Bushtracker in a Frosty Paddock

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:19
ThreadID: 119972 Views:2775 Replies:15 FollowUps:0
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We just spent the weekend at Mt Barney (40k west of Beaudesert) it was the coldest trip so far. According to the locals Sat night was 1 deg with widespread frost in the hollows of the campground. Sun night was 3 deg with very little frost.
It was great to warm the BT with the genny for half an hour before having a hot shower at 5pm. It was warmer in the BT than outside but we still had condensation form where the roof frame touches the plastic roof lining .... obviously the ally frame conducting cold where the insulation doesnt ... made a great criss-cross pattern on ceiling.

The girls slept in their "rated" sleeping bags in their bunks and were quite comfortable we used a doona and an extra blanket and were ok ...just. Where is that diesel heater brochure? I talked to a couple in a motorhome and they had just come from Cunungra (-5 deg) and they said their curtains stuck (froze) to the glass and you couldnt open them until they thawed ... that is cold !!

I spoke to a couple that stayed at Cania last August (last week of the month) and they said " It was freezing ". So after this weekend will be prepared .... more anti-freeze (alcohol) and more firewood.

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Reply By: Wadefarers - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:31

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:31
Anthony/Dave Had the same problem with WDH when ordering and picking up BT, told "DOES NOT NEED WDH". Unfortunately, unlike Anthony, I didn't argue BUT now know better. As stated - cavaet emptor! Am heading up Queensland way in a couple of days and calling in at BTI on 26 June on way home to have the jockey wheel moved so WHD can be fitted. (Might also be tempted to fit a Webasto to stop the cold feet in the back trick) Interesting bit about the generator use Anthony, must have a chat about that as we were considering the Eu 2.0i. Regards Jeff
AnswerID: 558989

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:32

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:32
G'day Anthony,
I am aware of the relative ineffectiveness of the
r/c air con. which is why we also carry and prefer to use a small 240V,
1.2/2.4 kW electric heater with variable fan speed. It's cheap to buy, cheap to
run, instantaneously effective and can be placed on the floor

As for the weight of the generator. Mine weighs
60kg including the braces between the chassis A-arms and waterproof box. It
is positioned in front of the gas bottles. Without it I would have insufficient
towball weight which is a healthy 295 kg.
I too am baffled by the logic, if any, behind BT's
preference of the F250 over a LC100 and can only assume it has something to
do with American bias. As a 5th wheeler perhaps? Nothing else comes to mind.
I agree entirely with your last paragraph, there
is much more to supplying a caravan of this magnitude than recommending
what is also less than an adequate towing vehicle.

I too was amazed by the enormous characteristic
change of the entire rig after installing the WDH. I have sold my Nissan Patrol
Ti 4.5 petrol engine which was incapable of pulling the BT in any comfort and
purchased a new LC Sahara 4.2TD. The pulling power of this engine is fantastic,
I can't wait to hitch it up when we take delivery at the end of July. Meanwhile
we will fly up to Darwin next Saturday, have rented a motorhome to drive across
to the Kimberleys and down to Perth over 4 weeks.


AnswerID: 558990

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:33

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:33
Hi Jeff,
Rather than move the Maco jockey wheel backwards, I
extended the A-arm forwards by 170mm so that it is now 90mm wide across the
front. I could not move the jockey back any further as my rock deflector screen
is right behind it and behind that screen is the mighty generator, all 3.3kW of

