what caravan would suit our needs??

Submitted: Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 23:41
ThreadID: 34785 Views:5104 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Would love some input - we want to spend around $30Ks on a van for just the 2 (+ the dog) of us to travel around Oz.

What we want is a shower and toilet and not a pop top - between 19 - 23 foot - we'll be towing with a 2004 Patrol 4.8lt petrol.

Want good living areas, set up for 2, a roll out awning + annex. Bill wants independant suspension - again input here would be great!! We like to go down gravel roads but not really serious 4wd tracks. We are looking at spending 12 - 18 months on the road going around Aust.

You hear so many horror stories - eg about Jaycos's but what's wrong with them?

We have a 1989 Coromal 21' and have had no problems with that but feel it is getting a little long in the tooth.

So what should we buy - we're in Perth - is it worth travelling to Qld or VIC to buy - prices seem cheaper but are they?? Have spent hour on the internet and magazines and becoming quite confused as to what we should or shouldn't buy.

Any advise would be appreciated! HELP!

Dian
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Reply By: disco1942 - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 00:17

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 00:17
I would suggest you get your van serviced by a competent repair organisation and see what they reckon. Age has not much bearing on the condition of a van. It has more to do with the amount of wear it has suffered. Look for cracking in the chassis and other places of stress – water stains on the interior ply wood that would indicate water ingress that may start dry rot – ask yourself if the soft furnishings are sound. You can always replace cushion covers and curtains and do some paint work to make it look better than another van you can purchase for $30K

I would expect to spend more than $30K on what you are looking for. If you do not have a shower in your current van consider purchasing one of the double compartment shower tents. A black plastic shower bag can be purchased for $20 and will have the added advantage that you will economise with shower water. You can have an Aussie Traveller – Coolabah awning fitted to your van which probably is the best awning to attach awning walls. This way you will probably save enough cash to finance your fuel for your trip round the block.

PeterD
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Follow Up By: Bill n Di - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:29

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:29
Our van is a Coromal and has had a lot of use - we know the previous owners since new and although it has always been well maintained it is just starting to look it's age. No major problems, it doesn't leak and has a really good full size annex - and it has had a shower with porta potty added.

I hate the bed layout it's a double bed alongside a wall - and have already fallen off the bed whilst making it and broken my ribs - don't laugh ;-)) !! Also the cushions need redoing - I just want something newer, I guess. I'm really over the mission brown stripes with orange and yellow on the flashes on the outside too!

I imagine if we replaced the shower set up and repositioned the bed, replaced the seating, the fridge and freezer it would still be fine, however would we ever get our money back as it would still be a 1989 Coromal van.

How much do you think would be a reasonable amount to spend to get what we want?

Thanks for all your input.

Dian
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Reply By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 04:33

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 04:33
Hi Di
Remember me (Peter & Carol) friends of Rob & Pauline - Cannot help (we have a Kimberley Kamper) but good to see you are members now
AnswerID: 177782

Follow Up By: Bill n Di - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:32

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:32
Hi Peter and Carol - of course we remember you - Cameron also says hi - he's at Ftrucks now. Had dinner with Rob & Pauline last Friday week - just back from Clays - and off again for 6 months soon. Must all catch up before they leave!

Its a great forum and get lots of good advise. How's the camping going?

We're off to Brisbane next week and so might get time to look at some caravans over there.

Di
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 09:22

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 09:22
Remember too that a lot of the older vans are a lot stronger than some current models as they were built when cars were stronger so weight was less of a consideration. Most of the older ones actually have a frame inside the walls too;-))
I'm no caravanner but a lot of the current crop would have problems on anything except the expressway.
Peter
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AnswerID: 177798

Follow Up By: Bill n Di - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:35

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:35
Thanks.

Don't all vans have a frame inside the walls?

Dian
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Follow Up By: Peter 2 - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 15:24

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 15:24
A lot are sandwich construction or just a very light frame, too light for rough roads, we've seen a few with the sides sucked out by a truck passing the other direction
Peter
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 09:44

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 09:44
Father inlaw has just gone through same excersise ,wanted to upgrade his 19ft to something more "modern" ,,lots of legwork latter decided to keep same van and refurbish , from a budget of 35k that he was prepared to spend on replacement ,spent 10k leaving 25k for the real necessities of touring , 25k buys a lot of fuel.
AnswerID: 177804

Follow Up By: Bill n Di - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:34

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:34
Thanks for the advice - a couple of questions.

where did he get the work done?
Was he happy with the results?
What did he have done to the van?

Dian
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Reply By: Bill n Di - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:48

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 14:48
Another question.
Does anyone know about; and who makes a Monarch Crusader - are they a name in their own rihgt or a branch of another brand? Seen one advertised that looks okay but don't know the brand?

Dian
AnswerID: 177829

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 17:00

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 17:00
Bill and Di ,hes in Hervey Bay ,had the van almost gutted ,new kitchen and a shower/toilet installed ,, did all chassis work himself and had a retired cabinetmaker mate do the internals ,, coat of paint on the outside ,looks nothing like its actual age ,,would never know that van is 18yrs old ,, as far as resale value goes ,once a van reaches a "certain" age the price remains fairly static.
AnswerID: 177843

Reply By: Nav 8 - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:11

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:11
Gday Bill n Di,,, We also live in WA and did an upgrade about 18 mths ago looking for the same features you are. We looked at heaps of sec hand vans and rang every dealer in WA , all told the same story,if you want a late mod sec hand full van with shower and toilet if you hang on long enough you may find one or buy one private. They were right we ended up buying a new one as the few that were available were only a few thousand below new price anyway.There are a few older vans with shower etc we looked at but most are a bit rough and if you are spending that amount of money and are going to get the use out of it, if you can go the extra, you wont regret it. We ended up with a 18 ' 6" Regal and are paying it off, but never regretted it for a second. Happy traveling ,,Regards ,, Nav.
AnswerID: 177862

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 23:47

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 23:47
Dian, i you still decide to purchase rather than renovate, you will probably save money both on purchase price and stamp duty by going to the eastern states, but do the sums if you are only spending around $30,000. You can check the stamp duty in the other states on the web. We went to Qld to get what we wanted, and the stamp duty we saved probably paid for the cost of driving over there. On the way back we were talking to a couple from Ravensthorpe who were returning with their brand new van, which they had been able to purchase much cheaper in Adelaide than in WA. Same with most products - cheaper anywhere else in Oz than here in WA, and the gap is getting wider as fuel costs go up and the Nullabor doesn't get any shorter.
Motherhen

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AnswerID: 177887

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