Camper trailers buying advice/warnings

Submitted: Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 06:47
ThreadID: 138164 Views:1062 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
Buying a hard floor camper trailer ... options and range is a bit mind blowing..!!
Our useage will be mainly 2-3 night getaways, a little off track, but no hard core off road ... plus an annual 10-15 night base camp set up .. Sooo
Import canvas vs the Aussie canvas ...
is the difference real ? Leaking ?? Long term wear and tear ..? Downpours .?
Trailer ...
Aussie assembled vs Fully Aussie made ...
is it worth the $15k+ price difference ... ? Strength of trailer ? Robust ..?
been looking at Cub ( way too expensive) Bluewater, Ezytrail and Mars..
option is the forward fold variants...
has anyone out there had experience with any of these makes and any endorsements/warnings ..?
Any advice / comments would be greatly appreciated..
Thanks in advance
Julian
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 07:16

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 07:16
We did a lot of research before buying 3 years ago and I’m still happy with our decision. We had owned Australian trailers prior. It is a trade off between budget and ammenity. Check them out in the flesh and see what they are made from. They may look somewhat similar but there are plenty of differences between brands. Some (the brands you mention) buy on the open Chinese market and customise. Some (mdc) own their own factories and build their own product. On the rearfolds we looked at there were differences in chassis size, steel v aluminium front box construction, steel v aluminium composite for the body cladding, Chinese v name brand (Dometic) stoves and sinks, elec cutout etc etc.
Since we bought ours the aust domestic 2nd hand market has dropped significantly - I’d be scouring within my budget in there as well for the big name units. There is a ‘cape York trailers’ rear fold on myswag for barely $20k at the moment. They are heirloom quality. We also quickly discounted CUB very quickly.
AnswerID: 624954

Follow Up By: Julian F1 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 07:34

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 07:34
Thanks for your advice and follow up ...
I’m leaning towards the Bluewater campers .. the owners forum seems to have nothing but praise for their units,... been to their factory and there seems to be a pride and hands on approach in what they do .. The canvas is Aust Wax Converers Dynaproof canvas which by all reports is good quality, long wearing and most importantly good in wet weather .. Have been certainly looking in the used market as our budget doesn’t get past $25k ...
Will look up the Cape York trailers and see what is available...
again, thanks for your input ????
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FollowupID: 898531

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:41

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:41
I had wax converters canvas on the Trakshak and the campomatic - it is excellent. The canvas work on the current MDC isn’t the same seamstress quality but the canvas itself is perfectly good 16 Oz. Any canvas which isn’t under the tropical roof is actually silver alumised coated underneath which you won’t get on local product. It is an excellent insulator. Sewing is fit for purpose no doubt, just not as great as the prior two local campers I had. We have towed ours on various sand island tracks, Out west, Cameron Corner, flinders ranges, Darling run etc etc. It has proved itself worthy.
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FollowupID: 898532

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:32

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:32
http://www.myswag.org/index.php?topic=55966.0

You won't find a lot on these, the owner retired I believe. They were made in Cairns in ally and staino by a craftsman.
Worth the time and effort to chase down and look. I have no attachment to the trailer nor the seller - just seen a different one and admired the craftsmanship.
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FollowupID: 898537

Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:06

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:06
Hi Julian,I looked at some Aust made and some Chinese ,and finally went for a Chinese MDC rear fold after looking at the build quality and accessories that were included ,including fully dipped galvanised frame .
One of the deciding factors on price was ,why would I spend more money on a Aust built camper than I would on my 4 WD to tow it a few times a year and the fourby is used daily ,not logical I thought .
AnswerID: 624955

Follow Up By: Julian F1 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:44

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 08:44
Yep, totally makes sense ...
how have you found the MDC as a trailer ... ?
Canvas ok in the weather .?
Any issues, breakages or annoying problems ..?
Appreciate your feedback and thanks
Cheers ????
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FollowupID: 898533

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 09:18

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 09:18
Julian

The Product Review website has plenty of feedback on MDC Camper Trailers, roughly 50% good and 50% poor from over 250 reviewers.

Have a read through the reviews as it might assist you one way or the other and give you an insight into what some people have liked and what others have not.

And it is worth taking a look at the Product Review website for any other campers you are looking at.

