For the last couple of months, I have been largely absent from this (apart from the odd visit to the birding and photography sections)and other forums. The primary reason is that I am busy building a camping trailer.
As a number of you know, I enjoy self-driving holidays with my family, preferably to the wilder destinations.
However, there are a few issues. The first and most limiting is that, while my family (wife and two daughters) don't specifically mind camping, they do like to have at least the basic comforts of home (such as working ablutions, some hot water to wash with and cupboards that you don't have to dig in too deeply to find even the most basic cooking utensils), and also they like lying in in the mornings, whereas I am most definately a morning person, and a great fan of the golden light of early morning.
Secondly, because there are four of us, and because three-quarters of the family are ladies and the only male in the family has far too many (often bulky and heavy) toys, packing space in any car is at a huge premium, which makes packing things neatly and accessibly almost impossible, and to top it all off, I am extremely lazy.
For the above reasons, normal ground tents largely failed (it takes around two hours to erect two tents and furnish them with lights and bedding, and another two hours to get all that parephenalia back in the car ready to travel, which simply takes up too much of my day and my energy. Similarly, my home-built family-sized roof top tent failed, although for the exact opposite reasons. Pitching camp with that takes a mere five minutes, and packing up a very acceptable ten to fifteen. But either everyone has to lie in, or everyone has to go for an early-morning drive.
On a few occasions in the last couple of years, I have fitted the roof top tent on top of an ordinary luggage trailer, and while this has a lot of drawbacks, it does seem te point to an acceptable solution.
There are many dedicated camping trailers on the market here in SA and also in Australia. Here in SA though, they uniformly have two common problems, which to me is basically a deal-breaker. The first is that pretty much all of them only really have room for two people (although this can be worked around, this generally means erecting extra tents, leaving you right where you started), and all of them are built on commercial luggage trailer axles/suspensions designed for use primarily on tar roads. The problem with this is not one of strength/durability of the axle itself, but that these axles all have very limited suspension travel.
The result is that, if you drive a proper 4x4 with good axle articulation, you can virtually destroy your trailer while yourself driving in relative comfort. There are a few premium producers in Australia that have realized and addressed this, but their products are not available here, and if they were they would be far beyond my budget.
Edited by Peter Connan, 04 September 2016 - 12:05 PM.