Off-Road Camper for 6

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 14:53
ThreadID: 87300 Views:5152 Replies:15 FollowUps:6
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I'm interested to hear what other large families are using for camper trailers, or any idea's people have.

I have 4 kids (4yo to 12yo) and want a camper that's very quick to setup/pulldown and will sleep all 6 of us. I'll be using it for bush tracks, desert trips, beach and road touring with overnight stops. Towing with a TD 200 Series cruiser.

I've been steering away from traditional soft-floor campers as I borrowed one and it took ages to setup and the kitchen was still out in the rain (took another half hour to setup extra annex). However it was very solid and would handle any off road track.

I've also been keeping away from the Jayco and similar wind up roof campers because of their size, weight and I doubt they'll handle the off road track's I'll be throwing at it. Also, have to set these up just to access the kitchen and food.

Am I dreaming or is there actually something out there that'll work?
(I havent found anything yet).
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 15:35

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 15:35

Have a look at the Trak Shak, designed to sleep 6 people.

Cheers Kev
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AnswerID: 458865

Reply By: Member - A J- Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 15:38

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 15:38
NUTS - with children as young as yours you should be looking at swagman off road campers - 5 berth. Could sleep the youngest two on the table - everyone is high and dry for those wet nights. They will stand up to off road work. So easy to put up, the eldest two will do it for you.

We had one for 11 years and when it sold the buyer paid the transport costs back to WA from NSW and never inspected the trailer prior to purchase.

We packed most of our food in the two bins at the front of the camper. Most we slept in it was five - two adults - 2 14 year old and an 11 year.

Very good dust sealing in the one that we had.

AnswerID: 458866

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:28

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:28
Not sure you'll would get a proper offroad camper to practically sleep 6 with a hard floor. Among the soft floors, Trak Shak as mentioned targets those numbers as I recall - maybe Adventure Campers in SA too.
AnswerID: 458867

Reply By: portlester - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:28

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:28
Hi Nuts

We have a Trak Shak for us and 5 kids (aged 18 months up to 9) and love it. It has two queen size beds and also a queen size retreat under one of the top beds as well. With so much floor space there is still plenty of space available even when the porta cot is set up.

It is quick to set up, and the large floor area is great for the kids when its wet outside and they are stuck inside (most of the other campers we looked at may have been able to sleep 7 at a pinch, but there was little room left for moving around in). It also has heaps of storage space inside, which with a growing family of 7 is needed.

The camper is very basic wrt kitchen, water setup etc however we quite like it that way. With the kitchen on the rear door, when we pull up we pull it off the door (you can always leave it on and then cook inside the tent if you wish), setup the tent and then put the kitchen back under the awning. There is no water tank, but with room for up to 9 jerry cans this is not an issue, you only nee to pull off one jerry at a time.

The Trak Shak is built like a tank (with only a possible concern for those first built when they moved overseas). We have had ours now for just over two years and have travelled extensively through VIC, NSW & SA across all terrains and it has never skipped a beat.

If you can't tell, we are very happy with it. There are other 'large' campers, but the Trak Shak suits us and we wouldn't swap it.

Good luck with the decision.
AnswerID: 458868

Follow Up By: NUTS! - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:33

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:33
Thanks for the top run down :-)

If you can fit 5 kids in it and still come out smiling, then I think we'd fit no problem.

Do you have any idea how much it weighs?

FollowupID: 732439

Follow Up By: portlester - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:32

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:32
Just took a look at the weight. Ours is a 1999 model. It's tare weight is 690kg and gvm is listed as 1100kg. We tow it with a 100series diesel landcruiser and have not issue at all.

Also forgot to mention that ours does not have the boat/solar panel rack which we probably would have got if there was one available when we were looking. Now that we don't have the rack (although it would still be handy for using as an extra roof rack) we don't find it an issue as we are yet to ever run our of packing space with what we have.

Here is a photo of our one for you to take a squiz at. The Trak Shakwebsite also has a video of one being setup - it almost as simple as they show.


FollowupID: 732447

Follow Up By: NUTS! - Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:38

Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:38
Thanks again, I'm almost totaly sold on these track shak's :-)

How do you find the storage space? IE once the rear door with kitchen is folded away, and the front door with fridges is folded away, is there enough space in the middle to store food and clothes and camping chairs (among other things) for 6 people?

