2018 update, THE DIRECTORS LARGE SIZED LUXURY BUSHTRACKER

 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: 2018 update, THE DIRECTORS LARGE SIZED LUXURY BUSHTRACKER Reply with quote

This Thread is going to show the extremes of what you can do, the Director's own...

Hello, Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker, my van is out on the largest size that is practical. I ran a POLL in this spot, and 96% of you that voted wanted to see the interior and innovations in the "Directors Own". I am currently in Tasmania on a good 10 week Holiday, so I will have time to share more with you.

My own Bushtracker, is home away from home, and luxurious, and I like to feel like I can homestead anywhere I pull up, but: It also is going to take a specialized tow vehicle to do it, OK? First the tow vehicle so you will know what you are up against, then my choice of layout with pictures of the interior, and then I will show you some of the innovations.


My vans all are used to test new concepts and innovations in equipment in the field. We actually test things, empirical testing in the field Outback. This van has some huge innovations, because of the extreme size, like it can run the air conditioning of Lithium batteries. Many claim to do that, and they can, but then they can take up to a week to recharge the batteries because all they offer are flat plastic panels glued to the roof that suffer heat degradation in output. Their system only works once, and then has a difficult time charging up. Their generator run time would about equal the air conditioning run time in the first place, so their system is just a sales gimmick.

Here, ours works, but it is relative to the size of the Bushtracker. I have a 23' Bushtracker that can support 6- 150 Watt solar panels on the roof as well as two air conditioning units, and 600 AH of Lithium Batteries, and three ways to charge them. My system can run independently all day or about 5 hours at night.

Horses for courses, I also have a huge 7.5 kg washing machine that turns into a 4.5 kg dryer, and a lot of other things that can work if you have enough tow vehicle. Later in this Topic I add pictures and show you some of the range of extreme innovations in this van, my choice, but my tow vehicle is a Dodge Ram, Cummins Diesel Mega Cab...




Further to this, I am going to do some major Expeditions this year, like Tibooburra and west through Camerons corner, then into gold country south like Arkoroola, Andamooka, and along the Pacific/Indian Transcontinental rail line service road and south... Now off road, nothing beats the double rear tyre drive, Dual Rear Wheels, DRW. A DRW limited slip, is the next stage beyond 4x4, it really digs like a 6x6 if you have enough weight on the back and I will... I have a bed slide out in the canopy, tools, fuel tanks, and fridge-freezer and 200 more AH of Lithiums in the bed of the truck, 200 watts of solar on the roof of the canopy, a long ton of gear..



Now with single drive rear end, I would be limited with a really large van in 4x4 in soft sand, dirt and rock, mud and so on.. Don't get me wrong, for normal Bushtracker travel this white Dodge Ram Cummins diesel is just fine. But where I want to go on expedition, I plan on getting into some rougher terrain, and the larger van will be compensated by a Dually (DRW). I have owned Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) or Duallies for most of the past 15 years, and because of the size of this van I am going back to a DRW. This is my own personal largest Bushtracker, and I will need it. Here are pictures of my new Longhorn Mega Cab Dually coming about April. The Dually will dig well as I will also carry 500 litres of diesel in 3 tanks, for about a 2500 km range to support the expedition. These pictures are not my exact truck, but it will look like this. Mine is a Longhorn, with air suspension over, in the rear.




Now this may not be your cuppa tea. OK, I get that. But this is my choice, like on StarTrek "Going where no man has gone before" and I will be doing exploring for relics and gold nugget fossicking. What this Topic is about is to let you know what it takes to tow a really big van off-road. My own Bushtracker is heavy, on full Air Suspension, and a half ton of innovations and half ton of water..

I think 23' is about as large as is practical in extreme off-road, and only then does the DRW Dually shine. I will go with this white SRW (now in Tasmania) until my Dually gets here, but the Dually with a limited slip rear end, actually digs harder more like a 6x6. You can see some examples of that work with Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) rigs off-road in 4x4 on some of our DVDs in the past.



Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
from Tasmania...

Here is the basic layout pictures in my own Bushtracker. It is the same sort of format, that is the most popular style of all of our layouts, with many variations.. It is about the same as my last Bushtracker, a 21', only I stretched it out to 23' for a couple of new layout ideas I wanted to incorporate into the design.

Here looking back, dinning on the left, galley on the right, back to the full width ensuite and dressing room to the rear through that white perspex door..



Queens sized bed in the front, with lockers, shoeboxes in the floor, so it is raised up and the bed has the feel of a normal height from each side. Hanging lockers each side, star gazer hatch on top..



Longer view from the back, before the bed was made up... Looking forward





Long view from the front looking back:



Through the door at the back is a full width dressing room and ensuite..



To the left, the loo, and to the right the shower door and shower. I had it made a few inches larger just for luxury..



So what is different about the layout to need to stretch the van 2 feet? On this side is a large dining area that seats four big people. The table has a lever that makes it shift four ways, left-right, and in and out, and also a foot lever on the floor that makes it drop to a bed. My Wife wanted to have a large dining area, four could sit and eat or play cards, and a large bed if our Kids came for a visit where ever we were.. That was the use of the added 2' on this side..



On the other side, I wanted an extra foot of counter space past the stove, for this proper coffee maker...



Then, something I found I liked on the French Cruising Yachts, a drop through in the counter to a full sized kitchen bin under.. More on this one later, but I love it!! You can have a wood chopping block cutting board on the sink, and no messy hands trying to clean up, it all goes right down into the trash bag lined big bin. When full, it gets pulled out, wrapped up, with a new plastic liner in it, and the trash bag put in the truck for disposal.



More to come later.. More, with details, and innovations...

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will start putting on a few of the details, OK?

First of all, this is one of the ways to use the near side stretch of the van from 21' to 23'. As I described, my Wife wanted the maxi-sized lounge dining area, to seat four people for dinner or cards and such. On the other side, the near side, I had to utilize the 2 feet extra, and these were my two top priorities:

The French Yachts have this drop through into a full sized bin. The cutting board fits the top of the sink, OR the drainboard. So for cleaning and cutting and trimming food, the drop through is amazingly handy. This is not my original idea, I stole this from the French, and love it. Not only does a full sized kitchen bin with a plastic garbage bag liner work well to manage trash, but you are also not accessing it with dirty hands. The top is made to be a hot plate to sit a hot pot on as well. If I put the cutting board to the left on the drain side, I have use of the sink for washing, vegies, meat, what ever. This drop through bin was HIGH on my wish list OK?



The other foot I had to use, was put alongside the stove for one of my little joys in life... My coffee machine. I love the smell of the roast beans grinding, and even though I mix it 3/4 decaff, I really still enjoy that morning coffee. We made this tray and lock down system for it..



Here is another personal choice and selection. First of all I like the 9 hole style of cabinet doors in Tassie Oak.. They are still a little fresh, pink in colour, they turn the golden oak colour in a few months exposed to the UV (Ultra-Violet light). Anyway, the nine hole offers ventilation to the lockers.



Also note the height. These are BIIIG overheads. How and why? I raised the roof on the overall Bushtracker by 75 mm, so these overheads are that much larger. I may end up putting shelves in them, or some. After this ten weeks in Tasmania I will decide. The raising of the roof, is not only a great feel, but it makes a looong Bushtracker seem shorter in perspective. Really, I do not find the 23' too long, nor think I will be handicapped off-road. It is far more about the tow vehicle than the size of the van.



