Sick of tenting it? Check out these awesome camping quarters.
Pop Top Camper Trailer
Need space for a small crew? Consider a pop-top camper trailer with fold-out sides. Each end folds out to reveal a double bed, with a fixed kitchenette, lounge and dining facilities located between. The roof sits low when you’re towing to provide a clear rear mirror view, and is raised using a winder at camp. Pop-top campers take up little space at camp for the interior space they provide, and keep you high off the ground.
If your long-term touring, a campervan or small motorhome can keep you travelling all year round. They’re secure, and take up less room at camp as there’s no tow vehicle to think about. Most campervans and small motorhomes have internal kitchenettes, and some are even fitted with a small ensuite. In most vans, you can rearrange the sleeping quarters to serve as a dining/lounge during the day, but some models have driver and passenger seats that ‘swivel’ to face a fixed dining area as well, saving you from adjusting the bed each night.
Small Caravan / Hybrid Van
Small hybrid caravans provide outstanding security and comfort for long-distance travellers in all kinds of weather. They usually offer cooking facilities such as a four-burner stove with grille inside or out depending on the design, with most offering bathroom facilities inside. Many small caravans also include comforts such as a large fridge, hot water and air-conditioning.
Soft-floor Camper Trailer
Large families familiar with camping in a tent who carry lots of camping gear will love the space, storage and kitchen appointments of a soft-floor camper trailer. Essentially a tent attached to a bed on wheels, soft-floor camper trailers require some effort to set up but they’re very spacious inside. The vinyl floor sits on the ground like a traditional tent, so a similar approach to site preparation is required but some manufacturers now provide rooftop tent options for overnight stays. Many offer large external drawer-style kitchens with lots of room to store groceries.
If you enjoy sleeping under canvas, but crave more comfort and simplicity than in a tent, rear-fold hard-floor camper trailers are great. You flip the lid of the camper over to reveal a tent that contains a raised bed, and a floor opposite of that, close to the ground. There’s no internal lounge, and storage capacity is less than in a soft-floor, but it’s easier to clean. Kitchens in rear-fold campers are usually external. Most easily sleep two people, but larger models have room for camp cots inside as well.
New to the scene, forward folds open up over the a-frame to reveal a tent containing a raised bed and internal lounge. The hard floor is higher than in a rear-fold camper, so if you’re camped up somewhere nice, you can really enjoy the view from inside. Most forward folds have a removable canvas wall that provides a pleasing al fresco ambience to the lounge area in balmy weather. A larger tow vehicle is required though, as a lot of weight is carried near the hinge up front.
Those working a trade who carry few things might like a tray-top camper. These clever campers fit on a ute tray, providing a raised bed under a side-folding tent or a hard-top roof that you can raise. Storage capacity is confined by the size of the ute tray, and the weight carrying capacity of your ute (the GVM), which is less than what you can tow. That said, they’re easy to take off-road, and take up very little space at camp. And, as most tray-top campers are self-supporting, you can unhitch them and drive the ute by itself, without upsetting the camp.