25 Years Of Trayon in South Australia
March 2019 is a very big Milestone for Trayon Campers, and to explain why, we need to turn back the clock.
Twenty-five years ago, it’s March 1994, and a new kid just moved on to the ‘slide on camper block’. For 50 years previous, the slide on camper market had been stalling, producing caravan style units, ever larger and ever heavier. These old campers were suited to the rough and tumble of no fuss vehicles like the Holden Kingswoods and Valiants, which could carry almost anything along the bitumen. It was normal to see an oversized camper sitting on the back of a kingswood.
While these old campers packed all the conveniences of a full home on wheels, they weren’t suited to the rugged destinations that the new-age 4WDs of the early 90s could reach. The camper industry was calling for something new, something lighter, stronger, and overall more practical that still included all the home on wheels features. There was a niche waiting to be filled, and it was the perfect opportunity for a small, family owned blue collar business called ‘Trayon’ to show the world what they were capable of. Through a combination of trade skills, industry knowledge, a wealth of off-road experience, and technical know-how, the Trayon empire was born.
From a dream started in 1994….
Twenty-five years ago, from humble beginnings, Trayon took the off road camper industry by storm. It is now the most experienced class 2 slide on camper manufacturer in Australia. As a result, Trayon have helped revolutionise the way we travel Australia on and off the bitumen. Together with other key players in the camper industry, Trayon have created a lifestyle, and contributed to the flourishing off road scene we all enjoy today.
Over the past 25 years, Trayon have grown into an industry stalwart for many reasons. For example, they are (to name a few):
- The most experienced class 2 slide on camper manufacturer on the Australian market
- The lightest class 2 slide on camper available in Australia, and probably around the Globe
- An Australian owned family business, producing Australian made campers
- The only Aussie company which makes slide on campers here then exports to international branches
- Constantly developing partnerships with leaders in other industries and testing new technology which subsequently spread through the off road camper industry, both domestically and internationally
- Still industry leaders after surviving wave after wave of competition from companies with cutting edge technology
- Committed to their campers’ base design, which has been consistent over the past 25 years; and
- Invested in educating their customers about slide on campers and off road adventures.
Staying Ahead of the Pack
In an age of space-age technologies and materials, 3D design programs, and an off road camper customer base hungrier than a lion, the camper manufacturing competition is fierce.
New camper companies spring up from nowhere, looking to tap into Australia’s obsession with pristine wilderness and the need to access it with a set of wheels. How is it that a humble camper, designed and engineered so long ago by a new blue collar, family owned Australian business has maintained the lead?
Here’s a few key things which has helped keep Trayon firmly centred on the map.
Searching for En-light-enment
Despite the many other impressive campers being produced both in Australia and abroad, Trayon has a key edge. Spec for spec, they produce the lightest class 2 slide on camper available!
Weighing in at less than 370-390KG dry-weight (unladen), Trayon slide on campers can be carried almost anywhere, while the structural integrity is up there with the best. For this reason, 25 years ago, Trayon blew the off road camper industry wide open. And it is for this reason still that Trayon continues to be the the first choice of many customers seeking to explore the beauty of the Australian Outback, and survive the rigours that come with it.
Trayon has achieved this by employing a constant search for weight reduction, and use of the strongest, most lightweight materials on the market.
Continual Weight Saving Tech·
Trayon have an internal policy to develop continual weight saving technologies and materials to streamline the base design. Bit by bit, kilogram by kilogram – Trayon endeavors to continually make their campers lighter.
This is critical in creating carrying capacity for the huge list of optional extras, add-ons and upgrades that can be added to a Trayon. This means that you can pack a Trayon with all the new mods available while staying within the carrying capacity of your vehicle.
Weight Saving Case Study: A New Fibreglassing Technique
An example of Trayon’s most recent weight reducing tactic is the implementation of a new fibreglassing technique. While there is minimal fibreglass on a Trayon to start with (in fact it’s just the fold down step door and the flip over roof lid), this new technique has proven to reduce the components’ respective weights by approximately one-third!
