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Gecko, Mobi Lodge or Nayela

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    Ernst MayerParticipant

    Planning to explore Southern Africa next year as an on and off road experience and would much appreciate some input of this expert group re above off road caravans. (advantages – disadvantages)
    My wife and me are both 65 and the above caravans offer what we are looking for: a large fixed bed, bathroom and toilet inside, no stairs to climb, a quick and uncomplicated set up and no outdoor canvas showers or beds, etc. (security).
    I put together a comparison of these three caravans which is by no means a guarantee for accuracy but should give an approximate oversight and have added in some extras with an approximate cost (again, just estimates…).
    I have only seen these caravans on video clips/brochures but planning to visit each factory to get a better impression. Delivery times are similar – 9 to 14 months. Thanks in advance for your advice/opinion.

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    yellow69
    yellow69 on

    Hi Ernst, we have narrowed down to the same choice and would be interested in studying your comparison. Unfortunately I can’t open the attachment. Would you please email it to robbrown1020@gmail.com
    Thanks,
    Robin

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    Allan Keyzer
    Allan Keyzer on

    What about the Aloe Caravans range? All aluminium no fiberglass

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    Quiksilver
    Quiksilver on

    Yeah! Aloe Caravans do make very nice vans. I recall reading their article in the magazine a while ago and was interested in one of their models. i think it was the strata.

    Actually, i think we were supposed to go and see one at Kempton Caravans a long while back. Just never got round to it! i think the pricing was fairly good too.

    or maybe i saw it at the Beeld show – now the camp and caravanning show.

    Regarding the choice of Gecko, Mobi or Nayela… well i think its a fairly hard choice to make actually.

    I think the question i need to ask is what kind of tow vehicle do you have? i dont think you can tow the Gecko caravan if you dont have a GL or Toyota Prado.

    The Nayela caravan is lovely, and i did take a shine to it when i first saw it. but the bathroom was not private enough to share in our family. Which was a concern, however there were more than enough tech gadgets built in to keep me occupied. but then again – so does the Mobi lodge!

    if you haven’t seen the inside of one yet  – it really is of a high quality. here is a link: https://www.caravansa.co.za/nayela-okapi-provides-all-terrain-luxury/

    The ONLY problem with Nayela – is that they havent been around for that long. and are still making a name for themselves. yes, you can be the first and yes you can be the trend setter. BUT, what happens if you get problems down the line? whats your resale value going to be? are you supported by a small start up company? or do they have backing to ensure any problem you have can easily be rectified? no matter where you are in Africa.

    i know the guys at caravan magazine did a review of the Nayela caravan- perhaps worthwhile calling their office and asking for a copy of it so you can see what they said about its manufacturing quality and offroad testing?

    or use the search bar on the website to see the models you’re looking for!

    the Gecko – i dont know too much about sadly. but did look at this article after reading your post: https://www.caravansa.co.za/caravan-impression-gecko-extreme/  i am interested to know more! and would like to see it put through its off-road paces. if the caravan website guys are reading this. wink wink!

    ag, before i begin to waffle… i dont know too many people with either the Gecko or the Nayela. but i have seen quite a few people on my travels with a Mobi and a Bush Lapa.

    One thing is for sure…you will never meet an unhappy camper driving around in a Mobi lodge. the bathroom is private, its aerodynamically designed which means less fuel consumption on long tar roads. their fibreglass construction does seem to hold up well off the beaten track. its ram packed with cool gadgets and electronics like solar panels, slide out bedroom and tons of packing space for your wife’s clothes!

    You can sustain yourself off grid for about a full week if you needed to!

    Why have you not considered Bush Lapa or Conqueror or Echo? they too make a very good off road trailers. agreed that they’re not as pretty as the caravans you’ve described. but in my opinion, pretty doesnt mean tough!

    So what kind of trips are you thinking of doing? local resort/Caravan park? or are we talking Etosha Pan, Kosi Bay and the Caprivi Strip?

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    Ernst Mayer
    Ernst Mayer on

    Thanks Allen, never came across it yet – will check it out.

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    Ernst Mayer
    Ernst Mayer on

    My tow vehicle is a Discovery Sport – should have no issue with towing.

    I indeed like the Nayela but having the same concern that, as they are only on the market since 2 years with this model, there might be issues coming up in regards to quick fixes, services, repairs, etc. and had no feed back yet from folks doing longer off road trips with it.

    Mobi Lodge definitely is an (expensive) option but if any of the electrics packs up being off-road, are you still able to pop up the roof, extend the bed, etc – probably same issue with the Nayela.

