Comment on the number of BT's for sale

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:17
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I would like to comment on the number of BT's for sale in the November & December issues of the Caravan Trader. There are 12 in all. Are the reasons for the sale of these second hand vans possibly - 1. The owners are updating to new vans and selling their old ones while the resale value is still there. 2. They have decided that the vans are too big and off road for them to handle. 3. Or, horror of all horrors, they don't like Bushtrackers and don't consider them to be worth the money. I would be interested in your comments regarding this and really hope that the overall answer is No 1. We love our van and presently havea couch down the back of our 18 ft van with the batteries underneath and overhead cupboards. We would like to have a cupboard and drawers put in this space instead - should we take it back to Bushtracker and have it done or does anyone know if it can be done by a cabinet maker? Has anyone else done the same? We live in North Qld and we are presently getting some of the much needed rain. It is wonderful and will be the deciding factor on our BT travelling for this year. Looking forward to hearing from anyone who would like to comment on the 2nd hand BT's. Regards Margie. (Towers Tracker)
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:26

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:26
We have ordered an 18ft, upgraded from 16ft, and are considering a louge at the rear of the van. Why are you thinking of changing to cupboard etc? Rosemary
AnswerID: 560809

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:27

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:27
G'day Rosemary, Our BT18 is very lean on cupboards and/or pantry space. The island bed rules out a storage cupboard on the settee side and as the fridge is on the other side we only have a small overhead above the 190l fridge. In fact the only other cupboards are overheads above settee, the overheads above sink and the standard cupboards/two drawers under sink area .... very limited. Bunks are fitted at the rear so have no storage there either ... no overheads or drawers etc. We do have storage under the bottom bunk but the mattress has to be lifted every time to access it. A lounge would be great at the back but I'm willing to sacrifice it for storage and use settee as lounge. If you turn bed sideways in a 18 you gain a full height pantry on one side and more bench space on other with an extra set of drawers. I dont think the boss would give up her island bed though ..... she'd rather give up the guy next to her !!!! [ cheekySmirk] I'll still keep on dreaming about a BT20 .....and our Novotel on wheels BT18 is much better than our 20 yrs in a canvas tent !!! [spoiltGrin] Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560810

Reply By: Turist - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:28

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:28
Rosemary
Fitout is all a matter of personal choice but as we have had an 18' with a rear lounge and now a 20' with bench and cupboards at the rear I'll toss in my 2 bobs worth.
The rear lounge was for a rest during the day or for guests to sit on. (Initial theory)
In practice guests sat under the awning, much more pleasant, and If you are that weary then use the bed.
In practice the rear lounge became somewhere to throw the junk, jackets, magazines, unpacked shopping etc.
We have found the additional bench space to be a boon and the extra cupboards and hanging space great. (We have a hanging robe with shoe locker under at door opening)


So thats our experience but in the end the decision must be yours.

Regards
Turist
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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AnswerID: 560811

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:29

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:29
Cosmic, I only know of people selling BT's to upgrade to bigger BT's. I AGREE with you about the finish and parking and turning quality of the F series, very poor. But as for towing the only thing better is a Mach truck! And thats just about what the F-250 is, a truck. But you will only really need one if you decide to go for somthing bigger than 18ft. Dad (Jeff) tows his BT18 with firstly 4.2 GQPatrol and now the 4800 GU Patrol and says it goes great. Even TUR15T (bob) towed his BT18 with a 3lt GU Patrol ute, then upgraded to the 250, then upgraded to BT20. You can keep the weight down by what options you get in it, two tanks instead of three ect, keep it simple and build it to suit your needs, and your vehicle. We have the lounge across the back, it opens the whole van up and makes it feel alot less cramped. People buy these vans simply because THEY ARE THE BEST YOU CAN BUY! Go on, you know you want one.....
AnswerID: 560812

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:30

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:30
On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 20:51:25 -0800, 'xAdamxx' <luvdmud@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>People buy these vans simply because THEY ARE THE BEST YOU CAN BUY!

