Choosing first camper

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 10, 2018 at 17:34
ThreadID: 136814 Views:3205 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
I didn't expect choosing a first camper trailer to be so confusing.

We're moving from Kings Rooftop Tent to a camper to allow more work space & the ability to drive away somewhere (easier than jumping onto the motorbike).

We are seasoned travellers. 3 years now on the road. And spent most time in NQ.

Setting up quickly, awnings over the windows, lots of air flow, and good rain channeling are musts. A larger than Queen bed would be a great improvement. (the dog can be a 'bed hog' at times).

Any thoughts on sub-$20k brands & models. There seems to be hundreds of brands in OZ.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 10, 2018 at 17:41

Sunday, Jun 10, 2018 at 17:41
Hi Mudmaps

Look around for an early model Ultimate.

King size bed

Inside kitchen area

So light to tow, you will not know you have it behind

100% Australian made

100% dust and waterproof

Cheers and happy looking

Smile like a Crocodile

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 619455

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Sunday, Jun 10, 2018 at 18:29

Sunday, Jun 10, 2018 at 18:29
Sub $20,000 Ultimate will be impossible to find but are pretty good .
The two best hard floor campers would be the Kimberley Kamper or Aussie Swag .
You should get a older one for less than 20 grand.
FollowupID: 891740

Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 07:36

Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 07:36
Not many choices if you want a king size bed.
To me that equates to lots more weight.

Your spec fits a lot of trailers so you need to specify what you want a bit more or you will be inundated with everyone recommending what they already own.

What style do you want?
Generally soft floor = bigger space and lighter trailer, usually pretty quick setup (my Johnnos is sub 5 minutes). Usually a flip over awning.
Hard floor = smaller space and more weight but usually quick setup. No flip over awning so longer setup.

Full off road or not.
Chinese or Aussie made - dollar choice plus how long to want it too last.
Ability to expand with zip on extra rooms - how many people in it?
Water capacity - how long do you intend to stay in one spot.
etc etc etc

Need more info from you or you will be flooded with way too many replies.
AnswerID: 619459

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 06:49

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 06:49
I’ve had 2 hard floor rear folds. Both the campomatic and the mdc cape York keep the awnings on. My advice on Chinese campers - look at the very latest. They are evolving very quickly. Anything I could have picked on my 2016 model has already been reviewed and updated. Mine has done some extensive outback off-road touring and continues to impress. We allowed $3k to fiddle with it to get it where we wanted it and I would suggest anybody buying one do the same. They have knocked around the second hand prices of aust product and there are some great buys out there at the moment.
As for style/brand, everybody is different. What my mates love, my wife and I couldn’t live with. What we thought we wanted (off road van) turned out to be anything but when we hired one. I second that you hire/use or at least watch them getting set up and used to see what appeals and what is a compromise you just cannot live with.
FollowupID: 891779

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 18:01

Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 18:01
My best advice: try before you buy!

Some manufacturers hire out their campers, otherwise there are businesses that hire camper trailers, that enable you to try them out first. The $80-$120 a day you spend in hire fees may well be the cheapest few hundred you ever spend.

It's amazing how your view of them changes after you've used them. Things you think will be great aren't when you actually get to experience them and other things you hadn't even thought of will be come really important.

Second best piece of advice - buy second hand so you can try out what you really like a few times before you buy new. New campers (like new cars) lose value by the thousand the minute you tow them out of the showroom, which is a lot of money to blow if they turn out not to be to your liking.

Third piece of advice, no matter how big the bed, the dog expands to use it :)

Best wishes with your deliberations.

AnswerID: 619476

Follow Up By: Kylie M - Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 21:06

Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 21:06
I will second what Paul has said above- hiring the unit first is money well spent. It will give you an idea how the camper fits YOUR style of camping. Some features look and sound great but may just be superfluous to your needs. Also - ease of set up does not always equate to time of set up- depending on your health, fitness, mobility(and hight ??). Have fun looking. Doc.
FollowupID: 891777

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:01

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:01
Hi Mudmaps
We took a different route which enhances and expands on our existing setup.

We bought a most basic soft floor camper made in Vic and buildt with some changes we specified with a new cost of $5000.

Its really a leaf sprung trailer with side folding top and massive storage area underneath , and there are 2 things it does very well.

1/ Lots of room with a bigger than queen bed

2/ Goes more places than most by virtue of its under 500kg weight , hard to tell your towing anything , also because you can see over the top of it in rear view mirror.
(Ball weight is only 10-15kg)

We drive a GU Patrol and its setup for sleeping inside and has all our kitchen stuff available at the rear barn doors - i.e. the car is fully setup for overnight camping and doesn't need to use the camper. I designed the camper with single long drawbar (instead of A Frame) to enhance use of rear of car.

Hence we don't need to setup for overnight stays , don't need to disconnect the camper much either.

If camp site is really muddy then we simply use the car to save muddy floor.
(Sometimes we also use "throw away" ground sheets).

We also designed the camper to have no kitchen - no water - no electrics and this all means it can take a hell of a bashing without breaking.
These things being already in the car setup.

Also the soft floor tent area is the smallest I could get (2.2X2.2m)- but is still twice the size of friends campers like Vista / Nautlis etc.

When its not suitable to sit around campfire , we can seat up to 8 inside the camper.

Disadvantages include - to hot in sun , we have tried a fly over the top and while this helps a lot we don't think is worth the effort as its easier to use a pit tent etc.

Also takes good 5 minutes to unzip top cover , and also have to take care with setting up in wind.

Robin Miller

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 619484

Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 12:25

Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 at 12:25
Have a look at Cameron Campers in Lonsdale SA. I have got one and they are a good quality Australian Made product. Queen size bed. They are soft floor but the clever design means you do not have to use tent pegs.
Life's great and it just keeps getting better

My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 619490

Reply By: Member - peter g28 - Friday, Jun 15, 2018 at 13:42

Friday, Jun 15, 2018 at 13:42
I agree with the many sentiments expressed.
At present there are a flood of "flat packed or partial" campers getting into the leisure market, these are imported campers imported into Australia in either semi-whole or in parts and assembled in Australia.
They have become extremely popular because the price of these are very comparable to the Australian equivalent...sometimes by over 50%.
If you are interested in buying one of these types of campers in new condition...please check thoroughly the trailer workmanship, canvas material and the after sales service.
The second hand market has some very good examples...Kimberly, Aussie Swag, Pioneer, Cameron, Lifestyle, Modcon etc, all at quiet reasonable competitive prices, when considering quality, longagivity and especially "resale value"
Good Luck.

AnswerID: 619598

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2018 at 10:55

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2018 at 10:55
Cheapest to retrain your dog.
AnswerID: 619812

Sponsored Links