BT Vans

Submitted: Monday, Jun 27, 2005 at 22:39
ThreadID: 122058 Views:14384 Replies:8 FollowUps:11
This Thread has been Archived
Why is there so many BT for sale are they just to heavy some of them have done no k's at all having trouble getting my head around it, i am still in the market for one

sitting on the fence
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jun 27, 2005 at 23:11

Monday, Jun 27, 2005 at 23:11
Hello “fence sitter”
I don't know who you are, but I will try and give our perspective...

First of all we are no heavier than any other Off-road van. That one is a myth. We do offer more gear and equipment, amounting to about 300-400 kg. With that equipment on board an 18' can weigh 2300 kg, 19' 2400-2450 kg, 20' 2500 kg, in that range. So toss out that idea spread by others, all of the so called off road vans are about the same weight. Actually, we have a lower centre of gravity than some due to heavy timber wall construction and timber rafters across the ceiling to support air units, where our aircraft style alloy frames makes us lighter than some from the body armour up. Our heavier suspension and chassis makes us heavier than some from the body armour down, but it averages out to the same overall weight just a lower centre of gravity.. With a lot of gear on board even some of the road running vans weigh in that much... It is more about gear than van.

We build 120 to 140 vans a year. The second hand ones come on for a number of reasons like the following:

We have built now the 33rd on order that is a Second van for Customers. Some people just want the newest style, equipment, and technology ideas..

Right now we have people that are in fuel shock. I have seen this before. This has happened each time fuel spiked higher since 1974 in the U.S. ... Everyone went off the road for four or five months until they realized that hey it is only about $200 difference clear across America, or hey it is only about $500 more clear around Australia... They get used to the higher number and get going again... It comes down to them realizing "so what, it costs a little more... What else are we going to do?"

And then people want to upgrade to larger vans, or into the alloy body armour from the steel higher maintenance body armour vans... Reasons like that...

And then, some just have finished their year or two year travel with their kids or such, and the van is for sale...

Unfortunately we get a death or serious illness once or twice a year that changes plans...

There are a number of reasons like this, but right now I would suggest that there are a high number of all kinds of vans, motor homes, even power boats for sale. A typical "fuel shock" reaction. It will blow over, it always has. After all, what else are you going to do.... Is the final analysis...

Regards, Bushtracker
AnswerID: 566578

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:32

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:32
Hi Bushtracker
Fence sitter here
Thanks for the info RE the number of van's built each year can you tell me the number that have the air suspension on, and what feed back you are getting from those owners in regard to the air suspension, or better still can you either forward this email to those owners or let me have a list of them so that i am able to contact them myself.
Fuel does not concern me but suspension does.
Regards
10 Para
0
FollowupID: 844672

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 00:35

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 00:35
Hello "Fence Sitter" 10 Para,

In the following thread you say that someone at Bushtracker told you a 20' van would weight just under 3000 kg? Twice! If they did they would not be working here, so you must be mistaken about that... Here is a response sent to you at the end of this thread just regarding that, as you put it in the thread several times, and I don't want someone else to get such an incorrect impression:

Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker,
If someone here told you that a 20' van would be around 3000 kg, you are mistaken or they would not be working here... Ha! They were talking about you having an allowance to put at least 500 kg of your own personal gear and water aboard. No one would tell you that it would weigh that much empty... Most 20' are running from about 2480 kg to 2550 kg.. The Industry allows 400 kg, we say most put on 500 to 600 kg minimum in water and food and toys and such... A 20' van would normally come out with a ATM (Aggragate Trailer Mass) that means fully loaded capable to 3500 kg...

Most 20' vans come out having picked most of our Optional Equipment, and that adds up to about 400kg of gear... For instance three batteries are 105 kilos... Four batteries would weigh 138 kilos! Most people want that optional equipment for self sufficiency, independence, and luxury, and a lot of people take nearly all we have to offer.... Our vans themselves, in 20' weigh only about the 2100 to 2200 kg mark, but add on that 300 or 400kg in Optional Equipment and you get a real Tare weight and as I said most run at or just over the 2500 kg mark...

Even quality road running vans weigh that much...

