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Caravans and Camper Trailers; everything you need to know

The Caravan and Camper Trailer industry has exploded like never before, and getting something that is going to do what you want it to has become quite time consuming.

On this hub page, we cover how to buy the right Caravan or Camper trailer, how to look after your setup, towing weights, product reviews and heaps more. Find what you are interested in, and head on through.

Buying guides

The ultimate guide to buying a Hybrid Camper

Lifestyle Reconn R2The travel and camping industry has exploded in recent years, and today there are more options for accommodation on wheels than you can poke a stick at. One of the more recent developments has been hybrid campers, which are a brilliant compromise between a caravan and a camper trailer.

 


The ultimate guide to buying a camper trailer

Our soft floor camper trailerThere was a time not so long ago where I could give you a basic run down of the different camper trailers sold in Australia. Believe me, those days are long gone; now there are hundreds of different makes and models, with more differences than you can poke a stick at. So, where do you start?

 


The ultimate guide to buying a Caravan

Buying a CaravanWondering what you should be looking for in a Caravan? We’ve written a comprehensive post to guide you in buying a van that is going to do what you need it to. There’s a lot to think about when buying a Caravan and you want to take your time and make the right decision the first time!

 


Caravans vs Hybrid Campers

Caravan or HybridIf you are in the market for a new trailer, but don’t know whether to go for a caravan, or a hybrid, this guide will point you in the right direction. There’s pro’s and con’s to both setups and in the end, you have to pick the most suitable unit.

 


Caravans vs Camper Trailers; what’s better?

Caravan or camper trailer?The age old question; is it better to travel Australia in a camper trailer, or a caravan? You’ll get people on either side of the argument who will swear black and blue that they are right. In the end, it comes down to your requirements, and trying to match those as best as possible to what you tow.

 


Towing

Towing Capacity; a simple guide to keep you legal

Towing with a PajeroEvery day there are arguments, questions and lengthy discussions about what is legal when it comes to towing with a 4WD, and every guide I’ve ever read has not made things overly simple or clear. There is a lot more to towing capacity than just the one rating, and lots of people don’t understand this.

 


What’s the best vehicle for towing?

Caravan at Ningaloo StationIf you are looking for a new tow vehicle, we’ve written a comprehensive post that covers everything you need to look for. It’s made very clear that there isn’t a one size fits all, and there are actually lots of great tow vehicles, you just have to choose one that fits your requirements.

 


What is ATM weight?

Trailer suspensionAcronyms regarding towing and trailer weights are being thrown around more and more today, and it can be very confusing when you first start looking into it. We actually wrote a simple towing guide that covers everything you need to know when hooking a trailer up to your vehicle, including the 7 items that will keep you legal.

 


Mobile Weighing

Dmax rear axle weightThe towing capacities of most modern vehicles are a complete lie, and we proved this recently when we had our Isuzu Dmax with a GVM upgrade weighed when set up for towing our Reconn R2. Despite being well under some weight capacities, we were only just under weight in others. If you haven’t had your setup weighed professionally, have a read of this; it makes it super clear as to why you should.


Single axle or dual axle caravan

Dual axle or single axle caravan?If you are debating whether its best to get a single or dual axle caravan, this post covers all of the benefits, and downsides of each with zero bias. The simple fact is they both suit different buyers, and depending on your use, you could be happy with either.

 

 


What’s the pros and cons of towing?

4WD's make great tow vehiclesThere are a lot of people in Australia who make the decision to purchase a trailer and tow it behind their 4WD while travelling. Whether its a box trailer, camper trailer, hybrid, caravan or boat, towing something behind your 4WD has a number of benefits.

 


What is tow ball weight, and why does it matter?

Measuring the tow ball weightTow ball weight, or Tow Ball Mass (TBM) is a term that’s being thrown around more and more today, and for good reason. Understanding how it works, how to measure it and what is acceptable is critical for safe towing.

 

 

 


Can you flip your tow hitch?

