Frequently Asked Questions - Australian Camper Trailers

All You Need to Know About Camper Trailers in Australia

Owning a camper trailer can be quite a thrill for anyone who enjoys getting out for unique camping experience. If you love camping you may have thought about upgrading your current holiday accommodation, one of the best ways of doing this is to buy a camper trailer. For some people, owning a camper trailer is more than something that is only used on rare occasions, but rather it is a lifestyle that should be fully embraced. Are you looking to try out campers yourself? There are a lot of things to consider before you purchase a camper trailer of your own.

–  Can you use it with your current car?

–  Are there safety issues that you need to check before going on a trip?

–  What is the best approach to customising a trailer to your personal preference?

We have created a list of the most frequently asked questions on camper trailers, complete with the answers you’re looking for.

Maintaining an offroad Camper Trailer

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Frequently Asked Questions When Hiring A Camper Trailer

Yes! There are many ways to hire a camper trailer, owing to the popularity of this hobby in Australia.

There are many companies all over Australia that offer camper trailer rentals. They have trailers of different specs and sizes, and their rental rates can vary, depending on the features they provide.

There are also camper trailer sharing communities. These communities include thousands of enthusiasts, with some of them providing their own camper trailers for hire. If you are looking to hire a camper trailer, you have more options than ever.

The price of renting out a camper trailer depends on the type of trailer that you want to rent out. The bigger the size of the trailer, the wider its capabilities (for example: off-roading compatibility, high payload capacity), and the longer its list of features, the more expensive their possible hiring rate could become.

Depending on these factors, the rental price can range from $80 to $120 AUD during peak days. The rental rates can be slightly lower during non-peak days.

The rules about this can be quite confusing. However, assuming that you know nothing, we do not recommend that you go cross-state camping if you are using a car and/or trailer that you rented. Rental services have different rules regarding this; other companies allow it while others don’t.

Also, there could be some potential legal issues that you can face if you try to cross states using rentals. For your own safety, we would recommend that you consult your rental provider first. You should also read on the legal rules for crossing states using rental vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions When Buying A Camper Trailer

A camper trailer is more than just a mattress and a tent placed on a standard trailer behind a motor vehicle. Many people buy a camper trailer for 4×4 off-road holidays as they stand up to the rigours of off-road driving better than a caravan.

While it can serve a myriad of functions depending on the type of equipment inside, the camper trailer’s original purpose is to provide a quick and convenient way of moving your camping accommodation and equipment. A good camper trailer makes a great home away from home when travelling through the Australian outback. 

Camper trailers are compact yet open up or fold out to create a comfy camping space, they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Using camper trailers is a popular hobby in countries such as Australia. In fact, others use and care for their camper trailer as if it’s their own second home. 

There are two ways to use a camper trailer for your next trip: purchase your own or rent one for the duration of your trip. The best option depends on how much you plan to use your camper trailer, and how passionate you are about camping holidays.  

The type of camper trailer you should look for depends on the parameters of your individual trip, especially if you are just going for a rental. If you are considering going deep outdoors, then going for a trailer that’s off-road-ready is a better option. You should also consider the size of your trailer, depending on the number of people you are taking along on the trip. Also check if you have personal preferences in your trailer such as the presence of a toilet, a kitchen, and other amenities. If price is not a factor, you will want to get a trailer that provides just about everything you need.

The weight of a camper trailer generally depends on the size of the trailer. For example, a trailer that is 5 meters in length can weigh at least 1500 kilograms in dry weight. While improvements in construction techniques and materials have caused the lightening of these campers, they still do carry a significant amount of mass. 

Take note that most weight measurements that come with campers correspond to “dry weight”, which is the weight of the trailer alone. On the average, you can add 500 – 1000 kg more on this weight when the trailer is filled with water, fluids, equipment, and passengers. Take note of this when estimating if your car can handle pulling your trailer along!

A 4×4 off-road camper trailer is a trailer that is built to be used for off-road camping holidays, together with 4×4 vehicles. An off-road camper trailer is heavier and sturdier than standard models. To withstand the rigors of off-roading, the construction of these trailers are reinforced. Heavy-duty suspension units, off-road ready tires, a strengthened frame, and anti-corrosive paint are among the features considered as standard for these camper trailers.

4×4 trailers also come with a compact design that maximizes floor space and carrying capacity. If going on an off-road adventure is something you desire, then you should get a 4×4 off-road trailer.

