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Tray + slide on versus ex Telstra canopy

11126 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  troll98
Hi folks,
I am currently agonising over whether to buy a 4.2l turbo diesel cab chassis with a tray, or an ex Telstra unit with canopy.

The ex telstra unit has dual spare wheels, upgraded suspension, winch & bullbar & a heap of other goodies.

The vehicle will be used for remote area travel, but also at home around the farm.

It seems that although having a lot of 'extras', the ex Telstra units tend to sell for less than a vehicle with just a tray, for vehicles of comparable age & mileage.

Having a tray would be useful at home though. I am wondering how easy it might be if I bought an ex Telstra unit AND a tray to switch between canopy & tray? Not something I would do regularly, but if it's feasible would give us far greater flexibility.

To anyone who has had a tray with a slide on canopy (+rooftop tent) - I realise that by raising the canopy up on legs that it is possible to drive the vehicle out from underneath it, leaving camp set up, whilst having the use of the vehicle. My question about this, is ..... how practical is this set up really? I know from experience 'on the road' that if something takes more than a few minutes to set up, it tends not to get used. Is the process of unbolting, driving out, reversing back under & re-attaching the canopy to the tray something that can practically be done on a regular basis, or is it something that tends only to be done once in a while because it's a PITA?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

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'Bump' - just bringing my post to the top again. It got 'buried' whilst I waited for moderator approval of my first post.
All thoughts welcome.
Hi Cuppa

I agonised over the same problem when I set out to buy a patrol cab chassis. I occasionaly have use for a tray, but I go camping quite a few times a year, I saw some good setups in some telstra bodys, and good value for money, But I ended up going for a ute with a good heavy aluminium tray, with a removabe carry bar at the back. Over the christmas n/y break I manufactured a break down cage for the back which should be covered in canvas by friday the 14th all going well. It consists of 5 pannels which arent very heavy so I can handle them on my own, also they can stack up against the wall flat and are no thicker than 400mm. So for me it came down to versatility of both a ute and a covered "wagon", compactment of storing the cover, and the suspension, all the telstra units I looked at were Dx with leaf springs, I wanted coil rear for ride while touring with light loads.
I don't know if this helps or hinders your decision, just my 2 bobs worth :coffee:
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I have a slide on camper that I use to use on my old Hilux (since seen the light and bought a Patrol but wagon) I love the versatility of being able to use either the tray or camp back when I had the Hilux so I kept the camper and built and alloy tray trailer for it so I basicly have the same versatility for my wagon. my advice would be if you want all the extras from the telstra ute without the tray, buy it and replace the tray after you have built or bought what you want and sell the telstra tray to recover some costs or sell it to finace what you want to replace it with. I will put a couple of pics up for you.
Here is the camper on the Hilux.

Here it is on the trailer.

I hope this helps.
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Probably depend on whether you want coils or leaves in the back. As far as i know all the Telstra utes are leaves, therefore they also have rear drum brakes. Coils with airbags would be a better ride IMO.

Thanks for the responses so far - keep those thoughts & opinions coming.

I hadn't considered the leaf versus coil issue. Currently I drive a '92 Toyota troopy. Before buying it I was warned about the 'harsh 'truck-like' leaf suspension, but actually find it quite acceptable. Is a leaf sprung Patrol cab chassis likely to be any worse?

Adrian, your camper looks great for short breaks away, but I'd wonder how you'd go with storage space for extended trips? We hope to 'disappear' for months at a time, so I'm tending to think of a canopy plus rooftop tent will give us more storage space.

I think I'm leaning toward an ex Telstra unit.
If I bought one with 220,000kms on the clock - how soon would I be likely to be looking at age related replacement parts & repairs? There is a local choice of 220,000kms for $28k or 125,000kms for $38,000. Do these prices seem in the ballpark? (Dealer prices).

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Just checking, I received a reply from Gavin via a PM about his ex telstra ute(thanks Gavin) & replied to him via PM, but nothing shows in my 'sent box', so I have no way of knowing if my message actually got sent.
I have now sent 2 PM's & my sent box say 0 messages. Am I missing something?

(Still leaning the ex telstra way)

EDIT - Aha! I have found that 'Save copy of sent PM's' was turned off by default. Doh!
Hi, Cuppa mine is a home made job it does have plenty of storage for what I need but there are much better slide-ons out there I just done the cheap option as it is only me I need to worry about but as you said you need to find something to suit your lifestyle good luck with sorting it out and have plenty of safe and enjoyable trips. ;)
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