Caravans what to get

Submitted: Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 23:46
ThreadID: 75321 Views:4057 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Hi all, just back from our little adventure to Tassie, 10 nights in a hi ace camper not my ideal but too shorter trip to take our camper trailer. we are considering buying a caravan to replace our camper but not sure what to look for in a caravan, ie chassis size for strength and quality build for reasonable dollars, any idea's looking at one for 2 with queen bed shower toilet.
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Reply By: stumbly1 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 02:24

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 02:24
Hi Brenton,

What are using as a tow vehicle? Are you staying on the road, doing a bit of dirt road or need to go off the beaten track? What sort of $$$ are you willing to part with?

If you can give us all a bit more detail I'm sure the answers / opinions will come flowing in!

For my 2 cents worth, when we upgraded to a "big" van, we went with one of the large manufacturers. We didn't go the "off road" route as we couldn't see us dragging 22ft of van down some of our favourite tracks any way.
With the large manufacturers you probably don't get quite the choice of fitments you do on the custom vans, and maybe some say the quality is not as good, but we're happy with ours.
And with the larger builders there are dealerships all over the country if you do need parts / warranty work.
You could probably pick up a nice 2cnd hand off road Jayco sterling for around 40k. Or you can spend over 100k and have a van that is near bullet proof with all the bells and whistles!
Any way, just my opinion

Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenton W (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:46

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:46
Sorry not to mention our tow vehicle, its a 08 Prado D4d awesome towing, takes a big hill to pull it back. we have done a fair bit of off road in the trak shak but i dont think we would pull a big van through the dunes or rough tracks. looking at maybe going up to $40000 for the right van.
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Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:39

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:39
Brenton W
Ten nights, so probably eleven or twelve days to wonder around our beautiful State, not enough time, should have been twelve weeks (all said with tongue in cheek).
We have a 18' Concept Cross Pack with simplicity suspension, queen bed, shower and loo, have had it to WA, Kimberly's, FNQ,Central Aus, plus many Ks around Tassie and it has stood up to it with no problems, would thinking South Aus you would pick up a good second hand one for under $40ks.
But its your call, as you are the only one who knows what you want and what you $$ you have to spend and what you have to tow it with.
Cheers
baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenton W (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:49

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:49
I agree baz, 10 nights is nowhere near enough time we love Tasmania, could spend 3 or so months there, but work has to come first. thats the only reason for work more money for travel!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is there anyway we could get our car and a van over there cheaper than the spirit of Tassie.
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Reply By: Member - Cozzie Toodyay (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:45

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:45
Hi Brenton

Have a look at the Crusader X Country it is an off road van with all the features you have mentioned at a reasonable price, we have sold our CT and ordered a X Country after much research, just hope it is as good and tough as it looks.

Good luck on whatever you decide
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Follow Up By: aka - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 16:03

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 16:03
by one of the popular vans regentroma regal paramount that sort of build and you will enjoy your travels
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Follow Up By: Member - Cozzie Toodyay (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 19:45

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 19:45
Crusader not popular enough for ya? ..have I bought a dud?
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Follow Up By: aka - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 12:13

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 12:13
that is not what l ment just saying buy one of the popular ones you already mentioned yours
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:44

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 17:44
Hi Brenton

As Keith says, there are a lot of questions before anyone can advise. Then their reply will be most likely based on what they chose for there needs. Posts like these come up frequently and usually raise more questions than give answers.

Why are there hundreds of different caravans out there? Because we all want something to suit our needs, family size, time on the road, types of roads and places we choose, hip pocket, personal preferences, tow vehicle capacities, style of travelling (eg move every day doing the Big Lap or go to the seaside for annual holidays) - the list goes on and on.

You decide what you want to these criteria, then go somewhere where the your type of travellers will be, look at their rigs and ask questions.

Consider pre-loved caravans. Most people don't get what they ultimately want first up. If you buy second hand you don't loose as much as if you buy new.

We also needed a QS bed, and got the yacht style (sideways) which gives us heaps more space in our 18' van. We also have a small but adequate combined shower and toilet bathroom. We have four water tanks (one dedicated drinking water with a separate outlet tap, four solar panels and four batteries for independence.

Cheers

Motherhen

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Reply By: Member - Carl- Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 20:32
Hi Brenton,

You seem like a guy that has done some bush bashing in his time and once you have done that it is hard to get back on the sealed roads again. Motherhen has some good advice as do the others. He is dragging a $100.000 Bushtracker around and they make life in the bush easy life.

If you are a handyman kind of guy and can make some improvements to a good "gravel road" second hand van, I would head that way.

Weight will be tight with a Prado (2500 kg if I am not mistaken). Pop top off road Coromal, traveller, or one of the others mentioned. Put on solar panels, some water tanks and some extra batteries.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:32

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:32
Hi Carl - Ours is one of the old originals - purchased multi pre owned. Yes, would cost more than that to get a new one built these days. We started towing with a 3 litre auto Patrol, but in reality, we couldn't even fill our water tanks, let alone pack at the 2.5 t limit. The vehicle handled it well too, but packing a 2.2 t van for the long haul brings it up over 3 t, hence the change to the F250.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 09:52

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 09:52
Hi Mh

We went 6 months ago from a Lotus 20ft road van to a 22 Kedron. This after 15 years in a army recon unit working most of that in the NT scrub.

The difference between a road caravan and a true off road caravan is HUGE in terms of the joy of being out there. Getting away from everyone and being able to stay there as well. All this without living like, well a soldier in the bush.

I have so much respect for families I see, camping in the scrub in tents and camper trailers. It is fun for the guys and children but the wives have everything to do and few facilities. You have the flies, heat and at the end of the day, not much to have a wash with.

They are however teaching their children or just enjoying the Australia bush themselves. After backpacking accross Africa, roaming Russia and 26 countries of the world, I feel fantastic that, I not just call Australia home, but call the Australian bush home.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 22:24

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 22:24
Hi Carl

You certainly have travelled well. The type of travel we like to do needs the security of a well built van (we are past tenting and swags and want more creature comforts now). The Australian bush and outback is just wonderful to see. I hate being on highways, avoid cities, and stay in bush camps or in quiet small towns when ever possible.

We didn't take our brood though - that would be too much like hard work. We waited until we could leave them behind before going camping. Two of them enjoy camping and take their little ones out (even the son with the baby).

Cheers

Motherhen
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 22:59

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 22:59
If you want a genuine all roads caravan, look at this one which is for sale

Pheonix for sale

Mh

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