16 / 17 or 18

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 at 06:47
ThreadID: 122498 Views:3874 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
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what to builld ???

I want a van with all the bells and whistles but can't decide on the size?
has anyone out there compared the 18ft van with a 16 tandem and what can they tell me ?

I have 1 small child to take away and want full shower & toilet.

the 16ft van would go alot of places while being easy to tow without full water tanks on open hway transits.

Has anyone built a custom 17 ? Bt told me that a 17 with 3 panels & tanks shouyld weigh in around 2000 2100 kg ???

Is there enough room in a 16 taking into account the annex option if you are in one spot for a few days ?

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 01:53

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 01:53

You might be thinking too small for a family...
I mean the success rate in that, small plus family... Is really low....

Note we have built 41 second vans now in the last few years, for people that did just that.

Judging from the 1000, the Ranger advice is three fold:

1) 18' is just adequate, any less and you risk your success at long term travel or getting a larger van in the future...

2) This is useless speculation, what you need to do is come to the Factory and sit in a few sizes all at once, back and forth, and see what suits you personally. Not what others might think... Our average size now of 100 vans at a time, is closer to 20'....

3) There are some huge aerodynamic considerations, and the break point is 18'. Smaller and there is not room to get the full ensuite between the wheel boxes and the departure angle in the back... Sooo, smaller than 18' and you have to have the ensuite in the front which is a serious compromise on your aerodynamic rake as you need full head room in the front of the van... It can be done poorly in 17', but best in 18', and you are not going to see these difference that will make you mind up for you, until you come to the Factory to see them first hand... Aerodynamic rake? Maybe a 20-30% power and fuel economy issue when bucking a headwind.. That is how important..

Come to where the answers are.... And sitting in them, you will know what is right for you.... Then.. Now it is like the blind man describing an elephant as he feels the trunk. You need to actually sit in the 16' -18' sizes and bounce back a forth a few times, to get the feel for what is really right and will suit you personally..

Regards, Ranger...
AnswerID: 568036

Reply By: Kalgoorlie Escapee - Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 02:28

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 02:28
Had the same delema when designing ours a couple of years back. Had a Prado which was restricted to 2500kg (just), and had 2 small children at the time. Eventually went for the 18ft with fold away bunk at the rear and queen at the front. Working well for us despite 3 kids now. They are heavy (expect some XXXX here) so I upgraded the vehicle to LC100 TD. Fully loaded the van is approaching 3t and tows comfortably behind the LC (20l/100km @ 100kph still warm day), expect to do worse than that in adverse conditions. Didn't have to go crazy with the suspension upgrade but WDS made towing eazy.

Only you will know what is ok for you, but practice safe sex if you don't want a big van!
AnswerID: 568037

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 06:29

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 at 06:29
Hi Tristo,
Da Ranger is right - again. This decision is too complex to leave up to a few threads on the forum and opinions as we all have different ones of the latter. A factory visit is really important so just get there.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 568038

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