|Our camper trailer - very soon after purchase!|
Our camping gear has undergone various changes over time, to better suit our needs (and experience). While in Victoria we bought a caravan, prompted by the colder climate and a change in Nick's work hours. It ended up being our base for almost 18 months as we readied ourselves for another inter-state relocation. As part of those preparations we also sold our trailer, which had served us well for many adventures.
We (finally!) relocated to Queensland in February 2017 and enjoyed a few short trips that year, staying in Bandit-friendly cabins cos no-one wanted to go back into the van. Our budget isn't geared to regular cabin accommodation so we started looking for another trailer - as we still had all our camping gear.
I'd suggested a trailer with some camping specific modifications, praps even a kitchen. Nick was keen for a multi-purpose box trailer. Neither of us were actually looking for a camper trailer - but that's what we bought!
In 2008 we hired a soft-floor camper trailer and decided against that style of camping. In more recent times we viewed a number of hard-floor campers at different camping expos. These models seemed far easier to set up and we considered one as a possible option, for sometime in the future.
Our acquisition was advertised as a home-made Aussie Swag camper. It's previous owner ("D9") had made several modifications, the most obvious one being a large storage box on the draw bar.
We bought the trailer unregistered as the modifications needed to be approved for a higher weight category. Of course, we assumed the process would be fairly straightforward - and it wasn't. You can read the full saga, here. Given all the angst I was a bit stunned when I actually exited the motor registry with my brand-new number plate, which proves the camper trailer has a legal ATM of 1200kg! Hooray!
One of our earliest camper trailer jobs was to remove mould from the canvas roof. (We bought product to re-seal the canvas afterward but are yet to complete that task). Aside from that mission and some other cleaning, we didn't do much for our first few months of ownership. We had an overnight trip (to celebrate registration) and then a week-long holiday to Yowah in September, where we mainly used the trailer for sleeping, though we did get to experience an overnight/transit stop.
There was opportunity for another school holiday mini-break this September and Nick achieved a few modifications in preparation for that trip. The gas rings were removed in January. A few days before departure, two extra shelves were fitted to the box. The larger of those has a hinged section to create a small bench area for food preparation. A solar panel was fitted to the box-roof and the battery also updated. It was good to test the improvements in the field soon after they were done. We are liking the better organisation but think we can do even better for future trips.
Nick fitted two fridge slides in October. They'd been on the wish-list for years but there were always higher priorities for any financial bonuses. The cost of ready-built fridge slides was still more than we wanted to spend - but Nick sourced components via eBay and constructed two custom slides. He really did brilliant work! More modifications were done throughout November - and we enjoyed testing them just before Christmas that year.