Off Road Caravan, Which one? - Page 2





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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    William, we were in Kgalagadi last Easter and there were 2 couples with Armadillo's. It was the first time I had seen them and I was impressed. Good build quality and very reasonably priced. I spoke to the owners of the caravans and they are extremely happy with them.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Gecko is very nice and has good build quality but its heavy!
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  3. #23
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    Thumbs up Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Hi William, Chris, we have the 2 sleeper Armadillo, I reviewed and went to see many vans before deciding on the Armadillo, and glad to say it meets 95% of our requirements. Would I buy another? simple answer is yes. is it heavier that the Gogga' vans from Bush lapa, yes, it is the same size as the Baobab and same weight too, however what it has which has proven itself to us in high heat areas and cold temperatures is the double aluminium skin with insulation between them. My friend has a Boskriek and they could not have an afternoon sleep in their van due to the high temperature inside, we were quite comfortable in our van. The extra towing weight is a bit of a problem, I changed my tow vehicle from a Fortuner to a FJ Cruiser, the diesel Fortuner does however tow much better, but hell I like the FJ . Eko Veld Gear do make a 4 sleeper called the Family. Enjoy the decision making process, view in the flesh as many as you can, each one has it's advantages AND it's cons. Good luck.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Before deciding which one you want, first decide what you require. Or rather, not you, your wife and the mini bosses. Your opinion doesn't count.

    Trailer with tent or caravan? All 4 sleep inside or kids outside in tent(s)? Amount of packing space required? Towing weight? Budget?

    With two daughters their age, I'm inclined to say a BL Gogga model might be too tight ito packing space. If caravan, I'd find dealers or owners nearby with either a BL Baobab, Armadillo Family or a Afrispoor Cheetah nearby. Afrispoor is probably your closest, so make a day trip and go investigate it. Don't just look for 10 minutes and go. Tell the salesman to shove off and look at it critically while imagining yourself camping in it.
    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    I did think about this, unfortunately there is no such thing around here where I stay.
    Not sure how the renting works, if I rent it do they send it down from Jhb for me?
    We have rented a caravan for the end of January, some 200km from where we live.

    The rental company is near the resort we are going to. For a few rand extra they tow the caravan and even set it up for us - NOT what you want !! As you actually want to experience what it is like to set up the various rigs.


    So if you do decide to go this route, you basically need to plan a route that places a rental place between your home and destination .... (if possible\practical)



    reading the thread there are clearly some excellent feedback, and just maybe you can zone in on your ideal setup immediately.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?


  7. #27
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    I'm also slowly starting to look at the off-road caravans.

    At this stage I would probably buy the Imagine Trailvan or Comfortvan.

    They tick the most boxes for our family of 3.

    We also like the Invader a lot.

    https://www.invader.co.za/

    https://imagine-trailvan.co.za/trailvan.html#spec_t



    Last edited by 4x4 wannabie; 2019/01/08 at 02:42 PM.
    Metalian Maxi

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Most of these caravans have the same elements, but just in a different configuration.
    Before making my decision, I toured the RSA and visited all the places making camping configurations in which I had an interest,
    before deciding what I wanted. Make lists of what you want, then likes and dislikes of everything you view.
    Driving from place to place you can discuss and compare what you have seen together. This way you can make an informed decision.
    I would go to a show in Gauteng, where everything is set up and set out in close proximity to each other.
    Here you can go back to view various models a few times over, while comparing them to the competition, before making your decision.
    As has been said, this is an expensive investment and can last you a good number of years, so you must make the right choice.
    You can also recover most of your investment if you make the right choice. The wrong choice can cost you dearly.
    If you PM me your email address, I will send you some reading material, that influenced my decision.
    Remember, if something is better than what you currently have, it is NOT necessary the best.
    Ease of set up and time used to set up, weight and ease of towing, MUST play a big part in your choice.
    This is a long term purchase, if you purchase correctly, so do not go for the cheapest, rather save a little longer, to get what you really want.
    Take the post seriously about the extra tent for the girls, as in a short time they will have flown the coop and you may be saddled with a monstrosity...
    Last edited by haboob; 2019/01/08 at 02:41 PM. Reason: rectify spelling error

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by haboob View Post
    Ease of set up and time used to set up, weight and ease of towing, MUST play a big part in your choice.
    Indeed.
    These are my main concerns.

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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Chris when I decided to go the offroad caravan route it took me a year of homework.I had 3 priorities.
    1. Weight
    2. Rust as im very close to the sea.
    3. Ease of setup.

    Im also anal about weight and one does tend to pack too much.
    For me the Bush Lapa Goggas won hands down.
    I chose the Boskriek as it will only be used for 2 people.
    Last edited by LC Man; 2019/01/08 at 03:29 PM.
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by LC Man View Post
    Chris when I decided to go the offroad caravan route it took me a year of homework.I had 3 priorities.
    1. Weight
    2. Rust as im very close to the sea.
    3. Ease of setup.

