Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot? - Page 8





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  1. #141
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonN View Post
    Have you seen how many trailers are for sale? One might get your money back, maybe,
    I will make a profit if I sell my Maxi today. 100% sure of that!

    And then I can take the money and still go stay in a hut for 345 days if I want to + I had the benefit of the trailer while I had it.

    Win Win for me.
    Last edited by 4x4 wannabie; 2019/03/29 at 04:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post
    Yup thank you, this trailer has been discussed extensively earlier in this topic, it is ideal and at under R40k a real contender.

    I just don't understand why the big manufacturers can't take one or two of their normal model off the production lines before they start fitting all the extra stuff.
    They will be exactly the same box and wheels as their normal models, same quality, same dimensions, same material, same production line and methods, just without all the bits and pieces that push the price up to over R200k. In other words, give us the option of buying an Echo 2 for example with nothing in it.
    Have you actually contacted the various trailer manufacturers and asked for their price list?
    I did that a litte over a year ago and most of the price lists start off with a basic model, which is considerably cheaper than a kitted out one with all options ticked.

    You still won't get to a price of 40k I guess, but then there is a big difference in workmanship between something like a Venter Offroad trailer and a Metalian Mini.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Have you actually contacted the various trailer manufacturers and asked for their price list?
    I did that a litte over a year ago and most of the price lists start off with a basic model, which is considerably cheaper than a kitted out one with all options ticked.

    You still won't get to a price of 40k I guess, but then there is a big difference in workmanship between something like a Venter Offroad trailer and a Metalian Mini.
    Not really. Went through the exercise this year got quotes from 5 manufacturers. It's only the more well known brands that have a steep price increase for options. Boy do I mean steep.. The lesser known brands do customisation for next to nothing. I don't have a problem dropping R80k on an empty trailer but the perceived value in the "big brands" leaves me wanting. Whether they win prizes in Australia or not (whatever that is worth as their conditions are very different to ours)
    Last edited by GKE; 2019/03/29 at 07:42 PM.

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by GKE View Post
    Not really. Went through the exercise this year got quotes from 5 manufacturers. It's only the more well known brands that have a steep price increase for options. Boy do I mean steep.. The lesser known brands do customisation for next to nothing. I don't have a problem dropping R80k on an empty trailer but the perceived value in the "big brands" leaves me wanting. Whether they win prizes in Australia or not (whatever that is worth as their conditions are very different to ours)
    Your post is levelled at me because I'm the only one winning prizes in Australia , so please allow me to state some facts about your perceived value.

    Our bare bones "Mini" is R56350 excluding VAT, for that you get the box manufactured in 3CR12 (twice the price of mild steel) powder coated and seam sealed with imported sealants from Germany, two built in cupboards with adjustable shelving, 304 grade stainless steel locking bars and other trims like rear and front skids, reflector pedestals, etc.. doors that don't leak and that are deep panelled, tig welding and expert grinding (and I really mean expert grinding where bevelled edges of 1 mm are hand ground within 0.2 mm tolerance!), 1600kg braked axle, surge coupler, heavy duty jockey wheel, LED lights, 3 x 8 ply 15 inch tyres, steel rims, 1700 litres of pack volume!, AND a host of pre-punched holes and engineering detail that allows for easy customisation without the need for additional subframes.

    When you add the fridge slide, I've bought the 180kg extension slide (it's actually rated 225kgs) for R1200, manufactured and painted a steel cradle and installed this all for only R2400. Ditto the big drawer with adjustable dividers and carpeting for only R3400. (It takes just over one third of a 1250 x 2500 stainless steel sheet (R720 and powder-coating cost goes in at R140 per square meter - and a sheet has two sides, so it's actually R280 per square meter, plus glue, plus carpet. The parts are cnc punched, bent welded and expertly ground smooth - assembled with stainless steel bolts and nuts - no poprivets.

    Take my rear bar with recovery points and swing arm. It's similar is size, weight and construction to that of a vehicle's rear bumper that retails from R9000 upwards to R16000, add the swing arm bracket at about another R6000 upwards - Metalian's price is only R6150 for the entire rear bumper and swing arm!

