Another caravan question

Howdy

I'm really close to forking out for a new Coromal offroad van. To me the offroad suspension looks pretty thin and weak. My budget does'nt reach a Kedron or Bushtracker etc.

Ive googled for hours here and all over the net and while there is good and bad it seems the build quality being bad out rules above all. Specially in the later Coromal vans.

Anyone please feel free to comment good, bad or otherwise.

I know it's been done a lot.

Cheers John
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Reply By: Member - iijmartin - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 18:37

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 18:37
Gday John,
I don't know what your budget is, tow vehicle etc.
I have a Crusader Inspiration which I am very happy with. Normal suspension but they do make off road suspension vans in any size. Worth a look.

http://www.iangrantscaravans.com.au/caravans/results.php?submit=S&cat%5B0%5D=13
Also Peninsula, Safari seem reasonable value.
Next price group upwards - Traveller, On the Move.
Aussie Wide and Sunland have the best warranties
I too are not in the Bushtracker, Kedron, Spinifex market but if I was to upgrade and spend another $20k on what I paid for the 23' Crusader, I would go for the Sunland models.
I think it really depends on how much off road you want to do. Don't forget you can wreck any true off roader with speed, tyre pressure etc.
I think you could do better than the choice you mentioned above. The problem is there are too many choices.
Happy hunting,
Ian
AnswerID: 492880

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 18:55

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 18:55
I am inclined to agree with you, Coromal aren't renowned for producing Offroad vans let alone ones with independant suspension.
I owned an ealier Coromal Seka Poptop a few years ago and although it was independant it was very light and only suitable for smooth roads.
If the suspension looks thin and weak then it most probably is.
There are a few with reasonable suspension for rougher work but not many really meet the Offroad tag requirements.
It all depends on how off road you mean.
Ability to take the load and also being compliant in it's action is the critical thing.
Many Jayco claim Offroad but they are very hard riding and crude in action.
AnswerID: 492882

Reply By: Warren B - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:25

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:25
Hi John, we also have an insperation ours has 4 inch lift H/Duty roller rocker suspension, and off road tyres and rims. last year when we did mungo, tibboburra, Noccundra, and strez track our van performed great it is NOT an off road van we call it a dirt road van.
Two points.... on the Noccundra road a bushtracker pulled up ( to rough they said ) we just droped the tyre pressures and SLOWLY drove on no hurry we were on hols after all.
Point two .. Nearly every other van we seen on the outback DIRT roads were Coromal.
Cheers Warren

Didnt help much did I. sorry
AnswerID: 492883

Follow Up By: racinrob - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:42

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:42
There's off-road vans and off road vans !
I agree with Warren, you drive to the conditions but in a van that stronger than your average off the hook van. In my opinion you should be looking at something with really good independant suspension, off-road coupling, good clearance, good departure angle, full 150mm chassis, water tank protection and that's just for starters. Others will claim I've overstated the basics but depending where you go it's better to be overprepared. My van a Royal Flair Tuff Roder has all the above plus and I've never been stuck.

rr
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FollowupID: 768499

Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:59

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 19:59
hi John

1st, it depends on your expectations. I've had a couple of Coromals. Let's face it, they are in the lower end of the market and you really can't expect them to do the real rough stuff. Having said that, if you take in gently, they do have a pretty good independent suspension with good clearance and no axle to get in the way of obstacles on the track and they tow quite nicely and are in fact, independent suspension. It really depends on what you want to put it through. they will happily ride dirt roads as long as they're not too rough and you take it gently and let a bit of air out of the tyres. But.....if you are thinking of doing anything where it might get knocked around, and I don't know your budget, you might be better buying older and more rugged. That said, I'm sure if you take it easy like many who have done the Strezlecki or Gibb RR and come out unscathed you'll be ok. Keep researching and looking on the caravanners website etc.
AnswerID: 492885

Reply By: lizard - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 20:29

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 20:29
we had a Coromal Capri off rd van , 600 model (6 metres ) it was excellent , as well as suspension Coromal state they through bolt their cupboards etc .... we towed ours into Wolfe Creek Crater camp no problems , aired down & slowed down .....
AnswerID: 492888

Reply By: J.T. - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 21:03

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 21:03
Thanks for the responses. The travelling would be Anne Beadell, Tanami and Great Central Road. Not Cape York or that kind of thing. Speed and tyre pressures would be as per the conditions.

The salesrep reckons corrigations are no problem. I hassled him firmly about this and he stood firm that the off road versions can handle them.

I would rather tent it than spend 50k and get down the track and the van craps itself.

Cheers
AnswerID: 492894

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:17

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:17
Do not take any normal sized (width) on the Anne Beadell you will destroy it. Track is very overgrown and narrow in spots coupled with huge corrugations on the eastern end especially. Most of the narrow sections have plenty of mirrors, window visors, flares etc lying around off normal width 4wd's let alone a caravan.
Someone asked a few months back about taking a Jayco type camper across and was also advised not to as there is already at least two abandoned out there.
Peter
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 21:13

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 21:13
Hi John

Check the fine print - this disclaimer used to be on the brochure for their Pioneer (the off road model)

"The Coromal Pioneer range is designed to travel on and off sealed roads. They are not however designed to travel over all terrain. Travelling over rough, rocky jagged, pinnacled and potholed surfaces may amount to misuse and driver neglect. Any damage incurred as a result is excluded from the manufacturer’s warranty. Commonsense should prevail in these conditions."