FollowupID: 732673

Follow Up By: portlester - Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 22:21

Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 22:21

We find it has plenty of room for storage inside - even with a fridge and the kitchen. We fit four 45L Kitab crates (with our clothes); a 68L crate (which will probably be swapped for another to 45L crates, but at the moment stores general stuff); two food crates (one 19L & one 38L) plus a selection of smaller bags (containing shoes, towels, etc).

We now have packing/unpacking down pat, especially since we got the 45L crates - food down the fridge end and clothes down the kitchen/tent end. Literally once the tent is up it takes two minutes to pull out what is needed for the night and then put it back the next day. Much quicker and easier than the tote bags that we first used.

A trick we were taught from another ex Trak Shak owner was to keep our sleeping bags/bedding on top of the beds (and cover with a tarp) before we fold the tent up. Saves both a heap of time as well as space.

The camp chairs are put on top of the cruiser. Because of the type of camping we like to do (away from the crowds & therefore shops) on our longer trips we also have another 19L food crate & a couple of clothes bags on the roof racks as well.

As I mentioned earlier, if you can get a Trak Shak with the solar/roof rack then it would be useful (although in some ways I'm glad we didn't get one now as it would probably lead to us taking even more than we do).

To give you an idea of the space inside, the photo below shows my 9 year old climbing inside the camper to get some bowls, etc out from the kitchen after the latch broke on the trailer door at Hattah NP (it was easily fixed once we got to a welder in Mildura - and was my fault for letting the seals wear away to nothing and me do nothing about it but continue to tighten the latches more).

Happy hunting. I know from experience that it is a bit confusing at first and everyone thinks what they have is the best (myself included!). Have a look around and see what suits you.

FollowupID: 732678

Reply By: tg123 - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:38

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 16:38
Check out Adventure Offroad Campers They are a softfloor but are quite easy to setup and have an optional extra room. Huge instant access kitchen & buckets of storage at waist height. A tough as camper that will follow your vehicle just about anywhere you can take it. Check out the Classifieds on this site for preloved!
AnswerID: 458871

Reply By: Member - jlAU (SA) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:08

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:08
I hired a camper 2 years ago 2A @ 3 children(girls) after tenting lots of times. We loved it so started thinking about purchasing instead of hiring. Started of looking basic then as we wanted more gadgets and more quality ended up in the $30K+ bracket and hard floor camper. Then awnings for longer stays hot water heater etc.... Settled for KK Platinum They now have large family room witch we have trialled for them along with trialling the smaller kids room (ok for 2kids). Perfect size,can stay on camper for folding,quick one pole one rope setup. I know they are at the top end along with some other well known well made kampers, but we loved the hot water and heater (diesel) Wife loves the kitchen better than the one at home. The bed for us is better then the one at home. Kids know consider the camping trips above the Movie world Dreamworld trips Etc.... My only regret was not buying sooner. THE BEST INVESTMENT WE HAVE EVER MADE. Their maybe other fello campers out there with similar stories with different brand campers but once we looked at spending a lot more hard earned cash than we ever thought we would on camping we are very pleased with our purchase. The next time never comes soon enough for us to hitch it on and head off. A purchase only becomes expensive if it doesn't work as you want it. What ever you do don't leave it too late.
Happy camping jl
AnswerID: 458876

Reply By: rumpig - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:57

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:57
you could always get a Kimberley and just add on the extra room on the back. you'd fit 3 kids in the extra room, but could just do 2 kids on the hard floor and the other 2 in the extra room to give them heaps of space each.
the extra room is fairly quick to set up, and there is heaps of room on the hard floor for 2 kids and still have room to walk around them easily. when we are overnighting or just a 2 day night trip somewhere, our kids sleep on the hard floor and we don't bother using the extra room, still easily walk around the kids to get into our queen size bed.
AnswerID: 458883

Reply By: Member - Corrugate75 - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 20:20

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 20:20
We've got four little lovelies too, and also own a Trak Shak. Fast to set up - but no annex, and sleeps all six of us. The kitchen is a little simple but I've just ordered a DRIFTA kitchen fit out which I'm looking forward to.
Trak Shak has managed to go where ever tow vehicle has managed to go.
The really old ones are good, made in Adelaide, then they were made in China for a bit and had trouble with canvas but now they're made in Sydney I think and they're good again.
Make me an offer for ours and I'll buy a brand new one!
Happy searching.
AnswerID: 458903

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 20:53

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 20:53
For a fast setup you will need a hard floor camper, but very few will sleep six.
Probably the most flexible would be the Ultimate but they are not cheap.
Then again, not many hard floor campers are.

