2011/2012 issue ROAMER guide to Slide on campers & camper trailers ROAMER 40 we list over Slide on campers manufacturers Choosing a tow vehicle OzRoamer Directory listings 4WD VS AWD for towing towing restrictions OzR Publications $8.99 ISSN 1839-3055 9 77 1 8 3 9 3 0 5 0 0 0 > we list over 140 Camper Trailer manufacturers A-Z of buying a Camper Trailer caring for your canvas Choosing a Slide on Camper power vs torque for towing The latest innovation in off road camping will go where no other caravan can Introducing Vista RV, a new name to the outback touring market “Our concept is an innovative ‘crossover’ camper/caravan, providing a unique blend off road camper freedom and function with the comfort and security of a caravan.” 4/23 Jersey Road Bayswater, Victoria 3153 Phone: (03) 9729 1234 Fax: (03) 9720 9200 Email: [email protected] ROAMER Guide to Slide on campers & camper trailers from the Editor Contents Editorial 6 Choosing a Slide on Camper Editor 8 A-Z of buying a Camper Trailer Welcome to the first edition of OzRoamer Guide to Slide on Campers and Camper Trailers. 20 OzRoamer Directory Listings Rob Fraser [email protected] 30 Power VS Torque for Towing 32 4WD VS AWD for Towing 2011 has seen the continued growth of this segment of the market and with over 180 manufacturers of camper trailers and slide on campers there is an abundance of choice for consumers. 34 Towing Restrictions 37 Caring for your Canvas 40 A-Z of Manufacturers With all this choice comes confusion for buyers and with many manufacturers making conflicting claims it can be a mine field trying to make an educated choice about what to buy. OzRoamer Directory Listings Sub Editor Chloe Fraser [email protected] Sub Editor Vicki Fraser [email protected] Graphic Designer 20 Active Campers FT 1950 S 1 20 C & M Campers Ezi Up Camper 20 Explorer Campers Tray Back 21 Traymates Camper Regular Contributors That’s where we come in. This magazine is full of important information to help you, the buyer, make educated decisions about what to buy to suit your travel plans. We have done all the hard work for you. 21 GT Campers 21 Tray Trek Tailgater 22 Travelander Evron DC1 Rob Fraser, Peter Wilson, Stephen Lawson, Chloe Fraser, Anthony Hood, Steve Tierney and Paul Blundell. 22 Travelander Evron DC2 22 Travelander Evron SC1 In fact we have listed as many slide on camper and camper trailer manufacturers that we could find to help you and there are 30 directory listings for some manufacturers to help as well. 23 Travelander Evron SC2 23 Elite Campers 23 Emu Campers Advertising Enquiries 24 Explorer Campers Lawson [email protected] 24 Jimboomba Camper Trailers 24 POD KWIK KAMPA 25 Pod Touring Campers 25 Southern Cross Bushmate Visit us at 25 XTrail Navigator www.ozroamer.com.au 26 Camprite TL8s 26 GT Campers ISSN 1839-3055 26 Travelander GEO Convert 1 27 Travelander GEO Convert 2 27 Trak Trailer Tvan 27 Independent Trailers 28 Ray Jordan Agencies 28 Autofridge portable fridges On top of that we have an A-Z of what to look for when buying your camper trailer, help with choosing a slide on camper and towing vehicle. There is information on towing restrictions and caring for your canvas as well. Well enough of my ramblings, I hope you enjoy this issue of OzRoamer Guide to Slide on Campers and Campertrailers. We are fairly relaxed and laid back here and would love to hear from you what you think about our magazine. After all, this entire magazine is about you. Our aim is to enhance your lifestyle. Without you reading it and getting knowledge or pleasure from it why would we bother. 28 Hillbilly Camping Gear Happy days and cheers! 29 Korr Lighting 3 BAR CAMP KIT Rob Fraser 29 LiftTrax Recovery Gear 29 So Simple Solutions Editor Natalie Sing [email protected] OzRoamer Directory Listings Information supplied by manufacturers Editorial Enquiries Ph: 0434 566 999 OzRoamer Guide to Slide on Campers and Camper Trailers is published by Auto Alliance Group, P.O.Box 305 Cherrybrook NSW 2126. The publishers believe that all information that is supplied in this magazine was correct at the time of printing. Prices are supplied from manufacturers. The publishers do not however guarantee that prices are correct and suggest that you make your own enquiries and are not liable for any information being correct. It is not possible to ensure that advertisements comply with the Trade Practices Act 1974 and therefore it is the responsibility of the person submitting the advertisement. The Publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Copyright: Material appearing in OzRoamer Guide to Slide on Campers and Camper Trailers magazine and Auto Alliance Group Pty Ltd. Publications is copyright and reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited Subscribe to OzRoamer 4WD & SUV Guide • Never miss an Issue • Two issues a year • Delivery to your home or office • Read the reviews on what the 4WD & SUV’s are really like Visit www.ozroamer.com.au ROAM ER 4WD&S ROAM ER TOWIN TIPS G UV GUIDE 2011 OVE 4WD & R 35 SUV REVIEW S OUTB TRAVEACK L TIPS WE RA 4WD A TE OVER 150 FOR TOND SUV’S OFF RO WING AND AD ABIL ITY RR P $999 UPCOM MODEING LS THE DIF F BETWE ERENCE EN AW AND 4W D D 2011 | For all things graphic design contact nataliesing ISSUE 1 p 0404 808 090 | e [email protected] | w nataliesingdesign.com.au Choosing a slide on camper Slide on campers are becoming more popular in Australia and cover the full range from tray back off road campers to what is essentially a caravan on the back of a ute. The slide on camper converts your ute into a fully-fledged camper simply by backing the ute under the camper and driving off. You can break them down into three categories: Firstly the tray back campers which are mainly for off road use. These are canopies with either a hard lid or a canvas tent top with exceptional storage. Usually made of aluminium, steel or composite fibreglass panels, they slide on the flat tray of utes and can be standalone if you need the ute while at camp. The great advantage of these is storage. Often they have room for a kitchen and fridge along with drawers for other items. Some of these canopies have lift up lids with canvas at the sides and the bed on top; some you sleep inside the canopy and others have a roof top tent on top. Secondly the ute back campers that again are either hard top or canvas tent top, sitting in the tub of the ute. The construction material and configuration is usually similar to the canopy style but the main advantage is that these can allow you to walk into the camper if it has a pop top roof. Often these will have the lid extending over the body of the ute especially if they are dual cab utes. These are the pop top styles and very popular. Thirdly the ute style camper that is like a caravan on the back of the ute. Made mostly from composite fibreglass panels, these can have a 6 nose cone over the drivers’ cab where the sleeping area is, similar to a motorhome. They can be either full body or pop up style and are suited to a couple although there are some styles that will sleep 4 at a pinch. You get most of the benefits of a camper trailer or a campervan without the extra costs associated with them. As there are no mechanical parts, service and maintenance costs are minimal. Lastly they are perfect for couples and small families that want compact travel style. Things you need to look for when considering your purchase include whether you want to buy new or second hand. Like almost every other choice of recreational vehicle the first thing you need to decide is what style of travel are you looking to do. If it is on road the choices are wider allowing for the more campervan style. If you are more adventurous and want to go off road you would be advised to avoid the higher style models as they can be very top heavy, which is the last thing you want in off road situations. There is a wide choice available second hand as well and unlike camper trailers which can cop a bit of abuse the slide on camper would only be likely to have some cosmetic damage as there are no mechanical parts like brakes etc. Most of these will come with kitchens, gas and water supply, lounge areas, and shower/toilet areas, clothes cupboards and general storage. In fact they are internally similar to normal small caravans or motorhomes. They have the advantage of you being able to stand up inside as well. With most utes the key thing to look at is weight. Like camper trailers weight is the enemy. Make sure that the slide on camper and all the gear you are taking won’t exceed the GVM of the ute. As most utes have close to the 800 – 1000kg capacity this is unlikely. However some of the ute back campers that are more caravan in style can be heavy. This style of slide on camper provides the safety and comfort of a small campervan. The disadvantage is that you cannot walk through from the driver’s seat. So what are the benefits of a slide on camper? Firstly they are ideal for those travellers that don’t want to tow their living quarters. Having the bed on the back of the ute is very convenient. It allows you to be more adventurous, especially in off road situations. With a slide on camper you can travel to places where it would be impossible to get even an off road camper trailer into and have the benefit of comfortable camping when you get there. How difficult is the slide on camper to get on and off? How long does it take and what are the legs like when it is stand-alone? Are the legs manual wind down or mechanical and can you store it when off the ute? Some slide on campers are very easy to put on and off the ute while I have seen others that almost require a mechanical engineers’ degree to work. Either way it will be more complicated than simply hooking up a camper trailer. Like all sleeping accommodation, space and ventilation are key elements. Is the camper insulated? Dust and weatherproof? Does it allow room for all your gear and does it look good on the back? Secondly they allow you to tow a boat or bike trailer or horse float behind. This is something you couldn’t do or would have difficulty with in the case of a boat, if you had a camper trailer behind. Slide on campers are ideal in this situation where you need to take something else along on the trip other than sleeping accommodation. Overall the slide on camper is a growing market segment that whatever your travel plans, whether it’s weekends away or the big trip around Australia, offers mobility, convenience and flexibility for a couple or small family and a viable alternative to a camper trailer. Thirdly they allow you to make maximum use of your ute and there are no extra registration fees as the camper sits on the back of the ute. They generally make the most of available space and are cheaper than what you could buy as an equivalent camper trailer, caravan or campervan. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 7 A to Z of buying a camper trailer A The coupling will probably be welded on but in trailers over 1,000Kg they need to be bolted. Check how far back the ‘A’ frame goes under the body of the trailer; in off road trailers it should be to the axle assembly and attached to the spring hangers. Remember that the further back the more distribution of the torsional forces of towing throughout the chassis. Often the first interactions are how they will continue. Are the manufacturers or dealers easy to contact and get answers from? Are they patient with you or do they just want to sell you a trailer and move on. Remember previous owners are the best way to establish what the after sales service is like. The distance from the front of the trailer body to the ‘A’ point makes a difference to the characteristics and dynamics of the trailer handling. The shorter the ‘A’ frame the better articulation you will have in extreme off road situations. The longer the ‘A’ frame the better the trailer will tow and it is easier to reverse. After Sales Service A Frame This is the front of the trailer often referred to as the drawbar. It always houses the coupling, safety chains and hand brake assembly. Also it usually houses storage boxes, gas bottles, jerry cans, battery box etc. Make sure that the ‘A’ frame is long enough so that when you open your rear door (especially with side opening doors) the stone deflector is far enough back to allow the door to fully open and the handbrake assembly is below the door. 8 Before you buy is the best time to find out what the after sales service is like. Somebody has already bought the camper trailer you are about to buy and the best people to talk to are owners. Check out the blogs, camper trailer Org, etc. If there are problems then you will likely find out about it on these. Can you inspect the factory? Do they have an owner’s club? What is the warranty and where do you have to get work done? If you are in Broome and a wheel hub breaks you don’t want to have to send the camper trailer back to Melbourne to have it fixed. Awning Awnings can range from sunshades to fully enclosed set ups. What suits you better depends on what type of travel you like to do. Go to a caravan park for three weeks over Christmas holidays and you would be more inclined to go for a fully enclosed awning to give you extra space. Travel the outback with overnight stops and the last thing you want is a set of walls to put up every night. Look for an awning that ideally goes the full length of the trailer, including the ‘A’ frame or at least to the front of the storage boxes. Remember that canvas is heavy and an awning that is often 7 metres in length and 3 metres wide is not only heavy but needs storage along with poles and ropes etc. If you are travelling for any length of time an innerspring mattress is a worthwhile option and money well spent. Foam, no matter how dense, can become uncomfortable after a while. Do you want a queen size or will a double bed size mattress do? Is the mattress the same size all over or is it tapered to fit. Is the mattress orientated sideways or longways? If it is sideways one partner invariably has to climb over the other person to get out. Many seasoned travellers may take an end wall section that can be applied with Velcro to assist with protection from the elements. Some trailers will have room to fold up the tent section with the awning attached which can save time every time you set up. Battery B Do you need a battery system on your trailer? If the answer is yes than you need to look for the following. The first thing is that the battery needs to be of a deep cycle style that has some form of charging system, preferably a trickle charge through an Anderson plug as well as a 240v charger. Charging through one of the pins in the trailer’s electrical coupling is ok but not ideal. Does the battery have a management system to prevent overcharging? Ball Weight The ball weight is one of the critical features to look out for. It is here that many purchasers come unstuck through either being misinformed about the ball weight of the trailer, over packing the trailer or having the wrong tow vehicle. Generally you want to have between 10-15% of the loaded weight of the trailer on the tow ball. If in doubt, have the tow ball weight measured at a weigh station or by using one of the clever gadgets like the Hayman Reese scales. Too heavy and you will be shooting possums with the headlights shining into the trees whereas too light and the handling of the trailer will suffer. Don’t take the manufacturer supplied weight as gospel either, as they have a vested interest in making the ball weight as low as possible, often telling pork pies in the process. I have seen tow ball weights that are advertised as 100Kg, be as heavy as 250Kg when loaded. That’s a lot of difference. Ball weight can be affected by packing as well. You need to match the vehicle tow ball weight with the trailer tow ball weight. If the trailer is too heavy on the tow ball you may void your insurance and even your warranty on the vehicle. Remember while not necessary it’s always handy to be able to lift the ‘A’ frame if you have to manoeuvre by hand. The larger the battery (measured in amp hours) the better, but this adds more weight. Check where the battery in mounted and does that comply with venting requirements etc. Bearings and Hubs This is an often-overlooked topic. The strength of a camper trailer comes from the chassis up and the bearings play a major part in the robustness of the trailer. What is suitable for a trailer that takes an occasional load of rubbish to the tip is totally unsuitable for a trailer to take you to the tip of Cape York. This is one case where bigger is definitely better. Sorry Guys. Heavy duty off road camper trailers should have 2500 – 3300Kg bearings to cope with the loads and stresses of kilometres of corrugations and articulation where the weight of the trailer is often on one wheel. On road camper trailers can utilise smaller bearings as the loads and stresses are substantially less. Ask the questions about servicing; spares, inspection and size to endure you have all the information. Bedding How many do you want to sleep? Some trailers like the Camprite TL8S are ideal for up to 2 adults and 4 kids all up off the ground. There are as many camper trailers for families as there are for couples. Is the bed easy to access? How many steps to get into it? Is the ladder easy on the feet as you will mostly be in bare feet when you’re going to bed? Where does the ladder stow away? Where will the kids sleep? These all seem like small questions but if you travel for any length of time they will become significant. One key feature to look for is are you able to pack the trailer up with the bed already made, because making your bed every night if you are touring will become tiresome very quickly. The other thing to look for is does the canvas fold onto the bed, and what happens if it is wet? Boat Rack Do you want to take a boat? If so most manufacturers have options for lift off or swing out boat racks and outboard motor holders. How are you going to get the boat to the water when the camper trailer is set up. Do you need a fold up boat trailer? If that all seems too much when you’re in camp, befriend someone with a boat, chances are they will jump at the chance to have someone go along with them and help etc. Brakes Another topic that is often overlooked by purchasers who focus on the bling. Firstly if your camper trailer has an ATM over 750Kg then it needs brakes. There are essentially three types of braking systems and two types of brakes. The three types of braking systems are hydraulic, mechanical & electric. Hydraulic Override - these types of brakes are rarely found on camper trailers. The system uses hydraulic fluid instead of a cable to activate the brakes. The fluid requires a reservoir and is connected to the brakes through a brake line. Personally I would avoid these, as there are extra complications with checking the fluid for impurities, especially water and changing it regularly and the possibility of nicking the brake lines. They also don’t allow linear braking in the sense that they are either on or off. