Trailer tent options

Submitted: Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 09:33
ThreadID: 136956 Views:4093 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Hi all,
Finally got to go travelling with a trailer I have been preparing over the last couple of years.7*4 that I have made and fitted a lockable and hinged ally lid with a solar panel fitted to the top.This trailer accommodates our camping gear very well and also frees up a room in the house.
Trailer performed very well, dust proofing worked well.
Now or the ever present BUT.
Our beloved blackwolf turbo plus 300 is a great tent but not so for touring, so difficult to pack up on a near zero degree morning and makes one night stops very undesirable, great for 3 or 4 nights but very hard work to be on the road early enough to get somewhere by 3 pm to set up that afternoon.
So have decided to sell the trailer top and purchase a soft floor tent to fit to the trailer.
Question is, never having used a camp trailer before, what are some of the pitfalls to look out for? The sort of thing you don't realize till its too late.
Is it better to but a second hand brand name tent, or pick up a cheap Chinese one?
Any input from users of such trailer tents will be appriciated.
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Reply By: Tony F8 - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 12:10

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 12:10
If you go and see some of the camper trailer manufacturers, most are willing to supply you the top only, that way you can get a good quality top to suit your needs.
AnswerID: 620051

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 14:34

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 14:34
For speed of pack up, you can't beat the Oztents. We have an RV-3 for 2 of us, but would suggest an RV-4 for a couple, if you're using stretchers. Another alternative, if weather is fine and mild, are those side awnings for 4wds. Roll up quickly and stop dew to a certain extent. Even handy in light rain.


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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 21:52

Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 21:52
I will second that one Bob.
Last year the wife and I did a lap across the Simpson and I got crook on the way home from Alice Springs.
She had no problems putting it up and packing it up all by herself in a small amount of time.
I could only help her lift it out of, and back into the ute.

Well worth the cost.
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Reply By: phantom - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 14:47

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 14:47
We use a Southern Cross tent in our trailer, quicker to pack up than a trailer tent.
For just an over-nighter we don't bother with the awning, just 4 pegs, one in each corner. Have done a couple of 3 month trips this way and no issues.
Our friends with camper trailers take considerably longer to set up.
For stays of a couple of days or more, then we set up the awning, which takes about 15 minutes.
AnswerID: 620060

Follow Up By: GarryR - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 18:10

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 18:10
I have a combination. We currently have a Hannibal rooftop tent which has been magnificent. Our problem now is we are mid late sixties and now finding it more difficult to climb up and down the ladder. We also have a southern cross camper trailer that we use as a base on some trips. I have just recently bought a southern cross trekka tent for our next trip in September. The quality is as good as you can get. Aussie made and canvas. I have had other products custom made by this company, and I cannot complain about the quality. I have no affiliation to this company, but recommended to them and have never looked back. Ease to set up as stated, as give you more flexibility.
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Reply By: Hoyks - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 16:07

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 16:07
Packing anything up in 0 degree weather isn't fun, The getting out of the warm sleeping bag is hard, stowing everything is harder too, particularly zippers when your fingers don't want to grip and slipping off and hitting something hurts like hell.

Picking up a name brand? I don't think it would make a lot of difference in your situation. Any future purchaser would mainly be looking at the name on the trailer, rather than the name on the canvas.

As for pitfalls, probably the biggest one is making sure the height from the top of the trailer to the ground (known as the 'fall') matches the tent.

You will be buying canvas and making it fit your trailer, rather than having them designed together, so you are going to have compromises. You might also have to tweak your trailer layout of gas bottles or jerry cans are trapped behind layers of canvas when the tent is deployed.

I have no idea what part of Queensland you are in, but if on the Sunshine Coast, it would be worth your while dropping into Austrack Campers and looking at their bolt on tents trailer tent linky as they can show you some options and you can get a feel for if it will work for you. They seem to be reasonably priced too.

Packing away a tent on a trailer will also take time, the only bonus is that the bed stays where it is.

