Outback or Standard

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 16:41
ThreadID: 96153 Views:2471 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Can anyone give us any advice on buying an Offroad Caravan compared to a Standard caravan. We have a 2009 Nissan Navara Duel Cab 4x4 and are going travelling with our two children. We are wanting to buy a van that has bunks and toilet/shower. We were initially going to buy a Jayco EXPANDA with one expanding bed and bunks, but would like to try and get a van with main bed inside and bunks, as this is going to be our permanent home for a while would rather a van that we could just walk straight into. OUr MAIN PROBLEM is that we are having a big problem finding Outback models, we dont want to go brand new and our budget is approx $50000.

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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:02

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:02
read this thread

Offroad
AnswerID: 488098

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:19

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:19
With caravans there are 3 types.... real off road, try to be off road and on road.

The Jayco off road version is nothing more then a bit higher suspension with shockers, a Tregg style hitch and a bit of extra body work/protection.

Jayco's are built to a price and after working on a far few I don't know is I would buy one, poor workmanship and the low quality of materials used.

Had an brand new off road version in not so long ago, the front jerry can holder had 3 little tack welds and I mean tack welds holding it on, you could grab it and shake it.... the wiring was a bit of a concern including reverse polarity on a few items and wiring looms touching sharp metal edges..... screws that are meant to hold stuff screwed into thin air and metal burrs not cleaned of after cutting were some of the many problems we saw.

Try getting a wiring diagram from Jayco..... near imposable and they use all the same colour wires with no identification..... lucky the guy building it new where they went sort of.

Even the sales agent was no help and threw his hands in the air.

As you can see I'm not a big fan of them, I know why they have 100 service agents around Australia.

Try to be off road vans are nothing more then a spruced up on road version with no real extra strength.

Real off road van like the Kedron and Bush Tracker are very well built but you pay for them..... but they do have fantastic resale value.

I'm sure there are many happy Jayco owners out there and I don't have any real motive to can them but working on them they just don't cut it for me.

For the price I would expect better build quality..... maybe I'm too fussy.

AnswerID: 488100

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:31

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:31
We agree with you ocoolone.
Take care,safe travels, Ma.
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FollowupID: 763305

Follow Up By: BrigalowO - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:48

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:48
Ocoolone,

I think that you are being a bit hard on the Jayco Outback, especially as Jayco has never claimed the Outback model as an "off roader" They are building a "dirt road" or unsealed road van, and they clearly distance themselves from any claims of it being an "off roader" The Outback has the Simplicity suspension as an option, which coincidentally, is the standard fitment on a Bushtracker.

We have ordered one, and we are under no illusions as to its capabilities, and given the comparative price (about half) to a "true off roader" it represents tremendous value, in spite of you bagging their build quality.

Your focus on build quality, especially highlighting a few tack welds on a jerry can holder, does not objectively answer the original posters question of a reasonable summation of its performance.

The fact that they have 100 service agents around Australia ,demonstrates their committment to customer service, rather than your insinuation of their product constantly requiring repairs. It is like suggesting Toyota Landcruiser are duds because they have five times the dealer network of Jeep or LandRover etc.

Robert
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FollowupID: 763356

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 12:44

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 12:44
Hi BrigalowO,
We travel on some extremely bad roads & rugged places in a non off road camper trailer. Hubby reinforced the trailer. It has been good.
We're hoping to get to Weipa this year depending on , work, health & rain. Also the road conditions.

From what we've seen & heard during our many travels, we've made our decision about some vans, the ones which seem to have more problems than others. Maybe it's the way they've been driven.??

We want to get a bit more comfort ,yet still go to rugged places.
We can't afford the really good off- roader Vans. We take a tent as well for when we have to leave the trailer behind. Kime could do that too.
We met up with some people in Hawker who'd bought a brand new caravan in Adelaide or Melbourne. They had stayed on the bitumen & it looked as though it had.

