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