RE-RELEASE OF SINGLE AXLE BUSHTRACKER POP-TOPS FROM 14'...
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Would you like to see the new Bushtracker extreme Pop-Top come back, even better?
YES, by all means, please re-introduce it, we would love to see one...
79%
 79%  [ 75 ]
NO, stick with the full sized Lifestyle of Bushtracker, concentrate on what you do best..
20%
 20%  [ 19 ]
Total Votes : 94

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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: RE-RELEASE OF SINGLE AXLE BUSHTRACKER POP-TOPS FROM 14'... Reply with quote

People are even getting into tougher places, the extremes of things, some even want a smaller version of what we do in addition to their Bushtracker.
Do to increasing demand, we are thinking of re-releasing an updated version of the Bushtracker Pop-Top from 14'. It would be available from the Display at the Brisbane Show 6-12th of June, and we will take orders from then onwards.

We orignally pioneered this off-road version about 15 years ago, with all of the Bushtracker quality and innovations, and it will have many of our full sized Bushtracker features. It would be available the single version of our Bushtracker suspension, or the options of in an air suspension with shocks, and coil suspension with shocks. (Coool!) WinkB

It would also have our larger two piece hub-drum brakes like commercial vehicles,
Indoor cooking,
Outdoor slide out BBQ,
Solar Powered,
New lightweight Lithium batteries,
Indoor toilet and shower,
And many other features to make it the strongest and most well equipped available in its class, with options like air conditioning.

What do you think, would you like to see this? An extreme version for gold fossickers, explorers, from the Bungles to the Telegraph Track at the Cape, a mini-Bushtracker...?

Regards... Cowboy, Admin, half a Horseman.. heh he


Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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steveor



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is a great idea !
I have been researching serious off road trailers for a couple of years now - looking to upgrade our Kimberley Kamper Trailer - We have narrowed our choice down to either full van ( Bushtracker 1st - daylight second) or a "crossover" Van (Quantum) 2 very different vehicles I know.
We are sold on the build, quality, design, toughness, comfort, ability to customise and customer satisfaction of the Bushtracker. But we also like the design, weight and quality of the Quantum.
There are many compromises with a smaller van - but naturally they have a different price point. I think a smaller Bushtracker would be a great alternative and would certainly get our attention.
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Loki of Condor



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted yes Steve, and would love to see those suspension choices available on the full size vans as well.

More choices = more customers.
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right Loki,
Don't think I am not working on it....

The problem is they only work fairly well in a single suspension. In a tandem form our true Load Sharing is a MAJOR advantage...

However I hope to have some breakthroughs later in the year to announce in the Owners Section. I appreciate what you are saying, and I am riding ahead scouting the trail as we speak...

Regards, Cowboy
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mattandlana



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,
At a different stage of our lives we would have been very interested. We had a lot of fun with our Kimberley Kamper, but had upgraded all the way to the full size BT before the Karavan came along, and would have looked with close interest at a mini BT if we had the option. But of course like most things in life we don't aim to go backwards down the luxury slope now!
Matt
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Col & Diane Douglas



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally think that there is a market for a van that is smaller and lighter than the smallest Bushtracker, and yet still has the main features and build quality.

We spend about six months of the year prospecting, and although we love our 17’ Bushtracker, it is very difficult or impossible to get to some of the places where we would like to go. Not because the van is not rugged enough, it is, but its size and weight is always the limiting factor. (There is a limit to how much road building and tree lopping that you can do!)

We (or should I say I, because Diane was not too keen to change) recently looked at the Kimberley Karavan, and as far as I could work out at the time this was the only option available that would have the minimum of what we wanted; however after talking to a very disgruntled ex-owner I shelved the idea.

These would be the minimum requirements (from my own point of view): Quick to set up once you’ve stopped for the day (eg. none or very little canvas); an inside toilet and shower; a GVM closer to 2.5 than 3 Ton; width and track closer to that of a normal 4WD; and of course the necessary solar and water capacities.

I realise Steve this is probably not quite what you have in mind, but I thought I’d put my two-bob’s worth in anyway.

