Trak-Shak Campers

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 19:50
ThreadID: 80604 Views:10122 Replies:11 FollowUps:15
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Good Evening to All,

I'm in the market for a camper trailer for a family with 3 children. Been looking through the endless quantities of camper trailers that are now on the market and I like the 4wd capabilities of the Trak-Shak camper. Seems to be well built.

Does anyone out there have a Trak-Shak camper ? I've heard from different people that the build quality of the product has changed since the Adelaide owners sold out to the Sydney factory.

Any comments or advise greatly appreciated.

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:01

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:01
Jeff
You are correct.

They are now made in China, and I am not sure if they are assembled here, or not. Apparently there has been a couple of owners, since the Adelaide people sold out.

Fortunately we have a 2001 Aussie built one, and absolutely love it. Tough as, been all over Oz, and will continue to do treks. eg Canning, Simpson, Cape York, Gibb River Road, just to mention a few.. and still in good condition.

Been through countless storms, and never leaks.
Good hunting for one ..

Cheers
Bucky
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:16

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:16
Thanks for the reply. I've been looking through them all and keep getting drawn back to the Trak-Shak. Looks like the perfect match between setup time/4wd ability and design. Good to see that the resale value of the Trak-Shak is good too. No real difference between new prices and 5 year old trailers.

With a small difference in price from new to secondhand i'm thinking I'll go new so I can match rims/tyres with the Patrol but I'm concerned with the possibility of cheaper parts etc

We have done many trips with our trusty tent in the Patrol but times are a changing :)

Thanks
Jeff
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:04

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:04
I have a 2000 model so pre Sydney.

Member John T (Tamworth) has a Sydney one and is very happy with it. I'll MM him to get him to reply to this thread for you :)


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:21

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 20:21
Thank you very much. Would be much appreciated.

They do seem to be well designed and fit our requirements nicely.

Can you see any real differences between the 2000 model and a recent one ?

In particular it sounds like the welds etc are of a lower standard.

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 23:13

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 23:13
Mine is a 96 model adn has done some pretty tough k's in many different areas of Oz. I can honestly say it has always been a pleasure to tow and camp in.

I have had two problems 1) I broke a break cable. I replaced this with a boat winch cable and heavier shackle back in 1999.

2) I had to replace the original shock absorbers. I did this prior to our Simpson Desert trip in 2003.

Apart from the sand-blasted draw bar the Trak Shak, trailer and canvas, is still in good nick despite the general hard time it has received at the hands of my three kids.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:50

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:50
Thanks Duncs for taking the time out to respond.

Seems like small change with only 2 problems after all the k's and situations that you have had the Trak Shak in.

Seems like everyone who has a Trak Shak wouldn't replace it which is comforting.

Here's to many more trek :)

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: portlester - Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 23:15

Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 at 23:15
Hi Jeff

We have had a Trak Shak now for almost 12 months now to fit our family with 5 kids. It has been fantastic. We have used it every school holidays since purchased covering territory from the highway runs from Geelong to Sydney, to up the Old Ghan and we can't fault it. It has been great.

Like you we had also heard of issues with the Trak Shak built from 2004(?) onwards when the company was first sold and production sent off to China. so we opted for an Australian built one (which was also more in our price range).

Last Christmas holidays while in Sydney we had electric brakes and some other additions put on by Trak Shak (where they are now based out of). The current owners of the company I found to be very frienldy, upfront and aware of the issues of poor quality that the early imports from China had (previous to their purchase of the company) and assured me that they have since rectified them. Murray (one of the owners) spent alot of time showing me around the workshop and was happy to explain what is now done to ensure a much higher standard. Interestingly he said that with the amount of fitout done in Australia, the current Trak Shaks could be sold as 'made in Australia' (which they are not, but it got me wondering about some of our other 'made in Australia' brands).

This left me confident that if I ever upgraded the Trak Shak (one day we may want a boat rack) that a post 2007 model should be fine to look at.

That's not to say that all the early imports were lemons (apparently the lemons came in batches), but I'd personally be more confident of finding a suitable standard in the Aussie made ones or the later imports.

cheers
Ian
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:52

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:52
Thanks Ian for taking the time to respond.

