Suspension and air con questions

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006 at 21:39
ThreadID: 123126 Views:11809 Replies:2 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone,

I am new to the group and about to embark on making a caravan selection and have had my eye on a bushtracker for over a decade as a possible van for me. It is early days in the decision process as I am not ready for one for possibly a year or three. Not quite sure now on which way I am going with the van selection but probably not seriously off road, I will possibly keep my CT for that.

My main reason for wanting an off road van is so that I won’t feel restricted in where I go, then again I am not seriously planning to go off road (the “off road” title is somewhat subjective). My wife and I were talking about this and were considering that roads like the Tanami, Gibb RR and the Cape development roads would be ones we would consider, whereas the Old Telegraph track would be too tight. We even talked about Cape Leveque and Kalumburu, both of which we had done before and are considered rough but definitely (given the road condition at the time) doable. So we guessed that our van would need to be off road for it to survive that sort of pounding. I noticed that several articles about BTs now mention air bag suspension but I don’t see any reference to them on the BT web page

I was wondering if any are using them here and how they perform in relation to the conventional spring set up. Also I am interested in the cost and weight differential between the two.

Weight is an issue and whilst I am happy with a 3500Kg gross I know this will limit the size and inclusions so my simple logic is that bags weigh a lot less than springs and they have been around for a while in the trucking/bus industry.

The latest CW mag (as you can see I’m into deep research) has a test on a 20’ BT and it also mentioned that you can’t run the air con from the inverter, yet the Weaco web site talks about a 12 air con. Also I have heard of others doing this – so what is the problem? We already have a Honda 20i so there are other options that we can explore.

Kind regards

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 02:38

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 02:38
50 Viewings and no answers, because these are hard Topics....

The current reports on all Research and Development like this, are on the Owners Forum. We have quite a bit of Research and Field Trials on various issues and equipment, including current reports on Air Bags, and the wishful thinking of 12 volt air conditioning, which I have been playing about with for years... I am currently running the closest thing to it, on my Dual Cab Mack 4x4 Horse Truck shown below, and it is woefully inadequate for a van over 14' and no good in humidity on the coast at all. It just depends if you want it to work like I would expect it to work, on a larger van in hot weather...

We can discuss the options, and our experience with all of the R&D, when you come to Bushtracker and get in the system. You get about three months of coaching here, in a real effort to get the best job done for you that is possible. That and the best Product is why we are Number One. We really do try.

And we lead the pack all the time, doing more Scouting than most, to deliver the Best...

Regards, lone Ranger out on the trail...

AnswerID: 569988

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 19:29

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 19:29
Thanks! Eventually I would need to have a closer inspection and chat etc but having already confessed a liking for the product ( I first started looking at BT when the price was around $40,000). I have not really looked at any other as a consequence - you don't get any better qualification as a potential customer than that.

I need to have a good look around just to make sure that others haven't caught up and to satisfy myself about various products for inclusion. I have dealt with Vehicle Components before and I like the cruismaster concept but I really want to know if the bag suspension can work with one shocker. I am no engineer but I guess that a bag suspension on a corrugated road will test the shocker as there is simply a lot more damping required.

My experience is mainly off road with camper trailers and I've found the most problematical issues there are the suspension and braking so I'm investigating this as I plan to have a van for a while.

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 846772

Reply By: Mobi Condo - Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 04:11

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 04:11
Hello beatit,
Oh! Boy 10 years eh! We thought we were thorough at 5years! (refer "Why we bought a BT")
Any ways - as HAPPY owners we can report that we seem to have similar aspirations to yours. NOT hardcore 4x4 folk but LURVE (got that from Angie! Sorry Angie!) to explore.
So we have had our BT for 12months and have continually looked at how it works in awkward spots.
So far Mobi (our BT) has faithfully and stabily followed where ever we have wondered to ponder what ever! Black top, dirt road, two wheel sand track terrain & 4WD only tracks.
Last trip we deliberately took it over some terrain similar to what nearly overturned our camping trailer some years back. Mobi just sat so level whilst the load sharing suspension worked its "but off" so to speak and literaly just crawled over the terrain! Absolutely delightful to have. Springs are easier for me to understand and repair - if need be - "in the field". I empahsise "IFneed be".
Hope this assists.
Cheers - Ian & Sally
AnswerID: 569989

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 19:45

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 19:45
Hi Ian & Sally,

The bigger issue for me was to convince the bride that carravaning was for her - now that has taken almost 25 years. I am pleased to report that she is almost as eager as I am now. She is looking forward to the Brisbane show in June so she can have a good look.

OK, I have to ask, whats in the Mobi name? Mine is a simple make up of the family names B for Brian (my youngest), E for Elisabeth the bride, A is for Andrew (the oldest) and T is for Theo (that's me).

I have the same simple suspension logic for the trailer, I have had spring failure and now carry a spare spring mounted under the trailer - pleased to be able to report that it was a waste of time on our last 3 month journey. This is easy - but bags interest me because they are light and seemingly durable + you can carry a spare easy enough. Theoretically, they should do a better job.

There is a nice shady camp on the lower Ord that has my name on it, glorious it is right on the river and I am keen to take a van there. Apart from being a nice place there is a 40 pound barra there that has my hook in it and I wan't it back!

Kind regards

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FollowupID: 846773

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 20:53

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 20:53
Beatit,
The Shows are not the place to see a van. First of all you would not get a van until 2008 if you waited for the June Show, but besides that and more importantly: You just cannot see the all important inside construction, that sets us apart from those that just copy our style on top of an on road structure.... I would suggest you possibly rethink that one..

Even with a Bushtracker, you would only see the random chance layouts of a few vans there, in colours and styles that my not suit your tastes or lifestyle, and miss out on a lot of other possibilities here at the Factory..

The Shows are not about truth, but about image. They should make everyone see how the vans are built in the Factory, before they take the plunge on what could be a costly mistake. I know, because we get converts that have made that mistake of buying something that just looked the part on the outside; nearly every month. People are sucked in at the Shows. I tell people: "Don't buy from us at the Shows, and for Heavens Sake don't buy from them at the Show. Instead, first go see how the vans are built, and then you will know for yourself what the best really is.. "

And by the way, the record to date is "6 years in planning" telling us every year he was getting it together to order his Bushtracker... And he finally did.

I just took another almost that long in planning yesterday, from a Gentleman that met me at the Factory Tour in 2001, and going on just that and a few late emails to him, he sent me a $10,000 Deposit on a $93,000 Maxi well equipped Bushtracker here right at the end of 2006. Long Planning, his was 5-6 years.... It happens.

Best Regards, Ranger, doing the best to take care of people... And it pays off. They travel further, and happier, and longer, and it sells us more vans...
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FollowupID: 846774

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 21:18

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006 at 21:18
Hi Ranger,

Now I know what I like and for that reason have been attracted to the BT in the first place and I am not eaily convinced as a rule. Ah, but it is the bride that wants to check the colours etc and for me, I am the practical half of the team. Relax, there is no way on earth that we are buying at the show as this is just not my style. I am very happy with the way you build them and the way you support your clients but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to see the factory.

The decision making for me is about making sure that the bride is clear about what she wants. She thinks it is all moving a little fast and me telling that she will be 2 - 3 years older by that time doesn't help. My bride would break the planning record if I let her but I am also a little more focused and want something parked in the driveway in about 3 years (or earlier).

Just on your point about image, when I worked in the bank many moons ago, there was this saying that if the annual report was prepared in all glossy paper then have a good look at its contents.

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 846775

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