Right Oh, here is another one: Our full aircraft style frames, full 75mm insulation, but on the inside a one piece fibreglass semi gloss ceiling. I love how it looks, but like many things on my own van it is a weight penalty. However, with the Dodge Ram, the tow vehicle will not know the difference and I like the look of the glossy easy to clean fibreglass ceiling.



Here is another choice of mine: This table leg, has a four way, five way adjust. The lever in the front left allows it to move in and out to lock, and side to side to lock, and the foot button on the floor allows it to drop to make a bed. I love it!



For the heavy pot drawers and silverware drawers, I have elected to use these solid heavy metal body lock sets. Pending my testing in the Bush, they may become standard for us in just those heavy drawer applications. Expensive, but nice. Further, only imported for Bushtracker....



The mirror in the dressing room of the full width ensuite, has now been adapted to be a medicine cabinet behind. You still have the lockers left and right, but this is a handy addition..



Since this Tasmanian trip is only a Holiday, but the real travel is in the Outback with a DVD trip in really rugged and remote country that looks a bit like the Kimberlies: I opted for the full Air Suspension. There are Topics on this, but it is the best in Australia, and on 4140 Tool Steel 60 tonne Tensile axles. I love playing with it in manual mode, leveling the van side to side and front to back. It also makes this heavy Bushtracker float along nicely..



Combined with this flexible hitch, it is quite a manageable ride. This hitch is an inexpensive alternative to the Air Safe, on rubber torsion bars. It tows well.. And it and the heavy duty (Tailgators bumper) will go on my Dually Dodge when it arrives. Wink



This is our new E-Pro Battery Management System readout. It is a little more elaborate, updated, and manages my 600 AH Lithiums that will nicely power up one of my air conditioning units self sufficiently in full sunlight and 4-5 hours into the night. More on that in the future, with an additional twin charging system off the truck.



More to come, as I have time... Here is to hoping you find it interesting...

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, in Tasmania


Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
As a matter of interest, I will continue to show some of the latest gear and innovations in my own "Land Yacht".. Now in "Bay of Fires" Tasmania, doing it tough with this view out the caravan door...



Anyway, reviewing what I have on so far, I showed you the dressing room, and the loo on the left, but not the shower area on the right.. My Bad, thank you for pointing that out to me... Window, two watertight lockers, towel rail, fan hatch, and ledge to put soap and sundries...



Now in addition to the normal white/yellow optioned switched LED awning lights, and I have them both sides, are these "Baby Buzzard" big LED lights. Two in front, and two in back, independently switched.. (I have no comment about the silly name)... Laughing



I have the "Double Buzzard" lights on the back of my Dodge for back up lights, again super bright big LED..



This is a wild one, I had it in my last Bushtracker, so now three of them are on the road. This is a top of the line Samsung 7.5 kg big washing machine that turns into a 4.5 kg DRYER.. Not made for travel, but on an Air Suspension so far so good. I love it. The heat is made for the dry cycle with a steam generator.. Works a treat.. Problem? 69 kg... Hmmm, a lot of my options are heavy gear...



Here is another one, I have underslug boxes for additional storage. They would not survive aft of the suspension, but in front of the suspension so far so good with two vans of my own.... What a great place for shovels, axes, splitting mauls, hoses, and the like. They only go as low as the chassis...




I have opted for the tyre carriers with the ramp, the tyre cages with the fold down ramp..



I also really like the Oyster Auto Deploy Satellite Dish for Foxtel and all the movie channels and world news, maybe a 100 channels, National Geographic, everything..



This is a nice treat, it is a slide that comes out about 2 meters, but it also goes each way, each side... BTW, this is also my choice in BBQ, I think better than the Weber, this is the Ziegler & Brown. I prefer it because I think the burner is better, and the lid folds over itself to underneath. You might just check it out before buying the Weber. Mine is bolted down on the slide out.



And of course, I love the power fold out stairs. Not only does it go lower, but it is really fun to deploy. It is protected in the front of the suspension, but I would not advise it for behind the suspension... Works a treat and is fun to put in and out!!



Here are another couple of options, the Lifestyle table, that has matching checker plate body armour on the outside, and it works really well mounted on the water tight door. Also to the right of it you can see the external A/V locker with another TV. Matthew optioned that on, while I cannot see using it, he thinks it draws a lot of attention as a Show van, OK..



And here is my own favorite fridge door lock. It is very positive and works well....



Enough for now... There are so many options, lights that are two stage, touch lights under the over head cabinets that are two stage, spot reading lights that are three stage for night lights, USB ports to charge phones in prominent places, the latest Scirroco II fans, two air conditioning units, innovations in the electrical and management systems, tyre inflation off the Air Suspension, a new hatch style, and on and on... There is a whole world of innovations to see. My van will be back at Bushtracker in February and you are welcome to come for a visit to see it all... More to come...

Kind regards, from the lone Ranger, off in Tasmania... Wink


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: SIZE MATTERS Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
More you say, well there is a lot more...

The title of this Post is SIZE MATTERS... heh he Wink

Today in "Bay of Fires" Tasmania, we had a heat wave, 29 C maybe 30 C...
Being spoiled I ran my air conditioning off of the 600 AH of Lithiums, but I had to shut if off early afternoon down to 50%... If you look carefully at these pictures of the roof of my Bushtracker, you will see the Wineguard TV antennae folded down. You will also see 6 solar panels (one is in front of the front ac unit). If I too that Wineguard off, I could fit a seventh, a record, but that would mean my air conditioning was self sufficient all day off of solar... Hmmm




When I have Foxtel, I cannot see any reason to have the local channels as I get all of them on the 100 Foxtel Satellite channels, heh? So I am thinking maxi solar, Wineguard antennae can go?

On this one, I chose some stainless appliances, and had drawers built to take them in size.. This is a stainless high grade toaster, and an ice maker... And notice these deeper drawers have to have the sides done in Marine Plywood, edges varnished, waterproof glue, and the predicater for Marine Plywood, no voids ..



Now here is a feature that is WRONG... These slide out pantry things are for the City People that do not understand the losses involved. Not only do things jumble up and make it hard to open, but literally 50% of the space is wasted. That locker could take three shelves and goods packed in about twice as much as this pantry holds.. Cute for the Shows, a waste in the Outback... Wink



Now Size Matters, and I have two air conditioning units, the most power efficient and quiet, the Truma Aventa II. Not only do I have redundancy if one goes down, as I have a medical condition and cannot sleep in weather over 30 C, but also in really hot weather, two will do the job in a 23' Bushtracker.. In between them I am trying the Mini Heki hatch. It opens, is a gas hatch, and has very nice accordion blinds and screen..



