camper trailers

Submitted: Monday, May 30, 2005 at 11:15
ThreadID: 23415 Views:3669 Replies:15 FollowUps:4
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I'm looking to buy a camper trailer for the family (including 3 kids). The main reason to move away from our beloved Freedom Family Tourer is ease of packing up each morning. We've looked at the Tvan & Kimberley. Does anyone have strong views about either? I have an inflatable I'd like to take sometimes - does that make a difference?
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Reply By: flappa - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 11:37

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 11:37
IMO , the kimberley would be better suited to that.

It will take a boat on top if needed (depends how you carry the inflatable).

It also has a decent sized tent area , and can be closed in with annex when needed.

The Tvan is really more suited to a couple. You would need the Annex up all the time for the kids. The Tent area is really just suited for a couple.
AnswerID: 113544

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:03

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:03
Have a look at the Trak Shak. Just search Google for their website. Heaps more living space than either the T Van or the Kimberly. Can put a boat on top and very quick to make and break camp. I do it either way in less than 10 mins and the thing will go anywhere your car will.

AnswerID: 113548

Reply By: scooter - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:49

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:49
I have owned and used a Kimmberly for the past 4 years. She is one bullet proof trailer, worth every cent and when it comes time to sell everyone I have spoken to says the resale value is great.

AnswerID: 113554

Reply By: Member - Tim - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:57

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 12:57
Hi ozidave,

We are just in the process of seeing if we can do things better without the camper trailer.

We have one of the fairly standard soft floor campers that folds out to the side and gives us a quen size bed and a room that is 9' x 7'. Then we can add an annex that comes out the back of the trailer and gives about another 8 x 13 under cover and covers the tailgate kitchen. The annex could be closed in if we want to but we have not had any need for that yet. We have the aluminium camp beds for the 2 kids and that pretty much takes up the whole area of the tent part.

We truly do like the trailer but it always temps us to take whatever we can fit in rather than what we really need and while it is quick to set up the basic tent we always put up the annex which adds some time. Also with the kids having to set up their beds and take them down again in the morning it still takes a little while to get everthing done. On the last long trip we got it down to a little over an hour from the time we got up to the time we left and that included having breakfast. Because we have a long drawbar the trailer sits back from the car and really does effect the fuel economy (from 15l per 100k to 20l per 100k).

What we are going to try on the the trip we are about to do up to Lawn Hill is to use two tents that are quick to set up (one Southern Cross centre pole and one Microfast), a full length roof rack with a small bag and lots of space (hopefully), an awning that comes off the side of the roof rack and a set of drawers in the back of the car. The drawers get fitted this week and then the test packing can really start. With a wind deflector on the front of the roof rack (home made that will actually be taped to the roof to stop all wind going underneath) I believe it will effect the fuel economy much less than the trailer does and we will be travelling a lot lighter since we just won't be able to fit some things in. As long as we only put light stuff on the roof it should be better in the rough stuff than the trailer. One of the critical things with this set up is good quality self inflating mattresses to make sure we sleep well.

The other reason for going this way is that I can't tow both a boat and camper at the same time and there are some places that I would rather take the boat.

If we are comfortable with the set up then we will probably be selling the camper.

AnswerID: 113555

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:00

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:00
I second the Trak shak, we have one and have 3 kids, and it's just perfect, easy to set up, and loads of space with no extra rooms to put up for the kids. They are built really well too, very solid. You will get a lot of people saying how great their brand of camper is, so do your research. Although I own a Trak Shak I wouldn't just recommend them to everyone, but for families wanting to go offroad they are perfect.

Also try the Campertrailer group for info
AnswerID: 113556

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:16

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:16
We have an AussieswagLink and like it very much. IMHO competes with the Kimberly on equal terms.

Very happy to reccommed them.


AnswerID: 113561

Follow Up By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:18

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 13:18
Try that link again Here
FollowupID: 369637

Reply By: John - Qld - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:06

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:06

Go look at an Odyssey.
Priced the same as Kimberley. Extremely well made. Individually constructed under supervision from the owner (he is an engineer and was a well renowned vintage car restorer). Probably Kimberley's strongest competitor.

We bought this type of camper over the Tvan due to storage, kitchen and available options. They have a kid's room option but we use an Oztent for extra sleeping quarters.

AnswerID: 113596

Reply By: govo - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:07

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:07
Dave have a look at the Dingo camper trailers...they are very well made without all the bells and whistles that other ct come with and they won't break your wallet.
Come standard with checker plate all round, jerry can holders ,off road coupling and inderpendent suspension. I've had one since 1996 and poeple that chat to me about it are amazed at the price i paid for it....they do not look as fancy as the $20,000 ones but they do the job nicely and i think they are still factory direct buying so they cut out the middle man and there fore save you money.
AnswerID: 113597

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:15

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 18:15
Dave, I'm familiar with most of the campers mentioned (not the Dingo). They are all pretty good IMO. I went for the Odyssey made by AORC, but that was for me and my needs.
Where are you located? I reckon it is pretty important to buy from somewhere where you can meet the owner/builder of the camper. See the factory. Discuss your needs and if appropriate get some custom changes made to meet your needs.

I visited a couple of factories in SE Qld. Went for the Odyssey not just because it is a good camper, but because Steve (the owner) was prepared to discuss changes and what other owners have done. I don't pick mine up till late July, but I'm pretty happy with what is being built.

