Author Topic: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled  (Read 6334 times)

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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« on: November 18, 2016, 07:52:23 AM »
Hey guys,

I've been looking into the Trak shak campers; love the design, plenty of jerry can storage, boat loader etc. From my understanding the trailer parts have pretty much always been made in China and assembled in Australia, up until around 2004.

From there I believe they were brought in pretty much assembled with only basic checks done and flogged off. I've read a heap of different posts about the difference in quality; it seems that the Aussie made ones are substantially better, with the early Chinese ones being terrible to start with (paint flaking, bad welds etc) and then they slowly improved.

Does anyone here have first hand experience with the differences between the two? Are say the ones after 2005 reasonable? I'll be looking at a few in the next few weeks, but wanted to get a better idea of what to look for. The main concern for me would be the welding; anything else to check?

Cheers
Aaron
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AdrianLR

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 09:01:27 AM »
We had a 2001. Up until 2004/5 they were made entirely in Australia (Adelaide). Then imported complete. I've seen early Chinese ones with rust all over, poor welds and poor sewing on the canvas. Can't comment on the later ones.

Offline John T (NSW)

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 01:30:21 PM »
Hi Aaron
I owned a 2007 Trak Shak assembled in China and it was great - the stainless fittings wre real s/steel, the welding was first class with nothing breaking or cracking anywhere despite some dreadful tracks we took the TS. Another MySwag member and a mate bought a later version and it was rubbish and he got his money back after some heated discussions with TS. I sold mine last year when it was replaced with an AOR Quantum. Yet another MySwag member from Melbourne came all the way up to Tamworth after lots of pics were sent and happy with the real thing paid and took it home. I hear from him a bit and he is happy.

I cannot comment on the Oz made TS but my 07 was a beauty and only sold as we wanted something with easier set up and little of no canvas.

Cheers and good luck with your search


John T ( NSW)
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Offline GeoffA

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 01:40:12 PM »
We had a 2001. Up until 2004/5 they were made entirely in Australia (Adelaide). Then imported complete. I've seen early Chinese ones with rust all over, poor welds and poor sewing on the canvas. Can't comment on the later ones.

Yep. As always, Doc is on the money.... ;D

Our '97 was made in Adelaide.

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Geoff and Kay

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Offline CQCraig

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 01:57:29 PM »
Ours is an 08, independent suspension, solar, boat loader etc. No complaints with build quality. Had some trouble with leaky seams but fixed it with dryproof or something similar. My only big complaint i that the boat loader is a pain in the ass to use. The gas struts dont help much and its bloody hard work. Easy with no boat on though.

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 04:36:47 PM »
That 07/08 period may be when Peter Kaesler bought his company back (if he actually did). He was the inventor. I met him at a 4wd show years ago and he was very committed to the camper. Many were customised just a bit on the production line (taller bed boxes to fit an innerspring mattress for example) but the company couldn't cope with the impact on profit this had. I heard that after he sold, he was really concerned about the reputation of the Trak Shak being trashed with shoddy workmanship and materials. Perhaps his intervention improved things. It is entirely possible to get quality products from China but you have to be prepared to specify and pay for this and supervise closely.

GeoffA, I vaguely recall this discussion with you. Do you remember if Peter ended up buying the company back or did it all end up with Campomatic?

Offline GeoffA

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2016, 04:48:02 PM »
That 07/08 period may be when Peter Kaesler bought his company back (if he actually did). He was the inventor. I met him at a 4wd show years ago and he was very committed to the camper. Many were customised just a bit on the production line (taller bed boxes to fit an innerspring mattress for example) but the company couldn't cope with the impact on profit this had. I heard that after he sold, he was really concerned about the reputation of the Trak Shak being trashed with shoddy workmanship and materials. Perhaps his intervention improved things. It is entirely possible to get quality products from China but you have to be prepared to specify and pay for this and supervise closely.

GeoffA, I vaguely recall this discussion with you. Do you remember if Peter ended up buying the company back or did it all end up with Campomatic?

Yes, we did discuss it Adrian, but I don't have any firm info on it.
Peter was most helpful, and he certainly was very dedicated to his product.

