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There is no question that rooftop tents (RTT) have a special cachet in the overlanding fraternity. When travelling, there is arguably no better way to simplify the camp set-up process, particularly when you are just two people making frequent overnight stops (and that often in Big Five territory). Blame it on some primal arboreal connection, but it is deeply comforting to be above the ground in unfamiliar places, with a view over the surrounds. Not only are you safely out of the way of predators large and small, but you are not affected by uneven or rocky ground, and changing

A lot of people take their coffee seriously. It’s not a strange obsession to have by any means. In fact, you’d hard-pressed – excuse the pun – to find someone who doesn’t love a good brew. Some people, however, take their love to the next level, tinkering with all sorts of coffee gadgets and gizmos in search of the perfect cuppa. I am one such fiend. I was first told about the famous AeroPress by my colleague Richard van Ryneveld, who himself pines over it, calling it the best plunger he’s ever come across. Luckily for me, my darling wife

We’ve put together a selection of some of the best mid-priced camp chairs on the market today, based on value, quality and comfort. We’ve also given them a safety rating for when you’ve had one – or three – drinks too many… Supreme luxury: Kaufmann Sofa Chair Undoubtedly the most supremely comfortable chair on this list, Kaufmann’s Sofa Chair is thickly-padded and would be just as at home in your lounge as around the campfire. It trades portability for luxury, but it’s still pretty easy to lug around in its oversized bag. If you’re not short on space and want

The battery is at the centre of all our energy requirements in our vehicles. Battery technology is changing fast in various energy-storage markets, but owners of recreational vehicles still choose lead acid batteries, mainly because of cost and availability. When we discharge a battery, energy is converted from chemical to electrical energy; when we recharge, the electrical energy is converted into chemical energy. No-one struggles to discharge a battery, but most people struggle to recharge a battery; and knowing when a battery is fully charged is a challenge. Charging methods and stages Recharging methods vary from AC chargers (connected to

The Waeco CFX-65 fridge-freezer we have been using since early 2013 has now been rebranded a Dometic, in line with the Swedish company’s brand-consolidation exercise. It was always built by them, so this is just a name-change for this fridge which needs no introduction as the unsung hero of all our local trips. Whether it’s working at max capacity in 40 degree heat or sitting turned on in an office for months at a time, the old beast has its work cut out. And it hasn’t missed a beat. As Grant Spolander put it in his 2013 review of this

Back in the early 1980s, BF Goodrich introduced an unconventional tyre that would forever change the way we thought about off-road traction. They called it the T/A Mud-Terrain: “T/A” borrowed from their successful line of street-performance offerings, and the rest for the type of terrain it would call home. It was the first such tyre with an aggressive tread design, deep voids, and radial construction. The impact was such that, in the following years, nearly every tyre manufacturer in the genre would introduce a variant of BFG’s original design. In 1984, the company rocked the four-wheel drive community with a

Let’s face it, Z-folds work a treat for sleeping, but they are hellish bulky. When you pack for a family of five or more, chances are that the mattresses take up half the available space. Most people have experimented with the blow-up balloon type, which pack lekker small and flat, but it doesn’t take long before everyone’s had enough of broken or forgotten pumps and that sinking feeling when a mattress is punctured. It’s only a matter of time. Somewhere in the middle of the bulk versus reliability debate is the self-inflating mattress. For car-camping purposes, we’re not talking about

It’s a fact that 4x4ing and overlanding is a filthy business. You are inevitably climbing in and out of your vehicle, particularly when stuck or inspecting the terrain ahead, and bringing in leaves, sand, sticks, mud and various things that seem to grow overnight. Add a scattering of dog hair, plus those sticky kids’ snack leftovers, and in no time your cab looks like the dance floor at the end of a three-day music festival. The carpets take a lot of strain, and that’s best addressed with all-over rubber covers, but those fancy patterned cloth seats which seemed such a

If you have a dual-battery system, and run a fridge and other power-draws in remote places, you are going to have to invest in solar panels. A day’s driving will help top up your second battery, but unless you are near a 220V source, when you are parked for any length of time the power drain is going to kill your second battery within a day or two. There’s plenty of choice out there on the solar front − from large panels that can be fixed permanently to the roof of your trailer or van, to various more mobile units

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