Narrowing the search - now need help

Submitted: Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:35
ThreadID: 86145 Views:2447 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Hi. We have narrowed the search to a camper trailer. Thoughts, suggestions, what you have experienced please -
We are a family of four who intend to do semi-off road camping. Not real 4wd roads, but unsealed roads. Intend to go away during school hols for a couple of weeks at a time and not the big around Oz thing (oh if only ).

We have decided we want a camper trailer and want;
Australian made
decent amount of space
easy to set up
We are prepared to buy a more expensive trailer to get 8-10 years use out of it.
Please advise what are the must have;
type of brakes - what sort
we like soft floor
what type of trailer - gal, powder etc
Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are moving up from a tent and are just a few steps up the novice line but loving it!!
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Reply By: mattd - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:58

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:58
WOW, and away we go!!!!

I have a tambo Cooper soft floor camper trailer..
Some friends of ours are in the same situation as you.
One question/statement you left out... How much you wanna spend????

Tambo cooper XT with extra bedroom would suit just fine. I have had mine since 2004 and it is still going strong.. Done plenty of short and long trips(2+ months).
With most features you need, it will set you back around $14,000.
That will include an extended tent area, extra bedroom, fully enclosed awning, water tank, side lift, tool box, kitchen, stove, treg hitch, 12volt power, extra gas bottle holder and stone guard..

Trailer and canvas made in Victoria.

It takes about 30 minutes for the full setup..

Hope that helps..
AnswerID: 453648

Reply By: Essbee - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:17

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:17
Wow - sounds great! We've had our camper trailer about 12 months and have been away quite a few times - now we have it set up its so easy to just hook up and go (although it still takes me best part of a day to pack clothes and food for four).

We have a soft floor because I thought it had more room in the end, but you really need to shop around and see what will suit. I found the caravan and camping show to be an awesome help, so if there's one of those coming up near you I'd get in there.

Whatever you decide, the features that I found an absolute must have are:
My fantastic swing out kitchen - its worth every penny.
The decent size water tank underneath - also worth every penny!
The water box with tap on the side of the trailer - where the kids continuously get drinks and wash their hands without needing to come traipse dirt/mud/etc into the kitchen every time. Also, on the way home, when we have stopped for a feed, we can wash everyone's hands and faces with ease.
And the huge toolbox on the front.

Last bit of advice: Check out Camper Trailer Australia Mag. They review several different Camper Trailers every month and I have found it a wealth of awesome information.

Good luck and above all - have an awesome time!! :)
AnswerID: 453652

Follow Up By: oz doc - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 08:19

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 08:19
I second what Essbee says- caravan and camping shows are great to have a look and compare the various features "in the flesh". As you would have already found out- there is a world of choice out there. Some things that influenced our choice (that we hadn't even considered before we went to a show} was -how hot they are when set up in the sun/how much windowspace or ventilation they have; how wide are the doors because you are often carrying things in and out and dont want to catch on zips and the like;how much access to the storage do you have and how this changes when folded up and packed up; can you access cooking and water without having to set then entire kitchen up. Lots of different specifications are given on websites but there is nothing like seening them in the flesh and comparing finnish quality and other factors when it is righ in front of your eyes. Also if your final choice turns out to be less than 100% ideal- remember most good manufacturers can help with modifications and you can also do a bit of 'customising' yourself.have fun, doc.
FollowupID: 726528

Reply By: Member - Josh- Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 20:53

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 20:53
We spent 3 yrs on the road with 2 kids and we had an O'Briens offroad trailer. Aboslutely brilliant. They can make it to suit your needs. I would say the quickest to set. Look here
You can also look at our site to see where we took it.
They have various models from on road to full offroad and in between, depending on what you want and you can change anything to suit your needs. Very friendly and great service and after sale service.

AnswerID: 453668

Follow Up By: Member - Josh- Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 20:55

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 20:55
Video on youtube of it being setup
FollowupID: 726497

Reply By: Dasher Des - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 21:51

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 21:51
Check out the Tvan's, have to be one of the very best and will fill all you want it to do. New ones are expensive but shop around for a second hand one and they will keep on going for many years.
AnswerID: 453673

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:07

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:07
Try outback campers in Carrum Downs. I have had one for 10 years now and never a problem.

Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 453678

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 06:34

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 06:34
I will second that. Great product & fantastic company to deal with.

I owned one of these for years & took it around Aus for 2 years to some really remote places.
As for the brakes. Go electric as they will stop the trailer pulling you backwards down a hill should you get stuck on a steep grade with no forward progress. Overide brakes only work when braking with forward motion. Make sure you order them with off road magnets or you will break the standard magnets on all the corrugations.

FollowupID: 726518

Reply By: ian - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:26

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:26
It seems lots of people who use this site have Tambo campers. Our model is about $8000 these days. Still happy clients after about 50,000 kms. I would not worry about gal and such as it doesn't seem to matter, but do concentrate on good quality canvas as that is the really important thing.
Have fun
AnswerID: 453682

Reply By: Member - Syd R (QLD) - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 05:38

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 05:38
Check out Australian Off road campers in the trader on this site!
AnswerID: 453689

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 11:46

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 11:46
Go second hand, especially if you are going a bit more up market (hence better quality). Most camper trailers don't get a great deal of use (unless they are an ex hire one)

We have purchased both new and second hand. If you are only going to be able to use it 2-3 weeks a year second hand good brand/ quality has worked well for us.
Electric over ride brakes are better especially down steep slopes, but will require a controller fitted to your vehicle ($). We have hydraulic overide discs which work well, after having had electric drum. But what ever you do, make sure you have trailer brakes, even if the seller claims they don't.

Gal/Painted, to some extent depends where you plan to go. If primarily inland, painted is fine.
AnswerID: 453704

Reply By: kiwicol - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 17:42

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 17:42

From experience of travelling with groups of C/T i have found that suspension is the biggest thing to look into.

I have independent coil springs and shockys fitted to mine. The unit has done over 80,000ks in some pretty horrific conditions and never had any problems, have replaced shockys once.

Have travelled with lots of spring set ups from many different brands, and have not come across one that has gone the distance, unless you go the heavy duty ones, which then add weight to the unit.

My view, some will disagree, but my unit is over 12 years old and has never failed.

My unit is able to carry 12 jerry cans and has done so many times, it is leagal for 1.2 tonnes.

Cheers Col
AnswerID: 453741

Reply By: four-and-the-great-outdoors - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 21:58

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 21:58
Thank you everyone for your replies - I am certainly learning alot - even lots of new terms - treg hitch, etc etc.

We have now decided that we are going to definitely pull the kids out of school for 2 terms next year and head away for 5.5 months - at the beginning of the week we thought we would go on hols for now more than 3-4 weeks, now the big trip is planned.

Expect many more questions from me - currently have camped for a couple of weeks in total!! Neither of us is at all mechanically minded so steep learning curve ahead but excited nonetheless.

AnswerID: 453903

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