Camper Trailer Advice for a Novice

Submitted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 20:00
ThreadID: 95608 Views:2963 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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I think the title says it all. We are looking to purchase a camper trailer and are really trying to understand the things we should look for, brands, models items on the camper etc.
We are experienced tent campers looking to step up to the next level. All advice and tips greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 21:49

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 21:49
Gerard
Have a go at hiring a couple of different models if you live in or near an urban area where you will have a wider choice.
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Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:47

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:47
Thanks Justing - good idea
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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:26

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:26
Hi there
When deciding on a camper trailer you should consider how much camping gear you already own. If you have a lot of cooking gear like stoves etc you might decide a kitchen including a pull-out one is not necessary. So much really depends on what you can afford and what you want. We towed our off-road Cavalier for years on the most rugged tracks. It had nothing but a queen size bed. We put our gear in large white boxes and over time we perfected our packing and so forth. We had wonderful trips. What probably made it all work so well was that we towed with a Landcruiser with drawers and had plenty of room for our things. I've travelled with people towing T Vans and Ultimates and they looked great and at times inviting, but we stilled loved our simple Cavalier. After all, the more accessories, the more there is to go wrong. Have fun choosing.
Megan
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Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:48

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 22:48
Thanks for the advice, yes we do have a fair bit equipment already are there any "must haves" for a camper trailer that you have?
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 08:20

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 08:20
Camper can be soft floors or hard floors.

Hard floors usually can be easily erected overnight without any ropes,poles or pegs.

Hard floor campers allow a whole new choice of campsites. With ours we look for rock slabs, gravel beds etc to avoid dust. And of course it keeps you above the burrs, and water if it rains.

We use an Aussie swag hard floor camper but there is a lot of choice in campers out there.

Enjoy your search and hope you find what you are looking for.

Alan
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Reply By: whisky_mac - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:42

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:42
Alan H is on the right track. Think about were you want to go, how rough the track in is, how many people, kids or no kids. Our kids have grown up and moved to the cities so there is just the two of us. We went the hard floor way and towards the top of the range with a Tvan as the wife liked it. The last trip was three months and 15,000kms and it was perfect for short stops as we never used the annexe. The only drawback is that you can not put a boat on top of it. If we were younger with the kids still about we would have gone soft floor camper as you can get more room with the tenting. Go look at a few and if you go up market you will get your money back when you sell. Good luck and see you down the road sometime.
AnswerID: 486026

Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:47

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:47
Thanks one and all for all the replies. We will be prett much on the highway and we have one child to entertain.
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Reply By: GT Campers - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:55

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 09:55
Dislaimer: I am a camper manufacturer

As Alan has said (and this is often part of my discussion with people at shows) think about the areas you will be visiting and the type of terrain you will camp on, hard lumpy ground and pegs don't mix! if you want to sit for a weekend or week in an establsihed campground then a 30-min set-up won't be an issue, but if you want to move on every day (touring) a long set-up time might become tiresome every day. Other stuff: can you access kitchen for tea breaks?
Can you camp where campgrounds have bollards between vehicle access and the fireput/picnic tables etc?
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 11:21

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 11:21
We hired one before we made our choice and it took me around 6 months of research and looking to pick the right one. We tent camped for many years and got gear for Africa that we took with us. When it came time to decide what options we wanted on the camper I said we don't need a stove and a sink or the extended bench. I am so happy that the other family members talked me into getting the stove/sink/extended bench now it just makes it easy.

The must have for me:
A strong trailer that can go true off-road
A good battery system
Good LED lights in the kitchen area and inside the tent
Easy access to battery once opened up
Spare wheel and rims need to fit the towing vehicle
Water tank needs to be of good size and quality
Good quality canvas and flooring
Mattress needs to be of good quality
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Follow Up By: Gado - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:54

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:54
Agree with all these points. We bought a second hand campomatic which is now 10 years old and has been almost everywhere - twice. Simple, reliable, tough, goes anywhere. It is a hard top and is very quick to set up, which you appreciate the more you travel. Not too heavy to tow either.

Cheers, Gado
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Reply By: Member - Richard L (VIC) - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:50

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:50
Hi Gerard

We hired 2 or different types of trailer, and went out in different types of weather. We don't plan on going to the ends of the earth but do tend to go in school holidays which can be a bit cold. We chose our camper because it had more usable space undercover.

Richard
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Reply By: gerard m2 - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 19:19

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 19:19
Thanks again to every one. I think I have quite a bit of research to do yet.
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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:00

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:00
Hi again
Just briefiy, these are the things we think are important:

Carry a spare set of wheel bearings for the trailer.
Have wheels that match the car.
Electric brakes.
Off road coupling (eg treg hitch).
Soft floor is our preference - we were never limited by it - it just seemed so flexible and was fine on top of most spinifex mounds and a couple of big stones are easy enough to toss aside.
Make sure your axles, nuts, bearings and springs (if leaf) are as standard as possible - preferably the same as a Toyota or Nissan so that you can get spares easily.

All the best. Megan

AnswerID: 486092

Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:03

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 23:03
This is really going to show how little I know but what is a"Treg" hitch and why do you need it?
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Follow Up By: whisky_mac - Friday, May 18, 2012 at 14:04

Friday, May 18, 2012 at 14:04
A treg hitch is a hitch which moves in all directions, I use the DO35 on my camper. If you are going of road at all it is better to have a Treg or DO35 hitch or similar, the ball just will not cut it, restricted movement, can pop off and you have the noise of the trailer against the ball. The DO35 or Treg have a polyblock that takes out the movement.
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Follow Up By: gerard m2 - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 22:43

Monday, May 28, 2012 at 22:43
Just wanted to thank everyone for the advice. I'm having a good look at a number of CT's.
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