Hard Floor Camper Trailer
What is a Hard Floor Camper Trailer?
A Hard Floor Camper Trailer offers a significant advantage over their hybrid camper stablemates. Specifically space, with the large hard floor providing plenty of room for kids sleeping mats or stretchers without feeling hemmed in. Or if you don’t have kids, you can use the hard floor as a general utility area, such as for a table and chairs after dark to escape the insects.
For quick overnight stops, a hard floor is simple to setup and pack away. Open the catches, flip out the floor and erect the tent. You can be relaxing in bed in just a few minutes. Even the clever awning with its boomerang action is designed around minimal effort and maximum enjoyment.
Hard Floor Camper Trailer Features
A hard floor camper trailer provides a sense of space not available in a hybrid camper. It can be used for kids sleeping mats/stretchers or just a general utility area.
The longer hard floor also translates to a larger annexe, providing plenty of shade. Optional walls are easy to zip on and help block the wind and sun.
Add a zip-on ensuite for the ultimate convenience and privacy, allowing you to step directly into the privacy of your camper after showering.
If you need to carry swags, bikes or other bulky gear, a teardrop camper like the Tvan has a large storage area in the pod where gear can be tied down.
If wet canvas on the bed is a concern don’t dispair. The Tvan bundles it into the hatch away from the bed.
Forward Fold Camper Trailers
In recent years, the forward fold or rear slide camper trailer has emerged, offering an alternative lifestyle design. Rather than a hard floor that offers varied use, the rear deck is used for additional bedding or internal seating.
This style of camper adds a significant weight penalty with many 500kg or more heavier than a hard floor camper. If you enjoy lounging around in caravan parks or bush camping areas with easy access this may work ok.
However, if you prefer remote bush camps it could work against you. Imagine weaving through saplings along a creek bed, fording rivers, and tackling slow, bumpy, technical terrain with an extra 500kg onboard. In these conditions, less weight makes a huge difference.
With the deeper tub of the forward fold design, many are higher off the ground meaning a two step ladder is required and potential for injury when stepping out.
Storage may also be limited, as priority is allocated toward internal seating or bedding.
Weigh up the pros and cons and the suitability to your specific circumstances before shelling out for a forward fold camper.
Hard Floor Camper Trailer Buyer’s Guide
Consider the following attributes before laying down your hard-earned savings on a hard floor camper trailer:
- The manufacturer’s experience with hard floor camper trailer manufacture.
- Use of high grade Australian steel and other components to ensure a rugged build while still maintaining a modest tare weight.
- Quality canvas: most premium Australian manufacturers use Wax Converters Textiles (WCT) canvas which is Dynaproofed for UV stability and mould resistance. WCT canvas has superior water proofing and stretch attributes relative to imported canvas. Keep an eye out for the patented Dynaproofed canvas label.
- Can you match hubs to your towing vehicle?
- Accessories to customise a camper trailer to your requirements such as additional canvas, heating and cooling.
- Kitchen upgrades: slide out kitchens with generous food preparation areas for family cooking
- Power and battery management. A good setup should include two AGM 120Ah batteries with 240V and 12V (DC DC) chargers, a 240V system, volt meter, solar input, and internal and external power sockets. Better systems add a battery management system to help monitor all the inputs and outputs (or a Lithium alternative).
- Storage: there should be good storage and easy access all around the camper, on the drawbar and under the bed. When packed up, it’s convenient to have access inside the camper without opening it up. The roof/hard floor is also a good spot to store kayaks, bikes and more.
- Canvas should be an easy fold design with supportive bows that prevent water pooling. Avoid campers that have a pole diagram as this will normally mean a lot of poles and effort to setup.
- Canvas features: dual doors improve ventilation or provide a convenient access to a zip on ensuite for showering.
- Water storage: Tank size upgrades are handy for those who want to carry more. Food grade poly tanks are better than heavy steel. Baffling prevents water quickly moving from side to side which can affect balance off road.
- Body colour options to match your vehicle or discerning tastes.
- Buyer feedback on make/model – search Google with words such as make/manufacturer problem or warranty.
Tvan Buyers Guide
After Sales Support
Whatever you buy, make sure there is a servicing dealer nearby with a solid reputation for after sales service. During the sales process you will have many questions and it’s reassuring to have a dependable local resource for support. Then there’s servicing requirements, parts, repairs and sometimes warranty to attend to. Try doing that through an interstate body.
Does the dealer have any interest in touring/camping? It’s always best to deal with like-minded enthusiasts with similar interests, rather than people just paid to sell hard floor camper trailers. Camping enthusiasts can share their own experiences and add value in areas far beyond the nuts and bolts of the camper.
The hard floor camper trailer market is growing. Knowing how to weed out the best products (with the best local support) to suit the style of touring you do is critical to your decision making process. Buy the best product you can afford. You’ll get good use from it and enjoy your camping that much more and all while maintaining a better return on investment.
See our premium Australian made Hard Floor Camper Trailer range HERE.