Wind up camper vs Camper Trailer

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 17:15
ThreadID: 105831 Views:11595 Replies:8 FollowUps:0
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Hi all, I am new to this site so gday to all. I am after an opinion or 2 on the pros and cons of wind up campers as opposed to "fold out" camper trailers. We are thinking of purchasing a wind up camper such as the Goldstream Crown to do some camping and possibly an extended trip around oz. We have a new born baby girl with us now so there are a whole lot more things to consider especially when planning extended trips. I am not a super experienced camper however have driven around oz as a young bloke roughing it and spent a few months camping out of a troopy recently. New tow vehicle is a Diesel 2013 Triton dual cab so I couldnt see us doing any "hard" 4wd tracks for now but having said that we def wont be staying in too many van parks either. We like the look of the crown for a bit of an in betweener thats easy to tow but still has a bit of comfort for the girls. So anyone got any opinions on the Crown. Still deciding on whether to look for a shower/toilet model or stick to the basic set up and have an outdoor shower/toilet tent? I have done a lot of "beach" camping up the QLd coast such as straddie, and inskip and then all the way up to Cooktown and back so we are planning to do a whole lot more. I know its a broad question but should i spend 20k on a 2nd hand Crown or 20k on a camper trailer? Thanks in advance for any help....
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Reply By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 18:04

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 18:04
Ok I’ll offer my experience to you as we have a wind up camper and 2 small children – 2.5yrs and 8 months.

I love our camper, but I tried to convince wifey to consider a hard-floor camper like a Cub because of the large-ish hard floor area you get when you fold it out. Think of it as a blank canvas.

She was adamant she wanted something that had everything “built in” like fridge cupboards cooktop etc so that ruled the hard floor Cub out.

I’m thinking that we should have hired a wind-up first before buying one, because I’m finding its space limitations inside to be an issue with my kids being the age they are. We need more ‘camp time’ with it to get our setup right and this is something we are doing.

Your baby is a newborn, so she’ll be in a bassinette for the next 6 months or whatever and the bassinette can simply go on the table or bench inside, but after that, you’ll need to find space inside the camper for a porta cot or alternatively set her up on the other bed end. There will need to be a barrier at the bed end so she doesn’t roll out.

Not a problem if she is your only child, but we have to accommodate a toddler as well and toddlers don’t really abide by the ‘rules of sleep’ and we basically can’t have the two sharing the bed at the other end because he would probably smother her or wake her up with his bedtime antics. Plus she still wakes at night at least once for a feed which will wake him up as well. Now that our bub is too big for a bassinette, we have to find room for a portacot inside somewhere.

So my advice is narrow your search field down to the types you like, then hire one of each for a weekend away and see how well it works for you. Remember what works well for someone else could be painful for you, and plan for the future, i.e. will your camper/van etc be able to grow with your family and kids.

As it stands if I didn’t have a height restriction with my garage, I’d have bought a pop top caravan with bunk beds.

AnswerID: 524569

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 19:01

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 19:01
We started out with a hard floor for just the two of us and travelled with it for many years.
Then sold it and bought a big windsor windup camper, It would have been great for the annual trip to the beach , had all the normal caravan type stuff inside but was useless for outback trips, had a wider track than the troopy, weighed far too much and we found we tended to go inside and shut the door when camped so lost contact with others in the group and our normal style of camping. Couldn't sell it quick enough after one trip and then bought a new hard floor which we still have. We had three kids and they slept on a triple bunk on the hard floor when camped.
AnswerID: 524572

Reply By: Tony H15 - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 19:44

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 19:44
After owning several soft floor tent trailers (one hard floor), a few wind ups and a few caravans, this is what I found:

Soft floor tent trailer
Pros: Extremely robust - well suited to hardcore off road adventures, can have very large tent areas with plenty of room, king size bed, no end of attachment points to store items, generally fairly light in comparison, summertime.
Cons: Needs a largish flat/level area to set up, can be messy to pack up after rain, everything has to be packed up and unpacked at every stop, can be time consuming setting up and pulling down – dependant on size, some difficult to pull over, winter time, the wife doesn't like them anymore - age onset.

