To say that 2018 was a tumultuous year for the caravan and camping market would be an understatement. But after a few months of shake-ups and uncertainty, the industry got back on track and we were treated to the introduction of various new caravan manufacturers.
By the end of last year, it seemed caravanners were more spoiled for choice than in the past decade. And this is only going to become more true in 2019.
Caravan & Outdoor Life reached out to manufacturers, old and new, to find out what they are planning for the upcoming year… and man, oh man, did we get a great response!
In total, 11 manufacturers revealed to us that they plan on launching new caravans or motorhomes this year! And we also heard from another four manufacturers that they plan to produce new products in 2019, although they did not want to give more detail at this stage.
Take a look at some of what’s coming this year…
This is how Fred Oosthuizen from Custom Campers describes his new caravan, called Gray.
The 4-berh, double-axle unit has been in the making for almost two years; and is scheduled to go into full production this month.
The Gray, which measures 7,4 metres in length from towball to the back, is designed on European trends, and built on a chassis specially imported from Germany. The flagship model will come with movers, jacks and anti-sway system.
Inside, you will find rounded design work with high-end quality, and everything from leather finishings to a television and dishwasher.
Fred adds: “Because this is a caravan from Custom Campers, as always the buyer is very involved in the process and we can customize the unit to suit their needs.”
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There’s another new player on the board, ready to make all the right moves to corner the caravan market in 2019.
Checkmate have revealed their first model, called Knight, to Caravan & Outdoor Life. Other models planned for release later this year will be the Queen and the Pawn.
The Checkmate Knight is a 2-berth, single axle caravan, built in a modern style that is currently popular in international markets. The manufacturer told Caravan & Outdoor Life that the design and build is based on the European styles, and can actually be sold alongside any top UK caravan.
When the Knight officially launches, it will be a finished product – the manufacturer says there won’t first be a prototype open for changes, but that the caravan will be 100% done.
Checkmate caravans are manufacturer in South Africa, and will be available from Loftus Caravan City.
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Dave Allan tells Caravan & Outdoor Life: “We are introducing a new design to our range and are looking at an off-road version for 2019.
“Of course, any of our current caravans can also be taken offroad, as they are welded together. But we want something really chuncky, with 15 inch wheels, Jerry can holders, the works…
“We are currently building to order, and in 2019 going into full production.”
The upgraded unit will be longer, wider and higher. Matsapha have also made a small design change by taking away the cupboard at the top of moving it to the side.
One of South Africa’s favourite tent trailers is beefing up for the new year. The fifth model in the Oyster line-up will be called the Oyster Plus, and will see a 100 kg boost in GVM from 650 kg to 750kg.
Combine this with the use of other new light-weight materials, and buyers will be happy with quite a substantial increase in payload.
Robby Kerkhof from Skipper Tent Trailers says: “We are always developing something new. Not always major, but always an improvement.”
Skipper has also revealed their new “overnight canopy” for the Oyster models. The canopy is fitted in a zipped bag on the side of the roof of the trailer (remains there whiles travelling) and sets up quick and easy.
The overnight canopy is perfect for those overnight stops, and can be used as full cover or half cover with both sides coming down. When you get to your destination, simply unzip the bag and out comes the canvas with poles.
Sherpa Leisure will be launching the all new Sherpa Wanderer in 2019.
The new gravel roader is based on the Sherpa Rambler, which has been a huge success.
The Wanderer is longer, wider and higher than the Rambler, and is a family caravan that can sleep four people.
Sherpa owner Neville de Meillon tells Caravan & Outdoor Life: “The prototype was completed in December 2018 and trials will be done in December by me and my family during the festive season.
“This family gravel roader caravan will be available around March 2019.”
As with all Sherpa caravans, the Wanderer will have a galvanised chassis and be built fully in fibreglass, thus eliminating any possibility of wood rot.
All Sherpa caravans are custom built per client so alterations / modifications are the norm. The estimated Tare weigt should be 1 150 kg, and the GVM 1 800 kg.
In the second Wanderer version to be launched mid-2019 there will also be the option to have a bathroom cubicle with a shower. There will be various layouts, including an island bed version, and a pull-out cooker / wash-up units.
Following the success of the imported Swift Atlantic and Coastline caravans, Loftus Caravan City is going to give the South African market even more European quality in 2019.
Soon, caravenners will be able to hitch up the Atlantic De Luxe models. This is the top-of-the-range version of the Swift Atlantic is the flagship touring caravan of Europe’s biggest manufacturer, built to be a true “no compromise, home from home”.
