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 Off Road Caravans

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Jas
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PostSubject: Off Road Caravans   Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:57 am

This is a link to a very interesting site: http://www.bushtracker.com/

Basicaly perpose constructed caravan with greater ground clearance and aproach/departure angles, upgraded twin axle suspension and improved brakes. Me personaly, i like them. But im a fan of caravans and camping. From a look of the specs, its heavyer than most UK & European caravans, but from customer reports anything from a defender 110 2.5 tdi to a Landcruiser 4.5 v8 can pull them over varying terrain.

Would they be a great addition to the overland Scene?
Due to the size, would this restrict were you could travel?
Could the extra weight damage your vehicle, especialy when towing up steep gradients?
After paying out for the caravan, would you then need to spend £££££ on upgrading your truck? Double Shocks, Bellows Air Bag spring supports, 16,000lbs hydrolic winches, reinforced chassis and tow bar?


So what do you think about them?






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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:51 am

Not for me.

Not exactly K.I.S.S

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:03 am

agree
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:42 pm

Not a fan of towing trailers, especially up passes and assorted tracks in mountainous areas. An off-road caravan would be even more restrictive. No, like the others, not for me either.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:56 am

Sorry do not agree with you, all depends on were you are going, just an overland trip, or something more arduours.
Do not think anybody would think about about going up mountainsides without kowing what was up thier.

Seen the video of this before, looked capable going where it did.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:33 am

I think everything can have it's place but it's not for me. I am though still designing in my head a widetrack sankey based teardrop trailer, partly for travel but also for work.

Jas, have a look at the expedition portal forum if you want to see some more off road trailers - mainly americans but lots of inspiration thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:37 am

Nice ill have a browse.

I have seen on a fue caravan forums, that some owners had ordered another chassis of their van and put spacers between the two, mounting them together, like a double ladder chassis on a 4x4.
This allowed them to fit similar sized tyres as their 4x4's. (30/31") Thus creating more ground clearance.
The problem was that due to their extra height and the van being light weight, the caravan acted like a sail and blew the van & vehicle over. - It would certainly be cheaper than the OZ ones tho even if you could only take it on calm days.

TJ

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:54 am

Terracan Jas wrote:
Nice ill have a browse.

I have seen on a fue caravan forums, that some owners had ordered another chassis of their van and put spacers between the two, mounting them together, like a double ladder chassis on a 4x4.
This allowed them to fit similar sized tyres as their 4x4's. (30/31") Thus creating more ground clearance.
The problem was that due to their extra height and the van being light weight, the caravan acted like a sail and blew the van & vehicle over. - It would certainly be cheaper than the OZ ones tho even if you could only take it on calm days.

TJ

Somethign along those lines would be to either replace the standard axle set up on the caravan with a conventional 5 stud braked traielr axle (which just happen to be the same stud pattern as LR) and then modify the wheel arches inside the caravan. My worry though would be that caravans are flimsy enough as it is and I'd be scared it would fall to bits if pulled offroad. The other thing is that supposedly the government are bringing in some tighter regulations regarding trailers and type approval (which is no bad thing IMO)

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:33 am

whole new meaning to the saying "including the kitchen sink" Laughing
too much "stuff" for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:40 am

Before I get tarred with the caravanner tag - I do not, have never and do not plan on ever owning a caravan thumbsup

My teardrop idea is literally somewhere to be able to crawl into when the winds'a blowing and the rain's a falling but able to be dragged into places that conventional options aren't feasible lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:48 am

you already have something to use...............











































YOUR LANDROVER laughing pound laughing pound laughing pound laughing pound
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:40 am

Chris S wrote:
Terracan Jas wrote:
Nice ill have a browse.

I have seen on a fue caravan forums, that some owners had ordered another chassis of their van and put spacers between the two, mounting them together, like a double ladder chassis on a 4x4.
This allowed them to fit similar sized tyres as their 4x4's. (30/31") Thus creating more ground clearance.
The problem was that due to their extra height and the van being light weight, the caravan acted like a sail and blew the van & vehicle over. - It would certainly be cheaper than the OZ ones tho even if you could only take it on calm days.

