Upgrading to a camper trailer

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 22:01
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I know this has probly been asked before but im new to this and am some what lost.
Im looking at upgrading from the tent to a camp trailer and know very little about them.
Why can i get one brand new for 50k?
I know you get what you pay for, but what exactly are you getting and paying 10x more for at 50k than 5k?
Anyway, i'll be looking at 2nd hand around the 5k mark. Any brands in particular that I should avoid or look for?
A big point for us is ease of set up and pack up.
Any features that make things better, essier, more comfortable etc?
Doesn't have to be any extreeme 4x4 model, only towing with a commodore for now. Plan on getting a 4x4 in future but still wont be doing anything extreeme with it. The ability to handle some light offroad in future without having to upgrade camper when the 4x4 comes would be good.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks.
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Reply By: Shane H9 - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 22:05

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 22:05
*some text missing there.

Ment to say why can I get one brand new for 50k.
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Reply By: Shane H9 - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 22:06

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 22:06
Less than 5k
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 00:49

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 00:49
Second hand Australian built soft floor. Regardless of budget, but you still need to check the quality of canvas, axle, hubs, bearings, tyres etc.
Best to spend as much time as you can researching and going to physically see new and used campers for sale prior to parting with your hard earned cash.

You could pick up a second hand Mars hardfloor with kitchen from someone who has already done all the hard work eg: strengthening, dust proofing, 12 volt batteries, lighting etc.

You may also get some good info for a $5K budget at "myswag.org".

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 00:56

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 00:56
You could also hire a cheap and then expensive camper trailer over a weekend and you will soon see the differences.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:01

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:01
I,ll tell you from experience that a hard floor is so much better than a soft floor. Quicker set up and more comfortable. You will appreciate a quicker set up time at the end of a days driving.
Shop around, gumtree, google, magazines..but don't rush in and buy the first thing you see. If you can add a couple more thousand to the budget it will help.

good luck
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:30

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:30
Definately get a hard floor in preference to a soft floor, much faster to put up and pull down, off the ground and a smaller footprint.
We did an extended outback trip years ago with a group of friends, four with flip over hard floors and one with a soft floor, after a couple of weeks the soft floor mob wanted a hard floor and after getting home quickly sold it.
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Reply By: Shane H9 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:35

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:35
Ok thanks, so is hard floor an option or are some manufacturers hard floor and some soft?
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Reply By: oz doc - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:38

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:38
Hi Shane, we have had an excellent camper in the past, sold it as our camping needs changed, and now 12 years later are back again looking at camper trailers - so have a little experience with what you are going through.
One really important tip I can give you is that when trolling through websites checking out the various(incredibly numerous ) campers on offer today- keep a worksheet next to you and jot down what brand you have looked at and a few notes on what you like or were attracted to and what put you off. My big mistake this time is not doing this and now I've confused myself and can't remember which ones I've looked at and which ones had this that and the other feature I really liked.

You have already worked out there is a great range in pricing and yes this does equate to you get what you pay for. The cheaper campers with all the fruit for a comparatively lowish price are usually mass produced overseas components and imported/assembled in Australia(usually with an "Australian made" claim. The chassis is usually lighter weight, often poorer quality metal and canvas than full Australian manufactured alternatives and often with poorer quality workmanship(welding etc). There are many product reviews out there regarding these items.
That is NOT to say they wont do a fantastic job.

If you are camping with children and on a budget then soft floor types are cheaper and offer much more storage room.
Personally I would stay away from any design that has a welded or bolted on A frame.
Secondly canvas quality is pretty important as leaking canvas, broken zips and doors/windows that wont close will ruin a holiday.

If you are on a budget then perhaps forget about the fancy kitchens. You can add pull out kitchens later if you are keen and chances are you already have some good quality kitchen gear.

