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What Is a Slide on Camper? A Helpful Guide to Choosing One

Slide on camper in Africa Safari - Single Cab Landrover Defender 110. Trayon Camper

A slide-on camper is simply a ute camper that slides onto the back of a pickup/utility vehicle that has a flat tray or platform it can be mounted on.

This article aims to be a comprehensive guide on slide-on campers, it will explain the different types of slide-on campers, their uses, and how to choose a slide on camper for your ute and intended use case. It’s worth a good read! So grab your best camping chair and a cuppa and let’s get started.

Table of Contents:

Benefits of a Slide on Camper In Remote Areas

Since most of Australia is remote and uninhabitable when you travel through these areas you could be away from civilisation for 1000 kms in any direction.

Having as little to go wrong as possible is crucial. Towing a heavy camper trailer can often be a point of failure in Australia’s most remote areas.

Road Unsuitable for Trailers and Caravans Beyond This Point: Slide on camper advantages. Go further than camper trailers and caravans off road

A trailer can have extra axles, wheels, tires, brakes, and suspension that can substantially increase your risk of equipment failure.

This is where a slide on camper can be a safer alternative as long as your vehicle’s payload is not exceeded once the slide on is mounted and your vehicle is fully loaded.

More and more tracks are closing access to trailers in the Australian outback both for environmental and safety concerns. The tow vehicle is subjected to hauling through dunes and mud, this causes wheel spin and as a consequence more damage to the tracks.

Since the tow vehicle is under more strain, the likelihood of damage to suspension and drive train components increases significantly and recovery operations can be very expensive when you are 1000 kms away from civilization.

It’s for these reasons that slide-on campers are often the camper choice for outback touring in Australia as it helps minimise risk.

The History of Slide on Campers In Australia

Slide on campers have been around in one form or another for a long time (since the early 1950s), although they were slow to gain popularity in the early years of the camper industry in Australia.

They now account for a small but significant market share of the caravan and camping industry Australia-wide. They often appeal to those who want to avoid towing or go to really remote locations. 

That said, they are also ideal for the camper who wants to tow a boat or horse float, as well as accommodation for people.

A Brief Description of Campers for Utes

Campers that sit on the back of 4WD utes are a beautifully simple set-up for off-road adventures.

Both the slide on and slide in campers consist of a self-contained camping unit placed directly onto the back of a ute.

Both types of campers are made for the generalist. They combine the advantages of a camper trailer while removing off-road liability issues, meaning they will suit long or short trips in remote or non-remote areas.

They make a life of touring the backcountry a lot easier:

“After half an hour of setting up our camper trailer, a ute camper darts in right next to us flips a few things and the owners were relaxing having a beer five minutes later! I was still hammering in the last pegs!” – Camper Trailer Owner

Check out our recent article detailing the differences between slide-on and off-road camper trailers.

Once you have decided to go down the ute camper path, a path of mobility and durability, it becomes a question of which type of ute camper suits your needs.

Slide-on Camper vs Slide-in Camper

There are two primary styles of ute tray platforms. The first is commonly called tub or style-side. The second is called tray or flat-deck.

what is a slide on tray and tub comparison

The Slide-in Camper

The tub-style camper is usually called a slide-in camper which refers to the action of sliding the camper into the tub via the tailgate. 

what is a slide on camper slide in camper

In the United States, slide-in campers are more popular because vehicles are bigger (i.e. Ford and General Motors pickup trucks).

There is more room to slide a camping unit into the back of the tub. In these cases, a slide-in camper is often chosen due to visual appeal, because there is plenty of space.

The Slide-on Camper

The tray-style camper is usually called a slide on, referring to the action of sliding the camper onto the flat-bed platform.

What is a slide on camper - Trayon Slide on camper  Windmill. 4X4 Ford ranger Super Cab with Aluminium Tray. Camping in the Australian Outback.

So the term “slide on camper” is quite specific. 

