What's a camper?

By: Michael Borg, Photography by: Camper Trailer Australia


It may be a difficult question to answer, but Borgy is willing to get to the bottom of it: What makes a hybrid camper a camper trailer?

What's a camper?
I reckon any solid walled setup that actively promotes “real” camping, shall wear the title of a hybrid camper.

I’m willing to bet my left pinkie that everybody, at some stage or another, has looked at a hybrid camper, scratched their noggin’ in total confusion, and wondered how the hell we could call it a camper trailer as opposed to a bloody caravan!

In the past it was pretty simple to tell the difference; if it had four solid walls and locks on the doors it was a caravan, but then someone come up with the name "hybrid", and well, these days the line is blurrier than grandma’s reading glasses in a full-blown fog storm! Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the question still begs: what makes a hybrid camper a camper trailer?

Does it need to include some sort of pop-out canvas portion to keep the true blue camper happy, or will a simple pop-top suffice? Does it need an external kitchen to promote that outdoorsy camping feel, or does an internal kitchen still fit the bill? Now just a few short years ago my opinion was that if it wasn’t an old school camper made out of canvas and steel it was a caravan, no if, buts or maybes about it. Then I went and bought a 14ft Jurgens Stargazer, which I tell myself every day is still a camper trailer, when in hindsight it could definitely be a very debatable topic.

It got me thinking, though. Is a hybrid camper really a new breed of camper trailer, or is it just a bunch of has-been camping enthusiasts too stubborn to admit they’re rocking a grey nomad mobile? Trust me, admitting it can be harder than you think! You wanna hear my two bobs’ worth? I reckon any solid walled setup that actively promotes "real" camping, shall wear the title of a hybrid camper.

In other words, if all the accessories like the fridge, cooker and shower are internal, I’d say it’s a caravan! If it’s 18ft long (yes, size does matter), has twin axles and is kitted out with more luxuries than the Hilton Resort, it’s a caravan too. But hey, who am I to set the standard? I’d say almost anything to avoid being labelled a bloody caravanner! What are your thoughts?    

Check out the full editorial in issue #113 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.