A 4WD motorhome opens up a world of travel options, but is it your best option?
Most people looking for their perfect travel setup consider the motorhome as the top tier, and for some, it is. However, there are a range of other options which should also be considered. For example, the ute-based slide on camper.
In this article, we discuss how a motorhome stacks up against Trayon’s industry-leading slide on camper.
First of all, let’s discuss the fundamental difference between a motorhome and a Trayon slide on camper
The motorhome is exactly what its name describes. A motor-home. They are one in the same. The home goes wherever the motor goes, and vice versa. This includes a range of different purpose built vehicles, from smaller van-style motorhomes (such as a Toyota Hiace based model) to larger more serious units like a completely custom Iveco Daily Motorhome.
The Trayon slide on camper however, is a home separated from the motor. It is a self contained unit filled with all the creature comforts of a motorhome, that can be slid onto the back of a ute, and taken wherever the ute goes, or slid off, and the ute used separately.
This is an important concept, and while simple, has a huge range of benefits to add to your travel experience.
The Trayon option can be used with smaller mid-range utilities, such as the Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger Ute, to the higher range Toyota 79 Series Landcruiser and Mercedes G Class, right up to the top of the range 4×4 vehicles like the Iveco Daily and Mercedes Unimog.
If you’re still wondering what a slide on camper is, check out our recent article called “What is a slide on camper?”
To compare how a motorhome and a Trayon slide on camper rig stack up, we’ll start with the advantages of the motorhome.
When it comes to it, there is only one thing a motorhome will provide that a Trayon slide on camper rig will not.
That is access straight from the cab into the rear home. While this isn’t provided by all motorhomes, the ones that do have that extra little bit of comfort in situations where you don’t want to leave the vehicle to set up your camp (for example in a heavy downpour).
Setting up camp with a Trayon, you need to hop out of the vehicle and pull the camper open. While this only takes a few minutes, this is one area a motorhome pips a Trayon slide on camper.
Now let’s investigate the advantages a Trayon has over a motorhome.
With a motorhome, the vehicle is built and used for one purpose only; travelling.
This means you might need to buy a second vehicle for other purposes when you’re not travelling around in the motorhome, such as getting around town.
With a Trayon slide on camper, the ute you use to carry the camper is multi purpose. It’s the Sunday day-tripper, the work vehicle, the everyday get-around, as well as a Trayon camping rig. To check out your 4×4 touring setup options, in terms of which ute styles you can pair with a Trayon, check out our article called “What vehicle configuration should I get to go with a Trayon camper?”
When a motorhome’s engine and running gear wear out and need trading in, the whole vehicle goes because the home is attached to the motor. This means you need to purchase both a new motor and home to replace the old one!
When the ute carrying a Trayon wares out, your Trayon home can simply be slid onto a new ute, and used as long as the heart desires. A Trayon can also be retrofitted with the best new modcons to keep up with the modern technology of a new ute. We’ve seen some Trayon’s go through three utes over its life, even in off road terrain!
The up front purchase price, registration, insurance, and servicing costs of a motorhome all exceed the Trayon slide on camper option.
Add to this the high likelihood that your motorhome will be sitting idle in the shed or yard for most of the year, and value for money might not be great depending on how much you value it’s advantages.
On the other hand, a ute used for a Trayon can be used everyday of the year, making the Trayon/ute combo far more cost effective.
The only way the motorhome might be better value for money is if you are travelling for a number of months for most of the year, for a couple of years.
Up front costs
A motorhome off the showroom floor can be a very expensive beast. For an average sized unit, you’re looking at well above $100,000. A Trayon will cost you less than half that, and it comes with the freedom of using it with any ute brand, make or model you wish.
Motorhome registration will be more than that of a ute used to carry a slide on camper. Plus, if you end up buying a little run-about car to use in town while not travelling in your motorhome, you’ll need to register that as well!
You don’t need to register a Trayon. All you need to register is the ute that carries it, and that can double up as your everyday vehicle anyway!
The costs of insuring a motorhome will inevitably be more than a Trayon/ute rig, particularly if it is identified as being used for travelling and to be kept in remote places. Off road use can also influence the cost of insurance.
Motorhomes are bigger vehicles, which means there is more effort (and thus cost) required to service them than a smaller ute. There are also far more locations for servicing a ute than there will be for some of the motorhome donor vehicle brands, some of which require truck service centers to facilitate scheduled servicing and even running repairs.
A vehicle decreases in value very rapidly once it drives off the showroom floor. With a motorhome, because the ‘home’ is attached to the vehicle, it suffers rapid depreciation as well. Everyone who wants to buy a second hand motorhome looks at the odometer.
However, with a Trayon, because it is separate to the vehicle, it doesn’t suffer the same rapid depreciation. For this reason Trayons hold their value far better than even the utes underneath them. The Trayon does not even have an odometer.
