Just Browsing Expanda - Suitability

Barry Beckham

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
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Buderim Australia
If you are a user of the Jayco Pop top Expanda caravan type, I would be very grateful to hear your experiences and views. I have been a caravan user for many years, in the UK and now Australia, so I more or less know the pros and cons generally of caravans.

However, a change in my circumstances means I would like to consider a caravan again, but travelling with my adult Daughter poses some sleeping issues. The Jayco Expanda, with a double bed at each end is appealing to give us the sleeping privacy we would like, but why am I nervous about taking the plunge with that type of bedding.

Sleeping on a shelf outside the caravan in good conditions sounds OK, but what about winter time, or in bad weather. How are they in setting up and holding the weight of an adult who could do with losing a few pounds.

Any advice you can give will be greatfully received
 

Bluey

Well-Known Member
Mar 31, 2014
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victoria
No issues easy to set up pack up if its really cold take a blow heater if on power or get a gas or diesel heater thousands of us have used expandas and theres just more and more getting sold and being used for what there i think sleeping in what i call a glorified tent is really good 5 stars we love it kids love it
 
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Barry Beckham

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
5
0
1
Buderim Australia
What about when the heavens open and how are they in bright morning sun, not so much heat as light. I’m at an age where I don’t sleep that well and a brilliantly lit room is not ideal. I know there are shade covers available, but how are they in a practical way.

what do you do when your about to leave and it’s raining. The bedding has to be folded wet, any issues there
 

MDS69

Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2014
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The later models, can’t remember from what year, have hard lids over the fold out bed ends so typically wet weather isn’t a problem. You can get factory and aftermarket storm covers that slide into sail track Around the perimeter of the hard lid for inclement weather. Standard is a privacy screen that is dark green and semi see through like shade cloth for privacy when you have your canvas windows unzipped.
wet weather pack up isn’t an issue apart from you getting wet if it is raining whilst packing up.
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
10,957
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QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
Good questions, we had a 14.44.3 only one bed end but had a combo ensuite, the main problem with the bed end was making the bed required some dexterity for old coots....... No problems with daylight you could be in a dark cocoon if you wanted, went thorugh some gully raker storms and with just th eprivacy scream set up it was dry, like all canvas it needs to be properly proofed, never found a need for storm screen if things are set up properly.... the inclusion of a diesel heater for the cold country is a must, we froze trying to keep warm in Canberra in July even with a blower heater................... Hard lid bed ends came in about 2007/8 I think and a really are a must.
The roof set up is like all pop tops and once you get the knack folding up the bed ends is pretty simple and quick, try to have too much bedding and they give trouble............... We got rid of ours to go something bigger as we spend a month or so travelling and do off grid camping, a bigger fridge, easier bed making and more security meant we moved away from an Expanda......
They are a great van though and lend themselves to many great mods.
 

millers

Active Member
Mar 25, 2011
263
217
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Adelaide
As others have said, heating / cooling / hard lids / storm covers all mean that you are comfortable. This weekend spent 2 nights in the Riverland (SA) on open ground close to no wind protection with 18 ft pop top expanda. I have storm covers and no issue. Sunday didn't rain so all packed up dry. However with the storm covers, the internal canvas was dry and would be able to be packed up first and then the storm covers removed (if required) to be allowed to dry. As the winds where strong there was a lot of buffering bit like an annex.

In the end it is what you like / make of it. You can hire expandas so may be do that and see if it is for you.
 

Barry Beckham

New Member
Jul 18, 2021
5
0
1
Buderim Australia
Millers

Thanks for the advice. Every bit is helping. I have also wondered how restricted travel overseas with this covid issue has impacted on the caravan life too. Availability of sites etc
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
10,957
17,255
113
QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
Millers

Thanks for the advice. Every bit is helping. I have also wondered how restricted travel overseas with this covid issue has impacted on the caravan life too. Availability of sites etc

I think the Expanda is a damn great vehicle and they allow you to get into some of these parks with ease and then you just open up, brilliant stuff, shopping for the right one is hard, finding one at present may be even harder, at this time of year sites can be difficult to find even in non covid times, especially in QLD, its all matter of timing as to where you go to be ahead of the rabble or behind them, looking at events lists for districts helps, Sw QLD has had or will have Big Red Bash, Camel Races, Country Music festivals and other such things so the crowds flock, research.....
Good thing I found with the panda is even if the canvas is wet you can pack up easy enough, rip down the road to the next place and its usually dry for that night, as with all canvas stuff waterproofing properly, old style tent prep works well and you don't get wet but you do need to make sure evrything including the vinyl roof skirt is all nice and dry before you store it and fridge door left open....