"Tambo Campers" are they tough enough?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:20
ThreadID: 70271 Views:4901 Replies:5 FollowUps:13
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G'day all

There is a lot of rave about Tambo campers on this site, but are they a true off road camper and strong enough to be dragged through some of the more challenging 4WD tracks in OZ.
Am looking Keenly at the All Terrain but keep coming back to look at the Tambo.

Would like to hear from Tambo owners that have put them through there paces and what probs have been encountered......There has to be some dirt on this brand, surely!!!!

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Reply By: escapesilv - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:32

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:32
Hi Ingo57

I have a tambo for the past two years, no problems, but what do you mean by "more challenging 4WD tracks", I like the off road, but not rock jumping.

AnswerID: 372478

Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:49

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:49
Sorry mate,

I meaning trips like the Canning Stock Route, High country, Anne beadell, Sandy Cape Tasmania etc not just travelling down a nicely graded dirt road.

The camper will be our home for year or so and we wish to do some of the more remote trips as well on the way round, however I dont want to leave the trailer when it can be helped and also would like to to limit the chance of leaving it in the middle of nowhere because It wasnt up to the task.

Where have you taken yours?
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:00

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:00
Keep in mind the lower part of the CSR is closed to trailers of any kind...
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Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:12

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:12
G'day Scott

Is that right, I didnt realize that..... mainly cause I have seen reports of trailers being taken across.
What part are they banned in the CSR

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Follow Up By: escapesilv - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:15

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 17:15
The high Country we did it when we first piked the camper up, and last winter we did the plenty Hway and wondered off to Ruby Gap ( its quite a work out) and that is as challenging I want it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 13:08

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 13:08
From the track info on EO

"In times of wet weather, the section between Wells 2 - 5 through Cunyu Station may be closed to all traffic. This section is also permanently closed to all vehicles towing trailers and "oversize" vehicles. i.e.., any wide track vehicle over the size of a Toyota Troopcarrier (PC) - definitely no Okas, or Akas."

Apparently the local landowners are getting tired with both the track being chewed up and having to 'rescue' unsuitable vehicles..... so blanket ban.
FollowupID: 639848

Reply By: just goin - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 18:51

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 18:51
GDay Ingo57,

We bought a new Tambo year for a lap of oz (which we are currently on - lefthome 20 Jun 09). Anyway we did a 4 day test run (prior to departure) and decided that it was TOO much work with 2 young kids in tow as well for us to be bothered with. We planned to do a lap in about 6-8 months mainly hugging the coastline and nothing rugged like you are wanting to do. But the setting up and packing up was a pain for us. You have to be very organised if you wanted to move on every couple of days!!! We wouldnt have lasted a week on the road with the camper. Perfect though just for your 2 week holidays here and there but not long term in our opinion.

The camper itself is very well built and we loved the space inside the main tent etc. No complaints at all with the actual product (except maybe the annexe could be a little more secure - velcro's on at the sides where the annexe meets the camper and we felt zippers at this point would have been a better choice) and if you get the full annexe it gives you a huge living area as well.

Anyway I am sure you would be happy with a Tambo and it is built well and looks strong underneath. Has great storage under bed base and big toolbox if you get that - we did! We looked at All-Terrain as well and looks great too but lots more bucks...

You will just have to weigh it up!
AnswerID: 372501

Follow Up By: chisel - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 22:40

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 22:40
Are you saying you bought the camper but left it at home? Are you tenting it or mainly cabins instead?
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Follow Up By: just goin - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 14:26

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 14:26
Oh sorry didnt want to add all our plans from the point of buying the camper as I didnt want to rave on too much about our much BETTER rig!

We sold the camper for more than we paid for it in June and bought a brand new 16' poptop bunk caravan. Couldnt be happier...

Living the Dream as I am typing this reply.

We move on much quicker and with ease and no stress on us of the kids. We have only an extra 200kg overall in towing weight so nothing really and havent noticed any real change in our fuel economy as we are now travelling at 85-90km per hour rather than getting up to 100 or a bit more at times when we were towing the camper.

The amount of crap that we were able to leave at home in the shed amazed both of us and we are happy as larry now. Sure it is an extra $18k that we spent on top of what the camper cost us but we got a great deal on the new van at the right time when no-one else seems to be buying new vans so we got about $7k off the already reduced asking price at the dealers.

We were just lucky at the time that we sold the camper the day we advertised it and found the caravan the first day we went looking for a bunk van that wasnt too gigantic to tow around oz.

At first we were going the keep the camper and sell the caravan on our return - more than likely at a profit. But the minute I saw the caravan I knew it would be the perferct harmonious balance in our travelling lives that we ALL would be comfortable in for many years to come. So we sold the camper the next day!

We are stoked but still rate the Tambo's up the top - no doubts with that just not for us compared to the ease of the van we have bought.