In Australia the majority of utes are European or Japanese brands, which are smaller than American vehicles, providing limited space in a tub.

As a result, many Australians prefer tray back utes, where the tray provides more space that isn’t consumed by wheel arches. A tray also provides versatility and functionality in the camper layout, while also improving durability in off-road situations. Decisions are more often made on functionality, not aesthetics.

Purpose-built slide ons optimise the space-to-weight ratio and are therefore the preferred option in Australia due to more rugged terrain and more severe stresses incurred while touring or overlanding over long distances.

In our opinion, slide on campers have some key advantages over slide-in campers, namely:

  • Typically lighter weight with fewer welds / joins in the foundation of the camper
  • Better accessibility to storage, and more storage options without wheel arches in the way
  • Better weight distribution spread across a flat tray
  • Longer life: Often aluminium trays are fixed directly to the chassis, where tubs are not always
  • Compact comfort with a lower profile (better aero dynamics and fuel efficiency) 

Aussies who like to explore or work usually prefer flat trays for their utes compared to a style side tub because they are more practical and versatile with the types of loads you can carry.

Generally speaking, slide in campers and slide on campers are subtopics of these commonly used phrases:

  • Tray-back camper (flat tray camper)
  • Slide camper (slide ute camper)
  • Tray camper (tray top camper)
  • Ute camper (ute back camper)
  • Truck camper
  • Carry camper
  • Pick up camper
  • Flatbed camper (flat deck camper)

The Origins of Slide on Campers

Slide on campers started to become popular from the early 2000s with very few manufacturers online. The benefits of slide on campers were always evident but no one could build them lightweight and strong enough before the 1990s. 

It was really only the caravan builders who made them and their concept was to just build a caravan that sits on your ute.

old class 3 slide on - caravan style

A bed, water, kitchenette, lounge, awning, fridge, water tank, windows – basically everything that constituted a caravan and caravan-like features, but without a chassis or suspension.

These early slide on campers were large, heavy, high profile with a high centre of gravity, and made with the same build methodology in the caravan industry. 

This meant wooden frames and weight distribution for a camper which would usually have its own suspension in a caravan configuration – not something that is mounted on top of the ute that already has a predetermined weight distribution and suspension set by the vehicle manufacturer.

Over time purpose-built slide on campers started to arise, as people realised that you have much higher limitations on payload than you have with towing. This meant slide-on campers needed to become super lightweight and strong to be practical in the outback. 

Payload Is Easily Exceeded, Choose Your Camper Carefully

Needless to say, these kinds of builds did not lend themselves to the rigours of outback travel/touring as they often broke the vehicle they sat on or broke themselves under their own weight (or frame failure).

Sure, there will be some who will say things like, “During the 1980s I travelled all over Australia with my old Kingswood ute and a slide on caravan and didn’t have a single problem.”

The reality is we now have strict rules for vehicle payloads which are enforced by traffic departments and insurance claims are scrutinised to determine if the vehicle was “overloaded“. 

So while these types of builds were a solution for those who did not want to tow back in the day, these days, towing load capacity is heavily regulated. The safest advice anyone can give you is:

To mitigate the likelihood of an insurer not paying your claim, ensure you do not exceed your vehicle’s limits as defined by the vehicle’s manufacturer!

Most utes in Australia typically have a 500kg – 1000kg payload capacity depending on manufacturer specifications.

Once you load up your camper with batteries, fridge, food, auxiliary water storage, and equipment, as well as loading your vehicles for fuel consumption, luggage and people, that capacity can quickly be used up.

With little room for movement inside these numbers, you must choose a slide on camper which doesn’t put you and your family in harm’s way or void your insurance. 

This is solely the driver’s responsibility, just because there are slide on camper manufacturers out there that sell 750kg campers, it doesn’t mean when mounted to your vehicle and loaded up, that it will be legal.

overloaded ute

Which Vehicle Should I Choose?