Have you considered an addition of a quick erect tent, such as the Oztent.
A couple of the older ones would love the "privacy" of their own tent and a swag to sleep on.

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AnswerID: 458907

Reply By: Spitster - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 08:46

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 08:46
Hi Nuts,
We were in the same boat as you, 4 kids. When we looked around in 2000 the Trak Shak was really the only option, 2 double beds up top for the kids and 1 down below for Ma & Pa. Still heaps of room inside if you strike inclimate weather, relatively fast to set up and pack up. Boat rack on top is ideal as doubles for solar panels or another roof rack for that extra gear. Pretty much indestructable and built to last.

AnswerID: 458936

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 09:26

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 09:26
Take a look at the Camprite, it sleeps 6 when you have the bunk bed option. You will be able to take it anywhere you go, its a full off-road camper with long travel independent coil suspension.

We had a Camprite for many years and its one of the quickest to setup and pack down - and that includes comparing to hardfloors. It also has ALL beds off the ground, no-one is sleeping on the ground, great for those wet conditions.


AnswerID: 458940

Reply By: Member - david t (INT) - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 11:36

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 11:36
NUTS , Go with the trak shak good solid trailer sleeps 6 plus.
easy erection go any where type of trailer we bought ours second hand 5 years ago for a little under $8000 its a 1998 model cant fault it . the wife and i can put it up in just under 20mins without any fuss .

an alternative but very similar is the from SA you can just by the top and put on your own trailer or buy the whole unit on a trailer ready to go for around $19000 worth a look

hope you find what you need
cheers David
AnswerID: 458952

Follow Up By: Member - jlAU (SA) - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 11:54

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 11:54
20min compared to KK setup in less than 5min? You only get what you pay for I guess. Stick to hard floor camper if you can afford it.jl
FollowupID: 732501

Reply By: Dede1 - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 12:37

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 12:37

We had a soft floor camper for a long time. Loved it. Had an awning with one side wall that could stay attached to the camper when packed up. This camper only took 15 minutes to set up with basic corner pegs and 3 awning poles. Longer if we attached the awning walls, draught skirt, more pegs and awning extension poles. No one has mentioned bunks. We had a set of bunks that dismantled and sat on our bed when the camper was packed up. Very easy to reassemble (just add legs) and throw the bedding on the bunks. Leaves a lot of room inside the tent. Kitchen was attached to the tailgate of the camper and was easily accesible for roadside stops (lunch) etc. Once we set up I could have the kettle boiling and lunch done in 10 minutes. As the kids got older we used swags and instant tents for them as they preferred their own privacy. Putting up the swags and their tents was their jobs, they soon learn't to peg them out properly and ensure they were set up right if it was going to rain. So don't write off the soft floor campers. I really can't believe it took so long to set up. I suppose you were borrowing someone elses. Once you get into the swing of things and organise your trailer you would get your set-up time down pat.
AnswerID: 458956

Reply By: Livin On The Road - Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 11:11

Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 11:11
We have four as well, aged 2 to 10. We've got an offroad caravan rather than a camper trailer, but find that it is nice for the kids to have a bed each, though sometimes they choose to share. We found when we were were looking that there was very little on the market for a family of six, though I hadnt heard of many of the options listed here.
We ended up getting our caravan custom built, as we wanted something that we couldnt find in the designs on the market.
AnswerID: 459065

Follow Up By: NUTS! - Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:35

Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:35
This sounds like the option I'd take without a doubt, if I wasn't so keen to do some of the more 'out of the way' camps. However, If I can ever manage the to take the family for a lap of Oz, I'll be diving into an off-road caravan for sure :-)
FollowupID: 732672

Reply By: NUTS! - Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:30

Sunday, Jul 03, 2011 at 21:30
Thanks so much to everyone for your feedback, there are so many people on this forum willing to help people like me get our families out there and enjoy this country of ours! Awesome! :-)

After spending many hours looking at the trailers recommended, I think I've narrowed it down to either the Track Shak, or the Camprite (with bunks), and think I just need to see these two in the flesh to decide.

There are so many designs out there, the Deluxe, Adventurer, and Kimberly also look like top quality trailers, and thats just to name a few.

Can anyone comment on the storage space available in the Track Shak? It seems that with the kitchen folding out the back, and fridge/s out the front, there is only a fairly small amount of space left for some plastic storage tubs in the centre?

Also, whats the storage space like in the Camprite when its folded away?

Thanks again to everyone for your help.
AnswerID: 459108

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