Off-road camper trailer recommendations

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 20:42
ThreadID: 106227 Views:3130 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
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Hi Guys

My family (husband and 2 young sons) and I are looking to do the lap in 2 yrs time. We are looking to buy an off-road camper trailer to take with us but there are so many different brands I'm not sure where to begin.

I've trawled the forum here already and have seen a lot of recommendations for the more expensive camper trailers but we are on a tight budget. We don't need to have anything luxurious, but we want something sturdy enough to take off-road (possibly a few water crossings), room enough in the tent for four or five people and ideally a kitchen. At this stage we're looking at a landcruiser 80 or 100 series or a prado to tow it.

Does anyone have any recommendations for this type of camper in the under $10,000 price range? Any and all advice/hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond and for sharing your wisdom!
Holly

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Reply By: Rod - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:15

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:15
With 4-5 people, you'd probably need to look at a soft-floor type rather than hard floor. You also get more floor space for your dollar as well with a soft floor.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:07

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:07
+1 for a soft floor camper if you have kids.

The downside is that they take longer to set up/pack away than hard floor campers, but they are a lot more roomy & have a lot more storage space.
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Reply By: UnderDax - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:26

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:26
My two-bobs worth... Look for a secondhand Trackabout Safari with a Drifta kitchen. Very well made. Bulletproof! Avoid imported alternatives.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:51

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 21:51
funny you should say that, i was looking at this one a few minutes ago...lol...though not in the price range the OP is looking at http://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/Gallery.aspx?R=16408536&PhotoID=/general/content/gc4680883668692425079.jpg&track=IMAGEVIEWER&h_mid=5233710&f_mid=0&c_mid=5231180&TabId=2609530
not mine by the way, i have a Kimberley Kamper which is a great bit of kit, but not the best set up for 5 people IMHO if your constantly on the move, being you'd need to set the extra bedroom up all the time. we have 2 kids that sleep on the hard floor section, which suits our on the move touring type holidays.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:33

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:33
I have an imported camper trailer; it cost me $7K 2 years ago.

It's been up the Oodnadatta Track, Mt. Dare, Dalhousie, Eringa, Chamber's Pillar, Old Ghan heritage track, Lambert's Centre, Alice Springs, Mereenie Loop Road, Palm Valley, King's Canyon, Rainbow Valley, the Breakaways, Flinder's Ranges (on 3 separate trips!), Gawler Ranges, Silver City Hwy (twice!), Tibooburra (twice!), Cameron Corner, Epsilon, Strzelecki Track, Innamincka, Dig tree, Noccundra, Thargominda, Cunnamulla, Charleville, Quilpie, Eromanga, Warri Gate Road, back to Tibooburra................

It's also done soft trips from Adelaide on the black top like Broken Hill, Mildura, York Peninsular, Walker Flat, Pt. Augusta..................

You know what, apart from stone chips in the paint, it's still as good as the day I bought it!

Please expand on why you recommend avoiding imported campers, as I'm all ears!

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:54

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 22:54
Strewth Kevin, are you related to Geoff Mack or Lucky Starr by any chance? cos they've been everywhere.
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Follow Up By: UnderDax - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:03

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:03
KevinE - apologies for any offence caused to you or any other owners. Anecodotal evidence is all I have... the two badly busted trailers I've come across on the road have been imported; and the canvas quality and zips on one owned by a workmate were very poor. Leaves me with the view that Australian is the way to go. Glad you've had a better experience.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:10

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:10
"Strewth Kevin, are you related to Geoff Mack or Lucky Starr by any chance? cos they've been everywhere."

It's called getting out & exploring oz Ross!

I would have done more, but I still work.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:42

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:42
No offence taken UnderDax :)

I hear all the same stories about them that you do, but am yet to actually see it for myself.

The canvas is good, zips work, wheel bearings & tires are original.

I'm hoping to take it out along the Anne Beadell Hwy from Coober Pedy, up the Connie Sue & the Sandy Blight Junction Road & back down the Gary Junction Road later in the year. It'll be interesting to see how it handles that.

