The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Camper Trailer
We’ve gathered the most up to date and relevant information for Australians when it comes to buying a camper trailer. We asked the experts and got top tips for buyers.
Whether you are planning a touring holiday through the outback or just want a leisurely way to enjoy weekend outings, taking a camper trailer is an excellent way to go. However, choosing the right one for you is essential to a safe and pleasurable experience.
There are plenty of things to consider to ensure you get the camper trailer that best fits your needs, from bare safety essentials to luxuries that will make your new trailer feel like your home away from home.
Taking the time to explore the variety of camper trailer models available on Gumtree will give you a better idea of what’s available at what price points and, ultimately, the options that are most feasible for you. From there, you can begin to narrow down your focus to get the right camper trailer at the right price, avoiding any potential pitfalls in the buying process.
Camper Trailers vs. Campervans
While campervans are great for people who want to get out and explore, camper trailers can be a better investment and a preferable way to enjoy a camping holiday for many reasons.
The most obvious benefit of a camper trailer above a campervan is affordability. In addition to being a less expensive initial purchase, it also costs less to maintain and travel with a camper trailer.
Unlike campervans, camper trailers can unhook from the tow vehicle. This allows you to drive to the store and other places without the trailer, so you don’t have to back out or lug the entire set up any time you need supplies.
A camper trailer is also a great in-between for those who want an authentic camping experience without giving up basic luxuries, such as a full kitchen or an indoor sleeping area. Setting up a camper trailer is also a simple process, especially compared to setting up a full camping site.
However, if you’re interested in purchasing a campervan we suggest checking out this handy guide before buying.
“Camper trailers are a great way to see Australia for a fraction of the cost of using hotels or even caravans. Families and enthusiasts can get great deals on camper trailer finance that will beat most unsecured personal loans,” says Savvy Caravan Loans CEO Bill Tsouvalas.
Things to Consider When Buying a Camper Trailer
A camper trailer that is perfect for one person may not be perfect for another, and vice-versa.
You might love the idea of a luxurious camper trailer with all the amenities, or it may be overkill if you just want something to keep you comfortable on weekend excursions. Similarly, the low price of a bare-bones basic camper trailer may be tempting, but a trailer with just a few more features may be worth investing in if you want it for longer trips or will own it for a longer period of time. Obviously you’ll also have to consider where you’re likely to travel in Australia.
Some things to keep in mind when shopping include the number of people who will be traveling with you, the amount of storage space you need, and how important certain luxuries – like a fully-functioning kitchen, for example – are to you.
Another thing to consider is how you plan to haul your camper trailer. A heavy Ute or 4X4 can easily haul a larger and heavier camper trailer, but if your sedan is doing the lifting, a lighter and more fuel-efficient camper trailer may be a better bet.
Top tip from CamperTrailers:
Make sure the camper trailer you are interested in is of a suitable Gross Trailer Mass & ball weight for your vehicle. The most you can tow is the amount specified by the vehicle manufacturer or the capacity of the towbar – which ever is the least. A general rule of thumb is to have 10% to 15% of the trailers weight on the hitch.
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the maximum weight a vehicle is allowed to be operated at. This includes vehicle accessories such as bullbars, rear bars, wheel carriers, roof racks, cargo draws, fridge, long range fuel tanks, along with passengers, fuel, of course cargo AND the ball weight of the trailer. Operating a vehicle exceeding its GVM is illegal, will void the manufacturer’s warranty & insurance.
Types of Camper Trailers
Several different styles of camper trailers are available. Knowing which type best suits the way you plan to use your camper trailer is a great way to get started as you browse the many options available to you.
One of the first things you will notice as you set out to buy a camper trailer is that some have a hard floor and others have a soft floor. There are some big differences between the two, and each type offers its own advantages and disadvantages.
Hard Floor Camper Trailers
A hard floor camper trailer has a dedicated camper body that grants it a little more stability, even in the toughest outdoor conditions. Among the biggest benefits of a hard floor model is the fact that the body of the camper is elevated off the ground. This affords the user better protection, whether from creeping ground water or slithering snakes.
Many hard floor camper trailer models are also a bit easier to set up and pack away, which makes cleaning and maintenance a simpler task.
Hard floor camper trailers are typically created in either a flip-over or a wind-up style. A flip-over camper trailer has a hard top that, when flipped over, becomes the floor of the camper trailer.
The flip-over style is among the easiest to set up and offers a good amount of protection from the elements. A wind-up style opens up through the use of a lever to expose the sides and top of the camper.
Soft Floor Camper Trailers
A soft floor camper trailer has numerous benefits as well. Chief among them is that soft floor camper trailers are much lighter, which makes them easier to haul and manoeuvre, even in tight spaces.
