Fuel savings camper trailer versas pop top caravan

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 11:25
ThreadID: 55244 Views:6674 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Just a query. Would there be much fuel savings re: camper trailer versus a pop top 16' caravan.
We just traveled 11,000 k's in a pop top 16' caravan. And thought about selling it to buy a camper trailer so that we could go on more outback tracks. What is your views on this.
Are the trailers easy to setup. Which is the best and most comfortable
Any suggestions would be appreciated as we are not as young so need ease of setting up.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 11:35

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 11:35
Tow vehicle details required........
Most of the pricier hard floor camper trailers these days are very easy to setup - Kimberley Kamper / Aussie Swag style (many other makes too)..........
AnswerID: 291120

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 11:59

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 11:59
Hi Morry,

I had a Windsor Rapid and averaged 15.7l/100 kms towing and now have the Camprite and get 13-14l/100kms. I notice the difference if I don't have the Kayaks on the camper roof.


AnswerID: 291125

Follow Up By: Member - shane (SA) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 18:14

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 18:14
hi mate, why did you get rid of the rapid?
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 18:23

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 18:23
Hi Shane,

Something to do with "removing" the awning and writing off both sides of the van when off-road :) Simple physics really!!! An off-road van is just physically too big to go many places and as my kids are now older, its easy to manage in a Camprite.

But gotta admit that I miss the creature comforts of the van at times but overall prefer camping in the Camprite - more of a camping feel. For those wanting a van, I still maintain that the Rapid is hard to beat and arguably the best compromise on the market for families.


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Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:13

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:13
Obviously there would be fuel savings, simple physics really.

But what you gain in fuel savings you loose in creature comforts, convenience and room that you would have in a poptop caravan.

Try and pull up on a rainy day with a camper trailer and make a cup of tea and a sandwich?

At least with a caravan you can pull up, pop the roof and get out of the rain or go for a quick nap in a poptop.

Quicker to setup and pack up as well. We just love watching others with camper trailerss setup for hours of free entertainment. Even poptop campers, like Jayco Eagles are too much effort for us.

If you want endless hours of setting up, packing then go for it.
AnswerID: 291143

Follow Up By: Member - jjt98 (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:23

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:23
Hey wizard 1 - Horses for courses right? They are looking for something to go Off Road with, so 'creature Comforts' are limited if you want to do some 'real traveling'.
I'd like to know what make of camper takes 'hours' to set up, that would be a sight to see :-)

Happy travels
FollowupID: 556546

Follow Up By: PradOz - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 20:14

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 20:14
Not sure how many times i have ever needed to suddenly pull up and go off to have a quick nap. if i was that bad i think i would set up camp for the night and totally relax. All about planning your trip really.

I agree pop tops are easier to set up, but my jayco swan is cooler, more room - nearly twice the size as yours, mine does have all the creature comforts we need (and probably a few more than i need to take which would even lower the weight further) and saves me fuel, easier to store etc.

I have to wonder if you have ever owned a camper trailer or camper van so you can really make a full unbiased call. A bit like owning an A van, I dont like the look of the pointy little things but as I have never owned one (been in a few though - actually father owns one) so how can i offer an unbiased opinion.

i would trade my current swan in on a pop top but only due to the fact i have hurt seriously my back so owning it comes at a cost to me (pain limits what i do). But the swan is no troubles with a family to help you but it would make it so simple to use a pop top but it too comes at a cost due to weight, size, storage too a problem. Actually would take a bit of convincing for me to hand it over even a direct swap.

As they say - horses for courses, or should that be pop tops or campers for .....
FollowupID: 556611

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 10:32

Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 10:32

Ever tried to setup camp in a road side rest stop on the Pacific Hwy?

Sometimes you just need a bit of a break when your you've had a long hot day on the road and still a couple of hours short of your destination to re-charge the batteries. Better to rest up for an 1/2 hour or so than risk driver fatigue and not arriving at all. Isn't that what the experts advise?

Sometimes you have a short time frame and long distances to cover.

I've travelled enough of this caravan over the years to ignore half baked advice on "trip planning".