We are on the road for 8 months in total and the way things are going we wish we had 8 years to go instead it is such a pleasure. Bear in mind we dont have air cond as yet (and dont plan to get it) and we have a dometic roll out blind which is 8ft wide and as long as the van and is great for shade and having a bbq under. We can setup in under 15 mins of registering at a van park and that is with 2 small kids in tow and get away just as easy as everything has its place in the van and we try and keep things in their place.

We can also free camp whenever we want to save money and we would have NEVER done that in our camper trailer - just didnt feel safe enough with the kids etc. At least you can lock the door in the van and have solid walls etc etc.

Hope my reply is helpful to all,

Cheers for Now
FollowupID: 639863

Follow Up By: Mark Howlett - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2009 at 21:12

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2009 at 21:12
I guess it's different strokes for differrent folks...we sent 6 months in a Trak Shak with 2 kids. While we did look in envy at times at people in caravans that set-up a bit quicker than us, but we were able to get right off the beaten track and were completely sustaintable away from parks and spent many nights at free camps and in the middle of nowhere. Some of our most memorable nights would not have occured if we had a van because we wouldn't have been able to get in.


FollowupID: 640646

Reply By: Member - Bytemrk(VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 20:48

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 20:48
G'day Ingo57,

I have a Tambo we bought in 2004 and I have been very happy with it.

How tough a camper has to be on some of the tracks, really depends how you drive and how you treat the trailer. Obviously the average garden trailer will self destruct no matter how careful you are - but even the toughest off road trailer can be damaged by excessive speed or inappropriate driving.

Ours has never let us down, while I haven't done many of the more challenging tracks around, it has been through much of the Vic high country, around Fraser Island ( including some of the rougher inland tracks). It's been through the Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola, the Oodnadatta track and the painted desert.

As well of dozens of other weekends away.

Later this year we are taking it through Cameron Corner, Innaminka, Birdsville, across the plenty highway around the MacDonnell ranges , down to the rock, then home through Dalhousie Springs and Lake Eyre. I wouldn't take it if i felt it wouldn't cope, much of the more remote parts of this trip will be just me and my 12yo boy... so I certainly don't need trailer dramas.

The only issue I have had was a corner seam on the tent opened up an inch or two - the original double stitching had missed the material on one line of stitching. Tambo repaired it immediately and were most apologetic. Despite the trailer being 18mths old when it happened! Not exactly the sort of thing that would ruin a trip.

If mine was stolen tomorrow.... I would definitely go out and buy another Tambo.

Good luck with the search...

AnswerID: 372526

Follow Up By: Member - Bytemrk(VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 20:51
Also you will find quite a few Tambo owners on the Myswag forum. Maybe pop over there and ask the same questions.


Cheers, Mark
FollowupID: 639750

Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 21:12

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 21:12
Thanks for the Info Mark will check out myswag


FollowupID: 639752

Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:10

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:10
I have not long purchased the Tambo Cooper. I did a heap of research, over many months, including "sussing" out how strong they are and their ability to travel some rough roads, particularly the constant pounding of corrugations. I feel confident I have a camper that will stand up just fine, but as mentioned previously, drive or tow it like it is stolen and you soon might just destroy most campers. Towed mine up through the Mt Stirling, Craigs Hut area last month, on what I would have described as some reasonably challenging tracks and it handled the conditions just fine. I am off to Cape York in 3 weeks with the camper in tow, so the proof will be in the pudding so to speak. If I was not confident the camper could manage it, I would leave it at home.. in fact I would not have bought it in the first place. I am one who takes a lot of care with my vehicles (and camper), so we will be taking our time and driving to the conditions.

Have you seen these articles, attached to the Tambo website? I found them very interesting and they will be relevant to your query.


As stated, there are plenty of Tambo owners on MySwag.org, only too willing to share or provide information.


AnswerID: 372615

Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:21

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 12:21
Thanks Dave,

Yes have seen those two websites, I will be Interested to hear how you go with it up the cape....Lucky Bugga!!

Are you going up the Old Telegraph line?
If you remember, can you send me a message when you get back let me know how it performed?

Have a great trip


FollowupID: 639835

Follow Up By: DaveO*ST-R - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 13:45

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 13:45
Thanks. If you do decide to go for the Tambo, you will find the owners Keith & Amanda extremely pleasant people to deal with. Their customer service is first class and nothing is too much trouble.

Yes, we will be doing the OTL, whether one way or up and back I am not too sure as yet - we will treat each day as it comes. This trip has been in the planning for near on 12 months, so we are itching to get going. We hope to do Frenchman's Track as well, but we will just have to find out what the Pascoe River crossing is like when we get there. Nothing like word of mouth when we are up that way.

I'll put your post aside somewhere and hopefully remember to reply when I get back. Won't be until mid September though. Hope the news is all good !!

FollowupID: 639856

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:19

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:19
Currently at Adel Grove with our Tambo and yes they are tough.We've towed ours all over the country and its handled it all no worries.We,ve come up this trip through the corner country, out back of Mt Isa and beyond and no worries.
Still two months to go too.
AnswerID: 372650

Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:38

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:38
Thanks Nick,

Enjoy the rest of it.

FollowupID: 639904

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