Buying a Camper Trailer Made Easy
Not everyone has the same idea about what camping really is. Everybody has different needs according to the size of their family, camping skills and well let’s face it, the types of luxuries we would all like to enjoy when camping. Some of us prefer to hit Double Island and require a camper trailer that can handle the beach and other prefer to head west into the rugged great outdoors and require a camper trailer that can handle heavier off road conditions. Either way, when you buy a camper trailer there are a few things that you need to consider before making your purchase.
The Chassis is the foundation of your camper trailer. You want a chassis made from high grade quality materials to increase the life of your trailer along with the resale value when it’s time to sell or upgrade. If you’re going to be taking your trailer off-road or carrying heavy loads you’ll need to make sure that your camper trailer is made from durable, strong chassis made of Australian made Supagal Steel to meet the harsh Australian conditions. There are camper trailer manufacturers that build to Australian Design Rules (ADR) and Australian Standards (AS). One of these manufacturers that build their camper trailers right here in Australia is Lifestyle Camper Trailers.
Make sure the suspension is appropriate for the weight of your camper trailer including the gear that you will be loading into it. Whether you are buying a new or second hand camper trailer you need to consider what condition it’s in and whether it’s designed or capable to go off-road. The last thing you need is to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with your camper trailer sitting on its belly on the ground after the suspension has given way. Do you need adjustable spring suspension or will a leaf spring set up be a better option for you?
The length and size of the drawbar and strength of the coupling can make towing and reversing a breeze. A good place to start is making sure your camper trailer is fitted with a triple draw bar and a hyland off-road hitch. Some camper trailers will also come with two safety chains and a solid jockey wheel to give you some peace of mind when traveling and also make moving your camper trailer around off the vehicle a lot easier on your back. Here is a great video that explains tow hitches.
Tailgate and Doors
Good quality rubber weld pinch seals are your friend when it comes to keeping dust and moisture out of your camper trailer. The trip to your destination is likely to take you across some interesting terrain and possibly through various types of weather. Your comfort when you get there can be allayed if you arrive and the camper trailer is full of dust, sand or worse, water. To save yourself any heart ache, ensure your camper trailer has pinch weld rubber seal around the bed frame and tailgate for maximum protection from the elements.
Protect your Assets
Even on smooth roads your camper trailer will occasionally flick up stones that can bounce back towards your towing vehicle causing the rear window to break. The camper trailer can also take a beating from the debris that the towing vehicle is flicking up onto the camper trailer. Your best protection to help avoid these nasties is to ensure that your trailer has a stone guard fitted before you drive it away. These stone guards are sometimes made from steel and also shade cloth. Either way, they are a great thing to have.
If you have decided to buy a camper trailer over just buying a tent then you probably enjoy having some creature comforts when you head away. Making sure that your mattress is made of good quality material and also ensuring that it will fit everyone that it needs to probably sounds like common sense but you’ll be surprised how many people feel weird about lying down on the prospective bedding. Get into it, make sure that you can comfortably fit on the bed both length and width, plus ensure that the mattress is a sprung mattress as this will give you a better night sleep at the end of your long day of outdoor adventures.
Canvas, Tent and Awnings
There are many different manufacturers of canvas and many of them come in different grades. Our harsh Australian climate means that you need to carefully consider if the tent and awnings that come with your camper trailer are made from high quality materials that will withstand the punishment that you are about to put it through. Also, it needs to be easily stowed and maintained in between trips. Keep in mind that the screens will also need to be mosquito proof and all canvas double stitched in high pressure areas. Your set up and pull down time can be greatly reduced with a quality canvas that fits your camper trailer perfectly. On top of this, making sure you have a good quality tonneau cover with a Velcro over the zip will help you keep your canvas in good condition and moisture out when stowed away.
Set Up and Pack Up
Getting to your destination knowing that you have an exhausting process ahead of you for set up is not my idea of fun. That’s why you want to understand the best process to set up your camper trailer. Some manufacturers will supply you with an instructional video to show you how to set up and pack up. Check out the videos below.
Making sure you camper trailer is fitted with quality tyres that have the same matching tread will make your drive a lot smoother and will also give you maximum performance in all conditions. If you are buying second had ensure that your camper trailer tyres meet all Australian standards and are in a roadworthy state.
Inclusions or Add Ons
Some camper trailers can have a wide range of inclusions and extra add-ons. These can provide you and your family with greater comfort and camping functionality for your great escapes. Here is an example of some of the standard inclusions that a camper trailer can come with.
Some people prefer Glamping
Kitchens – Many kitchen designs for campers can either swing out away from the trailer or slide out of the trailer. Both can provide easy access to bench space, cook tops, utensils and wash up stations. Slide out draws can give you plenty of storage space for all of your cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery.
Water Tanks – Making sure you can carry adequate water for all of your needs is essential when heading away. Keep in mind this water can and will be used to rinse, wash and drink for your entire stay. If buying second hand you need to get right up under the unit and make sure there are no splits or patch ups on the water tank. You want to aim for about 60 litres minimum in tank size but keep in mind that the more water you carry the more weight you also carry.
Racks for Boats, Bikes, and Kayaks etc. – There are a number of rack types available for camper trailers. If you’re hoping to carry a small boat, bicycles, kayaks and surfboards on your trailer you’ll need to check that the trailer can have them fitted (not all campers can), and if it already has racks check the weight and size capacity has not been exceeded.
So, there you have it, our quick buyers guide to buying a camper trailer. If the next step for you is working out how to pay for your camper trailer please Contact Us and let us help you arrange the best Camper Trailer Finance deal so you can get out there camping or glamping whichever is your preferred style. Free call 1300 769 177 if you would prefer to speak with one of our camper trailer finance consultants for a free quote.