Caravans

Submitted: Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 22:47
ThreadID: 5206 Views:3405 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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Iam thinking of buying a 1984 Vicount 14' pop top whicj is in VGC for $6500. It has an unusual looking tow hitch set up that comes from Germany I'm told. I took it for a drive behind my Pajero and it seemed to tow okay. Does anyone know about these different looking hitches?? Are they okay?
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Reply By: William - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 07:10

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 07:10
That is a very high price for a caravan of that age. The Viscount of that era with the Aerolite chassis are a model you should leave well alone. That German hitch is a disaster that should also be left alone. Those caravans are suitable for European billiard table roads and most definitely not suitable for Australia. The Viscount pop tops of that period were nothing short of a disaster.

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AnswerID: 21540

Follow Up By: John - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:17

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:17
Thankyou for the reply about the Vicount aerolite chasis models. I am also looking at a 1989 Advance caravan and the model is called a Town and Country. It is also in very good condition , it is 11' and going for $8000. I believe the Advance is a or was a South Australian brand, are they any good?
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FollowupID: 14053

Follow Up By: John - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 13:01

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 13:01
William, I should have also asked you why the Viscount pop tops Areolites were a disaster?, thanks, oh and what sort of costs are involved with the Yahoo groups Auscaravan site, do you know?
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FollowupID: 14055

Follow Up By: William - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 15:53

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 15:53
John the chassis were weak and bent and/or broke, the suspension was weak and broke. Cannot say they had one good point about them

A 11' poptop for $8,000 of that age is over the top price wise. Never heard of advance and suggest you ask the folkd on the AusCaravan list.

There is no cost at all to belong to the Yahoo AusCaravan. Just sign up and pop a question on the list.
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FollowupID: 14059

Follow Up By: Dave - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 18:27

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 18:27
Hi William,
Do you know the web address for AusCaravan please? Won't come up in my search engine
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FollowupID: 14185

Follow Up By: William - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 19:53

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2003 at 19:53
Dave below.
Group home page http://groups.yahoo.com/group/auscaravan

Send a blank e-mail to subscribe
Subscribe auscaravan-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Await for confirmation e-mail to tell you your subscription has been successful. Then send your question addressed to
Group email address auscaravan@yahoogroups.com
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FollowupID: 14195

Reply By: Member - Roger - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 21:20

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 21:20
John, I had an Aerolite van of 1983 vintage with the alko rubber suspension.
After some cracking was evident in the chasis rails, I took it to Frank hardings Caraven Services in Melb. and had the chasis upgraded, after a further 60,000 klms it was still going well and 2 yrs ago I sold it for 6 grand. Still in good condition.
It was towed by various 4wd vehicles over many gravel roads but never off road. The worst roads were tracks to fishing spots. As always care should be taken when towing ordinary vans on anything but good roads wether they be gravel or poor sealed roads. Mine went to Burketown via gregory downs and then to Normanton without a hitch ( not even a puncture ). Oh by the way new price for these vans was 7 grand.
Cheers'Dodg
AnswerID: 21582

Follow Up By: John - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 22:10

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 22:10
Thanks for the reply Roger.
I imagine cracking in the metal chasis rails was pretty serious, do you know how or why it happened.?
How much did the upgrade cost?
At the time had you heard any rumours about the Viscount Aerolites as having weak suspension. The van I am looking at appears to be in excellent condition,even underneath the chasis looked good but I did not have a close look. If I go back and examine it closely do you think it would be possible to see faults if they are present, if so what am I looking for?
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FollowupID: 14083

Reply By: Member - Roger - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:05

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:05
John,
The chasis rails start to show signs of minute cracking near the cut out portions (ovals in rail). The suspension used IE' Alko rubber inserts in a tube type axle I found to be sturdy enough for most roads and indeed some tracks to fishing spots and such. This suspension system has been used for lazy axles for some time. The only other upgrade I think is really worthwhile is to use only good quality light truck tyres. 8 ply at least. However a chasis upgrade By Hardings cavaran service would benefit the whole sustem. Give them a ring.
The other thing to look for under this type of van would be the condition of the flooring as in lots of elder vans, water can create some rot in the flooring.
The tow hitch is OK for most work however if you are wary of same it can be changed. Although I did not change the hitch on my Viscount, and it is still going OK.
Regards Dodg
AnswerID: 21932

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