Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...





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  1. #1
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    Default Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Over the past few years though the packing in and packingout of the Venter and setting up what is starting to feel like a 1 tonne canvastent + extension which use to be fun, but has started to become a lot ofeffort. You know what I am talkingabout.... Add to this the lack of packing space, ammo boxes, water cans,matrasses, fridge etc etc and before you know it you need a full day to packand a full day to unpack and store everything.Maybe I am exaggerating a little.


    Having always been fond of tent camping, the logical choicefor me is to simply get a decent off road trailer setup like a Conquest, Maxior the like. However it is not as simple as that as I’m sure you’ve experienced…


    With a growing family, I need to make camping morecomfortable so everyone can enjoy it. This brings me to my question:What to upgrade to, off road trailer, off road caravan, gravel caravanor road caravan?I know everyone's needsand wants are different, I was hoping to learn from some of your experiences tohelp me decide:


    Our requirements:

    Lifestyle


    1. We try and go at least once annually to oom Paul se plaasor one of the other Sanparks. Typicallythis involves spending a 2-3 week holiday spread across at least 2 camp sites,which means setting up & breaking up camps regularly - sometimes just for 1or two nights at a time.


    2. We also like to visit bush camps and camp sites where theonly people around are us, so self-sufficiency is requirement.


    3. It would be nice to also use this setup to take to placeslike Richtersveld, Kgalagadi etc, however this is not critical, as for these itmight make more sense to take a RTT or dome tent for the one or two night staysat a time.


    4. I cannot honestly say I would like to conquer Africa withthe rig and therefor I do not foresee having to do a camel trophy with mysetup-in-toe every holiday. Basic gravelroad travel with the odd rougher terrain would be required.




    Effort
    1. Obviously as simple a setup as possible. So a basic setup(sleep, cook, shade) should take 1 or two people no longer than 10-15 minutesup and down. Obviously if you need anacre of shaded living space it will require effort no matter if you have traileror caravan - so I am excluding large tent extensions and massive awnings fromthe mix.


    2. Should be convenient enough to do a one night stop overand comfortable enough for a 2 week stay.


    3. It should be fairly easy to manoeuvre and hook up on myown.




    Family requirements


    1. We have a growing family, currently mom, dad and a 4 yearold, maybe one day another pink foot.


    2. I need a slightly larger bed to fit my 6ft3" 110kgframe than most of the standard 1.8m sleeping courters


    3. We're not looking for a 5 star hotel, we need a basic andpractical setup


    4. Packing – want to keep the setup packed except clothesand perishable goods. Everything should beorganized, not too keen on hunting through a hundred ammo boxes for that ever elusivebraai-tang.


    5. Ideally the rig should be storable in a standard garage –not a critical requirement, but would be ideal.


    6. Pressured hot and cold water on-board


    7. Would be nice to be able to use this rig for many manyyears to come




    Budget
    1. Not keen on taking a loan and cannot see myselfspending R300k cash on a new unit, makes no financial sense


    2. Would be looking up to the 130k odd mark. Iwould not mind spending a little extra to do some minor alterations whererequired


    3. Don’t wish to over capitalize on the rig – no usebuying a product at market value and having to spend 50k to make it usable.




    My current thinking:
    1. Having looked at some of the trailers on offer, the products that could potentially work for us are the Conquest, Courage (although this might become a little cramped), the Metalian Maxi, bigger Echo trailers and maybe a few others. Haven’t looked at all of them in detail yet, but the Conqueror’s tents seems very nice with avery nice bed. Not sure though how practical these trailers are for a small family and how easy they are to set up and tear down (the basic setup, not theacre of awning some drag across. Do these work if there is a baby in the family? I know the 4 year old will probably prefer his own tent in a few years to come, but for now he would be quite happy on a stretcher. Another positive is you can buy a very well kitted and relatively unused model for my price range, maybe even new in some cases.


