Solo Pack Up of Soft Top Camper

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 08:38
ThreadID: 70192 Views:3741 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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Looking at a soft top wandering star camper trailer. What are these type of campers like to pack up when travelling alone bearing in mind it is frequently windy or does it realistically require two people to pack up. My intended use is more rough road rather than offroad. So do you feel I would have difficulty getting it packed up when on a solo trip ?
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Reply By: Bongo (Darwin NT) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:13

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:13

I have a Trackabout soft floor camper. I have no problems packing it up by myself although it takes less time with my Hugs and Kisses. When camping by myself I usually just take the swag and a few bits and pieces.
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Reply By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:25

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:25
kwk56pt - Not at all familiar with Wandering Star CT but I reckon they're pretty much like the others I've seen & owned.

I my case my Missus, being gravity 'advantaged', is of limited use at set-up or pack-up time. We do it for the exercise in co-operation but in all honesty it's easier on my pat. But I take your point about windy conditions. Again though in windy situations it may have been me saving her, so again better alone.

My biggest lesson came from watching others. For example, those metal lugs where the pegs hammer into to keep the canvas down, can be useful when folding up the tent on a windy day.

Wind is sometimes like vibration. If you can arrest it before it gets on a roll you're usually okay. So with those lugs, once you fold your softfloor onto the CT, you can tie a piece of rope or string to them & the CT. This allows you to move to the next stage & so forth.

Very important in wind to get the order of things right. I once decided to set-up on my own & changed the sequence. Thought I'd leave the pegging until last & get inside & extend poles etc.

Went okay for about 20 seconds & then the wind hit the extended canvas (which wasn't pegged) & it all went pear shaped.

I got the sequence of things sorted and actually prefered to unpack & pack on my own. Just got to think it through before you do it.

Since then gone for a hard floor. Now they are easy to set-up.

AnswerID: 372062

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 12:19

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 12:19
Yes I understand hard floor campers are easier to set and offroad caravans are the easiest so it does seem more money spent equals quick set up and more comfort but will have to start with a good soft floor camper, It seems it is a solo set up and pack is able to be done. Better to have some idea now rather than find out after I have owned it Thanks for taking the trouble to reply......Peter
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:41

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 10:41
If your C/t is the usual concertina type I think you should handle it OK. The
attachment of a rope or two, as already said, is a handy thing. We dont bother banging in pegs as ours has legs that stand in the outside corners so it cant go anywhere. Seen many putting pegs everywhere there is a lug, but takes up
good drinking time. The childbride & I usually stand at each end & fold the canvas in as the frames come down in an effort to keep it neat, but a lump or
two is of little consequence. An annex pole is a handy thing to push & prod
things around, but use the blunt end...:)))...good luck with it...oldbaz.
AnswerID: 372066

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 18:04

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 18:04
So how long does it say to pack up your basic overnight stop tent and how long would it take to set up or pack up with awning and winbreak ........Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:48

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:48
Peter, we can have our C/t ready to sleep in in 10 minutes but that doesnt include setting up the kitchen or furniture etc. I guess we pack up or set up easily in 30 minutes but we dont rush. We dont bother with awning or annex
for one night stops & use a silver tarp over the lot to prevent wet packups.
Also use doubled shadecloth as a groundsheet. Hope this helps...oldbaz.
FollowupID: 639444

Reply By: Kim and Damn Dog - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 14:07

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 14:07
Here’s my slant on things. Some campers are far easier to set up than others. Therefore the first priority is to ask the salesman to stand back and do it yourself.

Apart from design, another factor is the weight of the canvas. Whilst it may sound appealing to hear you’re getting the best canvas in the business, you need to consider the extra effort required to set up and pack up.

If you’re a young fella, you probably won’t have too much of a problem, but on some campers it can be a bit of a chore solo.

The next thing you will need to consider is drying the canvas when you get home (important in winter). In my case this was very difficult, because I don’t have a large enough area around the house to do so.