    Im also anal about weight and one does tend to pack too much.
    For me the Bush Lapa Goggas won hands down.
    I chose the Boskriek as it will only be used for 2 people.

    ...and the bonus...after sales service that is unlike something you will experience anywhere else....
    Michael (Kooskop) My naam is NIE Koos nie..
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by LC Man View Post
    Chris when I decided to go the offroad caravan route it took me a year of homework.I had 3 priorities.
    1. Weight
    2. Rust as im very close to the sea.
    3. Ease of setup.
    May I add 4. Solid/sturdy build, ie no flimsy wiggly drawers and parts etc. I'm afraid with some plastic / fibre glass parts, my children will break things on the first trip.
    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    My Xplorer was bought new in 2003. It has gone to Richtersveld, Namibia, Mabuasehube, Baviaans, Die Hel, Kgalagadi, Mozambique, Lesotho and everywhere in between over the years. It has been exposed to heat, cold, sea spray and still look pretty decent. I know Jurgens seem to have some finacial issues lately, but here are some of the reasons why I still have my now 16 year old caravan!

    I like the fact that I sleep inside a proper caravan. It has minimal canvas when put up.consider this when buying something.
    I like the fact that I can actually step inside it next to the road, without setting anything up other than opening the door, to let my wife use the Porta Potti. Happy Wife - Happy Life!
    I liked the fact that parts were always freely available from a nearby caravan dealer. Not that it needed a lot in its life, but every now and again a small thing might need replacement and it was always easy to get. Not sure what the future of Jurgens Ci will do to this but it is something to consider when buying any brand.
    I liked that it followed everywhere I pointed the nose of the car with no exception. Make sure whatever you buy can deliver on the off road looks.
    I like its stability, tow off road or flat out on a tar road, no speed numbers mentioned by choice it has been super stable.
    I like the fact that due to its narrow and that I can see past it with my standard vehicle mirrors.

    Yes it is heavy, but weight can also be a good as it might mean proper bracing etc.
    Yes it is heavy but once you get to above 1200 kg towing it gets arbitrary. Anything above 1200kg up to 2000kg is gonna feel pretty much the same and do the same to your fuel consumption and off road ability.
    Like I said mine is 16 years old, not many vans will last that long and still do it's designed job, but of course maintenance is key. Whatever you buy remember that it needs annual servicing just like anything else that has wheel attached to it. Look after it and it will look after you.

    Enjoy your search and make sure you get what ticks your boxes. If you choose well it will be with you forever.

    CATS
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kooskop View Post
    ...and the bonus...after sales service that is unlike something you will experience anywhere else....
    I cant speak for the other areas but in Slaapstad you wont find a better more helpful team than the Bush Lapa team in Paarl.Everyone there.
    Oh and Martin who is down the N2 from Paarl.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cats View Post
    My Xplorer was bought new in 2003. It has gone to Richtersveld, Namibia, Mabuasehube, Baviaans, Die Hel, Kgalagadi, Mozambique, Lesotho and everywhere in between over the years. It has been exposed to heat, cold, sea spray and still look pretty decent. I know Jurgens seem to have some finacial issues lately, but here are some of the reasons why I still have my now 16 year old caravan!



    CATS
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    Absolutely amazing!! Shows you what these things can do with a bit of TLC!!!
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    I bought a 2004 Jurgens Xplorer in the middle of last year. It was generally in good condition but needed a some work to get it to where I want it. We've done a few trips but nothing as hectic as Cats. It tows like a dream behind my Disco 2 Td5 Auto. The amount of info available from guys like Cats makes maintaining and upgrading the Xplorer really easy. Great value for money in my opinion.
    The humble person makes room for progress; the arrogant person believes they’re already there.
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Chris

    AS always this topic brings a lot of comments and again I am always amazed at everybody's different opinions - showing how blessed we are in SA to have so many good options

    My camping days started with dome tents then RTT then trailer top tent and eventually we settled with our current rig - a BL Miskruier (the biggest Ill ever want to tow in serious off road conditions)
    My reasons were simple
    1. I hate weight - it limits mobility and that is the end of that (however, it is not just me and or me and swambo anymore) (2 boys - 2yrs and 4yrs old)
    2. AS much "comfort" as possible in minimum space and weight (so compact)
    3. Easy to pitch as the trailer top took me and swambo +45min to set up - now I do it alone in less than 20min ground sheets incl
    4. Durable and good build quality - had some issues with rust on old set up and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth

    Enjoy your search
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    It is clear that the offroad caravan market has three core segments - small compact units, best of both units and larger / spacious units. Most suppliers would have options in all these segments.