AnswerID: 558991

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:34

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:34
G'day Dave, Realistically I can put the genny on the Aframe as I'm running about 225kg ballweight. The distance from hitch point to centre of front axle is about 4450mm and the genny centrepoint would be about 1300 back from hitch point on my van. This gives a weight distribution of the genny weight ( approx 90kg with box and frame) of 71% hitch and 29% axle ...... so the genny would only add 64 kg to the ballweight. When we start doing trips further off the beaten track the A frame genny will be on X-mas list !!! [wink] As far as the F250 goes it is a better tow vehicle than the cruiser ( I have towed a BT with both)and before everyone (Cruiser owners) lands on my shoulders ... by saying the F250 is better doesnt infer that the Cruiser is a not suited to the purpose. If you look at the Kg per Nm of both vehicles you can see where the F250 has an advantage .... Cruiser .... Sahara weighs 2744kg and has 430Nm giving 6.38 Kg per Nm The F250 7.3CC weighs 3172 kg and has 684Nm giving 4.64 Kg per Nm Giving a whopping 27.5 % better Nm to Kg ratio and that is to be expected with 8 cyls,7.3l of capacity running 17 pounds of intercooled boost. The other thing that comes to mind is the extra wheelbase .... giving much less pitch over undulations or dips at 100 kph. The wheelbase is a massive 1118mm longer than the Cruiser. The vehicles are two differing beasts with both having their respective advantages and drawbacks ...... F250 is a fantastic high speed (100k max [smile]) touring tow vehicle and unlike the Cruiser lord help me if I want to go serious off-road after unhitching the BT. Cant even park it at a Westfield without 5 ft of tray sticking out. Good luck on your trip ..... do you need a cook or bottle washer I can sleep in a cupboard or sumthin' ........ [wink] Regards Anthony
AnswerID: 558992

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:35

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:35
Can only comment theoretically re this but the 250s extra metre-plus wheelbase result in its centre of mass being further forward and this will certainly help reduce pitching. But the LC has huge torque.
AnswerID: 558993

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:36

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:36
Hello Anthony,
I agree entirely with your comparison of the F250
and LC. I was aware of these facts before buying the LC. In fact I test drove
the F250 and was very impressed by its torque, felt nearly as good as the Cobra,
well maybe not. Anyhow I decided in favour of the LC because the F250 just won't
go off-road like a LC and frankly I don't want the hassles of pushing a truck
around town, not to mention the fact that my wife also needs to drive the
vehicle once in a while.
The problem remains, where to fit 2
gerrycans, it has been driving me nuts for a long time.
AnswerID: 558994

Reply By: Wadefarers - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:37

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:37
Dave It will be interesting to see what they will do with the jockey wheel as I see the problem with moving it back. I don't know about extending the front (?), maybe Anthony can supply an idea here (please). Maybe again being a little obtuse, I don't understand the jerry can problem. Is this for the BT or the LC?? Regards Jeff
AnswerID: 558995

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:38

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:38
For anyone interested, the gerrycan job is done.
AnswerID: 558996

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:39

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:39
I too have towed with Landcruiser 100 series T/D and 7.3lt F250 Crew cab. F250 is a FAR better tow vehicle and gives better economy that Landcruiser when towing same weight. My daughter now have our old 100 series and yesterday while we were towing our 3.2tonne BT and they were towing a Jayco swan camper, on the same hills the F250 still had more power than the Landcruiser. I was a little concerned about off road use, but while in the Flinders Ranges went to Warraweena Station where they have some 4WD tracks that many 4WD clubs go to use, and found that the Patrol we were with and the F250 got through everything without any real problems. Just a couple of minor under body scraps over mounds, and it was interesting to see the shorter wheel base Nissan lift a wheel were the longer wheel base didn't and in dips we both scrapped the rear when the other didn't, it all depended on the steepness of the dips. In general I was very pleased with the performance of F250. I did however get more scratches from the bushes as we were wider then the Nissan. The long wheel base F250 makes an Excellent heavy trailer tow vehicle, but it makes a terrible shopping trolley. When considering the longer A frames be warned that when out on the gibber plains, you are likely to get more stone damage to the upper section of BT with longer wheel base as the screen is further away from rear vehicle wheels and allow more stones to miss screen. We had very few hit van where longer A frame with us had a lot more.
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AnswerID: 558997

