Camper Trailer Purchase

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 19:28
ThreadID: 130130 Views:2513 Replies:10 FollowUps:19
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Hi in the midst of purchasing a new (or secondhand) camper trailer in the 20 to 30 K range. Have looked at the Kimberly range and apart from the price would I think also
prefer a soft floor set up as owned a Tambo soft floor camper many years ago and was more than happy with it. Apparently Tambo had ceased production a few years back then re opened under new owners but have heard different manufacturers than before are now used to source trailers and canvas than when mine was built? Concerned here regards new quality build compared to the old which was tough as nails.
Doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles but certainly well made and strong is required and ease of set up. Finding it a little daunting as so many brands are available so who better to ask than those who have used and owned them ?
Views and experiences regards different brands much appreciated and also after sales service quality ?
Cheers
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Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 19:59

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 19:59
How many are going to use the camper?
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:26

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:26
John only for a couple
Thanks
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Follow Up By: wholehog - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:36

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:36
Then definitely consider a Tvan.. :o)
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:45

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:45
IF there is just the two of you, I don't know why you would consider a soft floor. The Hard floors are so much quicker and easier to set up/ pack up.
We were reminded of how much easier in July when went to Cape York with some friends with who had their soft floor.
We've had a soft floor, it was great when the kids were at home, no way I'd go back to one now there's just the two of us.
I'm a big fan of 2nd hand quality brand CT, simply because most of us don't get to use it more than 1-2 weeks per year, they still have plenty of years in front of them.
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Follow Up By: Australian Landscape Jewellery - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:20

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:20
Complete agreement. We have had soft floors and hard floors. I'd never get a soft floor again for just the reasons you give. I'd consider a soft floor if I had a large family and did the sort of camping where we went to a spot, set up a large site and just sat there for a week or so.
I also agree re buying second hand. Aussie Swag is a good brand to look at with outstanding after sales service. They are also goof if you bought one of theirs second hand. We are in Adelaide, they are in Brisbane and they are still lhelpful.
Mike
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:45

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:45
Yes soft floor versus hard floor for and against for both I have found. It's the old story as I look I wish I good pick all the good features from several and roll them into one ................. but as we know always the case especially when your trying to get the best bang for your buck.
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:49

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:49
Should have added Mark I agree ........... price is not the issue what I can afford it's as you say how much one wants to tie up to sit in the corner of the yard for most part of it's life. The top of the range units are into the 60K and up and at the end of the day it's still only a tent on a trailer no matter how you flash it up ?
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Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:46

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:46
Maybe have a look at the Drifta Offroad Trailer

http://www.drifta.com.au/offroad-tourer/

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 10:49

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 10:49
Designed by a Queenslander by any chance. Lots of "Queenslanders" look the same and you can park under the house too.

What is it like in high wind?
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:22

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 13:22
I have used my similar camper at Chilli Beach, blew like hell all night, other than the noise, no movement at all.
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:58

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 21:58
If you are lucky you may be able to get a second hand T-Van or an Ultimate. These are purpose built off-road camping trailers from the ground up and not simply a box trailer with a tent on top. I have tried both an finished up with an Ultimate, which I am very happy with.

Note that some camper trailer manufacturers keep extending the drawbar so that they can add on more goodies at the expense of ramp-over capability.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 04:26

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 04:26
Yeah, & increasing the ball weight substantially.
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Follow Up By: Australian Landscape Jewellery - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:14

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:14
Extra draw bar length has some advantages. They tow better (noticeably less sway). They are easier to back. There are positives and negatives to both long and short tow bars. But I sure agree that the point of a longer bar should not be to load more and more gear onto it.
Mike
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:37

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:37
Rod have looked at ultimate and a good second hand would be aok ........... new ? Well as good as they may appear not worth the price tag they ask IMHO for me once you get over 40K your getting into serious money for any camper trailer. Box trailer with a tent is a fair call for the cheapo 3 to 5 k range but there are a few aussie made good units out there that strength wise I'd find hard to beat ?
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 04:42

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 04:42
For soft floor have a look at Johnnos. Australian made, simple & tough.

For other sites with user experiences posted :

http://campertrailers.org/members_campers.htm
http://www.myswag.org/index.php?board=7.0

Then there's Camper Trailers Australia mag. Plus the outdoor shows.

Your research job will be easier if you decide on must-have features & specs. Eg max tare, gross weight & ball weight, suspension configuration, bed size, kitchen layout, fully Aus made or not, etc.

