How often do you use your camper?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:25
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I've had my camper for six months and worked out the other day I've been away 28 nights in that time and I'd still like to be getting away more.

Reckon it's paid for itself already.


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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:30

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:30
G'day Jim,
We try to get out around 2 weekends per month....(the alternate weekends are spent fixing all the things that have broken on the trol the previous weekend hahahah.....thought I'd get that one in b4 Pesty makes some half-arze comment along the same lines....lolol).
Then we get away once or twice a year for 2 to 4 weeks. All in all, I am satisfied that we get as much use as possible for a bloke who still has to spend 5 days a week somewhere he'd rather not be, doing things he'd rather not be doing!!!! I think it's called "a means to an end".


AnswerID: 105858

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:42

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 10:42
This is going to be an interesting question.

We are all familiar with people that buy a caravan, use it for awhile, then it gradually sits, and sits........

Bit like boats.

28 nights is damn good odds, and I am jealous.

I only use a swag, and I get really annoyed when I see dust collecting on it. It sits in the corner of my office at work, along with all my other bits & pieces. Customers come in, and look.........

"You don't REALLY want to be here today, do you Ian."

I have just done the calcs.... 28 days in six months..... you bitch.....

I have only just managed around 18 :(

4 weeks to go... then 21 days straight, in my swag!


AnswerID: 105861

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 11:11

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 11:11
Hi Jim.Had mind 4yrs. Only a basic O/R trailor with tent on and water tank. We
try to get away 7weeks a year. Never regretted getting it. We also have swags
for overnighters.But its there when we want to use it.
AnswerID: 105869

Reply By: Brad and His Disco - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:59

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:59
Thinking of buying a camper trailer, but only hear about how quick they get set up.

Can someone tell me how long/hard it is to actaully pack these things away please.

I know this is not answering the original post, but thought it would be a good thread to ask the question on.

Also what advantage is there to a camper over a tent.

Please don' think Im bagging camper trailers in anyway, just wanted to know before purchasing one.
AnswerID: 105879

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:24

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:24

Mine is a soft floor job. Total time to set up 30 min. The actual time to unfold and pegdown the camper is only about 5 min. Then the rest begins; set up the awning, get the tables and chairs out, hook up the kitchen, attach the gas bottle, hook up the fluoro lights, get the kitchen _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx out, hang up my little shelf unit, put the pots and pans in the shelf unit etc etc. Add another 10 minutes to set up the shower/toilet tent but I usually do this later whilst having a beer.

Big advantage over a tent is once setup you are in relative luxury; QS bed, kitchen with a water pump and sink, big living area to get out the cold/rain of necessary etc. We used to take much longer setting up a tent and tarp, portable stove, tables chairs etc and we were still roughig it.

The big time saving is in the time you spend preparing to go. Our camper is always packed ready to go. All we have to do is chuck the fridge in the car, pack some food and clothes and we're off. The real beauty is when you get home. Nothing to unpack other than the bit of stuff in the car.

We will often take off on a Saturday morning and come home Sunday arvo because it's easy. I would never have done a one nighter with a tent and all the gear that had to be packed, it was too much hassle.



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Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:25

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:25
Our new camper ,ten min can be in bed ,full setup takes about an hr ,that includes flooring in annex ,walls ,lights ect, ect, ,,,,,, fold up after full set up takes a bit less time ,usually 30/45 min and back on road.
FollowupID: 362970

Follow Up By: Brad and His Disco - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:35

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:35
so have set up to sleep in over night is relatively quick, how long would it take to pack up in the morning, with folding the canvas etc.
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Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:39

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:39
Brad ,ours takes about 10min to fold and be back on road if only basic overnighting.
FollowupID: 362974

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:39

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:39

I find the pack up takes a little longer if you do it in one go. But whilst having breakfast and a cuppa tea, I'm usually wrapping up wires, putting the pots and pans away etc. The dropping of the awning and folding it away takes a lot less time than the setup.


FollowupID: 362975

Follow Up By: Member - Russell S - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 20:07

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 20:07
I find it is about the same time as setup. If you only flip the camper out for a quick stop, then getting under way is about the same time - 10 minutes or so. If you put up the awning, kids room, shower room (!!) etc, then it takes a little more. Depends on how practiced you are, and how well designed your setup is....
FollowupID: 363000

Follow Up By: duncs - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 18:59

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 18:59

We were very careful when buying our camper to get one that has no add on bits. When ours is set up there are no awnings to zip on or no kitchen to establish etc. It takes us the same time to set up for a week stay as it does for an overnight, except tht for an overnight stop, depending on the weather I can get away with as little as 2 pegs in the ground. This set up takes less than 10 mins, the guys at work once timed me at under 6mins.(Setting up in the yard to dry after a wet weekend away) I use more pegs if staying a while or if the weather is bad.