When we bought ours we had the draw bar extended and the size increased to carry an XR600.
Since selling it I've seen some pics of it (and the bike rack I made) in Camper Trailer Touring.
Nice to see it still out and about... :cup:

 :cheers:
Geoff and Kay

1999 GU TD42T wagon
2005 Coota Camper

Land Cruiser.....the Patrol that Toyota try to build.....


Offline GBC

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2016, 07:13:12 PM »
Hey guys,

I've been looking into the Trak shak campers; love the design, plenty of jerry can storage, boat loader etc. From my understanding the trailer parts have pretty much always been made in China and assembled in Australia, up until around 2004.

From there I believe they were brought in pretty much assembled with only basic checks done and flogged off. I've read a heap of different posts about the difference in quality; it seems that the Aussie made ones are substantially better, with the early Chinese ones being terrible to start with (paint flaking, bad welds etc) and then they slowly improved.

Does anyone here have first hand experience with the differences between the two? Are say the ones after 2005 reasonable? I'll be looking at a few in the next few weeks, but wanted to get a better idea of what to look for. The main concern for me would be the welding; anything else to check?

Cheers
Aaron

No, the original product is all south Australian. The only trailer I know which is made from plate rather than sheet. Even the springs were made in south oz.
Ours was 1996 and in the family for years. There is quite literally nothing to break on them. Watch for rust lifting the floor sheet up and binding on the kitchen - after 15 years. I can't comment on the imported version, I've had nothing to do with them. I can say that pretty much most boat racks suck - trakshak doesn't have a mortgage on that unfortunately.

Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 08:40:11 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys. I went and looked at a 2006 one today, and couldn't find anything major to be concerned about, asides from the fact that it has obviously been very well used. The current owner picked it up at an auction from a gold mining exploration company, and removed most of the old paint (which was peeling off badly, as that batch did) and has re-painted it.

There are lots of things that need attention on it, none of which seemed outside of my ability. I'll try and see a 2001 model tomorrow, and look for any differences.

Cheers
Aaron
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Offline DCP

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2016, 09:34:15 PM »
G` day Guys.
I think I can beat all you blokes as I have a 1988 Trakshack,I`ve had it for some 25 years. It`s well used and has many , many k`s on it.
Have dragged it down it all over the place including the Canning, Anne Bedell, Connie Sue, Tanimi and numerous tracks all over Aust. Due to it`s strong design and quality build it has served me well, and is now in the hands of another intrepid hard driving explorer, my daughter. I have no idea how the new ones stand up against the old originals or even the early 2000 ones ,but you don`t hear too many complaint`s about them. If they had problems there would be plenty of talk around.   
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2016, 03:38:47 PM »
So, just checked out the 2001 model one, which has been used but is in fairly good condition. There's a fair bit of surface rust which would need cleaning and tidying up. No major differences that I could see in quality, except the 01 one being probably better canvas and zippers.

However, the big thing for me was looking at the nameplates: the 01 model has an ATM of 1100kg and tare of 700 (400kg payload), with the 06 model an ATM of 1350 and tare of 810kg (540kg payload).

400kg seems awfully low, and I see the new ones have an ATM of 1960kg.

Any thoughts? I guess most people just ignore the weights? This owner didn't even know about it.

I'm assuming the jerry cans are not included in the tare weight?

Aaron
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 03:45:06 PM by Aaron Schubert »
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Offline Fizzie

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2016, 04:34:29 PM »
Any thoughts? I guess most people just ignore the weights? This owner didn't even know about it.

I'm assuming the jerry cans are not included in the tare weight?

Aaron

Aaron

I raised this same question a little while back as my unbraked soft-floor is plated at 320kg tare, & I'd calculated my load at ~350-400kg so thought I'd be just under the 750kg brakes limit. Took it through a weighbridge loaded to go away with water, food, drinks etc & was pretty shocked (to say the least!) to find that I was at 980kg!

