My Venter Offroader - work in progress





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    Default My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    So, In December 2015 I pulled the trigger and ordered a brand new Venter Offroader with all the bell's and whistles fitted.......according to the Venter guys.

    I took delivery just before the December holiday break and only had it registered in January. The trailer was fairly standard with a new Tentco Senior tent fitted on top of the roof-rack which could house a full size steel table with folding legs, side slider with 6 x Metmeister bins fitted and rear slider with two large and two smaller plastic containers fitted. Against the left side wall the basin tray was fitted to slide out the rear to be mounted to the side of the trailer. Also on the left side was the box containing the spice rack and gas stove. The nose cone was the new big box which could fit a 90lt National Luna fridge. On the right wheel arch was the "tool box" and a Jerry-can holder in front of it and another behind it. On the tail end was the spare-wheel carrier mounted which swung open to get access to the rear lid and slider.
    I did not take a photo when it was delivered so I will attach a generic picture shamelessly copied from the Venter website.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    So, In December 2015 I pulled the trigger and ordered a brand new Venter Offroader with all the bell's and whistles fitted.......according to the Venter guys.

    I took delivery just before the December holiday break and only had it registered in January. The trailer was fairly standard with a new Tentco Senior tent fitted on top of the roof-rack which could house a full size steel table with folding legs, side slider with 6 x Metmeister bins fitted and rear slider with two large and two smaller plastic containers fitted. Against the left side wall the basin tray was fitted to slide out the rear to be mounted to the side of the trailer. Also on the left side was the box containing the spice rack and gas stove. The nose cone was the new big box which could fit a 90lt National Luna fridge. On the right wheel arch was the "tool box" and a Jerry-can holder in front of it and another behind it. On the tail end was the spare-wheel carrier mounted which swung open to get access to the rear lid and slider.
    I did not take a photo when it was delivered so I will attach a generic picture shamelessly copied from the Venter website.
    Geniet hom , ek sien ons is dieselfde ouderdom met dieselfde smaak , Blazer en Landys , maar ek het n bushtrotter trailer
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    We went camping with it by end January and immediately decided some modification will be required.

    Back home I started. The first thing I did was modify the toolbox on the Right hand wheel arch by cutting out the bottom and making up a 40 x 40mm square tubing extension so that I can fit my 105Ah deep cycle battery in there. I had the National Luna battery box and controller and decided to strip down the controller, cut the excess steel from the cover and mount the unit permanently inside the toolbox. I also cut the floor section about 15-20mm above the inner floor level of the battery box and placed that along with the u-bolt clamp that ties the battery down into the toolbox as well. I then mounted my blue caravan plug socket onto the rear external side of the tool box. I wired everything up and connected my C-teck charger permanently to the battery. I also fitted a Brad-Harrison plug, a Hella connector and a cigarette lighter plug into the now severely modified control unit from which I drew power to various other externally mounted power take-off points.

    I then bought a "Ready Box" from Builder's warehouse and mounted that inside the side door against the front wall panel. I wired the 220V power from the blue caravan plug to the ready box and from there to several internal and external 220v power points. I also permanently connected the C-teck charger to the ready box through one of the trip switches.
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    Last edited by Oldtimer; 2016/08/26 at 08:33 AM.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy View Post
    Geniet hom , ek sien ons is dieselfde ouderdom met dieselfde smaak , Blazer en Landys , maar ek het n bushtrotter trailer
    Ek sien jy is in Addo.........Ek is jaloers, kan net daar kom vir vakansie terwyl jy daar bly!!!!!
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Ek sien jy is in Addo.........Ek is jaloers, kan net daar kom vir vakansie terwyl jy daar bly!!!!!
    Jy is enige tyd welkom en as dit winter is gaan ek vir julle baie lemoene en Naartjies ook gee , ek bly 10km van die olifant park af,
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    The work continues.

