DOT Frequently Asked Questions

Which DOT is best for me?
The DOT I want is above my budget are there any options?
Build updates?
What is the current lead time..
What sort of deposit do you need
Can you deliver australia wide?
Can you offer finance?
Do I need a second battery?
Can I match rims and tyres to my vehicle?
Why do 17 inch tyres cost more?
Can you put a fridge in the DOT 5?
Which is correct, the video’s, or the spec sheet?
FAQ on Suspension


WHICH DOT IS BEST FOR ME?

Our DOT 6 Hard Top Tent trailers are extremely fast to setup. DOT WUHT  Tents suits two adults – so these are perfect for couples, or families with older children that can sleep in a ground tent or in swags. Also a DOT WUHT family tent is available so suites two adults and two kids up to 10 years. The iKamper is family sized, and is the fastest family camper on the market.

Our EQUIPs are the ultimate gear haulers. The DOT 6 EQUIP and DOT 7 EQUIP have the option of our famous DPOR Kitchen with fridge – making for a great base camp – and are commonly used with a combination of tents and swags. Many of our customers purchase the DOT EQUIP as additional storage to ensure they don’t exceed the GVM of their 4WD. They are perfect for hauling tents, swags, mountain bikes, kayaks, surfboards, firewood, drinking water – everything you need for an unforgettable adventure! Our compact DOT 4 and DOT 5 are unique – they’ll go anywhere you can get any trailer!

THE DOT I WANT IS ABOVE MY BUDGET ARE THERE ANY OPTIONS?

One of the rare things with the DRIFTA DOT is that we will happily adjust everything that is possible to adjust to suit your needs and budget. While we offer top of the range models we truly aim for our DOT to be an accessible product and this is why we offer a large variety of models and the ability to option both up and down.

Our list prices are our most common builds. You will see options to add to the build, but we will just as happily remove items too. Some of our customers simply don’t need everything offered, while others only need some accessories now and would prefer to build their DOT up over time – maybe ready for their big lap of Australia in a few years time.

Some items are expensive to fit later on, but many we can supply at a later date and they can be simply added.

BUILD UPDATES?

We will send you some pictures of your trailer as it takes shape in our factory.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT LEAD TIME..

Our lead time is typically 2-3 months. Please get in touch to find out our current status.

WHAT SORT OF DEPOSIT DO YOU NEED

We require a 10% deposit to confirm a position in our build schedule. At the completion of the base trailer we require a progress payment of $5,000. The final payment is required prior to pickup.

CAN YOU DELIVER AUSTRALIA WIDE?

Yes. We regularly freight or deliver trailers to all capitals and and a number of regional centres too. Pricing does vary but as a guide – Melbourne $1,500, Brisbane $500, Adelaide $1,600, Perth $3,000 and Darwin $3,000.

Freight is fully insured.

CAN YOU OFFER FINANCE?

We recommend a Brisbane based company called 360 Finance. Our customers give great feedback and they offer competitive rates,

Contact them for a quote: Ph: 07 3336 3360

DO I NEED A SECOND BATTERY?

For a standard DOT without a fridge one is generally enough.

When you are running a fridge and other accessories we strongly recommend opting for two batteries.

CAN I MATCH RIMS AND TYRES TO MY VEHICLE?

Yes, mostly. We can’t match Land Rover Defenders and a few others – so please ask. Additionally wheel track cannot be adjusted with our independent suspension option.

We charge $100 for this option to cover the additional work involved in measuring and adjusting variables like axle length, stud spacing to ensure an accurate fit.

WHY DO 17 INCH TYRES COST MORE?

The rims are generally a similar cost, the additional expense comes from the cost of the tyres – 17” tyres continue to cost more than 16”.

CAN YOU PUT A FRIDGE IN THE DOT 5?

Typically not. We need at least 1800mm length in the trailer to be able to fit the fridge kitchen.

You could fit a smaller 30 ltr fridge inside the storage box and sacrifice the drawers on that side.

The 47 litre Evakool fridge and kitchen fits in the DOT 6.

WHICH IS CORRECT, THE VIDEO’S, OR THE SPEC SHEET?

Our DOT Spec Sheets are always the up to date source.

Our range and options are regularly updated – more often than we are able to update our videos. Many of our older videos are a great resource, but please check the latest details on our website.

