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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krebs View Post
    Karel (I think he is on the forum) did Van Zyl's with the Comfortvan, as he was one of the guys I asked when I was shopping around. Didn't have any problems at all. Done over 15 000km with his.

    I've seen a G-wagon break down on the N1.. So I guess it's possible with anything to fall apart.
    True but here is what my mate who took more attention of what went wrong and who helped fix everything has just sent me - I have edited out the swearing and also note this is the same guy who referred me to the Imagine before this trip:
    - The oneís entire fridge slider unit unbolted itself and fell out (as in fridge on the ground). Upon inspection they use light duty rollers that is nowhere near strong enough.
    - The Comfort vanís shower would not work... Brand new! And when they had cold showers they had to dry the floor and sides of the shower unit by hand so as to ensure that water from the shower does not move all over the inside of the van.
    - The entire bottom back end (like a carís rear bumper) covering is fibreglass over metal. Well the one side fell/ broke off during the day on the trip. That night I had to cut it to look aesthetically pleasing and then re drill and pop rivet it back.
    - The entire thing is pop riveted together. Now anyone that works with pop rivets will know that a pop rivet has its strength from pulling out and is weak from lateral movement. Now there is plenty of lateral movement on the van.....
    - They do not seal against water very well. Okay it was a river crossing that is a bit more severe than a few puddles, but both the Oryx and the Explorer came out dry unlike ALL of the Imagines that were wet inside.
    BruceT
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    Defender 130 Puma

  2. #42
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    You guys have me feeling bad so here is another thing I like about the Conqueror....

    ...... it has a complete hub with bearings that is used to mount the spare wheel on the back of it, so if you have hub or bearing problems you have a replacement at hand. Only van I have seen with this setup so not sure if there are others. Great idea.
    BruceT
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  3. #43
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    Now I'm completely lost.
    Seems every van is "Great Junk"

    So I'll go out and buy whatever SWAMBO thinks looks and feels right to her.
    Stay Safe
    Disco-Deon
    This morning I woke up,
    Making today a great day.
    Nerdy, 2011 Honda Jazz, 1500 Exc

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeonvanderMerwe View Post
    Now I'm completely lost.
    Seems every van is "Great Junk"

    So I'll go out and buy whatever SWAMBO thinks looks and feels right to her.
    I see you came to the same conclusion I did then!

    On these forums everyone will tell you that the one they have is the best, some will even say all others are junk!

    Go look at them and buy the one that "speaks" to you, I went the Xplorer route, it is perfect for my (and my family's) needs. Wife liked the interior best, I like the outside shower tent and quick set-up, among other factors.

    Countrywide dealer network and spares availability was a major influence on my decision as well.

  5. #45
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    Yip that's best advice here.
    BruceT
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  6. #46
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    Talking

    See you guys soon in Bushlapa products then ....

  7. #47
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    We love our Comfortvan and would not trade her for anything else on the market.
    There are some things you may or may not like about all the different models as mentioned. As for falling apart - we bought ours used and it has done quite a few thousand km's without anything going wrong except for a minor problem with a hinge on one of the kitchen cupboards. Until now I have not heard of any major issues with them.
    You will read all sorts about other vans on this site - one brand in particular has been so thouroughly bashed for poor quality and service it definitely influenced my purchase decision. The owners of Imagine vans opinions about their vans are largely what convinced me, and I had to wait over a year to find one at the right price within a reasonable distance to fetch. There were no instructions with the shower and it has a few buttons and dials but once you try them all you figure it out - that shower puts in Comfortvan in a class of its own.
    I saw the Bushlapas at a show earlier this year and they also look great. Those are the only ones I can comment on. Sterkte

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  8. #48
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    seems the only brand with country wide availability and support is Jurgens... besides them and echo4x4 the rest havent really been interested in looking after a DBN based potential client and none are interested in arranging a demo van for a night away test. pity....

    as for all the info you guys have been free with... thank you!

    perhaps we can start threads for each brand of 4x4 caravan (and trailer) and so keep up with whats out there?
    forum admin are you out there?
    Gnosis
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vossie View Post
    Why? The Amarok tows my Companion far better than my Pajero!

    And his Touareg won't even feel it!
    Vossie, I used to tow the conqueror commander with a Prado (with chipset @ about 106kw). Wonderful on level roads, but struggling otherwise.

    The Amarok @ 132kw in my view will be better than the Prado, but might just not be ideal for the Commander weighing in loaded at 1300+ kgs.