Reply By: Wadefarers - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:40

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:40
Just got back from trip up north and had the work I wanted done at BTI. Had jockey wheel moved back and bolted on so that I can now fit WDH. Getting WDH fitted next week. Had door in ensuite replaced so now have mirror - really good!! Had webasto fitted - can only say that it is excellent!! Had one little problem going up - hand brake cable snapped between Goondawindi and Dalby. BTI replaced under warranty which was good. Has anyone else had this happen? On the way up went along the Newell Highway and although lots of trucks including B doubles did not notice a great deal of wind from the trucks, but coming home down the Pacific it was a real problem. Also saw my first BT actually on the road - had not seen one before. Passed it at Kempsey with QLD rego that started with 607 - didn't get the rest. Was it someone in the group?? Jeff
AnswerID: 558998

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:41

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:41
G'day Jeff, Have not seen a cable break ... I have seen one (BT) wear through the "U" shaped eyelets welded to the chassis (that the cable passes through). I know this is probably STATING THE OBVIOUS ..... if a BT ever gets away from you when unhitched from cable snapping or otherwise remember you can just PULL THE BREAKAWAY PLUG OUT and full brakes will apply. Ladies .... familiarise yourself with this plug and how it operates if you dont know already. Practice pulling it out a few times .... you never know !!! I have shown Cindy exactly what to do .... even if the van is moving greater than walking pace ..... just grab the cable and pull plug out. It is infinitely more dangerous to do it if van is going forward ..... approach from the side ... keep pace and pull plug. Dont risk life or limb ... we have insurance so we dont have to risk injury. This would be a rare occurrence because we all put chocks down first before unhitching and lift then after hitched. Just something to commit to memory. Anthony
AnswerID: 558999

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:42

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:42
Just wondering, Anthony. Do you chock one axel set or both (4 wheels). The reason I mention this (again? Can't remember) is that the technical guy at Simplicity (BT's axel supplier) said he had had a very nasty experience resulting from the tandem load-sharing axel really doing it's job a little too well for comfort. He had a heavily laden trailer with our 4.4 t tandem axel fitted. He unhitched on a moderate slope after chocking with 2 8x8" hardwood post offcuts. Without a handbrake engaged, the axel set just "walked" over the chocks & continued on it's merry way down the slope. Exciting Griff
AnswerID: 559000

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:43

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:43
Wow !!!! Scary stuff ...... I can see, now that you mention it, how easy that could happen. The first time you jack up a BT wheel to take it off you will see how easy it could happen as well. Because of the load sharing the wheel jacks up very easy ...... I use 4 chocks but I put them on one side .... one fore, one aft, on each tyre. I have only done this because the other side is usually up on timber to level van. This should hold well with the load sharing .... although it might go in a circle a bit. If you were ever on a slope that was worrying you the best thing I can think of is a little pulley bolted to A-frame in front of breakaway switch. Attach a length of cable to breakaway pin, run through pulley,down chassis, to front wheel, use a mountaineering clip to clip it onto a spoke of wheel .... if van moves in the night it pulls pin applying brakes !!!! Even simpler is to stake breakaway pin cable to ground with a tent peg out a metre or so .... which I have done !!!! Now there is the hint of the month !!!!!! [wink] Anthony
AnswerID: 559001

Reply By: Wadefarers - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:44

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:44
Anthony/Dave/et al Somewhere in the forum there was something about generators and the Eu2.0i that you have Anthony and a comment I think from Dave about a 3.3kva type. (I know that some of it is in this thread but I thought there was something somewhere else). Anthony - why would you change from the 2.0 and Dave - why would/do you have a 3.3 and what brand is it? Is the 2.0 not quite enough? I did speak to Bob (Turist) and he thought it was. I would like to buy a generator but am unsure what to get. I was considering the 2.6 or the 3.0kva from Honda but is it enough? Or would you buy 2 x 2.0's?? One thing I was concerned about was the running times and fuel tank capacity, 4hours/4 litres for the 2.0 and about 10 hours/13 litres for the 2.6 & 3.0. Your assistance/input would be appreciated. Jeff
AnswerID: 559002

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:45

Saturday, Jun 07, 2003 at 21:45
G'day Jeff, I''ll start a new thread under Generators .... just in the interest of keeping the info together. Anthony
AnswerID: 559003

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