We've been camping out of our Oztent for several years now, and thoroughly enjoy it. However, with the addition of a little boy to our family, we decided it would be better suited to purchase a camper trailer.
After many hours of research we picked up a second hand camper trailer, made locally here in Western Australia.
What did we buy?
We ended up with a 2011 Outback Deluxe Camper trailer, with a 14 foot tent. These are made just down the road in Maddington, and are still running today. It's a soft floor with a big tent, 135L of water on board, space for 3 jerry cans, 2 gas bottles, a boat rack and a stainless kitchen.
There are a couple of things that need tidying up on the camper trailer, and we will do a few mods to get it better suited for our requirements:
- Add a second battery to the 12V system
- Interior lighting
- Add additional jerry can holders
- Install gas struts on the boat loader
- Replace the rims, tyres and hubs with matching ones to the 80 Series
- Relocate the second water tank, or replace it with a bigger one.
- Replace the broken electric water pump
- Build an extension for the kitchen so there is more bench space
- Install a 55L Evakool Freezer
- Add an extensive solar system
Why the Outback Deluxe Camper trailer?
Initially, I was looking at the Trak Shak camper trailers, which are a pretty perfect camper trailer for our needs. However, when I found out that they could only carry about 400kg (except the new ones, which are out of our budget), they were crossed off the list almost immediately. We tend to carry a fair bit of gear, and I wanted to ensure we were doing it legally. I bet many camper trailers are substantially over weight!
Outback Camper trailers are locally made with local steel, and are built strong. They have thick canvas, and stacks of room to carry gear, which we were quickly running out of. They aren't big on the 'bling' which I couldn't care less about; it needs to be able to withstand some punishment and provide us with a comfortable place to sleep, cook and relax.
Overall, we wanted:
- Plenty of storage space
- High pay load
- Strong, durable and no fuss
- Plenty of internal and external room
- Boat loader
- At least 120L of water storage
- Basic 12V system to improve on
How is it going?
As of today, we've taken the camper trailer on 3 trips - Sandy Cape, Pumphreys Bridge and the Murray River. Overall, we are pretty happy with it. The setup time isn't super fast (which was expected), but it's probably no longer than our old setup, and we have way more space and shade.
The intention is to use the camper trailer as much as possible so we can work out what is good, and what needs improving. I don't want to be re-modifying it as time goes on; we will try and get it right the first time, and leave it at that.
When the mods are done, I will do a complete write up that covers everything.
We've got a fair bit planned for 2017, with lots of weekend trips away, 12 days around Kalbarri and Geraldton over Easter and 2 weeks at Steep Point and Denham over August. The plan is to use the camper trailer as much as possible to work out what we aren't happy with and have time to fix or modify it before the bigger trips.
See you out there!