Jumping in with both feet!!

Submitted: Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:10
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Just joined your very informative group because next month we will put a deposit on a 20' BT (too big; too small?) and a Toyota Troopy (thoughts on diesel versus turbo diesel; thoughts on manual versus automatic?) and make it out home for many years into the future. Previously lived on a 44' sailboat for 15 years; yeah, Steve and I have a lot in common. Even the same boat model: Mason (his was a 48'); bigger is not necessarily better. Limits where you can go. Initial questions: 1. Anyone with a BT currently located/living in the greater Melbourne area? If so, perhaps we can get together. 2. I need to buy a new mobile phone. Since we are heading for no man's land, any suggestions? 3. Realizing the extent of this purchase, guessing $70,000+ with all the bells and whistles, has anyone had any "negotiating" experience with BT and is there any "wiggle room", or is it a "take it or leave it" price? I am starting to review the almost 3000 posts on the site so as to avoid making the mistakes others have made, and to upgrade the BT to take into account all of the things that others wish they had done during construction. Thanks in advance to all of you for all of the information. Having had a lot of prior experience living in a small 12V diesel environment, I will try to add my comments as I review the recent posts. Thanks again and look forward to future meetings and rallies.
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:23

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:23
Kiwi, here are some of Steve's thoughts on towing vehicles and "wiggle" room!! ON TOWING VEHICLES: "Now, back to the Toyota vrs Ford, the new 100 Series Toyota is more of a 17"
wheel luxury town vehicle than an Outback vehicle. I am including analysis
on both vehicles for you here in this email.... The Independent Front
Suspension is a bit of a worry on the new 100 series. Also, with everything
you want on board, you are talking about an overloaded Toyota, up over 3
tonne fully loaded. Your van if you really load it up could be up to the
2700 kg mark as a guess as our average van in 20' would be about 2500kg...
Then with six tanks of water and a lot more gear, over 3200 kg.... 6.5
tonnes being run with a 4 litre diesel...?? The 100 Series Independent
Front Suspension (IFS) has some additional problems with a soft front end,
harmonic vibration on the corrugation causing side drift on steering
reported, and a soft mushy suspension that needs to be upgraded and
stiffened up to be a safe tow vehicle... I would not have sold my Ford F-350, exept for my specific problem
regarding the horses coming as well.... Yes you have to selectively park,
but you are indicating a loaded tow vehicle and loaded van up near the
limits of safety on the highway, thus the tip to check out the longer
wheelbase, better fuel mileage, better comfort, better safety, of the
Ford... If you settle on the Toyota, then you need to change the style of
your thinking from the BOG site of "what more goodies can I add on" to the
yachting style of "what can I do without" or "how can I modify my style to
do without it".... Otherwise you are travelling to heavy and to slow... It
is not in either of our best interests..." ON "WIGGLE" ROOM: "As to a report of you asking about negotiating price with us (YES I DID AND EVEN THOUGH STEVE DOESN'T ENDORSE THE BOG SITE, SOMEONE CERTAINLY MONITORS IT FOR HIM - DON'T THEY!?), one of the
reasons we have no Competitors is we put a lot into these vans and have no
debt. They could not survive to compete if they had to borrow, pay rent,
run an overdraft protection, etcetera... (We joke... You know how you make
a small fortune building caravans to this level??? Start with a large
fortune... Ha!) And Tracy and I both did, we have no debt or rent to
service. They cannot afford to build to our level. But also for that reason
we do not negotiate price... The truth is, our so called Competitors like
Kedron? They offer half the product at nearly the same price, go see for
yourself... It is true with the rest as well... No one comes close to our
quality level, they could not afford to. Anyone who has an eye for quality
like you obviously do, would not be fooled by any of our so called
Compeititors... And for the prices they charge, routinely up around $80,000
on a 20' van, we should raise our prices commensurate with the product by
about $20,000 more at a minimum.... No joke..." ANYWAY, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT STEVE DOESN'T BELEIVE THAT THE TOYOTAS HAVE ENOUGH GRUNT; BIGGER IS BETTER! ADDITIONALLY, WHAT YOU SEE ON THE INVOICE IS WHAT YOU PAY AND THAT'S OK TOO; NO HARM IN ASKING FELLOW BOG MEMBERS EVEN IF IT WILL GET BACK TO "THE MAN" BECAUSE A LOT OF WHAT IS DISCUSSED WE WANT TO GET BACK TO "THE MAN" CHEERS, AND HOPEFULLY MEET SOME OF YOU AT THE 2004 BOG RALLY - WHENEVER IT OCCURS! TGINTL (FIRST LETTER OF SIX WORDS FORMING A PHRASE THAT APPLIES TO ALL OF US IN THIS GROUP)- ANY GUESSES?)
AnswerID: 560013