If you write off the motorhome, regardless of how good condition the home component of the vehicle is, it will be written off as well. It will usually be far too expensive and too much hassle for insurance companies to try and fix both the vehicle and its home component, so there is more chance that it will be a write off.
With a Trayon, if the ute cops a good bashing, even if it is written off, the Trayon can be slid off and used with the next ute. The Trayon can also be easily repaired at a Trayon workshop if required.
If your motorhome needs a patch up while on the road, you will need to find somewhere else to stay while the jobs being done, because they will have your home too!
With a Trayon, you can slide the unit off the back, freestanding, in around six minutes (or even quicker with the electric leg conversion). So if your ute needs to go into the workshop, you can simply overnight in a caravan park in the Trayon while it’s happening and save on accommodation costs. I know this sounds like an unlikely situation, but when you are doing thousands of kms through rugged terrain vehicle components do often fatigue, break and so forth. So in that situation, your best friend will be a mechanic in a local town.
Unless you’re towing a little runabout vehicle with your motorhome, then your camping set up is affected by your requirements to use the vehicle.
For example, you’ve just got set up, and realise there’s no milk left in the fridge! You will need to pack up the camp and drive into town, only to come back and set up all over again and then someone else has taken your previous prime spot right next to the river!
However with a Trayon, you can simply side it off and head into town in the ute, with the Trayon camp all set up and waiting for when you return and saving you prime spot at the same time.
Most motorhomes are longer, wider and higher than most vehicles. This means they are harder to park, and generally need to be stored outdoors in the elements.
The ute, even with a Trayon on the back, is far easier to maneuver around town and store in most available spots, out of the elements. A Trayon rig can easily fit in a normal car park and can be under 2.2m high on a non-modified ute, but closer to 2.4m on a raised ute. Even in extreme cases, it will be nowhere near as high as a massive motorhome.
If your car park area is lower than 2.4m you can even detach the Trayon in front of the low doorway or carport entry and then use a Trayon U-dolly to push the camper into its storage spot once you lowered the Trayon enough to clear the low entrance. A Trayon U-dolly is simply a u shaped frame with 4 castor wheels that allow for easy maneuvering of the trayon on a flat and concreted surface.
Motorhomes normally have a long wheel base and high centre of gravity. They are often also heavy to one side, usually the one with the kitchenette. These are very bad traits for off road travel because they all reduce stability. Plus there’s not many 4×4 models out there, and the ones that are can be extremely expensive indeed.
With a Trayon, the only limitation is the ute under it, and the person driving it. If you choose the right ute, set it up correctly and practice your off road driving skills, the world is your oyster. Quite literally, we have customers who have travelled through Africa, Russia and some that have gone right around the world in their Trayon Camper.
A Trayon is built to allow the vehicle underneath it to operate at maximum off-road efficiency. A Trayon’s weight is loaded as far forward is possible, so that most of the weight is above or in front of the vehicle’s rear axle. This allows the vehicle’s suspension to operate exactly as it needs, and reduces the likelihood of malfunction and damage to the chassis and other running gear.
The Trayon also keeps the vehicle’s centre of gravity nice and low compared to a high canopy with air-con units and solar panels on a motorhome. So the Trayon sticks to the ground in rough off road conditions where swaying side to side is inevitable. This is generally more controllable in rough terrain.
A Trayon slide on camper is also the lightest slide on camper in its class, which means you can pack all the gear you need without overloading a well prepared off-road ute.
Iconic Australian destinations, such as the Hay River Track, the Flinders Ranges or Wonnangatta, are at your fingertips with a Trayon.
Motohomes usually come with less bells and whistles than the modern ute. Things like adaptive speed control and lane detectors don’t come standard with motorhomes.
However the modern utes often come with these kinds of mod cons. This makes them ideal vehicles for travel. They are simply better spec’d for driving.
Often, motorhome parts wont be as readily available across the country as the common utes, such as Hiluxs and Rangers.
Spare parts for motorhomes will be more expensive and difficult to find. This means you might have to wait a longer period of time to wait for spare parts to be delivered.
Motorhome warranties are limited by the vehicle itself.
Utes have longer warranties (an average these days is five years), and the Trayon itself has a massive ten years structural warranty!
Not only are motorhomes heavy, but they are big, causing high wind resistance. Both of these traits don’t bode well for fuel economy.
WIth the light, low profile build of a Trayon, the ute underneath is able to operate at high fuel efficiency to push down travel costs. Better gear boxes and running gear in utes, built for off road travel, will also result in better fuel economy than most van style motorhomes
While they both share common traits in that your not towing or if you want to tow you can tow the boat; the long list of advantages that a Trayon has over a motorhome should be considered when making the choice. There is no reason to invest in an expensive motorhome if it doesn’t come with as many benefits that come with other options like a Trayon slide on camper.
