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Reviewed & tested: Invader Duo off-road camper

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If we do ever suffer the devastation of a nuclear holocaust, the only two things left in the charred post-apocalyptic landscape will be cockroaches and the Invader Duo, which was our comfortable home for an 8-day trip to the Cederberg. And, to be fair, we’re not completely convinced the roaches will make it.

The Invader Duo tows and sets up like a dream

After spending more than a week travelling some pretty tough terrains, I can safely say that I was in much worse shape than the Invader I had in tow. With many hundreds of kilometres under my kidney belt and some serious gravel road and off-road driving on corrugated, muddy, rocky and severely potholed surfaces, my kidneys were whispering sweet nothings to my ankles and my head had said hello on a number of occasions to the tow car’s roof lining. The Duo on the other hand, apart from a crusty icing of mud, was in excellent health.

After 8 days of tough terrains, all the Duo needed was a good hose down

How did the Invader Duo perform?

The Duo (two sleeper) is the second Invader I’ve tested, the first being the Quattro (four sleeper) on a trip to Kei Mouth and they’re both cut from the same robust cloth. This trip in the Duo took us to four campsites which all had their own 4×4 trails of varying difficulty. A lot of the time was spent driving on rain-washed gravel roads, all in various states of disrepair and degradation. We all know that feeling when you are dog tired of driving and want to get to your destination at all costs. Well, there’s that additional feeling that appears in a flash of “oh ….” when you spot the deep pothole in the gravel road looming towards your vehicle and it’s just too late to plot a contrasting course. Hello roof lining!

The Duo profile is no wider than your average SUV – great for towing

How did the Duo fare?

It is clear that these robust units, which come out of the Invader stable, are designed to take a punch. They’re built tough. The Duo towed like a dream and I was often lulled into a sense of complacency, as if there was nothing in tow, such was the Duo’s ability to sit straight and true behind my tow vehicle. What I also enjoyed is the fact that the width of the Duo is about the same width as a standard SUV. This means that you don’t have to overcompensate when negotiating narrow thoroughfares.

The Duo handled the  thick mud, potholes and rough driving conditions with ease.

Quick & easy setup

After setting up the Duo four times during my 8 day adventure, I quickly got the hang of it, but there are a few easy steps to remember. Once you understand these steps, it’s plain sailing. The built-in air compressor lifts the roof at the push of a button and four cotter pins secure the roof in its raised position. The metal tension rods for the window awnings are easy to install, as is the double bed to slide out.

The slide-out double bed offers supreme comfort

The double bed locks in the open and closed position for increased rigidity during sleep or when on the move. Inside the Duo, a central extendable aluminium pole clips into place to ensure integrity of the tent above the sleeping area. All the windows have a zip-open durable mesh mosquito netting, a full canvas zip cover and a clear plastic window which can also be rolled up. These offer excellent protection from the elements and when the weather is hot, a clear unobstructed view when rolled up for maximum through-draft.

Windows, doors and mesh coverings can be rolled up in the summer 

Interior appointments

The double bed mattress is very comfortable and offers great cushioning, allowing for good rest and the mattress stays in place when the Duo is closed up. We even left our duvet on top of the mattress when we moved from campsite to campsite. The pillows, being bulkier, were moved onto the bench seats inside the Duo. The interior is well lit with an LED roof light and softer under-counter LED lighting.

There are two 12 volt jack type charging points, two USB charging points, a normal plug point and a two prong plug point close to the bed which makes it very easy to charge your phone or plug in a laptop. There is also a small fold-out table which creates a work surface and bench type seating. The Duo has lots of cupboard space to house clothes and other travelling paraphernalia and an interior washbasin offers hot and cold water, which is great for nighttime use. Under the bench seat is additional storage and a small DB board that controls the electrics in the Duo. There is a porta potti housed in the interior storage which can be used in emergency and there is a 0.6 kg fire extinguisher in case of fire.

Exterior appointments

The exterior of the Duo has lots of extras and accessories to make your camp life a lot more enjoyable and the clever design of these features puts them in easy reach at all times. There is a nose storage box with a built-in carrier allowing for storage of poles and tent pegs.

There is a fridge slider for your fridge (optional drawer to plug in a fridge and next to that, a fold out two plate gas burner and a basin with hot and cold running water. Everything has been incredibly well thought out, making it easily accessible and easy to use. Behind the fold-down gas hob are storage racks for things such as condiments and food. Also housed inside this cavity is the button to engage the compressor to lift the roof and a handy air hose with gauge to inflate either the Duo’s tyres or that of the tow vehicle. I used this feature a few times on my trip to inflate my vehicle’s tyres after driving the various 4×4 trails.

