Australia is a magical place with pockets of wilderness and adventures to be had. And one of the best ways to explore it all is with a quality camper trailer. As opposed to bulky caravans or the hassle of putting tents up, camper trailers make a good investment for anyone that loves to go outback. Designed to go off-road with almost all the comforts of home, they’re a practical and robust solution for tackling the country’s beaten tracks.
Weighing up the features and different types of camper trailers can be hard work though. There are multiple styles and sizes on the market and budget considerations to cater for. Aside from the usual features which range from kitchen and cooking facilities to furnishings and hot water on demand, consider what flooring type is better based on your needs and priorities. Hard floor and soft floor camper trailers have a few key differences to weigh up. Here are the essentials to get you started:
The Low Down on Hard Floor Camper Trailers
One of the biggest deterrents from camping around the country is the lack of homely comforts many travellers miss. It’s these comforts that make caravans or booking a hotel appealing. But what if you can have the at-home essentials in a smaller, compact trailer? Camper trailers go wherever your 4WD drive can go!
Hard floor camper trailers are designed with the hearty off-road traveller in mind. Because the base of these are solid instead of soft, they tend to be more durable and suited to all terrain. Typically, they’re created to flip-over or wind up to set up. Hardfloors are a common and popular camper trailer type due to their sturdiness and better protection, but they still come with their own set of pros and cons.
Quick Set Up: These camper trailers are much easier and quicker to set up and pack down that soft floor campers. The trailer has a hardtop and when it’s time to unfold and use, it’s as simple as flipping over the top to reveal the roof and sides. The hardtop on the camper trailer then forms the floor. One of the downfalls of camping is constantly setting up – especially if you’re planning on staying at multiple places. If your trip involves a new location every night, hardfloors are a better option.
Easy to Clean: With camping comes mud, dirt, dust and debris. Hard floor campers have a solid floor which makes it easier to keep the sleeping/living area clean. This leaves you and your family with more exploring time and less worry about tidying.
Creates a Suspended, Safe and Self-Contained Unit: The hard floor is suspended off the floor on legs which encourages a more comfortable camping unit. This elevated flooring keeps your living/sleeping area protected against water and dirt coming into the unit and is handy with rough or uneven grounds. Because of the elevated flooring, the unit has better protection against the elements, animals and pests. For extra protection consider the flip-over style campers.
Cost: Hard floor campers may be tougher but that means the price goes up too. Because the range of camper trailers are plentiful, they are becoming competitively priced across the market though. If you’re looking specifically for an off-road camper, these will be more expensive than camper trailers designed for sealed roads.
Towing Capacity: The solid floor makes these camping units heavier than their counterparts which affect towing capacity. Before purchasing a camper trailer, always check the desired product doesn’t exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle. If you can only tow a small size, soft floor campers may be better suited.
Lack of Room: Internal living space is kept to a minimum with hard floor campers. Whilst they still have cooking, dining and sleeping facilities there’s still less space than soft floor campers. Consider how many occupants will use the camper trailer and whether you have enough space for equipment storage.
The Low Down on Soft Floor Camper Trailers
On the flip side, soft floor trailers don’t have solid flooring but PVC covering which is similar to tent floor. Whilst they’re not as robust as the hard floor units, their lightweight properties create an easier load for country adventures. Soft floor camper trailers are perfect for travellers that don’t mind spending a little more time setting up camp, but need the extra storage space or weight benefits as primary preference.
Room to Move: One of the biggest benefits of soft floor camper trailers is the extra space. The internal living area is incomparable, with extensive options to cater for families and groups of friends. There are so many different sizes on the market with soft floor units so it’s very easy to find one within budget. If you wanted to add extra space, it’s simple to create additional rooms making them perfect for taking the kids or larger groups. Campers with soft floors have better and more flexible storage capability too.
Cost: Soft floor units tend to be the most economic options because of the materials used and lightweight properties.
Easy to Haul: Generally, these units weigh a lot less without the solid flooring making them easier to haul along the outback. The towing capacity is lower and because of the material flexibility they can manoeuvre into tight spaces better.
Maintenance: When you’re on holiday it’s easy to forget about the daily campsite maintenance but after a few days on the road, the evidence starts to show. Soft floor camper trailers require preparation and upkeep. You won’t be able to get away with leaving the floor unswept unless you want the dirt to funnel into the sleeping area when packed away.
Setting Up/Packing Away: For travellers on the go, these units are much more time consuming to set up and pack away than hard floor trailers. The effort can be a challenge. Even more so if you’re having to prep your camper home at every pit stop.
Extensive Campsite Preparation: More campsite prep is required, especially if you’re in the middle of the bush or camping on uneven grounds. Like with pitching a tent, you’ll need to plan where the canvas will fall and then prep the ground. This can take a lot of time if you’re in the bush, clearing away rocks and levelling the ground.
Determining which camper trailer is right for you should be done on a case-by-case basis. Consider budget, how many people will most likely be travelling and the towing capacity of your 4WD. Weigh up your preferences and must have features and find which unit fits with your wants and needs best. For more information about what camper trailer is better suited for you, contact one of our staff today.