New Trak Shaks not good!

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 22:49
ThreadID: 53565 Views:9151 Replies:11 FollowUps:23
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Evening all,

We're now 2 weeks into our 6 month trip with the kids in our Prado and Trak Shak (2002, Aust. made). Both going well and we're loving it.

Came across a family in Mt Gambier with a 3 month old Trak Shak that they picked up new and having travelled down the West coast in that time they have rust all over the boat rack (Chinese stainless steel) and holes throughout the canvas (Chinese canvas). He was understandably not happy about it but Trak Shak have agreed to replace the boat rack and canvas with Aussie made items, which they are apparently now going to ship over to China to be fitted there before being shipped back here!

He was impressed with their after sales service but I have to wonder about this move off shore. They have formed a great reputation over the years and now its being brought undone. I wonder if Campomatic, whom they have also bought out, will head down the same track?

Mark.
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Reply By: Member - SNAKE (RAOUL) QLD - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 23:34

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 23:34
Hi Mark,
Its a crying shame the way we are headed here in Australia with some of the garbage that is being unloaded on us from China.It is not only canvas but clothing,Generators and IT related gear.Have in the frozen food section next time at the supermarket,Broccoli,beans,corn.brussels sprouts and the list goes on.We will not knowingly buy anything from China as most things we use can be obtained from Australian manufacturers.We all should all be ashamed at the legacy we are leaving our Grandchildren.What about our Aussie farmers??.
Cheers to all, Snake
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Follow Up By: Member - SNAKE (RAOUL) QLD - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 23:37

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2008 at 23:37
Sorry about the mistakes--Chinese keyboard. Snake
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 01:10

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 01:10
I don't think it is necessarily the Chinese that are to blame.

If an Australian "manufacturer" decides to have products made overseas, it should be up to that Company, to ensure the quality of the product is acceptable to them. It is their "brand name" that is at resk after all.

At least, in the comments from Mark's post, Track Shack will make good on the questionable quality of the lastest product, but hell, they should have rejected an inferior product before onselling to the public.



Bill


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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 01:16

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 01:16
Bugga!

resk = risk

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Follow Up By: stocky - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:33

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:33
Do you have a Chinese keyboard as well? ROFL
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Follow Up By: Rod, Sydney - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:49

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:49
Sand Man, great comment. Cheers
Rod, Perth

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Follow Up By: cackles - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:51

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:51
have a friend involved in trading with chinese and they build to your specs, and yes they can make good products.
unfortunatly they are also willing to make crap if thats what the importer wants.

cackles
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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 10:21

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 10:21
Sandman , "resk" Are you having us believe that your a kiwi. LOL
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:20

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:20
Des,

Hell no mate!.....not me.

ROFLMAO.

Aw, all right.....I love the Kiwi's anyway. They've got a cute way of talking:-))
Bill


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Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:50

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 07:50
Trak Shaks are over priced for waht they are and I think the guy who bought it a few years ago is loosing the plot.

Trak Shak are one of the hardest company to deal with...never open, nobody knows anything and you get differant stories every time you speak to them (thats if you are lucky enouth to get the same person).

Try getting something changed!

Regards Richard

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Reply By: mfewster - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:32

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:32
Hands up all those who remember when we talked about poor Japanese quality in the same way? There is also a lot of quality Chinese product about and I don't think that a claim that "Chinese" equals "poor quality" is sustainable. I think Sandman's comment re importer's responsibility for quality control has it about right.
Chinese living standards (and wages) are now rising very rapidly and the wage advantage will even out in about a decade, just as it did in Japan. Meanwhile, our sales to China are about the only thing that is keeping our economy afloat.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:50

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 08:50
Well said.
While it is worrying that we do seem to be losing skills in terms of what we can manufacture in Oz, our farmers will not go out of business when countries like China and India will buy all the food (and more) that we can produce. The greenhouse implications of all that transport to and fro need a bit of thought, though.
Historically China has sought trade rather than war, and our grandchildren might just thank us if we keep it that way.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Pete and Lez - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:25

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:25
mfewster, "our sales to China are about the only thing that is keeping our economy afloat" Like What? We sell them plenty of iron ore, and they sell it back to us as steel at a huge premium at what we sold it to them for. Could you please enlighten me as to what we sell to China that is keeping us afloat?
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:43

