ON- ROAD VER­SUS OFF-ROAD

Are you want­ing to pur­chase your first camper trailer? HWK rounds up the things you should take into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Caravan, Camping and Holiday Parks with Kids - - Front Page -

Which camper trailer is right for you?

S o, you’re think­ing of buy­ing a camper trailer for the fam­ily. Fan­tas­tic! You are about to en­ter a world of com­fort­able, con­ve­nient camp­ing that will haveave you want­ing to hook up the trailer ev­ery Fri­day evening af­ter work so that you can es­cape for the week­end.

Like many be­fore you there is prob­a­bly a host of ques­tions that you’re fever­ishly seek­ing an­swers for to help aid the de­ci­sion-on­mak­ing process. What brand is the best? Iss a 10oz can­vas okay for the roof? Do you re­al­lylly need a huge tool box on the front draw­bar? What are the ad­van­tages in the dif­fer­ent types of cou­plings? And, the most pop­u­lar, where can I go to get all these an­swers with­out hav­ing to do a thou­sand Google searches… that may or may not be cor­rect?

Well, we’ll at­tempt to knock over a few of the most pop­u­lar ques­tions in the next cou­ple of pages.

First things first Your first de­ci­sion when it comes to choos­ing a camper trailer has noth­ing to do with a brand name, where it’s built or how much it costs. Be­fore you get to this stage you need to know what type of camp­ing you will be do­ing and where you’ll want to go.

When we say ‘type’ of camp­ing, it’s re­fer­ring to whether you are look­ing to head off on ma­jor high­ways and sealed roads for 99 per cent of your jour­ney, and stay in car­a­van parks with pow­ered sites and bath­rooms, or whether you wish to head off the main roads and into the Aussie bush, crawl­ing along rocky and rut­ted dirt tracks, spend­ing end­less hours driv­ing cor­ru­ga­tions, maybe do­ing some sand driv­ing along the beach or through the desert, and camp­ing in prim­i­tive bush camp­sites with no fa­cil­i­ties.

In short, you need to know if you’re af­ter an ‘on-road’ or an ‘off-road’ camper trailer, and what fea­tures (such as the type of cou­pling, a plumbed wa­ter tank, 12V power set-up, etc) are a ne­ces­sity to en­sure you have a safe, com­fort­able and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. You also need to con­sider how long (on av­er­age) you will want to go camp­ing for each time. If you’re mostly out for week­end or one-night trips, or em­bark­ing on a big lap around Aus­tralia and hop­ing to wake up in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion ev­ery morn­ing, then you’ll want a quick (10 min­utes or less) set-up and pack-up time. Many camper trail­ers can re­quire a solid hour or more for a com­plete set-up and this may be fine if you are camp­ing for two weeks in the one spot… but it is a pain in the neck when pack­ing up ev­ery sec­ond day. If an on-road camper will suit all your needs, these con­sid­er­a­tions are a good start­ing point:

COU­PLING A stan­dard 50mm ball cou­pling will be all you need for tow­ing on-road. Don’t worry about the ex­tra ex­pense of up­grad­ing to any­thing else.

TYRES Stan­dard road tyres (the same as on your car) are the best choice. Big­ger tyres with ag­gres­sive pat­terns will just cost you more money for no ad­di­tional ben­e­fit.

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