THE MOST POPULAR OFF-ROAD CAMPER? Let me know what you have & why.

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 08:14
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G'day all, I would like to know what CAMPER TRAILER you have & why, I know Jayco make a few models but which one? what other brands & what basic price range in yours? Just a short few lines would be great
This will be an interesting survey to see how many of each model reply, thanks in anticipation
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 08:49

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 08:49
G'day dingo, you may need to clarify your question..camper trailer usually refers to the trailer/tent combination. As you refer to Jayco I take it you are referring to
wind up camper vans. Not trying to be pedantic, just want you to get the info you seek..cheers....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 441062

Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 08:59

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 08:59
G'day Oldbaz, good question I'm not sure when a camper trailer becomes a camper van? But let's count them all! (not caravans, we can do a separate survey on caravans at a later date) thanks
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Follow Up By: - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:43

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:43
I've always considered a "campervan" to be a self-propelled vehicle somewhat like a small motorhome...IE: the type of "whoosh-bang" set-up in a Toyota Hiace that Britz rents to the Germans.

The term "camper trailer" can (and does) include any style of TRAILER used for accommodation purpose which does not qualify as being a "caravan". Here is where the line is becoming blurred!! You get an item like the Kimberley Karavan which is really half way between camper trailer and caravan.

We own a Ultimate Off Camper...... I get really annoyed when people refer to it as a "nice caravan"!!!! hahaha
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Follow Up By: Troppo Tom (Virginia, N.T.) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:12

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:12
And my Trackabout, soft floor camper has to be both registered and insured as a caravan!!!


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Reply By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:19

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:19

Just in case you haven't found it yet there is a great site dedicated to campertailers. Click HERE.

That said, I have now had a Kanga Big Red soft floor camper for nigh on 6 years now and have towed it over approximately 25000km - Cape York (thrice), Vic High Country and other spots as well. I chose this camper after observing one on a trip I led to Cape York in the early 2000s. There were two others on this trip a Tvan and a Cavalier....IMHO the Kanga performed the best of all in terms of size, functionality, towability, river crossings, and keeping the dust out...and I particularly like the hard top over the bed. The Tvan was next best but also almost 3 times the price. The Cavalier had a great appetite for ingesting dust.

The Kanga also has about the right amount of space inside and under the awning that best suits our needs......and believe me everyone's needs in this regard are different. No problems with the camper at all that can be put down to the manufacture or design but I did once fold a 'borer beetle' up with the canvas (unbeknown to me) and the little bugger tried his best to chew his way out and left me with quite a few holes to repair - thankfully non in the roof area. (For interest I found the beetle - he didn't succeed in his mission to chew out - and took him to a CSIRO guru for identification and confirmation that he would indeed try to chew through anything to escape....just like you and me :-)).

You can check out the Kanga Campers HERE.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with this company - just a happy camper!
AnswerID: 441066

Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:38

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 09:38
G'day dingo...

Having a look at the reply above, by Patrol22, gave me a smile..... 'cos I currently own a Tvan and a Cavalier!! The Cav is for sale and in fact, it is more than likely sold to a friend who is looking for the money. But I digress. I can confirm that the Cav LOVES dust... but is a great budget trailer otherwise. I upgraded to the Tvan for several reasons, we were planning a 7 week trip through the outback including crossing the Simpson Desert, and I would never contemplate towing anything less than a Tvan out there. (There are others that are just as capable!) The Tvan has the best off road suspension IMO, is built the toughest IMO, the hard roof over the bed and the ease of set up is second to none, IMO, and the slide out kitchen for lunch stops on the road was the clincher. Expensive.... yes. Worth it? Absolutely!!



