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  • Camper trailers - What stops them????????

    Most of us have seen pictures of camper trailers left behind in the outback.
    Even better some have seen them in the real.....
    We hear stories about the crappy ones that fall apart.
    To help PP'ers make informed choice when purchasing and so they know what to check and watch for.

    I would like to compile is a list of what STOPS them?
    If you know for fact of a trailer failure, then please add as much detail as possible.
    Please include age & make or country/state it was made in, where the failure was & after how many unsealed road kilometres. Please stick to facts. Pictures would be good.

    Simple information, like what the failure was is good even if you don't have other details.

    I know generally trailers can crack around welds, even with use on sealed roads. Small spring hangers with short welds are bad news...... Also seen the bolts break.

    Thankx in advance

  • #2
    Mine was a piece of shit the day I bought it brand new. Only a few trips up north and it was enough to start rubbing the canvas away and the trailer started rusting in 12 months Was bought brand new and trailered over to me from Adelaide. Biggest piece of shit I ever bought, sold it 12 months later..Wont mention brand but normally if I hear of some one buying one I have a private word to them or send them an email or a PM..........Cheers Steve
    Face lift 150 Prado V6 auto. No mods yet

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm currently in the process of considering what camper trailer to buy. In doing so I have decided that the one terminal failure that must be avoided is the separation of the draw bar. There have been many trailers that have failed in this manner and the main cause can be attributed to two factors ...... one being that the draw bar is not a one piece section ( front to back, similar to chassis rails ) the second being an extremely overloaded draw bar. I came across a couple of guys many years ago in outback WA who had a reasonably well built home made trailer that had bent it's 50 x 150 draw bar to the point of stress fractures. In was self inflicted as it had a huge metal tool box and a 500cc quad bike mounted to it.
      A major failure of this nature is probably terminal unless you have access to welders and materials which are usually not in abundance 500k from Whoop Whoop.

      Bazza
      [i]I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints![/i]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve M View Post
        Mine was a piece of shit the day I bought it brand new. Only a few trips up north and it was enough to start rubbing the canvas away and the trailer started rusting in 12 months Was bought brand new and trailered over to me from Adelaide. Biggest piece of shit I ever bought, sold it 12 months later..Wont mention brand but normally if I hear of some one buying one I have a private word to them or send them an email or a PM..........Cheers Steve
        Well that's a top first reply :-)
        So where was the rust? where stone chips were? Welds? Did they make them in s.a? Or import them?
        Do you have a replacement job?

        Comment


        • #5
          I reckon over the years I must have seen at least 50 trailers broken down on the side of the road while out touring, I know a few personally that have issues and have spoken to a few on my travels that have suffered a breakdown. In every single case I can think of it was suspension / Axle problems.

          A mate broke his U-bolts going across the Anne Beadell, met a couple in Broken Hill who snapped a stub North of Tiboburra, long story that one but someone managed to steal the entire abandoned trailer even with a broken stub. The pic below is of a guy on the Tele Track up the cape, he broke the Ubolts, axle dislodged, blew a tyre, busted his water tank, bent the gaurd. He was a real cowboy and was going like the clappers though, watched him nearly roll it at Gunshot later that day!



          We camped with a guy at King Edward River in the Kimberly, I was a bit surprised to see he had made it that far running slipper springs, he told me they were great and never had an issue with them. Later that day we met them again at Drysdale Station, spring busted and the trailer in a bit of a mess.

          The independant suspension hard top trailers are particularly prone to breaking stubs, the Kimberliy's come with a spare stub supplied. apart from them being heavy, my theory is the independant suspension only goes up and down in a straight line, no change in camper as it flex's putting strain on the stub, thats just my theory though.

          Not that it stopped the trailer, but the first trailer I built, on its first big trip (Tassie) had a push pull manual water pump, first night Trish broke it, couldn't buy another one and spent 3 weeks with a full water tank that we couldn't use, put 12v pumps in ever since. fortunately plenty of water in Tassie.

