The Big Trip - Type of Poptop?

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 11:17
ThreadID: 31864 Views:2715 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Within the next 12 months we are planning the "Big Trip". We currently have an old Viscount Aerolite Poptop that I'm sure would fall to bits if we towed it too far or anywhere off road behind the cruiser. It has been a great van for short trips on the blacktop but it is not very robust. We will sell it and buy a second hand poptop of about 15 to 16 ft long. My question is "what van?" There are so many to choose from! We want to be able to confidently go to plcaes without fear of demolishing the van. We wont be "bush bashing" but we wont be confined to the bitumen either. Im sure there are many beautiful and interesting places to see that have rough corrugated access roads. We want to see these places towing the poptop. Do we need an "offroad" model? Are there vans with better chassis and suspensions than others? Im sure there are and Im sure there are many readers who have many different poptops who have done such trips. Would love to get some ideas on makes, models and setups. It must be a poptop and around 15 to 16' long.
Thanks, Jorgy.
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Reply By: Member - John C (WA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 11:34

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 11:34
Look for a Coromal - has aluminum frame and independant suspension. There are many models available.
AnswerID: 161321

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 11:51

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 11:51
If you intend venturing off the bitumen, you would more than likely need something with off-road suspension to handle the unexpected but normal rough conditions such as corrugations, etc.

Also, I would recommend you "open your mind" to options other than "van".

Consider something like an off-road Camper Trailer. Many of these can be set up in minutes, without compromising too much on comfort, compared to a caravan.

What are your expectations and comfort level?
This will determine the type (and cost) of a suitable unit.
Do you wish to mix the pleasures of "camping" versus "living in a box".

Camper Trailers are generally lighter than an off-road van and in the top-of-the-range models, such as the Kimberley Kamper, Australian Off-Road Camper, Adventure Camper and many other combinations, there is a brand / model to suit all tastes.

Have a look at to obtain further information on this option.

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AnswerID: 161326

Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 12:34

Saturday, Mar 18, 2006 at 12:34
Make sure that you have sufficient clearance to reverse into steep awkward
Also single beds seem to give more room than the double bed; and its only a short sprint across, though its a a long slog back!!

A couple we met on a trip had hired a van to see that it suited and that may be the way to go .

FollowupID: 416082

Reply By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 11:12

Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 11:12
I went through this exercise last year. We ended up with a Regent Extreme. I'm not advocating getting that one specifically, its just an example of what is availabe. We bought ours because we liked the independant coil suspsension, chasis, rear ground clearance, ground clearance in general, larger brakes and the layout suited. It was also not too big (16 ft internal). There are quite a few "off road" vans but how "off road" you need is something only you can decide. I looked very seriously at Evernew who do make a good van and build to suit your needs and they seem to last. I would describe these vans as "off the bitumen road" types. The next level up are the Phoenix, Trakmaster and so on. Depends on what your budget is.

Good luck


AnswerID: 161481

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