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WTB: Camper Trailer

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Item:   Camper/Camping Trailer
Location: VIC
Price: <$10K
Item Condition:  new or used
Reason for buying:  Excessive breeding
Payment Method: cash
Extra Info:

 

Our family is growing and we'll soon need to upgrade from a tent to something more substantial.     I thought I'd try a WTB listing here on the off chance someone has something suitable to sell or even just for general opinions/advice on what to hunt for elsewhere. 

 

I'm in no rush.  The next last baby is due in Feb so I don't really need it for this summer.   

 

I'm a little confused about terminology of camper trailer / camper van / camping trailer so below are pics of the 2 types I'm considering  (both seem to be referred to as camper trailers).  ie.   A tent in a trailer type or pop up/out caravan type  (eg Jayco Swan).     

 

I'm limited to these more compact options due to available parking area and height for storing at home.  Also, our driveway has some steep sections so decent ground clearance is preferred to reduce the chance of bottoming out the hitch or or rear of the trailer.

 

The main area needs to accommodate 2 adults + 3 kids  (not in the annex / extension rooms).    

 

I'm in melb so Vic is preferred,  but would consider a decent drive interstate for the right buy.

 

thanks in advance for any offers/suggestions.   cheers

 

 

Pictures:

 

swan.png.3a3c2cde49ba40a6d096393d5ddd55ab.png

 

TROOPER.jpg.f7a57d7ef8f9db1226da9b8d0d343c52.jpg

  

 

 

 

 

 

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How about one of these Manchu............ too over the top??? :cool:

Winnebago-motor-home-1.png

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5 minutes ago, BATMAQN said:

How about one of these Manchu............ too over the top??

I'd either have to sell my house,  or a couple of kidneys.    

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I use teh in-laws hardfloor flip-out campertrailer (Australian Off-road), which is fine - but starts getting crowded with 2 kids etc and at the end of the day, you are still under canvas. I wouldn't even bother with the soft-floor options, and I have friends and relatives that have used them once and then on-sold.

 

I know you are looking to buy, but consider hiring one. Try a few types out and see what you like best. They are just pick-up and drop them off - no ongoing bills, maintenance, storage etc. My sister and her partner hire a van these days for their trips (yep, they had a softfloor first....). You can also get something a bit more roomy/comfy than what you would otherwise be prepared to buy and the types of van you hire can match the holiday you are planning.

e.g.

https://www.outbackcaravanhire.com.au/16-49-1?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrs3jw-vx1wIVCyS9Ch1rcA0_EAAYAyAAEgKgavD_BwE

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cheers cram.     

 

I've just been checking out hard floor v's soft floor and generally agree with your comments.    Hard floor would be good but size (without erecting extra rooms) won't be sufficient,    and they're bloody expensive compared to the soft floor.   

 

I'm not completely against the soft floor but do realise they have drawbacks.  One consideration for me is that flat ground is very limited at home.   I certainly wouldn't be able to erect/use a soft floor trailer and unlikely a hard floor,  but I'd have a good chance with a camper van.   This isn't a deal breaker,  but it would be handy to have the extra accommodation. 

 

At this stage I'm fairly set on buying as I want the freedom of having it more or less ready to go at a whim.     We had a Jayco swan growing up so I'm reasonably familiar with what's involved.  Enough that I'm willing to take the plunge anyway.    I'd also be concerned about damage the little terrors (or I) might do to a rental.           It might however be a really good idea to hire one first to make sure what I can maneuver around and fit at home.  

 

 

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We decided to get a camper van once we had kids.

 

The Swan is great but A/C or heating isn't very effective as it's basically a tent. We bought ours 2nd hand 3 years ago but due to work we only get away for 2x 10 day breaks in Summer and Spring. Set up/pack up is still 1-2 hours so not much better than a tent in that regard but far more comfortable, especially if wet. I still think it is too much work for a weekend away for the family but perhaps we just take too much with us...

 

Just be prepared with a Swan, you are still going to need a 4WD or Dual Cab to tow it. There are almost no options other than that these days as "SUV's" don't allow the ball weight of around 130-150kg depending on which model you buy. Ours is a fibergless 2010 model so heavier than new ones and is 147kg ball weight before we put food and clothes in it.

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7 minutes ago, manchu said:

I'd also be concerned about damage the little terrors (or I) might do to a rental.           It might however be a really good idea to hire one first to make sure what I can maneuver around and fit at home.  

