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Old 02-01-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Hard sided trailer with sprung mattress

Hi, I'm an Aussie and looking to purchase a rockwood trailer with good sprung mattress, probably A122 or A128 (hard sided).

Do you think it's a good idea ? Are they good. ?

I've hired one in Aussie and enjoyed it's simplicity and how quickly it is set up.

Plus you can tow with a reasonable car as opposed to having to invest in a monster truck.

What are the plus's n minus's as you see them ?

What is the smallest vehicle you would tow with i.e. could a Camry V6 handle it ?

Is there enough ventiliation in them ? The big window/bubble in the Aussie versions actually opens given you great ventilation over the bed

Also, as a tall bloke in Aussie you can pay more to have a higher version with the sink, stove etc.. being higher so you don't have to kneel (in my case to access everything), does this exist in N.America ?

cheers
Antone
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Hopefully a Mod will move this post to the tent/a-frame area so you will get some additional feedback. Until then, here are my thoughts:

As far as I know the A-series campers only have the spring mattress on the A122 line. The others have foam mattresses.

I love my A126 (the 126 in 2011 had the full cassette toilet, only one bed area in the rear and the toilet takes up part of the dinette area).

A quick Google search shows older Camry's rating at 1000 lbs towing capacity, maybe the V6 is higher, not sure. However the biggest problem I see with towing with a Camry is the tongue weight. Most of the A-Series campers will have at least 300lbs of weight at the tongue (on the ball of the hitch) more or less depending on loading of the camper. That kind of weight probably isn't going to be something the Camry will be happy about. In addition the base weight of most of the A-series will come in around 1900+ lbs unloaded (dry).

I would say most small V6 SUV's however would be fine with the A-series. I tow with a short wheelbase Jeep Wrangler with the Automatic. I'll be adding a aux transmission cooler in the spring to protect the transmission since the A126 is at the max towing capacity of the Jeep short wheelbase (2-door).

I haven't camped in the summer (hot) yet, but the fall months were great. With heat pump and AC you won't have any issues when you have hookups. Wish the US version had opening bubble windows!

I doubt you can adjust the height of the sink/stove. Even if you can, it will be a lift of some sort that brings it up after the camper is setup. I've never seen such an option. It would block the window on that side when up. I feel your pain regarding the height - I'm 6'3" tall, so I suffer from the low counters, low storage areas, etc. as well.

However - I Love the A126 and wouldn't change the decision I made to purchase it. Now. . . if spring would hurry up and get here I'd be much happier. I'm ready to get the camper out of the garage!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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no .. the highwall version of this camper doesnt exist in N.A.... to my knowledge, but it would be a great idea. you will probably see this out next year here. All our campers are midwall ... just high enough for folk like me ...
hey .. who cooks and cleans dishes in these things anyways .. but it would be nice for the headroom at the ends ...

d-mo
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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Thank you jeep4two & D-mo. I'm currently convinced this is the product for me & my wife. I'd also look at used ones although perhaps due to the fact that when people buy them they tend to hang on to them I suspect used ones are are very elusive to find, bit like Koala's !!
In Aussie, it's very useful to get the awning/annex to hang off the side for shade, bug screens and complete canvas annex for additional person(s) to sleep in - do you have these things ? In Sydney there are people who will measure and make up annex's & awnings for you
Tell me if I would travel across the U.S in one say to the Grand Canyon and wanted to keep my overnight costs down until I got there what sort of places would you stay at i.e.
1. RV parks ?
2. National parks - I think they are good but can be pricey if you're just travelling thro'
3. State parks - I get the impression these are worth looking at
4. Boondocking (free spots) - don't know anything about these areas or if it's a bit dangerous !
5. I hear 24/7 Walmart car parks are an option, every tried these are they a good experience or again is it a bit dangerous
6. Somebody mentioned to me "engineers corps" ?
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Im a canuck .. so basically i hate anything without trees, like our national animal, the beaver.
That being said, I would stay away from RV parks, unless you are just overnighting and need a place to rest your head. Nothings worse than being rammed next to a 35 ft. 5th wheel, that has 3 flat screens and a TV in the outside galley.
We have had great experiences camping in both the U.S state parks, and National parks, because they are just more suited to our camping lifestyle. They are reservable in advance, so trip planning is easier, and have the trees and privacy that we like. Check out tripadvisor once you figure out where you are camping and search for reviews on each one before reserving. Dont rely on images provided, and remember, each and every one of us has an ideal campsite in mind, which may not be the ideal campsite for the next individual.

happy planning ... d-mo
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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Thumbs up to what the others have said. I'll only add that many if not most national forests and national grasslands have campgrounds. They usually have water, a table, a fire ring, and pit toilets. They also tend to be cheaper than almost anything else except Wal-Marts, and--although I've never tried them--I'm leery of staying somewhere where just about anyone can come up to your unit in the middle of the night. I guess that's true of almost any campsite too, but folks would have to go out of their way to find you in, say, Columbine Canyon campground (in the Carson National Forest, northern New Mexico, one of our faves).

