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Supreme getaway caravan

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Supreme getaway caravan

Post by Pilbara snapper on Thu 29 Oct 2015, 4:24 pm

Hi guys,
Any members out there using the above caravan around the 13 to 14 ft size, I recon wedgetail had one ?.???
I'm needing a van for next year as the tent and swag is just too hard for my worn out old body ! and my. Hilux can only tow 1800 kg max.
We like the track tvan but the new models are up over $60 k
Regards snapper

Pilbara snapper

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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by boobook on Thu 29 Oct 2015, 5:49 pm

G'day bloke.
We have owned a 1997 Supreme getaway van for the last 9 years.
Its a 15' x 6'6" wide unit, tare 1420kg., 1840kg. gr. single axle

For the first 5 yrs. we were opal mining in SW Qld., rough breakaway country and it sure took everything in its stride. Last 4yrs. we have been coming over to WA chasing a bit of yellow stuff, rough and steep country is where you notice the weight.

Now the big drama!
Three yrs. ago we were in some pretty rough country 10km. W of the Tanami rd. 50 odd km. S of Halls Crk.
Crossing a deep gutter running at about 45* from the track the van slipped sideways down about 3ft.
Refusing to go any further, investigation revealed the l/h side (downside) stub axle had sheared right behind the brake backing plate.
Sort of "bugger" but as luck would have it, the hand brake cable had pulled the wheel under the chassis which saved the water tank etc.
Getting the van unhitched was a problem of its own and there was no way any rescue truck was going to recover from this location.
As it happens, I still carry most of the maintenance gear used in our opal mining so around 6hrs. of prep and welding we were mobile again.

Cause of failure!
Where the stub axle ends the suspension trailing arm, a gusset is welded beneath the axle. This gusset had been welded across the axle forming a stress riser point.
The fracture of the axle had been ongoing for some time, it was not if, but when.
***If you are looking at one be sure to check this spot***

Summary.
In 27yrs of towing vans around the outback this has been the one surpassing the rest.
Having a side entry door, (unlike a rear door) there is never any dust inside. Nothing comes loose, it doesn't leak water in, the independent suspension rides corries without any problems (replaced shocks 2yrs. ago)
Other than the above axle failure there has been nothing at all go wrong around 120000km. travelled. The previous owner, an outback freelance photographer said it had done around 70000km. when we bought it from him.
We tow it with a L/C trayback and have the same 7.50/16 splits all round. Makes for much easier tyre/wheel changes.
*** I would be cautious about the alloy tub ones, 2003?? on***

Bit of a ramble, but I hope that helps somewhat.
We have been most happy with ours.
All going well, we will be back over in WA 2016 for a bit more adventure.
Mike



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boobook

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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by Pilbara snapper on Thu 29 Oct 2015, 7:50 pm

G'day Mike,
Mate thank you very much for taking the time to reply, getting yourself out of that mess makes you the kinda guy I would like travelling with me !
From what I can see,supreme have stopped making the getaway so will have to keep an eye on gumtree
Thanks again
Snapper

Pilbara snapper

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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by boobook on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 3:17 am

Snapper.
I should add the later ones have a trailing arm/leaf spring instead of coil.
Looks far too rigid to me plus (I reckon) causing the structural cracks in the alloy tub models.
There are a few of our vintage for sale at the moment.
Mike
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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by Wedgetail on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 8:20 am

Mike, Brian,

Yep, I have the 11’ 6” Supreme Offroader with the rear door. It’s been in some pretty rough places and done thousands of kms mostly on dirt. It’s had its problems, mostly from poor assembly, which were rectified by me and a few that I inflicted on the poor thing. I don’t hang around when I’m travelling and I load up to gunwhales.

Despite that, I love the tiny thing. Bit cramped for me and the wife but we’re only the size of hobbits anyway. But it’s ideal for one and now the wife doesn’t go bush with me anymore.. What is becoming a concern is the amount of gear that I carry in it. But I now can use her side of the bed for that!
That broken stub axle sounds to me like a welding flaw and probably a “one off”. I’ve had no issues with mine and I don’t know of anyone that has. But it’s very bad look with a major flaw such as that. That trailing independent coil spring suspension was what sold me on it in the first place. I’ve found it unbreakable and very stable on the real rough stuff. The benefit in this that when yer howling on corrugations or go into a creek too fast, you're comfortable knowing the van won't break. I follow people through the bush often and it's painful how slow they go and their van doesn't look happy at all when we get there.

I say “poor assembly” above, but when I hear about makes such as Jayco then the Supreme is no problem! Nothing has actually fallen apart, unlike Jaycos, but from my perspective, it could have been made better. Dust entry was a proble initially but after sealing all the place that they left in a poor state it's now acceptable. But no matter what you do, you'll always get some dust in a van or car.

The van is all 12 volt, a big battery and a good charger. The charger failed after a few weeks but this was a demo van for 12 months before I bought it. The replacement charger hasn’t missed a beat in years since then. I’ve fitted an 80 watt panel on the roof and never need a genny for lights etc.

I’ve had a few minor leaks over the years but progressively fixed ‘em as they appeared – with one exception!! That ONE got unnoticed into the wooden frame of the rear panel and rotted it out. It was a major repair/rebuild job that I was able to do myself, fortunately. That can happen with any van, some worse than others. The build quality on most vans is scandalous anyway. It’s best to buy a used van that’s had all the issues fixed I reckon.

The external light wiring has been an issue but I manage to keep ‘em running, except for the back one near the rear door. I gave up on that one.

Electric brakes – I’m always having issues with no brakes. Sometime they’re OK and other times no good. But it teaches you to go a bit slower in town! The wires to the wheels often snap – they get caught on the scrub etc but I reckon the main issue is the earths on the van and the wiring in the car plug. PIA nevertheless and happens with other vans as well. Overall, all caravan wiring is a bloody disgrace and this van was no exception. 240 volt was fine, as it has to be, but the 12 volt suffers from bad earths due to the wooden frame and corrosive aluminium cladding – plus the dickheads that wire ‘em up!

The underslung spare wheel carrier was torn off on the Gibb River Rd, but that was my own stupid fault,,,,,,,,,and a long story. Other than that, the Gibb River Road couldn’t do anything to the van and I reckon that’s great ‘cos that road is first class bitch and I can’t see why people do that trip! What a waste of time!

Over the years, despite minor probs (if yer a mechanic or handy) the van has proven itself to be “unburstable”. It’s done little else other than serious offroad all its life. But would I buy another “pop-top? No, pain in the fundamental orifice to be honest. I’d get a fixed roof van. Would I buy a slightly bigger van next time? Yes but not so big or wide that it can’t get down narrow tracks or tight bends in the bush. But I love my little Supreme and quite frankly, it’s just too much effort pimping up another van after years getting this one how a prospector’s van should be. So I’ll stick with this one. No different with the Chevissan. It’s got no back seats at all, only two front seats and the rest is water and fuel tanks, storage, radios, jacks, fridge, genny and gear etc. I’m too old to be building all that again!!!

Put simply, I wouldn't subject a Jayco to the hard life that I've given this Supreme and expect it to still be all in one piece.
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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by Pilbara snapper on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 8:43 am

Thanks Les,
Can you tell me what year your van is and what is the tare and gvm ?
Been looking at second hand ones on the net and they all seem to be different and only one in sa that I can find so far
Regards snapper

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Re: Supreme getaway caravan

Post by Wedgetail on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:22 am

Phone call,,,,,,,,,done Very Happy
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