Camper trailers

Submitted: Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1733 Views:14996 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Can any one tell me if camper trailers are worth all the money you pay for them ( 7-11k) when a trailer 2k & tent 1.1k is alot cheaper. I have been doing alot of looking but havent fully decided yet.
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Reply By: Steve & Wendy - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Wow 7-11k, you must be looking at the cheap ones :-)
AnswerID: 5759

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Only you can answer that question. For me a $20K trailer was money well spent and it gets used regularly.
AnswerID: 5762

Reply By: Mike_F - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Kevin

It's really up to you. If your are happy with a tent and trailer, go for it.

We spent $18K on our Jayco Camper, and are really happy with it. An Ultimate will set you back $30+K I believe.

Steve & Wnedy are right, $7-11K is cheap, although you can buy some nice Off_Roaders at this $10-11K price.

It's your money really. You could also check out the camper trailer forum on yahoo. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/campertrailers/

MikeF
AnswerID: 5766

Reply By: Andrew - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Kevin,
I am in the process of buying a camper trailer. The main reasons I am buying one are that we will be travelling for upwards of 2 years and will want a certain level of comfort over that period of time. Also, my wife did not fance the idea of tents and sleeping bags. It was hard enuff getting her to agree to the trip in the first place.
I am spending in the 25k+ range on a campomatic. The reason is the quality of build, toughness, level of comfort, reputation. As you will here so often on the forum, ultimatly it is up to you as to what you want and can afford. One of the suggestions made is to hire a trailer for a short time and see if you like it.

Good luck
Andrew
AnswerID: 5769

Reply By: Mal58 - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Kevin, when you say a camper trailer in the $7-11k mark I assume you are talking about a Tent Camper Trailer. I have had one of these now for close to 3 years. Is it worth it ? Well as I have on, I have to say yes. The main advantage for us, is that with 3 kids, to get a comparable size under canvas, you would have to buy 2 or 3 tents at the $1200 each plus the trailer. Our total setup cost $6500 at a show special (normal retail $8K) In addition, the speed that we can set up the tent section is 5-10 minutes. The main bed (for my wife and I) is already made up, so only the kids need their stretchers and sleeping bags. I have built a pull out kitchen, and wired the trailer up for 12v lights so within 1/2 an hour or so of site arrival we can be fully setup and "camping". For our family, it was the best compromise in convenience, weight and cost.
Hope this helps,
Rgds, Mal58
AnswerID: 5770

Follow Up By: Kevin - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Mal58. Yes we are looking at tent trailer campers with soft floor. What brand did you buy? Thanks Kevin
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FollowupID: 2503

Follow Up By: Mal58 - Monday, Aug 19, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 19, 2002 at 00:00
Kevin, The Camper Trailer we bought was a Gumnut Jumbo (off road version) which included an annex. Unfortunately Gumnut (Drysdale Caravan services) went into liquidation March 2001 so you won't be able to get them new any more.
I have read the comments in some of the other responses to your question.
Yes, it is more difficult to pack up the camper trailer when it is raining, mainly because the canvas weighs more and no longer slips easily over itself when folding back into the camper trailer.
No, you don't have to unmake the bed when it rains when you pack up. Just cover the bed area with a tarp.
Our Tent Camper Trailer weighs in at 470 kg (unladen), compare this with a conventional caravan or pop top.
Interestingly, we went away with a group of friends who on the whole had caravans. Where did their and our kids play (total 8 kids) when the weather turned inclement. Our camper trailer, we put our kids beds up on ours and the whole floor area was available (~2.4 m * ~4m).
As far as canvas leaking, and dust sealing etc, that's where you do your research and spend some time looking, asking questions etc to see which units are better than the others.
Rgds,
Mal58
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FollowupID: 2531

Reply By: Derek - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Kevin. I hate to dampen your enthusiasm, but the only point I can agree on from the above, is that ultimately, you're the only one who will know what suits you best. Which I know doesn't answer your question. So for what it's worth, I'll put my 2 bobs worth in. In 25 years I've had a tent(s), a campervan and a camper trailer. For long trips (safaris etc), we (me, my wife and 2 kids) take our tent etc. For frequent nightly stops we find this the quickest and easiest. For shorter trips we take the campervan which takes a little longer to set up but is much more comfortable. I built my own camper trailer some years back as I could not find anything on the market that suited me perfectly. It's now up for sale. Its ONLY advantage is that it can go off road. The disadvantages are:- if the canvas is wet and you have to move on, you have to strip the beds; if rain sets in, you either get into bed or sit out under the awning; you still have to erect beds for the kids; you still have to pack tables and chairs etc.
The campervan only weighs a little more; only takes a little longer to set up; is far more spacious; already has a table and seats set up and if it's wet, windy, cold or all 3, it is far more liveable. We looked far and wide for a good 2nd hand one and eventually found one for $5000. In the perfect situation I would keep the tent (a good quality canvas one) for the long mobile trips and sell the camper and campervan and buy a new off road campervan with LEAF SPRING suspension. Obviously there is no right or wrong choice---it's all up to the individual. Hope this helps. Derek.
AnswerID: 5782

