Chinese camper trailers, again.............

Submitted: Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 18:47
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Well, We moved from tenting out the back of the car as we travel to towing a camper trailer a couple of years ago; I must admit, I hated the idea of towing a trailer while on holiday, but my wife made it pretty clear that if we didn't, she wasn't going to keep sleeping in a tent! A compromise was required!

We researched heaps & looked at what was on offer. I was gobsmacked by the prices of some of the stuff! I was also amazed at the disparity in quality of some of the cheaper stuff from China that was being sold here. Some of it was complete rubbish, but other stuff seemed OK.

The end result is that we've had one of the earlier Chinese camper trailers for a couple of years now & it's been a sensational (a contributor here called it "cheap Chinese crackers" once, that made me smile, so that's what we call it (we managed to shake an ARB canopy to bits on one trip, but the cheap Chinese crackers came through without so much as a flat tire)

This thing has traveled some pretty ordinary roads, over some pretty decent distances & has exceeded my expectations in every way. I really do like this trailer!

But, it's a soft floor camper & my better half has well & truly had enough of putting it up & taking it down every day as we travel (another compromise was required!)

We've been stalking caravan & camping shows, plus driving around just about every supplier in Adelaide looking for a replacement for quite a while now; I REALLY liked the Cub Spacematic, BUT $25,000??? No way I was going to spend that on a CT.

We also saw demo's of some of the stuff people rave about & to be honest, they looked more work than our current set up.

So............ we've bought some more cheap Chinese crackers!

This time a hard floor, off road thingy whatsit!

It'll be fun seeing if it's as durable as the cheap Chinese crackers we've been using so far!

So, time to start shaking it down, before a bigger trip!

Time will tell! ;)
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Reply By: al - Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 19:31

Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 19:31
HI Kevine: Can you please tell me where you have been looking at this Chinese crap in Adelaide I am looking to buy a CP my self but as you said some of the prices are over the top.

Regards

AL
AnswerID: 528560

Follow Up By: KevinE - Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 22:34

Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 22:34
I was very tongue in cheek Al, someone on here called my trailer cheap Chinese crackers a while ago & I loved it!

The jolly thing has gone to places that you would never expect it should or could go & it has been ultra reliable!

I really hope my new CT is as good as the old one ;)

Try ebay, gumtree, trading post etc, if you're looking for a CT mate.
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Reply By: Penchy - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 08:02

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 08:02
Do you have a web link to the new one?
AnswerID: 528577

Follow Up By: KevinE - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:48

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:48
I'd rather not post a link Penchy mate.

Identifying it by brand gives those with narcissistic tendencies something to aim at with their spiteful posts (just like what happens on here every time someone mentions the "Patrol" word)

Then someone searching the net for genuine feedback about brand "X" camper trailer gets linked here to those spiteful posts.

Thanks for understanding! ;-)
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:54

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:54
It's a sad day when the ExplorOz forum has come to this, I can fully understand what you are saying & it is all because of a few argumentative armchair experts & brand snobs hiding behind a screen name & keyboard.
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Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 11:36

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 11:36
Hear hear shake,

mind you I can understand them having a go at Patrols ;-)
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Reply By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:37

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:37
Hi KevenE,

If you are not prepared to mention any names of makers of things, Why did you bother to put a post up at all.
If product is good why not let others know about them and if not so good others might be able to give you help before you need it by being aware of what might and can happen.

Just my way of thinking, that's all,

David Will.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

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AnswerID: 528592

Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:35

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:35
David
He's only just bought the hard floor so he doesn't know if it's any good. He did say it was time for a shake-down trip to see how it goes.

Perhaps he'll post a future report.

However I can totally understand his sentiments re naming brands. Too many "you get what you pay for" and "anything Chinese is crap" types on here who rubbish products without personal experience thereof. I'm with KevinE - no way would I pay more for a CT than for a small car.
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Follow Up By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 20:03

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 20:03
He may have just got the hard floor one, but what about feedback on the soft floor that he had before that.
He said "the earlier Chinese camper trailers for a couple of years now & it's been a sensational"
Would be nice for others to hear about the brand as they might be after something similar and it might suit.

