Okay, so you know you want to sleep under canvas, with the comforts of a solid floor and a soft bed. A Hard Floor is definitely the way to go. But do you choose a Forward Fold or Rear Fold? In our Hard Floor camper trailer comparison we explain the differences in the designs to help you choose one that suits your needs.

What is a folding hard floor camper?

Folding hard floor campers are all about camping out comfortably in the great outdoors, with most sporting an external side-out kitchen. The two main types we’re discussing today have a hinge at one end attached to a cantilever-floor that opens out like a fan to reveal a canvas tent. Where they differ is where that hinge sits (at the front or back) which impacts how they work.

Why choose a folding hard floor camper?

Folding Hard Floor campers—either in a Rear or Forward Fold configuration—provide a lovely raised surface for cleaner interiors at camp when it’s dusty or damp. All Hard Floor campers in the Mars Campers range use a winch to hasten set-up time. And there are no PVC covers to remove or store, with the canvas tent tucked safely beneath the lid/floor in storage.

Forward folds have a higher floor and side protection

Forward Fold campers open towards the tow vehicle with the bed resting above the front toolbox and partially over the drawbar. This means the camper trailer tray acts as the floor. Given that it’s above the axle, entry is via stairs providing raised views indoors. The hard trailer tub walls also provide a bit more weather protection.

campers built for Australian conditions
campers built for Australian conditions

Forward folds are faster to set up

Although both styles are easy to set up at camp, Forward Folds are especially fast as there’s less movement in the canvas due to the higher floor. Forward Folds require few adjustments once opened up and no additional poles to set up the main tent for a quick stopover at night.

Forward folds require less space at camp

It’s very easy to orientate a Forward Fold camper on a campsite. Because the main tent opens out above the toolbox you’re not factoring where the tent will fall out the back. Which is great news when you’re slipping into a makeshift campsite a little off the track.

Forward folds are usually furnished

Because the main floor on a Forward Fold is fixed (i.e., it doesn’t flip over the hinge) and sits in the tub, there’s scope to include features like a u-shaped lounge and removable table. Often, cushions lift to reveal internal storage and can easily be converted into another bed.

The bed stays put in a rear fold

When you’re opening a Rear Fold camper, you’re creating a floor with the bed sitting within camper trailer’s tray. The beauty of this is setup is that you can often leave your bed as is when you’re travelling from camp to camp. The inverted hinge creates a step up to the bed.

Rear fold camper trailer tents have more doors

With the main floor closer to the ground, Rear Fold canvas tents can have more doors. This means you can really open up the tent on a pleasant day, or easily extend the tent’s internal space with extra rooms, placing an ensuite out the back where it can’t be seen.

Two people sitting on chairs in front of their camper trailer

Rear folds often have shallow trays for easy towing

Rear Folding designs, comprising a mattress, slimline drawer and floor, tend to sport shallower trays compared to Forward Folds, which must allow for a bed, floor and a lounge.

You’ll notice the difference out on the track if you’re heading through harcore terrain.

Storage access on a rear fold

Many Rear Fold camper trailers have a drawer under the bed, which is also accessible mid-commute by the side of the road. Access to the main toolbox is about the same when you’re set-up at camp, which is great for storing dirt-caked tools.

Forward folds in a nutshell

  • Faster set-up times
  • Internal lounge
  • Requires less space in camp for its size
  • Great views from indoors and greater side-wall protection

Rear folds in a nutshell

  • More entry doors
  • Shallow trays for easier towing
  • Proven design
  • Fixed bed

Get The Right Camper Trailer For Your Needs

You will become an expert in campers before you know it. For more information about campers and which model may best suit your needs call us for an obligation free chat on 1300 667 868.