Budget friendly campers with heavy duty canvas?

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 21:43
ThreadID: 83529 Views:7111 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Looking to spend under $6k for either a new soft floor camper to fit my 7x4 trailer or a used on road soft floor camper less than about 10 years old. Must have room for 4 and have heavy duty canvas (12-15oz) and not the 'ripstop' stuff that seems to be everywhere nowadays.

Can someone recommend me some brands to keep an eye out for? I am in Sydney but would not mind having to go anywhere bar Perth, Darwin or Hobart.
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Reply By: prado-wolf - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:31

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 22:31

i just bought a Mario extreme off-road softfloor camper , it has the 15 OZ canvas.

I paid 5500.00 for it but i know it was a bargain because it was a demo from the Melbourne 4 x 4 show which they left in Melbourne , it has all new tires , electric brakes , the toolbox , boat rack.

The tent part is big and the canvas looks ok even that i is imported , all works.

I had to rewire the whole thing , the wireing was crap but now works a treat.

Mario is in Sydney so you can look at the trailers there.

Good luck.

If you want to know other details let me know.
AnswerID: 441177

Follow Up By: garbage - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 09:37

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 09:37
Thanks! Went to their Chullora showroom but it looks like they're in the midst of moving as it was closed.

Do you know if it is genuinely 15oz canvas? I saw the GIC ones yesterday which they claim to be 15oz rip stop canvas, but it feels no sturdier than the stuff on Oztrail tents/campers.
FollowupID: 713164

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:13

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:13
Refer to thread 83470, 15 ounze means zippo, its the thread count that thats important more so. Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: prado-wolf - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:08

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 11:08

in regards to the Mario trailer i mentioned , it actually said it is 15 OZ rip stop canvas , well let me assure you , it is heavy , dam heavy bleep .

I seasoned it 3 times when i bought it and when i was on the first trip i had some rain and i had a few drops in one spot only , actually not even drops but just a couple of drops in one spot on the canvas so i am not concerned abot that. All the seams are also taped and it looks very neat for chinese import.

Now let me give you just my own personal opinion , i would not buy it again because for me the canvas is far too heavy.

My idea of camping is moving around and that means i have to set up and break up frequently and for me this canvas is to heavy and too much work.

If you are looking for heavy , Mario is the way to go. I know manypeople say Mario is the same as GIC , yes they are very similar and where once in biz togeter so you can look at oth because they are both in Sydney , i personally was notimpressed from GIC at the Melbourne show but that was just a personal impression and i also had an other reason why i choose Mario , i knew he could not sell the trailers that he had in Melbourne and i did get him down to rock bottom for this unit plus he actually has his brother in law in Melbourne ,Trailers only , that actually manufactures the same trailers , just not with tents , so if something really goes wrong i dont have to take the trailer back to sydney.

There are things not right with the Mario one but for the price it was ok , and i just spent a few days and a bit of silicone and a few clamps etc to fix the issues. Mostly attention to detail is the issue on that trailer but pls. keep in mind , you do et what you pay for and 5500.00 for a drive away camper trailer today is chicken bleep .

I wish you al the best.
FollowupID: 713182

Follow Up By: garbage - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:36

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:36
Thanks for sharing your experience with your camper. I'm actually going to check them out next weekend. Would you mind elaborating a bit more on some of the other issues you mentioned? Also, did you find the canvas on the Marios any different to the canvas on the GICs?
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Follow Up By: prado-wolf - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:14

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 23:14

no worries , i will tell you but keep i mind the price and in general i am very happy with the trailer , as i said , most issues in my opinion are just attention to details and i suppose if you pay next to nothing you can not expect a Tvan.

Issues with Mario Extreme off road camper trailer:

1)Kitchen box sink had no drain fittings or drain hose had to get parts from Reece .
2) Kitchen box only has a magnet to hold the front so I put a latch on the side.
3) Dust seal not sufficient , still have to fix.
4) Cable loom is a joke , using scotch clips , earth was not working and the electric
brakes locked up all the time. Cableling is really bad but fixable , cost me about 150.00
for the auto electrician.
5) All holes for cableing , water for the tank , etc are all just blown in and very sharp and
will cut the cables or hoses , I put some grommets in and used about 6 cartridges of
silicone to fix all that.