TJ

Somethign along those lines would be to either replace the standard axle set up on the caravan with a conventional 5 stud braked traielr axle (which just happen to be the same stud pattern as LR) and then modify the wheel arches inside the caravan. My worry though would be that caravans are flimsy enough as it is and I'd be scared it would fall to bits if pulled offroad. The other thing is that supposedly the government are bringing in some tighter regulations regarding trailers and type approval (which is no bad thing IMO)

I agree.

Caravans are too flimsy for transport over rough terrain. I remember watching a owner reverse his van on to his drive, he had a form of aniaml statue on his driveway and he hit it with the back end. It did knock it over but it caved in the rear corner at the same time.

For me the idea of a off road trailer with built in fridge/sink etc is really nice, and the idea of a go anywere caravan or OverVan is interesting, but the more ive read in to a off road caravan the worse it looks.

But what i did see that was great was a perpose build Iveco Daily. It was listed as a overland vehicle but to be honest i thought it looked like a tall campervan.

The other item that i find interesting it the De-mountable campervan that you can put in the rear of a pick up. It could still be to flimsy to go really offroad. I could see them overland tho, maybe not going through the malaysian rainforest but certainly to remote destinations.





TJ






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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:06 am

What do you mean Yoda, we wouldn't go up mountains without knowing what's there? That for me is one of the big draws of off-roading/overlanding, it's half the fun of it in fact - exploring.

Sure we'll come across plenty of dead ends due to locked gates, cornfields, canyons, villages that have been washed away years ago, ski runs or just tracks petering out, but that is the appeal of 'driving abroad'. There the locals will simply wag their finger as if to say "that's your lot, time to turn around", in the UK you get irrate landowners or ramblers wanting conflict.

Apart from desert situations (discounting sand of course), I really can't think where an off-road caravan would be practical as it would limit your capabilities. It really does defeat the object of owning a vehicle capable of tackling rough terrain, what's the point?

... and don't worry ChrisS, we won't let Top Gear know you're a 'closet caravanner'. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:13 am

As a caravan owner it looks quite a good idea, but i dont think i would go up mountains with it. But it might get the caravans off the roads!!


I love the De-mountable and at the shows im always mooning over them, but just arent big enough for us 2 adults + child and are alot of money. I think they would be great fun if you were planning a years long trip.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:44 am

Tom Mc wrote:


... and don't worry ChrisS, we won't let Top Gear know you're a 'closet caravanner'. Razz

Talking of TG - they should have had me driving that old hilux when they where trying to kill it - my old one was due it's third engine by 90,000 miles - it couldn't handle working for it's living Very Happy

I do also like those demount campers and have seen a few on dropside pickups meaning your work truck can be your work truck mon-fri and then at weekends become the camper - Sound thinking i reckon.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:00 am

I understand you Tom I was refering to towing the caravan up a mountain, without knowing you could get up or down, so park up then explore the mountain, and see if you can get over with the van. I am sure that last year on the landy rally you could have taken a robust ofroad van. That is what they are made for, but we would not have one. For the simple reason once on route like to keep going forward not going back to collect the van. Wast of time.
But I am sure some one will buy them. clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:03 am

scouting the lane/track is ok but its a different story when you meet someone coming the other way and you have to back up
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:09 pm

This is an interesting topic, before we go any further we need to specifically look at the origins of such caravans and their applications, how and where they are, and could be used, the vehicles needed to tow them, and ascertain if they would be beneficial to owners.

These types of vehicles were originally designed many years ago as a specialist application for large countries with vast inhospitable areas, where people needed a self sufficient vehicle to stay for a prolonged period, mainly for working purposes, mining and geology were the main two, followed by exploration. They were designed for these markets as they have much larger engined vehicles and different towing regulations to those in Europe and they could tow such heavy large engined vehicles as their fuel prices are much lower than ours, they were designed as a rugged alternative to the ordinary caravan which was too weak.

They were never designed for climbing mountains, something in between this and ordinary road surfaces, they are more durable and can cope with more inhospitable terrain, but as with anything they have limits.