Much Appreciated

Jeff
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Reply By: brett - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 00:02

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 00:02
Got a 99 model and with the 3 kids it's perfect. I don't think any other camper has the inside space the trakshak does without setting up an extra add on room. All that space is there as sson as you flip it open.
Biggest problems with the chinese ones was the chinese canvas they used, to get around this they now use Australian canvas, get it cut here and ship it over to China. As the canvas is probably 80% of the camper this solves alot of issues. Only other things we welds and paint was a little sloppy and probably not as good as the Aussie ones but I think this is now also better. Only problem I see is the price, I think they are a little expensive.
AnswerID: 426704

Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:55

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:55
Thanks for the reply Brett

The interior room without any additional rooms or canvas is a huge positive for my family and I.

Just gives the kids more area to play when the weather outside isn't as good as you would hope.

Thanks for the info about the canvas.

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 04:47

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 04:47
We have a 2001 version. Fantastic for us and the 3 kids.

There was a review article in last month's Campertrailer magazine. The conclusion was positive except for a question about value for money (particularly the kitchen arrangements). This is a mute point, however, as there are so few alternatives with the space for a family without adding lots of extra separate canvas and carrying bedding. Also, we quite like the removable kitchen but having to connect gas each time is a bit of a hassle.

At the end of the article was a comment from the new owners about the Chinese connection. The key advantage is that the Chinese manufacturer acts as the wholesaler and allows the local company to have units shipped as per demand rather than keeping stock here . I can see how this would be very cost effective. It would be interesting to see how much they would be if this arrangement didn't exist.

Adrian
AnswerID: 426706

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 05:31

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 05:31
Adrian

The first thing we do at set up time, is drop the kitchen outside, then pop the camper.
Have snap lock gas fittings, and a 10 mt flexible gas lead. So we can have the kitchen anywhere we want..
No cooking is done in the camper itself

We also have a very large ground sheet, made of double layered 90% shadecloth.
Floor is in perfect condition. Takes about 1 minute to set up, and the same to fold away, except if the wind gets up..

CHeers
Bucky
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:57

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 19:57
Thanks for the reply Adrian.

Was that article in July's CamperTrailer Magazine ?

Jeff
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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:56

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 21:56
Jeff,

It was issue 31 (the current one is 32) on page 36. Some of the newsagents may still have one left as the latest issue only came out last week.

There are 3 Trak Shaks in the trader section of the campertrailers website - 2009 Qld, 2004 Vic and 1996 Qld.

There are two widths and two lengths available in the older model. Not sure about the latest ones. We have the longer double bed version rather than the queen. The only external difference is that the bed box doesn't extend to the outside of the passenger side mudguard. When open, the tent has more space (about 40cm). We haven't ever been cramped in ours!!

Good luck.

Adrian
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:38

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 at 15:38
Thanks for that Adrian.

I've just ventured down to the local newsagents and unfortunately no luck. APC take the ones that haven't sold back.

Regards
Jeff
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 14:17

Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 14:17
Adrian,

When we bought ours new in 1996 there was one length and 3 widths, the Standard, Midway and Deluxe(??).

We bought the Midway because it takes queen size sheets.

We also set the kitchen up outside the camper before we start on setting up camp, uless it is pouring with rain. Once the kitchen is off the trailer SWMBOo sets it up and cooks while I make camp. I usually finish first and check if the drinks are cold while she finishes dinner.

Now that the kids are big enough to help I start checking drinks sooner and the Boss often gets to sit with me while she supervises while the girls cook.

Duncs
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Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 10:16

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 10:16
Hi Jeff

I have just ordered a new Trak Shak and it is due out of production in 3 weeks. Carey at Trak Shak has been excellent to deal with and has been very upfront when i asked him about the quality issues that I had heard about.

He indicated that there were a few teething problems when they first went off shore however these have been addressed now. Also there is alot of miss information out there with regard to what is built in china and the quality of the canvas etc.

It is only the trailer body that is built offshore. The Shak is fully assembled here and the canvas is 12oz Australian Wax Converters Canvas (not chineese).

I certainly felt comfortable enough handing over my 30+K for one of there trailers. I also know a few people who have the Trak Shak (chinese chasis) for a few years and put over 30,000kms on them in harsh terrain and have had absolutly no issues with them.

I sugest if you have any concerns you contact Corey direct on 02 96380771.


Regards




AnswerID: 426725

Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 20:00

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 20:00
Much Appreciated Jason for taking the time to reply.

Seems like there are a few people with the same impression that since the Adelaide couple sold the business, things went downhill.

Thanks for giving me info aout your dealings with the company and info about your firends who also have Trak Shaks.

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 17:42

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 17:42
Hi Jeff

Sorry for late reply, we've been away for a few days in the Trak Shak on the Central Coast. Mine is "a '06 chinese" version that was finished off here in Oz. So far it's been towed behind my Nissan for about 30K - about 25K of that has been on "roads" similar to the Birdsville Track and apart from a shocky failure 2 years ago not one single thing has gone wrong. We have been through violent wind storms that shredded tents etc at William Creek, sand storms x about 8, wild rain storms near Maclean etc etc - you get the picture. Wonderful camper despite some of the "made in China" knockers - China makes some great stuff -you give them the correct specs and they will build great gear. Love our Trakkie. Off in about 5 weeks for a wedding in Adelaide so just for a change we are going via the Birdsville Track - weather permitting.

Cheers
John T (Lifetime Member)
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Follow Up By: Luvmud - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 20:04

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 20:04
Thanks John

Very comforting feedback. Much Appreciated for taking the time to reply.

I will pull the camper behind a Patrol and will be looking to do many outback trips including Birdsville etc.

Regards
Jeff
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Reply By: Mark Howlett - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:14

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:14
Jeff I think you have a good picture with the quality. Things went down hill when they went to China (we saw a 3 month old China one on our big trip, rust on the stainless steel rack and lots of small holes in the ordinary looking canvas), then they went back to Aussie canvas and continous improvements since.

We have an Aussie 2003 model and they're brilliant for a family, heaps of room in the tent section, trailer section and of course jerry can storage! Very strong and daylight between the wheels and arches, unlike a few others you see where they're nearly rubbing.

Cheers,

Mark.
AnswerID: 426799

Reply By: brett - Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:32

Monday, Aug 09, 2010 at 22:32
Regarding the kitchen alot of people are turned off by the basic not so flash setup compared to some of the others out there. We generally camp in summer so the kitchen is always set up outside under the awning. Compared to say a Kimberly kamper with its slide out stove and kitchen and water etc it looks a bit basic. But after a recent tirip to central Australia where temps were in single figures we set the kitchen up inside, for a single night stop it stayed on the tailgate and just hooked the gas bottle up, for a 2 night stay we would take it off the tailgate and setup inside, and if it was raining it didn't matter as everything was inside. Saw a few kimberly kampers and they had to cook outside, they had no choice as the kitchen slides out from the side. Now if it's raining they also have to setup the awning to stay dry. While the trak shak setup doesn't look too flash it is very flexiible and practical. Alot of these campers look fantastic at the shows but out on the road in real world situations I found the trak shak to be perfect. After our 3 week trip and looking at alot of other setups I couldn't help but think the trak shak setup is perfect for a family. The portabilty of the kitchen is a real bonus.
AnswerID: 426802

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 14:08

Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 14:08
brett

Gr8 call mate !

Basic, but big. I sometimes have a quiet chuckle to myself, when people mock the "trak shak", as being basic, but after all that's just why we got ours.

And don't we love the fact that our campers are complete, with awning up in 10 minutes.

Gotta love that bit
Cheers Bucky
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 14:09

Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 14:09
brett

Gr8 call mate !

Basic, but big. I sometimes have a quiet chuckle to myself, when people mock the "trak shak", as being basic, but after all that's just why we got ours.

And don't we love the fact that our campers are complete, with awning up in 10 minutes.

Gotta love that bit
Cheers Bucky
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FollowupID: 697728

Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 22:59

Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 22:59
Brett,

I also agree entirely. The flexibility of the kitchen is a real bonus. I've added a removable shelf that clips under the slideout extension, changed one of the plastic bins for a narrow ply box for plates & plastic cups and two cuttlery draws. I also recently added a narrow shelf that is supported by 40cm long all-thread rod that holds the plastic preserved fruit jars with various things like flour, sugar etc. Quick to set up, move and put away.

Having seen the all-bells-and-whistles campers the TS misses nothing really necessary and doesn't have lots of fiddly bits that break (particularly when kids are around) or take for ever to set up. I did add a couple of gooseneck lights above the bed which WERE missing on the earlier models:)

Adrian
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FollowupID: 697785

Reply By: JohnyOrik - Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 at 15:32

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 at 15:32
Jeff,
I have a Trakshak (think it was called a Supreme with two double beds) sitting in my shed. It hasn't had an outing apart from being brought out to air a few times in the last 11 years. It is in excellent condition having had only two to three trips locally in Victoria, a couple of trips to Central Australia and one or two to the high country. It has a detachable sunroom in screen and canvas ( this was our idea when originally introduced by Trakshak about twenty years ago)
It is in excellent condition and would be an excellent choice of camper. It has served us well but our kids are grown up and have little interest now in camping.
If you are interested let us know,
John
AnswerID: 429024

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