What to look for when buying a camper trailer

There are so many options when it comes to camper trailers these days, and let’s be honest, when you start looking around it can be quite daunting. This should be such a fun time for you, so let’s try to break it down and take you through the main decisions you need to make.

Know what you need

The best way to start is to make your own list of requirements. What do you need, what do you want and what are nice to haves but not necessities. This will start eliminating models to get you to the one that best suits your needs. Think of things like:

  1. How many of you will the camper need to accommodate?
  2. What sort of places will you be staying at? Holiday Parks or caravan parks offering full facilities or secluded camping spots where you need to bring absolutely everything you need?
  3. Will you be going off-road and heading to isolated tracks or staying on the sealed roads for the most part?
  4. Do you have large extras you will be packing such as kayaks, bikes or a tinny?
  5. What features are a must for you? Slide-out kitchenette with sink, tap and gas stove or extra storage space could be things you consider

Soft Floor or Hard Floor

The main types of camper you will be looking at are soft floor and hard floor models. Deciding on this is a great start.

Key points to a Soft Floor:

  • Great for large families
  • They are lighter campers
  • Most affordable
  • Ideal for either long or short stays
  • Flexible tent set-up
  • Plenty of storage under the tent section
  • Storage racks for kayaks etc. will need to be retrofitted

Examples of Soft-floor campers are the Mars SurveyorTitan and Maven

Key points to a Hard Floor:spirit-hammertone

  • Best for couples or small families
  • Heavier campers than the soft floors but super easy to set up and pull down
  • They are lower in price than they used to be but are still more expensive than the soft floors
  • You can store large bulky items on the roof of the camper

Examples of Hard-floor campers are the Mars VanguardGalileoExtremoExtremo Deluxe and Voyager as well as the forward fold versions of the SpiritSpirit 2-PAC and Spirit Deluxe.

On-Road or Off-Road capabilities

What is your intended use of the camper? ‘On-road’ campers have no problem travelling on secondary roads to get to a camping spot, however if you plan on heading off the beaten track and going on safari then you will need something heavy duty and robust.

Match the trailer to your towing vehicle

Matching the camper trailer weight to your towing vehicle is a must to avoid damage to your transmission and suspension but is also paramount to your safety too. Your camper trailer dealer can advise you on this. You will also need to consider the actual trailer capacity if you will be carrying bulky items such as quad bikes, kayaks, a tin boat or other heavy equipment such as a motorbike.


14570661_1825339794344994_8182942047804609697_oThink about what features and maybe extras you think you will need. For example, a slide-out kitchenette – do you need a gas stove fitted or do you have your own portable one you will use? Is the space provided for a fridge big enough for your needs? Does the storage space suffice?

Deciding on your features and inclusions is useful as you don’t want to be paying for features you know you won’t use.

Other key features that are important and standard on all Mars campers include:

  • Stoneguards
  • Dedicated gas bottle and jerry can holders
  • Hot dip galvanised chassis and body
  • 14oz rip stop canvas
  • Spare wheel
  • Storage/tool box
  • Stabilizing legs

There is also the option of adding extras to your chosen camper to really make it your own. Think about things like 240v power, an inner spring mattress, lighting, a second battery, an extra spare tyre holder. Your camper specialist can advise you on these options.

This information will stand you in good stead for finding a camper trailer just right for you and your needs. Good luck and happy camping!

For more information on the Mars Campers range contact Patto and Annette at Patto’s RV Centre, Geelong on 03 5248 0138 or visit www.prvcentre.com.au.