New Bushtracker

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:26
ThreadID: 120453 Views:3666 Replies:11 FollowUps:0
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Hi Guys We are new to the Boggers group, although we have been visiting the site for the last 6 months or so gathering lots of information on BT's and from the forums. We are going to get a van custom built and it will most probably be a BT, so all the information on the Boggers forums has been very valuable indeed. We have conversed a number of times with the BT people by phone and e-mail but have found it extremely difficult to get straight forward answers to our questions (especially from Steve). They have encouraged us to go over to their factory so they can give us a "show and tell" tour of their vans, and we have booked a date in late April to do this. We are very impressed with the BT's and we gather from your forums that you all are as well. You all sound like great people and are all willing to help others out, which we think is great.We are looking forward to having a van custom built and to our future nomadic life style, and we hope that one day (in the not too distant future) we will be able to meet a few of you guys for a chat and a drink. In the meantime, does anyone have any hints for us for the factory tour. We have a good idea of what we want in the van, but any suggestions on what we should ask or what we should look for on the factory tour would be very much appreciated. Regards George & Lesley
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:28

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:28
Hi Welcome to the site - and "yes" we are fantastic people ! Why not, we all own or are soon to own a Bushtracker . The tour is conducted by Pete who knows all about the van inside and out - and he also knows why the Bushtracker is better than any other van made by the competition - and he will take a lot of time telling you how the "competition" builds their vans and how the Bushtracker is built differently. When we went for the tour we told Pete after listening to a couple of the comparisons to just tell us about the BT as we were "buyers" not "shoppers". We were at the layout stage and spent three days at the factory - yes, three! - much to Steve's horror (we used too much of his employee's time). They were a very valuable three days and I wouldn't let them rush you in any manner. During the time we did our layout we insisted - strenuously - that we wanted the carpenter and electrical supervisors to participate so that we knew just how far we could push the envelope. BTi claims to build a custom van. In the beginning of the process Steve wrote to me: "Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker, <o:p> </o:p> Congratulations on your new Bushtracker Lifestyle!<o:p></o:p> <o:p> </o:p> Look, I will not say that we are always that comfortable in our approach from a Customers perspective at first, but: We do a very concientious job of it instead of just telling you what we think you want to hear... So bear with us, and think about the suggestions for a little while... We will still always do it your way, but not until we have made you come to terms with what our broad and well seasoned perspective is... Later, you can thank us... Ha! We are not here to wi[n] (sic) personality or popularity points, but instead we are here to do a concientious job of getting the longhaul best results for our Customers in their travel... We are the Experts and get the seasoned feedback from the 500, not the 5, and have traveled with Bushtrackers ourselves for many years longer than any of our Clients...." To restate "We will still always do it your way" - Let me tell you that is not always the case. I am telling you this since you asked how best to deal with BTi. I pushed and pushed the envelope. Why not? It's my money - almost $100,000.00 - and I wanted it built to my specifications as a rolling home not a weekend caravan. Sometimes as far as Steve was concerned I pushed too hard, asked too many questions (Steve still hasn't answer my request to tell me what is wrong with asking lots of questions), had too many demands - for example, I wanted specific shelf heights for all of the cabinets/cupboards (what's the big deal to measure something 350 mm instead of the standard 300 mm?), and by seeking the advice of others outside of BTi I questioned the expertise of BTi. That resulted in some pretty significant communications which on a couple of occassions included a request that I accept a return of my deposit and walk away from my contract. That, or course, did not happen, as I do believe that in spite of my disagreements with BTi over their customer relations, they build a great product, are very ethical, and will build my caravan to their highest standards trying to meet most of my needs even though we have had "words", and I will take delivery of my BT on 17 May. If you want a 5* caravan which will go anywhere a caravan can possibly go and survive to go again - buy a Bushtracker. The comments by the Boggers on this site underscores what I just stated. At the same time, if you want the caravan built to your specifications because it is your home, be prepared to "demand" what you want. Good luck; if you want to chat give me a call on 0407 158 081; perhaps we will see you in Copeton. tgintl/jay
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:29

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:29
G'day George and Lesley, Welcome to the group ......!!! Exciting times ahead for you both especially with a tour of the BT factory. I might be a little biased here but all those BT's sitting there are my kind of "art" .... [smile] The factory tour might be a bit overwhelming with so much to take in and digest. During our excitement we can forget a few questions ... we all do it .... so maybe write them down as a list before hand and refer to them. Leave space to jot down quick answer to remember, "What did they say for the ensuite" etc. I dont know how you are with decor George but I knew when I was beat and left that to my wife. You might even split it handing it over .... there are always two personalities in a BT !! [smile] I dont mean picking decor on the tour I just mean asking questions about decor options options ...sleeping options ...ensuite options etc A digital camera with plenty of memory would be great to flick a few pics to refer back to when home. I'm in Brisbane and you are welcome to inspect mine and have a chat over a coffee. I'm usually around, just a quick call to confirm. Mobile number is in my user details. Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 561555

