Purchasing a camper trailer

Submitted: Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 13:38
ThreadID: 100618 Views:2542 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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My husband and I, plus two primary school-aged children, are all set to purchase a camper trailer. We trialled a friend's ModCon over the holidays and know that we want a hard floor camper and hot/cold water.

We plan to do a few big trips over the next few years plus a lot of school holiday camping ground holidays.

We are looking at the Ultimate Gold and the Kimberley Kamper. We would very much appreciate feedback from other families who may have faced the same purchase decision.

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Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 15:10

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 15:10
You really need to get to a camping show and crawl over each of those campers ( and a few others as well )

Ultimate....cooking facilities inside... KK......cooking outside... there in itself could be a deciding factor ??

Are the kids able to sleep in a swag ? neither C/T is really suited for kids ( speed of setup etc ) and while some owners have kids, I know after having 2 KK's, the extra hassle of setting up kids rooms could become a chore !!
AnswerID: 504997

Follow Up By: rumpig - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:12

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:12
you say neither trailer is really suited for kids...we own a KK Platinum and our 10yr old and 5 yr old sleep on self inflating matresses on the hard floor. we find there is plenty of room to walk around the both of them when they are asleep at night. we don't bother setting the extra room up unless we plan to be somewhere for an extended period. over xmas we went away for 2 weeks (1 week at one location, 2nd week at another) and i couldn't be bothered putting the extra room up then, so we just stuck with the kids on the hard floor which is our usually touring around on the move arrangement.
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FollowupID: 781958

Follow Up By: Hema Maps - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:41

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:41
Germaine,

As Gronk said the Caravan and Camping shows are the place to go look at Camper Trailers. Over the next 2 months almost all of the Capital Citys around Aus have their C & C show and these often run for a week or more.

As a company we spend plenty of time at these shows however it still took quite a fair amount of time to decide on the right option for us. We went with a Travelander as it can slide on the back of a ute but its not really big enough for a family.

As someone else further down mentioned a 2nd hand trailer may be an option for you, but you can still get an idea of what you want from the shows.
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FollowupID: 781992

Reply By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 15:44

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 15:44
We have just gone from a soft floor, Modcon, to a hard floor, Australian Off Road Odyssey Export. There is only two of us now and we are about to head off for 9 months, so the hard floor will suite us better. The people we bought the Australian Off Road Odyssey Export from have two children and they sold it because the kids are getting a bit big for it. (It came with a kid’s room that could be attached.) Interestingly when we were looking at hard floor campers a lot of families told us they prefer a soft floor for the room. Our Modcon was a lot bigger with a large front annex that you could attach sides and a large rear annex. So there was really heaps of room. A family is in fact looking at our Modcon to buy as they have three children and they loved the space. We are throwing in our Coleman Hot Water on Demand so that will solve their hot water issues. Also our price is a big thing for them, and perhaps the full size king bed!
So perhaps have a good look around at second hand campers and you could find the one you want and for a lot cheaper. Kevin
AnswerID: 505000

Reply By: _kiva_ - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:03

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 22:03
We had an Ultimate (recently sold, new camper on the way) and it can work well with kids.

Although it has an inside kitchen, we rarely used it; however it was convenient on several occasions when the weather was poor to be able to take refuge inside and have a couch / table etc, and to boil up the kettle for a cuppa.

Our kids are 3 and 6 and slept on the single bed "upstairs", top 'n tail. That saved having to set up extra rooms for the kids etc, and we were all upstairs together.

An Ultimate is a wonderful camper however you should try to get to one of the camping shows to have a good look through to see if the layout would suit.
AnswerID: 505034

Reply By: aussiedingo (River Rina) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:31

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:31
G'day GG, have a look at thread 83511, lotsa info, hoo roo
"the only thing constant in my life is change"




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AnswerID: 505048

Reply By: Member - Leanne W (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 13:54

