Why are the Camper Trailer Company I am interested in not in the Guild?
All members of the AMCTG are required to qualify for Engineering Compliance by a certified Australian Engineering Company, and transparently prove that they are Australian Manufactures of their Chassis, Body, Suspension, Tent and Canvas.
If they are not a member – they most likely would not pass the audit. Why does this matter? Some of the problems include imported “flat pack” camper trailers that are “assembled” in Australia and are then called “Aussie Made” and poor quality imported canvas used for the tents – see below for what to look out for.
Why does Australian made matter for the canvas on the trailer?
While camper trailers at face value look very similar they can be vastly different in quality. Australian made canvas will generally of the highest possible quality and have inbuilt mould retardant in the manufacturing process to suit Australian conditions. To save on costs many non-guild members use cheaper overseas manufactured canvas that looks fine – until it rains.
This recent CSIRO analysis of imported 14 ounce “ripstop” canvas shows the difference:
See the report here
The canvas leaks water when it rains, when you pack up and drive home mildew will form on it – making it necessary to replace the canvas in some instances:
Ripstop Fabric problems
How do I identify if its Aussie canvas on the Camper trailer?
Aussie made canvas will have a “Care” label on it that identifies the manufacturer of the canvas. If you can’t locate it on the canvas tent or the care label does not identify the canvas as Australian Made it almost certainly is not.
This camper trailer is advertised as “Australian Made” but they are not Guild members – is it really?
Guild members are audited to obtain their certificate – if a manufacturer is not a member then its likely they would not pass the auditing process. As there is no real policing otherwise of the industry the practice of bringing “flat-packed” cheap overseas camper trailers in, bolting it together in a warehouse and as a result calling it “Australian Made” is rampant. Its like a furniture company bringing in Ikea flat packs, putting them together and calling it “Aussie Made”. Many of the “Australian Made” organisations are increasingly lax, with sometimes on the company importing the camper trailers being Australian owned.
Are imported camper trailers bad?
No – some overseas camper trailers are high quality or fit a limited budget of some users. What IS bad is the practice of importing camper trailers, canvas tents – calling them “Aussie Made” instead of “Proudly Built in the USA, China, etc.” when they are only “assembled” in Australia.
What does Guild membership mean in terms of the product quality?
All members of the AMCTG are required to qualify for Engineering Compliance by a certified Australian Engineering Company, and transparently prove that they are Australian Manufactures of their Chassis, Body, Suspension, Tent and Canvas. This is your guarantee of quality and high performance with any brand of Camper Trailer that is associated with AMCTG.
Is there laws to stop camper trailers that do not pass Australian Standards being sold?
Imported Trailer do not have to meet any Australian Standards if they weigh under 4.5 Tonnes. It is “self regulating” so the importer certifies their own trailers. This is the biggest problem our industry faces and simply encourages importers to continually reduce their specifications and costs until the Australian camping consumers fall victim to inferior and un-road worthy camper trailers. Compliance Plates can be easily slapped onto an imported Camper Trailer and the Australian consumer and family can be haunted with terrible camping experiences that have ruined many family holidays – and will inevitably result in someones death (read about a near miss here).