Dirt Bike Camping Made Easy
Finding a decent dirt bike track means heading away from the city to some prime land with handcrafted hills and open stretches.
Sure, some hills atop a paddock might qualify as a place to take your bike for a spin for beginners, but whether you’re just starting it out or a full-fledged a motocross master, you’re going to need some real terrain to test your skills.
Dirt bike riding is the perfect excuse to go camping. Or is camping the perfect excuse to go riding? Either way you wanna play it, it’s hard to beat a weekend getaway, tearing up the tracks by day and pitching under the stars at night.
Any tracks worth riding are worth travelling to, so why not make a holiday of it? Why not turn a day trip into a road trip and spend more time on the bikes than in the car? You’ll have to pack all your biking gear anyway so why not throw in a sleeping bag, stay a few extra nights and call it a holiday?
And look, we know as well as you do that camping can be messy, that’s part of the fun! Throw in some riding and we are definitely getting dirty. But it can definitely be made easier- and a little less messy- with a camper trailer from Mars Campers.
Dirt bike riding often involves traversing rough terrain to find the best tracks off the beaten path. While getting the mud out of your boots can be a struggle, getting to your camping destination with a camper trailer and dirt bike is no trouble at all!
Hauling A Dirt Bike
Camper trailers are the ultimate vehicle for camping because you can pack a lot of things in and around the camper trailer for maximum storage and efficiency, while still having an authentic camping experience.
Now dirt bikes are notoriously heavy. So loading a dirt bike on to a camper trailer can be a difficult process since one bike can weigh anywhere between 90–100 kilos.
Instantly, math becomes the biggest hurdle as there are several acronyms that you need to understand and calculate before you can begin packing things in the car and camper trailer.
If you want to become a bit of an expert with trailer weights, check out our blog Weight jargon for the first-time camper trailer buyer. For those in the know, here’s a quick refresher:
– ATM: aggregate trailer mass — trailer, payload, water and food
– GCM: gross combined mass — vehicle, trailer, passengers, fuel and payload
– GTM: gross trailer mass — loaded trailer’s weight on the wheels when hitched
– GVM: gross vehicle mass — vehicle, passengers, payload and ball weight
– KW: kerb weight — the vehicle with a full tank
– TBM: tow ball mas — the downward pressure put on the tow ball from the weight your loaded trailer
Typically, with a full car, you’ll only be able to pack around 100–150 kgs in the trailer. There are upgrades you can add but you may have to shift a little space in the car for storage in order to take your dirt bike with you. Again, a worthy sacrifice.
What’s The Best Way?
There are two places you can put your dirt bike on a camper trailer; the front of the camper trailer or the back — but definitely not on top.
A camper trailer must be weighted equally; front to back and left to right. This weight distribution needs to be as equal as possible. If it isn’t then you’ll begin experiencing a driving situation known as ‘fishtailing’ where the vehicle begins to make uncontrolled sideways movements.
Fishtailing happens with normal sedans but is way more prevalent with vehicles being towed. The further back you stow your weight the harder it will be to turn and control the car.
If you place your bike on the back of the camper trailer, you’ll need attachments like a drawbar or mono rack to lock your prized possession in place — this is the preferred option but requires careful packing and weight distribution of the camper trailer.
You can similarly place your bike at the front of the camper trailer almost where the drawbar is located. While this option is safer it’s more awkward to get to and is often not as useful for storing and packing things.
Camping With A Dirt Bike
Exploring nature on a dirt bike and experiencing the freedom of camping at the same time is really something else. While it is a rugged and freeing form of camping, it does require a few extra gadgets and equipment compared to regular, run-of-the-mill camping.
Beyond your typical camping and biking gear, you’ll need the following to keep safe, prepared and comfortable when you’re embarking on the next dirt bike camping trip.
Cleanliness — A Camping Mat
A camping mat is one of the absolutely necessitates that no one talks about. Just because your front door might be hundreds of kilometres away doesn’t mean you can be forgiven for not having a welcome mat.
A camping mat just outside your tent is a great place to put on and take off your dirty shoes. How many times have you had to shout ‘NOT IN THE TENT’ before? A camping mat is so simple yet so effective at keeping families and friends together.
If all else fails though, pack a dustpan and broom to clean up the dirt you trek in. Whether it’s a dusty summer track or muddy rainforest trails, no fun day on the bikes ends with clean boots.
Utility — A Collapsible Table
Being Australian means that an impromptu BBQ or esky full of drinks may arrive out of nowhere. You’ve got to be ready for anything in the bush and a collapsible table means you’re ready for just about anything.
You’d be surprised at how handy a table is when on a camping trip. No more awkward knife and fork lap juggling or having to swap hands as your fingers freeze off trying to hold a cold stubbie.
As for dirt bike specific getaways, it gives you a small sense of civilisation being able to sit and eat at a table after a day on the bike and it can be a godsend for us older riders, sitting up to relieve aching backs or stiff joints!
At minimum, it gives you somewhere to sort out bike parts and put your kit together for the day. No more “where did I leave those pliers?”
Repairs — A Portable Air Compressor
If you’ve ever gone on holiday with a footy or soccer ball, you’ll understand the pain of not bringing a ball pump and trying to play with a flat ball. Imagine the pain of having a flat tyre after you’ve lugged your dirt bike halfway across the state.
There are many electric portable air compressors on the market at your local sports store or adventure retailer. If you had to pump a bike tyre with a ball pump it would take about 400 pumps. Definitely not how we want to spend a holiday.
