Camper Trailer – Teething Problems, Upgrades & Mods

We were very excited when we picked up Our Camper Trailer, but we already knew that we’d be doing some upgrades ourselves.

Canvas

We knew we needed to season the canvas so towed the trailer over to Em’s sister’s place where we’d have room to put it up. It wasn’t too bad, but was longer than the 10-15 minutes we’d been told. Allowing that it was our first time we weren’t disappointed with the ease of set up.

We had checked the weather forecast and were hoping it was going to rain, but the weather gods were not on our side. Instead we lift it up hoping it would rain at some point over the next few days. It did not. In the end we took a hose to it. There were some leaks, but thought that it would be OK.

The first time we went away it hammered down solidly for two or three days. The canvas leaked like a sieve! Wondering what on earth we’d done spending and had spent our money on a dud. However we persevered and apart from that one uncomfortable weekend the tent has been fully sealed with no issues. The extra wax along the seams probably didn’t hurt either.

Plumbing

The trailer came with a 70 litre stainless steel water tank. Fortunately the first trip was to a caravan park where we had another source of water as the tank hadn’t been cleaned out and wasn’t fit to drink. It tasted like welding, oil and metal. We rinsed through some bi-carb soda and flushed several tanks worth of water through the system but there was still a bad lingering taste.

Craig installed an in-line water filter before discovering that it was the cheap pump and plumbing fittings that had rusted and were causing the weird after taste.

In the end Craig basically replaced all the plumbing hoses and connections (fortunately the pump has been OK). He also installed a nifty gadget to monitor how much water is left in the tank.

 

Electrics

The trailer came with a battery which was probably OK to run the water pump, but we already had bigger ideas.

Since then Craig has

  • Installed a battery box
  • Bought a deep-cycle battery
  • Ran 12 volt power leads to the back of the trailer near the kitchen for the fridge
  • Installed extra 12 volt outlets next to the bed to charge phones and kindles
  • Added a regulator and monitoring system
  • Bought a 140 volt solar panel (in addition to the 80 volt panel we already had).

Solar Panels

Bed

The trailer came with a foam mattress, but we figured we may as well use the inner-spring mattress from the spare bedroom for a bit more comfort.

We soon learnt that any dirt on the floor (and trust me you can’t sweep 100% of it up every time you pack up) ends up on the bed when the tent is packed. A quick work around is to make sure to throw a tarp over the bedding to stop the dirt ending up on your pillow.

 

Future Upgrades

We’re nearly there, but still plan to make a few more upgrades:

  • Strengthen the suspension
  • Add 240 volt connection to the battery system for when we’re in caravan park
  • Change the jockey wheel

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