 

 

When buying our home 6 years ago a roll thru garage was on our must have features list as we knew we would be buying a van. Then we spent $9k concreting a rear driveway and some other paving, primarily to have somewhere to park a van.... Ours doesn't fit thru the rear roller door :blush:, but thankfully I'm in an envious position to lease a warehouse for work that has space for it the vast majority of time. I have been known to have a lunch time nap in it too.

Edited by blybo

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Thanks for the input Blybo.  much appreciated.   

1 hour ago, blybo said:

Swan is great but A/C or heating

I very much doubt we'll have any AC or heating in whatever we buy.   Maybe a small portable heater for when we're on a powered site but a lot of camping we do is 'off grid'

1 hour ago, blybo said:

we only get away for 2x 10 day breaks in Summer a

I'm taking some inspiration from my sister and hoping to do a bit more than that.   They manage to get their Jayco out for a couple of week+ trips and several weekends/long weekends each year.    

2 hours ago, blybo said:

you are still going to need a 4WD

All sorted.  We bought an Isuzu MU-X a few months ago,  partly  in anticipation of towing and more adventurous camping. 

2 hours ago, blybo said:

Set up/pack up is still 1-2 hours

No doubt,  especially if there's an annex involved.   Hence the reason I'm leaning toward something with a main room that can accommodate everyone without need for overly involved set up for short trips.     

 

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8 minutes ago, manchu said:

Thanks for the input Blybo.  much appreciated.   

I very much doubt we'll have any AC or heating in whatever we buy.   Maybe a small portable heater for when we're on a powered site but a lot of camping we do is 'off grid'

I'm taking some inspiration from my sister and hoping to do a bit more than that.   They manage to get their Jayco out for a couple of week+ trips and several weekends/long weekends each year.    

All sorted.  We bought an Isuzu MU-X a few months ago,  partly  in anticipation of towing and more adventurous camping. 

No doubt,  especially if there's an annex involved.   Hence the reason I'm leaning toward something with a main room that can accommodate everyone without need for overly involved set up for short trips.     

 

 

Yeah more about the gear you take with you. Being avid cyclists and budding surfers means lots of gear. I've done a couple of long weekends and whilst fun, if doing again I'd make it a no annex weekend and no bikes scooters boogie boards affair, and within 1.5 hrs of home. Most people I've seen have converted the wardrobe into a pantry, we did the same with some thin ply wood making 3 shelves. We go to Big4 parks for now but as kids get older we plan more off grid camping. We have solar and 12v set up to last us over 10 days, but still haven't used our water tank, hate to think what that water would be like, must get around to flushing it all out.

 

1 big plus for us is that our annex is a zip on type. Highly recommended. I can easily have it connected within 10 minutes without help, and put in pegs at my leisure if gets windy or wet. We usually store away the annex the evening before departure and really only use it if cold, wet or lots of mozzies about of a night time. We will be unpowered over xmas so I've just bought a 10m solar rope light from bunnings and will feed it through our awning as outside night lighting

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After  consultation with the Mrs the decision has been made to go for a wind up van rather than a trailer.   

 

Lucky I have time to hunt because finding a decent one for under $10K might be tough.   I reckon I'l stick with what I know and hunt for a Jayco swan.    

 

I assume the best time to score a good deal will be the colder months so I'll probably sit tight for now.    

   

 

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for under 10k you will be looking at something at least 15 years old but probably much older unless you are VERY lucky. Factor in $$$ for major maintenance probably due on some thing like this. There is a massive depreciation on brand new vans and then they hold their value amazingly.

 

We bought ours for 20k in Spring 2013 and it wasn't yet 3 years old. My sister had a Eagle she bought for $17k second hand and sold it 6 or 7 years later for $15k in January 2009. In fact I sold it for her, as my wife and I stayed in it with a 4 sale sign. I remember the year as my first child was conceived in it... :wub:

 

You need to look at them as more of an investment in your own holidays rather than an outright expense that you won't get a return on.

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We had a basic offroad softfloor camper trailer, and did a couple of trips from Newcastle up through the centre to Alice, and back a couple of different ways. Paid $6,000 for an eight year old galvanised one, a Clarke's Country Camper (Aussie made). It had a Drifter full kitchen, with a gas stove, that slid out the back, water tank, front tool box, gas bottles, fully enclosed annex and a semi enclosed annex. I probably spent about another $1,000 on things like a 12V system, LED lighting, fridge slide for or 50L Engel fridge. But yeah, it was very comfy and had most things we needed.

