Camp-o-matic camper trailer

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 16:44

gamefish

Has anyone used one of these campers and can tell me of their advantages and disadvantages?

I am looking at buying one, so any info is appreciated.
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AnswerID: 63953   Submitted: Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 17:07

The Banjo replied:

Should have one in a few weeks - been on order for months - we ordered ours due to a mix of: features / towball weight / price. Ultimate would be best probably - but cost seemed a barrier (though resale is high) - Kimberley is great but far too heavy on the ball in my view, and electric brakes are not offered - we would also have been up for load levelling hardware on our Jack - If you have a big vehicle, the KK could be the go, because front storage is great (but heavy). The M3 Ranger from Campo is a good option for vehicles that are lighter on the ball specs. With the Campo, you can option up at any time for boats etc.
Had a hard look at the TVan....while the price is getting up, the 'pretty' finish, iffy stone protection and places for dust to gather worried me.
Palm Valley campground, Northern Territory.
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FollowupID: 325063   Submitted: Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 17:46

gamefish posted:

Thanks Banjo...would be great to get an update once you have tried your new camp-o-matic out on the tracks. Do you have any immediate plans for it?
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FollowupID: 325166   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 09:47

The Banjo posted:

Nothing specific - don't have a confirmed supply date yet. The first trip will of course be a 'softy' - fair bit of blacktop, and some sand travel probably....I'm a bit of pedant when I outlay mid to high $20's - I use a trips checklist that is quite detailed - after the soft run, I'll know a bit more about some of the Campo's requirements. Already we know we'll need a small plank or two for trailer levelling (or dig a wheel in - ground is rarely perfectly level), some small pieces of wood to level the hard floor, a plastic sheet for the bed (keep it dry if canvas is wet on close) and some thin carpet or similar for the hard floor (and a doormat !). We plan to preserve the value, so stone protection will be studied closely.
Once this is all in place, off back up the Strzelecki and maybe the Tanami
to the northwest. Pays not to underestimate the stones - I've seen the underside of a KK that did a big an outback trip and it was one hell of a rock blasting job ! You don't just loose paint - it dings the metal too.
Palm Valley campground, Northern Territory.
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AnswerID: 64022   Submitted: Saturday, Jun 19, 2004 at 23:01

PradoBoy replied:

Was talking to my boss at work the other day - he bought one last year and raves about it all the time - but the bugger won't let me borrow it to see if I'd like one behind my Prado.

He keeps in regular contact with the Camp-o-matic crew at Yatala (made here in Brisy) and he reckons that if you order one now you might get it before Christmas. Apparently they are booked solid until November with pre-orders. No wonder - apparently it's a very goo piece of kit.

Unfortunately - since my boss won't let me borrow his - I can't really comment on it futher than that.

Cheers,
PradoBoy
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AnswerID: 64040   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 09:49

Member - Nobby replied:

gamefish.. I have a Camp-O-Matic and find it great. Tows behind the Jackaroo perfectly and have not found it wanting in any areas. We go to Straddy a lot and always go on the beach for about 19k to get to our favourite camping spot and have never even looked like getting into trouble with the trailer. I eventually found a second hand one in the trading post for 11K (saved 20k or whatever on a new one). Ours has an extended annex that goes 1metre past the Tow ball and has a width of 3metres(area under cover is 20ft X 9ft). If you are in Bris give me a call and I can have a yarn about it.. Very happy chappie with the rig..
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AnswerID: 64043   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 10:25

oddy replied:

We have an Australian Off Road Camper. Researched on and off for 12 mths+ and settled on this one. $25k XR model. equal to Campomatic or Aussie Swag. Found kitchen setup better, quality A1 and storage under bed huge. We found engineering wise they are as best you'll see anywhere. Everything is stainless steel and unique strength in chassis design, won't flex so seals won't let in dust. We have been on many trips long and short and dust or water was never a prob. The Tvan appealed but seemed a hassle setup wise and the canvas will drip on you when packing away. Ultimates apart from being expensive you have to make up bed each stop and didn't favour the look although very tempting to buy with the inside lounge and kitchen. KK campers have the external back door access which loves dust, storage is less and the kitchen faces the rear which didn't quite work for us. We couldn't be happier with the AORC, very solid and military looking. The company is based in Caloundra. www.australianoffroadcampers.com.au
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AnswerID: 64053   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:24

Rosco - Bris. replied:

One of my brothers has one and they are very happy with it.

We looked at them but found them wanting with regard to internal storage space. You can put heaps on the top, but have to unpack it every time you want to set up for the night ... bummer.

Apart from that IMHO it would appear all hard floor campers are over priced.
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FollowupID: 325181   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:28

gamefish posted:

Rosco

I agree with the overpricing...however, as I look around more and more, it seems that they do hold their value quite well. I just have concerns about the box trailer type for durability when out on the rough tracks and corrogations..."A poor man pays twice"???

