FollowupID: 632350 Submitted:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 19:55
Member - Josh (VIC) posted:
Hi holdsworth family,
We spent more than 12 months looking at camper trailers. We went to every camping show and every showroom we could find. We were amazed at how many different models there.
Before I go into the types of trailers there are can I say good on you for doing the trip, it is an adventure you will not forget. Don't go in it thinking it is all roses and you won't be disappointed. We have bad days when we wish we had more space or were not camped next to others so we could argue in private. But one thing I can say is the bond between our family is stronger than ever before and the places
we have seen out weigh the bad days a hundred fold.
Our camper is an O'briens offroad family deluxe (I think they have changed the name now). We looked at Red rock, southern cross
and Adventure trailers as other options. These were all well built trailers that would have suited our needs in different price ranges. When looking at campers ask if they can put them up for so you can see how hard/easy it is. If they don't want to don't buy it. Had a guy tell it was really quick and easy until we asked him to put it. Finally he said it takes about an hour but you should get it down to about 40 mins with practice. Ask about making changes to suit your needs. We had people tell us we didn't need a kids
room, or we don't really want draws
in the back. We obviously didn't go any further with these.
Look at how the trailer is built. Is it fully seam welded or just tacked in spots. Tacked in spots will leak and are weaker. Are the sheets one full length or joined, joined sheets are weaker and offer another place to leak.
Do the wheels match the wheel track on your car. Relevant if sand driving or in mud. Can also help prevent staking on tree roots on bush tracks.
Why we chose an O'briens camper. The service we recieved from the company was exceptional. They asked what we were planning to do, where were we going. It was all about what we wanted out of the trailer. We could change add or delete anything we wanted.
The trailer is no wider than our vehicle (was built to suit our 80 series) Wheel track is the same and we put the same rims and wheels on the trailer as the car, so we now have 2 spares on the trailer and 1 on the car that fit camper and car. Seen a few campers left on the road
while they go to get tyres repaired.
The main tent part has gas struts so it goes up very quickly and needs no ropes. The awning stays attached, if we only put up the main tent it just lays over the roof. We have walls that we can zip on to enclose the awning and are quick to put on or take off. On a sunny day we don't have them on to enjoy the outdoors but can put them on easily at night to keep mozzies out if needed.
We got the optional kids
room which gives us heaps of room.
The main tent is 2.4x2.4 but can be made bigger. The annexe is 2.4x3.9 and can be made to 3.0 mtrs wide.The kids
room is 2.1x2.1 and again can go bigger.
There are 2 draws
which slide out the back.The draws
are self supporting so they don't need legs under them. We had a sink put in instead off the plastic washing tub. We also changed the lift up lid on the pantry to a sliding lid.
In one draw is a 2 burner gas stove with grill(you can now also get an oven) the sink and an 80 ltr evacool fridge which runs as 40 ltr fridge 40 ltr freezer. The other draw has a bench top which slides forward and under that is food storage. Behind that section is general storage,pots,jugs, containers, other food and cooking stuff. In the end of the draw with the stove is a cutlery draw with plates, cups, bowls and cutlery. We can access the draws
at any time so when we go shopping it is easy to put food away and have even cooked lunch while in the woolworths carpark. Funny to see peoples reaction.
It has battery power
for going bush with a solar panel for charging and a 60 ltr water tank
. (can add another tank if needed). Around the trailer there are lockable compartments all around so very secure. It has a pole locker which also holds my fishing rods. There are 2 jerry cans holders on the front and a large tool box which carries the hand winch, chain saw plus fuel, spare parts, bike helmets etc. The girls bikes tie down on top of the tool box. There are plenty of trailers that are built just as well as the o'briens but what sold us was the ease of putting up and down and the attitude/service from the staff.
Whatever you buy you will have things you don't like or compromise in some way, biggest trick is getting as close to perfect for your family as you can get. This changes to from hot weather
to cold, Being near the beach or in the desert.
Take your time, look at trailers or caravans more than once cause you will notice different things the second time that you didn't notice the first time. Remember living in one full time is different to going away for 2-3 weeks. What you looking at doing is not a holiday, it is a lifestyle/adventure.
Sorry this is long winded but I hope it helps. When you have looked at a few and maybe narrowed it down abit come back here and ask for pros and cons on the ones you have chosen.
If your are interested we are putting together a web site www.kidsandall.webs.com . It is in the early stages but we will add more as we can. We plan to put on things we found useful or not useful. Places
we have been, photos etc. Basically we want to put info on there to give people a starting point when looking at doing a big trip as we had no idea when we started and wasted a lot of time and money with stuff that was just dumb and have found other things on the road
that are very useful.