Neil Harrison, editor of our sibling publication SA4x4, is no stranger to campers geared for off-road adventure. He recently hit the Wild Coast in Alu-Cab’s extra-cab camper based on an Isuzu KB, and returned a big fan of this layout.
The overlanding world is filled with tribes, and if you’re a newbie you’ll quickly learn it’s possible to join one of these tribes without even realising it.
You’ll be at a club meeting or parked near a trail when some omie will wander over, look at your rig and casually comment on the fact that you’ve fitted a rooftop tent. What you’ll soon realise is that in his mind, this simple purchase meant that you had joined his tribe (if he’s a rooftop man), or that you had joined the enemy tribe (if he’s a ground tenter). This might explain why he offered you a beer, or else scowled at you before ushering his womenfolk away to safety.
This is one of the reasons why I like Alu-Cab’s extra-cab camper: it’s almost an indefinable entity. It can’t be categorised as just another double-cab crowned with a brace of rooftop tents, nor is it a fully kitted SUV lugging around a huge trailer. The extra-cab camper doesn’t fit into any of our preordained tribes.
So why would you want such a vehicle? Well, let’s say you and your partner (remember, this camper is based on a two-seater bakkie) are keen to travel far and travel wild, but you’d also like to travel easily, without all the packing and unpacking associated with most overlanding rigs. You’d also like a level of comfort and convenience that’s a step up from rooftop tent camping. If that’s you, then this camper’s right up your alley, and you’re going to want to take notes.
Pros vs cons
With the extra cab you get a bigger cabin with more secure storage space than a single-cab, as well as more load bay space and load-carrying ability than a double-cab. Plus, of course, there’s the fact that the vehicle shares the same mechanicals as its single- and double-cab siblings, so parts and service should be fairly easy to come by…