In my case , i also added some tie down points in the trailer to hold all the boxes in place , i added a deep cycle battery to the toolbox and wired back to the trailer for lights and access point for the fridge in the tent etc. Added a few 12 outlet points , a smart charger to charge the batter from te genny , i also lowered the boat rack a bit , welded some tie down points to it and added a tow bar to the trailer for recovery and for the bike rack.

The canvas was also my greatest concern , the tents are fully imported fro china and since i am in the chines import biz i know what bleep comes from china if the quality control is not good but i am really pleasantly surprised , all looks good , neat and tidy , all seams are nice , really the canvas is better then the trailer if you get my drift but dont let this hold you up from looking at them.

I think for the money you have to expect a it of after work and anyway thats the fun part , customize your trailer.

Have fun
FollowupID: 713334

Reply By: Joe Grace Doomadgee - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:41

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:41
back some time ago, well in the "old days",ripstop canvas was very good and was the best available for the "weight" of it, also back then if you made a camper from 15oz canvas it would be far to heavy to lift, 15oz was so heavy you had trouble folding seams when new to sew it, 12oz was what most truck tarps were made out of and tents and campers were 8oz ......... how things have changed eh, the era of "cheap imported" products.
I have been looking at some on e-bay that you can buy as a kit to attach to your own trailer, you could get out of it for well under $6k all up without a worry, yes they are cheap but it is the "care" of them that makes them last not the use, keep it as clean as you can and as dry as possible in storage ...
AnswerID: 441180

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:24

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 10:24
Hi there Joe, your statement ""yes they are cheap but it is the "care" of them that makes them last not the use"" I would have to disagree with you on this point, check out my reply on previous post on 83470, ours was under cover when not in use and had a full tarp over the whole of it when it was, used it once with out tarp and it leaked and yes it was soaked and wet properly prior to using it for the first time. Maybe i just got a real bad one I dont know but will not be buying one from china again, as mentioned above 15 ounze these days has nothing on the canvas that was 15 ounze 20 years ago, my tent was only 8 ounze for memory and was a lot heavier and thinker then my camper was. Regards steve
FollowupID: 713177

Reply By: Helen and Bruce - Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:58

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 at 23:58
We have a Challenge camper trailer.Tough as old boots. have taken it all over Oz. Big tent, Queen bed, plumbed kitchen on tail gate and easy to erect. Canvas is heavyduty. Only problem we had was tearing off the tent loops when we backed the Landcruiser into the tent (accidentally)Challenge were based in Adelaide but now have a manufacturing base in Melbourne as well.Should be able to find a secondhand one for about 6-8k
AnswerID: 441181

Reply By: 3GoBush - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:59

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 13:59
These guys do what you are after.

AnswerID: 441246

Follow Up By: 3GoBush - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 14:02

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 14:02
I suppose I should post the LINK
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 15:18

Sunday, Jan 09, 2011 at 15:18
I cant see why so many see heavy duty, heavy weight canvas as being the most
important issue when buying a top, particularly at the budget entry level. As you
have already assessed Oztrail to be an inferior product, you may be surprised to
hear our Oztrail 9 top now has about 40k of touring under its belt without the
hint of a problem. I was not happy with the build quality of the trailers being
sold with budget tops, when I researched my purchase, & decided to buy one
I was happy with & added the top myself. Trailer cost about $2k, the top about
the same. I tarp it unless in the dry outback air, & dont bother with any of that
waterproofing malarky..I dont have wet pack ups or staining. The tent does not
require pegging down & is easily handled by the childbride & I...15 minutes sees
us having a beer & happy..that includes tarping..(it's all in how you fold it :)))) ).
I believe I have had this good run because of..adequate protection..keeping &
storing dry..not overtensioning. Far better to put the bucks into the trailer,
IMHO, a torn tent wont stuff the trip, but a buggered trailer surely will.
Good luck with your search......oldbaz.
AnswerID: 441256

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