The ideal camping rig ?

Your view on different camping gear, off-road trailers and nice non-electronic gadgets
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ChrisF
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:26 am

With Elders having left our garage it is time to consider our options .....

Would love to bounce ideas of experienced campers, and ear your input.

This would be for tar or dirt road camp sites - NOT 4x4 camp sites.




For overlanding few rigs can compete with a fully kitted camper van.

Limitations of a such a rig:
- limited seats
- need an oversize garage / parking area
- not easy to live with in town

Currently not a practical option for us.



Caravaning .... life style I know very little of. Would love to hear more from long time owners ....

The Sherpa looks interresting. But would need to know a lot more before I part with that type of money.



"Boswa" .... a very wide term !! The old TTT on a high Venter has grown up and there are now so many options !! In my mind (and that is a scary place to be) - a clam shell RTT on a LOW trailer. Trailer just high enough for a large ammo box .... Should provide sufficient packing space, yet low enough that getting into the tent does not require an extention ladder. Kitchen that slides to the back, with canvas that extends to the back for an afdak over the kitchen area. Have not figured out a dressing room for this setup ....




I see a project coming .... :subscribed: :twisted:

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JohanM
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:05 pm

Chris I would personally look around for something like the Jurgens Camplite kind of setup, but maybe even you can consider speaking to Bantam trailers to custom build you something like what you mentioned with a solid roof top tent on top of it. (Sorry my Alustar is not for sale :twisted: :surrender: )

Have seen quite a few interesting options on Scumtree, but maybe worth a look at. Does take time though..... Mine was bought from there. :shh:

Personally I would keep the drag as minimal and light as possible behind the RAV as it all will contribute to a much easier tow all round.

Also no matter what people say, please make sure the trailer do have decent shocks fitted as it really makes them so much softer to tow without the constant tapping on the towhitch for every bump in the road. Mine i really very seldom feel on the towhitch knocking over rough roads and makes the towing so much more relaxed and gentle on the vehicle.
Johan Marais

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ChrisF
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Thanks Johan.

Will keep the shocks in mind.

What is your view on run-in-brakes - if I do get a rig under 750kg ?

YES, drag certainly is a fuel guzzler !!

So you say the Alustar is in the market :twisted: :tease:


Will google The Jurgens ....

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JohanM
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:59 pm

Chris,

From a cost wise perspective it i will add at least another 7K+ to the price tag in parts to change to over run brakes from unbraked.

My personal view is to keep it as simple as possible. The RAV does have really good stopping power so I would not opt to fit it at under 750kgs. Also your RAV should tip the scale unladen @ 1500kg+

They then to be maintenance intensive, IE dust eventually cause the cables to jam, causing either them to lock the brakes or not to work. Also stone damage and mud and those things tend to wear the brakes a lot quicker and also the coupler is heavier making the nose weight heavier. Cables get damaged from stones kicked up and sticks and bushes ripping them off in off road country. You also need to be adjusting them quite a bit to get the auto reverse function to work properly and also after that it needs to be checked and adjusted often.

Cost, increased nose weight, more maintenance and possible problems have made me kept mine pegged at 750KG unbraked. Also it is much easier to carry one unbraked hub as a spare unit on long 4x4 trips where as a drum takes up more space and also you need to consider carrying a spare set of brake shoes and cables with you on such a trip should it fail. Don't think I would like to go down Van Zyls with a 1800KG unbraked 4x4 trailer behind me pushing the vehicle.

Estimated that my trailer should peg about 550 - 600kg's fully loaded with jerry cans full and the watertank. Will still finish the build and take it to the weighbridge and see what it reads out loaded.


Then again 4 wheel ventilated disc brakes with 322mm discs all round with ABS and EBD make enough stopping power to stop 2800kg towed weight behind the Prado. (Yes the Prado 95 is rated at 2.8 Tons over run braked towing capacity :o: :shh: )

The Jurgens is braked from the factory, personally i dont like the a - frame so short with that weight on top as they tend to tow well but can unsettle easy in cross winds/ trucks passing due to the jaw effect of the COG and short tow hitch to axle space. I would have liked to see about 150 - 200mm longer a frame, but this is my opinion.
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:10 pm

Now this looks like something that I think you should look into Chris.
Bantam1.jpg
Maybe just as an idea have the rims and tyres matched to the RAV as I makes for interchangeability between tow vehicle and trailer, seeing that the RAV has the spare under the luggage floor. Might mean you can just swop the tyres without having to unload the boot and unhitch the trailer.

Also check that you can actually open the boot easily with the jockey wheel removed. The bootlid must clear the nose cone by at least 50 - 70 mm on a level surface. The jockey wheel must be removable with a gate clamp as the jockey wheels tend to rattle loose on rough roads no matter how tight you wind them.

