around australia

Submitted: Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 16:37
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Hi all,
My partner and i have just recently decided that next year we will head off around the coast of Australia. We are thinking of buying a troopie and staying in caravan parks most of the way- just gettig a powered site and either sleeping in a tent or in the back of the car. Is this feasible and what are your opinions of our choice?
Whilst for the most part we want to spend our time in towns and small regional centres along the coast we would also like to spend a bit of time exploring some bigger cities.
Has anyone done this or does anyone have any advice as to accomodation in the cities with a troopie?
Any advice would be great, cheers,
Gina and Ben
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Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 16:51

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 16:51
Hi Gina and Ben,
Nothing wrong with the vehicle you are looking at. Plenty of people sleep in the back of a troopy or in a tent. You may want to look at what you want to do and then choose the vehicle not the other way around. There are pluses and minuses for all vehicles. The trick is to line up what you want to do with the truck. You will be happy with your choise then. Britz etc use troopies for a reason. They are tough but they do not have the comforts of a lot of new cars. If you are going to be mainly in towns or big cities I would think carefully. I have a troopy and they can be akward in tight spaces.

Steve
AnswerID: 180441

Follow Up By: ginski - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 16:57

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 16:57
Could you suggest any alternate vehicles that are big enough to sleep in then?
We are both inexperienced and will more than likely be sticking to sealed roads- we just thought a troopie because of its size and practicability
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Follow Up By: Steve63 - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 10:06

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 10:06
There are plenty of choises. You just need to choose one that meets your needs. It is hard to recommend a vehicle as it depends on your size and shape, and what comforts you are used too and lots of other personal factors. Some swear by Patrols others by Toyota's. They are both good cars, just horses for courses really. I would stick to the more common vehicles though. I used to own a Jackaroo and on its last outing had four mechanical problems doing 15,000 km. This is not to say the Jack was unreliable because generally it was very reliable. But it does show that even if well prepared stuff just happens. Even though Holden have an extensive network, and we met lots of others with a Jack, it always took days to get parts. Every place we needed mechanical repairs the equivalent parts for cruisers and patrols were stock items. I really think you should look at what you want to do more carefully. You say towns and cities but as soon as you start you may find that the idea of driving along a beach and camping by yourself to be a very attractive option. If you are by yourself you need to have a vehicle up to the task. If you take a 2wd somewhere and get stuck, people will still help but are not going to be happy. I have met plenty of people who started out like you two and 10 years later are still going but in a well setup 4wd rig. They often started with the same intention you have but get addicted to the remote nature of the Australian outback. Don't underestimate this aspect as there are plenty of us out there. You will either hate it or love it. If you love it, there is nothing like driving for a few hours, walking 4-5 km and going for a swim in a rock pool not many other people bother with because it is harder to get too. People often start with a 2wd but find they hear about places or meet up with someone they get on with well and go to places they never dreamed of going too. This is what is so attractive to many travelers. For example we met two cars at a crossing on the Batavia Downs (Cape York) road and got on well and ended up touring with them for three weeks. Stuff like this just happens. Here is an example of what may happen. You are in Broome, nice place, stuff to do, good lifestyle but crowded in the peak of the season. You hear about Coconut Well or Cape Leveque (?sp). The track up the cape is generally good but very sandy in places. Generally considered 4wd (signed as such I think). I have only been to Cape Leveque but it was well worth the trip. Easy in a 4by probably dodgey in a 2wd most of the time. The choise of vehicle now effects if I can go or not. I could fly but it is probably $150 each. By the way I currently have a troopy so I would lean that way but you need to be comfortable in the vehicle. It was an evolutionary change for us to end up with a troopy. I really like it and respect its abilities off road but would I if it was my first 4wd? I don't really know. If I was you I would assume you will eventually end up wanting to go somewhere where 4wd is required. If you are just going to drive the black top around Australia I think you will be missing out on what Australia is really all about. My opinion I suppose, but it would be like going to New York and LA and saying you have done the US.

The following is a cliche but in many ways I have found it to be very true. "You are the sum of your experiences. Push the envolope and find out who you really are." A bit corny but after travelling around Austrlia, I now (partially) understand why people stay on farms and struggle for years.

Have a good trip.

Steve
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FollowupID: 436817

Reply By: brian - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 17:01

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 17:01
If you are sticking to sealed roads and van parks why a troopy, cheaper to get a kombie or any number of other vans that you can sleep in,just a thought.
AnswerID: 180442

Follow Up By: ginski - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 17:07

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 17:07
we hadn't really decided on a troopy- but had heard a lot of good things about them.
we are going to do the complete lap of australia over about 18-24 months so want something that is going to be obviously reliable and comfortable as well as economical and big enough. we are planning on just staying at powered sites so will obviously need to carry a lot with us.
you have suggested a kombie, can you offer any other suggestions for what we are doing, cheers
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 18:59

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 18:59
I'll grant that the troopy is reliable and big enough but not the most economical of vehicles to punt around Aus,

Anyhow it will do the job, plenty of people do it like that with a tent. If you ever feel like a bit more comfort you can save up your dollars and shout yourself a cabin or on site van every now and then.