For more information check out the Trayon website!
Everyone has dreams. But if you are driven by the phrase “Carpe Diem”, those dreams become reality quickly. It means Seize The Day!
Whether your dream is touring Australia in an off-road camping rig or traveling the world with a backpack, everyone has one at some point in their life. Dreams are what drive us. Some lucky souls complete them, and some don’t, but one thing is for certain…
You will never hear someone saying they regret fulfilling their dream. The problem is, it always seems like there is a reason you can’t do it today.
I’ll do it when the kids are older, or I retire, or I get my long service leave
How many people never complete their dreams because they keep putting it off? How many dreams have you missed out on because it didn’t feel possible to complete them in the present?
Take it from the old and wise, when you reach the end of your days, there will be one thing you will wish for. It’s not money, or fast cars, or friends.
It is time. Time to do the things you always wanted to do. Carpe Diem.
Today, now, the present, is your opportunity to do those things and fulfill the dreams an older you will regret never doing.
It doesn’t matter what your current situation is, who’s in government, how the economy is going, or what the weather is doing. You can make it work. Carpe Diem.
Get out there and fulfill your dreams.
Just like the famous American composer playwright, Jonathan Larson said….
“There is only now”
“There is only here”
“No day but today!”
These kinds of sentiments stretch back throughout human history because it is a lesson we have learned over and over again.
Two thousand years ago, the Roman poet Horace created the famous works of Odes, which gave rise to the Latin phrase – Carpe Diem. This means,
“seize the day”
It encapsulates the lessons we all learn throughout our lives and reflect on when we grow old. Don’t waste time, capture the moment, seize your dreams with both hands.
In this article, we explore the meaning of carpe diem and ask you the real question. The only question.
Why not today?
Circumnavigating Australia is a common dream amongst both Australians and international visitors.
It makes sense, because Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the best way to see it is by camping in the wild, amongst nature and away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation.
We are the only species that pays money to exist on this planet. We pay other humans to be here. We are hooked into an eternal race to continue to pay our way into society. Animals roam free. They are part of the environment, and it is part of them. Perhaps the roots of the Australian dream to circumnavigate the country lie in this fact.
That we are just striving to once again be part of the environment, like we were before the built up world swallowed us up.
Maybe it transports us back to reality.
Well, whatever the reason, we all have the chance to get back out there. In fact, here in Australia we really can have it both ways. We can have the cake and eat it too. Enjoy the benefits of civilisation, with the opportunity to get back out into nature and feel at one with the birds and the bees as well.
It is no surprise that camping has extremely positive benefits for the mind and our happiness. These benefits are demonstrated in our recent article called “The Benefits of Camping: Stress Is Caused by Not Camping Enough!”. So, Carpe Diem!
We live in a country like no other. The opportunities we have to get out into the wild and enjoy pristine places is unique. This is a luxury that the majority of the world does not have access to.
The sad thing is that most Australian’s don’t make use of it. The fear of the present gets hold, and they will put off the Australian dream until next year, or next decade, or retirement.
Here are three facts which highlight why there is no reason to wait to explore the best country in the world, and why there is no reason to fear it:
While money often feels like the limiting factor. It is not.
Even though you may not be able to buy the best of everything, you will always have something. Use whatever you can with the financial ability you have at the time to get out there and explore the place!
Worried about the impact of economies and global trends on your travel finances? Don’t be!
This country will always support your economic choices. Australia hasn’t had a recession in 27 years! Not even in the global financial crisis did we go under down under. When stocks plummeted and housing exploded in other countries our economy didn’t crash. So, Carpe Diem!
If you are worried about what the economy might do to your savings, retirement funds or home loans, think about how stable this country has been for so long. If you let that fear prevent you from reaching your dreams, then you will never complete them.
It doesn’t even matter how bad the economy is, you can always head off for the weekend, or a week or a month. Australian travel is cheap, but the value for money experience is like no other.
Australia is the lucky country. Lets make use of it.
You can circumnavigate the entire island we call home and not need to go through country style border crossings. Sure, you may need to bin your bananas when you go from the NT to WA, but that’s about as bad as it gets.
Not only is cross country travel easy, but it is also extremely safe. It is not Africa or Mexico, there is next to no chance of a negative outcome. There is no civil war, no lions chasing you, no deadly tropical viruses threatening your existence. Don’t waste this opportunity, when so few on this planet have it at their fingertips like we do.
Head out there, camp, and enjoy life.
We are the envy of other countries in economy and touring
With an increasing population, and vehicles which allow an easier drive to remote places, more people are accessing them. This includes the one-percenters who trash the place and ruin it for the rest of us.
