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The new Bush Lapa Gravelroader caravan, built for comfort and convenience

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Bush Lapa are well known for their off-road trailers and caravans and, to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they recently launched their first brand-new caravan. The Bush Lapa Gravelroader. Built particularly with the family lifestyle in mind, this caravan has been designed for easy camping, offering comfort and convenience. It most definitely takes camp life to the next level. Unpacking and setting up camp with an off-road trailer can take time, fact!

Image: Corné Greeff

Recognising this gap in their range, Bush Lapa realised there was a need for an off-road caravan that could be set up quickly and easily. One that doesn’t come with tents, outside showers, poles, and canvas, all of which require a lot of time and effort to locate, unpack, and set up. And so, their new Gravelroader was born – a four-sleeper model with an inside bathroom and spacious accommodation. It is a caravan that can be unhitched at your chosen destination and, once the corner steadies are down, is ready for living in. The Gravelroader has a 400mm ground clearance and can be towed on any rough gravel road.

Image: Corné Greeff

It is equipped with tandem, rubberised independent axels and four wheels (including a spare) making it not only easier to tow but safer should one experience two flat tyres. The ‘dry’ weight (including the weight of the 150-litre stainless steel water tank, spare wheel, solar panels, and batteries) is 1 740kg. And, unlike Henry Ford’s Model T that was only available in black, you can choose what colour you prefer – white, grey, khaki, or green.

INTERIOR AND LAYOUT

The table, with two seats, can turn into a bunk bed. There are more than enough storage spaces inside the caravan. Image: Corné Greeff

Probably the biggest attraction, for me, is the fact that the bathroom (with shower, swivel head flush toilet, and washbasin) is inside the unit and has a door that can be closed for privacy. When going camping, storage space always seems to be a problem, especially when the kids or grandkids want to take their toys and own equipment along.

One of the most innovative designs of the Gravelroader is the bunk bed that can simply be lifted up with a cleverly-designed mechanism. Image: Corné Greeff

The designers and engineers at Bush Lapa really tried to turn the ‘unused’ space into extra storage compartments, all with rubber floor coverings. Another innovative design of the Gravelroader is that the bottom bunk of the two single beds converts into a table. This means you have extra living space, as the bed can simply be lifted up with a cleverly-designed mechanism when you don’t use it.

The windows at the back are big, allowing for good light to come in. All windows are equipped with wire screens to keep out unwanted insects. image: Corné Greeff

The queen-size double bed has a handy extra storage compartment below the mattress. There are more than enough cupboards, as well as a hanging cupboard with canvas doors and zips. If you need some inside quiet-time, you’ll be happy to know the rear window is big, allowing for an airy and bright interior and all windows are equipped with wire mesh screens to keep out unwanted insects. If there is some work you need to catch up on late at night, that won’t be a problem either, as the interior is well illuminated with energy-efficient LED lights. The 220volt electrical plugs include useful USB points for charging cameras, laptops, and cell phones. The roof height sits at 1 960mm – so will fit the average South African Joe with ease.

Image: Corné Greeff

Image: Corné Greeff

Saving on space and weight, the compact bathroom also serves as a shower, with the pull-out spout from the basin substituting as a showerhead. How nifty! And, luckily, the doors and interior are made of aluminium, so, after showering, you can simply dry the walls or let the fresh air flow through the caravan to do this for you. Finally, the broad doorstep makes it easy to get into the caravan and, like the rest of the caravan floor, it has a good-quality carpet to prevent you from slipping.

THE EXTERIOR AND OUTSIDE KITCHEN

On the outside of the caravan, you can fold out a Bush Lapa patented Bush Wing awning with draft skirts to cover the kitchen area. Image: Corné Greeff

You’ll find most of the cool gadgets on the outside of the caravan. Firstly, you can unfold the patented Bush Lapa Bush Wing, with draft skirts, to cover the kitchen area and provide shade. The well-designed kitchen has good storage space (which can be locked for safety, how handy!) and includes a large stainless-steel surface that folds out, providing space to prepare your food.

Image: Corné Greeff

It is also equipped with an easy-to-use gas stove. The storage space, including drawers and cupboards, are all lined with protective rubber material to combat slippage while in transit and it comes with a crockery set for six, packed in a foam holder. All cupboard doors and drawers have a cleverly-designed locking system, with the advantage of not unexpectedly closing when opened.

The washbasin at the back of the caravan can be removed and is equipped with hot and cold water taps. Image: Corné Greeff

The luxury doesn’t stop there … at the back of the caravan you will find a washbasin with hot and cold running water – very convenient. The Gravelroader comes with a 14-litre Hansen GE3 gas and electrical geyser and 150-litre water tank. The body uses 3CR12 stainless steel, including the chassis, so it should last a lifetime. It comes standard with 15″ six stud wheels and steel epoxy rims. The double axel contributes to noticeably stable towing on tarred and gravel roads, however, one must keep in mind that a vehicle with a Tare of 2 200kg is required to tow this caravan.

CONCLUSION

The water level can be monitored alongside the battery power on the circuit board, where you can also change the geyser power options.

The Bush Lapa Gravelroader is most definitely an eye-catcher, as it is different from the norm and is well-thought-out. Although there is an obvious resemblance to other Bush Lapa family members, this model is much bigger. What a beauty.

SPECIFICATIONS (WITH 15’’ WHEELS)

  • Priced: Starting from R514 000
  • GVM: 2200kg
  • Loading Capacity: 460kg
  • Total length: 5 980mm
  •  Total height to rooftop: 2 625mm
  •  Total height to top of air con frame (depending on tyre size): 2 910mm
  •  Head room inside: 1 960mm • Total width (excluding the Bush Wing): 2 050mm
  •  Departure angle: 22° • Independent rubberised axle (Tandem): 2 500kg each
  •  1 x Queen-size bed: 2 020mm x 1 750mm
  •  2 x Single beds: bottom bunk converts to table with two seats
  •  Sleeps: 4 adults
  •  Aluminium interior and doors
  •  Micro dotted (also known as Data Dot) as per law specs
  •  1-year Guarantee (excl. factory) on material and workmanship, other items as per manufacturer’s guarantees

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