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 9 Mechanical Override – often favoured by manufacturers that like to keep things simple and robust. The drum brakes work literally by the force of the trailer running up the back of the vehicle on the coupling. When this happens a cable that controls the brakes becomes tight applying the brakes. These styles of brakes are simple and the tow vehicle doesn’t need a brake controller fitted. There are some downsides though. Similar to the hydraulic brakes in that they don’t allow linear braking in that they are either on or off. They aren’t as effective in off road situations when the trailer is at an angle to the vehicle or on slippery tracks etc where they may make control of the trailer more difficult. Build Quality Buy the best camper trailer you can for your money. Don’t be tempted by all the add ons, they have no intrinsic build quality. Look for trailer manufacturers that actually have construction standards that conform to the Australian Design Rules (ADR) and Australian Standards (AS). Some might also be Quality Endorsed companies and some may offer a lifetime warranty. c quality, is more susceptible to mould, mildew and often leaking, as the seams are usually single stitched. Look for reinforced pockets where poles are inserted or rub against the canvas and also sewn in pockets for knickknacks etc. Have a look and see if you can see through the canvas in the light, cheaper canvas tends to be thinner. The height of the tent will have a dramatic effect on how hot it gets inside as will having large windows with midge proof mesh that allow cross ventilation. Believe me sand flies are nobody’s friend. Electric Brakes – are another example of you get what you pay for. They are more expensive than override brakes and require the tow vehicle to have a brake controller fitted but are far superior to override brakes. They work on either drum or disc brakes and apply a linear or constant pressure to the brakes. The vehicle-mounted controller allows adjustment of the amount of brake pressure that is applied to the trailer. Some of the benefits of electric brakes are that the trailer is actually braking itself, not pushing up against the tow coupling. Another benefit is that through the controller you can actually brake the trailer without braking the vehicle, allowing for more control in critical situations or to dry the brakes. The electric brakes linear braking force can be used to assist control in off road situations like steep slippery descents etc. You will need to spend between $300-$400 on a vehicle mounted control unit. This allows control over the braking power through the trailer wiring. The pendulum style of controller is the better style. If you have brakes on the trailer you should also include a handbrake. If you ever try to move a trailer on a slope without it you will never do it again. The two types of brakes are Drum and Disc. Drum brakes will work with all the types of braking systems. They are easy to clean, maintain and find parts for. Disc brakes are more expensive and better suited to on road trailers as off road they can be vulnerable to dirt and stones being trapped. If you think that you are going to use the trailer in lots of water or in salt water you might consider marine drum brakes that have stainless steel fittings. These are resistant to corrosion and are cleaned by fitting a hose and washing them out. The next thing to consider is the size of the brakes. They range in size from 8, 10 and 12-inch brakes with bigger being the better. 10 Chassis Canvas All canvas is not the same folks! There can be a substantial difference between imported canvas and canvas which is made in Australia. The polyester & cotton canvas used in campers these days are usually a mixture of 50/50 poly/ cotton blend or 65/35 poly/cotton blends. The polyester is for the strength and durability and the cotton is for the waterproofing and breathing aspect. The cotton will take up water, swell and sit in place. This combined with the waterproofing; waxing agents etc placed on the canvas makes it an ideal breathable waterproof structure for camper trailers. Some trailers will have lightweight polyester, which is waterproof but doesn’t breathe. Key things to look for are the weight. Most will be either 10 or 12oz and sometimes 15oz. Often the walls and roof will be different weights, generally heavier on the roof. The new styles of 10 or 11oz canvas made in Australia is as a double wrap, double weft weave. That is two strands woven one-way, two strands woven the other. This makes the end product being tightly woven, just as strong and durable as the 15oz, just as waterproof as the 15oz but really half the weight. Next check the sewing, is it double seamed or single stitched? Remember that canvas shrinks and often, different weights will shrink at different rates. Cheaper canvas will shrink more than better The strength of a camper trailer comes from its chassis. What is acceptable for an on road trailer that is used once a year for a couple of weeks at a caravan park is totally different to what is necessary for a heavy duty off road camper. Is the chassis painted steel or hot dipped galvanised, which is better for durability. Chassis frames should be at least 50mm x 50mm x 3mm and often 75mm x 50mm x 3mm, which is stronger and more robust. The ‘A’ frame will often be 100mm x 50mm x 4mm for extra strength. The thicker the steel the stronger the chassis. Some manufacturers make the ‘A’ frame from RHS Steel, which is a right angle bar. If the chassis or ‘A’ frame is RHS make sure it is at least 100mm x 75mm x 6mm and the ‘A’ frame should be at least 125mm x 75mm x 6mm for off road use. Smaller is acceptable for on road use. A full chassis is stronger and essential for off road use. Remember the strength of a camper trailer comes from what is underneath. Don’t skimp on the chassis otherwise you will have a trailer that has all the bells and whistles sitting by the side of the road going nowhere. There have been some questions over whether hot dipping the chassis weakens it. The answer is, if done right it doesn’t. However if there is any breaking of the coating after it is done then that will become and entry point for corrosion. Cost There really is no getting away from the fact that to a certain point you get what you pay for. Camper trailers can range in price from around $3,000 right up to $50,000 plus. Nobody in his or her right mind can expect to pay $5,000 for a heavy duty off road camper trailer and take it to Cape York and expect it to come back in perfect condition, no matter what the salesperson says. By the same token it is hard to justify paying $55,000 for what is essentially a tent on a trailer with questionable bells and whistles. The old adage of quality is remembered long after price is forgotten applies. Buy the best quality for what you can afford and you will be rewarded in the long run with less hassles and better resale price. Quality second hand camper trailers can retain their value remarkably well. If you’re not sure there are plenty of places to hire and try before you buy. These may have great articulation but the first time you need to move a trailer in sand towards the car you will remember these words and curse me. The styles that have a drop in pin like the DO35 and McHitch are easier to use. However the easiest to use and provides more than enough articulation is the Hyland Coupling. It fits over a standard 50mm ball so dropping the trailer on is easy. If you need more articulation than it provides then you should probably check your insurance because you might be in a spot of bother. Extras This is where things can get expensive. Some extras are valuable for specific needs and some are just bling. Its best to decide on what style of travelling you intend to do and pick extras that suit, not what looks good. Often you may be able to find accessories that are just as capable but cheaper on the market. f Finish d Dust Sealing This is really important. Sleeping on a bed full of dust is not anybody’s idea of fun. Nothing is completely dust proof, especially from bulldust, but many camper trailers do a bloody good job at it. Some are appalling. Hot dipped galvanising or quality paint is essential. However do you really need the trailer the same colour as your car? Finish is also in the details, such as neatly tucked wiring, clamps to hold down the roof in stainless steel, KKK Zips etc. Look for quality not flash looks or bells and whistles. This is mostly important for off road camper trailers that are more likely to be on dirt roads or outback tracks. However on road camper trailers also can suffer from dust as well. Flat rubber seals will do an ok job but double pinch weld rubber seals are much better. Check the rear tailgate, as most dust and water will come in there. e Coupling The first decision you need to make is if you need the trailer for on road or off road use. If it is on road use then the choice is simple, a standard 50mm ball coupling is all you need. If you anticipate off road use then the next question you need to ask is how extreme do you intend to go. The ability to have 270 or 360-degree articulation is great but is needed for only the most extreme situations. For example, one of my fellow writers has taken a pop up caravan to Cape York along the Telegraph Track with just a standard coupling. Something I wouldn’t recommend but achievable. If you are heading for the adventurous camping then the choices are more diverse. The range includes a Hitchmaster DO35, AT35, TREG, Trig, Orac, Oz Hitch, McHitch Uniglide and Hyland to name a few. There are a couple of things for you to think about. Any hitch that requires a pin to go through a hole in a poly block is incredibly difficult to line up in some off road situations. Electrical System Floor If you are intending to stay anywhere away from a powered site at a caravan park then you will probably need a battery system. The choices are hard floor or soft floor. Hard floor is where the lid on the camper trailer folds over to form a base to stand on. Soft floor is where the tent section has a waterproof vinyl floor attached. The battery needs to be a deep cycle battery minimum 100AH for any effectiveness. This can be recharged by trickle charge when connected to the trailer through the normal 7-pin harness or by Anderson Plug. You should also look for a 240V charger with overload protection from overcharging. Ideally the charger should switch on automatically when you plug in 240V. More advanced management systems have amp meters, Voltmeter and multiswitch panels with built in fuses etc, which allow you to see the charge and usage at a glance. These are useful but can be expensive. Ensure the outlets are in useful and practical places throughout the living area and externally. Some trailers are wired for 240V as well, which to my mind is a complete waste of money, as a decent power board will do the job effectively. There are other variants such as the Camprite TSL8, which has side-fold lids and the body of the trailer forms the floor. Also the ModCon camper trailer has the lid fold over the front storage bins, which is a novel idea. Soft floor trailers are usually cheaper but in many ways it is like camping in a tent. Hard floor trailers keep everything up off the ground but are more expensive and usually heavier. Fly Screens Only get midge proof screens. You really will wish you did if you don’t. Make sure the wiring is neatly tucked away or clipped and out of the way, especially underneath. Loose wiring is a recipe for trouble. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 11 comprehensive cover for the car cover third party property for the trailer? j Jerry Can Holder where possible keyed alike. Water filler cap, jerry can holders, gas bottle holder, external storage bins, and the main body of the camper all need to be locked. o These are a great idea for extra fuel and water. Where are they located and can you lock them. How many do you need? Some camper trailers, like the Trak Shak, carry the water in them and have heaps. External holders (to the body of the trailer) for fuel may be illegal in some states. Fridge Is there room for a fridge in the camper trailer? If so is the bin vented to allow the fridge to run while driving. If you buy an Autofridge, which is Eutectic, then that’s not necessary as it stays cold without running. If it is a three-way fridge, avoid running it on gas as you drive and definitely when you are refuelling. g Gas Bottle If you have a kitchen in the camper trailer then you will need a gas bottle. Do you want one or two? Gas bottles are heavy and a 9Kg gas bottle will last for ages. Often it’s better to swap it or fill it before it gets empty, than carry a spare that you are unlikely to ever use. If you want to carry a spare carry two 4.5Kg bottles instead. Consider the little butane canister stoves. At $20 from Kmart, the canisters last a while, are available almost everywhere and a hell of a lot lighter than a 9Kg bottle. Always remember that gas is dangerous and to check connections and lines constantly. Once you see a bottle explode you will NEVER forget it. h Hire vs. Buy Buying a camper trailer is expensive but a quality one will last for years. If it is for a one off trip or only once a year consider hiring one and save your capital. Also it can be advisable to hire before you buy, especially for first time buyers. Insurance Has the manufacturer registered their camper trailer as that or a box trailer? Can I get cover for off road travel or only on registered roads? Are the contents covered and does my 12 Jockey Wheel The heavier the ball weight the heavier the jockey wheel needs to be. Does it fold up and if not is there a place for it? Clamps are also a good idea on the ‘A’ Frame. Do you need solid rubber, pneumatic or even twin wheel with handle to assist in moving the trailer? The jockey wheel is the only way to move the trailer when unattached so it’s relatively important. k Kitchen Kitchens can range from a camping table with a butane burner stove and plastic tub for washing up to a full on slide out stainless steel kitchen with electric hot and cold running water. Both do the same job funnily enough. Ideally, you would be able to access the kitchen without opening the camper up. Think about how many burners do you actually need? Does the gas need to be connected every time and if not is there a cut off switch? Is the kitchen under cover if raining? Do you need a grill? Where does the sink water go? Often a table with butane burners and a plastic tub for washing up are just as effective and a lot less weight and cost for your camper trailer. l Lighting If you have power to the camper trailer you will need 12V lighting inside the tent area. A good idea is lights at the head of the sleeping area for reading. Outside lighting is extremely handy especially over the kitchen area. Look for 12V outlets as well in practical places and externally as well. Locks Pretty much everything should be lockable and Off Road ability If you are serious about an off road camper trailer check the clearance, departure angle, that everything is tucked away underneath, length of ‘A’ frame, type of coupling etc. The shorter the camper trailer the better off road it will be. p Packing up The dreaded pack up. Little things make a huge difference. Can the awning be left attached? Can the bed be left made up? Can I throw the kid’s beds on top of the main bed? Do I have to repack everything in the body of the trailer? Is there a place for everything to stow away? Plug You may find this strange, however different states have different plugs for the wiring harness. Some are 7 pin flat; some are 7 pin round and some 7 pin large round. Make sure the trailer comes with a plug that matches your towing vehicle. Also, somewhere to store the plug when not connected is a clever idea. r Racks If you want to take a boat, canoe, bikes or even store firewood etc, racks are a great idea. Make sure they are not in the way for set up as unloading these items every night will become tiresome after the first time. Rear Stabilizer Legs Spares Kit Some camper trailers require rear stabilizer legs as part of their design. Are they easy to set up and out of the way when not in use? A spares kit for bearings and seals, hubs, shocks, water fittings etc is a great idea. Ask if the manufacturer can supply such a kit, as it will save you a heap of time and running around. Rear View With the camper trailer hooked up will I be able to see over the top? How wide is it and do I need extended side mirrors? Make sure the purchase price includes registration in your state. A simple thing but a few buyers have been caught out. How much storage do you need? Unfortunately the more storage you have the more gear you are likely to take, much of which will be unused or unnecessary. Where will you put your fridge, gas bottles, jerry cans and outboard motor? Is there a spot for items like chain saw, firewood etc? Does the storage have easy access and does the bed lift up? Do the front storage bins have a door or wing lids and is it lined and weatherproof with a light? Recovery Hooks s Storage There needs to be storage that is easily accessed with the camper trailer closed. It needs to allow for weight distribution, not all over the ‘A frame and will fit your boxes etc. Registration Probably not necessary if it’s an on road camper trailer but a good idea if it’s an off road version. Make sure they are sturdy, attached to the chassis frames etc and can take the pressure of a recovery operation. You would be surprised how many times you might have to drag the trailer out backwards. an extra set of large mud flaps on the tow vehicle like the Rock Tamers you see at the shows. Spare Wheel The best place for the spare wheel is on a swing away at the rear of the trailer. Next