Before you decide on a camper, you’ll need a flat tray ute to put it on. So which vehicle do you need? Well, there are many factors to consider:

  1. Your budget
  2. The intended purpose (recreational vehicle, long-range 4×4 touring vehicle)
  3. Which vehicle configuration (Single Cab, Extra Cab or Dual Cab)
  4. Serviceability in remote locations (if that’s your purpose)
  5. Warranty
  6. Aftermarket accessory availability

At Trayon, in 2022 we see the following 5 vehicles most often:

You can check out all our 4×4 vehicle reviews to get an idea of what we think of each vehicle.

How to Choose a Slide on Camper for Your 4WD Ute

Here are 7 steps we recommend people follow when trying to decide which make & model of slide on camper to choose.

  1. Estimate payload and identify your safe slide on camper weight 
  2. Upgrade your vehicle to suit your purpose
  3. Choose the type of slide on camper (Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3)
  4. Consider weight distribution of the slide on camper 
  5. Consider warranty & insurance implications 
  6. Identify what you get within the dry weight and price
  7. Make a shortlist and go check them out in person

Check out our guide for choosing a slide on camper below for more in-depth information, including a full loadout example with weights, and payload calculations.

Step 1: Estimate Payload and Identify Your Safe Slide on Camper Weight

The most crucial part of choosing a slide on camper is answering this question:

“What is the weight of the slide on camper?”

Or another way of putting it is:

“Can my ute carry it without exceeding its GVM?”

This is more important than aesthetics and features.

If you exceed your manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), not only is it ILLEGAL, but it will:

  • Void your vehicle’s insurance coverage
  • Significantly increase the risk of breaking chassis, suspension components, and axles
  • Significantly increase the risk of injury or worse for you, your passengers, and other people on the road around you

Simply put, don’t do it. It is not worth the risk.

To stay within your limits you will need to work out two numbers:

  1. Identify your payload
  2. Identify your safe slide on camper weight

Then you will know exactly what room you have leftover for everything else (4WD accessories, luggage, passengers etc)

How to Identify your Payload

It isn’t always intuitive to know the limits of your ute, let alone understand what those limits mean practically. But it is entirely your responsibility to not exceed the limits as far as the law is concerned.

Payload specification for your ute is not always listed in the manual or on the vehicle.

But you can work it out. To do this, you will need to identify two key numbers from your vehicle’s manual, often located in the glove box. (Sometimes this is listed on a plaque inside the door jam of one of the front doors). 

The two numbers are

  • Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) – This is the total amount of weight your vehicle can weigh, including passengers, luggage, bull bars, winches and other accessories. (NOTE: GVM also includes the ball weight if you are towing a trailer).
  • Kerb Weight (KW) or Tare Weight – This is the weight of an empty vehicle with a full tank of fuel and other liquids such as coolant and oils. Without any accessories like bull bars and ute tray back.

To calculate the payload capacity, you then subtract the Kerb Weight from the Gross Vehicle Mass. For this, we will denote Payload as PL. In other words:


Here is an example for a 2017 Mazda BT-50 XT Dual Cab. On their website it states the GVM = 3200 kg and a KW = 1932 kg. So the PL equation would become:

PL = 3200 – 1932 = 1268

Giving a Payload of 1268 kg. So what does this mean? It simply means that the weight of all additions to the vehicle, including accessories, people, luggage, campers, tray back, etc must be less than or equal to 1.268 tonnes.

Calculate safe slide on camper weight

When travelling in outback Australia it is NOT about maximising how much you can carry, but actually, it is about minimising how much you carry to put less strain on the vehicle’s chassis, suspension, axles, drive gear and components.

You can get GVM upgrades done to most vehicles to increase payload, and if you have the budget for it, it is worth considering. If you decide on a Dual Cab ute, you might also benefit from a chassis extension so you can still fit a full-size camper on the back while still having a 5 seater.

