After a recent assignment on the Wild Coast, I made a pit stop at the RSI SMARTCANOPY headquarters in Pietermaritzburg. I arrived canopy-less, after enduring two weeks of gruelling load bin packing and unpacking, but left far better equipped for all future expeditions.
The folks at RSI have been kind enough to outfit our bright blue Isuzu D-Max with a state-of-the-art, stainless steel RSI SMARTCANOPY, in a superb matt-black finish. It includes features such as universal load rails, a rear window reinforced with anti-theft mesh, and a positive pressure air vent on the roof, which is designed to keep out the dust when on the move.
We also managed to specify a few tasty optional extras, principally a superb RSI SMARTKITCHEN of the latest incarnation, which is neatly tucked away under the left-hand side gullwing. Our unit also boasts two dual-LED light bars which make lighting up any late-night camping operation a breeze. Another extremely convenient addition is a roof-mounted aluminium camping table. RSI has improved the table carrier’s design and it is easily accessed by pulling two D-rings, which releases a carpeted load platform that irons out any potential rattles.
On the way back from KwaZulu-Natal, I had the opportunity to test the canopy, and it makes camping an absolute breeze. The SMARTKITCHEN is fully-equipped for four people, using top-quality cutlery and stainless steel plates and cups. The integrated Dometic two-plate hob allows you to boil water and cook breakfast all at once. A new and simplified fold-down design makes deploying the stove superbly easy, while the gas line is now stowed inside its frame, making it a breeze to stash and drop down when an LPG bottle must be connected. There’s also a slide-out polyethylene cutting board.
Fitting the RSI canopy has effectively enlarged the bakkie’s loading space, with the added security of six locks on the flip-up doors. RSI’s plug n’ play modular setup also means we can fit more accessories at a later stage. We’ll definitely keep you updated as our Isuzu transforms into a capable overland camping rig.
RSI SMARTKITCHEN KIT LIST
2-plate Dometic gas hob
Slide-out cutting board
Stainless steel kettle
Scissors, braai tongs, spatula, wooden spoon
Bread knife, kitchen knife, corkscrew
Salt & pepper shakers
Double cab canopy: R28 750
SmartKitchen: R13 995
Camping table and roof-mounted bracket: R3 649
LED lights: R1 875