Soft floor camper trailers also have much more storage capability, from pop-out compartments to space beneath the bed. Typically, there is enough space for additional mattresses, tables, chairs, and other similar items, which makes soft floor models a good option for larger groups.
One last detail that boosts the appeal of the soft floor camper trailer is that it is a simple task to add on additional rooms as needed.
Benefits of Hard Floor Camper Trailers
|Benefits||Dedicated camper body
|Body of camper is elevated off the ground
|Easier to set up and pack away
Benefits of Soft Floor Camper Trailers
|Benefits||Much lighter than hard floor models
|Much more storage capability (e.g., pop-out compartments, under-bed space)
|Simple to add on additional rooms as needed|
Camper Trailer Kitchens
Many modern camper trailers come with kitchens. The kitchens can contain a variety of components, so they range from very basic to surprisingly complex.
In many camper trailer models the kitchens flip out and are designed for use outside. This flip-out arrangement typically affords a larger working area than trailers with interior kitchens. On the other hand, while interior kitchens are smaller, they can come in handy for those who prefer a little bit more indoor comfort on their touring holiday.
Most camper trailer kitchens come with a stove with multiple burners, a sink with fixtures, and hand pumps for easy and efficient clean-up. Most also come with space to store kitchen cookware, tools, and utensils, ranging from simple drawers to pull-out benches that provide campers with a spot to sit down and relax to enjoy their meal.
Those who want a more advanced kitchen for their camper trailer can search Gumtree for models with more extensive layouts, or they may find it very useful to browse Gumtree for kitchen add-ons. There are plenty of add-ons available, so enhancing an existing kitchen is a fairly simple task.
On-Road vs. Off-Road Camper Trailers
A standard on-road camper trailer can stand up to most conditions and the essential needs of basic camping. However, those who are looking to take their camper trailer off road may want to compare off-road camper trailers designed specifically for the rigors of tough trips into the outback.
An off-road camper trailer is typically constructed with a more solid chassis, stronger body, and more durable suspension that are made to withstand the bumps that come with a journey over less-than-ideal road and land conditions.
Other Factors to Consider
As you start to narrow down your choices for buying your camper trailer, there are a few other details and features to consider. First consider where you’ll be camping and what extras you need. WikiCamps Australia could provide a good starting point on where to camp throughout Australia. Thinking about these items will help you eliminate (or add) some models as you set out to make your purchase.
- Awnings: An awning essentially creates an outdoor living space that simultaneously provides you with both an outdoor room and a little more protection. While not a necessity, it can be a great addition to your camper trailer that increases your enjoyment of your vehicle, your space, the fresh air, and your holiday overall.
- Screens and fly sheets: Those who prefer a little more protection from the elements whilst having a good view, as well as from flies and other insects, may want to consider screens and fly sheets for their camper trailer.
- Additional rooms or room dividers: The more people you bring along for the experience, the more room and privacy you will need. If you are going with more than a couple people, you may want to consider quality room dividers and add-on rooms so everyone can have their own space.
Inspect the Camper Trailer's Condition
Once you have a good idea of the camper trailer design and style that are right for you, all that’s left is finding the specific camper trailer model you prefer to purchase and making sure it is in good condition.
Take the same care with buying a camper trailer as you would with purchasing any vehicle or other major piece of equipment. Look it over carefully, checking for potential damage.
With used camper trailers, be sure to quiz the seller to get a good idea of how it has been stored and cared for in the past. Look closely at the living areas and equipment to see how rough the previous owners have been when using them.
Check to see what equipment it comes with, such as solar panels or batteries, and factor the cost of purchasing these items into the overall cost if they do not come with the initial purchase.
Make sure you inspect both the camper trailer’s interior and exterior for rust and signs of rust. Finding rust can be a warning that the camper trailer has not been maintained well or regularly. Ask the seller to provide you with a complete set of records of all care, upgrades, maintenance, and repairs.
By taking all of these things into account when buying a camper trailer, from type and style to features and amenities to condition and maintenance records, you can find the right trailer to go on an adventure at a price point that suits your needs.
How to Buy a Camper Trailer on Gumtree
Buying a camper trailer or caravan on Gumtree couldn’t be easier, download the free Gumtree mobile app. If you would like an overview of all the various models camper trailers listed on Gumtree, all you have to do is type “camper trailers” into the search box at the top of any Gumtree page (or you can simply click on http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-camper+trailers/k0).
If you want more specific results or are looking for a specific model, just type the model or more specific search into the search box. Additionally login to Gumtree to utilise the save search feature to send yourself weekly/daily/fortnightly price alerts on any models that have been listed, that you are looking to purchase.
If you are looking for accessories to enhance your camper, you could type in “camper trailer accessories“, or if you desire a specific amenity or accessory, just type in what you are looking for, such as “camper trailer awnings“.