Access to the camper tub for packing/unpacking is also of huge importance. Campers with a hinged lid make a huge impact.
If you are not intending on doing much off road then basic suspension would suffice such as leaf springs. Fancier options on full off road type campers can ad a fair bit to the cost.
Beware of campers with large/extensive add on rooms and huge awnings- these mean longer to set up and pack up and also a larger camping footprint which can restrict your access to some sites.

As has already been suggested - second hand makes good sense. Tried and true, perhaps with a little less shine but good value for money.

We hired our first camper to make sure it was what we wanted and it was well worth the expense as it showed us that some of the fancier "features" were not really that important and worth spending extra money on. We actually bought the camper we hired saving a lot of $.

Have fun. doc.


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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:34

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:34
"I would stay away from any design that has a welded or bolted on A frame", just curious, what other sort of "A" frame attachment is there?
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Follow Up By: oz doc - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 14:39

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 14:39
Hi John I wasn't very clear with that comment was I? What I meant was I would not be happy with a camper who's draw bar (what I referred to as A frame) is attached as a separate entity to the front of the camper. I would prefer one in which the draw bar is part of the camper frame and even better-all in one piece. There have been several discussions on various forums about draw bar failure. I can also see numerous photos of campers stacked 3 deep in shipping containers, without draw bars, as they arrive from overseas. I'm not an engineer however I think this is an important structural area on any trailer/camper.doc.
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Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 09:20

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 09:20
Hi Shane,
I've also had a few campers and caravans in the past and have just purchased another one. My son is also into the more serious off roading and will be able to share it's use.

After weeks of looking at various soft & hard floor campers, and with a budget of around 10k, I decidered on a soft floor model. The reasoning for this was storage space. I found that most soft floor models have more living and storage area, and for my budget, I could buy one new.

I eventually purchased a GIC Black Series Alpha model. This particular model is the extreme off road version with heavy duty independent suspension coil & four shocks. A very well designed set-up with lots of grease nipples. It also has lockable storage areas and a very large storage box. It is a very solid unit with 5 years structural warranty. This one cost me $8,200 with options included. They also make a couple of lighter construction versions for around the 4k & 5k mark.

The main reason I chose GIC was that their all made "in house", not a Chinese kit import that is put together here. I was given a tour of their factory before purchasing one and watched them being made.

This may sound like a advertisement for them, but it's only report from a happy buyer.

My son is currently at the Cape with the new trailer in tow for it's first shake down trip. He has reported, happily, that after dragging it through Nolan's Brook, that not a drop of water got in. Got to be happy about that.

Good luck with whatever camper you decide on.

Capt.
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 09:56

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 09:56
GIC stands for Global Import Company.
Your post sounds like an advert for them, especially seeing when I did my research and bought my new camper I heard nothing good about them.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:03

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:03
I’ll put a question mark over all made in-house and not an import kit, it might be a bit of both.

The price point on cheaper units is because the labour is sourced offshore rather than being built in Australia and that is a reality of manufacturing in Australia these days.

I don’t believe this company is a member of Australian Manufactured Camper Trailer Guild, not they should necessarily be one, but it is only open to companies that fully manufacture in Australia. It is worth taking a look at companies who are members if Australian made is of interest to you. There is a big difference between manufacturing in Australia and assembling in Australia and claims in this industry can be very misleading and something that needs to be cleaned up.

As a general comment, there is nothing wrong with buying budget, as it has been said, you get what you pay for which may suit your needs and purpose, but you don’t pay for poor service.

In many of the reviews I have read on budget camper trailers it is poor after-sales service and warranty issues that appear to be a large percentage of the complaints. Noting, I am not referencing GIC, but making general comment.

