Next time??

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 at 12:21
ThreadID: 123234 Views:5106 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Some of us we get the opportunity once in a lifetime to have a BT custom built. It takes a few trips to realise that if you had a second opportunity to have a BT custom built you would probably make a few changes.
I would be interested to hear from any member/s, should they do it again, WHAT WOULD THEY DO DIFFERENT??

You support would be very much appreciated
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 at 21:09

Saturday, Jan 20, 2007 at 21:09
hi Ron

Not much we would change as we took a lot of time to design ours. Hubby said he wouldn't put in an exhaust hatch in the shower as the small window does the job well.

We did put in a thin cupboard for DVD's and Videos etc and that has been good. Extending the footlockers out to the end of the bed and raising mine up about 50mm was good as I am a little on the vertically challenged side.

We are very happy with our van.

AnswerID: 570293

Reply By: Jaunty Jordans - Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 01:26

Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 01:26
Hi Ron,
We have an 18' 2004 BT and there is very little I would change except the length. I think our next one would be 20'. We took out the long cupboard just inside the door and haven't regretted it at all as I have oodles of bench space, I would put in pantry baskets in the cupboards along the side as I get sick of getting down on the knees to find stuff at the back, and I would put in that small cupboard by the ensuite for bits and pieces.
Hubby would have extended drawbar too.
We love our BT and it is comfy without being all prissy. I notice lots are having those plexiglass hatches put in over the bed area and would love to know why? I think it would just allow one more dust entry and would require cleaning!! Can someone fill me in?? I think they look god though.
AnswerID: 570294

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 02:38

Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 02:38
The large skylight over the bed is the ONLY thing we would like in our van that we don't have (lie-webasto is tempting , would go 19ft aswell, ok not the ONLY thing!!). At ordering time Steve was adament that a gas regulation complying hatch in that position was a bad idea. Aparantly there is a vaccum zone over that section of the roof. Gas regs mean these hatches cannot be totally sealed and it would be illegal for BT to seal.

Over again I think I'd have one put in and seal it myself.

Why have one?? We loved the idea of laying in bed staring at the stars.

Haven't heard anyone on here complaining about dust on bed?? Maybe nobody on here with one?

FollowupID: 846992

Reply By: Silver Fox - Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 02:57

Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 02:57
The number of water tanks (non-potable), batteries and solar panels needs to be carefully worked out according to the areas covered by your expected travels. Consider: should the drought continue some country towns may have stiffer controls on supplies. Showers are very pleasant after a hot and dusty bushwalk. How many before that next water fill? I find approx three and a half per tank.
Lots of overcast weather means less solar generation. Therefore how many panels/batteries or would a genny be a good idea. I have a genny for the air-con which is 240V. So three panels and four batteries has been ok for me. Only ever got down to 12.5V with two laptops and lights on til late.
I would definately have at least one of the largest cargo doors.
I have fitted lights in the ensuite and food cupboards. Also both sides of the cargo bay.
An exhaust fan over the stove would reduce the mess above it. I instead thought opening windows would work. Wind either blows the flame out or it's so cold cook gets sworn at.
Microwaves are more weight and will fall to bits on rough roads no matter what your tyre pressure is. If you can't do without. Mount somehow on cushioning feet.
That's enough from me. Should be plenty of more experienced BT'ers respond. cheers. Neil.
AnswerID: 570295

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 04:47

Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 04:47
Hi Ron,
I don't think we would change anything on our 19' BT - we really like the layout and live in it full-time. We have the long style of lounge and one of those 'cranked' and swiveling table tops that works very well. We would put the fine mossie mesh on all the window screens instead of 50% as we have now.

We have: Full extension on the drawbar, Three Jerry holder rack, Ensuite with plus an outside shower, extra water tight locker in the ensuite and waterproof toilet roll holder, Table top across the rear with cupboards underneath with a slide out computer table. Full length foot lockers and no hanging cupboards - originally had one but changed it to shelving. Remote starting on the water heater and lights in the underbed storage area plus large access hatches.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 570296

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 05:42

Sunday, Jan 21, 2007 at 05:42
We have had our 21foot van for nearly 6 years and it has been used extensively during that time. We have made a number of modifications to it during that time and as there is now very little that we would change on a new van we will be keeping what we have.

AT-35 Hitch to Hyland swivelling ball coupling
3 by 120 watt solar panels to 4 solar panels.
Mains water supply
Mains water tap on draw bar
Suction water hose on draw bar
3 water tanks changed to 5 tanks with one moved from rear to front to increase ball weight.
Filled Jockey wheel
Support legs on rear of van.
Step made removable to prevent damage in rough conditions.
Outside Bulb light changed to Fluoro light.
Fly screen changed to Midge screens
Pole carrier put across rear of van.
Wind deflector fitted to clear dust from rear.
Jockey wheel filled to make solid.
3mm hand brake cable changed to 4 mm.
Fridge outside vents closed off.
Had rear view camera fitted.
Sullage drains re-routed so that they didn’t rise up over chassis and hold water, and also plumbed so that they go to one outlet instead of 2.

