Here at Camper Trailer Australia, we see a lot of campers. From basic, budget- campers that’ll give you change from $5k, to premium offroad camper trailers with all the bells and whistles to please even the most discerning “glamper”.
But once a year we crank things up a notch, inviting the best camper trailers in the country to an iconic offroad location for a week to battle it out for the revered title of Camper Trailer of the Year. Our destination this year was Robe, on the ruggedly beautiful Limestone Coast of South Australia.
It was an awesome week for all involved, with more frivolous tomfoolery than we could possibly relay here. But despite the fun and good natured banter, everyone was there for the same reason: to win.
BEST CAMPER TRAILER CATEGORIES
We tested 22 campers divided into six categories over seven days. And each camper was a top-shelf representation of what’s available on the market. Here are the first lot of contenders. Watch this space as more will be added soon.
Best budget campers: under $15,000
Budget-conscious campers for both new and seasoned owners. Both imports and local products are represented in this year’s awards, with the imported Step-Through from Market Direct Campers going to head-to-head with the locally-made Kakadu, from one of the industry’s leaders, Trackabout Off Road Campers.
Read: best budget camper reviews
Best camper trailers: $15,000 - $30,000
The next rung up is a fiercely competitive sector of the market, where a great deal of buyers are looking for their next, or first, camper. Value for money is hugely important here, and with more scope for extra comforts the pressure is on manufacturers to deliver packages with all the basics ticked off and additional fruit laid on.
Read: best campers $15-30k reviews
Best camper trailers $30,000 - $45,000
This upper-mid-range division serves discerning couples and families who are willing to fork out a little more in exchange for very comfortable camping and excellent capacity to be self-suffcient for extended periods of time. Parting with a decent sum of money, the buyer expects a top quality product with everything they need to make life in the bush a breeze.
Read: best campers $30-45k reviews
Best camper trailers $45,000 and over
This is the no-holds-barred corner of the camper world where opulence is the name of the game and price is no obstacle. The elite few who find themselves shopping in this aisle are probably on their second, third or even fourth camper, and are looking for a serious touring mobile in which to escape the mundane for weeks, perhaps even months at a time.
Read: best campers $45k and over reviews
Best slide-on campers
Offering greater freedom and flexibility than trailer-based campers, slide-ons provide compact comfort and simple set-up procedures, attracting couples and solo tourers seeking a no-fuss, go-anywhere style of camping. But with all the impact directly on the vehicle, there’s a different set of important considerations.
Read: best slide-on camper reviews
Best camper trailers: Hybrid
The big rigs of the camper world have perhaps the most challenging brief to answer: combine the internal comforts of a caravan with the outdoors lifestyle of a camper trailer, and do so in an offroad-capable package for which the slogan "ditch the hitch" means nada. The pressure was on.
Read: best hybrid camper reviews