camper trailer, pop-top, hybrid or caravan!

Submitted: Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 21:47
ThreadID: 119632 Views:2543 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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we're looking at getting something easier to set up than our current 8 person tent. we live in Darwin. need something suitable for 2 adults and 4 children and sometimes 1 or 2 additional adults (aka siblings = free babysitters)

hubby nearly bought a "new" camper trailer for $15,500 from the local trailer place, however on the pickup day we noticed it was completely rusted under it's powdercoating. read between the import trailer from china! think we dodged a bullet with that one!

so now he's checked out every place in town, and come across a 2004 windsor rapid which sleeps 8 and looks to be in great nick, no visible rust or water damage, dealer is asking $27,000 for it.

I guess our budget is max $30,000 so what would be our options? have googled quite a bit this afternoon but not really sure what to look for and which brands are good and which ones are not so good.

Most of our travel will be slightly offroad ie. dirt tracks, some corrugated, some just gravel etc. I'm not really keen on the need for an ensuite/shower just because we really need beds. internal kitchen I think is a plus - but I'm again not sure it's necessary.

The Rapid appealed because you don't have to wind it up, just pop open the flaps and roll out the awning. So should be a quicker set up compared to a camper trailer?

Suggestions please.....

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 22:01

Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 22:01
For that number of people, won't it be crowded inside a caravan?
I've never owned a caravan, so not in a position to comment
Won't a caravan be hot at night compared to canvas (Though more insect proof)?
Do you really want to be cooking inside a caravan every night, perhaps heat doesn't worry you?

Everything is a compromise, even with unlimited money.
Have a look at an older 2000-2005 Trak-Shak, some members of this web site have had them, Strong, lots of room. I believe those made around approx. 2006-2010 may have been made in China. A large flip over / soft floor camper trailer with annex can be a PIA to set up, but they offer lots and lots of room.
If the kids are a bit older they can assist with setting it up, reduces time

Some things to consider are, how often will be you setting up?
If moving every day, then a caravan maybe a better alternative. If going to a place and staying put for a few days, then the camper trailer is more attractive.

Not sure if a southerner like me is well placed to comment for someone in the Top End.

Best of luck

AnswerID: 557452

Follow Up By: Elle B - Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 22:39

Monday, Jul 27, 2015 at 22:39
Thank you for your reply :)

We wouldn't "live" inside the caravan - it would really be just a nice place to sleep. I imagine we would still cook outside as hubby has a little love affair with his Weber plus as you say 8 people to sit and eat inside a caravan would be crowded! It would just save all the hassle of packing and unpacking as everything just stays inside the caravan, all we would need to unpack is table and chairs for quick stops and roll out the awning for shade.

Caravan has aircon - although I'm not convinced this is necessary as we currently only camp in the "winter" though hubby wants to do some longer travelling to the southern parts of Australia

The camper trailers I liked were the Cameron one as it looked easy to set up or some of the hard floor ones - decent ones were around $40K new though
FollowupID: 843773

Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 07:30

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 07:30
Good morning Elle B
2 responses from Tamworth must be something new.
I have a 2007 Trak Shak and as Mark suggests it is strong and, despite the body being made in China, it is really well built and has never given us any problems in 30k + of travels on some fairly ordinary roads and tracks.
It will comfortably sleep 6 in 2 x QS beds off the ground and another enclosed,room underneath. Kitchen is very basic but that has never stopped us enjoying some very memorable meals out in the bush.
Not much use to you being so far away but it will be for sale soon as it being replaced with something more older folk friendly.
Good luck with whatever you choose

John T (Lifetime Member)
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AnswerID: 557455

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:53

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 11:53
I'd strongly advise you pick an example of each type that looks promising and then see if you can hire them for a test.
There's no substitute for learning the ins and outs. Some aspects you'll find convenient and some will get up your nose and as this is a personal matter others' advice won't help.
I recall someone posting here who'd spend a large amount of money on a CT for the big trip and one week in had put it on the market.
AnswerID: 557463

Follow Up By: Elle B - Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 12:16

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 12:16
We kinda did "hire" the dodgy China camper trailer! Hubby doesn't think he likes the idea of a camper trailer much anymore! Our kids are 7, 5, 2 and 10mo so not much help yet!

Being that this van can be 8 berth it will probably have good resale value in a few years time hopefully. We can't find anything majorly wrong with it given its 11 years old - can't see any rust even where the paint has chipped. It's all in good working order as far as we can see.

Might as well give it a go!
FollowupID: 843793

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 12:24

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 at 12:24
Well, you seem to have got to a position.
Maybe get the van looked over by a service and repair place.
FollowupID: 843795

Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 09:43

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 09:43
My advice is not to automatically select a big unit to fit all of the family
The kids love to have some independence and we bought the their own little pop up tent
In bad weather we can cram in our van together but 90% of the time it is fine
When the kids get bigger they appreciate that independence more (camp further away than the closeup when they are younger)
It makes for a wider choice of unit for you and allows for faster setup and pack up time as well
AnswerID: 557494

Follow Up By: Elle B - Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 10:43

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 10:43
The Windsor Rapid is not a big caravan actually! The ends fold out creating the 2 double bed areas = sleeps 4, then there's the dining area which creates another double and there's 2 singles as a lounge area so all up sleeps 8.

Definitely like the idea you suggest though - I'm sure the older 2 kids would like the novelty to sleep outside in the tent!
FollowupID: 843835

Reply By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 at 17:30

Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 at 17:30
Hi,You could also purchace a small anexx for the older kids to sleep in.

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