Camper trailer setup tips for a faster and stress-free camping experience
Camping is supposed to be a simple and stress-free way of exploring Australia. The great outdoors, nature at its finest, nothing but you, your camper trailer and the open road. In the past, camper trailers were pretty basic pieces of equipment and setting them up was enough to make the calmest of people blow a fuse. Today, camper trailers feature elaborate designs that up the ante and make the whole experience much more enjoyable.
Nobody wants to arrive to a campsite after a potentially torturous several day drive only to face issues with their camper trailer setup. While most camper trailers now come with all of the mod cons that you could need for a great getaway, there are a few tips and tricks that can simplify the entire setup process. By the time you reach the end of this post, you will know how to set up your camper trailer in no time at all and be able to enjoy a cold one under the great Australian sky.
Check Your Camper Trailer Gear
Before heading off on your camping trip it is a good idea to check all of your gear beforehand. It doesn’t matter whether you bought it new, borrowed it from a mate or picked it up off eBay, having a checklist goes a long way. This is also the perfect opportunity to make sure that all of your important camping gear is in good condition, and nothing is damaged or broken.
Some camper trailers, such as the complete campsite Exodus 16 (which just so happened to win the camper trailer of the year 2018 in the Highest Build Quality and Finish Category) eliminates the need to carry many common additional pieces of equipment. However, the more basic camper trailers might need a few bits of gear to make setup easier and the trip more comfortable.
- Power supply, such as leisure batteries
- Hammer, tent pegs and tent peg puller
- A folding clothes line and pegs
- A portable BBQ
- Gas stove top
- Portable toilet
- Folding camp chairs and table
- Kitchen essentials
- A shovel
- Folding steps
- A picnic mat
- Bedding including pillows and covers
- 4.5 kg gas bottle
- Insect repellent candles
- Torches or solar-powered lamps
- Washing powder and toilet paper
- A large bucket
- Plastic storage boxes
Of course, these are camper trailer dependent, and certain camper trailers, such as the complete campsite Fraser XTE comes with built in stairs, solar panels, heated water, a comprehensive slide-out kitchen and 2500L of storage. The last thing you want is to discover that you are missing essential gear in the middle of the Outback. Check it once, then check it again and you will be good to go.
Practice Makes Perfect
Regardless of the type of setup that you have your camper trailer, having a couple of goes at setting it up is always a wise choice. The more familiar that you become with the setup process, the less likely you are to find yourself swearing at and kicking your camper trailer out of frustration. Depending on the model of your camper trailer, understanding how to deploy the awning, set up the beds, prepare the kitchen and get everything in order goes a long way with keeping stress levels low.
Get the kids involved and assign them their own tasks, such as being in charge of the bedding, organising the kitchen, or helping to open and close the camper trailer. Some camper trailers require you to manually open and close them during setup. Others have fully automatic opening and closing, meaning that the camper trailer will set itself up at the push of a button. The Fraser XTE is so easy, it takes this 11-year old less than 4 minutes to set up.
5 Camper Trailer Setup Tips
These five useful tips will help make camper trailer setup completely stress-free while ensuring your stay is as comfortable as possible. Again, the majority of these tips are camper trailer dependent. Once you have tried these out, you will wonder how you survived without them before.
- For difficult to reach awning eyelets and top zips, you can attach a tent guide wire to them so that all it takes is a quick tug on the string close them. Remember to attach the string to the zippers before extending the tent poles. If you don’t want to use string, you can thread a wire through the eyes and create a small loop that can be hooked with a hooked tentpole.
- Eliminate the need for carrying dustpans and brushes and cleaning equipment by carrying compressed air with you. Not only is it a great way to keep floors and surfaces clean. But, it allows you to quickly and easily inflate air beds, and bike tires. It is also great for cleaning vents, blasting away cobwebs and removing excess water content from the outside of your camper trailer before closing it.
- If your camper trailer has a soft or hard floor, it ends up resting on top of the bed when closed away. A tarp thrown over the top of the bed will protect it from any dirt or debris from the floor and keep things clean. To make the process even easier, you can wrap the tarpaulin around a piece of PVC pipe that secures to it with a few screws through the eyelets. Then, all you need to do is simply roll it over the bed before closing the camper trailer.
- Not many people realize that the camper trailer awning can actually remain in place when packing the trailer away. Simply flip the awning over the top of the main tent and then pack it away as normal. A tentpole makes flipping the awning over the top of the camper trailer main tent much easier. If the eyelets aligned nicely with the main tent, you can secure the awning in place with snap lock key rings.
- Applying glow in the dark paint or glow lights to zippers and ropes makes set up at night much easier. It also makes it easier to make your way in and out of the camper trailer in the middle of the night should nature call. Snap glow sticks are easily attached by the small eyelet at the top. Simply run a small piece of wire through the eyelet of the glow stick and then through the eyelet of the zip or along any guide wires or ropes.
Go off the grid
One of the great things about Australia is the abundant sunshine. This can be used to your advantage to completely power your camper trailer, allowing you to go off the grid. Solar power opens up endless opportunities for exploring places that wouldn’t have been possible before. The solar panels can provide sufficient power to keep all of your electronics ticking over nicely.
For camper trailers, such as the Complete Campsite Exodus 11, the ability to be able to keep the 82 liter combination fridge and freezer working, even when you’re in the middle of nowhere is guaranteed to keep your stress levels low. It is also able to power the electric water pump and LED lighting with ease. To maximise power, LED lighting is much more energy efficient, meaning your power goes further than ever before.
Being able to carry up to 250 l of water, along with renewable energy straight from the sun, even the longest journey across Australia becomes stress-free. You will be able to pull up absolutely anywhere that you want without having to worry about having an electric supply or water supply to plug in to. Of all the things on this list, solar power is possibly the most beneficial.
Make use of storage
With some modern camper trailers having more than 2500 worth of storage space, being able to pack everything that you need for a stress-free holiday becomes much easier. There will be no need to carry dedicated storage containers, and you can keep everything conveniently stowed away in the camper trailer itself.
For camper trailers with limited storage, plastic storage boxes are a fantastic way to streamline your setup. You are able to keep specific items together, such as placing your cutlery, plates and kitchenware in one container, your bedding in another and so on. However, if you really want to have a stress-free getaway, then inbuilt camper trailer storage is the way to go.
Why stress-free is best?
If you have just driven halfway across the country, you are probably already exhausted. Those travelling with children may well find that that stress levels have already been pushed to breaking point. So, the last thing that you need is to spend hours setting up your camper trailer. Having everything in place and understanding exactly how your camper trailer works will make everything as pain-free as possible.
As soon as you have everything in its place, opening your camper trailer means that all you will have to do is take out those folding chairs, fire up the BBQ, grab a cold one from the fridge and enjoy holiday ahead of you.