If buying budget, research your choice well, cast your eye over product reviews, and do a few Google searches – it will be revealing.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 18:04

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 18:04
I went all over the alpha the other day for a friend who is looking. They would be on my shortlist as a budget unit as well. Very solid. They have a model cheaper which would fall into the budget.
Like other companies, gic manufacture part of their range and then supplement it with imported gear. Their more costly stuff is import, but the lower end looks to be Aussie built with OS sourced canvas which looks pretty good. It shows definite progression over past years when I have looked. A $5k budget pretty much precludes hard floor campers, especially Aust manufactured second hand trailers. People are making suggestions without remembering your budget which is misleading. Good luck and keep asking questions.
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:05

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:05
Shane

Years ago I bought a second hand soft floor for $5k and it gave me years of service until the suspension broke away from the chassis on Binns Track. (definately had more than my $5K worth)

If you are careful and get a good second hand unit it will do you for years and you will get your moneys worth.

I took the plunge and bought a new one as a replacement. After doing some research I decided on one from Cameron Campers. I am extremely happy with it and have done the Savannah Way and Cape York so far. I bought the deluxe version for about $30K.

On my trip to Cape York there were six trailers (all new) Three got through undamaged. The other three needed major repairs to chassis / suspension.

Be very careful about what you buy. The cheaper campers are normally cheap for a reason.


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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:10
Shane


I forgot to add that one of the reasona I bought the cameron camper is the ease of erection. A child can put it up in minutes. The video on the link below shows an 8 year old child erecting one.

http://www.cameroncampers.com.au/video-3/
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:11

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:11
Hi Shane,
Some good advice above.

I have owned three camper trailers. I built the first, a soft top on a standard 6x4 box trailer and it could be easily lifted off to use as a garden trailer. We spent our honeymoon in it and hauled it over a lot of Australia but not serious off-road. It was great but care had to be taken to clear the site of sticks & stones. Then two kids arrived and it became a bit small so I built a new one.

The new one was a camper-to-beat-all-campers! It had a wind-up fibreglass roof, pull-out beds each end, table and bench seats inside with a full kitchen, etc, etc. The first time we used it we were sitting inside eating at the table and I said "This is not camping".
The kids had to sleep toe-to-toe in one of the beds and cries of "He's kicking me!" echoed throughout the night. We kept it for a few years but only used it when the kids were elsewhere.

So we sold the 'Supercamper' and bought a second hand hard-floor, much like our first one but with a floor. It was good, we were back to 'camping' but it lacked the under-bed storage space of the soft-floor. Piling stuff on top for travel means a lot of loading/unloading.

When we retired we got serious and bought a Troopy with a bed in the back. This really is camping and we can go anywhere, and do. Off to The Pilbara in a couple of weeks. Will be living in and out of the Troopy for three months.

Maybe the moral of my story is that you may not get it right the first time. So limit your outlay at first... you can always upgrade. You will find that rigs with pull-out stainless steel kitchens are more expensive, a fold-up table with a folding stove on it still works fine for us. But as said above, be careful of poor build quality, a camper that has obviously seen a bit of work can be assumed to be tough, provided that the canvas is strong and in good condition. Also get the seller to erect and re-close the camper to ascertain if it is easy or difficult.
Cheers
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Reply By: cruza25 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:34

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 10:34
Hi
Not sure where you are located but Challenge campers make a good unit
You can hire for a weekend to try
They sell ex hire or new
There are lots around so second hand is also an option to suit the budget
Better a good used quality make rather than a cheap new one
There maybe some cheap new ones on the market but I can't see how you could build a good one for 5k without cutting corners.
Depends on your use, how often it will get used and where you intend to take it.
The cheap ones suit many people but not everyone. Don't expect one to last a long outback trip, quite a few try and they don't make it back, there were several in the yard at birdsville we saw that had major failures.
Good luck with what you buy.
Cheers
Mike
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Reply By: Shane H9 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:34

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:34
Thanks for the replys so far. This is exactly the sort of thing i need.
re. hard and soft floor, what's with the storage thing? People saying more storage in soft floor, why? Does the bed part not lift to allow access to trailer on a hard floor? Sorry, maybe stupid question but as I said I've got no idea about this.
Would definatley rather a 2nd hand proper Australian built camper. Just hard to know what brands are and are not.
Anyone care to suggest a few brands of the proper fully Australian built models to look at 2nd hand, or any imports to avoid???