Another option is to put some tradesman racks on the trailer and fit a roof top tent above the trailer. Setting them up is easy enough, same too for stowing, even more so when fitted on a trailer. Team it up with a roll out awning and you will have some covered area and a bed that can be stowed quickly. You could also keep the existing BW Turbo for longer stays.
The RTT and roll out awning is what I get by with, but they are on the back of a ute.
AnswerID: 620063

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 17:41

Monday, Jul 09, 2018 at 17:41
Thanks for the tips, yes you got the 2 major problems with our set up, the cold weather thing isn't the discomfort, it is the fact that the tent floor is stiff and impossible to get packed away in the bag with the fly so it takes up a lot more space than when you pack it away when its warmer so then gear has to be tied to the roofracks which is a pain in the ass, the straps howl at speed and don't like having weight on the racks on corrugations.
The other is the fact that the bed and bedding remain in place, that is the other big time consuming part of a cold pack up, we keep all of our bedding tightly packed into 4 square 20 litre sealed buckets and the airbed suffers the same problem as the tent when cold.
We always seem to be the last to leave a campsite in the morning even when we start packing up earlier, would be a different story in warmer weather but the days are longer then so it isn't an issue.
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Follow Up By: phantom - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 08:07

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 08:07
Hi qldcamper,
We have fitted a roof rack with a canvas roof top bag on the lid of the trailer that all the bedding gets folded up and shoved in. This is waterproof and mattresses, doona's, sleeping bags, pillows etc get stored in there. Saves a lot of time when packing up.
Never had an issue fitting the Southern Cross tent back in the bag, even when wet.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 12:14

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 12:14
Hi qldcamper, I have an Oztent RV4 30 second tent. I used to use it when I toured on my Motor Cycle towing a small camping trailer. As you can see from the pic. attached, it fitted longways on my trailer. It takes about 5 mins to set up & pull down when you use all the pegs and guy ropes, but if you are not pegging it down, it literally takes 30 seconds to set up and about 1 min. to pull down. I used a camp stretcher inside, (there is room for two), and a self inflating mattress and sleeping bag. From start to finish, it used to take me about 20 mins altogether to set up camp & pull down.


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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 14:03

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 14:03
A friend had a trailer made and then purchased a soft floor from Cameron Campers. I was impressed with the quality and design.
When I bought a camper trailer I got one from Cameron Campers and I am happy with it. The design means I do not have to peg it. In some parts of Oz it is almost impossible to get the pegs in the ground and this is an important feature.
Have a look at their site.
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Reply By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 15:11

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018 at 15:11
Just buy a hard floor camper and all your problems are solved. mattress and bedding remain in place. Set up about 10 mins and the same for closing up.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Jul 12, 2018 at 07:44

Thursday, Jul 12, 2018 at 07:44
If you want to keep the tent for any length of time then you want Ozzie canvas.
It'll cost a lot more will last years longer than Chinese stuff.

Johnnos Campers made really nice tents that took under 5 minutes to set up. (I'ved owned two of them)

They are made by Crazy Dog Canvas in Maryborough QLD who will customise to suit. Damned good work.

Alternatively the Johnnos camper bodies were made for them by Cub campers in Sydney.
Johnnos have gone bust but I believe Cub have quite a few tents left over that they don't know what to do with.
Might be worth giving them a ring and see if you can cut a deal.
AnswerID: 620098

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 08:33

Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 08:33
Got in touch with Cub, they say yes they have some but are positive it will only fit the campers it was custom built for, didn't offer dimensions but directed me to crazy dog but their site doesn't have anything other than RTT's so I assume that getting them to build something custom will be expensive.
Thanks for the lead.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 13:38

Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 13:38
I can get you the dimensions for the walk up tent base this weekend if you want?
Basically there is a big wooden platform around 16-20 mm thick. There's sail track screwed on around the circumference and the tent slides into that.
Provided you have the base dimensions right you'll be ok.
Consider also there will be the hoops and pivot points for those to locate to the frame.

Crazy Dog do anything but their focus is RTT's.
They supplied all the Cub/Johnnos tents. You are going to be looking at some $3500-$4000.

Would have thought Cub would have jumped at teh chance to offload one.
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 16:56

Friday, Jul 13, 2018 at 16:56
Yep your right, spoke with them this afternoon, forget the exact figure as he rang when I was out and about but over 3 thousand just for the canvas, no frame, base, mattress. Understand the quality would be far better than oztrail but I just want something to bolt on and use, not a construction project.
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