G'day From Way Out West

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:17
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Hi all, I have been flicking through the archives and current discussion points for about a month now, never brave enough to venture into discussions. I am currently in the process of convincing my wife to seriously consider the purchase of a Bushtracker for our small family. She seems pretty keen after trialling a Kimberly Kamper for a month through the Territory and Kimberly's. I was wondering if there are many families out there who have done big trips with young kids and how suitable the Bushtracker is for accomodation. We have an 18 month old little girl and are planning to have another bub in the near future. I have seen some photo's of an 18 footer for sale but am wondering if going to a 20 footer might just be a little more comfy. I currently own a 2003 3.0l t/d Nissan patrol as my wife told me that we didn't need the "Big Donk". I am happy with it and the 7 grand I saved. Just wondering if we would be stretching the friendship by trying to tow a 20 footer. As this will only be a small part of our normal use ( unfortuneately, unlike many other members on this site, I still have many years of work ahead of me), I have to buy a van that I can tow with it. The real issue for me is that I haven't actually had a look at a bushtracker in the flesh. I read about how well constructed and finished they are, but want to see one for myself. I would appreciate if sometime in the near future, anyone heading up my way (Karratha/Wickham) would like to drop in and show off their BT to me. Otherwise if there is anyone in Perth that is interested in showing off their BT, I will probably be down there early next year. Ciao Dave, Jo & Jessica
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Reply By: Tassietracker5 - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:19

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:19
Dear Red Emporers Welcome to the group. You certainly live in a gorgeous part of Australia, we did "the block" in 1997 as our honeymoon - slept in a double swag on the ground, so the Bushtracker is going to be absolute luxury! We are picking up our van at the Melbourne Caravan Show in April 2004. It is 21', 5 berth with ensuite, as it needs to accomodate us and the 3 kids - a three yr old and a set of (now) 16 month old twins. We will give the van a two week run in after pick-up, probably up to Broken Hill, accross to Sydney and back down the east coast to Melbourne where we'll hop on the boat back to Tasmania. Hopefully all will go smoothly in the confined space of the van with 3 energetic boys! Our van layout consists of a set of double bunks at the end, with the bottom bunk being "L" shaped to form the 3rd bunk which could also be used as a "day lounge". You could probably get away with just the double bunks and go for an 18' van with en-suite. Just make sure the next baby is not twins, it does happen -I KNOW!!!! Best of luck with your research, there is heaps of really interesting and practical information to be found on the BOGGER forum. Dominique and Rod
AnswerID: 559804

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:20

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:20
G'day Dave, Jo and Jessica, We have two kids aged 4 and 9 so were 2 and 7 when the BT arrived. PreBT we camped in a campomatic built trailer and a canvas tent. Our eldest daughters first trip to Moreton Island was at 12 weeks and the first trip to below zero camping was when she was about 12 months. All this was done in a tent. We love our camping addiction !!! [smile] Now we have a Novotel on wheels we are spoilt and to travel with the kids is so much easier. It is an 18fter with the rear bunks and I would not hesitate to travel fulltime with the four of us aboard. Four of us sit round the table to eat with room to spare. We have been caught in cold and rain therefore being forced to all be in the BT from 5pm to 8am the next day. Showering, eating and watching TV we all ok, more room would have been cream but even watching tv the girls viewed it from their bunks and we watched from the lounge ( easy access to beer in fridge) after they fell asleep we turned the tv on its teledec and watched from the comfort of the bed. One thing that is a must is protection from falling off the bunks. Our eldest uses a slippery polyester sleeping bag on the top bunk and just plain slid off the top bunk. We were awoken with a great thump on the floor and her loud laughter. The other addition that became necessary was a top bunk ladder after she became too heavy to throw up top ..... great for climbing down for a midnight visit to the ensuite without us getting up ... A handle at the door entrance that is long enough for the kids to grab so they can safely negotiate the steps, up and down, was also a great addition. Where an adult grabs a rail and a small child grabs a rail is about 300mm diff in height so we used a longer rail. The trip to Cania was our 15th camping trip in the BT in two years and the kids have been along every trip. The only down side would be the kids seem to take over the lounge and lower bunk as a depository for everything from PJ's to soccerballs to coloring books and everything in between. So you might tend to shuffle things a little less in 20fter but that is a small price to pay .... it does seem to be less of a problem as they are getting older because they are interested in the big world away from the van/parents as we found out at Cania. I have to say they had 25 Aunties there though ... Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 559805

Reply By: Geriatric Gypsys - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:21

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:21
Hi Red Emperors We have had an 18 footer since Jan 03 and are situated 150km south of Geraldton 19km off the Brand Hiway if you are going past you are most welcome to have a look and discuss the pros and cons of Bushtracker. Contact at heal@wn.com.au for directions Regards Rex
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:22