best place is on the ‘A’ Frame and the worst place is underneath. Have you ever tried to get a spare wheel from under a trailer when it’s stuck in mud with a flat? You will never do it again. Also remember that awning poles are awkward to store unless there is a specially designed area for them, which is usually behind the storage bins at the front of the trailer. Set Up This shouldn’t be a problem as apparently every camper trailer on the market only takes 30 seconds to set up according to the sales people. In reality, some are quicker than others and one person can easily put them up, however some need two people. If it is a hard floor check the weight of the floor when you are putting it up. It can be heavy, especially if you have an injury and your other half needs to do it. Some manufacturers have a handy wind up system. Soft floor tents tend to need a couple of people to get it set up and also tend to take longer than hard floor styles. There are always two types of set ups as well. An overnight stay and an extended stay set up. If you are touring you want the quickest overnight set up. For the annual holidays to the caravan park, it doesn’t matter as much how long it takes, as you will be there for a while. However a set up like this with full awning and walls etc can take an hour to set up, and longer to pack up. Solar Panels Solar panels can be a useful accessory for extended bush camping. However you should question the viability of having panels on the camper trailer. Portable panels are often better as they allow you to position them to make full use of the available sun without moving your camper trailer or parking it in the sun. Suspension Stone Deflectors There are two areas where deflecting stones are vital. The first is from stones bouncing back up into the rear window of your vehicle and the second is behind the wheels of the trailer. The stone deflector needs to be across the front of the ‘A’ frame, facing down and loose. If it is hard it’s like a trampoline and the stones bounce. If it is looser, they are absorbed more and drop down. If the deflector is angled sideways, then the stones will just bounce off into other cars on the other side of the road. Underneath the front storage bins is an area that also cops a fair punishment from stones that flick up from the tow vehicle so it’s a good idea to have something there as well. Mud flaps behind the trailer wheels also save an enormous amount of wear. It’s advisable to have Choices include air bags, independent coil, and independent leaf spring with shock absorbers, heavy-duty leaf springs, solid axle with leaf springs & shock absorbers and lastly, torsion bar suspension. Air bag suspension is really overkill on a camper trailer. Independent coil is expensive, heavy but effective, especially in corrugated and off road situations. Leaf spring set ups, in whatever form they take, are well proven and robust. If you are going off road, get shocks (with the right pitch) as well or the trailer will bounce everywhere. Make sure you get the right springs for the right weight/use of trailer. If over-engineered, then your trailer could bounce excessively on some tracks or if too soft, it will “bottom-out”, potentially breaking leaves. Solid axle and torsion bar suspension are fine for on road camper trailers. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 13 Whatever type you decide upon ensure that spare parts are easily accessible when travelling. t Trailer Track If you are intending to travel off road, a school of thought is to match the track (width between the tyres) of the trailer to the towing vehicle. This makes sense if you are only ever driving in a straight line. As soon as you move the wheel the trailer tyres make their own track. Matching the wheels and tyres is a better idea. Travel Cover Applicable to soft floor camper trailers where there is a vinyl cover over the tent. The Australian sun is harsh so quality here is paramount. So is dust proofing, best with zip and Velcro overlap. Type of Trailer The key decisions you need to make include: firstly do you want to travel on road or off road? Then do you want a hard floor or soft floor? Do you want a dedicated specifically designed camper trailer or a box trailer that you can add camping gear to? Do you want side fold or rear fold? Do you want all people to sleep up off the floor and is it for two or more people? w Warranty Questions to ask are – How long is the warranty? What parts does the manufacturer cover and what is covered by suppliers eg suspension or water pump? Where can warranty work be dome while travelling? Does it cover where you want to travel and is the cost of getting the trailer to service your cost or theirs? Do they have freight services for parts? Etc. All manufacturers have some warranty claims, it’s part of the business but the keys are how many and how do they handle them that make the difference. It’s best to speak to existing owners for the best assessment of whether you will have issues after you buy. Water Carrying water is a good idea! The water tank ideally should be mounted as close as possible to the axle in the rear. If it is at the extreme front or rear that can both help and hinder with weight distribution. 14 Water tanks should be baffled to prevent sloshing and be either stainless steel or food grade material with food grade hoses. The filling cap should be lockable and accessible. If you have a hand pump make sure it is accessible but tucked away. An electric pump is a good idea but be careful, they can empty a tank in minutes if left running. Maybe have both styles of pumps. Having access to water without opening the kitchen is also handy. Two smaller tanks is often a good idea, that way if you have a source of water that you need but not sure about you can put it in the second tank, and if you get a leak you still have spare water. Make sure that stone guards protect both the tanks and the hose connections underneath. Are the tanks easy to empty to clean for storage? Wheels and Tyres Firstly NEVER put retreads or second-hand wheels and tyres on your camper trailer. If you are buying an on road camper trailer ensure that they are fitted with good quality road tyres. A blow out on the trailer can be more devastating than on a car as the weight of the trailer out of control can flip a car. If you are looking for an off road camper trailer ideally you can match the wheel and tyre combination (including offset and studs) to the towing vehicle, especially if you are going to remote destinations. With two spares, a good tyre repair kit & a pump, you can get yourself out of trouble & on the road again. If you can’t match the wheel and tyres make sure that the trailer has good quality off road tyres, possibly even light truck tyres. The minimum size should be 15-inch and ideally 16 or 17-inch tyres. Weight of Trailer The three things to consider are how heavy is the camper trailer (tare weight), what is its ATM which will tell you how much extra gear you can legally load into it and what is the tow ball weight loaded. Remember weight is the enemy of economy, ease of driving and manoeuvrability etc. Weight Distribution The layout of the trailer and packing can have a dramatic effect on the tow ball weight and handling characteristics of the trailer. For example if the water tank is totally at the rear when it empties there is relatively more weight on the tow ball with less weight in the tank. A litre of water weights 1kg so a 100L tank when full weighs 100kg. Look for a chassis that has the water tanks as close to the centre as possible. If you have a storage box on the front of the camper trailer full of gear, a couple of full jerry cans and gas bottle, all of a sudden the tow ball weight has increased dramatically from what has been quoted. Look for trailers that allow you to distribute items to allow you to manage weight distribution. Windows The rule here is to have as many as possible and as big as possible, with roll up awning covers. You need large well-placed windows to enhance the feeling of openness and fresh air. Also insist on midge proof mesh, anything else is just a waste of money. z Zip There are more zips than you realise on a camper trailer. They are on the windows, doors and awnings. These are not like a zip on a pair of jeans, if something goes wrong with the zip on a camper trailer you often have to take the entire tent off to fix it. One way of overcoming this is to use a zip like the KKK style that has replaceable teeth. Zips also cop a lot of abuse, usually by accident, but nevertheless are an item that has lots of stress on them. Better quality zips will make the camping experience more pleasurable. If you’re at your favourite beach camping spot and the zip gets stuck or breaks, the sand flies will have a field day. Choosing your tow vehicle What comes first the chicken or the egg? Do you choose the camper trailer or the towing vehicle first? Ideally you would decide on what type of travelling you are looking to do first. Do you want to stay purely on the roads, venture slightly off road or be adventurous and go far off the beaten track? What size camper trailer do you want? Not only do these choices decide what type of camper trailer you should look for but also the type of tow vehicle as well. The best tow vehicle is the one that suits your needs. Simple really! Tow vehicles can come in all shapes and sizes; they can be petrol or diesel, automatic or manual, car or ute etc. Here we will run through a few of the choices, what works with what and hope to help you decide what you need. These are the questions that all buyers have to answer. If you have an existing vehicle and are not looking to replace it then you may already have some decision parameters made for you. Make sure that your existing vehicle can tow the camper trailer you buy legally and safely. If you are buying an on road camper trailer then you have the widest choice. You can choose a normal sedan or hatchback as long as you match the tow rating of the vehicle to the trailer. 16 Buying a normal sedan, wagon or hatchback has its advantages in savings on purchase and running costs that can be substantial and you have a normal car to run around in when you’re not towing. Power is usually not a question and even some of the mid sized sedans have adequate towing capacity for small to medium size on road camper trailers. However even if you are only keeping to the roads you may want to buy a 4WD or SUV to allow more adventurous exploring from your base camp when you are travelling. Unquestionably the most popular tow vehicle is the larger 4WD followed by the 4WD dual cab ute. For the larger on road camper trailer or an off road version then you have little choice but to go for the 4WD vehicles. For the most part they have a higher towing capacity, higher tow ball ratings and stiffer springs. For the heavier loads the bigger 4WDs have a 3500kg towing capacity and a 350kg tow ball rating. One thing to keep in mind is that when towing, an added safety feature is having excess capacity i.e. not towing a trailer that is at the limit of the tow vehicle’s capacity. This places much less stress on the vehicle and driver. Remember that phrase - it’s horses for courses when it comes to tow vehicles. If you are looking for an off road camper trailer that will allow you to be more adventurous but not necessarily wanting to head to Cape York then you should have a look at the growing number of AWD SUVs. These will tow with ease and some of them are surprisingly capable on dirt roads etc. Some have up to 3,000kg towing capacity but watch the tow ball capacity carefully as some manufacturers (including 4WDs) reduce the rating if the vehicle is loaded internally. The OzRoamer 4WD & SUV Guide has the tow ball rating and towing capacity of over 150 models. However like many segments of the car market there has been a trend away from these cars and smaller, lifestyle vehicles have grown in popularity. This has seen the proliferation of 6 cylinder front wheel drive vehicles from manufacturers like Toyota and Ford that have adequate towing capacities as well. Even some of the smaller 4 cylinder engines are good if you are towing a smaller camper trailer. Some of the hatchbacks and wagons have AWD without any pretence of off road capability, such as the Volvo V70 T6 AWD. In this instance the addition of AWD is an added safety feature for towing. The key to towing with sedans is to ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most sedans can tow and the only limitation is like all vehicles, the towing capacity and tow ball weight. If you choose to tow with a front wheel drive vehicle you should know that they are more affected by the weight distribution of the trailer than rear wheeled vehicles although all vehicles are affected by poor trailer loading. When choosing what type of transmission the old school theory is that manual is the way to go to tow. The arguments can go back and forward but ultimately it’s up to the preference of the driver. However if you are venturing off the roads into the vast beauty Australia has to offer or if you have a heavy trailer to tow, then a 4WD is definitely the way to go. While we certainly aren’t suggesting that a big 4WD is essential for towing, sometimes there just aren’t many other suitable options. Amongst the normal cars Australia has been traditionally the domain of the big V8 rear wheel drive vehicles from Holden and Ford as the choice for sedan tow vehicles. They have plenty of power and adequate towing capacity. There are some factors that should be considered though. In smaller capacity vehicles the manual transmissions have less power loss. The flip side is that manuals can show increased wear on the clutch from towing. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 17 Often if you are towing heavy loads with an automatic it is advisable to fit a transmission cooler as a precaution against transmission overheating. Remember that heavy-duty 4WD vehicles are not immune to transmission overheating as well. You will find that many manufacturers have a higher towing rating on their automatic versions of their vehicles. Personally I think that automatics are easier and more flexible to drive and place less stress on the driver. The difference in fuel consumption between manual and automatic transmissions really doesn’t make that much of a difference so basing your decisions on that would prove to be false economy. The next point to consider in choosing a vehicle is the choice of fuel to run the engine. This is probably the most important decision you need to make as it has multiple facets such as economy, servicing costs, initial purchase costs etc Diesel engines are more economical especially when towing heavy loads. The torque characteristics of a diesel motor where the power comes much lower in the rev band are ideal. However they are often a little more expensive to maintain and service. In addition to this for reasons that no manufacturer has been able to explain satisfactorily they are sometimes more expensive for the same model, even up to $10,000 in the case of a Toyota Landcruiser. If you are travelling the outback there are places where the only fuel available is diesel. This is more important than the fuel savings and is a key factor in deciding what to buy. Petrol motors will on average use significantly more fuel to tow, often up to 30% more and with some of the larger petrol 4WDs the fuel usage when towing can be staggering. However they can be less costly to service and to buy. A third option is to convert either to an LPG powered vehicle. They have been very successful in reducing fuel usage, even when not towing and LPG is available fairly widely. Often there is little difference in performance on the road. However it is not for everyone, as installing an LPG tank reduces internal storage areas and necessitates more fuss when filling up, not to mention the increased costs of installation. The Federal Government has offered a rebate for LPG installation but there is a question mark over its future. Given the increasing availability of Hybrid cars this may be an option in the future. The electric motor has instantaneous torque, which is ideal for towing, however they tend to be heavier and have atrocious towing capacities. This is one to avoid for a while. Other key factors when deciding are: how often do you use the car to tow and over what distances? How heavy is the load? What type of driving do you like normally as petrol and diesels have very different driving characteristics? If you choose a smaller motor for economy it may prove to be the exact opposite. Small motors often use more fuel when towing as they have less torque and therefore work harder in each gear. No matter what type of vehicle you choose one thing will be constant. Towing, especially for prolonged periods, is hard on the tow vehicle. This will lead to increased service costs and often a reduced time between services. Regular servicing is more important than usual and most manufacturers regard prolonged towing as heavy usage and refer to this in their service books. In addition to service costs, increased wear and tear on items such as transmission, brake pads, tyres, suspension etc are all part of the equation. 18 If you’re buying a second hand vehicle with a tow bar attached check that it’s not just ok for trips to the local tip. You will need to make sure that the tow bar and tow ball are suitable for what you intend towing. Be sure to install a hitch that is rated for more than you intend to tow. Also if you have a monocoque body vehicle you will have to ensure that the hitch is one that distributes the load across the body not just at the rear. Lastly you may need to beef up the suspension for towing. This may be anything from installing a set of polyair bags to a complete suspension upgrade. A good weight distribution hitch will certainly help here, but make sure that your shocks and springs are in good condition. Self-levelling suspension isn’t always the answer either as some systems become confused with heavy loads attached. Top 12 Hints: 1The best tow vehicle is the one that fits the drivers’ needs. 2Money spent to set up the tow vehicle properly is money wisely invested. 3Never exceed the vehicles CVM (combined vehicle mass). 4Do not exceed the tow ball weight and towing capacity of the tow vehicle. 5Weight distribution hitches DO NOT reduce tow ball weight. 