Need your expertise

Submitted: Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:15
ThreadID: 23373 Views:3749 Replies:14 FollowUps:10
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Having talked about it for years, we have just ordered a camper trailer. We are new at this, and seek your advice in set-ups etc. eg what we need and don't need to take on trips. We will be mainly on-road travellers.
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Reply By: Paul - OzRoamer Camper Trailer - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:27

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:27
Just let me know what info you need.
AnswerID: 113294

Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:46

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:46
Thanks Paul, we need to know everything! We have never done this before, so are completely new at it. We basically will have a new camper trailer in a couple of weeks, and need to know how to kit it out. Have heard that you don't need to take a lot of stuff, so need to know what the basics are and any hints or help you can think of.
FollowupID: 369441

Follow Up By: Paul - OzRoamer Camper Trailer - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:49

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 09:49
What type of trailer and
what will it be towed with and
how many (if kids -what ages?)
FollowupID: 369442

Reply By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 10:08

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 10:08
OK - its a 7x4 box trailer with high sides and a pull out canvas tent with awning. Rear pull out kitchen with basic 2 burner gas stove & sink. 70L water storage under trailer. Lift up queen bed on gas struts (able to access when trailer is packed up). Extended draw bar with tool box and spare wheel on. 2 jerry can holders, gas bottle holder, battery holder (which is wired to trailer) all on outsides of trailer. Towing vehicle is Toyota Hi-lux 2.7 petrol tray with canopy (sides and rear access. THANKFULLY NO KIDS - been there done that. (sorry this has taken so long to reply - lost the first one - computer is soooooo slow
AnswerID: 113299

Follow Up By: Paul - OzRoamer Camper Trailer - Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 09:16

Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 09:16
Firstly a good storage idea is closed milk crate type plastic box's. This means that you have different groups in different box;s. 1 X Tools & Recovery, 1 X Wine, 1 x Toys (fishing, diving, etc), 1 X Camping - lights, pegs, ropes, ETC Then get a couple for Food - make these capable of being locked closed to keep out ants and the like.
you don't need to carry fuel on a trailer so use the jerry cans for water or buy a tacklel box that fits into one of the carriers so that this smelly item is outside getting an airing and not in storage.

Either put your clothes in sportz bags or get the hard plastic box's that normally fit under the bed (only about 6in high) this makes it easier to get clothes without having to pull all out.

Whilst travelling put items like towels, sheets, etc under the mattress.

Put you table, camp chairs, boogie boards etc ontop of the tent before you zip up the top. We even had a new top made that was 2in higher so that we could fit more under the top (3 kids)!!

The Ute gives you a heap of space so you can pack in an uncluttered way. The first few times you will find that items you take never get used - just cull them. We travelled for 8 months and found that we kept going to the PO to send items back home.

Try and fit a spare set of leaf suspension in the tool box. A set of bearings and the usual items like chain, fence wire, nuts & bolts that will fir the running gear (suspension). Duck tape (heaps) and cable ties!

FollowupID: 369544

Reply By: Member - John (Bathurst) - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:07

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:07
As well as this site, have a look at the campertrailers site ( then follow the link to their yahoo group. You'll find a forum which is dedicated to campertrailing.
AnswerID: 113304

Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:00

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:00
Thanks John, will do
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Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:26

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:26
hiya Mustang Sally,

probably the best way is to pack what you think you'll need, then go away for a few days and see what you did use, what you didn't, it all takes time, and what some people use other's might not.

We don't use LPG, perferring butane and campfires for our cooking, I still seem to pack heaps of clothes, but then with two small kids, I figure I may as well have extra's, Also, when I'm camping I check out what other's have, you can get some really great ideas from others that are camping around you.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but I'm still learning too....:)))

cheers, and enjoy, it's great fun

AnswerID: 113307

Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 12:43

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 12:43
Hi Mustang Sally

I totally support what Lyn said. We did shakedown trips when we went into 4WDing, and again when we got the trailer.

Try to take a week or ten days - have a few overnight stops at caravan parks and one or two times when you stop in a National Park for multiple nights somewhere and do some walks or take time out.

