Q. How long does it take to set up?
A. The time will vary depending on how many people are helping, and your level of expertise. Below is a guide or how long it should take 2 people who are relatively experienced at putting up a camper.
Hard floor: Main tent = 5-10 mins. Extra annex add 10-15 min.
Soft floor: Main tent = 10-15 mins. Each extra annex add 10-20min
Q. Is the canvas waterproof?
A. Yes. The canvas is coated with a waterproofing agent, and is waterproof right away. However the seams on all Mars campers do need to be soaked with water once, which will seal up all of the tiny needle holes made when sewing the seams. To do this, simply set up your camper, and hose it thoroughly, especially along the seams. Then wait for it to dry and pack it up again.
Q. Will the canvas remain waterproof?
A. After following the above steps, your camper will be water proof, and will stay that way if the canvas is maintained and cared for.
It is advisable to avoid over stretching of the seams, which may cause the tiny holes to stretch open again, and allow water to seep in. When extending out the interior arch poles of your camper, the tent should be taught, but do not use excessive force, and do not over stretch the seams.
As a further safeguard to keep seams waterproof, there are wax based seam sealant products available at most camping stores. This product comes in an easy to apply stick, and is quite cheap to buy. Applying a seam sealer such as this will provide an extra level of water repellent along canvas seams.
Q. Can I pack my camper up while it is wet?
A. Yes, but remember to open it out again as soon as possible to allow the canvas to dry properly. Canvas cannot be packed away for an extended periods of time while wet. Doing this will result in mould growing inside your camper, which is not covered under warranty.
Q. What does the Anderson plug do? (apply to special models only)
A. The Anderson plug allows you to charge your camper battery directly from your car’s alternator, while the car is running. Your car also needs to be fitted with an Anderson plug, to plug into. To fit an Anderson plug to your car, visit an auto electrician of your choice .
Q. Do I need to have a brake controller fitted to my car?
A. It depends, but mostly likely yes, if your car has an un-braked towing capacity below the camper trailer ATM you must fit a brake controller within the driver’s reach to comply with varying States legislation across the country.
Q. Can I take my camper off road?
A. Yes, all Mars campers are capable of going off road, but always drive to suit the road conditions and remember to lower the camper tyre pressures to around 20-25 PSI. Models equipped with leaf springs will not ride as flat as independent suspension models, so use caution and drive slowly when travelling over moderate or extreme off road terrain.
Q. Can I tow my camper with my car?
A. Check your vehicles tow rating, as well as your towbar rating. Mars campers are lighter than many caravans and campers, and can usually be towed by most large sedans, wagons, SUVs, and 4×4’s.
On campers with an extended drawbar (Extremo/Maven/Spirit), the extra weight on the hitch can push down on your towbar and make operating the jockey wheel difficult. If this happens you may need to purchase a height adjustable towbar attachment, which should fix the issue.
Q. What power set up do I need for camping?
A. This will vary greatly depending on what appliances you plan to use. Generally speaking, you can get away with a small 12V battery (30-40AH), if you are only running the basics, such as the water pump, electric winch, and a couple of LED lights. However if you plan to run a fridge and/or 240V appliances you may need a deep cycle battery of 100AH or more.
Remember that any battery no matter how big will eventually need to be charged, so consider your options for keeping your battery charged if you are planning long camping trips.
Q. Is there a manual over ride for my electric winch?
A. No, however these winches are rated to pull many times the weight of the camper roof, and we have not yet heard of one failing. If the winch fails to operate, it is almost certainly because it is switched off, or the battery is flat. Check the power switch on the control unit and on the remote, and if need be charge the battery, and then try again. If the remote battery is flat, you can still use the hard wired controller as a backup.
If all else fails, the roof section can be lifted and pushed over by two people.
Q. Can I buy spare parts if needed?
A. Yes. Contact your local dealer, or Mars head office in Melbourne or Brisbane. Most parts are either in stock, or can be ordered in. Please note that many Mars spare parts do come from overseas, and can take as long as 2-3 months to bring in, if they are not in stock.
Generic parts such as poles, ropes, pegs etc can also usually be sourced from a local camping store.
Q. How do I open the water filler cap?
A. Put the key in the key hole and turn 90 degrees anti clockwise. Leave the key in while continuing to turn the filler cap anti-clockwise.
Q. Why do I have so many keys?
A. There are spares of every key, in case you need to make multiple sets of keys. Depending on the camper, there could be two, three or four different keys. Different keys will be for the front toolbox, water filler cap, and also side and rear cupboard locks if applicable.