4WD and camping / caravaning

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ftoomsh, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    First to set the scene. My wife and I are both retired. Out of the blue, my wife decides she wants to go 4 wheel driving and camping or carvaning. We have never been much for camping previously. I did own a 4WD once when I was young so I have some basic knowledge. We live in Australia so imagine lots of hot, wide open, arid country with some rainforests, some good gorges (canyons) and rivers and lots of endless beaches around the coast.

    I am thinking of buying a Toyota FJ Cruiser, maybe a new one or a demonstrator model with no more than 5,000 km on the clock. When it comes to camper trailers or caravans I don't know yet what to buy. My ideal answer would be;

    1. Light and sturdy so that it can be towed off-road.
    2. Easy to set up. No complicated folding tents please.
    3. Not too expensive. Man, these things are ridiculously expensive in Australia.
  2. Daddio

    Daddio Moderator Staff Member

    Well as an owner of a FG Cruiser I can attest to their strong off road ability. Likely non better made in stock trim.

    Towing though I am not so sure. They are rated at 4,000 lbs, but that would be at the top of the rating. You will need to consider the 4,000 lbs includes all of your gear, water and the like.

    I am a member of the FJ cruiser web site, and most recommend a small teardrop camper, or the type mounted above the vehicle on the roof rack.

    Question, what is caravaning? sounds very interesting?
  3. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    I am thinking of buying this camper trailer (though it might be up to 6 months yet until I get it.) What I like about it is low weight, compact, yet has everything I will need. And the tent folds simply off the top of the trailer.

    A caravan is just one of these below. Do you have a different name for caravans in the US? But I will go for an off-road camper trailer like the Patriot above.

  4. Daddio

    Daddio Moderator Staff Member

    Here in the states, we would call this a travel trailer, or camping trailer.

    Not meant to get too far off the road. But if your wife is anything like mine, any camping must have a toilet, and shower for her to be included.
  5. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    To Aussies, a caravan would have solid floor, walls and roof with all the amenities inside. (It might have a pop-top.) A camper trailer is smaller and has an attached fold-out tent and amenities which slide out and are used in the tent space or awning space. Usually on a camper trailer, the main bed is up on the trailer after everything else folds out. Such camper trailers are much lighter and usually designed for off-road use. The Patriot camper shown above is Tare Weight Dry = 865 KG and ATM (fully loaded) = 1600 KG. That's 1,903 lbs and 3,520 lbs. Of course, two retired people traveling would not load it up to that. And some weight (extra gear) could be kept in the rear of the 4WD.

    Have a look at that Patriot camper video if you can. It gives a really good idea of the whole product.
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