Purchase of Off Road Caravan

I am in the process of selling my current off road camper and will be in the market for an off road caravan, something in the 16 - 18 ft mark. I have been looking for a Bushtracker or Phoenix but they seem to be as scarce as hens teeth. I have also been contemplating buying a new Kimberley Karavan but have become somewhat apprehensive as I have received comments from 'Really Good' to 'Kimberley Krappavan'! Are there any Karavan owners out there who would be prepared to give their opinion of this product, either on the Forum or, privately to me at adshead@optusnet.com.au? I would also appreciate any suggestions from members or visitors who would be prepared to offer an opinion as to what other options available to me should be considered.
Thank You
Brian Adshead

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Reply By: Member - Garth J (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 14:29

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 14:29

I am an early adopter of the KK in that mine is about 25th to 30th that was built.

It will be 3 yrs old in November.

I am one of the people who started the KKOG (Kimberley Karavan Owners Group) and we now have 120 members. These members are owners or have put down the money to purchase a KK.

Kimberley has built over 300 KK's at the present.

Never have the words Kimberley Krappavan been used in verbal or written form so obviously you have never spoken to an owner. :-)

If you had you would be in no doubt about these vehicles and what they offer.

Yes there have been problems and continue to be.

Some of these were design problems and others are from third party equipment such as the airconditioners.

Others are attributed to the workmanship of putting the thing together.

They are at this point in time a much more finessed product than three years ago and are constantly improving.

Some of the improvements have been the result of the owners group and the feedback given to Kimberley.

This has been acknowledged by them on their website under the "What's new" heading.

The concept is brilliant and the amount of technology used is ahead of what some of the competition offer. This is where some earlier problems emanated from.

The positives far outweigh any negatives one may have heard about.

At this point in time these KK's as we call them have been to every part of our great country and people are having a wonderfull time doing so in the knowledge that the KK will go wherever the 4X4 can take it.

I'm sure if you see one on the road somewhere (they do stickout) and manage to speak to the owner you will be convinced about them.

If it seems like I'm biased it's because I am and have in no way regetted purchasing the product.

There are many other owners on this site and I'm sure their replies if they do stop lurking will just reinforce my obvious praise for the KK.

Some have had other types of campers and others have had full sized vans so we get some good reasoning from them and their previous ownership experiences.

They are not luxurious in the sense of some caravan interiors but they have everything you will need for touring away from it all or staying somewhere.

Ease of towing, less fuel usage, narrow tracks/roads, easy to reverse.

When people see them get opened up and are shown whats inside they are all amazed.

Maybe they should have called them the "TARDIS" !!!

Anyway I think you get the message from me.

One other thing to consider is that "small tends to cost" so the price paid for the smaller package may frighten people away.

Would I buy another? Yes with no reticence.

Am I a salesman for the product? Yes! All happy owners would be!

AnswerID: 369805

Follow Up By: Member - DW (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:54

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:54
I have a later model KK than Garth but we are extremely happy with our unit. I tow it with a Mazda Bravo which is probably at the light end of tow vehicles but there has not been one location that I have had to get assistance to get out except for an airbag issue, on the Bravo, that caused some angst.
We have taken our KK across the country on various roads as well as down to the south. Lived in it for 3 1/2 months constantly and a total of 6 months all up.
Like Garth, we would purchase the same again.
FollowupID: 637233

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:16

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:16
Hi Garth and DW
Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated. As a point of interest I did speak to an owner who parked behind us at the Broken Hill Caravan Park. His unit was only a year old and he had taken it onto some rather rough tracks. The only problem he had with the KK was a vent cover coming loose just inside the doorway. His 4x4 was a different matter, the rough track had severely damaged his electric winch and bumper bar through the constant pounding over the corrugations. Like both of you, I do like the concept of the Kimberley but had become apprehensive with the negative comments and, yes you are quite correct, he was not an owner. Thanks once again.
Brian Adshead

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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:47

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:47
I've been a huge fan of the Kimberley Karavan for a while now and I'd buy one tomorrow if I could afford it. A while back we were getting closer & closer to having the dough & suddenly our investments dropped and that was it, for now.

