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  1. #1
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    Default Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    During a recent trip , I could not help to notice that there are about 2-3 Bush Lapa's to every other brand of off road caravan at the site.

    Why would that be ? What makes a Bush Lapa so popular ?
    They are certainly not cheap.
    Nor are they particularly beautiful.
    And I am sure that a Conqueror is far more robust .
    Could it be a status symbol ?

    So why does Bush Lapa outsell all other brands ??

    I would appreciate your input.

    Please can we keep emotion and brand loyalty out of this & concentrate on hard facts.
    Last edited by TheoP; 2021/02/02 at 02:56 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheoP View Post
    During a recent trip , I could not help to notice that there are about 2-3 Bush Lapa's to every other brand of off road caravan at the site.

    Why would that be ? What makes a Bush Lapa so popular ?
    They are certainly not cheap.
    Nor are they particularly beautiful.
    And I am sure that a Conqueror is far more robust .
    Could it be a status symbol ?

    So why does Bush Lapa outsell all other brands ??

    I would appreciate your input.

    Please can we keep emotion and brand loyalty out of this & concentrate on hard facts.
    My only experience:

    So I wrote to Infanta trailers a few times to get a quote, I never got a reply. I wrote to bushlapa, they wrote back to me almost right away, and we continued to chat, they were super helpful.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    The Toyota of the trailer world?
    If you make a noise or need music in the bush or on the beach, you’re missing the point.

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Personally I think they hit the golden nugget with the gogga range:

    1. Lightweight enough to still do proper 4x4 with trailer in tow and to handle one man in camp site
    2. yet still massively robust
    3. small enough to tow easily yet big enough when open to sleep 4
    4. no rust issues
    5. simple design i.e. less moving parts (cupboards etc.)
    6. ease of pitching the whole shebang. I can sleep in 5 minutes
    7. One of the best awnings in the business
    8. reputation for sales and after sales service.
    Gert Grobler

    VW Touareg V6 Tdi Escape; Land Cruiser 105
    Bush Lapa Boskriek 816

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Because their built quality is very good. As a one-owner business they can immidiately implement design changes based on real world feedback.

    The only reason we didn't get one is because the entry price point for a barebones 4 sleeper was 70k more than what we got (Shumba).
    On top of being 70k cheaper, we also got inclusives like a NL Twin 90L fridge (show special), shower system, almost a full kitchen with all eating utensils, extras with the awning side walls, dual battery system with high-end management electronics - all of which you had to buy as extras with BLapa.
    Last edited by Rustie; 2021/02/02 at 03:21 PM.

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    My humble opinion....
    We researched a lot before buying the Ratel. We saw the commander, Infanta, Echo, Shumba, and and and.
    Of all of them, the Ratel was the ugliest, but most practical. Best awning I know of, easiest and quick setup, robust, plenty packing space and then there is the service. From being interested to 2 years later, it only takes one phone call to Bush Lapa and everything gets sorted out. Even swopped my 2 batteries out of warranty for me, just because.
    I don't think there are a typical bad caravan on the market anymore. It all depends what you are looking for in a caravan. The Bush Lapa just ticked all our boxes.
    Stefan

    2018 Toyota Hilux V6 auto 4X4 double cab with a few extra's
    2019 Bush Lapa Ratel 4
    2019 BMW X1 M-Sport 2.0D (Swambo platkar)
    2018 Toyota Etios Sprint (daily platkar drive)
    2017 Ford Ranger 3.2 auto 4X4 double cab - sold
    2016 Volvo V40 D4 Geartronic - sold
    2008 Gypsey Gold Caravan - sold

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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    What swung me (looking at the Echo Namib and Conqueror Companion, both of which I could have purchased in Namibia) was the weight, no rust and service. I mean BL even organized all my border papers through a clearing agent!!!
    Gert Grobler

    VW Touareg V6 Tdi Escape; Land Cruiser 105
    Bush Lapa Boskriek 816

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  15. #8
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    OP, you have opened a can of worms. Bush Lapian’s love their vans fiercely so this forum will get flooded :-) Looking forward. One of my key reasons was that I must be able to store it in my garage. Many of us lives in estates and town houses with small backyards in the City which do not have the space for a caravan. And I refuse to store my property at some storage location. I liked some other makes as well but they did not meet this criteria. Lots of other reasons which I am sure will be shared but this one was key for me.

