Page 1

label OFF-ROAD MOTORHOME REVIEW NYATI OVERLAND CAMPER

Just one look at the Nyati and you’ll feel reassured that it’s capable of dealing with Africa’s back routes. A customised bull-bar is being designed to protect the front of the cab.

Words by Mark Samuel | Photos supplied by Nyati Overland Campers

Nyati Overland Camper There’s a new off-road camper manufacturer on the block, and he means business. High-quality workmanship, practical finishes and a tough chassis cab base make this a convincing camper contender.

34

Caravan & Outdoor Life • April 2010


T

The interior comprises easy-to-clean surfaces and sturdily made cupboards, tables and countertops.

he name of the game when it comes to long-distance touring in the new Nyati Overland Camper is to not be in any hurry. After all, the journey is as much part of

the whole holiday experience as the destination, especially when you’re negotiating the toughest of off-road routes – the kinds of roads for which this sturdy camper was specifically designed. Yes, it may be tough, but it certainly isn’t speedy. The naturally aspirated 4.0-litre diesel powerplant of the Mitsubishi Fuso base is definitely an engine on which you can rely when in deepest, darkest Africa, but it’s not going to win an F1 Grand Prix. During our test the maximum cruising speed reached was a subdued 80 km/h. Then again, off-road overlanding isn’t about high-speed motoring, but rather about the trundling journey, and stopping over wherever the fancy grabs you.

Manufacturer’s methods The Nyati is built by Ramcom Trucks and Load

Off-road overlanding isn’t about high-

Bodies in George, an established business with

speed motoring, but rather about the

a 25-year track record of building customised 4x4 campers onto customers’ vehicles. All these

trundling journey, and stopping over

commissions have been acquired through word of mouth, and only recently has the company

wherever the fancy grabs you.

ventured into the open market with their capable mid-sized overland camper. The driving force behind the project is Peter Woolley, owner of Ramcom and himself an experienced off-road traveller into the wilds of

up everything when heading out game viewing,

tables are solid wood – definitely not your

Africa. This experience proved invaluable in the

but if your trip consists of travelling almost daily,

everyday lightweight caravan fittings.

designing of the Nyati, and is clearly evident in

as is the case with many trips through southern

the finished product.

Africa, then a durable 4x4 motorhome is hard

easy to clean and maintain, and should you

to beat.

want to add a shelf somewhere or make a

The chassis cab platform chosen for the camper is the Mitsubishi Fuso FG 6-106 4x4 –

All interior surfaces, including the floor, are

modification, your newly attached screws are

one of the most popular light truck choices in

No frills

Africa, meaning access to spare parts shouldn’t

The African bush may be appealing and

ever be a problem. It also comes with a solid

beautiful, but it’s also a harsh, dusty and

reputation for durability and reliability.

demanding place. It’s for this reason that

family, who plan to hit the long road for weeks

Peter’s design for the Nyati factored in

or several months at a time.

Peter’s initial motivation for the project was his

sure to hold securely in the solid cupboard sidewalls. The layout is ideal for a couple, or even a small

dislike of having to set up and take down camp

unsophisticated layouts and practical, hard-

every other day on month-long overlanding

wearing finishes that are easy to clean and

extras that can be added to the Nyati, this, the

trips in a normal 4x4. In Peter’s own words,

simple to use. Don’t get me wrong: you’re

first unit ever produced, included a range of

‘What a pleasure it is to arrive at a site of your

going to ‘camp’ in a fair degree of comfort in

standard features to make your home away from

choosing, open the door, crank out the awning,

the aft camper section, but just don’t expect

home as comfy as possible. Noteworthy are a

set up a camp chair from the side locker, and

romantic downlighting, a separate loo and

Dometic glass-covered two-plate gas stove near

in less than two minutes you’re done, with an

shower room or a glass-fronted drinks cabinet.

the front and a Dometic glass-top sink midway

ice cold drink in your hand!’ And I’d tend to

Because overall weight isn’t really a concern

along the opposite side. A double-sided drawer

agree: sure, there are some disadvantages to

for the Fuso chassis cab, the cabinetry is far from

that’s accessible from both inside and out

camper vans and motorhomes, like having to

flimsy, countertops are sturdy and the dinette

means that you can load your clothes inside,

Although there are a number of optional

www.caravansa.co.za

35


The rear dinette folds out into a 1500-mm-wide double bed, which is surrounded by large windows.

and then access them from the outside when you’re finishing up in the shower cubicle. No wandering around in your towel required. The camper boasts ample counter space for

your touring range between fuel stops. A sturdy roof carrier with access ladder on the cab offers additional gear loading space. Your water needs are catered for by the

stabiliser supplies constant water pressure from the 220 V/gas geyser. The rear window of the camper is hinged at the top and can swing open wide,

cooking and food prep. Eight drawers and

160-litre fresh-water tank and a 60-litre grey-

allowing excellent ventilation around the rear

cupboards with hanging space take care of

water tank, both of which enhance the Nyati’s

1.5-metre-wide double bed. Sliding windows

your clothing storage needs; large drawers

self-sufficiency.

