Bushtracker Vans

Submitted: Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 15:44
ThreadID: 22480 Views:9504 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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Thing about up grading to a Bushtracker for next year anyone know anything about them what theu are like to tow etc.
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Reply By: flappa - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:03

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:03
They are HEAVY . . . VERY.

Takes a BIG vehicle (as in F250 country) , to actually tow these things offroad.

If you aren't intending to tow it offroad , so therefore , any vehicle CAN tow it . . . why bother with it in the forst place.
AnswerID: 108807

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:55

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:55
Gooday flappa,
so will my rig toe it or not
FollowupID: 365567

Reply By: Col (wa) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:49

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:49
G'day Para,

My friend has a 21 ft BT with 5 water tanks, 3 solar panels+extra batteries and many more extra's the van wieghs in at over 3.5T . He tows it with t/d 100's and gets 19-24 L/100k's. They meet a couple with same van towing with V8 100's they said they where getting 35 L/100K's plus.
The van is very well finished and very capable on gravel and dirt tracks , but it's hight, width and wiegh restrict it severly off road.They had an ultimate camper before this and I'm sure they will go back to a camper again.

AnswerID: 108808

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:02

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:02
Hi Col thanks for that we are coming you way again this year leaving aroud the middle of July and going to make our minds up on when we get to laverton subject to the weather if gold go north if warm we go south, will be doing it in our CT. i think that the boys at BT were saying that the 21 starts ar arounf 2500kg so thata a lot of extras i am meeting with them next week so will find out what i cant understand is why do they need 5 water tanks 3 solar panels and extra batteries, we carry 1 panel gererator and 2 acm batteries with 2 tanks holding 180lts and 14lt in the hws, i suppose di will be told next week.
FollowupID: 365569

Follow Up By: Col (wa) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 20:04

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 20:04
Hi Para,
They have a shower on board and planned to do a lot of remote travel. They also have 3 kids in tow. The extras add up with 5 people and supplies ,it cost over 100 thou, don't know why but like all extras the dollars add up.
FollowupID: 365598

Follow Up By: Col (wa) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 20:10

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 20:10
They are also thinking of selling it for around 85 thou it is only 7 months old .Inall the caravan for sale mags they are asking 60 -80 thous

Good luck!!
FollowupID: 365600

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 08:37

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 08:37
Hi Col,
Your mates BT sounds good can he send the layout and the options he has on it might be just what we want, also where is the van now and the size of the bed etc
Thanks mate
FollowupID: 365650

Follow Up By: Col (wa) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 19:15

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 19:15
Hi Para,
They are in Mandurah south of Perth WA. Don't know if they have a floor plan, as you know all BT's are made to owners spec's.
It has a queen bed at the front ,kitchen-dining middle,3bunks-shower/toilet in one ( not very comfy apparently) at rear.Has 285/75/16 cruiser wheels. I will ask about all options when i see him next week.
regards Col
FollowupID: 365706

Reply By: normc - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:56

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 16:56
I had a brief look at them a couple of months ago. Great van, but very heavy and very heavy. I wanted to be able to tow it with my 3.0TD Hilux. No go with a BT. AT least the company is honest. They will tell you what you need and wopn't say 'she'll be right' when it won't.

I ended up going for an Odessey Camper trailer. Totally different market to the BT, but will meet our needs and is 1 third the weight and 1 third the price.

But from what I have seen, if you want a van (not a camper trailer) that can handle off road, you don't mind the price and you have a suitable tow vehicle, they are about the best available.
AnswerID: 108809

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:49

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:49
Hi Normac,
Thanks for that we have the Export Odessey " the first one " and it has been great done over 30,000k now hawever we ship it to NZ each year and last year had quite a bit of snow so lookin around at options so i can get in more fishing time and use the van bith in NZ and Aussie.
FollowupID: 365565

Reply By: Traveller - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:00

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:00
A good van, but don't rush in and buy one yet. They seem to be coming onto the market at an astonishing rate. Prices will hopefully drop, despite the nonsense being pedalled to s/h vendors by the manufacturer. I'm in the market for a s/h BT too, but will bide my time.
AnswerID: 108811

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:54

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 17:54
Like most things if ya wait you might not get and the season starts in November and that the earlist build date what i am looking for from people is will my truck tow it and well wikk it do it there a a lot of bloody big hills in NZ, amd also a lot of dirt roads aroud Aussie.
Thanks for help
FollowupID: 365566

Reply By: motherhen - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:51

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:51
go the the http://www.bushtrackerownersgroup.asn.au/Forum/Default.asp. If you become a member you can get into a list of what people are towing with, and length of van, and can even email members direct. We tow an 18' with a Nissan 3 ltr TD auto, as do a few others. Landcruisers are also popular, but the F250 is the vehicle of choice for most pulling the larger vans. We'd get something stronger if we had $$$$s.

Have been over very rough tracks without any damage, through a real 4wd track in the Gawler ranges; had to watch for overhanging branches to avoid damage to solar panels.

There have been a number of BTs come up for sale recently, if you read through the forum listings. Good value too. We bought a much travelled 1998 model a year before. It looks near new, so it goes to show how well they last.

I was willing to save money and try a lesser caravan, but after my husband had seen a BT, nothing compared. He didn't want a van to come apart somewhere in the middle of Australia.

