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  1. #1
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    Default Bush Lapa Vlooi, first impressions

    After waiting since beginning of June we took delivery of our Vlooi (#59), nicknamed Buksie on Tuesday. Herewith my initial impressions and the Bush Lapa experience on the day of delivery.

    Buksie was ready for delivery 2 weeks earlier but I could not get away from work sooner. We also just could not make the BL GTG at Jamaka but planned a short holiday after collecting Buksie, traveling via the West Coast back home to Pretoria. During the waiting period I had numerous discussions with both Jannie and Francois regarding the extra's and the finishing of the Vlooi for our short camping (first caravanning..) holiday. Their service and willingness to help was excellent, thanks guys.

    I only fitted an extra gas bottle and the solar panel as I frequently visit areas where no electricity is available. It is only me and the wife so we opted for the 2 sleeper Vlooi with lots (in fact a hell of a lot) of packing space.

    In response to my initial question I was told that the delivery should take +- 2 hours and I planned this into my holiday schedule to leave sufficient time for traveling to our first overnight stop in Langebaan.

    The delivery process:

    After arranging to be there at 10:30 (and arriving on time ) we were met in the street at the new premises by Martin as Francois "did not expect me so early" - no problem Martin started explaining all the features of the Vlooi. During this I discovered that the sliding drawer housing the gas stove and my, still to be installed National Luna fridge, did NOT want to slide back in. Just as everyone started to panic Francois arrived and quickly decided that it had to be replaced. He told me that the new batch of slides were faulty and he forgot to have mine changed....... My NL was also very quickly fitted and tied down so that it can not move around on the bumpy roads that we will be traveling on.

    While they changed the sliding drawer I quickly had to go and find an outlet to fill the newly installed gas bottle (thought that they would have pre-filled it, I did ask). After the sliding drawer was replaced we completed the "Vlooi tour" The last thing that needed to be done was opening the Bushwing canopy and fitting the side panels. This was very competently done with the only glitch being 2 of the short supports (to lift the tent to allow for water run-off) was missing but they very quickly made some new ones.

    Right ready to hitch... but Francois nearly fainted, he forgot that the Ford Ranger's tow plug does not communicate with the LED lights of the Vlooi and I was supposed to have a loom fitted to compensate for this. In his defense he did not know what vehicle I drive but I have now been in the factory for probably 4 hours and felt he could have mentioned it earlier. As this is not the first time this has happened (confirmed by him) I feel they should, as a standard communication, discuss the possibility with their customers. Onematch from EL had to change his travel plans for exactly the same reason. Francois tried to source the loom from the local Ford dealers but they had no stock. He phoned Jannie to enquire what to do but they could not help and it fully became my problem. Buksie's lights worked but only when the Ford's headlights were switched off. With the lights on, the rear lights of the BL flashed all the time (like a nice disco scene) I eventually managed to, through a local contact, speak to a VERY helpful guy at West Coast Ford in Vredenburg who checked with the factory and confirmed that he could have it at his garage late Thursday, unfortunately too late. As it was now getting very late and way past my 2 hour delivery allowance we left and made our way to Langebaan (at 15:30, 3 hours later than initially planned).

    In total my expectations might have been too high and my delivery experience probably not so bad but I left there with a slightly bad taste in the mouth in stead of a hell of a smile on my face. I also not had the opportunity to meet Jannie. I was wondering was this the proverbial "Monday after the long weekend" Vlooi that I collected and what else could go wrong....

    The first towing and pitching camp impressions to follow
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    Last edited by Tobie4x4; 2012/10/01 at 06:03 PM.
    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  2. #2
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    The first towing and setting up camp impression

    We left Bush Lapa at 15:30 and made our way through Worcester following the GPS lady on our way to our first 2 night stop at Leentjiesklip in Langebaan. I was slightly concerned about Buksie's lights not working properly but luckily we would arrive in daylight so no need to switch on the headlights (which then confuses Vlooi's lights), except through the Hugenote tunnel. As this was my first caravan towing experience (previously only luggage trailers) I was not sure what to expect. It can be summerized by "wow what a pleasure" It felt like the Ford and Buksie was made for one another. The BL was extremely stabile and held on to the Ford like a bulldog. The Vlooi was still empty as all the camping equipment etc. was still in the Ford's load bay but this did not make any difference to the stability.

    We arrived in Langebaan at 17:45 to be met by a rather chilly gale force wind (or so it felt). We quickly unpacked the necessary equipment and unzipped the Bush Wing ready to hold it down to prevent it from taking Buksie on a maiden flight over the Langebaan lagoon . The Bush Wing folded out very quickly and the "arms" are heavy enough to not flap like a wing. I secured all the tent ropes and Swambo started filling her domain (aka kitchen) All our pre-packed Tupperware containers fitted except the largest fairly high one.

