Why Bushtracker

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 03:25
ThreadID: 123736 Views:8529 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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We are approaching D day between Bushtracker and Kedron.
No doubt may others have reached this point before placing their order and we are wondering what ultimately made people choose Bushtracker over Kedron and, perhaps, Phoenix?
How do you rate Bushtracker's warranty support and after sales service?
Of all the listed options what are essential for outback travel and extended free camping?
This will be our first van so trying to get it right first up is a very daunting decision and any help/advice would be gratefully received.

Gazza & Nette
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 04:21

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 04:21
Gazza & Nette,

Your question is likely to draw a barrage from this site in favour of Bushtracker. The things that convinced us in 2002 (and we remain convinced today), were:
1. Chassis build quality and the Simplicity suspension.
2. The welded AND rivetted aluminium frame.
3. The cabinet workmanship in Tassie Oak - complete with dovetail joints in drawers.
4. The advice from the staff at BTi in ensuring that the fit out and equipment met our needs..( extended bush camping with comfort and security.)

We spent 2 years researching, looking at all brands, layouts and build quality. Attended Sydney caravan shows twice. Visited the factory twice before ordering.
A factory visit is essential !!

We were not influenced by resale value as our intention was to buy a van that would last us at least 15 years. After 5 years of travelling an average of 3 months per year in our BT we are confident that the van will do this with ease. We don't want to upgrade as we are satisfied that we got what we wanted.

Part of the fun of owning a BT is making little modifications to suit your personal needs and own ingenuity. You'll see all the bits'n'pieces in our photo gallery.....some of which BTi would not recommend......but, they work for us.

Some of the benefits in BT ownership that we were not aware of (and so did not consider), at the time of ordering are:
1. Resale value.
2. After sale service .... whether at the factory or beyond the black stump.
3. The fun, freindship and fraternity experienced through the Bushtracker Owners Group.
4. The true durability of the van in every respect. We have been though the Red Centre and Top End backroads, to Cape York and, on just about all the roads marked "Unsuitable for Caravans" in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. ( have only found one that I would not take the van over again.)

So, the advice is.....Do a factory tour.....compare the above points to other manufacturer's products....listen to the BTi staff....talk to Boggers.....look at their vans..........Go to a BT rally....Order your BT Lifestyle!!

Cheers and happy travels..........Rob and Liz
AnswerID: 571925

Reply By: CD & JW - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 07:39

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 07:39
Copeton rally was a worthwhile trip for us - even although we only had a weekend to travel from the ACT and back by car. We stayed in a cabin at Copeton. So many owners were willing to show us through their vans. Some layouts or additions would not be our choice, but there was always something the owner said that was helpful. We took a notepad, and camera recording the name of the owner and size of van, and any particular item of interest in relation to each photo. This was well worth the trouble. We had already researched quite a bit but seeing so many vans together, and of differing ages, gave us information we would have found difficult to obtain in such a short time elsewhere. We have camped and caravanned for many years in many off-road areas, and while our current van was considered off road when we bought it the developments generally are enormous and it is time for an upgrade. Every manufacturer will give you a good sell, so be discerning and take your time.
Happy travelling
CD & JW
AnswerID: 571926

Follow Up By: CD & JW - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 09:29

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 09:29
When you look under the vans - is everything nicely shielded (definitely no cable ties pleeease) with nothing hanging down. The underside of a van gets splattered with what can only be called shrapnel on dirt roads, let alone other damage which could occur with serious off road work, even with careful driving. If the proper protections are not in place you will have problems.
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 08:03

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 08:03
Hi Gazza and Nette

We chose Bushtracker because of the strength of the chassis, and overall tough build. Ours was a pre-loved, and being on the opposite side of Australia, we haven't been to the factory.

I have 'e-spoken' to Kedron owners who want to upgrade to a BT, who saved a few dollars going Kedron but still would like to go the BT in the future, and who have made the move. Of course i have also spoken to owners of Kedron, numerous other brands and even tents who are happy with their choice!

Having a shower and toilet is a bonus which was not on our essential criteria, but i would not like to be without now. For bush camping, first criteria is being fully solar powered. Other than that, the choice of features seems endless when you look at the modern BTs. As it is your first van, don't go too big, unless it is to be your only home. Ours is 18' and has more than adequate room for storage for weeks on the road without shopping. When we went to Tasmania, we took clothes for all season, which rattled around in the under utilised cupboards.

Hope this helps you get out into the outback.
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Follow our travelogues, bush camping and other travel hints at www.australiasomuchtosee.com

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AnswerID: 571927

Reply By: Landy - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 17:50

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 at 17:50
Had a good look at some Kedron vans at the Sydney show. I sure cannot see how you are having a problem choosing. The Bushtracker is so far in front don't waste your time tring to compare. Don't just look at the shiny outside look at the "guts" and you will see why we have chosen BT.

