Camper Trailer driving, hitching, loading and camping mistakes to avoid.

helpful hintsFor Owners

We have been supplying premium quality, affordable and feature packed Camper Trailers and Hybrid Caravans to the happy campers in Western Australia since 2010. Ben and Dennis have owned and operated Southern Cross Camper Trailers since it started back in 2010. Join our mailing list

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Camper Trailer driving, hitching, loading and camping mistakes to avoid.

Things to avoid with your Camper Trailer

Common Driving, Hitching, Loading and Camping Mistakes to avoid with your Camper Trailers:

There are five mistakes you can make before you even leave your driveway, so check these before you even switch on the ignition:

  1. Hitch Key – where is it? In your pocket, in the glovebox or console, anywhere is ok EXCEPT STILL ON THE TRAILER!!
  2. Jockey Wheel – did you swing it up? Ummmm…….. better look and check!!
  3. Handbrake – did you release it? Our handbrakes are very efficient, which is great, but drive 100km with it on and the heat generated will do immense damage!!
  4. Trailer Plug – did you connect it? If not, you are going to be very unpopular with following drivers!!
  5. Chains – did you connect them? Ummmmm…………better look and check that one too!!

Losing hitch keys for our Alko Hitches.  Need we say more, it’s like losing your car keys, TV remote or reading glasses.   Leaving the hitch on the roof and driving off, yep heard that one too.  Ring us to get another one.

Not releasing the hand brake on the trailer.  We had a recent experience of a customer who had someone else hitch their trailer and from the destruction caused to the wheel hub and axle knew immediately that it was the result of a hand brake not being released. They were absolute novices who made the mistake of letting an “expert” interfere!  Be as careful and downright pedantic when someone else is dealing with your camper trailer as you would be with your car! The damage wasn’t covered by Warranty, of course, but we managed to work something out which relieved their embarrassment and “Wallet Stress”.

As mentioned above, making sure the electrics are hooked up is important, but so is disconnecting them when you unhitch!! Unplug your electrics after unhitching the trailer and before driving off.  This happened to one of the owners  of this company the other day.  It was a moment of smacking one’s own head in exasperation!

Inspect your tyres,  check for uneven tread wear  and incorrect pressures .

Check your wheel nuts are tight after an arduous journey, even a long non demanding road trip. Your trailer left us with the wheel nuts hand torqued to 100ft/lbs.

When you reach the camp site stabilizing the trailer. Yes, make sure those rear stabilisers are down, touching the ground, and with perhaps another half circle on the winder to be sure.

Connecting the water pump hoses. There are two hoses, one orange and one white, hiding under the sink. On the side wall inside the trailer are two connections, also one orange and one white. Guess which hose goes to which connector? We had a call recently from a customer who had water problems and guess what the cause was? Yep, you got it! (Sorry to bring this up, Laurie, but you must have realised it would go into the annals of Southern Cross history!)

Packing up – closing all the windows and door will make packing up easier, but remember that Southern Cross uses a high quality canvas. It is best to leave one zip undone a few inches to let the air out, otherwise you will think your camper has transformed into a Bouncy Castle!

All our camper trailers have a stove supplied. On the soft floor variants it is a Primus 3 burner deluxe and the Pearls come with their own inbuilt 4 burner stove. Connecting to a gas bottle is exactly the same as on your home barbie!

Make sure your gas bottle is the same size (9kg or 4kg) as the holder on your trailer.

Wet Tent -  Surprisingly, this mistake doesn’t happen all that often. Mind you, our canvas is high quality and very forgiving so perhaps it isn’t so surprising. Anyway, if you get rained on and soaked on that last night before you come home, unpack the tent when you get home and fold it out until it is dry. If you leave it wet and closed up in the driveway for a month, you can get enough mould to create sufficient Penicillin to cure the ills of a third world nation.

When loading a quad or other toys onto our Haulers:

 Make sure the ramps are securely fitted.

 Have somebody there to yell “ Bit to the right!” “Bit more right!” “Bit left!” “Keep coming!” “Stop!!”

Lighting problems –the electrics on all our trailers are personally checked by the owners before they are licenced and, of course, the licencing Inspectors check too. If you collected your new Southern Cross trailer from us yourself, you would not have been allowed to leave without Ben or Denis doing a light check. If, however, your trailer was freighted to you and the lights are not working, don’t blame the trailer – CHECK THE CAR! In our great W.A. Outback that red dust plays havoc, and that socket on the back of your vehicle is right in the firing line to collect dust and then moisture. That combination fouls up trailer sockets in no time!!

Driving too fast!!   For heaven’s sake!! You are in charge of a machine weighing probably a tonne and a half plus passengers and you are towing another machine weighing somewhere between (depending on model) three quarters of a tonne to two tonnes! Keep to or under the speed limits! Slow down! Enjoy the scenery! If you don’t the scenery may be ruined by the sight of flashing red and blue lights in the mirror!