First Trip in the Tray Back Camper

We bought a tray back camper from fourwheelcampers.com in California sometime back. We have just been away in it and found it brilliant (especially the bed). The gas fridge kept everything nice and cold. We have a space heater and a water heater with an outside shower. We may add a rooftop solar panel to supplement the car’s charger if we need it. Unfortunately it is a little back heavy for the 110, hence the change.

The bad news is we DO have to buy another vehicle to carry the camper around as the 110 Defender IS too short and its GVM too little. The GOOD news is we have found one and put a deposit on it. There will be MUCH retrofitting of gear from one vehicle to another: (Diff Locks including front and rear axles, secondary batteries, trays….) but eventually we WILL  have safe 4WD camping holidays in disgusting LUXURY!

I am building a set of stairs for the Defender’s trayback camper so our ‘Tiny’ dog can more easily access it – less importantly it will assist us aging folks too. Made a prototype out of timber to see how that works (they look and work great but are too heavy). Della zipped up them with her arms folded – so they passed an important test there. Some time this morning will be devoted to converting those ideas into lightweight aluminium. Stairs are more complicated than you would think. Unfortunately I think I need to convert the 110 Defender to a 130 as the camper has too much overhang and the steering is compromised: I suspect the easiest way around this (unfortunately) is to buy another vehicle!

We rebuilt the steel tray on the Defender and fitted the camper to it (Steve made an elaborate crane arrangement in the shed so it can be taken on and off in minutes) and we HAVE been away in it for two whole nights on the Moroka and Barkly Rivers, so there IS progress. Sadly, the steel tray is also too heavy, so Steve is right now fitting the truck with a recycled alloy tray which should cure the (car’s!) over-weight problem. We look forward to many more trips away in it during the coming year. The camper proved to be a real boomer by the way – with all the comforts and mod-cons of home: cooker, shower, heater, fridge, inverter power, etc. There is even room for the Tiny dog to come away with us – which she enjoyed very much. Tiny has also now been away hunting with Steve (she now comes from a legal hunting dog breed in the State of Victoria). She has her own down sleeping bag and mat and very much enjoys the hiking experience – though she has to be carried across rivers in a backpack to prevent her being swept away.

Moroka River December 2012
Moroka River December 2012
Barkly River December
Barkly River December

Leave a Reply