We see how long it takes friends of ours to setup and pack as well how hard it is to get to things when packed up. We'll stick to caravans thanks, while the camper trailer crowd wait to get one of their own, which eventually happens.

Lost count of the amout of second hand camper trailers I've seen in caravan yards used as trade-ins on a van.
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Reply By: Member - jjt98 (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:16

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 14:16
Hi Morry - There are so many different types of camper trailer. They vary greatly in price. I just bought a Customline Camper (soft floor) for under $9k & the hard floors sell for up to $45k (my mate has an Aussie Off Road with everything you could possibly want on it - $40k+).
They are all easy to set up (between 10 to 20 minutes complete), no real heavy lifting, the most work is more putting your weight into pulling the tent out rather than actually 'lifting' anything.
Best bet is to search around, narrow down to 2 or 3 then post a thread for advise. I took about 6 months (off & on) before I bought mine. Its a personal thing mostly.
AnswerID: 291146

Reply By: Member - morry H (WA) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 15:09

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 15:09
Thanks for everyones advice. The caravan was good. And yes I not really keen on the campers. But they are a lot cheaper. And less hassle with the semi's on the road I believe.
So thought this may be a way around it. Although do not want to really rough it too much.
It was just a thought I suppose.
AnswerID: 291154

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 16:28

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 16:28
We used to borrow my father's 14' pop top van to take on holidays on the coast. If we went out west, it was a roof rack and tent.
Now we have a generic soft floor '4wd' CT.

Fuel consumption is less, by 1 to 2 l/100k. We average about 13l/100 with the CT behind the pajero, whereas the van was about 14 to 15l/100k. The CT is slightly more fuel consumption than the roof rack, which is left at home now.

Two reasons for less fuel usage. The CT is lighter, 800kg versus 1100kg for the van, so makes a difference in hilly country.
The CT is lower , so less wind resistance. The van was about the same height as the car with the top down, the CT is about 600mm lower, so not a lot in the height.
Of course, the CT can go places I wouldn't dare take the road orientated van :o).
Having used the tent for the last 20 years, the CT is a step up in luxury. All down to what you are used to. :o) About the same set up time as the tent and van.
AnswerID: 291171

Reply By: cito - Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 20:21

Thursday, Mar 06, 2008 at 20:21

We have bought a good CT from a manufacturer in Perth - Wandering Star at Welshpool. It is actually being used as a demo at the Caravan & camping show in Perth next week.
Can't as yet comment on fuel efficiency until we hit the road to Tassie next month. And yes, they do claim them to be water proof!
Several other good manufacturers over there some of whom also hire them for trials. Suggest you consider that.
AnswerID: 291230

Reply By: Member - Thomo - Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 21:04

Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 21:04
Hi Morry, having looked at i reckon every camper that was ever made and studied them all....I came to the conclusion that for me it had to be a hard floor, so that eliminated half of them and then it came down to the Kimberly, Pioneer and the Campermatic and I ended up with a Campermatic which is just great, having said that it was the toss of a coin between that and the Pioneer. Whilst the Kimberly is also an excellent product they are a bit overpriced and no more quality for your $$$.
AnswerID: 291474

Follow Up By: Member - morry H (WA) - Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 22:34

Friday, Mar 07, 2008 at 22:34
hi gee there is a lot to look at ,we have just done 1200k trip perth /bendigo/milduha broken hill/ white cliffs /wilcannia thru to port lincon /back to esperance / albany back to home to rockingham. and am going to give the 89 gq nissan safari a pace maker (turbo) next week. its on gas now but still short of torque the old 4.2 lacks its a diesel a bit but i own her so am thinking only thinking of getting rid of the pop top and going for camper. time will tell thanks for the reply regards morry
FollowupID: 556867

Follow Up By: oz doc - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:58

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:58
Just a suggestion-there are several camper trailer hire companies around. You may wish to hire and try before you make up your mind to buy. There is only so much you can consider by just looking at a set-up at a show or showroom. We sourced our trailer at a show, hired it out for a weekend, then made a decision. No regrets so far.
FollowupID: 556907

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