Attention Bob

Submitted: Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 15:49
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Dear Bob,
Good luck with your research. We did a trip from WA to QLD to go thru each factory of Bush Tracker, Kedron & Phoenix.
Phoenix won us hands down. Don't get me wrong the others are great too. We were on a short time frame so there was no time to do the Track Master but they are certainly not to be crossed off the list.
Our reaons were,
Bush Tracker, too heavy and we would have had to change our towing vehicle and that was a huge expense we were not interested in. Even Toyota Land Cruiser could not tow it.
Kedron, said they could not fit into the size van all that we wanted and we appreciated their honesty.
We wanted lots of water tanks as we intended going off road for long periods of time.
Kedron do build a very pretty van iinside if you or your partner/wife are into that. It is very important to some ladies more so than men we have found in discussions. Personal taste of course.
I just want to get things done and get outside where all the real pretty stuff is. The outback etc is what I am travelling for not to be constntly looking at the pretty inside and I want it to be whipe down and get going not fiddle about all day like I am still at home.
Phoenix said they would build it for us and could fit every thing in fine.
It had not been done before by them, but they could do it, of that they were sure.
I should mention I had drawn it to scale before leaving WA so we knew in our own minds it would fit. This was not the first van we had and we had designed one before so we had a good idea what we wanted and where we wanted to take it.

We are stoked with the van and have now been on the road with it since we had it built and have only been home for two weeks of the year each year to check on things there.
You will find our lay-out is the first on on the Phoneix brochure.
It has king size bed, leather lounge/cafe style seating so you can sit with you legs up to watch telly. TV swings around so you can view it from the bed also.
Coffee ledges down the side of the bed for that evening and morning drink.
We have satellite TV as we are outback more so than on the "road".
We carry a rubber duckie boat and 4hp motor to putt up the rivers, creeks and in the ocean.
A kayak suitable for ocean.
Two push bikes and three dogs.
Yep this is all on a 16 ft van, yes that is right, just 16 ft and the roof of the Toyota poverty pack as we call it.
A 4.2 non turbo diesel and we are blisfully happy.
Plenty of room to move around for two people, big fridge, microwave, full stove with 4 burners, griller and great oven.
I carry everything for a fully fledged office as we are self funded retirees.
We opted for a porta pottie for a toilet so it can be used inside or out depending on how long we are stopping and an external shower fitted in the rear of the annex side of the wall and of course plumbed into the hot water system and this is used for both us and to shower the dogs.
No cleaning for the bathroom and no steam in the van this way.
There is so much storage accessed from the outside as we did not have a huge cut away because we found that it just cuts your storage area down so much.
We had a sealed, large compartment to prevent smells form soaps etc getting into the van.
We also figured that if the car goes over "it" then so will the van as it is up high enough so there is no need to cut it away.
What is the point of a big cut away if the car can't get over .
first.
We chose to turn our layout around compared to what a lot of other folk have so that we can sit up in bed which we do a lot in the evening and David sits there to watch cricket and footy etc. We have plenty of head room with the table at the front as we are sitting down lower than when on the bed.
We love our king size bed and no it is not a problem to make it.
I just pull it up basically while in it, climb out and fix it and place the pillows etc.
When I change it I just tuck the fitted sheet at teh top, then the base and throw on the top sheet, tuck in the botom, thow on the doona and fold the sheet back then place the pillows there. Done. Easy peasy as they say.
Now for the yucky grey that people say they don't like.
Well neither did I.
I said "I do not want that yuck grey in it" when I first saw it in another van at Phoenix.
But lucky for us Clint that worked there at the time said to sit down and stay in it for a while and see how I felt when I leave.
So, we kept and open mind and did that.
You guessed it, we have it.
I grew accustomed to it and realized you only see some of it with your decor.
We went burgandy leather, burgandy curtains, burgandy towels and floral bed spread.
Looks fine.
It is so tough and I really scrub it especially after a month or more in the real outback with all the changes of red, grey and black dirt not to mention the white beach sand and three dogs going in and out.
We do not take our shoes off as we wear boots in the outback most of the time and we are just too lazy. So I take to it and it comes up a treat every time.
If you want I am happy to send you some photos so you can see for yourself or you are welcome to have a squiz should you be in the vacinity of where we are at some time.
As I said, "good luck".
Try to keep the length down because if you go big you will find you are so heavy you won't be able to go to many of the places these vans are built to take you to (it iwll bog down)and it is hard to find a place to park or turn around in towns when you go to stock up on provisions etc not to mention if you are on a narrow track it is too long from front, tow hitch, length of van and anything you have hanging off the back bumper bar such as tool boxes etc to go onthe track and turn between the big trees especially if you ar in the SW of WA.
That was the very reason we sold our last van, it was too long. This 16 ft is just fantastic. We can do a u turn in the main streets even.
The worst thing you can do is "nothing", just get one of your choice and get on the track. It is so wonderful out there and after four and a half years on the road, or should I say tracks, we still have masses to see. We just love it all, it is so diverse.
Cheers,
The Watto's. (On the road).
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