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Thread: Off-the-ground Camping for 4 - aka tired of the tent

  1. #21
    Junior Member transalper's Avatar
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    We had a chance to look at the Kamperoo Weekender and my wife is pretty much sold on the tent-trailer concept. She really wants all four of us to fit in the accomidations and the Kamperoo has plenty of space. The build quality is pretty good and the set-up/take-down is very slick. I think I just have to accept the trailer concept for family camping and put up with the hassles of the trailer.

    The only big downside to the Kamperoo I can see right away is the suspension. It's leaf sprung with no shock. It will definitely bounce all over the place on rough roads and trails. Suspension mods would definitely be in order if we get this thing. I'd love some feedback on what you guys think would be the ultimate trailer suspension. Options:

    1. Slap on some longer shackles and fab up some shock mounts. Cheap and relatively easy.
    2. Install a four-link suspension with coil springs. This would be more complicated and expensive.
    3. Quarter-elliptical leafs. Very plush and relatively cheap.

    I'm leaning toward the 1/4liptical. All would likely involve larger tires - probably 27-29s on 14-15' rims or something like that. Down the road it would be cool to match the rims on the runner, but that is overboard for sure.

    Jay - 97 4Runner
    St. Paul, Minnesota

  2. #22
    Life is an adventure! expeditionswest's Avatar
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    sounds like a good solution for you. The quarter-elliptic and coils would both require a 3 or 4 bar linkage, but I think it would be worth it. My trailer sure bounces around A LOT! with the rubber torsion axles.

    There is a real advantage to running your wheels on that trailer, as it is light enough to be supported totally flat. That would give you two extra spares for your truck. With my tailer empty, with the LT235/75 R15's in place, the tires dont require ANY air in them :) You probably wouldnt want to drive fast or far like that, but it would work in a pinch :)

    I hope I didnt sound too down on trailers before, as I have used one successfully for many years. I have just learned its limitations.

    Scott Brady
    mailto:guide@expeditionswest.com
    http://www.expeditionswest.com

  3. #23
    Puertecitos Casa BajaXplorer's Avatar
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    Transalper,


    I'll be very interested in hearing any further info on the Kamparoo Weekender. We found it on the internet sometime back, but all of our emails to the Canadian distributor in Alberta have gone unanswered. Wished there was one around here to go and checkout. Was the weekender you looked at the Transcontinental version? Itsupposedly has heavier duty components for offroad use.


    BX
    I'm lost, but I'm making good time.
    BX

    Beer is good food. Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. Beer is the reason I get up every afternoon. Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. Beer is water that has reached it's full potential.

  4. #24
    Junior Member transalper's Avatar
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    My brother has a 1/4liptical on his camping trailer and it works great. I don't recall how many links he has on it, but it was pretty easy to set up. It articulates like a rock crawler. The shock mounts are going to be the tricky part, as I do not want to have too much lift.
    Running the same tires on the trailer would be ideal. Good ground clearance, extra tires for the runner, and real bearings in the hub. All I'd really need are a set of hubs (aisin free wheel hubs for that trick look and reduced drag) and a 2x2 steel tube for the axle. I also wouldn't need to carry a spare for the trailer. I'd probably end up doing this down the road anyway and it would make sense to do it all at once with the suspension mods, eh? :)
    You sounded a bit down on trailers, but that's why I posted this. I want to hear your feedback. Trailers really can be a hassle. But it also looks like a camping trailer is looming in my future. I may as well embrace it and start planning the mods.


    Scott Brady said...
    sounds like a good solution for you. The quarter-elliptic and coils would both require a 3 or 4 bar linkage, but I think it would be worth it. My trailer sure bounces around A LOT! with the rubber torsion axles.

    There is a real advantage to running your wheels on that trailer, as it is light enough to be supported totally flat. That would give you two extra spares for your truck. With my tailer empty, with the LT235/75 R15's in place, the tires dont require ANY air in them :) You probably wouldnt want to drive fast or far like that, but it would work in a pinch :)

    I hope I didnt sound too down on trailers before, as I have used one successfully for many years. I have just learned its limitations.


    [/quote]




    Jay - 97 4Runner
    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Post Edited (transalper) : 9/21/2004 9:42:09 AM (GMT-8)

  5. #25
    Junior Member transalper's Avatar
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    It was the regular model. This one in fact:




    [quote]The guy got it from Outback Kamping in PA and the Rolls was right there in the garage with the Weekender. Seeing one in person was important for me as well.
    [quote]I've been emailing both Joe at Outback Kamping and Glen at Kamperoo in Alberta. Both have been very responsive.

    BajaXplorer said...



    Transalper,


    I'll be very interested in hearing any further info on the Kamparoo Weekender. We found it on the internet sometime back, but all of our emails to the Canadian distributor in Alberta have gone unanswered. Wished there was one around here to go and checkout. Was the weekender you looked at the Transcontinental version? Itsupposedly has heavier duty components for offroad use.


