What's the best camper trailer that sleeps four?

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 13:54
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Hi all
I'm doing some research for our top end odyssey we're planning to do in March 2016.
We want an off-road camper, not because we're hardcore four-wheel drive nuts but we don't want the trailer to limit where we may choose to go and I expect we'll do our share of corrugated roads.

I'm trying to find the best camper trailer that will comfortably sleep a family of four (two adults and two kids who'll be 8 and 6). We want something that won't require the kids beds to be set up in the annex like a standard camper.

We've looked at the Conqueror UEV 490 - really love it but the price is sooo high. Currently looking at the Skamper Kamper Dingo (http://skamper.com.au/products/dingo-hard-floor/).

Any comments on the Skamper or do you have any other recommendations?
Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:26

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:26
Nothing to do with them and haven't bought one - but the CIG dominator might fit the bill. Forward folding and the kitchen area converts in bed(s) ... not sure of the quality (other members would have a better idea) but the price isn't too shabby.

http://giccampertrailers.com.au/camper-trailers/dominator-ff.html
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:27

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:27
Having looked at your link - similar set up.....
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:39

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:39
Thanks Scott
I've noticed a few that look very similar - I suspect they might be an off the shelf model from China that gets rebranded.
Cheers
Chris
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:55

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:55
Whoa! just googled GIC campers... a lot of very unhappy campers! I need to find out if there's a connection between the GIC camper and Skamper.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 17:56

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 17:56
did say "not sure of the quality (other members would have a better idea) but the price isn't too shabby. "

You've got to think hard about anything with that complexity and features at that price .... the skamper is an identical price ... not casting aspersions, however .... anything that is 'feature rich' and cheaply priced is going to have some corners cut somewhere....
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 23:32

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 23:32
Don't touch GIC - they're rubbish, once you get off bitumen and easy tracks. Went on a trip in a group with another couple this year who had a Dominator, and it pretty much fell apart. He had to abort the journey half way through, and is now battling for compensation.
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Reply By: Peter T9 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:38

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:38
Chris

Most soft floor campers will have room on the floor of the main bed area for two more bodies.

You can then just take a couple of swags and through them up on the bed when you pack up.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:42

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 14:42
Thanks Peter
I'm going to the Canberra Home and Leisure show this weekend so I'll check this out. I like hte simplicity of the swag idea - but I suspect, as our trip is between 6-12 months, we'll need something a bit more comfortable than swags.
Cheers
Chris


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Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:43

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:43
Hi Chris ,check out the Deluxe camper range 2 double beds that open out on top of trailer ,may suit your needs or the MDC Crusader FF forward folding with dinette that makes up beds at night ,around 20 grand ,well built and a lot of extras .
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 20:55

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 20:55
".......we'll need something a bit more comfortable than swags."

Chris,

I've had a swag for 50 years, and have yet to find anything more comfortable!!!

Only negatives are their bulkiness, and you have to roll them up every day. One swag can fit 2 kids comfortably, but I suspect that the 8 yr old may take umbrage at sharing with the younger sibling. :-)

T-Van would suit you too, but they aren't cheap, even 2nd hand. Have the fold up floor that would suit 2 young ones easily..........and you too, if you're in the dog house. Hope you find something you like,

Bob



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Reply By: Hunjy100 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:44

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:44
One that I can think of is the Camprite Camper trailer.
This one would handle the corros no worries.
Google it!

Mal
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Reply By: Member -Ted (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:44

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 15:44
Hi Chris
Have a look at the Camprite, it may do what you want. The TL8 looks pretty good, depends on your budget. You can pick them up 2nd hand for a reasonable price.
Good luck with your search.

Cheers
Ted
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Reply By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 16:44

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 16:44
we've got the echo4x4 kavango, it will sleep 4, kids could sleep either side of the table setup if they're only little, or share a double bed. We're very happy with it, no affiliation
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 17:42

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 17:42
The Kavango looks great! How long have you had it?
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Follow Up By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 21:35

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 21:35
About two years. We've done a lot already, Cape york (OTL and frenchmans track), vic high country, a month in tassie, a big trip around the NT, and most recently Fraser Island the Gympie muster and birdsville races. Over 40,000 km so far I think.. Still loving it
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Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 22:39

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 22:39
Chris,

I contacted Lisa in May 2013 to learn more about her Kavango.

I was trying to decide between the Camprite, UEV 490 and the Kavango. I had spoken to a number of owners, went all over the UEV 490 and hired a Camprite.....Kavango was the winner for our family.

My family is very happy with our Kavango, and have travelled over 20k in the past 12 months including remote area travel, plenty of red dirt and corrugations, and is out on a average atleast twice a month.