Last for today is the other spare tyre holder with the rack that folds down into a ramp. Enough of that already, I want to point out my option of this one is for the van, the other was a spare for the Dodge Ram... That gives me two for the Ram, and one for the van, but the truck will keep on going and can go get more if required for the van... Note, in 30 years in Australia, I have only staked two tyres sidewalls in one day ONCE. And I was asking for it running a fence line in a Toyota Troopcarrier goat hunting on a property and inspecting the fence, crunching over hardwood in 50 C HOT HOT weather.. The rubber in the tyres was even soft... Anyway, this is my optional choice:



What is in the works, is a custom set of 8 stud hub drums for my Bushtracker, and 10 ply truck tyres on 18" custom made steel wheels. I will probably NEVER get a flat with that tough a rig. Why? This is the extreme for gold nugget fossicking, hogging it up fossilized creek beds and into really rough terrain OK? Why? Because I am crazy some will say.. Me? I like to push the boundaries, like Star Trek, "To go where no Man has gone before"...

Kind regards from the lone Ranger, "Scouting the trail ahead for you".. and PSS five others like my crazy idea so we have ordered 30 of the heavy duty steel wheels for 8 stud for this new breed of MEGA YACHTS... Land Yachts..
23' is a BIG RIG from this angle, here at Bay of Fires in Tasmania..



Last edited by Bushtracker on Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello from Tasmania,
More on some of the equipment and features on this Bushtracker "Mega Yacht".

First of all a few more comments on the Mini-Heki: I really like it. I mean the Fantastic sort of thing with the big 10" fan works well, but this is quiet and power efficient, and opens up quite large. It is very easy to use, one handed, and has very easy to use accordion screens and blinds. I have noticed that in cooking it takes out a lot more cooking odors and steam than just with the Dometic rangehood alone... It gets a big thumbs up from me, my first Mini-Heki and I think it will be a standard for me personally, mid van and near the stove it works a treat.



Now, on the subject of Mega-Yacht, the Air Suspension is really great. Now I downplay the Air Suspension in general with smaller Bushtrackers for a couple of reasons:

1) Most don't need it, added complication and operation, and potential maintenance with air lines and fittings, and just a waste on smaller vans for no reason, financially and physically, OK? Other people use it as a Sales Gimmick, but really it is added expense and weight and maintenance for no valid reason.

2) It REALLY is not necessary for the smaller vans, and if they are weight conscious or tow capacity conscious, it weighs more.. Like 60 kg or so, that they do not need. It is more of a Sales Gimmick to run Air Suspension on the smaller vans. I mean all of our suspensions are more heavy duty than the same types our Competitors use, and all have the 4140 Tool Steel 60 ton Tensile axles, but it is not worth the weight and expense on smaller vans, no reason... On the smaller Bushtrackers if you think you need a softer ride you can use the coil and shockie suspension, with all the features of the above, and 75% as soft as the full Air Suspension, OK?

3) For the serious 4x4 People, gold fossicking, fishing in remote places, intrepid explorers and such, our Standard Suspension has more wheel travel, and is Load Sharing, it is far superior off-road to both of the above and anything our Competitors even offer. Wink

Now having said that, the Mega-Yacht style of travel does benefit greatly from the full Air Suspension. You can use the air system to level the larger Land Yachts, in more extreme situations you are stuck with that would be hard to mimic without it on, leveling up a large heavy 23' Bushtracker. On larger Bushtrackers, the coil and shock suspension is really good for the corrugation and 75% as smooth as the Air Suspension, but money no object if you are not on a budget, the Air Suspension has an important luxury feature of leveling the Bushtracker side to side and front to back in a really bad parking location.



Look, it is not necessary for a smaller Bushtracker, but when you get this large your options dwindle right down and the flexibility of the Air Suspension allows you to put it into some imaginative positions OK? In other words: The possibilities of the extremes of the Air Suspension allow you to put it into some really tough spots that you would not normally try, they would be too much work.. Here is what it is like, on this trip into crowded places in Tasmania here are a couple of examples:

In this one, I am backed up into a fairly steep bank, and had to pick up a big rock to put under my VC Downleg on the front, to jack the front up about with the hitch about a meter in the air, maybe a little more.. It was double the normal height as I am backed into a steep angle. To get grey water drainage (you can see the sullage hose at the back) I had to lower the air suspension down almost to the bump stops and still level side to side. This gave me grey water drainage even backed up a steep bank. You do not have to worry about these extremes so much with a smaller van, but at 23' in a crowded area, this is a huge advantage for the flexibility and range of sites that it give you...



In this example, what you are looking at is actually a tent site... I backed it up at a steep side to side angle in this overcrowded free camp, to take advantage of this high set tent site with an Ocean View!! Now what you cannot see is the other side is up on the steep bank. This allowed me to be partially on the camp site, tent site, but back away from the rock fire pits. I lowered down the Air Suspension all the way to the bump stops on the other side, to level me up side to side, and used the down leg in the front to raise me up level, even still hooked up... And was it ever a great view.



Anyways, this is just an example: SIZE MATTERS, if you want the extremes of Luxury, and have the tow vehicle to match it OK?

Kind regards, Director of Bushtracker, currently in Tasmania with a Mega Land Yacht... Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Cold and windy down in Hobart... Christmas Eve is forecast to be 9 C and hit a high of 16 C.. That is cold to a Queenslander, very cold. On with the Bushtracker coats!! 15 C right now, will hit a high today of 21.

Anyway, on with some of the details and innovations on my own personal van. My own personal choices, not for everyone for sure. This is not a skite, but on a Poll 96% of you wanted to see what I chose, the person that can have anything. I went for Mega Land Yacht..

Against? WEIGHT and SIZE are the big issues. For me, it is great, home away from home. My Samsung Bubble Wash machine is super luxury, 7.5 kg and 4-5 kg dry. I get two showers and a day of water plus a load of laundry dried, on one take. So if you are on power and water and grey water discharge, this is silent and quiet luxury. It is conveniently located to just bung in your clothes after a shower as the dirty clothes hamper as well. Everyone would love this, but it weighs about 69 kg !! That is not an option for smaller tow vehicles.. But what a nice luxury, quiet, and sings musical tones when it is finished.



The size and weight allows you to have massive power capabilities as well. 600 Amp Hours of Lithiums, and 6-150 watt panels of solar, means at peak solar the air conditioning runs for free... (forgive the little dirt from a bucket put up there on the Lithium batteries in the foreground). This means you can live with luxury appliances with no noticeable power consumption, like my stainless coffee maker, stainless toaster, and stainless ice maker luxuries. For the extremes of Lifestyle, SIZE matters.



Here in the front, I have easy access to the tank filling selections, and the Water Sterilization system, and the dual water pumps for potable and non potable systems, and a marine carpeted storage area..



The Slide out goes either way, with cargo on board, BBQ all the way out in this picture. It also comes out on the off side for access to stored goods..



Now, don't get me wrong. This kind of extreme size is a problem and handicapping in a tight place like Tasmania. I am told the drive to Queenstown is narrow and winding with a steep drop off on one side, tight on the other. I am told it has beautiful views, but you cannot take your eyes off the "tarmac" as they said, because of oncoming logging trucks. That and they said there are supposed to be 91 tight curves, but "They only counted 87" Laughing Laughing Laughing My Wife has a bad back and may need surgery, that and my rig is 16 meters long, I can give that drive a MISS !!

Now in the Outback, size is no problem. Even off the track, with my new Dually coming in April, (Dodge Cummins Diesel Mega Cab Longhorn, Dual rear wheels, load leveling air suspension, limited slip diff, six wheels driving): In the dry, I will go anywhere practical gold fossicking and exploring. But here in Tasmania, even with a normal smaller Bushtracker, one person quotes: "Tasmania, You drive in, but have to back out"...