You will find that your payload quickly gets used up with accessories, not leaving much weight for a slide on camper. You must find the right balance between creature comforts and not exceeding your GVM.

By expanding on the example above with a Mazda BT-50. Let us fit out our vehicle with:

ItemWeight (kg)
Front bar with rock sliders and side steps110
Snorkel, LED lights, solar panel and other electronics (amplifiers etc)10
Full long-range tank20
Alloy Tray100
100L of water + tank105
Auxiliary 100A AGM battery30
Roof rack20
Undertray storage with recovery gear15
Towing a tinny in a trailer with a ball weight50
Your friend Sam, Michael and yourself240
Beers and food10
Stove and gas bottle10
Crockery and cutlery3
Fishing gear5
Swags and tarps7

We have made some hard calls here. You decide that if you get a slide on camper, you will already have the following inside:

  • Water tank
  • Fridge
  • Stove and gas bottle
  • Shelter, so no need for tarps or swags
  • Additional battery and electronics

You also decide, to maximise weight for the slide on the following accessories are not necessary:

  • Roof racks
  • Long range tank

This has reduced your load to 723 kg, giving you a maximum of 545kg for a slide on camper and any additional gear you want to take.

Step 2: Upgrade Your Vehicle to Suit Purpose

Do you intend to go off-road? If so, make sure your vehicle is fit for that purpose.

Very few of the 4X4 utes available on the market are capable of going off-road from the showroom floor.

There is a reason outback Australia is commonly called Landcruiser country. That’s because the Landcruiser 70 series is the trusted platform for farmers.

However, even a stock Landcruiser 79 series isn’t without problems when going bush.

One of the biggest issues with stock utes are their factory shock absorbers. Generally built for lightweight road driving, not the Australian Outback.

Adding any camper on the back, all the accessories and gear you’ll most likely need a constant load 4WD suspension upgrade.

Other things to consider, include

A Note on GVM Upgrades

This is quite a complex topic and warrants more posts to full cover. Every ute has its caveats when it comes to GVM upgrades.

Some allow a second stage manufacturing upgrade, something you can order when you purchase a new vehicle before it is registered, this is regulated at the Federal level.

And some allow an aftermarket GVM upgrade, which is regulated at the state level.

Steel or Aluminum Tray?

Yes, steel is stronger than aluminium. However, its strength gain is at a huge cost…. you guessed it, weight. Modern aluminium flatbed tray manufacturing techniques have significantly increased the strength of trays.

So there is no need to have a steel tray that eats up precious payload capacity.

Steel trays typically range between 200-300kgs. That’s a 4-5 man lift!

While aluminium trays range from 100-200kgs. So you could save around 100kg in the tray alone.

Step 3: Choose Type of Slide on Camper (Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3)

There are various things to consider that are personal to you when deciding on a slide on camper. The main questions you want to ask yourself are:

  • What is my budget?
  • How often will I go camping?
  • What features do I need?
  • Where will I be travelling?
  • What Is My Budget?

New slide on campers/canopies ranges from $6000 (bare bones) to $50000+ depending on class and features and materials.

How Often Will I Go Camping?

Are you a weekend camper, or a long-term tourer? Knowing this gives you an idea of the features you require. E.g. short setup time, internal/external kitchen bench, water tanks, hot water service, Lithium or AGM battery etc.

What Features Do I Really Need?

Slide on campers are typically fitted out as a complete camper, with a fridge, gas bottle, battery, water tank, kitchen bench, bed, dining area, etc.

If you already have your own gear like a fridge, water tank, cooking gear etc, you may want something bare bones that you can fit out yourself.

Or as a tradie, something multi-purpose that can be used to house your tools during the week, and camping gear on the weekend.

Glamping Features: Source

Where Will I Be Travelling?

Are you planning to travel to caravan parks or the Canning Stock route? You must match your vehicle and slide on camper to the rashest terrain you intend to traverse.