There's certainly plenty of choices out there as any guy with an ambition, a shed & a welder seems to be churning them out.
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:00

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:00
Yes Jonnos are along the same lines as the Tambo I had
Soft floor I find gives more room inside ................. the Tambo you could fit table and chairs without the need to set up annexe.
Usually a bit lighter in weight and on rough or uneven ground a soft floor I think is easier to set up than a hard floor.
My mate who was a big fella 140Kg had a hard floor and unless he set it up meticulously nearly every time he stepped into camper he'd nearly rock his wife out of bed lol
Again for and against for both types
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Follow Up By: birdnerd - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:08

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:08
Agree with the Johnnos camper trailer. We just bought our second one. We have taken ours along the Gibb River road, Savannah Way, Strezlecki, Cape York, Vic high country, not a problem. As for set up of the tent and levelling, 10 minutes without annexe and they have room inside for a table, 2 chairs, fridge. Annexe takes a bit longer but how quick do you want to be.?? For the two of us there is not enough room in a hard floor. Each to their own. Everyone is different and has different needs. The best thing we found to do is go to a Caravan and Camping show as they are all there in the one area and you can have a look in them, climb on the bed, play with the kitchen bits and pieces etc. Have fun looking!
Amanda
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:24

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 12:24
Yeah. With our Johnnos, a light off-road Premier, setup was quick enough without the annexe. And that was fine for an overnight stop. For a full setup however, including the annexe which is important to keep the weather off to make a comfy camp, between 1 and 1.5 hours was necessary - from parking to sitting down with a cuppa. And that worked with our approach to travel which was to get somewhere interesting and stay for a few days. It was also good exercise after sitting for a day in the wagon.
As for durability, we took it on the standard desert roads and tracks without a glitch - except in the aftermarket electrics.
After sales service from the franchisee was very good.

We now have a Pioneer Argyle SE and after sales service from the factory is very good too. It has more fruit salad, the tent-only setup is quick, it's a proven rugged design and tows well. It's also much heavier and way more expensive.
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:06

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:06
We had a Cameron Camper, made in Adelaide, and we're very happy with it. Now we are older I would always go with a hard floor for the quick setup and wet weather convenience.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:53

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 08:53
I've had one of each and from that experience and reading about other folks' would make a perhaps over-simple generalisation: compared to hard floor units, soft floors are lighter, cheaper, more roomy and take longer to erect.

I am seeing a few folk as they get older find it harder to erect the soft floor jobs as well.
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:04

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:04
Sigmund that pretty well sums it up soft versus hard floor I'd have to agree ...................... again can't have best of both worlds sadly
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:23

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 09:23
Took this photo 10 mins ago in Longreach. Couldn't get much better than this?



Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:38

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:38
Thanks Bob appreciated Cheers
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Reply By: Member - peters500 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 15:39

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 15:39
To the original poster's question, the new owners details are:
Tambo 4x4
1/342 Cooper st Epping Vic.
Ph 03.8457.0505
I have no connection with the co. but was very pleased to see the product back. It is locally made still, looks the same and built sturdily. Good luck. Rgds .
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:37

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:37
Thanks for that .................. have actually got onto a second hand Tambo for sale today which I still need to look at but at 5K it looks like a bargain to be had especially given the new Tambos are over 20K. I think my first Tambo when purchased thru Keith & Amanda was around 10.5 K about ten years back ................... inflation you have to love it.
But I won't get to excited until I've seen it as I'm sure many others have found the pics of advertised item were taken the week of original purchase new and don't have much relevance to current condition. lol
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:51

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 17:51
Second hand fully Australian-made CTs are the best value in the market at the moment IMO. Imports have driven the prices down.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 19:40

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 19:40
My brother (who is a member here) has a very good condition Tambo probably for sale - all the mod cons and full size tent. Canberra area.

Let me know if your interested.
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Follow Up By: AGNI4x4 - Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 21:00

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 at 21:00
Scott will do ..................... having a look at the one I mentioned tomorrow and if it's a no go will get back to you. The one I'm looking at is a Marlo and it almost sounds to cheap to be good .......... but has to be worth a look. Also trying to find out if the brand new Tambos are same same as the original I owned five years ago for as said it was tough as with the best canvas work I've seen on a camper trailer?
Cheers
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Reply By: AGNI4x4 - Tuesday, Sep 01, 2015 at 09:45

Tuesday, Sep 01, 2015 at 09:45
BARGAIN .................. got the deal of a life time I think and even better it's in my drive way ?
Tambo Marlo never seen off road with full annexe, water tank,kitchen, electric brakes,16" wheels, battery etc Very clean unit 5K
Happy not just in the thousands saved of new but also in the fact it was built by the original makers so is as tough as the first one I brought from Keith as the new gen is a bit of an unknown to me with different makers being involved.
But wait there is more came with a brand new cover not even fitted as the sun had given the original a beaten having sat out in the weather for near on five years. Seller even supplied me with names of where I can get spare bows for camper and canvas repairs .................. So the correct term is a very happy camper indeed Where is the happy icon ? lol
Thanks to all those that replied much appreciated for your time taken and see you on the road soon I hope .

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