Safari campers are lighter in weight when compared to a 4×4 off-road camper. They are designed for normal roads and light off-road driving, which will suit the needs of most people. Multiple modifications are also made to make these campers lighter than true 4×4 campers. 

Aside from using lightweight materials such as aluminum, they still utilise heavier construction than true lightweight campers which should not be taken off-road at all.

The price for camper trailers depends on multiple factors. Prices for buying campers can range from $15,000 – $30,000 on the average, depending on the features present. Of course, expect to pay more for more premium brands, those that can be taken on off-road tours, those that have a larger floor space, and those that have built-in accessories and appliances. You are also expected to pay more if you want to have specific features customised into your trailer. Whether you search at the new or secondhand market, it’s often the features that dictate the overall cost of purchase. 

Given the popularity of camper trailers in Australia, one must wonder if there are locally made brands available. The fast answer is that there are camper brands that are based in Australia, and products of which are all Australia-made. There are popular Australian camper brands that have made their name not just locally, but also globally. Among the best Australian-made camper trailer brands today include Walkabout Campers, Cub, Jayco, Tvan, Trackabout, and Patriot. These local brands have made a strong name for themselves, and have the requisite quality to compete in the global stage.  

There are many reasons why you should buy an Australian-made camper trailer, and it doesn’t have to include local pride. As mentioned in the previous question, a lot of Australian camper trailers are world-class and are actually being used in different parts of the globe. 

Other reasons why you should also consider getting an Australian-made camper are:

Parts are much easier to source as they are more often than not manufactured locally. More readily available parts mean easier maintenance, which then prolongs the effective life of the trailer, while reducing overall maintenance costs. 

They are built specifically to withstand Australian driving conditions – Driving in Australia can be quite rough, especially if you are into off-road driving. Camper trailers built in Australia are built to withstand the notoriously tough local conditions. Use an Australian camper and be assured of superior build quality. 

To answer a straight question, getting your own camper trailer will be very much worth it, especially if you’re the person who goes outdoors frequently. However, you also have to consider that just like owning a car, owning a trailer requires its own upkeep. Aside from the purchasing price, you also need to consider factors such as parking space, registration costs, maintenance, and insurance. A good-quality trailer is always going to be worth it, but the bottom line is if you choose to score your own trailer, it’s not going to be cheap. 

If you are not going to use a camper trailer often and you are not really into the outdoors lifestyle, then you are perhaps better off getting a camper rental. It is not as expensive as buying your own trailer, and you don’t have to deal with the long-term upkeep of owning one.

Frequently Asked Questions When Owning A Camper Trailer

Theoretically speaking, you can use a car (or any type of motor vehicle in general) to tow a camper trailer. Some camper trailers are designed to tow behind motorbikes For most cars, the best that they can tow are the lightweight trailers. That said, any vehicle can be used to tow a camper trailer, but there are some basic requirements that should be in place. First, the car should have a proper trailer hitch installed. Second, its engine should be powerful enough to tow the camper trailer’s overall weight. Third, the car’s chassis should be strong enough to handle the added tension from pulling the trailer. 

To sum it up, you can theoretically tow a camper trailer with a car. However, it is possible that your car may not be up for the task of doing it, especially if you plan to go cross-country on less-than-ideal road conditions.

You don’t necessarily need to get a 4×4 car to tow a camper trailer. However, there are many reasons why 4×4 vehicles are usually the ones that are used in combination with campers. First, their standard equipment (chassis, engine, etc.) have the ideal specs to haul even the heavier trailers even in rough terrain. Also, their 4-wheel drive systems enable these cars to have superior traction, a must when pulling heavy loads in tough conditions. Lastly, a lot of these 4×4 machines can be customised to make them fit for purposes such as safari travel. 

You don’t need a 4×4 to tow a camper trailer, but they are more often than not the vehicles best equipped for such a task. Plus, given the purpose of using campers, using an all-terrain car with your camper might be in your best interest.

Electronic brakes help in slowing down a camper, either independently or simultaneously as you slow down your car. These brakes are automatically applied by your car’s brake controller and can be manually applied using a controller that is installed close to the driver. Electronic brakes are commonly featured in camper trailers that are at least 750 kilograms. It is legally required in all trailers with a GTM of at least 2000 kilograms. 

Nonetheless, even if your trailer’s weight is below the mandated requirement, you can benefit from getting a trailer with electric brakes as standard equipment, as it adds safety. You would need to hook up the electronic brake system of the trailer into your car for it to work.