After the launch of Stealth’s first caravan, the EVO XR6-533 model in the later part of 2018, further refinement and establishment of the production facility has taken place and the first new Stealth units started to roll off the production line in Late November. The first customers started taking delivery of their new Stealths around mid-December 2018.
Subtle tweeks have been made since the first prototype, including a drinks cupboard that has been added to the inside of the door, a cupboard for hanging space in place of the microwave becomes an option, and the spare wheel has been moved from the front nose-cone locker to a rack under the rear of the caravan for better weight distribution.
Managind Director Garry Coady tells Caravan & Outdoor Life: “In 2019, Stealth intend to ramp up production to 30 units per month (by April 2019).
“We still have a lot of work to do to establish the full capabilities of the production line from an infrastructure point of view, but given the time frame and demand we are having to do this on the fly. It’s no easy task, but we have a dedicated management team intent on making it a success.”
In terms of new products in 2019, Stealth will be launching an extended EVO XR6 at the Camp, Caravan and Destination show in February. This will feature a family version and a grey nomads version.
Stealth will also reveal a prototype camper for public review, before finalising the development later in the year.
In the middle of 2019, Stealth intends to launch a new revolutionary product into the off-road space that Garry says “will change the landscape for off-road caravans in South Africa”.
“The prototype of this caravan will be in testing from April to June to ensure we iron out any bugs before the official public launch,” he adds.
“Stealth will not stop there and as we listen to the markets requirements we will adapt and develop new products to suite these needs. We hope to launch at least one other model in our line-up for 2019, but have not yet decided what this would be, a lot will depend on the feedback we get from the public.
“We are very excited about our new developments and are looking forward to an eventful 2019.
2018 has been a wonderful year for Mobi Lodge with the launch of their new Mobi X and moving into a new factory. Production has doubled and Mobi Lodge are working hard to speed up delivery with orders booked 11 months in advance.
Owner Marius Ras says that they are extremely excited about the new year, and while he cannot give away too much, caravanners can expect a new product to be launched in 2019.
They will also introduce new tent options for both Mobi Lodge and Mobi X to cater for every possible camping scenario.
Although they are not saying too much yet, Conqueror has revealed that they will be launching four new off-road caravans in 2019.
Apparently the new caravans will not be made from steel and aluminium, but rather an light-weight imported material. But Managing Director Philip de Vries says the new body material will still be extremely strong, to match Conqueror’s “military tough” reputation.
The new caravans include a double-axle (4-berth), two other family models that each sleeps four, and a smaller unit that sleeps two persons. All four new units will have independent suspension, and according to Conqueror will be “super luxurious” off-roaders.
A “game changer” – that’s how Dennis Bouwers from Motorhome-World describes their view of 2019.
Dennis says: “We are really happy with what 2018 brought. We had an excellent year and the entire team have done good work. The custom range of the Discoverer Xtreme 4×4 has done very well and we have been able to introduce many improvement towards this side of the factory department.”
Motorhome-World will kick off 2019 with an updated version of the Discoverer 4, to be revealed at the Camp, Caravan & Destination Show in February.
“We call it the Version 4, as it is the fourth complete redesign of the exterior and interior,” says Dennis.
“We are sticking with our trusted method of updating the exterior and interior to stay with the design trends and demands from customers that they want something different.”
The Discoverer Version 4 will see new technologies such as a hybrid system of vacuum resin infusion technology for all new GRP parts (glass reinforced polyester, aka fiberglas), moving away from hand layup GRP. The furniture of the Discoverer 4 will be updated to match the latest trends in the European market.
Motorhome-world are also planning a new addition to their production line of motorhomes – a new model. More on that will be later in 2019.
MAXMO ADVENTURE CAMPERS
With its revolutionary design, the Maxmo Tourer has made headlines in 2018 (including being crowned as Motorhome of the Year in The Great Outdoors Guide), and owner Leon Ras says that the response from the market has exceeded their expectations.
The 2019-spec Maxmo Tourer D64 is now available on order and the first 48 units are being allocated to customers. The 2019 base price of R1.28m now includes Traction Plus, Lane Departure Warning and Rear-View Camera as standard while most orders also include options like the 3000W inverter system, DSTV satellite dish and electric side awnings.
The C-Pack option with raised suspension and All Terrain tyres is also popular and has been developed for local road conditions, with a more comfortable and safer ride on bad gravel roads and neglected tar roads alike.
There are different interior décor schemes with a variety of colours & textures, as well as a range of luxury linen and kitchenware to choose from. The 1.5m wide kitchen features a glass top stove, double door fridge and the options of a convection oven, while the bathroom with ceramic toilet and separate shower even has a sunroof!
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE ABOVE PRODUCTS, FILL IN THE FORM BELOW: