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Old 03-12-2016, 12:48 AM
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Default How campers go off-road

Hey guys, new to the forum
Looking at getting a camper, Im curious as to people's experiences of the off-road campers and how they perform off-road. Specifically are they too heavy? I've seen all the 4wd Action videos with them operating off-road with seeming ease, but I wanted some actual feedback of people's experiences.
And any suggestions as to good campers? Skamper, Blackseries etc?
I've got a fairly stock GU engine wise, 3inch exhaust is all, looking at chipping.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:28 AM
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I had an Aussie Swag flip over that was less then a tonne loaded and it would follow the Patrol anywhere off road without any dramas, the only issue was real tight switch backs that required 3 point turns, it basically requires you to disconnect the trailer and hook it back up which can be a real pain when it is steep.

The new camper is around 1800kg loaded up, it will go anywhere the car goes BUT, I don't like taking it on really steep tracks as the Patrol struggles up hill and if the tracks are slippery I won't tow it down any steep hills
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:39 AM
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Just like 4wds I think you'll find that the offroad ability varies a great deal from one camper to the next.

I have a pioneer that is now about 3 or 4 inches higher than pioneer made it, and has a great departure angle and clearance underneath is superior to the vehicle as trailers don't have diff pumpkins hanging down.

I've recently towed it up the Munja track and back in the Kimberley, which is 220kms each way of rock shelfs, river crossings, ruts and boondies, and it's been to Steep Point about 4 times as well, it will go pretty much anywhere the car will go within reason.

Some of the cheap Chinese type campers do not have a good reputation at all, there are quite a number of horror stories going around about many of them.

One point to remain acutely aware of when towing, your car will happily allow each diff to twist in opposite directions, so they may be articulated and crossed oppositely but the body will stay relatively flat, compared to the terrain, however a single axle camper, regardless of whether or not it is independent, will naturally tip it's whole body so you're more likely in many cases to hit bodywork on the camper than the car, so it's important to drive accordingly and assess the trailer's path differently to the car's.
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:20 AM
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It depends what you call "off road". My son took my new Black series Alpha to the cape via the Tele Track, and back via Birdsville, Adelaide, and The Great Ocean Road. The trailer was loaded to the gills and although it did the trip suffering only minor issues, he said that he would never again take one up the Tele again.

His reason was that the towing weight is APTA and the extra fuel consumption. You also tend to take lots of stuff that you wouldn't normally without a trailer. All up, truck & trailer was over 4.5ton.
He's doing it again soon, this time with his roof top tent & swags.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:10 PM
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I think anyone who chooses to take a camper anywhere accepts the fuel usage or they wouldn't buy one.

Mine only adds about 2 litres per hundred (diesel, may be more for a petrol?) and I figured that over my Cape York trip, I did over 17000kms, so 170 lots of 100km, so about 340 litres extra over three months but in return I get Hollywood accomodation and kitchen. Without it I would have had heaps on the roof and/or a roof top tent so that may have been closer in fuel use anyway, saving almost nothing. At least you can leave the camper and do day trips, with an RTT you have to pack up every day so I don't use the RTT that often.

For me, on bigger trips the pros of a camper outweigh the cons, but that's a very personal choice of course.
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leethal View Post
....
For me, on bigger trips the pros of a camper outweigh the cons, but that's a very personal choice of course.
Agree with that....

Amonst other trips, we've towed our 2T tandem up the Tele Track twice, once via the Old Coach Road. We wouldn't consider camping without it.....
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Old 27-12-2016, 10:11 PM
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Thanks guys, you've definitely pointed out some things to think of!

Leethal, what you say makes sense.

I do definitely need to do some research on the trailers though, I definitely want to get one, after hearing the Hollywood style camping!
Swags are great for a night or weekend away, but for anything longer, a little more comfort, more than makes up for the cons involved! I did a trip from Port Hedland whilst I was there, to Cape Leveque and the start of the Gibb in late October, a little more comfort would have been greatly appreciated!

And apart from the constant setting up and down of an RTT, I also lose my roof space!

I know one thing now! I really want to finish the Gibb!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:21 PM
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ive towed/winched my trailer up tracks most people are reluctant to take their 4wd.
the added weight can make things a little harder but its never stopped me from going anywhere.
im yet to do say a cape run with it but i wouldnt hesitate.
fuel economy isnt flash with it hooked up but the comforts its provides is excellent. and as for taking more than you need. this is true within reason but if you feel you dont need it dont take it.
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Old 14-05-2017, 05:51 PM
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Most of Australian camper are way to big and way to heavy for my liking to be an good offroad.

If you look at the US campers they are the opposite small and light weight, easy to tow and great off road.

Driving on smooth gravel roads isn't offroad for me , I mean real 4x4ing tracks that need low range.
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