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  17. #9
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    If I were to answer in one word, it would be “Kooskop”. You can research his thread on here about previously owning a commander, and trading it for a Miskruier before BL got big.

    When we were buying, it was the same story as everyone else. Look at all the vans. I’ve lived out of a commander, and while it had lots of nice things, there were too many things I didn’t like. I needed:

    1. Easy towing
    2. Quick setup/tear down
    3. Light weight
    4. Little/no rust
    5. Good kitchen layout
    6. Good sales/after sales service

    The BL Miskruier was all of that and more. I’m always looking for a better, more innovative product, but simplicity and functionality is key. I’ve just not seen anything that does it better than Bush Lapa up till now.
    David Killough
    2016 Landcruiser 200 GX-R
    1995 Landcruiser (UK Spec) SOLD
    Bushlapa Miskruier 321
    www.killoughfamily.com

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  19. #10
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Thanks David!.. I do not get to visit the Forum as often any more but my eye caught this thread. I take it as a compliment having my name linked to the Bush Lapa product .

    I ordered B8 when there was only one prototype Miskruier built. We viewed it in the owner's (Jannie) front yard of his house when they still had the 1st factory in Worcester. No showroom . Even though at the time the Miskruiers did not have a wing or a water tank, just a L shape tent that required some man handling. The other units like Ratel, Baobab etc. only followed much later.

    I had my Commander since new for 4 years but the potential I saw that day made me put up for sale on the spot beginning of 2011. I was very fortunate to test the 1st Bush Wing as well as the 1st water tank produced. B8 was eventually traded in on B192. I would not even know where to begin with all the amazing experiences we had with both B8 and B192 over the years.

    I think Nys's post sums it up best. You can only relate to the Bush Lapa service everybody goes on about once you have personally dealt with the staff at Bush Lapa. It is just on different level...
    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

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  21. #11
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    I don’t own a BL but do own a great off-road caravan (none mentioned below btw) so will offer my 2 cents.

    BL offer a product that is light, uncomplicated, understated, flexible with their design, it’s practical and the goggas, especially, are light weight, go-anywhere type caravans.
    There have been a complaint or two about the axle bearings failing but this is easily resolved by spec’ing a stronger axle and not exactly BL’s initial wrong doing. Also heard of one or two leaks but that’s common to all caravans and easily resolved.

    Their service, management and support network appears to be 2nd to none. They seem super proud of their product, treat customers with respect and are not arrogant. And the BL ‘family’ comradery, in my opinion, is quite special. I’m almost jealous actually��.

    I’m sure that Afrispoor (particularly), Conqueror and some others are great products but the sense of ‘I’m on your side’ just doesn’t shine through nearly as strongly as BL’s and their integrity does.

    This is my perception and quite often that’s what buyers gravitate towards. Lots of choices out there, we are spoilt.
    Last edited by LCamper; 2021/02/02 at 06:20 PM.

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  23. #12
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheoP View Post
    Nor are they particularly beautiful.
    And I am sure that a Conqueror is far more robust .


    Please can we keep emotion and brand loyalty out of this & concentrate on hard facts.


    The above lines from your OP does not compute, just saying.
    Asking for hard facts, but then stating that they are not beautiful and that a Conqueror is surely mor robust, so you give your opinion but others are not allowed to.

    In my opinion they had the right product at the right time for starters, they are the guys who basically started the compact bush caravan which can still sleep a family of 4 movement in SA.
    Good product and good service equals the building of a good reputation with a good following, think Toyota.
    I doubt Bushlapa spent much more on marketing over the years than other manufacturers, but yet they are super popular, I put this down to their reputation and following, word of mouth marketing. There's nothing better than your clients marketing your product for you.

    I know other trailer manufacturers who started more or less at the same time and who's still going today, but they are not at all as popular as Bushlapa, I think Bushlapa simply had the right recipe at the right time but more important, they kept building on that, kept evolving, kept up with the good service and the reputation is still building.

    Oh and I don't own a Bushlapa or Conqueror.
    "The problems we have today is because the guys who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." - Magnus Heystek

  24. #13
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    I own a BL. All the positive comments on this forum about BL made me going the BL way. Yes they do have the ocassional problem here and there but never have I seen any post where an issue wasnt attended to by BL. Their aftersales service is top notch! I had 1 or 2 small problems on my new Kewer and they sorted it out without any quibbles. I used to tow a Tata now i tow a Ferrari!!! Say no more.

