Off-road vrs non off-road jaycos

Submitted: Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 08:57
ThreadID: 7444 Views:10056 Replies:13 FollowUps:13
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Hi, my husband and 3 kids and I are planning to do a trip to Qld,NT and a bit of WA. We plan to go to Carnarvon Nat Park,Cape Trib, and onto the Cape, across to Kakadu,Uluru and the Kimberleys. After long deliberation we've decided that the jayco swan setup would suit us best for quickness of setup. We plan on taking a tent to the cape. Will we need an off-road jayco or would a standard one be o.k? Also would an off-road jayco be alright to take to the cape instead of a tent?
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Reply By: Tony - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 09:49

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 09:49
Well bod horses for corses, one would expect that the Off Road model would be a stronger build and that's the one I would choose.

As for the Cape? Not having towed a camper up there. I'm not to suer how it would go, but given plenty of time and driven carefully it should be ok.

In any preperation for such a trip a few mods here and there to strengthen the camper might be a good idea.

Have a safe and trouble free trip.

AnswerID: 32064

Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:31

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:31
Thanks for your advice. Yes I think an off-road is the way to go. We'll make sure we take it nice and slow!
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Reply By: GUPatrol - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:05

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:05
Whichever camper you take to the cape needs to have a soft supple suspension, unfortunately for some manufacturers (Jayco is one of them) off road means big springs...
Not so, springs need to be strong but soft to absorb corrugations, otherwise the trailer falls apart.
It doesn't really matter if they are independent suspention or not just soft enough, take a look at the TVan Camper for an idea on how soft it should be....
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Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:33

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:33
Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at the TVan as well as my husband to check out the suspension. He's a bit more practical than me!
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Reply By: Member - Colin (ACT region) - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:47

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 10:47
A friend has an off road Jayco - recently did a trip through the centre, Kimberley Darwin etc.
Only trouble they had was dust in everything - not sure whether this can be fixed. There was some 'talk' here about fans and snorkels for the van to keep a positive pressure in the van to keep the dust out.

The comment about suspension is true - for vans, trailers and cars - idealy should have more 'compliant' (soft) springs with good shock absorbers. Look at some of the footage of the World Rally cars - heaps of wheel travel and very complex gas shock absorber systems which give a soft landing from 1 metre + - amazing!

The off road trailer/van market is complicated - so many types to choose from - the ones with the flash suspensions are quite expensive - with reason I suppose.
Good luckSubaru Forester
size isn't everything !
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Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:36

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:36
Thanks for the advice. I guess we'll be much more knowledgeable next time! Without actually having done a great deal of outback touring and not knowing anyone personally who has we just have to read, read read!
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Reply By: flappan - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:24

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:24
Part of the problem with On road Jaycos is the interior is stapled together.

I would almost certainly bet, that a trip to the cape would result in not much left of the interior of your van.

Whilst an Offroad one IS better, reports from a friend of mine who has one, and has done a LOT of offroad driving with his . . . . should have bought a campertrailer.

The convience of them is excellent . . . but serious offroad work is doubtful at best.
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Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:37

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:37
Thanks for your reply. We'll make sure we have a look at the later model jaycos.
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Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 00:07

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 00:07
Just did the Gibb River Road which can be done with a normal vehicle and caravan - saw with my own eyes. The main challenge was the road up to Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu. Stopped at the Drysdale station and there were 12 camper trailers lined up waiting to get towed to Kununurra on a tilt tray. One of them was even the infamous $20,000 plus Kimberley Campertrailer. For extreme 4x4 it's easier to take a tent, in our case a 30 second tent.
The Gibb River road is just that....a road city slickers say they conquered in the almighty outback while sipping chardonnay with their city friends (or country friends for that matter) - quote of another Exploroz user - few ever do the actual Plateau and Kalumburu road. I know you're doing the Cape but there's not much difference in the challenge - probably harder on the vehicle doing Mitchell/Kalumburu road, more scenic on the cape road.

Bod I'd stick with the Jayco with off-road setup - it's your choice what suspension you put in it with an additional cost. After our trip up north we've weighed up the pros and cons, if there's something "extreme" why not leave your Jayco at a caravan park or minding facility and take your tent? Trust me, for a trip around oz or anywhere the Jayco far outweighs a camper trailer.(You'll stay in non-offroad areas more than offroad) Camper trailers are an absolute sh*t to set up in bad weather (tents of course as well) but there's still plenty of areas camper trailers can't go. We're mad fans of the Jaycos and when we save up enough we'll go the dove or eagle which is perfect for the young family.
Have a great trip.
Regards
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Reply By: Anthony - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:53

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:53
We picked up a new jayco Dove Outback last week. I am yet to take the camper of off road but lots of short and longer trips are being planned, so I cannot offer at the stage any comment on how it performs off-road.

I can say the the latest model off-road campers by jayco has a few changes, the cupboards are screwed as well as stapled and the spring length has been increased.

I agree with other comments that the jayco off-road camper is not a heavy duty off-road camper but the latest model does have some improvements. As far as the issue of dust goes, I plan to tape over the various vents (with the fridge turned off) and if required, run some tape over the seal where the top and base units join.
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Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:39

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:39
Thanks for your reply. We'll make sure we buy a later model one and check for those screws!
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Follow Up By: Member - MightyQ - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 22:07

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 22:07
G'day bod, I can only agree with Anthony,we picked up our Dove about 3 weeks ago and although we haven't ventured 'off-road' yet, we intend a few shorter trips before heading for a 3-4 month trip next July.
As for being an off roader, what do we have our four wheel drives for?
Just a suggestion I can recomend having a Tregg towing hitch installed on your Jayco. I've used them a lot on other trailers and can recommend them in off-road situations.
Have fun
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 12:10

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 12:10
Bod,

Have to concur with all the comments so far. Because of the stapling of interior components, Jayco's have developed a reputation for coming apart once subjected to a bit of rough stuff. Good to hear they're now addressing this problem in the newer off-road versions. Even so, the Jayco off-road is not a hard core off-road set-up, really more "unsealed" road set-up.