Regards,

Col and Diane Douglas
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aubs



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son and daughter in law love our van but have always talked about camper van crossed over van. They want the best build and best technology, and a versality that allows them to carry a mid size tinny. The concept Steve is working on may be the bees knees for them.

Col and Dianne, like yourselves Sharon and I are into prospecting and touring, we opted for a 20' BT and drive out or ride the quad out from a base camp, currently our setup enables us to stay out for about 16 days before chasing supplies. A smaller cross over would not allow us those extended remote stays.
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FSH00



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is a great idea for the the younger generation who want a quality van but can not commit/afford or have the time to utilise a full size van.
Cool
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safi1



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 5 years ago I saw an advertisement in a 'Camping & Caravans for Sale' magazine which had an old Bushtracker Pop Top listed for sale in South Australia. I thought at the time that it looked the most impressive Pop Top I had ever seen and that still applies today.

I look forward to seeing the display in the Brisbane show.

Gordon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FSHOO, It will not be cheap....
With most of the features and quality gear of our full sized Bushtracker, depending on how much optional equipment they take it will run in the $85,000 to $90,000 for most that want the luxury and take Optional Equipment...

Yes, it will be less expensive than a full sized larger Bushtracker, but for most I am not sure this is about the money involved. I do believe you are right FSHOO, that it will appeal to some in the younger crowd. Then some may as they get older progress to a larger and more luxurious Lifestyle in a full sized Bushtracker. So you are right, it will be less expensive for them to get the quality is a more compact version of the Bushtracker. But I think there is a larger interest group...

Most of the interest seems to be for the more radical 4X4 person, that for fossicking or fishing or exploring, wants to get into the more extreme locations as their "hobby" so to speak. This new unit will be narrower and more closely follow in the tow vehicle track for the soft sand for instance. Someone may want to get into the dune country of the Canning Stock Route or the Simpson for instance, and this would be under two tons and more closely follow the packed down sand made by the tow vehicle.. The narrow tracks of the east coast of Australia, for fishing down on remote beaches, Fraser Island, that kind of thing. Even for the gold nuggest fossickers that want to hog up a narrow fossilized creek bed following a faint gold fleck higher up, there seems to be an interest in this compact Bushtracker...

Best regards, Cowboy
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Mr & Mrs Bean
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I was one of the pessimists that voted no. At the moment Bushtracker is the pinnacle of full size off road caravans. There are no peers. This has come about through dedicated R&D and many years of knowledge and experience from the directors and senior staff. There seems to be no shortage of future Bushtracker owners out there evidenced by the waiting list for delivery. Whilst I have no doubt that a venture into a another market segment would be successful, I would prefer to see the resources put to continued R&D and improvement for the current models. When you are on a good thing - Stick to it!
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FSH00



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes i should have explained my self a bit better on the cost, that is what i meant, cheaper than a full size (BT) van Embarassed

I have quite a few years to go before i can get on the road full time and am allways torn between towing a full size van & getting into the out of the way spots.

A van like the one mentioned would be would be a good compromise between a full size van & a 4x4 motor home (a pain to pack up if you just want to drive a few k's from camp).

What about the tow vehicles Steve? surely that would negate the need for full size tugs aswell? more savings!

I think the R&D you's spend on the smaller vans will only come out with positives that may be used in the full sized vans as well.

Pete.
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Dame & Ang



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve
We bought a new 19" BT from you guys in 2008 and spent a year travelling. It was superb and we had a wonderful time. We got back to work in 2009 and sold the BT to another family who are hopefully enjoing it like we did.

My query is that we intend on doing it again in 2015 but we wanted to go to even more remote places which our BT was less comfortable in going to. Before you jump me we went to Mitchel Falls, Kalumbaru, Gibb River, Cape York, (50m from the tip) Ells beach etc etc so we were not afraid of pushing the limits.

The only real draw backs we found were size and weight. I know everything is a trade off but i wanted to see if you had any plans of creating something that would compete with a Kimberley Kamper?

We have 3 kids under 10, want to take a 4m boat with 30hm outboard, bikes and all the rest. We have changed our rig to a Landcruiser Troopcarrier that has been converted to a dual cab and extended tray. It will carry 2000kg of weight.