 

For overnight stays it would take about 15mins to set up the basic tent, ready for the night, we didn't bother with the annexe. And about half hour to pack up again. The mrs even put it up a couple of times by herself and in about 20 mins.

For stays of a few days, we erected the annex, but not the second annex, so add about another 30mins for that.

 

5a28dc66dba8e_finke2011-0921.jpg.fbf1e163b12941f5f4cb987ff41105a2.jpg5a28dc64259a0_finke2011-0121.jpg.6befb16b3c173ca864d978decc2167c7.jpg5a28dc6b24ed5_finke2011-3341.jpg.ff069dc6f1c3c97619c1910d1fc7ee42.jpg5a28dc694d038_finke2011-3311.jpg.20d2a5c69cdb75cba6ecc39c6e468f5f.jpg

 

For $10,000 you should be able to get a pretty decent s'hand one, albeit a basic model. Check out Myswag.org if you haven't already done so, and if you join, there are plenty of people to give you advice, and a few in the for sales, more than likely.

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21 hours ago, blybo said:

for under 10k you will be looking at something at least 15 years old but probably much older unless you are VERY lucky. Factor in $$$ for major maintenance probably due on some thing like this. There is a massive depreciation on brand new vans and then they hold their value amazingly.

 

I understand what you're saying about it being an investment but I can't bring myself to spend ~$20K.    .   

 

I reckon I can get something quite tidy for $10K if I'm not in a rush.         Hopefully something that has the more modern retractable awning arrangement rather than the old school annexe.    I recall that being a real pig to set up.   

 

17 hours ago, bob_m_54 said:

We had a basic offroad softfloor camper trailer,

cheers for the comments bob.    A trailer is tempting for a lot of reasons (namely price),   but with 3 kids I don't think I'd get away with only setting up the basic tent so imagine I'd get very tired of long setup and packup times with the extra rooms.    

 

thanks for the myswag tip.    

 

 

 

Edited by manchu

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42 minutes ago, manchu said:

 

I understand what you're saying about it being an investment but I can't bring myself to spend ~$20K.    .   

 

I reckon I can get something quite tidy for $10K if I'm not in a rush.         Hopefully something that has the more modern retractable awning arrangement rather than the old school annexe.    I recall that being a real pig to set up.  

Unfortunately, it's one or the other re awning/annex, if you get a wind out awning, Fiamma brand is the best, you can't have a proper annex, only McGyver shade panels on the sides which tend to flap around in the breeze. And you probably won't find wind out awnings in your price bracket as they have always been a bit of a premium product designed for Grey Nomads doing the big lap in traditional caravans. 

 

Only 2 under 10k right now and they are pretty old. If you weren't already aware this is the site of choice for selling vans.

 

https://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/buy/results/?Price_Min=&Price_Max=10000&Q=(((((((((SiloType%3D[Dealer+Used]|SiloType%3D[Dealer+New])|SiloType%3D[Private+Used])|SiloType%3D[Dealer+Near+New])|SiloType%3D[For+Auction])%26SaleStatus%3D[For+Sale])%26Service%3D[Caravancampingsales])%26Service!%3D[Showroom])%26(Category%3D[Caravans]%26SubCategory%3D[Pop+Tops]))%26(Make%3D[Jayco]%26Model%3D[Swan]))&sort=Premium&SearchAction=Refinement

 

As I said with a "zip-on" annex, it can erected solo in 5-10 minutes + plus time for how many pegs you wish to bang into it. With the traditional bag awning and zip on annex, you have flexibility to install some walls but not others, or just have the awning.I would only go a wind out if doing a long trip where only staying overnight at locations. Wind out ones also have to be retracted when the wind gets up

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On 05/12/2017 at 4:34 PM, manchu said:

Thanks for the input Blybo.  much appreciated.   

I very much doubt we'll have any AC or heating in whatever we buy.   Maybe a small portable heater for when we're on a powered site but a lot of camping we do is 'off grid'

I'm taking some inspiration from my sister and hoping to do a bit more than that.   They manage to get their Jayco out for a couple of week+ trips and several weekends/long weekends each year.    

All sorted.  We bought an Isuzu MU-X a few months ago,  partly  in anticipation of towing and more adventurous camping. 

No doubt,  especially if there's an annex involved.   Hence the reason I'm leaning toward something with a main room that can accommodate everyone without need for overly involved set up for short trips.     

 

 

We've built a few of these and done plenty of outback/long hauls and countless short trips and 4wd weekends, school hols on the river etc.

