LATEST NEWS FROM THE FACTORY: 22 MARCH 2017
Why the new Grand Tourer or 'GT' suspension is so important for our Gidget and our customers.
Up until its launch to the market at the end of February and since, we’ve been working with Vehicle Components to secure this great new suspension for all our Gidget retro campers, so we are in line for the first batch off the production line. All our chassis have been redesigned and rebuilt in preparation for the arrival and installation of these superior suspension systems.
This new suspension is going to not only improve your travelling experiences but will importantly provide protection for your Gidget and your valuable possessions inside, thereby extending your camper's life. Not to mention the benefits to your tow vehicle. When you watch the video—and you should— [you'll need to sit through a fun comedy sketch at the beginning to get to the meaty bits but we absolutely recommend viewing] you'll understand why we have been onboard with VC in excited anticipation of upgrading our Gidgets with this innovative and patented suspension. The video covers everything from the design, construction and maintenance benefits to towing, so it will answer all your questions.
You'll see that VC have taken testing of this new suspension to great lengths—on a 22,500km around Australia road test as just one phase of testing, not unlike our 55,000km road testing of our Gidget Prototype.
HERE'S THE DESCRIPTION OF THE GT FROM THE SUPPLIER:
Adding to the popular Cruisemaster range, the GT is described as ‘The Missing Link’ because it offers the market a true independent suspension option for on-road caravans and camper trailers.
CRUISEMASTER® GT or Grand Tourer is a brand new compact and economical road based suspension system for caravans and camper trailers and is aimed at replacing the traditional leaf spring. The patented design is optimised for highway use and with its low unsprung mass gives exceptional towing stability and control. No longer is independent suspension just for the outback explorer. Enjoy comfortable, effortless touring to your favourite caravan park whilst seeing the sights along the way.
Like all Vehicle Components’ products, the CRUISEMASTER® GT is built to the highest standards so a steady trip along something a bit rougher will do it no harm.
CRUISEMASTER® GT’s coil spring configuration offers up to 1800kg GTM on a single axle configuration and up to 2790kg GTM on a tandem axle. Fitted with Vehicle Components specification GT30 gas filled dampers CRUISEMASTER® GT gives all the ride benefits that come with independent suspensions.
The patented one piece cast trailing arm with its unique construction enables high accuracy and low weight to be obtained at an economical price.
CRUISEMASTER® GT will benefit everybody. For installers, it’s easy to fit having only two self-aligning parts to weld to the chassis. Each arm has its own cable management system. For manufacturers, GT offers the ability to have closer wheel centers on tandem caravans than on larger off-road units. For the owner, maintenance and lifetime running costs are reduced through less moving parts and hard wearing greasable bushes. It has been extensively tested under Australian conditions and comes with the added peace of mind that is associated with a long term local manufacturer.
CRUISEMASTER® GT is proudly designed, tested and manufactured in Australia. Vehicle Components is an ISO 9001 accredited Company and has been producing trailer suspension systems since 1978. All VC products come with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
THE BEST TOURING SUSPENSION + NATIONAL SERVICE NETWORK
Integral to our plans to provide service and warranty options for our Gidgets, we can tap into an Australia-wide service network provided by Vehicle Components as part of their warranty and service options for all their suspensions. Partnered with our GIDGET SERVICE AGENT—more on this story in the next newsletter—we aim to provide accessible and practical service to all our Gidget owners. This doesn't mean we haven't got our North American owners in front of mind as well, we'll be shipping spare suspensions to be held at our Gidget North America HQ in the short term. As we grow we'll be aiming to also grow our service network in North America.
Vehicle Components manufacturers of CRUISEMASTER® Independent suspensions and HITCHMASTER® range of all terrain couplings now have the NATIONAL SERVICE NETWORK of qualified and reputable service agents Australia wide.
These last important and major design and engineering changes are integral to our dream to design and build the best possible teardrop camper for you and future owners
Now you have had a chance to 'get to know' the new GT suspension you'll know why we want it for our Gidgets. However, as important is the fact that the new suspension is integral to a whole package of major improvements all designed together to further upgrade features and functions in our already fully optioned and over-engineered Gidgets. The same passion and energy which went into the design and development of our original Gidget prototype has continued right through from building our first production model to the models coming out the end of the production line today.
DOUBLE THE GAS CAPACITY NOW AS STANDARD
Hey, while we're doing a redesign it's a perfect opportunity to increase the gas capacity made possible by the upgraded suspension. We were also motivated by a change in available gas bottle sizes in the USA, this larger capacity allows Australian and New Zealand owners to use an 8.5kg bottle and our North American customers a 20Lb bottle—which is now the standard. So two birds, one stone.
GIDGET BONDI NOW WITH THE SAME LARGER SUBFRAME STEEL AS THE NOOSA
Again during the redesign, we've upgraded the Bondi chassis steel from 75mm high to 100mm high, an even stronger more durable chassis.
ALL STEEL COMPONENTS, CHASSIS AND UNDERFLOOR ARE LASERCUT OR TURRET PUNCHED FOR OPTIMUM ACCURACY
Previously made at our factory, all these components are now supplied by an Australian manufacturer who utilise the latest technology and machinery. It means an even better built Gidget, and assists in quicker build times.
CENTRALISED LARGE WATERTANKS GIVE GIDGET INCREASED STABILITY
The change in suspension from the Leaf Springs to the new independent trailing arm suspension allowed us to move the large water tanks into a central position over the axle, increasing stability whilst travelling.
GIDGET BATTERY NOW MORE ACCESSIBLE
The redesign has allowed us to With the centralisation of the water tank, this allows the battery to be mounted further towards the rear—under the cabinetry in the kitchen. Now there's also plenty of room for dual battery installation on request for those who want to spend a bit of time 'off the grid".
ALL GIDGETS INCLUDE A HAND BRAKE AS STANDARD
To incorporate the new suspension system, a redesign was required for the chassis and underfloor, however it also gave us an opportunity to include a hand brake—the redesign and nature of the suspension making this possible. We've had several industry reviews of our Gidgets and when challenged to find any fault, their only wish was for a hand brake. Done, and this has been applied to the Bondi, Noosa and Brumby models.
PHOTOS AT TOP: L: A Gidget Bondi—Lime Sherbert—next to the original Gidget prototype. R: the original Gidget prototype in Tasmania during road testing, this photo shows a different configuration of the cooktop drawer, the handmade windows, pre-mirrored stainless steel features, and the much smaller body and slide out size. There's a noticeable difference in size however the most noticeable differences are the improvements and upgrades in engineering, construction, new features, finishes and inclusions. Stay tuned for a special edition Gidget Glampers with the history of the development of Gidget to come.
PHOTOS BELOW: L: Final fitout of the gas compartment, currently which houses a 4.5kg gas bottle. R: First Gidget with the new 8.5kg / 20b gas capacity. This Gidget has the fully redesigned chassis and underfloor, now just waiting delivery of the new GT suspension for completion.The much larger gas compartment has meant we've also increased the size of the stainless steel 'running guards' along the sides of our Gidgets so it comes to the top of the now much higher gas compartment door. So as always, function and form in balance.
Another 2 minutes at the Gidget factory
We love giving you an insight into the daily activities at the Gidget factory, particularly as not everyone can come by for a visit. So a quick walk through during a morning at the factory a short while ago allows you to see how your Gidgets are custom built with care through many processes.
Copyright 2017. ALL TEXT, GRAPHIC AND IMAGE CONTENT REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF GIDGET RETRO TEARDROP CAMPER PTY LTD.