If you’re on the lookout for a custom-made motorhome built on a ten ton truck, or a camper for a surf safari, look no further than Fred Oosthuizen’s Custom Campers in Meyerton.
I had heard about him through the caravanning grapevine: “…this guy in Gauteng − you have to see one of his motorhomes to believe it!” Luckily, I was recently up in Gauteng, and decided to pay a visit to the Custom Campers factory in Galloway Street. I followed up the tour by visiting two of his customers − but more about that later.
Custom Campers consists of Fred Oosthuizen, his wife Corné, and a small team of highly experienced craftsmen. This is very much a family business, with each member of the team providing their own expertise. In fact, the whole factory has a “family feel”.
Fred has been building caravans, campers and motorhomes for the last nine years. He and his wife started Custom Campers some four years ago, opening the factory in a large building in Meyerton. Fred says: “I reckon we produce the best and most exquisite campers and motorhomes in the country.”
During my visit, there were four luxury units under construction – from an almost-completed motorhome on a huge 10-ton Iveco Hero Cargo truck, to three other units built on various Iveco chassis.
As the name indicates, the vehicles are built after extensive consultation with the client. Each motorhome that rolls out of the Meyerton complex is customised to the client’s exact needs.
Fred explains: “We spend hours, if not days, discussing what our clients want. These consultations are ongoing. It often happens that, while we are busy with the construction, the client decides on a change. This is what we are all about. At Custom Campers, the client is king.”
Fred has incorporated some of the latest ideas seen in Germany in his camper construction in South Africa. For example, the extremely strong, vacuum infused fibreglass sandwich panels are made in-house. They are lightweight, but create the extremely strong body that is needed for an off-road vehicle. Similarly, all the interior support frameworks are made of aluminium.
Fred says: “I travelled to Germany to visit the Abenteuer Allrad Bad Kissingen Show. This is the biggest show in the world for 4×4 drive off-road motorhomes.”
I could hardly believe my eyes when I stepped into the huge, almost-completed Iveco Euro Cargo 4×4. Decked out in a neat white suit with twin toned blue trim, it was like a multi-million home on a top golf estate.
The first thing that caught my eye was the galley. This consisted of a three-stack matte-aluminium configuration of a Whirlpool front loading washing machine, topped by a Swan dishwasher, and (at the top of this technological tower) a state-of-the-art Defy microwave and grill! The bedroom, with its en-suite shower and toilet, was equally luxurious.
Looking around at the décor and subtly-concealed lighting, I was amazed by the luxurious nature of the home-on-wheels. However, Fred told me that many of his motorhomes have travelled all over Africa in some tough conditions.
Perhaps I can sum it up with a remark by the owner of an even more luxurious motorhome built on a 15-ton Iveco Cargo. Telling me about his first shakedown trip to the lovely Bosveld Oase campsite near Brits, the client said: “My wife and I eventually had to go into hiding… we had more than a hundred people wanting to see the motorhome in our first couple of hours at the resort!”
Perhaps that’s why he prefers to remain anonymous. The other motorhome which I saw on this trip is built on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, and is just as stunning, although slightly smaller. I will be telling you about both these vehicles in later editions; but, for now, I am hoping that my pictures are worth more than a thousand words when it comes to describing the luxury and class of the products rolling out of the Oosthuizen’s Custom Camper stable.
To contact Fred and his team, fill out the form below.