Overland Trailers aren’t super common in NZ…yet! Think the classic Toopagee pop-top trailer on steroids. A camper trailer is a great solution for getting out there and Karl Taylor has just finished a great revamp of an American classic… check the vid!
You’re a keen hiker and 4×4/overlander huh… what was your set up for being in the back blocks prior to getting the Venturecraft Trailer…and did that led to you thinking a overland trailer would be good?
So I fell into 4wding by chance, picked up a V8 Landrover and got the bug. Being a petrol V8 it was too expensive to run so I sold it and moved to a Suzuki Jimny. This had an awesome setup for camping for 2 using and awning tent and an airbed, then a swag but I wanted an option to take the whole family. I sold off the Zuki and bought a Bighorn fully kitted out with a rooftop tent, bed in the back etc.
Anyone who has owned a Bighorn though knows they break so I decided to sell it and kit out my Triton for camping and overlanding. My lesson from the other setups was being able to move your vehicle while keeping your camp set up was desirable and all my previous options didn’t work in that way.
Just when the Bighorn sold the trailer popped up for sale and it seemed so cheap I snapped it up. Shipped it up from Nelson and couldn’t wait to test it out. As it was an impulse buy I hadn’t put too much thought into what trailer options were out there. Like most of us I had looked at the really expensive trailers and thought “if only I had the $$” but it wasn’t a serious option at the time.
On road you don’t even know its there. It is steel and fibreglass with a stainless top so is pretty lightweight. It tows well at 100ks. The suspension setup is pretty simple and the whole bottom is steel bash plates so Off-road you can drag it pretty much anywhere your vehicle can go.
Here’s the scene; you’re at a BBQ and you don’t have your phone to show pix, some random guy hears you talking about the Venturer… and it’s clear he has no idea… explain how the tent works and how you’ve enjoyed camping in it, like why works well.
Pull up, flip the top off, fold out one side, lock the poles and fold out the other side. It really is that simple. We have had a couple of quick trips and we can pull up and be setup having a drink within 5 minutes. Compared to a swag or an airbed I have found it so much warmer to be off the ground. You can essentially make up the bed before you leave then fold everything up. It has a full size hatch under the mattress so if you pull up in bad weather you can access whatever is in the trailer from inside the tent. Frances has a thing about wanting to have somewhere to stand in a tent to get changed so the 8ft high little vestibule was a bonus.
Pimping it was your Covid project huh… did lockdown bring the project forward?
Yeah I usually spend over 2 hours a day commuting so working from home allowed me to do more projects. I didn’t like the idea of having it off the road and out of use so the fact I wasn’t allowed to camp meant it was the perfect time to tackle it.
Talk us through what you did, and what is Bully Liner?
I stripped it right back to the chassis. The hubs and suspension were in good nick so they were left alone. I stripped the chassis, sanded the fibreglass body and bash plates and scuffed up the stainless top. I replaced all the bolts and screws with new ones and swapped out the rusted main hinge for a new stainless one. I also put new rubber seals to make sure no rain or dust gets in.
Bully Liner is a relatively new product in NZ. I had been looking at options like Raptor but didn’t like how toxic it is and its a bit harder to work with. Bully is waterbased so cleans up easy and has no smell so I was able to paint in the garage. It contains recycled tyres and you can easily touch up any scratches with a brush. It came with a good spray gun but can also be brushed or rolled on. I also found their Instagram page useful and one of their team gave some good advice around prep.
Are you going to tackle the canvas?
At this point I’m leaving it as is. For its age its still in good nick and is fully waterproof. Apart from needing a new zip on the flyscreen the actual tent is awesome for being over 20 years old.
Check out Karl’s Instagram for more of his adventures in the Venture HERE