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Best Off Road Caravans

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Post  Firefly Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:18 am

I am considering buying an off road caravan and would be interested in hearing fellow prospectors opinions and recommendations on what makes/models to consider and also avoid. There are many makes and models out there. From my experience, some look good on the outside but are poorly made. I want a robust one, one that can handle off road use. I am considering the 'New Age' range of caravans, but have just started my research. Thanks.

Cheers,

Firefly.

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Post  PeterInSa Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:38 pm

FF I think Kedron make the best Off Roader, having said that I think some caravans can be taken off road if driven to the conditions.

We have raised our 21'6" Traveller Caravan, now has 8 Inch of box section above the springs, still have small wheels on the back for when we go thru a deep dip/creek. Have the conventional Spring set up underneath.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_zLtLy_BWg

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Post  rockhunter62 Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:09 pm

There is also the Bushtracker and Bruder X.

Cheers

Doug
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Post  Guest Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:19 pm

cheers


Last edited by davsgold on Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Firefly Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:16 pm

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had not heard of Kedron, Bushtracker and Bruder X. I will check them out.

Thanks for the vid, great country and the Kedron which looks very well built for extreme off road. It also looks quality inside based on their website info.
I see what you mean @davsgold, they are very expensive... 90K for this 2014 model, but probably worth every cent.

How did the Carafan 12v pressure system go? Does it keep the dust out? I also sucked in a lot of dust heading to Tibooburra and will definitely get a pressure system fitted to the new caravan.

Cheers,

Firefly.

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Post  geof_junk Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:35 pm

What you have to consider is the location you are going to detect in. Can you get you camp at your detecting spot. Length and height will be restricted. Water needs, battery requirement and power source (Gen or solar and demand). In West Aust. I found with a dual wheel axel and a reasonable ground clearance it is possible to get to most areas you can get a car too. But remember that is my experience and my not suit your conditions.
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Post  PeterInSa Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:10 am

I suggest your seriously consider the Payload of your van, ours came with 560Kg ( I asked) since been upgraded to around 900Kg by an Engineer etc.

and for Dave.......

Around 5 years ago travelling to WA across the Nullabor on Ch 40.

1st Truckie " Not another Jayco"
2nd Truckie " Whys That"

1st Truckie " Well its the 6th Jayco that I have seen in the last 5 minutes"
2nd Truckie " Is That so"

1st Truckie " Yea their Like A*s*'s, everybodies got one"

And on Jayco Tandems, I think now you can go up to 600Kg Payload if asked for don't know about Cost?

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Post  Guest Sun Mar 14, 2021 9:24 am

Very Happy


Last edited by davsgold on Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  granite2 Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:56 pm

Every time I see a huge off road van that is so high off the road you could break your neck I smile. And I have yet to see an off road van OFF road. Surprised To me OFF road is where there is no road, simply a track through the bush or two wheel tracks winding across the country. All off road vans I have seen have actually been on the tar.

Years ago we would drive our Holden or Ford and tow a bondwood van, now it seems some people must have huge 4x4 and a van costing 5 times what my first house cost Shocked

We have had several vans and motor homes over the years and all have done real OFF road work. In the early days we used our old Kingswood and Falcons and none of our vans were deemed OFF road. We dove our 21' motor home into places where some people wouldn't take their Toorak Tractors in case they got scratched. One bloke we met on the WA goldfields had his expensive 4x4 almost all covered in 100 mile an hour tape. Plus he carried two freezers two gennies and a solar panel for his dirty great OFF road van.

The last caravan we had was a 16x8' Jayco on road and it went everywhere. We even had to cut down trees at times to get it across a creek crossing or even do some pick and shovel road work. But that just added to the fun and feeling of accomplishment of getting where you wanted to go. We have at times been asked how the devil we got that van or motor home in there? My reply is always the same, "very carefully." Total all up cost of that outfit was $40,00 for the van, new. And $25,000 for the second hand 18 month old Kia Sorento.

These days we drive a 23' motor home that goes where we want it, OFF road or not. One of the great things about a motor home is you can drive it into where you want to prospect and you have your base right there with everything you need, including the shower.

I guess even we are getting soft in our old age Very Happy

The point is, unless you are going to do 1000s of km on really bad dirt roads you don't need a $100,000 OFF road van. We have been prospecting for 40 years and do know a bit about this. We regularly meet people driving a 2x4 ute or even a sedan in the bush, just like we used to do years ago, and they have no trouble. But whatever you buy, good luck and have fun.
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Post  AraratGold Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:29 pm

Here you go Jim. Our little offroader so far off road that we had to make our own track ! Shocked

Cheers,
Rick

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Post  granite2 Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:18 am

Hey Rick, yep we had to often make our own road, too. More than one bush or tree had to make way for us. Lots of fun and lots of gold. You don't find much gold in a caravan park.
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Post  boobook Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:21 pm

Firefly.
Due to a recent diagnosis of a very unwanted illness, I may be selling our van/tow vehicle in the not too distant future.
The van is a 1996 Supreme Getaway, about the most rugged van of its day. This van is a 15' x 6'6", pop top with a side entry door. Has an Engel 90l. comp. fridge, split system A/C, gas hot water with outside shower, queen size bed with large storage space under, 2x90litre water tanks.
The tow vehicle is a HZJ75 cab/chassis Landcruiser with 310,000km., bought new by me in Feb. 1997. Has a TJM steel bull bar, 9000lb. Warn winch, Polyair air suspension bags on rear springs, UHF, 60 litre Trailblaza fridge/freezer, dual battery setup with low hours Honda eu20 generator. Both L/C and van are on 16" L/C splits, 2 spares each.
The vehicle and van are in very good and sound condition, well proven over very rugged off road travel conditions. The red dust comes as part of the deal Cool
Located in NSW, if you or anyone else are interested in this combination, please PM for more information
Mike

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Post  scooter Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:38 am

Firefly, have a look at JB Caravans I have a Scorpion Sting and it will go anywhere that I need to go, works well, Quality van. Scooter.