The old technique involved applying the fibreglass in layers by hand. Hand laying created large variation in weight (between 7 and 9 kgs) due to the human element in the resin application process. With the new technique, the human element has been removed, ensuring the exact same amount of resin is applied to each and every item, giving them consistency in weight.
And, by reducing the potential number of air gaps and bubbles, it also results in much more strength. After extensive testing, the new technique is being applied across the entire Trayon range.
Trayon uses in depth industry knowledge to ensure incredible weight to strength ratios are achieved. For example, Trayon builds its campers primarily from aluminium but doesn’t have a single aluminum weld in the entire structure. This allows for maximum flexibility and retains the aluminum’s molecular strength to avoid weld cracks or stress fractures.
If you weld aluminum, its molecular strength is reduced by almost one-third! Weld it again, and there goes another one-third. This is why you should be wary of campers with welded frames and why Trayon have used their weld free aluminium design to great effect for so many years.
All the Essentials
Not only are Trayon slide on campers extremely light weight and strong, they come with everything needed for long adventures in the rough. For the past 25 years, each slide on camper has been, and still is, designed and built with the essential conveniences mind, for example they contain:
- Loads of in-camp internal usable space, including a kitchen, lounge and bed (plus bedding!) that don’t interfere with each other when in use (ie: open in camp)
- Excess storage capacity when closed for transit (ie: internal floor space and underbody storage drawers)
- 100L fridge/freezer
- 110L water tank with water level monitor and 12v pressure pump
- 9kg gas bottle
- 120 amp deep cycle AGM battery with on-board 240v charger
- Internal sink
- Cooktop with griller that can be used inside or outside
- Covered main entrance
- Secure locking aluminium framed fly screen door when camper is open
- More than 65% of the campers over-all weight positioned within the first one-third of the front of the camper
- 10 Year structural off-road warranty.
In an era where the majority of off road campers are manufactured overseas and customers being left in the dark about it, Trayon has stayed true to its origins.
Since 1994, every slide on camper driven out of the workshop is 100% Aussie made. Aussie made, designed, owned, managed, and very proud of it! Our Australian made campers are now world renowned!
For this reason Trayon has teamed up with the ‘Australia Made’ campaign to provide a clear example of what Australia made products can deliver. They are officially certified and licensed by the Australia Made Campaign:
Owned, managed and run by the van der Walt family; Trayon Campers is also an official “Family Owned Australian Business” as part of the Family Business Association of Australia:
25 Years of Partnerships
The last quarter century of Trayon’s development and success would not have been possible without the many partnerships developed with other leaders in the off road, automobile and manufacturing industries.
These partnerships have given Trayon Campers a wealth of opportunity to test appliance prototypes in the real world, and identify the best setups for their customers. These partnerships include companies like:
- Webasto Australia
- Redarc electronics
- Revolution Batteries Australia, and so many more…
These companies delivered Trayon groundbreaking technology, for example the latest internal heating systems and super efficient energy charging and storage set-ups. These kinds of products are now being used by countless other companies in the Australian caravan and camping industry, and even worldwide!
A Fit-For-Purpose Design
Another key factor making Trayon a top choice is its groundbreaking platform design, based on a range of key principles.
Trayon slide on campers are based on the same platform camper concept, design, layout, build methodology and materials as they were back in 1994. The reason for this is that this design is still unbeatable for a ute back camper. The main principles required for an off road worthy slide-on camper include:
- The lightest possible mass
- Majority of weight up the front
- A low profile
- A low center of gravity
- Structural strength and integrity
- Quick and easy to open, close and use
- Simplistic but effective design, functions and features
- Non-welded aluminium construction
- Ease of reparability in case of accident
- A very long life span
- Ability to interchange between vehicles
- Ability to free-stand the camper for camp or storage
- Ability to cook inside and outside
- Ability to retreat to the inside with bed, lounge and kitchen for inclement weather
What’s Old is New!
