2nd hand camper trailer

Submitted: Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 21:50
ThreadID: 5077 Views:2661 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Well I have finally be told that she who must be obayed will come camping more if we get a camper trailer and she will not have to sleep on the ground with bugs and little moving things ,as a love my tent kind of camper I dont want to spend big dollars on what may become a very large door stop, so as I have not had a camper trailer before what sort of $ should I expect to pay for a basic secondhand unit , I can rebuild minor defects ,also what should I be looking for as a feature ,down fall or must have to make my beloveds camping trips tolerable (for me)Born to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
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Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:06

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:06
Peter, just you and the omnipotent one? Or, little Peters and Petas as well?Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 20810

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:23

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:23
God NO just me and the old girl ,kids moved out ,Grandson goes home at the end of the day then peace and quiet returnsBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
FollowupID: 13391

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:50

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:50
That sounds like relief!

It makes a difference. If there were 2+, I'd rule out the solid floor type, but with 2 they are still worth considering and there seem to be more of those on offer second hand. The omnipotent one may also appreciate the solid floor enclosed area next to the elevated bed - it would give her a greater sense of being safe from the creepy crawlies.

The trailers themselves are pretty basic bits of kit and fairly simple to repair/modify. Just ensure you get one with brakes that are in good working order. Check the axle and spring hangers for damage. That will give an indication of what sort of like its had. Get one with a treg coupling if you can. One can be easily fitted later, if necessary. I'm assuming from your comment the trailer won't be going too far "off-road" so suspension can be basis 7 spring (preferably with rebound springs). Again, these can be easily upgraded. If going seriously off-road, look for a minimum of 7 leaf plus shocks.

The complex part (and costly to repair) is the canvas so concentrate on that and ensure its in tip-top nick. Check the corners, where they cover the trailer corners, very carefully for wear. Likewise, check the floor for wear and where it joins the walls. Velcroe joins are better as the floor can be more easily and cheaply removed for any repairs. After time and many an uneven surface, frames can distort. Make sure you can see it set up and properly pegged out on grass. That will put the proper (normal) tension on the frame and canvas and anything "odd" should be visible. Frames that need correction can be pretty expensive as they usually require the complete removal (and replacement) of the canvas. Make sure any/all spreader bars align correctly, signs of stress around any eyelets or other load-bearing points in the canvas.

Join the campertrailer group on yahoo and ask your question there.

Good luck.

Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13397

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:28

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:28
Rohan K thanks for the helpfull advise , I have just got back from looking at the campertrailer sites and posted the same question ,just as a side line I find them(other sites) as a novice a lot harder to find my way around than this site They seem a lot less personal without the photos and display setup that this site has .Born to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
FollowupID: 13403

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:17

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:17
You're welcome Peter.

I agree about the other sites and had the same difficulty at first. Its not so much of an issue when you get used to it but they are still far less user friendly or well structured than ExplorOz. The effort to create and maintain a well structured and user-friendly site, and the absence of obtrusive banner adds, clearly adds to David's and Michelle's cost in running this site. However, their efforts have also resulted in a coming together of a group of people that now share a strong loyalty to them and the site, and who are openly protective of the site. I doubt there are any other web-sites or forums that can make that boast.

Good luck with the campertrailer and remember, if she-who-must-be-obeyed gets into camping because of it, you may get away more often. Hmmmm.Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13414

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:35

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:35
Peter, something else to look out for - the attachement method for awning/annex and walls. There are a variety of methods employed. The most common being the large nylon zippers. Others use velcroe and others (like Redback) use hooks & eyelets.

Each has its good and bad points and which you end up with will be personal choice. However, the important thing is that the attachment mechanism is in good working order. Zippers can be stressed and/or damaged (exy fix), velcroe (my least favourite method) can be worn/dirty and therefore not function properly (again an exy fix if replacement is required). The Redback method is virtually bullet-proof and is a DIY repair, if necessary.Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13417

Reply By: Member - Waynepd - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:22

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 22:22
Hi Pete,
I bought a 2nd hand unit last November.
It is a custom built trailer with a redback camper unit on it.
it folds out from the side of the trailer, has an annexe and walls too.

