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Lightweight camper trailer

Randall

Richard Proenneke
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I have been researching a lightweight camper trailer. I have a few criteria, of course. Out of all those that claim to be light weight, they aren't. Most of them you might as well have a tent - in fact an Oztent RV3 would be better and simpler than many of them. Note: the link is to a review from the US - these are Australian made tents. They have a good reputation in Australia as well as the US.

1. rooftop type tent mounted on a lightweight small trailer (6x4 or smaller).
2. fast, easy setup
3. space within the trailer ie I want the tent mounted on top of the trailer sides so that fridge, battery - anything not needed while driving can be stored.

The space in the trailer is key. We have a van but generally have 2 mountains bikes along with spares, tools, a large dog, all our personal gear etc. So far we have stayed at self contained accommodation, which is awesome. Once I start looking at camping though then I also have to consider bedding, fridge, lithium ion power pack, extension cord, some form of cooking, fold up chairs - everything needed for basic car based camping.

Here is the only thing I have found, so far. It is a european design (and build?) made for small cars - perfect. We also have a 1.3lt 4wd. I also believe that it won't be long till we're using a tiny e car, hopefully.

We won't get this yet; delivery to Tas (from WA) is expensive. We also have holidays booked for the next year. Hopefully something like this will become more affordable or available in Tassie soon.

One of the few videos from an owner.
 
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WanderOn

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Interested to see how you go with it Randall. I haven’t even thought far enough ahead with our setup in regards to towing with electric vehicle. I’m still stuck in 2V diesel world.
Wonder how the Harley drive train copes with the load. Ex sister in law worked for a BMW bike dealership and used to have issues with owners complaining their clutches didn’t last when they towed a trailer.
It looks like an awesome camper though.
 

Randall

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Wonder how the Harley drive train copes with the load
I'm not interested in motorcycle travel with such a setup :).

I have found another option; more expensive but possibly better quality? A stockman pod trailer with a darche rooftop tent. I would need some chasis mounted racks - the pod accessory chasis racks look crap (no bracing). With the tent mounted high the inside of the trailer could be accessed easily, and there would be some shelter under the tent, albeit only 4 or 5 feet I imagine.
 

Randall

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I haven’t even thought far enough ahead with our setup in regards to towing with electric vehicle
You have a family and you're doing it now, or soon. My needs - two of us and a dog, bikes etc, no shower or toilet, regular short term trips - are much simpler than yours. All I really want is shelter, cooking and a fridge, and some reasonable battery power. We're both familiar with washing from a bucket (often a billy for me). Also, we're not going 4wd; probably use the van to tow it most of the time. We'd use our bikes or feet to explore from our camping base. Long term and relative isolation adds a fair bit more needed space and weight for necessary equipment and supplies, as you'd know :).

However, the future still boads well for large and powerful e 4wd. And with independent drive (a motor) on each wheel! Geez, it won't be long till these things have rear wheel steering too. Right now they're available, charging in remote locations is an issue that won't last for long, I imagine. I'm just hanging out for some of the micro options :) to replace our little 4wd; we plan to keep the van for trips etc for a while longer though. Note the low hp of these ecars - not much energy is lost in heat, so they're much more efficient.
 
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WanderOn

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I'm not interested in motorcycle travel with such a setup :).

I have found another option; more expensive but possibly better quality? A stockman pod trailer with a darche rooftop tent. I would need some chasis mounted racks - the pod accessory chasis racks look crap (no bracing). With the tent mounted high the inside of the trailer could be accessed easily, and there would be some shelter under the tent, albeit only 4 or 5 feet I imagine.
The guy doing the review has it for towing behind his Harley.
 

WanderOn

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The idea of independent drives on all 4 wheels is pretty interesting. Especially if the drives are mounted on live front and rear axles.
Ditching the drive shafts, gearbox, transfer case and enormous Diesel engine would leave a lot of spare weight to be used by batteries and electric motors.
Hmmmmmm Guess if you’re attaching drives to the end of live axles then it wouldn’t take much to make them portal axles for extra ground clearance.
 