FAQ ON SUSPENSION

Leaf springs.. can go 5, 6, 7 8, 9 leaf.. all various ratings. A dot 6 equip, would have 7 leaf pack.. now, two mounting points, front and back, greaseable hangers.. axle can be mounted under the springs, meaning a high sitting trailer, great for ground clearance, and front / rear exit points.. 99 % of our dots have been fitted spring over axle.. the axle, mostly a 50 mm solid steel axle, can be rated with a 7 leaf pack, and parallel bearings, to around 1700 kgs ATM..  now, lead springs are bolted to the axle with U bolts.. almost trouble free operation, and the gap from U bolt mounts to the chassis is about 200 mm.. the spring has to actually invert, to bottom out on the chassis. I have seen it happen, but in basically stupid / crazy driving conditions, ie simpson desert hitting sand holes way too quickly.. so without being stupid, you will almost never bottom out.. the chassis can be only 40 mm, because the load is spred over the front and rear mounting, and there is almost no chance of bottoming out on the chassis..  very tough, forgiving suspension, almost nothing can really go wrong.. worst case, you can break a leaf, ive seen this happen 2-3 times on dots, although one leaf breaking from 6 or 7, is not something that will stop your trip, most people don’t even notice till they get home.. the ones that broke, were mostly 5 leaf spring pack, when they probably should have been 6 or 7 (after canopy was added, second battery etc etc, ie lots more load put on, we quickly did upgrade to 6 or 7 , since I have not seen a broken leaf..   if the U bolts come loose, the spring pack leafs can twist, so don’t sit all straight together. They can be tapped back in place, and U bolts re tightened.. all landcruiser 70 series, and before ran on rear leaf springs, still do, before 94 I think they landscuiser 70 series and back ran front leafs also.. they can handle a big load, are tough as nails, and very little can go wrong.. Australia was built on leaf spring vehicles and trailers, and many manufactures still use them today.. they are perfectly suited to all types of outback travel.. in my opinon, if I was doing the canning stock route, with a trailer, I would prefer leaf springs, as trouble free, and nothing to really go wrong. If you carried one spare leaf, then you can do a roadside repair yourself, and parts are very readily available all around outback Australia.. they are a rougher ride then an independent, if you have ever driven a 75 series troopy 1992 model leaf front and back , and an 80 series coil suspension, you will feel the 80 is a much softer ride.. but less able to take a load.. so softer ride, means more sag under load.. (for independent coil) .. now, you might like a soft smooth ride in your vehicle, so you don’t spill your latte while driving the desert tracks, but it really doesn’t make a lot of difference in your trailer.. there is no issues with gear getting damaged or worn, thru a leaf spring trailer.. unless you drive like an absolute dickhead over rough terrain, in which case, something is going to break on truck or trailer, exactly what you DO NOT WANT while travelling outback..rule is when driving outback with a trailer, TAKE IT BLOODY STEADY!   let your tyres down, say 20 psi on outback roads, and this alone will soften the ride considerably… almost no need to do a wheel alignment, we never did, and no problems of ever getting out of alignment…standard leaf springs don’t require a shock absorber.. lot of talk often about fitting them, but there just isn’t room to get a good long enough shock.. alko supplied shock is like 200 mm long, something you’d see on a ride on lawnmower.. too short to be of any effect, imo, we never fitted them, and another thing to go wrong.. the leaf’s themselves are called ‘rebound springs’ there is a W shaped section of steel on top of the top leaf, that is designed to take the bounce/ rebound out of the spring.. springs don’t last forever, they can sag over time, but generally should get at least 5 years from a set of springs, and they are only like $200 to replace (not including fitting which any mechanic can do easily, can even do yourself)  a leaf sprung axle/ spring pack is about $1000… so , cheap, tough, lighter, does the job.. simple..

