Frequently Asked Questions
Does Crusader manufacture its caravans solely in Australia?
Yes, Crusader operates out of its large factory in Epping Victoria on the outskirts of Melbourne. There are two caravan assembly lines as well as areas for the manufactory of necessary components such as furniture partitions, walls and cabinetry.
Does Crusader manufacture everything that goes into a Crusader Caravan?
No but they do purchase the chassis from a reputable chassis manufacturer and each of the appliances and other items such as awnings are purchased from the respective manufacturer or distributor. Good examples are televisions, air conditioners and refrigerators. Crusader obviously don’t make those items rather, we examine them for suitability and if fit for purpose, they engage a supplier to provide them to us in a “just in time” basis. Crusaders skills are in manufacturing the body, the furniture and assembling your caravan in an efficient and quality driven manner.
Why do you use a composite floor and roof?
Composite materials are layers of different material laminated together. They are generally stronger yet lighter than traditional materials such as plywood and provide the opportunity to create one piece structures without joins which further prevents water entry. By using the floor and roof material that we do, we can offer a strong, hail ad dent resistant structure that is fully insulated for your comfort and at the same time, reduce the overall weight of your caravan thus increasing your payload or if you are experienced caravanner that leave all you “just in case” items at home, your overall fuel usage will decrease by towing a lighter caravan.
Why are your walls still made of Meranti timber?
Meranti timber is a tried and true method of building caravans and done properly, it offers a secure and solid wall frame. We go one better and provide oversized 2×1 wall studs every 10” thereabouts and at each door and window opening we fit corner blocks to take the movement stresses. The gaps in the frame are packed tightly with polystyrene insulation meaning that every wall – side, front and rear, the roof and the floor are all fully insulated.
What is the insulation rating of the roof?
Good question as the roof is where the weather, particularly the sun, focuses its energy. We generally offer a white roof as this reflects heat unlike darker colours like silver/grey which attracts heat. The roof panel insulation is 26mm XPS extruded polystyrene manufactured in Germany and equates to around 45mm of household wool batt insulation.
How do the new caravans get to the dealership?
It is up to the individual dealership to organize the transport of their caravans from the factory and the majority of new caravans are transported by specialist caravan transporters.
What Quality Control systems does Crusader have?
We have checks at each stage of the process from ensuring that production plans are drawn accurately and include everything you have ordered through to section checks as the caravan proceeds down the production line. We have a Quality Control Manager employed to monitor every phase of construction including chassis receipt to our water test bay and final QA after which an independent inspector performs a “White Glove” inspection and only then is the caravan authorised to leave the factory.
How much can I carry in my caravan?
The difference between the Aggregate trailer mass (ATM) and the Tare weight of your caravan is the payload available to you. Crusader weighs each caravan as it comes off the production line and enters that weight on the compliance plate found on your caravan. This is the empty weight of the caravan but including all standard items such as the jack but no water or gas. The ATM is the maximum load that the caravan can take on the axles and the hitch. At no time should you exceed the payload else the van may become unstable and worse, because it is now illegal, you insurance company may deny any claim for accidental damage. Don’t forget that if you add permanent aftermarket equipment to your caravan, this will increase the Tare and reduce your payload.
Can load distribution cause a caravan to sway?
Most certainly. Unless a load is distributed evenly within a caravan, if there is too much weight or indeed, not enough weight at either end of a caravan, this can cause a whiplash effect possible leading to an uncontrollable sway. The best place to load a caravan is midway, over the axles but obviously not everything can go there. Just use common sense in spreading the load around. Sway bars can assist in preventing sway and technical resolutions such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can help but generally these electronic devices only cut in where sway is severe and possibly out of control.
What is an acceptable ball weight?
There is no hard and fast rule as it often comes down to caravan design but the caravan industry states that between 8% and 13% of unloaded Tare weight is generally the acceptable range. If the caravan has a lot of storage areas up the front of the caravan then the factory may deliberately lighten the ball weight in anticipation of a heavy load up front and likewise for rear storage areas where the ball weight may be designed to be heavier in the ball when the caravan is empty.
How do I ascertain the correct load distribution for my caravan?
A lot of it is common sense. Everyone takes different things along and if you proceed with the intent of spreading your personal items throughout the caravan then a well-balanced caravan should behave perfectly. It is strongly recommended that you trial different load patterns in your local area, using the car you intend to tow the caravan with and shift loads until you are perfectly happy with the ride.
When does my warranty commence?
It is irrelevant how much time your caravan may be at the dealership, your factory warranty commences on the day you first pick up your new Crusader Caravan. Make sure you sign and date the Customer Delivery advice acknowledging that the dealer has adequately shown you the operations of your caravan.
Do I have to have warranty repairs done by my selling dealer?
No , any of our authorised Crusader dealers throughout the nation can assist you as can one of our accredited repair centres. If you have a problem in this area, don’t hesitate to call your selling dealer, the closest Crusader dealer or feel free to contact our Customer Relations team at the factory during business hours and they can assist you.
What will warranty repairs cost me?
Authorised repairs are at no cost to yourself however you must go through the authorization process first in that a warranty Claim Form is completed and provided to Crusader together with photographs of the issue. Under no circumstances should you proceed to repair the caravan, expecting reimbursement then advise Crusader as this may lead to your claim being declined. The Crusader Customer relations team are best placed to assess the issue and engage appropriately skilled people to resolve that issue.
Can I go off road in my caravan?
Crusader caravans are strong and tough and are designed for Australia’s varied and harsh road conditions however “off road” can often mean different things to different people. Crusader caravans will capably take on paved roads and reasonably smooth dirt roads and to this end we term our caravans as multi terrain. Severe off road use along unmaintained dirt tracks, over boulders and potholes, through flowing and dried riverbeds where hard landings and body jarring may occur is not what our caravans were designed for and such use may void warranty conditions. Bottom line, use commonsense and drive to the conditions
What are the responsibilities of a dealers?
Our dealers are engaged by Crusader providing they are experienced and always act in a professional manner in their day to day dealings with customers. You enter into a sales contract with the dealer and the dealer is expected to honour that contract. In turn, Crusader manufacturers the caravan from information supplied by the dealer on a caravan order. The dealer must check over every caravan and ensure that everything is in working order, they must explain the operations of the caravan to the customer and have a duty of care to ensure that the caravan is roadworthy, legally registered and that your nominated tow vehicle can legally tow the caravan. They must also assist customers after the sale in respect to warranty.