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  26. #14
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    My wife loves our Vlooi, thanks to Uys!!

    I don't know about other offroad caravans, but my wife can setup our Vlooi in maybe 5minutes from unhooking...

    There was this lady whom we met in the Kgalagadi, Marie, on her own tows her Bushlapa Boskriek, sets it up, and I believe she did a few serious 4x4 trips in a group, but she towed her own van, so, from that point of view, it is a very easy to setup van for the ladies.

    As I said, I have no knowledge about other brands and the ease of setup for a lady.

    Toyota D4D Legend 45
    Triton Clubcab 2x4 2.5 DID
    Bushlapa Vlooi 652

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  28. #15
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    They just do the job without any issue whatsoever. It's simply a case of simplicity being the ultimate sophistication.

    The comment about the one being more rugged - that's a marketing perception.
    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.

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  30. #16
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    A few moons ago, I built myself a 4x4 caravan, which is well documented on this forum. In the planning stages, I spent a lot of time investigating and looking at all the different options. Fibreglass starts detetiorating after 7 years and is prone to cracking. Mild steel rusts at the coast. Side tents and framed awnings are a schlep setting up and takes a lot of space to pack away. Some offroad caravans are rivited together in modular fashion. I also investigated the caravans in Oz. In the end there could only be one. 3cr12 welded together with integrated frame and bends for strength. Aluminium doors and internal components for weight reduction and durability. Run in brakes. Low centre of gravity. Fully loaded, easily towable at high speed. Ease of setting up. Enough space for all the things needed to go off grid. No rust or rot. Although it is home built, with only the tools I had on hand, i have received quite a few compliments on my homebuilt bushlapa. It is light, compact tows like a dream., easy to set up and pack up. If i had to build such a caravan for commercial gain, i would charge the same price as advertised. The materials used in the construction do not come cheap. And bushlapa uses the best available. Even the paint is marine grade. That is why Bushlapa is a success and very popular. Outstanding craftmanship, product development, excellent quality and fantastic service by honest people. Although mine is not a Bushlapa, I did my best to build myself one. (With compliments to Bushlapa.)
    Last edited by Pieterk; 2021/02/02 at 11:30 PM.
    Pieter Kemp.
    2011 Isuzu 300d-teq 4x4 d/c
    Home built Blapsie caravan.
    The decision you make today, will determine the road you walk tomorrow

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  32. #17
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    I researched offroad caravans for about 6 months before settling on a Bushlapa (BL) Baobab. Final choice was reduced to BL, Bushwakka and two other well-known South African brands, I won’t mention the other 2 brands by name as the purpose of this thread is not to “bash” other brands. The incredibly speedy responses from Martin (BL) were only matched by Jasper (Bushwakka), these left the other 2 brands looking like they were standing still. When I first started investigating I wanted to speak to the owner of BL, Jannie, as we want to bring the van to Australia at the end of our planned 3 year Safari. I managed to get a number which I suspected was Jannie’s mobile, I called him at 7.30pm one night to check the number with the intention of following up the following day. Jannie answered from his home and insisted that he dealt with the query there and then, I think that 20 minute call cemented my choice.

    The Miskruier and BL Mods threads on this forum also played a large part in our decision, I followed them up from start to finish where I agree, Kooskop shares amazing knowledge (when he responds in English
    ), customer satisfaction was absolute. What was impressive was all the mods that users made in early days that have been adopted and included as standard today – BL listen to their customers.

    Since buying we have experienced 3 hassles with 3rd party products, Martin has resolved all 3 matters on our behalf including sending us a fridge/freezer in Windhoek in the middle of our Namibian tour.
    Last edited by Tedx2; 2021/02/03 at 06:27 AM.
    John 2014 Toyota Hilux 4x4 3.0 D4D
    Baobab BL1715 "Kamba"
    "I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy" - Ernest Hemingway

    Kgalagadi 2019 Namibia 2019 Gonarezhou 2019 Mana/Tafika 2018 Kgalagadi 2017 Lion, Hippo, Eland Leguaan, Python

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  34. #18
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    I dont know why they are so popular >> The Owner of Bushlapa gave us a Demo when he camped next to us at Shingwedzi a few years ago>> Very good features BUT