Reply By: TripnTaps - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:30

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:30
Hello George & Lesley, Welcome to the group discussions about a very important purchase your 'freedom machine'. As you will be visiting BTi end towards the end of April you may see our 18ft BT nearing completion (before we do...) as ours is the last van for completion by the end of April. We would agree that a list of what you aspire to require is a good idea and to go through that carefully. We went to BTi in our minds as 'buyers' but got the distinct impression that we were viewed as 'tyre kickers' looking but not a serious prospect. As Jay said the time spent with prospective buyers is limited at the initial inspection because the people that are showing you round Bushtraker complex are part of the build team and are busy on projects - they dont have a salesman as such or a customer relations person to assist with layout or colour selections etc. My advice here is to take down as much information about the products you select on Steves 'wish list' i.e. options list -as you can- product name and code etc. and if you are committed at that stage get BTi's upholsterers name & address and swing by to get some samples while you are in the area (we found him very obliging). We found Steve to be accomodation when it came to specific needs and Paul the designer fantastic. Our van is lowered 100mm at our request, and that did create a number of build issues and although initially Steve was reserved about our request once our reasons for it were explained it was accommodated willingly. Our biggest mistake in dealing with BTi was at our initial inspection to take a floor plan we had developed from floorplans provided on their website - this did not go down well - and eventually was not our final layout anyway. We were trying to maximise our visit to BTi with all our ideas because of the distance they are to us in Vic but I think it is important to build a relationship over a bit of time and they get to know your needs and wants while ensuring their quality contol build over the project. And most important of all - enjoy the enterprise as its 'not the destination but the journey thats the experience!' Regards Helen & John
AnswerID: 561556

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:31

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:31
Take your own water and cut lunch. They won't be offered. Take a good A4 note book with headings every two or three pages with questions then a blank page or so for answers, thoughts and comments. Headings like Suspension/Brakes & Frame; Exterior; Power; Water; Electricals; Galley; Ensuite; Bunks Decore etc - you get the idea, will help organise your thoughts & help time wasting by flitting from one subject to another. Good Luck and Enjoy Griff
AnswerID: 561557

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:32

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:32
Hi Guys Thanks for all your tips and suggestions. It sounds as though we could be in for a bit of a torrid time, as we are also touring the Phoenix factory during the same period. Our preference is definitely the Bushtracker but we are travelling a long way (from Karratha in WA) and thought we better have a contingency plan in case things didn't work out at the Bushtracker factory. We have been told the Phoenix people have a good product and a lot of satisfied customers and supporters, so we figured they were worth a visit while we were in the area (at the risk of being deemed "tyre kickers" it seems). All you guys have been helpful (as always) and we will take your suggestions with us on our factory tours. Anthony - we will most definitely take up your kind offer to look at your Bushtracker while we are in Brisbane and i will contact you in the near future to discuss a suitable time. Hopefully, we will get to thank the rest of you in person one day. Regards George & Lesley
AnswerID: 561558

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:33

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:33
George and Lesley, WARNING! WARNING! Once you sit in a Bushtracker nothing else will do. You have been warned. Angie
AnswerID: 561559

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:34

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:34
Regardless of final decision George & Lesley, would really appreciate a report on your impressions and observations on the two factory visits. Thanks Griff
AnswerID: 561560

Reply By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:35

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:35
A final note: Do yourselves a favor - deal with Tracy, Pete, and Paul and everything will go smoothly and you will be sold on the quality of the product. Good luck, tgintl/jay
AnswerID: 561561

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:36

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:36
George & Lesley, Welcome and as Angie says "you have been warned". My wife, Leone and I incorporated a factory tour and chat with a 2 week holiday 3 years back. Neither of us had seen a Bushtracker in the flesh, so were most excited when we pulled into the caravan park at Charleville to see an 18ft BT there. Obviously, the first thing we did was pop over and have a chat to the owners, (the Newmans). After 2 hours of crawling under/over and inside Leone turned to me and said; "We have to have a Bushtracker..... nothing else could be this good", the rest is history. Rick/Maverick2567 "Get out and enjoy a Bushtracker"
AnswerID: 561562

Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:37

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:37
Griff No problems. Will post a report on both tours as soon as we get back. Regards George & lesley
AnswerID: 561563

Reply By: Wadefarers - Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:38

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004 at 20:38
George & Lesley Having never owned a caravan before and thinking we knew nothing (spot on at the time but a lot of reseach went in - if only the BOG site was around then) we did both tours when we were deciding which way to go. Both were very informative but one, at the time, was a little critical of the other types of off road vans. I'll leave that up to you to judge which one that was. We ended up with the BT because we thought it was the best built and offered the best value and at $70 odd K that's basically what both were. We were going to look at Trackmaster but after seeing these two we decided not to waste our time. I know from the postings and our own experience that STG can be a "little" difficult, but in the main you can usually get what you want, although Helen is still a little upset about not being allowed a pantry that she wanted in our BT . However, saying that, we found that at Phoenix, we could have whatever we wanted as long as they dictated what we wanted. This meant layout and internal colour (grey only). This was in June 2001 and may have changed since that time. We also did a complete cost comparison on spreadsheet itemising every thing we wanted and both ended up a similar cost. In the end the build quality and expertise of BTI seemed the best way to go. The fact that we liked the look of the BT better made the decision so much easier. All in all, go there knowing what you want and/or think you want and try not to get baffled or bullied. Having a look at Anthony's BT and a discussion with him I'm sure will be beneficial to you both, especially if done before going to BT or Phoenix. We really like our BT and, like others on this site, have never been sorry we bought it. Good luck with whatever decision you make (but there really is only one - tongue in cheek smile) Regards Jeff
AnswerID: 561564

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