To my knowledge I have read everything written (good & bad) and spoken to owners from all over the place & all have been generous in their time & information. I've been an absolute pest at times. Why on one occassion I even followed a bloke driving through my neck of the woods & flashed my lights for him to pull over so that I could have a chat. And yes he was okay about that too.

I've always felt that they were the closest thing to what we want from a caravan (Garth cover it nicely) and when I was at the Brisbane Caravan Show last week the KK was again the stand out for me.

One thing I am puzzled by though is that I've now met two owners (one at Orbost & one at Urunga) who have opted to drop the shower/toilet for cupboard space. To me that is strange as the ensuite is a real atrraction for the missus.

Another plus for me is that you don't need to upgrade your vehicle to an F250 or a Toyota V8 to pull them safely. My Land Rover would do it just fine.

FollowupID: 637254

Follow Up By: Member - Graham S1 (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:38

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:38

I have a 2008 model that I tow comfortably with a Prado t/d.
We have had a couple of minor teething issues but nothing of consequence. We have only had time to take the one trip with it off the tar - Darling River run that it handled like a breeze. It is very comfortable to travel in & very easy to set up. No regrets in our purchase of it just don't have time to use it as much as we would like.

I can highly recommend SQ Campers for their knowledge & willingness to help & advise.

FollowupID: 637299

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:35

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:35
Hi Wayne David
I think you and I are on the same wavelength. You are quite correct in your opinion of not requiring a F250 to pull the Karavan. Like you, I also like the idea of the ensuite and it is certainly a requirement for HWMBO! Thank you for your thoughts and lets hope the financial environment improves quite quickly and you get the KK you want.
Brian Adshead

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Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:43

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:43
Hi Graham
Thanks for your input. I have spoken to James at SQ Campers and will make an appointment to see him some time this week. They have the Ltd 2009 model on display and I am going to take up his offer of him spending a couple of hours explaining and demonstrating the complete concept.
Thanks again
Brian Adshead

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Reply By: Sawtybt - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:15

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:15
Currently an 18' Bushtracker van on this site for sale

Site Link
AnswerID: 369811

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 11:20

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 11:20
Brian, we went through this process last year - selling our much loved off road CT and moving up to an Off Road van. Initially we were looking to get a good second hand van, but with our wish for a fairly specific layout, could not find what we were after. We ended up with a new 18 ft 6 Kedron and are very happy.

We have some friends with a Karavan and they are happy, but we wanted a full sized van as we are now long term travellers.

If you are interested in the Kimberly Karavan type set up, have a look at the Quantum, made by Australian Off Road Campers at Caloundra. My CT was an Odyssey ZR made by this company and it was extremely well built - one of the best on the market. Their Quantum is in the same category as the KK, but has some differences. Their workmanship and reputation are first class. I believe the Quantum is also somewhat cheaper than the KK.

In any case, it is worth a look to see what else is available.

This link should take you to the Quantum. Click on the Construction tab for full info.
AnswerID: 369896

Follow Up By: Member - Brian A (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:03

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:03
Hi Norm C
I also have also heard that the Quantum is a well put together piece of equipment. My problem is that the 'Minister for Finance' flatly refuses to use an outside kitchen again, this became the main reason for us purchasing an Ultimate Off Road Camper, mainly because the Galley is inside. I well see her point of not wanting mosquito's and flies around her when she is working on another gourmet creation, those tins of beans need a great deal of concentration to prepare, along with the toasted bread! I hope she does not read this or life in the near future could be a living Hell!! Best of luck with your new Kedron. I spoke to a couple at the Broken Hill Caravan Park who also had a Kedron about the same size as yours. They also were well pleased with their purchase and were also similar to yourselves in being constantly on the road.
Brian Adshead

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