That maybe your opinion, others differ... :-)))
AnswerID: 560813

Reply By: Turist - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:31

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:31
Graham & Ann
That's a brave statement to make on a Boggers site.
"Do It While You Can"
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AnswerID: 560814

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:32

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:32
Andy, Your red storage (cellar) may be best amidships. Under our dining seat is the wheel arch and a space about 90mm wide (at bottom) tapering to about 150mm at top of wheel arch. Cut 15 lengths of 90mm PVC stormwater pipe, each 180mm long. Stand them up along this section and you have the perfect wine cellar. Even if you have consumed all but 3 bottles (time for refill) the bottles won't tip over. I have even laid extra bottles alongside the tops of the vertical ones - no problem. I have been towing with an LC 100, 4.2 Diesel with DTS Dynamic Turbo (not intercooled). It struggles a bit and returns 18 to 22l/100km. I have hooked up behind a LC100 fitted with a 6.5l Chevvy Diesel Turbo with high ratio diffs. It was better, but no where near as good as the latest LC100 4.7 V8 petrol which I have also tested with 2920kg of BT behind. It was brilliant! So, I'm taking delivery of a new one next Tuesday. I'll miss the sound and smell of diesels as I have had 60, 70, 80 and 100 series since 1980. Will let you know of fuel consumption later. One advantage though is that I will only be carrying one type of fuel, ULP for vehicle, tinnie and genni. all the best..........Rob.
AnswerID: 560815

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:33

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:33
Anthony Re your comment on limited off road use of your BT because of business commitments and young family etc. My comment is dont wait for things to change. your business will always be there but your children will grow up so fast its scarey. Go now and take them with you. You will treasure the memories forever. If you live in NSW i can recommend some great short outback trips which would be a delight in the BT. stay well Vidas
AnswerID: 560816

Reply By: Turist - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:34

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:34
Vidas
Those great short trips sound like they should be in the BT Camps-Tracks section.
That is if they are not "Secret"

We will be looking for a few short trips around March prior to heading off on another extended trip.

Regards
Turist
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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AnswerID: 560817

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:35

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:35
Further to the comment earlier in the thread from Andy re BT not discussing ball weight, this is not strictly true. They did discuss it with me. On the driveway after hook-up as we were about to get into the vehicle, I was told by senior BT management, "Right now is your most dangerous time. Your ball-weight is probably too low because this is as light a load as you will ever have." Very confidence inspiring! I wouldn't have minded so much if they had then proceeded to fill the water tanks, measure the ball-weight, re-arrange the load, and help me fit the Weight Distribution Hitch. But as they don't beleive in WDH, and probably don't have anything to weigh ball-weight, at least the warning increased the caution level when fish-tailing out the driveway. Suggest get a Weighjack and do your own measure before final hook-up. Probably worth planning a Two-day hand over if this is your first van. Griff
AnswerID: 560818

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:36

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:36
Rosemary, I have just logged back on to the site after a few days off the internet and see all the comments on my original comment re all the BT's for sale. Will read some when I have time and comment further. Just to answer your comment re the rear lounge - we originally thought about sitting down there and relaxing and also when any one came to have a cuppa with you, but have found that we sit outside most of the time or if in the cold around a campfire. Also it is the greatest collector of JUNK !!!!!!! and I reckon that the space could be better utilised. As well, we found that we could probably pack some of the lighter gear down that end. Also my husband doesn't like the batteries under the bed and would like to shift them somewhere where there is a bit more air. Hope you like your 18 footer, Regards Margie.
AnswerID: 560819

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:37

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:37
Griff,

You say BT "don't believe in WDH"?

What DO they believe in? Repairs and replacements funded by insurance companies perhaps? (ouch!)

How do they rate safety and duty-of-care issues? Surely a new van should leave their premises with a tad more than crossed fingers backing it?

If this is seen as a real problem, maybe we need to put up a list of basic recommendations as a starting point for newcomers to this site? Something that outlines what sort of weights are likely to be encountered, what type of towing vehicle is required for safe towing and why weight distribution gear needs to be included in the equation. In other words, this BT owners site is for those who accept the following basic parameters/limitations: ..blah, blah.. (and, by implication, those who want to tow a 25-footer with their old Falcon or somesuch are advised to look elsewhere).