I go on in the last entry to tell you about Tip # 43 on the Air Bag suspension you enquire about... And to tell you about the over-built version of the Simplicity that we have built, so there is a safety margin of strength in it... I personally do not think our Air Bag suspension is necessary, only a luxury item, but not a necessity...

Kind Regards, stg
0
FollowupID: 844673

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 02:52

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 02:52
Hi Bushtracker/Steven Gibbs,
Fence Sitter here i have not had the pleasure yet however i did attend your factory and was shown around with the intentioned of aquiring a BT and i still have that intention, it was a 21 ft van that we were quoted on and it had 3 batteries 3 water tanks and bits and bob's of equipment that you mention and yes it was a staff member who advise that it would have a Tare weight of a shade under 3000kg that is what i said in the thread that you refer to not as you have written 20ft and over 3000ks so if you are now saying that a 20ft will come in at 2550kg then i would assume that a 21ft would be around 2677kg mine was quoted for an extra lonk draw bar and air bag susoension what would that have weighed being that a shade under 3000kg could mean 2950kg we are still about 122kg away, perhaps you could shed some light on " a shade under "
Regards
10 Para
0
FollowupID: 844674

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 03:07

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 03:07
Hello again 10 Para,
I still do not have a clue where you got your information.... I do not believe anyone here would tell you something that incorrect, so I would suggest that you misunderstood or they misunderstood your question..

With most of our Optional Equipment on board, as I have said, it amounts to 300-400 kg... I have seen many 20' vans come in under the 2500 kg. And I have seen others over the 2500kg.. It is an average. On 21', I have seen them run from 2600 to 2650 most commonly... Those are the figures... Nuff said...

Cheers, stg

0
FollowupID: 844675

Reply By: Bato - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 01:24

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 01:24
Hello fence sitter
I agree with Bushtrackers comments and my reason for selling is to buy a new 18ft van.My van is listed in the latest Caravan trader, 2001 16ft travelled approx 20,000klm.
If we do not have any luck in selling we will be quite happy to continue travelling in
our 16ft van.
Bushtrackers are the ultimate in off road vans

Cya Keith
Bato Keith & Susan

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 566579

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 01:38

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 01:38
Hello Keith,

There is a Back Log of pent up demand building.... There are about 20 second hand vans for sale all over Australia, where the normal number would be about 10 or so... But also we would have probably 30 or 40 Customers sitting on their hands, put off by the "Fuel Shock" syndrome
and they will probably all cut loose at once...

The last time this happened we got a month of Production Orders in one day. If I can figure out what day that one is going to be I will call it sick... Ha! I would expect a "Bull Rush" before the end of the year sometime, on new and second hand Bushtrackers...

I am guessing it will all blow over by Christmas, if it follows the usual pattern... People just get used to higher prices. I remember when we were in Shock when it hit 50 cents! I was filling up a drum in the back of my Ford F-250 in 1974, and I recall saying "If it ever gets up to a buck, I will get a horse!!" Funny about that, now it is over a dollar and I have 5 horses...

Ha!
Cheers
0
FollowupID: 844676

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:35

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:35
Hi Keith,
Thanks for your reply can you tell me what type of suspension you have on you BT and what type you will get on your new BT when you are ready to order.
Regards
10 para
0
FollowupID: 844677

Reply By: Freewheelers - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 02:02

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 02:02
picked up our 20 ft van on 14/6/05 it tare is 2660 kg which we were pleased with it has queen island bed 4 water tanks 3 solar panels 3 batteries extra cupboards extended draw bar 3 jerry can holders stabiliser legs at the rear roll out awning & would be typical in most other respects on our way back to sydney i did a little comparison of weights of 19 & 20 foot van of recent vintage they ranged from 2100 to 2400 kg but non had the number of tanks panels batteries tough suspension ( the closest we got was 10inch simplicity ) before we ordered or bt we also had quotes from pheonix & trackmaster & their weight estimates were very much the same as bt so for the toughest van around in my opinion there is no great weight disadvantage
cheers
AnswerID: 566580

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:39

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:39
Hi Freewheelers,
Thanks for the info re your BT, when i got my quote from the guy's at BT i was told that my 21ft van would come in at a shade under 3000k what type of suspension have you got as were have in the quote the air suspension could it be that the makes the difference.
What do you tow your BT with and and how does it tow.
Regards
10 Para
0
FollowupID: 844678

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 03:10

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 03:10
We have a 21ft van that had a tare of 2500kg, and I just looked up the weight of a similar sized Coromal van that has a write up in a recent caravan mag at 1993 kgs.

