Robbie Kerkhof, the founder of Skipper Tent Trailers, has been in the industry for more than half a century. The original Skipper built a reputation as a simple, practical, lightweight trailer that could criss-cross Africa. Out of this the Kerkhoff family ended up forming a company that hand-built the Gazelle caravan range, another legend in the industry.
Robbie and my wife Jenny retired to Pennington on the KZN south coast. Luckily for us campers, the couple and their son Reinhart and his wife Charmaine decided to resurrect the legendary Skipper. Built on a hot-dipped galvanized steel chassis, the basic construction of the trailer is an aluminium frame with white fiberglass body panels that are resistant to rust and stone damage.
The tents are manufactured out of 100% cotton canvas, which when it gets wet swells and becomes watertight – trust me it works, I survived a couple of “tropical storms” on this trip!
I think it’s the simplicity and ease of putting up the lightweight rig that ticks all the boxes for me. My unit came with a small Defy fridge. I would rather choose to fit a Waeco, National Lunar, Engel or something similar, but that’s a minor quibble.
I towed the Skipper through some pretty hairy and rough sands tracks. The little fella took everything I threw at it. And what a pleasure to have my home up and ready in a couple of minutes at the end of a day.