Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This is really a post for thereyougothen, who was interested in learning more about my trailer tent. But anyone is welcome to read along. I don't think you have trailer tents in America?

Anyway, this is mine, an eighteen year old Conway Camargue. Bit of an old lady, but quality counts in trailer tents and she's good for at least another ten years yet.
From drawbar at the rear to sun canopy at the front she measures about 21 feet, and across she's about 14 feet.

View into the awning, with kitchen area to right side. If you look right along to the left under the table, you can see our blue camping fridge as well. (Runs off gas, electric or 12v.)

View straight down into the living area, with me standing under the sun canopy. The front wall of the tent unzips and can be rolled up out the way, for coolness. There's normally a groundsheet down here, but in summer we don't bother with it if the grass is good.

The kitchen unit close up. When travelling, this unit bolts onto the back of the trailer unit.

The main trailer unit. This carries the main cabin frame and canvas, plus storage boxes/seating each side of the trailer well. You have to step up into this area, as the trailer floor is about 18 inches off the ground. You can use this cabin section without the main front awning attached, for overnight stops. The two double beds extend out along each side of the central area. Mairi usually has the one on the left.
(And yes, that's my knitting bag up on the shelves. Untidy? This IS tidy!)

Close up of the master bedroom, with electric hook-up and en-suite computer.... Sorry about the gloomy photo which doesn't really show the full size of this area.The bed area here is 6`6" long x 4`6" wide, thus standard double bed size. It has a foam mattress on top of a solid base. Quite firm, but you could add a mattress topper.

I don't have a pix of Duncan's bedroom, but it's under Mairi's bed and accesse is through this little zip door. . The head hight is about 3 feet there, and there is a fully lined undertent which hangs from beneath her bed base. You can fit two kids or two friendly adults in here. There's a corresponding undertent under our bed, which we use for storage.

And finally, what does it look like all packed up? Well, this is it at the back. And if you look at the suspension on that car at the rear, you can see why we chose the mighty Mondeo as a tow car....

It's the bikes on top that are weighing it down, of course. A trailer tent is pretty easy to tow compared to a caravan. It has a low profile and weighs a lot less, around 500Kg. Of course, you still have to obey the lower speed limits and sundry other restrictions that apply to towing any trailer, but you'll know all about that.

A Conway trailer tent of this vintage and in this condition would normally cost about £400-£500. They do hold their resale value, however. We bought the sun canopy as an extra, but you can be lucky and get one included. The electric hook up unit and the fridge are seperate items and would cost about another £200. Cheaper than a camper van, especially if you have a towball already and a driveway to store it.

Cons and pros? Reduced towing speeds as you know, and also the set up time. You can get the cabin section erected and pegged in 20 minutes, but the awning takes at least another 40 minutes and that's with two of you and practice. However, that's comparable with the erection time for a large tent, and the setting up of the inside is a lot easier, as the beds and kitchen are already there. And you have a HUGE amount of carrying capacity inside the main trailer unit, for chairs and table and bedding and such.

Any questions? You (Thereyougothen you, not the rest of you!) can come and see it next spring, next time we go camping in it, okay?


JustApril said...

Nope, I've never seen anything like that here, but it looks like a really great idea. Neat

Robin said...

No...I've never seen anything like this either here in the US, mostly those "monsterous RV's"! Pretty cool, I like it.
Our tent trailer or most call it a pop-up can be seen here:

Alison said...

yep, to me a trailer tent is the pop-up that Robin has. i'll be showing this post to Bill at the earliest opportunity. way cool. posibly even something i might consider sleeping in.

Spinningfishwife said...

Robin's pop-up would be called a folding camper here. You can get them...Conway and Pennine would be the main brands in the UK...but they need a lot more drive space and they cost one heck of a lot more.

Alison said...

finally got a chance to show this to Bill today. when I came back in the room he was already searching the online classifieds. says we can't wait to see yours in the spring, that will be too late, the time to buy is now. i guess that means he likes it!

Kev Hawkins said...

very nice, i got a conway corniche which is also an old gal, but servicable none the less, only problem i have is the chinese puzzle of how the hell you seperate the main awning after it is unzipped as it doesnt seperate, but no doubt the brains of the family will work it out one day :)