As mentioned we want to spend a lot of time really exploring and living on the coastline of WA, NT, Northern Qld so need something that will get through scrub and also be a hell of a lot easier to tow in soft sand, without worrying about the tide coming in and ruining such a valuable piece of kit. (the van not hte car)

Anyway just thought i would put it out there as i know you love a challenge and can perhaps come up with something. If not then our only laternative will be the KK which isn't ideal but should fit the bill.

Damien
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will have some major surprises to be shown at the Brisbane Show. Some one like you, or someone that will use this as stepping stone up to a full sized Lifestyle as they get older, is why we are going to re-release this extreme terrain Bushtracker...

We have been the Pioneers for this Lifestyle, and while it is flattering that the others try to mimic our look, it saddens me that for most I do not see the value for the money they are charging. Wait until you see the unmatched quality and equipment we are going to put into this..

There will be a few like yourself, and extreme fossickers and those sort of hobbies that will move them to this more radical vehicle. However, I am going to do this for what I see as even a larger group. In all fairness, the quality will be so far ahead of the pack, that we will be building future Bushtracker Owners. This will end up being an entry point for many.. Then, as they mature, most will want more storage, more luxury, and more Lifestyle.

It just pains me to see the prices being charged, so we are going to offer more value and quality to this group... I think your comments are very appropriate and we can carry on further discussions as we get closer to the release date.... I will have some surprising breakthroughs to be released in the next few months.

All for now....
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Mobi Condo



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! The wonder and beauty of being on the older side and being "Ahead of times".

We are just a TAD AND SLIGHTLY envious of this news.

12 years ago when we started our looking for what was and is our one and only shot at a GOOD QUALITY off roader we finally purchased Mobi Condo (our Mobile Condominium BushTracker) in Nov 2005 as there was nothing to even come near the BT standard and we believe still is nothing to compare.

Now the size, quality etc etc, we were looking for way back then, seems to be just on the horizon and coming soon.

Don't want to swap ours for the new one do you ............. ? Smile Smile
Really it is only just run in at 5 years old and only 70,000k of Outback Oz under its wheels.

Gee you have some cheeky customers don't you Steve and Co. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Theywent Thataway



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already got that one covered, Mobi Condo.

We've always said that our Bushtracker is an inexpensive, tidy and functional house/home.

When we turn 80 (90???) something and IF the BT gets a little cumbersome to move around, we'll plonk it on our favourite block as a home and get hold of a "used" one of these cuties to do short trips with.

Easy, eh?!!.

SO....buy 'em up you who dream. We'll all still have our "real" ones Smile

Maz.

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steveor



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Cowboy
We are attending the Brisbane show and wonder how the proposed release of the single axle, pop top, BT is going ?

Will it be on display at the show ? and is there any more info you are able to tantalise us with at this stage
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are aiming to have it at the Show....

Very busy, but I think we will make it...


Regards from the city slicker Cowboy, but I do have 6 horses and 11 cattle on my massive 30 acre Station, heh he...

And I am half a Horseman, and am placed in the NRHA with a High Points award for last year... So, OK, half a Cowboy.. Laughing Wink

You would want me on your side... da lone Ranger
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Homer_Jay



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is fantastic news!

We currently have a camper trailer (and I am well over it!) the setting up and packing up all the time. So I have been researching what next step to take now for over a year.

As we are in the middle of our wokring life, time does not usually permit us to take extended breaks. So, when we travel we usually cover lots of ground and keep on the move. This means that stopping over night is a common event thus the camper trailer just does not work! But we do enjoy the fact that we can get offroad and out of the way without too much stress.

If we had the time for extended travel, I would no doubt be looking at the full size BT caravan to tow, as travel would be more relaxed and spending more time in each place as a "base camp" would be the order of the day.

This brings me back to the Australian Offroad Quantum "type" of small caravan. But as Steve mentioned, I just cannot see the value in the price they are asking. They just dont have that quality look about them (to me anyway). But they can demand a price because there is not a lot of competition in that market (they have a 12 month waiting order or close to it!)
The Bushtrackers on the other hand, you can see where the money goes. The quality of construction and fit out and finish.
If you can build a small van in competition to the Quatum (to use as an example) for a similar price range (they are well up in the high $80's with a few extras) I think they will sell like hot cakes when people start to compare the BT difference.