    The Vlooi has ample internal shelving with 4 cupboards for clothes on the left, each with 2 shelves (+- 34 x 40cm). It also has 3 huge packing shelves next to the bed (where the Miskruier and Boskriek's extra bed is installed) The bottom shelf is 41 x 83cm and top shelf 41 x 40cm. All these have zipped canvas closings . We unpacked our clothes for the week and it looked as if all the shelves were still empty. The Vlooi definitely has sufficient internal packing for an extended holiday. In the corner between the 2 is a huge space for blankets, cushions and pillows.

    The nose cone boxes, one on each side with the 2x20L jerry cans in between, swallowed all the braai goodies (grid, charcoal and stainless steel portable braai) and small broom and scoop. My ammo boxes and ground sheets easily fit into the space behind the fridge's sliding drawer.

    Next was making the bed and my wife tackled this all by herself (space does not allow for two people to comfortably make the bed at the same time). The mattress folds in 2 and one should remember that the slightly thinner one should be placed against the window. The bed also has a slight overhang (+- 15cm) which makes it difficult to tuck in sheets or blankets if they are not long enough. If you use only a fitted sheet (pas laken) and sleeping bag it would not be a problem. The next morning we unzipped the window and I stood outside to assist with making the bed. Now very easy and quick.

    The first setting up of camp was absolutely painless and I must confirm both Jaco and Michael's comments that the BL products are very user friendly. The standard lights are placed to provide good light but some sort of reading light would have been a bonus. You will have to use a headlight (kopliggie) if you are reading a hard print.

    Next will be a short overview on the rest of our trip, fuel usage of the Ford with Buksie in tow and camping in the rain (and cold) with the Vlooi. So far our experience was really good, in fact excellent.
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    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  3. #3
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    Tobie, keep it coming please. I am especially interested in how it holds up in the rain and how your vehicle's fuel consumption changed.

    But happy camping in the mean time
    Christa
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT

    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


  4. #4
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    Interesting and informative thus far :-)

  5. #5
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    Fuel consumption on my Ford Ranger with Vlooi in tow

    My normal use to date (17,000km) fuel consumption is 10.2L/100km which includes commuting to work (70% freeway) and normal weekend traveling.

    We left Langebaan and travelled via the back roads, including some dirt track (toll road between Elands Bay and Lamberts Bay) to Clanwilliam. We then joined the N7 and travelled north to our next stop at Springbok. There was a VERY STRONG head wind blowing and we were driving right into it, especially on the N7. For this 568km the Ford gave a rather disappointing consumption of 15.1km/100km . In it's defense I must mention that it really was a strong wind (on a positive note the Vlooi was following very smoothly with absolutely no stability issues)

    From Springbok we turned east on the N14 with a moderate wind at a 45 degree angle from the left back. For the 727km to just west of Vryburg the consumption was 13.16L/100km. I have not yet filled up after arriving back home but arrived with the meter at just less than half (will post calculated consumption after filling up) The last leg was also done at lower speed (+- 105km/hr as it was getting dark, arrived home at only 20:30)

    All the above was traveling at an average of 110km/hr with the odd speeding up to overtake.
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    Last edited by Tobie4x4; 2012/10/01 at 06:16 PM.
    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  6. #6
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    Tobie congratulations on the new baby, and informative article!
    The Disco 3 (all models) cannot connect correctly to LEDs and have to use the older filament type bulb which is irritating as no loom was made to remedy this problem.
    The new Disco 4 is sorted to accept both.
    I returned the Rooimier to the factory to have the problem rectified, and a few others sorted - the fridge did not fit and the gas bottles had no mounting rings.
    Francois suggested a tray for the firewood on the aluminum nosecone which he said would prevent denting, which made sense.
    One problem which I think a few people (on the Bushlapa GTG) must have also experienced is mud clogging up the latches that open the nosecone. Francois was going to look at solving that problem as well.
    Otherwise very happy with the van and going to collect this weekend and do a trip up the Weskus - are there any flowers around? Thought of travelling the backroad to Kamieskroon or if not maybe carry on up to the Richtersveld-

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  8. #7
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    Camping in the rain

    The weather along the West Coast was not great last week with some very strong winds and some rain. We have really experienced the proverbial 4 seasons in one day (for us Gautengers that is the normal Cape weather ). The question is probably how did Buksie handle this? Very well but we need to take note of some potential issues.

    As we were touring home after our initial stay in Langebaan we never again opened the Bushwing so I can not yet comment on this aspect. Although we had some strong winds while it was raining the Vlooi never leaked a single drop. We had only a few minor issues, the first being quite a bit of cold air coming in next to the bed between the matress and the bottom of the canvas cover over the bed. After shoving some dirty clothes (clean ones would probably also do but we ran out of those by then ) into this space it was much better. The second issue was the step got fairly wet and could be slippery. Lastly as we closed most of the windows in the popup roof for the cold, we had a minor condensation issue on the one night. We just opened the internal cover slightly further and the problem disappeared.

    In hind sight I will strongly consider to use the Bush Wing even when standing overnight only if it rains. You will obviously then have the wet canvas problem but hopefully you will have some sunshine later to dry it out.