    BX

    Jay - 97 4Runner
    St. Paul, Minnesota

  6. #26
    Puertecitos Casa BajaXplorer's Avatar
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    Get rid of those girlyman bumpers, adda 4" lift, and some T/As, and that Rolls will be ready to Rock.
    I'm lost, but I'm making good time.
    BX

    Beer is good food. Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. Beer is the reason I get up every afternoon. Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. Beer is water that has reached it's full potential.

  7. #27
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    I am a new member to your forum, drawn by the number of hits to our site that have originated here to find this posting about trailers. Our company Adventure Trailers has been involved in importing and now manufacturing trailers specifically for off road travel, not an over the road trailer that has been adapted. There are many different designs, all with their pluses and flaws.

    We break their uses into two catagories. If your off road tavel takes you over graded dirt roads and very little off camber or technical trails, then it would suffice that you get a on-road tent camper and modify the suspension. In this case a Coleman, Jayco or Kamparoo will do great. If you plan heavier usage, themodified on-roadwill become a high maintenence proposition.

    If your idea of off-road with a trailer is the Rubicon or 100's of miles of Baja washboard then you need a purpose built trailer such as ours or a 4x4 LTD, Rubicon etc. These trailers are not inexpensive because of the high quality parts that are needed to make them durableenough tosurvive the punishment that 4 wheelers can dish out. Our trailers are built with heavy dutychassis, axles, hubs,gusseted joints, articulating couplers etc. Our philosophy on design is if you can't beat it with a hammer, it doesn't belong on the trail. Youdon't cut corners on your 4x4 mods that you are counting on to get you home. The same shouldgo for your trailer.

    Torsion axle vs. Spring:
    Too much springiness in a Torsion axle occurs when it is not properly matched to the load capacity of the trailer. Weswitched away from the spring axle to acustom built Torsionaxle and have been very satisfied with the results. The key is to match the beefier 3500 lb rated hubs to 2200 lb rubber inserts giving a theoretical cargo capacity of 700lbs on our standard axle. Other configurations are possible, get the manufacturer of whatever trailer you select to match the axle rating to what you expect to carry and the un-sprung weight of your chosen tire &rimcombination for the best handling characteristics.

    Along with our own product line,we alsohave Kamparoos and Kimberlys in the shop and have a good understanding of how they are built. They areall very nice trailers. If you have questions about trailers, trailer tech, why, how etc, drop us a line. We want you to make an informed decision about what makes sense for your trailer needs. Don't buy too much, but be sure you don't buy too littleeither. We're 4 wheelers too and are always ready to talk shop.

    If you get a chance to go to the Off Road Expo in Pomona, CA Oct 9-10, stop by our trailers up close.

    Happy Trails!

    mario@adventuretrailers.com
    http://www.adventuretrailers.com



    "No matter where you go, there you are"


  8. #28
    Life is an adventure! expeditionswest's Avatar
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    Mario,


    Thanks for stopping by the forum!


    I have seen your trailers in person (at the Phoenix Sportmans Expo) and was very impressed. In fact, I have your trailer linked from my site.


    Some of the members here have a very specific need for a trailer that can accommodate 4 people (like two adults and two children). That need does not seem to be effectively addressed in a trailer that can sustain extended off-highway travel. My VenturCraft does great on the trail and road, but only sleeps two. Others like it suffer the same restriction.


    What would you suggest to address these needs, and still meet the $4-5000 price point?


    Oh, and I would be interested in talking with you about roof tents... I will email you off list.

    Scott Brady
    mailto:guide@expeditionswest.com
    http://www.expeditionswest.com

  9. #29
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    Well,

    how 'bout something like this? Can't get much more off-road than this!

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  10. #30
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    Scott,


    Thank you for the welcome. We understand the price point issue. It is difficult to build a strong reliable trailer with amenities that sells for much less than $6000. This is partially driven by global steel prices that have risen 70% since the begining of the year. We have addressed this in our own way by offering an entry level trailer for $5700 that can be added on to at a future date. The pay as you go concept that works better for peoples' pocket books. If you analyze what is availble in on-road products and do the math to upgrade them to an off-road status, you will find that you are paying the same or more in the end. We are working on a variety of concepts to get the pricing down using different building techniques and materials. Our newest model represents a static retail price in rising raw material market. We have also addressed the need to sleep more by now offering 2, 3 & 4 person tents with add ons that allow for another 2 persons. We'll be at the show in Phoenix again this coming Feb 2005. Stop by and visit, we'll give you the grand tour of our new Horizon trailer (not on the web yet) and all of the new accessories. If you liked the older trailer design, you'll love this one.


    Advice I would give to the forum members for obtaining a off road trailer that sleeps 4 in the $4-5K price range:


    Find an old military trailer, either a US Jeep style or a Sankeyto refurbish. Plan on a few weekends of sweat equity. Throw away the pintlecoupler unless you really like the sound of someone hammering on your hitch. Replace it with a Treg coupler that you can get from us. Build a lid forthe trailer with gas spring supports to keep your gear safe and clean and add a roof top tent to match your needs. You can get that from us too.Call us for advice if you get stuck.


    Mario


    mario@adventuretrailers.com


    www.adventuretrailers.com


    "No matter where you go, there you are"


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