AnswerID: 441071

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:18

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:18
Ditto! Tvan wins hands down for us! The only thing more we could want is an aircon,(we travel mainly in the tropics) but then no other CT has one either. Sadly due to reasons not associated with the Tvan itself our will soon be up for sale.
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Follow Up By: lizard - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:31

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 10:31
We had a Cavalier , towed it over a lot of this great country , it never got any dust inside ... we found it to be great value for its price.
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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:09

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:09
Hi lizard,
The Cavalier is indeed great value for money! No question about that! But I do remember the day we arrived in Birdsville, opened it up and I said to Gayleen, "I'll make us a coffee!"
First things first though... there was an inch of dust in all the cups, the kettle, the plates, and dust throughout the storage area of the trailer! Everything had to be cleaned. No real problem with that, to us it's all part of the adventure. If we hadn't decided to upgrade to the Tvan, we'd still be towing it around with us!



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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:59

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:59
Like I said Brian....everyone has different needs....and wants. I'm guessing that Tvan have since the 2000 model, improved the hub assembly. On the one that was in my tour group we removed the wheels on at least half a dozen occasions to clear the hub of sand...they just kept filling will sand and binding. The Tvan was also one with a longer drawbar and it got hung up on the Palm Ck crossing on the OTL and bent the Treg pin....couldn't decouple until we got to Bamaga and had access to an Oxy set. This latter problem it not a Tvan thing but could happen to any coupling I think and probably moreso with the longer drawbar set up iin such situations. Notwithstanding, I still went for a longer drawbar on my Kanga as this configuration suits most of my towing circumstances.
FollowupID: 713021

Reply By: Member - John G- Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:05

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:05
G'day aussiedingo

If you look at and decide to join the group (no cost), you will have access to their data base that lists the camper trailers owned by some of the members (sample of 200). It won't necessarily be representative, but it's likely to give you a better idea than an ad hoc poll conducted in the forum here.

Having said that, I haven't looked at the Members page on this site to see if you could do your own survey from info there.

AnswerID: 441085

Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:13

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:13
Thanks John G, my interest is what EO members use, thanks for the advice. Regards
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Follow Up By: Member - John G- Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:15

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:15
Sorry aussiedingo

After handing out advice I didn't answer your original question.

We have a 2005 Jayco Outback Eagle, bought third hand. It handles the unsealed roads that we wish to confront ourselves with, and gets us into national parks, and at the same time provides the interior space and storage that we need.

We did have a Tvan for five years, did the rough stuff with that, and did as much of that as we planned to do post retirement.

We had absolutely no problems with the Tvan, and we have had no serious issues with the Jayco.

We haven't really tested the Jayco in long term dusty conditions, but have done enough to try to cover the door vent before heading off on long unsealed stints. My observation is that dust does get sucked up under the leading edge of the roof, leading to dirty canvas. Bed end flys are a bit of a pain in the derriere, mainly because in our model the flys are very difficult to lift off the bed end canvas when set up.

In defence of my reference to and the opportunity for you to get a large sample for your survey, I think there may be a few crossover members

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Follow Up By: Member - Owen M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 16:40

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 16:40
I have a Kimberley Kamper that I bought new in '04 and have done over 100,000k's in it(yes 100,000 kms). Could'nt be happier. However, I won't and don't try and push anyone in my direction as it depends where you want to go, and your budget of course. Kimberley, TVan, Ultimate, Aussie Off Road (not in order) are arguably the best of the true "off road" camper trailers.
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:52

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 11:52
G'day aussiedingo,
If your after a soft floor camper then have a look Outback Campers in Seaford Vic. I owned one for years & took it on a 2 year 50,000km trip around Aus. I went places with it that the locals said would break it but came back with it in one piece every time. Mind you a lot has to do with adjusting your tyre pressures & driving to suit the conditions.

Jim Coulsen still runs the business & he is a great guy to deal with. In fact I have one of his tray back campers on my short list.

AnswerID: 441091

Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:03

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:03
We have towed a Cavalier all over the place including across the Simpson, the Hay River trip, half of the Canning, the Gunbarrel (including the old section), to Kalumburu, the tip of Cape York, Sandy Blight Junction Track etc etc. We loved it and had little trouble. Very low tyre pressures protect vehicle, trailer and track.