          Cheers Andrew
          [COLOR="#FF0000"]So Long and Thanks for all the Fish![/COLOR]

          [url=http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showthread.php?3840-AJ-s-120-Prado]MY PRADO AND DIY CAMPER TRAILER[/url]

          [url=http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showthread.php?3975-AJ-s-79-series-Cruiser-Ute]MY HZJ79 Landcrusier[/url]


          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

          Comment


          • #6
            Na ####, the trailer was made in Adelaide but the tent top was made in China. They told me it was all Aussi made but they stuffed up when they used the cardboard to rap the awning poles up in then placed them inside the trailer. It had written on the box the size etc of the tent. So that pissed me off to start with. then I couldn't register it because the wheels hung out past the guards, they placed the number plate light on the opposite side of trailer (tail/brake/blinker combined) and expected it to light up the number plate from the opposite side (dickheads) then the trailer lead was too short to reach the tow vehicle so had to make that longer, surface rust had already started underneath, 2nd hand road tyres were suppose to be new A/T's, suppose to have been supplied a placard to put on trailer for rego, that was the trailer. The tent was a piece of shit. It had two tears in it, one stuffed zipper, water already had leaked into the bed area and damaged the so called marine ply underneath the bed. The screws they used around the outer edge of the bed had pierced the canvas because they were too long, the flyscreen was damaged on one of the windows and I was missing awning poles, sure there is some thing I have missed. I sent this one back straight away but the manager was a prick and would never answer my calls. Was only when I sent him some pictures of the camper on the back of my mates flatbed tow truck out the front of the caravan and camping show with the brand plastered over it letting people know what a piece of shit it was he contacted me and said he'd see me in court. I asked him to let me know the dates as I will bring all the evidence with me and will also park the camper and my hilux duel cab in his show room entering via his plate glass showroom window and will have 3 mates travelling with me. He would not refund me but offered his series two version. It was 80% better but the trailer still started rusting and the canvas was torn by the second use. Cost me money to sell it as I couldn't sell it with torn canvas and surface rust...... Its not like it was a 3 grand trailer either, even if it was it has to be useable for what it was meant for or what they advertise it for.....Cheers Steve
            Face lift 150 Prado V6 auto. No mods yet

            Comment


            • #7
              The main thing that stops camper trailers is this idiotic idea of having to work. Mine is parked up way too much!

              On to the serious side. I am relatively new to the CT scene. Been tenting it for a few years tho. Just finished building my own 7x4 soft floor before Christmas and it is great when we get out there. Search "Chrisos home built soft floor" on myswag.com if you wanna have a look. I am a mechanic by trade and spent a few years working for one of the larger equipment hire mobs so have a reasonable understanding of how to build/look after trailers.

              As AJ120 pointed out most of the problems that will stop you dead in the tracks is the suspension. Its gotta be set up right in the 1st place and regularly inspected and maintained. I am a big fan of the simpleness and reliability of the military wrap eye to eye leaf springs with a solid axle. Greasable shackles, properly adjusted, decent bearings. Forget the shocks IMO (that'll probably start a debate). Roll under it before/after/during each trip and keep an eye on things.

              Probably the best bit of advice is to be realistic about weight and speed. Just because your Prado can tow it down a corrugated road at 90kmh doesnt mean you should do so.

              Chriso
              [COLOR=blue]Current rig - 150 GXL D4D Auto TJM bullbar. Airtec Snorkel. ARB Underbonnet Comp.
              Previous rig - 02 TD GXL.[/COLOR]

              Comment


              • #8
                I have posted these before helped this guy lift the remains of his trailer on a semi after the spring busted .





                Whatever the cost or brand of trailer go over it especially if you want to take it offroad and not just dirt road .
                The quality of how things are put together can sometimes be a rough. (welds)

                Don't be like this picture and lose the pin out of the hitch. He wondered why he was changing down gears.


                Last edited by blkd4d; 03-04-2013, 08:21 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can see how this thread will help prospective CT buyers.

                  We just recently returned from the Cape in our Armadillo Camper.
                  All I can say is ROCK STRIKES, ROCK STRIKES, ROCK STRIKES.
                  Basically anything that isnt robust / tough / cant withstand rock strikes will fail.

                  1) I am one of the 'NON BELIEVERS' in shockers on a leaf spring CT.
                  Due to rock strikes on the PDR we had a shockie break clean in half & the other was holding on but seized.
                  My mate who owns a Pedders franchise thinks that shockies on a leaf spring trailer account for approx 10 % of control.
                  Thats not enough for me to replace them and carry spares.



                  2) We lost the water from our tanks twice due to rock strikes onto the fitting that connect into the side of the tanks.
                  From the factory they were 3/4 BSP thread - 13mm hose elbow fittings. All I can say is weak as piss & Designed to fail.
                  These didnt stand a chance to the constant peppering of rocks on these dirt roads.
                  Even then Plastic tanks have a 6mm thick walls and some of the dents in the tanks are making me consider making some Auminium checker plate guards.
                  So ensure your tanks and fittings are well prtected from rock strikes.