You only need to decide if you want "Off Road" ability or not because any large wagon or Kombi, or People mover type van will do 90% of Aus.
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Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 18:16

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 18:16
Similar to the kombi's is an import Mitsubishi called the Delica which has a diff up front over the kombi, I think Mitsubishi also released an L300 here in Aus in 4wd also.

2wd vans are plentiful in variety Merc's, Iveco's and Fiat's to name a few. But you will be limited on offroad forays without the front diff. But you will have a lot more room in a LWB Iveco or sprinter over the troopy type camper.

Need to answer some more Q's yourself to narrow the choices a little I think.
* Do you want to go off road y/n----yes, then you need at least a front diff so out goes the LWB vans.. and so on with the Q's until there is only 2 or 3 choices then people can really help with answers about reliability, running costs ect of one make over the other.
Also try to rent your final decision before you offload a heap more cash on something that you are ultimately not happy with.

Cheers, Trevor.
AnswerID: 180457

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 19:02

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 19:02
Hi guys, I agree with Trevor, the Delica is better value for money, get a long wheel base and you would have twice as much room as a troopy and probably more economical than the troopy, nothing wrong with the Toyota, but in this case the room in the Delica is probably going to give you more comfort and the price might be a little bettter to. The big thing is to stick with buying a deisel engined vehicle thought, hope it all goes the way you want.
Cheers Bruce
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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Reply By: ginski - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 19:08

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 19:08
Our only concern with other less popular vehicles, is that if we are unfortunate enough to have something brake on us, are replacement parts going to be readily available? Especially on an imported vehicle? And at what cost?
AnswerID: 180463

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 21:04

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 21:04
replacement parts are often a concern (unneccessarily) on imported vehicles but many have the same engine in another model here in Aus. For example the Delica may well run a 2.8 turbo diesel that runs in the older Pajero's if this is the case (as I don't know for sure) then parts would not be an issue.
If you wanted to stick to Aussie sold vehicles try the L300. It will be not so new but it may fit your requirements???

Cheers, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 08:23

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 08:23
I think the Delica is based on the triton floor pan and running gear.

Has the same 2.8l turbo diesel as the triton and series II pajero (1990 to 1999).

There is always the 4wd VW Traka - VW kombi ?

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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 09:30

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 09:30
Never thought of the Trakka. Good one Oldplodder.
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Reply By: Roddesh - Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 23:36

Monday, Jun 26, 2006 at 23:36
Hey Ginski,

I'd go with the Troopie diesel. Plenty of space and range, they're tough, reliable (if properly serviced) and parts everywhere.
You'd be upset if you drove a thousand K's on the road to a camp and found your vehicle couldn't get through the last 1 km track to the nice little camp site on the river.
I'd personally stay away from the non "Australian delivered" vehicles. Even if they share engines with local vehicles, what about if you did an axle or suspension component or whatever?

Good luck with your purchase,
Regards,

Rod.
AnswerID: 180521

Reply By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 03:31

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 03:31
I agree with alot of what others have said; they're all good points. You really need to decide what you want to do; if you hear about a beautiful spot down the road but is only accessible by 4wd, do you just hire one for that side trip or use a 4wd as your main vehicle? Some questions come down to your finances which we know nothing about; is it a shoestring budget or 'let's max out the credit card'? Why do you want powered sites? Using a laptop, tv, stereo, coffee machine, etc? There are 12v alternatives for everything. Big cities also have caravan parks so accom is not an issue. With a Troopie the height is restrictive in carparks. I think they are about 2.1 M high and if you have roofracks or a hightop you will have vertical issues. I'm not against Troopies though, I love them. If you want to live out of a vehicle why don't you check out the trader magazines from the newsagent and have a look at the range of vehicles that are set up as campers like Toyota Coasters, utes with slide-ons etc. You have mentioned you are 'inexperienced' but in reference to what? Travelling? 4wding? Planning? I would suggest that the most important thing for you to do is to think about what you really want to do and then research all the subjects ie; We want to travel around Oz as cheap as possible, use our laptop to work/communicate/download photos, see some brilliant stuff that we may not see again, take a helicopter flight over the Olgas or into one of those Barra fishing camps only accessible by chopper (I'm starting to salivate...) and then start working on how to do it. Do you need a 4wd? Do you need the coffee machine? Then come back here with some specific questions and there will be no shortage of answers. Maybe you will find that it is possible to run a dual battery system in your vehicle to power the things that you think you need a powered site for.
But be warned; if you buy a Troopie there will be no turning back. You will fall in love with it and the 4wding world it opens up for you. You will want to cross creeks, drive along beaches, go to those '4wd only' places on the map.....
AnswerID: 180525

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 08:36

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 08:36
Gina and Ben,

Whatever vehicle you decide on, you will need an outdoor "living" area.
Being cooped up in a vehicle when is raining cats & dogs wont give you a good feeling.

Unless the vehicle is relatively spacious, a minimum of a tarp off the side on the vehicle would be almost mandatory. This will give you protection from rain or sunshine, while you are cooking etc.
With the addition of a couple of swags, you can even sleep under the tarp.

If modesty is an issue, you may be better off with a tent, and the the Oztent would suit your purposes admirably. Quick to put up, gives you a sleeping area and also a living area between the tent and the back of the vehicle.

Remember, whatever you decide on will be your "house" for weeks/months at a time and you don't want to be too restricted.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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