We solved the dust problem by using six large white plastic boxes to store everything. These also served to anchor the floor inside the tent so we didn't need to use pegs. Some water got in the tool box on the drawbar during creek crossings - this wasn't helpful. We bought a full annex but didn't take it anywhere as it is too messy to attach on a travelling holiday.Image Could Not Be Found If you book many months in advance you can get one of these fabulous campsites at Kooljamin, Cape Leveque WA.

On our last two big trips, we took a tent not the trailer - which we loved using but climbing on the roof of the vehicle most days wears thin after a few weeks. We didn't take the trailer because trailers aren't suitable for heavily overgrown winding tracks such as the OTL in Nuytsland Nature Reserve WA.

Hope this is helpful.
AnswerID: 441092

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:09

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 12:09
Have recently upgraded from an off-road soft floor camper to a Camp/o/matic Ranger XTC which is a hard top style off-road camper.

The reason for the change was the easier and quicker setup time required, minus the awning which takes about the same time.

Have lost a bit of storage capacity but will work around that.
The internal space is also a bit smaller than the soft top, but we didn't need the extra capacity. We spend most of our time outside and thus the awning area was an important consideration.


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AnswerID: 441093

Reply By: whisky_mac - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:55

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:55
I have the Tvan, 2005 MkII model with upgrades. Was looking around at a show at Wang last Feb, looked at the Cub, screwed and glued, the Kimberley, will have too much weight on the draw bar if you use that big box. The princess walked into the Tvan and noticed it was a lot cooler than the others and said - I want this. What the princess wants she gets. got it second hand from a bloke that only used it on Stradbroke Island and once to a bit of gravel road. Very pleased. Have done the Darling, just did Canberra, Brou Lake on the NSW south coast, Kangaroo valley, Newcastle, Putty road the Lithgow and then camped at Abercrombie River Camp and back home. Yeah, I am pleased.
AnswerID: 441102

Reply By: Wilko - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:57

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 13:57
Hi Dingo,

Ive got a Cub Camper which is a hard floor. They are a good unit but if I had they coin Id have a tvan. Im a big fan for all the reasons mentioned above.

I'm not a big fan of softfloor campers as most of my travels are overnight stays with quick setups desired then moving on.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 441103

Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 15:42

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 15:42
We have had soft floor 'over the side' (Track Eagle), hard floor 'over the back' (Pioneer Argyle), & have just bought a new 'crossover' style (Vista RV).

They all have pros & cons, as far as I am concerned the PERFECT camper trailer is yet to be designed ...... let me know when it is!

AnswerID: 441116

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:49

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 17:49
We have an Aussie Swag which is now 10 years old and has been through the desert tracks and up around Vic high country, gulf tracks, etc. This year we took it over to Kalgoorlie and back through the Great central road and plenty highway with side trip to Goyder's Pillar with dust rocks and mud.

It tows well, is quick to setup (hardfloor) and has been totally dustproof. I had the slightest of dust leaks at the end of the last trip and have just replaced the seals and rear tailgate catches so all good again. It also handles rain very well but cooking in wind blown rain is not so good with an outside kitchen. The bed has always stayed dry.

I would get another Aussie swag in an instant (if someone gives me the money)

AnswerID: 441140

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:09

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:09
We've had a Tvan for the past year - bought 2nd hand - previous two owners had taken it thru every desert in Australia multiple times and its still in good nick.
We wanted a fibreglass roof over our head and a suspension that was unlikely to break.
AnswerID: 441162

Follow Up By: Kev - Member - Wynnum - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:47

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:47
Hi Aussiedingo,
We have had several up and down and across Australia in our hard Floor Ezi Camper. we have just upgraded to a Vista RV Crossover and although haven't been on an extended trip feel sure that it will fulfil all our requirements and to top it off the Crossover has no Canvas when you don't attach the annex.
FollowupID: 713129

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 01:47

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 01:47
Hi Dingo,

After many years of tent camping, originally we went straight to a Windsor Rapid Offroad van, mainly because my kids were 2 & 4 and it was about the only way to get my whole family to come 4WDing with me!

As the kids got older and the off-road harder (and doing a fair bot of damage to the Windsor), we went to a Camprite camper. This would have to be IMHO one of the best family orientated camper plus tru off-road capable.