    For my water system you get two 65 litre purpose made tanks, R860 each with access hatches, purpose made stainless steel fittings (cost about R230 each per set), two Fiamma water inlets at R380 each, red and blue piping with quick fit fittings, Sureflo pump at R1350, water filter, kitchen tap and electrical over-ride switch, all in food-grade material (no garden fittings, and braided fuel pipe with hose-clamps), including the installation for only R7760.

    Electrics gets you a 105 Ah battery R1800, HcDP power panel at some R6000, battery bracket, DC cabling from the battery to the panel, and from the box to the coupler plus 600 mm, 220v electrical hookup with 220v 3 core cable to the panel, 3 DC hella external sockets, National Luna lights at R300 something per light, solar hookup, fridge cabling, and cabling to the lights and hella sockets. It takes one of my guys 1.5 days to complete the wiring installation. All for only R14300.

    Those are the big items. If you want upgraded rims and tyres, they go in at cost - but my driver collects them from the suppliers, takes them to be fitted and balanced, and collects them from the tyre fitment centre again, all at no cost. If you supply your own tyres, I give you a full credit on my tyres and rims and fit yours for free. Ditto with tents.

    I don't know who will do customisation at "next to nothing" - generally I've heard the opposite and have clients even from other brands ask me to please fix up third party rubbish. You've made the claim, please show how my pricing is perceived value? Even when compared to others in mild steel.

    Let me tell you what winning a prize in Australia is worth. This market has to be the most competitive with many brands from China, Taiwan, South Africa, the US and local Australian brands, built by Australians. In a way, winning in Australia is as good as taking first place in the world. Their conditions are harsher than ours in this that they are not as conservative campers, they pack heavier and they travel longer distances with bigger pimped up vehicles - you'll often hear - take a Cruiser or a Patrol or stay at home. And because many of their campers are artisans, expert welders, electricians, plumbers, etc.., don't think you will get away with what many local SA manufacturers do at home. Even the women I met will give many a local man a run for his money. (I was going to say stiff competition.)

    The judging is done by 4 independent judges in ten different categories, fit for purpose, design innovation, value for money, finish, X-factor, quality of build, etc... Each judge's scores in each category are published, unlike the South African award which is a social media nomination by users/owners (so the more active you are on social media or the more units you have in the market - the more likely you will win (there is some merit in this method, but it is hardly conducive for newer brands that are working harder, innovation, etc.. because everyone only votes for what they know (or rather don't know.) In South Africa, Metalian is placed third. Go figure.


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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by GKE View Post
    Not really. Went through the exercise this year got quotes from 5 manufacturers. It's only the more well known brands that have a steep price increase for options. Boy do I mean steep.. The lesser known brands do customisation for next to nothing. I don't have a problem dropping R80k on an empty trailer but the perceived value in the "big brands" leaves me wanting. Whether they win prizes in Australia or not (whatever that is worth as their conditions are very different to ours)
    I donít know what your problem is and why you are grinding an axe with the Metalian gentlemen, but you obviously donít know what youíre talking about! If a trailer can survive in Aussie outback conditions, it will survive with ease in southern and even African conditions! If a trailer wins a ďBest of the BunchĒ accolade in Australia it can be considered best of the bunch in SA too. The Aussie market is huge and the trailers out there are amazing. Australia is a HUGE country and it is rough! It can throw anything at you and it is ten times as bad as what Africa can throw at you! Trust me, I know! We have gone bush in both southern Africa and Australia and Australia is tough! And NO, we donít have a Metalian trailer, I donít know the gentleman and after forty years we still camp in a tent on the ground - no trailer!