And, like you mention, it will be the stepping stone for people like me to move into a full size BT when semi retirement approaches.
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our little van, would be the next grade up from the one you mentioned..

In quality, in equipment, in finish, and in layout... Come see for yourself.

And you are quite correct, about the stepping stone, I think this will be true for many. Some avid gold fossickers or the like, may stop at this level, but I think most will like our quality and eventually opt for MORE of a Lifestyle.. I just decided WE might as well be building the "stepping stone ourselves.. Our Owners seem to come back for our unmatched quality, now over 200 have bought new after owning second hand. And 107 have even come back for a Second New Bushtracker.

With this track record, we might as well offer the same quality in the "Stepping Stone".... Wink

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Admin,


Last edited by Bushtracker on Tue May 22, 2012 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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garthski



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't kid yourself about the price of any of these narrow bodied hybrids.

When optioned with the stuff you will want they come in anywhere between $100k and $110k.

So your decision making isn't so much about the dollars but more about the type of travelling and where you wish to go.

So do you want a width of 1.9m, 2.1m or 2.4m???

Decisions, Decisions!!!!!!!!

Cheers

Garth
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MUSKY54



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: 14' POP TOP Reply with quote

are your standard inclusions the same for your 14' pop top.how many solar panels can the pop top carry,what sort of suspenion,will the air con go on the roof,how many water tanks,what weight will the tare be with all spec up,what will gvm be,will single axle be able to carry it or tyres for that fact.very interested in the size,a bit worried about the weight.
thanks musky
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Musky,

In all fairness you are going to have to wait four weeks until the Show to see he latest. However, I will give you a few hints: It will offer
more than anything in its class. It will have "Big Rig" style air bag suspension unlike anything else out there. It will have better gear and a better layout.

However, there will be limitations. It is a single axle Bushtracker half the size of the full Lifestyle, half the brakes, and no it will not have the full extent possible with a full Bushtracker... There will be some surprises, offering gear none other in its class has... You will have to be patient to see the latest innovations..

Cheers
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MUSKY54



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: 14' Reply with quote

thanks for your reply steve
i live in sydney but will be flying up to the brisbane show to spacifically
see this van,very interested,will you be there. thanks musky
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Musky,

Actually no, I will not be there. But my Senior Staff that do layouts and designs will be there to take care of you.. Our plan is to have two variations there at the Show.

I will not be there, I will be at a major Horse Competition playing Cowboy. Yes it is a major timing conflict, but I have my priorities in order... Laughing A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do... heh he... Wink

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gdickie



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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have at least 3 strong markets for this new van.
1. As has been mentioned, those starting out, wanting quality but not a full sized van
2. Serious prospecteors and 4WD enthusiasts wanting to go where a well equiped camper trailer can go
3. Ageing existing BT owners who want to scale down due to the ease of a smaller van but already spoilt by the quality and not wanting to compromise this. (This could well be my category in a few more years)
By the way, we attended the Sydney Show to check out the opposition should we decide to update our 20' 2008 model and came away resolving that we could only ever go for another BT.
Regards
Graham and Cath
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Dame & Ang



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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Pop top Reply with quote

Wonder if it's better than the kimberly kamper.....
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are joking right??? Laughing

If it wasn't already, why would we be building them??? Laughing

We have had up to a half a dozen converts from those you mentioned on our Production Board at one time.... This is in a League of its on... This unit will have indoor kitchen, indoor shower and toilet, outdoor BBQ, sealed generator locker, the option of our proven suspension or Big Rig Air Bag truck style suspension and all of the normal Bushtracker Quality....

There will be nothing like this on the market.
Bushtracker will lead the Industry once again!!!

On the road with the Ranger
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aubs



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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We can we see some photos Steve? Cool

Keen to see what she looks like.
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mattkurvink
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

For all those eagerly waiting for more details on the pop-top, as mentioned it will be on display at our site at the Brisbane caravan show (6-12th June, RNA showgrounds). We will be sure to take some photos and upload them here on the forum around that time.