Tow hitch flippedHow many vehicles do you see driving down the road with the trailer pointing towards the road, and the vehicles headlights pointing towards the sky? There’s a distinct lack of understanding when it comes to towing safely, and a portion of this comes from not setting your tow hitch to the correct height.

 

Can your ATM be higher than your towing capacity?

Caravan towingThere’s always lots of heated discussions about towing weights, and one of the more interesting questions is whether your ATM can be higher than your towing capacity. The answer might surprise you!

 

 


Don’t get caught out with Caravan and Camper Trailer weights

Bushtracker towingI’m tired of reading over and over again of weight issues that thousands of people are being caught out by. These relate to trailer weights, tow vehicle capacities and weight distribution, and if you don’t take the time to carefully look into it, you’ll be in a world of pain.

 


Towing Mirrors; do you need them?

Towing mirrorsThere’s some complicated ways for working out whether you actually need towing mirrors or not. The simple way is just to take a tape measure, and check a couple of dimensions. Keen to know more? Find out here. 

 


Is your towing setup level?

Towing with a PajeroWhen you hook a trailer up to your 4WD, you should be able to take some steps back and see that the whole lot is nice and level. If the trailer points down, or up, or your 4WD does either (or maybe both is happening), then you have a problem and it needs to be addressed.

 


Towing Guide and Etiquette; 7 ways to do it right

Towing a caravanWith so many people on the road today, its critical that you tow in a way that is safe, and keeps everyone moving. I’ve seen so many stupid things done on the road, and it can end badly very quickly; here’s how to keep the peace and drive like you are supposed to!

 


How to calculate GCM

Gross Combination Mass - GCMIt’s incredibly easy to be over one of the weight requirements when towing, and GCM is often the first. If you aren’t sure how to calculate GCM, this post dives into what it is, how you can weigh it and what you need to look into.

 


Matching Trailer Wheel and Tyres

Tow vehicle matching wheelsWhere possible, its a good idea to have your trailer wheels and tyres the same as your tow vehicle. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but having them interchangeable is well and truly worth while. This applies to everything you’d take off the beaten track; camper trailers, boats and caravans.

 


General

The ultimate guide to using a caravan or camper trailer

Using a caravanThere’s a fair bit to learn when you get your first caravan or camper trailer. In this post, we dive into everything you need to know from grey water to water fill points, keeping your setup level, towing weights and heaps more.

 


Caravan and Camper Wheel Alignments

Caravan tyre wearAbout a year after getting our Lifestyle Reconn R2 a mate pointed out it had pretty nasty tyre wear going on. We’d been travelling for a couple of weeks, and were parked up at Exmouth Lighthouse Caravan Park. I regularly check the camper, but hadn’t picked up the tyre wear, and could now see it needed some attention, and quick smart.


Tow Hitch Types; what’s your choices?

DO35 hitchThere’s a lot of choice when it comes to tow hitch types, and they’ve all got their pro’s and con’s. If you are still using a 50mm tow ball and looking to change, here’s your other options.

 

 


Induction cooktop vs gas for camping; should you change?

Induction cooktop for campingThere’s been a big shift towards using induction cooktops for camping, off a big inverter and battery system. Whilst it can work, is it actually any good, or are you mad even considering it? We’ve been running both gas and induction for some time now and have a number of comments on each type of cooking style.

 


Caravan and Camper Trailer Security

Nemesis Wheel ClampDespite their size, Caravans and Camper Trailers are stolen every day of the week, and in this post we cover some of the more common ways to improve the security of your pride and joy, and reduce the chance of someone else taking off with it.

 


Do you really need a Caravan to do a lap of Australia?

Y62 Patrol and CaravansThe lap of Australia is nothing new, but there seems to be a common misconception that you need a caravan to do it. The truth is very far from this, and there’s plenty of people who have done it without a caravan, and without many of the things that so many people consider to be necessary today.