Independent coil.. we used these for a while, alko outback.. first thing, is we need a 100 x 50 mm x 3 mm chassis, so chassis is more  than twice as heavy.. price is about double, bit over $2000 for the suspension kit.. more complicated to fit , need to weld on heavy brackets, to mount the suspension to.. so takes more labour, also the mounts are heavy.  Need to do a wheel alignment after fitting, and that can be knocked out, same as a car, if hit a really big hole, can’t really do the alignment yourself, unless you really know what you doing, so trip to the mechanic to reset.. Coil springs need to use shock absorbers, we tested our dots with one shock, and over very slow driving, one shock got very hot very quickly.. so we found we needed to fit x 2.. shocks, as in cars, wear out depending on use, and the older they get the less they work.. so on corrugations, the shocks get very hot, and if they get too hot, they basically stop working, which means you have no shock.. this is one of two main issues with the IS coil. Also, if hit a large hole, and the trailer bounces, the overextension of the suspension, can result in the shock getting pulled apart.. this is why you often see chains or heavy straps as part of the IS setup.. to stop overextension, and the shock getting pulled apart.. if this happens, the shock can literally fall into two pieces, with both ends flagging around like crazy, destroying brake drums, brake cables etc.. not good, and certainly not what you want outback..  the other main issue, with this system, is coil spring fade.. if leaf springs fade 50 mm, there is still like 150 gap between chassis and axle..  the coil setup, has bump stops, that should be set at an ideal height of about 80 mm.. this is critical.. with spring fade, the gap between bump stop and chassis, can be reduced significantly, particularly combined with spring fade and overloading.. (something which most trailers travelling out back probably are) I’ve seen trailers here, with 20 mm bump stop to chassis, unloaded ! photos below show no gap between bump stop and chassis, because of both spring fade and overloading… now, without the ideal 80 mm gap, any solid bumps is going to mean the bump stop hits the chassis in a single point.. this is why the chassis must be so heavy.. in the case of the photos below, the driver hit a cattle grid too fast, something very common outback travel, and the bump stop hit the chassis so hard it cracked the chassis, as shown. This is now almost a trailer writeoff.. this is little known, but is quiet common, and soft IS suspension, this is a real risk.. and this was on a high quality, 80 k plus aust build camper with good chassis and suspension components, now out of business..  now, most cheap Chinese rear fold campers these days, have very cheap suspension components, and very poor quality springs.. the setup looks fancy and tough at the showroom, but get it outback, overload it, and the inferior Chinese steel coils will fade very quickly, and the inferior Chinese steel chassis will suffer damage quiet easily.. this happens regularly.. an Australian company, lovell springs, are offering upgrade kits on these campers, which is something I highly recommend if you have one..ie replace the crap coils with high quality Australian ones.. easy to do, and could well save your trip and your camper.. look them up, lovell springs.. an Australian company.. trailer with coils, will ride smoother, with less body rocking, something you see a bit of if you following a coil sprung trailer, although not really an issue.. but, as in a vehicle, smoother ride, less capacity to take weight.. so the more you load the trailer up, the less the gap between bump stop and chassis.. if you break suspension components, you generally have to contact the company that build the trailer, as they all use different components.. that means sending suspension components by freight, could take up to a week.. leaf springs, almost all road houses, small towns will carry spares for leaf sprung trailers. So, it means bit delays on a trip, if you break suspension components, not to mention a chassis.. my opinion, now, is there is advantages of smoother ride on a coil sprung trailer, but weighing up all of the above, there is no real advantage of a coil suspension trailer over a leaf suspension trailer, again taking all into account..