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam16 View Post
    I don’t know what your problem is and why you are grinding an axe with the Metalian gentlemen, but you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about! If a trailer can survive in Aussie outback conditions, it will survive with ease in southern and even African conditions! If a trailer wins a “Best of the Bunch” accolade in Australia it can be considered best of the bunch in SA too. The Aussie market is huge and the trailers out there are amazing. Australia is a HUGE country and it is rough! It can throw anything at you and it is ten times as bad as what Africa can throw at you! Trust me, I know! We have gone bush in both southern Africa and Australia and Australia is tough! And NO, we don’t have a Metalian trailer, I don’t know the gentleman and after forty years we still camp in a tent on the ground - no trailer!
    Sorry if it comes across like I'm hammering metalian, I make no reference to them. Not the intention. Conqueror, echo and others also in Oz and use this angle to show how popular and big they are to imply they are the best. I still dispute the conditions topic, but we can make another thread for that. Also not saying Oz is soft but different.
    Last edited by GKE; 2019/03/30 at 07:42 AM.

  7. #147
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by GKE View Post
    Sorry if it comes across like I'm hammering metalian, I make no reference to them. Not the intention. Conqueror, echo and others also in Oz and use this angle to show how popular and big they are to imply they are the best. I still dispute the conditions topic, but we can make another thread for that. Also not saying Oz is soft but different.
    Sure you're making reference to me, which other South African trailer manufacturer is winning prizes in Australia right now? - none. But that's not the point of your post - that was just an ill thought sarcastic remark.

    The substance of your post (which you confirm above) is that I am providing perceived value, thereby over charging local clients for what I am delivering. I've given you actual costs that you can fact check. I've also given you rated components that we fit, like the 180kg slide. You can get a slide like many cheaper brands fit, that is rated 80kgs at a third of the price. Call Furnlok and Slide and check the pricing yourself.

    Nobody said you said that Oz is soft. My point is that it is not functionally different as you claim. It's the same, just more hectic. My point therefor is that if the trailer wins in Australia, it has real value and meaning for local campers. You're trying to say it's different and therefor has no relevance - as if they only have tar roads or don't need off grid power, on board water, etc.. They have the same requirement as we do.

    I'm not having a go at you personally. These posts are read by many newbies and guests looking for advice from more learned and experienced members (like yourself?) They take what is posted seriously and use this in their decision making process.

    You've made the claims, you continue to "still dispute the conditions topic", so here's your chance to put the boot in and expose my opportunistic, money grabbing, snake-oil business.

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  9. #148
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by GKE View Post
    Not really. Went through the exercise this year got quotes from 5 manufacturers. It's only the more well known brands that have a steep price increase for options. Boy do I mean steep.. The lesser known brands do customisation for next to nothing. I don't have a problem dropping R80k on an empty trailer but the perceived value in the "big brands" leaves me wanting. Whether they win prizes in Australia or not (whatever that is worth as their conditions are very different to ours)
    I have made some comments on trailer and caravan prices in this thread and i once again wish to repeat what i have said before.
    i built myself a 4x4 caravan based on a very popular and "high priced" make. My attempt was to build the caravan to the same quality as which is supplied by the original manufacturer. I have tried to post as many prices and costing as possible and what is not mentioned in my build is the value of 7 sheets of aluminium that was given to me for free. And i have not fitted water tank, geyser and solar yet.
    I used a lot if spares and electrical components that i had collected over many years so. not all the components are new and priced into the build.
    After building the caravan i realised why the top end manufacturers ask the price that they do. Quality, durability, practicality, comfort, ease of use, after sales service and many more. And price? is the last concern.
    The conclusion is, it takes a lot of planning, research and development, manufacturing experts, sourcing of the best, durable materials.
    My respect to all the manufacturers out there trying their best to supply only the best. And that's what you pay for.
    No! Trailer and caravan manufacturers have not lost the plot. We a are taxed to death. That is why we can not afford the top end models.
    Last edited by Pieterk; 2019/03/30 at 03:46 PM.
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  11. #149
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    It seems that some people have a sense of entitlement, hence manufacturers must drop their prices so the product fits someoneís budget.

    Before criticizing the manufacturers for their productís pricing, it would not only be common sense but also show some integrity to actually gather sufficient facts about what is being offered quality and functionality wise.

    For instance compare the Venter Bush Baby to a Metalian Mini. Venter is as close to mass production as you can get, often enough there are issues with paint, sharp edges, bad wiring etc.
    Heinz has described sufficiently what goes into the making of a Metalian trailer.

