Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 11:47
G'day. I agree that it is difficult to respond with much detail given that you are considering so many options, but I'll share our experience. For the record, yes we are 2 adults and 3 kids.
However, we chose a soft floor which you have already ruled out, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt although perhaps the principles will help guide you.
First factor is available space. Hard floor camper trailers (or sleeping off the ground trailers) rarely have enough space for 3 kids and associated extra food, chairs and luggage. To achieve that you may need bunks and/or add-on rooms which negates the perceived benefit of a quick set up of a hard floor trailer.
That moves us to soft floor trailers versus jayco style pop-up, bed-out campers. We travel with friends that have a jayco and it really is hard to beat for many reasons. Unless you plan to give it a really hard time they will allow you to visit many places
So why don't we have one? 2 reasons. We do like to travel places
that means our trailer cops a hiding over many km of corrugated dirt roads and I'm not sure that would be good for a jayco style van. Secondly, and more importantly when we camp we want to be outside not inside.
Eg. Cooking and eating etc. therefore all the internal features of a jayco would be wasted on us.
Benefits of our setup. Simple, basic and tough. Super fast set up and pack up. Heaps of storage. Great value (second hand). Keep in mind our holidays are touring - not set up in one spot
. For example on a seven week trip we only stayed more than one night at two locations. We also only set up the awning once (the luxury of dry inland travel!).
Tips to make it easy.
Make sure everything is a one person job. I set the tent up while my wife opens the kitchen and cooks dinner. I pack up while she sorts breakfast and shuts the kitchen.
Only unpack what you need. Don't store junk on the bed that needs to be moved every time you stop.
We have a fibreglass lid. Check out Jumbuck
campers - not made any more, but there are some similar options. We are fully set up by the time others have wrestled off their muddy vinyl cover.
Kids have swags that live on our bed when travelling. Just throw them on the floor when we stop.
Make sure your trailer sits level on the car and can be set up while connected. We travel with friends that have to disconnect to set up and we are normally all done by the time they are disconnected and levelled.
Plus all the little things like not needing to move gas bottles in order to cook
and having easy access to water etc. Stuff you may not pick up at a camping show but will figure out is a pain on your first trip.
So perhaps don't rule out a soft floor. In our experience the east coast manufacturers build trailers suited to a week on the beach with lots of features but a more complicated set up - especially awnings. South Australian manufacturers seem more suited to outback touring with quick, simple set-ups. I'm thinking Challenge, Cameron and Adventure.
Good luck. Keep it simple. At the end of the day you need storage, somewhere to cook
and somewhere to sleep. It's about the destination and the time together as a family - not the funkiest set-up.
Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 11:58
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 11:58
Trak Shak would be well worth a look!
Follow Up By: Tracka D8 - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:15
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:15
Thanks Richard, good to hear how it works for your family.
Great advice and good points there.
looks like a solid built for purpose camper, it would certainly be a benefit that hard top, pity they are not made anymore.
The closest we have come so far for the functions we were looking for is a camprite.
But with what you said in mind, the camprite may be somewhat limited for storage/space/etc... for all of us.
We tend to travel/overnight for a few days, then pull up for a few days when we find a nice spot
Preferably no van parks or even NP designated/pay camp grounds where ever we can.
Not my idea of camping listening to others loud music, bottles smashing, and 5" exhaust systems all day and well into the late hours.
And yes I also agree, would prefer function over funky any day!
Follow Up By: RBH - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:20
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:20
Funny that you mention that Shaker. I was discussing trak shak with my brother in law just last week. He has five kids and is looking at options.
I really like trak shak and think they are very clever. Were they originally an SA design??
2 things that slightly put me off, although not deal breakers.
1. I only like to set up the bare minimum of canvas to keep it simple. With the trak shak, the bare minimum is a lot of canvas.
2. The kitchen ends up inside the tent. I know you can move it, but that then becomes a 2 person job plus gas bottle needs to be unloaded and moved plus you have moved away from your water supply
. Then it all needs to be packed away again.
Just my thoughts, but I agree, definitely worth considering. Has the big advantage of no vinyl cover to deal with too. All reports suggest sticking to an older Aussie made version. More recent ones are made overseas I understand.
Follow Up By: Tracka D8 - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:30
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:30
Shaker / Richard,
Exact same thoughts we had with the Trakshak, mostly all good, some not so good.
So still looking to see if there are other concepts.
So tell me,
From what I have worked out so far , is a camprite the only one (and not the chinese knock offs) that can sleep 5 with out having to drop canvas/pvc on the ground in some form or another , or is there other designs...??
(without going up to a jayco/coromal type of size)
Follow Up By: RBH - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:49
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:49
I'm not aware of others, but haven't kept up with recent trends.
Closest alternative might be something like a DOT camper from Drifta but with 2 rooftop tents on it?? Or one on the car and one on the trailer??
We used to have a carry-me-camper (pre kids) and I was a big fan of being off the ground, but have realised now it isn't too bad really. Only rare times that it's a pain in the neck
. Case in point: last night I drove an extra 80km in the dark to escape the rain at Tilpa
so I didn't have to put my swag in the mud! (Work trip - no trailer or family)
The trade off now is that although we occasionally have to set up or pack up on mud, when it's wet for a few days it is great to have some floor space for the kids to spread out and read or draw or play games. Pros and cons...