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:43
We sell far more iron ore, coal, and gas and other minerals to them than we ever buy back because our raw materials are used in the products they sell to the rest of the world. We are a relatively small customer when you consider what they sell us compared to what they sell to the rest of the world. We have a very significant trade differential in our favour when you compare our exports to China with our imports from China. I trust that you are now enlightened.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:53

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:53
I thought I would go online and check. Raw materials aren't our only exports. Australian building technology and architects are also making it big in China. Interestingly, despite Australian public perception, China has begun to tackle environment issues in a big way.
China is Australia's biggest customer and we should acknowledge it.
Check
http://industrysearch.com.au/News/Aust_green_tech_is_in_demand_for_Chinas_building_boom-30150
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Follow Up By: Pete and Lez - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 21:35

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 21:35
Thanks for that, I am enlightened. But that is where we are losing out, by selling them raw materials instead of value adding to them ourselves. China are making the real money by selling the finished goods.
Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: Dave B (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 01:04

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 01:04
I am not sure if that's true about the Chinese making the real money.
What was the price of the TrackShack when they were Australian made compared to what the price is now.

I think we all know that many Chinese products are on the market at unbelievably low prices. I think that reflects the production cost.

The markup for some of the importers would make your hair curl.

Dave
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:46

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:46
G'day Pete and Lez.
Value adding is indeed the way to go, but there's the rub. In a world of globalization, we don't have the scale of production to be competitive for most mass produced products. Unless we want to move away from capitalism, we have to accept free markets rather than protectionism. We could look more at focussing on components that get assembled with components from other coutries. Example. We might specialize in gearboxes and export them all over the world instead of trying to make whole cars. Perhaps we had better concentrate on the services area (like architecture and medicine) in which case we need to make a huge investment in education because Asian countries are starting to outdo us there as well. Our attempts to run our unis on the cheap and subsidizing them from overseas fee paying students has started to backfire. The reputation of our unis has been going down and Malaysia in particular has been expanding the size and quality of its tertiary sector.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 09:40

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 09:40
I cannot imagine "holes all over the canvas" in a three month old camper of any description even if it came from the worst manufacturer in the world! I think that may be overstating the problems of that particular camper. Michael
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Follow Up By: nowimnumberone - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:26

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:26
exactly what i was thinking
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark H (VIC) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:11

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:11
I did say "holes throughout the canvas", as in they were here and there when my own Trak Shak, 5 years old, has none. For the price you pay for new Trak Shaks I would think that is unacceptable.

I guess I should be more specific with these comments in the future. I wasn't trying to overstate the problems but I was certainly shocked to see these holes and yes the rust was all over the boat rack...not overstating that one!

Cheers,

Mark.
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Reply By: Philip A - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 10:01

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 10:01
I understand that Campomatic has been bought from Trakshak by a Sydney Investor who plans to revamp the model range.
I was told this by the salesman at the MT Penang 4WD show.
Apparently they are working on a modular concept where you can buy a base model and option up.

This was in response to my comment that who needs all the crap like batteries , fridge etc.

In the past the components of each model were different leading to increased cost and complexity.
AFAIR they also intend to bring production back to OZ.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Outnabout David (SA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 21:00

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 21:00
Not just campomatic but the whole operation including Trakshak I believe. I notice their website lists the same address as for Challenge campers in NSW
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Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 09:28

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 09:28
Campomatic lists address as Rydamlere NSW as of 2008 , the original and best were made at Yatala betwween Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
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Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:23

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:23
There is a nice Australian made Trak Shak for sale in the Trader Section !

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Member - Poppy (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 22:20

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 22:20
Nice try Willie...LOL

Cheers Ray
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Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 06:19

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 06:19
We love our Trak Shak, but its a 2001 model ( I think )

Tough as and has the best canvas .

I spoke to Peter Bollymier ( Spelling ) the owner of Trak Shak , at a Caufield Carravan & Camping Show, in Vic, and he said to build a trailer of the same quality in Oz, would cost an extra $6000-$8000.
So I guess it was for that reason that they are all off shore these days.