For example, an ABC article published in 2016 explains how some of Tasmania’s most remote and adventurous 4×4 tracks on its West Coast have been closed, and the Federal Court has recommended they remain closed.
These kinds of closures are almost always thanks to the minority of visitors who do not respect the place. Thanks to them, tracks and destinations are being permanently closed off. Gates get locked, and no one ever gets in again. This is happening more and more, which means that the longer we wait to get out there and explore, the fewer places will be available.
Get out there now and explore as much as possible before it is available to no-one before it is too late!
Here at Trayon, we hear stories from both sides of the coin. Some are amazing recounts of people fulfilling their dream Australian adventures. While other times it is about the ones who almost got there.
The saddest story we heard was about a customer we will call Bob and his wife. They had been eyeing off Trayon slide on campers for almost five years. They always showed up at the Toowoomba Show.
Countless times they said “yep, one day”. “One day we’ll get a Trayon”.
Finally, Bob showed up at the Trayon shop. His wife wasn’t there.
She had passed away.
Their time had slipped away, and their dream had been pulled out from underneath them. They had kept saying “one day, one day”.
Bob still bought the Trayon and started doing small trips by himself. Eventually, he went to visit his Son in Perth. After moseying around the South Coast and reaching his destination, he had a heart attack and himself, passed on. He had done one major trip in the Trayon. He had scratched the surface of the dream he shared with his late wife, but never had the chance to dive in.
This is a reality check for us all and a sad one at that.
The end of days is inevitable and part of life. While these kinds of stories are sad, they teach us that there is no time like the present to do the things you dream to do.
Bring your plans forward and run with your dreams. Dive headlong into the things you desire the most while you can.
Don’t wait until you are retired. Sure you might not be able to quit and travel around Australia forever, but there is nothing stopping you starting with short trips 10, 15, or 20 years before retirement before your hips start playing up and your knees begin to predict rain while not bending as good as they use to. So, Carpe Diem!
Just make it happen. Do you have a spare weekend? Well get out there, buy a camping rig that fits your budget and lifestyle, and do it. Can you take some time off from work? If so, duck off for an extended Outback adventure. Start ticking off those bucket list destinations, or let pure relaxation take hold in the beautiful Australian bushland. Can you work off-site? Do you have a mobile office? Yes? Well, use it!
Go to Fraser Island and get your work done while listening to the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean.
Punch up the Gibb River Road and visit the horizontal waterfalls, or the thundering Mitchell Falls, or Honeymoon Bay near Kalumburu, the northernmost town in WA.
Challenge the Canning Stock Route. Conquer the Simpson Desert. Visit Cape York, stand on Australia’s most Northern point. Catch fish, eat mud crabs, see crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Come back to camp and soak up the warmth of a fire and gaze up at the stars.
There will always be problems, naysayers, and stupid political parties threatening economic collapse should the other stupid political party be elected.
That’s life, and it will not change. There will be ups, downs, twists and turns. Just ride the wave, get out there, and do it. You will be surprised how quickly all of life’s supposed ‘troubles’ will fall away.
Complete your dreams.
For those who’s dream depends on a proper off-road camper rig, we can help. If finding the right vehicle is hampering your dreams, let us do it for you.
Our turnkey service is designed to create the vehicle of your dreams to get you wherever you need to be, in Outback comfort. Check out more on the turnkey service in our recent article called “Trayon Campers – Turn-Key Solution – A Case Study”.
With a Trayon rig, the most remote places around the entire globe can be traversed, with your home on the vehicles back. The world becomes your oyster. We have had customers travel to almost every continent in a Trayon.
For example, check out the global Trayon adventure of Brian and Carol, from Africa and Europe to Russia and Asia in Trayon #619 testimonial!
While a Trayon may be the dream of many it is not the be-all and end-all.
Get out there using whatever means you have, whether its a two-man tent, rooftop tent, camper trailer, caravan, swag, or a mattress was thrown on the ground with a mosquito net!
Just get out there and do it!
We have been in the camping and off-road industry long enough to know that any time spent in the Australian Outback is worth it. It is real, meaningful, and will provide the kind of memories that many will desire in their final moments.
There is no time like the present.
Hold it there Ranger! Don’t get on that horse until you are prepared! This is a great go-to camping essentials checklist with all the must-have items for camping in the hot wild west. Whether that is in the Australian outback, Africa, South America or Nevada! Being prepared is essential!
Short of having a well-stocked vehicle and slide on camper with you, this list is for hikers and campers who are primarily on foot. Print it, store it on your phone or kindle. Whatever you do, don’t leave home without checking each item off! These items will help keep you safe and problem free if you know how to use them. Right-click and press save image as to get your copy of the Camping Essentials Checklist today!
Please include attribution to trayon.com with this graphic.