How to Pick the Right Camper Trailer | Types | What to Look For Camper Trailers

What more could you want than having to enjoy a beer, while you’re comfortably sitting by the creek and your feet caressed by the flowing waters of nature? Well, maybe the right camper trailer will provide you everything you’ll need to achieve the best holiday you’ve ever wanted.

Camper trailers differ in structure, size and comes with a multitude of features that you may choose from depending on where will it be used and of course on how much you are willing to spend. Camper trailers are very popular and mostly recommended for off-road use however, lightweight camper trailers can also be convenient for on-road (bitumen) use.

Another great part of buying a camper trailer is having to add additional features that may help your journey be more convenient such as waterproof pull on cover, heavy duty hard floor, high density mattresses and even self sufficient camper trailers. 

However, note that adding new features may affect the overall weight of the camper trailer and may also change the towing capacity of your current vehicle.

Ready for more Camper Trailer information? Let dive in unto why a camper trailer is perfect for your camping needs!

What Are the Things to Consider When Buying Camping Trailers?

Chassis:

The quality of the chassis is critical and must be able to handle tough road and weather conditions, especially when it is intended for off-road use.

In compliance with Australian Standards (AS) and Australian Design Rules (ADR), chassis manufacturers use hot-dip galvanizing, box tubing or RHS (Rectangular Hollow Section) steel. 

Although RHS is tough and has good wear resistance, you also have to consider its wall thickness. Make sure that there is a full chassis under the camper trailer and includes rear stabilizer legs that are easy to put together.

Some more recent model campers involve snatch points or heavy duty hooks which enables the trailer to be pulled from behind with a winch or snatch strap.

You may also find varieties of coupling choices that include on road ball coupling and the Treg and Hyland Hitches.

See article – Coupling (What is a Coupling)

Rims & Tyres:

A good quality tyre is very important to the performance of the camper trailer. The tyres should be inflated correctly as the air inside controls the weight a tyre can handle as well as adds to the balance of the trailer on the road.

 Inflation pressure of the tyre should be checked regularly and specially when the tyres are ‘cold’ since under inflation can cause heat to accumulate and weaken your tyres. Cover the spares to protect them from exposure to the sun and UV rays to avoid cracking. Make sure that the wheels are balanced which reduces tyre wear and that there is enough tread on the tyre for good suction.

Trailer manufacturers will usually put a standard tyre but provides an option to upgrade to a light truck or all terrain (A/T) tyre which have deeper tread depth, heavier side wall gauge and more belt cord wire and plies which ensures longer tyre life, damage resistance, maximum inflation pressure and maximum load capacity.

Check your spare tyre before leaving since the tyre pressure will need to be reduced when travelling on sand, stony ground or corrugations.

Staun Tyre Deflators or an ARB E-Z Deflator are convenient to have to easily enable the tyres to deflate to the recommended psi and stop. Owning a good 12V portable air compressor would also beneficial for effortless reinflating of tyres.

See article – Tyre and Wheel Bearing Maintenance

Suspension/Springs:

A closed double eye leaf springs is a common form of suspension that is made up of several leaves stacked on top of one another in layers that are joined together and attached to a beam axel with U bolts. This type of suspension is easier to repair and the inter-leaf friction provides moist that avoids the need for shock absorbers.  

 Some camper trailer manufacturers recommend the use of shock absorbers to leaf spring suspension while others market a variety of independent suspension with heavy duty springs and shock absorbers.

Al-KO produce a Independent Rubber Suspension (IRS) axle which has self-dampening feature with options for galvanizing and zinc-plating, salt-water protection and special mounting brackets that allow axle adjustment to achieve flawless balance and nose load.

Always check your camper trailer suspension and wheel bearing before leaving, especially when you are considering a long trip into remote areas.

Stoneguard:

Stoneguards are usually a metal frame fixed to the draw bar with a covering usually made from a Breezeway mesh material to prevent chipping, avoid dents to the body of the camper trailer and protect the front of the camper trailer from stones flicked up by the tow vehicle.

Body:

The main body of the camper trailer are wide and varied but will always depend on your preference if you wish a hard top or soft top camper trailer.

Camper trailers comes with either a soft floor or a hard floor wherein hard floors are better for creek crossings as long as the openings are perfectly sealed to prevent water and dust from entering. Soft floors should be made out of PVC to keep the water from going in.

For the tent part, most manufacturers use either 10 oz, 12 oz or 15oz canvas, heavy duty zippers and fly screened windows for durability. The canvas should be waterproof and treated so it would prevent mold build-up. Similar with a canvas tent, give the canvas a wet down once or twice a year and let it dry out to make it more waterproof and always check to see if the canvas is dry before storing your camper trailer. If you prefer more cover, an awning can be added or a screen room to protect you from insects.

The camper trailer bed is usually Queen Size and the mattress is either foam high density foam or an inner spring mattress which can be lifted to access the compartment underneath. 

The kitchen can be a hinged type which swings out or a pullout/slide out type depending on your preference. The sink and cook tops are made out of stainless steel which makes them more buoyant. 

For the rear of the trailer, you may choose whether you would go for drop down stabilizer legs or corner stabilizer jacks.