For example, some slide on campers have non-removable legs, that hang out from the wheelbase, and tend to hang low. These can be torn off or bent on off road tracks.

Decide on Class of Slide On Camper

There are three classes of slide on campers and price ranges. They are:

Class 1: Slide on Canopy Camper – simple canopy with roof top tent

This is usually the lightest class of slide on camper. Depending on fit out, can range from 170 kg – 400 kg

It could be a canopy that is used during the week for work, and is easily converted into a camper for the weekend. Ideal for tradies or budget glampers who don’t want to sleep in a tent.

Typically, class 1 slide on canopy campers range from AUD $8,000 – $30,000 depending on materials, features and accessories required.

Class 1 Slide on camper: Traymate Camper

Class 2: Walk-in Camper – full-featured camper.

This class has all the creature comforts built in from day one. Fridge, gas bottle, cook top, kitchen bench, dining area, sink, 2-3 person accommodation, water tank, annex etc.

Typically a box design with a oyster shell that folds over the side or the rear.

Note that, partial rear folding oyster designs are more susceptible to dust penetrating the seal from the trailing wind funnel of the vehicle when travelling in the Outback.

To be used for weekend campers, but also sustain long-distance touring.

The dry weight for this class of camper across the industry ranges dramatically from around 370 kg to 1000 kg depending on the manufacturer and accessories.

When you only have 545kg to play with (from the example above), extreme care must be taken when choosing this class of slide on.

It is too easy to be attracted to the bells and whistles and aesthetics. Eliminate any slide on from your list if it means you will exceed the GVM of your vehicle.

Class 2 slide on campers range in price from around AUD $30,000 – $55,000 depending on materials, features and accessories required.

Class 2 Trayon Slide on camper on the back of a Super Cab Ford Ranger at the beach, off road, surf.

Class 2 Slide on camper: Trayon camper

Class 3: Solid Wall Camper – Full featured campers built using Caravan methodologies 

The campers generally have a hard roof structure of some sort.

When you think of a caravan, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not lightweight. These are heavier because they are built out over the cab and commonly used methodologies and materials that are designed to be on a separate set of wheels, axles and suspension, i.e. a caravan.

So, yes this class of slide on camper is typically the heaviest. The dry weight for this class range from 420 kg – 1000 kg +. And commonly have all the creature comforts.

There are very few class 3 campers that you can carry on a 1 tonne ute without exceeding your GVM.

These are ideal for vehicles that have a payload of around 1500 kg or more, to safely allow for additional gear, people and the slide on camper. Such as Ford F250/350, Iveco Daily, Mercedes G Professional etc.

Class 3 slide on campers range from AUD $50,000 to $100,000+ depending on make and features.

There are hybrid class 2-3 campers which are still cab over, however, they usually save weight by having a pop open top and utilises a lightweight purpose built frame.

Step 4: Consider the Weight Distribution of the Slide on Camper 

Next to the weight of a slide on, something that is less spoken about, and perhaps more important is:

“Where is the overall weight of the slide on camper situated”?

For example, if all the weight e.g. fridge, AGM batteries, pantry, gas bottle and water tank is behind the rear axle (at the rear of the slide on), you are at extreme risk of buckling or snapping the chassis, especially if your Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is exceeded.

One of two scenarios can occur if you pack your vehicle with too much weight hanging behind the rear axle.

Scenario 1 Light front end

If the chassis is strong enough, your rear axle will be used as a pivot point for the chassis, and a seesaw effect will reduce the weight over the front axle.The reason why this is a cause of concern is once your front wheels begin to raise up it begins to reduce traction, steering and braking capability. And I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a recipe of disaster!

Scenario 2 Broken chassis

The name says it all, if the chassis is not strong enough, your chassis will buckle, crack or snap somewhere above or just in front of the rear axle. And if your GVM was exceeded, your insurance won’t cover it. So in short, one very expensive exercise.

