Advice on older Bushtrackers?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 17:03
ThreadID: 142231 Views:581 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
Hi, We are looking at an older 16 ft Bushtracker with the view of bringing it up to more modern specs. Unfortunately good Australian made vans which suit outback conditions are out of our reach, so our thoughts are to look at something older with good quality and Bushtracker is a brand highly recommended. I thought that the owners group would be the best place to seek opinions and advice. The van we are looking at is a 1999 model with the original steel base section. I have contacted Bushtracker and was told that the construction remains the same and the van should out live me. What I am asking is, are there anything we should be looking for and do the earlier models suffer any issues.
Thank you in advance for any help.
Cheers, Gordon
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Reply By: Dingley Deserters - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 20:50

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021 at 20:50
Our first bushy was a 99 steely we bought about 16 years ago. Was stored at a caravan park near the sea so had a few rust issues which was not much of a problem to fix myself. It had only 2 panels and 2 batteries, added another 2 batteries and another water tank to make 4.We had a lot of fun in it and lived in it for just over a year before we took delivery of our 2010 van with not too many issues. It had a 90 litre fridge which was the greatest draw back. Construction wise, the shower and toilet area which is not fibreglass but panelling. As long as the corner joints are good no probs. Also added a webasto heater and a couple of other things not so important.
Overall it was a great van and we loved it. We were planning a long time on the road so decided to update to some more niceties. We did nearly 10 years to start with. And now back doing it again.
One major consideration is weight. It will most likely have a 3 tonne suspension system. We changed ours out for a 3.5 as overweight. May need to upgrade the hitch too.
Do your inspection and hopefully see you with a van and at a muster in the future.
Regards Geoff & Peta.
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Follow Up By: Gordon M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 09:20

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 09:20
Thanks for this. The weight is something I am concerned about as the compliance plate has the tare at 1600 and the load carrying capacity of axle or axle group at 2000kg. You are definitely right about the hitch as it does look a bit agricultural. This one doesn't have a shower, but that is one of the upgrades we are wanting to do. Coming from a camper we use a couple of Engel fridges so a 90l shouldn't be a problem in the short term.
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:15

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:15
Hi Gordon,

Geoff & Peta have given good info, all I can add is many older Bushtracker’s are purchased with the intention of doing major upgrades, certainly works out a good decision cost wise. The more work you can do yourself the less it costs. There is a Facebook group Bushtracker Caravan modifiers for owners that may help for ideas / info.
Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: Gordon M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:33

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:33
Thank you, I will check it out
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Follow Up By: Gordon M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:57

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 10:57
Just looked and apparently they only allow Bushtracker owners, not prospective ones.
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Reply By: Theywent Thataway - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 12:36

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 12:36
Totally agree with the comments made by Geoff.
We had a 1999 BT 18' with the steel sides which we renovated. We had the factory replace the suspension with the latest which gave us a an upgrade to 3.3T
They are basically the same structure as the new ones but just with older fittings and equipment.
Much of it you can do yourself if handy and upgrade a bit at a time as the funds allow.
Dave.
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 20:48

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 20:48
Have you bought yet, Gordon?

This has just been listed on the BT factory forum.

BT For Sale
Stephen
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Follow Up By: Gordon M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 21:41

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 21:41
Thank you Stephen, My preference would be for the 16ft, mainly due to our carport size and my total lack of experience towing a van. However, this one certainly looks very good and I have sent an enquiry.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 21:59

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 21:59
It’s got bunk beds down the back. That’s either good or it makes the reno a bit more complicated.

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Gordon M - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 23:25

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 at 23:25
Don't need bunk beds, but the price and condition are good. Maybe change the combo bathroom into an ensuite.
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