camping trailers - which one.

Submitted: Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 09:32
ThreadID: 10315 Views:3602 Replies:26 FollowUps:13
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G'day all. My partner and I do a fair bit of camping and fishing. We are mid 20's and love the outdoors. We are now looking to travel further and beyond. This will include the Cape, NT, and the Kimberleys. I have looked at various brands and models of campers but still cannot decide. Some first hand experience would be most helpful. PLan to go to some pretty remote and harsh environments. Will be towed with a 3L Toytota Hilux. Looked at the Ultimate campers and Kimberleys but seem a bit pricey new. Second hand may be the option? Any other brands you recommend?
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Reply By: Mike - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:03

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:03
Having had a KK and going some amazing places with it, I couldn't go past it, for what it's designed for. It was absolutely bullett proof. 2nd hand may be the way, just remember, you get what you pay for.

Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 45661

Reply By: Roachie - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:08

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:08
We bought our Ultimate in 1999. It was 2nd hand (6 months old....bloke had been around oz and done what he wanted to do and then had no more need for it) and cost $20K back then. The great thing about this company is their promise of 80% buy-back/trade-in (provided it's in good nick I guess), so the most it's going to cost you is 20% (if you decide to change your mind etc for any reason). They hold their value well too.
We've taken ours to Cape York (up the by-pass, then back via the Telegraph Track) as well as numeroud trips through the "centre". We also took it through Ngahkatt Conservation Park (the Border Track, SA/Vic border) without any worries. They have massive ground clearance when compared to my Nissan Patrol which has 4" lift.
Haven't yet had a chance to go the WA yet. Going back to Cape York in Sept/Oct.
Can't speak about any other campers, cos I've only ever owned the one I've got now.
No regrets.
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Reply By: flappan - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:10

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:10
Problem with buying 2nd hand Ultimates and KK's (unless you get a bargin like Mike's was) , you are paying nearly the same for 2nd hand ones . . . Generally for good reason.

Need to find out more info . Just for 2 people . . . . budget . . . . soft floor/hard floor. Size . . . . extras/features you want or need.

Reason is you can go from say an offroad , soft floor campertrailer for around $5000 up to the ultimates at around $40,000 with HEAPS in between.
AnswerID: 45665

Reply By: Member - Anne - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:22

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:22
G'day. We have just taken our Challenge campertrailer round WA, and are really happy with it. We bought the offroad version and took it over some very rough terrain without any problems. It has a soft floor, which means you need to look after it a bit more than the hard floored numbers, but the cost difference is enormous! The kitchen is mounted on the back gate, and is easily accessible, and leaves loads of room for storage. When we were travelling we met people with the 'coffin' type pull out kitchen, who were really jealous of our arrangement. We had a few extras added to the basic trailer and it was still only $15,000 new. My other bit of advice is to avoid trailers that have been overengineered - they look good, but there is more to go wrong and they are usually much heavier. If they aren't, then you should ask yourself where have they taken the weight out of it? By the way, the Challenge trailer tows really well too, you wouldn't know its there.
Have a great time on your travels - it sure beats working!
AnswerID: 45666

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:23

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:23
Anne - We are in the market for a camper too one day but Scottish heritage makes it hard for me to part with our money. Was interested about what you said: "The kitchen is mounted on the back gate, and is easily accessible, and leaves loads of room for storage. When we were travelling we met people with the 'coffin' type pull out kitchen, who were really jealous of our arrangement."

What do you see as the advantages of your setup compared with the 'coffin' set ups - come to think of it - a coffin is not my cup of tea either!
Andrew2001 Landcruiser 100S Turbo Diesel
"We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing"
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Follow Up By: Member - Anne - Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:40

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:40
Hi Andrew and Jen,

The differences are - you just open the back gate, and there is the kitchen. You don't have to pull things out, and put up legs etc.
- The whole set up is either stainless steel (the sink, cooker etc.) or powder coated, so its very easy to clean. The coffin type kitchens are usually marine ply, and a bit more difficult to clean.
- It has a sink! The sink is a standard fitting, with a tap (the type they have on boats).

The Challenge trailer has several ways to access the storage area, which meant that we kept all the food, cutlery, crockery and pans etc at the back, near the kitchen. So it was really easy to work with. I'm a keen cook and it met with my needs.

We used the access hatch which opens inside the tent when its up to access our clothes.

On the subject of other peoples comments. We found our trailer amazingly dust proof, and the advice about the wheels being the same on the camper as the towing vehicle is very sound.

