Many People would like to know what Bushtracker the Director of the Company would have. Fair enough, I am including some pictures of my own choice of Bushtracker, what I have bought for my own van. It is 23’ and it is loaded beyond most Owners needs or desires, but this is now home to me on my horse property when not on the road.
Yes, it has a lot of extra gear, like twin reverse cycle air units and twin diesel heaters. Mind you, an air conditioning unit struggles over about 21’, and the same for the forced air diesel heaters, plus the added redundancy of a spare unit is nice so I have two of each. It also has a stainless slide out kitchen unit, that is why the extra lockers you can see. The layout is our most popular, and I personally like it the best with the full separate ensuite in the rear of the van with the vanity in the middle.. And, of course I like leather. Here are some pictures:
I also like the larger interior entertaining area with a U shaped lounge..
The rear full width separate ensuite is now our most popular layout, with the large vanity in the middle and shower on the right..
The Tassie oak gives it that yacht feel for me, and there are two water tight lockers in the shower.....
I spent nearly 20 years on yachts, and love the polished timber bench tops so this has the two toned Tassie Oak. Further it has 8 water tanks, and a roll out stainless kitchen, and a 3 kva drop down slide out generator. While this is excessive, home on the horse property when not on the road, it means that I have the extended stay ability.. It also has a slide out freezer below the fridge freezer unit, and twin pantries for extended storage and ease of access:
The additional freezer is excessive
, but I am raising German Shepherd Working Dogs, and the ability to carry frozen meat is a big plus as they are on the raw diet. It is power hungry, and that is why this Bushtracker has 5 batteries and 5 solar panels.. Again probably excessive for most people, but it is home away from home for me...
Further, home it is, with an auto deploy Oyster Satellite system and 22” TV and integrated stereo system with bass cannon and more.. This is way over and above most peoples needs, but it is home when out on my horse property and when travelling without horses. An 1800 watt auto switching inverter and 60 amp charger rounds out the power package of self-sufficiency. The only problem with this size and most well equipped Bushtracker, is it is well outside of the scope of Landcruiser.
Now this size of Bushtracker is all very nice, but it requires a specialized tow vehicle, and my choice is this Dodge Ram Longhorn Edition. You might be overlooking an obvious issue on size of Bushtracker... Landcruiser is fine up to around 20 feet, and is borderline struggling over that. For larger vans, larger payloads like gull wing canopies, carrying boats and motors, quad bikes or the like, you cannot do better than the American full import Luxury trucks. Japanese trucks just do not have the luxury ride or the horsepower.
The dual rear wheels are not necessary, but I like the traction. I have a raised bed floor with an additional 400 litres fuel tank built in. That weight for traction, and the dual rear wheels in 4x4, gives an amazing amount of traction to the ground in off-road conditions.
Why the Dodge? Cheaper and better for a few reasons, and if you would like to know why, read on:
In the nearly 18 years of Bushtracker, being the "Mad Inventor" I have owned more tow vehicles for R&D and towed more sizes of Bushtrackers than anyone. Let's see, a 61 Series Sahara, 75 Series Troopcarrier, 2 100 Series Landcruiser wagons, 2 of the Gympie based Chev Dealers Silverados in the Crew Cab 2500 HD and 3500 HD Duallie, a Ford Australia F-250, a full import F-350, 3 VDC Fords in F-350 and a VDC F-450, 3 of the 200 Series for towing R&D a GXL a VX and Sahara, and now a Dodge Cummins Diesel Megacab Longhorn Edition. I have spent hundreds of hours writing reviews on all of them in TIPS ON TOW VEHICLES, and just about everything you need to know is already there for you. However, for this Thread I will say a couple of points:
My own personal choice is this new 6.7 Dodge Cummins Ram. Now after 6 months of testing, I am going to keep it and have a gull wing canopy ordered, winch, and will have a black powder coated bullbar built when the winch arrives.. I am going all out and have ordered a custom 5" exhaust and chip up for towing economy.. It is superior for 21’ vans and larger, for four reasons:
1) It is powered by the 6.7 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I am a Cummins Fan, but rather than argue it is superior, I will put the case forward it is better due to access. You can hardly get a hand in to work on the Chev Duramax, it is almost a two man job to change a fuel filter. The Fords are just as tight, in fact in America the hoists are equipped to lift the cab off for turbo or head work.. The Cummins is different in that it is a straight six like many Big Rigs. On one side you pull out the radiator overflow tank and battery and there is total side access. On the other side you pull out air filter housing and you have total turbo and the other side of the engine access. It is just a lot more User Friendly.
2) It is backed by Shogun Conversions (in my opinion Shogun do the best Dodge Conversion, have a look) www.shogunconversions.com.au
It is also backed by Chrysler (already here in Australia) and best yet it is backed by Cummins Australia.
Further, Cummins and Fleetguard are under the same banner now, the largest truck filters, and filters and oil from Cummins direct are cheap. I bought 20 ltrs of Cummins Blue Synthetic oil for $120, fuel filters for $25 and oil filters for $15.. That is cheaper than Toyota for sure, let alone Ford and Chevrolet.
3) Third, and not the least they are about $25-30,000 cheaper than the Fords or Chevs:
Shogun is finishing up here and has a new 4000 meter Factory in the Philippines and a new Factory underway. They even have Philippine Crew working here now. They say, due to the cheaper real estate and Business costs, they are going to bring in the new 2013 Dodge Ram with the highest tow ratings of the “Big Three” to Australia at Landcruiser prices.
Now that is big news!!! In all fairness, if this happens, it will sweep the market. The 6.7 Cummins is a “Sweetie”. On Expedition in dead of winter in January to see the wolves in action in Yellowstone volcanic caldera, I was surprised to find that the crews there leave the Dodge Cummins Rams idling all day like a Big Rig diesel, with apparently no ill effects. You cannot do that with Ford or Chevrolet diesels.
4) I have had mine since December 2012, driving it everywhere… I still have the Sahara in the last DVD, in the Missus hands for future DVDs or Shows, but this Dodge Ram is the tops. It has the air conditioned seats, heated seats and steering wheel, rear vision and perimeter alarms, remote starting, all the fruit… But there is one more standout: This one is the Mega Cab. It has the normal Crew Cab option with about 400mm more behind the back seats.
Not only do the seats drop down into the floor, and not only does it become a wide bed base, but there is also luggage room behind. It is the largest cab in the whole truck class of the Big Three. Further next year it is supposed to have the highest towing ratings.. One of the most important features is that the Cummins is a Big Rig style of diesel, and does not appear to suffer the Ford and Chevrolet problems sitting idling with cylinder wash and glazing. Power crews and such in Wyoming when I was there on a winter expedition, leave them idling all day to keep the cab warm when they are doing pole work and such. One reported over 200,000 miles on the original engine. THAT is Cummins for you..
You are welcome to come see mine. Mine is in the western leather style, scrolling on the gauges, and western patterns on the leather seats, the Longhorn edition. That is nice but unnecessary. The whole truck impresses me, but engine access, larger cab, and backup by Cummins Australia is the icing on the cake… If you want a larger van from 21’ and up, you should have a look. It has the live axle solid monobeam front end like the Ford, robust in everyway, and for larger vans it just cannot be beat. Room to work on the van, better backup in Australia, it is now my Number One pick...
You are welcome to come see mine... I like it as much as the Super Duty Fords in strength and finish, only far better engine access, and of course the Mega Cab..
I will upgrade this with more pictures when I have the time...
On the road with the Ranger.... Half a Horseman, All of a Bushtracker Man..