camper trailers

Submitted: Friday, Mar 30, 2001 at 00:00
ThreadID: 166 Views:3011 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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We are planning to do our first camping trip, heading up to Alice Springs from Orange (NSW.Taking approx four weeks to do the round trip. We dont plan on doing any serious off- roading.We need to get some experience under our belts first. We have three children. We are looking at buying a camper trailer and was looking for any comments from forum readers in regard to buying one and what size would best suit our needs. We dont want one with a kitchen setup as we have all the equipment.
Appreciate any comments.
Michele
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Reply By: Sally- Sunday, Apr 01, 2001 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 01, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele. My husband & I are taking off in August for 14 months & weve bought an OBriens 4wd offroad campertrailer. Like you we opted for one without a kitchen built-in because we need to be self sufficient in those times where we cant take a trailer - like the Simpson Desert crossing. Ours is simple to erect (takes about 5-10 minutes), has a queen size bed, a 60 litre water tank, 4 jerry can holders, 4 cupboards & a large cupboard at the front, 2 lpg holders and a full length pull out drawer the length of the trailer. The tent would comfortably sleep 6. We bought ours 2nd hand after much research for $4300.00. Its about 4 years old. They certainly hold their value. Weve taken it away camping a few times & have now got it set up just the way we like it. Since this is going to be our home for 14 months, it needed to be easy to set up, practical & sturdy, and we think we made the right choice for our needs. Good luck with your search!
Sally.
AnswerID: 326

Reply By: Nicki - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele. We are in the process of buying a camper trailer for a 1-2 year trip around Oz and have done research upon research on the subject! What weve found is that it really is a matter of choice and weighing up the options. In many brands you dont need to have the kitchen option which would reduce the cost of the trailer or maybe give you more options like perhaps a larger annex or a childrens room. (See Jumbuck.com.au)
The things that you really need to look out for are the thickness of the canvass, durability of the zippers, air flow and the durability of the floor fabric, and in regard to the trailer - fittings, welding, rust (second hand) and storage space.
We have decided on a Complete Campsite one (completecampsite.com.au) but are doing the off-road thing. If you look at rv.com.au/index.htm you may find a manufacturer close to you.
Anyway, hope this has helped. Have a fantastic time. Nicki
AnswerID: 330

Follow Up By: Michele - Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Nicki,
Thankyou for taking the time to reply, greatly appreciate it. Im about tired of all the research, I never realised just how much was involved. Anyway we are slowely narrowing the field down. Have a fabulous trip and hope the Complete Campsite does the job,
Bye
Michele
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FollowupID: 58

Reply By: Greg - Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele. I have been travelling and camping using off road trailers for around 25 years. To me the most important considerations even if you dont intend do a lot of off road work is the strength of the construction and the quality of canvas. Heavy duty springs, axle and bearings are important. I certainly would not have an external kitchen as you stove etc is better kept in your vehicle to allow for use when the trailer is not available. The other most important factor is that the trailer have a solid floor. These units are generally more expensive (eg Campomatic, Kimberley etc) but they are well worth the extra and will last for 20 years if looked after. The solid floor gets you up off the wet ground and means you dont have to clean the floor each time you pack the tent away. The floor (which becomes the roof when packed) usually has a rack on it for carry light things or even a small boat. Also make sure the track matches your vehicle and wheels are interchangeable. With 3 children it might be better if you look at the Jayco or Cub offroad campers. These have a windup roof and double beds at each end with an internal kitchen. They are perfectly ok for light offroad work and outback touring and are much more comfortable being like a caravan inside. Hope this is of some help.
AnswerID: 338

Follow Up By: Michele - Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 05, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Greg,
Thankyou for your information re camping trailers.
It will go to the list of what to look for. To be honest we didnt consider whether the floor be hard or not but will do now. We dont want a stove that is attached to trailer limits you to flexibility we feel. We shall keep looking and hopefully end up with something that will be functionable. Its quite a business when you start looking.
Bye and thanks
Michele
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Reply By: Darrin - Thursday, Apr 12, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 12, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele, We have a Cameron Trailer for 2 adult and 2 children which has been excellent. The styles and choices of trailers around is mind boggling and everyone will tell you theirs is the best. Look for a strong built trailer with good canvas, good stitching and gussets, YKK zippers and plenty of ventilation. Also make sure the tent section isnt to small with kids cause if it rains you will be stuck inside like sardines which will make everyone miserable. If you can get to Sydney between the 21/4 & 28/4 for the Rosehill Camping show you will see a good range on display to compare qualities and get advice. Best of luck.
AnswerID: 350