6Ideally the vehicle is as heavy as or heavier than the load it is carrying. 7No matter what type of engine maximum torque is better low in the rev range. 8You will almost definitely need suspension help to tow. 9You will need additional brakes for all but the smallest camper trailer. 10You will probably need extra transmission cooling if it’s an automatic. 11You will use heaps of fuel, just less in a diesel. 12You will place extra strain on the vehicle so have it serviced more regularly. BEST BRANDS BEST SERVICE BEST PRICE For all your 4WD tyre needs For you nearest outlet call 13OO FOR TYRES 13OO 367 897 www.jaxquickfit.com.au OzRoamer Directory Active Campers FT1950 Model FT 1950 Model Price $24,850 Sleeps 4 Tare 460kg Awning Rear and Side Dimensions to fit ute back or tray back Construction seamless fiberglass skin & insulated roof Kitchen Internal Roof Hard Legs Standard Water Capacity 86 Litres Warranty 1 year www.activecampers.com.au The Ft 1950 is the most popular slide on campers that active campers produces, designed for dual and extra cab vehicles it give the flexibility of one car for all your need holiday, work and family without having to tow anything. The compact low profile design gives excellent fuel consumption and the ability to drive the narrow bush tracks. The tough lightweight construction makes it a true 4WD camper and will go anywhere from the deserts to the beach and up the mountains there is nowhere this camper won’t go. Simplicity is the feature of setting up which only takes a few seconds and is a one person operation. Once the solid insulated roof is opened up the spacious interior is revealed. Inside there is seating and sleeping for four, 2 adults get a huge queen bed and the dining table folds down for second double bed for the kids. Inside you also find your kitchen with fridge, stove, sink, water tanks and storage cupboards. Active campers has been producing quality Australian made slide on campers for over ten years, with features C & M Campers Ezi Up Camper Model Ezi Up Model Price From $15,500 Sleeps 2 Weight 390kg dry Awning side Dimensions 2400 long x width of tray Construction Welded steel, Ally roof Roof Hard Kitchen Slide out Legs Yes with roof gas struts or electric Water Capacity optional Warranty yes www.cm-campers.com.au Here at C&M Campers we have designed the Ezi Up Camper to suit the needs of most people who want to reach all parts of Australia yet not tying up the tow hitch as some people just don’t like towing, and or getting into and out of some of those tight spots where towing isn’t an option. The Ezi Up Camper is set up within minutes, you are off the ground, you have plenty of room to stand and move around and get changed without having to go outside. On top of the long list of standard features the options are endless as everyone has different wants and needs, as every unit is built to order customising is what we specialise in at as minimal cost to you as possible. We can promise you that if it’s just the quick overnight stay that you’ll be set up within no time at all, it’s just a matter of undoing the four o/c locks, pop open the roof and slide the bed forward. It really is that Ezi. The Ezi Up Camper also comes with the side annexe for longer stays, and you can leave the whole lot set up while Explorer Campers Tray Back Explorer Campers and Canvas are manufacturers of premium, 100% Australian made, quality camper trailers, Model Price $17,900 and ute-back campers. Explorer Campers and Canvas are renowned for their personalised service, and honest and Sleeps 4 professional advice. Weight 300kg We manufacture both tray-back and well-back style slide on Awning Rear and Side campers. Both styles are manufactured from premium quality Dimensions To fit ute back or tray back 3mm marine grade aluminium, and first grade Australian made canvas. Weighing in at just 300kg, our innovative and Construction 3mm marine grade lightweight design allows for easy slide-on/slide-off from any aluminium Two pack finish dual cab or xtra cab tray back or well back on the market. Kitchen Standard The campers come standard with a water tank, 12V package, LED lighting, steel kitchen, fridge slide, and 8ft awning. Roof Canvas Beyond these inclusions there is an endless list of optional Legs Standard extras should you be looking for something a little different, such as zip on bedroom walls and floor, annexe, rear kitchen Water Capacity 53 Litres awning annexe, and further 12V/240V accessories. Warranty 24 month on tent, The campers can slide off and free-stand on adjustable legs 12 month on camper unit to allow for use of your vehicle easily and hassle free. A 24 Slide on camper that have come from customer input and personnel experience, we use and test our campers whenever possible. Active campers have other models to suit most Ute’s from single cab, extra cab and dual cab. Further info at www.activecampers.com.au or phone our friendly staff on 02 6649 2783. Slide on camper you remove the unit from your vehicle if you want to go for a day trip. For more info call Mick on 08 90454555. Slide on camper Model Explorer Tray Back Slide-On www.explorercampers.com.au 20 month warranty on the tent section and 12 month warranty on the camper unit is also included. When dealing with Explorer Campers and Canvas, you talk to the guys who build your camper from start to finish with no pushy sales people! Come and visit our factory/ showroom and talk to the guys who build your camper from start to finish. OzRoamer Directory Traymates Camper Model Mates Campers Traymate Model Price $24,750 Sleeps 2 Weight 400kg Awning Side Dimensions To fit tray back Construction Moulded insulated fibreglass Kitchen Standard slide out Roof Hard insulated fibreglass Legs Standard Water Capacity 95 Litres Warranty 12mth on camper unit www.traymatescampers.com.au Slide on camper Traymate Camper can be taken in serious off-road conditions, wherever your vehicle can go ”No Boundaries” Are moulded hand laid fibreglass using Nyderplast (Plastic Honeycomb) core. This has high impact strength and excellent insulation properties. It is designed to fit your traybback 4 or 2wd ute, in single cab or extra cab versions. Some lighter utes may require a suspension upgrades such as Airbags for serious outback treks. All hatch doors are lockable and the main door has a deadlock. Fridge and kitchen slides are Aluminium and stainless steel. Lifting legs, stove and sink are made in Italy. Fridge supplier is Evakool – made in Queensland and utilises a Danfoss compressor. PACKAGES: Outback: Base model includes 95Litre Water Tank, 1 Deep Cycle 12v battery. Internal /external LED lighting, double size innerspring mattress, 2x 12v internal power outlets, 12v Anderson plug for charging from vehicle. $24,750 Premium: Consists of all the Outback Model features plus, Australian roll out Awning, built in fridge slide, kitchen storage GT Campers Model GT Toyota Hilux conversion Model Price $13,990 (dual-cab mini-camper $7,990) on your Toyota Sleeps 2 Weight N/A Awning Rear wing Dimensions To fit ute back Construction Fibreglass and aluminium Kitchen Standard Drifta slide out Roof Canvas Legs N/A Water Capacity 70 Litres Warranty 2 years back-to-base www.gtcampers.com.au Slide on camper The GT Campers converted Toyota Hilux is Australia’s most capable and affordable outback/bush tourer. This low-profile, light and nimble vehicle and doesn’t restrict you in bushy or arduous terrain. When you arrive, set-up takes just five minutes and the exclusive GT Campers Bikini awning is self-supporting. It’s also the ideal tow car for fishing boats or dirt bikes and does double duty as a working vehicle during the week. Each GT Camper includes a slide-out kitchen with tap, wash-up basin and three-burner stove, 70L water tank, exclusive GT Campers strut-assisted lift-up Hard Deck and Bikini awning, GT Power Poles, pressurised dust resistance package, LED kitchen light, double-sized fold-over tent with storm fly/tropical roof, aluminium fridge cabinet with fridge slide, mesh equipment rack, lockable pannier storage, opentopped storage bin, in-tub tie-down rings, carpet, 3x12V power sockets, under-bonnet dual battery system and in-cab storage pockets. The GT Campers Hilux conversion includes installing a brand new vehicle tub to your presentmodel Hilux Single Cab (Work Mate or SR). Tray Trek Tailgater Model Tailgater models Model Price From $22,950 Sleeps 2 Tare 350 - 450kg depending on model ATM Ball weight N/A Coupling N/A Suspension N/A Brakes N/A Wheels/Tyres N/A Water Capacity 90 litres Warranty 12 months www.tray-tekcampers.com slide (not including sink and stove), 136w low profile solar panels, 3 x 12v outlets. $28,200.00 Ultimate: Consists of the previous packages plus, External Shower Module, zip up side awning, slide out kitchen module, Smev stove & sink, 2 x spare wheel carriers, Air-bag roof lifters with two way air supply compressor.$33,375.00 “When you have tried the rest...Buy the best” GT Campers is an innovative company and its tough, no-nonsense camper trailer and Toyota Hilux conversions are the result of three years of development by a team intimate with vehicle design and outback travel. Our exclusively engineered, Australian-made components have been tested over thousands of kilometres of Aussie conditions. Each GT Camper is built to order. Booking and deposit required. Prices are ex-Newcastle, NSW. Slide on camper Tray-Tek Campers are totally Australian designed and built. The Tailgater model slide-on Tray-Tek Camper has been designed to meet the needs of campers in all weather. The camper has an inside kitchen. A hard top, insulated roof is over the bed (no sleeping under canvas). All canvas is heavy duty and all windows/door have flyscreens. Built tough. Built strong, built light (all alloy construction), built smart. The unique design of a drop-down tailgate (hence the name Tailgater) and a full queen size bed, in all models, that automatically lifts up into the roof cavity, ensures a camper that provides a much larger and more useable space than our competitors. A table and chair features upstairs and the heavy duty canvas have flyscreened windows and door. A hard roof is above the bed. All models are adaptable to suit any tray size or can be custom-built to suit your needs. The heavy-duty jacks are integrated into the design and also act as tie-down points to attach the camper to your tray. LED lights, deep cycle battery, 90 litre water tank, side awning and battery indicator, are just some of the standard features of all Tray-Tek Campers. There is a choice of three models in our range, so no matter what your requirements Tray-Tek Campers have a model to suit your needs. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 21 OzRoamer Directory Travelander Evron DC1 Model Evron DC1 - Dual Cab Tray Back Camper Model Price From $20,000 Sleeps 4 Tare TBA Awning Rear Dimensions To fit Dual Cab tray back Construction Fiberglass outer shell Kitchen Slide out rear Roof Canvas Legs Standard manual wind down Water Capacity 120 Litres Warranty 12 months www.travelander.com.au The Evron DC1 - Dual Cab Tray Back Camper is designed for a family of three or more to create as much living and storage space for the average family when camping. Designed as a hard floor, (left hand) side folding camper, you can pull off on the side of the road and prepare your lunch without having to open the camper. Our dual cab camper is roomy inside but compact when closed. Even though it is the entry level it still features the exclusive automatic set-up aided by a remote control key ring. Packing up is just as quick and easy you don’t have to push the weight of the hard-floor camper lid closed; the camper does it for you. The sleeping quarters is covered by canvas and includes a queen bed with bed head storage and the hard floor area which also allows for further bedding, or internal table and chairs. The tropical roof prevents dew dripping on you and most important, it reduces the amount of heat from the sun. The kitchen sun shade protects you from Travelander Evron DC2 Model Evron DC2 - Premium Dual Cab Tray Back Camper Model Price From $34,900 Sleeps 4 Tare TBA Awning Rear Dimensions To fit Dual Cab tray back Construction Fiberglass outer shell Kitchen Slide out rear Roof Canvas Legs Standard manual wind down Water Capacity 120 Litres Warranty 12 months www.travelander.com.au The Evron DC2 - Dual Cab Tray Back Camper is the premium version of the Evron DC1. This model is fitted with a 12 volt electrical system, with 2 x 240 volt power plug outlets for your convenience. If you are not set-up at a powered caravan site, then you can use the generator to power this up instead. Solar panels can also be purchased, however this camper is fitted with a battery charger and inverter, along with 2 x 120 amp hour batteries, which are charged as you are driving. If you are standing still the batteries will generally last for up to 4 days, without the aid of a generator or solar panel. The canvas provided for the tent, annex roof and walls is made from a premier outdoor fabric which has been Dynaproofed to prevent sun penetration. The area that the canvas covers is to the sleeping quarters, which includes a queen bed and the hard floor area which also allows for further bedding, or internal table and chairs. This particular area includes a tropical roof cover, which prevents dew from building up and dripping on you from Travelander Evron SC1 The Evron SC1 - Single Cab Tray Back Camper is built for off road travel and will fit on the back of all single cab Ute trays. Designed as a hard floor, (left hand) side Model Price From $20,300 folding camper, you can pull off on the side of the road and prepare your lunch without having to open up your Sleeps 4 camper to access an internal kitchen. You can also open Tare 400Kg the hard floor sleeping quarters of the camper, anywhere and have a rest. Awning Rear Dimensions To fit Single Cab tray back This particular tray back camper model, is not only for the (budget conscious), but for those who already have Construction Fiberglass outer shell a great range of camping gear at home. This is fantastic, as your own camping gear can be used instead of Kitchen Slide out rear (optional) purchasing the other model; which already has every Roof Canvas necessary accessory on board. You can however, Legs Standard manual wind down purchase a combination sink and stove, to create a kitchen to the rear of the camper and other options. Water Capacity 120 Litres This model is roomy inside but compact when closed. Warranty 1 year Even though it is considered our budget camper it still www.travelander.com.au features the exclusive automatic set-up aided by a remote Slide on camper the sun if you are stopping and want to sit under the kitchen area whilst eating and resting. Perfect for those who want something modern, compact, lightweight and cheaper on fuel (no towing). It’s so easy to set-up, as there is no back breaking exercise of opening and closing the camper. Slide on camper inside the camper and most important, it reduces the amount of heat from the sun. This model like the others features an exclusive automatic set-up aided by a remote control key ring; which is a real treat for ease of setting up camp. Slide on camper Model Evron SC1 - Single Cab Tray Back Camper 22 control key ring; which is a real treat for ease of setting up camp. To sum it all up, the tray back campers are perfect for those who want something modern, compact, lightweight and cheaper on fuel (no towing) and easy to set up. OzRoamer Directory Travelander Evron SC2 Slide on camper The Evron SC2 - Single Cab Tray Back Camper (Premium Model) is built for off-road travel and will fit on the back of all single cab Ute trays. Designed as a hard Model Price From $35,200 floor, (left hand) side folding camper, you can pull off on the side of the road and prepare your lunch without Sleeps 4 having to access an internal kitchen. You can also open Tare 670Kg the hard floor sleeping quarters of the camper, anywhere and have a rest.. Awning Rear Dimensions To fit Single Cab tray back Fitted full of accessories, this particular tray back camper, has been designed so that you can pack up Construction Fiberglass outer shell and go anywhere for a weekend getaway or a long awaited travel holiday. Kitchen Slide out rear It has a 12 volt electrical system, with the allocation of Roof Canvas two x 240 volt power plug outlets for your convenience; Legs Standard manual wind down if running off the 240 volt power inlet. If you are not set-up at a powered caravan site, then you can use the Water Capacity 120 Litres generator to power this up instead. Warranty 12 months This camper is fitted with a battery charger and inverter www.travelander.com.au which are located inside the camper, along with two 120 Model Evron SC2 - Single Cab Tray Back Camper Elite Campers Model Elite Sprinter series Model Price From $6990.00 Sleeps 2 Tare 180kg ATM 300kg Ball weight Up to 30kg Coupling Std 50 mm ball or 360 degree for motorcycle Suspension 3 leaf spring Brakes optional hydraulic override Wheels/Tyres 12 in alloy 165/70/12 tyres Water Capacity N/A Warranty 12 months trailer & tent www.eliteproducts.com.au Emu Campers Model EMU Semi off Road Model Price $4,745 Sleeps Up to 5 Tare 400kg ATM 750kg Ball weight 40kg Coupling 50mm Ball Suspension Leaf Spring Brakes Not Required Wheels/Tyres 3 off 185x14 light commercial Water Capacity 70 Litre Roto moulded & fitted with Hand Pump Warranty 2yrs trailer & 1yr tent www.emucampers.com amp hour batteries. These are charged as you are driving along by the aid of an Anderson plug which you will need to fit to your vehicle. With ample storage and the provision of electrical and gas appliances you will be well equipped for a fantastic holiday getaway. Soft floor camper trailer Elite Products has been designing and manufacturing Elite camper trailers for motorcycles and small cars for over ten years. Our product is dual purpose, easy to store, lightweight but designed strong and can easily be positioned by one person. They are simple to erect and pack up with a queen bed and plenty of storage. Options include a 12 volt battery system, solar system and front storage pod to accommodate a fridge or an esky. The annex system can be added to create more space and extra annexes can easily be attached to create extra rooms. The mesh wall system for use in the tropics will allow maximum airflow and maximum protection from insects. All windows in the tent have internal and external window flaps and insect proof mesh. Our camper trailers can easily be converted to a cargo trailer by removing the camper body and installing the optional cargo lid. Other features are an all-aluminium body with a full hot dipped galvanized chassis, 12 inch mag wheels with radial tyres and easy to see LED tail and number plate lights. Why not hire and try before you buy. A four day weekend package for only $180.00 and if you decide to buy within three months we refund you $100.00. Call us on 1300 734700 and mention this article to get your special deal. Soft floor camper trailer Emu Camper Trailers is a proudly owned family business with over 40 years’ experience. We are pleased to announce the release of two Queensland designed Trailer Tents. A NEW 9/15ft. Quick Erect style, which enables the main Tent, including the inbuilt Tropical Roof, to be erected in under a minute. We also have a NEW 12/18ft Family Tent. Both Camper Tents are made from quality 15oz. (440gsm) canvas & include these special features – internal roof height of 2600mm designed to enable campers to enjoy our hot, rainy summers; front & rear doors; lots of windows; internal & external window covers; innerspring mattress & aluminium ladder; annex roof, walls & floor. Our Hot Dipped Galvanised trailers are made by Nathan Trailers in Brisbane. We stock 3 styles – Semi-off Road, Off Road & 4x4 Extreme. These trailers feature longer draw bars, large axle, 510mm sides, upright wheel carrier & swing out tailgates. Emu Camper Trailers carry a large range of Australian designed and manufactured Trailers and Tents built to go any distance – anywhere. We have a reputation for paying attention to detail to make your holiday in our great outdoors ultra-comfortable and hassle free for you and your family. Built “tough as” for the tough Australian conditions, our Camper Trailers and Tents come with a range of ‘included’ features that many other companies charge as extras. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 23 OzRoamer Directory Explorer Campers Lawson Model Lawson off Road Model Price $15,500 Sleeps Up to 6 Tare 820kg ATM 1500kg Ball weight 70kg Coupling Trigg Suspension Alko Outback Rebound Shackle Brakes Alko off-rd electric drum Wheels/Tyres 6 Stud 31x10.5/R15 Water Capacity 70 Litre Tank 80 Litres of Jerry Cans Warranty 24mth tent, 12mth camper www.explorercampers.com.au Explorer Campers and Canvas are manufacturers of premium, 100% Australian made, premium quality camper trailers, and ute-back campers. Explorer Campers and Canvas are renowned for their personalised service, and honest and professional advice. We offer a range of camper trailers to suit any budget, including the Blaxland On-Road (starting from $9,990), the Flinders Light Off-Road (starting from $11,990), the Lawson full Off-Road (starting from $15,500), and the Wentworth Supreme Walkup (starting from $29,990). All our trailers are made from duragal steel and zincanneal sides. We oven bake powder coat our trailers for a premium finish. All Explorer camper trailers come standard with electric brakes, brand new wheels and tyres, as well as jerry can and gas bottle holders. We use 100% Australian made Wax Converters Textiles Dynaproofed canvas. We list a range of optional extras in our brochures, as we recognise that our many customers have varying needs. The entire camper is sewn right here in our factory, and therefore you may customise your Jimboomba Camper Trailers Model Various Model Price $7,000 - $37,000 Sleeps 2 - families Tare From 425kg ATM Up to 2000kg Ball weight From 50kg Coupling various Suspension Leaf, independent, coil Brakes 10” electric Wheels/Tyres Various Water Capacity From 85 Litres Warranty 2 year structural www.jimboombacampertrailers.com.au Sleeps 2 Tare From 250kg ATM 750kg Ball weight 25kg Coupling 50mm ball or Tregg swivel hitch Suspension 5 leaf slipper or 5 leaf eye to eye or Independent Brakes Available on request Wheels/Tyres 14-17” or matched Water Capacity Optional 65L Warranty 3yrs tub & lid; 1yr others. www.podtrailer.com 24 camper to suit your needs. When dealing with Explorer Campers and Canvas, you talk to the guys who build your camper from start to finish with no pushy sales people! Come and visit our factory/ showroom and talk to the guys who build your camper from start to finish. Call us on 02 4322 8870 for your next adventure. Soft floor camper trailer JIMBOOMBA CAMPER TRAILERS pride themselves on building quality aluminium custom-built trailers which are designed with all types of budgets in mind. Starting with the On Road Maddison at $7850, which is a great entry-level trailer for on-road use, to the Light Off Road Condamine for $6500, or the Off Road Maddison for $8350 which gets you out on to the sand and into the bush. As the range steps up you come into the Staircase Range starting with the Maddison Staircase which is the entry level of the Staircase Range for $12,350 then up to the Explorer Staircase $14,400. These give you more space for storage and bedding. Then there is the flagship model, Excalabar, for $35,000, which is fully lockable, with compartmentalised sides and a staircase ready to go anywhere. Jimboomba has a camper trailer for everyone and if they don’t have an existing trailer to suit you – they’ll build it for you, just bring your ideas. We manufacture high quality aluminium camper trailers that live up to the conditions that this harsh Australian landscape throws at us. Aluminium does not rust, so it is an POD KWIK KAMPA Model Price From $6,990 Soft floor camper trailer excellent construction material that will provide many years of travelling around the countryside with the best camper trailer kitchen options available To view the full range, visit the showroom at 86-89 Anders St, Jimboomba Our website is www.jimboombacampertrailers.com.au, or phone Terry or Sue on 07 5547 8617. Soft floor camper trailer The Pod Kwik Kampa has an easy 60 second set up which is ideal for touring and longer stays. Leave the double bed set up for a quick getaways. 2m x 1.22m x 75mm supa foam mattress. No pegs required in overnighter set-up mode! Zip-on rear awning walls and optional swing-outside awning, Add side walls to enclose if the weather turns nasty. The Pod Kwik Kampa also has an optional 65 Lt water tank and rack options for bikes, kayaks, boats and surf boards. Kitchen options include 1. Weber Baby BBQ and clip-on sink tub stored in toolbox. Option 2 - Full length slide out rear kitchen with dual burner Smev stove and 4 legs for re-location. Starting at 250kgs and with its smooth aerodynamic lid, the Kwik Kampa is the most economical to tow camper on the market. Ideal for desert or beach trips or for those who are looking at saving on their fuel bills, or don’t want the annual running costs of large 4WDs. The tent is made of heavy duty 1000 denia polyester which won’t leak or get damp and mouldy when wet! “Just shake the due off and slam the lid. Done!” The tubs are roto-moulded in thick recycled polyethylene similar to wheel barrows and water tanks. No Rust or paint chips. Hot dipped Galvanized chassis and LED lights optional. Winner of Australian Plastic award 2006 ARMA. Designed and made in Australia. OzRoamer Directory Pod Touring Campers Model Pod Touring & Family Size Model Price From $7,990 Sleeps Up to 5 Tare From 280kg ATM 750kg Ball weight 25kg Coupling 50mm ball or Tregg swivel hitch Suspension 5 leaf slipper or 5 leaf eye to eye or independent Brakes Available on request Wheels/Tyres 14-17” or matched Water Capacity Optional 65L Warranty 3yrs tub & lid; 1yr others www.podtrailer.com Starting at 280kgs, the POD TOURING AND FAMILY CAMPERS are extremely economical to tow. Ideal for desert or beach trips or for those who are looking at saving on their fuel bills, or don’t want the annual running costs of large 4WDs. The tent is made of 8 oz Wax Converters Australian made canvas. The tubs are roto-moulded in recycled polyethylene similar to wheel barrows and water tanks. No Rust or paint chips. Hot dipped Galvanized chassis and LED lights optional. Double mattress or Queen size options. Double - 2m x 1.3m x 75mm. Queen x 2.02 x 1.5 x 75mm supa foam. Zip-on 2m x 4.2m awning with kitchen end wall as standards. Optional extra awning side walls or fly wire. Options include tropical fly, 65 Lt water tank and racks for bikes, kayaks, boats and surf boards. Kitchen - Full length gourmet slide out kitchen with large laminated bench top, dual burner smev stove, three large slide out drawers, swing up hand pump and wash tub. Southern Cross Bushmate Model Bushmate Model Price From $17,000 Sleeps 2-8 adults Tare 650kg ATM 2000kg Ball weight 95 kg Coupling Cruise Master DO 35 Hitchmaster Suspension Vehicle Components Independent Wishbone Brakes 12” Electric Brakes Wheels/Tyres Brand New 31/10.5/R15 General Grabbers Water Capacity 85 litres Warranty 2yrs on trailer, 5yrs manufacturers warranty on canvas Soft floor camper trailer Winner of Australian Plastic awards. Designed and made in Australia. Removable camper module to convert trailer back to handy tuff box trailer. On-road, All-road and Extreme off-road models available and tested in the harshest Australian conditions. Soft floor camper trailer Southern Cross Campers have been manufacturing camper trailers for over 30 years, and are highly regarded by travellers across Australia for their practical and tough design attributes born out of the personal experiences of our people and feedback from our customers. Manufactured using only the highest quality Australian made canvas, fittings and mechanical components by expert trades people we continue to develop products to reliably withstand all weather and terrain conditions encountered across the harsh Australian landscape. There are four models in our range, however the fact that we can manufacture a camper trailer to your specific needs, means that you can be confident in purchasing a Camper Trailer that is tailored for you and your travel requirements. With our trailers all 100% made in Australia to the highest standards of quality and workmanship in which we are renowned for, you can have absolute confidence in our trailers providing a home away from home wherever you may choose to go, time and time again. For further information on any of our trailers, visit our website at www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au or feel free to contact our friendly staff on 03 9729 5056, and they will be more than happy to assist you in your enquiry. www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au XTrail Navigator Model XTrail Navigator Model Price $19,980 Sleeps Up to 6 Tare 950 kg ATM 1400kg Ball weight 80kg Coupling polyblock Suspension Independent coil spring Brakes 10” Electric Wheels/Tyres 31x10.5R15 Water Capacity 108 Litre Warranty 3 years www.XTRAILcampers.com Soft floor camper trailer XTRAIL NAVIGATOR is a deluxe model with lots of fruits. Features independent suspension, electric braking with back up mechanical brake, kitchen, stove, 12v and 240v electrical, lockable storages, 108L stainless steel tank, slide out jerry can holder, lightings etc. Manufactured by XTRAIL campers in Australia with Australian Duragal RHS and Zincanneal sheet, the quality and workmanship are second to none on their price range. XTRAIL is a professional camper trailer developer, manufacturer and supplier focusing on developing heavy duty, high quality semi-off-road and off-road camper trailers and camper vans, as well as custom design and custom-made trailers of various applications for the Australian market. XTRAIL specialise in designing and manufacturing not only heavy duty off-road camper trailers, but also manufacture many of our own parts such as independent coil spring suspension systems, Nylon/Polyurethane bushed shackle spring hangers, stabilising legs, coil and leaf springs, electric brake backing plates and drum hubs. In addition to this, XTRAIL also manufacture our own accessories including stainless steel kitchens, stainless water tank, stainless gull wing box, Pure Sine Wave inverter chargers, switching power systems, the deluxe battery box and camping mats. All our trailers are designed, fabricated and manufactured in house, in Australia, which allows XTRAIL to have impressive quality control. We are capable of creating both custom made and standard design trailers of various types, not just camper trailers. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 25 OzRoamer Directory Camprite TL8sHard floor camper trailer Model TL8s Model Price $37,600 Sleeps Up to 8 Tare 950kg ATM 1350kg Ball weight 70kg Coupling Tregg Suspension Independent Trailing Arm Brakes 10” off-road electric drum Wheels/Ttyres 3 new 16’’ tyres Water Capacity 95 Litre Warranty 12mth on camper unit www.campritecampers.com.au The Camprite TL8s is a rugged, thoughtfully designed off road camper trailer that will appeal to families. Watching the Camprite TL8s being opened, you begin to realise all the normal terminology for describing campersside opening, rear opening etc. fails to adequately describe the TL8s’s unusual cantilever opening system. To toss down for the night is not a hassle with a Camprite, just park up, leave your vehicle hooked on and within a short amount of time, mum, dad and the kids are up off the ground in comfort, with beds made up. The end result is a comfortable and well separated sleeping arrangement for a family of four, or more with the addition of bunk kits. No ropes, poles or pegs, just a few simple steps and your accommodation is looking at you. Another benefit of this design is that everything is up off the ground and without any guy ropes. The TL8s also includes a swing out kitchen on tailgate with removable stove, sink with electric and hand pump, storage area and cutlery bag. At Camprite, we have designed our campers with the rough, rugged terrain of Australia’s vast outback, beaches and forests in mind. The toughness required, and soft ride that protects your belongings and allows you to get on with driving without being buffeted around, is provided by independent coil suspension, with parallel bearings, twin kings springs and quality shocks. GT CampersHard floor camper trailer The GT Camper was developed as a light, nimble, durable, attractive and – most important of all – fast-set-up trailer for Sleeps 2 adventurers who travel to a new location every day. Set-up and pack-up takes one person just five minutes. The GT Tare 660/700kg Camper’s compact, self-supporting, peg-free design means ATM 1100kg you can camp on any terrain, from solid rock to rolling sand, without searching for a large flat area. Ball weight 35kg (empty) Every GT Camper trailer features a galvanized chassis, Coupling Hyland off-road slide-out kitchen with tap, wash-up basin and three-burner Suspension Outback-spec leaf stove, 85L water tank, exclusive strut-assisted lift-up GT 45mm solid axle Campers Hard Deck and Bikini awning, double-sized flipBrake Override drums with handbrake over tent, aluminium fridge cabinet with fridge slide, mesh equipment rack, in-tub tie-down rings and carpet, LED Wheesl/tyres 16x7” six-stud steel kitchen light and 3x12V sockets. The tent doesn’t require with 215 section tyres ropes or pegs and the exclusive self-supporting GT Bikini Water capacity 85 litres awning sets up in seconds for shade during track-side lunch breaks. The Off-Road model features extra equipment * Warranty 2yrs back to base such as 16x7-inch off-road wheels and tyres; heavy-duty www.gtcampers.com.au suspension; pressure-fed dust exclusion system and gravel protection; pannier storage boxes and an off-road coupling. Price $17,500 - $19,990 The GT Campers tough, no-nonsense camper trailer and Toyota Hilux conversions are the result of three years of development by a team intimate with vehicle design and outback travel. Our exclusively engineered, Australianmade components have been tested over thousands of kilometres of Aussie conditions. Each GT Camper is built to order. Booking and deposit required. Prices are exNewcastle, NSW. Travelander GEO Convert 1Hard floor camper trailer Model GEO Convert 1 Model Price $33,800 Sleeps Up to 6 Tare 870kg ATM TBA Ball weight TBA Coupling All Terrain Suspension Independent Coil Brakes 10” off-road electric drum Wheels/Tyres Landcruiser Water Capacity 120 Litres Warranty 1 year www.travelander.com.au 26 GEO Convert 1 - Hard Floor Off Road Camper Trailer (Standard Model). These true off-road camper trailers have a robust and rugged chassis, which is constructed with 150 x 50mm beams, manufactured with lugs, scrub bars and other anchor points, before being hot dip galvanised so you can be assured of a safe and trouble free trip. The off-road camper trailer is fitted with our ever popular (automatic set-up) aided by a remote control key ring. It is extremely easy to set-up, as there is no back breaking exercise of opening and closing the camper. Packing up is just as quick and easy. There is ample storage in the front nose cone and the interior and exterior layout provides separate areas for sitting, dining and sleeping, as well as the shower cubical which is also attached to the (right hand - driver side), underneath the side annex roof of the camper trailer. The sleeping quarters is covered by canvas and includes a queen bed with bed head storage and the hard floor area which also allows for further bedding, or internal table and chairs. The tropical roof prevents dew dripping on you and most important, it reduces the amount of heat from the sun. The kitchen sun shade protects you from the sun if you are stopping and want to sit under the kitchen area whilst eating and resting. OzRoamer Directory Travelander GEO Convert 2Hard floor camper trailer Model GEO Convert 2 Model Price $48,700 Sleeps Up to 6 Tare 870kg ATM TBA Ball weight TBA Coupling All Terrain Suspension Independent Coil Brakes 10“ off-road electric drum Wheels/Tyres Landcruiser Water Capacity 120 Litres Warranty 12 months www.travelander.com.au This model is fitted with our ever popular (automatic set-up) aided by a remote control key ring. It is extremely easy to set-up, as there is no back breaking exercise of opening and closing the camper. Designed as a hard floor, (left hand) side folding camper trailer, you can open the hard floor sleeping quarters of the camper trailer, anywhere and have a rest during the day. Or if you are feeling like a snack, you can pull off on the side of the road and prepare your lunch hassle free, from the rear kitchen of the