GAS HEATERS VS DIESEL HEATERS

GAS HEATERS VS DIESEL HEATERS

Came across this great read by  the rv plumber .

Being winter, we have been inundated with calls about which is better, Gas or Diesel? We found this article great to help our customers make an informed decision without been convinced to purchase something that does not suit their needs.

Truma Gas Heater

Truma E2400 Gas Heater​

Heating Power – 2400 Watts

Air Flow – 78 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 0.6 to 1.1 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 170 grams/hour LPG

Weight – 4.7 kg

Dimensions – 370mm (plus 47mm gas inlet) x 248mm x 123mm high

Max. outlets – 2

Eberspacher Airtronic D2 Diesel Heater

Eberspacher Diesel Heater

Heating Power – 2200 Watts

Air Flow – 87 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 0.67 to 2.83 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 0.15 to 0.23 litres/hour DIESEL

Weight – 2.5 kg

Dimensions – 122mm x 310mm x 115mm high

Max. outlets – 2

Webasto Air Top 2000STC

Heating Power – 2000 Watts

Air Flow – 93 cubic meters per hour

Power Consumption – 1.16 to 2.41 amp @ 12v

Fuel Consumption – 0.12 to 0.24 litres/hour DIESEL

Weight – 2.6 kg

Dimensions – 120mm x 311mm x 121mm highh

Max. outlets – 2

Which One is Better?

Both heaters are the perfect addition to the caravan for the modern traveller. And based on the specifications above, not one stands out above the rest. The fuel consumption is relatively similar in comparison. 10 litres of diesel would last of 43 hours, and a 9kg gas bottle would run the heater for 52 hours. Keeping in mind that this consumption is based on maximum consumption.

Both heaters are completely sealed burners, meaning the oxygen used in combustion is drawn from outside and exhaust fumes are expelled outside.

For the typical 18 to 24 ft caravan, half an hour is enough time for these heaters to heat up the space to a more than comfortable temperature. Both heaters have built in thermostats to maintain that comfortable setting.

The Eberspacher and Webasto Diesel heater has three burner settings which it automatically selects during operation, based on the thermostat reading. This makes the Diesel Heater very fuel efficient, and allows the heater to maintain a constant temperature. Sometimes a small adjustment of temperature setting is required to allow the heater to maintain temperature while operating on it’s low setting, which is the best situation as while in low setting, it is even more quieter than the Truma E2400 gas heater when operating on it’s low setting.

The E2400 gas heater only has On and Off setting which is automatically controlled by the thermostat, the thermostat has a setting of 1 to 5, this means that it can be a little bit more temperamental when trying to maintain a constant temperature.

The location of the heater can play an important part in how well it will heat the van. For the typical layout of the double bed up the front of the van, with a middle kitchen/dining area, the best location is under the bed with an outlet pointing straight down the centre isle of the living area. This creates the best flow of air.

The location is also determined by regulation factors. The gas heater flue cannot be installed too close to a window, door, other gas appliance inlet or outlet, or under an enclosed annexe. These regulations will sometimes rule out the possibility of installing a gas heater, in which case a diesel heater would be the way to go.

The diesel heater does not have a flue that goes through the wall like the gas heater does, it has an exhaust that goes through the floor of the caravan. This requires clear space directly below the heater location.

The Webasto 2000 STC Diesel Heater now comes with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models. The Eberspacher has the option of an air intake silencer, but it is not a standard item in the kit. The Webasto now also has a digital programmable timer as standard in the kit, whereas it previously only had a rheostat dial controller. I, The RV Plumber is now installing Webasto diesel heaters rather than the Eberspacher heaters.

If you still can’t decide which one to go for, consider this; Do you want to carry extra diesel? And do you have a suitable spot for the diesel tank to be installed on the caravan or motorhome? There are different options for the diesel tank. The best thing for you to do is have a think about some different locations that might work, and tell me about them when calling for your over the phone quote.

In my opinion, diesel heaters are better for aftermarket installations. The gas ducted heater such as the E2400 is more ideally installed during manufacturing stages to allow for it’s suitable location during design stages, based on the Gas Installation Standards.