I have no intention of stopping playing! I do intend to grow old disgracefully!
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Reply By: bash - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:30

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:30
I do not mind about the hard or soft floor, but would like the option of being able to put a tinnie on top. I hope it would have easy access as well!! cheers Bash.
AnswerID: 45667

Reply By: farmer - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:31

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:31
Hi bash
We own a Trakshak. Its also as tough as an old drover. We looked at all the others ( soft tops and hard tops ) and decided onthe trakshak because of its toughness,the hard top,the price and room for storage. The hard top is good because it is dust proof and also when you store it the mice don't eat the tent. You can carry 9 jerry cans on it and that comes in handy when you own a hilux which only has a 65L tank ---I used to own a hilux.
It would be nice having a camper sometimes though that the tent didn't touch the ground. eg. when it is very wet or stony under foot.
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Follow Up By: bash - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 16:23

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 16:23
Did you tow your trakshak with the hilux and if so what was it like to pull!!
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Follow Up By: farmer - Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 14:38

Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 14:38
My Hilux was 3L TD
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Reply By: chook - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:40

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:40
We have a hybrid TrakShak, which has been excellent well made, heaps of room, good ventilation easy to put up everything is well organised for overnight only need 2ropes & 2 poles which you can leave at the right lenght in the pole box on the side of the trailer and about as good as you can get as far as dust sealing goes and plenty of options. We've taken it thru tracks in the blue mountains to outback SA and QLD with no problems. Tows easy behind a 300tdi defender. Pete and the guys at TrakShak are great to deal with. Only problem is hard to find secondhand
AnswerID: 45670

Follow Up By: duncs - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:03

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:03
We also have a TrakShak. Bought new in 96 and never looked back. Cape York, SImpson Desert, Lake Eyre, Victorian Desert Parks and Blue Mountains fire trails on moore than one occasion. A light boat can be carried on the top and just lifted off when it is time to make camp or you can get the booat rack which makes it even easier.

It is light compared to most others and the Hilux will appreciate that. It is strong and simple. If anything ever did break, not that anything ever has, it could probably be fixed in any farmers shed.

We love it.
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:42

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 10:42
I've got a "soft floor" O'Brien trailer, had it about 4 years now, more than happy with it. I find it has a lot of little niceties, sliding drawer full length of the trailer, cross drawers on top that go the full width. Dust proof so far, seems to be very strong, very reliable. Check out the O'Brien web site, I got this one secondhand in Perth it's from over East somwhere, not sure as I sit hear. My opinions as usual.Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 45671

Reply By: ian - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:01

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:01
I have a Tambo and I am REALLY happy. I first found them on this site, and they are still there. I give mine a real hard time (why have a 4x4 if you don't use it), and go to lots of remote places.
A number of my friends now have them, and not a complaint between us. Strong, tough, reliable, lots of options, easy to live in, and not too expensive. What more can I say?
You should talk to them.
Make sure you get the same rim size / compatable tyre if you are going off the bitumen.
have fun
AnswerID: 45673

Reply By: Gajm - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:50

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 11:50
Bash,the best thing to do is hire as many different models as you can before you purchase, that way you get to see what features you like, and what will suit you the most, I've just been thru the researching process, and finaly ordered a Trak Shak, which seems right for us....2 adults, 3 kids.

AnswerID: 45681

Reply By: Stuart - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 13:29

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 13:29
We bought a second hand Customline Camper(18months old) and it's just great. A friend on the hunt for a camper came with us on our first trip with it and drove straight up to Brizzy to buy one. Can't get better value for money. I Know I've looked. Check out thier website. Something I noticed straight away is that they have the big inner & OUTER bearings on the brake drums. You won't get that with AL-KO brakes. We also have the swing out kitchen like Anne and find it so much better as well. Can't see the value in paying 30-40K for a camper. Way out of our price range. Weighs in at about 900kg's when fully loaded so it's not to heavy but definalty get the brakes even though it means more matainance. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 45688

Follow Up By: Stuart - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 13:36

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 13:36
SORRY wrong web address. Try this one This is the home page including price lists.
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Follow Up By: Perry - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 16:11

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 16:11
Also have a Customline mounted on an ex army trailer with an aluminium tub which I have modified to our own particular taste.All up cost (trailer and camper) around $5600. Agree many out there are too expensive, too complicated, too many bells and whistles and overengineered. Good luck in search. Cameron and Cavalier worth a look.
FollowupID: 307758