Fitted a shelf in the cargo bay so that chairs can be stored there from under bed. This gives a lot more storage area.
Fridge now vented from under and beside at base to top rear.
Fridge fitted with internal fan to circulate air.
240 volt transformer fitted to fridge
Sealed light controller wires with silicon to prevent breaking
Strengthened resistor wire in fridge with plastic shrink wrapped along it.
Put support bracket under lower fridge door.
3 batteries to 4 batteries
Put heavier cable between batteries and fridge to prevent voltage drop.
Batteries, Inverter & charger moved forward to give more ball weight.
Full length mirror fitted on outside of ensuite wall.
Mirror fitted to cupboard door in ensuite.
Towel rails fitted in ensuite
Towel rails fitted beside fridge for bath towels
Towel rail fitted for hand & tea towels
Sink basin drain plug enlarged to household basin size.
Webasto diesel heater fitted
Steps beside bed made into full length steps / shoe cupboards
Pantry cupboard changed to drawers to get access to back.
Water filter put on drinking water tank.
Tank level gauges fitted to 3 tanks.
Replaced broken glass cook top with stainless steel cover.
30 amp solar regulator changed to 40 amp.
Reading lights changed from halogen to LED globes
Supports put on inside of cupboard doors to prevent hinges breaking.
Hook & Eye catches put on cargo doors.

Replace 190 litre fridge with 220 litre fridge.
Install a Swift stove instead of Dometic.
Fit a full reverse cycle air conditioner, instead of the standard roof type.
Have an extended A- Frame.
Fit 130 watt solar panels instead of the 120 or 125 watt panels.
Fit double glazed windows all round.
Put a 12mm piece of ply under toilet before fibre-glassing so that water does not run under toilet.
Have leather seat covers rather than material.

Enjoying the friendship of BOG members

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AnswerID: 570297

Follow Up By: Agnes Lifestyle - Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 08:34

Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 08:34

FollowupID: 846993

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 09:08

Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 09:08
Crikey is right...
Newbies, do not be alarmed..

We at Bushtracker fundamentally disagree with this persons advice on many matters. You may contact us at Bushtracker for our views on some of these modifications which have caused other problems.. Regards, lone Ranger...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 00:47

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 00:47

Don't keep us all wondering. Tell us what modifications have caused other probelms. This is an owners forum where we would like to know what other owners have done that they have found works or doesn't work.

I like lots of the ideas put forward by various owners to personalise their vans, and in the list above cannot see what could cause other problems.

FollowupID: 846995

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 01:07

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 01:07
A lot of Research and Development has progressed dramatically since this persons van was built. First of all, I am not going to amplify this on the Public Forum, or reveal our R&D, or go into any kind of detail on most of the issues here on the Public Forum. THIS IS NOT THE OWNERS FORUM as you say, THIS IS THE PUBLIC FORUM. You may contact us at Bushtracker with Private Email or move the discussion to the Owners Forum.

This person got into an accident with this van, had it repaired by others, and had others move electrical components around, and in our view there were many contibuting factors and faults that made some of the "modifications" necessary over the years. Things like an added Mobitronics transformer unit adds a half volt voltage drop in the fridge, that is not desireable in the refridgeration circuit.. I don't know who you are, but this is not the place for discussions on these matters.

We disagree with some of the advice given, and it has cause problems over the years. Also, a lot of this advice, if it had any merit, would relate more to vans built in that era pre-2000, and only serves to confuse New Owners ordering Current Technology. A lot has changed since this van has been "modified" and much of this outdated advice should be put into the context of what could be done to improve a second hand van from the 1990's rather than concerning Newbies to this Forum. All I can say is much of this advice is NOT helpful, and only serves to unnecessarily worry some of the people ordering new vans.

That is just how it is... Ranger
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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FollowupID: 846996

Reply By: Kiwi1 - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 21:17

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 21:17
Is it just me, or is that an overly-sensitive response from BT? An owner has simply listed a whole lot of relatively minor changes that have no doubt added to his enjoyment of his van. He has not presented his list as "advice" as claimed, nor can I read any sort of attack or stirring implied in his posting, unlike the response from Steve. By all means hide the issue, if there really is one, in the Owners' Forum, but that's of little help to people who are viewing this site with an open mind.
I'm left with the unfortunate impression that I should steer well clear of a second-hand BT but have no idea why.

AnswerID: 570298

Follow Up By: TripnTaps - Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 09:27

Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 09:27
Well........from my perspective, Brian has only listed one thing that was in any way structural that he would do differently if he was to invest in a new BT and that was the ply to the floor under the loo! The other items he mentioned were really preferences IF he ordered another.

Knowing where Brian & Margaret have travelled in their BT in all terrains and country and his experience and knowing their attention to prepartions are top knotch - and the fact that Brian enjoys personalising his BT and equipment for preference or in his opinion -safety, is his right (and we all know Brian loves a fiddle!!)

Steve you know you have a great product - we your clients and owners of BT's know and trust your product .... thats why we own one.

By the way I am thinking of painting mine PINK!! (aHHHH only kidding)

Changes I would make - Steve may recall when we went to view and order I wanted only a 16fter and at his convincing we settled on an 18ft Island bed. Well if it was a really permanent arrangement for us I would now go for a 20-21fter - still the island bed tho, but only because it would make no difference to our tow vehicle rather than our original vehicle a Landcruiser (with independent Front Suspension - didn't stick with it and glad of it - even with adjustments/add ons)

I wouldn't get an exhaust fan in the ensuite - we dont find it a necessary use - the window is adequate..
John has just finished extending the foot lockers - that is extra storage that you really need.
I have a pantry with slide out bins fitted by BT (with a bit of persuasion as I have wrecked my knees with past horse endeavors) - and it is the best and I love my Swift type stove and Smev under bench oven which are fitted into the benchspace.

We really enjoy our van and it is a pleasure to tow. We have the standard AT35hitch and John wouldn't change it but we do like our rearview reversing camera which makes hooking up a breeze and I think is an essential safety item on a big effie like ours.

Michael - if you were lucky enough to get a 2nd hand BT just like ours or many others we have seen you would not doubt why we feel so comfortable and safe in our Bushtracker. (I thought you owned one already?)

FollowupID: 846997

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