There's a publication that reviews all National Forest Service and National Grasslands campgrounds in the US. It's in downloadable PDF format. We keep a copy on our iPad, along with a great iPad/iPod/iPhone app called Camp and RV. That app uses satellite photos so you can almost pick your campsite from the air. It also covers Canada, though I suspect it's not as complete as for the lower 48. Between the two sources there's almost nowhere cheap in the US and Canada we can't find. The NFS/NG campground publication is by a Mr. and Mrs. Dow. If i can find a link i'll come back and edit it in, otherwise just google it. The Dows have a Facebook page too.

Later: here it is-- http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/list/nflist.htm.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Here's my take ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoman View Post
Tell me if I would travel across the U.S in one say to the Grand Canyon and wanted to keep my overnight costs down until I got there what sort of places would you stay at i.e.
1. RV parks ? Haven't stayed at one in 30 years (thank God). This would not be how I would want to experience camping in this country. Having said that, I would rather stay at a private park for a night than a Walmart.
2. National parks - I think they are good but can be pricey if you're just travelling thro' I am not sure I would agree that NPs are expensive. This site can help.
3. State parks - I get the impression these are worth looking at We only stay at State and National parks.
4. Boondocking (free spots) - don't know anything about these areas or if it's a bit dangerous ! I've never considered it dangerous (when we used to do this pre-kids) but I guess this might depend on where you are.
5. I hear 24/7 Walmart car parks are an option, every tried these are they a good experience or again is it a bit dangerous People overnight at Walmart and its a little bit of an art. You might want to search this forum and RV.net to get the "how to".
6. Somebody mentioned to me "engineers corps" ? I think they meant Corps of Engineers
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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so hamguy ... am i right in assuming that most national forests have campgrounds?... because i would be most interested in those in my exploration of your beautiful county.

d-mo

oh .. and whats this "not bad for a working guy thing in your footer... i thought you were retired like me ...
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Thanks D-mo, Triguy, jeep4two & the hamguy1 - your feedback is very helpful. I'm not used to using forums, so it's great once you get the hang of non-face to face communication.

D-mo, as a Canuck you may have a view. I intend to buy my A122 in the Toronto/Ontario area as that's where my son lives and where it will be parked when not in use. I have had a brief look at these campers at a place in Grimsby near Hamilton, it was so cold at the time the guy wouldn't leave his warm office !!! Would you recommend I check out any other places ? Am also happy to check out used ones although I suspect they are hard to find

Another question guys, I enquired about one of these with a sprung mattress and a storage bin on the front, they response was to consider the A128 with a storage Bin and put a mattress in. My thought if I did this I wonder if I should get the Rockwood mattress or perhaps buy my own, made to fit etc.. ?
cheers
Antone (from Sydney, Aus)
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-mo
so hamguy ... am i right in assuming that most national forests have campgrounds?... because i would be most interested in those in my exploration of your beautiful county.

d-mo

oh .. and whats this "not bad for a working guy thing in your footer... i thought you were retired like me ...
Unless someone changed my footer, I didn't put anything about working in it. I've been retired 10-1/2 years now, so I'm a pro by this time. I'll have to look and see what you're referring to.

As to NFS/NG areas, I can't say whether all have campgrounds (I don't know how many there are, but there're lots). I do know we've been surprised at how many there are. An example is Carson Nat'l Forest in New Mexico. Not a huge area but it has several campgrounds, five of them along a single 11-mile stretch between Questa and Red River, for example. And Michigan is packed with them, as around the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore region and points south. Wisconsin is another Midwest state with lots of NF camping spots. But nearly every state has some.

These aren't typically very fancy places but they fit my criteria (cheap and sometimes remote), ideal places for boondocking as you're set up to do so well. As an old guy, I qualify for the federal Golden Age Pass, which not only lets me in free at lots of gov't-run attractions, but nets me half off at National Forest/National Park Service/National Grasslands/National Lakeshore/national-you-name-it sites. Add in the plethora of state, county and city parks--many of the latter being free--and you find the landscape liberally dotted with nice places to put up one's feet. Stop through central Iowa next time you're this way and I'll share a bunch of them with you. Meantime, look up the NFS Campground guide I linked to in an earlier post. Bon voyage!
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