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  1. #1
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    Default Building vs Buying?

    Hi All

    I'm currently designing/dreaming of the ideal compact camper for my small family (SWAMBO, myself, and Junior (currently a toddler)).

    I want to get a RTT, which can move between the roof of my Renault Duster, and the top of the trailer.
    Note the vehicle. It's not a 4x4, and therefore, most of the offroad trailers on the market are overkill, and honestly outside my present budget.

    I'd like something small, with body size exact, or as close as possible to the size of the RTT, eliminating any overhang. As it will move between vehicle and trailer, depending on the trip, this eliminates TTT's.

    I've seen some trailers that are close, but not quite what I want. My vision is somewhere between a Metalian Genie and a Buzzard Industries BushPig. - Current road trailers that are a close match are the Venter Glider and the "CampMaster" (AKA Challenger/Karet) Compact 100.

    So, my question is this:
    Do I buy a used trailer, and have it modified, or do I build it from scratch?

    As mentioned, doesn't need to be hardcore offraod capable. It must just be able to go where the Duster goes.
    Any input/advise is always appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    The guavamunt has closed the door to home built trailers.

    Talk to the own of Metallian, he is on the forum.

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...Heinz-Modricky

    My opinion? Buy a Venter Bushbaby.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    For your specific use, as indicated, what drives you to a RTT, rather than a ground tent?

    I am 100% pro RTT or TTT usually, but is your answer not rather something like a Venter Savuti with a nice 2nd hand Oztent RV-5?

    Edit: I missed the part that you also want to have the option of having it on your Duster.
    Last edited by Groenman; 2021/07/27 at 01:33 PM.
    Stephan G

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Buy a nice second hand one thats close to what you want and modify it to your liking..
    I bought a campmaster once and added a kitchen unit and clothes drawers on top and then bolted the tent on that section..Have me a very nice setup which cost maybe 2k or so to add

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
    Buy a nice second hand one thats close to what you want and modify it to your liking..
    I bought a campmaster once and added a kitchen unit and clothes drawers on top and then bolted the tent on that section..Have me a very nice setup which cost maybe 2k or so to add
    exactly

    Buying an expensive 4x4 trailer for a Duster is overkill. Most Makro type trailers will do 90% of what you need, and the extra 10% can be accommodated via DIY mods and extras.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    You can buy a chassis and build on that.

    http://www.roadque.co.za/chassis-off...ca-suspension/

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Something to keep in mind though is you will have a very small window of opportunity where all three of you will fit in the roof tent. Your little one is going to grow quickly, and soon its going to be only space enough for mom and child. Dad will have to find somewhere else to sleep.
    Unless you plan on some dad and child trips only, then the roof tent is still an option (as is the case with me). But I still need to look for a nice ground tent for when the whole family comes camping.
    Graham Robertson
    Nissan Patrol 4.8

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Makaira View Post
    You can buy a chassis and build on that.

    http://www.roadque.co.za/chassis-off...ca-suspension/
    maybe, maybe not

    That will need a visit to a weighbridge when complete as you are altering the Tare and the load capability. So you will need NATIS changes.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Also look at the venter Savuti..Perfect size for duster and you can modify it quite

  15. #10
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    Something to keep in mind though is you will have a very small window of opportunity where all three of you will fit in the roof tent. Your little one is going to grow quickly, and soon its going to be only space enough for mom and child. Dad will have to find somewhere else to sleep.
    Unless you plan on some dad and child trips only, then the roof tent is still an option (as is the case with me). But I still need to look for a nice ground tent for when the whole family comes camping.
    I like this idea : leave the wimmin at home.........
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

  16. #11
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Just saw this on Facebook.
    2011 Suzuki Jimny, Rocksliders (Bluerocket), Underbody protection (Stofpad), Roofrack (African Outback)
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    maybe, maybe not

    That will need a visit to a weighbridge when complete as you are altering the Tare and the load capability. So you will need NATIS changes.
    In theory yes ...

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    A friend of mine bought a utility trailer ready made and registered, and built a camping box separately, so he could remove the camping box and use the trailer for other things as well. And when you camp, it's not a camping trailer your are just transporting a "camping box" with your utility trailer . Is there a legal implication?
    Last edited by staalwol; 2021/07/27 at 02:50 PM.
    2014 Nissan Navara 2.5 4x2
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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by staalwol View Post
    Is there a legal implication?
    Only if you exceed the GVM.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  21. #15
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    I think in answering your question, you also have to ask if you have the appetite for a build. I am far from the best mechanic in the world but I can get basic stuff done.

    A few years ago I commissioned OZ from X Factor trailers to make a trailer to my design. This was done to the specs of the Bundutop that I already had. The delivery from OZ cost at that time around 23 000 ZAR, to which you had to add the cost of the Bundutop or tent of your choice.

    This was a bare bones box trailer, but strong, oversized axle, proper bar steel for the box and mild steel floor, 14 inch wheels. Since then I have:

    Added solar system and battery

    Drawer system

    redone the nose cone to include a 100L petrol tank

    This now ticks all my boxes, it is lightweight, will go where I tow it and "to me" looks good. My pet hate is seeing all the gas bottles and paraphernalia hanging off a trailer.

    They way I see it, if you bought one of those trailers as shown above, bar a few mods that you could do, you have their vision. Building like I did, I have my vision.
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    Stranger

    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

    2004 Gen 3. 3.8i petrol V6 (PAJTU)
    X Factor Bundutop trailer (designed by me)
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    BMW R1200R

  22. #16
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    I went through the same equation last year. The DC fully kitted with hard shell RTT worked extremely well for my wife and me but then our little boy came along.