Reply By: Arkay - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:25

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:25
We have a flip-over hard top/floor off road camper trailer with 12/240v, 60 litres water tank, heavy duty frame, Treg trailer hitch, off-road wheels & tryres , INDEPENDENT CANTILEVER SUSPENSION (instead of beam axle) with leaf springs (not coils as coils are hard to fix / replace in the bush , and hard to get wheeel alignment right), annexe, kitchen breeze skirt, 9kg gas & 2 burner stove, washing up sink & bowl, external tap, etc., chassis made by Preston Chassis in Melbourne VIC, don't know who puts the canvas tent part on. Sold in S.A. by South Coast Campers & Caravans (also are S.A. Roma caravan agents, speak to Jeff). Cost of this top-of-the-line model around $13,000 (half the price of a KK or Campomatic), lower specified models are cheaper, they could tell you who your local agent is. Been away 14 times with it now (Mootawinje, Otways, Vic High country, etc.), heading for the Kimberleys May / June this year. Been excellent value for money. For a gander see
AnswerID: 45694

Reply By: Member - Wim (Bris) - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:42

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 14:42
Try "Tough Country" add on this site. Various prices and option but tough. Ours has many K's on it very happy to-date.
RegardsThis 4WD stuff is addictive,
time consuming & expensive.
AnswerID: 45700

Reply By: Member - ramp - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 15:59

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 15:59
hi bash, there are many brands and styles out there now from soft to hard tops,from leaf to coil suspension.i hired three different trailers on weekends away before i purchased to find what suited me best with 3 kids and ease of putting up[and also price].so i bought from john at bcnu.but in the future i plan on getting an ultimate when the bank balance says so. cheers rob.
AnswerID: 45707

Reply By: Paul from Adventure Camping and Off Road Trailers - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 17:27

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 17:27
Hi Bash ,
There are alot of campers on the market today so your decision will not be an easy one to make .
But take the time to have a look at the Adventure range of campers .
We have a patent design bed system which allows for the things you are looking for . A large easy access kitchen totally different to other camper trailers , heaps of lockable storage space and you can carry a tinnie on top and not have to move it until the fish are biting .
Take a look at our web site : you can leave your details to have a brochure posted to you if you like what you see .
I too used to own a Hilux 2.8 Diesel and towed our campers through the Territory and more so your 3L would be fine .

PaulAdventure Camping and Off Road Trailers
AnswerID: 45713

Reply By: Big Trev - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 17:54

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 17:54
we recently bought a Southern Cross camper, not the bells and whistles for options, but a bloody good camper. Souther Cross make the best goddam tents in Oz, the trailers are made by the Trailer Factory, both these manufacturers have 25 years making Campers. They are based in Melbourne, we paid around $8000 for ours new.

AnswerID: 45716

Reply By: lizard - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 18:12

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 18:12
We have a Cavalier Off Rd Deluxe , we have taken it everywhere and are more than happy with it ..... however time to upgrade to a caravan and join the 'Charge of the grey brigade' - so have advertised it in the 'trader' section .
Like everything you pay for what you get , there are some excellent campers out there , but it all comes down to budget in the end .....
AnswerID: 45721

Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 19:32

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 19:32

We've got an All-Terrain camper, and we do love it, but as with many things once we started using it we found things we did and didn't like.

4wd shows usually have a good selection to look at. But perhaps hiring one would be a good idea, doesn't matter what brand, go away for a few days and I'm sure you'll start to see what you do and don't want. Might help make choosing easier!!


All my friends have Nissans
I'm the rose amongst the thorns
AnswerID: 45730

Follow Up By: barfun - Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 16:51

Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 16:51

Looking to order an All-Terrain camper this week. Still a little undecided and would appreciate your feedback on what you did and didn't like.
Look forward to reading your response.

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Follow Up By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 09:31

Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 09:31
Probably should have been a little clearer, we love our camper. It's a 2001 model and there have been changes to the new model things like struts to assist with unfolding, little stuff like that.

I would like a camper with a hard floor and up off the ground a little bit, just for wet weather and rough surfaces.

It's a very strong camper and weighs 680kg empty, sometime I wonder whether we needed as heavy duty as we bought.

Mostly personal preferences not problems with the actual camperAll my friends have Nissans
I'm the rose amongst the thorns
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Reply By: Member - Bear - Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 22:00

Friday, Feb 06, 2004 at 22:00
Just buy mine - its been tested and is in the trader section for $6,500.

