Camper trailer purchase

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:53
ThreadID: 98479 Views:3400 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Hi All

I am looking at purchasing a camper trailer for our family of 4. For the ones in our price range of approx $4000-$6000 I have looked at GIC, EZYtrail, and others on e-bay that seem to have the same specifications/extras etc. Does anyone have or used the Ezytrail as they are close to where i live and would be better to purchase from them being so close.
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:57

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:57
You may be better off to look at well known brand name campers second hand for similar money, you will probably get more value for your money & a better camper.
AnswerID: 496445

Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19
I would agree with Shaker, buy a secondhand known brand..... make sure it's in good condition (except paint and stone chips) and don't worry too much about the kilometers.

Cameron campers here in SA are built locally and have a good name offering value for money.

AnswerID: 496449

Reply By: escapesilv - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:00

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:00
Hi Glenn

In principal I agree with the other replies, but we have had a Tambo camper for approx 7 years, with no problems what so ever.

I am not sure what there base model is today, but it won't be much more than your limit, then again if you look around, a second hand one will be a good bet.

Good luck

AnswerID: 496456

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:56

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:56
Your Tambo is locally built & a well known brand, as per our advice.
Unfortunately I think they may have closed their doors, maybe got sick of trying to compete with cheap imports.

FollowupID: 772150

Follow Up By: escapesilv - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 15:32

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 15:32
Hi Shaker

That is really sad news, as they are a fantastic strong no frills camper.


FollowupID: 772154

Reply By: oldpop - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:31

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:31
Glenn M4
I to am looking for a camper trailer checked out Ezy trail not real flash
the one I saw they could not even bolt the rear lights on straight gas bottle and jerry can holders only bolted on not even with self locking nuts a lot of the things you need are
extra makes a expensive piece of junk
still looking need to spend new about $15000

Phill H
AnswerID: 496468

Reply By: Hi-ryder - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 18:40

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 18:40
Hi Glenn i have brought one of those "Cheap chinese crap" a hardfloor model from a differant seller but you will find there all the same . They are a good unit yes i had to double check a few things and tighten a few things up but overall i still saved at least 7000 compared to a aussie built one . Dont expect it to be perfect but mine does everything i want it to do . I just spent 9 days at inskip point (beach camping) in it and really hard to fault. swag which i did look at but for the amount of money you get new canvas which was a big thing for me . To re new any canvas is going to cost you min $3000 so buying a secound hand one didn't add up . Faults when i got it i had to tighten up the water tank drain .No big deal and hunt down a gas fitting again no big deal . apart from that i has been a great unit . And im sure the hard core campers on here will say they wont stand the test of time you cant tow them across austraila without them breaking or falling apart and that might be so but i drag mine up the beach i take it everywhere i go on and off road . The canvas is good but from what i am told it has a low uv rating but is still 14o rip stop so as long as it dosen't spend weeks up at a time i dont see a problem with the uv rating . We camp under trees or in the shade when we can so i cant see it being a issue for atleast 7-8 years so . So for your money i think there great value . But im sure i will be cut down for saying so . Good luck with your search
AnswerID: 496485

Reply By: Glenn M4 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 20:53

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 20:53
Thanks for all the input peoples. I cannot seem to find any reputable brands second hand that are within my price range. Campers must really hold their value. EZYtrail, MARS, GIC is that they say they are built in Australia. Is this the case but they are just using cheap imported materials? I think as a first camper trailer these sort of trailers might be OK. I know you get what you pay for but has anyone had any real dramas.
AnswerID: 496496

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 22:37

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 22:37
Hi Glen

Sorry about the long followup but....

Don't rush it - be paitient, there are heaps of secondhand ones out there that are a) in your price range and b) are Australian made.

Problem is they come and go pretty quick - why? People are after quality. That's why the imports sit for sale for so long!

If you were selling a doggy import would you tell people it' s faults????

We recently ( July 2012) did the GBH including the abandoned section out to Uluru and Kings Canyon and down around the WA goldfields in July. 7500 Kim's all up.

Our 2004 Cavalier (South Aus made - bare bones basic - in your price range second hand) made it without blinking. Only damage was to the bag of BBQ briquettes that turned to dust due to the corrigations -operator error.

Our friends 2011 $10 000 brand new import purchased from the 4WD and Camping Show - which by the way was marketed as Australian made, but in reality was only assembled here - failed miserably.

They purchased a model touted as being an "EXTREME OFF ROAD" model, specifically sold as being capable of completing the GBH. Unfortunately it started to fall apart before it even saw gravel. Eventually abandoned due to wheel falling off and broken axle.

While I can't name the brand - if you google 'Extreme off road camper trailers' it will be obvious.

Also have a look at the website of the second brand listed in your reply above - isn't it a worry when their store location is 234 Fake Address name, Fake City name?????? Enough said

Feel free to member message me and I will list all the things that went wrong in the first 2000 km of our trip.

The wait will be worth it.

VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

My Profile  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 772200

Follow Up By: Hi-ryder - Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 08:28

Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 08:28
Yes Glenn most of them are aussie built but heres why . All of them are imported as parts . So they will buy 20 drawbars 20 tubs 20 axles and so on . This is so they don’t have to pay a gst as a whole unit as they are classed as parts this way . So tech they are aussie made but you just got to find the right guys who can put them together . That can be tricky . I am still happy with my china crap and i don’t pretend it will get me to the centre of the earth and back . If aussie could do the same thing here for the price i would buy one tomorrow and so would everyone else . But because our labour and material prices are so high in aussie cannot compete in the same price bracket . You also cannot expect to get the same quality as aussie owned and bulit for that price . Just keep that in mind . I will keep mine for about 4-5 years and if i get half of the price back i paid it will have served its purpose . When i brought mine i said to a mate of mine these are not for everyone but there is a market for the week end camper who is sick of the tent and wants to get away for the week end . If you want to do the lap go Aussie . Good luck with your search
FollowupID: 772220

Reply By: InsaneSniper - Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 19:29

Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 19:29
One thing I always use to justify my campertrailer build/purchase is this calculation:

BASIC hotel room currently, not luxury, basic is minimum $150+ per night, so just to be fair, as a camper or caravan is not a hotel room, I halved the amount, so $75 per night.

Now I simply use that as a justification of how many nights in a basic standard hotel/motel room, at $75 per night, and my ENTIRE campertrailer setup, custom built myself, cost $4400 ready to roll.

That $4400 investment, equates to only 58 nights in a hotel room at $75 per night. LESS than 2 months of staying in a standard basic hotel/motel room, and in the end, its MINE!

The depreciation is very low, and IF I ever chose to sell my campertrailer, I would easily be able to get what it cost me, or very close to it, and that is after 5 years of owning and enjoying it.

AnswerID: 496582

Reply By: Littondoddy - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 00:10

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 00:10

We just bought an Outback Sturt (from the Victorian "Outback" company - there are several). This would not be in your price range, but I share our experience for the benefit of yourself and others - some is general to all CTs and some is product/supplier specific:

Firstly, we chose the product after much research and some first-hand positive references, and the company has been great to deal with, but.......

We live in the ACT and the registration laws here require an initial inspection by the Government Inspection Station (ie not an authorised inspector at the garage, etc) for all new camper trailers. Apparently they are having a bit of a crackdown on non-compliant CTs and they told us that almost all initially fail inspection, even Australian-made new ones like our's.

Our Outback Sturt trailer was non-compliant against the 2009 National Code of Practice, Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1, or "VSB1" (you can Google it). Apparently all jurisdictions are supposed to have agreed to strictly enforce this. Specifically, we had to modify the manufactured product and install lights on the sides and reflectors on the front. The other main problem the inspectors mentioned was that they are failing CTs on electric brakes. Fortunately on our's at least, I had fully adjusted them personally, so we were the first that they recalled having passed in ages, they said!

We contacted the manufacturer and they said they had not had this issue before and that their trailers comply with the Australian Design Rules, but the Government inspectors were
adamant that the VSB1 is supposed to be applied and this is strictly enforced in the ACT at least. So, after a few days work, I had the required lights installed.

The second issue that we had was that our SMEV gas stove had defect. Outback Campers were great in helping to get this resolved, but if I didn't have some technical skill (gas stoves are non-trivial beasts) this warranty repair would have been very difficult via an interstate supplier. My advice is to check that the stove works, if you have one included.

Another problem that we had, was having to buy additional awning poles, as the initial set were not enough - check that.

Then a T-nut thumb screw broke on one of the extendable poles inside the CT - its a good idea to get a spare or two.

Don't forget that you need to buy a gas bottle, if you have a stove in the CT.

Everything that they say about having to put your canvas through a number of weathering cycles, is true. On our first deployment we had rain that would make Noah panic, the camp was flooded, and we did get quite a bit of leakage from the seams where the canvas walls are stitched to the PVC floor. So much so that no-one could have slept on that floor. So, we would strongly endorse weathering your canvas - we used our garden hose to put it through some wet/dry cycles.

A mattress protector under the mattress is a good idea if you have a marine ply "floor", as moisture can seep through the marine ply.

If you get an off-road model greater than 750kg (I recall), you have to have brakes in the CT. If you have electric brakes, don't forget that you will need a brake controller installed in your car. This is a whole other saga, but best to do your research and get advice. We wanted a "proportional" controller, but the airbag system in our car meant that we could only have a simpler Redarc controller installed, with a remote head under the dash. This has worked out fine, but it was an education and it cost about $800 including labour.

Now that all that is done, we are happy! I hope this helps someone.....


AnswerID: 497247

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 08:29

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 08:29
Interested to know why the airbag system in your vehicle affects which brake controller you can fit. Thanks
FollowupID: 773045

Follow Up By: Littondoddy - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 11:31

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 11:31
On the airbag question: From auto electrician's explanation, it sounded like there had been issues in my vehicle type where proportional controllers mounted under the dash had somehow caused electrical interference with the airbag controller, causing the airbag pyrotechnics to detonate (ie not a good thing!). My car is a Lexus GS450H, which has leg airbags that are the subject of the concern. So, the advice was that the brake controller is best mounted well away from the airbags, at the back of the vehicle. This meant that a brake controller product had to be selected with a "remote" head, rather than one with the full unit under the dash.

Another possible reason is simply that because the vehicle deploys leg airbags, if the brake controller is installed under the dash there is a risk of it fouling the airbags when they deploy. This isn't what the auto-electrician said, but it also makes sense.

Incidentally, there is a lot of commentary online in favour of proportional brake controllers and against non-proportional brake controllers, and no-doubt in an emergency with a heavy caravan and relatively light tow vehicle, I would prefer the features of a proportional controller. However, with a light camper trailer I have to say that my Redarc non-proportional controller has proved to be absolutely fine in all driving so far and I have no hesitation in recommending it. In my case, I simply had no choice, as the proportional controllers couldn't be fitted to my vehicle.
FollowupID: 773060

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