‘Ultimate’ and ‘Tvan’ off-road campers are unique camping trailers offered in the camper trailer market.

Camper Trailers – Features and Options

Chassis & Suspension

  • Various lengths, heights, trailer box depths & widths
  • Matching wheels and tyres to your tow vehicle
  • Galvanised hot-dip chassis
  • Leaf shackle springs or Trailing arm coil/independent suspension
  • Independent coil springs with integrated bump stops and travel limiters
  • Shock absorbers
  • Off-road swivel coupling
  • Extended drawbars
  • Wiring to enable charging of the battery from the tow vehicle whilst travelling
  • Swing up jockey wheel
  • Park Brake/ Electric brakes/electronic disc brakes upgrade
  • Rescue tow hooks

Body

  • Pole/ Bicycle/ Motor/Boat Trailer carriers
  • Stone guard
  • Spare wheel mount
  • Tailgate and kitchen door dust/water seals
  • Lockable tool boxes
  • Gas bottle/s
  • Jerry can holders
  • Water tanks/ with lockable filler/ pump
  • Boat racks
  • Solar panels on the hard top roof or roof rack
  • Wind down jacks or drop down stabiliser legs
  • Lockable swing out or Slide out kitchen
  • Further external storage compartments
  • LED tail light and number plate light
  • Mudflaps
  • Fridge/freezer lock out sliding drawer system with 12V/230V power supply

Tent

  • Insulated hard top roofs or Waterproof pull on cover
  • 10 oz, 12 oz or 15 oz canvas tent
  • Heavy duty zippers
  • ‘Free standing’ tent designs
  • Canvas awnings
  • Flymesh annex
  • Screened windows

Inside

  • Fire extinguisher
  • 230V /12V power points
  • Water tank level gauge
  • Lighting/LED Flexi-Strip lighting
  • Battery system and charger
  • Steps to bed area
  • Foam or inner spring mattress
  • Stainless steel sink with hand pump or 12V electric water pump
  • Cutlery drawer
  • Stove top burners and grill

Types of Camper Trailers

There are different kinds of camper trailers that you can choose from. Here we list down some of the different types that would fit your needs:

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are family friendly trailers that are made with a variety of options such as murphy beds, outside kitchens, and four season covering perfect for a small family or a couple’s getaway.

Fifth Wheels

5th Wheels are trailers that provides home-like comforts as it comes with a fully equipped kitchen that includes a refrigerator, microwave, oven and also floor plans that contributes additional space. It also has a bedroom, bathroom, washer and dryer hook-ups excellent for a family trip. See more information in this article: Everything You Possibly Need to Know Before Buying A Fifth Wheeler

Toy Haulers

Toy Haulers are perfect for outdoor sports enthusiasts as it allows you to bring your motorcycles, bikes and other vehicles.

Pop Up

These trailers can be towed easily as they are foldable and light and can house up to 6 people. You can find more information about Pop Up Campers and more here: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Slide-On Camper

Truck Campers

These trailers also offer plenty of amenities such as sofa, bed, kitchenette and does not need to be towed as it is attached to the bed of a truck which makes it more manageable while on the road.

Class A Gas

These are coaches or also called as “motorhomes” that provide a home-like experience, offers plenty of basement storage for bagages and have enough power to tow a small vehicles.

Class A Diesel

These are motorhomes similar to Class A Gas that provides many household amenities but are more luxurious and are usually equipped with more than one bathroom.

Class B

Class B are motorhomes that gives you flexible amenities that will allow you to maximize the space and is perfect for touring.

Class C

Class C motorhomes are perfect for bigger families as it provides plenty of space and have enough power to tow along a car.

For more detailed features of these trailers, see article – Compare RV Types

What are some of the best manufacturers of camper trailers?

There are a whole lot of different camper trailer manufacturers and it might be confusing to choose which to look at. We list done some of the best manufacturers that we think you would also like:

Patriot Campers – Although Patriot Campers are still new to the industry, they have won the Camper Trailer of the Year in Australia for 4 consecutive times because of the quality of their camper trailers and their off-road camper trailers.

Zone RV – offers modern designed camper trailers with a 100% timber and canvas free hard body which contributes to impact resistance and unparalleled insulation. They also offer an easy set up which is ideal for first timers.

Rhinomax Campers – makes camper trailers differently as they offer custom built designs depending on your preferences, and they also offfer 3D modeling software. 

Cub – Cub is also well known for their off-road camper trailers that can withstand harsh environment conditions. They specialize on light towing camper trailers as well as camper trailers that are easy to set up.

Swag Camper Trailers – are well known for their hybrid and light weight camper trailers. They provide one of the best custom made camper trailers in Australia.

Related Questions

Which type of camper trailer can be installed with satellite for watching television while on a trip?

Motorhome trailers are the best trailers to set up your televisions as they are the most steady ones which will prevent your equipment from too much movement. Although, you may also install television sets on the other trailers, however, you may need additional equipment to make sure that your appliance will stay in place.

What other tools are essential to have in case the trailer needs a repair while on the road?

Aside from the tools that have been mentioned above, you should always bring the basic car tools such as torque wrench, pliers, screw drivers, drill with bits and other essential tools that are needed to repair vehicles in case there’s an inconvenience along the way.

 

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