Friday, 30 March 2018

The New Camper Trailer

After a considerable amount of haggling, cajoling, manipulating and downright toadying, I managed to buy a camper trailer which closely met my specifications.  The asking price was $14,995 and I bought it for $7500.  Moreover it’s version 3 which is longer and has two additional lockers.  How did I get the price down?  The following standard items were excluded.

  • Stainless steel tailgate kitchen
  • 100ah deep cycle battery and the majority of the domestic electrics
  • The rooftop tent
  • Wheels

The order has been sent to China with delivery in 10-12 weeks

So what does it look like?  I have a drawing of the trailer minus the tent.


The following are photos of the earlier version


I don’t like their telescopic ladder to the rooftop tent.  The tent was $1000.  I’ve sourced a tent with a folding ladder and an enclosed lower compartment for $770.  I’ve also sourced a cheaper ‘Batwing’ awning.

I didn’t like their stainless steel tailgate kitchen.  The bulk of the kitchen was taken up with a sink.  I will use a collapsible plastic basin (thank you Aldi Dudley).  The stainless steel would get very hot in the West Australian sun.  Finally, the tailgate only opens 90° which means the kitchen fouls access to the interior of the trailer.


You can see in the above photo that there is a considerable height between the top of the tailgate opening and the top of the steel trailer.  I plan to install a false floor just above the tailgate which will give me upper and lower compartments.  I also plan to modify the tailgate hinges which will enable the tailgate to open 180°.  I’ll also make my own plywood tailgate kitchen (no sink!).

Access to the upper compartment is obtained by lifting the top.  Obviously I won’t be able to lift the top when the tent and awning are erected so this area will have to container either items needed to establish the campsite (chairs, table, poles, ground mat, etc or items only required when the tent is packed away (eg, tyre repair tools)


There is a 30 litre water tank underneath the trailer and a 50 litre tank on the front along with two jerry can holders.

As mentioned earlier, these are photos of version 2.  Version 3 has higher and more side lockers.

The height of the wheel guard has been lowered (bottom red line) and the locker height raised to the top red line.  This provided room for a 3rd locker above the wheel arch.


I took one of the second hand 16” rims and tyres I’d bought earlier to the dealer and checked it would fit the trailer wheel hub (it does).  However the inside clearance between the side wall of the tyre and the wheel arch is only 15mm .  My plan is to extend the stub axle with a 20mm steel packing plate which will increase the clearance to 35mm.

The dealers version of the trailer has a 100ah battery in one of the side lockers.  I plan to fit a ‘slimline’ 150ah AGM battery horizontally under the trailer forward of the wheels.  It will be protected with an aluminium bash plate.   The Engel fridge will go in the large front locker.

There is one problem.  With the rooftop tent on top of the cage the trailer is too high to pass under our garage lintel (ie, the trailer won’t fit in the garage).  I’m working on a solution.

Meanwhile Jan’s Pfaff sewing machine is back together and much happier after a good scrub and bath. Smile

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