Normal vs offroad caravan





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  1. #1
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    Default Normal vs offroad caravan

    Hi everyone,

    How well will an ordinary small caravan such as the Scout, Sprint, Rascal, etc... withstand gravel road usage over time? no serious/extreme off roading considered.

    Comparing prices of purpose build offroad caravans with the more mainstream caravan shows there is much to be saved. It is easy enough to add 12v, water tank, protection, bigger wheels, etc... and still come out cheaper?

    What are the pro's and con's between the two types of caravan? One is more rugged and the other more refined, yes, but so what? If it can handle most dirt roads then why not get a standard run of the mill caravan?

    I've seen somewhere that these "converted" caravans are sometimes referred to as nomad's. Am I correct?

    Please help me make more sense of my questions! It will influence my buying decision.

    Happy camping!
    dvdm

  2. #2
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    In short, it won't. Namibian gravel may yes, SA gravel no go. You will loose all interior fitting in no time with corrugated roads.

  3. #3
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    As Dirk said Definately not.

    The suspension would not take anything worse than perfect gravel and the body and interior would rattle to pieces in a short while, combine that with the contents of cupboards spilt on the floor due to flimsy catches failing and you are in for some lip from swambo contributing to a disastrous trip.

    I have rebuilt 7 caravans to date and am reasonably clued up on caravan construction. The normal axles used on caravans can barely last on tar and without shocks would fail with disastrous results. The steel used in conventional caravan chassis is of a lighter grade and not designed for heavy duty work.
    The body is constructed from a composition of aluminium and 3 mm plywood vacubonded to a styrofoam core with timber inserts only at critical fixing points. All interior furniture is attached by use of peel rivets and only fix to the plywood skin, workable on tar but unsuited for off road.
    Catches and hinges are too flimsy to be of use in bumpy conditions.

    I am in the process of rebuilding a pop topper to suit off road conditions but this involves a total rebuild and upgrade. One of the forum members has done a build like this have a look at his photos and you will get some idea what is involved.
    http://4x4community.com/forum/album.php?albumid=73

    To buy an old wreck and building it to your own spec might work out cheaper than getting a commercial unit but the results can not be compared. The off road stuff available does nothing for me and I think they are the most impractical monstrosities on the market but that is my opinion only, some folks swear by them so if it works for them so be it.

    Henk
    Henk
    Adventure is out there go find it

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    In short, it won't. Namibian gravel may yes, SA gravel no go. You will loose all interior fitting in no time with corrugated roads.
    ....... quite.

    We only needed about 20 km of dirt road for this to happen - and the road condition was not really horrible - Jurgens Fleetline.
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    Johan Mitchell, .... r.i.v. Swambo Marthie

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  5. #5
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    As Johan said, it's easy to beef up the tyres and suspension.

    The interior of the "larnie" caravans are built of "pampoen-hout" and fixed with nails from an air riveter.
    Even the body will quickly fall apart, so it won't help replacing the innards with more sturdy stuff

    Not worth even considering, it you want to travel anything but good surfaced roads.

  6. #6
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    See if you can arrange somebody to take you through the Jurgens factory in Babelegi - it is scary!

    I'm not saying it is a bad product or design, but if you see the construction before the Ali goes on the outside or the wood on the inside, you'll understand the commment above.
    Everything is a hammer.
    Unless it is a screw driver.

    Then it it a chisel.

  7. #7
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    Hi guys,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! 8) The message is very clear.

    Cheers,
    dvdm

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    I don't know what your requirements are (size & budget wise) but Kempton Caravans manufacture the Scout Nomad off-road caravan based on the Sprite Scout, but it is substantially stronger and more robust .
    It also boast a stronger axle and 15inch tyres. Basic price R115000.
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    Johan van Niekerk. I can't spell and my grammar sucks, so deal with it!
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  9. #9
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    Go and look at this small caravan (offroad version also available)

    I read about it here: http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Randse_B...382705,00.html

    This is their website : www.coegaleisure.com


    Malcolm
    Malcolm van Coller - retired 2013 but remained in Johannesburg (maybe will look at moving south, Robertson or Wellington type of town, once the wife retires)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johan View Post
    I don't know what your requirements are (size & budget wise) but Kempton Caravans manufacture the Scout Nomad off-road caravan based on the Sprite Scout, but it is substantially stronger and more robust .
    It also boast a stronger axle and 15inch tyres. Basic price R115000.
    Hi Johan,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm aware of this conversion and planning on contacting them to find out more. It seems the scout is a popular choice for these type of conversions.

    dvdm

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    Go and look at this small caravan (offroad version also available)

    I read about it here: http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Randse_B...382705,00.html

    This is their website : www.coegaleisure.com


    Malcolm
    I think I need to go and test one of these. BTW they are forum members, and this business is about 500m from my offices.

    So if anybody wants more info just shout.

  12. #12
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    Seems some part of their operation is based in Edenvale. Contact details as per their website is : Contact Factory Direct on 011-452 8188 or Neville on 082 554 8335 or e-mail [email protected].

    Their name and also their other (041) telefone indicates that they are at Coega.

    Maybe split operation, caravans one place, boats etc down at the caost ?

    MCvC
    Malcolm van Coller - retired 2013 but remained in Johannesburg (maybe will look at moving south, Robertson or Wellington type of town, once the wife retires)
    2011 Nissan Pathfinder 2,5 CDi LE Manual (with front Lokka) - My Platkar...
    2008 Nissan Patrol 3.0 TDi GL with front Lokka (Use it mainly for Safari business)
    2003 Bushwakka Shorti (with 160 H/Moon Stargazer RTT and 100 lt water tanks)
    Ex 1999 Nissan Terrano 2.7 TDi
    Ex 2011 Conqueror Supra II
    Ex 1995 GQ Patrol GLX 3 speed Auto
    Ex 1984 Nissan Safari 2.8 Station wagon with 5 speed conversion,
    Ex 1995 Sani 3.0 V6 Exec
    Ex 1994 Venture 2200 with lock diff (Company vehicle).
    Many 4x4s in National Service (Landies, Jeeps, Willys, Bedfords, Unimogs and Buffels)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvdm View Post
    Hi Johan,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm aware of this conversion and planning on contacting them to find out more. It seems the scout is a popular choice for these type of conversions.

    dvdm
    I see in the latest Caravan and O/L the the Sprint and Swing Nomads are also on their way, if you want something with more space.
    Last edited by Johan; 2008/09/23 at 04:33 PM.
    Johan van Niekerk. I can't spell and my grammar sucks, so deal with it!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johan View Post
    I see in the latest Caravan and O/L the the Sprint and Swing Nomads are olso on their way, if you want something with more space.
    Thank you for the update Johan!

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