AnswerID: 45750

Reply By: robert4615 - Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:02

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:02
bash, as many others have suggested buy a trakshak. i bought one 3 years ago--- best investment i made in happiness. can take the wife a few mates and everyone is happy. quick set up, very well built, and will haul quite a bit of extra weight. bought mine with the leaf springs, and we take quite a bit of extras. remember this trakshak alone will carry 9 jerry cans,[lots of fuel for the long trips]. before purchasing anything check the tow ball weight, many trailers have a big box on front with 2 gas bottles, and a spare. try to lift the towbar and then think once you fill the box how much it will weigh after loaded. with the trakshak you can distribute the load by moving the jerry's around. look at it this way if only 2 people,and always only 2 i would consider a hard floor model, but anymore than 2 buy a trackshak. cheers, robert
AnswerID: 45767

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:04

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 00:04
SOuthern Cross Tent, with Annexe, under $2000...
Save $18k on a expensive box trailer with a tent bolted to it....
AnswerID: 45768

Reply By: Rowler - Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 11:06

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 11:06
Bloody Hell! Did you get some replies, I had to add one too.
We have a "Deluxe camper trailer" it is very much like the trak shak, both are made here in SA. George at deluxe is a small operator & does new ones & hires a lot of them out so they go everywhere. We have a "double offroad" which is a hard top, soft floor model which opens out to give you 2 x q/s beds & heaps of room under canvas. Lots of storage too. As ours is new you can see it at the Adelaide, Perth & Melbourne 4wd shows in the next few month as he is taking it to show.
Check em out

Cheers Rowler (dave)
AnswerID: 45787

Reply By: 10 Para- Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 11:38

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 11:38
Just one more to confuse you more, last year we looked at quite a lot of camper trailers and after taking all the points we liked from the best got a company called to build ours you can see it on the web site its the export model and it is just great built to go anywhere our Patrol will go it is in New Zealand at the moment as we have been touring and fishing over there and it has had a real good test and passed with flying coulours should and Pic's just let me know and i will email to you, it is a large camper but they do smaller ones as well.
RegardsGoing soon can't wait
AnswerID: 45792

Reply By: colin - Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 14:05

Saturday, Feb 07, 2004 at 14:05
Hi Bash, i to have a track shack great trailer, for reliability i would highly recommend independant suspesion, i have had leaf springs and had heaps of problems also have seen a lot of trailers with broken leafs, if you do go for leaf make sure its fitted with shockies and each day after travelling on dirt roads get under and tighten u-bolts. Col
AnswerID: 45803

Follow Up By: robert4615 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 18:35

Sunday, Feb 08, 2004 at 18:35
colin, thanks for sharing your info on the trakshak camper. own one myself and mine has shock absorbers and leaf springs. did'nt know that they come without them in the trakshak line. have had mine for several years with no problems, but now will check the u bolts. what exactly did you have go wrong with yours? cheers, robert
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Follow Up By: colin - Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 11:18

Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 11:18
Hi Robert, it wasnt on the trackshack i had problems it was on trailers we took up the cape, broke leaves and u bolts kept coming un done. Did a desert trip last year with 5 other vehicles all with campers mine was the only one with coils and the only one that had no suspesion problems. All the others had leafs with no shockies and they all fell aprt or broke leafs, even a trailer that was only a couple of months old. Col
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Follow Up By: robert4615 - Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 20:57

Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 20:57
colin, this is the problems that we as consumers have to live with. the sellers of their equipment will lie or bend the truth just to make a sale. before purchasing my trakshak i went to another competitor also in adelaide who told me "shocks aren't needed on our campers as the leaf springs are made special to eliminate them." i eliminated him in my trailer selection. this is why this forum is so good, real people with real experience to give comments and opinions. cheers to everyone. robert
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 11:09

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 11:09
If you can convince them to build you one look long & hard at the Track Eagle. It may not have all the bells & whistles but it is way ahead in offroad durability & will always come home with you!

We burnt our fingers buying a $10,000.00 Tru Blu CT with fancy stainless steel pull out kitchens etc etc.
In fact we just had a VCAT hearing to resolve it.

Make sure you check the most important thing carefully ... the trailer itself! There are several rogue manufacturers selling grossly overweight trailers with cocky bleep welds, no brakes & inadequate axle assemblies!

AnswerID: 46301

Follow Up By: WONGA - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 15:15

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 15:15
You said you got burnt buying a TRU BLU CT we are looking at the TRU BLU EAGLE. What was it that we should beware of?
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 19:13

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 19:13
Before you even consider buying a Tru Blu Eagle, give me a call on 0418 580847
I will then give you my home number & I will be happy to enlighten you. Before I get flamed for not putting it in this thread, it is far too much to type.
AnswerID: 49042

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