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Post  AnnieL Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:55 pm

It’s a dilemma choosing an off road caravan.  I have a 2012 Kedron ATV 18’ internal that I’m happy with. The decision on what you want the van to do (off road suspension/ strong chassis/ type of coupling or hitch) where it can go (length/height/ weight), ATM/ GVM/ GCM ( how much you can load on board/can tow vehicle legally tow it within its rated capacity/ combined legal mass) are also necessary things to consider. In other words, make sure your vehicle can do the job as it’s expensive to upgrade a vehicle.  Your own ‘level of comfort’ you’re happy with is another.

I’ll just list a few things that were important to me for the van itself. Bear in mind I lived and traveled remotely for 12 years around Australia in the van so, I wanted as much as possible to make this enjoyable.
* batteries for off grid power (lithium best but expensive)
* adequate solar panels for your batteries
* water tanks (have 2 x 100 litre for shower etc + 60 litre drinking water filter at sink)
* hot water system - Suburban
* 9 kg gas bottles x 2
* inside combined shower/ cassette toilet
* compressor refrigerator 218L -  was Waeco now Dometic
* generator hatch/ storage
* air conditioner / micro wave
* TV with satellite and set top box for free Imparja tv.

Good luck with your choice. If you want to discuss further you can PM me.

Cheers
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Post  PeterInSa Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:16 am

Ditto (inside combined shower/ cassette toilet)
Also in our 21'6" Traveller, we were pro the Combo because it came with more cupboard space across the back of the van adjacent to the combo, but probably not the "in thing"

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Post  Firefly Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:48 pm

AnnieL wrote:It’s a dilemma choosing an off road caravan.  I have a 2012 Kedron ATV 18’ internal that I’m happy with. The decision on what you want the van to do (off road suspension/ strong chassis/ type of coupling or hitch) where it can go (length/height/ weight), ATM/ GVM/ GCM ( how much you can load on board/can tow vehicle legally tow it within its rated capacity/ combined legal mass) are also necessary things to consider. In other words, make sure your vehicle can do the job as it’s expensive to upgrade a vehicle.  Your own ‘level of comfort’ you’re happy with is another.

I’ll just list a few things that were important to me for the van itself. Bear in mind I lived and traveled remotely for 12 years around Australia in the van so, I wanted as much as possible to make this enjoyable.
* batteries for off grid power (lithium best but expensive)
* adequate solar panels for your batteries
* water tanks (have 2 x 100 litre for shower etc + 60 litre drinking water filter at sink)
* hot water system - Suburban
* 9 kg gas bottles x 2
* inside combined shower/ cassette toilet
* compressor refrigerator 218L -  was Waeco now Dometic
* generator hatch/ storage
* air conditioner / micro wave
* TV with satellite and set top box for free Imparja tv.

Good luck with your choice. If you want to discuss further you can PM me.

Cheers

Thank you Annie for your informed advice. All good points to consider, especially the advice on towing vehicle and its capabilities etc. I want to keep the GVM below 3500 so I don't need to fork out more $$ for vehicle upgrades etc.

So far in my research I am favouring Kedron or JB Caravans. Both appear to be quality constructed and geared for rough terrain . They are also equipped with most/all of the above features. Kedron is more expensive but probably worth the spend for the extra quality and features. A nice 'home from home' will make it all the more enjoyable.

Next on my research list is the difference types of suspension used in the JB and Kedron models and then onto looking at motor homes.

Cheers,

Firefly.


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Post  PeterInSa Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:14 pm

Firefly Re (then onto looking at motor homes)

With a respect to Jim above (granite2) I think MH's in the bush are limited, especially the Victorian Bush. I have taken our 6.3m self contained Long wheel base, high roof Mercedes Benz Sprinter onto Vic Bush Tracks and driven carefully sometimes with a bit of bush pruning. No way would I take a wider/higher Motorhome, even a Fiat Ducato Campervan thats a bit wider than a Sprinter onto most Vic Bush Tracks, its a Bugger to turn around on your own, plastic Bumper Bars only bend so far..

Then its a 2wd or 4x4 Campervan. A couple of years ago, just prior to dusk, I drove thru a dry creek when I was detecting with the Vic Seekers Club, realised the banks were steeper than I expected and slowed down.... Wrong should have speed up to keep momentum, result the 2wd Sprinter was resting on the tow bar, rear driving wheels just touching the ground. Jacked the rear up, put my leveling ramps underneath and gave the engine the gun in reverse, The ramps shot out under the front of the vehicle. Now nearly dark and some distance from camp ( did not want to use the CB because of potential embarrassment) Did the same again with thick wood tree branches under the ramps and with squealing tyres and 1m long rubber on the side of the bank I was out.

To me, with a caravan you can still go thru creeks and camp on gold and/or go as far as you can to a good campsite and then for the rougher stuff its the 4x4.

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Post  tirp56 Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:21 pm

be a bit careful with bushtrackers as they are very heavy unladen so your normal l/c hasnt got the towing capacity dont know about the kedrons but i reckon they might be on a par ihave a olympic champion xtrail which we tow with a 2013 holden colorado and have done for the last 6 years with no dranas at all

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