Several had pulled up at this spot for lunch but the couple with this new Van couldn't get into their van because the top part of the door had fallen down & jammed. some people staye d to help them.,
They'd seen it happen before. Don't know the outcome.
Take care, safe travels. Ma.
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FollowupID: 763368

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012 at 09:21

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012 at 09:21
Robert the original post asked about "off road: and about the Jayco..... my understanding was "off road" means just that going off the road.... bitumen or dirt.

So called good dirt roads can be vehicle wreckers and corrugations are a killer.... every one has different definitions of this and some think driving down there drive way if off road.

My comments about the workmanship and quality stand, if your happy with the workmanship and quality of what your spending your hard earn't money on ..... that's fine.

We have an Ultimate camper and there are things on that that are below standards including poor workmanship in certain areas and for the money I paid I would expect better..... our previous Ultimate was built to a lot higher standard... and both are built to a much higher standard then the Jayoc's I have worked on.

If I find something below standards I become very vocal about it including to the owner...... I'm not gaining anything by telling someone how it is.

I'm not a Jayco hater but I do get cranky with poor workmanship.

Jayco build some very trick looking gear and cater for nearly every market segment.

All the issues I see with Jayco's can be easily fixed whilst being built, if the person/s doing the work had taken more pride in what they are doing there would be no reason to complain...... maybe their QC is lacking.

The biggest asset to a business it the worker....employ people with poor work ethics and the business suffers.....

All the faults I have seen and found costs the customer money and time to rectifies and when it's out of warranty; Jayco or the agent will not care.

Robert you can read into my post as much as you want and their is nothing wrong with using the glass 1/2 empty or glass full 1/2 theory as you have.

A bit of pride and QC can go a long way to building a superior product that will keep the customer happy and have then return.

And you comments about spending 1/2 the price of a true off road camper doesn't cut it with me..... no matter how much you spend the workmanship and quality shroud be of an acceptable level and to a high standard no matter what it costs...... price doesn't give a manufacture the right to cut corners or their employees to do below stand work.

As I said before we have an Ultimate with below standards of workmanship..... and I know of other Ultimates suffering from the same..... Ultimate don't care once they have the sale.

Every manufacture need to steep outside their business and take a good hard look at it being unbiased..... little improvement go a long way.









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FollowupID: 763469

Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:26

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 18:26
Hi Kime,
There is one on the classifieds on this site, just a little over your price range.
It isn't an off roader though.
Do you really need a true off roader.
Some vans are called off roaders when they're not, they're only good for well maintained dirt roads. Be very careful with this if you want to go into remote locations which are rugged. You could leave the van somewhere safe & just take your vehicle on day trips.

You must know that buying second hand is risky. We're facing the same problem but E.O . would be trustworthy people I'd be watching.
Go to this sites classifieds & look at caravans & Motor homes. There is one there with bunks just might be O.K.
Have a good tarp to go over the van & connect to the vehicle for when it rains.
Good luck & have a lovely trip.
Take care, safe travels .Ma
AnswerID: 488102

Reply By: Villatranquilla - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:11

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 20:11
suspect most real off- road vans with your specific 'wants' would be too heavy for the Navara
AnswerID: 488115

Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:36

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:36
Hi Kime,

We have owned a pop top Jayco freedom which we bought new and was the baic model and found it to be very flimsy...screws fell out on even smooth roads and my husband did the odd bit or repair work here and there to trengthen drawer runners, re place screws etc.

We traded it on the Outback Sterling full van with a corner ensuite after two years, and are currently travelling for our fifth year with it. Its the shortest model at just over 18 ft and weighs close to 2 and a half tonne laden...as much as you would want to tow using a Navara ( I know this as we used to have one and only traded it last September for a Pajero).

We have found the Outback model to be much stronger and able to handle dirt roads without any thing but minor problems, (eg.hole in drainage pipe under ensuite) although I guess we havent tried to take it anywhere in 4WD territory! (off road). We are mainly restricted because of height...overhanging branches and the like.

Last year we did the Oodnadatta track, Mereenie Loop and then a lot of dirt roads in west Qld.....Diamantina Development road and others. On our first trip we took it to Lawn Hill and stayed in Adel's grove.
We stay in National Parks as much as possible and already this trip we have been to Mungo and Mutawintji N pks in west NSW...currently in Sturt N Pk near Tibooburra and going north through Warri Gate to explore more of Qld, including we hope Innamincka in SA.