Thanks all, keep it coming...
AnswerID: 556785

Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 12:31

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 12:31
Take a look (and a good read) of the Australian Manufactured Camper Trailer Guild

Anyone buying a camper trailer should take a look at the aim of what this association is promoting as it might assist you in making more informed choices. And noting, its website provides a list of its members.

Following is from the Guild’s website, I’ll leave you to review more fully…

And disclosing no interest in the Guild, but I do own a fully manufactured Australian Camper Trailer - A TVAN...

“Like many industries in these modern times, the Australian Camper Trailer industry is now subjected to rigorous competition from cheaper imported sources.

AMCTG is not against imports or trying in anyway to block imports – we are however trying to protect Australian consumers by offering this Guild as your reassurance of buying from a genuine Australian manufacturer.

As opposed to any importers who claim to have Australian Made products simply because the tent and trailer are assembled here (but shipped in from countries such as China), or the trailer is bolted together in Australia (from parts made in China).

Imported Components are always going to be cheaper than Australian Made versions – but in the opinion of our members, they are also inferior in quality and performance and our customer base at least deserves to know the full disclosure of Country of Origin for every aspect while researching their Camper Trailer shortlist.”

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:38

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:38
Its something we are trying to work thru as well Shane.

I have no conclusions yet , because like most things it depends on your own requirements.

I have broken the thought process into roughly 6 Options.

1/ Sleeping in the Car Diy $ 500

2/ Car & Tent $1500

3/ Soft Floor trailer 2-10k

4/ Hard floor Trailer 7 - 30k

5/ Crossover van 40 - 90K

6/ DIY Van $6K


1/ First and foremost , nothing beats sleeping in the car for 4wd capability , setup time , ease of access ,parking in towns, general security and
immunity from external elements- although option 5 comes close.

With only 2 of us now we have a caravan double bed mattress permanently setup in the Patrol and its very hard to beat.


2/ Car with Tent - we take an Oztent for stays longer than 3 days and it has longer setup/takedown time and isn't as immune from weather as the car not so much fun when it gets wet.


3/ I see little advantage with soft floor as we can already have both the tent and conveinece of still sleeping in the car.
In fact most soft floors require a big step up to the bed , sometimes even a 3 or 4 step ladder is used.
Indeed both it and many van types have slideout Kitchen burners which are quite subject to wind unless you put up there extra annexe which is really another tent.


4/ Hard Floors - a possibilty for sure , I recently saw some on EBAY for $7500 and went and had a good look and was quite frankly surprized at how much you can get.
At this price you could get one for a year or two, and not lose much while figuring out what one really wants.
There is less height differential to bed than from a soft floor and one we looked at weighed only 750kg (empty) so it didn't put a lot of load on the tow car as we would add less than 100kg of net weight to it ready to roll.
They are however mostly big comfortable tents with just canvas between you and the elements.


5/ Crossover Van E.G. MDC approx $45khttp://www.marketdirectcampertrailers.com.au/en/xt-10/
Several friends of ours are going thru same the process and things like this and the more expensive TrakTrailers seem to be the favourite option , they have a lot of room in the east west bed versions , but still are a lot more to tow and anything with some weight and undriven axles consumes more fuel and puts on where you can go, however I should say that they can go a lot of places and for most people this is enough.


6/ DIY
We have special requirements like I want it to able to wheel a trail bike into it and I believe that by not getting all the fruit and with careful attention to design we should be able to build a sort of enclosed motor bike trailer with a tilt up roof , rear door (for bike access)and fixed east west double bed and Patrol wheels for about $5000.

The entire unit will weight about 550kg unloaded and less than 750kg loaded.
This light weight is important as it means no requirement for brakes or spare wheel and it will use existing camping equipment instead of the myriad of expensive internal fittings that most have.