On first glance those figures make the Bushtracker look heavy, but when you add the weight of the following items that our van has and the Coromal doesn't the 2 vans would be about the same weight.
ie; 3 extra batteries
3 solar panels
50amp battery charger
3000 watt inverter
5 by 80 litre water tanks in place of the 2 by 60 litre tanks in the Coromal.
6 4WD wheels and tyres in place of 5 smaller wheels and tyres.
Heavy duty suspension compared to a much lighter suspension.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 566581

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:45

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 19:45
Hi Noosa Bushtrackers,
Thanks for you reply we also have a quote for a BT but with air suspension and were told that it would come in at a shade under 3000 kgs we had 3 bat 3 water tank and 3 solar no oven, i note that you have 5 water tanks that is another 400 kgs loaded, gan you tell me what sort of suspension you have is it the air bag type.
Regards
10 Para
0
FollowupID: 844679

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 20:08

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 20:08
10 Para,
Ours is a 2001 build Caravan with the Simplicity Suspension and that was all that was available back then.
Our van has travelled over 90,000 km including some very rough tracks and we haven't had a problem with that suspension.
As Steve said in one of his tips where he compared Simplicity Load Sharing and Air Bag Suspension, they are both good and he doesn't know if it is worth the extra money for the air bags.
With the 5 water tanks full we gross at between 3300 and 3400 kgs depending on how many other goodies we have loaded in for the trip. We are getting lighter each year when we discard things that just don't get used while travelling.
Having said that, if you are doing a touring holiday then you don't use camp fire equipment very much, but if you are staying in one place for a while then camp fire equipment gets lots of use, so you have to work out what to take before leaving home.

We will be going to the Gympie Muster and spending 10 days there, so we will fill all water tanks, and be able to have showers each day without going to the public ones. The 5 water tanks come in handy when camped away from water for a number of days.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 844680

Reply By: Bato - Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 23:29

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005 at 23:29
Gday 10 Parra,
We have the simplicty suspension in our current van and are very happy with it.
Unless some one can convince us that the air bag suspension is superior we will stick with simplicity.
Having owned and operated a fleet of Kenworth trucks and trailors with a mixture of air bag suspensions and spring type suspensions we believe that the simplicity suspension is very strong and requires little maintenance if operated within the manufactures weight carrying capacities.
Cya Keith.
Bato Keith & Susan

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 566582

Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 00:26

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 00:26
Hello "fence sitter" 10 Para,

Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker,
If someone here told you that a 20' van would be around 3000 kg, you are mistaken or they would not be working here... Ha! They were talking about you having an allowance to put at least 500 kg of your own personal gear and water aboard. No one would tell you that it would weigh that much empty... Most 20' are running from about 2480 kg to 2550 kg.. The Industry allows 400 kg, we say most put on 500 to 600 kg minimum in water and food and toys and such... A 20' van would normally come out with a ATM (Aggragate Trailer Mass) that means fully loaded capable to 3500 kg...

Most 20' vans come out having picked most of our Optional Equipment, and that adds up to about 400kg of gear... For instance three batteries are 105 kilos... Four batteries would weigh 138 kilos! Most people want that optional equipment for self sufficiency, independence, and luxury, and a lot of people take nearly all we have to offer.... Our vans themselves, in 20' weigh only about the 2100 to 2200 kg mark, but add on that 300 or 400kg in Optional Equipment and you get a real Tare weight and as I said most run at or just over the 2500 kg mark...

Even quality road running vans weigh that much...

Now on your question of the air-bag suspension, no one that has it, does not like it... But I would suggest you read Tip # 43 on Suspension Choices, back on page two of these Postings... It gives a balanced view on the whole matter. That Tip will answer all angles on Air Bag Suspension for you....

