Trakmaster caravan comments

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 19:56
ThreadID: 92272 Views:9958 Replies:5 FollowUps:10
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Hi
We are looking around for a small off road caravan around the 14ft mark.
Have looked into a few and the Trakmaster Sturt appeals at the moment.
I would appreciate any feed back especially from any one who has owned a Sturt or any other brand of similar van.

Also comments from people who are or have traveled extensively around Australia in the smaller vans about the pro's and con's. Towing restrictions, to small long term, etc etc.

We have traveled extensively in the Outback for months at a time with tents, camper trailers etc but as the years are creeping up so are the comfort levels !!

At the moment we don't have any desire to tow larger vans ( that may change in the future ) we want as much freedom as practical to continue traveling to the places we enjoy but with a little more comfort especially in the sleeping quarters the old bones are complaining about foam mattresses, stretchers, etc, it's all toooo hard after a week ??
If one get's a good sleep you can usually put up with all the other C**P!!

All constructive thoughts appreciated.

Cheers
Barry
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Reply By: Member -Outback Mac C (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 22:29

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 22:29
Have you looked at
Halen Vans(www.halenvans.com.au) They build a great off radish van whatever size/design you like, if you are looking at new.

Cheers Mac
AnswerID: 479339

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 22:39

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 22:39
Hi Mac

No I havn't.
But will check out there web site.
Appreciate the reply

Cheers
Barry
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Reply By: Member - Eric H1 - Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 23:11

Saturday, Mar 03, 2012 at 23:11
Trackmaster is an off-road caravan that has some great floor plans, but check out Sunland (great reputation), Kedron ( been around a long time), Bushtrakker, Phoenix, Spinaphix which are all other off-road vans
AnswerID: 479345

Follow Up By: 3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:01

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:01
Eric,

Five years ago I was in the same boat as you. I used to go over to WA in the winter for 6-8 weeks of gold fossicking and swag the whole time.

It got a bit wearing, so I hunted around for a second hand 16 foot dual axle Bushtracker. It took me 4 months to find one, as the Company has made mainly 18 foot and bigger, in the last ten years and the 16 footer is pretty rare.

They also made a 14 foot dual axle which is even harder to find second hand. The last one I saw for sale was a year ago, but they are out there and they do pop up occasionally.

If you want a dust proof van that can take a hiding, I can highly recommend Bushtracker.

Cheers,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: 3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:02

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 07:02
Sorry Eric, the answer was meant for Barry ! I haven't been on here for a long time and forgot how it all works. Willie.
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Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:26

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:26
Willie
Thanks for the reply. As you say the smaller vans are hard to find.
I have looked into the better company's mentioned but they seem to focus more on the larger van.

As a side question in your experience do you think it is better to have single or dual axle on smaller vans out bush.

Cheers
Barry
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FollowupID: 754903

Follow Up By: 3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:52

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:52
The single axle takes up less space in the van and is cheaper. The dual axle takes a lot more weight and the Simplicity dual axle suspension found on the Bushtracker and many other off road vans, is well proven on corrugations etc.

I would always go for the dual axle, as I go well out away from towns and need to be self sufficient for around two weeks at a time. So I want at least three water tanks (3x80 litres) , 4 x 130w solar panels and three heavy duty batteries.

Those three items things add a lot of weight to the van and if you overload a van and take it out on a rough road, you could be in for trouble.

Cheers,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:58

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:58
Thanks Willie for your thoughts.
Its always a balance between what is needed and staying as light as possible for outback travel.

Cheers
Barry
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Reply By: ozjohn0 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 09:55

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 09:55
To answer the OP's question.
Trackmaster have been around for many years and enjoy a great reputation for building tough Off Road vans.
Ozjohn.
AnswerID: 479382

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:19

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:19
Thanks Ozjohn for your reply
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Reply By: wendys - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 14:52

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 14:52
We had a Trakmaster Kimberley made for us in late 1997 - a poptop, 14' x7' internal measurement. We had been tent based campers up till then, but were about to retire and travel for an indefinite time. Husband suddenly needed a hip replacement, then aged 57, so we were reluctant converts to vanning, and deliberately had a van made to give us travel flexibility. Not too big. No non-essential gadgets to go wrong - well, non-essential to us. We maximized storage by having an E-W bed. Having the stuff we needed for extended travel, in van and vehicle, was never a space issue.
Our first trip was 3 years in the van. Found it comfortable enough for our purposes. We tend to spend much of our time outside the van, anyway, just as we did with the tent. Innerspring mattress meant we slept well.
Since that first trip, and up to 2009, we did trips most years, of 4-9 months each. From 2002, these usually involved parking up at some remote tourist operation, and working there, and living in the van.
Since 2010, the driver has had a heap of health issues and our tripping is, sadly, over.
We set the van up with solar power, 12v compressor fridge, so were able to go for long periods away from towns.
We did travel to some of the iconic 4WD destinations, but left van in storage and tented those - not because the van couldn't have done it, but because the driver didn't want the hassle of towing anything in places like the OTL Track etc. We have seen vans like ours - and bigger - in places like the Tip of the Cape, the far reaches of the Kimberley, Palm Valley etc.
We were always really happy with the van and always found the company good to deal with for servicing and the like.
So - thoroughly recommend Trakmasters. Incidentally, we have a used one for sale!
AnswerID: 479431

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:48

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 15:48
Hi Wendy
Thanks so much for your very helpful reply, sorry to hear that your travels have ended.
It appears you have the same outlook towards your travels as we do. Reluctant
converts.
Travel light as possible and keep gadgets to a minimum.( K.I.S.S.) especially out the back blocks.
As we havn't any experience with caravans long term we were interested in your comments regarding length of time away. Our outlook was that we would be living outside of the van most of the time a small van seemed to suit us but were concerned about long term, as I am retired now and we will be away for longer periods.
To maximize space we were thinking single beds !!

Is your van for sale the one mentioned above ??
Are you in Melbourne ? You can contact me on 0409436081.

Thanks again for your reply
Take care

Barry

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Follow Up By: 3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:15

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:15
If you want to save space, get bunks.
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Reply By: george50 - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 16:05

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 16:05
Hi Barry, I don't know about the trakmaster but I own a Kimberley Karavan and it's done well for 3 years , it,s done the Tip ,Cape leveque, the Gibb to Kalumburu, and many tracks iinbetween back thru the centre . They,re bloody expensive but compact,reliable, and have all the mod.cons.-toilet shower , a/c . Only downside apart from cost is in it's complexity , because they collapse to 4wd size and still have all big van systems- diesel hotwater and stove, vacuum toilet , battery banks, 240v backup, 12v fridge and lighting and lift winch etc. -- it would be a nightmare if something broke in the outback and you had no electrical knowledge.
AnswerID: 479541

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 20:28

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 20:28
Thanks George for your comments.
The K K appears to be a sound camper as you say. To expensive for our budget
and to many mod cons for us.
I appreciate your response it gives us more information to use in making our final choice.

Cheers
Barry
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FollowupID: 755122

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