To Validate this approach we designed , fabricated a trailer and took/road 3 bikes across the Simpson a couple of years ago.

All we have to do now is build the box on top of the proven framework.

Actually there is one other very hard hurdle to overcome - we must convince the wife that this is also what she wants.
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Reply By: geo22 - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 12:19

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 12:19
Shane

If you want some unbiased information on what sort of camper trailer to buy have a look at the Australian Camper Trailer Group website:

Camper Trailer Group

There's a wealth of information there. At the top of the page there's a series of links that take you to all different types of information.

If you go to the Tech Tips page you'll see links to Choosing a Camper, Buying tips for beginners etc.

There's also a link on the home page to 2nd hand campers for sale.

This is a great resource so make the most of it!

Cheers

Geo22
AnswerID: 556788

Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 15:57

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 15:57
Hi Shane,

Regardless of what others may think of the GIC's, don't just discount them. Check them out for yourself. I have no affiliation with them, my opinion is that of a person who just bought one. If I thought they were crap, I'd say so. All I can say that since new management took over about 6 - 8 months ago , they now seem to make a better trailer. I confess, that a couple of years ago I would not have bought one, but in my opinion they are now much better.

As for built "in - house". I was in their factor at Revesby and watched them pressing sides for trailers out of sheet metal and welding them all together. Regardless that some components ie locks, dolly wheels ect may be Chinese, I would class this as built "in-house".

When mine gets back from the Cape I will post how it coped, good or bad.

As I said, good luck with whatever you decide on.

Capt.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 17:52

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 17:52
Hi Capt…

What has changed in the manufacturing process at GIC that gives you more confidence in the product today, then it did two years ago?

I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with the product GIC turnout, but you are implying in your post there is a difference in today’s product vs. two years ago – so I’m assuming you have a view on what that is…

And nothing wrong with airing an opinion on the product, but I’m guessing since you only just bought one you would be unlikely to say “they were crap”, let’s be realistic here!

It would be interesting to learn what components are manufactured in-house and what is imported – a rhetorical question not directed at you. I don’t expect you to have the answer, but perhaps it is something the company can provide information on?

The thing about most budget trailers is they are cheaper for a good reason, labour costs in the manufacturing process.

According to GIC’s website it has built 10,000 units in over 10 years, say the rate of roughly 1,000 per annum (depending on how long over 10 years is) and can potentially deliver a unit within 7 days of a customer ordering.

That is a high output by any standard for a fully manufactured unit in Australia even at a price point that is classed as budget.

To be clear, I’m not about budget camper trailer bashing or GIC specifically, but there are many claims made in an industry, that is largely unregulated, that don’t always stack up.

And a caution on reviews, some companies have been known to run competitions where you go into a draw to win a prize for providing feedback on various forums and product review sites. Nothing wrong with that, as long as it is declared on product review sites, but I’d be surprised if negative feedback ever won a prize, although in a random draw it could, I guess!

And my interest – I’d like to see some better “truth in marketing” in this industry.

I’ll close on the topic having aired some of my thoughts… but a review after your Cape York trip would be good, people always like to hear good and honest feedback – warts and all, so to speak.



Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Krooznalong - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 13:25

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 13:25
Shane
Suggest you go to a show where many campers will be on display and have a good look around and ask lots of questions. It's the easiest and best way to get an idea of what's what.
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Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:58

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:58
The Landy,

To answer some of your questions, the ones I can.

About two or three years ago I considered buying another camper trailer after selling my Jayco. This time I wanted something that could handle the more extreme off road tracks as my son would also be dragging it behind his 7" lifted, on 37" tyres, Patrol. So it was going to get a serious work out.

My budget was the same then, as now, max 10k. I went to all the shows and looked at what you got for the money, bearing in mind that true statement "you get what you pay for". With that understood I looked for my certain minimum requirements ... good welding, solid draw bar at least to the spring hanger, or independent suspension set-up, quality locks & hinges, and a reasonably good quality tent.