Whilst the hard floor campers are more expensive, they would be my choice in hindsight. The down side is of course is you sacrifice storage area.

Hope this helps.



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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 17:40

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 17:40
Gday Kim
Do you mean a young fella like me?
I do mine on my own, but is easier with young Kathy.
When at home i put it up in the shed and let it air for a week or so till i pull it down again.
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 18:10

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 18:10
The hardfloor camper would be much better but they are expensive, unfortunately not retired yet. Its funny how the tent people wish for a camper and the camper people move on to a wind up camper and those wind up campers wish for a caravan.
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Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 20:09

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 20:09
Gidday Murray

That’s not the story I got. Apparently the missus does all the hard work.



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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 08:58

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 08:58
Gday Kim
It might look like Kathy is doing all the work,but I do help.I drive from home to where we are going to stay. I help undo the cover and encourage her to pull the tent up.Then I find the pegs so she can peg it to the ground. Once this was done, I asked her for a drink which she will get for me some time when i get out of intensive care.
PS I have been told that I will learn from my experiences.It is coming to me , but very slowly.
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Reply By: HappyCamper - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:23

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:23
G'day Peter

Like you, when I was wanting to buy a camper trailer for solo travel, the thought of pack up/set up in the wind, or with wet canvas, wasn't something I wanted to do either so I bought an Avan Aliner and more than happy with the super-quick setup specially for lunch breaks along the track. While I wouldn't recommend one for true offroad, they do have an 'Expedition' model which has additional ground clearance, larger wheels etc but of course this model is more $$$'s too. There are several size trailers from a tiny one to a large one and usually you will find a couple on eBay.

Imho, there is never one setup that is perfect for all trips/camp spots/etc so I still pack a small dome tent (or even the swag) so I can get off the beaten track to some scenic spot etc for a day or three.

Not sure if this helps but something else to think about.
Bronwyn ;-)
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 22:39

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 22:39
Thanks for the replies. The small offroad caravans would be good apart from the price. A small on road caravan fitted with independent suspension and off road wheels is a cost effective option I have thought about but a soft floor camper is robust and offroad purpose built and a significant improvement on the tent arrangement I have been using and not being retired the use is limited which makes the more expensive options hard to justify. Still its good to know the soft floor campers can be used when alone.......Thanks Peter
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Reply By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 15:22

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 15:22
Hi Peter, I have a soft floor Billabong Camper trailer and travel with only my 6 year old daughter - hence the pack up and set up is entirely up to me! We travelled around Victoria for 2 weeks last year and stayed in most places only 1 night, so it was set up every night on my own for 14 days and l didn't have any dramas. (I'm a 37 year old female if that gives you any insight?!)
It was very reasonably priced, and is very easy to set up. Would highly recommend to anyone! :)

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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:07

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:07
" a 37 year old female " you are probably a very capable woman Jo but its reassuring to know these things work out ok when travelling solo I am 49 but if I start to think its tough I will think of you out there managing with your Billabong Camper. Apart from your annual holiday how many days use would you get out of your camper in a year ?....Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:25

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:25
Jo it is very tempting to reply to this along the lines of "Would highly recommend to anyone'. Now is that you or the camper? I suspect that "a 37 year old female who puts up her own campsite" would generate a lot of interest on the Trader section. All things considered, it iis probably better that I don't reply along those lines.
FollowupID: 639610

Follow Up By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:24

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:24
Hi Peter, we go down to Husky on the NSW South Coast for 2 weeks every Xmas and also down to Bundeena for 2 weeks. Been to Wombeyan Caves, Bungonia and a few other areas close to Sydney for the odd weekend away - I bought the camper at the NSW Caravan & Camping show last April. I guess 4 weeks in QLD this sept/oct will test my patience with setting up every night! Looking forward to it though! :) That's the camper in my profile picture.

Just to clarify - would highly recommend the camper to anyone - not me!! :)

Love the site & learn heaps from all the comments, suggestions and tips from more experienced travellers!!
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