                  3) Stabiliser / Levelling legs that adjust the height of your trailer when parked up are in my mind a gimmick as well.
                  Not only are they another thing you have to set up and pull down when camping but they break off due to rock strikes as well.
                  The Alko's on my Armadillo are still holding on but the plastic bases have broken off, but my friends legs broke clean off.



                  Lastly YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
                  My friend Mark Paid $4500 for a CT before he left Adelaide for his big lap of OZ. Fair enough thats all he could afford.
                  He had welds break where the leaf spring mounts to the chassis, broken bottom plates that hold the leaf springs and the axle together and at Virylia point his 'Stainless' water tanks got a leak... IE- broke the mounts that were welded to the chassis and fell off...
                  But in saying that, he returned to Darwin and sold that CT for $4000... not bad actually for putting 20,000kms on it and breaking a heap of times!
                  So when your taking resale value... He was a winner...
                  Mark was just lucky he is a Boilermaker by trade and managed to borrow a welder of another traveller when he needed it...
                  Anyone without much of a clue would have been in deep doggy doo doo...
                  Last edited by mackayvx; 03-04-2013, 08:25 AM.
                  HERS - KZJ120, BILSTIEN / KINGS, AMTS GEAR, RHINO GEAR, OUTBACK DRAWERS ETC ETC ETC
                  MINE - HDJ78 RV TROOPY. 1HDFTE. TWIN FACTORY LOCKERS. STEINBAUER POWER. OME LIFT. BEAST.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by blkd4d View Post
                    I have posted these before helped this guy lift the remains of his trailer on a semi after the spring busted .

                    Whatever the cost or brand of trailer go over it especially if you want to take it offroad and not just dirt road .
                    The quality of how things are put together can sometimes be a rough. (welds)
                    This an excellent example of substandard workmanship on a CT.
                    I would expect a the draw bar to be fully welded to the chassis, not just and inch of weld at each end.
                    Also whats with those leaf spring hangers at the front, are they risers? Im suprised the spring broke before those frankenstein things!
                    HERS - KZJ120, BILSTIEN / KINGS, AMTS GEAR, RHINO GEAR, OUTBACK DRAWERS ETC ETC ETC
                    MINE - HDJ78 RV TROOPY. 1HDFTE. TWIN FACTORY LOCKERS. STEINBAUER POWER. OME LIFT. BEAST.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mackayvx View Post
                      This an excellent example of substandard workmanship on a CT.
                      I would expect a the draw bar to be fully welded to the chassis, not just and inch of weld at each end.
                      Also whats with those leaf spring hangers at the front, are they risers? Im suprised the spring broke before those frankenstein things!
                      Looks like the leaf spring eye broke off. Thats why you should use two or three rolled end leafs.

                      SOL.
                      [COLOR="#006400"][url]http://www.pradopoint.com/showthread.php?26339-SOL-s-150-shorty-SX[/url][/COLOR]

                      [COLOR="#00FF00"]4wdriving[/COLOR] [COLOR="#0000FF"]First Party[/COLOR] - [COLOR="#FF0000"]Bitumen: A Blatant Waste of Taxpayers Money![/COLOR]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mackayvx View Post
                        I can see how this thread will help prospective CT buyers.

                        We just recently returned from the Cape in our Armadillo Camper.
                        All I can say is ROCK STRIKES, ROCK STRIKES, ROCK STRIKES.
                        Basically anything that isnt robust / tough / cant withstand rock strikes will fail.

                        1) I am one of the 'NON BELIEVERS' in shockers on a leaf spring CT.
                        Due to rock strikes on the PDR we had a shockie break clean in half & the other was holding on but seized.
                        My mate who owns a Pedders franchise thinks that shockies on a leaf spring trailer account for approx 10 % of control.
                        Thats not enough for me to replace them and carry spares.



                        2) We lost the water from our tanks twice due to rock strikes onto the fitting that connect into the side of the tanks.
                        From the factory they were 3/4 BSP thread - 13mm hose elbow fittings. All I can say is weak as piss & Designed to fail.
                        These didnt stand a chance to the constant peppering of rocks on these dirt roads.
                        Even then Plastic tanks have a 6mm thick walls and some of the dents in the tanks are making me consider making some Auminium checker plate guards.
                        So ensure your tanks and fittings are well prtected from rock strikes.

                        3) Stabiliser / Levelling legs that adjust the height of your trailer when parked up are in my mind a gimmick as well.
                        Not only are they another thing you have to set up and pull down when camping but they break off due to rock strikes as well.
                        The Alko's on my Armadillo are still holding on but the plastic bases have broken off, but my friends legs broke clean off.