I'm sure we all agree that this sort of basic information should be coming from BT itself, but the same old questions keep surfacing in these threads.

AnswerID: 560820

Reply By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:38

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:38
Hi It is interesting that this discussion is occurring regarding ball weights with so many of us counting down the days until we take delivery. I for one, and perhaps Tracy is reading (because of this discussion I am sending a separate email to BTI), have no intention of accepting a "light" van. I expect to have a thorough breifing on the operation of all systems and to receive a clean and ready to use van including full water tanks, toilet cassette, etc. When you pay $100,000.00 for a caravan you expect the same customer service as when you pay $100,000.00 for an automobile: thoroughly cleaned inside and out, fuel and water tanks full, and properly hitched to your towing vehicle with a minimum ball weight of "10-12%" - Tracy's numbers, not mine. I hae heard some horror stories of rushed deliveries, delayed deliveries (Griff), and I have no intention of starting my caravan career with a horror story. I anticipate that it will take two days to load the van with all of our gear from Melbourne and make sure that the weights are right and the hitch is right and I intend to take those two days. When you go to Ford to buy your F-250 or Toyota for your LC both of which costs slightly less than the BT, the automobile dealers roll out the red carpet with an air conditioned customer waiting room, coffees, ice water, and nibbles if you are purchasing through the lunch hour. They volunteer these things. Why should we receive any less when we are spending more at BTI? Those are my thoughts and they will also be in an email to BTI. Cheers, Jay
AnswerID: 560821

Reply By: F Troop - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:39

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:39
Jay, Panic not! Obviously, if you have sent and e-mail to BTi, they will speak for themselves re their delivery process. However, I would like to strongly defend BTi and I sincerely believe you may have the wrong impression of them. Their delivery and service provided during our our pick up day and subsequent visits has been nothing short of terrific. As for ball weight, you must take into accout that if you have an extended drawbar and are going to add equipment to it later, then you will obviously be light on delivery day. eg: my 20ft was 2690kg over the weighbridge for registration (empty tanks). With a drawbar wieght of 190kg on pick up with full water tanks. It is now 350kg on the drawbar with the addition of a boat trailer, outboard motor and 60ltrs of fuel in cans and a total weight over the weighbridge of 3500kg. Absolutely perfect, I believe. I was however, quite prepared to buy bags of cement to load in the front storage boots, if I was unhappy with the handling on the way home. I did not need to do that, using a weight distribution hitch with the F250. I hope your pick up day with BTi is everything that it was for us. Wonderful! Do ask lots of questions and don't worry, you will get a very lengthy briefing, with instructions and manuals for everything that opens and shuts and, of course, first grade treatment - all day. Enjoy! Graham and Jan ( and "Baby")
AnswerID: 560822

Reply By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:40

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 06:40
Graham Thanks for the reassurance. I have heard some horror stories in my travels through cyberland. I had a fantastic experience for the most part during our 2 1/2 day purchase visit. Even though I was a bit surprised at the lack of customer service amenities - my expectations were based upon my experiences in the business world - I couldn't have been happier with the attention paid to detail by Paul, Bernie, and the entire crew. My drawbar has been extended 500 to accomodate Greg's drawbar box. I suspect that I too will see the magic 3500 number! "I was however, quite prepared to buy bags of cement to load in the front storage boots, if I was unhappy with the handling on the way home." I do not know your experience prior to this purchase of a 20' BT and an F-250. It was at least enough to consider the cement bags. My in zero/zilch. The only thing I have ever towed is a hobie cat! I do not want to have to make the determination that I am unhappy with the handling on the way to our first caravan park. I intend to check the ball weight before leaving BTI and if too light make the necessary adjustments at that time. All I can say is that if it wasn't for this site and its attention to detail and assistance to newbies like me, we would all be up the creek engaging in a lot of guess work. Thanks to you and the other Boggers I at least have a little knowledge although that in itself might be dangerous . Thanks again for your comments. tgintl/jay
AnswerID: 560823

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