Using diesel fuel to heat the RV is a good way to maximise your ability to free camp in remote locations without the need to go and refuel or refill gas cylinders. Save your LPG for your fridge, HWS and cooktop.

The BIG Question; Are they noisy?

I would definitely not consider the gas heater to be noisy. The only part you hear on these is the fan, which is a considerable amount quitter than rooftop air conditioners.

The diesel heater (Dometic Eberspacher D2) is louder than the gas heater (Truma E2400). The motor of the diesel heater is a bit more powerful and has the capacity to push more air, creating a little more noise than the gas heater. It is still considerably more quiet than rooftop air conditioners.

Outside, underneath the RV is the fuel pump, combustion air intake and exhaust of the diesel heater. These parts also contribute to the noise of the heater. The air intake and exhaust are a bit louder than the noise of the internal fan, but hardly noticed from inside the van. The fuel pump is most likely the one to upset you or your neighbouring camps. The fuel pump ticks, it’s not overly loud, but it’s just the right pitch to be heard easily, and if possible the fuel pump would best be installed further away from the sleeping area as possible.

Keep in mind that the many comments you read on the forums about noisy fuel pumps, might be a reflection of the fact that many caravaners DIY their diesel heater installations. And possibly refer to the cheaper eBay diesel heaters. Eberspacher provides the best fuel pump mount, which if installed correctly can substantially reduce the noise heard from the fuel pump in comparison to the Planar fuel pump mount.

The Webasto Air Top 2000 STC now comes standard with an air intake silencer, exhaust muffler and an updated fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models.

Will you sleep with the heater on during the night? It is perfectly safe to do so, however most of my customers say no

Eberspacher or Webasto Diesel Heater?

In my opinion they are equally as good as each other in their reliability and quality of product. For a long time my preference was the Eberspacher as it came standard with a digital controller, and a good quality rubber fuel pump mount, as well as the exhaust muffler as standard. Now that the Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Diesel Heater comes standard with a digital programmable controller, upgraded fuel pump which is 10dB quieter than previous Webasto models, exhaust muffler and an air intake silencer. Webasto is now my choice of heater and will be my standard supplied heater that I install.

 

Article credit:

The RV Plumper

https://www.thervplumber.com.au/

The RV Technicians Pty Ltd offers a complete caravan services workshop.

Offering brakes and bearings, repairs for damaged caravans, upgrades,

modifications and aftermarket accessories.

The team offers a combined industry experience of over 30 years in the Manufacturing, Repairs and Servicing sector of the Caravan and Motorhome Industry.

The RV Plumber has provided quality service for many years in the RV industry. Specialising in Diesel Heaters and Gas Heaters for caravans and full plumbing system installations.

Located in the Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne, with a conveniently located workshop on the Warburton Highway. Some on-site services are available to customers located in the Yarra Valley.

With extensive product knowledge, comes specialised advice and support

Caravan Buying Tips

caravan buying tips

Caravan Buyers Tips

Caravan Buyers Tips, If you’re considering taking time to explore what Australia has to offer, then buying your own caravan is a great option.

But when you look at the size and extent of the range, it’s easy to get a bit confused.

But fear not! We have put together a comprehensive list of questions and answers to help guide your decision making.

Also, check out our Free Buyers Service, to inquire about any caravan or RV product from a range of dealers Australia wide.

Question 1: What do you intend to do with it? 

Don’t just think about the first trip, plan forward a couple of years: will your caravan be mainly used for weekend escapes to a favourite getaway destination?

Is it for family holidays with the kids? Is it for the fulfillment of a lifelong dream – the trip around Australia that may take months or even years to complete? Or have you perhaps decided to adopt an itinerant lifestyle and make the caravan your only home?

The purpose will determine your caravan’s size and configuration, its layout and the extent of its fittings. The amount of travel will determine how important features such as independent rear suspension and off-road capability will be to your new van.

Question 2: How are you going to tow the caravan?


Unless you are in the enviable position of purchasing the caravan first and the vehicle to suit it, you need check the tow capacity of your current vehicle as this will set a ‘maximum’ weight for your dream van.

Question 3: Big or small? (Yes, size matters)


If you want complete independence and you’re comfortable towing a long wheel base caravan, then a large, luxury caravan with separate bedroom, shower and toilet are a delight.

