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August 7, 2017 at 9:11 pm #1156caveprodParticipant
I became aware of the CLC camper back in 2016, in a barrage of tear drop camper material that certain of my camping friends inundated me with at the time, and it instantly stood out as possible meat for my consumption from amongst the gourmet list of “can of spam”style TD campers. It had a pleasing shape, concept and size.
Many of us could go straight to CLC and order a flat pack from them for approx US$2000, find any old trailer and marry the two. I was very impressed by the trailex sut-1000-clc flatbed trailer kit too, it was light and looked good. However…
Trailers need to be registered and buying a locally made trailer makes that process much more straight forward. Tell the registrar your VIN (Vehicle identification number) stamped on the draw bar, and they know all the details that they need to know. Otherwise you need engineers calculations and certificates which can be expensive and messy.
Perhaps I should divulge that I live in Australia, which is a continent or two away from the USA and CLC so there are a few issues on top of just building the camper before I get to use it.
I thought about the logistics and the time involved in bring all this stuff together and pondered about the price and risk of importing 200kgs worth of plywood from overseas.
I became aware that a number of marine companies similar to CLC were operating around the world for instance,
In Tasmania, Australia Denmans marine http://www.denmanmarine.com.au/about-chesapeake-light-craft/
and Cumbria, England Fyne Boat Kits http://www.fyneboatkits.co.uk/info/chesapeake-light-craft/
These are two awesome places in the world that clearly inspire boat building, (maybe Maryland, USA does too?)
Well, I wanted to follow Trumps advice and MAGA (make Australia great again) so considered the Australian Licencee as soon as I heard of them. They were friendly, well organised, talkative but horrendously more expensive (2.5 times the price from CLC) so I considered those two options some more. The Aussie dollar is down currently, the importation price would be massive anyway, the time and peril for the cargo from the USA was still frightening. I think CLC also has to import its plywood, so I hoped there might be some explanation for the price such as chucking in a trailer too might have been the case, but nup.
My decision was to go Aussie, I like going to Tasmania anyway, but Denmans were busy (a good sign) so I had to wait a five week lead time for arrival from order.
Here is my main topic for conversation in this thread. Denmans is not CLC and so some things are slightly different in the kit. This maybe good or bad, my jury is still out on this one. I didn’t particularly like getting things different to what I expected anyway. Denmans rep talked me through it.
From watching Waterlusts camper build on youtube I expected a few heavy packs to arrive, I got one 200kg well packed unit that was delivered to my drive and I had to take it out sheet-by-sheet to my shed. The components were still in their sheets and had to be jigsawed out. I was expecting to have to sand them down anyway, but it took awhile though.
I can’t compare my plywood to anyone elses, but it seems fine.
I recieved no superglue hardener, apparently transport regulations forbid it(!) So I went down the street and bought some anyway, easily.
I didnt get the style of glass that CLC provides, it was Wests, but came in a 20 liter drum. Hard to dispense in small quantities without a dispenser. Scales were provided (they are more accurate anyway) but I will need to improvise in the dispenser area.
Good old ebay is good from the camper electricals, mostly coming from China, we do live in a global market these days so maybe my experience is not so different to anyone elses, after all.
My chosen trailer is and 8×5 carlex cutdown to 6 x 5. http://www.carlex.com.au/contents/en-us/d4_958TC_8x5_Trailer.html I think it may be very good when it is used. Quite happy with it.
I’m wondering how other people get on from other places, what their decisions might have been. There are plenty of other continents and areas out there which would encourage alternative decisions. I think the CNC router option is a much easier option than cutting out from blank ply, but maybe its eminently doable and much cheaper?
I was confident from a lifetime of making model aircraft in the plywood construction and entertainment value of making a camper but I didnt want too great a workload.
How do other people handle the “tyranny of distance” in finding stuff?August 10, 2017 at 8:15 pm #1172patrick.hvacParticipant
I was in a similar predicament. Building in Canada. The shipping and customs cost as much as the kit does not to mention currency conversion and thanks to NAFTA importing wood is a disaster.
I also used West epoxy. No problems there. Trailer is sorted. Im just in the final stages of completion. Budget isn’t so bad. Right around 5k CAD all costs including the plans which is almost exactly equal to the Aussie dollar or about 3900USD.
PM me your email address or something. I think I can help you out with a couple things.
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