So you’ve decided to invest in a camper trailer but with today’s selection of manufacturers, camper types and the massive price gradient – how do you pick the best camper trailer for your camping lifestyle?
Camper trailer types
There are three types of campers: softfloor, hardfloor or hybrid.
- Softfloor: Are the lightest to tow, most affordable and catered primarily to families with larger living space and ample storage. The drawback, all that extra space (a fold out tent) makes for a longer set-up.
- Hardfloor: Are the most expensive, structurally sound due to swing over hardfloor and revolve around a central sleeping area (queen or double) and convertible living/sleeping space.
- Hybrid: The heaviest and most expensive unit combines the luxuries of a caravan with the offroading capability of a camper trailer.
Buyers guide to picking the right camper trailer
Budget: When buying new, the more standard inclusions and luxuries the higher the cost. Offroading campers come with a higher price tag to compensate for the offroad suspension necessary to tow the heavier interior weight, from kitchens and whatnot.
Research: As with any big purchase don’t just dive in, research by connecting with camper trailer groups, exploring manufacturer websites and/or going to trade shows. Point being, talk to the people with firsthand knowledge to get to know what you need out of a trailer.
Towing: Before you buy, consult your vehicle’s owners manual for it’s towing capacity as there are considerable weight differences between camper types. Even if your vehicle is able to haul you still need to equip it with a rear bar and tow ball and possibly upgrade the suspension and/or add electric brakes for better handling.
Camping lifestyle: Are you more of a weekend warrior that mostly sticks to the blacktop for your adventure or are you a camping enthusiast wanting to explore Australia’s diverse terrain in your hiking shoes? Do you plan to camp with the family? Figure out what you need from your camper and buy the right camper trailer to fit your camping lifestyle.
Functions and features: The cheapest campers new are barebone softfloor models. As soon as you start factoring in add-ons, your cost begins to climb. First things first, know the camper type you’re after. Next, what else do you want out of your camper – kitchen, electronics, water and gas tank, number of beds, extra living space, etc. This is where talking to experienced camper trailer owners will benefit you, as they can help determine which camper will best suit your needs.
Mull it over: Above all else, don’t impulse buy as a first-time buyer. The last thing you want is to regret your big-ticket camper. Create a list of all your potential campers and research them thoroughly, then do some number crunching so you can buy what’s right for you.
Time to buy
As a first-time camper trailer buyer, navigating the market can be daunting. Knowing your camping lifestyle, setting a realistic budget, researching before buying and identifying your needs is crucial. Do your homework before you commit to buying a camper trailer, that way you’ll drive away happy!