    I next decided to remove the spare wheel and its swinging bracket from the rear of the trailer as it takes up a lot of space when open and just irritated the crumbs out of me for every once in a while forgetting its open when you exit the tent with some pain associated for walking into it.

    I made a support structure which I mounted inside the trailer on the right front side wall behind the front slider and fitted a sturdy bolt through the side wall of the trailer. I then cut the mounting plate for the spare wheel off the swing bracket and drilled a hole through the centre through which I bolted the sturdy bolt mentioned before. I removed the aluminium tread plate from the right front side step and cut the support bracket below to create enough clear space to allow the wheel to protrude through to below the tread plate. I welded in a new section of rectangle tubing close to the front of the step and another length wise just so to accommodate the width of the wheel. I then cut the opening in the tread plate and re-fitted it to the step. The gap between the spare wheel mounting plate and the step was then too small so I proceeded to cut the lower third of the circular mounting plate which allowed the spare wheel to fit through easily yet still retain four of the wheel nuts to fix the wheel to the mounting plate. As it came from the factory it had 6 wheel nuts.

    The reason for dropping the wheel through the tread plate is two-fold. I can still open the trailer lid without interference by the wheel and it helps in keeping the wheel firmly mounted.
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    Last edited by Oldtimer; 2016/08/26 at 08:33 AM.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Still, the work continues.

    I then decided to fit a gas geyser into the nose cone of the trailer for hot water as I always have to walk over to the ablutions to fetch the hot water for the dishes.

    I bought a smallish 5L/min geyser from my neighbour and continued to mount it. I then found myself at Frontrunner's showroom in Kyalami where I bought a 12l/m 12v water pump and two hand held spray nozzles which comes complete with a small in-line 12v pump and a plastic mounting hook. One for hot and one for cold.

    I undid the fittings under the trailer at the water tank outlet and fitted a T-piece to still allow use of the water tap fitted as standard by Venter on the left rear of the trailer but also to route a water supply line to the pump in the nose cone. Concerned that stones kicked up by the wheels may damage the pipe I decided to route the pipe through the interior of the trailer. This entailed cutting a fairly large hole through the floor just behind the water tank through which I fitted the pipe fittings. I sealed the opening around the pipe with black silicon of seriaas industrial strength. I then routed the water line through 2 x 1,5m flexible connectors along the floor of the trailer through a hole I cut into the nose cone and connected the pump. From the pump I connected a Y-piece from where I drew cold water to one tap and the other supplied the geyser.

    The layout from the geyser must still be finalized as I am still considering my options where I want the dish washing area.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Altyd lekker om aan n projek te werk
    Geniet dit en hou aan fotos plaas
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    And the fun continues....

    I then decided that the small gas bottle mounted on the side of the trailer which fed the stove would be too small if the geyser was also connected to it. I also needed to use that bottle once in a while to start a fire or use a gas braai in really extreme cases.

    I proceeded to fit a 9Kg gas bottle into the nose cone and installed a new gas line to the stove. Not having water connected to the geyser at that time I decided to leave the geyser disconnected from the 9Kg bottle.

    Connecting the stove to the 9Kg bottle entailed cutting the pipe connecting the stove to the small bottle and seeing that the stove has a special connection crimped onto the pipe I needed that end in any case. I routed the gas line through the side of the stove box and then back into the trailer along the floor below the front of the side slider and through a hole into the nose cone through a regulator to the bottle.

    Confident that everything is good we went on our next camping trip to Monateng and that evening I offered to make my wife some tea with water boiled on our gas stove. But it would not light up. I checked the gas bottle is open but it would not light up. I then checked if the gas bottle is in fact full, which it was, but still it would not light up. Now this stove was brand new, never used before. I did test it once on the small gas bottle and it worked beautifully.

    Out came the tool box. I undid the bolts tying the stove to the stove box lid, turned the stove upside down and started with surgery on the stove innards. I could not find anything wrong. I then disasembled the stove completely, every bolt, nut and washer. I then managed to break the weld on the second burner switch where the gas pipe meets the switch body. This done I knew the stove is done for so I semi assembled it and left it at that. We managed the rest of the weekend without a stove and made food on the fire and on my small gas cooker fitting on the small bottle.