After many years of Camprite ownership, not only are the kids older but so am I. Some reckon I have gotten soft, but I reckon I have simply seen the light, and we recently purchased a Quantum crossover camper. These are not a van, nor a camper. They have no inside kitchen, just an outside one, a rollup awning for quick setup but a true shower and toilet for real convenience. The inside is really only used for sleeping (its small for 4) but camping is all about being outside IMHO, thats why it "had" to have a true outside kitchen.

While it may not go quite as far off-road as the Camprite, the difference is very small but a huge improvement over a "true" van.

Image Could Not Be Found

Image Could Not Be Found


AnswerID: 441185

Follow Up By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 09:17

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 09:17
Dunno about the Quantum? I just want your shed...I'm jealous!
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:19

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:19
Wish it was my shed, those pics were taken at the AORC factory/showroom when I went to inspect/pay for it.


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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 12:14

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 12:14
Interesting how the thread has gone with owners of mostly top of the range brand campers responding yet by far the "most popular offroad campers" are in fact the cheap soft floor types under 10K & Jaco pop tops.
In groups I travell with the TVan does appear to be the model the vast majority of touring campers aspire to. Compact, reasonable weight, full offroad capable, hard roof & looks good ;-)
Cheers Craig...........
AnswerID: 441233

Reply By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 14:28

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 14:28
G'day again, I guess we would all like to see a mention of lower end & soft floor campers that members have & use as well, regards,...... dingo
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AnswerID: 441250

Reply By: p_marns - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 22:31

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 22:31
I have recently upgraded from a softfloor to a hardfloor simply because they set up much quicker for overnighters. I have a cub which i am extremally happy with, b ut there is no doubt if i had the money i would have got an Aussie Swag. They are the best
AnswerID: 441304

Reply By: Scott C (Coolum - QLD) - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 00:45

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 00:45
Hi ausiiedingo

Did 18 month trip with a Jumbuck soft floor when it was just two of us, had tinnie of racks and loved it. Then kids came and so we got a coromal camper, didn't really have the off road flexibility we were looking for. Went back to a Koala soft floor basic set up and the kids didn't like sleeping on stretchers on the floor so now have a Jayco Flamingo.

For us the wind up style camper iaccommodates a family of 4, it goes where i want to go and is relatively quick to set up and pack up.

Only thing they need for us is an external kitchen, i might get around to putting one in one day.

AnswerID: 441312

Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:29

Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:29
Hey Dingo

We have a Trak Shak soft floor. Only just bought it but have used another one prior to my purchase. For us it was the logical choice based on the off road capabilities and the space and sleeping arrangements. We considered all of the others and essentially it was the space that won us over.

We have two girls who are 2 and 4, so having to 2 queen beds off the floor is excellent. Also due to the large amount of room inside when the weather turns for the worst the kids have plenty of room to play etc out of the elements. It is reasonably easy to set up and pack up and made sense to us.

As for mods, so far they have been limited to fitting a 40amp ABR pro charger, and a fishing rod tube underneath. The only other thing I am considering is getting some zip up canvas covers made (like a swag) for the bed so that i can zip the bedding up (still on the bed) so it is fully protected should I have to pack up the camper wet. This is only secondary insurance to make sure the beds stay 100% dry as I have packed it up wet with no issues but I would rather not take any chances.

I still have my trusty Southern Cross Ulltimate Trekka touring tent as you never know when you want to go somewhere that is totally unsuitable for towing a trailer.


AnswerID: 442533

Reply By: Member -Ted - Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 14:05

Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 14:05
Hi aussiedingo

We had a Trak Shak but it was too hard to set up for overnighters, great for a family though if your staying put for a while. Upgraded to a Kimberley Kamper LE and have found it fantastic. SHMBO luvs it also and she can fold it away on her own, could be important if something happens to me. Not the cheapest but it will go anywhere the Patrol will. Have found it dust proof and water proof on our Desert and Gulf Savannah trips. It also has the boat loader and up graded suspension. Fantastic CT.

AnswerID: 442561

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