I would be thinking. 

 

1. When i go on treks will  be doing lots of one nighters - this will mean storage, setup and packup will be very important.

2. If more like to go from home to camping to home. Setup time is less important, but still important.

3. If you have no where to dry your camper, soft floors need some thought in Vicco. Not a big drama, but consider it.

4. if you wanto overland 4wd trekking with your camper on then articulation, ruggedness and weather proofing is important.

5. suspension is important when you dont know how to pack your camper, when your camper is a POS and poorly balanced, you drive on serious corries. Otherwise, dont invest heavily in trailing arms/K frames. they add a lot of cost and most people dont need them. (even birdville/Gibb/Oodnadatta dont need them).

6. must be dust/water proof no matter where you go.

7. 10k will get you an amazing camper, if you shop around. Dont get anything you dont need (water pumps, lights, etc are all just crap to maintain...buy good head torches...or buy a caravan and spend your time with your family)

8. kids dont need much. simply sleeping bag and mattress and pillow. Fancy fold out beds are unnecessary unless you have special needs.

9. can i stop on the side of the road and get to my kitchen/fridge easily without getting poles out.

10. dont discount the Jayco Swan type arrangement. My mate took his everywhere i took my offroad camper and did 000s of KM offroad with 3 kids and never skipped a beat. Longer set up time, but doesnt have to find a flat spot to camp like a softfloor.

 

On one trip we did 15000km in 40 nights. No fancy stuff, a little planning. We were setup, drinking a beer and starting a fire in 10-15min. Pack down was 15min every time. 1 60lt fridge and no power to the camper, we got well offroad and did 000s of KM of dirt and tracks and cooked in the fire every day. We have the same enjoyment sitting by a river in rainy vicco for 10 days. My mates who bring fold out awnings/kitchens/hotwater/powered everything spend more time stressed about expensive gadgets that the missus needs endless help with that they hardly get to sit by the fire and poke it with a stick...which is the main reason we go camping :)

 

Justmythoughts, :) hopeithelps

 

We hand made a pair of trailer. I have a steel fab mate with industrial equipment (eg 200t brake press), i am keeping mine for my kids. It has custom motorbike carrying.  We spent 4k on locally made tent...could've spent less and got a china one, but they all seemed so convoluted. Mine is so tough and so simple and custom made to order in Vicco. Consider having a tent made to order for your trailer, but wouldnt keep it under 10k but not far off either. Not sure what an 8x5 custom trailer costs, maybe 4-5k for a premium one...drop off at tent bloke and pick up your camper. Happy to share more detail if you go down that path.

Edited by JPete9

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3 minutes ago, blybo said:

Unfortunately, it's one or the other re awning/annex,

looks like I need to bone up on what the options are.    I was expecting the wind out awnings to have the option of fitting reasonably decent sides to make it effictively the same as an annexe.  

 

Do the annexes still use the rope in a C channel method of fixing to the top of the caravan?

 

8 minutes ago, JPete9 said:

Longer set up time, but doesnt have to find a flat spot to camp like a softfloor

A Jayco is longer to set up than a camper trailer?    Well I'll be!. 

 

My recollection is that our Swan went up bloody quick (without annexe),  but that's 25yrs ago so I shouldn't trust my memory.     I probably helped get it half way up before pissing of down the river/beach and leaving the rest to dad.  

 

 

 

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Just now, manchu said:

looks like I need to bone up on what the options are.    I was expecting the wind out awnings to have the option of fitting reasonably decent sides to make it effictively the same as an annexe.  

 

Do the annexes still use the rope in a C channel method of fixing to the top of the caravan?

Yes they use a c channel but the vast majority are permanently attached in a heavy duty vinyl bag, hence the name bag awning. As 90 of wind out awnings don't have poles to support them, they can't take the weight of a heavy canvas annex.

 

Swan set up times for us (after some experience);

Bare bones= 10-15 minutes depending on reversing skill, site, and how fussy about getting van level

Awning= +10-15 minutes and the only time I need a second pair of hands.

Bed end fly's= +10-15 minutes to do it properly (2 minutes if just left hanging)

Annex= +10-20 minutes depending on number of pegs

Power & Water= +5 minutes

Sullage= +5 minutes

Inside I leave to the missus.

 

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Depends on the camper of course. But my camper. Carefully design for toughness and ease of use. Yiur average China camper won’t be as quick.

I’d say my mates swan outback was 15min longer than us each day. No biggy for camping trips. But longer multi stops it adds up.

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