There is no doubt that buying a camper trailer is a huge investment, and for a lot of campers, a tent is sufficient for the one or two annual camping trips they take. But for those who are starting to get out there often, want to get out more, your car is running out of room for the family, or if your set up and pack up process is getting so complex that it is stopping you from getting out on those spontaneous weekend escapes; it just might be the time to upgrade to a camper trailer or even a hybrid camper.
Camper trailers offer more luxury, especially when it comes to sleeping off the ground to keep away from the snakes and spiders! But perhaps the best thing about camping with a trailer is the ease of packing and set up. You can pack the trailer during the week, as opposed to the stress of organising the car and kids on a Friday afternoon. With a camper trailer, everything is already in there from when you camped last time, just throw in some food and clothes and you are good to go!
You can set up our campers in as little as 15-20 minutes. Whereas setting up a full campsite with tents, awnings, tarps, kitchens, and all your camping gear will often take you a couple hours. The same applies to when you get home on Sunday. All you gotta do is just park your camper in a safe place, and unpack it during the week. Allowing you to stay out longer!
So now that you have decided a camper trailer is for you, it’s time to start looking around and find the perfect setup for you and your family. And boy could it not be any more difficult. The huge range of camper trailers available on the market can make it a daunting experience for anybody. So where do you start?
The perfect place to start your journey into the world of camper trailers are the following couple of questions.
1) What’s your budget?
2) How many people are you traveling with?
3) Where are you intending on traveling? (Camping Style)
4) What are you towing it with? (Learn more about Trailer Weight Jargon)
Even though campers out there can range anywhere from $7,000 all the way up to $100,000+, the simple fact is you don’t need all the bells and whistles to just get out there and have fun! What you do want however is something that is built tough, reliable, and comfortable.
Our Camper’s range in price from $13,399 for the Chase S4 up to $49,999 for our Hybrid Commander, so knowing your price range will help narrow down your selection. And we are very proud of the quality of our trailers even compared with more expensive brands.
The next questions are, how many people, and your camping style (where you want to go)?
If it’s just you, a small hard floor camper may be the best choice, if traveling with 5 kids, we would more suggest a Soft floor camper as they have a lot more floor space inside the tent for all the kids! (More on the differences between soft floors and hard floors later). And will you be visiting Caravan Parks, Camp Grounds, National Forests all via well-formed roads? Will the location have basic amenities such as water, toilets, and showers? Or are you more the type that wants to head off the beaten track and find your own spot in the wilderness? Are you planning “touring” holidays, where you set up for one or two nights and then move on, or camping for several days at a time?
Answering these questions will help you decide if you do need something like the Warrior S4 that is designed to carry extra water, fuel, and supplies for a week of remote camping, or if the Chase S4, with its super quick setup, and lower towing weight might be a perfect choice.
When it comes time, and you are finished researching online and head into a showroom, don’t be afraid to ask our sales guys questions. Our team are campers just like you and have all gone through the upgrade from tenting to camper trailers themselves. Asking questions will help us suggest the perfect trailer for your unique situation.
What are some questions you could ask?
1) What does the camper trailer weigh?
2) Can I set it up and Pack it Down by myself?
3) Can this trailer handle hard-core off-road tracks?
4) Can I sleep extra people if needed?
5) What’s the warranty like?
6) We highly recommend you write a list of questions before you arrive at our showrooms so you don’t forget any while here.
The first thing you may notice when shopping for the perfect camper trailer is that there are several different configurations available. Some are hard floors folding either forward, backward or in the case of the Chariot S3, a double fold, folding back and front. Others have a soft floor, but will generally have much more space inside the main tent.
A rear fold camper has a sealed hard top when traveling, and opens to the rear to become a floor that is suspended off the ground on rails. This is great especially when you are camping on sloped ground, on the beach in soft sand or when you are expecting rain and the ground may be a bit soggy. From towing, this style of camper fold out in minutes (using a winch, which is a huge advantage for setting up with just one person) ready for a quick overnight camp, and the best part? The bed is already made!
The kitchen slides out from the side, which can also be accessed with the roof down if you want a quick meal break while on the road. They also come in models light enough (The Chase S4) to be towed by a medium SUV. One thing to consider, is this style of camper will have a larger footprint than the forward folds.
In contrast, the forward fold camper trailers open forward over the drawbar. Opening in the same footprint as the trailer. This puts your sleeping area far off the ground and even provides you with a sit-down eating area that can easily be folded into another queen-sized bed. Perfect if your mates tag along with you, or if you have a small family with 1 or 2 children.
The Double Fold Camper Trailer by Platinum called the Chariot S4 is a rear fold and a forward fold combined into one. Including both a rear fold portion that folds onto the ground and another that folds up over the drawbar. This gives you three separate rooms!
The only downside to the hard floor camper range is they could become a little more cramped for large families and groups. But as with all Platinum Campers, there is a fully enclosed annex included, adding a large open space to your camp setup.
Soft Floor Campers are great if you need more room. The soft floor tents are usually much larger than the hard floor equivalents without the need for extra rooms. Despite the myths that a soft floor is all to hard to set-up, we have put the design technology into our tents, where they now require very minimal set-up. It can be done with just one person. First, you will remove the soft vinyl tonneau cover and then pushing open the canvas to expose the internal frame which is all on a strut system and just folds open easily. With the addition of a couple of tent poles, your tent is open. From there, it is a good idea to use tent pegs to secure your tent to the ground. Even though you are the tent is at ground level, you’re still safe and secure with our heavy duty bucket flooring design, which will stop any ground water coming in, and zips all the way around with insect screens.
And then there are the Hybrid Camper Trailers. Arrive set up and ready. A Hybrid Camper takes elements from a caravan, but it’s towed like a camper. The best thing about the Hybrid campers is they can go where caravans can’t. Beaches, Off-Roading, for example, you’d never take a standard caravan to Cape York; but you can take a Hybrid. Electric Awning and roof, air-conditioning, TVs, bunk beds, and a ton of storage give you the comfort level you desire. The best part being is there is no setup required. Just pull up at your site and start enjoying nature!
Of course – there are many more variations of campers available in the market. Your choice will depend on what suits you, and your family the best, your camping style, and the level of comfort you are wanting. Considerations must also be given to the towing capacity of your vehicle as well as the ball weight. Make sure you check your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook or website for these specifications. Overloading your vehicle can void your warranty as well as your insurance. (Don’t forget the trailer’s Ball Weight is part of your vehicle’s payload).
Hopefully, by now you have started to list your preferences and have started to narrow down your search to a shortlist of campers. Our website has a ton of information on there, and we are adding more all the time. But sometimes there is no better advice than that from those who have done it before you.
Some of our customers have set up their very own Platinum Campers Community groups on Facebook. Check it out – You don’t need a camper to join, and we think we have some of the best customers around because we see people just like you asking questions from real owners all the time. And they are always happy to talk about their Platinum Campers.
So, What next?
We understand buying a camper trailer is a very reasonable expense. It may very well be the second or third largest purchase you may make in your life, just behind your house, car, and boat. You must take your time and do your homework so you make the best choice for yourself, your family, and your camping style.
So, ready to start your adventure with Platinum and begin creating memories with your loved ones? Head on in to one of our Platinum Showrooms, find us on Facebook or Instagram, Visit our website or just give us a call, and we can help you find the perfect Camper Trailer for you!