Alternatively, if you prefer the idea of travelling light, the convenience of towing a short wheel base caravan – a small caravan is a good, cheaper option. The trade off is simply the share of facilities at local caravan and holiday parks – don’t forget that bumping into like minded travellers at the local holiday park can be a highlight of the trip!

Question 4: What about Pop-Tops and Camper Trailers?


The ‘pop-top’ caravan, with its fold-down roof section, is proving to be one of the most innovative small to medium size caravan styles.

Pop-ups are ideal if you want to store your caravan under a carport or in your garage when not in use – no need to construct special high roofline carports!

The low profile of the pop-top and camper trailer when closed also offers the advantage of less wind resistance and better fuel economy when towing.

The alternative choice of a camper trailer, with a wind-up canvas upper section and extendable sleeping accommodation on each side, is a great one for families with children.

Question 5: Buy New or Used?


In simple terms, new caravans offer all the benefits, safety features and comforts of recent design advancements, including independent rear suspension and durable, lightweight construction material.

Buying new also gives you the choice to ‘custom-build’ the layout of your caravan to your needs and desires!

If you choose to buy a used caravan always buy from a licenced dealer. This is the only way to guarantee clear title on the unit you are buying.

Licenced dealers do many exhaustive checks to ensure that the units they are selling are in fact not stolen (and often re-identified) or encumbered (ie. they don’t have any money owing on them).

YOU WISH & YOU NEED: PREPARING TO BUY THE RIGHT CARAVAN:

Before you set off to the showrooms take time to answer these questions and take them along to a dealer:

List everything you want in the caravan then classify them into ‘You Wish’ & “Ýou Need’
Where do you plan to go in your caravan in the next two years? (Calculate how many trips and total distance)
Where will you store the caravan? (Calculate the maximum height restriction)
What is the towing capacity of your vehicle? (Match the caravan to your car)
How much space do you need inside?
What is more important: the comforts of home or economy of light travel?

Size of the Caravan

The most popular size for today’s vans range between 11ft and 24ft (note the use of imperial measurements – the caravan industry continues to cater for those who have a built-in resistance to metric).

Anything smaller is not particularly comfortable for more than one person, and anything larger becomes a towing challenge that will take much of the fun out of caravanning. Generally, the smaller the van the easier the towing.

Of course the shape, height and weight of the van will also influence towing performance.

Today’s slimline, lightweight and low profile models are a complete contrast to the lumbering wheeled pagodas of bygone years.

If you can afford the right type of towing vehicle and have no qualms about towing a larger van, it’s a delight to own a luxury home on wheels complete with its own en-suite, flushing toilet, hot and cold running water, separate bedroom and full sized kitchen.

Pop-tops and Camper Trailers

The development and subsequent improvements to the ‘pop-top’ caravan, with its fold-down reef section, have solved several problems which might once have discouraged people from buying a van.

If you prefer – or are obliged – to store your van under a carport or in a low roofed garage when not in use, the pop-top with a height of less than 7ft when closed is the type you need.

It should be remembered that pop-tops are only available in small and medium sizes. A pop-top of 17ft or over is a rarity, since the larger the roof is the more unwieldy it is to raise and lower.

The task of raising and lowering however, is very much easier in modern pop-tops, usually aided by gas-filled struts and often the addition of retractable ‘easy-lift’ handles inside to provide grip and leverage.

Pop-top owners who spend much time in the tropics praise the superior ventilation afforded by the canvas upper wall section with its zippered flaps that open to let in cooling breezes.

The low profile of the pop-top when closed also offers the advantage of less wind resistance when towing, giving marginally greater economy as well as a better performance.

The choice of a camper trailer, with a wind-up canvas upper section and extendable sleeping accommodation on each side, is often made for the wrong reasons. Older couples may buy a trailer for its easy towing characteristics, but forget that one of the greatest pleasures of the touring caravanner – the ability to pull up at any time of the day for a cup of tea and a cap nap – will be denied them unless they’re prepared to go through the process every time.

For families with young children however, the camper trailer is one of the world’s greatest inventions.

The ability to fit numerous beds into a small towing package, the relatively low cost of the unit compared with that of a full sized caravan, and the trailer’s economy all appeal to the younger buyers who make up a large percentage of the market for this product.