AnswerID: 108830

Reply By: Member - Bob-h(QLD) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 09:49

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 09:49
Hi there 10Para.
As Molly Meldrum would say: "Do yourself a favour", and talk to Bushtracker. I have recently taken delivery of a new 18ft BT, with "the works". HONEST TARE weight- ie with all accessories already fitted (unlike what some ordinary manufacturers do) is 2560kg. I tow it with a 100 series Landcruiser TD, consumption 19.2 litres/100km.
You have TOTAL design freedom within normal construction limits, there is no fixed 'layout'. Add something here? no problem!
We have 4 solar panels, 4 AGM batteries, and airbag suspension. (See Rig photo)
BT certainly tell it like it is, so you won't get any nasty surprises. The Before, During, and After construction service is amazing. As you'll see when you visit the website www.bushtracker.com, their best sales people are their users (Obviously includes me!)
Cost is very similar to other lesser setups which don't include a lot o things as standard. (Betcha that'll stir up a few comments!)
As for the above comment about limitation of access, lots of people have taken a BT to amazing places- wait till you see some of the photos at the factory!!
There are lots of other happy BT owners on this forum.
AnswerID: 108905

Reply By: mattandlana - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 14:38

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 14:38
Hi 10 Para,

We've bought but not taken delivery of a second hand 18' BT. We will be towing it with an LC100 TD and all advice I have is we'll be fine.

The BT factory co-owner, Steve Gibbs, says that the limiting factor with tow vehicles is comparative wheelbase, not weight. A LC100 will tow anything up to 3.5t OK on the road (which is where the limitations come in - off-road is slow and anything can tow anything unless you are trying to go up a cliff or something). The point, he says, is how much leverage the van has against the car, and he won't sell anything more than a 20' van to someone towing with what he calls "mid-sized" like LC100 or Patrol, because the van has too much leverage during high-speed swerves etc. As someone else has said, see Steve's posting at the BT owner's group website re tow vehicle selection.

All the F truck drivers I see posting rave about comfort, ease and fuel economy after upgrading from something like a LC100, but agree that if you live in town the turning circle is a killer.

The weight point re BTs is a complete furfy. The posters above recite the common mantra that BTs are much heavier. So did the Supreme Getaway salesman we spoke to - until we pointed out that his lower-specced van was heavier than the comparable BT. Ditto the Phoenix - same weight as BT but more dollars to build the comparable spec. No doubt both great vans and I'm not bagging either, but don't be misled by the false legend that BTs are somehow much heavier than any comparable van. I had one guy posting at me that an 18' BT weighs 2900kg whereas his competing product was vastly lighter at only 2400kg. The BT I am buying weighs 2400kg. There is a huge amount of misinformation about this on the web including in this forum.

Yes you can build or buy a very heavy van if you spec it up to the max, then you can load it to be REALLY heavy if you want. This is no doubt what gets the legends started. But be disciplined with what you build and carry and I believe they're all much of a muchness, weight-wise.

Note also some or all van manufacturers (maybe even BT - how would I know?) play games with quoting weights, because they know we are all worried about the weight issue. They sometimes quote a "standard" weight, which excludes 100s of kilos of "options" like extra water tanks, extra batteries, extra panels, bigger fridge, etc. The Supreme salesman only wanted to quote Territory-model weights, and was very reticent about how much heavier the tougher Getaway was for a comparabe van.

Size? Depends where you want to go. Simple fact is that the bigger it is the sooner you will be limited. A full size van will be stopped by a low branch that will let a pop-top past, but 1km up the track the pop-top will be stopped by 2 trees 7'5" apart and the guy with the 6' wide camper trailer will carry on, then 1km on the trailer will be stopped by a sharp ascent or a sand dune and the bloke with the rooftop camper will be OK, etc etc until eventually the guy on foot will leave behind the guy with a camel which can't climb cliffs!!! We worry about where we'll get our BT to, but figure if we get stopped we can park the van and use it as base camp for exploring by car alone.

AnswerID: 108932

Reply By: goodpal50 - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 16:43

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 16:43
We have an 18 ft Bushtracker we took delivery of in December 2004 and recently did an 8000 km trip with some dirt roads but maoinly bitumen. Our van has three solar panels, three batteries and three water tanks and a tare of 2400kg. Loaded up it would be about 3000kg.
We tow with a turbo diesel 100 series landcruiser and had no problems towing it on the trip. we generally sat on 80 km per hour and over the wjole trip averaged 16.5 litres per 100 km. Worst economy was betwen Broken Hill and Peterborough with a massiver head wind when we went up to 21 litres per 100 ikm.
The vans are superbly finished, and pre and after sales service second to none. As for price you get what you apy for and when you add the same extras to many other vans the total cost is not much difference but the quality of a Bushtracker leaves justy about all the others for dead. You can also get the layout you want not what some manufacturer thinks you should have. IOncicentally on our trip we travelled with two other towing vans of anout 1.5 tonnes each ;oaded. The Ford explorer used 21.5 litres per 100 km and the Nissan Patrol running on gad 27.8 litres per 100. A good comparison because we all ran at the same speed in convoy.
IF you want to contact me about our Bushtracker experiences you can do so at goodpal50@hotmail.com

AnswerID: 108945

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