As long as you know how to use camper trailers, it should not be all that difficult to set up your camper trailer. Over the years, setting up camper trailers have become much easier than before. Many camper makers have made it a point to make setting up as easy as possible to help make their products as accessible to as many people as possible.

Simpler campers would only take a few minutes to completely set up. On the flipside, larger campers with multiple peripheral accessories will take at least an hour to fully deploy. 

The ease of setting up camper trailers is generally dependent on the size and the number of accessories available. However, today’s campers are now much easier to set up relative to their counterparts from previous years. The process of setup and packing away can be potentially challenging for some, but it’s all part of the full experience of enjoying the camper trailer lifestyle.

As mentioned earlier, setting up a camper depends on the size and complexity of your trailer. Simpler models would only take a few minutes to get fully deployed, while the more complete ones would require a few hours (and sometimes a few extra hands) to set up. Regardless, today’s campers won’t require you to spend all day (or all night) to set up, so that is a plus.

Camper trailer thefts are becoming such a major concern these days, so I think it is important to touch on this topic. There are two ways that a theft can be committed: the entire trailer can be stolen or the trailer is broken into and have its contents pilfered. 

To secure your trailer, you can use a combination of wheel and hitch locks to prevent would-be thieves from getting away with your camper. As for the contents of your camper, simply locking the access areas can go a long way in preventing theft. You can also use any of the numerous anti-theft devices coming out of the market recently.

It is required by law to have your camper trailer registered, regardless if you purchased it brand new or from the secondhand market. You are required to register your camper in your state of residence if you purchased a new trailer that has never been registered, a used trailer that was previously registered to a different person, or if you have moved from a different state or country. For your reference, make sure to check the registration requirements in your state. A pre-registration inspection is also required.

There are some states that require camper trailers that pass certain parameters to be insured in order to complete registration. However, even if your registration doesn’t require you to have your trailer insured, you can still greatly benefit from purchasing camper trailer insurance. 

Getting insurance will provide you much-needed coverage for most adverse events that may happen while you are using your trailer. Whether it is still covered by warranty or not, proper insurance cover is a sound investment for any camper trailer owner.

Just like with any insurance policy, the price of camper trailer insurance is generally directly proportional to the level of coverage they provide. However, there are other factors that can come into play that can either help or hurt your chances for a favorable rate. 

Factors that can affect the price of your quote include the market value of your camper, any discounts and bonuses you might get, and your record as a driver. The average price that you will pay for insurance annually ranges from $500 – 1000. To get the best deal, it is generally recommended to get quotes from multiple insurance providers. 

Camper trailers, when purchased brand new, are generally covered by warranty. The coverage of these warranties can vary from brand to brand, so we recommend that you read the fine print before you complete the purchase. What’s usually covered in camper warranty are parts and workmanship; the warranty will cover repair and replacement if there are any defects that are encountered during otherwise normal use. 

However, this warranty can be voided if the damage is proven to be caused by improper use, accidents, neglect, theft, or other similar situations. The warranty can also be potentially voided if it’s seen that inappropriate modifications or work done by non-authorised personnel by the brand are present.

One of the keys for optimised trailer performance and longevity is regular maintenance. So the question is this: how often should you have your camper serviced for maintenance? The recommendations can differ from brand to brand. However, we strongly suggest that you follow the maintenance schedule suggested by your manufacturer. 

If you own a secondhand camper or your warranty has already lapsed, the rule of thumb is to have your camper subjected to general service every 5,000 kilometers. Wheel alignment should be regularly checked, especially for campers that regularly go on off-road terrains

Pulling an overloaded camper trailer can be extremely dangerous. Not only can you seriously damage your trailer and your vehicle this way, but you could also increase the risk of accidents, which can endanger you and others. 

When loading up your trailer, you have to look beyond the hauling capacity of your car. You should also look at the max gross weight of your hitch and the tongue weight. Also, you should avoid going beyond the carrying limit of your trailer. If you are unsure, check the manual of both your trailer and your vehicle.

One of the risks of camping trips is the outside chance that something could go wrong. Your car or trailer might break down or any of your crew members can get sick or hurt. If such a scenario arises, it is important that you know what to do in case of emergency. 

The first thing you should do is call 000. This will call for appropriate emergency services such as police, fire, or medics. It is also considered essential that you have a first aid kit, a tool set, and emergency food and water supply when you are traveling long distances. You can also read about safety information for travelers prior to going out. 

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