Changing Caravans

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 at 19:14
ThreadID: 123005 Views:5082 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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In response to my posting regarding the East-West trip several persons have privately written to me asking why we are selling our Bushtracker and building a 25' Boroma the end of next year.

So that there is no misunderstanding - we LOVE our Bushtracker!

So long as we were going to travel over serious corrugations and other miserable road types Bushtracker is the only caravan that provides 5* bullet proof comfort.

However, after we return from the West over the Gibb and the Gulf we no longer intend to travel over serious corrugations and other miserable road types.

Instead, we are looking forward to staying in locations for 3 - 6 months so that we can play golf, go fishing, and do the "city" thing.

We have chosen Boroma because of the quality of construction, the fact that we can have a similar suspension with air bags, and most importantly we can have a separate shower.

If you are going seriously off-road; buy a Bushtracker!

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 at 21:12

Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 at 21:12
Boroma make a nice on road van....

But before anyone buys one, go see how they are built. Most are not going to want a wood frame with a fiberglass nosecone front and rear clip.... And from looking at ones right next to our Site at the Shows... It is one that weighs more and costs more than the same size in a Bushtracker....!!!!!!

ALSO: The separate toilet and shower idea we have routinely been doing in the past few years since Jay got his van.

Before someone goes running off to go heavier and more expensive and wood framed, I would strongly suggest a trip here to see how Bushtracker is built. And separate loo and shower is not a problem, particularly in a larger van, but we have done it in smaller vans as well.

Do yourself a favour, and consider the above comments before doing such a thing and running off to buy a Baroma, nice vans but.. Come and see how we do things first... I would suggest that OK, dress it up, put in leather, tizzy it all you want, but you are still better off with a Bushtracker.

Regards from the lone Ranger...
AnswerID: 569560

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 at 23:17

Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 at 23:17
You know, a few of us were talking around the campfire at Copeton and the consensus view was that even if were just touring on bitumen, we would still go with Bushtracker for the quality of build, the security and the fantastic after-sales support if there is any little problem.

I certainly respect Jay's view, but for me the BT covers every situation.
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Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 04:31

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 04:31
Hi Guys,

We have no intention of touring on the bitumen.

Those that were at Copeton #1 might remember a 22' Boroma next to our van.

That Boroma was towed all over Australia including many of the outback tracks.

Those same people built a 24' Boroma that had everything you could possibly imagine and the TARE was 3200.

We are told that our 25' with Simplicity Suspension will probably have a TARE of 3300.

I am not going to get into a discussion of quality of build and the manner each van is put together; suffice it to say that they will both do 80+% of Australia and a BT will do the other 20% as well.

We are no longer interested in repeating the "other 20%" once we finish going across the top next year. We will certainly go off-road and park by a river or lake for an extended period of time as we will be similarly self-sufficient with water and electricity.

Cheers, Jay
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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 17:55

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 17:55
Knowing you Jay, we at Bushtracker would have counted the 300-400 kg of details that you would want to add on, and so came up with a good figure. There is no way you figure for your new van is going to come in like that. Not in a "Blue Moon". I wish there was a betting parlour to put money on it, as I know I am right.

Now no disrespect to you Jay, I actually personally like you, but a little disclosure for the "Newbies" here is in Order. Jay barely got through with his Bushtracker van in the first place, we only JUST managed to get through 165+ emails of some impossible details and way too long of many paged discussions. At one point we pulled the pin because we just thought it all a bit waaaaaay too much. In truth, we would have to have a full Office Staff Meeting to decide if we even WOULD be willing to build Jay a 25' Bushtracker. He would well know this, and that is probably one of the underlying reasons of the change and not doing the application to Bushtracker. This is the truth.

Jay, I personally like you, and do wish you well. I hope your transition to Boroma is a success. In all fairness to you, I think you will have learned some valuable lessons that you can apply in your new endeavour. Good luck with it.

To all other Newbies, I think an honest disclosure here is valid. Jay, there is no way you are going to come in at the projected weight you are talking without some major changes to your style... Unless a special very light road running version, without our level of gear, and without the 200 little added bits of detail you are going to want to put on; and I really doubt that is what you are after: That projection is totally unreasonable, and you know we speak from experience.

In all fairness, I don't want any Newbies to get off the Track here, understand the underlying foundation...

Jay, Best Regards, Ranger...

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Reply By: Silver and Tinks - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 04:52

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 04:52
Like to see that 24 footer on a weigh bridge.

Our friends have a 21 footer with a tare weight that is a great guesstimate.

But that is the great thing about Australia we can all make choices.

Scott & Jacky
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 20:04

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 20:04
Good Luck with your van J & J,

I know both the Boroma vans that you mentioned and they were both extremely well made and did travel on mostly the same roads as we do in our Bushtracker. Their 24ft van had far more inclusions than most Bushtrackers do that added to the weight, even tiles around the sink area. The only problem with the weight was that they wished to tow it with a Landcruiser and the loaded weight put that over 3500kgs, so now it is happly being towed by an F250 with larger tow capacity.

When we were at Middle Lagoon north of Broome we met a Jayco owner there who was happy with his van that has travelled the Tanami and other rough roads without any damage. He claims that the secret is to drive at a suitable speed for the conditions, and we were unable to see any ill affects of his travels, so I am sure that Jay with his towing experience will now be able to tow his Boroma to pretty well the same places that we go to.

