Skipper Oyster

Story and photos by Godfrey Castle

The new Oyster from Skipper is really affordable, and it’s designed for a 1.4-litre towcar – so you don’t need an EB towing licence to take the Oyster on the road. Yet it offers an amazing level of comfort for a young family, or a touring family who want the relative luxury offered by a caravan.

Launched in June this year, the new Skipper Oyster comes in two derivatives: the Oyster T and Oyster LT. Both models offer the choice of either a double bed, located on the front right-hand side of the floor plan, or two singles, with no difference in price. Naturally you’ll find the bulk of the packing space under the beds. The difference between the two models is ride height: the LT has larger wheels and is arguably better for load carrying and navigating more rugged roads. The T is lighter and has a tare of only 420 kg and a GVM of 590 kg, which is well under the 750 kg that would require the driver to have an EB towing licence. It is aimed at 1.4-litre towcars with a minimum tare of 1180 kg.

The LT is a little heavier, but not much. It has a GVM of 650 kg and requires a 1.4- litre towcar with a tare of 1300 kg. It also has a higher payload of 215 kg, compared with the 170 kg of the T, and the two models have different towball heights, 505 mm on the LT and 465 mm on the T. The difference in weight is largely due to the overall height of the LT when closed: it stands at 1600 mm as against the T’s 1560 kg. There’s also a difference in wheel size: 195 x 14 on the LT and 155 x 13 on the T.

It was Skipper who developed the unique clamshell-type design that has proven so popular among small-car owners, and with .those looking for maximum fuel efficiency when travelling long distances. The aluminum roof hinges upwards and the sides consist of .canvas walls and large, airy windows: it’s literally a bedroom on wheels inside and big exterior spaces, which is as it should be, because outside is where you’d be spending most of your time when enjoying the great outdoors.

Standard features include a hot-dipped galvanised chassis for longevity, a nose cone compartment for extra stowage space, a jockey wheel for making manoeuvring easier, and a deluxe awning and weather skirt to provide secure space where most of the living is done. In addition, there’s a fold-out step for easy access, lockable cupboards, a mattress (or mattresses) and a 10-metre extension lead that’s used to power the 130-litre, 22 V fridge. Oh, and you get a fire extinguisher for emergencies.

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