To pack up takes about the same. If yo are using a tent you still have to pack bags, cooking gear, lights, toys, and all those other "essentials" that the family takes along. The other advantage our camper has over a tent is that everything is packed into the trailer from inside the camper. If it is raining at pack up time nothing gets wet. The family can get in the car and I can do the final pack and fold on my own in less than 10 min so the only wet thing in the car is me. Now that son of mine is getting bigger and stronger all the time, pretty soon he is going to be the one who is wet.

I have had the roof rack, I have had the tent packed in a trailer, for me the camper is the only way to go.

FollowupID: 363096

Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 03:11

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 03:11
We have only just "graduated" from the tent to the trailer and can definitely say it was brilliant move!
Our tent, plus large tarps and "living area"... about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs set up and about 1- 1 1/2 hrs pull down. Then unload everything at home to be packed away for next time.

the Trailer..... can be set up for an "overnighter" in about 15 mins... pull down about the same... full set up about 3/4 hr and pull down the same.
At home.... park the trailer... give it a wash the next day and it's ready for next time!

We have purchased one of those solid gazebo's... 3m X 3m for our "living room".... takes 5 mins as opposed to tarps.... much longer and much more frustration!
FollowupID: 363301

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:25

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:25
Camper trailers like boats and women are all cheaper to hire when the need arises than as long term investments. And lets not even mention the ongoing maintenance of all three. ;-) Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 105880

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:36

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:36
Not sure about that Rob.

The local place hires out campers for $50 a day (not night), so three days, 2 nights hire costs $150. Mine has been used for 28 nights which equates to 40 days with the trips we've done. That's $2,000 in hire costs.

Mine cost me $4,500 and the insurance and rego is $170/year. Therefore it now owes me $2,670. Given that campers hold their value very well, I'd get close to what I paid and way more than $2,670. By this time next year it won't owe me a thing and I'll have an asset that has paid for itself.


FollowupID: 362973

Follow Up By: Gajm (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 14:34

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 14:34
Don't forget how hard it is to relax using a hire usualy have to put down a massive deposit which, depending on the contract you are lucky to get back even if you haven't opened the camper.

Plus there is the hassle of picking it up, bringing it home, packing it with gear, then gettiing home, and unpacking it, and taking it back. Also the added worry on your trip of timing it so you are home the day, or day before hire expires, cause no one wants to pay for days it's sitting at home.

As for benifits of having one, Jimbo has covered it all really well so there isn't much to add. One benfit is matching the camper trailer to your car, same wheels, same tracking, and brakes and fridge all connected.

We hired a couple of campers before we bought one, and after that we knew we couldn't go back to tents.
FollowupID: 362980

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 08:09

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 08:09
Hi Rob

Jimbo's provided the cost of hiring a camping trailer and I'm not really interested in boats but perhaps you could complete the trio by giving us the cost of hiring a woman along with details and capabilities of the model selected?

Mike Harding :)
FollowupID: 363033

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:34

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:34
FollowupID: 363042

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 11:26

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 11:26
Good on ya Mike, good to see everyone is not taking me tooooo seriously. I see your point too Jimbo, with a $4500 camper, but some people pay nearly 10 times that amount. When on tour, if its camp out I just swag it, our customers are in tents. If our customers are accomodated so are we. Never ceases to amaze me, we take 20 people to Cape York on a camp out tour to get away from it all. We get to a camping area and show them heaps of room where they can pitch their tents and, you guessed it they all camp right beside each other, instant suburbia, In the morning they are all complaining about noisy snorers.....Doh! I love my job ;-) Cheers Rob
FollowupID: 363052

Reply By: TheUndertaker - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:36

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:36
Jimbo ,we got our new c/t on dec15 , have had 10 nights Moreton ,5 nights D/I , 4 nights Yarracool , next is Anzac w/end of 5 nights on a private property with old mates ,Lest We Forget.
AnswerID: 105881

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:59

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 13:59
Hi Jimbo,
We have had ours since 2nd march and this is the first w/end it hasnt been used, we have slept in it 10 nights including 4 at MS gathering.
Next week we are off for 10 days and so will make up for this w/end.
We even slept in it in the driveway the other night hahahaha, no not to christen it lol, we had house full of visits so someone had our bed and we slept outside , never knew there were so many noises in my own backyard hahah.
AnswerID: 105882

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 14:17

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 14:17
After sweeping out any dirt that yours truly might have tracked into the Kimberley, my wife and I can fold it up, lock it down, and be ready to drive away in well under 10 minutes.
I'll time it on the Anzac Day weekend when we're down Goobarragandra way.
AnswerID: 105883

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 18:07

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 18:07
I find its not how quick you can pack up to get going, but nice and easy, fold it
up correctly so it all fits nice and snug. Ihave seen it in parks where they try to rush it. end up jumping on the top to flatten it to get the cover over.
cheers Brian
AnswerID: 105907

Reply By: TonyH - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:19

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:19
You've done well. 28 days in 6 mths. I haven't had that much time off work in 6 months :-(
Got mine in early Feb. have have about 8 night away in it including easter. Cost me $14,000 odd but It's mine it's built exactly as I wanted it, it's sitting in the shed ready to go. Looked at mine as a long term thing, I plan to still be using it in 20yrs.

