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By Kevin Bolton The Garmin Nüvi 500 has grown up and we now have the Overlander. Before I start with this review I should state that I have never been paid for any of my reviews of satellite navigation devices and I have written on this subject for SA4x4 (and a few other outdoor magazines) since September 2004. The point being that I am completely impartial in my views. The Overlander is a bigger satellite navigation device with more modern features. In September 2019 Garmin announced this new satellite navigator, the latest in their street navigators/outdoor/4×4 range. I did a

Air helper springs are an often misused and misunderstood addition to a 4×4’s suspension system. Consisting of an extremely strong rubber air bag and bracketry, air helper springs are fitted to a standard vehicle’s rear leaf or coil springs to help the stock setup carry extra weight without upgrading the coils or leaf springs. With that in mind, we took our long-term Isuzu D-Max to Opposite Lock in Wellington to have a set of Tough Dog Air Assist springs fitted. When looking into installing a set of air assist springs, it’s important to realise that they are not designed to

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

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