16' BT Dual wheel base

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 01:31
ThreadID: 122786 Views:4171 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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About to order a new 16'BT. Request comments re sigle wheels versus dual wheel undercarriage.
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Reply By: Tassie Bushies - Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 03:23

Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 03:23
Hi Graeme.
Well dual is much more stable, but on a 16ft? I duno, might depend on what your extras weigh in at.
Sugest you talk to Steve, he DOES know his stuff - My fuel is now better by 15% after talking with him a few weeks back. (Thanks for the Ranger Mod info Steve, & a new filter)
Regards Peter.

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AnswerID: 568869

Reply By: Keith & Joan - Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 19:39

Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 19:39
Hi Graeme, dual wheels on a 16 footer reduces the floor area, and therefore severely limits the design and what you can fit inside it. Depends if you want all the creature comforts like En-suite, single beds or double bed, etc.
Like you, we started out thinking along the lines of a 16 footer, but after fiddling around with a few designs soon woke up to the fact that we could not get what we wanted with that size, even with single wheels. Also 16ft reduces your chances of getting a sale later on if ever you wanted to sell it. (and re- order a 18 footer)
You obviously have your reasons for going for a 16 ft van, but I would urge you to consider very carefully before going down that road. We ended up getting an 18 footer with no rake angle at the rear to get everything we wanted, and the layout we wanted. We are very happy with that decision, and realise now that we would not have been happy with the 16 ft van. It's only another 2 feet, but that 2 ft makes all the difference to what you can do with the designs and what you can fit in it.
We have always had single beds in our caravans, because we feel that a double bed cuts the van in half as far as "Living" space goes. Single beds can be so versatile, and gives you more living space as apposed to sleeping space.
Try this out, assume you get a 16 ft Bt, with a double bed in it which is 7 ft long. That leaves 9 ft minus cupboards and benches for you to "Live" in. How do you think you would cope being confined for a couple of weeks in rainy weather in such a confined space. If you are wondering about towing an 18footer, the wind resistance is the same as the 16 ft, so you may as well have a bit of comfort and more space. I tow our 18 footer with a Nissan Patrol 3 Litre Turbo Diesel and it tows perfectly. I can keep up with all the traffic, so I am not holding anybody up behind me. My advice to you is to reconsider, but as I said before you may have your reasons for wanting the 16ft Bt which I am unaware of. That's my viewpoint from a very happy 18 ft Bt owner.
We have a large Ensuite with W/C and shower and handbasin, 2 single beds, that recline for watching the telly at night (Can't sit too long at the meals table to watch telly) meals area that seats four, lots of bench space, fridge, stove sink, Hot water service, Webasto heating to Van and En-suite, huge storage area under both beds, Flat screen telly on remote arm, sattelite Tv, radio/ CD player, airconditioning
four seasons hatch, four water tanks under floor, three solar panels & three batteries. The Tare weight when it left the factory was 2,200 kilos.
You certainly would not get all that in a 16 foot single axle or double axle.
I hope this helps you make a final decision.
Kind regards, Keith & Joan.
AnswerID: 568870

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 21:09

Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 at 21:09
Graeme, we are in a similar situation to you and are mulling over some of the same issues. What Keith and Joan says makes sense, but I guess it is all up to the individuals concerned, and in particular the length of time you will be spending traveling.

One area that I am definitely certain about though is the tandem suspension. A read of the article on the Bushtracker website: “Advantages of Tandem over Single Suspension” should clear that up for you.

As far as the 16’ is concerned, maybe talking to some owners of this size van would be worthwhile. We met a couple when touring in Tasmania last year with a 16 footer and they were absolutely wrapped in their van. It was a very similar layout to the van on display at the recent Brisbane show, with the door, kitchen and shower/toilet at the front and single beds at the back.

Obviously bigger is better as far as living conditions are concerned, but it all has to carted around with you. I’d be interested to know the difference in weight of a 16’ and 18’ van in their basic (if there is such a thing) configuration.

Another thing, can a 17’ van be ordered or is it either 16’ or 18’.


Col and Diane Douglas
AnswerID: 568871

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 02:59

Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 02:59
Like Keith and Joan we have an 18 footer, 2.2 t tare. I would have considered a 16' but we were buying pre-loved when BTs were rare on the used market. My husband favours dual axle whatever the size of the van for a number of safety and stability reasons. Having had a little single axle camper van before the BT, i now totally agree with him. The ONLY advantage i found with the single axle was you could turn it to face the other way by hand - but we never needed to do that.

I find i have heaps of room and storage space, whereas my king sized husband would prefer a 20 footer with island bed if we had a choice. We have yacht (sideways) queen sized bed at the back over the cut-away, with huge storage area underneath. I just love it how it is.

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AnswerID: 568872

Reply By: Perth Bushtrackers - Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 09:20

Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 09:20
Dear Graeme
We have had our dual wheel 16' B/T since July 2002, and have had two lots of 12 months and one of 4 months travelling around OZ plus we use it every month on local trips. We would not swap it for anything else. We find we have more than enough cupboard and bench space. The space under the yacht berth is enormous and easy to access. We have en-suite, 4 water tanks, 3 solar panels, 3 batteries, and all the normal goodies also aussie traveller awning with walls. Weight is 2040 tare. Good luck with your choice Graeme.
Regards Karl and Thelma
AnswerID: 568873

Follow Up By: Graeme - Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 21:04

Monday, Jul 17, 2006 at 21:04
Thank you for all the positive responses. Gives us a bit to dwell over. We now definitely progress towards selling our Kimberley Kamper and ordering a BT but from the responses still a bit unsure on size. Karl and Thelma - we are interested in the layout om your 16' - can you help?

Many thanks Graeme and Rosemary
FollowupID: 846053

Reply By: Perth Bushtrackers - Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 at 08:46

Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 at 08:46
Hi Graeme
Please send an email to karlg37@iprimus.com.au and I will send you the relevant information.
Regards Karl and Thelma
AnswerID: 568874

Reply By: Panda N Poodle - Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 01:31

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 01:31

We have a16 foot single axle, queen size bed, four solar panels, ensuite 190litre stove. Plenty of storeage space and the good thing is we were able to tow it with our Prado. If we had opted for a larger van it would have meant buying a larger tow vehicle. A very expensive exercise. We optwed for the 16 and have not looked back.

AnswerID: 568875

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 05:04

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 05:04
190L stove.... thats is one serious cooking device, I figure it must be about the same size as my two door fridge/freezer LOL!

FollowupID: 846054

Reply By: Panda N Poodle - Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 22:11

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 at 22:11
Sorry my mistake. I meant Fridge. We also have a full size stove. I will be happy to send a copy of the floor plan.

AnswerID: 568876

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