My kids aren't old enough (2 3/4 and 9 mths) to handle long periods away from home just yet, so overnighters to the coast suit us. As they get bigger I hope to be able to sneak in at least a 2 week stint on a remote beach along the midwest-gascoyne coastline each year.

Takes me about 20mins to set up completely, including annexe and about an hr to pack up, usually while having breakfast. The tent is the easy part to pack up it's all the other junk that takes time.

Next step is the tinnie for the top of it :-)

Tony Harding
Midwest WA
AnswerID: 105915

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:25

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:25

I've had bugger all time off work to do that. Just added a day to a weekend or long weekend other than Easter when I took a week off.

I make every post a winner, we'll do a weekend to Gembrook (only 40 min from home), leave Sat morning and come home Sunday arvo.


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Follow Up By: TonyH - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:35

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:35
I work 6.5 days a week usually, 7 at the moment, coming up for seeding.

I do similar to coast, only 50k's. Just camp on the beach. :-)

Tony Harding
Midwest WA
FollowupID: 363043

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:36

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:36
Jim, not part of your original thread, but what sort of fuel economy are you getting out of the Jerry towing the van? As you know we're doing our sums for the big trip next year and whilst we've got all the tenting gear a camper trailer is a definate option. Especially as you can use the trailer to carry that all important extra fuel.


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AnswerID: 105917

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:21

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 23:21

Most recently I got 13.8 l/100km towing gently up the Hume at 100-110 km/h.

Have a look at

for more Terracan information (new site).


FollowupID: 363020

Reply By: Bros - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:44

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 19:44
Had the C/T 12 months, used for a month in that time. This year going to use for two months starting in mid May for outback trip for a month and again in early August for a month on trip to Bathurst Bay. Not enough practise yet to put up/away exactly the same way.
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AnswerID: 105918

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 20:11

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 20:11
Hmmm, I can see the advatage of not having to unpack when you get home, but as far as overnighters go we can be setup (with running water) ;-) in about 30 minutes, includes small shelter over the back of the car, chairs, tables, canvas tent etc etc. The only downside to our setup is getting the gear off the roof, but if you have two people it's not a major chore...

But as they say each to their own. We all have different setups, in fact I find it most interesting/fun sticky beeking at everyone elses gear when we go away in groups. Get heaps of good ideas that way.

I think the trick to overnighters is have everything ready to go in the garage. I've got two big shelves for our gear. Essentials on the bottom shelf, extras up the top (like hammocks, blow up boats etc etc). So you grab all the tubs etc on the bottom shelf, whack them in the car, then you know your right for everthing that's important. Then have a squiz up the top for the fun stuff and see what's relevent to the trip. ie longer stays need a hamock, stays at a river needs a boat and spegettie tubes etc etc. That way we can chuck it all in the car and go for an overnighter without too much hassel. I'm a real lazy prick when it comes down to it, so unless it's easy I normally can't be stuffed. I reckon I spend a lot more time "making it easy" than what it would have taken me to "do it the hard way". But that's ozzi's for you! ;-)
AnswerID: 105925

Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 21:50

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 21:50
we got ours in November, racked up 19 nights so far, if the kids aren't there we can go "handbrake to can" in 15 minutes. If the kids come, we need the extra bedroom etc. and it seems to take about an hour to be completely setup.
AnswerID: 105935

Reply By: Bob&Deb - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 01:06

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 01:06
G`day Jimbo, You are a lucky buggar.I built up our camper with all the intentions of seeing more of this great land of ours with the family.SWMBO decided she didn`t like camping at all.So now only the boy and I get to travel,that is why I`m very envious of all you lucky blokes with better halves who dont mind travelling, and if you look in the trader section there is a cruiser & camper for sale.Still you have to look on the bright side,we can still get to go places.
Keep wandering Regards Bob
AnswerID: 105960