Frame and Axle Questions

The old argument about whether a wooden frame is better than an aluminium one still persists in some areas.

The fact is that it doesn’t really matter. But the signs are already clear that aluminium is likely to be the material of the future as softwoods become scarcer and costlier and more responsible ecological practices prevail.

Prospective buyers can often be confused about the number of axles that it’s best to have. This is not really a matter of choice.

The provision of two axles instead of one applies when vans reach a certain size and it becomes imperative, for safety reasons, to share the weight between four wheels instead of two.

You won’t often find many tandem axles fitted to vans of less than 16ft, and only rarely will you come across a single axle model of 17ft or more.

What kind of Suspension?caravan buying tips

Whether you choose a van with independent suspension or a basic solid axle and leaf spring, once again there’s no reason for anyone to challenge your decision.

Smooth riding independent suspension (any of the numerous designs available) is great to have on most Australian roads, kind to your van, and these days problems with it are rare indeed.

Those who go for a van with the traditional leaf spring design will probably pay a little less and can enjoy the reassuring thought that there isn’t much that can go wrong.

When do you need an Off-Road Caravan?

There are vans designed and built to cope with the varying degrees of rough road to be found in this country.

The most rugged of these could perhaps be described as ‘off-road’. More common are the models which can appropriately be described as ‘out back’ caravans.

These are fairly conventional in design and are usually beefed up versions of a manufacturers normal range, with added strengthening to the chassis and items such as under van protection for water tanks, bumper bars that extend underneath for protection when emerging from washways, special dust-proofing and perhaps externally mounted jerry cans or other sensible additions.

There are many makes that carry a warranty covering towing with a 4WD vehicle. This may not seem as important as it was a few years ago when 4WD suspension was rough enough to traumatize a van’s chassis.

Today’s 4WDs are greatly improved in this regard, but you can be sure that the caravan with such a warranty can take a moderate amount of punishment if necessary.

An entirely stock standard caravan can usually travel on rough corrugated roads for short distances without suffering damage, providing care is exercised.

Outback travel with a caravan is really a matter of using commonsense. Read the condition of the road, watch the van and if things appear to be getting too rough for it, go back.

Check weather conditions before you go to ensure that you don’t get stranded, and if you want to disappear into the real wilderness for a few days, leave your van on site in the nearest town and take a tent.

We’d also like to point out that Australia today is well served with bitumen roads and these are supplemented by many unsealed roads of reasonable standard in most weather conditions.

Almost anywhere you are likely to want to visit on your own, the first time around at least, is accessible without the need to risk life, limb or property.

Where layout is concerned the most popular caravan today, as we are constantly told by retailers, is a 15-16ft pop-top with front kitchen, island double bed at the rear and an L-shaped dinette at one side with a small lounge seat opposite.

Consequently this is the size and layout that is offered without fail at every caravan retail outlet around the country.

Don’t be rushed into buying this floorplan though if you think you would prefer a model with a side kitchen and a big club lounge under the front window.

Custom-building is the norm these days, and it’s usually worth waiting a month or two for the van you’ve set your heart on if it isn’t available ‘off the peg’.

The question of double or single beds makes many couples smile, but it’s really a serious point to consider.

Smaller than home-sized double beds (often only 4ft wide) may look cosy and appealing in a salesyard, but on-site in tropical Cairns they can turn cuddly couples into hostile insomniacs.

Unless you are both sound sleepers and accustomed to tropical climes, it may be more practical to opt for a single bed layout. One consolation is that this will give you more usable living space in your van, including seats for visitors.

The standard of a caravan’s finish is usually easy to determine by glancing inside cupboards and under seats.

Most manufacturers have abandoned the heavy and less durable chipboard and returned to genuine timber for cupboard shelves and doors.

Ill-fitting joints and rough splintery surfaces, too, are mostly things of the past, but vigilance is still recommended.

Fittings

You’ll be faced with an alluring array of internal features when you start to shop around the caravan retail outlets.

Having decided on the size and style of van that’s right for you, the huge variety of choices that remain mean that the final decision is still by no means easy.

Space restrictions make it difficult for us to advise you but we can tell you that most modern features have been suggested by real caravaners and are genuinely worthwhile additions.