camper trailer. Fitted full of accessories, this particular tray back camper, has been designed so that you can pack up and go anywhere for a weekend getaway or a long awaited travel holiday. It has a 12 volt electrical system, with the allocation of two x 240 volt power plug outlets. Solar panels can also be fitted, however this camper trailer is fitted with a battery charger and inverter which are located inside, along with two 120 amp hour batteries. These are charged by the aid of an Anderson plug to the vehicle. The kitchen is located at the rear, which when open is sheltered from the sun, as the kitchen door when opened sits hinged on gas struts above your head. You are also supplied with a sun shade which protects you from the sun. Trak Trailer TvanHard floor camper trailer Model Tvan “Model Range” Model Price $34,900 - $49,300 Sleeps 2-4-6 depending on options Tare 840kg - 950kg ATM 1400kg-1500kg Ball weight 70kg - 150kgs Coupling D0-35 Suspension MC2 Asymmetric link Brakes 10” electric drum Wheels/Tyres 16” steel, 60/40 on/off rd tyres or customer spec Water Capacity 70L -140L in tanks + up to 6 Jerry cans 120L Warranty 3 to 5 years www.tracktrailer.com.au Track Trailer is an Australian owned and operated company that has been producing high quality off road camper trailers for more than 20 years. Track Trailer’s goal is to continually produce new and innovative products, which has resulted in the Tvan & Topaz becoming the bench mark in the serious off road touring. Our products have been thoroughly put to the test by the Australian military, air force, press and of course the thousands of Track Trailer owners. Track Trailer developed its exclusive MC2 Asymmetric Link chassis and suspension system from a “clean sheet of paper” to ensure it not only met the required specification but also took advantage of its potential to minimise the need for service and maximise the ease of controllability of the tow vehicle – trailer combination on rough terrain. Its distinctive trademark asymmetric links are another example of form following function and will no doubt be imitated, but the innovation that created them and applied them cannot be copied easily nor can the track record be granted to imitators. Track Trailer will continue to be proudly Australian owned and manufactured. It remains committed to working with its local suppliers to bring the best technology and insightful design to the market and will be particularly focused on the environmental impact of its products, increasingly addressed by enabling more fuel efficient tow vehicles to use them. Independent TrailersDealer Dealer Name Independent Trailers Brands Track Trailer Stock Available Tvan Sales Yes Hire Yes Accessories N/A Service N/A Finance Available N/A Open 8am - 8pm Mon - Sun Contact 0412 866 375 39 Eggleston Cres Chifley ACT [email protected] www.independenttrailers.com.au The Tvan, Australia’s most advanced, versatile camper trailer with MC2 suspension allows you to camp anywhere your vehicle can go, be it on the Canning or Cape York or the deserts and National Parks in between. Its compact, sets up in a few minutes, the skylights allow excellent ventilation and the large picture windows offer superb views of your surroundings. A solar panel and battery powers the fridge, interior lights and 12v outlets. Sleeping in comfort under a solid roof in a queen size bed and cooking from a stainless steel kitchen with running water you’ll want for nothing. The tent packs up away from the bed so no damp canvas on your pillow! The industry experts voted this trailer the Camper trailer of the Millennium and it won Off Road Camper Trailer of the Year 2010 in its class. Independent Trailers is a specialist operation with over 20 years of off-road trailer experience, established to meet the need for informed and knowledgeable comment on off-road camper trailer travel. We work from home so just ring to make a time for hands on demonstration, or try out the Tvan by hiring it first. We offer your hire fee (up to one week) as a rebate on a new Tvan if you order within a reasonable time. To arrange a demonstration of the Tvan or to book a hire ring 0412 866 375. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 27 OzRoamer Directory Ray Jordan AgenciesDealer Dealer Name Ray Jordan Agencies Brands Pod Trailer Stock Available Yes Sales Yes Hire No Accessories Yes Service No Finance Available No Open 8.30am - 4pm Mon - Fri Contact 0427574430 Unit 5, 6 Production Crt Toowoomba 4350 [email protected] www.rayjordanagencies.com.au We supply a range of pod trailers including the camper versions. As well as the trailers we have a complete range of accessories available for the manufacture and modification of trailers including suspension, lighting Internal and external, water tanks for trailers, utes and motor homes. The water tanks are made of food grade polyethylene, 6 to 8mm thick. Picture depicts a 65 litre tank mounted under a trailer. These poly water tanks are specially designed to be used for Utes, Trucks, Trailers, Campers and Horse Floats. They are available in various sizes ranging from 15 to 400 litres and most models are conveniently equipped with a hand cleaner bottle. They are made of UV stabilized food grade polyethylene. This formula makes them strong and able to withstand all types of weather. The heavy duty anchor points on all models allows these tanks to be easily installed on most vehicles Ray Jordan Agencies are distributors for a wide range of products in the automotive and RV industries. We specialise in: Automotive & RV Water Tanks, Blazalight Spotlights & Remote Controls, Emergency Lighting, Portable Fuel Tanks, LED Lighting for all types of Trailers, Trucks and RVs, Mine Flags, Rotating Beacons, RV Solar Power Systems, Spare Parts for all types of Cars, Trailers, Trucks and RVs, UV Rated Sun Protection Gear, Trailer Parts, Pod Trailers, Pod Compact Camper Trailers, 44 Gallon Drum Lifter. Autofridge portable fridgeAccessories AUTOFRIDGE Australia Pty Ltd is an Australian owned company that is now in its 24th year. The AUTOFRIDGE project began in 1986 after a prototype portable fridge was built to test out the eutectic refrigeration principle that had been used in the marine industry for many years. The first AUTROFRIDGE portable eutectic refrigerators for 4WD applications were produced in 1987 and the product quickly gained acceptance due to its exceptional efficiency and high quality. Today, the product is still hand built with the prime objectives being efficiency, reliability and a high standard of finish. In a conventional compressor powered refrigeration system the evaporator is mounted inside the fridge cabinet and makes everything cold when the compressor is running. When the compressor turns off, the fridge warms up. The system starts up again to bring the temperature down. This process continues constantly and is controlled by the thermostat - all very simple and in most cases reliable. Eutectic refrigeration is simply the use of a compressor-driven refrigeration system coupled to a cold storage device, i.e. eutectic tank (sometimes called ‘ice bank’ or ‘ice wall’). The eutectic tank contains a liquid which is chilled and frozen during the refrigeration cycle. This mass of ice housed within the tank is capable of keeping the temperature of an insulated box at refrigeration temperatures for long periods of time without running the compressor. When the eutectic tank or ice bank has thawed, the refrigeration system is run again to re-establish the ice bank. In a properly designed eutectic system the refrigeration system only needs to be run once or twice daily with very long periods between each run. It is not necessary to have an auxiliary battery just to run the EUTECTIC fridge. The advantage of the eutectic system is that the refrigeration unit does not need a power source on a continuous basis, whereas a conventional system must have power available at all times. For enquiries, contact us at E: [email protected] P: (02) 9316 9539 F: (02) 9316 9871 Hillbilly Camping GearAccessories HILLBILLY Camping Gear is Australian Made cooking equipment ideal to use anywhere from the backyard to the bush. Made from uncoated blue steel, all Hillbilly frypans, camp ovens cook stands and BBQs are made to last a lifetime of camping use with minimum maintenance required Hillbilly camp ovens have earned a reputation as the best camp oven cooking system available. The BushKing 12.5 litre is manufactured from spun blue steel, making this camp oven much tougher, harder wearing and easier to clean than cast iron alternatives. The unique design makes the BushKing a most versatile fireside companion as camp oven, frypan and saucepan. To heat the camp oven you can choose to use campfire coals, Heatbeads, dry sticks or the purpose designed Hillbilly KingCooker gas conversion for maximum flexibility in use across environmental and weather conditions. 28 Take a look at the range of accessories available (including baking trivet, vegie roasting ring, pot stand, gas conversion, carrybag and cookbook) and you’ll know it really is the most versatile camp oven system available. Check out our complete BushKing Kit packages. Dimensions: 12.5 litre, 415mm widest diameter - lid, Weight 4.6Kg The Hillbilly Cookbook - featuring 200 easy recipes to try out with your Hillbilly Camping Gear is written specifically for the Aussie camper, it is a must have to make your bush cooking a gourmet experience. Hillbilly Camp Oven Carrybag Manufactured from a tough heavy weight canvas the carrybag keeps your camp oven and all its accessories together and easy to transport. Weight 0.8Kg Now there is also a broad range of Hillbilly products that will add even more pleasure to your outdoor living experience. These include frypans, woks, cooking stands, tent pegs, tent peg puller, Billy cans, kettles, hot water boiler, BBQ grills, fireside spit, general camping accessories, etc. Contact us at: Hillbilly Camping Gear, 21A Kevin Avenue, Ferntree Gully, Vic, 3156. P: 0407 540 005 F: 03 8678 3931 E: s[email protected] OzRoamer Directory Korr Lighting 3 BAR CAMP KITAccessories Finally a new quality LED light ideal for camping, 4WD’s, caravans, boats and more! These weatherproof lights provide more than enough light to see what you’re doing at night. Installation is a breeze! This DIY kit comes with all the necessary cables, quick connectors and mounting hardware so you can install yourself in nearly all applications. Due to its aluminium casing and fully waterproof (IP68) LED’s, the Light Bar light is extremely tough. We back our product with a 2 year warranty. 30 day money back guarantee. You no longer need to pack the lantern/torch when camping. Never have to cook before it gets dark, No hot elements from gas lamps, Leave them on all night and it will not affect your battery, A dimmer switch is supplied so you can turn down the brightness in the kids room, All lights are IP68 rated, that means they will run under water, 50,000 hour life span, Power consumption being only a mere 0.5 amp per light bar means you could run this light off a normal car battery for 100 hours before the battery goes flat. FEATURES: 2 year warranty / 1 year commercial, Waterproof (IP68), 12 volt, 7.2watt per 50cm bar, 120 deg beam angle, 50,000 hour life span, Little to no heat, Durable / impact resistant, Massive 450 lumens per 50cm Light bar, DIY install, no electrician required 3 BAR KIT CONTAINS: 3 x high power 50cm Light bars, 1 x dimmer switch “The dimmers are on/off switches as well”, 1 x 10m quick connect cable with cigarette attachment, 1 x battery terminal clamps to cigarette adaptor, 2 x 1.2m cables with quick connects, 2 x 2.5m cable with quick connects 2 x splitter cables with quick connects, 6 x Velcro wraps for mounting, 6 x magnets for mounting 6 x zip-ties for mounting, 1 x reusable container, 6 x mounting Clips Contact us on Ph: 07 3801 8332 LiftTrax Recovery GearAccessories LiftTrax (originally called pillowtrack) is the ultimate gadget for anyone with a Truck, 4x4 or AWD vehicle. A drive-on device for when your vehicle gets stuck in sand, mud or other difficult terrain, this ingenious device rolls out of a small carrying bag and inflates to become mobile traction. Developed by 4x4 Enthusiasts Dan Hermann and Eyal Benjamin who are both engineers by trade. Made from a special reinforced fabric, LiftTrax are strong enough to support a four tonne vehicle by using the pneumatic power of trapped air, but are lightweight and compact enough to roll up into a small duffle bag. Therefore, with no heavy metal bars, no hard to store long plates and the extra advantage of being able to lift the vehicle not just give it grip, Their solution is one of the most versatile on the market. A fraction of the size and weight of metal or plastic boards used by off road vehicle owners to get unstuck, LiftTrax are a compact insurance policy against getting held back by Mother Nature. In addition, while other off road gadgets only work in specific scenarios such as mud, sand or rocks, LiftTrax are multi-purpose as, with their built in flexibility, they mould themselves to the shape or texture of the different terrain or obstacle. Another distinct advantage of LiftTrax is that they don’t just provide stuck vehicles with traction; they simultaneously lift the vehicle as well. Boasting twice the bursting pressure of the commonly known exhaust jack, LiftTrax raise the beached vehicle up and allow it to drive away. They even have a specially designed version for AWD SUV’s so owners can be adventurous with some comfort. Inventor Dan Hermann says “It’s an all-in-one device that is compact enough to keep in your vehicle at all times but big and tough enough to get you out of some really sticky situations.” “People are finding LiftTrax useful everywhere”. To get your LiftTrax in Australia contact Ian Oake and the boys at Opposite Lock Brookvale on (02) 9939 5133 or email them at [email protected] So Simple SolutionsAccessories Smarttouch induction cooker represents the newest development in electromagnet induction technology for home and kitchen use. Utilising the patented hi-flux conductor, Smarttouch will boil water 3 times quicker than gas and 5 times quicker than electricity. That represents a saving of 60% on your energy bills, and that’s a fact. Cool to touch, Smarttouch does not heat the cooker surface, just the base of the pot or pan on it by scrambling the molecules in its the base, causing rapid heating of the entire surface area of the base and ensuring an even distribution and heating of the food. The SmartTouch induction cooker uses electromagnetic energy to heat cookware made of magnetic materials (steel, iron, nickel or various alloys).When the cooker is turned on, the coils produce a high frequency alternating magnetic field. Each unit is equipped with a sensor that continually monitors the heat and temperature of the base of the pot. The power output will automatically be reduced if and when the sensor detects any overheating. If you forget to turn off your cooker, the heating zone will automatically shut down after a 2 hour period. The benefits of induction cooking: heats up food, cools down kitchens, totally portable, great for entertainment areas, caravans and motorhomes save space on carting heavy, bulky and cumbersome gas bottles, place a cast iron griddle on it, turn your induction into a barbeque, even in a total fire ban The advantages of using a Smarttouch induction cooker are: weighs just 1.5 kg, operates at 220-240 Volts and only 6.8 Amperes, uses only 2000 Watts, suits 2 kVA generators, wipes clean with warm, soapy water, is double insulated, it is a very healthy way to cook, uses 50% less fats or oils, snap locks the flavours and nutrients into food, comes with a 12 months warranty. Contact us at www.sosimplesolutions.com.au or phone us on (02) 9712 1022 Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 29 Power Vs Torque for towing Today we look at the difference between torque and power, what do all the figures mean and how do the differences actually affect your everyday driving towing. If you have a look at the table in our OzRoamer 4WD & SUV magazine you will see that power and torque figures are listed for every vehicle there. Now most of you know that both power (measured by horsepower or kilowatts) and torque (measured by Newton metres) play a role in performance but probably don’t understand exactly how or why. You will know intuitively that a vehicle that has a lot of power is capable of going faster than one that has less power, but why is that? To find out we need to go back to Isaac Newton 30 and his second law that proposes that if you multiply an object’s mass by its acceleration, you can calculate the force acting upon it. To start a vehicle moving you need to overcome inertia. We all know inertia, its that feeling that we can’t get started in the morning, so to move an object from rest takes energy. The amount of energy used to move that object is measured by multiplying force by distance. If you then calculate the amount of energy used over a defined time you have the measurement of power, expressed in watts. Multiply by 1000 and you have kilowatts. Torque is turning force, which for automotive applications is most often measured in either foot-pounds (ft-lbf) or Newton-meters (Nm) and represents how much twisting force is at work. Here’s a simple way to visualize torque. Think of this turning force applied through a lever to a wheel nut when you are changing a tyre. The more force you apply on that lever, the more torque you apply to the wheel nut, the more readily the nut turns. This measurement of torque does not include time; one hundred Nm of torque is always one hundred Nm, whether it is applied for five seconds or five years. So simply the difference between power and torque is that power involves the amount of work done in a given time, while torque is simply a measurement of force and is thus a component of power. Torque is actually a measure of the ability of an engine to do work. Power and torque are related by a simple equation: Kw = (Nm x r/min) / 9554 or Nm = (Kw x 9554)/rpm. So with the technical bit done, let’s move beyond that to some real-world examples. The initial energy that moves a car comes from an explosion of fuel in the combustion chamber. This explosion forces a piston down in a straight line, which pushes on a connecting rod and turns the engine’s crankshaft. It’s in this turning crankshaft where the