In recent years, the hybrid camper trailer market has boomed, with their hard shell designs earning favour within the buyer community. With so much to choose from, we’ve put together a Hybrid Camper Trailer Buyers Guide with some key tips to help narrow the field.

Size Does Matter

hybrid camper trailer - Rhinomax Scorpion
The Rhinomax Scorpion Micro-hybrid bundles a lot into its 10ft body.

The old adage, bigger is better, does not always translate to the real world. Take off road caravans for instance. Being wider than your tow vehicle, they create extra drag and reduce your ability to navigate challenging terrain. Larger dimensions and weight also increase the cost of travel, put more strain on your vehicle and ultimately you, requiring more concentration to make it through each day.

A hybrid camper trailer in comparison, is the same width as your tow vehicle and generally more compact in all respects. With the outdoor lifestyle inherent in camping – you spend most of your time outdoors – do you really need that big van?

Hybrids such as the Rhinomax Scorpion and Discovery minimise the travelling length by using a pop-up ensuite at the rear. The toilet can still be accessed from inside during the night leaving showering outdoors. The new Outback Defender has a full size internal ensuite, increased water storage and a grey water tank.

Ease of Use

Arguably the biggest driver to hybrid camper trailer ownership, many buyers are seeking a better solution with a quick and easy setup. Using a hard walls and roof design, setup is limited to dropping the stabilisers, popping the roof and rear ensuite, and rolling out the awning before reaching for your chair. Rain, hail or shine, it’s a quick and easy process.

The wedge shaped Pioneer hybrid camper trailers Mitchell and Wilpena are a real surprise package. They combine a hard walls and roof combo over the bed to maintain isolation from the elements. Yet the extra living area afforded by the expanding hard floor adds a real sense of space, improving livability while providing a safe place for kids sleeping mats (off the ground). The optional kids’ room provides more space again.

Hybrid camper trailer - The Pioneer hybrids can be setup with kitchen and awning in just a few minutes.
Hybrid camper trailer – The Pioneer hybrids can be setup with kitchen and awning in just a few minutes.
Unlike many other hard floor camper trailers, the tent is deployed in four easy movements thanks to clever innovation and design. Add the quick awning and kitchen setup and it can all be completed in around 3-5 minutes, making it ideal for touring. Sceptical? Click on the image below to see for yourself. This design contributed to its win in the 2017 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.

Quality of Build

It goes without saying that you get what you pay for. Australian products, that is, hybrid camper trailers that are wholly manufactured and assembled in Australia (as opposed to assembled with imported components), have proven themselves times over, with premium materials, quality construction methods and high resale returns.

In the off road market, this means you’ll get good reliable use from your camper, getting you there and back in safety. Premium Aussie products have an enviable return on investment. The materials last longer and continue to look good well into the future with a longer service life. And with prices regularly increasing, you end up retaining excellent resale returns.

In comparison, cheap imports lose value more quickly. Constructed from cheaper raw materials, they have a shorter service life which is reflected at sale time.

Hybrid camper trailer - The Rhinomax hybrids have reset the benchmark in the premium hybrid sector for quality of finish.
Hybrid camper trailer – The Rhinomax hybrids have reset the benchmark in the premium hybrid sector for quality of finish.

Research

Magazine reviews provide a good insight into the capability of hybrid camper trailers and you can generally obtain a good feel for the suitability to your requirements. That said, nothing beats a direct inspection to carefully comb over the camper and see the quality of build first hand. Quiz the dealer on options available and perceived shortcomings relative to your needs, as there may be an option or workaround.

If you are in any doubt of the integrity behind the product, use Google to research any quality problems. Simply type the manufacturer’s name and the model name followed by words such as problems, warranty and the like.

After Sales Support

Whatever you buy, make sure there is a servicing dealer nearby with a solid reputation for after sales service. During the sales process you will have many questions and it’s reassuring to have a dependable local resource for support. Then there’s servicing requirements, parts, repairs and sometimes warranty to attend to. Try doing that through an interstate body.

Does the dealer have any interest in touring/camping? It’s always best to deal with like-minded enthusiasts with similar interests rather than people just paid to sell hybrid camper trailers. Camping enthusiasts can share their own experiences and add value to your buying experience in areas far beyond the nuts and bolts of the camper.

Testimonials

Find out what existing customers have said about your local dealer on an independent site. Simply enter their business name into a Google search. The business name will appear with a summary star rating out of five like that below. Click the link to read the reviews in detail. Be suspicious of dealers without any reviews, as this can easily be turned off where feedback has been less than encouraging.

hybrid camper trailer buyers guide Google The Dirt

Hybrid Camper Trailer Buyer’s Guide – The Wrap

The hybrid camper trailer market is growing. Knowing how to weed out the best products (with the best local support) to suit the style of touring you do is critical to your decision making process. Buy the best product you can afford. You’ll get good use from it and enjoy your camping that much more and all while maintaining a better return on investment.

You can explore our range of hybrid campers here.

Hybrid Camper Trailer - Pioneer Mitchell - 2017 Camper Trailer of the Year!