The Bottom Line

New buyers are sometimes astonished by what they consider to be the high price of today’s caravans, but they have always kept in step with inflation. When you look carefully at the improvements in design and the excellent modern materials and accessories used in today’s models you’ll see that most of them represent real value for money.

Prices do vary, of course. There are budget models and makes that traditionally cater for the lower end of the market, and there are also some makes that are rather superior and might be regarded as status symbols in the same way as certain motor vehicles are more desirable than others.

On the whole what you get is what you pay for, but the caravan industry today is competitive enough for a little shopping around to be worthwhile if you have the time and inclination.

Serious bargain hunters generally wait for the annual state caravan and camping shows when manufacturers and dealers become very generous, offering impressive discounts and well priced ‘show specials’.

Whatever you pay, if the caravan brings you a pleasurable lifestyle it’s money well spent. Reproduced courtesy of Caravan World Magazine.

Available at Newsagents monthly.

AUTHOR: LETS GO CARAVANING

Caravan Buying Tips

Crusader Family bunk caravans

Crusader Family caravan

Crusader Family bunk caravans

Crusader Family bunk caravans offer each family the opportunity to create precious moments that live forever. Opulently appointed and designed for the family, the Crusaders Family range of caravans have a huge range of features including innerspring mattresses on all beds, a bathroom and a large kitchen, loads of storage space and so many luxuries to leave you contented and relaxed after each memorable day

Each Crusader Caravan model offers a range of different floor plans and extras to make sure your van is perfect for your style of holidaying. Compare the details of each model within this range to see which one best fits your needs.

The Family Castle offers a spacious and luxuriously equipped caravan for the whole family.

Crusader family bunk caravansCrusader family bunk caravansCrusader family bunk caravans

The Family Palace offers enough style and room for every member of the family to feel like royalty.

Crusader family bunk caravans

Crusader is proud of its Family range of caravans. The self titled Family Bunkie is well and truly a hit with the family market as it offers everything that a family is looking for in a bunk caravan – well built, two bunks as standard, a bathroom, air conditioning, a large awning, a well equipped kitchen, DVD radio and CD entertainment systems, loads of storage and of course, comfortable beds all with innerspring mattresses, even the bunks.

Crusader family bunk caravans

First look: Crusader Musketeer Aramis

Crusader Caravans

 

First look: Crusader Musketeer Aramis

Crusader goes down full gloss route with its popular touring caravan

To the casual observer, Crusader caravans don’t really stand out from others in the mainstream crowd.

Yet on every road trip I’ve done recently in the eastern half of Australia, I’ve been amazed by the number of Crusaders of all models that we’ve seen. What’s the secret behind their popularity?

It’s not price, because while good value, the $68,990 recommended price of the 20ft Musketeer Aramis see here is not exceptional, even when discounted to $66.990 at shows, or maybe even less with some arm-twisting at the dealership.

That’s with Crusader’s own thick composite walls and floor – a little less if you specify ‘old school’ ribbed aluminium wall cladding.It’s not really about their equipment either, as the Aramis, while well-equipped with every wanted feature, is not exceptional in this area. To be competitive in this segment today, your standard items need to include a 150mm diameter galvanised chassis, twin fresh water tanks, at least a 100Ah deep cycle battery, around 150 Watts of solar on the roof, a big fridge, a separate shower and toilet bathroom with a washing machine, and an entertainment system with a multi-speaker radio and a good-sized TV.

Crusader Caravans

Composite clad

That brings us to the way Crusaders are built and here I found some clues.

While many of the caravans in the $60,000 bracket still feature ‘stick and tin’ construction, Crusaders for the past 18 months or so have moved on.

While you can still save a few dollars by ordering your Crusader with corrugated aluminium cladding, most are now built with an industry-leading 30mm thick composite, hail and leak-resistant one-piece roof, a rigid, one-piece 42mm thick insulated floor with a unique fibreglass lower under-surface to further insulate the van and protect against stone and road debris damage, and thick aluminium composite smooth walls laid over insulated stud walls, with batons only 250mm apart.

