Author Topic: To Skyward or not to Skyward  (Read 675 times)

Offline cmwharris

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To Skyward or not to Skyward
« on: April 09, 2019, 10:46:07 AM »
Hi All

New to the forum and after some advice. My wife and I are in the final stages of selecting our next camper and hope to decide and order in the next 6 weeks or so. We are upgrading from a soft floor side fold, and at this stage the Tvan is way out in front on the top of the list.  Kids all grown up so its just us 99% of the time. Will be going to the Sydney show to have one last look at all the options before making our final decision.

Anyway, the one topic of most discussion between us when looking at the Tvan is if the new Skyward deck is worth the extra money. Having never owned a Tvan before its hard for us to judge. Have spent a lot of time at the local dealer opening and closing decks and hatches both with and without the skyward deck and cant decide either way. The quick access / convenience seems good but there seems to be a lot of extra stuff going on that would add weight and things to fail.

Any thoughts from experienced Tvan owners would be appreciated.


Regards

Craig



Offline hulbyw

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 11:50:04 AM »
We have the skyward lift and really use it a lot. Must admit that I thought it was a solution to a problem we didn't have when we ordered it but I have changed my mind. However, if either of you are on the short side (as in height), you may have trouble getting up into the Tvan from ground level so that is something to try before ordering.
Cheers

Offline Smallfry

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 02:19:04 PM »
Great idea, I couldn't justify the cost
Rob

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Not all who wander are Lost"

Offline monktm

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 02:51:21 PM »
Not worth the Money . Just something else that can break

Offline Gumb

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 08:15:48 PM »
It's so easy to drop the floor and open the hatch, I really can't see the point of having one. As has been said, its more stuff which can break. Spend the money on other extras.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:49:38 PM by Gumb »
2017 Firetail with extra fruit
2015 Pajero NX GLS

Offline Frankrhona

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 08:47:21 PM »
When we are travelling we often stop along the way for lunch or a cuppa. We open the kitchen, boil the billy, but rarely open the back door. When we do open the back door we are setting up the tent for camping. For the money I would pass on a skyward lift.
Cheers, Andrew
Andrew & Clare
2005 ZD30 Patrol
2006 Canning Tvan

Offline cmwharris

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 08:55:17 AM »
Thanks all for the feedback so far. I have emailed Track Trailer to ask a few technical questions regarding what would happen in different scenarios if the mechanism or switches etc failed. Could I still lower the deck and open the hatch as normal if the skyward mechanism failed or if it was open and failed could I still close it up??

Thanks

Craig

Offline RobboFJ

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 09:13:02 AM »
G’day Craig

When I first started lowering the deck a few years ago at trade shows when I was sussing out the tvan, I tended to try and lower it from one side, which I found uncomfortable, noting my back has been known to play up on occasion.  Since Peter and Catherine from Camperact showed me the correct way of lowering the deck (ie standing at the centre of the deck, not to one side when doing it solo) I have never had a problem even when my back is a bit average.

So in short.... The deck on my 2016 Firetail is a piece of cake... and I haven’t ever thought of needing something to make it any easier...  Not sure how much the other type of deck costs, but IMHO I’d spend the amount on something else...

Cheers

Neil

Offline peter_mcc

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 04:23:18 PM »
So in short.... The deck on my 2016 Firetail is a piece of cake... and I haven’t ever thought of needing something to make it any easier...  Not sure how much the other type of deck costs, but IMHO I’d spend the amount on something else...

The Mk5 deck is even easier to lower than the Mk4 one - the spring is stronger (to the point that an empty platform will lift off the ground slightly).

In my thinking the Skyward deck would be really useful if you were disorganised. Otherwise we keep the stuff we need for the day in the car and only open the Tvan at night when we camp.

Offline TimH

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 10:21:22 PM »
It's hard to decide isn't it.

We have owned our Tvan for a bit more than a year now.
When we were looking to buy, the dealer's opinion was that the Skyward is a nice feature but but not very necessary.
They felt that accessing the inside was quite a simple maneuver without the Skyward so it added weight and complexity where it wasn't needed.
We went with the Skyward mainly because we were buying the Murranji model (since we wanted most of the options that came with that) and they wouldn't remove it when they built it.

However having used it for a year we have found it to be quite useful.
Our storage area for the Tvan at home is quite limited so it needs to be backed up against the fence. If we leave it a couple of feet away from the fence it gives us just enough room for the Skyward to open and so gain access to the inside when it's stored.  If we needed room to drop the rear deck it would need to be parked further away from the fence. This may or not be an issue for you.
This access has been useful when I am doing some mods, fixing things as well as loading and unloading the Tvan.