Brett....
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Follow Up By: 780 - Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 14:20

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 14:20
Hi would the Kavango suit a family with 3 kids 6yr and under, is there enough room if they share one of the double beds?
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Follow Up By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 15:06

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 15:06
Hi 780, I guess it would depend on your kids and whether they would tolerate sharing a bed. The beds are queen size so quite spacious, you would basically have two beds end to end with a passageway between, fine if you do your living outside as we do. Also, kids have a habit of growing bigger, so you would need to consider if they would eventually move into swags or their own tent, as there would come a time when they wouldn't fit! I'm sure it is possible to buy a set of walls for the awning (we don't have them), maybe kids could sleep out there. You can see pictures of the layout on the echo website www.echo4x4.com.au. Good luck!
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Follow Up By: 780 - Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 22:53

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 at 22:53
Thanks for info. Kids currently share a queen swag on floor of soft floor camper and are outdoor kids. I'm am trying to find a replacement that one person can easily setup/packup and can go where we want to go, and as it will be just me and kids a lot of the time sercurity, size and ease of setup I am liking this type of design more n more. Have also looked at Camprite and Conqueror, just not in the flesh. We live in middle of Oz and looking at doing Pilbra and the west for a large chunk of next year for a start. Hopefully convice hubby to do the lap over a couple of years. If anyone comes past Alice Springs with one I'd love to have a look.
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Follow Up By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 07:46

Friday, Oct 31, 2014 at 07:46
We'll be heading up your way about April/May next year, going through Alice and up the Tanami to the Kimberley, we'd be happy to show you around if you are still looking then. I'd certainly recommend having a good look at all your contenders in the flesh, especially as you say you want to setup/pack up by yourself.
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Reply By: Danna - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 20:44

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 20:44
Hi Chris
We went thru pain of research including travel to Qld. In our view, best is Ecomate Traveller (forward folding camper) $21,990 by ModCon.
These campers have few better points over others:

1) 100 litre stainless water tank with baffle

2) 12? electric brakes

3) 16? alloy wheels

4) 2x 100amp hour deep cycle battery

5) Tent and annex roof water proofed with PU coating (only one on market)

6) Door that opens to the side and can be locked when you sleep (can remove steps for higher clearance)

7) The axles are bolted on, not welded (in case of break down far easier to repair than fixed - welded to your camper)

8) Queen size bed and innerspring mattress

Please don’t forget after sales care and service ModCon as much as we know is excellent.
You are the customer with them, not a number like with others!
They are just a few points why we like it.

Wish you a happy choosing Dana

Camper


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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 22:36

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 22:36
Chris,

Just remembered that part of our family bought a hard top camper, from a firm in Deception Bay(North of Brisbane).

Paid less than $20K, from memory, and they're very pleased with it. Been on numerous trips around Cairns, and out to Mt Molloy as well. Has independent coil spring suspension, and usual stove and washing basin. Big annexe that would provide plenty of shade/space for 2 kids.



Bob

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Reply By: Geobserver - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 14:11

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 14:11
I own a Camel and it is Aussie made, high quality canvas, build, etc. See http://www.camelcampertrailers.com.au/ No problems at all after 10+ trips.

We have two kids, and after trying camp bunks they reckon air beds on the floor are the best comfort. A foot pump has them set up in five minutes. Still plenty of room to move about inside and just chuck them up on the main bed if you need to use the floor space for chairs in bad weather.

Happy travels!
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Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 14:22

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 14:22
Air beds are a PITA - cold in winter, tend to go flat at most inopportune times. Much better off with self inflaters IMHO - at least that has been our experience (>40 yrs of bush camping).
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi_In_Aussie(Wagga) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 15:08

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 15:08
If the price of a NEW UEV490 is outside your budget have you looked at/considered buying a 2nd hand one??
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:34

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:34
yeah. I've been looking at the 2nd hand euv 490s. still seem to be asking $60-70K

That'd be the only way we could do it.

They've made a 'lighter weight' model for the aussie market with less bells and whistles that starts at $42k. I'll be having a close look at this.
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:32

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 18:32
Hi Chris

Have a look in the classified section here and have a look at the Trak Shak's for sale. We have one that will be for sale very soon. Sleeps 4 in comfort in 2 x QS beds

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:35

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 20:35
What's the trak shak like for set up, and pack up?
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 22:33

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 22:33
A mate we travel with a lot has got a TrakShak, and it's tough as guts. Really did some very heavy work this year over approx. 15000km - mainly sand, rock and corrugations - and didn't miss a beat. Huge amount of living area too - definitely worth a look as a family camper.
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Follow Up By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:33

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:33
Chris

Have a look at the Trak Shak webpage. Lots of info about the camper there - [url=http://www.trakshak.com.au/]

We can have ours set up for an overnight stop in 10 minutes, bit longer to put up more poles and guy ropes etc. If the family gets bigger there is an option for a 3rd "Kids room" underneath that will happily take another QS bed.

Cheers
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Reply By: Trevor P4 - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 07:27

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 07:27
I had the same problem working out cost vers value.

We nearly brought the kavango untill Conquorer brought out the Commander at a bargain price of 39 K at the time.

The Kavango is a great van as well however the dollar one out.

Enjoy

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Follow Up By: Chris G12 - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 08:25

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 08:25
Yeah, but how does the kavango and commander stack up in terms of features? Even trying to compare the campers in the Modcon range.

It'd be great there was a big comparison chart...
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