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:24

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:24
To Guess Is Not To Learn? (this IS a guess, BTW).
From what you have quoted, it would seem that most of the BOG is running less, and in some cases much less, than what BT thinks is adequate/safe. Does cutting back to, say, an 18-footer make enough of a difference to the weight?
AnswerID: 560014

Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:25

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:25
I would think it is time for you to go to the proverbial "well" and ask Steve. My guess is that he would opt for the F-vehicle. Note that he is pushing the F-350; not the F-250 because he believes that for the small price addition you buy substantially better brakes. I still am undecided. The F-vehicles are large and there are many happy Toyota owners towing 20' (CAN WE HEAR FROM YOU PLEASE). It is also true that bigger means less places you can go off-road; although how limiting it really is I do not know. Clearly many of us still need assistance in this area. I for one have no personal ability to make the choice. All I can do is listen to the responses from other BOGers and consider their opinions. I know my leanings are to a Toyota because of the nontowing aspects and because of the off-off-road capabilities. On the other hand, it is like the discussions about annexes, inverters, and other items of equipment used only once in a while. How often are you going to go off-road without your van to a place that the F-350 can't go? Clearly the F-350 is bigger, stronger, more pulling power, and more fuel efficient. All the reasons that make it a good towing vehicle for a fully equipped 20 footer that is going to be my home are all the reasons I do not want the F-350 when I am not towing. Sorry to ramble on; hoping to shake out more opinions to assist on this decision. Must make a decision by the first of the year as we have now locked in delivery for May - YEAH! Please keep us all adivsed on your decision making ventures. Thanks, Jay
AnswerID: 560015

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:26

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:26
Jay, Comes down to which way you want to compromise, not sure anyone can guide you properly without knowing you, and what you want to do/where you want to go. I am having all the same issues now - thinking about shifting from L/cruiser to effy. There is now doubt when we did the big trip that we went to places in the cruiser that I'm not sure the effy could have gone (or the size and bulk would have been a nuisance) The length of wheelbase is always going to hold it back as an off-roader. (and I am sure we would have scratched the crap out of the paintwork) Actually while I think of it - have any of the effy drivers had it out on sand - say to Fraser Island or any serious beach driving - how does it go ? So I think in retrospect I am happy that we compromised towing power over off-road ability at the time. (I do breathe a bit of a sigh of relief when I read of some of the accidents the guys here have had, that we made the trip safely with the weight we were carrying) But now with the type of driving we are doing now (less serious off-road) I am leaning towards the effy from a safety and ease of towing standpoint. Not sure if any of that helps Wayne
AnswerID: 560016

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:27

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:27
A friend of mine has an F250 and a BT18ft .... just made the trip through the second cutting onto the beach at Noosa and made his way up to Double Island Point to make camp 22 k's up from where he entered the beach. Camped at a great spot on the grass with a fresh water stream nearby .... drove 22k's back and came off beach at the third cutting as the second the line was too long .... other than a few scratches in the acrylic windows because of the BT's overall height no problems. He did enter the beach with the tyres at 50psi as an experiment and only bogged as the BT tried to climb the sand as he rounded a very a tight turn.... 50ft in combination. At this stage he reduced his tyres to 28 psi and placed effie in low range ..... drove out easily and onto beach. Paul was also amazed at the looks he got driving effie and BT along beach .... he also reckoned that people were taking bets he couldnt get off beach ....... He was astounded at the power of the 7.3 down low and commented that a Cruiser would not be able to do it ........ and before any Cruiser people get upset .... Paul's late model Cruiser sits beside his F250 in his garage and is one of the most serious Cruisers I've seen ..... boasting a huge turbo and state of the art water to air intercooler amongst many other mods. I asked him if any areas scraped under the effie in the soft areas on and off the beach ... the fuel tank area did touch but he seemed to think it didnt add any drag so didnt touch much ...... next week he's getting airbags fitted all round to give 75 -100 mm lift at the touch of a button to enter and exit the beach for the deep rutted days of the usual sand blows. His effie is fitted with a winch and he carries sand anchors but neither were used and he did comment the sand was softer than usual .... I dip my hat to the man as this is no mean feat dragging 7 tonne around on the beach. The tyres were the original Goodyear Wranglers on the effie. Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560017

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:28

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:28
Hi Anthony Well that's an impressive recommendation, there is no way I'd take ours on to beach sand using the cruiser. The effy is looking closer all the time. Nice part of the world Double Island point , excellent wave in the right conditions too !. just a little sharky. Wayne
AnswerID: 560018

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:29

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:29
Jay, in the documents folder is a list of owners from the database and their size van and the vehicle they use. We put it there so people could contact these owners and ask their opinions of their van/vehicle partnership. Some of the folk of course are off travelling and you may need to contact them directly to get them to respond to your questions of suitability as they don't always come onto the forum when they are off doing what we want to do. You can usually get their email details from their membership page. Hope it helps. Angie
AnswerID: 560019