Dunno myself, but I have never had a problem with them, or the Stak Shak,

Cannot comment about the Chinese type, only seen 2 and they were both at Camping Shows.

Cheers All

Bucky
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Reply By: Philip A - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:03

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:03
I have a 1997 Campomatic which I believe is exceptionally good.

After 10 years the canvas is perfect ( except for the bullet hole). It withstood about 4 inches of rain in two hours in Melbourne recently without a seep.

The independent suspension is fine and the Konis still absorb.
And it had stickers attesting to the fact that it had been everywhere man.

The only problem I found when I bought it a year ago was a dud wheel bearing.
No fridge, no batteries,pretty basic kitchen but SWMBO and I love it. And it weighed 550Kg with 750x16s on Toyota splits, now 54Kg lighter with RRC mags and tubeless 205x16.

Talk about over engineered. The bloke at Yatala must have been a bit of a fanatic.
Biggest problem I have had is identifying sources for parts. Nobody ever wrote a parts manual.
I still do not know how to get new suspension bushes if I need them. This comes from the frequent changes in ownership.

Trak Shak were useless, and the reference to an Ipswich dealer was no help.
But I figured out the struts wit the help of the Strut Man.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:21

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:21
Phillip A , ours is a 2001 Ranger model , we are the 3rd owners , built at Yatala , for info and spares there is an old employee from the Yatala factory by the name of Bill on 07-38070769 / Logan River Rd Beenleigh , he apparently has / had a shed full of spares ect for the Campomatics built prior to the move to SA , I have not had the need to utilize his services as such ,
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:18

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:18
Yep - Trak Shak - rang them while on a trip - had a trailer problem - needed a part - answering machine was on (as usual) - left a message - no return call (as expected).
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:25

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:25
This is why the few 'top end' Australian manufacturers can charge premium prices and still have an order book 6 months long. Others are left to compete on price.

Mine (brand doesn't matter, but you can look at my rig profile if interested, that's not the point) is Australian made. There are still some excellent Australian manufacturers with great after sales service. You just have to decide if you are a price buyer or a quality buyer. They (the seller) have to make the same choice.

About 2 years ago, I had a mishap the day before a planned 4 month trip. Well I told the story then, so here's the short version. While moving the CT from back yard to front for an early start, I didn't notice the kitchen drawer was not locked in place. Drove through a gate and demolished the kitchen and did a bit of other damage to the CT. Rang the manufacturer on Sunday afternoon. Got to his premises (about 3 hours away from home) at 8.00 AM Monday morning. He had us ready to hit the road for our trip by 3.30 PM same day. Try that with a Chinese made CT.

The extra you spend on a quality products up front is generally returned through reliability, service and resale value, regardless of where it is made.
I'm happy to buy quality imported products when there is an advantage to me. China is becoming more reliable for many products and I use many of them. But I would not rate camper trailers high in China's manufacturing expertise.
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Follow Up By: George_M - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 13:51
Norm

A silly question....

Why do you carry your tinnie on the roof rack and not on the CT?

I'm looking at buying a CT, but have a lot of research to do.

George_M
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:22

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 19:22
A matter of personal choice George. I did a fair bit of research and thought pretty hard on the decision. We carry the boat on the vehicle for following reasons:
To add gas strut boat rack to the CT would have cost about $2,500. I set up the vehicle to carry the boat for about $600.

If on the CT, it has to be taken off (ie rack disconnected and tipped over) every time we want to set up the CT for overnight stop. We were not keen on that.

Between boat tipped out one side and awning out the other, we would be pretty wide. We thought about some of our favourite bush camp spots and reckon we would not have fitted into a couple of them with boat on CT. Even some caravan parks would be a bit tight (not that we stay in CPs very much).

When we first started to carry the boat we did not have a fold up trailer. It is possible to get by without one with boat on vehicle. Very difficult with boat on CT.

These are the main reasons. The key benefit I see in carrying on the CT is addiding the weight to the towed load rather tha the vehicle and not increasing the overall hight of the rig - so you can still fit in undercover car parks.

But as I said, a matter of choice. For us, on vehicle works best, but others are just as happy carrying on CT.

Norm C
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Follow Up By: George_M - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 at 21:26
Thanks Norm - that makes a lot of sense.

George_M
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