how long do campers last

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 11:09
ThreadID: 84872 Views:2557 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi all, I was wondering how long soft floor camper trailers last for, especially when stored for periods of time?What sort of things might deteriorate? Have a lovely camper but are just not able to get away in it enough. The next two years are going to be quite 'lean' on the camping front and I was toying with the idea of selling the camper, going back to a tent (for if we ever do get away) and buying again when (hopefully) our lifestyle improves in the future.It grieves me to see it sitting there (in a shed out of the elements) collecting dust and cobwebs. It is about 4 years old and has had medium use up until now and appears in great condition. My worry is that if not moved/opened out and generally used, something important is going to perish/seize/faill. Thoughts anyone?cheers, doc.
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 12:00

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 12:00
"How long is a piece of string?"

It all depends on if it was perfectly dry when packed away, where is it stored, how it is stored, is it in a humid environment, etc?
As you say it is out of the elements, may be a good idea to open it up a couple of time s ayear to air & make sure that ants haven't decided to nest in it, as they did in one of my tents.
AnswerID: 447654

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 18:25

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2011 at 18:25
The majority part of the camper will survive indefinitely, but a couple of things that may happen if it is kept out in the sun.

1. The paint will fade over time and become dull.
2. The waterproof cover may be adversely effected by ultraviolet rays from the sun and become brittle over time, thus loosing the waterproof capability.


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AnswerID: 447693

Reply By: Hairs & Fysh - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 07:37

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 07:37
Oz doc,
That's a bugger,
If you are to hold on to it, I would get a good quality Silver tarp bigger enough to come right down and partly underneath the sides and rope it up nice and tight. To stop ants and other crawlies, use a surface spray once a month around and underneath. Is it going to be parked on the grass? because this will cause rust on the bottom side of the chassis and underneath, if it is, it may pay to spray the underside with Black Jak or something similar(under body sealer), storing it on a concrete slab would be better if you can. Moisture is going to be your biggest concern, pack it up completely dry and keep it dry.
Hope this helps. Hope you get back into it sooner rather then later.

AnswerID: 447738

Follow Up By: oz doc - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 09:14

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 09:14
Thanks Jon, yes it is in a shed on concrete so hopefully moisture won't be a problem. Keeping crawlies out is a full time job- the 'reddies' have dibs on any crevice they can find- I'm trying to avoid too much spray as I don't want the chemicals to affect the vinyl cover or anything else. We are in the south west so the temperatures are not as extreme as they could be.I just worry that when I do get to use it the canvas may be perished, rubber seals worse for wear and major moving parts like brakes may be knackered.doc.
FollowupID: 720045

Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 10:24

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 10:24
Hey doc,
That's half the battle won having it on a slab & in a shed. You only have to look at vehicles that are not garaged. Can you get one of those 'Bombs" to set off in the shed every couple of months? and spray a perimeter/barrier on the floor around the camper. Woolies use to ( Don't shop there anymore) sell a product called 'Crawly Cruncher", an excellent product for stopping ants and other insects from coming into your home. EG, Up stair stringers, where one slab mets another, around piers, It smells pretty potent.
There might be a Scotch-Guard product that can be used to help the canvas when not in use. Maybe even sit it on blocks so the wheels can be spun every now & then?
Hope this helps.

FollowupID: 720050

Follow Up By: oz doc - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 17:17

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 17:17
Yes Jon, I'm going to have to do something- the spideys are starting to take over the shed. Have to watch out for the 4 legged family so haven't used anything yet, but I forgot about the 'bombs'. Maybe put a small tarp over the camper cover, seal the shed and set one off. Probably should disconnect the batteries first. Putting it on blocks might not be a bad idea - could do a service on the brakes whilst i'm at it and give it a thorough maintenance check/tickle up.(there is a fair bit of red dust underneath that might promote rust). That might make me feel more constructive about it sitting there for a long time.Thanks. doc.
FollowupID: 720085

Reply By: Pebble - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 10:56

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2011 at 10:56
We were in a similar situation to you, and in addition we were building a house so really needed the money as well, coupled with having changed the main vehicle to one that wasn't suitable for towing a 4x4 camper.So we ended up selling ours. But now that a couple of years later we do have a fourby again and we are looking to buy some sort of camper again.

In some ways it would be good if we still had the original camper trailer, mainly because we lost a hell of a lot of money selling it but also because it did suit us really well. In other ways it's good, we can get something even more suitable for now and for down the track too (when the kids eventually leave home etc)....well we're in a toss up of saving up for a you beaut expensive one, or staying with our touring tents and getting a cheaper sub $10k offroad trailer built just to cart all our gear etc.

Like you I hated seeing something we paid $20k for sitting there and doing nothing. It's a big decision weather to sell or not, I guess you would have to consider how ideal that trailer is for you now and into the future, if there is nothing else you'd rather buy (or think you could afford to buy) then I'd hang onto it.
AnswerID: 447754

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