Randall

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The guy doing the review has it for towing behind his Harley
yes; now he's in the process of building a teardrop camper (think tiny caravan) to replace his tent based camper :oops:. I knew dudes who towed trailers on the mainland - veterans and ulyses mc. Dudes in veterans were making them out of old fridges mounted to an axle (laid down on their back). It isn't my idea of motorcycling.

These big bikes have more than enough power. If folk are burning out clutches, then that sounds like 1st gear isn't low enough. Big road bikes tend to have a high first - my ktm 990 does; it lunges forward :D. The problem with most beemers is that they are shaft drive - no cheap way around changing the gearing. For a chain drive I'd be swapping out the rear sprocket for one with more teeth and a new longer chain.

There is another thing with big bmw bikes, and harleys actually - it is amazing how many retired dudes with lots of money buy a beemer (or harley) in an effort to rediscover the freedom of their youth. Many of them haven't ridden for a long time. They're also at an age where they want comfort and become what I've always termed "sunshine bikers"; bike is only bought out on sunny days. Most of the guys I've met who fit this category definitely ride within their limits. They're not necessarily good riders (either are most people who drive cars); they often lack what I'd consider basic skills, especially when cornering (they never trail brake) and braking, avoiding potential dangers etc. And the way they load their bikes - everything on the rear, including top boxes. Suspension and tyre pressures are rarely set up correctly...most of this is OK because they do ride within their limits and they generally have big smiles. Oh, and minor repairs or adjustments or maintenance - they are mostly dependent on the dealer and roadside assist.

After saying all this, I still think it is good that they are out there. I imagine they have less mishaps than someone who is experienced but likes to push the envelope :oops:Kind of like an experienced four wheel driver will sometimes (or often) find themselves wading through mud to set up a winch, or rolling backwards down big red :D
 
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Randall

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The idea of independent drives on all 4 wheels is pretty interesting
What I see, along with the engineering, is the software side. Imagine the detail of computer control over each of these drives in the near future. Soon we may not see any spinning wheels at all - just traction where it is most effective.
 
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WanderOn

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What I see, along with the engineering, is the software side. Imagine the detail of computer control over each of these drives in the near future. Soon we may not see any spinning wheels at all - just traction where it is most effective.
I had a fair bit to do with a big player in VVVF drives with a previous employer. The application we used them for hardly even challenged their control system.
I think their out of the box firmware and hardware is at least 95% of the way. Their load sharing software was really impressive. By monitoring each wheel with an encoder for loss of traction 🤔
Your comment about a motor on each corner really got me thinking about how to implement the drives in my old Landcruiser.
I hope you know giving me ideas like that will only get me in trouble. 🤣
 

WanderOn

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Apologies for getting a bit off topic. I do get sidetracked easily
 

Randall

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I had a fair bit to do with a big player in VVVF drives with a previous employer. The application we used them for hardly even challenged their control system.
I think their out of the box firmware and hardware is at least 95% of the way. Their load sharing software was really impressive. By monitoring each wheel with an encoder for loss of traction 🤔
Your comment about a motor on each corner really got me thinking about how to implement the drives in my old Landcruiser.
I hope you know giving me ideas like that will only get me in trouble. 🤣
I was thinking of those center pivot irrigation systems. A very basic system that has been around for 20 or 30 years? Bugger all (if any) processing involved. An independent motor on each section. I think they just use a taut cable that breaks (or makes) contact when it isn't straight - where ever the bend is, that motor kicks in.

Just keep your old land cruiser well maintained and use it :D. Some people go looking for a purpose to have a 4wd (challenges), rather than just use it for what it is for. You'll find enough trouble in your travels :D. Mine is very simple - no low range. I would have loved low range a few times. I know I have inadvertently taken it to some extremes - following topo maps doesn't necessarily give an accurate condition of road or tracks :oops:.
 
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WanderOn

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Our Landcruiser is a means to an ends. I do dream up so half baked ideas at times though. I’ve spent the last 4 years getting it up to scratch. (My standards).
It’s pretty much how it will stay for hopefully the next 300000km.
Maybe see what happens then. 😁
 
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