    Which product is better value for money. Go figure.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I agree with mplester as well. Spend yout money on your hobby and if it means getting a trailer for overlanding, spend your money.
    The only problem is that the manufacturers presume that everyone is flush to spend in excess of R250,000.
    Quite a few people want to spend their money on a trailer, but can only spend what they can afford.

    So in this regard, my answer to the OP is yes, they have lost the plot in assuming that everyone can and wants to spend huge sums of money when there is another option. As Heinz has said, you can by a bare Matalian with all it's great engineering and quality for R50 odd k. This is a far cry from R240,000 and up and is exactly what I'm talking about.

    Well done Heinz
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/03/30 at 02:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I also think its important to compare different manufacturers trailers based on a BARE trailer, before adding any extras.
    There was a quote i received last year for a trailer with all the bells and whistles (complete of the grid trailer) for R220k incl vat, the bare trailer was only R95k (was the biggest trailer in the range). The trailer was only, give and take, 45% of the total price.

    Take a fridge, electrical components, geyser, and trailer tent for example then you can quickly add R50k already

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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    For me off road trailers and caravans are expensive and overpriced for what they are used for (and what is included). Why they are so expensive is a different matter. Some of the reasons are small market, too many manufacturers and every Tom, Dick and Harry wants something different for their trailer or caravan. Compare them to vehicle towing. It has far more parts, is heavier, has unnecessary luxuries... but it is mass produced.

    When I was looking around to buy something I had a rule. Trailer must cost less than the vehicle towing and in my mind there was an additional issue. Combined price cannot be more than 100 m^2 luxury cottage I bought. Vehicle was R96 000.00 registered and cottage R355 000.00 including furniture. Bought XT120 for R75 000.00 fully kitted, serviced and warranty. I did put 220V, pots and pans, food etc. Fully loaded ready to go about R85 000.00. All purchases were within couple years.

    If the budget is "tight" look for 2nd hand in reasonable condition. Buy from a reputable place with warranty and after few trips user knows what to add or change. If it needs a major rebuild then the original purchase was wrong (not thought through). Buying at the right time of the year there is a lot of trailers and caravans for sale. Many of those were bought without thinking and then sold on a big loss.
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    Cool Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I have a converted Jurgens camper trailer. Sleeps 2 adults, solar panels, fridge and lights plus USB points as well as a side tent.Click image for larger version. 

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    A bit rough around the edges but very comfortable. I did not do the conversion but bought for 70K. It tows very well and I have gone as far as from the Visdorpie [Cape Town] to Moremi and back. I have friends with Bush Lapas which are excellent but I do not do enough bush camping to justify the expense, but I would love one though!

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  19. #154
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Quote Originally Posted by ra_01 View Post
    Please donít get me wrong; with the exception of caravans and motorhomes etc, few trailer manufacturers seems to have lost the plot completely by producing expensive products; Most of the time much more pricier than a new/used car.

    Without mentioning the names of the manifacturers, I understand they all have fancy features that makes camping experience comfortable, or should I say rather too comfortable. This also makes them too heavy to tow. Is it really necessary to build these in such exorbitant fashion?

    In my opinion they also have to concentrate on ďback to basicĒ trailers aka Buzzard trailer. More like.. less weight military style expedition trailer with basic amenities that you can literally take anywhere you want; That doesnít hit your pockets during the initial purchase and on fuel mileage when towing. Is there such a thing in our country?

    You say so but they are really just catering for the camper's needs....you get people buying those products. You can find camping trailers from R40 k to R260k (and even more). It all depends what you want and your needs. It is your own requirements determining the price you want to pay.

    Just as an example....the bush pig may be a good trailer but if you have kids it might not be sufficient for your needs. Also, the bush pig is a nice trailer with tent, but one can argue that it is not high enough when in lion country. What about rainy days? The bush pig, although nice and concise, may not have nice (in your own personal opinion) awnings and sufficient rain protection. Camping away extremely remote might require some solar panels, fridges, etc. all requiring more space and a higher cost.

