Camper Trailors?

Submitted: Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:42
ThreadID: 70242 Views:5028 Replies:14 FollowUps:7
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I note that lately there has been a lot of camper trailors for sale on this and many other sites.
What's wrong with them?
No good in winter, or are they a real pain in the wet.

When I had mine it was used Year Round however age has made me go to a van.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:56

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:56
If they are thinking like I'm thinking, I intend getting rif of heavier unit and using either lightweigt trailer for onroad or getting rid of trailer for offroad.
AnswerID: 372332

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:18

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:18
Only 30 odd for sale at the moment compared to over 50 earlier in the year so yes there are plenty to choose from including alot of top end models as well. Many people I've seen & travelled with buy them thinking they will now go camping more often than they used to with just a tent but rarely do so & now they just sit taking up space in the shed. By the time the 3rd rego/insurance renewl comes around there is often a reassesment of the real need to keep it.
The other 1/2 that I see sell them find they weren't so convienient as 1st thought taking far longer to set up than told, broke down because they really weren't a true offroad unit & were a pain to dry out when wet. Upgrading to something better (like a van) is only natural.
Cheers Craig..........
AnswerID: 372333

Follow Up By: Member - Vince B (NSW) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:31

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:31
Hi Crag.
Have to agree with your comments.
I recently sold my camper & have upgraded to a van.
FollowupID: 639574

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:11

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:11
Hi Craig

Good assessment..we actually went back the other way after having a Kimberley Kamper...mind you nothing will ever match requirements perfectly.

Good luck out there....
FollowupID: 639665

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:06

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:06

And the third 'half' are those that bought them specifically for the big trip and then sell them as planned once it is all over.

We did just that with our KK once the trip was over it was too much money to have sitting for the odd trip. We bought a Tambo for regular use.

Don't forget that many of the trailers for sale represent a buyer looking for something else (van or camper).

FollowupID: 639983

Follow Up By: joff1 - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 19:34

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 19:34
Or they could just be updating/changing style as we have done twice now.

A well thought out camper will always offer better touring and camping options than any van.

Vans are for people who have given up going to cool places :p
FollowupID: 640061

Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:39

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:39
We have our TrakShak for sale as we bought an Ultimate due to the change in camping style.

AnswerID: 372335

Reply By: Best Off Road - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:46

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:46
Here's were we've been and where we're at .

Started with a soft floor camper. Moved on to a Jayco wind-up camper. Moved on to a Pop Top caravan. Now, back to a soft floor camper.

Whilst the caravan in theory is the quickest to set up, the reality for us is that we spend most of our time outside and we spent an eternity taking stuff out of the van and then packing up.

Now that we've got the camper setup with slide out _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx and kitchen (no real suprise there given that I build them) and a large toolbox on the front, most of our gear never really gets unpacked, it's just accessed as needed. Come pack up time it's case of close the _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx and fold up the camper.

The other advantage, that I love, is you can pretty much get along at any old speed with a camper, particularly along winding roads.


AnswerID: 372336

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:24

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:24
Do you remember the name of the place in Dandenong that makes them exceptional quality drawer systems that goes nicely into Camper trailers ??

Maîneÿ . . .
FollowupID: 639596

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:02

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 09:02

I could give you the name, but I've heard they are a bit dodgy ;-)

FollowupID: 639982

Reply By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:08

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:08
We've just gone from a trailer tent soft floor, to a Jayco swan, a little bit warmer in winter, :) As they say, Happy wife, Happy life. So this will be able to be an all year around camper. Fysh doesn't like the cold. :(
Our trailer tent was great for long stays, and if it was wet there was plenty of room under a 9x7 tarp. With three kids, the time it took to setup all the bunks & bedding, tables, Cook tops even though it had a pull out kitchen. it took just on 2 hours to set up and a little long to pull down.
We had a big enough tarp, that in the wet when packing up it could be done under the tarp.
A month ago we used the Jayco for the first time and it was just a lot quicker to setup & pack up, 15 minutes tops. Bedding, food and clothes were packed a couple of days before leaving.
The camper is untested on a long stay or in the wet.
So I think in our case our family is growing up and our needs are changing.
Now we just have to sell the the trailer tent :)
So there will be one more for sale soon.

AnswerID: 372352

Reply By: AlanTH - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:13

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:13
We started with a tent, went to a Goldstream windup then a Windsor Rapid which was good but couldn't go where we wanted to. So now we've had a Pioneer hard floor for 3 years and it's just right for what we want.
Probably in a couple of years we'll go to a small van but only because ageing joints may make putting the camper up and down harder, although the winch we had added not long ago has made this much easier.
We'll keep camping our way as long as possible.
AnswerID: 372355

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:29

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:29
Started with a soft floor Camper Trailer in 1996, sold it last May, will now tow a boat, load it with "stuff" and sleep in a tent with-out the trailer.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 372360

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:51

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 20:51
Mine is one of those for sale and I've moved to a van too - can I borrow your excuse ? :-o)
AnswerID: 372379

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 08:49

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 08:49
I think most of the reasons campers are for sale have been covered, but all things are always for sale at some time. There does seem to be a lot of lightly used upmarket types on the market. Maybe hard to justify $20k plus sitting idle
if opportunity to use it is minimal. Some are unimpressed with setup/packup
drama, many we have observed take eons of time banging in pegs, fiddling with
support legs, unpacking every last bit of gear & so on. We dont do any of that
& setup/packup times are reduced considerably. Judicious use of shadecloth
under & silvertarp over almost makes wet packups a thing of the past. When we get really old, like 70 plus, we may well "upgrade " to a van, but until then
the simple C/t will be our weapon of choice....only another 8 weeks to go... & we're off to the west..
cheers oldbaz.
AnswerID: 372417

Reply By: Member - Terry W (ACT) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:12

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:12
The reason there are so many CTs on the market may be partly because in practice they are not as convenient as some sales people make out, and probably some owners decide very quickly that they are not for them. Another reason is that some people, like us, unintentionally get in to caravanning via CTs, but suddenly discovering the fun of vanning and then want to upgrade to a full sized van to enjoy it more.

