Speaking from experience we found the pennine aztec to be an ideal size for a family of four - its easily towable and also easy to manoeuvre manually when unhitched. (I am not the best at reversing with trailer attached so when im driving I unhitch and move it onto the pitch manually by lifting towbar - much to my husbands disgust LOL) The Conway countryman is also much the same size by the way. As said we had a family of four using it quite happily two kids in separate sleeping bags on one bed and us in the other, we usually found that having been running around the campsite and out and about all day they fell asleep quite quickly so it wasn't an issue re the space. Using the awning doubles the space and as they got older they enjoyed having a popup tent each in the awning which meant we could leave sofa up in camper. The awning really isn't that difficult to put up if you attach the zip before you erect the body of the camper fully.
ps I haven't got one for sale so not playing the hard sell as other posters have been accused off(LOL)just trying to give some advise from my own experience.
Before you blow a lot of money on a trailer tent I would put a note on the under canvas forum about advice on a warm easy set-up for your size budget and family. You'll get some really good advice - many of us sleep very comfortably from Spring through to Autumn. Some even winter camp.
You can sleep off the ground in a tent and many of us do - there are lots of posts on the camping forum about comfiest and warmest sleeping arrangements. We've just invested in camping beds and with sims on top they're really warm and comfy and you're off the ground. With a sewn in ground sheet and a small gas filled radiator you will keep lovely and warm.
For your budget you'd be able to afford a top-end tent even an inflatable which are really quick to pitch. You'll have loads of money to splash around and I think have loads of fun choosing a lovely brand new tent!
I would have said from what I have seen the problem you'll encounter with a trailer tent or folding camper is that unless you use an awning you'll be really cramped. folding campers awnings can be fiddly to pitch and don't have sewn in ground sheets to keep out drafts and bugs.
Also you'll have to hunt around for a tt in your price range with a sewn in groundsheet. There are some really nice quick to pitch with sigs but I think they'll be hard to find in your price range.
Somebody on here was giving a tt away a couple of weeks ago. Can see the post on another page (Thomas the trailer tent - posted 8th june) but have no idea how to post a link.
Could this be a good start?
The difference between a TT and tent is huge in terms of comfort imho. I never got cold in the tent as im used to going night fishing anyway but find the TT much warmer and only use a duvet.
Its really nice in the mornings when the kids jump in for cuddle up with us.
Our TT was tested to the max in an october storm and it didnt budge an inch due to the trailers weight.
With a zip in groundsheet and only 4 poles its easier to pitch than both our previous tents.Also we can load it up as its a trailer.
We got it 2nd hand at just over a grand.
FC probably gor for a bit more and yes the awnings arent always as easy to put up.
My main concern is what we would replace our current TT with as i love the 4 pole ease of setup.
So...if I can find a decent FC/TT. What sort of weight, realistically, can I move by myself? It's very likely that I'll be manoeuvring it by hand rather than reversing it into my garage, so I need to get this right.
I would try and stick to something below 500kg. You could easily move up to 750kg on your own, if it was a flat surface, with no obstacles, but, in your situation, I would recommend you stick to 500kg, which covers you for most trailer tents, and a few of the smaller folding campers, like the Aztec and smaller Dandys.
------------- The one good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others..
Message posted by me12316/6/2015 at 8:19pm Outfit: autosleeper executive and 13 tents! Location: None Entered
Joined: 17/2/2013View ProfileReplyQuote
I would say blue sky's recommendation of a Pennine Aztec is spot on.
I am a single woman, 5' 2", never towed before, and have been very happily camping with a Pennine Aztec for 2 years now. I am able to put it up and down without help, it moves easily on the level and I can turn it in a fairly tight space to reverse to a garage. It is a lot easier to put up on your own than a large tent that will catch the wind very easily if you don't have a helper.
I use a Decathlon pop-up shelter instead of an awning for 1-2 day trips and put the awning up if I am away for longer or if I am going to have lots of visitors and want the extra living space.
In my opinion the level of comfort and convenience is in a different league from camping in a tent. For me the other motivation was a lack of space in the car for a bigger tent/more equipment - if you are going to tow, then it might as well be a FC/TT rather than a trailer with a tent in it!
Mine was £1300 from a dealer but I am sure you could find a good one within budget if you have some time to look. I have seen lots since I got mine!
An Aztec or Fiesta sounds good advice and you could buy a cheap or secondhand awning like a swift 260 or similar for a bit more space and get it altered with a new zip or have a go yourself with figure of eight beading.I think you could put it up yourself easy and shouldnt take long and still be within your budget.
Dont be put off by secondhand units i sold a Cabanon Hellios 2005 last year and was in great condition for 700 quid
We got our camplet for £450 this year which came with an extra awning there is no set up to the kitchen apart from drop a support leg down
Excuse the mess ;-) these are so light weight that they can be towed by most cars
A few of piccies
Ok, so I ended up looking at Pennine Aztecs and smaller Dandy's and have 'won' a 1991 Dandy Discovery with awning. I go to pick it up and pay this Saturday.
I realised that I didn't want a TT, thanks to your advice. My big priorities are:
- Putting it up by myself (I'll only do the awning when camping with others)
- Manoeuvring it by myself (less than 500kg)
- Having an inside kitchen
- Beds off the ground
I'd originally been looking at Dandy darts because they were smaller, but I think the extra bed with the discovery will help us as the children get a bit bigger and don't want to share a bed.
I'm also happy that with a Dandy it's not too hard to replace things like the boards/suspension etc. The big thing I'll look out for is the state of the chassis itself,the brakes,the pvc shell, and whether it has a spongy floor