    - They dont fit into /through my garage far too high with that swing awning on the roof side
    - Camping in hot areas the low canvas topped side bedroom is like a microwave MRI Scan tunnel and impossible to have an afternoon sleep as different friends of ours found out on 4 occassions when camping with us in Kruger, where we in our Hightened Tent ex Skipper = beautifully cool and no doubt the same will be our experience in our new Everest in Sept.
    - The Screwed on Roof top Solar panel maybe nice and out of the way when travelling but highly impractical as Hail storms en route will get Messy no doubt? and once you have set up and tent pegged your rig down (Poles and Sidewalls etc ) It will be impossible to follow the sun during the day as our friends all in Boskrieks every year at Tsendze found out and we had on all occassions had to help our different B Lapa friends with freezer arrangements as they were not able apparently get decent juice by being pegged down>> worse on a 3 day cloudy cycle.. This always made me nervous on holiday having my setup 'compromised' to help my mates. I just moved our free standing panels to face the sun every 2 hours or so >> Works like a dream..I could go on regarding this well made concept but I dont need Solar hassles at the campsite , I enjoy an afternoon Power Nap on Holiday on a cool bed and I cant afford to Modify my garage arrangement to get my camping trailer into my property..Aside from the above my mates love their B Lapas. I have to agree that my dealings with BushLapa over the years were superb when deliberating on what to buy for our last trailer going into Retirement .. sadly because of the above reasons we had to put a line through the BushLapa option to satisfy our needs
    Last edited by Peter Betts; 2021/02/03 at 07:33 AM.

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  36. #19
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Betts View Post
    I dont know why they are so popular >> The Owner of Bushlapa gave us a Demo when he camped next to us at Shingwedzi a few years ago>> Very good features BUT

    - They dont fit into /through my garage far too high with that swing awning on the roof side
    - Camping in hot areas the low canvas topped side bedroom is like a microwave MRI Scan tunnel and impossible to have an afternoon sleep as different friends of ours found out on 4 occassions when camping with us in Kruger, where we in our Hightened Tent ex Skipper = beautifully cool and no doubt the same will be our experience in our new Everest in Sept.
    - The Screwed on Roof top Solar panel maybe nice and out of the way when travelling but highly impractical as Hail storms en route will get Messy no doubt? and once you have set up and tent pegged your rig down (Poles and Sidewalls etc ) It will be impossible to follow the sun during the day as our friends all in Boskrieks every year at Tsendze found out and we had on all occassions had to help our different B Lapa friends with freezer arrangements as they were not able apparently get decent juice by being pegged down>> worse on a 3 day cloudy cycle.. This always made me nervous on holiday having my setup 'compromised. I just moved our free standing panels to face the sun every 2 hours or so >> Works like a dream..I could go on regarding this well made concept but I dont need Solar hassles at the campsite , I enjoy an afternoon Power Nap on Holiday and I cant afford to Modify my garage arrangement to get my camping trailer into my property..Aside from the above my mates love their B Lapas
    Absolutely agree with you Peter. There is no "one size fits all", there will always be some compromise. The problems you mention affect us too so you have to make plans to circumvent. For these hassles we decided;


    • The Gogga range fits into our Australian garage but as we planned to live in the van for three years we needed the additional space the Baobab offers, we bought space saver wheels that we change to garage the van, this is relatively easy to do but does take 20 minutes. We are retired and what is 20 minutes either end of our long, comfortable holiday.
    • We slept in our van in the afternoon at 45°C in October in Namibia, our bedroom area has a reflective sheet attached and we have a very powerful 12v Ryobi fan, not ideal but it works for us.
    • We prefer camping in the sun so 190w solar panel on the roof works well for us. We have found camping under trees with leaking trees and bird poo is not for us. We also have a 150w mobile solar which we use if campsite is excessively shady, have only used this once but we use it for fridge/freezer in the car.


    Just the way we do it, others may differ.
    John 2014 Toyota Hilux 4x4 3.0 D4D
    Baobab BL1715 "Kamba"
    "I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy" - Ernest Hemingway

    Kgalagadi 2019 Namibia 2019 Gonarezhou 2019 Mana/Tafika 2018 Kgalagadi 2017 Lion, Hippo, Eland Leguaan, Python

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  38. #20
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    Default Re: Why are Bush Lapa's so popular?


    I am sorry but I have to respond to the comment that it does not fit into a standard garage otherwise someone doing research will take this as gospel. Here is a photo of my Bushlapa Boskriek in my standard garage. The top of the garage is 2.05 m and it is standard width. My Fortuner’s mirrors just goes through. I have the awning and the shower. So the goggas does fit, be it a tight fit.

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