Depending on your intended route, you'll come across plenty of unsealed, corrogated roads where you're going. Unless you plan on sticking exclusively to the bitumen, I'd give the off-road version serious consideration.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 32093

Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:41

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:41
Thanks for your reply.I think that following everyone's advice that an off-road one is the way to go if we stick with a jayco!
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Reply By: Graham & Ann - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 13:24

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 13:24
You may have alread have tried this, but it maybe worth your while to try for info re this on the Jayco forum http://www.jayco.com.au/traveldiary-table.html
or the campertrailer forum http://groups.yahoo.com/group/campertrailers
or caravanners forum http://groups.msn.com/Caravanersforum/home.msnw

I'd go for the outback model in any of the brands considering where you want to go. But as someone has already stated heavy springs etc. dont necessarilly make for good dirt road camper although it does help as the main thing that wrecks vehicles on dirt roads is speed...drive to the conditions etc..and things go much smother.

cya1999 Pathfinder
17ft Evernew 'All Roads' van
AnswerID: 32105

Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:43

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:43
Thanks,I did follow your advice and had a look at those sites. The Jayco site was a good site with lots of advice about all different sorts of things-very informative. Thanks again!
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Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:37

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:37
bod have you looked at the new coromal offroad caravan? had a look at the Sydney caravan show & it looked prity good , independent coil & shock suspension & solid internal build was considering buying but the Boss didn't want to be cooped up inside so we brought a Kimberly Kamper instead & am very impressed with it. If you want a van check out the coromal i think they are built better than the Jaco but thats just my opinion.Regards Bob
Where to next
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Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:38

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:38
bod have you looked at the new coromal offroad caravan? had a look at the Sydney caravan show & it looked prity good , independent coil & shock suspension & solid internal build was considering buying but the Boss didn't want to be cooped up inside so we brought a Kimberly Kamper instead & am very impressed with it. If you want a van check out the coromal i think they are built better than the Jaco but thats just my opinion.Regards Bob
Where to next
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Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:39

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:39
sorry about the double reply, web hickup.Regards Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Wherethehellawi - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:44

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 17:44
put the bottle down BJ hic hicWow! am I cute
If yer ain't fishing, Yer ain't livin
Richard
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Follow Up By: bod - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:50

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 20:50
Thanks for the double up reply, I think you really wanted to make your point? I did look at the coromal layout but I didn't think it was as good for 3 kids as the Jayco as well as not being as readily available on the 2nd hand recent market. Thanks for the advice tho'
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Reply By: Member - Robyn - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 00:25

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 00:25
Bod, have you checked out ultimatecampers.com.au? We've taken ours everywhere and she hasn't missed a beat she goes wherever our patrol goes! It's quick and easy to set up (I can do it myself if we don;t put the whole annex up and be cooking within 20 mins of pulling up at a camp site. I note you've got 3 kids but you'll see there's an underbed extension that fits 2 sets of bunks really easily.
Check the website out - I think you'll be impressed and the price is really competitive with jaycos etc but the difference is the strength (they are really tough)the light towing weight and they are waterproof dustproof inside (unless you leave the plug out of the sink like I did!).
Cheers
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Reply By: bod - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 07:51

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 07:51
Thanks for the advice-no I hadn't heard of the ultimate camper so I have had a close look at their site. I guess they are a little more pricey than what we had anticipated on paying-we were planning on getting a 2nd hand jayco but definitely worth consideration-Taa
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Reply By: Blackie - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 12:11

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 12:11
Bod
Tim Bowden (ex ABC Media Watch &c) has written a book 'Penelope Bungles to Broome" on his travels in a Jayco Flight (the smallest version of the Jayco range now discontinued) Its an entertaining book and your bound to learn something.
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Follow Up By: bod - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 16:43

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 16:43
Thanks for the idea=I'll see if I can find it and have a read!
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Reply By: Meggs - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 22:05

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 22:05
Bod you didn't say what sort of vehicle you have but these camper are quite heavy I have a Finch Outback and it is 1000kg unloaded and I tow it with a hilux. You a fair bit of power to tow them off raod as they are heavy and don't have the same wheel track as the vehicle. If you want to take it on the Dintree track to Cooktown you want to have plenty of power and traction available.
I am alway interested in what other people do with their Jayco's and whenever i get th chance I make it a point of asking them. The concensus is take it slow as what is comfortable in the vehicle would be destroying the van. I met a acouple who took their Swan to Weipa during the warranty period with the thinking if it breaks it will be Jayco's problem to fix but nothing went wrong.
I haven't been to the cape but from what I have been told don't take the camper past Weipa as I personally know one party who went up there this year and severely bent the chassis of a Rodeo towing a offroad camper through a creek, this also occured to another Rodeo while they were there. I have also heard of a Hilux suffering the same problem.
You don't have much choice with kids as a caravan is out of the question.
Why don't you hire a offroad trailer for a couple of weeks (the tent on a trailer type) and see how you go before you fork out a lot of money as the tent on atrailer units are very strong have the same wheel tracks as the vehicle and you can take them almost anywhere. When our kids were young they enjoyed camping so young kids aren't fussy.
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