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Transform Your Travels: Discover the Compact Luxury of Badger Caravans

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Introduction and Basic Specifications

The Badger Lite and Extreme caravans offer exceptional versatility and robust design to meet the needs of various adventurers. The Badger Lite, with a length of 4800mm, a width of 1700mm, and a height of 1950mm, provides a compact yet spacious solution for travellers. Weighing 560kg with a GVM of 750kg, it features an aluminium chassis and 6-blade leaf spring suspension, ensuring a smooth ride. Constructed from durable fibreglass, the Lite model is equipped with 14-inch rims and tyres, all priced at an attractive R399,000 (including VAT).

For those seeking more advanced features, the Badger Extreme stands out with its length of 5130mm, width of 1700mm, and height of 2100mm. This model boasts a tare weight of 1240kg and a GVM of 1750kg, supported by a hot dip galvanised chassis and Burquip independent suspension. Like the Lite, it is constructed from fibreglass but comes with larger 16-inch rims and tyres. The Extreme model is designed for rugged terrains and more demanding journeys, available at R499,000 (including VAT).

Background

For over 12 years, the team behind Badger Caravans has been at the forefront of ocean-going power catamaran construction, earning local awards for innovation and craftsmanship. Although the 2010 recession led to the closure of Afri-Cat, the team continued to build boats and moulds for various contracts. In 2018, leveraging their extensive experience in boat building, they embarked on a new mission: to create a compact fibreglass caravan that maximises usable space. Thus, the Badger caravan was born, combining composite materials, marine-grade resins and gelcoats, and practical design.

Click on the video below to see a 360-degree, inside/out video of the Badger Lite in the manufacturing process:

Layout

1. Nose Cone

The nose cone accommodates the geyser and 12v pump; these items are easily accessible and can be serviced from the locker hatch, which is held up by two gas struts. There is ample storage for a ground sheet, spare gas bottle, pegs and any other small items. In the case where someone requires an aircon (MacLaren underbench unit – 9000 BTU), this is where the unit will be located and vented from the units to inside the van. A 12v LED light is also installed in this area.

2. Hanging Cupboard

Badger thought it important to have a hanging cupboard in the van, this allows for the ladies to hang their dresses, or just to hang some jackets. It may be a small requirement, but it has been well received by many people viewing the Badger. This is installed in all of their models.

3. Storage Cupboards

There are 15 storage spaces inside each of their models. No area in the van is underutilised – space is a premium when building compact. Each storage area is well thought out, from shoe storage at ground level to a vanity cupboard at eye level.

This vanity makes your caravan a true home away from home. It has a 220v outlet located next to the locker, a mirror inside the locker door, a 300mm LED strip light above, and most importantly, one can sit on the end of the bed and make use of this wonderful feature.

4. Shelf

Shelves are a must; this allows one to have space to store small items without having to open anything. There are shelves located in strategic places in the van. One large shelf as one enters the van is supported with a 220v outlet as well as USB charging for cameras, cell phones etc. At the back, there is a small shelf on each side of the van, which comes in handy when the option for the shower is taken. Great for storing soap, shampoo, etc., (shower is standard on the Extreme model).

The Badger also has a shelf on each side of the king-size bed (bedside tables); these can be folded away when not in use. The great thing is when you wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee, this is where you place it. It also doubles up as a place to store one’s cell phone, as just above is a USB charging station.

5. Fold-down Table

The inside of the Badger is bigger than most people think. With the bed folded out and the day bed selected (we will get there later), one can sit on the end of the bed and make use of the table.

The table doubles as the TV housing for a 32-inch UHD TV. It is stowed in the open position where the TV is visible from the bed. This can be lowered to use as a desk.

6. Padded Headboard 

The king-size bed allows for great headroom throughout the van, from where one stands and changes, to lying on the bed, it’s roomy! This also allows you to sit upright in bed to read a book, watch your game drives on the TV, or just enjoy a cup of coffee when waking up. The headboard is well padded to give comfort when using it as a backrest.

If one needs to do some work or editing on a computer, there is a shared twin 220v plug point mid-section. Just sitting upright at the end of the bed to read your favourite book, with two bedside reading lights, makes the Badger unique considering the compact size of the van. Once finished reading, the bedside table is a great place to stow the book till next time.

7. Day Bed

With our patented design, it was necessary to install the biggest bed we could, so the king was chosen. That said, due to how compact the van is, it was important to think out of the box as to how this could be achieved. So, we came up with a day bed and a night bed. The night bed is an extension of the day bed; it is a section that can be removed once one gets up and about in the van, showering and changing to get ready for the day. The extension can be removed and placed at the headboard side.