The standard features are extensive on the Invader Duo

Underneath the cook top is a slide-out washing up station with two removable basins for easy cleaning. Next to the fold-out cook top and sink is a fold-down kitchen unit with crockery drawers, a Teflon worktop and a large cutting board which allows for easy prep of meals. The door to the interior of the Duo is situated next to the kitchen unit and has a door bag offering added storage. Also situated on the outside is a 220 multi plug.

At the rear on either side of the spare wheel are Jerry can holders and should you wish to add the stainless steel fold-up braai to your Duo, that slots neatly into the Jerry can holder. The braai unclips from this bracket at the rear and makes for excellent ease of use. Also found on the exterior is a lockable, retractable shower head with hot and cold water that can be used for showering when out in the bush when no ablution facilities are available and you can really enjoy wild camping at its best.

Rims and tyres

The Duo is shod with 15-inch 6 stud rims and 245 x 515 all-terrain tyres which handled all the muddy potholed gravel roads with ease. I was very tempted to tow the Duo through one of the 4×4 trails I visited, but the realisation that an endeavor such as this might require the extrication of two vehicles and not just one prompted my better judgement. My gut feel tells me that the Duo will easily handle difficult off-road 4×4 terrains. And, you have backup as there’s a full size spare tyre situated at the rear.

The 15 inch tyres with 6 stud rims are designed for tough terrains

Body construction

The Invader Duo is manufactured from seamless and flexible colour impregnated laminated fibreglass making it incredibly durable, particularly in off-road and bush environments. Marine quality locks are utilized on all doors and exterior storage cupboards.

Marine grade latches & locks are used on exterior doors and storage

Optional extras

  • Fridge
  • Safari folding braai – fits into the Jerry can bracket
  • Complete side wall set to enclose patio
  • Quick-pitch bed awning with reflective coating
  • Quick pitch kitchen awning with reflective coating
  • Patio extension
  • Travel blanket
  • Trailer cover

Chassis and coupler

The Duo has a hot-dipped galvanized ladder chassis for improved protection against corrosion. It has an auto reverse coupler with 2000kg rated run-in brake and a 10 blade leaf spring system with a solid axle rated to 1800kg. It has a 250mm removable heavy-duty jockey wheel and an accompanying front stabiliser leg. At the rear there are 2 quick release rear support struts/steadies. Also included in the Duo is a 100L chassis mounted water tank and two pole boxes with complete pole sets.

The Duo set up and ready for a comfortable stay

Electrical bits & pieces

The Duo has a 30amp PBE charging System accompanied by a 105amp deep cycle battery. It is also solar ready with a solar charging regulator, should you wish to fit a solar panel. The Duo has ample charging points and plugs. It has a 220V socket, a 220V AC 3-point all weather multi-plug (Exterior), a 220V AC 3-point plug with 2-point Euro socket (Interior), five 12V DC sockets (3 outside and 2 Inside), making any form of charging within arm’s reach.

Plumbing & pneumatics

The Duo has a built in 15l Hansen gas/electric geyser and an exterior shower in lockable unit. The built-in pressure pump system with auto on/off applies to water pressure. The Duo has a lockable water in-let for filling the water tank.

Lockable water inlet to fill the water tank

The pneumatic lifting system has a built-in compressor with an auxiliary line for pumping up vehicle and off-road caravan tyres. A rubber mallet, wheel spanner, 13 x 3m guide ropes, 13 anchor pegs and a 5 metre charging cable are housed in a durable camp bag.

Auxiliary air hose to pump up trailer or 4×4 tyres

Weights & dimensions

  • GVM: 1500kg
  • Tare: 860kg
  • Payload: 640kg
  • Height open: 2850mm
  • Length open: 4200mm
  • Width open: 1800mm
  • Height closed: 1800mm
  • Length closed: 4150mm
  • Width closed: 1800mm

Final thoughts

After more than a week spent in the Invader Duo, I can safely say that these off-road caravans are manufactured to incredibly high standards. The components and materials used in the construction of the Duo will ensure its longevity. It’s built to last a very long time and the Duo’s ease of use is another factor that makes it a firm favourite. To add to that, there was an incredible amount of rain (50mm in one day) during the trip and the Duo was the perfect escape from the winter weather. It must also be noted that much of the time was spent driving in very dusty and muddy conditions yet the interior remained free of dust and there was no water ingress, a testament to the tight rubber seals of the Duo.

Winter camping is great when you have a Duo to keep you company

 

Invader has dealer network in the following locations, Pretoria (GP), Lynwood (GP), Kempton Park (GP), Tygerberg (WC), Middelburg (MP), Pinetown (KZN) and Namibia to help with trade-in opportunities for any new clientele. New dealerships in alternative locations/provinces are also in high demand.

For more information on the Invader Duo off-road camper including pricing, standard features, finance, availability and delivery, or to view one yourself, kindly use the contact form below. A member of their sales team will gladly assist with any questions you might have.

Enquire below





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