Many were used across tracks on large engineering projects such as oil and gas pipelines where tracks had been cut by existing machines, but were very rough when compared to roads, and being portable meant they could park up in specified camping areas and the towing vehicle could be uncoupled for normal duties, and the caravans run from normal supplies.

They expanded into the leisure market with the advent of pleasure 4X4 usage, and suddenly became a better alternative to those trekking overland for longer periods than a normal caravan as they were more durable, and people with more disposable income moved to spending on leisure.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:04 pm

i once towed a caravan with my range rover across the long mynd in shropshire to medlicote where there was an event instead of going round the long way,, doh ,,it was bloody hard work and we had to stop at the top to let the rangy cool down,,,,,,,,never again will i tow off road,,,,, lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:59 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI9qSnmpDTk&feature=player_embedded

That is a video of a 5th wheel, 45 ft caravan, towed off road by a Defender. Epic Fail.

My idea of an off road caravan was something shorter and higher off the ground. I have towed a 5th wheel caravan before with a Hilux 3.0. The van was not as heavy as you think but it soon feels it on a hill, let alone on uneven ground. What were they thinking, surely there is a easier way! Laughing Laughing Laughing

And: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk6KJXeOM0k&feature=related

This video about the real off road caravan, well i dont think im up for this much effort. Im defeated, i love the idea but just give me a ground tent. IMO caravans are great, but after 1 week of reaserch my conclusion is that Caravans, what ever size or shape should stay in fields camp sites and on firm ground. Epic Fail.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:21 pm

Not totally, reckon Assassin has it right. Over vast distances and open terrain I'm sure they are of use, but still the fact remains that if you encounter soft sand or even worse flech flech (power sand) then the drag of an off-road caravan is going to be a real pain.

Each to their own but as I say, not for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:19 pm


I do agree with what assasin said, you would need a lot of money to spend on both vehicle and the caravan, not to mention the kit you would need.

Here is another vid for off road caravan if any one is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYyiaUx_bpQ&feature=related

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:24 am

One thing not mentioned, but which may be appropriate for other reasons such as insurance in particular, is the actual towing weight of a vehicle, most off road vehicles have considerably higher towing weights than ordinary saloons, but how many people are aware that 4X4's actually have two towing weights?

The first towing weight is that mentioned in manufacturers litreature, this is the towing weight of the vehicle ON ROAD and is always defined in the vehicle handbook as it is a legal requirement to do so. This is the towing weight we all know and generally work to.

True 4X4's also have another towing weight which is never mentioned, and is often difficult to find, this is its OFF ROAD towing weight, and is generally much lower than the on road towing weight, so why are there two towing weights, and how do they affect us.

Road conditions are pretty standard across Europe, and vehicles are structurally designed for these average operating conditions, they are tested to provide the maximum towing weight for these conditions, and with a vehicle being designed as a structural entity it has limitations.
Off road terrain is different to road terrains, there are steeper hills, different side slopes, and a variety of different conditions which affect a vehicles structure, and using the vehicle with a trailer off road at its maximum road towing weight will easily exceed the structural strength of the vehicle and its major components such as suspension, engine, or drivetrain.

Many vehicular electronic systems are affected, as an example a hill descent control system may only work with a trailer designed at a much lower weight than its on road towing weight, then there is ABS and traction systems to consider as two among many.

Here is where the insurers catch anyone out, if you tow off road and exceed the off road towing weight your insurers can refuse to pay out if you claim, in addition you can also be prosecuted if you use the vehicle on green lanes where the vehicle has to be road legal as you are effectively not insured by operating a vehicle outside its designed operating parameters.

It was not too long ago that Land Rover were prosecuted for their advertising campaign, they towed a heavy trailer across off road terrain which exceeded its off road towing weight, they were prosecuted for a variety of offences.
Operating with incorrect insurance, towing weight over the RR's maximum off road towing weight, and using this to mislead the public.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:59 am

Not something they mention in thier promtions far as I can remeber, as said not going to get one but out of cureositary, will have a look. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Caravans   Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:01 am

There is one of them osy trailer near me seen it a few times was on the same place i kept mine clinking teacups
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