    Arriving home I went to a gas supply shop the next week and promptly bought the Cadac gas stove. The trailer came with the Alva stove. When I got home I did not immediately fit the stove and ended up doing it only two weekends later. And then found the Cadac stove was too big for the lid it was supposed to be fixed to. Back in the box it went and onto a shelf in my garage with me vowing to never tell my wife about this purchase. Off I went to Builder's Warehouse and bought a new Alfa stove identical to the one the trailer came with. I immediately fitted it and connected the gas line, opened the gas and held the lighter to it and ...... Nothing........!

    It just would not light up.

    The following week I had Adriaan from Gazboys Menlyn install a new gas fireplace for me and I promptly asked the "expert" to explain the problem to me. He looked over the system as I installed it and then asked for the box in which the stove came. I pulled it out and he defiantly pointed to the words "high pressure" on the side of the box and then to the regulator in the gas line. He explained that the two do not really mix. If it said "Low Pressure" then a regulator is required. After he left I crept back into my garage, removed the regulator and tested the stove......... It works like a charm, exactly as advertised.

    I followed his advise further and connected the geyser, which is a low pressure appliance, through the regulator.
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    Last edited by Oldtimer; 2016/08/26 at 09:43 AM.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Just before the trip to Monateng I decided to buy the "optional" awning extension kit for the Tentco Senior which is effectively the veranda under which I can sit and enjoy a cold one.

    From spending my money at Camp & Climb in Centurion and excitedly took it home to have it fitted. I read up the instructions and arranged with the neighbor, who has a large enough front garden for me to open the tent. One opening everything I realized the awning has one type of zipper and the tent another which meant that the two cannot be used together as the zippers does not match. Disjointed I packed everything up and returned to Camp & Climb the following day. They had to order the correct awning from Tentco and the following week I got the call saying the kit arrived.

    I did not have the time to fit it myself so off I went to Lynwood road Camp World and had the awning fitted "professionally"......nogal. The Thursday I returned from site in Mpumalanga and stopped on my way to hook the trailer and take it home. I assumed everything was done correct and did not bother to open the tent to check......

    Our camping weekend arrived and off we went to Monateng with two families we always camp with, they being caravanners and myself the bush trailer type. I pitched the tent by the book in 5 minutes and opened the bag with the poles for the awning which I have never pitched before. Something was not lining up properly and with my 135Kg mass pulling on the one guy-rope I managed to tear one eyelet on the original tent awning, the part that goes over the trailer top tent. Working a bit more careful I managed to get everything pitched roughly as it should be albeit something still did not line up properly. On fitting the one side wall on the kitchen side I saw what bothered me the whole time. The "professional" fitment of the awning was done slightly less than "professional" as the two edges of the existing awning and the new extension did not line up. this meant the zippers did not line up and this meant the whole tent was pulled skew.

    The tent must now be opened up again, the awning with the extension removed and laid on a flat surface of suitable size, the velcro joint linking the awning and the extension must be split, the two lined up properly and the velcro joint locked again. Thanks Camp world Lynwood road, I am duly unimpressed.

    For this I unfortunately do not have photo's, I will take a few when we open it up to adjust the extension.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    And the fun continues....Connecting the stove to the 9Kg bottle entailed cutting the pipe connecting the stove to the small bottle and seeing that the stove has a special connection crimped onto the pipe I needed that end in any case. I routed the gas line through the side of the stove box and then back into the trailer along the floor below the front of the side slider and through a hole into the nose cone through a regulator to the bottle.
    When I read this para I already knew what the problem was. Most of the small gas stoves do not require a regulator as they are high pressure.