twisting force of torque initiates. From there, the force is carried through a flywheel, transmission, driveshaft, axle(s) and wheel(s) before moving the car. We all know that a car moves from a dead stop in 1st or low gear, yet as the car’s speed increases, you must move up through the gears to maintain acceleration. This is because at low speeds the transmission’s gears work to transmit maximum torque from the engine to the wheels. You want this because it takes more force, or torque, to move a vehicle that is at rest than it does to move a vehicle in motion (Newton’s 1st Law). At the same time, once a vehicle is underway, you want less torque and more power to maintain a higher speed. This is because power is a measurement of work done and includes a time element (such as wheel revolutions per minute necessary to maintain constant speed). Since a gearbox changes the speed at which your wheels turn relative to engine speed, it either increases the torque at your wheels at a cost of speed (lower gears) or increases the speed of the wheels at a cost of torque (higher gears). Every engine has differing torque characteristics and the torque a motor produces is not constant. It changes with engine speed. Typically all motors start with very little torque, improving as engine speeds increase, and then peaks at some value before dropping off. A diesel engine produces strong torque at low rpm, but stops producing torque fairly soon and runs out of breath. A petrol engine produces less torque, but carries on towards a higher rpm. need to be revved as hard to produce the necessary power. Let’s have a look at some examples. The Mercedes Benz GL350CDi V6 produces a maximum 195Kw of power at 3750rpm and a maximum 650Nm of torque at 1,600rpm. That is not the full story though; depending on the application you may want the engine to produce maximum torque for a longer period. In the example the Mercedes Benz 350CDi V6 produces its maximum 650Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,400rpm. This is the torque band. You can also see that although the motor has a maximum 195Kw of power, it is able to produce that for relatively short period at higher rpm. You can see that the characteristics of the E350CGi are totally different. The lower the engine has its maximums, the easier the vehicle is to drive on a daily basis. Hopefully this column has helped a little. Engineers and scientists with much better brains than mine have written books on the subject of power and torque so this is just an introduction to help with the simple understanding of the concepts. However let me leave you with a pearl of wisdom: Power is what you read about, torque is what you feel. Therefore when towing a caravan you will need a vehicle that has more torque at low rpm to help get things moving, but as you are moving you want more power to keep momentum going. That is why diesels are ideally suited to towing as they typically produce most of their torque quite low in the rev band and as such use less fuel. The same often applies in off road situations where you are travelling at quite low speeds but require constant power. The higher torque at lower rpm means that the vehicle is better able to cope with tricky situations, as the car doesn’t Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 31 4WD vs AWD for towing Perhaps one of the most confusing areas of the 4WD and AWD SUV market is just what is the difference between them and what do these terms mean? The fact that the manufacturers often use them out of context for their marketing purposes means that the average buyer has little chance of knowing the difference. The most common misconception is that 4WD actually drives all four wheels all the time. Lets look at this a bit closer. Wheels must be allowed to rotate at different speeds as the vehicle goes around curves. A design that fails to account for this will cause the vehicle to handle poorly on turns, fighting the driver as the tyres slip and skid from the mismatched speeds. A differential allows the two output shafts to operate independently with different speeds. The differential distributes torque (angular force) evenly, while distributing angular velocity (turning speed) at variable rates. Each powered axle 32 requires a differential to distribute power between the left and right sides. This system handles extremely well, as it is able to distribute power evenly and smoothly; making slippage unlikely. Once it does slip, however, recovery is difficult. If the left front wheel of a 4WD vehicle slips on a muddy patch of road, for instance, the slipping wheel will spin faster than the other wheels due to the lower traction at that wheel. Although the amount of torque applied to each wheel will be identical, the amount of traction at each driven wheel will be limited to that of the wheel with the least traction. This problem can happen whenever a driven wheel is placed on a surface with little traction or raised off the ground. The introduction of a limited slip differential was one way of overcoming reduced traction but the more sophisticated traction control was invented to solve this problem. When one wheel spins out of control the brake is automatically applied to that wheel. By preventing one wheel from spinning freely, power is divided between the road for the non-slipping wheel and the brake for the slipping wheel. By extending traction control to act on all four wheels the simple three-differential 4WD design will see limited wheel spin. Locking differentials work by temporarily locking together a differential’s output shafts, causing all wheels to turn at the same rate, providing torque in case of slippage. This is generally used for the center differential, which distributes power between the front and rear axles. The two most common factory-installed centre locking differentials use either a computercontrolled multi plate clutch or viscous coupling to join the shafts, while other differentials more commonly used on off-road vehicles generally use manually operated locking devices. In the multi-plate clutch the vehicle’s computer senses slippage and locks the shafts. In the viscous coupling differentials the stress of high shaft speed differences causes a dilatant fluid in the differential to become solid, linking the two shafts. Some designs use gearing to create a small rotational difference which hastens torque transfer. When the front, centre and rear differentials are locked it’s the only time you have a true 4WD and that can only be for a short period in extreme off road suituations. A third approach to limiting slippage is the Torsen differential. A Torsen differential allows the output shafts to receive different amounts of torque. This design does not provide for traction when one wheel is spinning freely, where there is no torque. Finally, many vehicles entirely eliminate the center differential. These vehicles behave as 2WD vehicles under normal conditions. When the drive wheels begin to slip, one of the locking mechanisms discussed above will join the front and rear axles. Such systems distribute power unevenly under normal conditions and thus do not help prevent the loss of traction, instead only enabling recovery once traction is lost. Such systems may be described as having a 95/5 or 90/10 power split. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy for drivers to get confused by a barrage of acronyms, each more meaningless than the last. For most buyers, there are three basic options: part-time 4WD, full-time 4WD, or AWD. Part-time 4WD This most basic system provides a choice of settings that can be changed depending on your driving situation, but cannot be left engaged on dry pavement. If it is, the transfer case will wear, resulting in mechanical damage. The settings range from 2WD, 4WD High and 4WD Low. In vehicles that have part-time 4WD, each of the four wheels constantly gets 25 percent of the torque to prevent wheelspin when in the High or Low setting. In newer models, the driver can shift from 2WD to 4WD High while driving, but must come to a complete stop to shift into the 4WD Low setting. 4WD Low should only be engaged in extreme off-road situations. This type of system is best for people who really don’t need 4WD for everyday use only for off-roading. situations. AWD systems work well in SUV’s because they don’t add much weight and make them true all-weather vehicles. Take a look at what kind of driving you normally do. Once you determine what type of vehicle best suits your needs, you can assess what type of system you need to get the job done. In some cases it may simply be AWD, in others, you may want to consider a more robust 4WD system with a low-range option. Choose wisely and remember you don’t necessarily need a heavy 4WD to tow a small or medium campertrailer or caravan. Full-time 4WD Unlike part-time 4WD, full-time 4WD is just that, a system that can continually remain operating. This more advanced, convenient form of 4WD allows you to choose between all of the same settings, but can remain engaged while on dry pavement. Added to the High and Low settings is an automatic or full-time 4WD setting. As with part-time 4WD, the shift from High to Low must be made during a complete stop on most vehicles. All-Wheel Drive All-wheel drive is similar to full-time 4WD in that the system is always sending power to the wheels. There is however no low range option. When the road gets slippery, the AWD system locks the centre axle and automatically distributes power to all four of the wheels. Some AWD systems are more rugged than others, though most can’t be taken into extreme off-road Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 33 Towing Restrictions When you decide to tow a camper trailer there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. The first is the towing capacity of the tow vehicle and the tow ball capacity. The manufacturer of the vehicle will specify the maximum towing capacity of its vehicle and the maximum tow ball rating. Things to look out for are: • Sometimes different model variants will have different towing capacities within the same range. This is often dependent on the engine capacity etc. • Maximum towing capacities and tow ball capacities are often specified with heavy duty towing kits only. • Some manufacturers reduce the payload capacity of the vehicle by the weight on the tow ball. Nissan is an example of this where if you are towing, the payload is dramatically reduced for some models. • Some vehicles have a relatively acceptable towing capacity but a low tow ball rating which restricts the towing capacity anyway. The VW Tiguan is an example of this where it has a 2000kg towing capacity but only a 100kg tow ball rating. This makes it a poor towing vehicle. • If you exceed any of the payload capacity, towing capacity or tow ball rating you can place your insurance and vehicle warranty in jeopardy. Not many people realise that there are regulations in place for the national towing limits for light vehicles. The national towing limit was developed by the NRTC in consultation with transport agencies, motoring clubs, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, police, yachting clubs, caravan and other organisations. A motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) not exceeding 4.5 tonnes must not without the approval of an Authority, tow a trailer with a mass (including any load) exceeding: • The capacity of the towing apparatus fitted to the vehicle; or • A relevant maximum trailer mass specified by the vehicle manufacturer. 34 In the unlikely circumstance where the manufacturer has not specified a tow capacity for their vehicle or the limit cannot be identified, the following is taken to be the manufacturer’s limit for the purposes of the above: • One and a half times the unladen mass of the motor vehicle if the trailer is fitted with brakes; or • The unloaded mass of the motor vehicle, if the trailer is not fitted with brakes. It is unlikely that you will ever need to apply these regulations as almost every manufacturer specifies a towing capacity for their vehicles. The OzRoamer 4WD & SUV Guide has the towing capacities and tow ball ratings for 150 popular models. However alongside these regulations sits the regulations for trailer brakes. If the camper trailer has an Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) less than 750kg then there is no requirement for brakes on the trailer. If the ATM exceeds 750kg then the camper trailer must be fitted with brakes. If the ATM exceeds 2000kg then the camper trailer must be fitted with the extra security of breakaway brakes in the event the camper trailer comes loose from the towing vehicle. This last limit may change from state to state. The other restriction you need to be aware of is the towing speed. Since December 1998 all trailers can be towed at the speed limit for that particular road with the exception of Western Australia where the maximum speed limit is 100km/h for vehicles towing a trailer with an ATM of over 750kgs. Check your vehicle’s manual as some manufacturers place speed restrictions on a vehicle when towing over a certain weight or depending on what type of towing equipment is used. Spending a few minutes reading the trailer towing section in the owner’s manual is highly recommended. In 1989 Australian Design Rules (ADRs) were introduced which affect the construction and towing of trailers, including camper trailers. Currently there are no towing regulations, which specifically refer to ‘camper trailers’. The ADRs include the requirement for VIN plates on trailer drawbars, which amongst other information states the aggregate, or maximum, mass of the trailer and data on the towbar, which indicates the rating of that towbar. C Load – boat, timber, gas, water, food, clothing, etc; whatever you are putting in/on the trailer It should be noted that ADR 62 states that the rated capacity of the towbar. “Shall not exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations”. While there are rules, common sense also applies in the following ways: • The trailer really shouldn’t be bigger or heavier than the driver can safely control, • The total or laden mass of the trailer must not be more than: – The maximum mass (A.T.M.) determined by the trailer manufacturer and as stated on the trailer plate – The load rating of the trailer’s coupling of the towbar fitted to the towing vehicle, – The total load rating of all the trailer’s tyres. How Heavy Is A Trailer? Trailers are designed for a specific and maximum load capacity. Gross Trailer Mass (GTM) – the mass transmitted to the ground through the axle(s) of a trailer when the trailer is loaded. GTM = B + C A Tow Ball Mass – the vertical down force placed on the towbar of the towing vehicle Tow Ball Mass (TBM) or Ball Weight (BW) – the mass exerted onto the towing vehicle through the towing hitch TBM = A Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) – the total laden mass of the trailer. ATM = A + B + C B Weight on Wheels – the vertical down force transmitted to the ground through the trailer axle(s) excluding the load How Much Can A Trailer Take? Trailers can legally carry the difference between TARE and AGGREGATE mass specifications stated on the trailer’s registration compliance plate. LOAD = ATM – Tare Determined by trailer manufacturer based on: • Trailer construction • Axle load rating • Wheel and tyre load rating • Load Distribution Be mindful of the trailer’s centre of gravity: • Heavy items low and close to the axle or centre of the axle group • Light items only up high • Light items only to be placed in drawbar storage containers Tare Mass – the total unladen mass of the trailer Tare = A + B Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 35 TBM = 10% of ATM When trailer is loaded to ATM, a properly set up camper trailer will have about 10% of the ATM of the trailer on the tow ball, transferred to the rear of the towing vehicle This makes for safer towing. Loads can be carried more efficiently in a trailer: E.g. a 100kg load carried in a trailer would transfer only 10kg to the rear of the towing vehicle. Also you need to ensure that the vehicle and camper trailer when attached is level i.e. not with the rear of the vehicle sagging. This will often mean that you will need load distribution hitches. These are not suitable for off road camper trailers in off road situations though. If off road make sure you unhook them or you could do some real damage to your tow vehicle. Coupling system aids really shouldn’t be used to balance out a badly loaded trailer. If a trailer has a heavy mass at the front, then do NOT counter balance this with a heavy mass at the rear of the trailer – doing so will create a “bell” effect that dramatically increases the chances of trailer sway. • Reduces trailer sway – as speed increases the TBM reduces, therefore if it is already low, at speed the trailer will start to “float” which means it will be harder to control (has its own mind) Oversized Loads Loads should be confined within the trailer as much as possible. Where a load must project, it must: • Not extend more than 150mm beyond trailer’s width, or trailer width must not exceed 2.5m, whichever is less • Have a red flag, at least 300mm square, attached if the load extends more than 1.2m behind the trailer • Not exceed a combined (vehicle and trailer) length of 19m Dangerous Loads The Effect of Incorrect Loading The main guide to carrying dangerous goods is the Australian Dangerous Goods Code; however some states and territories have variations, as a guide: Incorrect loading effect can be: • LPG – store only in current service life gas cylinders • Front too heavy – puts too much weight on the towing vehicle’s towbar • Diesel – considered to be combustible, but not dangerous; must be carried in approved containers and in a safe manner • Rear too heavy – lifts weight off the back of the towing vehicle • Front & Rear too heavy – “bell effect” the trailer tends to “porpoise” The effect of an incorrectly loaded trailer on the towing vehicle: • Petrol – no more than 250 litres carried in AS2906 containers in a safe manner • TBM too heavy – overloads rear axle; lifts weight off front axle (we call this shooting possums with the headlights) A half empty fuel container of unleaded fuel is far more volatile than one that is full – it is the fumes that ignite easier. When storing dangerous goods on a trailer, ensure the container is: • TBM too light – becomes a zero TBM as vehicle speed increases (due to wind resistance) • Protected from road damage (stones thrown up by either the trailer wheels or the towing vehicle wheels). • Negative TBM – lifts weight off rear axle; transfers too much weight to front axle • Stored away from any other item which may rub or vibrate against the container • Zero TBM – has no effect on the axles of the vehicle, however leaves the trailer without direction • Secured using non stretchable tie-down straps The 10% Rule The Tow Ball Mass (TBM) should be approximately 10% of the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM). Having a TBM of 10% has two distinct advantages: • Positive trailer control – when the towing vehicle changes direction the TBM forces the trailer to follow the vehicle 36 Well hopefully this has helped with an understanding of the basics of trailers. Like all things, education is the key. If you are serious about towing a camper trailer make sure you know the restrictions and rules and abide by them to avoid costly mistakes. *Thanks to Julie Eggenhuizen of tow-ed for some of the information in this article. You can contact Julie on Ph: 1300 305 660 or www.tow-ed.com.au caring for your canvas For those who are looking at buying or who already own some sort of a camper trailer or slide on camper, you will come across canvas somewhere, somehow. It’s a material that has been used for many years, in truck tarps, touring tents, camper trailers and even in some caravans, the list goes on with its applications in the great Australian way of life outdoors. Buyers have the choice of many different types of canvas on the market, some which are all cotton, some which are all polyester and some a mixture of the both. It’s important to understand the differences in canvas and their different applications. The importance is whether you’re using the right canvas for the right situation, and if you are finding difficulties in use, then this article may help you know why. To the average person the world of canvas is something they probably never really have thought about, it’s there, you use it, you don’t touch the sides in the rain and hopefully you keep it clean, what more is there to know other? Well heaps actually! 