Here is an a graphic demonstrating the concept:

It is simple mechanics really, something we can’t escape no matter how much money we throw at it.

This is particularly important for slide on campers on dual cab utes, where the tray sits typically right above or just in front of the rear axle. It is impossible to move the load further toward the center of the wheelbase like you can with a single cab ute.

Similarly, if all the weight is on one side of the slide on camper, it will put an unnecessary load on the shock absorber, wheel and axle.

Ideally, you want the load to be as close to the center of the wheel base, both front to back and left to right.

Step 5: Consider Warranty & Insurance Implications 

We expect every product to have a warranty these days, however, some products require it more than others. Slide on campers are definitely in that category, especially in Australia.

Why is warranty so important?

Well, when you are in the Outback, travelling 1000s of kilometres of harsh off-road conditions, you, your vehicle and camper are put to the test. There is no doubt about it. Slide on campers travel further and deeper than caravans and trailers, they take a beating.

When something breaks, that could mean an end to your trip, huge delay in a nearby town, complete isolation or injury and a very costly experience.

Warranty for your slide on camper from an Australian camper manufacturer means you can easily get parts sent out to you in to a caravan park in Broome or other remote towns. You can get repairs from their closest factory or dealer.

When touring, something will break, it is just a matter of when. You need a support team, hence a good warranty clause is a part of that team.

Look for 5-10 Year Australian structural warranty that covers you while you are off-road!

Other factors to consider about choosing a manufacturer for your slide on camper include:

  • Age of manufacturer
  • Heritage of manufacturer
  • Reviews from customers
  • Talk to real people about their experiences
  • Identifying materials and structure

Let’s face it, some materials are heavier than others. Some build methodologies are stronger than others.

This could be challenging to find out. But here are some basics to work out:

What material does the frame consist of?

What material does the outside shell consist of?

What is the most common cabinetry frame material?

If the answer to 2 is mostly fibreglass, keep in mind that it is incredibly brittle and notoriously difficult to repair. It is also hard to get fibreglass consistent over large surfaces, so it can be quite heavy.

If the answer to 1 is aluminium, how are the joins bonded? Welding aluminium can weaken its strength by approximately a third.

aluminium stress fracture

As a buyer why is this important?

Well, when you are touring or overlanding in the bush, small issues tend to become magnified by ten fold.

Corrugations, potholes, ditches, trenches, river crossings, dunes and cut outs all take their toll to your camper and vehicle.

Step 6: Identify What You Get Within the Dry Weight and Price

Perhaps one of the most important steps in choosing a slide on camper is identiifying value for money.

Most slide on camper manufacturers quote a “dry weight”. Which is kind of similar to Kerb Weight of a vehicle. Usually that is the unleidened weight of the vehicle. With a vehicle, this weight usually includes everything you need to drive the car.

However, with the “dry weight” in slide on campers, it isn’t always everything you need to start camping and using the camper right away.

So when you are looking for a camper, be sure to compare apples to apples and try not to fall into the trap of people selling something cheaper, but requires a stack of upsells for you to use it.

For example, some slide on campers on the market might not come with free-standing lags, mattress, sink, fridge, cooktop, battery or lighting included in their base model.

Some of these things are essential to using your camper the way it is intended to be used.

On way to identify this is to put together a spreadsheet table with features and prices down one column and camper models across the top and populate as you do your research. This will quickly help you identify the best value for money.

It’s important when doing this that you compare similar models from different brands. Is it the basic one, the mid-range one or the top of the line one?

Step 7: Make a Short List and Go Check Them Out In Person

Okay, so we have covered quite a lot in this article. But as you can see, by following the above 6 steps, you can create a profile of a slide on camper which is safe for your 4WD Ute, and can take you where you want to go but also meets your financial requirements.

State-of-the-Art Slide-on Campers

Technology has advanced and new materials made it possible for the slide on the camper sector to take a leap forward. 