Many places we drive and stay we only see camper trailers, and the more rugged 'off road' vans and pop tops...which cost sometimes more than double what we paid for our van. We know we have the budget van but have it set up with solar and batteries, added 12 v points and carry a portable gas heater.....can stay weeks in one place providing there is water, in comfort! Everything works.

We drive to the conditions and have regular maintenance and checks on the axles and other underside bits.

I know people knock Jaycos but we have tried and tested ours and despite constantly looking at other rigs, are yet to find anything we would like to replace it with. We are lucky enough to have the money to do this if we want...

So, if you can find a second hand one which suits you in your price range, I reckon you should go for it...it is important if you are travelling with children that you have something which does not require too much setting up and packing up each time you move.

Happy travelling,

regards,

Heather
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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AnswerID: 488142

Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:37

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:37
Hi Kime,

We have owned a pop top Jayco freedom which we bought new and was the baic model and found it to be very flimsy...screws fell out on even smooth roads and my husband did the odd bit or repair work here and there to trengthen drawer runners, re place screws etc.

We traded it on the Outback Sterling full van with a corner ensuite after two years, and are currently travelling for our fifth year with it. Its the shortest model at just over 18 ft and weighs close to 2 and a half tonne laden...as much as you would want to tow using a Navara ( I know this as we used to have one and only traded it last September for a Pajero).

We have found the Outback model to be much stronger and able to handle dirt roads without any thing but minor problems, (eg.hole in drainage pipe under ensuite) although I guess we havent tried to take it anywhere in 4WD territory! (off road). We are mainly restricted because of height...overhanging branches and the like.

Last year we did the Oodnadatta track, Mereenie Loop and then a lot of dirt roads in west Qld.....Diamantina Development road and others. On our first trip we took it to Lawn Hill and stayed in Adel's grove.
We stay in National Parks as much as possible and already this trip we have been to Mungo and Mutawintji N pks in west NSW...currently in Sturt N Pk near Tibooburra and going north through Warri Gate to explore more of Qld, including we hope Innamincka in SA.

Many places we drive and stay we only see camper trailers, and the more rugged 'off road' vans and pop tops...which cost sometimes more than double what we paid for our van. We know we have the budget van but have it set up with solar and batteries, added 12 v points and carry a portable gas heater.....can stay weeks in one place providing there is water, in comfort! Everything works.

We drive to the conditions and have regular maintenance and checks on the axles and other underside bits.

I know people knock Jaycos but we have tried and tested ours and despite constantly looking at other rigs, are yet to find anything we would like to replace it with. We are lucky enough to have the money to do this if we want...

So, if you can find a second hand one which suits you in your price range, I reckon you should go for it...it is important if you are travelling with children that you have something which does not require too much setting up and packing up each time you move.

Happy travelling,

regards,

Heather
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 488143

Follow Up By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:39

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 07:39
ooooppps ...sorry,not sure why that has appeared twice!
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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FollowupID: 763339

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:24

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:24
I think I recall 2 x postings is caused by hitting the Submit button 'again' while waiting for the first Submit to load (if slow)........ but hey..... everything should happen instantly in this tera/bit/nano world :-o).
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FollowupID: 763354

Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 14:43

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 14:43
Darian,
It will all be instant once the NBN is finished but don't hold your breath waiting.
Our area is scheduled for late 2015 if we are lucky (It's a small town in a solid Lib/Nat electorate so there's no hurry)

Disco.
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FollowupID: 763386

Follow Up By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 16:27

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 16:27
You are lucky Disco,

We live in a village with less than 1000 people so I don't think we will ever get the NBN. Will have to rely on Mobile wireless as I do now which works pretty fast usually...and I use it at home and wehn travelling as we are now. (Currently in Tibooburra NSW)
regards,
Heather
Hope I dont hit the submit button twice again! lol
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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FollowupID: 763402

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