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:30

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:30
We had a 100 series T/D and it towed our 21ft van easily power wise, but it used to know the van was there in windy conditions and when trucks passed etc. We had an accident when my wife was driving and didn't have sufficient experience to control it when it started to sway. We towed it with the Toyota again after the repairs, then changed to twin cab F250 and like was stated earlier, it is chalk and cheese between the 2 as a tow vehicle. With the F250, the longer wheel base and weight being roughly the same as the van, it is much more stable than a Toyota towing a van that is heavier than the Toyota. We never have any problems with swaying in any wind conditions, or passing trucks now. The fact that we have a tray with a canopy on allows us to carry a lot of equipment in the rear and not have any fuel fumes in the vehicle from generators etc. Also you don't have to worry about dirt in the back, Just park it on a slope and hose it out. As for 4WDing, we went around Warraweena Station in Flinders Ranges with a Nissan Patrol. We both negotiated all the tracks without any problems, and because of the different wheel bases they scrapped the backs on different sharp dips. The main problem with the F250 off road is the ramp over angle, the F250 will bottom out more readily than Toyota & Nissan when going over banks, but on the turns etc we haven't had a problem. Not many of us really need the 4WD to get most places anyway. A 2WD with the same weight and ground clearance will get you to 98% of the places that you are likely to want to go to, as most of us hardly ever put vehicle into 4WD. It is just nice to know that it is there if you should need it to get you out of a problem. We have been on the Noosa North Shore beach and Fraser Island several times, and so long as you let your tyres down to 16 - 18 psi you don't have any problems. We have also towed others out of bogs on the beach. If you plan on doing a lot of towing then the F250 is the way to go, If you are only doing a small amount of towing and are prepared to drive slower if necessary, and travel around suburban shopping centres then the Toyota would be best. I think if the BT is going to be your home then the F250 would be more suitable.
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AnswerID: 560020

Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:31

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:31
I am going to start a new discussion re the F250! Jay
AnswerID: 560021

Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:32

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:32
Brian Which model is the twin-cab F250? What options? Jay
AnswerID: 560022

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:33

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:33
Any thoughts on my earlier question re cutting back to an 18-footer in order to avoid going the Ford way? It's becoming apparent that an F250/350 is the way to go if you're looking at 20-21-footers, but a lot of BOGers seem to have the 18. Is there an appreciable difference when towing the shorter van or is there not much in it?
AnswerID: 560023

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:34

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:34
With regards to the North Shore and taking a BT over they take cement trucks and other big things the only problem you would have is getting onto the beach and that all depends on the amount of traffic it has had. Once on the beach it is mostly two wheel drive unless you travel up above the highwater mark. We have a friend that towed his BT across Frazer Island with a Toyota and didnt have any problems I think it all depend on the conditions and the way that you drive.


>From: "Bushtracker18" <ANTHONY@GIL.COM.AU>
>Reply-To: "Bushtracker Owners Group" <BUSHTRACKEROWNERSGROUP@GROUPS.MSN.COM>
>To: "Bushtracker Owners Group" <BUSHTRACKEROWNERSGROUP@GROUPS.MSN.COM>
>Subject: Re: Jumping in with both feet!!
>Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 00:00:55 -0800
>
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AnswerID: 560024

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:35

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:35
We started our B/T life pulling with a Mercedes ML320, we have an 18'... after our 2nd trip away we decided that we needed to upgrade.. and bought a T/Landcruiser 100TD The RTA in NSW also helped us make this decision as they told us we were on the legal limit of towing with the ML320..( when we re- registered the B/T in NSW after having it with Queensland plates for 4 weeks.) This was a much better option in that I didn't feel that I was being pushed along by the B/T.. I know that we weren't but I always felt we were. Steve does have a photo of our ML320 hooked up to the B/T. But he never made a comment when we went in for a service with the Landcruiser. We have been off road and pulled the B/T fully laddened 5 tanks of water, through a creek bed with sides with a good size gradient no problems at all. The group we were with all got out to watch us get out. Lorraine
AnswerID: 560025

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:36

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:36
Dear Jay If you do not have a trade I suggest you try a Ian Wade at Morley Ford, Echuca (sorry I do have a contact number) or a Kevin Rosser at Hay Motors, Hay (02) 6993 1505. Just for the record Ford Australia dose not give us the choice of vehicle configuration you have in the States unfortunately. In Australia the longest in total vehicle length is the Super Cab followed by the Duell Cab and then the Single Cab and their lenght dose make a significant difference in city car parks providing you have 2 meter clearance, but they do have very good vision. All the best & if you choose an "Effie" I would be very surprised if you are not delighted with your choice Roger & Cherryle
AnswerID: 560026

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:37

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 17:37
Lorraine,
Sounds like the Cruiser TD copes alright. Do you know what your fully laden BT weight is?
AnswerID: 560027

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