Until then, just to keep you interested, here is the design that will be on display:



As you can see, it packs a fair bit of punch for a 14 foot van, with full internal cooking facilities and external BBQ (optional external kitchen will also be available), large combined shower / toilet, cafe dining, queen size bed, large 165L 2 door Danfoss compressor fridge / freezer, and good bench space.

Externally it will have a fibreglass lined generator locker, external AV locker with TV hook up, external speakers and stereo remote, 2 x extra large cargo doors, lots of windows, slide out BBQ and all of the standard features that make it a Bushtracker.

We look forward to releasing more details soon.

Cheers and happy travelling!

Matt
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steveor



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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great Matt and enough to whet my appetite !

Look forward to more info when available + will be at the show to check it out
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aubs



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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now this poses a problem, Crying or Very sad like hell the missus wants to part with the BT and down size Twisted Evil , Though Sharon is finding some nice gold Cool she reckons this will be her last trip to WA

So if I want to come over in style I would have to find enough to fund the 14 footer. This is not good Crying or Very sad .
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MUSKY54



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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: SHOW Reply with quote

HI MATT
WILL YOU BE AT THE BRISBANE SHOW,I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THIS 14'er & TO BE SHOWN AROUND IT. THANKS MUSKY
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Musky,

Yes, I will be there along with Philip and several other staff members from Bushtracker. We look forward to showing you through the van.

Cheers,

Matt
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mattkurvink
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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
Posts: 285
Location: Kunda Park
State:: QLD
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE!! Photos are here at long last!

External photo



Inside looking back



Inside looking forward



Cafe dining



Sink unit



Full size stove / oven / grill and large 2 door 165L fridge



Ensuite



Toilet



There will be nothing out there to compare with this luxury and quality in this size...
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steveor



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Coffs Harbour
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really like the look of this

See you at the Brisbane show
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Steve
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MUSKY54



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 10
Location: appin
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nice,see you wednesday Matt
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MUSKY
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mattkurvink
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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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State:: QLD
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our site is set up and ready for the Brisbane caravan show!! come and see us and the brand new pop-top Bushtracker!!!



















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Kaznjez



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Baldivis
State:: WA
Current Bushtracker owner:: Ordered
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good Matt, wish I could head over, any sneak peeks of your new family van?
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Cheers, Jeremy
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mattkurvink
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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaznjez wrote:
Looks good Matt, wish I could head over, any sneak peeks of your new family van?


Hi mate,

Head over to the WHAT SIZE OR TYPE OF BUSHTRACKER section. I have just uploaded a few photos.

Cheers,

Matt
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mattkurvink
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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

I thought I would upload a few more interior pics of the 14 foot pop-top. It is such a roomy little van for only 14 feet!













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D&T



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 87
Location: On the Track
State:: Euphoric
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any feedback from owners how these 14 footers are going? Positives, negatives etc. I realise they are fairly new but just sent some pictures through to my sister who may soon be in the market for a unit like this.

Cheers
Richard
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Theywent Thataway



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 161
Location: Gilgandra
State:: New South Wales
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw one travelling on the road towards us somewhere in QLD last week. Picked it as a Bushtracker from a mile off ...the same as a grown-up one. Smile

Maz,

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"the scruB ark".... on The Way.
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D&T



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 87
Location: On the Track
State:: Euphoric
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear they're out there. Wouldn't mind one myself.

Will do some legwork at BTi in 5 weeks when we pick up our grown up one. Hopefully they'll have one in the shop. They will be towing with a 3lt Patrol

Always good to hear from those using them on a regular basis.
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mhold13117



Joined: 20 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Dubbo
State:: NSW
Current Bushtracker owner:: No
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Will the Poptops come in larger sizes? Reply with quote

Just a quick first post, are the poptops going to be available in 18 or 19ft tandem axel versions? This is a little beauty but mrs thinks 14ft is a little small.

