what length van to get??

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 22:46
ThreadID: 121899 Views:3098 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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We are about to order a Bushtracker and we are agonizing over what size to get. We are reasonably big people so a queensize bed is important, we don't like to cook inside much but prefer cooking and living outside, so moving around inside would not be an issue..
We will be towing with an F250 so a 20ft would be fine but its just the size of the entire setup which makes us lean towards the 19 footer, not a big difference in size really, but we also may need an extended drawbar for the boat trailer. Having towed a 26ft 5th wheeler we want to veer away from a huge travelling roadshow this time. It was awkward getting in to some van spaces and some bush camps. Any feedback would be gratefully appreciated.
We hope to visit Copeton Rally before we order so should get some good ideas then. Is there a caravn park with cabins there that we could stay in.?
Cheers, Maureen and David
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Reply By: Itldoo - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:29

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:29
Hi Maureen and David,
Helen and I have a 20ft with a queen size bed.We also have a cafe style lounge with a big table.We are not that large but are putting on weight sitting idle waiting to go. If we had to make another van we would have the smaller table with L shaped lounge as it is a little difficult getting around to the bed.We would possibly look at having round corners on the ends of the bed as well. Hope this is of some help.
Phil and Helen.
AnswerID: 566155

Reply By: Goodpal50 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:54

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:54
If you are going to carry a ( fold up) boat trailer Isuggest you have alook at the Dundier. It is possible to break down into basically four pieces plus wheels or fold up into one piece. We find that keeping it in pieces helps to spread the load and allows other things to be stored round it. We carry ours under the bed together with the outboard , generator, chairs, tables etc and have the extra large cargo doors It helps to keep the weight on the towball down a little.
By the way we have an 18 footer being towed by a 100 series t/d landcruiser and it is plenty of room for two of us. We have a queens size bed width and double length.

regards,
Michael and Margaret
AnswerID: 566156

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 00:05

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 00:05
If we had a F250 we would like 20' for long term travel. As we tow with a Patrol, 18' was max. we wanted. We needed the queen bed, & thought island bed was the way to go, but the space saving side on bed has proved adequate - just means someone has to climb over partner to get out. We wake up anyway and usually both make the nocturnal visit at the same time. For two of us, even a 16' would have room, but probably not the storage space for long term travelling.

On the road we met a couple who had an 18 footer built to their requirements in 1998, and they have been on the road ever since. They have a settee at one end, which can be used as an extra bed it they take a grandchild for a holiday. They tow with Cruisers, and seem happy with the size of their home.

Even with our shorter draw bar, 18' and nissan, we have been in some tight situations. It is a shame to miss good places because you don't know if you can turn around when you go down the track, and a couple of times have only just made the turn, and would have really been in strife with a bit more length.

I would chose smaller if for short term travelling; bigger if it was to be our home. Hope this helps.

Motherhen

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AnswerID: 566157

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 00:22

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 00:22
There are some interesting things in the replies above - all of which show that there is no right or wroing answer, as so much depends on personal preferences.

Forr example, Phil and Helen would go for the L-shaped dinette next time as it is a bit difficult getting around the cafe dinette to the bed (true statement). Yet, we have the L-shaped dinette and will go for the cafe layout next time, as I like to look out the window when dining, and the cafe setup provides a more useable table area.

Whilst the extended A-frame increases the overall length of the van, ironically I actually think that you can make tighter turns in difficult siutations with the extended A-frame, as there is a greater turning tolerance before 'fishtailing' up agianst the van as a consequence of the van being set further back. I would be interested in other views on this, but I have had my L/C on full lock and never been in risk of catching the corner of the van.

Phil
AnswerID: 566158

Reply By: Kilcoy Yowies - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 02:58

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 02:58
Thanks everyone who replied to our query re the size of the Bushtracker to buy. As most of our trips will be only for 2-3 months we will probably go for the smaller size..as Motherhen says there is nothing worse than getting into a tight spot down a track and not being able to turn around! Been there done that!
We are thoroughly enjoying the owners group and there is so much to read and knowledge to be gained from all your experience with different things. I have decided to print out any interesting articles and keep in a folder to take with us.
M and D
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Reply By: Boystoy - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 21:23

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 21:23
Hi Maureen & David,

We have a 20' BT that we tow with a LC100TD.Combination works well for us.
We have a Lshaped dining area with a smallish table. We have a rear 2-seater lounge and a washing machine installed behind the shower unit.
We have a queen-size island bed, which we would modify slightly if ordering again. These beds and foam mattresses are all custom made, so we would reduce the width slightly , say 50mm on each side and round-off the corners. This would make access easier, and also improve access for making up the bed.
We have also modified the rear lounge by lowering it from the original as supplied by BT. Yes it is possible to lower it 80mm with no effect to structure, but a vast improvement in comfort.
Our useage of the BT is similar to your proposed usage. I hope you enjoy as much as we do.

Neil and Pat
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AnswerID: 566160

Reply By: Bushtracker - Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 19:06

Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 19:06
Hello Maureen and David,
As usual I have a perspective that comes from not the once or twice of doing things, but more like the 1000 and seeing the results... Of the 30 that have come back for second vans from us, 29 have gone larger. Here is my scientific prognosis: Facts

1) Look, 18' is plenty adequate for two people...
2) 20' trends more into luxury.
3) I have owned both, and with an F-350 towing for three years, I do not believe there is any real difference in access between the two in the rough going.... I mean if it even exists it is in the less than 1% category... You may have to back and fill on the three point turn a couple of times, but to think that somehow an 18' is going more places than a 20', is a real stretch of imagination. I do not think that is a real worry.
4) The F-250 will not know the difference in general towing.
5) The risk is on the side of the 18', and will you enjoy the travel mode so much that you do it more than you think in the future.... The 18' is adequate, but may not be as enjoyable when you are in a nice place where your stationary lifestyle will be remembered.
6) They will both get there in the same time with an F-250... Towing with Toyota, time of travel would be a small consideration as you would be a bit slower, but not with an F-350.... No difference
7) Overall 20' success rates or happiness quotient have now overtaken the 18' and 20' is now the most popular size...
8) You may be annoyed by some of the shortcomings of the layouts and storage in 18'...

Final analysis summary: You should come here and sit in the 18' and the 20' for an extended period of time... There is no difference to us which one you choose, or the 19' that does almost the same job. But if you sit in them for an hour, you will know for yourself, going back and forth, which one suits you... My guess is the safe route is 19', that overcomes most of the shorcomings of the 18' layout, and will give you more counterspace and a better face to face dining area... Try it on, and see if I am right... In any case, the back and forth in and out sitting in a couple of them will answer it for you..

Insight from the "Lone Ranger" at Bushtracker, 'lookin out for ya'

AnswerID: 566161

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