  10. #50
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    I have the Kavango, and the pros and cons are (in my opinion)

    Pros:
    Very strong fibreglass single piece body on a strong but lightweight chassis with simple leafsprung axle
    Due to fibreglass on galvanized chassis, it resists water and corrosion better than xplorer (wood) or commander (mecchano style galvanised steel)
    Light weight compared to commander and explorer, perhaps as much as 300kg less than jurgens, I can single handedly push it around on level ground to store or hook it, could not do that with my xcape, doubt it will be easy or possible with xplorer if you are alone
    Tows very easily and stable (leaf springs and nice low profile behind your vehicle)
    Can be stored in ordinary garage
    Fairly good support countrywide
    Really quick to set up or down by only one person

    Cons
    Lesser image compared to xplorer and commander
    Jurgens owners may miss the luxury wood feel and looks
    Leafsprings suspension may not give equal off road articulation compared to xplorer and commander
    Some glues used in some parts of its construction was not understood or applied as per specifications (table parting its frame)
    Earlier models had problems with power supply push buttons
    Wiring quite iffy, some owners pulled it all out and replaced
    Jockey wheel the only point of contact in front, jacks in rear, some owners added jack in front
    Last edited by ArthurB; 2012/12/25 at 08:41 PM.
    '15 Honda CR-V Comfort Auto
    '10 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2

  11. #51
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    We use a Echo 4 which is not on your list.
    I can comment on the commander (son in law run one).
    It tends to be heavy and he had some fun with dust, the rear stands and jockey wheel (also issues with the manufacturer but they have now come to the party and all sorted).
    To me it is a nice setup and it works for them with a 2 year old ankle biteter.
    For me to heavy for our use.

    The Kavango as I understood from people is a good setup and tow easy. Has to agree with some of the cons - wiring and glue issue.

    I have seen the Bushlapa in prototype and was impressed (top of Sani).

    My next purchase (when we are a bit older) will either be the Kavango or Bushlapa (last one prefered).
    Danie & Marinda - die wiele is rond, dus moet hulle hardloop - afgetree nou leef ons net.
    2017 BL - Kewer B1115 RUS WA GP - bos en kamp tyd
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    2013 Ford Ranger 3.2 DC XLT 4x4 - nuwe rondloop ry ding, nou sleep ons! (2017)
    2011 Echo 4, die RUSWA-ZN - (verkoop 44 000 km)
    2010 Ford Ranger 2.5 DT DC XLT 4x4 - rondloop ry ding met "bietjie ekstra" krag (Verkoop 177 000 km)
    2005 Chev Aveo - Afgeskryf (2016 130 000)
    2005 Opel Corsa 17DTi - Geruil (warm enjin 180 000)
    2003 Opel Corsa 17DTi - Geruil (warm enjin 150 00)
    2000 Nissan Hardbody - Geruil (pyne by die duisended 52 000 km)
    1998 Opel Kadett - Dogter se wiele geword in 2003 (baie warm enjin 116 000 km)
    1990 Datsun 1800 short wheelbase - Pa se ou plaas bakkie, na die Nissan die pad gevat het met sy probleme in 2003 (117 00km)
    1990 Hilux 2.4D - en hy kon loop, pomp en top gewerk aan.
    1984 Opel Commondore - het gehardloop
    1983 Safary 3 karavaan - verkoop en begin tent in 2000 (51 000 km)
    1980 Ford Granada 3.0 - warm enjin afgeskryf
    1969 VW 1600 TL - geen einde nie, warm enjin en geruil
    1968 VW 1600 L - geen einde en baie warm enjin, verkoop in 1998 (328 000 myl/525 000 km)

    .

  12. #52
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    Just one more thought, credit to Jurgens for putting off road caravans on showroom floors where normal caravans are sold, that may be why the explorer has such a good following, it was probably the first off road caravan that caught our attention

    And another thought, the Jurgens is really atrong chassis wise, it is made from standard steel sections. The kavango use a laser cut steel chassis with a lot of clever cutting and folding and gusseting to save weight without the extra kilograms of steel. Echo must be using clever computer aided design and laser machines, credit to them every time I tow mine
    '15 Honda CR-V Comfort Auto
    '10 Suzuki Grand Vitara 3.2

  13. #53
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    Jurgens have a new modular chassis and is "a lot lighter" now. Still about 160kg on towball which makes it very stable.





























