Southern Cross Camper Trailers

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 15:18
ThreadID: 7428 Views:15593 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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I know this is silly question, but does anyone have an opinion or have any experiences with a 'Southern Cross' Camper Trailer? Both positive and negative.
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Reply By: flappan - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:26

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 11:26
I have heard of them, but don't know a lot about them. I understand they are built by the same mob as Southern Cross Tents.

Assuming that is correct, then you will at least know the canvas work will be top quality.
AnswerID: 32082

Reply By: John - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 12:16

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 12:16
Hey Big Trev
We recently purchased a 2nd hand Southern Cross camper top from the Trading Post. We then had a custom built trailer made and bolted the camper to it. Only had it for 3 months so far but canvas is about 6yrs old (well looked after though). Took the trailer to Central Australia for a month. Some very gusty wind and some rain but none too heavy. They've got a good reputation but there is a lot of competition out there to shop around. I phoned them up before we bought the camper top and a replacement top only was about $3800 by memory. I'm happy with the Southern Cross product. There's lots out there that swear by the single pole tents they make also.
AnswerID: 32094

Reply By: Big Trev - Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 13:33

Friday, Sep 26, 2003 at 13:33
I have had a Southern Cross tent for nearly 10 years, there is no doubting the great quality of their canvas products, but does anyone know anything about the trailers they use, as this is the bit that is most likely to let me down.
AnswerID: 32107

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 12:17

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 12:17
Hi Big Trev,

The only silly question is the one not asked!

We purchased a 2nd hand Southern Cross camper earlier this year. The unit was made in 2000 and still all in very good condition. The canvas is extremely good, still like new, and looks as if it will outlast the trailer.

The trailer we got was optioned up by the original owner to include 500mm sides. The trailer itself is quite well made. The trailer has all we need, gas bottle mounts, pole tube, water tank, plenty of jerry can holders, treg hitch, etc. The guy who had it before me made up a slide out kitchen unit which is great. The tent assy lifts up to one side on pneumatic struts for loading the trailer which I think is great. The bed base also has a door to get into the trailer from beneath matress when tent is erected. Was fitted w/ landcrusier 16" rims - now has Patrol rims and track is the same (within 20mm). As with every purchase, I am now looking to make some mods (battery, lights, 2nd spare wheel, etc).

The suspension is Alko rubber torsion system. I was a little sceptical about this, with an original leaning to springs and shocks. If you search the archives you'll see that people either love or hate this system. The trailer was bought for a good price IMO ($5000) and for the forseeable future I didn't see there to be extended rough road use. I must say though that since owning it I have found that it handles gravel and corrugated roads really well. I don't know about the GRR, etc but some posts claim this setup works well in the rough conditions. I am very happy with how this trailer tows behind our GU Patrol. Trailer ground clearance is very good.

The trailer isn't fitted with brakes, though the trailing arms to stub axle come with square mounting bracket for Alko electric drum brakes. I am in the process of fitting brakes as the trailer, when fully loaded, needs brakes IMHO. Cost of parts for this is $550. When researching this I contacted SC campers and they really didn't know too much about trailers - they are into canvas. They gave me contact details for trailer manufacturer, who I found to be quite helpful. The trailer manufacturer is:
The Trailer Factory
Colchester Road
Kilsyth, VIC 3137
(03) 9761 5533

The overall build quality is good, however things I've noticed since having it (that I intend to fix) are:
#door seals are adhesive backed foam - seems to work OK but I don't think it a long term solution for me (has been OK for 3 years I guess). Rubber seals seem more suitable.
#welds are much better than you'd get on your garden 6'x4' unit, however welds are not full length on floor to chassis and sides. A weekend at work sometime should rectify this. All seems are sealed to prevent dust ingress which is good (just means this has to be removed before re-weld).

Hope this gives you the feedback you were after.

Regards,
Hugh
AnswerID: 32173

Follow Up By: Big Trev - Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 17:56

Saturday, Sep 27, 2003 at 17:56
We have had a Southern Cross tent for nearly 10 years , and it has been the best tent we have ever had, so that is why we are looking at their trailes.

We actually drove to Melbourne this morning to their factory, very helpful people, and are prepared to do anything we want. The guy there informed us that they have been making them for 20+ years, and they are still using the same trailer mob as the one you bought. The guy said that there is no real need for shocks, no great benefit he reckons.

We are actually going to order one with leaf springs on Monday from the local agent, so you information is really timely. Thanks.
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FollowupID: 22972

Reply By: -OzyGuy- - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 12:41

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 12:41
Big Trev,
Hi, I am semi retired and have lived along the North West coast of West Australia in a Southern Cross Camper trailer since December 1997, with Kelsey Electric brakes, two large gas bottles & 3 X Jerry cans, the total area under canvas is 4.00 mt X 4.20 mtrs....and with out any hassles I would recomend them to any one interested, the KK and similar units are nice, however not large enough to use as full time accomodation, I have been accross the Gibb River road and various outback tracks, no hassles.
AnswerID: 32976

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