Reply By: Peter 2 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 08:13

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 08:13
We bought our first cub flipover hard floor campomatic in 1979, kept it till it got too small for 2 adults and three growing kids in 1988. In that time we used it for a minimum of 5 weeks a year plus weekends, covering approx 150,000 km all over Oz. We sold it to friends and it is still going strong 24 years later.
It's replacement we bought in 1988, a cub supamatic which we've now used regularly for 17 years, the first ten years we averaged 13 weeks a year travelling outback, since the eldest went into year 10 we cut the travelling back but now with only one kid in school the old camper might get even more use in the not too distant future.
Through until the late eighties camper trailers were pretty rare, these days they are thousands of them. We used to get a bagging about ours until friends realised that we could camp anywhere on anything, even in a bog ( which we did once) and when during overnight rain the campsite flooded (which also happened once) we slept throgh it all wondering in the morning where all the others had gone.
For overnight stops without the awning it takes all of 5 minutes to set up and about ten to pack up.
In over 25 years of travelling with the camper we 've only had to pack it up ringing wet in torrential rain about half a dozen times and it can be dried in half an hour at the morning tea stop.
Added around 2mpg to the troopy and bugger all to the Humvee.
AnswerID: 105964

Follow Up By: spirit - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 22:05

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 22:05
G'day Peter

I have just bought a 1990 Cub Supamatic Off Road that has not been modified. How capable are they off road, particually outback and say Simpson Desert.
I was thinking to at least extend the drawbar and put a treg hitch on. I have had a rough quote from Kanga Trailers for a new ind coil chassis with elec brakes and tregg for between $2500 and $3500, then I just put the body on top.
I will be pulling it with a 1996 GQ 4.2diesel Patrol and maybe a turbo to be fitted soon.

FollowupID: 364494

Follow Up By: Peter 2 - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 14:13

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 14:13
Ours has been everywhere in Oz with the exception of the CSR, across the SD quite a few times, gunbarrel, Anne Beadell, kimberley, arnhem land etc etc so has proved to be very robust and reliable.
With a few basic mods(mainly strengthening) it will go for years in basic form. If I was you I'd just do what I've done and keep it light, the heavier it gets the harder to tow and the higher the wear factor.
I've modified ours and quite a few others over the years, when people have seen how well ours has stood the test of time.
I basically trussed the existing drawbar, welded braces to the chassis ouriggers fore and aft of the wheels, spring over if not already done (some were and some weren't), lifted the chassis off the springs 100mm (raised the whole thing except for the running gear), fitted a solid axle (again some came with a solid axle and some didn't), welded a 40 x 75 mm RHS right from the front to the back underneath attaching all the crossmembers to it, fitted a tow hook to the rear of the tube, fitted a ring coupling instead of the ball (pintle hook on the truck), and fitted 14" holden rims and LT steel radials.
If you email me direct I'll send pics and diagrams or (I'm in nsw, sydney) I can do the work if you wish.
pjames3 at bigpond dot net dot au
FollowupID: 364571

Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 15:30

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 15:30
Howdy Jim,

Had the Tambo Cooper camper 5 months, camped in it 22 nights.

AnswerID: 106002

Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 15:52

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 15:52
Hiya Jimbo

have actually used our CT on more trips away than the van, as I count the 6 week trip up north as one trip...hahahhahaha...have slept in the ct about 22 nights, and the CT is far more comfy than the van ever glad we have it now...though setting and packing up in the rain would be a pain - but that's never going to happen is it..[says she tapping her head with one hand and typing with the other...hahahhaha]

AnswerID: 106003

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 02:59

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 02:59
we picked up our trailer on January 29 2005.... since then it has been set up three times in our back yard, 2 nights at Bribie Island, overnight at Canugra and overnight at Inskip Point. Soon we are off to Fraser for 5 nights, then home for 2 nights then to Bonalbo for 3 nights. In May we have 1 campover planned, June will see us at Sundown National Park for 3 nights.....
We also plan to "weekend" at Inskip Point more often as well.... just a 4 hour run up the coast from here, so for a tank of diesel and $4/head camping fees... makes for a cheap weekend!
AnswerID: 106288

Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 23:12

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 23:12
Been living in mine for 6+months so far & its 1.3 years old

All the way from Perth to Brizzie At Camp 95 so far
AnswerID: 107620

Reply By: Redback - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 07:39

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 07:39
Had ours 12mths and on average go away 2 times a month usually for 1 or 2 nights, going again this weekend as you know from the other place, these get aways are close to Sydney so not expencive.

It's a Redback Explorer Country.

AnswerID: 107634

Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:23

Thursday, Apr 21, 2005 at 20:23
G/day Baz , we are off on Sat at sparrow fa-t for a little ex reunion in the scrub = beer+ scotch + a whole lota bullsh-t ,,,,,,but also will give me a chance to see how my solar / system does the job.
FollowupID: 364611

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