    Yes there are many cost effective camping trailers costing less than R75k.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    We are totally in love with our Bush-trotter piglet trailer. There are several storage bins to keep everything separated and organized. The gvm is only 330kg and the 1.6 ton brake axle allows you to take on those off-road campsites.Here is their website https://bush-trotter.co.za/piglet/
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    Hi all been away this weekend (camping obviously )

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss why big manufactures won't make cost effective go anywhere expedition (meaning off road) trailers as Buzzard. I'm no advocate to Buzzard but they sure do with "unlimited warranty". Cheap trailers (road based) that you buy at Makro can't do this, so let's leave it at that.


    As to Metalian, congratulations for the award you got in Australia, but that's a completely different segment (price wise), so lets not talk about it either. Your basic mini is at low cost with out all bits and pieces anyway, and I really hope you resurrect the Metalian Urbanite projects as well so it might boost sales and good luck with that.

    @ I also think its important to compare different manufacturers trailers based on a BARE trailer, before adding any extras.
    There was a quote i received last year for a trailer with all the bells and whistles (complete of the grid trailer) for R220k incl vat, the bare trailer was only R95k (was the biggest trailer in the range). The trailer was only, give and take, 45% of the total price.

    Firstly 90K for a base trailer (with nothing in it) is excessive; regarding price difference, so they must be making money on the accessories, but 220K is ridiculous for it's purpose. This raises more questions

    @I have made some comments on trailer and caravan prices in this thread and i once again wish to repeat what i have said before.

    i built myself a 4x4 caravan based on a very popular and "high priced" make. My attempt was to build the caravan to the same quality as which is supplied by the original manufacturer. I have tried to post as many prices and costing as possible and what is not mentioned in my build is the value of 7 sheets of aluminium that was given to me for free. And i have not fitted water tank, geyser and solar yet.
    I used a lot if spares and electrical components that i had collected over many years so. not all the components are new and priced into the build.
    After building the caravan i realised why the top end manufacturers ask the price that they do. Quality, durability, practicality, comfort, ease of use, after sales service and many more. And price? is the last concern.
    The conclusion is, it takes a lot of planning, research and development, manufacturing experts, sourcing of the best, durable materials.
    My respect to all the manufacturers out there trying their best to supply only the best. And that's what you pay for.
    No! Trailer and caravan manufacturers have not lost the plot. We a are taxed to death. That is why we can not afford the top end models.

    This proves my point too; if an off road caravan can be built under 100K based on the same materials as top end, I am sure one can do the same with trailers. It's not just about affordability, but getting taxed to death as well.

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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I have a 4ft Venter trailer, the broad axle one.

    Thinking of upgrading the blades, get the right widht axle with 139pcd hubs to trail my Izusu tracks, and put the OEM 16" Izusu mags on there. In that way I'll have enough sparewheels between the Izusu and the trailer, and Ill have a trailer with a short overhang, dont have a car to tow it with so I might just as well do it.

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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I have a 4ft Venter trailer, the broad axle one.

    Thinking of upgrading the blades, get the right widht axle with 139pcd hubs to trail my Izusu tracks, and put the OEM 16" Izusu mags on there. In that way I'll have enough sparewheels between the Izusu and the trailer, and Ill have a trailer with a short overhang, dont have a car to tow it with so I might just as well do it.

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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I think most BUYERS tend to overshoot the specification required for a trailer, this in turn creates demand and the manufacturers oblige, the market is consumer driven, obviously marketing plays a role once the products are available, but if the consumers don't buy them they will cease to exist. I have had a Buzzard Industries trailer that has outlasted my D3, and also my Jeep, it has served me well and will do so for many more years, and I made the perfect choice when I went shopping as it suits my needs perfectly, I have not owned any other trailers in this catergory, but would certainly consider them should I be in the market for a basic, strong-ass trailer that can go the distance.

    Don't forget the 'Keeping up with the Jones's factor' either, I think many consumers go top heavy on account of just that creating market opportunity for some really high-end stuff.
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    Default Re: Have trailer manufacturers lost the plot?

    I have also looked at these trailers, the excessive weight also concerned me. But I understand they must be built more ruggedly, but still a put off for me. SWAMBO doesn't like to sleep in the air, so smaller trailer and tents works for me luckily.

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