Holden Man's new van - Lotus Freelander

Smergen

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And some of the other suppliers like new age and goldstream are starting to build in batches with minuim models and minimum customization like jayco and getting the prices competitive
Pretty much why we've left the fold and headed across to New Age.

There was customisation we were told no to, because it wasn't available on those models (i.e. to keep price down) but we're not complicated folk and all our "must haves" were included.
 

achjimmy

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Jan 24, 2011
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be interesting when Jayco update their interior I thought they do it this year although instead of wood you get wood with swirls :)
We where looking at non Jayco's although ended up with another :)

I think you nailed it Dave . It's the interior we went in a lot of vans and out of all of them only one still had the "old fart" style timber interior with framed doors. Jayco when they went to light modern timber interior trounced all them. Well now with polyurethane ply interiors the opposition have raised the bar on Jayco. The challenge I think for Jayco is that there's less room for error with the painted interiors. Glue smudges and ill fitting cupboards are harder to hide on gloss panels.
 

Dobbie

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We looked at a friend's Exodus ...Complete Campsite ...14ft real off-roader..and were very impressed with the finish.

White gloss panel, beige drawer fronts and brown leather seats.

And we're even more impressed with the overall build quality and design....but more than twice the price of our baby.

Horses for courses and my horse is poor and slow.
 

Holden_man

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Hey mate looked at these at the Sydney show on Saturday . Damn nice van well done. For us it will be a struggle between the goldstream, crusader, Kokada and these I reckon when the time comes?

What was interesting to us was we left the Jaycos till last. The Jayco finish or lack off it is really starting to show IMO. And some of the other suppliers like new age and goldstream are starting to build in batches with minuim models and minimum customization like jayco and getting the prices competitive
Thx Jim,
Mate we absolutely love the thing. I agree they are a step up in finish, but that comes at cost, Jayco do a pretty good job for the pricing. we wanted to go with something a bit more heavy duty, but also better specced, But the ability to custom was the key for us. If we had gone Jayco, getting longer bunks would have been out of the question. Every option we asked for was provided, with no mistakes. For us the up-charge to get into the Lotus was worth every cent.

I have heard Crusader are in administration, was talking to an owner in the last week thats a little worried about future warranty. I don't know much about Kokoda, though they look priced pretty well for a fair bit of van.

One thing when you look at vans, check the rear number plate height. Talking to this Crusader Owner at South west rocks he knows a bloke who owns a Crusader who copped a big fine and 3 demerit points recently in NSW because their plates are too high, apparently a bit of a common thing with a few manufacturers. Luckily for us the Lotus is on the rear Bumper. Apparently the boys in blue are looking at Heights and visibility angles with some vans obscuring the plates at the required angle with spare tyres or second spares.
 
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achjimmy

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Thx Jim,
Mate we absolutely love the thing. I agree they are a step up in finish, but that comes at cost, Jayco do a pretty good job for the pricing. we wanted to go with something a bit more heavy duty, but also better specced, But the ability to custom was the key for us. If we had gone Jayco, getting longer bunks would have been out of the question. Every option we asked for was provided, with no mistakes. For us the up-charge to get into the Lotus was worth every cent.

I have heard Crusader are in administration, was talking to an owner in the last week thats a little worried about future warranty. I don't know much about Kokoda, though they look priced pretty well for a fair bit of van.

One thing when you look at vans, check the rear number plate height. Talking to this Crusader Owner at South west rocks he knows a bloke who owns a Crusader owner copped a big fine and 3 demerit points recently in NSW because their plates are too high, apparently a bit of a common thing with a few manufacturers. Luckily for us the Lotus is on the rear Bumper. Apparently the boys in blue are looking at Heights and visibility angles with some vans obscuring the plates at the required angle with spare tyres or second spares.
Hey mate yeah I spoke with them and apprantly somebody just bailed them out. The number plate issue is well discussed not just crusader I think there was a few that had to move them. FYI my Starcraft with rear Spare doesn't comply either !!! Will see what they have to say if I bother! I just re did the fridge vent because it didn't comply to specs but couldn't be arsed telling them. Just fix it myself and move on

For us the Kokada plat salute ticked all the boxes if we were buying on the weekend. But the four mentioned would all get a look at throughly .
 