    I searched for a good couple of months on Gumtree before buying a Go Kart trailer that I am busy modifying into a camping trailer. I am not that DIY inclined but doing the work at a friend's place and loving the process. The cost of it all has been quite a shock though. I bought the trailer for R13 500 and is already on R27 123 without labour. I will probably end at 35k with a very nice kitted trailer. I do not need anything major off road, don't like trailers with top lids, like packing space and want quick setting up and setting down. The 10" rims still need to become 13" rims.

    The plan is to have the RTT and a large dome tent. Hopefully the wife and I will be able to share the RTT again with the kids in little dome tents. I will probably get a dining shelter for longer stays. There is a towbar for a bicycle rack on the back and space for a croc type inflatable rowing boat inside. I am able to fit surfboards, SUP's etc on top.

    Here is the progress so far:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you buy second hand and want to modify it keep in mind that nothing will probably be perfect.

    Enjoy the journey!

  23. #17
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Coetsee View Post
    I went through the same equation last year. The DC fully kitted with hard shell RTT worked extremely well for my wife and me but then our little boy came along.

    I searched for a good couple of months on Gumtree before buying a Go Kart trailer that I am busy modifying into a camping trailer. I am not that DIY inclined but doing the work at a friend's place and loving the process. The cost of it all has been quite a shock though. I bought the trailer for R13 500 and is already on R27 123 without labour. I will probably end at 35k with a very nice kitted trailer. I do not need anything major off road, don't like trailers with top lids, like packing space and want quick setting up and setting down. The 10" rims still need to become 13" rims.

    The plan is to have the RTT and a large dome tent. Hopefully the wife and I will be able to share the RTT again with the kids in little dome tents. I will probably get a dining shelter for longer stays. There is a towbar for a bicycle rack on the back and space for a croc type inflatable rowing boat inside. I am able to fit surfboards, SUP's etc on top.

    Here is the progress so far:


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2021-02-19 at 2.14.12 PM.jpg 
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    If you buy second hand and want to modify it keep in mind that nothing will probably be perfect.

    Enjoy the journey!
    You need to be careful with the bike rack on the back . It is amazing how the movement of the bikes transfers to the tow vehicle .
    Thomas

    2007 3.0 D4D DC 4X4 31 " Bridgestone A/T, Ride Rite,Long Range Tanks, NL Dual Battery System
    2008 Jurgens Xplorer
    2012 Pajero GLX Now with Air Max on the back

  24. #18
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Hi All

    Thanks for the input and advice thus far.

    To answer some of the points raised:
    1) We currently have a Ground tent, which fits our double stretcher and camp cot nicely. However, it's a job to set up, compared to the relatively quick process of the RTT's.
    2) All the necessary is a tight fit in the Duster, so the natural progression is to move some stuff to the roof, or into a trailer, so my reasoning is that it might as well be the tent, with the added convenience of point #1.
    3) SWAMBO is not a camper. Never has been, but as a mother, accepts that her son will more than likely want to go camping, so will go along. When he is a bit bigger, yes, there will be more father & son trips, than all 3 of us. My goal is to have the add-a-room concept, with enclosed eating area, etc, so little man or dad can always sleep "downstairs", but still within the shelter.
    4) The Metalian Genie is the dream, but currently just not within my reach financially. The same goes for the Moremi XLT, Moremi Lite, and AfriTrax. If my situation changes, sure, but covid et al, have not been kind.
    5) I will also be very careful to avoid saving in the short-term, but then getting caught in ever-increasing costs to modify. I'm not a genius, nor a mechanic, and will need the work to be done by people who know what they are doing, and respect that their skills have a worth/cost.

    The whole point is to get out into the bush in a cost-effective and enjoyable way. Camping is more affordable than lodges, but has the hassle of setup, and pack up. So in order for SWAMBO to enjoy since she is already putting her needs behind those of us boys, it mustn't be hard work for her, otherwise nobody has fun.

    All the input thus far is greatly appreciated.

  25. #19
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    I think in answering your question, you also have to ask if you have the appetite for a build. I am far from the best mechanic in the world but I can get basic stuff done.

    A few years ago I commissioned OZ from X Factor trailers to make a trailer to my design. This was done to the specs of the Bundutop that I already had. The delivery from OZ cost at that time around 23 000 ZAR, to which you had to add the cost of the Bundutop or tent of your choice.

    This was a bare bones box trailer, but strong, oversized axle, proper bar steel for the box and mild steel floor, 14 inch wheels. Since then I have:

    Added solar system and battery

    Drawer system

    redone the nose cone to include a 100L petrol tank

    This now ticks all my boxes, it is lightweight, will go where I tow it and "to me" looks good. My pet hate is seeing all the gas bottles and paraphernalia hanging off a trailer.

    They way I see it, if you bought one of those trailers as shown above, bar a few mods that you could do, you have their vision. Building like I did, I have my vision.
    That is very nice!! Well done.
    Its the first time the Bundutop doesnt look like an ungainly box either. Very nice.
    Graham Robertson
    Nissan Patrol 4.8

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  27. #20
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    Default Re: Building vs Buying?

    We went through a gazillion modes the last couple of years.. you name it

    there is NO PERFECT SETUP, they are all great.

    1 thing to note, will your wife like to climb up and down in a rooftop tent?
    cant get dressed in there
    difficult to share with a baby
    if it rains for 2 days straight, it's &^%

    I still have my ground tent and the dome tent, as they are Both winners, and I managed to master them to setup both within 25min (without help, with help it was 35 min )

    a nice setup was the tentco ground tent with a proper kitchen trailer, max space etc

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