80 series landcruiser hubs
queen size bed

when it folds out and is fully assembled it is about 4.8m x 4.8 m
plenty of room for my family of 4

as i had plenty of camping gear already it didn't matter that it didn't have a kitchen
i added a foldaway shelf onto the tailgate as a kitchen bench

it cost me $4,300
it costs $43 rego NSW
i have used it 3 times since November
i enjoy my cheapie as much as others do their $30,000 rigs
in fact it is probably more relaxing to have a cheapie without having to worry as much about stains and stuff losing resale value for you.

i had to upgrade my suspension 2" OME
thinking about some poly airs too

i couldn't be happier with the unit
it is a great way to see if this style of camping is for you
and you can always sell it and probly get your money back as campertrailers are becoming very popular and there is a growing demand for 2nd hand trailers.

Have a look at Yahoo Groups for campertrailer groups there are 3 that i am in.


There are some great people in there and a lot of knowledge.

All the best

AnswerID: 20811

Follow Up By: member-skippyking - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:13

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:13

Wayne has summed it up well. Check the Quokka for plenty of campers 2nd-hand, as you're a West Aussie.

It's personal as to what you want. Don't be swayed by the vociferous ones.....must have this, must have that.

Ask your beloved what she wants. You sound like you're easy ;~)......... to please. If she is happy, you will be happy. Give them a half decent kitchen and a good bed and you are most of the way there.

Cya on the camper sites.

FollowupID: 13401

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:28

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 09:28
Wayne, I can highly recommend the PolyAir spring for towing the trailer. With the PolyAirs, unless you are also carrying a heavy load in the back of the vehicle, you probably won't need to lift the suspension. Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13416

Reply By: Member- Rox - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:36

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 23:36
Peter, I to started looking 4 a 2nd hand unitas I couldn't justify $11,000 + on one fully optioned as I wanted it.
I eventialy found a Company called Down under Canvas 08 9454 3549 (Paul) & bought 1 of his units for just under $6,000 with anex, (soft floor), very comfy I eved towed it along the beach 25kms in soft sand no problems.

Options and styles are personell as with $$$$ But I simplify it down to
Place to sleep of the ground & some were to cook, this area has to work well.
Most campers Trailers all sleep under canvas from cheep to High Price.
Have you thought about hire b4 buying? There are many in the paper less than 1 year old so people maybee dont like them and waste big $$$$
Enjoy your resurch.Around Oz 06/2004
AnswerID: 20819

Follow Up By: Mike - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 00:26

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 00:26
Peter, you couldn't go wrong taking a look at Down Under Campers. Camper trailers are becoming so popular that I found it a bit pricey looking at 2nd hand ones. Often they were optioned up with things I didn't have any use for. Go for it!
Happy camping
FollowupID: 13407

Reply By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 12:19

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 12:19
I went to George Day Caravans on Albany Hwy in Cannington, I bought a 2nd hand O'Brien off road camper trailer from them about 4 years ago it's been great and I can't find a camper trailer with the same qualities as this one for the same price, I got a camper with the an 80L water tank, full annex and full length drawer for $6000, O'Brien have a web site and will build to order. The trailer has been in some pretty tight spots and survived well and it's comfortable and so far (touching wood) doesn't leak, it has the electronic brakes fitted but I haven't figured them out yet I think I'm missing a vital part somewhere.
There is a canvas place next door to George Day who does canvas repairs, i got them to replace all the fly screen nets and they did a great job.
If you live close enough you can have a look yourself if you want.Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 20850

Reply By: Member - Wherethefugawi - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 19:18

Friday, May 23, 2003 at 19:18
so your ole lady doesnt like sleeping under the stars eh? mine will ..no less than 3 and more than 5 is too blooooody expensive she reckons.. glad i got kids to go with to enjoy this country

I've got just a standard duty trailer 6 x 4, heavy draw bar, heavy duty bearings (axel and springs could be beefed up [cos i put too much on it], but the leaf springs are the type that have the bush each end ) truck tyres fitted. I use this for general work around the place eg carting rubbish etc and just drop the camper on when i go away...bolts on in about 5 mins. Its a soft floor type made by Cavalier campers in Adelaide. Oh ..and it does have a good mattress!Richard
AnswerID: 20884

Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 09:42

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 09:42
Hi all went looking at campers yesterday can anyone give me comments good or bad on swagman set ups?Born to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 20925

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