Bill C
AnswerID: 571928

Reply By: Bellflower Wanderers - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 00:54

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 00:54
Thank you all for the replies. Actually we did both factory tours (Bushtracker & Kedron) at the end of last year and, whilst after that Bushtracker was our preference, the value for money of the Kedron with a lot more standard inclusions was very attractive and would be a cheaper purchase. Looking at completed vans one cannot see why Bushtracker is superior; it is what is hidden from sight that tells the story. A trip to Copeton Dam for the rally would certainly provide a lot more insight but we will be placing our order well before then.
AnswerID: 571929

Follow Up By: Turist - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 02:34

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 02:34
Have a look at where the Kedron drawbar connects to the chassis.
Then have a look at how the BT drawbar carries through over the suspension.
That drawbar connection point of Kedrons is enough to keep me away from them.
(Unless they have changed in the past 12 months)

Bob
"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 01:54

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 01:54
Gazza & Nette,

I think you have made a wise choice. We might be biaised on this forum, but there is a reason for that. We have never owned another van, once we saw the BT nothing else would do. But there are many more people on both the Owners Forum and this one that have either done their homework or have owned other vans, some Kedrons. And they have all ended up saying their BT is the best.

I wonder why that would be? Cheaper is not always better. You have made a wise choice.

You will find the aftersales service is exemplary too. Now the thing is to make sure you have the correct towing vehicle for your size van and you will have smooth sailing er towing throughout your days on the road.

Once you place your order don't forget to join the members forum where there are a lot more bits of information etc waiting for you.

Angie
AnswerID: 571930

Reply By: CD & JW - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 09:00

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 09:00
If you can't get to a Rally before ordering, than ask if any Bushtracker's are passing near you. From what I have read on this site most owners seem ready to let you see their vans with the knowledge that goes with them if they can possibly help out in that way. CD&JW
AnswerID: 571931

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 07:42

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 07:42
Living as I did at the east end of the Gibb River Road I saw and heard about a lot of sad stories of caravan mis-adventures on that stretch of road. I also spoke to several Kedron owners, a couple of which had done the Gibb. Some where not happy with the results. I recall that a cuboard fell off one and a microwave out of the other. They were crossed off my list. However having said that it may have been due to poor driving skills/speed/incorrect tyre pressures etc.

I do not think that they can hold a candle to Bti in pure engineering and build.

I have now done a lot of real bush tracks and cannot fault the BT.

John
AnswerID: 571932

Reply By: Sundy & Cyclone - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:57

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:57
Friends of ours have the "You Beaut go anywhere X country" model and would swap it for a B.T. in a "heart beat".
On a recent trip between Gregory Downs and Adelles Grove their 3 way fridge fell out of it's housing and rattled around the van for most of that road. After an inspection by an insurance assessor it was found that the fridge was at least 2 years old when it was installed in their NEW van.
Some overhead cupboards developed cracks and parted company at some joints, so I'm not sure if it would have survived the "Gibb River Rd.". We have travelled extensively with them and I can asure you they are thorough in their maintenance and very careful drivers who drive at sensible speeds according to conditions.
I must add though that without too much effort did Kedron agreed to repair the van.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 571933

Follow Up By: dazmit - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:30

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:30
I know I will probably get hounded down here but just to clear a couple of things up , not stirring things up as the Boggers are a helpful bunch- The Kedron range starts at the Cross-Country , then goes up to ATV & Topender with the Topender having the strongest chassis etc.
We own a 2004 CrossCountry and more than pleased with it - we have just returned from traveling the Tanami , Mereenie loop road and Plenty highway and the only thing that went wrong was the lid of the garlic paste jar came undone with garlic paste spilling in the fridge. By the way when comparing chassis don't just look at the side rails - have a look at the cross pieces that hold it together.

Like anything it's horses for courses and there are horror stories on EVERY van brand and no one brand is perfect.
Enjoy whichever one you decide.

cheers

Darryl
Brisbane
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FollowupID: 848051

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:55

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:55
As Darryl has said, Kedron make a number of van levels and many of them are only meant to be driven on sealed roads, so it is a little harsh to compare all Kedron vans with a Bushtracker which is designed to be used off road.

Having said that, I still believe that the build quality of the Bushtracker is superior to that of the other Off Road caravan manufacturers.

Brian
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Follow Up By: dazmit - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:38

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:38
Thanks Brian

(off topic) As you previously mentioned our housesitters did indeed leave our house cleaner than we left it and latest report is they are having fun testing out their new BT in the Gulf country and have managed to wipe out the rear step so they are giving it a good workout !!

Cheers

Darryl
Brisbane
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Reply By: Sundy & Cyclone - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:34

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:34
Completely agree, we have met others who swear by their Kedrons and in fact I have just spoken to someone who has just ordered their 2nd Kedron.
Our freinds van could have been a "Friday afternoon" job ????????????
Tony
AnswerID: 571934

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