A jaw-dropping experience. This is the only way I can describe my getting to know the Mobi Lodge Caravan.
At first sight, what catches the eye is the aerodynamic nose and big black window on the driver’s side. But it’s when the Mobi Lodge opens up that you really see how special this caravan is. Almost the entire right-hand side of the unit slides out, which basically doubles your interior space. And did we mention that it’s ready to go off-road? That’s right, this luxury caravan can go almost anywhere your 4×4 can. This truly is one of a kind in the South African caravan market.
Mobi Lodge is the brainchild of brothers Leon and Marius Ras. Leon heads the marketing component, and Marius is the “mechanical genius” who initially got the wheels rolling on this intriguing design.
I met and stayed with Leon and his wife at Roodepoort Dam in Johannesburg. It’s at this beautiful location that Leon gives potential clients his undivided attention as he shows them every feature of his off-road caravans.
Sitting in the Mobi Lodge, looking out over the water, Leon explained: ‘When walking into my brother’s workshop a couple of years ago, I saw a large trailer chassis lying on the floor.
“What’s that?” I asked, and Marius answered, “Man, there’s not an off-road caravan on the road that makes me want to head into the bush! I want to go to Botswana, so I am building one to keep me happy!”’
I had plenty of time to go over this off-road caravan with a fine-tooth comb, and I have to say that the quality of the finish in every part of the van left a lasting impression.
The Mobi Lodge’s body is a mono hull construction made from fibreglass, and steel braced, which makes it extremely strong and watertight. The chassis is manufactured from 4mm galvanised steel. The cupboards are made of 18mm plywood and are attached to the main body with fibreglass. The floor is manufactured from 18mm marine ply, also covered with fibreglass. All hinges and fittings are stainless steel, and all rubbers are heavy-duty auto rubbers. The bottom line? This caravan is going to last!