This Dodge Air Suspension system will get me most anywhere in the Outback with limited slip rear end, the Dually will dig like a 6x6 with a long ton in the bed.



Tasmania is one place, my rig is definitely a disadvantage. No, I will NOT be driving the 91 tight curves into Queenstown facing logging trucks... Laughing Laughing Laughing



Anyway, if you are going to have the extremes of luxury and size, you have to plan on the comparable tow vehicle OK? For me, I want to get back into the rough country, that is why the 6x6 effect of the Dually. You can see them in action in some of our DVDs. You can see Single Rear Wheel SRW 4x4s digging and spinning and spitting dirt, where the largest Bushtracker towed by a DRW just glides right over the soft ground and sand and grader cuts and mounds getting around fallen trees on remote tracks. The Dual rear wheels really work. A pain in town, but I have gotten used to it, testing about four Duallies in the past 15 years. With a luxury van this size, I could do it fine with my single rear wheel Ram, but the Dually will do it better.. Horses for courses, with this new Bushtracker and my plans for extreme exploring and gold fossicking, the DRW will be an advantage. I know I will miss this SRW, especially in town, but the advantages out Bush make it all worth while. In any case, you need the proper tow vehicle for a Lifestyle this big, OK?

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director, and Mad Inventor
Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right OH,
Maybe I will digress into some of the options you have to choose from, IF you are interested in this "Mega Land Yacht" Class free from weight restrictions...

PART ONE, CHOICES ON THE MEGA LAND YACHT CLASS

You get all of our normal high end goodies, as part of our Standard Equipment, we try and use only the best. Things like these reading lights, that are three stages: They are a night light, first picture, then a reading light, second picture high intensity big LED.. Then if you hold your finger on it, it dims down for a more sedate light...



Now there are 50 little things like this, you do not have to worry about, You can see them on a visit to Bushtracker, and you get them in our Standard Equipment. I am going to pass on all those little bits, quality but standard, and go on to deal with the larger choices OK?

Fibreglass Ceiling: It is actually over our standard strong frames and 3" of insulation. Nothing has changed, I mean others are just foam core junk or frames so weak they will not put an air conditioning unit up there as it sags the roof and makes a birdbath.. Laughing Laughing Laughing This is over our standard frame, but a one piece fiberglass ceiling under it. Further, I said semi-gloss earlier, it is actually really a high gloss, so much so that it adds depth to the ceiling, and a feel of spaciousness in the van, at least when laying down Wink



What do I mean depth? Laying in bed, your eyes see a reflection in the van and it does add depth and makes the van seem more spacious. This is my first one piece fiberglass ceiling, and I really love it. Why do we not do it on ALL Bushtrackers? Three things: Weight, weight, and weight. On a Mega Land Yacht with the right tow vehicle it does not matter.


It is certainly an option worth considering. Here you can see the depth in the reflection, easy to wipe clean, and very nice..



Next for me, a Home Entertainment set up.. This is a 32" screen..



It has a new double opposing arms bracket system and does not need to be strapped back.



Still folds around to watch in bed.. And runs DVDs through the stereo system. I have whole collections of Series I liked like Hawaii 5-0 and Miami Vice.. As well as full Foxtel with about 100 channels, a dozen movie channels, and all the good ones like Discovery and National Geographic and History channel.. Here shown facing the bed. I mean I do not have it this good at home!!



In addition to the twin speakers in the ceiling in stereo, I get the Surround Sound effect with a Base Cannon under the table. You are THERE in an action sort of a movie..





Stay tuned, after Christmas I will be back with more choices and some interesting inventions. This Thread is open to comments, and I will put up some more innovations.. Look, some of these choices could be taken on a smaller Bushtracker, but out of a dozen that add weight, maybe only 2 or 3. We will advise those of you that read this and want some of these towed by Landcruiser for instance. You could have a few, just not ALL...

Merry Christmas to all, on the road with the Ranger, in Tasmania...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cold, 15 degree morning, Merry Christmas!!

Part two, considerations on design of the Mega Land Yacht class..

Something you may not have noticed, is the very large closet above the big washing machine. It is very deep, and doubles as larger storage, not just the big coat locker I wanted. The large washing machine (lovely) sticks out maybe 200mm from the normal counter top lockers, so I pulled the overhead coat locker out that distance as well:



It allows storage of things like this Dyson vac system... A real treat not to have to sweep and gets the dust and sand out of the corners.. There are power points in there, so it allows some advanced storage. Like I have a full scanner and printer in there, for a portable Office. I can take my computer over to the counter and print off documents and sign them for Banking and Bushtracker, and scan them and send them back. I have coats, full yachting foul weather rain gear for fossicking in the rain with my MineLab, even a popcorn maker... heh he





It is my choice, and I need the portable Office set up, and while the Dyson vac and popcorn maker are a bit unnecessary, it is fun to have them. Home away from home, my Land Yacht... Idea

*************************

Here is something else, and important with the Air Suspension: Like I was saying above in another Post above on this Thread, while the full Air Suspension is nice, you need to understand that it is more for those that like to tinker. I mean it is just not a plug and play forget it sort of thing. We are recommending the Coil and Shock suspension on larger vans and it rides about 75% as smooth as the full Air Suspension and maintenance free pretty much. But the Air Suspension needs a lot more attention. It is the best in the Industry with the 4140 Tool Steel 60 ton Tensile axle stubs, and it does have the automatic ride height adjustment, so it is the best and the only choice if you want the best. However, it is a bit fiddley..

Now that suits me just fine, as I like to play with it, and it is certainly a major advantage leveling up in bad conditions like I am finding in over crowded Tasmania. per the pictures above in the extreme leveling conditions. But you have to mechanically inclined and be in tune with it. Wink

For example, a few people have wrecked the valves in their Air Suspension, by allowing too much moisture in there and not blowing down the tank. This is a bit of a pain to do so I have modified mine. I think we will make this a standard due to my R&D for you. The tank valve is on the bottom:



Now it is hard to get to in the middle of the cargo hold over head... Hmm
So what I did was put an extension cable to the outside edge of the cargo hold. I made a mistake and put it on the off-side, when I should have put it on the near side because I am in there more often with the BBQ and all... :wink"



Anyway, these are mods I suggest you take on board if go the full Air Suspension. It needs to be blown down everyday. It is for someone that likes the toys, but it does need attention. You have to remember to put it back on automatic when you leave, as you level the van front to back and side to side in the "manual" mode. You do not have to adjust the ride height anymore, we are the first ones to incorporate automatic ride height adjustment into the Air Suspension. It all works well, but I want you to be the mechanical minded sort, that likes to tinker with things, if you want it..

Kind regards to all, and MERRY CHRISTMAS from now 16 degree Hobart.. !
Steven Gibbs, Director, Bushtracker
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mulga crew



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve
Pleased you’re keeping cool in Tassie. This was us in Charleville yesterday. Dash on your previous Laramie shows a warm 41 at 11am. Merry Xmas from Phil and Di.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Phil and Di,
Dunno, that is the other extreme. Not sure I want to be in either radical temperature trend.. Laughing

I love the Single Rear Wheel (SRW) Dodge Rams. It is so easy to park up and drive around town, but I have the extreme of vans, and I want to get into gold country and be able to hog it up fossilized creek beds and such off road. The DRW will just be able to do that better and safer. I will suffer around town, but I am used to parking selectively, and backing into parking spots, I mean I have had 4 DRWs in the past 15 years towing and doing R&D. I am used to it.