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FollowupID: 325183   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:39

Rosco - Bris. posted:

I don't believe durability to be an issue if you buy the correct rig.

It's certainly not a concern to me with ours. Suspension and chassis every bit as bullet proof as any I've seen. Standard leaf springs which I consider a definite advantage. But then again, as always .. it's horses for courses and a personal choice.

Best of luck whichever way you go.
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FollowupID: 325277   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 22:21

Jac posted:

Rosco
Yes they seem at first to be overpriced. but if you want the comfort and convenience which is why they are considered and invented they are a good option between your old tent n tarp setup and the 'can't go there!' 60k offroad caravan. resale is about 75% of original to.
just an observation.
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FollowupID: 325303   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 08:37

Rosco - Bris. posted:

Jac

Correct re the comfort and convenience aspect and they certainly are a much better looking unit when folded up, as compared to the soft floor jobs.

The soft floor ones have the same creature comforts and more pluses for storage and I believe hold their resale value quite well too.

I have no probs with anyone's decision to opt for the hard floor units, it's just that they didn't fulfil our requirements.

So we made a decision not to spend a motsa on something we were not entirely happy with.

Cheers
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AnswerID: 64056   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 12:45

gamefish replied:

have you had yours for a while and done much work in it? What brand? How does it tow behind your vehicle?

Other than leaf suspension, what else would you look for when purchasing one (off-road durability in mind)?
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FollowupID: 325236   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 20:05

Rosco - Bris. posted:

Gamefish

Please ignore this response if the question was not sent in my direction, however that would appear to be the case.

Brand ... Camel
Had it for just on 12 months. No seriously hard work to date .. trip to Fraser, a few trips to Straddie and a few up bush. Heading off for the Cape in a fortnight .... YAHOO !!!

Tows extremely well. 440kg tare, which is somewhat surprising given the solid construction.

Off road durability ... hot dip galv a must, together with good chassis and overall construction. Leccie brakes are a must have in my opinion.
All the wiring and water hoses etc should be well protected from stones.
Off road hitch a must ... have an Orac, but in hindsight maybe should have gone for a Hyland, but then again that may possibly be a weak link ?? Matching wheels to the vehicle is very important.

I think that about covers it.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 325239   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 20:17

gamefish posted:

Thanks Rosco
Great insight. I notice the Australian offroad campers (the expensive ones made up the coast at caloundra ) are powdercoated rather than hot dipped in gal...your thoughts on hot dipped versus powdercoated for durability and rust?
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FollowupID: 325302   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 08:28

Rosco - Bris. posted:

No comparison, galv EVERY time. Power coat looks flash and galv quite industrial. But powder coat very prone to stone chips and before you know it they look very ordinary and then the maintenance starts.

When we were looking around in the first place we noticed most, if not all of the non galv jobs were powder coated and a lot had rust spots in the little nooks and crannies where the coating had not been applied .... and they were brand spankers.
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AnswerID: 64069   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 14:49

Puddin (Sydney) replied:

We have a KK & it's tops. Looked for 2 yrs before deciding & was going for a campermatic but as others said not enough storage. Dust do'snt get in & kitchen comes out the side not face backwards. 1st trip was across the Gulf last year & you would'nt know it was there if you did'nt look in the mirrors. if you want to try a Campermatic check if you can rent one for a w/end to try it out.
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FollowupID: 325272   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 22:04

oddy posted:

Misunderstanding on the kitchen. Aware it comes out the side, meant it is worked from the drawbar side - on the latest models anyway. Preferred the reverse.
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FollowupID: 325313   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 10:26

Member - Landie posted:

Hi Bob

I'm with you.

I'm heading out through Western Qld, Gulf in a couple of weeks. Tow with a Defender and wouldn't know it was there. A touch heavy on the ball, for some, however never been a problem for us.

Yet to see any dust inside, and it has had plenty of chances for that!

Cheers
"Those that don't think it can be done
shouldn't bother the person doing it..."
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AnswerID: 64072   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 14:56

Davo replied:

G'ady,
I'm interested in the cost for the Australia Offorad Camper that was mentioned earlier.
Also - I have had a look at the Camprite Campers. They also seem to be a good product. I went to their factory about a month ago, and they were extremely helpful with explaining the points of their trailers. They're about the same price as the others, albeit slightly cheaper. For me, the big plus with the Camprite is their ability to be set-up with having level ground, plus they come with bedding for four as standard.
You also sleep above the ground, so no nasities can easily enter the sleeping quarters.
The campomatics seem good as well, so I'll be waiting to see if any "high-end" campers come onto the second-hand market in the near future, whether they be camp-o-matics, KK, Camprite, etc

Cheers,
Dave
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FollowupID: 325274   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 22:10

oddy posted:

