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Game Changer

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There’s a new kid on the block. It’s an innovative and unique tent trailer called the Opus – or, as the distributors would have us type it, the OPUS. While we call it a tent trailer, they call it a folding trailer, and I’m sure there are some folks who will call it a fold-up caravan. Whatever you decide to call it, one thing is for sure: the Opus is a showstopper, and Caravan & Outdoor Life was lucky enough to be the first SA outdoors magazine to test this luxury 6-sleeper.

This unit was the first Opus in SA, having arrived only at the end of February. Sleek and ultra-mod, was my first impression, and there was already a crowd around the orange unit when I arrived at the office. Jacques van Onselen, of Opus SA, was on hand to give me a demonstration at a nearby caravan park of how to set it up.

Words and image by Richard van Ryneveld

With a tare of just 500 kg, the Opus’s immediate advantage is that it’s ultralightweight, and thus easy to tow. It weighs so little that you can tow it with a small sedan or hatchback. Another innovative design feature is the reinforced trailer lids with their universal racking system. This effectively functions as a load-carrying platform; one which can carry up to 500 kg. Apparently, there’s a model available in Australia and the UK called the Opus Moto, which can carry two full-sized super bikes. Jacques van Onselen said, ‘We will be importing the Moto to SA if there proves to be a demand for it.’ We loaded up our unit with a bike and a surfboard, and headed out for a trial run.

Now, I’ve towed lots of different caravans, and I can tell you that towing this light unit, with its low profile, was an absolute breeze as we headed up steep Ou Kaapse Weg through the scorched fynbos to our campsite in Noordhoek. Jacques had said that there were just five simple steps to erecting the Opus: Wind down the corner steadies; Unclip the lid and unfold; Attach bed supports; Fully extend all poles; and Secure the tent. ‘Yeah right, I’ve heard that one before,’ I thought to myself. But, in the end, it took us just 14 minutes to get the Opus completely set up and ready for fun. After set-up, I realised the unit was in the wrong position for my photographs, so I simply pushed it by myself to where I wanted it to be − it’s that light and easy to manoeuvre.

The low centre of gravity is another big plus. The modular cupboards, fridge and galley all pack on the floor. Setting it up was extremely quick, but it’s the way that this manufacturer has combined luxury with practicality that blows you away. You keep saying to yourself, ‘It cannot be this big, light and airy inside? Where’s the catch?!’ You discover that there ain’t a catch. These guys have done their homework. It has two full-sized double beds. There’s a leatherette dinette with removable table, a stainless-steel sink with running water, a kitchenette with double hobs, a fridge, an interior heater (220 V − works brilliantly), lighting (both 12 & 220 V) and extra plug sockets for laptops and cell phone charging… the guys at Opus SA have covered all the bases.

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