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:22
G'day RedEmperors We have a 4 yr old BT with 3 kids. (20 ft double bed with 3 bunks). Did the big trip in 2000/2001 when the kids were 11,10 and 6. Travelling and living in a van is no problems with kids - but is certainly much better in warm climates than cold. You really want to live outside and sleep inside when there's 5 of you. Has been the best thing our family has ever done - don't hesitate for a second if you are thinking of taking off. Some of our favourite places were North of you (Yardie Creek, Lombodina, Cape Leveque etc etc) On cars We did the trip with an 80 series diesel with safari turbo. It was OK , but just OK. If you are like us the car and van will be fully loaded - we had boat ,motor, surfboards kids stuff books etc etc etc etc - would hate to think what weight we were carting ( and still do) The 80 series was Ok on the flat ( esp with tailwind or no wind , headwind played havoc)- but didn't like hills one bit. Because our trips now are more limited to surf trips up and down the East Coast during school holidays we will be swapping to an F-series before next years mid year pilgrimage to the NSW north coast. (everytime we cross the hills on the divide I keep my fingers crossed she'd not going to blow up) I am also increasingly worried about the safety of our current setup , I think the loads involved are well pushing the envelope. So in summary , don't hesitate, do it (before the kids get to old, and won't want to go with you), and get the best tow vehicle you can stretch to afford. Good Luck
AnswerID: 559807

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:23

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:23
P Islanderz, you won't be sorry with the F 250, they make a great tow vehicle. If you live on Phillip Island we will be just across the water from you in Bittern for Christmas. Could you send me an e-mail with your details as in the topic Personal Profiles and then I will be able to add you to the list of Bushtracker owners and send a copy of the owners list to you. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:24

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:24
Hi Brian How does the effy like the hills/mountains ? Only thing I am a little concerned about is going to an auto, although the transmission is pretty good from what I have read. I am looking for a slightly used crew cab 7.3 if anyone knows of one. Wayne P.S. yes we live at Phillip Island - you'll be able to see us from Bittern ;)
AnswerID: 559809

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:25

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:25
Wayne, You ask how the F250 likes the hills, well all I can say is the Toowoomba range slowed the 4.2 T/D Landcruiser to 40k/h, the F250 is 65 to 70Km/h. When we are travelling on the highways and catch up to another caravan you often cannot find a long enough place to overtake so have to sit behind for a while. If an overtaking lane comes up, usually on a hill, while the van in front slows, we simply pull out and accelerate past. On most hills along highways we can still travel at or close to 100kph over them if we flick the overdrive off. The likes of Toowoomba range it goes back to 2nd gear. I think towing with and Auto F250 is far superior to any manual vehicle that we have ever towed with. Landcruiser 4.2 T/D we got about 25 lts per 100km and F250 7.3 T/D we get between 19 & 21 lts per 100km, both towing the same van, and both travelling at about 100kph. I don't think there would be too many F250's second hand yet, we all love them too much. Because they are heavier and have longer wheel base than the Landcruisers and Patrols, their physical size also makes them a much more stable towing platform. Brian
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Reply By: Meg and J - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:26

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:26
Hi Dave, Jo and Jessica Have just logged into BOG from the Wickham Community Library. We are staying at Point Samson Cara Park and then heading into Karratha tomorrow. We have an 18' Bushtracker and would love to show you our wonderful 'home'. If you get this in time, come and see us in the Park. Seeyalater Meg and J
AnswerID: 559811

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:27

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:27
Our 2003 LC100 T/D uses 16L/100 km cruising @ 100
kph. Add around 10% consumption if using cruise
control.
AnswerID: 559812

Reply By: Tassietracker5 - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:28

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:28
Dear P Islanderz How did your Bushtracker go up the Cape Leveque Road? We are collecting our 21'er in April 04 and are itching to get back to that spectacular corner of Australia. We most likely won't get there until 2007 when we will do "The Big One", the twins will be turning 5 and the eldest 7 so hopefully it will be a great year! Cape Leveque was one of the most memorable places we visited, and Yardie Creek was fantastic too. Did you come up, cross-country, from Coral Bay to Yardie Creek or did you go into Exmouth and then down through the National Park? Just curious as to how your van travels over the sand. From Tassistracker5
AnswerID: 559813

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:29

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 10:29
We went in to Yardie from Exmouth (we were travelling south down the WA coast). Depending on the mouth at yardie creek - you could attempt the crossing , but I probably wouldn't. The BT's are so heavy that a 100 metre dash across soft sand would be very scary . I know someone that got a 20' van across the creek - but it was much lighter than a BT and I think he needed some help right at the end. The Cape L road , will depend a lot on the conditions when you get there , it was easy enough when we went through , but closed to all vehicles 48 hours later after a heavy rain.
AnswerID: 559814

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