    That gas pipe coming out of the stove box will require some protection if you even thinking of doing gravel roads in the future.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackie View Post
    When I read this para I already knew what the problem was. Most of the small gas stoves do not require a regulator as they are high pressure.

    That gas pipe coming out of the stove box will require some protection if you even thinking of doing gravel roads in the future.
    Yes, it will be "boxed" for protection as it is in direct line of fire for stones from the rear wheels. Work in progress.....
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Hi,

    I love your ideas and what you are doing.
    I also have a Venter Bush Baby and want to fit water tanks and shocks, would you be able to send me a picture of where the tanks are fitted. Reading your thread is sounds like it sits under the trailer.

    Regards
    Paul

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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by paulvj View Post
    Hi,

    I love your ideas and what you are doing.
    I also have a Venter Bush Baby and want to fit water tanks and shocks, would you be able to send me a picture of where the tanks are fitted. Reading your thread is sounds like it sits under the trailer.

    Regards
    Paul
    Paul, it sits inside the trailer under the rear slider with the filler cap on the right hand side of the trailer. I am still going to modify my tank filler to sit outside my tent. As it is now the filler is inside the tent room area when the tent is pitched and can be messy if you have to refill it during your camp time. The tank can be bought over the counter from Venter and it will fit inside the bushbaby.

    I'll take some photos and post them for you.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    The fun continues.

    Last week Friday I decided to fit the new support legs I bought from Roadque months before, I just did not buy the clamps into which they fit as I thought it will fit inside the Venter clamps. Which it did not, the outer tube of the Venter support legs are much thinner than the Roadque adjustable ones.

    So, On Friday afternoon out comes the baby grinder. I cut into welds which held the original clamps onto the trailer and removed them both. I then used a flapper disk to polish off the remaining old welds and create a nice flat surface onto which I could weld the new clamps. The new clamps came with mounting holes for bolts but mounting them with bolts meant moving them slightly forward and drilling through the side step outer support, which is a rectangle tube and the further away from the rear corner you mount it the weaker the mount will become. I opted to weld them, and then went over the weld again, and finally a last time. They will not come off at all.

    I waited for the welds to cool down, removed the welding flux and fitted the legs in place. What I did not do was to check on the operation of the legs.....

    The Roadque legs are shorter than the Venter legs and lowering them one tends to lower them to maximum reach. This will still leave around 150-200mm to be taken up by the adjuster before it can reach the floor. But here comes the catch. The clamp handle is manufactured in such a way that, if the leg is lowered to the maximum the turning handle on the leg will clash with the clamp handle. This means lifting the leg by around 100mm before clamping it tight and thereby extending the adjustment range by 100mm.

    Looking at it closely and after several scratches of the head I removed the lifting leg, put it in the vice and started bending the swivel arm to create more space between the support leg and the swivel arm in order to just miss the clamp lever. This works fine now but I will also cut the clamp lever from the bolt and trim off the offset which adds to the problem and re-weld it in to form a much smaller off-set from the clamp.

    Camp World in Lynwood road, the local Venter agents, unfortunately does not stock the Venter beige spray cans and I will have to order it from the factory to touch up the welds on the trailer.

    I went past Frontrunner on Monday and bought their watertank taps to fit to the trailer for hot and cold water and I will make a major modification to the water tank filler system where I will fit a new valve to the rear of the trailer onto which I can connect a garden hose direct with quick release hose connectors. This will prevent the need to enter into the tent room section with a hose pipe and filling the tank through the factory filler which is effectively a lockable fuel cap type filler. The problem with the filling system is that the fuel cap allows a hose pipe to be pushed into the filler neck but the neck then changes diameter to a smaller hose which is connected to the tank. It does take a while to fill like this if you do not want to make a mess inside the tent. With my modification the whole system will have the same diameter pipe and it can be filled under pressure, the vacuum breaker valve must then be open to prevent pressure build-up inside the tank while filling. This installation will be done this weekend and I will take photo's of it as I go along.

