After purchasing a caravan a few years ago, Brandon Hardie found he always had a choice to make when going camping: take the caravan, or take his “toys”… that being his kayak, bikes, quad bikes, etc.
His wife and kids liked the comfort of the caravan, while he was fine to “rough it” if it meant he had his outdoor adventure gear.
Then he came across “toy haulers” in the United States and Australia – a caravan or trailer that combines mobile living space and an equipment hauler.
Brandon thought this would be the perfect solution for adventurous South African families, and now he has designed his own range of toy haulers, set to launch later this year under the brand name UniPod.
There are currently three UniPod options available: BikePod, BushPod and ToyPod.
The BikePod is made from a composite sandwich construction method reinforced with a welded aluminium frame, 25mm insulated high density polystyrene, gloss fibreglass exterior skin on a steel chassis. The unit has a Tare of 800 kg and GVM of 1 500 kg, which allows for 700 kg of “toys”.
The BushPod is smaller at 2.7m x 1.7m x 2m (can fit into a standard garage) and currently weighs between 500 kg and 550 kg – it is intended to appeal to code B licence holders.
It is designed to fit a small/medium quadbike or off-road bike, and would be able to sleep 3 people. The BushPod has a side kitchen, pull-out fridge drawer and drop-down side bed with a pop-up roof.
The third unit is the ToyPod, and is the largest of the current range at 4m x 2m x 1.9m. This caravan is designed to haul a side-by-side ATV or two quad bikes. The back ramp can convert into an extra room, and the front section will have a dinette that converts to a double bunk bed.
Brandon is still in the process of testing and finalising production costs, and depending on quantities estimates the UniPods to cost between R150 000 for the smallest unit and R250 000 for the big toy hauler.
Caravan & Outdoor Life will keep you updated on UniPod, and will provide more information once Brandon is done testing and has finalised his prototypes.