    If deciding to go the caravan route, the first key decision would be to decide which category you're in; this already narrows down the options tremendously. Comparing units from all segments just complicates things and would make your head spin from all the "look at this" and "look at that" suggestions you'll get. The middle tier is fairly new in the market, but you do also see people buying a medium size and then deciding to go down to a compact unit.

    Let's be honest - someone that mostly do some caravan parks, minor gravel roads and the odd 3 week beach holiday would be better off with a medium or large unit (considering a family of 4). Falling into that category doesn't make you a pissy or something - if that's your needs it's your need. Predominantly overlanding type stuff and a small unit would be more beneficial. It has the obvious size and weight benefits, but packing space and being slightly cramped up might be a disadvantage.

    Sometimes it actually makes much more sense to buy a normal caravan or a "gravel roader". They're much more spacious, cheaper and practical. I'd guess more than 50% of offroad caravans never even sees a gravel road - such a waste of money just to look the part.

    From the top of my mind I'll classify some models as below. I've missed a lot of others, so this just to give an idea.

    Small (usually <1000kg)
    BL Goggas
    Imagine trailvan
    Conqueror Companion
    Afrispoor Serval
    Echo Chobe
    Jurgens Trooper

    Medium (1000 - 1300kg)
    BL Baobab
    Imagine Comfortvan
    Afrispoor Cheetah
    Echo Namib
    Armadillo range
    Jurgens XCape

    Large (1500kg+)
    Jurgens Xplorer
    BL Ratel
    Conqueror Commander
    Echo Kavango
    Last edited by George; 2019/01/09 at 10:10 AM.
    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    First decide on what you want to use it for and where you will be doing most of your camping. Also, how much money you want to spend.

    We bought a new Conqueror Companion in 2013. We have used it on average 30 to 40 nights per year in the five years we have had it.
    We have been to many places in SA, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana etc. Never really pushed it to the limits i.e. heavy offroading and bundu bashing.

    We love the van but for the last 2 years have decided that our annual camping trip will be 4 weeks at a camping spot on the South Coast in December. We don't need the offroad capability so much anymore but it is nice if you have it for a quick weekend away. I am now starting to look at a normal caravan for longer periods of stay (the 4 weeks) to make it a bit more comfortable for the wife and kids. Kids (14 and 10) are getting big now and don't always want to share cabin space with mom and dad. Being able to sit in bed and have a coffee is also nice. Aircon, microwave etc also positives for normal van.

    I might be putting my Companion in the market. It's very well looked after has all the standard features and many many extras. Looking at around R220k for her.
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Off Road Caravan, Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris8d View Post
    Ok, so I realize that it would be like asking a Ford guy what pick up is best or a Amarok guy what vehicle is the most comfortable

    But here goes.

    SWAMBO has been showing some interest in off road trailers, the idea of having all camping stuff together and a easy tent to set up in minutes is very appealing, just hook and go basically. And she loves the kitchen, stove, basin setup in these trailers.

    I have been looking at trailers on the internet and I really like the caravan idea more, they are really, really nice.
    There is so many different makes and models, and with out seeing them it is very hard to decide which one will suit us. There is no caravans around Pietermaritzburg, so viewing these things is not a easy task. Not like a dealer that you walk into and have a look at the vehicle that catches your eye.

    From what I can make out, at this point I must say that I know absolutely noting about caravans or trailers, is that the Bush Lapa Miskruier looks really nice.

    Please give me some guidance into which caravan you would buy and why?

    We are a family of 4, two girls 11 and 8 so they are growing fast, a 4 sleeper would be what I'm looking for.

    Thank you.
    Hi Chris,

    Your story sounds remarkably like ours. Only difference is we did start with a basic trailer setup with Howling Moon trailer top tent and only four years later upgraded to our Afrispoor Cougar at the end of 2014. We are also a family of four with two daughters, now 14 and 12 and what I can tell you is that they now have their own separate Oztent as about a year ago the sharing thing got a bit unpopular. When we do Botswana later this year they will sleep inside for safety reasons, but all our other camping happens with the Oztent as well.

    My wife and I took a drive up to the Beeld Vakansie Skou in 2014 where we could compare actual units side by side and we spent the day walking in and out of each van comparing specific items. My heart had always been set on the Miskruier as I loved the design, quality and "Bushlapa Community" but side by the side the Cougar just felt so much more spacious and the fact that it was KZN built gave us peace of mind. At that point Bushlapa didn't have the Baobab or Ratel ranges which may have made a difference. I've never been too stressed about the extra weight of the Cougar vs. the Miskruier - whether you're towing 1.2 or 1.4 tons is not a deal breaker.

    My suggestion is to see if you can make it to a show like the Beeld one which is normally in February and see all the options in one hit. You're also welcome to come and take a look at our unit since we're also KZN Midlands based.

    Cheers, Jason
    2018 Ford Everest 3.2 Limited

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