4 Big Benefits of a Free Standing Ute Camper

Free standing your ute camper has many benefits for camping, convenience and storage.

Free standing slide on camper africa trayon campers

However, for some reason we are seeing a resurgence of ute back campers coming into the Australian market which are permanently fixed onto the back of the ute and can’t be easily removed.

In this blog we are going to explore the benefits of a free standing ute camper over a Permanent Mount camper.

Permanent Mount Camper

We thought this method of mounting a ute back camper had all but died out a couple of decades ago. They mount permanently either to the chassis, the tray or tub of the vehicle, converting the vehicle to have a single purpose, camping! There are no legs, no free standing; essentially turning your ute into a mini motorhome.

We are guessing that the main reason we are seeing these is because they are a bit cheaper than a free standing camper as there is far less engineering needed to simply mount it to the vehicle. It essentially becomes a part of the vehicle structure, not it’s own self contained independent structure. The structure doesn’t have to be self-supporting  or self-contained and you don’t need an engineer to design it.

The style side tub permanent campers also have diminished weight distribution capability. For example in the dual cab variants the wheel arches in the tubs don’t give you a large flat volume to spread the weight of heavy items like water tanks and batteries on the front of the camper (over or in front of the rear-axle of the vehicle).

They have to take up more vertical space which lifts the centre of gravity or has to move the weight further back in the campers layout.

(Note we aren’t talking about the larger trucks converted to permanent mount expedition campers in this blog, we are specifically talking about permanent mount campers attached to the common 1 tonne mid-range or large-range style utes we have in Australia)

Free Standing Slide On Camper

A free standing camper may be a bit more expensive than a permanent mount camper, but the benefits of free standing may completely outweigh the extra cost if you are in the market for a ute camper.

The main concept of a Trayon Camper is that you can free stand it and the camper has the capability to be free standing for extended periods of time, either for long/short term storage or long/short term accommodation. 

jack off tray back camper trayon campers

Our purposely engineered structure allows you to keep all the conveniences of having a ute, while also enjoying a fully self contained camper for your next adventure without needing to tow. So you aren’t locking down your vehicle for one purpose. You can now use it for daily use. So in that sense it is more practical both for everyday use and financially (not needing to buy another car for everyday use).

Check out this video to see how easy it is to free stand a Trayon Camper.

It’s quick. It’s easy. The whole process to free stand a Trayon Camper takes a single person about six minutes to do. 

You even have the option to add Trayon Campers’ electric leg system.  The four custom made motors simply attach on top of the preexisting Trayon Camper legs and lift the camper with a remote control.

1. What About The Milk & Gas?

Imagine You Have a Permanent Mount Camper

Imagine you have a permanent mount camper, and you rock up to your campsite after a long tiring drive. You set up and get everything sorted out at a beautiful spot by the river. You unpack everything you like to have – camp chairs & tables for the outside. You set up the awning and do everything you need to get situated.

Then you realise you are out of milk and/or gas, or need to get firewood. Or perhaps the ranger comes along and says you need to relocate because this campsite has been flagged for rejuvenation. 

Or perhaps you want to go explore the 4WD tracks or destinations near by in your vehicle.

You literally have to pack everything up, because moving the vehicle means you have to move your camper.

Now, Imagine You Have a Free Standing Slide on Camper

In that same scenario, you turn up to your campsite in your Trayon Camper. You set up your camper and chairs and realise you are out of milk and/or gas. 

No worries!  Within 6 minutes you can free stand the camper and your vehicle becomes independent from your fully lockable, self contained camper.

Slide on camper free standing campsite by lake

It has its own water, battery, sink, bed, lounge, awning, legs to free stand, its own everything. It doesn’t need the vehicle for anything other than to get it to its next campsite. 

Have something valuable outside at the campsite? You can leave it in the camper with the security locked aluminum frame door. So you can be sure your beer fridge is safe while you are off site. 