In our case we used a tent when our kids were young, but stopped camping when the kids grew up. When we decided to get back into camping, we decided we didn't want to sleep on the ground any more. We looked long and hard at a large number of different camper trailers before settling on a Jayco Penguin Outback. We loved it, and took it over all sorts of roads around 4 states. However, after I retired we decided that we wanted more comfort and convenience, and traded the CT in on a 20 foot Jayco Sterling Outback which we also love.

We don't unpack our Sterling (apart from perishable food, clothing, bedding etc). It is always packed and ready to go.

We have used the CT in temperatures down to -6 at Adaminaby to low 40s in Adelaide, and the van in similar temperatures.

The differences in our experience are:

The CT was much easier and less hassle to tow, but the van is much nicer once stopped. Better sound and heat insulation makes a huge difference, as does having everything set up (such as clothes hanging in wardrobes etc). The en suite is great as well, and is available even when travelling between sites, although the CT had a PortaPotti which did the job but had to be set up at night and put away in the morning.

Setting up the CT was no issue at all, but setting up the awning was a bit of a hassle, as was pulling it down (hammering in and then removing tent pegs and rolling it up by hand etc). I would for preference only use it for stays of more than one night, but we actually used it most nights.

Cooking and washing dishes with the low benches in the CT was not as comfortable as in the van, but no real hassle.

Fuel consumption with the van was substantially higher than with the CT.

Towing speeds with the van are substantially slower than with the CT (around 85 vs around 100), so 500 km days become 350-400 km days which adds to travel time.

Both are waterproof but the van is better insulated and easier to heat or cool than the CT.

We can be self contained including shower water for 2-3 days with the van.

There is a huge price difference which with the CT could be put towards fuel etc.

You definitely feel closer to nature in the CT. The van tends to keep you a bit more isolated.

The greatest benefit of the van is in breaking camp. Just uplug the facilities, lift the stabilisers and go. And you still have a place to clean up and change after packing. With the CT, there is a lot more to do. In wet weather you get wet and muddy and in hot weather sweaty, and then you have to go to the park facilities to change and then store the dirty clothes, toilet gear etc in the car because the CT is closed up. No drama, and still easier than tenting, but definitely not as convenient or comfortable as vanning.

We love the Sterling but miss the Penguin CT at times, from which I conclude that they are optimised for somewhat different purposes. The CT is ideal for short holidays etc, or for really tough tracks, and is more economical. The van is more convenient and is better for longer term travelling, but you pay for it. We would probably have kept the CT if I was still working and with limited opportunities to get away. Now that we spend longer on the road, the van is (for us) a better choice.

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 372420

Follow Up By: D-Jack - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:13

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 12:13
Good reply and analysis. Thanks.
FollowupID: 639679

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:36

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:36
The reason that there are a lot of camper trailers for sale is because there are a lot of camper trailers!
It is a perfectly normal for owners to upgrade or downgrade as required, we just switched from soft floor to hard floor, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with the soft floor camper.
There are also a lot of cars for sale, doesn't necessariliy mean that there is something wrong.
AnswerID: 372426

Reply By: Gronk - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:48

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:48
A good answer Terry, and shows why there are so many manufacturers of vans AND CT's out there.....because there are so many people with different tastes..

I think with the likes of things like the new Vista, some people are looking for a cross between the two....something that can still go into the Vic high country but also have a degree of inside comfort !!

I have a KK and while I'm very happy with it, there are times when a hard roof (rain ) and a bit of INSIDE living are appealing..

But a CT almost makes you spend all your time outside, which I suppose is what camping is all about..even better if its down a narrow bush track and you're the only one there..
AnswerID: 372428

Reply By: JAZZY - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:58

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:58
We started with a dome tent (2 adults & 2 children) - too small

quickly moved to a Taj-mah-tent - too much set up

After 6 months moved to a Camper Trailer - loved it - plenty of room but lots to set up - no kitchen or slide out _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx etc but had a separate set of gear for it so was ready to go at any time. Annex a pain to set up. Bought new and sold for the same price 10 years later - had no trouble selling it (when kids start part time work camping becomes non-existant).

Kids grown up & working - 10 years later have now a Jayco Dove - best feature is running water inside the van - annexe still a pain to set up but a bit easier than the CT, great cooking areas although I have purchased a little portable oven for it (I love cooking). Love it!
AnswerID: 372439

Reply By: Africampers - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:25

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:25
We've also 'upgraded' from a TrakShak to a compact off-road caravan - the Conqueror Commander - which we've since taken through the Flinders and Arkaroola up to Innamincka, Cameron Corner and up the Darling. Very happy with it - having no set-up time apart from opening the roof and sliding out the fridge / kitchen unit. Ready for an overnight stop in 5 minutes, with hot showers and a cold beer - not necessarily in that order. It is designed and built by a company that used to manufacture military vehicles for the South African army and has all metal and canvas construction (no wood or fibreglass used) with independent suspension. Sleeps four, has 2 deep cycle batteries and 180 litre water for luxury bush camping. We've had so much interest in the Conqueror Commander as a competent off-road caravan that we've since started importing them. It suits our circumstances more than the TrakShak (which is a fantastic camper for staying a couple of days at the same spot) as we tend to do more touring to cover this vast country. Either way - it still beats being stuck in a holiday apartment in the concrete jungle.
AnswerID: 372727

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