Camper Trailers

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2805 Views:4652 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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We have a RAV4 and are considering a camper trailer such as Goldstream or Jayco etc to travel around Aust. With the RAV4 not suited to "offroad" 4WD we may not need to have a full blown "offroad" trailer, however will, no doubt, travel corugated roads etc. Can anyone advise which camper tralier brands are best suited to dirt roads, and are we best still to consider "offroad" varieties of these trailers, bearing in mind the extra weight penalty?
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Hi Greg,

If you've been looking around, you are probably already aware that campertrailers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very light weight and are specifically designed for on-road (ie bitumen) travelling (despite what some salesman will try to tell you). This type are easy to spot.

Then you go up to the more robust units such as Jayco Outbackers etc. These are not a true offroad camper but you could feel confident about travelling on gravel roads with them. From what I've heard, the chassis and suspension set-up is good, but people are experiencing problems with inside panelling, _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx etc coming apart on heavily corregated roads because they are only staple together. A bit of reinforcing here and there seems to do the trick.The only other problem I can see is that the Jayco "offroad" pop-tops may be a bit on the big side for the Rav4 but I'm not entirely familiar with their range so there may be a light weight version available.

Next class up is the full offroad campertrailers custom built for all conditions. This class includes the likes of the Kimberley Kamper, Aussie Swag etc but unless you are planning at some point in the future to move into a bigger 4WD and getting further off the beaten track, there is probably no point looking at these.

Lastly, you might like to go to http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/campertrailers/ and ask there also. This is an Aust based campertrailer group with over 400 members who have a big variety of campertrailers.

Hope this helps.

:o) Melissa
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Follow Up By: Greg - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks Melissa, Thanks for your comments and I have taken your advice re Yahoo group. Have also emailed Ron & Shirley, who own a Goldstream Link, and have articles posted and their own website, for their comments. Greg
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Reply By: John - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Hi Greg,
I have done a lot of research over the past 12 months regarding off road camper trailers. In the end I bought an Aussie swag second hand (18months old from the trading post. Rover LX model for $17000. with independent suspension, annex pack, battery pack & the whole nine yards.) It was a toss up between aussie swag and Kimberly camper, they are both extremely good and like anything decent they are not cheap.My final decision was influenced by the availability of the Aussie swag second hand. The wait for a new Aussie Swag was about 6 months. Go to www.aussieswag.com.au or www.kimberlycamper.com.au. These companys exhibit at camping and caravan shows so you get the opportunity to compare products. Downside is the weight they vary between 550kg & 850KG empty depending on the model chosen. if you go that way you would need something bigger than the RAV 4.
happy hunting
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Follow Up By: Greg - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks John, We really appreciate this advice. Is begining to look like a possible vehicle upgrade as well. Cheers Greg & Maureen
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Greg is there just two of you going on this trip?
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Follow Up By: Greg - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Yes, Just 2.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
There is a company in Geelong that makes what I suppose you would call a caravan which are small, low and compact, and suitable for some off-road use, and your RAV would handle it with no problems.
I think it is Driftaway 03 5222 1816 You go to these caravan shows in Melbourne and you see so much it is hard to remember them all.

You really decide how you understand the word 'off-road'. There is OFF-ROAD and then off-road and then there is just going down gravel roads and taking it easy.
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Follow Up By: Greg - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks OzzieExplorer - Looks like we may be re - thinking vehicle as well as camper trailer - at this time through all "in the air" and thanks to everyone for their helpful comments. Will give Driftaway a call. Cheers Greg
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Reply By: Eric - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Greg.
Rav 4's use the transmission from the celica 4x4 this has a small pinion driving out of the fron diff, this pinion brakes if you tow anything with the celica. If you are not going of road you have a huge range of options beter than a trailer vw vans, hiace or the very impresive and cheapish Mercedes vito, 6L/100k and beter to drive than the Rav4. Eric.
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Follow Up By: Greg - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Eric, Thanks for that - looks like a re think is needed. We would still like to separate accomodation from the vehicle at this stage but food for thought. Greg
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Reply By: Truckster - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
You can hire camper trailers.... would be in your best interest to hire a few and see how the car handles it..

The RAV4 isnt well known for strong drive train parts.

Also the campertrailer group on yahoogroups would be VERY well worth dropping into.
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Follow Up By: Greg - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks Truckster, I think we are about convinced to change from RAV to say a Prado or Challenger. Don't think we can afford the larger Nissan or Landcruisers but will check out Public Trustee auctions. Have taken advice and joined the Yahoo group. Regards Greg
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Reply By: Joe - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 13:40

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 13:40
Greg,

I was up at Cania Gorge a few months ago and met a couple with a RAV4 and an Aussie Swag camper.

They were absolutely rapt and couldn't stop raving about how good it was. They had towed it all over the top end and down the east coast with no problems.

They selected the Aussie Swag as it was quite a bit lighter than the Kimberley or Camp/o/Matic campers and more suited to their vehicle.

Definitely worth looking at.
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Follow Up By: Greg - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 20:14

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 20:14
Thanks Joe,
We are starting to move our thoughts in this direction and starting to look at Aussieswag, Kimberley type campers - don't really want the expense of upgrading the RAV to a Prado etc and the extra fuel consumption of a larger vehicle (only 2 of us) Sue and Terry on the Yahoo group also recommended Aussieswag as they have one behind a Forester (albeit GT) Your comments on weight advantage helpful.
Cheers Greg
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