How much quicker / easier are hard floor camp trailers to set up than soft floor

Submitted: Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 15:34
ThreadID: 69613 Views:5320 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
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Hi all
Is it true that hard floor camp trailers are easir to set up than the soft floor vesions?

Which of the true "off road" types are the quickest / easiest to set up?

Kind Regards
GN
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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 15:43

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 15:43
G'day GN, I have never owned a soft floor CT, but I have an AORC hard floor CT and it is a breeze to put up and packup too.
Have a look at the link and see for yourself.
On the bottom of the page you will see 'view operating procedure'


Odyssey camper

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:21

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:21
Hi Dave

had a look, looks quick and easy, is it realy as easy as it shows?
I recal we hired a hard floor camper (cant recal type) and it was a real pain to get all the canvas stuffed in to close up!
it actualy put me right off the hard floor idea at the time.
Regards
GN
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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:30

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:30
GN, we had a bit of trouble closing the top up for the first few times and that was because the canvas was all new and it took a while to soften up.
The first night we used it, it was very cold in Dalby. In the morning the canvas was a bit stiff and we weren't used to folding it either.
Now, I can even do it by myself, but with one person each side it is easier to fold up.
Opening it up and getting into bed, literally a matter of a few minutes.
As others have said, with an annexe, it all takes a bit longer. But, unless we are staying in one place for a few days, we don't bother putting the annexe up.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 22:27

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 22:27
Yeah true Dave
i am pretty quick to pigeon hole so maybe a a few pack ups would be a better try!
thanks GN
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Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:07

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:07
Hi GN
There are pros and cons for either soft floor or hard floor.
I would try and hire one of each and decide what suits your needs best.
I you are young and fit and setting up for a few days soft floor are ok.
Hard floor with a winch to close it is the way to if your back is buggered like mine.


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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:23

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:23
Good plan i guess but time is difficult?
but sound like you favor the hard floors for ease?

thanks
GN
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Reply By: stumbly - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:48

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 16:48
Hi, Ive had both. The hard floors are a bit quicker but theres not much in it.
Putting the dust cover on the soft floor version adds a little time as does dragging the tent section up onto the bed.
Our hard floor camper was the cub regal and was a bit quicker and the winch saves your back a bit.
Either one I found it was packing away all the other bits that took all the time up. e.g kitchen stuff, kids gear, annexe, floor mats etc.

hope thats some help.

cheers,Keith
AnswerID: 368962

Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:06

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:06
Thanks for comparison Stumply
GN
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Reply By: Angler - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 17:17

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 17:17
Set up time is a little longer for a soft floor however getting back on the road is far easier with a hard floor. You have to push canvas in with both and the soft floor you have to drag the tent up and on to the trailer, very heavy and sometimes difficult particularly if it is wet from dew or rain.
AnswerID: 368967

Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:29

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:29
Hi Angler
thanks too for that,
its funny how i never realy considered the set up time / effort would vary much until i was thinking about it today
I am glad i have asked as there are a few more positives for the hard flor than i would of even considerd.
also because of one hire job once with a hard floor and was a pain to fold up / in all the canvas to pack up, i had put a big cross on the hard floor versions, seemingly going down the wrong mind though, when my 1st priority is fast becoming, ready to go and easy / simple so we are more likely to use and stop here and there to enjoy along the way
thanks again'GN
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Reply By: WayneD - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 17:43

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 17:43
We have just returned from a weekend with a Camp-o-matic which has a hard floor. This was the first time we have used a CT , this one was hired. Set up and packing away was very quick. I would say it took 3minutes to set up and 10 minutes to pack up. We did not use the annex so that would make it longer. But for a one night stay, you are ready for bed in minutes.

Biggest problem is that after teneting for years, my wife says CT is the only way she will go camping from now on.
AnswerID: 368970

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 18:42

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 18:42
GN
The biggest pain with soft floors is waiting for floor to dry from dew etc before you pack it up, and your clothes ineveitably get dirty packing up. Soft floors once you get used to them would only take max extra 10 minutes both ways.

We have had a large soft floor (16ft incl trailer plus annex and walls) for our 3 children gave us the stacks of room we needed. As one of our children has left home and more will in comming years, we purchased a Kimberly Kamper.
If we had 3 kids at home we would have still had our soft floor.

Nothing wrong with Soft floors, Hard floors tend to have more "extras" than most soft floors which are often more basic, but you can get soft floors with "the kitchen sink" if you want to pay for it.
AnswerID: 368978

Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:32

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:32
Hi Mark
again, never thought of getting dirty on pack up!
sound like fussing too much on the surface, but when trying to wear clothes for long as possible to reduce the dreaded "washing clothes"then its a but dissapointing to get a fresh clean set dirty 20min after putting on.

