Which secondhand pop top??

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 17:30
ThreadID: 21357 Views:2439 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Other day I had a look at several pop tops & got to wondering if they would handle
some second rate gravel roads etc.
1. Windsor 14ft approx cream with brown trim in vg nick with independant coils & shocks which looked the go to me.
Q1: How could I raise the ride height to get chassis & side step higher? Different coils seemed to be only way & maybe not much in it. Any ideas here & opinions of this van. I need a light compact van & the coil susp seemed a good idea compared with old leafs & no shocks.
Q2:Millard 14/15 white & yellow pop top with leaf & shackle springs.

No1 was about $6000 & No2 $3800 & both in good cond, & had annexes.
Great to hear your views. All my heavy stuff & hobby gear can go in back of my Triton 2.5td ute.Thanks all...Ian
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Reply By: ianmc - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 17:33

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 17:33
Forgot to ask about chassis No1 above. Its galv but a C section right thru and reinforced thru spring area with a plate to make that section into a box section.
AnswerID: 103096

Reply By: Member - toohey - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 05:48

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 05:48
giday Ian
both vans are built for black top running,short trips&slow going on gravel now and then may be okay.
regards toohey
AnswerID: 103141

Reply By: Wizard1 - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 16:41

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 16:41
You can get a van almost anywhere if you are determined enough. Have a Jayco Freedom which has successfully completed the Oodnadatta Track and a few other dirt tracks.

I would go for Door #1. Inderpendant suspension is the go for any off road. I'd speak to a suspension specialist about possible improvements.

I did some suspension mods to the Freedom to get more ride height. It included welding box to the underside of the chassis rail and relocate the springs/axle onto that and added some shockies. However, my spring rate stayed the same, etc. Didn't turn out to be the best idea.

The problem I have now Is that if I fit 15-16 Inch rims I loose upto 200 kg of load capacity due the the increase rim size and added stress placed on the axle. If I had fitted heigher and heavier springs with a heavier axle I would have been better off in the long run.

So speak to a couple of experts that deal in trailer/caravan suspensions.

With the van its self you need to ensure that the internal fittings are up to rough roads.

Physically pull down/ push up the cupboards and see how much they move.

The better the build the more chance you have of the van not needing too many running repairs.

Prado TD
Jayco Freedom
Gaold Coast
AnswerID: 103321

Reply By: ianmc - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 22:00

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 22:00
Probably have to agree somewhat with both of U. In past have seen ordinary vans do the Gibb River Rd 20 years & more ago behind a car & travelk around OZ for years without much bother.
Nowadays many seem to be in the industry for a quick buck, they come & go.
A staple gun some ply & meranti & alum & they are up & running. No sign of glue or screws.
Agree with the ind susp should be the way to go, (not alko). Really gets down to
how well the chassis is put together & maybe a welded in frame to beef it up
is necessary. Lifting the ind susp may be harder.
Re the bigger wheels, they have a higher load rating & the extra wheel weight is NOT carried by the chassis however they do give the springs a greater pounding as evidenced by the high unsprung weight of most 4wds & difficulty of matching car
A van weighing 750-900kgs hardly needs two tonee wheels & tyres.
AnswerID: 103376

Reply By: Doc - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 22:38

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 22:38
We have a Windsor Windcheater (1988 I think) with Alco independant suspension, and have had it on a couple of dirt roads. Lost a jockey wheel (the bottom half anyway) on the Lyndhurst to Maree road, and had a bit of muddy water in the doorstep area (from a bog-hole). Other than that it has stood up well, nothing has fallen apart. The suspension would be difficult to lift as the shocks are inside the coils and are not a generic shock.
AnswerID: 103382

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