Here is a picture of the actual truck coming. A Longhorn 3500 Mega Cab Dually (DRW). I guess with a big horse float and Mega Bushtracker, I am back to a DRW for good.





It will have the same Ranch Hand heavy duty steel bull bar, and this Ranch Hand rear terror to tail gaters heavy duty rear bumper and hitch. It is snow plow ready heavy coils, and I will put the 2" lift in, and all the gear and winch. I will suffer around town, but safer way out in the Never Never. I thought I could stay with the easy SRW, but no. I have developed a new hobby for myself with the MineLab 7000. We will see how it turns out, casual not OCD, just a casual interest for fun. I am having to experiment around with Semi-Retirement hobbies to see what sticks... Anyway, this will be the terror to the P-Plater tail gater..



I guess I am going the extremes on both ends, but why not? This much Rig, both Bushtracker and tow vehicle, this style is not for everyone. However, my Wife may need the home away from home, she may be debilitated to some degree for years. If I can hog our rig into some interesting gold fossicking country, She can be happy while I pursue a new hobby myself. There is motive to my madness. Life is an adventure, and I am going all out. Laughing Wink Idea


Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Here is another innovation, a split power system. Like the dual water system of potable and non-potable water, two separate systems. In the case of the water, two pumps, different tanks, no way to cross contaminate. In the case of the split power system, two separate power inlets and circuit breaker systems.

In the old days, like in the pictures of the Horsetruck pulling my Bushtacker about ten years ago, in those days I did have a quieted 4.5 kva diesel generator. However, most of the time we were on power at Showgrounds where we were competing, and a typical camp looked like this:



Now on Stations, and with Trainers, and mustering for cutting, we did have the ability to run the 4.5 kva gen set. I have had other Bushtrackers with two air conditioners and two power inlets. On this van below, my new Bushtracker, you can see that I still have two power inlets but the technology has greatly improved.



I could run a big gen set, and I could plug in both on a Station or Show Grounds, but technology has changed a bit. Having 600 AH of Lithium, I can run one air conditioning unit on just the Lithium system. Right now I am plugged in, and can run one ac unit on a 2 kva generator or 240 v, and the other on the Lithium batteries if it is really hot. Right now all I have with me is one 2.0i Honda. I have used it once in about three weeks, and only then because I was playing around testing how long the Lithium system would run the one air conditioning unit, and ran it down over night.

The big washing machine is too large for an inverter, unless I went to a really large combined inverter charger, and even then it is not practical Really even a short 15 minute wash cycle and two half to hour dry cycles splitting the load, would be better done on the generator or plugged in. If I was going to really hot areas, over 40 degrees, I have a second Honda 2.0i at home and can link them together so they run about 50% longer on the same fuel, hardly getting off eco-throttle. For now, I run one air conditioner off Lithium in the bush, and the other when plugged in, so I only need one power cord plugged in (I carry three). Wink

There are a lot more exotic power innovations coming in 2018. For instance while I have not done it to this truck because I have a new one in route, we have a way to get 100 amp charge from the tow vehicle even at an idle. This will be revolutionary. The Chev and Ford motors have warning about extended idle over 10 minutes or so, as the potential to glaze up the cylinders exists. However, the Cummins 6.7 litre does not seem to suffer that. I discovered this in Yellowstone in the dead of winter, 2012-13 on expedition to see the wolves, where people were leaving the Cummins diesels idling to keep the cab warm while they were out to dinner. This was remarkable, in 20 below zero, and the Dodges were the only ones running.



I then went to the Cummins Forum, and spoke with a Power Line Man, that spent the winter knocking ice off transformers in Montana, and he told me it was common practice all winter to leave the Dodge trucks idling. When I ask him if it shortened the live of his Cummins or caused any bad effects, he said no and said he had 200,000 miles on the Dodge Cummins Diesel. That is going on 300,000 kms, idling long term in winter. Another great advantage of the Dodge Cummins Diesel..



Anyway, because of this and a lot more research, I am going to do a 100 Amp charging system on the new truck around April. If it works, and I think it will: You could charge that way as an additional option. This will be true driving as well as at an idle, a 100 amp charge. If you Order, we admit you to the Owners Section and we will talk more about the options there.

Right now, in moderate weather, I could live off the massive solar and Lithium batteries, even with air conditioning. I also have a forced air diesel heater if it gets that cold at night, but for right now I am plugged in. Out Bush I have the option of the one small generator for a laundry run, or one air conditioning unit, or both with one on Lithium. There is a bit to this, and we have to teach you how to run it all, but there is considerable flexibility and that large generator technology is virtually obsolete now..


Kind regards, Cowboy.. Only play at Cowboy with my three horses and herd of cattle on the weekends. A half a Horseman, but no Cowboy... Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

With regard to the split power systems, if the systems can be connected together, what is incorporated to ensure the systems are synchronised prior to connection? If one has a generator powering up one 240v AC system and a lithium battery powered inverter powering up the other 240v AC system, I have no doubt that you are aware that both systems must be at the same frequency and the same point in the frequency. Most people would not be aware of such requirements and without protections in place it could be possible to try to connect the two out of phase, with serious consequences.

Regards ...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the Honda 20i would sync with the mains if the mains was plugged in first and on before starting the generator, don't know how the little honda would go carrying base load for the rest of tassie though. Seriously I don't think it can be done. I regularly sync my 2 Hondas together so I can run both the air con and the coffee machine, or a toaster, or the jug. Wouldn't dream of running it parallel to the mains though. Never tried it in parallel with the Inverter, it might sync with a local load from an Inverter. Be happy for anyone else to try and let us know. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ajay and Fletch wrote:
Steve,

With regard to the split power systems, if the systems can be connected together, what is incorporated to ensure the systems are synchronised prior to connection? If one has a generator powering up one 240v AC system and a lithium battery powered inverter powering up the other 240v AC system, I have no doubt that you are aware that both systems must be at the same frequency and the same point in the frequency. Most people would not be aware of such requirements and without protections in place it could be possible to try to connect the two out of phase, with serious consequences.

Regards ...


Well I am impressed that you are that switched on. Since you seem interested, here is the Science behind it (after a few whiskeys let me see if I can get this straight). I have two years of formal Electrical Engineering besides my other education to go here, and here is how it works for you in sort of Layman terms: If they were the same source it is possible, as the same source would be "In Phase" with a single phase AND single source.. That is if you ran a like a 25 amp single cord and split it one to two with a "pigtail" (Illegal in Oz).. However, if it was two cords, one side of a 3 phase power drop, and another side of 3 phase power drop, then no, it would blow sky high if connected, as they would be out of phase!! But neither is true here, as there is no, NO electrical link between the two power inlets what so ever.. So I can run two power sources, two cords, or two gen sets, or any combination. OK so far?