100% all cotton canvas, is not used much in the RV industry any more, its history lies in the times before polyester came on to the market. Cotton canvas has a number of advantages There are a few different types of canvas but only one-way to care for it. Treated right, quality canvas should give the owner many years of faithful service. The first thing to know is that Canvas has come a long way in the last 5-7 years. The canvas today is vastly different to the canvas when you were a kid. Firstly, it’s a fabric that breathes; this allows the canvas to be used in applications such as tents etc. Secondly, cotton canvas helps the water proofing process because the cotton soaks up moisture or water. Unfortunately 100% cotton canvas also has some disadvantages, the main one being that 100% all cotton does not stand up to the harsh elements of the Australian weather and the life expectancy is shortened due to the breakdown of the fabric. You may still see all cotton in swags, where they’re not exposed to the elements for great lengths of time. 100% all polyester canvas is used in sunblinds & shades and outdoor structures. Polyester gives the fabric its strength and due to its all man made content it’s not susceptible to staining and mould. However it’s not a breathable fabric like the cotton or poly/cotton blends and using this type of fabric in a camper is like sleeping inside a plastic bag! The polyester & cotton canvas used in campers these days are usually a mixture of 50/50 poly/cotton blend or 65/35 poly/cotton blends. The polyester is for the strength and durability and the cotton is for the waterproofing and breathing aspect. The cotton will take up water, swell and sit in place. This combined with the waterproofing; waxing agents etc they place on their canvas makes it an ideal breathable waterproof structure if used correctly in the manufacturing of camper trailers etc. Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 37 accept that it’s really not necessary to use heavier canvas, even on the roofs, when you have a cloth that has all the same capabilities as the 15oz but you don’t have to break your back lifting or working with it. Now you need to go back a few steps in this article, the part where I was describing the poly/cotton canvas and how it behaves. If you have a camper trailer with new canvas work, and it is a poly cotton blend, you will need to “weather” it before heading out on your trip. Despite the pigment proofing and water proofing process the manufacturers put their canvas through, the canvas sewer will cut and sew the canvas, and in this process puncture the cloth with needles and join cloth-to-cloth, cloth to zips and cloth to binding etc. This all produces holes in the canvas. If you pierce a poly/cotton canvas with a sewing needle, the cotton will move back in to place around the thread once it has been taken up with water, the pure polyester canvas won’t. Much has been made of the weight of canvas with many manufacturers claiming different weights are better for different applications. To the normal person this is again confusing, so I’m going to focus now on the poly/cotton canvas and the 2 main weights of canvas used in the RV Industry – 15oz and 11oz. 15oz canvas is usually 50/50 poly/cotton blend; this weight of canvas has been used in the industry for many years. It is made by one thick single strand of canvas woven one way, one woven the other, then proofed by a substance that may contain rot proofing agents, UV stabilizers, water proofing agents and an acrylic binder. The material is usually placed in a bath of this mixture, the excess squeezed out and placed through a roller so the pigment proofing process penetrates the fibre. Once this occurs it is either dried or cured by rolling it over a hot roller twice or by a gas fired drying process, almost like a convection oven, depending on who the manufacturer is. All of these outdoor poly/cotton canvas products should have quality poly/cotton threads used as well, this again helps with the water proofing process when you have penetrated the material, even a zip! Any good canvas manufacturer of outdoor products will also use lock seams in areas of extreme exposure to the elements to minimise the risk of leakage. There are 3 manufacturers of canvas in Australia, Wax Converters, Bradmill and Defab. Two of these manufacture bring the base cloth in and then do the proofing process as described above, the other weaves proofs the base cloth here. There is some very fine canvas produced here in Australia, suited to our particular climate and temperatures, combined with the strength and durability and waterproofing needed to help us enjoy the great out doors in a very comfortable manner. That is not always the case with fully imported canvas. A good Australian manufactured canvas is legendary and for very good reasons, it’s developed specifically for Australian conditions. Australia has been producing canvas for canopies, tents, swags, and multitudes of outdoor covers and camping gear for many years and as a nation, we generally like to make sure as mentioned we get the most out of our investment. There is now product being imported in to the Australian market in the RV industry with canvas not produced here in Australia. Despite spending a lot of time researching on the Internet, the only product specifications I have found so far on it is it’s a poly/cotton blend, but documentation on the percentages, shrinkages, tear resistances and breaking forces, etc are a little hard to ascertain. We have yet to see how long this canvas maintains its integrity under our normal harsh Australian conditions. From what has been seen so far the quality of the canvas does not match what is produced here in Australia, and this opinion is not based on a patriotic bias but one from a number of manufacturers that have a long history of experience in the canvas industry working with the product. As with most things in this fast moving world we live in Technology has now caught up even with canvas.... The new breed of canvas is 10 or 11oz poly/cotton canvas. This starts life as an 8oz base cloth but once the pigment proofing process occurs it then becomes a 10 or 11oz. There are 2 manufacturers in Australia who use the base cloth as a double wrap, double weft. That is two strands woven one-way, two strands woven the other. This makes the end product, being tightly woven, just as strong and durable as the 15oz, just as waterproof as the 15oz but really half the weight. This particular cloth knocks on the head the “ heavier is better” belief, because it’s not necessarily so! In the old days the heavier the canvas the better the wearing capabilities but having this knowledge now may prompt some of the old school to 38 So you have taken delivery of your new camper trailer or slide on camper and are excited to get going. Before heading off on your trip with your new camper, it is wise as mentioned, to proof your canvas, as the canvas is not an un-touched piece of fabric, but a product that has been converted from a piece of cloth to a canvas structure. The final product should be wet down or proofed as it is called, dried between applications, and repeated 3 times. This is where the cotton component will take up the water, swell and sit in to place, this is especially important in the areas where the needle has penetrated the cloth. This is the best way to proof your canvas especially when combined with proper manufacturing of the cloth by using lock seams in positions where extreme exposure to the elements is likely. Despite the Australian manufacturers using an anti mildew agents in the final preparations of their canvas, mildew and mould problems will occur if you fold your canvas product away wet or damp. If you have packed your camper away damp/wet there is a general rule of thumb, that you have approx 36 hours to open it up again and air your canvas, even if the weather is still inclement. To open the camper or to expose the canvas to proper ventilation will prevent the mould process taking hold, but in saying that mildew can start while the camper is set up for no apparent reason as well. Unfortunately mould is very destructive to the cotton component to the canvas as well as other materials, and will decrease the life expectancy of the canvas and may impinge on its integrity. So what to do if mould is found? Open the canvas product to its full extent, place in a spray bottle, a mixture of bleach and water, 1:20 ratio, one being the bleach to 20 parts water. Spray the affected area and either hose off immediately or let dry and gently brush off with soft brush, do not have a stronger concentration of bleach. If you have enjoyed a camping spot amongst many of our bird life and they have left their calling cards on your roofs, then these droppings will also have an effect on the canvas, it is wise to remove them at your earliest convenience, by simple water and a gentle brush. DO NOT use detergents on your canvas, as this will remove the water proofing aspects of your canvas. 39 Dirty marks and stains on your camper? These will be a normal part of your camping adventures, those who will accept this won’t worry about a camper demonstrating where its been, but it is wise to hose down your camper when you get home, this will remove any major dirt stains, or animal droppings, or leaves left on your roof which will decompose and again degrade the canvas. Gently brush off after drying any remaining stains with a soft hearth like brush, but do not in any circumstances, as mentioned before, use detergents, this will remove the water proofing agents. If by chance you have done this prior to reading this article, you may need to re-spray with a waterproofing agent, the area you have used detergent on to regain its waterproofing integrity. Finally, when storing your camper away, make sure you’re 100% positive the canvas is thoroughly dry, and if you’re in a position to leave the cover slightly ajar, this may help with preventing mildew in high humid areas. There is no better return on your investment than buying a great quality canvas. Follow these steps to look after it and it will give you many years of wonderful memories, and you should be able to pass it on to the next generation. A to Z manufacturers camper trailers & slide on campers Camper Trailer Manufacturers Bushmate Campers ABL Campers QLD About Fabrication QLD Ace Campers Adventure Campers NSW SA All About Camper Trailers NSW All Terrain Campers NSW Aluminium Trailers QLD Armadillo Campers QLD AT Campers Atrek Campers Aussie Road & Trak WA QLD VIC Aussie Swag Campers QLD Aussie Teardrop Campers QLD Austrak Campers QLD Australian Custom Campers QLD Australian Off Road Campers QLD Avan Campers VIC Bayside Campers QLD Belco Custom Trailers QLD Bell Canvas NSW Best Campers QLD Bilby Camper Trailers QLD Blue Tongue Campers NSW Deluxe Campers Bushranger Campers VIC Desert Edge C&M Campers WA Desert Sky Camel Campers QLD Detour Campers VIC QLD SA QLD Cameron Canvas SA Dingo Campers VIC Camplet Campers SA Downunder Campers WA VIC Campomatic NSW Eco Camper Campapack NSW Elite Campers QLD Camp in Comfort QLD Emu Campers QLD Mod Con Campers QLD Explorer Campers NSW Camprite Campers WA Evolution Campers QLD Cape York Trailers QLD Evo Pod QLD Castaway Campers QLD Ezy Trail Campers VIC Castle Campers QLD Far and Wide Campers VIC Casuarina Campers VIC Flying Fish Campers QLD Cavalier Campers SA Follow Me Campers WA QLD Central Coast Campers NSW Freedom Campers Champion Campers NSW Galaxy Campers WA Getabout Campers NSW NSW Great Aussie Campers NSW Country Campers NSW GIC Campers NSW Complete Campsite NSW Goldstream Conqueror Campers QLD Golf Caravans QLD WA GT Campers NSW Challenge Camper Trailers SA Clarkes Country Campers Coromal Caravans Cub Campers Customline Campers 40 QLD NSW QLD VIC Gulf King Campers QLD Hans Trailers QLD Heaslip Campers SA South West Trailers WA C & M Campers WA High Rise Campers VIC Southern Cross Canvas VIC Davsher Campers VIC QLD Hunt & Rover NSW Superior Campers WA Detour Campers Imagine Campers NSW Sunset Campers VIC Escape RV Glide On Swagman Offroad Campers WA Evolution Campers QLD QLD Explorer Campers NSW VIC Freedom Northstar NSW Gadabout Campers QLD Indigo Campers Innovan Campers Jayco VIC QLD VIC Sweet Az Campers Tambo Campers NSW 3Dog Campers Jimboomba Campers QLD Tanami Trailers Johnos QLD Thommos Campers QLD Heaslip Slide On Campers SA Jellybean Campers NSW VIC WA GT Campers NSW Kanga Campers NSW Tough Country Trailers QLD Highrise Off Road VIC Kimberly Kampers NSW Towtel Campers QLD Innovan Campers QLD VIC Islander Campers TAS QLD Kanga Campers NSW VIC Mates Campers WA Metal Form Industries VIC Liberty Campers SA Trak Trailer Lifestyle Trailers QLD Trakabout Trailers Limit Seeker Campers QLD Trailer Made Campers Long Point RV QLD The Trailer Shop Making Tracks Campers QLD Trak Shak QLD NSW Millard Caravans NSW Mario Campers NSW Travel Bug Teardrop QLD Mustang Campers Marlin Campers NSW Travelander QLD North Star Campers NSW Trek Leisure Camper Trailers QLD Naked RV Slide On QLD Tru Blue Campers VIC Outback Campers VIC TP Camper Trailers QLD OzCape Slide Ons QLD Pacific Aluminium Trailers QLD Market Direct Campers QLD Mountain Trail Campers NSW Obriens Campers Opal Trailers Outback Trailers VIC QLD VIC Ultimate Camper Trailers Vacation Campers QLD Piggyback QLD QLD Roswal Trailers QLD NSW 3Dog Campers NSW Outlaw Camper Trailers QLD Vista Campers Ozzie Off Road QLD Wallaby Trak Canvas Pacific Aluminium Trailers QLD Wandering Star Pam Trailers VIC Weekender Camping Trailer Pod Trailers VIC QLD Poly Campers Pinnacle Campers VIC Pioneer Campers WA Quality Campers WA Hooked on Campers VIC Ranger Campers VIC NSW WA VIC West Lat Campers VIC Travelander QLD Wilmax Fabrications SA Tray Trek Campers QLD X Trail Campers VIC Traymate Campers WA Trayon Slide on Camper Manufacturers Utility Campers VIC Waymark Campers NSW NSW Wedge Tail NSW AHA Piggyback Camper NSW Wilmax Fabrications SA Wombat Conversions VIC VIC Auslide Campers WA Aussie Eagle Campers QLD QLD Custom Body Builders NSW SA VIC Active Campers Red Rock Campers Sar Major Campers Turtleback Campers NSW QLD NSW QLD Ace Campers Red Hot Campers Roo Camper trailers QLD Trailblazers NSW Robust Campers Top Form slide on QLD Redback Campers Red Track Campers QLD Carryvan Slide Ons Carry me Camper VIC QLD SA Guide to Slide On Campers & Camper Trailers 41 PTH0326 Ti model shown There’s no better way to ﬁnd your own path than with a Nissan Pathﬁnder. And we’ve ﬁlled it up for you. To start with there’s the upgraded 2.5 litre turbo-diesel engine that produces an awesome 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque. * iPod is a registered trade mark of Apple Inc. That gives you a 3,000kg braked towing capacity. It also gives you reduced fuel consumption and emissions. All models feature Bluetooth®, the versatility of 7 seats, and the additional safety of Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). Nissan Pathﬁnder. Find your own path. The ST-L model offers 6 airbags, Intelligent Key, leather seat trim, reversing sensors, plus heated and electrically adjustable front seats with driver seat memory. While the top of the line Ti adds Sat Nav, reversing camera, music box hard drive and full iPod* connectivity. So whether your path leads to the beach, the mountains or the outback, make your ﬁrst trip to nissan.com.au/pathﬁnder or your Nissan Dealer. ToughR.com.au When it comes to power and safety, the stronger the better. With class-leading power and torque, the award winning Santa Fe R’s advanced R-2.2 turbo Diesel engine has plenty of muscle. The new seven-seat Santa Fe R is stronger and more equipped than ever. • Push button start ° • 6.7L/100km* • 145kW of power • iPod® connectivity • Rear-view camera† • Electronic Stability Control • Up to 1,200km on a single tank* • 436 Nm of torque^ MAKES TOUGH LOOK EASY 2010 Wheels Gold Star Car Winner for Best Medium SUV awarded for Santa Fe Elite. *Source: ADR 81/02 static laboratory combined average city & highway cycle test for manual. ºAvailable on Elite and Highlander models only. HMCA2933/FPC/OZR †Available on Highlander models only. iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. ^Automatic.
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