camper trailers tech tips

Hiring Camping Equipment







try before you buy 

by Rolande & Holly


    While planning for the national get together at Peak Hill, Holly and I went through our options for the trip. The first option, early in 2008, was to leave a week early and slowly make out way to the meet towing our Coromal Off-road caravan. Events in our lives conspired to make this option not viable. After that point our available time and finances continually changed, making any sort of planning difficult. With this in mind, we decided to explore the option of hiring equipment at short notice to cover our trip.

    A search for hire equipment in our area turned up GO BUSH CAMPING,  about 45 minutes away. As it turns out, Andrew and Anne who run the business are also CamperTrailers Group members and were willing to help any way they could. Being school holidays meant all their camper trailers were well booked, but Andrew offered me the use of an OzTent and some other equipment to tide us over.

    We had looked at purchasing an OzTent for a Simpson Desert trip so were keen to give one a try without the large outlay of purchase. Similarly with the Red Rock and Kimberley Kampers, Andrew and Anne have for hire.  For a few hundred dollars you can try out thousands of dollars worth of equipment to see if they suit your needs.

    After looking over what was available, we took along an OzTent RV3, a 4X4 Equip portable light and stand and a C-Gear camp mat. We could have added a generator, self inflating mattresses, portable hot water unit and cooking equipment as well if required. We packed all the equipment in or on the Patrol to make certain it would fit, handed over the bond and hire fees and drove off towards Peak Hill.

    Not having to tow a trailer made the trip in the Patrol hassle free, as well as allowing us to take the three bikes on the back (on my hurriedly built three bike rack). Setting up camp in Peak Hill was as easy as I have seen at the show, the OzTent is incredibly simple to erect, hammer in the spike and add a light, put the C-Gear mat down and we were set for the week.

    Whatever the combination: warm weather; pleasant company; pleasant surrounds, tenting it for the week worked out very well. We had a good chance to see what we liked about the tent. Turns out we would rather the larger RV4 to fit the camp stretchers. The RV3 is great for one but the RV4 is required for two people to camp comfortably.

    This alone was worth more than the cost of hiring the tent! The C-Gear mat is great at keeping the dust down and keeping it out of the tent. The Versalite with yellow filter kept lots of bugs away. I have since added the same yellow filter to our ARB Adventure light.

    All too soon we were packed up and ready for the long trip home. When returning the equipment Andrew was happy to order another OzTent camp stretcher for us thanks to the recommendation from Holly, or rather from the lack of pain in Holly’s back  and we are looking at a couple of their King Goanna camp chairs. Comfort plus.

    So how did we find our first experience of hiring equipment? Very reassuring. It certainly helps when deciding on exactly what and how we want to be set-up and allowed us to pick the items we wanted to trial. The help provided by Andrew and Anne made the entire process hassle free and we would be happy to deal with them again. Perhaps next time I can take one of their Kimberley Kampers out for a run – always wanted to try one.

    Go Bush Camping is located between Geelong and Melbourne in Lara, Victoria and can be contacted through their web site. They hire and sell a range of camping equipment.

    A quick yellow pages search showed we could hire the following campers within a 90 minute drive of home: Kimberley Kampers, Red Rock campers, Tvans, Adventure Campers & Jayco wind-ups and pop-top caravans.

    For anyone looking at making such a large purchase, the opportunity to try-before-you-buy is worth the effort and will certainly make the final decision easier.

    Now – when is the next get together? What can I hire & trial for that one?


october 2008