Adria 512PU Altea van

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:10
ThreadID: 97051 Views:6035 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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G'day EO Community,

Has any body out there had experience or knowledge of the Adria Caravan, i.e. how it tows, handles wind etc.

We, few weeksa ago, did a roll over test on our Jayco Freedom poptop and it failed the test, having decide to go for a full caravan this time commenced looking on the week end and the Adria was recommended to us. We are looking in the 17 to 18 foot range with Shwr & toilet as our 5 y.o. grandson seems to acompany us every where we go.

It's a light van and our disco3 would tow it easily, more concerned about its lightness and roads handling abilities? It is a single axle!

Does anybody have any thoughts or experience on theses vans: we looked at a 2010 superceeded model.


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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:29

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:29
G'day John, I have no direct experience with Adria but recall reading about them
& nothing very encouraging..European design..very light..not suitable for Oz conditions etc etc...but all this is hearsay, & you can make your own judgement. Try
a search on this site..bound to be some info..maybe even an owner or two. I have
seen an odd one on the road..they look too big for one axle. I suppose the light weight allows this..but as you have had one roll over I would be wary..cheers....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 491552

Follow Up By: John Z - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:29

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:29
G'day Oldbaz,

Have had look on the web found nothing enlighting, after one rollover I am wary of another particullarly if it is light : constant flow of "B" Doubles and got hit by a windstorm after they past just increased the sway caused by the "B"'s.

Single axle has made me think double the way to go.

Thanks for your input.

FollowupID: 767048

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:51

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:51
Keep it on the bitumen and good non corregated dirt roads.

PS> What was the cause of the Jayco Roll over.
Van fault, weight distribution, speed, driver, other driver?
AnswerID: 491554

Follow Up By: John Z - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:32

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:32
G'day OJ,

Damn "B" doubles (6) doing way past the speed lmt caused a slight sway and then cleared wind break of trees and got hit by a wind storm: good stuff.


FollowupID: 767049

Reply By: Mikelb - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 15:02

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 15:02
Hi John
Adria did a test on the 512 up the Birdsville track. I did have a copy of the engineers report but have filed it somewhere safe! Perhaps if you contact Adria in Queensland you may be able to get a copy. We have an Adria Altea 432 and have had it for 3 years. We have had a number of vans and off road campers over the years and this van is by far the best constructed we have owned. We do not use it "off road" but certainly are not against taking on outback gravel roads. So far nothing has broken or nothing has fallen off!
We tow it on a RAV 4 v6 and it tows brilliantly.
I was convinced to buy it after a lengthy test tow at Frankston, and was amazed at the stability of the van. Adria have these vans engineered for Australia and warranty them for gravel roads.
They are not in my opinion suitable for very rough and corrugated roads, but I have also seen a number of off road caravans needing major suspension repairs after travelling on these road.
The new Bailey caravans and Jurgans use a very similar suspension.
I wou;d also look at the Slovenian Adria website and view the videos on their test track.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 491567

Follow Up By: John Z - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 15:45

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 15:45
G'day Mike,

Thanks for your input.

We would be doing minimal off road, if any, just wondering how they towed and performed in windy conditions as they a very light van.

Think I might have got toey after roll-over. Ian at Frankston also offered to take the van on a test drive on the back of my Lnd Rover Disco3. Must admit he is the only dealer to make this offer.

Good to read that they are a well constructed van. Just wondering if the get much side ways sway in adverse conditions?


FollowupID: 767069

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:16

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:16
The not built for Oz conditions furphy comes from the stupidity of the Viscount Caravans organisation with their Ultralite range. Alko chassis come in various weight models for different weight vans. Viscount used a chassis that was too light for their smaller models. When they built bigger vans they used the same chassis and extended it. They overload on the chassis far too much.

When you overload anything you should expect it to crack up. Just because someone (Viscount for example) overloads something and causes a lot of failures it does not mean that something is a bad product when used correctly. There is nothing wrong with Alko chassis, they will last the distance when used correctly. Viscount were the only mob I know of that did not use them correctly. One of the big problems with the chassis was the suspension, it kept getting out of alignment. That was caused by the chassis cracking up and not in the suspension itself. The suspension is the same type that Barry Davidson used under his Phoenix off road vans.

I had dealings with Trevor Baker when I purchased a Regent van in 1994. Our conversations at one point turned to Ultralite vans and their chassis. He said that he would dearly like to build some vans with Alko chassis. The only thing stopping him was he was not confident in being able to market them after Viscount effectively killed any market for vans with Alko chassis.

Some of you will know of Collyn Rivers and the outback travelling he does. He did some travelling up north of the Arctic Circle and into Eastern Europe. He described the roads there as being in keeping with our worst. The van he took was one with an Alko chassis. He said he was far from being alone, there were other vanners there with similar vans. So there we have the situation where the Europeans use their vans on extremely poor roads and we have the uninformed here saying don't do it.

John, we have the usual situation of forum members acting on here-say and not really sure of what they are posting. Don't let them put you off purchasing your dream van. If you don't go thumping around the outback roads like the 4WDers do with their camper trailers you will be perfectly OK.

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AnswerID: 491570

Follow Up By: John Z - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 17:16

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 17:16
Thanks PeterD,

We are not into offroading, we just want a good and nicely fitted out van that we can enjoy in comfort and can handle some minor dirt roads.

Have get on to some dirt roads to visit family up north but nothing like out back conditions.

The van we where shown was a very neat new demo van with everything we would require at the moment. Also, the only reason I drive a big 4wd is that at thew moment I still own a 6meter boat on tandem trailer: big heavy bugger.
Seems that if I sell the boat with the light weight van I could down grade to a smaller vehicle. We live in Melbourne oldest son lives in Northern NSW, now that I am retiring would like to travel up there more often without the petrol bill.

Once again thanks for your enlighting feed back and best wishes. Pity one of the previous replies did not give advise as you have, rather than terse comment on staying on the road and more intrested in why we rolled.


FollowupID: 767075

Reply By: Mikelb - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:23

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:23
Hi John
When I did the test tow with Fritz at Frankston I could not believe the stability of the van. Fritz swayed the van from side to side at 100 kmph then straightened it up and it pulled straight back into line. He also did a crash stop from about the same speed and once again it pulled up straight.
We have towed ours in high winds in outback NSW and Queensland without any dramas.
On the way back from our daughters home at Bryon Bay not long after we bought it, and travelling down the Newell near Narrabi, my wife was driving and swung out to doge a big pothole. The road was in poor condition due to the floods. She overcorrected, and then overcorrected back again. I thought it was rollover time, but got her to straighten up, and hold in a straight line. No worries, the van just tracked back into line.
I find the override brake system excellent, and the Alko antisway hitch easy to use and every bit as effective as the Hayman Reece we have used on other vans.
Andrew Gallop who owns Hardings caravans and worked for Swift in England is full of praise for the build system they use.
Adria have sold about 800 vans in Australia.
AnswerID: 491571

Follow Up By: John Z - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 17:41

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 17:41
Thanks Ike,

My wife did something similar, trying to over correct the sway after the wind storm but the jayco did not respond too nicely.

We do like the look of the Altea 512PU, so does our grandson as he wants the front double bed (table lowered).

As mentioned above we would be travelling up towards B.B. regularly like you have so its good to read it can handle the wind.

Talking about wind: you just put the wind up my wife when she read how you did the did the test drive, she stated she's not getting in the car for the test if thats how they do it. We also will be going to Frankston! Hope I can survive the test and write up about on EO afterwards.


FollowupID: 767079

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