No, like I said with the dual Potable and Non-Potable water systems as an example, it is two separate systems. There is no connection between the two. If you re-read that it is two separate systems, each side could be powered independently by gen set or mains power, or two gen sets, or two linked together for better fuel efficiency on Eco-throttle as the connection system links the Inverters of the two Hondas, but again there is no connection between the two power points after the inlet.. OK now?

As it happens, the front air conditioning has another option, of running solely on 600 AH of Lithium, nearly self sufficiently during the day and five hours into the night. There will be more on another option, a 100 Amp charge of the new truck, in Owners Section in due course..

Anyway, the two systems are completely separated on two different 240v systems with separate CBs and all. There is no link between the two, like there is no way to "cross contaminate" between the drinking water and non-potable water systems.. OK? Got it now? On "Eco-Throttle" you can link both Honda units together, and use them as a big unit to run two ac units and more. It is designed that way, Honda sells a cheap kit of wire to link them together. In my situation the only advantage is fuel economy as they would hardly get off Eco-throttle so run a lot longer. I only have one of them with me on this trip, and like I said have only used it in R&D one time in three weeks...Wink

Feel free to add in any questions on anything...

And Rosiebear,
Maybe the above explanation has clarified this for you. There is no sharing of generator power and mains power on the same circuit. You can run one on any source, and the other on any source, as they are not hooked together anywhere. If I wanted to run both ac units at the same time I could run two Hondas, or one on the Honda and the other on the Lithium, or if somehow it was advantageous I could plug in both sides to shore power with two cords. OK now?

Both of you, AJ and Rosiebear: It is a bit tricky, and we have to teach you how to run it. In mine one circuit has the washing machine and one ac unit as the Auxiliary power inlet. The other has all general power points, plus battery charger (60 amp), and the other ac unit and the 240v side of the water heater as the Main power inlet. I cannot run the air conditioning (ac) and the 60 amp charger off of a Honda 2.0i, so I have the battery charger externally switched. You have a lot of flexibility here, and we have to teach you how to run it. For instance, I have only run the Honda 2.0i once in 3 weeks to charge the batteries as I ran them all the way down to about 45% testing how long the ac unit would run at night on the Lithiums. When I hooked it up: The Honda 2.0i kept bogging down and dying.. What was I doing wrong??? Well, easy peasy, I had left the hot water 240v on, and had to switch it off, so it ran on gas automatically. Then I could run the charger and get the bulk of the charge in, then when it was down to 10-20 amps I could run ac at the same time. All of this has a lot of flexibility, and throw in the availability of Inverter run ac unit, and you can use ANY power source, or none of them. The van runs basically independently on Solar. About the only requirement for the Honda gen set, is the big washer/dryer. Otherwise you can live independently on solar for everything OK? Hot water on gas, and you are independent. I am plugged in just for the ease of it and 240v hot water, but other than laundry I could live here just on solar as well. Right now, free 240v hot water and reverse cycle air for heat at night. But I could just as easily run on Lithium for air conditioning in the day, diesel forced air heater at night, and gas hot water.

The flexibility means you can use it, or choose not to OK?? More coming, like one more power source off the truck in 100 Amp, except in the extremes of weather over 40 degrees and needing 2 ac units, I am energy independent..

Kind regards, stg


Last edited by Bushtracker on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Steve, I operated a 380MW generating unit and one of the aspects of my duties was, on a return to service of the generator I would be required to synchronise my generator with the system prior to closing on the circuit breaker. I put my post in to try to prevent anyone from connecting their portable generator to their van whilst it is connected to the grid. There are people who have a little knowledge and think that they can "improve" their set-up by the strangest and very dangerous ways. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

Regards ...
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thank you for your comments Ajay and Fletch, and Rosiebear. If I am not clear on anything or if there is more you want to know, please keep adding in questions or comments...

There are countless little bits of custom work I have added on.. Like for instance on this Ziegler and Blacke BBQ, I did something that many might like. First of all this Ziegler and Black seems better than the Weber BBQ. Here you see it with the lid up, and then the lid folded down underneath of it, and the burner and controls seem to work better..



Now I am not selling BBQs, this is just a matter of interest. It does work really well and the temperature guage works very well too.. Now if you look, here is one of my personal innovations: Look carefully, it is not actually bolted down to the cargo hold slide, it is sitting in its own alloy tray, bolted down in there, a snug fit into the slide out cargo hold storage. This gives me the option of taking out the tray and BBQ and moving it somewhere else to BBQ OK?



I don't know how much to keep putting on here. The little custom bits are here by the hundreds. For those that do not know our normal quality, you can have a peek in the Category above titled Sooo... Why is Bushtracker the Best? And a good place to start is the Topic: "A Peek at the Unsurpassed Quality You will See on Tour"

Anyway, I don't want to bore you all with all the little details. When I am back in February, you are all Welcome to have more of a look at my own van when you come for a visit. There are countless little things, like this silly little Bunnings level gauge I put on the a-frame..



There are literally dozens of little things like that, but I don't want to bore you.. I think I have hit most of the bigger innovations in lifestyle, plus all our normal quality like watertight hatches to storage in the shower and all the countless other bits you can see at the Bushtracker Factory on a visit. I think I will just stop this Topic for now, and only answer any questions you might have. I really don't want to bore you...

Kind regards, Director of Bushtracker, in Tasmania on Holiday...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be my last Post on this van, unless there are questions..

I want to emphasize that size matters. I mean if you want the Mega Land Yacht type of Lifestyle, size of van and size of tow vehicle matters..

Here I am in an idyllic spot in a park in the middle of Tasmania, and it is so nice I have decided to stay an extra night. I have unlimited power and water and a grey water dump, in a Park, for $20 a night.



Now there are plenty of free camping spots in Tasmania, but here I get to use my own Laundry, washing machine on board, that turns into a dryer. I am also walking distance to a nice little Artist type town of galleries and nice cafes and restaurants in Deloraine Tasmania. I don't have to go looking for laundry, I can do it at my leisure. And here is a personal invention, I have made up a two to one sullage hose, and can run it either direction, off my laundry and the normal grey water tank both at the same time. It can swap and go out the other direction. When I get home, I might see if it can be plumbed into the grey water tank, it would maybe clean it all out in the process... For right now we assumed it would have to run separately so I made up this 2 to 1 sullage hose.



Anyway, for the extremes of luxury living, SIZE MATTERS. The full Air Suspension again levels me, backed into a slope. I jacked up the the rear of the van on air. And my own 7.5 kg washing machine that turns into a dryer right here on board, this is the ultimate in independent luxury living. I could do the same thing out Bush running the generator, but for $20 I can stop in an Artist Colony town, stay in the Park, walk to shops and cafes and restaurants, and do laundry and sheets in the convenience of my own van. Size matters !!

This is only for larger tow vehicles and larger vans, and I think you would need the full Air Suspension to preserve the big washing machine on the corrugation, and off-road, but this is a treat. Home away from home. Size does matter for this kind of luxury and lifestyle..

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director, off in Tasmania.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more little thing, a must have, is the Forced Air Diesel Heater.. I just thought of it, appreciating it this morning!!

