We had an interesting sighting as we came into Nossob in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park recently. For once it had nothing to do with animals.
Indeed, confirmed Jurgens-Ci development manager Clive Cox as proudly as a new father, they were launching two brand new caravans in mid-June and this was a road-test cum promotional/film tour.
Meet the Jurgens Tourer SC and Tourer SP, a new concept in caravans. As Clive explained, these new kids on the block were developed to fill the gap between road caravans and the fully fledged, heavy-duty macho-man 4x4 caravan that comes with a price tag of around R230 000, which may be more than your car is worth and certainly beyond your requirements unless you’re planning to take on the real bundu of Botswana, Zambia or Tanzania.
‘You use a road caravan to camp at the same place for a long weekend or a week at the coast,’ said Clive. ‘They run off 220V power and you just plug them into the camp site’s power grid.’
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from using the touring caravan in just the same way, but it gives you added flexibility because it will work in places where there’s no 220V power source – like Tsendze or Balule camps in the Kruger National Park, for instance. The lights run off a deep-cycle battery and the fridge/freezer can be run either off 220V power or the battery. An external kitchen and easy-to-set-up awning let you make the most of the outdoors without cluttering up the inside space.
It’s stronger than a road caravan too. Fifteen-inch wheels make semi off-road conditions a breeze and there are side skid bars and other strengthening devices to protect the body in gravel conditions. Although the Tourers aren’t intended to be Full Monty 4x4 caravans – and at around R136 000 to R140 000 their price happily reflects that – the mere fact that we came across them in the Kgalagadi looking none the worse for wear could be taken as proof of their ruggedness. The sandy and corrugated roads here are not for sissies; over the years we’ve seen them claim more than a few road caravans and trailers, not to mention victims of the Jeep and Land Rover variety too.
So let’s get technical for a minute, to answer questions that boys who love toys might want to ask. Apart from the 15-inch rims I’ve already mentioned, the new Tourers have a gross vehicle mass of 1370kg, payload of 289-330kg, 3-4 berths, outside kitchens with 2-plate gas burner and 60-litre fridge, overhead lockers, cupboards, 220V power pack and battery charger and a leisure awning.
What more do most happy campers need?
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