I would not take any caravan on the Anne Beadell - an off road camper trailer should be OK.

You would be better getting a pre-loved off road brand caravan than a new 'badged' run of the mill brand.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 492895

Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:21

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:21
G'day J.T. and Motherhen

I don't think I would make a fair and just promoter for Coromal Caravans, but I do own and use an "Off road" Coromal Caravan.

Why would I not be a fair and just promoter of Coromal Caravans.

Firstly Coromal are quiet pathetic regarding backing up their product, I had issues with my Pioneer Corvair caravan with what might be considered cosmetic details, things like pop rivets left on the floor and then the vinyl floor covering put down, cupboard hinge screws over tightened to the point of being useless at holding the hinge in place, leaking taps and piss poor nylon mains pressure water hoses. I resolved all the issues with very little imput from Coromal themselves, but at the time they definately knew who I was and how much I valued their product support !!

I purchased my Pioneer Corvar Off Road caravan ~ brand spanking new.

The independent suspension has never given me an ounce of trouble and yes I do take the van off road admittedly not "Off Road" like the Gall Boys and their Kedron Caravans. I tend to treat my caravan and vehicle with respect and not as a battering ram, I don't have a business to bail me out when I break something.

The Pioneer Corvair is a very good unit for what it is ~ a compromise off roader. Treat it with respect and it should last you many years.
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Follow Up By: lizard - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:26

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:26
Yes , Motherhen , the Pioneer - thats the model we had (Capri , now called something else) .... they call them off rd vans , but I prefer the term - dirt road capable van ... you are not going to tow a 2-3t van very far off rd ... Even the Bushtrackers & Kedrons will develop problems if abused ....
low tyre pressures & low speed saves a lot of heartache .
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FollowupID: 768503

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:51

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 at 22:51
Hi Lizard

All very true - none are unbreakable.

"Even the Bushtrackers & Kedrons will develop problems if abused ....

low tyre pressures & low speed saves a lot of heartache."

While the term off road is not correct - it is never intended to mean truly where there are and never have been any roads, but can mean unmaintained tracks. To other brands, it means 'capable of going off the bitumen for a short way to a campsite', or travel on well maintained unsealed roads such as through our rural areas where normal sedans travel regularly. In fact to go off road would be far less damaging than the relentless corrugations over hundreds of kilometres which we be doing harm to any rig.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:55

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:55
Hi John,
The Anne Beadell, Absolutely worth doing. Just magic in some places. We did it a few yrs. ago now.
Just beautiful but the corrugations would shake your own teeth out of your head particularly around Emu unless things have changed. We took our tent & the road gets better as you get closer to W.A.
I reckon you'd be better off not towing a van, on that section.
Coober Pedy is full of wrecks.
Not all of them were from wreckless drivers either!
Even if you do all the correct things it's a Vehicles, Nightmare bit of road.
Take care, safe travels. Ma.
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FollowupID: 768518

Reply By: graham B9 - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 07:40

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 07:40
HI John,

Did the lap in a Kedron and towed it with a f250 a couple of years ago and agree with what you are saying. Most of the replies I would agree with as well.

Not certain what your budget is but a mate of mine turned up with a River caravan. I went all over it and was really really suprised at how good it was. I had never heard of them before I saw his. I would have a look. He was towing with a 3 litre Prado.



AnswerID: 492902

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 10:51

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 10:51
Hi all,
We're in the same situation.
We've never heard of The River Caravan either. Must look
However there is a company in Adelaide called "Desert sky."We're planning to have a look at, when we get to Adelaide. They were in our price range, the smaller ones.
Now they're a little bit out. Do any of you know of these vans?.
They're not a though,which is good in some ways.
We've heard that after 2000 the Coromals deteriorated as with another very reliable make. We almost bought one 2nd hand, but were told that they had changed hands & were no longer the good Quality & the service was now bad.
Take care, safe travels.
Bye for now Ma.
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FollowupID: 768510

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:05

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:05
hi ma and pa
google is your friend
www,rivercaravans.com.au
they are in somerton victoria
cheers
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FollowupID: 768513

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:08

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:08
sorry that should be
www.rivercaravans.com.au
a dot instead of a comma
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FollowupID: 768514

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:37

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 13:37
Thank you Mazcan,
Yes I found the site. We only want a small off road caravan but it must be a proper go anywhere your 4by.can.
They only seemed to have a dirtroader & I couldn't get it's price nor any information on it to come up.

The others did.
Thanks again .
Take care, safe Travels.
Bye for now Ma.
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FollowupID: 768516

Reply By: Robert O - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 17:07

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 17:07
G'Day J.T.

Check out my response to Russan. Note the correction to my phone no.
0488 451016
AnswerID: 492931

Reply By: J.T. - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 18:40

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 18:40
Gday all

Great responses. I thought everyone was going to say this has been done to death bugger off.

Its pretty clear that you get what you pay for and need to use everything you buy with in its means.

Ive heard the Anne Beadel is tough. Realistically I'm probably not going to part with my hard earned dough on something thats not suitable.

Again thanks for replies.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 492936

Reply By: Warren B - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 19:18

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 19:18
Hi J.T. ask me again in 12 months as this time next year we are doing the big short cut. Winton to Lenora. we are taking our van and at the moment there is 2 other full size vans coming with us one Crusader one Roma. ( should be interesting ) maybe 2 off road campers as well.

Cheers Warren
AnswerID: 492939

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