You would not want to be without it. Right now, I thought Tasmania would be a bit warmer being "Summer", but no, this is like a Queensland winter.. Laughing Off power, like I am up in the Northwest Tasmania, it is down in the 10 C range and can get colder than that. I have seen 6 C... The floor is insulated, and off power it is so nice to get up to a toasty warm van for a few liters of diesel.. I write this sitting barefooted in my nice warm Bushtracker this morning. Wink

Talk more with us on this and about 50 other things when visit..

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to know what features stand out for me, with all the innovations I am trying? Well it is my pleasure to show you.

I have to say, this is the greatest van (for my choices) that I have ever built. A second month in Tasmania, a week now in the wilderness of Western Tasmania, and yes there are some real stand outs that I will always want to have.. Here are a few of them..

Big on power: I am so energy independent I really have no concerns over power. I have spent the entire week so far in the west wilderness area of Tasmania without running a generator or hooking up to anything. I can run the lights all night, the diesel heater all night, coffee maker, microwave, and I hardly dent the power reserves. After two days of rain, Satellite TV and DVDs til 11 at night, security lights on all night, I am only down to 75% this morning.



Here is another surprise of how much I like it: This fully adjustable table. It unlocks and slides right to left and in and out and drops to a bed if wanted. But here is something that is fabulous and I have grown accustomed to, it pivots out 90 degrees for easy access behind for yourself, or for guests. No scooting and sliding.. Here it is only pivoted about half of its range:



Here is another surprise, just how much I like the full Air Suspension: If you have the tow vehicle to take the extra weight, with a big van like this the full Air Suspension is magic.. Tasmania is overcrowded, and this has allowed me to put the van into places that others could not use because of the steep terrain. Here are just two examples of the extremes of leveling that would be hard to accomplish without this set up, and gave me a MAGIC spot in crowded circumstances OK?

Here I am in a tent camping spot between two fire pits. To avoid the fire pits I am up on the slope on the back side with the air let out to put me down on the bump stops because of the slope.. As you see this I am level, with the near side pumped up all the way, and a fantastic view, the best in this free camp with a view of the ocean..



It was a little trouble to back in there on this slope, but a far better view. It would have been near impossible to do this with blocks of wood and such to level out this extreme, but was easy to play with the full Air Suspension OK?

Here is another example: Free Camps fill up and even in the remote regions of the West Coast they are overcrowded. The tent campers and vans filled in all of the easy access flat areas. Without my ability for extreme leveling we would not have been able to stay.



Because I have a powerful 4x4 and limited slip, I was able to back it up on top of this hill where it was so much of a slope even the tent people did not use it.. The Air Suspension made this possible as it would have been ridiculous work to get me level without it. It was too much slope where I am in these pictures, for even the tent campers, so we had it all to ourselves. I am down all air on the bump stops on the off-side, and up all the way with maximum air on the near side:



Anyway, low range limited slip and backed up the hill. No one else would have tried this with no way to get the extremes of level. The Air Suspension is totally down on the high side, and up with 80 psi on the low side to level me out. I was the King of the Mountain, the Penthouse at the top, and here are the views out of my Bushtracker. This view was really out of my main salon window:



I guess it comes down to "size matters" of both Bushtracker and of course the tow vehicle to pull it. Another stand out example is water supply. Because of the size at 23', I have seven tanks of water. I can easily go more than a week. This is a week out on the west coast wilderness, and I still have three tanks of water, and of course probably 3/4 of a tank of drinking water that I could also use in a pinch pumping some over to tanks for showers. We could go two weeks with reasonably short showers, and a month on drinking water, more on rationing with two stage showers of washing and rinsing.

The really big lounge for four people has been a standout. Also the Yacht style counter drop through into a full sized kitchen waste can and the coffee maker have made the size increase really nice. I would do it all again. I am surprised, everything has worked out magnificently. "Size Matters" for this kind of luxury and possibilities, and if you have the tow vehicle to match. I could live in this van permanently..

Kind regards from Western Tasmania, maybe off to Cradle Mountain tomorrow..


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our 2 non potable tanks last 10 days and that includes showers every day. Have never run out of potable.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Grumpy,
But I am spoiled and I have a spoilt Wife and we like good regular hot showers, particularly in this cold weather... It is a different level of luxury Grumpy. Big Luxury... Not severe rationing one- two minute showers or every other day like in remote regions of the Outback. Most Bushtracker Owners are running 3-4 tanks of non-potable water these days..

We were poor Street Kids. We have done it tough, and didn't like it nearly as much as now.. Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been in Tasmania since the beginning of December. It is often over crowded, particularly the "free-camps".. Thanks to my full Air Suspension, again I got the best spot to camp. Everyone was packed into the small flat area, and then it fell away at a slope in the foreground.



I got to park on the nice grass with a great view because the extremes of the Air Suspension. It allowed me to be there with the high side down on the stops, and the low side pumped up all the way to about 80 psi. I was level sideways on the slope. This would have been very hard to block up, so I had privacy and the best view in the area.



My full Air Suspension has greatly increased in practical value to me. It has proven to be a whole new dimension of freedom in these over crowded camping spots, and saved me most of the time in Western Tasmania. I could still find room, in the over-crowded camps, because I could go where they could not, even tent people could not go on the extreme slopes. The spots were open to me, because they were beyond a bag of blocks and plastic ramps for leveling, so I got them to myself courtesy of the range of my Air Suspension. Never before has this been so important and now I will not be without it. Better to get off on your own in discovered privacy, as the Wiki-Camps sort of places are all way overcrowded in Tasmania.

For any of you Owners, I have a very active Topic in the Owners Section, on my impressions and experience like this in Tasmania. Never before has the leveling range been so important to me, as here in Tassie. If I had not been able to do this with the air suspension, I would not have been able to stay, or had an unpleasant time in many of the camps. In fact, about half the time, it gave me the BEST spot with a view, just because I could level up where they could not go..

Best regards, lone Ranger in Tassie..
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 5054
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be my last Post on this Thread unless there are anymore questions.
Again, the Air Suspension gave me a place that others could not use. Here was the view:



Now no one took this spot, because as you can see in the first picture it is about say 300 mm out of level, side to side with the van. It would have been very difficult if not dangerous to block it up with timber and plastic wedges.. Now this is only for the very large Mega Land Yachts OK? Smaller Bushtrackers are easy to block up and it is not worth the added expense and weight of the full Air Suspension on a smaller Bushtracker. OK with that?

The second picture shows the range of the full Air Suspension in saving the day again. Tasmania would have been difficult for me at best without it..



If you do go for a Mega Land Yacht sized Bushtracker and the full Air Suspension, here is another thing you should definitely get. It is a kit that plugs into the air tank and pump, to fill tyres. Now in all fairness, it came in VERY handy. I have the right rear tyre losing a small amount of air, like maybe 10 psi a week. I cannot find it, but there is a minute screw or nail hole it in, and I am not fixing it until I get back as I have a Dodge Ram tyre monitor built into the system with an alarm. But anyway, this is a tight coil hose, air filler and gauge and I USE IT !!

The second picture shows the plug in, and that is a Boo-Boo. It is right up by the bed side drawer and hard to plug into. I will be moving it down to a more "User Friendly" spot on my return...