Consensus of opinion was that builders can put pretty well anything they like down as a tare weight as no one official ever checks it & it's then up to the owner to find out for himself what the tare & ATM really are.  >:(

Everyone also agreed that empty weight would be as close to an empty box as they could get it, with no water in tanks, no gas bottles, no annex or poles (if applicable) - in my case, probably no tent!

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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2016, 04:44:31 PM »
Thanks for the reply mate.

I've been reading a bit about it; sketchy as. 400kg is no where near enough; gonna have to give this one a miss!

Aaron
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Offline GBC

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2016, 09:44:54 AM »
I think ours was 1100kg too, as was another trailer of mine. Must be a regulation threshold around there somewhere. Like most cars and campers they have gotten fat over the years. There wasn't much that them back then.

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2016, 10:34:40 AM »
You blokes take to much gear  [ Said tongue in cheek roll eyes and whistle  ] ;D ;D
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2016, 07:37:40 PM »
I reckon most people just ignore/are ignorant of the weight ratings.

We are heading to Steep Point next year, and need to take a fair bit of fuel and water. I'd say about 130 litres of boat petrol and 130 litres of water.

The trak shaks come with 9 - 12 jerry cans, which is great, but if it means you can't take anything else with you its kind of pointless.

The one I looked at had a second battery, and 70 litre water tank, with 9 jerry cans. All that is probably 270kg, so you are left with 130kg. Then, you add fridge and a few bits and bobs and you are easily over.

Aaron
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Offline Paddler Ed

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2016, 08:16:15 PM »
I'm going through this with my trailer at the moment.

Original rego papers said 320kg tare weight... I put it over the weighbridge and got 400kg, added brakes (electric drums) and corner steadies and it now weighs 440kg. Max weight is now 1000kg.

I've now added a tent (+130kg according to the manufacturer's specifications) and an annex (+30kg), so I'm now at 600kg.

Still to go is a 60 litre water tank, kitchen and stuff, so the original 750kg was a bit on the low side.

Check on the following to see what you can go to:
-Axle
-Bearings
-Tyres and wheels

A re-plate is not too difficult; a manufacturer should be able to do it easily enough, otherwise it's an engineering certificate (about $700)

Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 08:39:59 PM »
I did consider that, but I think its going to be too hard; the Trak Shak's run independent suspension, so its not quite as simple as swapping an axle and bearings over. I will shoot off some emails.

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Offline Paddler Ed

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2016, 09:11:41 PM »
Mines independent as well, so it's not impossible - 45mm and SL bearings give you x load anyway, and I expect that the Trak Shak isn't going to be dissimilar.

Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 10:47:36 PM »
The email bounced back from Trak Shak. I'll give them a call.

Thanks for your help :)

Aaron
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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2016, 11:53:20 AM »
Interesting to look at this one that's come up on Mannheim Auctions. The amount of rust all over for a 2012 is notable.

http://www.manheim.com.au/trucks-machinery/4896004/2012-trak-shak-camper-trailer-atm-1-900kg?referringPage=SearchResults


Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2016, 06:25:27 PM »
Pretty average. It's just poor paint work and more than likely just surface rust, but it shouldn't be there in such a new camper. Shame

Aaron
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Offline GeoffA

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2016, 06:29:03 PM »
Looks like a huge lack of love to me. Even the bows inside the camper are covered in white rust.....
Geoff and Kay

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Land Cruiser.....the Patrol that Toyota try to build.....


Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2016, 06:45:00 PM »
Yep. Was thinking that too.

Aaron
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Re: Trak Shak Australian vs Chinese assembled
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2016, 06:48:14 PM »
Interesting to look at this one that's come up on Mannheim Auctions. The amount of rust all over for a 2012 is notable.

http://www.manheim.com.au/trucks-machinery/4896004/2012-trak-shak-camper-trailer-atm-1-900kg?referringPage=SearchResults


The one you have posted here looks to have been very wet and then stored. Probably why its on that site.

Mines a 2009 model in great nick. Only place where paint is below par is behind the bars in middle  of each tailgate. Has paint there just not the top coat. Any other marks on the paint  are self inflicted  scratches.

Tare is 970 with atm 1900kg.


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