Thanks
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mhold,

Look, off road poptops are no good over about 15'. You cannot have any equipment on the roof, air conditioning, solar panels, it all starts getting too heavy. Further, the most critical thing is the fact that you are removing the major structural part, the top of the box.. Look, it has it's place on the small end, for the extreme gold fossicker, bone digger, jem hunter, extreme fisherman or the like. But when you start to try and get a larger Lifestyle in a pop-top, it just does not work because of these disadvantages:

1. Firstly, with the good aerodynamic rake in front like we have, the fuel savings is minimal. And the problem is that the minor fuel savings will never pay for the maintenance on the larger pop-tops. The canvas is always being crushed, damp, dusty, windows, screens, lift mechanisms, dust seals, latches, catches, gas struts; all of them wear and cost money to maintain and replace. The fuel savings will never pay for all that maintenance.

2. On our full height vans we have 3 inches of refrigeration board insulation in the roof, so they stay cool even in the full sun. There is only room in the pop-top extrusion for one inch of insulation and the sun goes right through it. Pop-tops are colder in winter and hotter in summer.

3. Pop tops are not cheaper, to build them strong they are the same cost as full height.

4. You lose all of the lovely overhead cupboards in a pop-top.

5. They are not lighter if you build them strong for off-road. You need extra structural strength in the walls to carry the roof section, they are just the same in weight.

6. In a larger pop-top, they are not as strong as a full height van. No matter how good you build them, long term they will have more problems than a full height van, as you are removing the entire roof and structural value off-road.

The only advantage of a pop-top is in how some people store the van. We would suggest that alternate storage be used rather than negate the use of the van just for easy storage. Park it in the yard, build a carport, most do fine letting it sit out in the weather like both of the Directors of Bushtracker store their own vans. Do anything but compromise the use of the van just for easy storage. Pop-tops have too many drawbacks.

With your own best interests in mind, I am telling you the disadvantages up front. As I have said, the smaller pop-top for the intrepid fossickers and such have a place. However, with Lifestyle in mind if you try and do it larger, most people move on after a year or two, as they have proven to be just another stepping stone… To the REAL BUSHTRACKER....

Kind regards, and good question, and I gave you a fair and indepth answer.. Wink

OH, AND ONE MORE THING: WELCOME TO THE FORUM, POST NUMBER ONE!

lone Ranger
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Braggy



Joined: 10 Aug 2012
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Location: Sunshinecoast
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would question MINIMUM fuel savings Rolling Eyes

I have a 14' poptop, just done 9000km trip on all sorts of roads,tow with a Landcruiser 76 wagon, hiway speed 100km/h

Average consumption was 14.6l/100k, most of the bigger vans seem to be around 20l/100k.
That works out at $1.50 /l....$8.10 per 100km
So the trip I just did was over $700 cheaper. Very Happy

Think I bettter go away again and save some more money

Cheers Ken
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Braggy, you are not comparing apples for apples here... I am talking about in the same length of van...

Your savings over towing a what, 18' or 20' Bushtracker down to the pop-top? The savings would be no where near that towing a 14' full Bushtracker vrs the pop-top.

My point is that in a larger van, the fuel savings of pop-top vrs full height with our aerodynamic rake, in the same length, is minimal. It might not even pay for the long term maintenance required...

Kind regards, Cowboy
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mattkurvink
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to Steves comments on the minimum fuel savings details, I can specifically comment on this based on empirical testing from a 7,000km trip when we filmed the most recent Bushtracker DVD testing the Air Bag suspensions.

There was a good balance of on and off-road towing in various conditions ranging from flat to very hilly.

On the trip I was towing a loaded 21 foot van at 3,500kg compared to Steve towing a loaded 14 foot pop-top at 2,500kg.

The fuel economy difference between vehicles with identical engines (Steve's 200 series Sahara and my own 200 series VX) in our entire trip averaged out to a 15% difference in favour of towing the pop-top.

Considering the weight difference involved and the abovementioned advantages of the full height van this is a negligible difference of approximately $4.50 per 100km. To put it another way, on a full lap around Australia (usually averaged to be approximately 15,000km) a total difference of only $670.00 for a huge difference in lifestyle.

Cheers,


Matt
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G&J



Joined: 08 May 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Moorong
State:: Cautious Optimism
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great discussion Steve & Matt.

Congrats and thanks for these posts.

Hope to have a chat with you both if you will be at the Alice Muster.

Regards Geoff
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