Looking to potentially pick up a caravan for the family for weekend trips from Exmouth, most likely just into Ningaloo/Warroora etc. With our second child arriving last week, looking to off-load the camping gear and have a set-up that we can just hook up and get away for a few nights when the weather is good. 


Question is.... for those types of locations, is a full off-road setup a must or will a semi-off road van be fine to tow in to those locations? I know bugger all about vans!!

Posts: 4562

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 I have a 22ft triple bunk

Fri, 2023-04-14 08:35

 I have a 22ft triple bunk semi offroad. Set up off grid with solar/ batteries etc. 

Done the Gibb, gnaraloo and it's handled it fine. You'll need to slow down and let tyre pressures down on the dirt and make sure you do a good prestart every morning but it's held up well. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Piggy's picture

Posts: 538

Date Joined: 24/08/12


Fri, 2023-04-14 10:27

Hey Mate

I have been in the same boat and have recently bought a caravan / getting it built. I went to all the caravan and camping shows and I actually chose the chassis before choosing a builder. Chassis / suspension pretty much one of the most important parts of the van. Even the real expensive brands around $150k had pretty average chassis. I ended up choosing a chassis called a Silvershine with Teko tuff ride suspension.

To answer your question you could do alot of those places with a "Semi off-road" van, however my personal prefereence is to have independant suspension and your not paying much more for the suspension unless you go to an airbag set up, which I dont think is necessary.

I am getting my Van built by a mob called Highclere. Seem to be a pretty good mob but like I said I chose the chassis / suspension before choosing the van manufacturer. Highclere just so happened to have everything I wanted and could give me what I wanted in the build and its costing around $90k for evertyhing.

Hope that helps




I go boating not fishing

davewillo's picture

Posts: 2254

Date Joined: 08/09/16

 Can't really answer your

Fri, 2023-04-14 10:53

 Can't really answer your questions but I was camping over Easter with someone who has a pretty new semi-offroad van. Can't recall the make but he isn't happy with it anyway! It isn't the one you're using. His has self-levelling airbags and I would be very wary of that system. It doesn't work well and he is always having issues with it. Could be the manufacturer but there just seems to be too many things that can go wrong. The van has all sorts of bells and whilstles which could be a disaster if you're miles from nowhere!

Friends own Explorex vans and they offer stuff like that but try to steer people away for the reasons above. They make bloody tough vans but certainly not cheap.


 PGFC member and lure tragic

Brock O's picture

Posts: 3163

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Hows this set up...Not sure

Fri, 2023-04-14 13:56

Hows this set up...Not sure what ya wife will think

best picture to upload on facebook

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 14851

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Was seriously considering

Fri, 2023-04-14 15:21

 Was seriously considering one of these if we decided to go down the caravaning road.



Love the West!

sunshine's picture

Posts: 2554

Date Joined: 03/03/09

Have a good mate selling his off-road Masterpiece

Sat, 2023-04-15 21:34

Not cheap but fully kitted out, delivered 2018......if you would like more info let me know  

Posts: 1097

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Two options

Sun, 2023-04-16 05:48

We had a Goldstream Storm pop top. An awesome piece of kit, had it custom made with all the bells and whistles. We did the great central road, Kakadu, Litchfield Gibb river rd etc etc and it never missed a beat. Sold it when we got our big floating caravan. Was easy to tow and setup. When popped and extended it was 23 ft with plenty o room. A mate of mine has a Jayco Base station. He carts his four kids and all of their toys around quite happily. Having the garage come extra bedroom is a good option. Have you considered renting a van when you want to travel?. Try it for a while and rent some different vans, this way you can see what you like and don't like . The purchase price converted into rental nights is quite significant. Then you also don't feel guilty seeing your van sitting patiently in the driveway waiting to be used...


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....