 


DIY Camper Trailer Fold out Table

Fold down tableAfter getting tired of a lack of bench space, I knocked up a DIY camper trailer table in a couple of hours using mainly old material, and costing a tiny amount. It’s worked out great, and we use it for our Weber when this is out, or just extra room to put dirty dishes or plate up.

 


The ultimate guide to heating and cooling in Caravans and Campers

Diesel heaterYou can heat and cool Caravans and Camper Trailers in a number of ways today, even completely off grid, and that’s a game changer. If you’ve been shivering your way through the cold nights, or sweating throughout the day here’s the ultimate guide to heating and cooling when camping.

 


How to level a caravan or camper trailer

Levelling the camper trailerGetting your caravan, hybrid or camper trailer level when you pull into camp is hugely important for a number of reasons, and it can take a bit of practice. In this post, we show you what is needed to get it nice and level, and soon you’ll be a master at getting the bed perfectly level.

 


A new cutlery drawer for our Hybrid

Camper cutlery drawerAfter months of using a plastic container for cutlery, we were getting fed up with it, and had a drawer built with a plastic cutlery holder inside. It works amazing, and has made life in the kitchen much easier.

 

 


Portable Diesel Heater

Portable Diesel HeaterIf you are looking for a relatively cheap, and easy way to keep your Caravan or Camper Trailer warm in winter without making any permanent changes, an all in one Diesel Heater that can be moved around might just be the ultimate solution. We’ve had a 5kW unit for a few years now, and love it.

 


Tare weight meaning

Caravan NameplateWondering what the definition of tare weight is, in relation to a caravan, camper trailer or hybrid? It’s actually more straight forward than you might think.

 

 


Camping Laundry; how do you do it?

Hand washing at BullaraCamp and travel for long enough on the road and you’ll soon run out of clean clothes. No matter how many times you turn them inside out and back to front (just kidding!), eventually they will stink and need a wash. When you are travelling, what’s your options for Camping Laundry, and getting washing done?

In this post we take a look at everything from hand washing to Caravan Washing Machines, DIY options and more.


Topargee water tank gauge

Topargee water meterIf you are tired of using a traditional water tank gauge in your camper or caravan, and want something that tells you exactly how much water you have left, we’ve got the perfect product; the Topargee water tank gauge, which is a flow metre and has been absolutely amazing.

 


Do you carry spare wheel studs?

Wheel stud conditionAfter witnessing a couple of trailers and 4WD’s lose studs or wheels, we’re recommending that you carry some spare wheel studs for your 4WD and camper trailer or caravan. As we found out, they aren’t something you can easily get!

 


Camper Trailers in Perth

Patriot Camper TrailerIf you are looking to buy a Camper Trailer in Perth, you’ve come to the right resource. Here, we list every single Camper trailer store within 50km of Perth.

 

 


A Diesel Heater; the ultimate upgrade for cold camping

Caravan diesel heaterIf you want a permanent diesel heater, this post covers all of the options and why they are so amazing. Whether its for your RV, boat, camper trailer, hybrid or Caravan they are truly exceptional products.

 


Where can you fill water tanks up on the road?

Caravan water tank fillingIf you are travelling long term, you’ll need to find places on the road to fill your water tanks up. So, where can you do it? Hot tip – not all places are safe, or legal to fill up from!

 

 


Ark Jockey Wheel Review

Ark Jockey wheelA good jockey wheel makes life much easier. Does the Ark Jockey Wheel qualify? Find out our full, unbiased review here after owning one for a number of years.

 

 


Caravan accessories; what do you actually need?

Cgear mat in useThere’s a million items out there that you can buy for a Caravan, and a lot of people are pushing items that you don’t actually need. Here’s our list of Caravan Accessories, and whether you actually need them or not!

 


DO35 Hitch Lock Review

DO35 LockKeen on keeping your trailer secure with a hitch lock? If you run the DO35 Hitch, then their genuine DO35 hitch lock is a pretty decent bit of kit, although it has had some wear and tear so far.