    We are planning to do local resorts/Caravan parks as well as Etosha Pan, Kosi Bay, Namibia and the Caprivi Strip. This is why we want to make the right choice for the 4×4 caravan. Bush Lapa, Conqueror or Echo are not suitable for us, as we want to have a quick set up and no canvas fixtures (beds, outdoor showers).

     

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    Quiksilver
    Quiksilver on

    Yeah! Thats echo’s what i’ve been saying @Ernst. it takes time for a new caravan manufacturer to come into the market place. Nowadays with the cost of an off road caravan – you’d very much want to be sure and happy with your purchase thereof!

    i dont think Nayela has been in the industry for a year yet. i recall an article in the magazine – but i couldn’t find it online. strange. will see if i can take a picture and upload it for you.

    You will have the BEST time in Etosha and Caprivi! be sure to take the rods with you and some steel tracers 😉

    Yes, your Discovery should pull all of those no problem. oh! just one thing i forgot. be careful of the sand when going over the border or local. the red sand from Sossusvlei and the very fine sand particles (almost like fine dust) gets everywhere and is a mission to clean. we had to spend 2 hours when we got to camp cleaning it u after every journey in our old explorer.

    i know the newer caravans come with special vent hatches – which cause a pressure lock inside the caravan. but ive only ever heard a sales-man give me the run down, and haven’t had any field reports from actual caravaners telling me if this is true or not.

    i know the electric  mounts  on the Nayela raise the roof auto-magically. Do you know if they are sealed? or what happens if you get that dust in them? could you still raise the roof manually?

    Oh! one last question – is it just you and the mrs? or are you taking kids with too?

    Truthfully, i would feel safer in a caravan, than with canvas in a wildlife park too!

    How much was the Nayela VS price of the Mobi ultimate if i may ask? its not on your spreadsheet.

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    Ernst Mayer
    Ernst Mayer on

    Thanks for the tips!

    Yes it’s just me and mrs. Have to find out if roof and beds can be pulled up/out manually as well.

    Nayela: 445k

    Mobi Lodge: 527k

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    Quiksilver
    Quiksilver on

    Goedkoop is duur koop as wat hulle se 😉

    Please keep me posted on the manual abilities of the Nayela. Would be nicer if there were more Nayela owners in SA to give you more advice!!

    or Gecko too for that matter 😉

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    Christo Esterhuizen
    Christo Esterhuizen on

    My vote will definitely be the Mobi Lodge, most people will argue it is more expensive but considering how it is equipped it isn’t really more expensive. The Mobi Lodge offers you an easy setup, full bathroom, enough packing space, island bed, well equipped with standards including Geyser, tools, camping chairs, braaier, fridge, toilet, 265/70R16 wheels, bed with linen, variety owning’s to meet your needs, battery system and charger etc. On average it takes my 10 minutes to setup my camp including the normal canvas owning. I wouldn’t  go back into africa without my ML. Good luck with your choice and happy camping

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    Quiksilver
    Quiksilver on

    Thats what i figured too Christo! I’ve never heard of any complains about Mobi Lodge!!

    LOVELY picture….Kruger??

    I would like to hear more from the Nayela and the Gecko Caravan owners though.. are there any on this forum?

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    Christo Esterhuizen
    Christo Esterhuizen on

    Hi Quick Silver, Yes I took the photo in KNP in August. Do yourself a favour and visit the ML factory in Middelburg.

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    Quiksilver
    Quiksilver on

    i haven’t seen the factory yet! but i speak to Leon and Marius at the Beeld show every year!

    Not going to lie…..slight jealous of your pictures 😉

    Goes to show what you can do with a Mobi Lodge….. AND the great fun that one can have with their caravan!!

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    Ernst Mayer
    Ernst Mayer on

    Hi Christo, agree, great pictures!!!

    Ever had any issues with the extensions (roof, bed)? Are they manually or electric operated or both? Dust and rain no problem?

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    Christo Esterhuizen
    Christo Esterhuizen on

    Hi Ernst,
    I haven’t experienced any problems and I have it now for 2 and a half years. We travelled last year through Botswana and I had no leaks or dust inside my caravan. The bedroom pulls out manually with ease. You have options on the ownings, I use the normal canvas option. Please visit the facebook page called: Friends who like Mobi Lodge.com to see more photos and speak to ML owners.

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    Ernst Mayer
    Ernst Mayer on

    Thanks Christo!

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