You will soon figure out what is working well in your first guess, what is a problem and what takes for ever. Walk around the campsites and look and ask.

You should then be able to come back and make a list of things to do and buy, and things to ask on this site.
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Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:02

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:02
Thanks for your reply, figured we would try a weekend to start, and gradually work up to longer periods away. We are excited about the whole deal, but also a bit nervous.
FollowupID: 369461

Reply By: MEMBER - TONY (VIC) - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:51

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 11:51
The way to go is to keep your set up simple put everything in to crates starting with your knife forks spoons can opener etc in a small plastic container, then 2 billys 1 frypan tea towels salt pepper herps cooking oil kitchen towel foil plates bowls and mugs in to med size container now you have everything you need for the kitchen ready to go no mucking around when its time to go away. use shops like the 2$ shop anywhere they sell seconds for your plastic plates bowls and mugs not rays or aussie or camping shops you will save a lot of money also most camping shops sell large bulky items which take up a lot of room very heavy too, I use the hiking walking shops only for most things because everything is very light and compact for back backing so my set up takes up very little room and is allways ready to go. I have a alloy camp oven, not cast iron which is very heavy and rusts most camp shops dont sell alloy, viv moons cook book is very good for ideas ron and viv have the same setup as above good luck hope this helps TONY
AnswerID: 113309

Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:05

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 14:05
Thanks Tony, very helpful info, gives us a starting point. Have been told you can take too much stuff and that you don't need a lot. Will try a small trip and then gradually work up to the 'big' one. Hoping to go away for a 6 month trip eventually (once we finish renovating the house).
FollowupID: 369462

Follow Up By: BLUEBAG53 - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 15:08

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 15:08
Don't forget your bedsocks!
FollowupID: 369467

Reply By: Member - Anni M (SA) - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 15:14

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 15:14
Lucky you! It is so exciting to be just starting out with a campertrailer. It gets better as you get more experienced too. We spent 6 months travelling with our trailer last year, so I think we've got it down fairly well. We took a few things we shouldn't have the first time, but learned by experience.
Everyone does it differently, and Mrs Al is right that you learn heaps by looking at what other people use.
Basically we take one box of dry foodstuff (packets, jars, tins etc, including salt and pepper and herbs), one box of kitchen utensils eg frying pan, saucepan, camp oven, cast iron BBQ plate (fits over one of the gas burners), tongs, spatula etc. I also have a small box of things like Chux superwipes, dishwashing liquid, etc. I find its easier to keep them separate. Our kitchen has a storage shelf for crockery (you get good cheap melamine stuff in Chinese shops) and cutlery. We also take a small rectangular Weber BBQ, which I use like an oven, especially if cooking over a fire is not an option. Don't forget a bucket - useful for washing self and clothes, and fitted with a plastic bag can be a bin. We keep our clothes in boxes too - keeps the dust out. Toiletries get packed in the clothes boxes. We also take a clothes horse - it packs flat on top of the bed and is very useful for wet towels or washing. We make up our bed with sheets and a doona. They don't take more room than sleeping bags and feels like a bit of a luxury! Don't forget chairs and a table and some sort of fridge or Eski. One last thing - a broom!
Sounds like a huge amount of stuff now I've written it down, but there is room to spare in the trailer even with all this stuff! Surprisingly it doesn't weight too much either.
We'll be away in our trailer again in a fortnight - can't wait!
Happy travels
AnswerID: 113326

Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:12

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:12
Hi .You learn as you go along. We have had our camper 4yrs still take to much.
One thing I do about eating is make a menu up for how long I am going, so I take
what we need plus a couple of rice meals for a emergancy. Also take your time when packing the tent part away. The cover on my camper is a sort of clip on.
If I don't fold the tent away properly the cover won't clip on.
hope this helps a little
AnswerID: 113362

Reply By: Casnat - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:37

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:37
Possibly not strictly relevant to a camper trailer scenario where you have more space but space is a big issue when I head off just with the swags and others may be interested in one of the little space saving tricks I have used. Everyone needs to take a plastic tub to do the washing up in. I actually take 2. 1 fits neatly inside the other and they take up no extra room but when you pack stuff inside the top one (so as not to waste valuable space) you don't have to unpack it to use your washing up bucket (use the bottom one for washing up).