 

 


Travelling Australia; weight and size vs accessibility

Running waters in our HybridTravelling Australia is a compromise in many ways. If you want the comfort of a caravan, then it comes at the cost of a heavy weight and large size. Does this matter? Well, it depends on you, and what you are chasing. We’ve gone down the Hybrid Camper route for a number of reasons, and weight/accessibility is a big part of that.

 


Gas bottle refills; what’s the best option?

Gas bottle refillsWhen you camp, inevitably you’ll need to refill gas bottles. Where do you do it? Should you Swap N Go, or just get your bottles refilled? In this post we cover everything you need to know about refilling or swapping your LPG bottles.

 


Outdoor vs indoor camper kitchens

Reconn R2There’s good and bad for both indoor and outdoor kitchens, and in this post we cover what you should consider before committing one way or another. We love our outdoor kitchen under most scenario’s, but they are absolutely terrible in others!

 


Quick Pitch Shower Tent Review

Quickpitch shower tentIf you are chasing a quick, easy to use shower tent that folds out from your 4WD, Caravan or Camper Trailer, we’ve done a review on our Quick Pitch unit, which came with our Hybrid Camper Trailer when we purchased it. These are a great bit of kit; find out more here.

 


Nemesis Wheel Clamp Review

Nemesis Wheel ClampUnfortunately today, there are more grubs around than ever before who’d rather take someone else’s gear than buy their own. This includes camper trailers, caravans and boat trailers, and today we take a look at a popular product to prevent this; the Nemesis Wheel Clamp.

When we purchased our new Hybrid Camper, I decided given the expense, I was prepared to spend a chunk of money on keeping it safe in our drive way. The thing is though, is the Nemesis Wheel Clamp actually any good?


Balancing trailer wheels

Camper trailer tyresAfter a spate of bad tyre wear on our Reconn R2, I got our wheels balanced to help with the scalloping. Have you had your trailer wheels balanced before? Maybe you should; have a read of this!

 

 


Lifestyle Reconn R2 long term review

Tow ball weightBack in August 2019 we picked up a second hand Lifestyle Reconn R2, and now its time to do a long term review! It was (and still is) a major commitment, and we had intended on waiting more time before getting a hybrid camper trailer, but it was a deal too good to pass up. The unit itself was almost brand new, with the new owners upgrading to a Reconn R4 (the slightly bigger unit, with more gear).


Lifestyle Reconn R2 extra long review

Camping in our Reconn R2After owning our Reconn R2 for more than 3 years, we’ve written a final, extra long review of our thoughts. We’ve done more than 200 nights in it, and taken it over every terrain you can think of. Here’s the end result.

 


How to easily fill your water tanks

Struggling to fill your water tanksIf you are tired of struggling to fill the water tanks on your caravan, camper trailer or RV we have a simple solution that makes it so much easier to do. 

 

 


Truma hot water system review

Truma hot water systemAfter using a 14L Truma hot water system for a number of years, we’ve written a review, and its not scoring too well!

 

 

 


Why we moved from a soft floor to a hybrid camper trailer

Hybrid camper trailerWe love camping. Even when it was just Sarah and I, the thought of jumping in the 4WD and heading off to some pristine beach camp site, or remote track would have us both itching with excitement for days prior to leaving. We did 5 weeks in the Kimberley several years ago and made some of the best memories we can remember.

 


Our new Hybrid Camper; a Lifestyle Reconn R2

Dmax and ReconnWe’ve upgraded our Camper, and in a seriously big way. For those who’ve been following us for some time, you’ll know we’ve had a soft floor camper trailer now for a couple of years, and clocked up nearly 150 nights in it. It’s been fantastic, but we’ve been looking for a long time now for an upgrade. We have spent more time researching, doing figures and trying to find the perfect solution for us than I care to think about, but I reckon its paid off.


The ultimate guide to camping toilets

Caravan ToiletGoing to the toilet when camping is a normal part of life. For many, its no big deal, but it can be concerning for those who’ve just started out, or for those who aren’t sure what type of toilet setup to get.