Maybe just swop the tent to a hard shell roof top tent and make the nose cone your pull out kitchen area.
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Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:46 pm

Johan if I do build something it will look a LOT like your last post !!!

and YES, the heard shell tent


Low enough to not use a ladder to get into the tent.

This could require the use of an awning and some poles to provide protection from the rain .... Only benefit of the Jurgens Lite (JL) type setup. Okay, there is one other benefit of the JL type setup - place to stand when getting dressed ...


Johan do you perhaps know how the JL unit compares to the Makro units - https://www.makro.co.za/sports-and-outd ... r-295634EA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


But the LOW trailer with a hard shell tent will tow just so much better ..... Must apply my mind to a quick pitch room .....


LOTS of homework to do ... :subscribed: :crazy: :subscribed:

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JohanM
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:44 pm

ChrisF wrote:Johan do you perhaps know how the JL unit compares to the Makro units - https://www.makro.co.za/sports-and-outd ... r-295634EA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Chris,

In my view the JL does have better build quality and will tow softer with the independent suspension rubber axle. I am not really the CM biggest fan. Neither is actaully ideal in my view with regards to what you are looking for. I do have an idea as to what would or could be a really great setup, but it will involve to be custom built.
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ChrisF
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:08 pm

do tell ... :cooldude: :beg:

You KNOW I love a good project ....



for the short term we will use the Dolphin glass fibre trailer. It is long enough to house the Oz tent. Bit of shelving and brackets and it could serve us well, with minimal expense at this stage.


Will provide us time to evaluate our options .... :thumbup: :subscribed: Certainly want to do a bit of "on the road" research of chalet costs vs camping costs .... For shorter trips, chalets may just be a worthwhile option ... who knows ...

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Johan Kriel
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:05 pm

Chris, you've sold the better setup. Ok, it has its dis-advantages. One is , every morning you have to pack up and load very thing before you can go for drive, and off load every evening. But you can minimize that!. If it a permanent fixture then it become expensive, as you cant use the vehicle for other usages.

An off road trailer or caravan is the next option, you need a vehicle that can tow it and there are places where you wont be ale to go with it, but you can park it at a good camping spot and go for a drive without all the hassles of packing and unpacking.

Ground tent is also a good option, it takes a bit more space in the vehicle, and so all the other stuff you need, but it works fine. I've done that for some years, but the stuff you take along get more every trip, and eventually I bought a caravan to fit everything in.! :D: I've used a SW for this but a DC is maybe a better option.

The RTT is the same story as with the camper.

I choose a caravan that don't have side side bed setup, TTT and some caravan have that option. As ek wil opstaan in die nag will ek nie bo-or the ouvrou klim nie, of sy oor my nie!

In elkeen van die alternatiewe is daar legio opsies. Groot- of klein tent, seil of plastiek , groot- of klein karavaan of trailer ens. ens.
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ChrisF
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:50 pm

Ja Johan. Elders IS sekerlik n puik opsie ... as jy net twee sitplekke nodig het ....


EEN fout wat ek met Elders gemaak het - ek moes destyds Sarel se advies gevolg het en n "abba unit" (slide on slide off) gekoop het. Maar nou ja, hindsight is 20-20 ....


Johan the "Side-by-side" bed setup certainly IS a big decider .... Vir dit is die OZ tent steeds beter as die tipiese RTT of TTT.


Die "pop-up" tente werk ook nogal lekker. Ons bure gebruik dit met groot sukses. Dalk n KLEIN 4 voet treiler vir die kampgoed, EN vir n kombuis wat klaar ingerig is. En dan n pop-up tent of twee, afhangende van wie saam gaan vir die naweek .... eenvoudig, maklik, prakties, en nie n groot uitleg nie ....

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Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:40 pm

Chris,

die idee wat ek het vir jou is baie soortgelyk aan daai prentjie van my, maar ek sal nie eers n hardshell RTT opsit nie. Ek sal die hele sleepwa se ontwerp so maak dat jy n harde dak het wat opslaan, maar ook wat baie lekker ventileer, maar dan sal ek aan dit soos die ou Conqueror Supra n tent opset laat saamwerk. So basies n mini Supra wa wat so plat is soos die een hierbo maar alles is gemaak volgens wat jy wil he. So jou bed kan heelwat wyer wees as n gewone een meer gerief en slaap gemak. Kostes behoort beter te wees as n harde dak RTT. Ook kan jy die matras n behoorlike een laat insit wat nie mens 2 uur in die oggend n af heup gee nie.

Eindelose idees. maar dink as jy gaan sit en kyk na die een bo, kan jy maklik hom n queen size matras maak en dit alles soos n bagasie wa in n soliede deksel laat toe maak, wat baie meer stof en weerdig is op die pad, so jy slaap nie op n klam matras nie. Gaan nie baie meer werk wees nie en die kostes kan jy offset teen die RTT en al die ander dinge.