    2. Caravans, especially the offroad and 4x4 types appeal to us as well and they do have a lot of advantages. However, having spent this last Saturday morning walking around Loftus Caravans in Randburg I was quite disappointed with the 2nd hand options on offer. In my opinion they do not age well, their interior become dated very quickly although the prices seem to increase over time?! The new ones are very nice obviously.


    3. One idea I have is to find a decent older model Companion or Commander and do a refurb on it, perhaps new paint job, new matrasses (this would be done anyways if buying 2nd hand), some small alterations etc as I know there are some suggested improvements around the shower setup, kitchen and stove setup and grocery cabinet – maybe others too? This I guess is the advantage of the militaristic look compared to a more luxury brand like the Jurgens, they age better…



    Would appreciate your thoughts and views on my ‘dilemma’…
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2016/03/14 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Don't envy your choices here.

    My advice, get Swambo involved and rent a couple of different options. Some of the trailer options today are brilliant, but your requirement of 1 night to a couple of weeks could translate into so many different levels. caravans can be super comfy but limit where you go.
    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Boesman

    It is indeed exiting times looking at trailers.

    In your shoes (the same as mine bar my pink foot is 3 and the oldest 4) look at easy of towing and setting up.

    I mention easy of towing as you know that you will set up your camp site alone and there is nothing worst than having driven far with a wandering panda behind you and then still want to set everything up.

    In your budget, I can do a full house with a full tent.

    Might even do the new awning to expand space for the up coming little one.

    And klein boesman can put up his tent inside the full tent. . .

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Go to Conquerer in Heidelburg, all their trailers are setup so you can have a proper look,
    you can also hire one for a weekend to test. On the Courage they can extend the bed for you. We have a Conquerer and are very satisfied.
    http://www.conqueror.co.za/couragegal.php

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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Double post
    Last edited by Wise one; 2016/03/14 at 02:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    I had a close look at the Echo and Conqueror products today. Am a bit dissapointed with the Kavango & Namib, perhaps my expectations were a bit high. Their trailers are very nice though and the TTTs seem a breeze to open and close. Conqueror has some really nice, and what appears to be much improved products - look really robust - and priced well compared to some of the other manufacturers. So far, if its a van it'll be between the commander and explorer, otherwise one of the trailers. I made some enquiries to the much loved Metalian products but are yet to hear back from them (a sign?)

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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Thanks Wian, looks like you have some great products over there!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    With your budget, a trailer is probably going to be your best bet and there are some fantastic options out there.
    I've seen some Companions that will fall into your budget but there were showing serious signs of rust already.

    I'm sure that Heinz or Henk will reply to your e-mail about the Metallian shortly.
    Those things are super popular and the company runs on minimal manpower, so a bit of patience is needed.

    Another product to look at is the Invader. Especially if you have to set up on your own. You get the best of both worlds. A trailer for easy storage and towing and inside it's got all the mod cons of a caravan.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Being a very happy Maxi owner all I can add is that we love it and I don't think you can go wrong with choosing one.

    My wife loves the layout and there are plenty space in the Maxi.
    The previous owner had a large TTT made with a king size bed and large bottom tent space for at least 3 more adults.

    Setup( with only the kitchen awning) takes about 30/40 minutes.

    Design is of such a nature that you can play with the inside layout.

    The customer service of Heinz is legendary !

    Only problem is that 2nd hand units are hard to find.

    All the best.
    Last edited by 4x4 wannabie; 2016/03/14 at 06:41 PM.
    Metalian Maxi

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    I can go on about the superior engineering in the Maxi and how the clever use of composite metals have helped to bring the dry weight down to a mere 440kg basic or how easy it tows...... the general sales pitch...................I am not going to. Pop in and come see for yourself or even better come take my rental unit for a test drive. You will want your own one, such is the beast.

