Family camper trailer advice

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:37
ThreadID: 137411 Views:4711 Replies:9 FollowUps:3
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Hi, I am looking for an off road camper trailer for our family - 2 adults and 2 children, around $20k (or less for a second hand). We would like a Queen and double bed so may need forward fold with slide I assume? I would like the option to add spare room and shower tents off the annex. I have seen plenty of brands, MDC, etc but just not sure which is best. My in-laws swear by Kimberly campers but they seem more suited to a couple rather than family (and a bit expensive). Your suggestions would be appreciated.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:49

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:49

My advice would be to not cater for the kids, depending on their age.
I know it sounds silly but hear me out.
I have seen many families cater for the kids and buying soft floor campers that folds out and out again to cater for the kids. This is great but your setup time becomes triple that of a simpler camper (and double that again for the pack-up time).
Our kids love camping. When they were little they took great pride in setting up their own little tent. Now they are bigger they definitely want their own! 2 man tents these days take less than 1 minute to set up.
So we catered to have the whole family in the trailer only in emergencies or short overnight stops. Cramped yes but this happened on only a handful of nights over the decade that they were camping with us.
The UP side of this is that we had a camper trailer that suited us in all conditions. With the kids, and also without, with fast setup and pack-up times. When the kids flew the nest we still had a camper that suited the two of us perfectly.

Hope this helps, CJ
AnswerID: 621874

Follow Up By: Charisse A - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:12

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:12
Thanks CSeaJay. We have a little 4 man tent (which would not actually fit 4 men) that is easy to set up, but my kids are only 4yrs and 6mths, so too young to sleep in a tent on their own just yet. I do see you point though about not needing the trailer to be big, but maybe a single forward fold with a kids room option that attaches to the annex might suit us, that way we can not use the kids room if we go childless (or when they are old enough to want their own tent), but still have the seating area that folds into a bed if we stop for a quick stay and don't want to set up the annex.
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:50

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:50
Hi Charisse A
Larger families need more room inside if the weather turns "yucky". You might like to look on Gumtree and search for Trak Shak - serious off road soft floor campers that will sleep both you and the kids in Q/S beds up off the ground. I owned one for years and it went everywhere the 4x4 took it. Good second hand Australian made earlier models (later ones are China made) can be found for $10K. Not sure where you are but I reckon they are worth a look.


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Follow Up By: Charisse A - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:47

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:47
Thanks John, I had not heard of a Trak Shak before - I will take a look at them.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 12:01

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 12:01
I think you will find it hard to get the info you want. Everyone will recommend what they have.

With that budget you can afford an Aus made trailer with Aus canvas. It'll likely last longer then the Chinese stuff.
You are going to have to do some foot work to figure things out and check out what the various campers have to offer you.

I assume you have attended your local 4x4 shows?
That'll give you a good grounding in what the various offerings are about. Soft floor v hard floor etc. Everyone has their biases but most have not owned all the various types to accurately compare them.
We are approaching 60 but love the softies as there is usually way more room inside but its personal.

Suggest you look at hiring a few different trailers for some weekends away and discover what you love/hate about them and apply that to your searching.

Have a look at Its an Aus forum devoted to camper trailers, modifications and building there of. Hell of a lot of info and owner experience.

Just don't rush in to buy one. Its a buyers market for 2nd hand trailers so you really should look there. I wouldn't be buying a new unit...
AnswerID: 621877

Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 12:48

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 12:48
We are a family of 4 that have owned a Kimberley Kamper for 8 years now, has served us perfectly on our adventures (outback and close to home) so far to date. Mostly our kids (now 15 & 10) sleep on the hard floor on self inflating mattresses, but there’s also an extra room that attaches to the back of the camper should we be staying somewhere for longer then a few days. Kids will sleep just about anywhere, usually the parents make more of a fuss then the kids do about it. Expensive is a word you could use for them, but sometimes you get what you pay for....I know where our trailer has been in those 8 years, and always made it home from those trips without any major issues. Our Kimberley has the rear spare room aswell as a shower room that attaches to the drivers side, though being we do a lot of touring trips where are on the move each day, I find it easier and quicker to use a pop up shower tent for what we do. Everyone’s needs and wants are different, what suits our travel style doesn’t suit others, so you’ll likely get a hundred different suggestions on what you should get or what others think you need.
AnswerID: 621880

Reply By: nickb - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:46

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 14:46
Depends how off-road you want to go. We have a Jayco Dove, it has a double bed for the missus and I, another bed a bit smaller than a double for the 5 & 7 year old and the 9 year old sleeps on the folded down table. Plenty of room inside and all high off the ground.

I have modified mine a bit but it has done the Oodnadatta Track, GCR and many other rough roads with only minor issues. I did drive to the conditions and had to pick my lines on the really slow rough tracks (it’s 2.1m wide). For an overnight stop we can be in bed in less than 15mins, a full setup takes as long as any other camper with awning, tables etc.
AnswerID: 621883

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 19:05

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 19:05
There are some models of the Jayco campers that have a queen bed one end and a double the other.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 06:27

Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 06:27
We did this exercise nearly 3 years ago now. We had two camper trailers prior so also had some strong ideas about what we wanted. I wanted to like the forward folds but the layout was too many compromises. We ended up buying an MDC cape York rear fold which is right about your budget amount. I have spent probably $2-3k modifying it to my satisfaction. It has done a fair bit of hard off-road touring and continues to impress. We use a set of great outdoors bunks on the floor for our two kids. Our last camper was also a Trakshak which was very labour intensive in comparison and not great for touring. Enjoy the search. The second hand market has certainly moved in the 3 years we have had ours. $23k now buys a pretty good condition top shelf unit (Kimberley, AOR, Aussie Swag, campomatic). The ones we looked at back then were shagged. This will upset a few but I didn't rate Cub at all in the build department and wouldn't mention them along with the others.
AnswerID: 621894

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 13:17

Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 13:17
Another vote for Kimberley Kamper. We had ours for 6 years, and only traded up when we decided on a full size full off road caravan. You could also look at the CUB Campers, also Australian designed & made. Second hand ones should be in your price range.


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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 10:16

Friday, Nov 02, 2018 at 10:16
I have a Cameron camper trailer (Lonsdale SA). The model I have is only suitable for 2 but they do have an option of adding an additional room which would make it ideal for your situation. They are a genuine Australian Made product. Don't be fooled as a lot out there are assembled in Oz from kits made in China and do not have the same quality. They however claim to be Australian made so be careful.
For $20k you will not get a new Genuine Australian made off road camper. Cameron do at times have second hand campers in stock and that may be an option for you. Mine cost $30k new so you could get new if you stretched your budget.

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Reply By: Member - Nick & Jane C (QLD) - Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 10:06

Saturday, Nov 03, 2018 at 10:06
We have a Kimberley that is 10yrs old ( and yes expensive but worth it) which we bought with the Bedouin annexe ( sleeps 6) and the second bedroom ( sleeps 2)( we have 6 kids) now none come camping with us. For just us a setup is under 5 minutes, with the lot takes about 45.
Kimberley have gone to wall so no new ones being built. The long story being look at insurance right offs, often auctioned ex Melbourne. I now a guy who about 2 months ago picked a 2014 Platinum ( top of the range) for $3500 that the lady didn't want repaired ( needed some canvas work) she rolled in a gully b4 closing it properly with no damage except the canvas, The canvas repair cost him $450. That is under $4k for a 50K trailer.
I also 2nd Johns opinion of Trak Shak it was our second choice b4 the Kimberley.
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