    a
    Fortuner D4D
    Hilux 2.7 4x4 Raider.
    Sp Tourer

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceT View Post
    True but here is what my mate who took more attention of what went wrong and who helped fix everything has just sent me - I have edited out the swearing and also note this is the same guy who referred me to the Imagine before this trip:
    - The oneís entire fridge slider unit unbolted itself and fell out (as in fridge on the ground). Upon inspection they use light duty rollers that is nowhere near strong enough.
    - The Comfort vanís shower would not work... Brand new! And when they had cold showers they had to dry the floor and sides of the shower unit by hand so as to ensure that water from the shower does not move all over the inside of the van.
    - The entire bottom back end (like a carís rear bumper) covering is fibreglass over metal. Well the one side fell/ broke off during the day on the trip. That night I had to cut it to look aesthetically pleasing and then re drill and pop rivet it back.
    - The entire thing is pop riveted together. Now anyone that works with pop rivets will know that a pop rivet has its strength from pulling out and is weak from lateral movement. Now there is plenty of lateral movement on the van.....
    - They do not seal against water very well. Okay it was a river crossing that is a bit more severe than a few puddles, but both the Oryx and the Explorer came out dry unlike ALL of the Imagines that were wet inside.
    Hi Bruce
    I have just stumbled on this post and would like to comment.
    This is the same extract that was posted on the overland forum by Mike shortly after our trip on the Luvuvu trail in September. It was very nice having a guy like him on a trip being fully equiped and a handy man of note! But the becomes very soured when you see certain warped truths being posted about products.
    1. Other Mike's comfortvan which he had just taken delivery of did have an issue with the geyser and was sorted with a call to Gideon from the bush. There was no water on the floor of the van but on the shower floor and the shower walls as in any shower and the proud owner being very neat and fastidious wiped everything down after use. There were no issues with that van whatsoever. This was an extreme trail where it took 8 hours to do 30k's.
    2. The other Trailvan that lost its back plate was being towed by a Disco 3 with and aftermarket tow hitch and the suspension was set to offroad mode hence the back of the van clearance was compromised and decending over a rather high rock ledge. I was using thexact same configuration except with a standard tow hitch which is much lower. Again not the fault of the manufacturer.
    3. The fridge slide saga was my van and the slider did get stuck on the last evening with a fully loaded 90lt national luna and with brute force the two mikes yanked the fridge out completely off its sliders and landed on the ground. I was left with a van full of ball bearings. Those slider were rated 90kg each which is well within spec. Again not manufacturer poor quality.
    4. Water coming into the Trailvans and comfort vans is the biggest load of [email protected] I have every heard. totally unfounded I for one was stuck in a mud pool where the water was above my wheel arches of the van and not a single drop of water inside and no one else had any problems of that nature.
    My BIL pulled a fully laden Jurgens Xplora on the trip and admittingly he had no issues at all. The only set back with the Xplora was the set up time and brake down time is much longer then it takes to set up a comfort van or trail van but equally very comfortable.
    I hate it when people brand bash products with a biased and untrue explanation.
    I am extremely happy with the Imagine products although I am unable to comment on the other brands with no first hand experience.
    Take Care

  15. #55
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    Interesting thanks Peter. I must admit I was keen on the Imagine (without the shower) until I heard about this trip. I have also seen an Imagine after a trip through to Mabau in Kgalagadi and yes its true it could have been abused I don't know, I was put off by bits of it falling apart. In Mikes defense he has always praised the Imagine and said I was stupid not to buy one but after that trip his mind had been changed.

    I have never been on a trip and witnessed any other trailer manufacturer's products falling apart and the fact that the Imagine didn't handel the raised height is a concern also. I have done many trips where we have had to "slide" down steep embankments and cross ditches and never had anything pulled off, so I believe the Imagine is more for the soft road stuff where products like the Conqueror and Xplorer could probably handel a lot more.
    BruceT
    ZS6EBT

    Defender 130 Puma

  16. #56
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    Default Which off-road caravan

    I have done two trips to Botswana and Namibia with a 2005 Explorer. One about 5000Km's and the other one in Nam 7000Km's. The one in Nam was some of the roughest around Van Zyls pass. Traveling 180Km's in three days. At some point 2Km's per hour. The Explorer withstand all this without any problems. I can recommend this as a high quality product.

  17. #57
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    What exactly fell apart on the imagine's

    I've got one and I take it where ever my hilux can go? And never had a problem in actual fact I actually broke a side shaft on a bad road in Bots and "camped" next to the road in the imagine while waiting for the tow truck!

    We are very happy so far!

    But I must be honest we have not travelled where you guys have travelled yet,its still on the cards and its a concern that the imagine isn't gonna last that long

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post

    I've got one and I take it where ever my hilux can go?
    So you have then only been on tarred roads

    Buying a offroad caravan is a huge investment, For that reason alone I would suggest renting a different van everytime you go away to see what works. So get the one then that works and sort the niggles out. I still want to see a caravan with a proper mattress and not these fold up sponges with joints
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  19. #59
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    I have the Commander van. It suited our needs the best at the time when we were looking for an offroad caravan. It has beet to Western woodlands in Bots and Gona in Zim. No problems at all. Everything worked as advertised. Nothing broke loose, fell off etc. But as previously commented, I always pack my battery drill, decent drill bits, decent pop rivets and a set of rivnuts and bolts. Never had to use it, but it is there for use. Bought it secondhand and the price was excelent. And yes, I have made a couple of mods to make it even better. Planning to do Hunters road later in the year. The Hilux stuggle a bit with the towing, but then again, I am not in a hurry and take care not to abuse the Hilux or the van.

    Happy caravan hunting and enjoy whatever it is that you buy. Use it, don't let it stand in a normal garage......
    I might be a FOOL, but I am an OLD fool - from unknown.

  20. #60
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    Look very seriously at the Xplorer

    -Build quality very good
    -Just launched new lightweight model
    -Very spacious inside - best to have shower external for space and water drainage,
    -Shower cubicle a cinch and quick to set up or put away - like an en suite.
    -"Independant suspension" gives excellent ground clearance - important
    -Very stable when towing - most important
    -Will go anywhere
    -Best support network

    I have done well over 30 000km in all conditions and Nam/Bots - also owned an Imagine. Imagine has good aspects, however to small inside and external tent is cumbersome and outdated.

    The Xplorer is one of those evergreen designs that just gets better with age.

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