

Follow Up By: Member - Greg - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply I knew some of you guys were around, out there enjoying yourself in this beautiful country of ours. Since my frirst posting I have been put off a little on the Bushtracker by its weight and the availability of suitable tow veichles.
As I said originally we have a 100 series td auto cruiser and from what I have read it may not be legal to tow a Bushtracker of some 3500 kg..
I am leaning towards a Phoenix dual axle 18 ft or thereabouts.Did you see any of them on your trips, what were the ones left by the wayside and what do you tow your Bushtracker with..
Thanks in anticipation ..Regards Greg g
FollowupID: 3880

Follow Up By: Bob - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2002 at 01:00
G'Day Again
Our van weighs 3000kg fully loaded with 3 water tanks all full.
For the first 12 months we towed with a Patrol 4.2 TD without problems.
Our friend is towing his Bushtracker with petrol Patrol and is happy with performance.
We met with several people towing Bushtrackers with 100 series and none reported problems.
We are currently towing with current Ford F250. Main reason for change was extra space in vehicle and because I like "Big"
We have been so happy with Bushtracker that we have ordered another slightly larger for delivery next year.
Regards, Bob
FollowupID: 3885

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Greg,

On a recent trip we met a retired couple towing a "Regal" offroad van with a Patrol. We were very impressed with the van. He had been right across the north of Aust. including GRR and down the west coast staying off the bitumen as much as possible. Van was showing no signs of stress or wear, and owners reported no problems so far. The outside panels were lined with stainless steel checkerplate to about 450mm so there were no stone chips etc.

Talking to our local caravan dealer since about off-road vans (not shopping, just chatting) he stated that some manufacturers were using the SS checkerplate for this reason, but under rough conditions the checkerplate was cracking as it didn't have enough flex. He stated the standard rolled steel used on most caravans was better because it flexed and was now so good it resisted stone chips and scratching etc. Whether this was just sales talk I don't know, but might be something to look into. As you might have gathered, his vans did not have SS checkerplate.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 8169

Follow Up By: Member - Greg - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Melissa,
thanks for your reply I have read a lot of your posts on the camper-trailer forum [I presume you are the same Melissa] you seem to have a great time.
One day when we make our purchase I hope to contribute also..
Regards Greg g
FollowupID: 3881

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 04, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Greg,

Yep, one and the same person! Don't feel you have to wait until you've made a purchase to contribute on to the chat on the campertrailer forum. Seems to me plenty of members just like to chat, so any new thread is appreciated. So any questions, observations or comments are worth posting. See you there...

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 3882

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