    Next and last posting for now will be some general comments and further impressions on the total Vlooi experience.
    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  9. #8
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    Excellent post Tobie . Looking forward to more of your experiences with your new baby. P.S: congrats, and enjoy.
    2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Overlander
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  10. #9
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    Onematch, I looked at your Rooimier at the factory (outside only ) as we also first considered this model rather than the Vlooi. I have also thought about doing something to protect the nose cone boxes while transporting wood. I do have the 2 jerry cans in between so it might not be such an issue. I was thinking more in the line of a rubber cover to stop scratching. Although I did not do a lot of dirt road traveling I have already had some dirt getting into places.. but hey that is why we go the off road ways, why worry about dirt (as long as I can get to my beer )

    Unfortunately almost no flowers left on the routes we travelled, did see some signs of them (dead flowers) though. It is very beautiful and green, I especially enjoyed the Garies Springbok area, stunning scenery.
    Tobie Oosthuizen
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  11. #10
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    Thanks for the info Tobie

  12. #11
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    Tobie, found your thread!

    I'm really sorry we missed you when passing through town. A friend of mine (who is in the market for a BL as well as soon as he sells his caravan) actually saw you guys.

    Great review. Some more pictures, please!

    I think 13l/100km with a huge (2.2 tons?) 4x4 bakkie while towing an off road caravan, is actually very good.

    I get 15l/100km with the Triton, towing the Miskruier at 120km/h.
    Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 Di-D 4x4 Auto with a Bush Lapa Miskruier (#30) following closely behind.
    In the process of going there and doing that.

  13. #12
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    And the waiting continues. January is still very far.
    [SIGPIC]
    Bushlapa Vlooi nr B85,

    Now called "Stokstertjie"
    Hilux D4D DC


  14. #13
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    Ai......lyk die foto van jou nou nie bekend nie....






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    Michael (Kooskop) My naam is NIE Koos nie..
    Toyota FJ Cruiser
    Bush Lapa - 1st Miskruier B8, now B192
    BMW F800GS

    When in doubt, paint it black

  15. #14
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    Michael, ek het dit spesiaal vir jou geneem en ingesluit.......

    Ek moet sÍ ons was baie bly om die Wimpy oop te kry vir 'n vinnige koffie aangesien dit nog gereen het toe ons opgestaan het en dus nie self koffie gemaak het nie.

    Jaco, your friend should have stopped us or phoned you, I really feel bad that we missed one another but I only got your PM on arrival back in Pretoria
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  16. #15
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    Just a short feedback on 2 issues (final comments with some photos to follow later)

    Firstly the final fuel consumption from Vryburg to Pretoria was 12.7L/100km (remember at lower average speed as some of it was in the dark). Secondly the issue of the Ford not recognising the LED's of the Vlooi was also (hopefully ) sorted. My Ford dealership knew exactly what I needed and ordered the part for me (+- R350) I have attached the relevant Ford information in this regard. I trust this will assist somebody in being better prepared than I was. I do not know if this is a Ford specific solution or if it might also work on different manufacturers vehicles.
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  17. #16
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    The next morning we unzipped the window and I stood outside to assist with making the bed. Now very easy and quick.
    This is the only way we do it in the Miskruier and is by far the fastest way of setting up the double beds.

    I think 13l/100km with a huge (2.2 tons?) 4x4 bakkie while towing an off road caravan, is actually very good.

    I get 15l/100km with the Triton, towing the Miskruier at 120km/h.
    We get 19l/100km with the FJ Cruiser and a fully equipped Miskruier at 120km/hr However, it is a small price to pay for the pleasure of having both these vehicles!

    Congratulations on the Vlooi Tobie. Very good and accurate review, and we have had the same experiences.
    Last edited by aviator609; 2012/10/01 at 07:52 PM.

  18. #17
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    I'm contacting Jannie now, I want my Miskruier numbered as well.
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    Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 Di-D 4x4 Auto with a Bush Lapa Miskruier (#30) following closely behind.
    In the process of going there and doing that.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Kruger View Post
    I'm contacting Jannie now, I want my Miskruier numbered as well.
    Jaco, to the best of my knowledge, all the Bushlapa products are numbered. Ours proudly wears it number on the back door, something I only saw last week.

  20. #19
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    At the GTG it was cause for huge excitement. See the picture Andre posted on the GTG thread where his wheelchair friendly Boskriek got his number. It took poor Jannie and Francois the whole day to work their way through the lot. Everybody (owner and partner) that attended the GTG also got a he and she Bush Lapa peak or beanie . All the numbers are ready for those that were not done in the factory.
    Michael (Kooskop) My naam is NIE Koos nie..
    Toyota FJ Cruiser
    Bush Lapa - 1st Miskruier B8, now B192
    BMW F800GS

    When in doubt, paint it black

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kooskop View Post
    All the numbers are ready for those that were not done in the factory.
    I'll be checking my post box daily.
    Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 Di-D 4x4 Auto with a Bush Lapa Miskruier (#30) following closely behind.
    In the process of going there and doing that.

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