So just the milk scenario alone, shows the benefits of having a free standing camper that can be completely removed from the vehicle at the campsite.

2. Selling the Vehicle?

If You Have a Permanent Mount Camper

If you have a permanent mount camper, another important thing to keep in mind is, if you want to sell the vehicle, or if you need to interchange the vehicle, this cannot be easily done. 

Once you’ve had that permanent mount camper body fitted to it. Well, that’s it. She’s on there. 

So if you want to update to a new vehicle you have to also buy a new camper body or pay someone an arm and a leg to unbolt it, remove all the components and set it all up on the new vehicle, which is a lengthy process that is only possible if the new vehicle has the same specification as the previous one.

If You Have a Free Standing Slide on Camper

Whereas with a free standing camper, like the Trayon Camper, you simply free stand the camper and you sell the vehicles separately.

If your vehicle is getting a bit worn out from so much camping, or it is outdated, you can easily just trade it in and get a new one. All you have to do is interchange it, no components to swap across, no deconstructing your vehicle and camper. It’s a simple swap. Just jack up the camper off the ute, drive the old ute away, reverse the new ute under and jack down the camper on the tray. All you have to do is make sure the tray size is similar.

free standing ute camper landrover discovery

So that is a big advantage for a free standing camper over a permanent mount camper.

3. Fixing the Vehicle

If You Have a Permanent Mount Camper

Many of our customers don’t just do weekend trips in their campers, they travel for months at a time in some of the most remote places in Australia and the world.

If that’s your goal, one thing that you’ll likely encounter in your travels is the need to repair your vehicle. For example, if you are in the muddy tracks of Cape York and something goes wrong with the vehicle, a permanent mount camper will have to go with the vehicle to the closest mechanic to get repaired.

Then you have to find last minute accommodation to stay somewhere for an unspecified amount of time while you wait and hope the repairs and parts all get done in a timely fashion because the accommodation fees are creeping up fast.

If You Have a Free Standing Slide on Camper

A free standing camper, like a Trayon Camper, affords you the capability to get emergency repairs done on your vehicle, while still utilising your camper at the local caravan park or campsite.

Trayon slide on camper interior
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You’ve got your own fridge. You’ve got your own food. You’ve got everything with you while your vehicle is being repaired.

That’s another good camping scenario. But what about when you aren’t camping?

4. What About When You Aren’t Camping?

If You Have a Permanent Mount Camper

If you’re in a position where you’ve got a permanent mount camper, well, it stays on the back of the vehicle permanently as the name suggests.

So if you wanted to use that vehicle for trade tools, groceries, work or anything other than camping you are stuck with it. 

If You Have a Free Standing Slide on Camper

For those with a free standing camper, you can simply reverse to a spot in your yard, garage, shed or carport, jack it off the tray and your vehicle is free for normal everyday use. It’s a normal tray back vehicle which you can use for work, helping your kids move house or anything else for that matter. 

Not to mention your fuel economy will be better over all without a camper permanently mounted to it. And you don’t ever have to worry about the height of your vehicle in car parks or picking up a friend from the airport.

The Trayon Campers low profile and compact design allows you to store it away without consuming too much height and very little floor space. The quick transition to storage mode is simple and easy.

It also means you don’t need two vehicles. One for camping and one for everyday use.

4 Benefits of a Free Standing Ute Camper

So let’s recap some of the key benefits of a free standing ute camper over a permanent mount camper.

  1. Easily use your vehicle, while leaving the campsite setup (e.g. go get milk or explore the surrounds)
  2. Easily sell your vehicle without needing a whole new camper (e.g. upgrade your ute to a new model)
  3. Easily send your vehicle to the mechanic without sending in the camper as well
  4. Easily store the camper away and use your ute for everyday things
Free standing ute camper - Trayon campers windmill

So a free standing camper like a Trayon Camper is typically more practical than it’s permanent mount cousins. 

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