An advantage of maintaining a consistent design over the last 25 years is that all of our customers have the option to retrofit their Trayon with most of the latest technology we add to our newest models.
In a world full of consumerism and a throw away mentality, Trayon sticks to the old school approach of making something right, and keeping it relevant so you don’t need to upgrade or move on. There’s no need to sell your 2004 model to buy the 2018 model so you have all the new features. You can simply upgrade your older Trayon with some of the newer appliances, functions and features.
But, just because Trayon stick to the proven reliability of its 1994 slide on camper platform, doesn’t make it outdated. Trayon is also in a continual cycle of innovation, research and development.
Trayon got their platform right many moons ago, which means they can focus the little things which make off road camping more comfortable. Take the the much sought after Trayon Outhouse Double for example. It’s a retrofittable fold out ensuite enclosure attached to the back wall of a Trayon Camper.
Upgrades, optional extras and add-ons are always being developed by Trayon for their campers and the cycle will never stop. Currently they are working on a retrofittable electric conversion for their camper legs – watch this space!
A Global Endeavour
Trayon is now the only slide-on camper company in Australia that builds their products in Australia and officially exports them overseas to an established redistribution branch. While Trayon started exporting way back in 2005, it wasn’t until 2013 that an official global presence was established through the Trayon Europe branch.
Trayon Europe was set up in Switzerland, and began shipping campers from the Swiss branch to other neighboring European countries hungry for the practical toughness delivered by Aussie made off road products. In no time, Trayon slide on campers were bouncing through the snow capped mountains, rolling hills and lush green pastures of Germany, Netherlands, France , Italy and the UK region. Trayon’s slide on camper manufacturer in Europe has proven a roaring success!
With recent further exports to New Zealand and even North America – Trayon is fast becoming a global authority on light-weight slide-on campers for off-road use.
Turn Key Packages
Trayon Campers is the only slide-on camper company that offers a turn-key service to their customers that have already purchased a Trayon Camper but is yet to source a vehicle.
Using their extensive knowledge of the motor vehicle industry with their understanding of things like payload capacities, upgrade possibilities and accessory fitment – Trayon can source a new vehicle of your choosing through their fleet-buy broker at most likely a cheaper price than what is normally available from dealers.
They can set it up with off-road suspension and whatever else you require (bullbars, spot lights, GVM upgrades, roof racks etc) while arranging for the right tray to marry up with your camper after it comes off the production line.
All you’ll need to do is jump in the driver’s seat and turn the key, hence the name “Turn-Key”
This makes things so much easier for the customer when it comes to:
- Which vehicle brands and models work well for its intended purpose
- Avoiding working with vehicle dealers who just want to make a sale
- Working out if the tray offered by the dealer will work with the camper
- Avoiding a nightmare of research to figure out exactly upgrades are possible and what order modifications need to be done. For example, the details around GVM upgrades for specific vehicles and when they are necessary (more often than you think).
- Avoid spending hours researching the best accessories for the intended purpose of the vehicle.
- Avoid transporting the vehicle from lots of different places to get the modifications done.
Trayon can do all that for their customers once a camper order has been placed making life that little bit easier.
Customer Education and Relations
The Trayon ethos is to ensure customers have every piece of relevant info they need about their campers, their vehicle/camper setup, and off-road travel, at their fingertips.
They have taken an extremely active role in educating the public on everything slide-on camper related, through years of experience and expertise. New articles like this one are researched, written and published on a monthly basis to travel help guide and support customers wanting to know more.
Everything from vehicle reviews, to off road travel articles, and even guides on what type of slide on camper would suit your situation best. It is all geared to ensure customers have the best experience possible, and continue to enjoy their Trayon home away from home for years to come.
The Future is Bright
From a dream started in 1994, Trayon has come a long way. With a track record that speaks for itself, and a reputation that outshines the rest, the future possibilities are endless!