In this post, we cover everything from where to go to the toilet, what toilets you can use, chemical options, where you can dispose of the waste and how to do it in the best possible way. Whether you are in a motorhome, tent, swag, caravan, hybrid camper or something else; there’s a toilet option for everyone.


Long term soft floor camper trailer review

Expedition Deluxe CamperSome camper trailer reviews are based around a few nights spent in a camper trailer, and they aren’t very helpful, or accurate. A lot are also financially biased, as in the writer gets a kick back for making comments about the product.

 

 


DO35 Hitch Review

DO35 hitchWhen we purchased our Reconn R2, it came with a DO35 hitch, and today its time to do a comprehensive review on it. What’s good, bad and how does it rate overall? Find out here.

 

 


Why I’d never buy another Treg Hitch

Treg HitchGoing back a couple of decades ago, you’d rarely see different towing hitches. Today, there are more options for towing a trailer than you can poke a stick at. Traditionally, Treg and the normal ball hitches were all you’d see, and while the Treg was a great option when it first came out, I would never, ever get one again.

 


Outdoor vs indoor toilets and showers

Outdoor showerIf you are considering getting a camper trailer, hybrid or Caravan and don’t know much about internal or external ensuites, this post covers everything you need to know. Whilst a nice shower under the stars is amazing, there’s lots of downsides too, and picking the right setup for you is super important.

 


Caravan Grey Water Tanks

Caravan Grey Water TankIf you are wondering whether you need a grey water tank or not, and how to set one up, this post covers everything you need to know.

 

 


The good, bad and ugly of owning a soft floor camper trailer

Larrawa Station campingCamper trailers have been around for a long time now. To start off with, they were basically tents on trailers, and over the years many have evolved into luxury accommodation on wheels.

 

 


Our soft floor camper trailer for travelling Australia

Ultimate camper trailer guideTravelling Australia can be done with a huge number of different setups, and we’ve gone with a 2016 Isuzu Dmax, and a soft floor camper trailer.

 

 


Where can you empty grey water?

Cleaning the dishesWho’d have known the humble grey water could cause such controversy? Where are you actually supposed to empty grey water? Where is it sometimes OK to do? There’s certainly some good, and better places to empty it, but ultimately it comes down to common sense. Find out more here.

 


Dump Points; the ultimate guide

Dump point useOne of the less pleasant parts of travelling Australia is emptying your toilet waste. Lucky for us, there’s plenty of Dump Points, and we’ve got a guide for how to find them, how to use them and what you need to look out for. This will leave you feeling confident, and eventually emptying your waste into a dump point will just become another boring, mundane job!


Cruisemaster Suspension Alignment issues

Cruisemaster suspensionWe’ve had our Cruisemaster suspension aligned once already, and I found it loose up at Pender Bay, which I wasn’t too happy about. Find out what we did, and what we have planned going forwards here.

 


Caravan Tyre Pressure; how to calculate it correctly

Maximum cold inflationDid you know you can actually calculate the correct caravan tyre pressure very easily? You just need a bit of information from your sidewall, and what your van weighs and you are good to go. Want to know more? Check it out here.

 

 


Australian Made Hybrid Campers

Hybrid CaravanThere’s a huge number of Hybrid Caravans and Campers being sold in Australia today. The large majority are not Australian made, despite what some of the manufacturers will tell you. Want to know what’s actually built in Australia? Find out here.

 


Can you live full time in a Hybrid Camper?

Grey water collectionWanting to do a lap in a Hybrid camper, but aren’t sure of whether its possible or not? In this post we discuss the pro’s and con’s, and what you need to consider before committing to living full time in a Hybrid Caravan.

 


Electrical

Best Caravan Battery Setup; how to pick the right one

Renogy batteriesIf you are wondering what Caravan Battery setup you should get, this post is designed to break it all down to a nice and simple level, giving you options for running different appliances starting off at a very basic system, and working through to one that will run your air conditioner off grid. and a myriad of other items. Take the time to get the right system, or you’ll kick yourself later.