Crusader Caravans

This form of construction not only offers insulation and strength benefits, but also helps keep the empty weight (Tare) of the Aramis down to 2126kg, which means you can legally tow it with a later model Ford Territory, a Mitsubishi Pajero, or every Toyota Prado up to the latest model and still have capacity to spare for clothing and full water tanks.

For non-technical types, that means they build a strong, well-insulated modern caravan that’s designed to travel and last.

However, Crusader also offers customers variable ATMs (laden weight) and our Aramis review van with its conventional eye-to-eye tandem axle leaf spring suspension, was built with an ATM of 2900kg, which meant it could legally carry a payload of more than 700kg, albeit behind a 3000kg or higher-rated tow vehicle if you load it to its capacity.

Crusader Caravans

Tall roofline

There are some other interesting things about Crusaders. For example, their interiors have a massive 2032cm (7ft 6in) ceiling height, so your lofty friends won’t bump their heads. And you can also have the bed fitted with a longer 6ft 4in innerspring mattress if you wish, to avoid lanky legs hanging over the end.

Inside, all the cupboards have one-piece glazed and laser-cut doors – not MDF – while they come with full-width piano hinges for extra rigidity and are fitted with sturdy torsion-type hinges.

Then go through the included items and in most cases,  you’ll find better-than-usual products for a caravan in this price bracket – certainly not the cheapest.

Crusader Caravans

For example, the Dometic RMDX25 fridge-freezer is a large 190 litre premium model. A three-way 12v/240v/gas model is standard, but you can specify a compressor model at no extra cost.

Some caravans in this price bracket have a 2.5kg capacity washing machine, but the one fitted to the Aramis is a 3.5kg capacity NCE.; the TV is a 24-inch NCE unit (not the usual 22in screen that most manufacturers seem to offer) and the wiring is all 8mm diameter and includes a circuit breaker.

All small details, but overall, they add up to an impressive package.

Crusader Caravans

Mainstream styling

Outside, the Crusader Musketeer Aramis is attractive, if not outstanding in any particular way.

There’s no front or rear window, something I’m comfortable with, as they’re both potential areas for dust or water ingress, but there are handy towel rails at both ends – something that was introduced on Evernew caravans many years ago. They’re ideal for airing beach and bathroom towels and it’s surprising that many other makers don’t fit them.

There’s no front boot either, with the room it would have taken up added to the interior space, while in its place there’s a large full tunnel boot, which is just as well, as there’s no other exterior storage.

Crusader Caravans

Underneath, the Aramis’s twin 95-litre fresh water tanks are both mounted ahead of the front axle, ensuring that there’s still a reasonable ball weight, although at just 112kg it’s very light for a caravan of its length.

Yet despite both water tanks being empty for our test and the van‘s single 205/70-15 spare wheel hanging out the back on the twin adjustable-arm back bumper, the Aramis towed very well behind the Land Drover Discovery 3 and felt light, agile and stable at posted highway speeds, with only minimal reaction to passing B-Doubles. This suggests that Crusader and its chassis supplier have done their homework properly with the under 2500kg towing market primarily in mind.

Crusader Caravans

The forward location of the water tanks exposes the stone-resistant fibreglass lining of the thick composite floor to stones, but so tough is this lining that they should just bounce off.

The plastic rear waste pipe won’t be so lucky and some simple foam or carpet lagging would be ideal to ward off missiles. Similarly, a simple stone-shield would help protect the A-frame’s exterior water tap, which otherwise is located in the flight path of stones thrown up by the tow car.

Crusader Caravans

Conventional layout

Inside, there’s also no surprise in the layout of the 20ft Aramis, which follows what most Australian caravanners want. The rear entry door leads you either into the bathroom to the right, or left into the kitchen and its opposing café dinette lounge, with the island north-south bed at the front.

There’s a good sense of space here, aided by the van’s large windows and two people should be able to get on together fine on a trip.

Crusader Caravans

If storage space is limited outside, the flipside is true inside the Aramis. I counted no fewer than 23 separate cupboards and drawers in the bedroom and living area, plus a large divided storage area under the queen bed.

Then, there were a further four large storage cupboards in the rear bathroom – plenty to store all the towels and linen you might need on the lengthy touring trip that this caravan is built for.

Crusader Caravans

One final mention here needs to go to Hinterland Caravans, Crusader’s Gold Coast dealer based at Burleigh Heads.