    Additionally, the two longer sliders which came with the Offtrax kitchen unit will be used in building a new rear slider which will ensure full use of the space available inside the trailer and which will be able to carry much more crates than the current slider. The slider that came with the trailer only slides out far enough to give access to the front two crates. For access to the rear crates the front ones must be removed and the rear ones slid out before opening. This will change soon enough.
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    Last edited by Oldtimer; 2016/08/31 at 09:01 AM.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Puik en sterkte lyk goed

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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    That's one of the most convoluted explanations of "leg over" I have read.
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    That's one of the most convoluted explanations of "leg over" I have read.
    If only I could "get some", but then maybe its better I keep myself busy with the trailer....
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    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    The past few weeks I worked on and off on the trailer as I could find time and modified the standard Venter wash basin so a person can get to the kitchen section easier. With the normal setup the washbasin was mounted perpendicular to the trailer and, with the tent sides fitted, it left a very narrow gap to squeeze through, specifically for someone as diameter enhanced like myself.

    I made a loose bracket that fits into the forward mount for the basin with an additional support down to the rectangle tubing behind the wheel well. The basin mounts under the s/s table I removed by drilling out all the rivets. I then cut the s/s table shorter to remove the split for the gas bottle bracket. I bent the edge down to the same size as the existing edge and fixed the narrower of the two basin mounts to the centre of the basin frame at the modified edge. I welded onto my support bracket a square tubing piece into which the basin mount can fit. The net result is a slightly shorter basin table mounted next to but along the length of the trailer.

    My plan for drainage of the basin was to fit a pipe to the basin outlet and have one of the plastic jerry cans sit under the basin but Venter graciously denied me that opportunity by cutting the outlet pipe off flush with the big nut tying the outlet on. I will most likely end up replacing this outlet with a new one just to persist in my idea to drain the water from the basin.

    The past weekend I decided to clean up the insides of the trailer. The wiring looked really awful, much like spaghetti lying all over which could have become a problem with loads damaging them. A while back I bought flexible trunking and yesterday I decided to tackle the wires. Getting fitted wires into the trunking presented a problem and I ended up grabbing a piece of roof wire which I bent in the middle and made myself my own "special tool" for fitting wires into the trunking. I then drilled a couple of hole on the inner lip of the upper edge just under the lid onto which I could tie the trunked wire. It really cleans up the trailer interior very well.
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    Johan De Graaf
    2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Biturbo 4x2 D/C
    2013 Range Rover e-vogue HSE Dynamic SD4
    2010 Range Rover Vogue TDV8

  22. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    38
    Posts
    629
    Thanked: 41

    Default Re: My Venter Offroader - work in progress

    and then what happened?

    I was reading this very interesting build as I am in the market for a trailer, and considering a Venter like this one.

    And then the story just ends...
    When nature calls
    Jacques Steyn

    2009 Toyota Prado 150 VX (202kw)
    OL Front bumper | Snorkel | OME Suspension

    Swambo : 2012 VW Polo 1.4 Comfort line

    Ex 2008 Nissan Patrol 4.8 GRX A/T (199kw) | TD Suspension | Outback Extreme Rear Bumper | Ironman Front Bumper | Air Helpers | Snorkel | FR Roofrack
    Ex 1996 Ssangyong Musso 602EL TD A/T Exec (82kw) |Snorkel | Bilstein B6 | Disco 2 springs | FR Roofrack | ARB Front bumper | Rear Bumper
    Ex 1982 Citroen CX Prestige automatic
    Ex 1976 Citroen GS Club
    Ex 2013 Honda CRV Exec Auto AWD
    Ex 2007 Toyota Auris 2.0 D4D
    Ex 2010 Honda Accord 2.4i Exec Manual (148kw)
    Ex 1997 Isuzu KB280LE TD D/C 2x4
    Ex 1997 Toyota Corolla RSI (121kw)
    Ex 1989 Toyota Corolla GLI TwinCam Exec (98kw)

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