Hard floor tent trailer (Cub). One only - never again. My experience not as good as Ozhumvees.
Pros: Nothing.
Cons: pretty well everything - hated it. Tiny floor area, limited storage, saggy canvas, poor fitting everything, took forever to set up - endless fiddling with poles/canvas/ropes. The wife and I both hated it, absolutely hated it.

Windups, .
Pros: Good kitchen, pretty well everything can be set up permanently – solar panels, TVs, DVDs, A/Cs, generators, etc, only takes a few minutes to set up - except if using flys, awnings, annexes, can be sited pretty well anywhere – no need for a level area, reasonably light, good in all weather, the wife likes it.
Cons: Smallish floor area, limited storage, not as robust, smallish beds, made to same standards as caravans, can be cramped.
AnswerID: 524575

Reply By: stu sharp - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:46

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:46
just bite the bullet an get a caravan .you will not look back I wished we had wind up is good but u still have to spend time setting it up.And will be cramped with little ones.

AnswerID: 524580

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:53

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:53
Hi Paul

If you are considering the pros & cons of the camper vs the Crown, and want to take it to Straddie, Double Island Point, Moreton etc, then you would probably be better with the camper. Most of the pop-top type campers (we had a Jayco Flamingo) are wider than the tow vehicles, and therefore are really difficult to tow on soft sand as they make their own tracks. If the beach is your preference, you'd be better off with a camper trailer that tracks in the same tracks as the vehicle (or close). Our Jayco was like towing a block of flats behind in the really soft stuff...and we have a twin turbo V8 to count on.

Just food for thought.

Either way - "the girls" will win!


AnswerID: 524581

Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 09:44

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 09:44
With such young children and travelling to Queensland and the North one thing to consider is insect proofing and being well off the ground from ants etc. Mozzies and sandflies can cause serious damage to babies - we know! Windups are generally well insect proofed.
The windup will be very confining for a toddler but, if staying for a few days you can set up an annexe. Being able to cook inside can be a plus when weather is bad or flies are horrible. All those things that didn't worry you as a young bloke may become big issues for a wife trying to care for little children!

A camper trailer gives more space but you need to choose carefully - some are a real struggle to set up and while you are struggling the toddler is trying to commit suicide or screaming in the vehicle! So if you go for a trailer hire one as a trial first - many reputable makers will do this.

At this stage in your life you might find life happier and the family more willing to go again if you consider a poptop with bunks and a good annexe. Your wife will love you if it has a toilet - especially once that toddler reaches the stage he wants "to go" in the middle of the night! The real rough stuff could be left until the kids are older and happy to help with setting up camp etc. Good luck! Lynne
AnswerID: 524595

Reply By: PaulKaren - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:40

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:40
Hi again all and thanks for the replies.. just to try clarify a few things...we are mid 40s and have adult kids so no more kids for us! Therefore although space is still an issue with one bubs, she is the last (and cutest i might add but i may be a bit biased!).
I was thinking the same as Lynne that if camped for more than a night or two a decent Annexe could be set up for some extra room.
Dont want a caravan yet as still would like be able to run up the beach to at least attempt to get away from other humans when possible.
Will definitely look in to the width of the crown for towing as this may be the deciding factor if not similar.
Have never owned a porta potti set up b4 (always just dug a hole). How bad are they to transport when well used for a few days?
Am i mad to chuck in my job and disappear for a year or so and if ya had the choice based purely on enjoying our daughter before her school years start at what age would you go. (Anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 years old is possible!)

Thanks again for all suggestions and keep em coming please.... Paul and Karen

AnswerID: 524620

Reply By: joeblogs - Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:55

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 at 17:55

I have had a Goldstream Crown wind up campe rfor the last 10 years and love it. It has a large roll out awning attached to the side and a small awning on the opposite side for extended stays. I have towed it over some fairly harsh conditions without issue. My wife would never let me sell it, it takes 5 minutes to set up is very comfortable.
For brief overnight stays we leave it connected and wind up 2 minutes later your relaxing with a beverage.
When packed up wet it does not effect your bedding like a camper trailer.
It does come down to personal choice just my 2 cents worth.

AnswerID: 524622

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