Thanks GN
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Reply By: Member - OzGazza - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 18:58

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 18:58
We have an Aussieswag hard floor CT and reckon they're great. For an overnight stay when an early morning getaway is what you are looking for then a Hardfloor CT is quite a bit quicker. But when you are staying for a few days and have set up annexes and awnings etc.. then the prorata time difference is less.

But I think the biggest advantage of a hardfloor camper is they stay cleaner and dryer.
AnswerID: 368980

Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:06

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:06
Hi Gaz
Good info, I know that the time may not be an issue, but quick is good and helps when stopping for overnight.

The "more dry"comment is quite important and something i hadnt considered.
many thanks
GN
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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:47

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 20:47
Gday GN
Kathy and I have had a soft floor camper for 7 years now, and we don't remember getting dirty while packing up in the mornings. We fold and leave the floor open to the sun and do other things while the floor dry"s. I just brush the floor and wipe with a towel to help the drying process.If it is raining and we are to be home that day, we just fold as quick as possible, then open the camper in the shed till dry.
Murray
Muzbry
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AnswerID: 369010

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 21:30

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 21:30
G'day Muzbry
We had our soft floor for 6 years, KK now for 1.
What you do (leaving it to dry) is what we did, but in cooler months it really adds to the time, extra 30 minutes or more compared to hard floor.

If in warmer months on hard dry soils in warmer months, then maybe 10 minutes max more.
Soft floors generally are less rugged construction, which is normally an advantage as they are lighter so easier to tow and better fuel economy.

At our stage of life, we are happy w ehave traded up to hard floor though.

Mark

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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 22:51

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 22:51
I have had a soft floor for 13 years now and love it.

I can be in bed within 10 min of pulling up, don't need to unhook from the car and packing up is just the same. That is doing it on my own.

I don't have a soft cover, the Trak Shak is in a suitcase like box on top of the trailer and keeps everything tidy and dust free while on the road.

The Trak Shak offers more accomodation than any hard floor I have seen and is competitive in the set up, pack up race. If it is a race.

Most of the time difference I see in any of the campers is the routine of the people using them. After 13 years mine is pretty sorted but it is getting quicker as the young bloke gets stronger and more helpful.

Duncs
AnswerID: 369044

Reply By: D-Jack - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 00:05

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 00:05
Sar Major soft floor, don't even need to add or remove extra poles. 4 Pegs max if just an overnighter. Don't know about getting dirty either, never had that trouble. We pack our canvas so that the bottom of the poly floor never touches canvas so it doesn't matter how dirty or wet the bottom is until the last packup (use a shade cloth matting and it wont get dirty at all). If not detatching the camper from the car, probably 7 minutes to get it up and pegged at most. Awning takes an extra 5 minutes, annex like any takes another 1/2 hour about.

Never owned a hard floor, but biggest difference I see is they are good in extreme rain conditions, and SLIGHTLY quicker. Less floorspace generally. Oh, other difference is they are generally at least double the price..

Big D
AnswerID: 369046

Reply By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 10:54

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 10:54
I think the other thing that people are missing here is the price difference. You get a soft floor and with the extra cash you get it all decked out with power, hot water, independent suspension etc etc and probably still have change.
AnswerID: 369078

Follow Up By: Squizzy - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 11:28

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 11:28
I have had a soft floor Cameron Canvas trailer for 11 years, and have never had any trouble with getting dirty.

We use shade cloth under the floor when setting up, and as SR509 says, the cost difference is incredible.

I have a lot more room than a hard floor, both in the tent and under the trailer.

And who cares if you take another ten minutes either way when setting up or packing up. Is that an issue when holidaying? It isn't for me.

Geoff.
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Reply By: AlanTH - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:05

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:05
We've had a Pioneer hard floor for about 3 years now and had a winch fitted not long ago to assist with packing it up.
It makes a huge amount of difference especially when the wind is blowing an Easterly gale in the morning, as the floor acts like a big sail and it's either much harder to pull up or it comes crashing down and you haven't time to tuck it in properly!
With the winch we hoist it up so far then tuck in and then some more until it can fold down easily and this is so much better especially if it's cold and the canvas is hard as well.
If it's continual rain wet when packing up there's no alternative but to pack wet and dry out later which ever type of camper you have. We spread a plastic sheet over the bed and that keeps any damp off.
Alan.
AnswerID: 369091

Reply By: Member - Tony F (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 19:15

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 19:15
We have a Aussie Swag and love it. It is interesting to read all the pro's and cons of set up and pack up. Nobody has mentioned the huge difference of getting into and out of bed. If you are like me and always have to get up inthe night for a wee walk then it's simple. In a hard floor you get out the end of the bed, not over your partner. You then gradually get back to ground level. Three levels. Not a ladder. I can not climb a ladder with bare feet in the middle of the day. I guess you could wear your boots to bed. If i had to climb down a ladder betwwen sleeps they would find me hung up like some poor emu that has been caught in a fence. Upside down, feet in the air and dead.
Don't risk it.
Tony F
AnswerID: 369381

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