After much consideration I decidered that the CIG was value for money, but failed mainly on build quality. The welding was some of the worst I'd ever seen. Non-consistent and in some areas, very little penetration. If fact I doubt that it was water-tight in many areas. I also not impressed with the cheap locks & hinges used.

Anyway ........ circumstances changed at that time and I didn't proceed in buying one.

Current date : History repeats it's self. Back to the trade shows. More manufacturers to choose from .. et...

After a time I come to the same conclusion again. For what you get, and at the price ( $8,200 ) the GIC, in my opinion is value for money for me.

What's changed : The welding is much better quality, they are now using quality compression locks and stainless steel piano style hinges. The jury is still out on the tent, it looks the goods, but time will tell.

I received a call from my son last night who is currently camping at Capr York. I asked how the camper faired ...... no structural issues, no tent leaks, one of the compression locks of the front box wont stay latched and one of the four shocks is weeping oil slightly and three punctures. Also, none of the door seals

I don't think that's a bad report for a budget trailer on an extensive "shake-down" trip, four days out of the factory. So far I'm still happy with my purchase.

As I've said, This is my opinion on a camper I've purchased to fit my requirements. It may not fit yours.

Bazza
AnswerID: 556840

Follow Up By: Capt. Wrongway - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:29

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:29
Didn't finish one sentence : Apparently none of the door seals leaked after going through Nolans Brook. That's also a good thing.

Bazza
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:46

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:46
Hi Captn (Bazza)

That is a great summary, noting I was not directing commentary at you per se.

As I highlighted previously, I’m not about budget camper trailer bashing or calling out any specific brand, but questioning manufacturing claims from an industry that is long on promises and often short on the delivery of them – the internet and product review sites are full of cases. And this is due to the largely unregulated nature of it and misunderstanding by consumers of what” Australian Made” and “fully manufactured in Australia” truly means.

I’m sure your comments will be useful for others who are in the market for a budget camper trailer, GIC product or otherwise.

But as always, whether it is a $5,000 or $50,000 unit, it is always a case of do your research well and bear in mind that until this industry is better regulated hold closely the term “Caveat Emptor”.

As a footnote, last year I assisted a family on the Walker’s Crossing track who had a brand new budget camper trailer, that they were assured was suitable for that type of travel, literally with bits falling off it everywhere. A holiday all but ruined in a remote location and potentially money down the drain, not to mention the safety issue presented by a breakdown in a remote location.

Once again, thanks for responding and enjoy your weekend.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Shane H9 - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 23:33

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 23:33
Thanks for all your input so far guys. Very Helpful.
So my next question, electrical systems. If I buy one without any electrical system, how much would I be looking at to put one in? So we aren't restricted to only powered sites in c'van parks.
I would want it to be able to run lighting and boil a kettle etc, phone chargers, a TV maybe...
I understand there would be many options and "how long is a piece of string" type of thing, but for a basic set up that will do the job, solar panel/s, inverter, deep cycle battery/batteries, wiring etc. plus anything wlse we need I havn't mentioned. Mid range quality components but not including any labour?
A ball park estimate anyone?
Would $1,000 cover it?

Thanks again for help so far.
AnswerID: 556892

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:01

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:01
Hi Shane,

First of all, forget using 12 volt battery systems for "boiling a kettle" or any other form of heating. The power demands for heating are simply too great.

Otherwise, $1000 would easily cover a basic, but quality, auxiliary system for your camper provided you do the labour. It would allow for a 100ah deep cycle battery, 120w solar panel with MPPT controller, solenoid isolator, cabling and plugs, and even a 300w inverter. Similar to the diagram below although that does not include a solar panel or inverter.
That diagram is one from my blog on 'Auxiliary Battery Systems' and another blog from John titled 'Electricity for Camping' would give you much more information but only accessible to Members. As EO Membership is currently only $29.95 It could well be worth your joining.



Cheers
Allan

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