CustomLine vs Cameron Campers vs Bell Canvas vs Camel

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 15, 2011 at 07:00
ThreadID: 83669 Views:6361 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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I have been doing a lot of research this last week into camper trailers and have narrowed it down to a few brands. My budget is around $6k and don't mind getting something a few years old, probably no more than 6 years old though. I only need a base model onroad camper but want locally made canvas.

Are any of the following brands easier than the other to set up and pack away? Can some owners of these brands comment on their experiences with them?

Cameron Campers
Bell Canvas
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 15, 2011 at 09:02

Saturday, Jan 15, 2011 at 09:02
We have had a Cameron off-road camper for about 5 years and it has been good. The canvas on ours was done at the factory in Adelaide and is Aus material.

Have no knowledge of the on road versions.
AnswerID: 441886

Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 01:13

Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 01:13
You missed one....Tambo.

(trust me on this one....a great camper).

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: garbage - Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:37

Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:37
Thanks for the tip, will check those out!
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Reply By: happytravelers - Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:02

Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:02
Hi Garbage
Interesting question as last year we sold our Cameron which we'd had for ten years and bought a Customline to replace it. The main reason we sold the Cameron was because we wanted a fully enclosed annex, we only had the awning and to have an annex made up for a ten year old camper wasn't financially viable. Better to get a new camper made how we wanted it.

The Customline is a good camper, easy to set up and looks straight and tight when set up, the Cameron always used to sag a bit. The quality of the Customeline canvas is nowhere near as good as the Cameron. They both claim to use 15oz canvas but the Cameron was so much heavier duty, truck tarpaulin canvas rather than tent canvas. The quality of the workmanship was also much better on the Cameron, plastic flaps sewn in to cover the zips to stop water etc... Water leaks have been an issue with the Customline, I've already returned it to them once and I'm still not entirely happy.

On the Customline side we did an 8500km outback trip with it last year without any problems apart from a couple of small water leaks. The off road trailer is great and the tent is very easy to put up and down, always seemed to struggle with the Cameron for some reason.

In summing up, they're both very good units, If I could get the Cameron quality canvas and workmanship into a Customline design and on a Customline trailer it would be a first class unit. Having said that our Cameron was a 2000 year model so they've probably changed the design and materials since then.

I'll be interested to hear what you decide on.

Regards Jon
AnswerID: 442007

Follow Up By: garbage - Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:42

Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 09:42
Hi Jon,

Thanks, that's just the kind of info I'm looking for.

A couple of questions - were the leaks on the Customline related to the stitching needing to swell up or something else? Does your Customline have the 15oz dynaproofed canvas on all walls and roofs?

I do tend to agree with you. The 15 oz canvas of today doesn't feel quite as heavy as my tent which I think is only supposed to be 10 oz.
FollowupID: 714100

Follow Up By: happytravelers - Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 23:19

Sunday, Jan 16, 2011 at 23:19
Hi Garbage

We conditioned the Customline canvas several times when we first got it. The main leak that we returned it to the factory for was in the annex, a flap had been left off and water would pour onto the kitchen. They rectified that problem, but still every time it rains there's a small puddle on the floor of the main sleeping compartment to sponge up the next morning. Cannot pin point where it's coming from but I suspect the zips as they don't have the plastic flaps over them like the old Cameron did. It is supposedly made of 15oz dynaproofed canvas on the floors and walls, but as previously stated it's not as thick as the Cameron's Canvas which according to a broucher that I still have from when I purchased it was only supposed to be 12oz. Canvas isn't what it used to be. On the plus side the Cameron's canvas was really too heavy, it took both my wife and myself considerable effort to unfold it. Where as I can easily set up the Customline on my own, which is a big advantage.

It is also worth noting that Customline changed their design early last year to a more square looking tent. We bought what was probably the very last of the old design. Not sure where you are but we went to the factory at Beenleigh to order ours, they also have a very good website.

Hope this helps

FollowupID: 714170

Reply By: garbage - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 22:00

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 22:00
Thanks for all the input everyone. I ended up picking up a 2 year old on road Bell Canvas camper trailer for just over $5k. 15oz canvas on the roof and walls - can't complain!
AnswerID: 444844

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