If not a BT then what?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 05:15
ThreadID: 124488 Views:4747 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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We are looking to buy a van for an extended holiday and are mad about the BT. Unfortunately, we just can't afford it (without selling the house). Can anyone suggest anything remotely close to the BT? We just want something sturdy for off roading. We will be travelling with three kids under 5 for about 12 months. Any help would be appreciated.
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Reply By: The BrakeAways - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 05:26

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 05:26
Hi Sueandclint
What's your tow vehicle? What is its towing capacity?
Where do you want to go? "Off-roading" can mean very different things to different people? Do you mean formed gravel roads or bush tracks or worse (sand, mud)?
How long do you want to be away from civilisation at a time?
What sort of price range do you have?
Do you want new or second-hand?
When do you plan to start your trip (long delivery times not just on BT's at present)?
Rick
AnswerID: 574517

Reply By: Balkos450 - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:27

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:27
HI
Just went through the same dilemma was all cashed up and ready to buy but just missed a great buy in Qld and then after all the looking settled on a smaller van a 17ft supreme getaway no where as good as a bt but with a child and wife i wont be out of civilization for more than a couple of weeks on our trip around oz. It didn't have a bunk but a cabinet maker did the best fold up bed ive seen and i purchased a diesel heater all up $29,000 and im set to leave in 2 and a half weeks. At only 35 the money i saved has gone on the mortgage and we will save some for Helli flights on our way round. The bts are great if you want to live in it forever. But for 12 months this will do and as my dad allways said about mum you cant live a champagne lifestyle on a beer wage. Whatever you buy people will pick faults but as long as your happy who cares. Hope to see you on the road Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 574518

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:28

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:28
Bascially we plan to travel around Australia and want the capability to go a little further off the gravel road. We are aiming to leave early next year if not before and looking for a second hand van as the waiting period is too long for most new vans. We just want something that wont fall apart half way around. Price range I guess would be around 40K to 50K. Tow vehicle is an 80 series landcruiser with a braked tow weight of 3500kg. Thanks
AnswerID: 574519

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:50

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:50
Have you considered a camper trailer, sure they are not a caravan but you can go a lot further with one in tow, we owned an Ultimate which we were extremely happy with, the re-sale & demand is up there with the better built caravans, easy to set up, off the ground, enough luxury & extremely durable .

Don't want to burst any bubbles but you wont find a BT in that price range, some vans such as the 2nd hand Evernew or Supreme Getaway, Majestic Navigator could possibly suit what your looking for, The Caravan Trader magazine is worth a look.
Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:55

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:55
Doh!! just gave my self a kick, Sorry I didn't even notice you said 3 rugrats under 5 that makes things different, forget the Ultimate .......

what age can they start boarding school ?

LOL

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Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:57

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:57
We have a camper trailer that we love but are looking for a little more luxury as we will be in it for a long time. Especially with three kids, one due in August. Thanks for the information, I will sus out those vans you mentioned.
AnswerID: 574520

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:59

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 06:59
from what I have seen the evernews seem to be value for money ,I dont know if any one else has spoken to evernew owners but the ones I have seen and spoken to they all seem pretty chuffed with them good hunting and have a great time
AnswerID: 574521

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 07:05

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 07:05
Hi sue and clint

We looked for years at everyone's rigs, then saw a BT. After that my husband said BT or nothing - he wouldn't risk a cheaper van falling apart on us in the outback. So we waited until we sold something to get together enough money to buy a pre-loved van. Not as fancy as the modern ones, but still very nice. Anything else really tough is also big $$$$s. Buying 3rd hand without all the trimmings was still not cheap, but it also came with the advice and knowledge plus little trimmings added by the previous owner.

If you want to pay lots less, just stick to the better roads, and take days trips to some of the attractions without the van. There is still plenty to see out there.

Motherhen

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Reply By: Ski Ali - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 08:08

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 08:08
Hello Sue and Clint
There is an 18 foot 2001 model BT for sale on the Sunshine Coast. It is a bit above your price range at $70,000 but still very cheap. Someone was chasing it so it may be sold. Ring 0428 552 570 if interested
Regards Col
AnswerID: 574523

Follow Up By: NIK `N` OFF - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 09:34

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 09:34
There is an 03' 18' also for sale in the WA Sunday Times newspaper $69k

# 0400656855
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Follow Up By: CD & JW - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 19:04

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 19:04
I had a look too. Needed to search under "General" in the WA Sunday Times, not under Caravans. This one looks like it is possible to set up for a family, not like many vans now.
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Reply By: The BrakeAways - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 18:16

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 18:16
We had an Aussieswag camper trailer for some years. It was great when the kids were young (and the wife and I were younger). It went anywhere. Came back from the Canning stock route (5 weeks) last year where the other four couples in our party all had camper trailers (various makes). Some issues with each of them but basicallly they all got through without too many dramas. If you don't mind the 30-60 mins to set it up at the end of every day and the same time to pack it away every day you're off somewhere, and the fact that it doesn't have a shower or toilet, the limited sleeping room, and the issues of packing it up wet, then they are a good option. Same track as the tow vehicle, same width, hardly knew it was on the back (except in sand or mud). We're going for the BT now for extra creature comforts esp loo and shower, and ability to cook and live inside in bad weather, and having a 'mobile office' with us. When living in Canada for 2 years (before the Aussieswag) and with some long (summer) trips over there, we had a pop-up camper I bought when I got there for $1000 and sold it when I left for $1000. It easily slept 4 and could do 6 with the dining table down. It was quicker to put up and down than the camper trailer (got it down to about 10 mins each way). We took it on some rough corrugated roads, although I did have some problems with the suspension. If you are young and with young kids, and don't mind taking them to the loo behind bushes, or taking them on walks at inconvenient times to the caravan park toilets, and cooking outside etc, then either of these may be a more practical and sensible solution than a BT, especially if it's a one-year stint and then as the kids start school, the opportunities will be less, so the investment tied up in an expensive van might not be justified.
Rick
AnswerID: 574524

Reply By: Innkeepers - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 19:25

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 19:25
Hi Sue & Clint,
Before we purchased our BT, we looked long and hard and a 3 year Old 19 foot Supreme Territory looked like a good compomise. It had independent tandem suspension (Not load sharing Simplicity) it also had 3x 80 Litre tanks and 3x 120W solar panels and 3x 100Amp batteries, a 220 Litre 2 door fridge Freezer and full ensuite. The owner wanted 50K for it and it seemed to be a well constructed rig even though they don't have the same aluminium frame as the BT...or the same price tag.

Also you might look around for a pre loved Phoenix Nomad as they are accepted as being a very robust van too. The Phoenix would be my suggestion for as close as you might get to a BT in build quality. However there may not be too many around for sale....worth a look though

Hope this gives you a starting point and we wish you safe travels and great sunsets when you go.
Cheers
Rick & Julie
AnswerID: 574525

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 07:59

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 07:59
sueandclint, check the caravan trader magazine, also the MSN caravaners forum. Just a couple of places to start with. Another idea is to check the CMCA motorhome site. They sometimes have motorhomes, campervans etc which have been modified to off blacktop travel.

Good on ya for giving the kids a different handson approach to education about our great country.

Angie
AnswerID: 574526

Reply By: SuziTracker - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 08:27

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 08:27
Have a good look at Evernew caravans. You will find one in your price range. They are very well made.

Regards
Brian
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AnswerID: 574527

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