Product Review website

Cheers and good luck,

Baz - The Landy
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”

Member
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FollowupID: 898534

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 09:50

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 09:50
I no longer have the camper ,as situations changed ,but I did not have any issues with it ,we were camped o/nite south of Nocundra and during the night the wind came up ,and it was that rough it was not safe to get out and check on condition of camper ,so in morning it was calm and everything was all good ,been in heavy rain and no leaks ,we did condition the canvas as recommended when we bought it .
The only thing we found,was that it was very heavy on the towball ,so much so I had to sell the Prado and get a Landcruiser to get the 280 kg towball rating ,but I knew it was a heavy built trailer ,so felt secure in that it would last.
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FollowupID: 898535

Reply By: Nifty1 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:11

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:11
I would choose a second hand Australian built camper. As an example we had an Outback Sturt (now passed on within the family) which was almost 20 years old and with original canvas - a bit marked but without faults or leaks. That model is still being made so has stood the test of time, and is probably about $20,000 new. The older ones may not have all the fancy bits, most of which you can easily add if you want them, but will suit almost any budget and seem to be bullet proof. I’m sure there are other Aussie brands with similar heritage and prices.
AnswerID: 624959

Reply By: Gazza70 - Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 20:49

Monday, Apr 15, 2019 at 20:49
If i was in the market for a camper, in the budget range, then i would be giving a used Aussie Swag camper some serious consideration. In the end , i went a used Adventure Trek hybrid van. The better half was sick of canvas.

Best of luck!
AnswerID: 624971

Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 07:26

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 07:26
Most people will tell you that what they have dropped their 'hard earned' on is great. Very few admit to buying crap and not that many have owned several brands in order to make any sort of comparison.

There are so many personal things involved (you don't mention kids, budget, what you are towing with, etc) that there is no simple answer. Someone simply telling you that 'brand X is great' is a waste of time.

I suggest you read up on My Swag, which a forum dedicated to camper trailers (building and owning).
Read up on the different models and their owners experiences with them.
Go to the Fourby Camping shows and see some different styles in the flesh.
Lastly, try and hire a few different ones for a weekend and try them out and see what you love/hate about them.
You might find a hard floor is too small for you or too heavy for your tug etc etc

An Ozzie tent will cost around $4000 compared to a Chinese one at around $500.
There's good reasons for that but again there are plenty of shitty Aus made tents as well. Made in Aus isn't necessarily good.
You need to eyeball everything, don't forget to take the wife with you.

Camper trailers are a buyers market. I would never buy a new one as the resale drops alarmingly. There are soooo many trailers for sale and they have been for sale for a long time. Just dont rush in.
AnswerID: 624978

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 12:49

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 12:49
Its tricky Julian and you need to match it to your way of doing things.

Some of the things that made up our minds were ->

Almost all took to long to put up and hence were unsuitable for touring trips where you stayed only 1 night .
An important part of this for us was easy access to all the stuff in back of our patrol which meant that camper didn't have to be disconnected each night.
To make this work we got ours made with long single beam drawbar which is easy to step over.

Rear fold ones were just to long and required much longer space to set up in than side fold. They also require more level ground than soft floor.

Most are just to complex and hence usually heavy - we wanted loaded weight under 750kg and towball load under 50 kg which meant no need for brakes.

Almost no hard floor could do above off the shelf .

Until I get round to making such a unit we had a basic soft floor driver side fold out item built which meet all our requirements above. ($5000 Aussie camper trailers).
It users leaf springs and is very tough surviving many hard core trips now.

Our car has a double bed mattress in it and its a bit tight but is used when we just stay 1 night enabling us to be step up much quicker.
We set up camper only when its 2 or more nights.

Also when we leave camper for a day trip the car and also camper requires minimal packing up.

The main disadvantage of our approach is that the car becomes a 2 seater.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 624987

Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 21:21

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 21:21
Try Adventure campers. Made in Adelaide. Many brands say Aussie made but only a small percentage of CT needs to be put together here to qualify as made in Australia. I asked retailer and he was very honest about his CTs, all made in China but can be labelled made in Australia.
AnswerID: 624996

Reply By: Member - Trevor_H - Sunday, Apr 21, 2019 at 20:20

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