Reply By: Peter - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele. We are on our 2nd Cub offroad trailer. The first was written off after an idiot came through a give way sign. We chose the Cub because it has plenty of room, its basic dynamics are good, as is the construction but the detail finish can be patchy as its interior on the newer models is more caravan like and flimsier to save weight. This means the inside cupboards can vibrate apart on the really rough stuff - ours did but I replaced them with stronger materials.
We spent 15 weeks with our 2 children 11 & 13 doing the big trip. The Cub is a solid top with full annexe and has really good canvas and cross ventilation from the windows - important in hot weather. The solid top becomes your floor and is great in the dust as you dont get as dirty as with the soft tops when packing up (or muddy if its wet). It also has plenty of room if you need to stay put for a while. Remember that lift up beds seem ok at first for storage but are a pain if you have to get in there often. We tow the Cub with a 3L Pajero with uprated suspension easily and have surprised quite a few people just how far off road we can get with it. As a lot of Cubs have been built you can probably get a second hand one more easily than most. Just make sure the welds are all good. I wouldnt touch a box trailer tent combo at all as they are too much work to set up and pack up, you get dirty and its a real pain with tired kids. They dont usually have shocks either which means your gear can easily be shaken to bits. The Cub is pretty well suspended in this respect and we rarely have broken anything in 4 years of solid off roading.
Orange to Alice should be really easy if youre taking it easy. Most of the roads are sealed anyway. Make sure you do the Mereenie Loop.Have a great time. Peter
AnswerID: 363

Follow Up By: Michele - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Peter,
Thankyou for your response. Its always pleasing when someone takes the time to answer queries.
We have looked mainly at camper trailer (trailer with tent). Havnt given any thought to how messy they could become at pack up time, we will now.
Do you think the cub would be roomy enough with three kids (aged 5,6,8).
Were doing this particular trip as it seems like an easy way to get started on our 4x4 adventure..
When we become better equiped we hope to go further afield. We do plan on doing the Mereenie Loop, all going well.
ONce again thanks again
Michele
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FollowupID: 74

Follow Up By: Peter - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Michele
Our Cub supermatics have both had a double bed which converts to kitchen table and seats but we often eat outside so leave the bed made up. Yes there should be plenty of floor space for the 3 kids as ours are much bigger. We used lilos in an L shape and still had easy access past the 2 kids. Im 180cm tall and can sleep across the cub Left to right this is part of the reason the Cub has more useable room than most hardtop campers as its bed runs across the trailer while most run fron-to-back. Its also bigger than most at nearly 7 wide.You might look for a used Cub Drover which comes with a barbecue and 2x4.5kg gas bottles instead of 1x9kg bottle. If one bottle runs out you have some warning. Our 9kg bottle lasted over a month each time. Drovers dont all have kitchens but plenty of storage. We stay out in bush camps and only go to a caravan park once a week for good showers etc. as we have 2 fridges - 1x3way & an Engel - and dual batteries. The Cub also carries 60L of water. Our first cub had an inside kitchen - great on cold nights and our current one an outside kitchen - better in the heat. Its always a trade off. Whatever you do dont waste money on a road model its false economy.

There are better trailers than the cub but they are smaller and more expensive. If money were no object and there were just the 2 of us Id buy a Sugarglider as its better all-round than anything else on the market and Ive examined them all carefully. But the Cub will do us for many years.

In Alice the caravan park at the Gap, entrance to the Alice from south, is good and does an excellent reptile show 2-3 nights a week - the kids will love it.
A handy tip for washing clothes is to take a 22L plastic barrel with a screw-top lid as a washing machine. Half fill with water, add washing powder, screw lid on and drive. When you reach destination you only need to rinse and hang out to dry, the bouncing does the wash.
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