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 13:54
Hi Germaine,
We have an Aussie Swag, which is very similar to the KK. We bought it because we wanted a hard floor camper for its quick set-up and so we didn't have to worry about uneven or rocky ground, and getting washed out in the wet!
We have 2 kids, so we bought the rear kids room with our camper that can stay attached to the main tent when we pack up. We use the kids room when we are staying more than one night. Both kids fit on the hard floor, with a little bit of space left over.
The thing I love most about the Aussie Swag is its kitchen set up. If you haven't seen them, google them or even better check them out at a show.
They can come with either gas or diesel hot water systems, but we just use a Coleman hot water on demand unit.
After sales service with Aussie Swag is excellent. They are a fantastic family owned business to deal with, and really go out of their way to help. I went to the Albury camping show last Friday, and caught up with James from Aussie Swag - I like checking out the latest things they have added to the campers since we bought ours. James was very friendly as always, and remembered my name - they really are very good with their customer relations.
Check them out if you haven't already, it will be well worth your time particularly if you have already decided that a hard floor camper is what you are after.
No affiliation, just a very happy customer!
Leanne
AnswerID: 505064

Reply By: coonick - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 14:20

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 14:20
My advice is go to the camping shows and look for yourself at ALL the different makes and set ups. Take advice from forums with an open mind. What suits one does NOT always suit another. I too were in the market for a camper trailer, I have two kids aswell . A couple years down the track since starting to look I have actually lost interest and am glad I havnt bought one yet. Honestly I have realsied at this stage I do not need one. IF I decide to go on a camping trip where I could require one, I will hire and make my final decision then. Honestly My opinion of these trailers iss they are way over priced, most times they are totally un neccassary and its easier to go witha tent and current set up in back of ute. Camping is about roughing it in remote areas. Thats what the attraction is about.....taking luxuries and sleeping in double beds with full kitchens loses the principal of camping. Honestly many buy these campers on a whim, to keep up with the other joneses who insist they MUST have all the bells and whistles. Suddenly as has been in many cases people realise their mistake in buying one and sell it for a loss.

AnswerID: 505067

Follow Up By: Kris and Kev - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 14:38

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 at 14:38
coonick
Each to their own, but I think there would be heaps of camper trailer owners who would totally disagree. We went from tents to a camper and have not looked back. (You really appreciate a camper in bad weather.) Like caravan owners I suppose.
Bought our camper for $9,000 4 years ago, have done over 60,000 k’s in it and sold it without trying for $7,000. Not a bad loss for the amount of time we have used it. Would find it hard to go back to a tent for any length of time. Now we have a hard floor camper and heading off for 9 months, not sure if we could do that in a tent. In our travels we have only come across a few who do travel in tents, but only a few out of hundreds of camper trailers and caravaners. Not sure about your comment about keeping up with the Joneses.
But it was interesting to read your point of view.
Kevin
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FollowupID: 782012

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 15:31

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 at 15:31
Yeh, we've gone from a tent, soft floor, 2 x KK campers and now in an Adventure Trek crossover van..

I've often wondered why we don't go back to the simple things ( tent, swag etc ).....then I think of the ease of owning what I've got now..

Overpriced ??.....sure, but so are the 4wd's out there....

True camping ??.......well, it's about getting out there....not about how you do it.....if it was, we'd be all doing it in true fashion......sleeping under the stars, no bedding, no beers!!, hunting for your dinner and rubbing two sticks together to get a fire going!!!....I can still sit around the fire, with a silhouette of my van in the background, and gaze up at the stars, and still get the same effect as a person with a tent in the background !!!!

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FollowupID: 782116

Reply By: Alan F5 - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 16:47

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 16:47
Read your article with interest. We have a MODCON Imperial and when considering the requirements looked beyond the bedroom (as all decent campers have acceptable sleeping quarters and options for extra bed requirements. We believe the build is more important, particularly the suspension,hitch, strength and finish. We undertook a short trip to the cape and after days travelling through nthe red dust found no dust penetrated inside the camper. I also support the idea of going to C & C shows but look at all your needs - including travel free hassels.
AnswerID: 505455

Reply By: Isuzumu - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:15

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:15
Couple of the main things to remember is a soft floor camper will have around double the storage capacity of a hard floor camper and the ball weight is a lot less as well.
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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AnswerID: 505459

Reply By: Member - Murray M2 - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 19:06

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 19:06
I agree with all those that say go to a caravan show as there are so many types now you will be amazed, Cub have just brought out a new model with all the fruit, but there are lots to choose from, the biggest part is how much do you want to spend.

Have fun
AnswerID: 505540

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