4 x 4 campers

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:11
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We currently have a large 4x4 camper trailer, where the canvas all folds out from the trailer, we are thinking of upgrading to something a little more comfortable.
We are looking at the Goldstream Storm, Coromal Pioneer Silhouette and the Jayco Flamingo Off Road.
We have three children, so we need something roomy, and love to get off the road a bit.
Can anyone help us with what they think is a better camper for our needs.
Thanks,
Shorty & Kaz
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Reply By: ev700 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:47

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:47
Shorty and Kaz

I went though the same exercise and found that the Goldstream Storm, which is the bigger model had the best build quality.

There is another option, which I think is much better and that is to have bunks. Van is not much bigger but heaps more comfortable, especially when they grow a bit, have a look at the 18.57-1 in the Expanda range:

http://www.jayco.com.au/_pdf_files/Expanda_Series_2005.pdf

Windsor have something similar but unlike Jayco, will not lengthen the bunks a bit during manufacture (eg if you have children that will be tall).

The Jayco Expanda or the equivalent Windsor would be cheaper than the Goldstream Storm as i recall and they are much more livable - especially when the rain sets in.

EV700
AnswerID: 121739

Follow Up By: Shorty & Kaz - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 18:16

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 18:16
EV700
Just been looking at the expanda on a few web sites, they look great, but need something that we can put a tinny on top.
Also I have found a 2003 coromal 420 silouette pioneer camper with a full annexe for $23,000 (second Hand of course), Does anyone out there think this is a ok price, or a bit pricey. Havent taken the trip to look at it yet as its a 4 hour drive from us, but have email pictures and it looks like new, only been used 4 times.

Shorty & Kaz
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Reply By: Member - Andy Q (VIC) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 14:30

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 14:30
G'day Shorty & Kaz, My wife and I decided to go with a Jayco(Dove) outback camper. We don't have children to worry about hence the size of our Jayco, like you we like to get off road and so far have found the outback version of the jayco range reliable, comfortable and practicle.
While on our last trip we noticed a few families with the Flamingo model ( in fact in our 14000 kms we noticed a lot of outback jaycos)
With ours we decided to get the full annex ( we got a good deal with everthing included) so this adds quite a bit more room and it's not all that difficult to put up.
Look nothing is perfect and yes I have( sorry we have) made a few improvements and it's set up for us.
Have a look around, find the best deal for you
AnswerID: 121744

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 18:11

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 18:11
Shorty and Kaz, I also recently went thought the off road camper trailer selection process. Wife favored the comfort and convenience of the Jayco, Coromal, Goldstream types. I wanted something that was built for genuine off roading. Used a trip to the Cape as the benchmark. If I didn't feel confident that I could take it to the Cape via the OTL (possibly except Gunshot), without damage, then it wasn't up to my needs.

Now others may have a different opinion, but I didn't like any of the ones you have mentioned using this measure. I only make this comment since you use the term '4x4 campers' in your subject line. The trailers you have mentioned all looked pretty good and certainly convenient to set up and use. But I reckon they are really 'dirt roaders', not 'off roaders'.

I ended up going for an Odyssey, made by Australian Off Road Campers at Caloundra. It is a hard floor flip over type. Very comfortable, and well built. Even has a hot water system and shower! But you would need the full annex kit to house the 3 kids and that probably makes the set up time about 30 minutes. Without annex it is about 3 minutes and with just annex roof, about 10 mins.

If you are not planning on any rough work, the pop up types are probably great, but for real off roading I think you have to compromise a bit on the comfort and convenience.
AnswerID: 121763

Follow Up By: ev700 - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 09:10

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 09:10
NormC
I'd agree that the campers mentioned are for graded roads and 'easy' off road. Take it slow.

In any event anything wider or higher than the vehicle is compromised on bush tracks.

However something like a Jayco Expanda gets the family to most locations and is much easier on the parents. Better security too.

EV700
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Follow Up By: Shorty & Kaz - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 10:09

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 10:09
NormC
The Odyssey souns similar to what we have, only we bought from a guy who hand made it, it is a very strong and heavy built trailer with a king size bed in it, but we do have to set it all up as well as the full annex just for a one night stopover,with the 3 rugrats, which becomes tiresome, we also have a bit of a problem with storage room, so that is why we thought these other campers may suit us better, but as you say, were a little worried at how strongly built they were.
Not sure now if we should perhaps look at fixing our own up better to suit our needs, or go for a more set up camper with limitations on where to take them.

Shorty & Kaz
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 21:05

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 21:05
Hi Shorty and Kaz. See my reply to Steve below. The Odyssey has heaps of storage, but I don't think that is your issue. As you seem to suggest, your problem is the debate between function (ie off road capability) and convenience. Welcome to the club!!

If there was an easy solution, I think most of us would have taken it.

Steve (the owner) at Australian Off Road Campers has recognised this difficulty and is currently building a prototype of a genuine off roader of the 'pop up' or similar type. I've seen it a couple of times during development during visits to the factory. Looks to be coming along very well, but I think he would also admit it is a real challange. To build in the comfort and convenience, you get a bigger (typically longer and possibly higher) trailer. Straight away that limits off road capability.

Life is a compromise unfortunately. Good luck with the hunt.

One of the members of this forum (10 Para) has a top of the line Odyssey with heaps of canvas. He and his wife live in it for months on end fishing in Australia and New Zealand. Would have no trouble sleeping a family of 5 (and having a football match!!!), but set up time is probably a bit long, particularly for short stops.

Do a search for 10 Para and send him a PM if you are interested. He lives on the Gold Coast.

(Hi Brian, hope you don't mind me mentioning your ID and set up. Too late now anyway!!)
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Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 09:33

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 09:33
Just been looking at those Expandas. Also the Odyssey. Impressive. Anyone got any prices on either?
AnswerID: 121798

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:48

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 20:48
Steve, this is the web site for Australian Off Road Campers (make the Odyssey) http://www.australianoffroadcampers.com.au/

Cost varies from low $20ks to low $30ks, depending on the model and options chosen. An advantage is that you are dealing with the owner and getting custom mods done is no great problem. I specified a heap of minor mods (in the power, water storage, number of gerries area mostly). Another issue is that pretty much everything is galvanised, stainless steel or aluminium.

They (and most other 'top of the line' hard floor genuine off roaders are more expensive than the Jaycos etc. Remember they are in a different market. Jaycos etc are built for convenience and to some extent, comfort. Odyssey and other similar campers are built for strength and durability first, but are still relatively comfortable and convenient.

First question to ask is 'where do I want to take it? IMO, if you will spend most of your time on main roads with a bit of dirt road travel; and you will stay in caravan parks most of the time, pop ups are the go.

If you want to get off the beaten track, do some outback work and will spend a fair bit of time camping in the bush; camper trailers are the go.

After you have made this decision, start comparing brands and models to meet your needs.

I think comparing Jayco (and similar) to the Odyssey (and similar) is like comparing a Commodore to a Land Cruiser.
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FollowupID: 377015

Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 21:05

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 21:05
Thanks Norm. I have a Viscount van at the mo, with bunks for the boys and a huge 17ft annexe. Great for going up and down the coast, which we mainly do, but we're looking at exploring the outback in future. Those Odysseys look beaut trailers but sure come at a price. Thinking at this stage I'll probably go for a pre-loved model, hopefully all tricked up. Have to sell the van first, though.
AnswerID: 121847

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