By Francois Huysamen
Caravan & Outdoor Life have been giving you sneak peeks and hints about various new caravans and motorhomes heading for the South African market – and this month we can finally reveal a lot more. And when I say a lot, I really mean it. At the end of February, more than a dozen new products were revealed at the Caravan Camp & Destination Show.
The biggest new selection of caravans comes from Conqueror, who revealed four units of their Urban Escape Vehicle range. These off-road units all have slide-out bedrooms, and range from two to four-sleepers.
Another big reveal in the off-road market was Echo 4×4’s new model: the Kunene. This luxurious-but-tough off-roader is now the biggest in Echo’s range and definitely turned heads at the show, where it was parked on a red carpet.
Echo also revealed new variants of their popular Chobe and Kavango caravans. These upgraded units are called the “Legend” range.
On the road caravan side, there was also more than enough to look at, and it seems the “big boys” came out to play – there were no less than nine road caravans measuring over 7 metres: The Gray from Custom Campers, the Checkmate Queen and Knight, Destination with their Wonder, Dream and Journey, the imported Swift Atlantic and Coastline, and the Azzero from Hoefer Group (although this caravan is apparently going to be an all-terrain unit).
Looking at the popular mid-sized caravan market, campers now really have more choice than ever in different brands and styles of caravans… this despite the total absence of Jurgens Ci at the show.
As you would have read in Caravan & Outdoor Life, Okto have expanded their range with a slightly smaller unit called Cabana. Meanwhile, Stealth have gone the other way by adding a slightly larger variant of the Evolution XR6.
There were also two brand new entrants into the market: Freeline Campers with the Maverick (although this unit was not completed), and Nayela with the Okapi.
The Okapi, which really drew attention at the show, is sized around mid-range but still has a double axle, and is actually an all-terrain build.
It seems there’s increased business in the smaller caravan and trailer market, with both Invader and Bush Lapa showing off below-750kg GVM off-road trailers. Invader’s little Cheeky comes in three variants (two which include upgrades to 1 200kg GVM), and Bush Lapa’s aptly-named Geitjie which is available in standard khaki or in white as part of their Arctic range.
As usual, Mobi Lodge drew crowds of interested campers, who lined up to place their order. The caravan’s smaller brother, Mobi X was also on display with its new tent.
There was only one teardrop present at the show: the Vagabond Drifter. This little caravan, built by new owners Midlands Caravans Manufacturing, had couple of nice touches we’d like to see more of in these types of units.
The motorhome and camper side of the industry was also well represented, with four manufacturers displaying their vehicles to clients looking for travelling in style.
Stepping into the new model of Motorhome-World’s Discoverer 4, you cannot help but be blown away. The motorhome looks exquisite, and the interior detail ensures that this vehicle can hold its place alongside any of the top products available in Europe.
Maxmo had their fully kitted Nevada and smaller Campy units on display, and even gave interested campers a chance to take a look at
their high-tech additions coming in the large Tourer model.
Lifestyle Centre, the biggest motorhome company in South Africa, had four models on display – the two-sleepers Navi and Vega, as well as the 4-berth Retreat and 6-berth Odyssey.
And last but not least, Abba had their popular Camper on show, as well as their campervan conversions.