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achjimmy

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We looked at a friend's Exodus ...Complete Campsite ...14ft real off-roader..and were very impressed with the finish.

White gloss panel, beige drawer fronts and brown leather seats.

And we're even more impressed with the overall build quality and design....but more than twice the price of our baby.

Horses for courses and my horse is poor and slow.

That's the thing though dobbie the gap is not always that huge. Looking for a semi off-road rear ensuite 19ft the diff between. A Jayco and new age is not huge.
 
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Dobbie

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Significant for me....

By the time they optioned up to get everything right, and by the time we optioned up with the Expanda, I could have bought a new Navara with the difference.

It's a great van I think but, as I said, horses for courses.

I can definately see why the choice is made but I just can't justify it.

Wish I could though.
 
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Smergen

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That's the thing though dobbie the gap is not always that huge. Looking for a semi off-road rear ensuite 19ft the diff between. A Jayco and new age is not huge.
Spot on again Jim, at least in our case. We drilled both Jayco and New Age down, kitting out both the 19ft Basestation and the 19ft Gecko with the options we wanted. So whilst not quite apples with apples, both vans met our requirements in different ways. At the show New Age came in $2.5k cheaper, and including "post show options" we've probably come in square (although we'd probably add a few things to the BS had we gone that way).

Time will tell whether or not we've made the right decision, but I was surprised by the economies of the process.

Sorry @Holden_man, a little off topic. Back to your awesome rig and palatial abode.
 

Holden_man

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Aug 21, 2012
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Hi @peterg we love it, and would get another in a heart beat. when the boys move on in a few years we will downsize a bit, and would go a Lotus again. They are not cheap, but I reckon the price is OK for what you get. They seem well built, we had a couple warranty issues but only minor. They are extremely custom, there's nothing they won't do for you really, so there were a couple errors in the order to what arrived but these were minor and easily rectified. an example was the drop down table wasn't installed over the wheels beside the entertainment hatch, but installed in front of the door towards the front of the van, they added a second post delivery without question, now we have 2 :thumb:

Warranty issues are dealt with from the factory, so you contact their service manager, who approves the repairs with their dealer network.
they are built solid, they have had a weight issue in the 2015 and lower Troopers, the Tare was way to heavy giving no room for Load. Looks like the 2016 model has started to address that, they are starting to engineer weight out. The Freelander weight is really good, we have no issues at all, though you need to watch what add-ons you put in. we left some off purely because of weight, it was important to me to not exceed a Tare of 2900kg and specified an ATM of 3490. Things we left off where things like a second spare. With 300kg of water on board I wanted to keep the Load capacity useable. Our Tare is just under 2800kg so all good, we haven't had a problem with load.

One thing we also found is, we had to watch how we loaded the thing from a distribution point of view. When I put it across the weighbridge she had 415kg on the nose. We have good storage behind the wheels, under the bunks and lounge, so had to move heavy items from the tunnel boot and under the main bed. This is a watchout, we have heaps of storage under the main bed but can't put anything heavy in there.

When we went shopping I did up a spreadsheet on what I wanted in the perfect van. I can shoot that to you if you want. Got 90% of it in the Freelander. I am still adding to that list as we experience the Freelander, for the next one..... :) the other reason for the list is my memory is crap when I'm at a dealer looking at vans :(

let me know if I can help further.

regards
jas
 
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peterg

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@Holden_man thanks. Great rap for lotus. We were looking at Kimberly Kruisers but were starting to struggle with the $$$$. More the idea of how much. We've bought bricks and mortar for less!

Would like a copy of the spreadsheet as I'm becoming paranoid that we'll miss something.

Have you had it off-road yet?
 

Holden_man

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@Holden_man thanks. Great rap for lotus. We were looking at Kimberly Kruisers but were starting to struggle with the $$$$. More the idea of how much. We've bought bricks and mortar for less!

Would like a copy of the spreadsheet as I'm becoming paranoid that we'll miss something.

Have you had it off-road yet?
No, not off road yet, probably not this year given our current planned trips, maybe next year. Xmas hols we are heading your way actually, doing Canberra then on to Melbourne, with the GOR, halls gap, and Kosciusko in the mix.

If you pm me your email address, I'll shoot you the list.

Jas

And yes dave, I do like it.... :)
 
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