So dit behoort maklik te kan uitwerk dat jy op die ou einde jou eie wa laat bou en inrig presies soos jou behoeftes, vir omtrent +/- 35K, Dit is wat n Jurgens Camplite kos of die XT65 met n tent op. Nie een pas eintlik in jou behoeftes nie.
Johan Marais

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Johan Kriel
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:30 pm

ChrisF wrote:EEN fout wat ek met Elders gemaak het - ek moes destyds Sarel se advies gevolg het en n "abba unit" (slide on slide off) gekoop het. Maar nou ja, hindsight is 20-20 ....
Ja, dis dalk n fout gewees. Die abba eenhede werk lekker. Maklik om op en af te laai, en jy los sommer als in hom, haal net die vuil klere uit :D: .
Johan Kriel

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Stef
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Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:31 pm

Each to his own I guess....I love my Courage and certainly would not opt for anything bigger than what I have now, although the big ones are very nice and comes with all sorts of gadgets...but it becomes a monstrosity. The setup with the courage is all good & well but not ideal for just an overnight stay.

My idea prior to buying the courage was to basically have a drawer system on wheels. Following what you guys have discussed already I would say a cubed frame with a 4 ammo box slider in the bottom sliding out backwards (or 2 full on drawers). On top of that a slider system sliding to the sides for the kitchen stuff , a 2 plate gas stove etc. and the fridge in the front, unless you could fit it in the back of the vehicle.

With a low profile trailer one would not be able to use a standard TTT so you'll have to do a custom job there or maybe a RTT . In this case I would say neither, and fit an ostrich wing that could be raised on a mast so that one could stand upright underneath it; the mast also serves as a stabilizer for the trailer. Then have 1 or 2 pop up tents to the side; one could easily have a custom shelf inside to store 2 Malamoo Xtra's or similar. Always handy to have a spare/backup tent...

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:09 am

I've always managed to get along just fine with a ground tent, but this is a very subjective topic that depends on your personal needs. With a ground tent you need to have a fair amount of load space (tent, sleeping gear,, camping gear, fridge, food, clothing, etc., etc.), so a smaller SUV like a RAV might just be OK for two persons but even so just ain't going to cut it for most folk and almost certainly not if there are more than two persons and it's more than just one or two nights.

That leaves you with the option of hauling something along behind you. Caravans are great for convenience, but pose issues of their own - costs are high, like initial outlay, annual licence is more than a trailer, hauling will be a lot heavier on fuel and then there's suitable storage when not in use. The towing capacity of your vehicle is also a big factor.

The suggestions of a small off-road trailer that's kitted for your specific requirements makes the most sense for the needs that you describe. You kit it out the way that you want to.

I have for some time been toying with the idea of a modular trailer - a base unit (which could serve as a small flat-bed) onto which you clip / unclip or bolt on / bolt off the "upper" to transform it into a bike trailer, closed luggage trailer, camping trailer or just add framed mesh sides for hauling your garden refuse to the tips.

They would all be relatively simple "uppers" except for the 'camper'. Here my idea that I would like to share, may have some useful aspects if not in it's entirety.

The idea would be to build a rectangular box that is internally at least the length of a standard foam mattress and as wide as the outer width of the base unit wheels. One would of course have to build wheel wells into the 'upper'. This 'box' would have a centralised fold-down tailgate about 500 mm wide, possibly with a fold out step on the inside so that when opened to 180° with the step folded out it becomes your walk in entry point.

The box would also have two half width lids, hinged to each side of the lower 'box' and about 100mm deep. These lids would fold out to 180°thus doubling the surface area available. They would have a 100mm section of pipe attached close to each corner (on the front and rear faces) when the lids are open - they would each have double grub-screws with a small "T" bar so that they can be nipped up by hand. Into of these short pipes would slide a long stabilizer / support with a foot. The lids with mattresses in them become the beds. On top this opened unit one fits a fold-out / clip together framework that supports a canvas tent, much like a RTT but with an extra little section to close the opening left by the open tail gate. The entrance can be a simple zipper. The tent canvass can be attached to the trailer with those little spring loaded twist lugs that go through elongated eyelets like one used to find on open cars for covering the cockpit.

The centre of the box's floor remains a 'passageway' (same width as the tailgate) and the inner sides of the 'box' could have full length built in compartments that cover the wheel wells. The compartments to the front and rear of the wells can have a lockable external door so as to be able to get to some items you may need when the trailer is all folded closed.

A nose cone can perhaps house a gas bottle, your battery and fridge, maybe even some water containers. The spare could be fitted to the lid of the cone or in front of it to remain permanently with the 'base' trailer.

I would build the whole framework with square tubing and clad it with 3mm alu sheeting - all opening joints would have an overlap with weather-seal foam-rubber strips.

Hope that you (or anyone else) finds some of this useful. :winkx:
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