After they sell a caravan and deliver the standard two-hour customer briefing, Hinterland books the new owners into a local tourist park for two nights and encourages them to try out every feature of their new van. If there are any problems, they send their dedicated handover product specialist to the park to explain, or solve the issue.

Crusader Caravans

Verdict

Judging by this 20ft couple’s van, there are a number of good reasons why you see so many Crusaders plying Australia’s main travel routes: they’re built tough for touring and offer value for money in terms of their construction and included features.

2018 Crusader Musketeer Aramis 20ft 

Travel length: 8230mm
External body length: 6320mm
External body width: 2340mm
Travel height: 2850mm
Tare: 290kg
ATM: 2126kg
Payload: 774kg
Ball weight (Tare): 112kg
Body: Aluminium clad composite walls, 30mm one-piece fibreglass composite roof and 42mm composite floor.
Chassis: 150mm x 50mm Duragal 3mm box section chassis and A-frame
Suspension: Eye-to-eye tandem leaf spring
Brakes: 10-in electric drums
Wheels: 15in alloy with 205/70-15 tyres
Fresh water: 2 x 95 litre
Battery: 1 x 100Ah deep cycle
Solar: 1 x 150W roof-mounted panel
Gas: 2 x 9kg
Cooking: 4 burner (3 gas + I electric) Swift 500-Series cooktop, plus grill and dLuxx microwave oven
Fridge: 190l Dometic 3-way
Bathroom: Separate shower, toilet and vanity
Washing machine: NCE 3.5kg top-loading
Lighting: LED throughout                                                                                              Price: $66,990
Supplied by: Hinterland Caravans, Burleigh Heads, Qld 
More info: Crusader Caravans

Crusader Caravans Build Quality Part II

The side walls sit on top of the floor

Crusader Caravans walls are manufactured from strong Meranti timber but Crusader goes one better and provides supports of 40mm by 21mm timber every 250mm along the length of the caravan and install corner blocks to take the stress of each opening. The walls are also fully insulated and rather than attaching the walls to the side of the floor as is common, Crusader locates each wall into slots on the top of the floor and then the walls support the roof. Why is this important? The thick floor and the 6” chassis takes the weight of both the walls and roof and they move together whilst travelling whereas by attaching walls directly to the chassis, vibration and flexing can loosen over time causing distortion throughout the caravan.

Higher 80” ceilings for that spacious feeling

If you have ever wondered why a Crusader caravan feels that much more spacious well the secret is in the ceiling. Whilst finished in a gloss white to reflect the available lighting from the numerous LED lights and very large windows, Crusader builds each caravan to a standard ceiling height of 80” whereas most of our competitors stay at the traditional 78” height. Two inches might not sound much in itself but it does make a rather dramatic difference to the livability of the caravan inside and even more so if you yourself are tall.

Strong Duratech 6″ box steel chassis

Australian chassis manufacturers understand the tough road conditions that Australia has to offer and engineer an extensive range of caravan chassis to suit our customer’s needs. We only used chassis that are manufactured in Australia and the type of chassis fitted to all 2017 Crusader caravans are the thicker, stronger Duragal chassis with 6” chassis rails and cross members coupled to a similarly manufactured 6” drawbar. Despite this, when the thicker composite floor and roof are taken into account, our caravans, whilst stronger than before, are lighter than ever. Our chassis are of a box section design, manufactured from Australian blue steel meaning that each metal component is a full “box” shape and obviously far stronger than the often used C section chassis. All chassis are compliant with Australian Design Rules and industry codes of practice and are fully rust protected.

Crusader Caravans

Suspension

Crusader caravans are strong and are designed to cope with the many different road surfaces found throughout Australia. The suspension is matched to each model with particular attention given to axle load, tare weight and brake size to provide more carrying capacity than the average caravan on the market today. Crusader commonly adopts Eye to Eye or Roller Rocker suspension to the range and for journeys on paved roads, rougher development roads or indeed graded dirt roads, our standard suspension in conjunction with light truck wheels and tyres is more than suitable. If you so desire you can opt to include shock absorbers or go even further into a fully independent coil spring suspension such as Cruisemaster CRS, Tuff Ride, Control Rider or Cruisemaster XT.