David Will
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

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Follow Up By: greg l2 - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 20:16

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 20:16
hi
i got a chinese camper with hard floor with electric brakes , 16 inch mag wheels , OUTBACK MANOR, i replaced the pumps with one good one, rewired the lot, replaced all plumbing lines, (they had closed the lines with over done zip ties) replaced the clear side lights with amber ones, replaced treg style hitch with proper tregg, threw mattress into dog kennell, had to grind down a socket to get onto wheel nuts,
loved doing the lot and all for less than 10 k\\
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:17

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:17
David,

That's the first time in 2 years of me posting about my old CT that anyone has asked me what brand it is!

Mostly, all the feedback has been focused on it being cheap, Chinese rubbish.

The answer is that it came out of the same factory as 90% of the base entry Chinese off road campers available on Ebay, Trading Post & Gumtree. There may be some minor cosmetic differences, but regardless of the Aussie "brand", 90% of them are pretty much the same. It's very much the same deal with the hard floor versions too!


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Follow Up By: KevinE - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:27

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:27
Hi greg12,

I Googled "OUTBACK MANOR" to see if yours is basically the same as mine & couldn't find anything :(

I hear what you're saying about the mattress mate, we have a queen sized inner-coil in the old CT & it's the 1st thing going into the new hard floor!

We still have the Chinese Treg copy on the old trailer, I've just kept the grease up to it & haven't had any issues :)

Our newbie has Sunraysiers, so hopefully I won't have any issues with the wheel nuts lol!

Cheers mate! :)


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Follow Up By: greg l2 - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:58

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:58
hi david
you are spot on, i brought mine off a bloke who brought 6 off a bloke who brought in 12, mine look the same as many imports, less a few things different, would be same factory putting out slightly different types. when i brought mine there was still 2 to be found on google and one in the yard where i brought mine all a bit different, canvas on mine has an ausie manfactured tag, i love the idea of having the only wheel spanner that fits my my camper

cheers and happy camping
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Follow Up By: greg l2 - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 21:23

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 21:23
Hi KevinE

Try TTI Campers Outback Manor

cheers
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 19:27

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 19:27
Cheers Greg,

I found a link to them in the Brisbane area & an ad on Trading Post; Yup! The CT I bought is pretty much the same one as yours, but with a few small cosmetic differences.

Where do you put the fridge mate? Ours is an 80lt compressor fridge & it's huge. It fits into the toolbox on the draw bar of the old camper (just!) but won't fit into the toolbox on the new one - it's 600mm tall x 600mm deep.

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FollowupID: 811495

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 10:24

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 10:24
I myself have been researching camper trailers suited for the out back. I had a budget of $6k then up to $8k.
Ive given up looking and will stick to swagging for the mean time. There is nothing well built to suit the conditions we drive and places we go for under $20K and thats second hand.
AnswerID: 528862

Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 19:39

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 19:39
Hi Cruiser 91,

Whereabouts are you thinking of taking a CT mate?

I would take my old one just about anywhere in Aust, except the Simpson desert & maybe Goog's track (there again, I'd love to try it on Goog's to see how it went!)

If I load it properly, drop the tyres down low & drive to the conditions, this thing will go almost anywhere!

It cost me $7K, plus the price of a new mattress, some marine carpet, some bolts, a bit of welding here & there and an Anderson/cable/cig plug to the fridge in the toolbox.

Just about all of the suppliers of Chinese CT's have off road campers like mine for less than I paid for mine these days.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 20:56

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 20:56
Heavily corrugated dirt roads, heavily rutted out tracks, steep rutted out hill climbs just to name a few. CT construction around the $10k mark is pretty basic not to mention the basic suspension set up. I want my CT to last with no problems whilst out in remote areas, like my truck, it's the last thing I want to worry about.
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Follow Up By: greg l2 - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:06

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:06
hi kevin e
I cut jerrry can holders off, removed gas rings, removed spare tyre and put another alli box on , has independant suspension so a bit of weight shifting to get a lighter tow bar weight and all is good, put spare and waco in the back of longreach ute for a bit of weight over back axel
cheers
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:26

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:26
Yup, it's basic, but not sure I'd really want anything more!