I'm sure there are other quality builders who will do the same if you are not in SE Qld.
You will get great advise on this forum but of couse, most people will just push the product they own (obviously because they like it), but you need to consider other aspect as well, including warranty support if it is necessary.
AnswerID: 113600

Reply By: brett - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 20:07

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 20:07
For a family of five I'd also add a vote for the trakshak, haven't seen anything else with the bedding and living room space without adding on annex's etc. The Kimberly looks good but you just don't have the space, for 2 people I'd go a kimberly over a trakshak but not for a family. To get the same space you need all the add on's. Once you start adding tent sections on you may as well go back to a tent. I've got a trakshak and 3 kids also, we sleep on one bed, the 2 youngest sleep on the other bed and the oldest sleeps underneath on a thermarest in the extra room. The extra room folds up inside the camper so no need to attach every time. So there are no beds in the living area which leaves a heap of space for rainy days or eating inside out of the flies or cold.
AnswerID: 113623

Follow Up By: govo - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 21:21

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 21:21
The Dingo when fully erected has a floor area of 7ft x 16ft which includes a queen size mattress.We have used this setup with 3 kids and still have plenty of room for bags and 2 large plastic containers. The canvas is 12oz and suspension is alko.
FollowupID: 369722

Reply By: Elsewhere9 - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 22:06

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 22:06
Hi Ozidave,

We looked at the Kimberly Kamper and decided on the Aussie Swag. One reason was the kids room. We much preferred the size and location etc of the AS kids room compared to the KK.

We only have two chn (11 & 13) so with three the space becomes more importnat.

AnswerID: 113645

Reply By: Fusion - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 07:19

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 07:19
G'day Ozidave,

Also check out the Adventure Campers. Less expensive than a Kimberly or Tvan, with vastly more space in all ways, as well as a massive kitchen, king size bed, optional extra room for the kids that takes about 2mins to put on. You can also carry a boat & motor without having to remove it, no matter what your setup. It's a very flexible design.

I am certainly biased 'cause I bought one after huge amounts of research, and even more biased now, 'cause I've done a whole lot of work for the guys who make them. Photography & New media stuff. Most of the photos on the website are of my rig, which is the Silver 2005 Patrol and Pilbara (the top model trailer). Anyway bias aside, check them out, and note that at the Brisbane Show next week, they will be giving bigger discounts then they've ever given at any show before. Over $2,000 off the Pilbara for example, which sells for less than $29,000 to begin with. I'm also told it is a once off deal.


AnswerID: 113671

Follow Up By: Fusion - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 07:21

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 07:21
Incorrect Link Sorry - Adventure Campers. Missed the 's' on the end.
FollowupID: 369746

Reply By: Longreach - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 14:28

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 14:28
Hmmm. This is a popular topic.
When we were looking at camper trailers there seemed to be 2 types. Those aimed at couples, which seemed to be the majority, and those aimed at families. We have 3 kids and chose a Trak Shak because it is well made, it’s very quick and easy to put up and take down and because the tent space is about the biggest we could find. There are different sizes but ours has 2 queen size beds plus a lot of floor area. No need for an extra annex or ‘tent for the kids’. You can leave all the sleeping bags out on one of the beds, plus, in our case, a self inflatable mattress when you pack up. Our first trip had lots of one nighters so it was great to have a quick system. It also has a simple but light and very workable kitchen caddy.
We liked the Adventure Camper too, but felt the space and bed layout of the Trakshak better suited the 5 of us (4 on the queen size beds and one on the floor).
AnswerID: 113735

Reply By: Discorob - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 22:44

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2005 at 22:44
Hio all

Check out the Camprite, made in Perth. Purpose bulit for families with off-the ground bedding for 2 adults AND the kids.

Yes, I'm biased, we have one and love it. Can set it up in moments, no pegs, and plenty of room for short stops without needing the annex. In fact, don't even detach from the 4BY for overnight stops.

We have two young kids, and they love it too. Camprite can supply it with bunks!!! to take up to 4 kids. Strong, a bit heavy, but tough as old nails. Ours has done over 20,000 km. We couldn't be happier.

We're in ACT if you would like to see this under-rated but capable family camper.

AnswerID: 114003

Reply By: ctozer - Friday, Jun 03, 2005 at 16:35

Friday, Jun 03, 2005 at 16:35
Hi Dave,

I had an All Terrain Camper until 2 days ago when someone other than me recognised it as the best built camper you can get and stole my beloved Gilly (bast....).

The Trak Shacks are good, as are some of the others on the market. I travelled Australia in Gilly and you can go anywhere. I dont kow of a higher trailer than the All Terrain and it is built like a brick I ended up towing it along on its side near Pine Creek having had to take evasive action to avoid a truck. No bother. I bent the wheel and scraped the dust cover. The others are good campers, but the canvas quality and overall camper construction does not compare to Glen and Trish's All Terrain. Dont waste your money on anything else. Go see them or taolk to them at Seven Hills NSW. I have ordered Gilly 2.

If anyone spots an all terrain out there with a Crown Lager bottle opener on the back, please met me know. I would not have given him up without fight. Trouble is, some people (ie thieves) dont give you the opportunity :(
AnswerID: 114246

Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, Jun 03, 2005 at 16:39

Friday, Jun 03, 2005 at 16:39
Do you want to give a few more details , description, location etc.

Can spread the news a bit if you like.
FollowupID: 370223

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