Offroad Options

Submitted: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 19:43
ThreadID: 57820 Views:2590 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
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Hi All,
We are considering buying a Jayco Eagle Outback or a Swan outback for our trip around Oz mid March next year..
I'm just after opinions at this stage on the quality of these campers as they appear to be an excellent option.. wether or not they will handle rough terrain as in Gibb River road etc.

any feedback will be greatly appreciated
Cheers
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Reply By: pheonix - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 19:56

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 19:56
Bretterson,

I have an offroad eagle and it has been modified a little bit to suit the offroad stuff. Whether it can handle the GRR and other tracks I'll find out in June/July/August.

Value for money they are great for a young family, they won't get you everywhere but they will get you to the area where you can then leave it and drive on without it.

But as always you have to drive to the conditions.

Pheonix
AnswerID: 304929

Reply By: yakodi - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:03

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:03
I bit of preventative maintenance, and you'll take your Jayco most places, mitchell falls, GRR, Oodnadatta, fraser, Balladonia track, Gregory Nat Pk, just a few places we took ours - mind you we had to fix a few things along the way. Not a heavy duty offroad camper but they end up in places most of the high end campers also end up. Cheers and enjoy the trip.
AnswerID: 304931

Reply By: Ramb0 - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:10

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:10
Howdy,

We went from a Jayco to a Tambo camper trailer . The Jayco was good - value for money, space etc, but they are certainly built to a price, and are definitely not heavy duty. Not having a go at Jayco, but you do have to buy for what you intend to use it for. If you plan on doing some rough roads, the corrugations willl play havoc on the Jayco. Having said that, you will spend 90% of your time on good roads, so do you really need a trailer that is built like a tank? I got rid of my Jayco because I got tired of leaving it behind while we went 4wheeling. With the Tambo I can take it anywhere the cruiser can go. Not so sure the missus is happy though, going from a van to a trailer?!

Cheers.
AnswerID: 304938

Reply By: Bretterson - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:11

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:11
Thanks for the replies..
What type of mods would you guys consider?
for piece of mind i would be thinking added leaves in the suspension maybe?
AnswerID: 304939

Follow Up By: Anthony (Vic) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:46

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:46
I don't think additional leaves on the springs would be necessary.

Stone guard, extend the water tank guard to cover (protect) the water drain tap, cover the trailer brake wires (near the drum/axle area) with PVC tubing, cable tie any loose pipes (water tank to tap etc) to the chassis so the don't hang or move around. Take some duct tape and plastic to cover door vent on long dusty sections.

The most costly being the stone guard but will protect the front edge of the trailer.
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FollowupID: 570956

Reply By: Anthony (Vic) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:30

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:30
As others have mentioned, the Jayco Outback can tackle tracks like the Gibb RR.

I would suggest that you fit a stone guard to the A-frame. If you can get a stone guard that also has some mud flaps fitted the the lower section to stop the stones damaging under the Jayco, the shockers and cutting the trailer brake wires.

Also, a set of wheel bearings (less then $30-00) just in case.

cheers anthony
AnswerID: 304947

Follow Up By: DIO - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:48

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:48
Some people would advocate an 'off road suspension' springs over axle and a heavier or higher rating axle. Guess that's your choice as you know what you hope to achieve from it. Also consider Sunraysia wheels, mud flaps (reduce stone damage) L/T tyres and in my opinion last not least stone guards on your water tank(s) with similar consideration given to all water hoses and connections.
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FollowupID: 570960

Reply By: Bretterson - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:55

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:55
Thanks heaps guys, there is certainly some great advice here, My Wife has really fallen for this camper and i also see some really good qualities with it too.
Has anyone ever experienced the interior ie: cupboards and fittings coming loose or sheering off over corrugations etc? As this would be a huge hassle as one could imagine!
AnswerID: 304956

Follow Up By: bms - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 21:47

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 21:47
Mate you defiantly don't need extra leaves in the susp if anything you need less.
We have a jayco on road that has been converted to off road with long leaf springs ,gas shocks ,raised with navara rims and 215/70/16 tyres.
To say this set up is good is an understatement as we have taken it right through the Murchison across the bottom way then up to Mt Augustas and out the top way.
Some of the roads were atrocious but we never had anything break or come loose and we'd get to the next stop with everything in it's place.
Also been to Nigaloo and other places no probs
It also can carry 140/150 lts of water
We are now selling this one and are going to update and get the new one modded the same way as the old one.

