National Park Travel

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 10:40
ThreadID: 141974 Views:1248 Replies:7 FollowUps:15
Hi, I’m new to this forum and looking for advice on a camper. We are looking at a camper pop top about 14-15 foot with an inside ensuite but ok to have external cooking. In addition some offer single or dual axle. I read some parks don’t allow tandem trailers into their parks like the bungles.
So any advice on a high quality Aussie made trailer to handle off grid up to 2 weeks, able to handle the Kimberley and Medium to solid off road conditions ( not extreme ) would be appreciated and is their many restrictions on travelling into parks with a tandem?
Thank you
John
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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:25

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:25
John
Are you somehow combining two types of vehicles? or looking at a popup camper with soft walls! A camper is a camper, many are popup, and a poptop is a caravan with a poptop as I see it. Most will be single axle as that size isn't very often seen with dual axles unless a very expensive high end hybrid. They are all wheels at 14' dual axle. A 14' to 15' with an ensuite is possible but internal size is quite small if ensuite is included. Just take turns in breathing. Personally, I prefer inside cooking and can always cook outside with a gas 3 burner cooker when required and weather or not cold/windy permits.. Not much fun wanting a hot drink inside and having to go outside to heat water and then go back inside. Saves a lot of weight not having slide out everything. In bad weather an outside kitchen is hard to manage. I had a Tvan with slide out kitchen and ok when fine weather but cold. windy and raining it took the enjoyment out of it.

3burner cooker can always be taken on day trips too. Hard to do with a slide out!
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Follow Up By: John H104 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:41

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:41
Thank you RMD
Yes apologies for the lack of terminology ??. Looking at a hybrid pop top not camper trailer ) if that makes more sense ).
We will be more “Glampers” I suspect and our ensuite was more around the loo not so much the shower. We don’t fancy getting up in the middle of the night heading outside to the loo. I can but a bit harder for the ladies. We do love outdoors living but I also am concerned about cooking outside when it’s cold and miserable, so great point, and yes I don’t really think of taking a seperate cooker. I assume you do that with refrigeration too ?
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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:56

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 11:56
Tandem trailers tend to be longish, and would probably get hung up getting to the Bungles ……. some steepish creek crossings.
Some things to consider are how dustproof is the camper/caravan because dust over everything isn’t much fun. Canvas can need some time to dry before packing up …… very important to dry canvas.
We love being able to cook inside, and eat , when it’s wet, or windy, or both , and when the flies / mozzies are bad.
Otherwise, we cook and eat outside, by having a gas stove as well.
Good solid suspension of course, and not too heavy.
A longer drawbar is easier to reverse, but adds to overall length which might bite on ferry crossings.
Good hunting !!
Cheers
Jim
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Follow Up By: JNH - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:19

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:19
Terrific advice, thank you Jim
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 12:01

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 12:01
Have a look at the Australian Offroad's "Quantum", made in Caloundra and very robust. The pop top version of this would be the sort of size you are looking for and does come with an inside bathroom. They also have smaller models with an external bathroom annexe (which we have) or a range of larger campers. Not cheap, but excellent build quality and service.
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 15:25

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 15:25
And just make sure to check where your selected camper is built - despite looking good, there is some awful imported rubbish around at enticing prices
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Follow Up By: JNH - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:21

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:21
Thanks Wildmax. The quantum has been on our support list but does t have inside cooking. Not that we have decided what we want yet, it is an good option. Thank you for your advice.
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Follow Up By: Rob A2 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 17:17

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 17:17
Quantum family does have inside cooking as an option. We had one with it fitted so do know. It adds incredible value and amenity when the weather outside turns bad. But the fridge remains outside so that becomes another first world problem.

After four years and 140,000km of out back travel we recently took delivery of a Matrix Full Height as bad weather always seems to find us when you spend 3-5 months per year on the road.

Best to take a look at the Complete Campsite range as well. But look very closely at the hard differences between those two Australian manufacturers, particularly in regard to the 140l black tank and marine macerator toilet with AOR and a small chemical cassette toilet with pretty much most others. Some are now looking at providing non-water/chemical based toilets AOR included

Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:31

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:31
We had the similar specifications as you when we were looking to buy 12 months ago. Our narrowed down list included Kimberley Karavan, AOR, Complete Campsite, Rhinomax(?), Track Topaz(?), Mountain Trail & Zone.
I hope you understand you are looking at $70k + even for 10 years old?

Do your sums on what your max tow weight your vehicle has, then deduct a min of 500kg from it and that should be the maximum ATM of what you buy if you are considering GRR (Kimberley), Cape York etc. Your vehicle may be rated to 3T say, but you are mad taking anything over 2.5T on extended corrugated roads with it.
The reason I say all this is there are some great looking new Chinese built Hybrids around significantly cheaper, but there ATM is close to 3T. I am not knocking or questioning the quality of these hybrids, but the above Australian hybrids have much lower ATMs. In addition they are proven and most importantly you can get parts & service.
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Follow Up By: JNH - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 19:42

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 19:42
Thanks Mark,
Great advice. I’d be interested in what you ended up selecting and why if you wouldn’t mind sharing ? We are very conscious of the international brands and we have made a point (rightly or wrongly) to choose an Australian manufacturers product to support the local industry and because we believe the build quality should be better even though we understand the higher cost.