I think a lot of the problems are caused by people who don't drive to the conditions. These CT's are relatively cheap, so people who have very little dirt road experience & who wouldn't normally buy a CT can afford them. Driving up to Oodnadatta at 100kmh with 40 PSI in the tires will likely cause problems with any brand of CT they choose to tow.

Just my take on it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris_K - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:43

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:43
x2 for the Trackabout. Basic but pretty bulletproof, made in Oz, and after sales service/maintenance is pretty good too.
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Follow Up By: Scotts Paj - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:13

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:13
Completely agree Kevin E. We also have an imported trailer and like you, have been to a lot of the places that others go with campers four times the price! We've never had a problem with ours. Like you, we've been told "oh I wouldn't take that on the Oodnadatta Track etc.!". If we'd have listened to these scare tactics we wouldn't have been anywhere because we'd still be saving up for a so called camper that wont fall apart. From our experience there are no guarantees. Buy what you can afford, look after it and most importantly, go out and use it! Just our experience!
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Follow Up By: Luke F1 - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:17

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:17
When we were looking at our first camper we got the whole imported campers are rubbish story blah blah blah. Our camper is imported from China and it has served us well over the past four years. Im sure the Aussie made campers are great but we did not have 30 grand to spend on a camper. Just be sure you don't buy one that has a massive tent section as it will take forever to set up. We settled for the 7ft tent and are more than happy with it. The 20 grand we saved we spent on upgrading to a 4X4. As a boiler maker if found There are plenty of Aussie made and imported campers out there that are not the best quality and have some rubbish. make sure you do your research.
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Reply By: Member - Silverchrome - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:03

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:03
Hi Holly,

I can't speak from personal experience as we use a full caravan. But my neice and her family did the lap recently with 3 young children. They did much research before buying and in the end chose a Complete Campsite camper (they chose the softfloor model for extra space). They had no problems at all with camper on their 2 year trip and still retain the camper today for holiday use. But there is a little effort in putting it up and packing it away again (especially in rain). But if you have the time to travel slowly you would not have to do that daily.

You say you have 2 sons.....but need a camper to suit 4-5 people???
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Follow Up By: The van Parkers - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 13:03

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 13:03
Thanks Silverchrome, I did briefly look at the complete campsite and it looked great, but a bit pricey for us (from memory).

Yes, we are a family of four currently but maybe five in the future :)
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Reply By: Adam H - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:48

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 08:48
hi there Holly

i have a soft floor camper and i have or soon to have a 3rd child. mine cost me 10000 it is a locally made trailer who have been making trailers for eva. imported tent which has stood up well so far and a drift kitchen. i did all the electrics including solar panel ect. the place i got none from was a group in adelaide called Far Horizon Camper. great value for money i have been very happy with it. though i will say from go to woe including the second room and annex up it takes about 30 to 45 min. just keep it in mind. Hard floor campers are a lot faster. though without the second room it usually take us about 25 to 35 to the the camper set up.
Good luck.
no affiliation just my thoughts.
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Reply By: Member - escapesilv - Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:14

Friday, Feb 14, 2014 at 14:14
Hi The van Parkers

We are about to start our lap around Oz in March, and are doing it with a soft floor Tambo camper that we have had since new (6 years) in that period we could have done the lap several times for the Km we have done with it, with not one real problem.

We paid aprox $ 10.000 for the basic Tambo Cooper, and you can now get them used with all cons for around $ 8,000 if you can find it.

You can call the new Tambo owners up and have a talk with them, they probably know of some good second hand ones.

Good luck

Rob
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Follow Up By: The van Parkers - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:36

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:36
Hi Rob

Thanks for your reply, I'll look into the Tambo.

I'm envious of you, I'd love to be leaving that soon. No doubt you will make some wonderful memories on your trip.

Safe travels!
Holly
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Reply By: The van Parkers - Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:40

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 at 15:40
Thanks so much everyone for your replies thus far, it's definitely given me some things to follow up. And it's exciting to hear how other people have gone about preparing for similar travels...looking forward to getting out there!

Cheers
Holly
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Follow Up By: jodie0075 - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:15

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:15
Also take a look at a Trak Shak. Heaps of room and a good no frills one can be found for around the 10k mark.

Cheers Gary
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