Just a little idea but perhaps helpful if you haven't thought of it
AnswerID: 113369

Reply By: gone bush - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:43

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 18:43
hi, I also agree to buy the things if poss. from those cheap shops, I just bought a set of melamine plates, bowls, mugs and large plates to serve 4 people at a cost of $12 from 'cheap as chips', also 1 thing that is small and we feel very handy (mainly in caravan parks) is a shower mat, it looks like that non slip matting except fatter and is about 2x 1 1/2 feet, they are sold at Woolworths and Safeway stores for about $5, great for getting dried and dressed, it also drip dries quickly, we just hang it out with the towels after our shower.
Also don't foget some rope, very handy for lots of things.
Hope all goes well.
AnswerID: 113371

Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 21:07

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 21:07
Thanks to everyone that has replied. I think I will have to print it all out to remember it all. You have all been really helpful - and I promise not to forget the 'bed socks'.
FollowupID: 369513

Reply By: Member - Alan - Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 00:52

Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 00:52
Hi MS, To protect the bottom of our annex (its a sewn in job) we use a cheap tarp as a ground sheet with a piece of green shade cloth as a floor out under the awning/kitchen (is pleasant to the eye and stops a lot of rubbish being tramped into the annex).A broom and a small plastic rake to get rid of small stones and twigs that are always where you want to set up .
To avoid packing up wet canvas and to keep cooler on hot days we also purchased a lightweight ,silver nylon(I think) fly .Its made for a large dome tent but does the job and stuffs down into a small bag .
Enjoy your CT , we certainly have ours and continue to do so.
AnswerID: 113428

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 08:19

Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 08:19
We have just purchased our first trailer as well.... it is virtually our second home, we use it a lot!!!!! So we know how exciting this all is for you! As far as set up goes, I agree with what everybody above has said.... and can add one thing that we have learned and that is your "camp-site" is a "work-in-progress"... everytime we go away, we seem to see something that someone else has and wonder if we need the same and can we fit it in! It's good because it keeps your mind active and open to new ideas.... sometimes we see something we MUST have, other times common sense prevails and the MUST have becomes a "No-we-don't"

Enjoy your trailer and your adventures!!
AnswerID: 113435

Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 12:06

Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 12:06
Hi Mustang Sally,

There are a few of us in Vic who try and get away with our campers every so often on weekends. If you are interested, email me at glennat4wdadventureozdotcom and I will contact you next time we go. At this stage the next trip will probably be in September for me, but I am sure others may make plans sooner. Usually we choose somewhere within a 3 hour drive from Melbourne, but on long weekends we can travel further. It is nice and relaxing, and you would certainly get to see an array of setups on both campers and vehicles.


AnswerID: 113450

Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 22:47

Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 22:47
A washing machine
to clean your clothes, just go to some place that sells chain in bulk, because chain is sold from a 20lt, square, plastic drum that has a terrific lid system that is ideal for use as a washing machine for your clothes when you are on the move, just add washing powder and drive, it gets them really clean, then throw out the dirty water when you stop and rince the clothes and hang out to dry.
as ststed best method is pack up the vechicle and trailer and then throw out what you don't think you will need, then go away for the weekend, repeat till you get it right for you.

AnswerID: 113512

Reply By: RustyHelen - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 09:55

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 09:55
Hi MS.
Note from your later post that you are in Melb eastern suburbs. So are we and are just on to our third camper trailer so happy to share our (lack of....) knowledge with you if you want.
Have gone from a home made job out of a garden trailer to our recently acquired Aussie Swag.
I can be contacted on if you want to follow up.
AnswerID: 113874

Follow Up By: Mustang Sally - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 19:11

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 19:11
Thanks Rusty, have taken down your email address.
FollowupID: 369991

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