Regards
John
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 21:13

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 21:13
Complete Campsite Exodus 14. Complete Campsite (CC) closed /went bust in 2020, but two former employees have a business repairing and servicing CC units on the NSW central coast. We liked the AORs as well, but as Pluckachook had closed the border for much of 2020, we couldn't venture into Qld to see them. Those half dozen brands I listed we thought highly of, just comes down to what suits your specific requirements best and $s.
Mark
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Follow Up By: Briste - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 23:34

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 23:34
I thought Complete Campsite (Genesis) had recently had a phoenix-like return from a near-death experience, much like Ultimate and Kimberley in 2018-19. They exhibited at the show in Sydney in April. Although I concede that was one owner showing one van on behalf of the factory, rather than the factory showing multiples, but someone still paid the not insubstantial exhibitors fee.

And FWIW, that van had a Nature's Head composting toilet fitted as an option.

I generally agree with Mark's list.
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Follow Up By: JNH - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 23:40

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 23:40
I might be over thinking this, but AOR doesn’t have a fully galvanised chassis compared to some Aussie brands. Anyone know the X15 off road from North Coast Off Road RVS ?
Is a fully galvanised chassis better which seems to be the case from what I read ?
John
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Follow Up By: batsy - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 07:45

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 07:45
NCC has a fully hot dipped chassis with inside & outside shower & inside & outside galley.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Briste - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 12:10

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 12:10
Re "I’d be interested in what you ended up selecting and why if you wouldn’t mind sharing ?", I was waiting for Mark to answer but I eventually realised that he did, he bought a CC Exodus 14. I'll also answer, as my shortlist pretty much matched his.

First up, none of these are cheap if purchased new. I ended up ordering a Kimberley Karavan. A large part of the reason was its compact height for storage, meaning I can store it at home. I may _just_ be able to with the Complete Campsite Exodus, but it would be tight. Were I to seriously consider one I'd want to know a little more about the current state of this small company given its recent difficulties.

Other than size, the things that attracted me to the KK included the ability to cook either indoor or out, and an internal shower and (composting) toilet. A lot of the hybrids on the list only have external kitchens, although I see that internal may be an option for some. The advantage of external is that there's no internal gas, so I wonder how they would option an internal kitchen. The current KK has an induction cooktop and a microwave inside - if you've got enough battery capacity you could use a portable induction cooktop inside on a van with an external kitchen.

The other van that impressed me was the Mountain Trail LXV series, although their hybrids are full-height, just narrower. They seem well thought-out and well-built and seem to have a good reputation - you could probably say that for nearly all the brands on Mark's list.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 12:15

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 12:15
Check out the hybrids here.

I like the Sirocco.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:47

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:47
Hey Bob

That Sirocco looks the goods and would suit me perfectly - only minor trouble being I'm about $55,000 short of the purchase price - without any extras :)

Doesn't matter - I will just keep travelling this big brown land sleeping in my 30 yo trusty DB swag.


Happy safe - and comfortable travels if you have a Sirocco

Cheers
Gazz
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Reply By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:56

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 16:56
Try Altitude campers as well - some of theirs are Australian made.
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Follow Up By: JNH - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:56

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 18:56
Thank you for the tip. Looks similar to the AOR Quantum and a good option.
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Follow Up By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 20:26

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 20:26
Or you could talk to Chris Murray at Murraybilt onFacebook or Instagram. Very customisable. Top quality stuff. He does a few different sizes.
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Reply By: mike39 - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 11:42

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 11:42
If a used van is on your agenda consider an older Supreme Getaway or Trakmaster.
We have a 1997 15' Getaway which has travelled about every off road and "no road" region of the country.
All without fuss, breakages or dust ingress.
A bit dated looking these days, but ours (with a side entry, not rear) will compare with any new one performance wise.
A bonus is a good clean one of either the above is going to be around $20-25000.
mike
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jun 19, 2021 at 23:10

Saturday, Jun 19, 2021 at 23:10
Aside from any physical park access issues, Spring Creek Track into Purnululu National Park is the only national park with the restriction of small single axle trailers. They are more concerned about track damage than actual ability to get through the track.

Caravans were not permitted on the Mitchell Plateau road any further than the King Edward River campground when it was under Parks and Wildlife, but now it is administered by the Wunambal Gaambera people and no mention is made of trailer restrictions.

Get the most suited to your overall travels; you can always take camping gear into Purnululu.
Motherhen

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