The Sensation caravan range with its ethos of “living life sensationally”, has a brand new member, and this caravan has a pop-up roof! It was first revealed at the Beeld Holiday Show in February, when Caravan & Outdoor Life managed to organise a day out with the new unit − taking it off the show floor and parking it in a caravan resort to check it out in the field.
When I spoke to Jaco du Toit, one of the team members on latest project, he took pains to assure me that they are sticking to all the features that have made this luxury caravan so popular.
‘We will continue with our attention to detail, the sourcing of the best fittings and products world-wide, and maintaining the luxury, quality and the exclusivity that you get with a Sensation range.’
The caravan was weighed just before the show, and tipped the scales at 1280kg – INCLUDING full tent, geyser, omni-step, spare wheel, and all other accessories. The Sensation team stress that this is a concept model, and changes in future could include a different axle (currently 1 600kg rating) that’s a bit lighter, but could be upgraded to 1 800kg should the client request it.
The step, the floor and everything else is the same quality as that found in the biggest model in their range, the Anee. The only thing that this caravan does not have is a bathroom, as is standard in a pop-up. This makes it smaller and lighter, allowing a wider range of vehicles to be able to tow it − and still camp in luxury.
HERE’S WHAT JACO HAD TO SAY ABOUT THEIR LATEST PROJECT:
Caravan & Outdoor Life (COL): Jaco, how did you guys come up with the idea of a pop-top caravan?
Jaco: It was through listening and talking to our customers. Clients liked the luxury of our caravans, but the existing range had only full volume roofs. The clients wanted a luxury caravan that would fit into their garages. We realised that the height of the caravan had to be 2,2 metres with the roof down, and the length of the caravan had to be just under 6 metres.
What we have also done is made the nose cone a lot larger. We carefully measured everything so that you can now pack your fold-up table and chairs into the nose cone and have plenty more packing space. Oh − I almost forgot: the Hansen electric geyser also fits neatly into the nosecone. The geyser is standard equipment on our new pop-up model.
COL: When the prototype was revealed at the Beeld Show, what was the feedback?
Jaco: There was a strong call for the caravan to incorporate a toilet. So we have listened. We are busy with a design that will incorporate a toilet. For the prototype, we brought in a brand new BPW top-class chassis from Germany. To start, we have decided to offer two options in the Pop-Up range. Option A will come out standard with a split unit 9000 Btu air conditioner, plus a BPW retro coupler. Option B will also have the split aircon unit and retro coupler, but it will also be fitted with a toilet inside the van. It’s only a toilet though; no shower.
COL: What sort of toilet would that be?
Jaco: Remember that you are getting a Sensation! It will be a top-of-the-range Dometic toilet. The fittings in the popup are of the same high quality as the rest of the well-known full volume roof caravans like the Anee, Maia and the Vee.
COL: Any other changes we can expect?
Jaco: Our philosophy is ‘At Sensation, The Customer Is King’. So we listen very carefully to the needs of our customers. We are also busy designing a bigger outside pull-out kitchen. The kitchen will still have the double Snappy Chef induction cooker, plus we are adding a single wash-basin. This will be standard on both the A&B options in the pop-up range.
We are very much in the design stage of producing a custom-made tent and awning.
COL: That’s quite an offering on a caravan that can easily fit into a townhouse garage…
Jaco: Absolutely. This caravan could park next to your 4×4 in your townhouse double garage, and it’s still a Sensation with the same quality finish and trim.