    When it comes to customization and things like bed extensions it is no problem we will be able to make a plan.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4 wannabie View Post
    Setup( with only the kitchen awning) takes about 30/40 minutes.
    Is this really how long it takes to set up?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Quote Originally Posted by hbannink View Post
    I can go on about the superior engineering in the Maxi and how the clever use of composite metals have helped to bring the dry weight down to a mere 440kg basic or how easy it tows...... the general sales pitch...................I am not going to. Pop in and come see for yourself or even better come take my rental unit for a test drive. You will want your own one, such is the beast.

    When it comes to customization and things like bed extensions it is no problem we will be able to make a plan.
    I know it is an awesome trailer, saw one in Moreleta Park last year, very nice in deed! What is the set-up and break-down effort like with a metalian? I guess it will depent on your rig and mods etc, but ball park??

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    Is this really how long it takes to set up?
    Depends on the tent you choose for your Metallian.
    The big tents can take a long time to set up. Saw a guy take nearly an hour in Skukuza last week but, it was a serious tent and awning.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Oh my word. My one tonne canvas tent&ext takes THAT long!! ��

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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Boesman

    Setting up time is a thumb suck time at best.

    If you buy a trailer and you set it up the first time you will probably take 4 times longer. I can set everything in my trailer up in 10 minutes but I have some practice. I have seen some guys advertise 45 seconds. Only when you find out it is 45 seconds to do a task, and there is about 15 tasks to do . . .

    Camping is not a race, but you also don't want to spend hours setting something up alone.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    I have seen a guy pulling up next to me once. I took my afternoon nap, woke up and the guy was still busy dangling of the side of his trailer like king kong trying to attach everything every where.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    There is no such thing as the perfect caravan or trailer, so you need to decide what's best for your individual needs.
    Don't forget to also have a look at some of the older Echo trailers. There are some excellent buys on the 2nd hand market and many, many of them have hardly ever been used. The down side is the mountain of canvas and the 1 or 2 ammo boxes. Luckily there is enough space to have a permanent spot for the damn braai tongs.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Good evening,

    Swambo and I love and always check out the various camping trailor rigs at the shows and expos etc.However for occasional use, at this point our choice is to rent considering the overall commitment of ownership, maintenance, insurance, space and such. Regular use, different story...but that's our take.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    Here is a bit of advice from us being in the same boat as you.

    We have 2 kids. One is 4 and 1 is 8mnths old. So we needed a trailer that can accomodate a camping cot and mattress in the tent for 1 or 2 night stopovers and a add a room tent for the longer stays.

    Also something that has a bit of options. Either just the tent for a single night stopover, a tent and awning for 2 nights and a tent, awning and sides plus add a room for the longer stays.
    What we liked in the summit is having those options and having the add a room being either part of the main tent so that SWAMBO can get to the little one without steeping outside or having it stand alone when they are a bit bigger.

    As for setup time here are some estimates.

    To level the trailer takes around 2 minutes on the rear jacks.
    Open cover and flip over main tent takes 30s and then peg 4 corners. So all in all not longer than 10mns for 1 night.
    Then adding the awning is just flipping the awning from the main tent and installing the 9 poles and pegs. Probably another 10mns.
    Then adding the sides is a just joining the velcro so 5mns.
    Then the add a room tent takes about 10mns.

    Obviously the kitchen and the rest is all on slides and its just a question of opening the doors and sliding it out.

    But the biggest positive is having no stepladder to the bed which makes getting in and out in the middle of the night a breaze for SWAMBO.

    Its close to your budget and has the added bonus of hot water gas geyser and installed water tanks so bathing the little ones is easy.

    So have a look at the Summit Everest. Well worth it.
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    Default Re: Choosing a new camping rig is a humbling affair...

    I love watching folks roll into camps and setting up.
    Some are up and running in 5 mintes, some take an hour and others are constantly busy with their set up. Some camps are ultra simple and others should have a certificate from a town planner.

    The thread below is probably one of the best on the site.
    Brilliant for getting ideas on what kind of set up will suit you best.

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...d.php?t=156358

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