Because of the way the BOG Constitution was set up Jay and Jacky will still be able to remain full financial members of BOG so we will no doubt all get to see their new home at future rallies and make our own comparisons.

Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 21:08

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 21:08
Brian, thanks for the kind thoughts.

Also thanks for confirming what I thought to be the case under our Consitution - once a BOG always a BOG.

2008 will find us in the USA; 2009 is a good bet for us to attend the rally and compare vans.

This is not about one van being better than the other; this is about wanting a different style/interior to fit our new life style. Having been in our friend's Boromas, we like the interior look produced by Boroma.

The owners/builders of Boroma have given us an aproximate weight estimate that meets our requirements; Steve's comments make it clear that he believes the van will be much heavier. As also said, everyone is entitled to their opinion without attacking the other person for having a different opinion.

For the record the sole reason we did not ask BT to build our new van is that we were advised that Conrad had requested a shower in his 27' BT and his request was declined. This is my understanding; I could be wrong; I am glad that Steve has gone on record that he will build a separate shower when requested.

Our 21' BT has a TARE of 2900kg. Boroma estimates that each foot of standard construction is approx 110kg. A 25' Boroma includes the front built-in boot in its stated length. That translates to approximately 23 1/2 internally.

Steve indicated that BTs overall weigh less than Boromas. Therefore, assuming that a BT is also aprox 110kg per foot or less, a 24' BT should weigh approx 3230kg. This has been my assumption.

Brian, I am advised that BT will build a 24' on a double axle.

As I said in the initial post: we LOVE our BT.

If BT now builds a separate shower (entered either separately or through the ensuite) and we could have a 24' double axle BT with a TARE of around 3300-3400 I would certainly consider building a BT since as Steve indicated it would cost less than a Boroma.

Brian, as a result of Steve's positive comments about weight and cost of a BT as compared to a Boroma, and a separate shower as well (!), I will send a copy of our proposed plans and construction notes to BT to obtain a weight estimate and a cost estimate for comparison.


1. They are both great vans. If you are going to Cape York with your van or across the country and do not want to hesitate to go on any particular road and you are driving an F-truck - buy a BT!

2. If you are driving any other vehicle, for safety sake and to make sure you are always "weight" legal, probably 19' is the largest BT you should tow. Again, that is just my opinion; there are lots of non-F-Trucks towing larger BTs.

Ain't it fun - life rocks on the road!


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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 21:43

Friday, Oct 27, 2006 at 21:43
Jay, now trust me, I am not trying to get the business... You know what I mean... What I have to say is "Fair Dinkum" not commercial. This is just for anyone else as well... Look, at all of the Shows we have been to, I have never even seen a Boroma that went 110 kg a foot fully optioned up. They would have to be in a basic Standard Inclusions model and one never sighted by me..

Optional Equipment adds 300 to 400 kg.. Jay, your fine taste in exotic appointments in lifestyle? ..... Will add another 300 to 400 kg.. Now, at least you are in the ball park. I want you to be realistic in your expectations... Boroma is a very pretty van, and I often tell Clients that I think it is one of the best built on road vans out there, albeit also the most expensive. I only want people to compare apples to apples and see how the respective vans are built, to know for themselves what and why; and to operate with all of the information.

As to the separate toilets and showers, we are always improving designs and finish and incorporating new ideas into layouts. I still think it is a bit of a waste of space for a wet seat that can be accomplished with a simple cover for the loo..... After trying to show the alternatives if they still want it, no problem. We can, and do, do it. We do not specialise in "Tizzy" preferring to give a long lasting quality finish, a little spartan for some Interior Design "Artsy" type people, but they can "Jazz" it all they want.. We are moving towards some oval shaped yacht style lounges in leather and things to try and make everyones taste buds happy. But long life and value is what we aim for, and from reports we get from Customers we still have the highest resale value of any van in Australia. I would like to think there is a reason for that..

Ranger, trying to do the right thing by everyone is my goal.
FollowupID: 846482

Reply By: Rob n Son - Saturday, Oct 28, 2006 at 21:39

Saturday, Oct 28, 2006 at 21:39
Hi all interested in this thread, This is the first time I have submitted to any thread and have been watching all submissions for some months as have a new BT on order. Due feb.07
We are 2nd time off road van owners, we run a building design & construction co, my wife is an interior designer. We checked out most top off road van companies for our 1st van in 2003. We then decided against BT as we thought very well built but too heavy and not enough design freedom. The van we went with (no names given) is a top of the line manufacturer of timber framed vans .We ended up with a van that was when loaded with minimal gear 2 only water tanks, went over the weigh bridge 600kg over legal weight. Other problems, the interior draw rollers chipped and several draws broke out of their frames. Refrigerator broke free of frame. After the first year noticed small lumps in different locations over the walls of van (water damage) .The manufacturer to his credit fixed all these problems even out of warranty and stated the water damage was due to many small problems not of our doing. The weight problem could not be fixed.
I must say the company was great to deal with, very customer focused,
We lost a considerable amount of money when we sold the van, may be we were unlucky. We now understand what BT were trying say in 2003 and have a Bushtracker on order .
Rob and Sonia

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