Airbag independent.. this is what we now use, on our top of the line trailers.. once I visited vehicle components, the Brisbane company who makes them, I was so impressed we decided to go with these straight away. Again advantages and disadvantages, but many more advantages over independent coil. So, the airbag is IS, but with an airbag to replace the coil.. this airbag is extremely tough, is a truck airbag, and the manufacturer has almost no punctures.. so that’s not really an issue.. (if using a quality airbag) not impossible to puncture, but very very uncommon.. still has shock absorbers, so these need to be replaced in time, but combined with the airbag, they give a very good smooth ride.. now the advantage of the airbag, is , unless you get an air leak, there is no chance of airbag fade ( like a coil can).. the disadvantage is yes leaks, and broken airlines, so this is a risk, but they can be repaired reasonably easily, and easily done roadside.. also, worst case, if airbag failed, or airlines failed, and you can’t repair, you will know about it as you’ll see it, and you could let the bump stop rest on the chassis, lower tyre pressure, and carefully drive to nearest place to get repairs.. would be ok, as long as you took it slow and steady on rough roads.. better to be resting on the bump stop, and not constantly hitting the chassis, as in the case of coil spring fade.. so the big advantage of coils, is that you can adjust the pressure, to suit the terrain, and also most importantly, the load.. now if I’m driving to brissy, on the highway, I can lower the coils an inch or so, to drop the trailer, and it will be fine.. hit the gravel roads, adjust it up to the required 80 mm bump stop to chassis gap, and all good.. there is a mark on the inside of the mud guard, so if you line the top of the tyre up with this line, that will tell you the 80 mm gap.. it’s easier with two people, so one controls and one lines up the top of the tyre to the line, but that’s how you set it.. so if you loaded up to go away, fully loaded, you will need more pressure to hold the airbags at that 80 mm gap.. that’s fine.. standard dot unloaded needs about 45 psi, fully loaded to max ATM might be 80 psi, but airbags are rated to 110 max recommended pressure.. so, suspension load adjustability, can only be done with airbag independent, and I think is a very big advantage, over coil independent.. leaf again not such an issue, as you don’t have the bump stop issue..  so, this is a big plus.. then, also, you can lower your whole trailer, easily, by the control panel, say to fit in your garage.. a very common garage height is 2100, and many dot wuht’s are this height.. so simply lower the airbags 80 mm, and easily fit in. big advantage.. then, when you get to camp. Every campsite, you need to level your trailer, side to side and front to back.. important if you want a good nights sleep.. front to back can be done on the jockey wheel, to a lesser extent by rear stabilisers.. easy.. side to side, on coil or leaf, well you just can’t do it.. only way to level, is dig a hole and drive in, bit of mucking around to get the hole right size etc, or drive up onto blocks.. but then you need to carry them etc.. so, airbags makes it extremely easy to sideways level, up to 150 mm potentially.. lower one, and raise one fully, and there is a difference side to side now of 150 mm, not many camps have more than that.. I have been at a few, but I drive onto my mini maxtrax, about 70 mm or so, then that gives me plenty room then to adjust.. also, say on reasonably flat ground side to side, but the ground drops away at the back of the trailer, a common thing, that means your kitchen is sitting a bit high.. easy, just lower the trailer down, up to 80 mm.. great. ! then, to operate the airbags, you need a fitted compressor. This is very handy to have on board.. my compressor in my truck is under the bonnet.. and to pump up trailer tyres, I need to get out a second hose. But if I connect the air line to the trailer compressor, one hose will reach the front of the vehicle.. so that’s great.. then, in our wuht dots, we also fit the 10 liter air tank.. this means you can pump up one tyre in like 20 seconds, instead of 4 – 5 minutes.. awesome.. and , while you walking to next tyre, you are gaining pressure again, something that doesn’t happen without a tank, as the compressor shuts off between tyres.. so means you can pump tyres up all round, in 1/3 time.. 6 tyres, at say 4 min a tyre, 25 min, but  you could do it in less than 10 with the onboard air tank.. so , I love this feature wen coming off the beach and all my tyres are 15 psi.. so, these are the main advantages of airbag independand, combined with the air tank and compressor.. the setup costs like $4500, and extra $500 in labour  fitting etc, so probably adds at least $4000 to the cost of a trailer over leaf (leaf costs $1000) so not cheap, adds a lot to the cost of a trailer, but if you want the best setup , then I think this is it. Great ride, no body roll, and many advantages of load adjustibilty, levelling, lowering and having the on board air.. so, downside I think is just the cost.. and also added chassis/ trailer weight.. the company vehicle components are I’d say the best in the business, have a very impressive manufacturing facility in Brisbane, and excellent aftersales advice and service.. Pat, their sales rep, has been a godsend to us teaching and advising us on many things we’ve had to learn about chassic/ fitting etc.. so , expect very good after  market service if you have any problems..

Ok, so this outlines the 3 common types of trailer suspension, all three we have used, in our 350 or so dot trailers that we have fabricated in our Gloucester factory.. above is all I have learnt over the last 6 years, building / testing and using all three suspension setups.. so, think that covers most of it, and hopefully answers many questions that we are often being asked today.. I’m not saying this is all 100 % correct, Pat, or others might correct me on some, others might have different opinions, again this is my opinion based on my experience.. I’m no mechanic, or engineer, I actually have no qualifications at all haha.. just as I see it.. : ) L

Below an examply of spring fade, possible also fully loaded or overloaded, and the damage that’s possible… note the zero gap bump stop to bump stop.. if you have a coil spring trailer, get under and measure the gap.. min should be 50 mm, vechicle components air bag is a recommended gap of 80 mm.. : ) L