Reply By: Derek - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Kevin. I hate to dampen your enthusiasm, but the only point I can agree on from the above, is that ultimately, you're the only one who will know what suits you best. Which I know doesn't answer your question. So for what it's worth, I'll put my 2 bobs worth in. In 25 years I've had a tent(s), a campervan and a camper trailer. For long trips (safaris etc), we (me, my wife and 2 kids) take our tent etc. For frequent nightly stops we find this the quickest and easiest. For shorter trips we take the campervan which takes a little longer to set up but is much more comfortable. I built my own camper trailer some years back as I could not find anything on the market that suited me perfectly. It's now up for sale. Its ONLY advantage is that it can go off road. The disadvantages are:- if the canvas is wet and you have to move on, you have to strip the beds; if rain sets in, you either get into bed or sit out under the awning; you still have to erect beds for the kids; you still have to pack tables and chairs etc.
The campervan only weighs a little more; only takes a little longer to set up; is far more spacious; already has a table and seats set up and if it's wet, windy, cold or all 3, it is far more liveable. We looked far and wide for a good 2nd hand one and eventually found one for $5000. In the perfect situation I would keep the tent (a good quality canvas one) for the long mobile trips and sell the camper and campervan and buy a new off road campervan with LEAF SPRING suspension. Obviously there is no right or wrong choice---it's all up to the individual. Hope this helps. Derek.
AnswerID: 5783

Follow Up By: Kevin - Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 16, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Derek very helpfull I Do an anuall fishing trip with the boys and we take a tent but generally sleep out in swags as WA has got great summer weather. This winter we went to Shark Bay (Steep piont) and got 25mm rain overnight which drenched our Dome tents and spirits. So thats is why we have started looking. Thanks Kevin
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FollowupID: 2504

Follow Up By: Derek - Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00
Just one point on tents - a good quality canvas tent is important if you want to be ready for all weather! Domes are OK if it's not too wet and not too windy. I've seen so many people washed out in domes (including myself before I bought a strong canvas centre pole).
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FollowupID: 2508

Follow Up By: Derek - Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00
Just one point on tents - a good quality canvas tent is important if you want to be ready for all weather! Domes are OK if it's not too wet and not too windy. I've seen so many people washed out in domes (including myself before I bought a strong canvas centre pole).
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FollowupID: 2509

Follow Up By: Derek - Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00
Just one point on tents - a good quality canvas tent is important if you want to be ready for all weather! Domes are OK if it's not too wet and not too windy. I've seen so many people washed out in domes (including myself before I bought a strong canvas centre pole).
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FollowupID: 2510

Reply By: Lew - Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Aug 17, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Kevin,I totaly agree with you about the price of the off road campers
some one is making alot money. You don't have to look far here in WA
we have half a dozen manufacturers of good campers all under 7K.
Page 480 in the yellow pages should give you some where to start and the second hand market is worth a look If you can wait till the 4x4 show later in the year or the carvan &camping show next year you should find
most makes of camper.I have never purchased one but over the last 12
years have built from scratch 2 off road campers for myself and 1 for a mate .I spent a long time looking with the view of buying back in 1989 and there where only a few on the market .Also when you find one make sure it has Leaf Spring suspention alot less problems and easier to
fix or have fixed on the off chance it do stuff up.Good luck.
AnswerID: 5790

Reply By: Steve & Wendy - Sunday, Aug 18, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Aug 18, 2002 at 00:00
Kevin, there are plenty of camper trailers around for under $10,000 and even quite a few for under $15,000. From what we've seen most of these are simply a beefed up (if you're lucky) 6x4 with a tent on top. We were most fortunate in March this year to have one good rainy day at the Perth Caravan & Camping show. It was pretty sad to see how badly most of the cheaper camper trailers leaked. We looked at one in particular at around the $10,000 mark which had a seam in the canvas directly over the top of the main bed and it leaked - a lot. The other thing we noticed was how poor the dust and water sealing was when the campers were closed up. There is no way I would tackle a river crossing with most of them. I guess it's hard to generalise and say you only get what you pay for, as I'm sure there are examples that disprove this. I guess the trick is to just do your homework before buying. On the age old subject of leaf spring vs independent suspension. Sure, leaf is more robust and perhaps easier to fix if it breaks (how many of us have these kind of skills ?) but it gives the trailer and contents a fairly harsh ride. Independent on the other hand has more components, which, on the law of averages may mean more can go wrong, but it offers better handling and a better ride. Either way, most problems can be avoided by driving within the design limits of the trailer - ie take it easy, it is after all, a holiday. BTW, we'll be spending around $25k. Regards,Steve & Wendy.
AnswerID: 5794

Reply By: David - Friday, Aug 23, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 23, 2002 at 00:00
Kevin, we have a Cavalier Deluxe camper (4yrs). Have done the Great Central Road, Plenty Hwy & Cattle Water Pass Track. Just got back from the Kimberley, Bungle Bungle, Gibb River Road & Mitchell Plateu. We haven't had any major problems at all. Local Cavalier people will set up the camper however you want it within reason. Trak Shak are also very good but we found they can take up a lot of area when set up. Nothing is perfect, but it is great to have a comfortable bed at the end of the day. Regarding moisture, we cover our bed with a tarp and have it loaded up with other gear, have never ahd to worry about a wet bed.And as far as dust goes, nothing will keep it out completely (you can just hope to minimise it).We also have some small dome tents if we can't get the trailer in anywhere.
AnswerID: 5977

Follow Up By: Kevin - Sunday, Aug 25, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Aug 25, 2002 at 00:00
David how do you like the caverlier trailer? I have seen 3-4 secondhand in the Quacker aprox $5k
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FollowupID: 2635

Follow Up By: David - Tuesday, Aug 27, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2002 at 00:00
Kevin, we have been very happy with the trailer.We purchased it new, and haven't had any problems. Make sure you get a Treg hitch or something similar, this makes towing a breeze.
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FollowupID: 2664

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