We have sold the camper trailer and ordered a caravan!
Me a Caravan Owner! – a few years ago I would have sworn that I would never tow a caravan, how things change. The van is a 14 foot pop top made by Goldstream RV in Melbourne. It has the same trailing arm suspension made by Vehicle Components in Brisbane that we had on the camper. We inspected an almost identical van in Melbourne last November.
We did a lot of research first on the Internet and then both in Adelaide and Melbourne on small off road vans and found they are as scarce as hens teeth. That is excluding the vans that manufacturers and salespeople claim as being off road when they aren’t really. Excluding crossover camper/caravans we could only find 2 such manufacturers. We discounted the crossover camper/caravans because of cost, complexity and they still required considerable set up.
Trakmaster make a terrific product but it is $15K more expensive than the Goldstream van which is already horribly expensive. Trakmaster quoted us a year’s lead time on orders and Goldstream 6 to 8 months.
We visited the major second hand yards in both Adelaide and Melbourne and searched the Internet but soon realised that unfortunately we would not be able to buy what we wanted second hand and would have to spend a goodly chunk of our retirement savings to get what we wanted. So on Monday after selling the camper I contacted Goldstream to discuss ordering a van and was told that they had a van being prepared for the Melbourne caravan show that was almost identical to our “wish list” and this was available for delivery late March thereby avoiding the 6 to 8 months wait. An hour later after much gnashing of teeth I called them back and placed the order.
These are some photos we took of the van similar to the one we have ordered. As you come in the door the galley is straight ahead. There is a double bed to the left (front of the van). To the right is a dinette and shower/toilet cubicle. Vicki is sitting at the dinette with the shower/toilet cubicle on the left.
The van will even have a hot shower and air conditioning!
We started our travels bushwalking with backpacks, we then changed to a bigger tent and more comforts using the car, then it was a camper trailer with an innerspring mattress, now it is a caravan with unbelievable luxuries. I’m not sure what comes next or even if there is a next.