It can also be used as support when sitting up against the headboard. If you want to take a daytime nap, the day bed is still large enough to lie sideways if it is just one person. There is nothing worse than having to climb over each other to access the bed, so if there is a need for two to take a nap, simply extend the bed and lie lengthways. With the day bed in position, one has almost the full footprint of the inside area to move around.

8. Night Bed

This is the gem of our Badgers. All models have a king-size bed. It is a bed just like home, comfortable and most of all, at the same height as your one at home. This is emphasised, as some vans have their sleeping area over the top of the slide-in fridge. The Badger’s bed is like your home bed; you just sit on it, rotate, and relax down, no climbing up with a step, or over one another. In fact, the nighttime bed even has access around the sides (semi-island bed) so no wormy-like manoeuvres to get to the pillows.

This bed is comparable to those in far larger caravans. Badger prides itself on this patented design and is proud to offer such a unique setup to their customers. When Badger was in its design stage, the sleeping arrangement took top priority. The bed was what it was all about, the rest would follow. There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep, with optional aircon and heating available. When the bed is stowed, simply make the bed, fold it up, strap it with two easy clicks and the bed is stowed, ready to close.

9. Under Bed Storage

The Badger has poles to erect the tent structure. They have incorporated an area inside the van to house these poles. It’s an area under the day bed.

10. Pole Storage

Simply open the hinged lid and all the poles needed for the van are at your disposal. No need to fetch from outside. An overnight stay requires only 3 poles, a long stay, 5 poles with two “stumpies” to allow for the run-off of rain.

11. Entrance Step

This is where one enters the van. Badger supplies a double step, but in the past, Badger has installed the Thule 12v step. At the push of a button, the step is deployed and retracted. This is, however, an optional extra. The van can be accessed from two points, but this will elaborated on later in this article.

12. Outside Kitchen

When camping, what better than to have everything in one place? That is why they designed the kitchen on the outside. When one is cooking, they feel part of the party. Located midway along the length of the van, it is in the perfect place.

13. Pull-out Stove Drawer

With the pull-out drawer and the pull-out fridge, you have everything at your disposal in one place. You can reach into the kitchen, cook on the stove and even get to the fridge without even taking a step, just twist and turn.

The kitchen area has ample space for a microwave, air fryer, kettle, toaster, and all that is needed. With a spice drawer on hand and pull-out tin storage, what more do you need! In the drawer below is a 2-plate gas stove with storage for knives and forks and other utensils. When cooking, the fold-up prep area serves as wind deflectors. When not cooking, they fold down to make a handy worktop for prepping your favourite meal.

14. Fridge/Freezer

Just to the right is the fridge/freezer, and at the end of the slide, is an area where one can opt for open storage or a drawer system (optional). At the end of the storage area, one has a fold-down table with 220v at hand. On top, it makes good use of worktop space. There is a 220v double plug in the kitchen area and a 450mm LED strip light overhead as standard. One of the Badger’s features is that one can access the kitchen area from within the van. So, in case of wanting to make coffee in the morning, one can just unzip from the inside and grab the kettle and long-life milk. Coffee cups are in the storage as one enters the van on the right.

15. Drawers

When one goes to bed, the fridge is pushed in halfway so as not to restrict the inside area and locks into position with a spring bolt. This means nobody can access the fridge from the outside. If one wants to access the fridge from inside, simply unlatch the spring bolt and slide it in; this allows for access to both fridge and freezer.

16. Spare Wheel Under Shower Area

This is also one of the Badger’s unique designs. The shower on their Extreme is located on top of the spare wheel. The 12v operated fold-down shower makes use of the spare wheel to elevate the shower floor from the mud and grass. When one wants to deploy the shower, it is done by using a 12v winch system that lowers it, so as not to put your back out. Once down, the full-size back door is opened on gas struts to reveal the canvas drop-down sides, which are neatly stowed in the door itself. Click, and the shower sides drop down – just zip them up and your shower is ready!

17. Shower, Toilet and Basin

The shower head is located just outside the shower cubicle and is used for showering as well as dishwashing (wash-up station). Inside the shower area is a basin and porta potti. The shower is fitted with a 450mm strip LED light which is switchable from just inside the van. One of the main features of the Badger is that the shower is accessible from both inside and outside.

If one takes a shower, there is no need to go outside; simply step down into the shower from within the van. A canvas zip-up section between the van and shower provides privacy if needed. If the kids or guests are in the add-on room, they do not need to walk through the van to get to the shower; they simply unzip the canvas door on the one side and enter from there. It is probably the only compact caravan that offers this arrangement and has a full ‘en-suite’ bathroom.