Kind regards to all, and "In Your Best Interests" from the lone Ranger at Bushtracker
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Riverman & His Lady



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 18
Location: Gunderman
State:: NSW
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have enjoyed reading about all the features of your Land Yacht and your comments regarding the air suspension. We are currently deciding on what size BT we would like to purchase. Our current rig that we have is seven years old and from day one we had air suspension. We love it and would not consider a replacement package with out it!! At the end of the day it takes only a minute to have a totally level rig. We always bush camp and have only once needed to use blocks under a wheel. Another great feature is you carry your own air supply that can be used for an eye watering array of jobs.

I am not convinced that the air suspension should only be used on the mega land yachts. If the cost is within the budget and extra weight is not excessive it will be on my order with BT.
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Keith and Sue

A man lucky enough to live near a river.........is lucky enough!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello RiverMan...
Look, come for a visit to Bushtracker, don't guess, you need to see the REAL THING.. Laughing

Seriously, our full Air Suspension will be superior to anything you have seen, as well as about 50 other things at Bushtracker.. Wink

4140 Tool Steel Axles 60 Ton Tensile, Camber as well and Toe in Tow out adjustment, Firestone Air Bags with retainers so they do not over extend, this and 50 other things will show you why we are Number One in Australia.. Come for the visit: Call first and make an appointment, so we can reserve the time for you..

As to the full Air Suspension on smaller vans: Look, you can always have what you can afford to do.. !! I just do not want others to think it is a necessity OK? It is a LUXURY, and certainly not a necessity. If they can afford it, if they can afford the weight, then I am here to show them the advantages. Luxury, not necessity!! Wink

And one more thing: WELCOME TO THE FORUM, POST NUMBER ONE !!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right Oh,
Just an update on the Lifestyle possible with the larger Mega-Yacht Bushtracker and a Dodge Ram Cummins Diesel:

On expedition to Yellowstone to see the wolves up close in the dead of winter Jan 2013, I quickly learned that the Dodge Ram Cummins diesel could idle long term. At 20 below 0, at one of the only restaurants open in the winter, there was steam rising from a few of the trucks parked up.. I walked down to see if they were in trouble or something, but they were all Dodges in the parking area, the only truck sitting at an idle staying warm while the people were inside having dinner. I walked by, crunch crunch, and only the Dodges were running. I then went to the Cummins Forum, and spoke with a Power Line Man, that spent the winter knocking ice off transformers in Montana, and he told me it was common practice all winter to leave the Dodge trucks idling. When I ask him if it shortened the live of his Cummins or caused any bad effects, he said no and said he had 200,000 miles on the Dodge Cummins Diesel. That is going on 300,000 kms, idling long term in winter. Another great advantage of the Dodge Cummins Diesel..

Right now, in moderate weather, I could live off the massive solar and Lithium batteries, even with air conditioning. Another new invention is we have an additional relay that trips off the air conditioning when the Lithium batteries get down to 50% so I can leave it on at night and not go off on LVD by morning as this would shut down the refrigeration and water and lights. This new relay system will just turn off the air conditioning when the Lithium gets down to 50%.

Here is the next stage to all of this, 80-100 amp charge off the Dodge Ram!

There is a bit to this, but there is considerable flexibility in that large generator technology is virtually obsolete now.. At least in the larger Mega sized Bushtracker that can carry such a large solar array and 600 AH of Lithium, and of course with the Dodge Ram Cummins Diesel. We can now charge the Lithiums at an idle.. Cool

It requires 35mm size battery cable in conduit, and 175 amp Anderson Plug. There is a bit to it, but wow, does it work well so far! Now this is waaay out there on the end of Mega Land Yachts, it is not applicable for smaller Bushtrackers and tow vehicles OK. My new truck is here, about 1100 kms on it so far, getting run in. I have done what I have been talking about, and direct run off the large alternator to two DC to DC chargers, and it works. I am getting 86 amps of charge to the Lithium batteries, at an idle!! This is on the verge of making generators obsolete..

Now you can only do this with a Cummins diesel, and a larger Mega Yacht Bushtracker. I am running 600 AH of Lithium batteries and 6 - 150 watt panels. And on expedition, I discovered the Cummins can idle long term. We have a way to approach getting 100 amp charge from the tow vehicle at an idle. This will be revolutionary.



And here is what the 175 amp Anderson Plug looks like...



I will be going on two fair sized expeditions this year, at least. We will see if there are any heat dissipation problems with the 2 DC to DC chargers, tuned to about 45 amps each, and the alternator of course on the Cummins 6.7.. This is REAL R&D out on the edge of things!! I will report on the progress later in the year, there is a Topic on this in the R&D Section..

More to come, Steven Gibbs, Director
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3ways



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 39
Location: Cleveland
State:: Qld
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve are you running dual alternators on the new RAM?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, one single large alternator..

Most of the imports that have dual alternators, lose one in the conversion process. Because of the superior conversion of SCD the engine compartment stays original as does the entire steering system..

Mine has a 220 amp alternator. With less than 50% of capacity, I do not think the 86 amp charge we have measured is much of a threat to the heat sink on the alternator. No it is not continuous duty, and that is the risk, we will just see how we go. Also the DC to DC chargers will get a bit hot and there could be heat degradation there. This is why it is called R&D, and why we will not install it on another Bushtracker until we get a good run out of this set up or modify it to suit.

I have at least two expeditions planned for this year. I am leaving mid June for 4-5 weeks on the road gold fossicking from Tiboobura, Camerons Corner, Arkaroola, and Flinders. Then in September I will be going again, maybe down Silver City Hiway thru Packsaddle to Broken Hill and back tracks across the Ghan, to Port Augusta, and on to Streaky Bay... Something like that another 4 weeks or so in testing. If it holds up without mods, we will offer the system...

Kind regards, lone Ranger out scouting the route... Very Happy
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sklavell



Joined: 02 Mar 2016
Posts: 11
Location: Lakeview Street
State:: NSW
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw Steve and the big Rig at Stanley Tassie as we were fueling up,great looking gear. Just sold our hybrid after coming back and trying to afford an 18ft Bushtracker.
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Kathy & Ian M



Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 4
Location: TINBEERWAH
State:: QLD
Current Bushtracker owner:: Ordered
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: 2018 update, THE DIRECTORS LARGE SIZED LUXURY BUSHTRACKER Reply with quote

Hello Steven

We really appreciate the information you have provided about possibilities in designing Bushtrackers and we have taken most, if not all, wherever possible on board with our planning.

You mentioned above that as your van has the raised roof with the BIIIG overhead cupboards, that you were going to consider putting shelves in all or some of the Overhead Cupboards when you returned from Tasmania.

Wondering if you have given any further thought to this and if you did finish up putting shelves in any or all of the overhead cupboards.

Kind Regards
Kathy & Ian
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually no,
I thought about it, but decided it could be more of an inconvenience at times than a help...

You are always rearranging things, changing wine glasses, deciding to put them back in their original box for travel, getting a taller this or that or something else... After a few months in my new Bushtracker I decided not to bother..

If you have extra room in a locker, my Bushtracker travel is measured by how many rolls of paper towels I can pack away... Laughing Laughing Idea

I use them for everything, and they burn nicely.... I have learned to conserve water and wipe the main gook off plates and skillets with paper towels, before washing.. (Tip) Actually good on yachts where water is even more dear... Wink

Regards, Director, Bushtracker
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