Hope this helps, bms

Ps: Send a PM if you want more details
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FollowupID: 570981

Reply By: yakodi - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:05

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:05
A few different nuts, bolts, rivets, and screws, silicone in the tool box. Maybe strenghen and reinforce all drawers & runners. The stones/rocks on our outback roads really destroy the underbody of the jaycos, so any stone guards to prevent shock, water tank, and wiring damage will help. The vinyl or fibreglass stone guards provided by jayco would benefit from a real stone guard attached to the A-frame. Dust ingress has always been an issue with these campers so a dustpan and broom in one of the cupboards to deal with the long outback dirt roads is a must - it'll get in everywhere. And don't put anything on the floor - the vinyl floor will show wear and tear in no time - so maybe a mat for the floor. Don't put anything against the laminate as its paper thin and will look quite scratched up if things are leant against the cupboards or walls. A tarp over the beds to stop water/dew from getting on the beds when you pack up wet in the mornings. Just a few things to think about before you set off on your trip.
AnswerID: 304973

Reply By: Member - Dave A Karratha(WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 23:19

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 23:19
G'Day Bretterson, Hope this helps abit

We have just spent the last 12 months going over and customising(fixing ) our new Outback Swan.
In 4 weeks we head off to Cape York and back through inland Queensland and the Northern Territory, then back to WA living in the van for 3 months.

What we did with ours was replace all globes with LED's ( inside and out), installed 2 Solar panels to recharge the inhouse battery, installed a 500 watt inverter, underneath we pulled all the wiring out of there crappy covers and tidied it up and put it into waterproof electrical boxes, sealed all the under body with silicone then painted the lot with bituminus paint to moisture seal the underneath.
Put covers over anything electrical or water that could be exposed to rock damage.

We then had covers made up with press studs and velcro for all the outside vents to stop dust ingress, cut up the front bar work that houses the 2 jerry can holders so now it holds 2 x 9 kg gas bottles instead.

I took the spare wheel off the rear and replaced it with a custom made bar that holds a dust/ water resistant box that holds all the annex tarps and bed end flys and also has the second camera mounted on it so we can keep and I out on whats coming up behind us.

Interior wise we retightened all screws. put aluminium angle inside the wardrobe to stiffen its structure and also to allow for shelves to be fitted for clothes storage. Sanding sealed and then varnished underneath both bed ends to help keep out the moisture.

We replaced all the timber under the seat cushions with thicker timber ( as this is what you step on to get into the bed) and did away with hinges and just drilled 40 mm holes to lift out the panels as we require.

Hope this is of some help.

Cheers Dave.
AnswerID: 304987

Follow Up By: Bretterson - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:00

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:00
Sounds like alot of work Dave, We went to the '08 C&C show in Claremont. Did not get told any of this at all, they were keen to sell us one though, nearly signed up. I am starting to think that new vans/campers arent all they are cracked up to be.
With a budget of $20,000. I want something that will take us round with minimal hassles basically.. what do you guys reckon of a Cub Spacevan or along the likes of?
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FollowupID: 571007

Reply By: Member - Dave A Karratha(WA) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:10

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:10
We got ours from the C&C show the year before, and yeh, it was a bit of work .... but now I'm sure it will do what we want of it, about the other vans you named, sorry I don't know anything of them, but I'm sure some one on the forum will help you out.............happy hunting, I'm sure you will find the right one for you in the end.

Cheers Dave.
AnswerID: 304990

Reply By: Bretterson - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 10:51

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 10:51
thank you all for the sound advice, much appreciated
cheers!

Brett
AnswerID: 305035

Follow Up By: bms - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:11

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:11
Bretterson you might wish to consider buying ours as it's already done and we are not far away if you are in Perth.
It's in very good condition as it's always been garaged when not in use.
Just a thought .

PS Looking for approx $7850 for it.
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FollowupID: 571078

Follow Up By: Bretterson - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:33

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:33
could you please drop me an email with some info and pics if possible
to brettnlaus@hotmail.com

cheers m8 ..and yep we are in perth
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FollowupID: 571080

Reply By: Bretterson - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:14

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 13:14
could you please drop me an email with some info and pics if possible
to brettnlaus@hotmail.com

cheers m8 ..and yep we are in perth
AnswerID: 305060

Follow Up By: bms - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 17:14

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 17:14
Will do Brett, will try yo do it tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Regards bms
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:40

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:40
The words Jaco & quality probably shouldn't be used in the same sentence Brett ;-)
They build vans to a price that people can afford with some nice features but build quality is not necessarily one of them. As you have seen so far from the responses they will do the trip with care sustaining some damage & is pretty much in-line with what I was told by an employee of Prestige Jaco who saw plenty of returns for repair.
Good luck with the van, always a tough decision balancing cost V's quality.
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 305191

Follow Up By: Member - Bretto&Laus(WA) - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 14:17

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 14:17
Also have heard of them outlasting other manufactures as well ;-)
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 17:03

Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 17:03
You're certainly right Bretto they may not be the best but certainly not the worst by a long way either. Suitability over some outback tracks is the main question here.
Cheers Craig............
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