Tech tips

Buyers Guide

This is an essential guide to assist you in selecting an Off Road Caravan or Super Camper and a reflection of the off road technology that is reflected in every Australian Off Road Camper and Caravan.

Download a printable copy of the AOR Buyers Checklist AOR Buyers Checklist (PDF)

  • Dust proofing – ensure fridges are vented internally, hot water systems air inlets are covered and door vents are covered. Any hole or vent in the body will cause massive dust leaks despite manufacturer claims to the contrary.
  • Suspension Systems – choose only fully independent coil sprung suspension units with twin shock absorber technology in single or tandem layout. Do not choose inferior Simplicity suspension which experiences high wear rates.
  • Toilet System – Black water Macerator toilet systems are the only choice for serious off road travel as chemical toilets severely limit their use in National Parks and outback towns without sewerage systems.
  • Hybrid gas hot water and diesel space heating systems are far more 12 volt efficient that diesel hot water /air heating systems. They also do not suffer from cut out restriction and will increase your enjoyment of remote campsites.
  • Choose only large capacity solar systems for remote area travel. 290 watt systems are a minimum requirement for most trailers.
  • Ensure the trailer solar system can feed back to the car fridge. This will increase your time in remote areas without resorting to generators.
    Choose trailers that do not rely on Generators as they are banned in National Parks and most remote campsites.
  • For Pop Top vans ensure the roof is securely located onto the trailer body by large roof locators and quality over Centre locks. This ensures the integrity of the roof seal and limits dust ingress into the trailer.
  • Ensure the design does not place ovens, fridges and washing machines in the rear of the trailer as these components are not built for Off Road travel and can be easily damaged or can come adrift from the cabinetry on corrugated roads.
  • Ensure the trailer has between 10% -12% drawbar weight to help make off road travel safe on dirt or corrugated roads.
  • Look under the van and make sure all hoses and pipes are protected from rock spray. Ensure all water tanks are protected using steel guarding on four sides.
  • Look at the quality of the sealing that appears under the van and around pipes that protrude through the floor. This is where all the dust will enter inside cupboards and is a tell tale sign of a quality built van.
    If the van has a frame make sure it is a fully welded and braced aluminum frame as this is the only rot proof method of frame construction.
  • Ensure the van is a suitable width and weight for genuine Off Road travel. The van should be no wider than the tow vehicle with identical track measurements.
  • Ensure there are no windows or hatches in the front panel as these are the first component to leak dust into the bed area.
  • Ask sales people what has been done to transform appliances to Off Road appliances capable of withstanding continued vibration.
    Spare wheels should be mounted at the front or rear for easy access as under slung spares take up valuable water tank storage capacity and are a cheap alternative to the rear bar assembly which helps distribute weight evenly.
  • For Pop Top designs choose only full pop top roof designs and not partial roof designs as this increases awning protection, inside space and air circulation.
  • Warranty and service networks must be in place Nation Wide. Ask to see extensive repair agent lists and do not choose single state dealer networks.
  • Ask to see testimonials of Off Road performance over many years and not just recently to establish Off Road credentials.
  • RVMA credentials are essential in making the buying decision, ask about this.

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