Complete Newbies - Camper Trailer advice please.

Submitted: Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 13:17
ThreadID: 137436 Views:4160 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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We want to get our family camping (daughters 3,5,7) and think a camper trailer is the way to go.
We are in Perth, WA
While we are introducing our family to camping we will keep it super soft sticking to proper roads. We do not want to upgrade our 2wd Hilux to a 4x4 at this stage so don't think an off-road camper is necessary. Yet...
We would like a decent-quality second-hand unit. We can't afford the best money can buy. We wonder if there is such a thing as upper mid-range that might hold its value to some degree.
We were thinking - soft floor for more space and lighter weight, possibly cheaper price point?
Is under $5k realistic for a worthy second-hand camper trailer starting out?
We have read a convincing review by a touring camper, and been recommended by a neighbour, an Erde Daxara 198 6x4 Trailer. French and German manufactured, WA assembled. Apparently it is a quality built, and light - barely noticeable when towing. Nearly-new second-hand (trailer only) going for around $2,500. Can anyone speak for or against this trailer? However, compared to other trailers these are pretty scarce on the ground. I get that there is quality, and then there is quality. No idea of this fits into either category of “quality.”
I assume we can buy the tent separately, (or can we??) What would be recommended here to fit the 5 of us and keep us dry?
I have seen an OzTrail 7 for sale without the trailer for $1600 including the annex, floors and few extra bits and pieces. Although this seems to be a very common brand we have absolutely no idea if this represents good value, or if this will keep us dry. It is big enough I daresay.
Also, there is a looooooong list of things to look out for when purchasing a new and second-hand trailer. Neither my husband or I come from an engineering or mechanical background and so have no idea what we are looking at. Is there is a camper trailer pre-purchase inspection service that we can employ to check if a trailer is sound?
We will consider hiring a camper to feel them out before we buy.
Your thoughts, advice and recommendations would be gratefully received. We really need a lot of guidance :)
Thanks heaps
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 14:15

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 14:15
I don't think buying a trailer without the tent is a good idea. You should buy a unit that is fully setup in my opinion, unless you are very handy and really know what you want and how to achieve it by building it yourself. My advice would be to hire a camper trailer a few times to find out if you really like it. See what works and what suits. You could even hire a soft floor one time and a hard floor the next. Quiz the hire people on the pros and cons. Hiring them isn't very dear.
If you buy the right one the first time you will actually save money and hassle. The kids may hate it, so you might save a lot of money.
AnswerID: 621971

Follow Up By: Swain Train - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 14:20

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 14:20
Thanks for that advice. I read somewhere installing the tent to the trailer was as easy as bolting it on. That is not the case then...
Thanks again
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:50

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 16:50
" I read somewhere installing the tent to the trailer was as easy as bolting it on. That is not the case then..."

They might have been referring to bolting on a roof top tent, which would be easy as they are designed to bolt on to a roof rack. A family fold-out camper is a different kettle of fish.

I agree with Michael H9. Get some advice and opinions from hire companies or friends. Following that advice, borrow or hire a couple of different types and see how you go.

Noting your thanks :-), but on the other hand, a quality trailer for 2500 plus an Oztrail 7 for 1600 with extras - total $4100 - would be good value if it was the right setup for you.

However the particular trailer you're looking at may have a max weight of 750kg even though braked. For family camping, typically, that may not be enough.


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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:25

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:25
It can be as easy as bolting it on but first you have to get one that fits the trailer and suits your needs...
The advice to hire is good and should be followed then you can figure out what you (especially the wife) like / hate about different styles.
Possibly then get a tent custom made to suit you and your trailer.
We just had a custom tent made by Crazy Dog Canvas in Maryborough, They did all the tents for the Johnnos campers and are fantastic quality.
Made exactly to our specs, it cost $4300

You could always buy a cheap crappy chinese thing and use that for a while to learn whats what. We did that for our first trailer and quickly figured out what we hated about cheap trailers.
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Reply By: Member - Chappy (WA) - Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 23:16

Monday, Nov 05, 2018 at 23:16
Perth 4x4 & camping show is on this weekend. Would be an opportunity to see what is on offer in the way of new campers. Might help when looking at 2nd hand.
AnswerID: 621984

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 07:21

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 07:21
Swain Train, asking a question like this on a Forum such as this, you are bound to get swamped with recommendations from people who own a particular brand, because that is what they own. The advice already given is good, check out what brands higher companies are using, they will most likely be using a good quality brand, but it will be expensive, because quality costs money.

Checking out different brands at a camping & caravan show is also good advice, you can see what is on offer & what you think may suit your needs, but you will probably be more confused at the end.

I have had both CUB Camper & a Kimberley Kamper & would recommend both. Again these are not cheap, but like I said earlier, quality costs. I am sure others will recommend different brands. IMHO, I don’t think you will get anything that is likely to last for the price you are looking to pay, you may need to come up to around $5,000 fo decent quality.


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Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:29

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018 at 12:29
Suggest you also check out
Its an aussie forum dedicated to camper trailers.
Heaps of good info from owners about tons of different makes & models.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 10:25

Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 10:25
Your $5k budget will nett a second hand soft floor camper trailer without a worry. They are a great starting point to see if you want to take it any further.
Buying a tent and sticking it on a bare trailer will end up costing a lot more than buying a kitted one with a kitchen and some basic power. There is also canvas drop lengths, lifting bases etc to consider.
Hiring is highly recommended if you aren't sure yet. Enjoy the journey.
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Reply By: Swain Train - Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 15:22

Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018 at 15:22
Thanks everyone for the replies.
I will check out and look for some ideas.
Cheers :)
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Friday, Nov 09, 2018 at 15:45

Friday, Nov 09, 2018 at 15:45
Swain Train Hi,
There was a similar question to this on the forum a while back.
I replied & spoke about our soft floor camper & the trouble we had when we went up to the tropical places in caravan Parks.
In Kununurra they reckoned we were going to smother the grass.
This camper served us really well when we weren't forced to camp on grass.
Maybe some one knows where that post is because I explained the situation in detail. My internet today wouldn't send that much, too slow.
Good luck.
Take care, safe travels. Ma
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Reply By: wooly0005 - Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 13:18

Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 13:18
Hi there,

We had a Cavalier off road soft floor for a long time and it served us very well. Solid and with oput the frills but it never broke on us. I paid 3500 for it and sold it for 2500 so turned out to be a good investment.

See them for sale now and then on gumtree and the like for between 2000 and 7000 so you should be able to get a good one for your budget.
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