It is also useful when travelling. If we pull into a supermarket to restock, we can pop the back to load the groceries into the under-bed drawers.
There isn't always space in the supermarket carpark to drop the rear deck. Not a show-stopper, just a bit easier.

We probably aren't as organised as we should be, so pop the back to get something or add something far too often.

The mechanism isn't overly complex. A pair of ratchet locking claws that grab the bolts on the base at the rear when you slam it down. And a couple of electromagnets to release the claws.
However you do have to clean out the dust from the electromagnet area and keep things lubricated.
If the Skyward failed, it depends on whether it fails open or closed. If you can't get it to release then you would access the Tvan in the non-Skyward way (drop the deck down and open the hatch).
If the Skyward fails to latch then some fencing wire may be needed to tie it to the Tvan to allow things to operate normally. I'd be interested in seeing what Track say to do in this scenario.

No real benefit to the Skyward when you get to camp and set things up.
 
You could make a case either way for or against having the Skyward. So not very helpful I know.

It sort of comes down to whether you prefer things as simple as possible or tend to like a bit of a clever engineering.

So far, I'm happy we have the Skyward.

 Tim
Tim & Julie
Tvan (Mk5 Murranji)
Prado 150 GXL

Offline cmwharris

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 05:31:43 PM »
Tim

Thanks very much for your detailed response. It was very helpful. Practical examples of when the skyward has been useful is very helpful. I have not heard back from Track Trailer yet regarding what would happen if the mechanism failed but when I do I will post their reply. I think you were right on the money. Do you like simplicity or good engineering and I must say I'm a sucker for both so still a hard choice.

My wife and I are getting quite excited now about the prospect of buying a Tvan. We are forcing ourselves to wait and go the the Sydney caravan show to have one last look at all options before we make our final decision. Its a lot of money to spend without making sure you have considered everything. I suspect we will leave the show having placed our order for a Tvan and then will start the agonising wait for our build slot to come up. That will be a killer.

Thanks

Craig

Offline TimH

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 11:11:11 PM »
Very tempting to keep ticking those option boxes (until you work out the final price).
It's hard to work out ahead of time whether some things are a really useful or just sound attractive and will never get used.

We dropped a few things off the Murranji spec just to shave a bit off the price.
- 240V kitchen outlets
- RHS slide out tray
- Radio
We also supplied the mattress and wheels since we had those already.

However we did a lot of option ticking that more than offset the saving.
- 2nd water tank
- Pantry drawer
- 2 x lithium batteries and 40A Redarc charger
- Awning
- 1.8T suspension upgrade
- Shelf in RHS front boot
- Lined rear hatch
- Tropical roof
- Underbed drawers

All of these options had some weight implications.
It ended up being 1.2T tare and around 1.6T fully loaded which I'm happy with.

I'm happy to offer an opinion on any other options you are considering.
However I'm probably not the best person to ask about keeping things to a minimum.  :D

Good luck with your decision making.
Tim

 
Tim & Julie
Tvan (Mk5 Murranji)
Prado 150 GXL

Offline cmwharris

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 10:55:23 AM »
Tim

Thanks for the reply. I have sent you a personal message regarding the possibility of having a chat on the phone about your experience. Thanks again


Craig

Offline cmwharris

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 02:26:05 PM »
For those that are interested, track trailer responded to my questions regarding what would happen if the skyward deck mechanism failed. If it was closed at the time and wouldn't disengage then you would simply use it as if it were a non skyward deck (drop the deck and open the hatch). If the deck was open and would not re-engage when shut you would have tie or strap the whole hatch down and seek repair. They did say they have never encountered this and don't see it happening. 

Craig

Offline monktm

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Re: To Skyward or not to Skyward
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2019, 07:15:57 PM »
For those that are interested, track trailer responded to my questions regarding what would happen if the skyward deck mechanism failed. If it was closed at the time and wouldn't disengage then you would simply use it as if it were a non skyward deck (drop the deck and open the hatch). If the deck was open and would not re-engage when shut you would have tie or strap the whole hatch down and seek repair. They did say they have never encountered this and don't see it happening. 

Craig
I bet they don’t see it happening—— just like the Tap lasting . I spent 70 grand plus and the tap lasts one trip only .then I have to change the diaphragm: a Skydeck will fail it’s just a matter of time .