19. Sink

This area is where you do the dishes, out of the way from the cooking prep area. It is hidden by the fridge/freezer.

20. Drying Table

There, one has a fair-sized drop-down table with a household drying rack. You can fold up this table when not in use and store it permanently next to the back of the fridge/freezer.

There is a shower rose with hot and cold water on tap, which doubles up for the shower. The end storage on the fridge slide allows for the storage of all one’s cleaning detergents. If opting for the awning, Badger installs LED strip lighting in the awning arms so as to light up this area when in use.

21. Vanity

This has been touched on, but what an addition to this compact van! The ease of being able to sit on the end of the bed at the correct level, have a mirror in the correct place, lighting above and 200v for a hair dryer etc., makes this a real must-have. It can also double up as a first aid station, so when there is a mishap, that’s the go-to place.

24. Aircon

Badger did not want to install a household air conditioner in its vans, so chose to use the McLaren under-bench unit, which has been specifically designed for caravans and RVs. This unit is a plug-and-play unit, easy to install, very compact and is housed in the nose cone.

It has three powerful outlets, two exit next to the king-size bed and the other is a spare. As mentioned, this spare can be ducted into the add-on room. This unit has both aircon and heating, so those cold nights can be converted into the snug-in-a-rug scenario. The unit can be manually controlled or by a remote device. Even though it requires 220v, most caravan parks these days have this facility.

In some cases, Badger has installed a 3000w inverter with a 200amp/hrs lithium battery. For that afternoon siesta, if one also has the chosen option of a solar panel, this will assist with running the aircon for an hour or so if the heat is unbearable, so you wake up refreshed and ready to go on a game drive or simply relax around the campfire.

25. Solar Panel

Badger has come up with another innovative idea. People always ask if the Badger can be fitted with solar – the answer is absolutely! The Badger can accommodate up to 440w of solar with the relevant Victron MPPT solar charger. The roof of the van houses the panel whilst in the closed/towing position. This power will run your 12v system and charge the batteries.

When camping, it’s always nice to find shady areas that result in the panel being in the shade, but Badger has come up with a plan. The panel can be installed in such a way that it can be disconnected from the van and placed in the sun using an extension lead. Depending on the size of the panel, this operation may require two people.

If the panel can catch the sunlight, a pull of the locking device and gas struts will allow the panel to hinge up. Depending where the sun is, one can adjust the angle of the panel as the sun moves across the sky. It’s simple and most effective.

Setup 

There are many small ideas that have gone into the development of this compact van. Their Extreme comes standard with gravel protection, independent suspension, and rock sliders to name a few. Their Lite gravel roader comes with front gravel protection, a full aluminium chassis, and lots of what the Extreme has. Setting up the Badger range is simple, with the basic setup taking less than five minutes, and that is not long even for just an overnight stay.

The concept of the Badger is to give one a feeling of being outdoors. The tent that encloses the interior is made of the best canvas one can buy. It allows for a hybrid concept in that one feels like they are camping out in the wild. One can lie in bed and open the huge side windows to allow the natural breeze to blow through.

What better way to wake up, than to unzip and watch the African scenery? Not wedged in a cocoon of aluminium and canvas, making you feel claustrophobic and needing to get out. The king-size bed, and the openness of the Badger is far beyond what one can imagine without viewing it in reality.

Standard Features

Lite and Extreme 

Lockable spare wheel
12v power supply
220v power supply
220v to 12v Victron battery charger
220v power sockets
Interior & exterior 12v LED lights
Battery level indicator
220v earth leakage breaker
Extension lead
Fire extinguisher
Geyser gas & electric
110-litre water tank
Hot & cold water
Water pump
Gas bottle
Exterior pantry with gas struts
Pull out drawer with 2 plate gas stove
Pull out fridge freezer
Wash up station
Built-in storage & hanging cupboard
Porta potti storage

Standard on Extreme

Shower
Vanity
Storage on front door
Gravel protection plate
Rock sliders
Jerry can holders x 2
Jerry cans x 2
Victron DC to DC charger

Exhibition at the Outdoor-X Show

Badger will be exhibiting both the Lite and the Extreme at the Outdoor-X show over the weekend of 31 May to 2 June 2024. Come see them at stand G8 and they will demonstrate how this van is the van for you. It’s compact, light, aerodynamic, tows easily, and will save you on fuel costs.

For more information, updated pricing, online ordering, or stock availability, fill in the enquiry form below, and a member of their team will respond to your message. Alternatively, click here to be redirected to their website or contact them on 082 490 1117. Also, feel free to access their promotional discounts on social media: like and add them on Facebook by clicking here. 

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