AORC XR is 25,000. This is the base model (has everything except shower/hws). Once you visit the factory you will be sold. Bias I know. :)
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AnswerID: 64114   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 20:12

Poppy replied:

Hi Gamefish
I have a Cape York Explorer and have done 5 trips to the Cape in last 4 years and mate, I can't fault it.
It has independent suspension and for my money I wouldn't even consider something with leaf springs.
Had a mate come with us 2 years ago and he had a Campo-Matic with leaf springs and before we made Musgrave Station he lost his spare wheel (which we saw in the middle of the road) then his water tank fell out and in the process tore out all the plumbing and wiring.
We arrived in Weipa to find his kitchen had self destructed.
On the return journey he lost a gas bottle and 2 kilometres before the bitumen his jockey wheel clamp went west.
All the time we were trying to keep a straight face.
He refused to deflate his tyres as I always do and his speed was another telling factor.
I'm sure Campo-Matic make a great trailer now, but like I said indepenent suspension for me
Cape York trailers are built in Cairns and we bought direct from the factory
Good luck with your choice
Regards Poppy
I think paranoid people are following me
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FollowupID: 325241   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 20:22

gamefish posted:

poppy
are you talking the same kind of dollars for your cape york explorer as the mid range camp-o-matic (i.e $27K)?
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FollowupID: 325243   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 20:29

gamefish posted:

Poppy...just another thing.

I agree with your analysis on the suspension. I too believe independent to be the way to go. All the Camp-o-matic trailers now are built with a hot dipped gal A-frame trailer and independent suspension (Lovell coils and tough-dog shocks). They may (read I hope) have improved since your friends version??? Certianly hope so, as the wife is sort of set on the camp-o-matic (saw it at the Brisbane camping show last week) and I need a camper that will last the distance - tassie planned for Christmas, then the cape planned for August 05!
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FollowupID: 325376   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 18:56

Poppy posted:

Hi Gamefish
Mate I paid $22.5k about 4 years ago but I believe they are a lot dearer now but with more options like a bigger storage box on the drawbar.
Don't let me sway you against Campo-Matic as I don't really think my mates was built for serious offroad work.
From my understanding Campos make a great trailer if you go for the offroad model
Cape York Trailers phone No (07)4035 5000
They had a web site but can' find it now give them a call and get a brochure
All the best in your choice
Regards Poppy
I think paranoid people are following me
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AnswerID: 64137   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 20, 2004 at 21:54

oddy replied:

Correct me if I'm wrong but hot dipped gal - isn't that what supagal is? Hot dipped in zinc, inside and out. The AORC chassis has supagal and is then powdercoated.
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FollowupID: 325305   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 08:51

Rosco - Bris. posted:

Oddy

Not quite. Supagal is a relatively light zinc coating which is applied when manufacturing the steel sections. The weight of zinc per sq. metre is much less. Hence when fabricating the trailers the welds and raw end cuts are not galvanised.

Hot dip on the other hand means just that. After fabrication the entire unit is dipped.

Cheers
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AnswerID: 64176   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 10:55

bigfella replied:

Bought a Camp-O Matic 5 years ago and it is great. I got it from an Ex-Hire place in Sydney and it was only 1 year old and hardly ever used. The new price at the time was $15,000 and I got it for $8300. A bloody good buy and I have spent about $4000 getting it the way I wanted it. (Extra storage boxes, a full ennex, kitchen and few other extras). I have towed it about 50,000Kms around Australia and with no problems at all. Most of this was behind a Commodore but now I have the Terracan some more "Off Road" will be done in the future. I did take it up the Oodnadatta Track behind the Commodore and had no worries at all.

It is like all travelling in Australia you just need to drive to the conditions whether you are driving a car or 4WD and with whatever you are towing.

I think all camper trailer purchases should be for whatever suits the individual needs. There are some great ones around but I can certainly recommend the Camp-O-Matic.

You will enjoy many Kms and times with your Camp-O-Matic.
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AnswerID: 64201   Submitted: Monday, Jun 21, 2004 at 14:12

cruiser replied:

I have a 1994 Camp-O-Matic off Road 355. I am the second owner and have had it for about 2 years. The original owner had it for 8 years and did 100,000 K on his various trips around Oz. He had a log book for all his trips and showed me the photos's of every trip done with the Camp-O-Matic (his rig was even in 4X4 Australia with the camper at Coberg Peninsula) Despite all those K's, it is still in good condition and was a very worthwile buy. I have done approx 20,000 K with it in 2 years, including a 4 week trip to the centre, with out any problems. Other campers on the same trip (7 vehicles all with campers) all had some type of problem, however I had none. All I have done with the camper is put new rims and rubber on it, an extra pole carrier and some extra 12v power points. All in all, very happy with it and I am sure that I will be for years to come.
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