So, to avoid disappointment, an electric air compressor is a great all-purpose tool to have on hand. It’s definitely better to pack it and not use it, rather than not pack it and end up needing it.
Navigation — Map, Compass and GPS
A dirt bike needs a dirt track and you won’t find many tracks anywhere near Wi-Fi or even a phone signal. Some tracks can span for kilometres at a time with windy tracks that can be dangerous even for experienced riders. There’s no telling what can go wrong.
A map of the local area, compass and GPS might seem like overkill even for campers, but it’s a tool that can be life-saving for only a few hundred dollars.
You might also be thinking, ‘I’ve been to the track a hundred times. I know my way around’, and while this is true — you never know what could happen. Even experienced riders can lose the trail, the weather can turn, or your bike could just conk out unexpectedly in a less than ideal area.
Whether it’s a minor (or heaven forbid major) accident, or you simply take a wrong turn, it’s not worth the risk. Packing a GPS with you means you’ll always know where to go, having a physical map with you and a phone for emergencies is even better. Always tell someone where you plan to go and what time you intend to return.
Safety — First Aid
You can go on a hundred different camping trips and never need your First Aid kit, only for you to forget it one day and finally need it. The very same curse exists for when you forget your umbrella.
Packing an up to date First Aid kit is mandatory for all camping adventures, no matter how short the drive might be. If you’re camping and bike riding, then it’s doubly as important. Triple even!
One tip we can suggest is to always keep a First Aid kit in the camper trailer. You can check on it when you pack to make sure nothing has expired but that way, you’ll always know it’s there.
Rules, Regulation and Registration
If trail bikes are relatively new to you, a recent mid-life crisis purchase or a newfound hobby, you’re going to need to get your head around the rules and regulations for your state.
Making adjustments such as removing mirrors and indicators may make sense for the purpose of trail riding, but they can also render your bike as non-complaint, so check with your local state authority before making any modifications.
When riding, always make sure you have your license, protective clothing, water, tools, phone, map, more petrol than you expect to use and always, always, always, wear your helmet. Make sure you’re aware of the terrain to some extent and try to avoid extreme weather conditions.
Locating A Good Track</h2>
There are plenty of dirt bike tracks and trails to find and explore in your local state; the hard part is just knowing where to find them.
Here are our top 2 dirt bike tracks for each state and territory in Australia:
New South Wales
Riding on the southern tip of the Blue Mountains National Park sounds like a pretty good place to take your bike for a spin. It’s a popular destination with 2 km of MX and endure-cross track to ride along. “Lochi” as it’s known locally, has day fees and weekend deals – there’s even a bike wash so you don’t have to clean up when you get home!
– Stockton Beach Recreation Area
Why ride in the muddy mountains when you can look out onto Stockton Beach? It has large sweeping sand dunes that are great for open racing, but you’ll need a Beach Vehicle Driving permit to drive on the beach. It’s actually the only area in NSW that you can ride with only a recreation registration.
– Phoenix Creek
For family-friendly MX you cannot go past Phoenix Creek’s Motocross Park. There’s a junior and senior track for all ages with a diverse landscape to ride on and no groups of wild teenage hooligans spraying mud as they pass you on their Honda 230.
– Springbrook Farm
A cattle farm might not sound like a place for a 2500 acre bush trail and biking track but it’s the place to go for some of the greenest looking bike trails you’ll find in Australia.
– Gawler Motorcycle Club
If you’re looking for a good old fashion dirt bike and enduro track that’s dirty, muddy and full of fun then Gawler is the place to go.
– Ariel Motorcycle Club
Ariel Motorcycle Club runs 15 non-competitive trail rides each year which is a great way to meet new people while testing your skills against other riders.
– Waterfalls Campground – Pyrenees State Forest
Just a short 20 minutes’ drive from Avoca is the popular Waterfalls Campground in the Pyrenees Ranges. At the foot of the eastern side of the ranges at the intersection of the Fraser and Ebling Track is the Fraser’s Trail Bike Visitor Area (TBVA). With a parking area boasting toilets, a map, information board and picnic area, the TBVA is a great spot to start your journey through the Pyrenees State Forest.
– Gough’s Bay – The Pines
Heading north in Victoria now, to Lake Eildon. With trails consisting mainly of clay and rock, Gough’s Bay is great place to explore for more advanced riders. Earn some stunning views of Lake Eildon with some steep and rocky hill climbs, these trails can get pretty hardcore.
– Gnangara Road – Lexia
With 350Ha of sandy terrain and unmaintained conditions, the 8km Lexia Loop starts and finishes north of the pine plantation. Due to a lack of management and sandy surfaces, this trail is not recommended for smaller wheeled bikes. This is a good spot for W.A. riders who have a recreational license only.
– Millars Road / Balmoral Road – Karratha
Again, you don’t need a road-registered bike or a drivers’ license to ride at Karratha, but you’ll still need your Off-Road Vehicle Registration. With two separate areas and an estimated 150 Ha of space to roam, don’t be surprised to see other trail bike riders, quad bikes, buggies – you name it! This area can get quite water-logged after rain so be wary.
From dirt biking to bush camping, we’ve got you covered with our camper trailer that can go anywhere your car can. Mars Campers offers the best on and off road camper trailers for those looking for a weekend away or something to haul their beloved dirt bike. If you’re thinking about a camper trailer, contact the Mars team today for any questions.