For the rest, our suspension is not an "off the Shelf" type of Simplicity.. We order it built to our Standards.. It is ordered with larger bearings, axles stubs, bigger brake backing plates, and is over sized.. For instance, on the 20' van, it is actually a 4.4 tonne arms-bearings-axle stub set, with a reduced spring pack to suit the load. We do not want people to be able to break it easily, so we over-build to compensate for you running off the road into a ditch when a Bullock jumps out in front of you... You could break it, but we want to keep you on the road with a minimum of fuss, so we over-build the suspension to give you a margin of safety.....

Kind Regards, stg at Bushtracker....
AnswerID: 566583

Reply By: Luvntravln - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 01:08

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 01:08
Hi 10 Para

What type of vehicle are you intending to use as a towing vehicle?

If an Effie, those of us towing with a 7.3lt turbo charged towing machine will unanimously tell you that the weights you are concerned about are not even an issue.

We just towed our 21' fully loaded land yacht to the very top of Cape York and back to Cairns. We have the standard 4000kg suspension and after one year of towing not only had the bump stops not touched the chasis, the excess rubber from the mold was still on the bump stops.

Examination of the under side of our BT after the trip demonstrated that the 4000 suspension is more than sufficient even with 5 full tanks, 4 bats and 4 panels and lots of other toys.

Other than lots of dirt you would not know we had just travelled over some of the worst roads in Oz. Yes, we had some damage to some equipment I SUPPLIED - micorwave and fridge. There was no damage to anything supplied by BTi!

Underneath, we didi not even loose one cable tie, there was not one loose bolt, and although you could see a faint mark from when the bump stops did bottom out and do their job, it was not often enough to remove the mold excess rubber.

If you are sitting on the post then I suggest you fall on the side of purchasing a BT. If you want to do serious off road caravaning it is the only caravan that allows you to travel with peace of mind.

On the other hand, if you are considering towing with something other than an F250 which now comes standard with a 4500kg hitch receiver, that would be the discussion you should have with other BT owners. There are many that have switched from Patrols and Cruisers to Effies for the same towing peace of mind.

Hope this helps

Luvntravln

and when I examed the bump stops

AnswerID: 566584

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 03:08

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 03:08
Hi Luvntravin,
Thanks for you advice and report, we tow with a Nisan Patrol 4.8 Litre which can tow up to 3.5 tonne as you would be aware of, we could but do not wich to change tow vechiles because the Truck and our Off Road Camper Trailer are shipped to New Zealand eack year to for the fishing season then in the winter they come back to Australia and are used to travel here. What we now wish to do is to up grade to a suitable Caravan that can still take us to the places we go with "ease" and not " heart ache " i take on board what you say about domestic appliances and i have not raised them as i have first hand knowledge of them, last year whilst on the Gibb River road we meet up with a BT which by the way was being towed by a Nissan Ute, the poor fellow was beside himself and said that he was unsure what to do, go on or go back he was in no mans land, his truck and van looked great outside but when he sowed me inside i could see what he and you mean about appliances these are some of thing you accept if you are going to travel on some of our roads.
Regards
10 Para
0
FollowupID: 844681

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 07:06

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 07:06
10 Para,
The Patrols and Landcruisers will tow a 3.5 ton load without a problem, it is just that those of us who have changed from Patrols or Cruisers to the bigger F250 have found them to be superior as heavy tow vehicles.
Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 844682

Reply By: Meg and J - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 21:24

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 21:24
Hi all
On reading the different posts, we have just completed a 2 year trip around and also travelled along the Gibb and quite a few other places. Had no troubles with the van whatsoever. However the microwave didn't like the Gibb River Road nor the road into the Keep River NP (which was horrendous at the time). We bought a new microwave but it now travels on the floor beside the bed and since then we have had no troubles. Ours was bolted to the top of the fridge compartment but of course most are now built in.

The fridge door fell off when we were in Karijini but once again the road was awful, but the pin on the door was just too short and it sort of dropped (I think). John just fixed it up and it has been fine ever since.

We tow with a Nissan and have a simplicity suspension. Our van was built in 2001 and we have loved every minute of our tripping around. I think it might have a bit to do with how you travel also. We have seen people travelling in ways that we would never travel so everyone is different I suppose.

Have fun, its marvellous.
Meg and J
AnswerID: 566585

Our Sponsors