Crusader CaravansCrusader Caravans

Crusader Caravans furniture

Crusader Caravans structural partitions are built into every caravan to provide further structural support. Cupboards are screwed to the wall from the outside thus creating a structure that will take an extreme amount of weight and the stress and strain of road movement. There is no MDF in a Crusader caravan. Each cupboard door is of quality ply and is laminated with acrylic material chosen from a wide range of colours. To compliment the doors, soft closing struts are provided on each overhead together with full width piano hinges for greater rigidity and will never requiring adjustment. Internally, the cupboard openings are finished with rounded moldings which is indicative of the lengths Crusader will go to present a quality caravan for sale.

Crusader Caravans

Electrical systems are grouped together

Crusader Caravans electrical controls are grouped together in an internal overhead cabinet, items such as the solar panel controller, the fuse box, water pump switch and the internal hot water system cutoff switch. This grouping of equipment is uncommon in the caravan industry and is a great feature when needing to easily access these controls. 12v and 240v electrical systems are a critical component of any caravan as well as ensuring the safety of the occupants by safeguarding against overload situations. The push button fuse reset mechanism and the inclusion of a master circuit breaker takes the worry out of everything electric. Crusader exceeds industry specification by using thicker wiring throughout the caravan and offers segregated circuits rather than a system of one main circuit and minimal switches.

Your Safety is important

Every Crusader Caravan is engineered to perform well on the road assuming a proper distribution of the load occurs and it is properly attached to the tow vehicle. The breakaway feature on every Crusader Caravan will cut in should the caravan somehow detach itself from your tow vehicle, a highly unlikely occurrence generally caused by incorrect coupling in the first place. The breakaway system will immediately apply the brakes and stop the caravan from rolling any further – a great safety feature. Your caravan is provided with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm for your safety and a four point locking security door that offers you security and at the same time allows great air ventilation on those hot and humid nights.

Houliahns Crusader

Crusader Caravans Build Quality Part I

Crusader Caravans Roof Heat test

Crusader incorporates a thick composite roof and floor into the construction of each 2017 model caravan. Composite construction is the process of joining a number of layers of material together and creating a strong and reliable component designed to cope with movement stress, climatic conditions and general usage.

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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

We engage in extensive research and development to design and manufacture innovative and quality caravans using the latest materials available, already proven in similar applications. We take feedback from our dealers and customers, our own experience from many years in the caravan industry also counts for much and our engineers and designers collaborate to ensure that all of our caravans will more than tolerate expected road and climatic conditions and be fully compliant to Government safety and design regulations.

THE LATEST IN CAD TECHNOLOGY

Crusader Caravans has a dedicated team of designers ready to assist our customers to bring life to their desired caravan. Offering the latest in colours, design strategies, product development, accessories and even legislatively advancements, Crusader Caravans can offer a wide choice of models, variations, options and accessories for even the most discerning customer. Model designs are developed on CAD Computer Aided Design systems and information gathered from the three dimensional images are analysed for optimum efficiency and are formulated into the final caravan designs for prototype construction and testing.

COMPOSITE FLOORS

The floor is a vital aspect of Crusaders construction processes as it supports the walls which in turn support the roof so together they form a flexible load sharing structure aligned perfectly to ensure that all internal fittings such as cabinets and windows fit perfectly into pre designed locations. Our floor is thick, 42mm thick in fact and comprises a top layer of industrial strength vinyl on a one piece plywood board then a massive 30mm of high density polystyrene foam insulation and lastly a skin of hard wearing fibreglass which acts as a shield against road debris, mud and other substances. The fibreglass underbody skin and the high density foam act as a reliable insulator against cold or heat creep from the ground, depending where you are parked and this makes for more comfortable caravan living.

COMPOSITE ROOFS

Complementing the floor, the roof is also of a composite one piece design without joins, 30mm thick and incorporates the same high density polystyrene foam for greater protection against the weather. The fibreglass top skin offers additional protection against hail and other debris such as small branches, in fact, the roof is strong enough to walk on. The one piece roof actually extends from the top of the front checker plate, up and over then down to the bottom checker plate on the back wall. You can’t get any more “one piece” than that.

 

Information provided by Crusader Caravans