Submitted: Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 01:10
ThreadID: 4704 Views:2930 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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I am going to buy a 18/20ft caravan(not pop up type) for the round australia trip, would like some tips as to the best make of caravan to buy, I dont want one that falls apart at the sight of rough roads!regards Mike.
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Reply By: herkman - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 06:51

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 06:51
You should tell us the following, then you will get a better quality of reply.

NEW or Second Hand

What is your budget

What is the tow vechicle

How much off the sealed roads are you going to do.

Staying in caravan parks, or camping out.


Col Tigwell
AnswerID: 19031

Reply By: Dozer - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 07:47

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 07:47
Hi Mike
Unfortunately there are some badly made vans around like one in particular that sent Vicount broke (the aerolite)
Attention should be paid to the quality of the door locks, size of wood used in these cupboard doors, aswell if you are looking for something made within the last 10 or so years. Before that the weight of a van was calculated by dead reckoning, after 1990 roughly, the van needed a compliance plate with weight stamped by the manufacturer. Lets just say things needed to become lighter to conform with towing legislation if you owned a car and wished to tow a van.
Vans setups are a personal choice, and i personally went for the tried and proven beam axle. If you want anything over 17 foot, then you will need two. If you tow with a car then you may wish to go independant coil for stability, but for bad roads and 4wd pulled vans, the beam axle can be depended upon for strength and reliability. It is easy to change hubs over to thesame stud pattern as your towing vehicle and put thesame wheels on the van that are on your tower with tyres to suit. I used hilux 6 stud rims and tyres (16x6-205 sr16 tyres) One of these light truck tyres has a load rating 50% greater of that of a 14 inch light truck tyre and the rims are made to carry extra weight (seen so many rims crack on caravans because they are not designed for a van, with possibly 1340kg plus of weight exerted on one tyre if you have one axle like me) Hope this data can be used by you for an informed decision.
Andrew Wollongong
AnswerID: 19037

Reply By: William - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 09:58

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 09:58
Suggest you post this question on the Australian Caravan forum.
I have received some excellent assistance and advice.
Group home page:
AnswerID: 19046

Reply By: Member - Willem- Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 14:24

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 14:24
Save you money. Buy a 70's model tandem axle Viscount or Franklin for a couple of grand. Spend some time fitting good rims and tyres and dustproof and weatherproof the windows, hatches etc. With an older van you can build in your own shower/toilet whatever. At the end of your journey you can sell the van and get your money back. Happy travels.Cheers, Willem
Never a dull moment
AnswerID: 19056

Reply By: Graham - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 19:08

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 19:08
Have a look at these forums, some past messages may have some info for you, the yahoo ones have a search function, the MSN one has no search function, but you can look back thur the messages, and dont need to join if you just want to browse...
AnswerID: 19067

Reply By: David N. - Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 21:53

Saturday, May 03, 2003 at 21:53
How long is a piece of string?
A good friend bought a Viscount Grand Tourer- about 18 years old I think. He's done a fair bit of work on it, but now has a fantastic van for a fraction the cost of a new one. He is no fool and is a very capable and self taught welder etc etc. A lot depends on your budget and how much of a handy-man you are.
Some of the new ones are built like match wood, some like a, but weigh accordingly eg: Bushtrackers- solid, but you need a Mack Truck to tow them.
I believe the best compromise is a solidly engineered (semi off road) van driven sensibly ie: according to the conditions. If you want a VERY solid van it'll weigh heaps!
Everybody's requirements are different, but if buying new, do your homework well eg: go to the factory of your intended purchase- you may be surprised.
AnswerID: 19070

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