                        Lastly YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
                        My friend Mark Paid $4500 for a CT before he left Adelaide for his big lap of OZ. Fair enough thats all he could afford.
                        He had welds break where the leaf spring mounts to the chassis, broken bottom plates that hold the leaf springs and the axle together and at Virylia point his 'Stainless' water tanks got a leak... IE- broke the mounts that were welded to the chassis and fell off...
                        But in saying that, he returned to Darwin and sold that CT for $4000... not bad actually for putting 20,000kms on it and breaking a heap of times!
                        So when your taking resale value... He was a winner...
                        Mark was just lucky he is a Boilermaker by trade and managed to borrow a welder of another traveller when he needed it...
                        Anyone without much of a clue would have been in deep doggy doo doo...

                        I didn't do to bad with my Vacation Camper . I had nothing break or bend no leaks from the tank but it did loose paint from the rocks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Steve M View Post
                          Na ####, the trailer was made in Adelaide but the tent top was made in China. They told me it was all Aussi made but they stuffed up when they used the cardboard to rap the awning poles up in then placed them inside the trailer. It had written on the box the size etc of the tent. So that pissed me off to start with. then I couldn't register it because the wheels hung out past the guards, they placed the number plate light on the opposite side of trailer (tail/brake/blinker combined) and expected it to light up the number plate from the opposite side (dickheads) then the trailer lead was too short to reach the tow vehicle so had to make that longer, surface rust had already started underneath, 2nd hand road tyres were suppose to be new A/T's, suppose to have been supplied a placard to put on trailer for rego, that was the trailer. The tent was a piece of shit. It had two tears in it, one stuffed zipper, water already had leaked into the bed area and damaged the so called marine ply underneath the bed. The screws they used around the outer edge of the bed had pierced the canvas because they were too long, the flyscreen was damaged on one of the windows and I was missing awning poles, sure there is some thing I have missed. I sent this one back straight away but the manager was a prick and would never answer my calls. Was only when I sent him some pictures of the camper on the back of my mates flatbed tow truck out the front of the caravan and camping show with the brand plastered over it letting people know what a piece of shit it was he contacted me and said he'd see me in court. I asked him to let me know the dates as I will bring all the evidence with me and will also park the camper and my hilux duel cab in his show room entering via his plate glass showroom window and will have 3 mates travelling with me. He would not refund me but offered his series two version. It was 80% better but the trailer still started rusting and the canvas was torn by the second use. Cost me money to sell it as I couldn't sell it with torn canvas and surface rust...... Its not like it was a 3 grand trailer either, even if it was it has to be useable for what it was meant for or what they advertise it for.....Cheers Steve
                          I like your style of sharing your experience, if more ppl had the balls to do that, then we would get better products & service, too many ppl let them get away with avoiding the calls.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mackayvx View Post

                            Drew, those hoses coming off your water tank are just asking to get broken off hey! Its how al lot of if not most are done though.

                            I actually built my tank so I can suck the water out through a point high up on the tank, it has an internal suction that goes to within a few mm's of the bottom, keeps it up nice and high and out of harms way. Only issue was I built the water tank while the trailer was at the Upholsters getting the tent made, forgot about the recovery points and ended up putting the outlet directly in line with it, a couple of spacers fixed that though.




                            Cheers Andrew
                            [COLOR="#FF0000"]So Long and Thanks for all the Fish![/COLOR]

                            [url=http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showthread.php?3840-AJ-s-120-Prado]MY PRADO AND DIY CAMPER TRAILER[/url]

                            [url=http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showthread.php?3975-AJ-s-79-series-Cruiser-Ute]MY HZJ79 Landcrusier[/url]


                            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We did 4 months away last year with a Kimberley Kamper and had no dramas at all. Although the bat-crap on the canvas could be a pain! These units are well made and manage tough conditions pretty well. Did over 20000K's up through NT and Kimberley region in WA. Had to get an insect screen zip replaced. Apart from that there were no functional problem at all. We sold it at the end of the trip and got our money back!! Thinking about an Ultimate next so would be interested to see what experience other PP's have with these.
                              2004 Silver GX 4spd auto 3.0 T/D, Safari snorkel, dual batteries (Piranha), Bilstein suspension upgrade & lift, ARB winch-bar, diff breathers, GXL steel wheels and 245X17 Cooper AT3s, Autosafe cargo barrier, Kulkyne side awning & Oztent, Toyota 3 bar rack, Maxtrax, other ARB & TJM recovery gear, Engel and Waeco fridges, Towpro, GME uhf, AMTS recovery points, Tvan

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