The Australian slide on manufacturer Trayon Campers was a primary innovator in designing and building a flexible, non-welded, alloy frame. To date, Trayon is still the only manufacturer with this construction method producing strong and lightweight campers.

This method avoids any risk of the aluminium weakening from the extreme heat of welding (commonly leading to stress fractures or cracks).

aluminium stress fracture

Trayon uses aluminium welding only on parts of the build where flexibility is key and no threat of breakages can be expected when under severe stress from harsh terrains.

Trayon Campers are still the lightest Class 2 slide on camper by nearly 300kg compared to its closest rival (spec for spec) and that is a record held since 1994 when the first Trayon Camper was born.

When considering a slide on camper, you quickly realise the more electronically controlled mechanisms there are, the more risk of something going wrong in the middle of nowhere.

If there is a drop-down, pop-up or flip-over mechanism that is electronically controlled, the electronics may be vulnerable to cracking or corroding in harsh environments. The elegant solution is a simple, manual mechanism that avoids these risks altogether. Or at least a manual override that allows you to use the camper even if the electrics were to fail.

For instance: The Trayon Camper can have an electric actuator fitted as an optional extra to remotely open and close the camper lid/roof for customers with limited or impaired movement but in the event of electronic failure the entire system can revert to a simple quick and easy flip over action aided with gas struts which are how Trayons function (and have been functioning) since 1994.

Trayon Campers’ research and development division works closely with state-of-the-art technologies to bring lighter, stronger methods and materials to the construction of campers.

They also test new electronics to ensure they can handle the rigors of touring in outback Australia. One such technology is the LiFEPo4 lithium battery, which drastically reduces the weight of the Trayons power system compared to the industry standard AGM batteries.

Trayon has teamed up with Redarc and Revolution Power Australia to pioneer a charging and power distribution system which you can rely on when you are off the grid.

In Summary:

Step 1: Estimate the payload and identify your safe slide on camper weight

We learnt how much weight you can safely carry a slide on camper without exceeding the GVM of your vehicle

Step 2: Upgrade your vehicle to suit purpose

Your vehicle is doing all the hard work, make sure it is fit for your intended purpose. Stock standard utes are not designed for off road touring. At the very least consider upgrading your shock absorbers if you plan to go off the Tarmac.

Step 3: Choose class of slide on camper

We outlined 3 classes of slide on campers, their weights and rough price ranges for each. Ultimately, if you only have 550kg left of your payload after you subtract all the gear and people, this will limit you to a class 1 and 2 slide on camper. Unless you go with a hybrid class 2-3.

If your budget is less than 25k, this means you can go for a Class 1 slide on camper. Even fit it out yourself to save some money.

Step 4: Consider weight distribution of slide on camper

Here we explored what could happen if all the weight of the camper internals (batteries, water tank, gas bottle, fridge, pantry) sits behind the rear axle. Weight must be as close to the center of the wheelbase as possible.

Step 5: Consider warranty implications 

Don’t get caught out in the middle of nowhere with a broken camper and no warranty. Look for 5-10 year warranty that covers you off road, and will post items to you wherever you are.

Step 6: Identify materials and structure

Make sure you go with a manufacturer who prioritises minimising weight and maximising durability.

Step 7: Finally, go check it out.

Most Australian slide on manufacturers attend caravan and camping shows around Australia regularly. Here is a list of shows coming up.

At Trayon Campers we do build a lightweight slide on campers, however, this article was written with the mindset to help people navigate some of the intricate safety issues with the GVM of their vehicles. All information was well researched, we hope it is genuinely useful.

Check List

  Step 1: Estimate the payload and identify your safe slide on camper weight
 Step 2: Upgrade your vehicle to suit purpose
 Step 3: Choose class of slide on camper
 Step 4: Consider weight distribution of slide on camper
 Step 5: Consider warranty implications 
 Step 6: Identify materials and structure

See you at a campsite soon! Travel safe!

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