Here's a list of some of the places my old $7K trailer has been to in the last 2 years; Oodnadatta track, Strzlecki track, Cameron Corner, Palm Valley, Old Ghan heritage track, Mereenie Loop, Warri Gate Rd, Old Jim Jim Rd, Gawler Ranges, Flinders Ranges (x3) including Warraweena, Brachina, Bunyeroo, Parachilna & Glass gorges, Chambers Pillar, Innamincka, Epsilon - Omicron Rd, Painted desert............... there's probably more, but you get the idea!

I have a picture of it at Mount Dare, Dalhousie & Lambert's Centre too! :)

I had been planning to up the odds & take it along the Anne Beadell Hwy, up the Sandy Blight Junction Rd & down the Gary Junction Rd in May, but buying the new one has made me put that on hold until I've shaken it down a bit on tamer roads. As I said above, time will tell!
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:35

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:35
Sorry, the above follow up was to Cruiser 91;

Hi Greg,

Thanks mate, I've been thinking of pulling the toolbox off the old trailer & putting it on this one, but this one already has 123kg on the tow-ball as is - I might have to go the same route as yourself.

I don't have a canopy on this Ute ATM, as I managed to shake the ARB one to bits on my last Ute - got sick of sitting in ARB waiting for them to fix it, so I sold the Ute.

Time to start looking for a stronger canopy!

Cheers,

Kevin...... :=)
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Reply By: allanmac - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 19:48

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 19:48
Kevin, good to hear you are another person who had a great run with their 'chinese crap' camper trailer. Like you, a bit over all the so called experts bagging everything that comes out of China. In regard to a well known company that supplies cheap winches from China, for every bad report you here, there are 10 good ones.

We sold our 'chinese camper' to my partners daughter & her boyfriend & it is still going strong. When we had it, we took it on our Central Aust trip which included badly corrugated roads such as the Oodandatta Tk, Merrinee Loop & Savannah Way as well as the crap road into Lorella Springs. In that time in did not miss a beat, unlike the tow vehicle that did need a little work when we arrived in Alice Springs. Yes, the camper trailer does lack a few things, but the only thing I did to it before the big trip was replace the shockers & tyres & cover all the exposed wiring & hoses underneath. As I said, we did not have a problem.

On the way into Lorella Springs, we saw 3 broken campers with one being one of the well known expensive types.

Think alot of it has to do with the way many drive on badly corrugated roads, not just the product purchased whether it be from China, Australia or elsewhere.

We now have a Jayco Outback camper which is easier for the both of us to set up, & we are hoping it will do just as well as our 'chinese crap' when we takle the GRR next year.

Cheers
allanmac
AnswerID: 529107

Follow Up By: greg l2 - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:52

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:52
hi allanmac

saw a jaco outback something the other day for 10K , iam getting both knees replaced in 8 weeks and am temped to buy it in case the knees hamper me with putting up the camper, dont know a thing about jaco but am going back to have a good look
cheers
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 at 23:55

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 at 23:55
Aye Karumba Greg!

Both knees replaced at once mate? Bugger!

A bit off topic, but I'm in the home services industry & get to see a lot of people that have hips/knees/ankles replaced; mate, I hope you've been advised by the medicos that you'll almost certainly get depression after your op?

I'm not saying that it's not a worthwhile op, just the opposite, I reckon it's a great op (I've seen how people's lives have changed after having it), but, man, it can drag you down if you're not ready for the incapacity you'll cop after you have it!

It's all good in the end but! Just hang in there mate!

All the best with it,

Kevin............. :=)
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Follow Up By: greg l2 - Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 14:19

Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 14:19
i would cut them off myself if i could put the new ones in,, ha, i will be out of bed same day , walking up 3 stairs 4th day home on 5th with no knee pain , the pain from opp wont count. thanks 4 your concern
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FollowupID: 811982

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