 


Lithium Battery and Solar Upgrade

Lithium battery installWe’ve just completed a major upgrade to our Reconn R2, installing two big lithium batteries, a 3000W inverter, 60 amp solar controller and a number of extra solar panels. We thought about this for a long time before putting our money down.

 

 


Low Energy Developments Solar Panel Review

Permanent solar on our 4WDWe’ve bought 3 solar panels from Low Energy Developments now, and used them all for a number of years (with one still in use now, and the other two sold). See how they’ve performed for us here.

 

 

 


Camping Air Conditioner; can it be done?

Van and airconIf you are wanting to run an Air Conditioner when camping and are wondering what is required, and how you go about it, this post looks into all of the options. Yes, you can run a Caravan Air Conditioner completely off grid with the right gear, and there are other options that use less power.

 


12V Heaters and Kettles are no good

240V fan heaterIf you are wondering whether its worth getting a 12V heater or kettle, we’re going to make it awfully simple and plain for you. 

 

 

 


Victron Battery monitor review

Victron battery monitorAfter running a Victron Battery monitor for more than 3 years, its time to do a review. Like the rest of the Victron products we’ve run, its performance has been exactly as you’d expect, and here’s why.

 

 


Why we went with a Renogy Lithium Battery

Renogy batteriesI spent more hours looking at different 12V lithium batteries than I care to think about, and we eventually settled on two 170aH Renogy Lithium Batteries, that have been in our camper for a number of months now, getting used for our freezer, induction cooktop and the usual caravan 12V accessories. Here’s why we went with Renogy.

 


How to run 240V appliances when camping

Inverter reviewBeing able to run 240V appliances when you are off grid and away from the nearest power point is a luxury that a lot of people are enjoying today. You can easily run small appliances like laptops, camera chargers and TV’s, and you can even run higher consumption items like kettles, coffee machines and air conditioners if you have the right gear. This post covers everything you need to know about running 240V appliances when camping.


Are you damaging your 12V batteries?

Deep cycle battery state of chargeTraditional 12V batteries have a life span which relates to age, and also number of cycles. The further you discharge the batteries the less cycles you’ll get from it, and a lot of people damage their 12V batteries because they don’t know this. Want to know when a 12V battery is flat? Check it out here.

 

 

 


Solar panels vs solar blankets

Solar Blanket vs PanelA lot of Caravan and Camper Trailer owners run portable solar panels to top up as needed, and you’ll eventually have to decide whether its better to get solar panels, or a solar blanket. Both have their pro’s and con’s and there’s a pretty significant pricing difference between the two, so pick wisely!

 


Fixed vs Portable Solar Panels

Solar panels portable or fixedWhen it comes to solar power for your 4WD, Caravan or Camper trailer, the age old question is this; should you go with fixed panels, or portable ones? People will argue all day over which is better, and I’m here to settle it once and for all.

 


Our Camper trailer boat loader solar panel system

400W of panelsOne of the things that gets a lot of attention when we travel is the solar system on our soft floor camper trailer. I don’t consider it especially incredible, but it is certainly different and raises a lot of questions.

 


Where’s my solar panel gone?

Missing solar panelA few weeks back we returned from a truly amazing 4WD and camping trip on the south coast of WA. We had a brilliant time, and found some spectacular camp sites, 4WD tracks and local attractions. However, we had a few electrical issues on both our camper trailer and Dmax which were a pain at the time.

 


How long will a 100aH Battery last?

Blue Nova LithiumIt can be hard to understand how much power your different appliances draw, and then work out how long a battery will last. In this post, we break down how long a 100aH battery lasts under different current draws.

 


Power AGM Battery Review

Power AGM batteriesOn our soft floor camper, we ran two 135aH Power AGM batteries, and here’s our unbiased review of how they went, coupled to our 400W solar panel system on a tilting boat loader.

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