are mounted on the sides, and all are tinted

for pots and pans and top-lockers all round

To open up more interior space, an outside

and fitted with smash and grab protection. Both the rear double bed and the 900-mm-

give you ample space for storing gear. The rear

shower and bathroom unit take care of your

bed can be separated from the front with a

sanitary needs. Opening a panel on the outside

wide side single can be converted into dinette

roof-length curtain, which tucks away neatly

gives access to a fold-out basin, a shower, a

areas that are ideal for lazing about at your

in a narrow cupboard when not in use. A large

hatch for storing your toiletries and a portable

favourite game reserve waterhole for a few

access hatch makes moving between the cab

loo. A simple 1800 mm x 1200 mm shower tent

hours.

and camper straightforward, and it’s easy to

with shade cloth flooring offers a degree of

reach the slide-out 95-litre National Luna

privacy in the outside bathroom. What could

batteries is located under the floor, as are the

fridge-freezer from the cab – ideal for when

be better than enjoying a hot shower under a

gas bottles, the water tanks (to keep the centre

you need a cold drink during your long drive.

vast African starscape!

of gravity low), the additional 100-litre diesel

Two crank-open roof vents with insect mesh help air circulation. The driver’s cab up front

A 12 V Aqua 8 pump with a pressurised

The battery box with two 102 amp-hour

tank and four lockable storage lockers. What we found particularly innovative was

is air-conditioned. For your

the flip-up heavy-duty

listening pleasure a remote-

towbar fitted to the rear

controlled MP3/radio/

cross member. Being able

CD system also comes

to flip up the towbar when

standard. A second 100-litre

it’s not needed allows you

diesel tank has been added

to maintain the excellent

to the conversion, doubling

departure angle.

36

Caravan & Outdoor Life • April 2010


Hard body The camper body is constructed of 25 mm

Two roof vents which are protected by metal brackets help to ventilate the camper section. Roof carriers above the cab and at the rear add to the amount of packing space available. The exterior shower and bathroom unit is accessed through the hatch on the right hand side.

will be available soon, which should make a huge

polycarbonate honeycomb panels clad with

difference to the power delivery and comfortable

3 mm fibreglass skins.

cruising speed. Personally I found the 80 km/h

The rigid subframe of the body is kinetically mounted to the chassis with a two-axis pivot system that’s softened by four shock absorbers

maximum speed a little too slow, especially when you need to cover 400 or 500 km in a day. Depending on your personal needs, this

AT A GLANCE Price From R785 000 Vehicle Mitsubishi Fuso FG

6-106 4x4 Engine capacity 3907 cm3

to allow for maximum chassis movement.

could be the ideal candidate for trans-Africa

Max power 78 kW @ 3200 rpm

Basically, when you’re negotiating axle-twisting

journeys. Just make sure you’re happy with

Max torque 251 Nm @ 1800 rpm

terrain, the chassis of the truck is able to move

taking your showers outdoors, and ambling

independently of the camper body. This means

slowly between destinations.

Transmission Manual 5-speed

that gruelling terrain won’t cause damage to the living quarters of your Nyati camper because of twisting transferred through the chassis. Stainless steel edge capping gives the camper added bush protection. The spare wheel with loose gantry arm for hoisting goods on the rear roof carrier is mounted at the back.

Verdict This is one tough camper. Slow, but tough. Finishes like cabinets and work surfaces are of high quality, and should manage well in rough off-road conditions. The interior is easy to clean, which is important when you consider the types of roads and destinations the Nyati will visit. We were informed that a turbo-diesel derivative

Key features: 2x 102 Ah batteries. 24 V 30 A battery charger. Outside lights in exterior bathroom hatch and under awning. 4-metre crank-out Fiamma awning. Roof rack above cab. Rear roof rack. Exterior bathroom hatch. Portable toilet. Separate sink and gas stove area. Large counter space. Fiamma security door. 160-litre fresh-water tank. 60-litre grey-water tank. 20-litre 220 V/gas geyser. 1500-mm-wide double bed. 900-mm-wide single bed. 2x 100-litre diesel tanks. 95-litre National Luna fridge-freezer. Smash and grab window protection. High- and low-range 4x4. Cab air-conditioner. MP3/radio/CD. Optional extras: 9000 kg winch. DSTV. Flat-screen TV. Spot lamps. 2000 W inverter. Side walls for awning. Alarm system. Rear-view camera system. GPS system. Warranty: Ramcom Nyati Campers carry a 24-month warranty on all workmanship on the camper body structure, subframe and structural internal contents. The vehicle carries the Mitsubishi warranty. Contact: Tel: 044 878 0511 | Cell: 082 440 5850 pwramcom@telkomsa.net | www.ramcomtrucks.co.za

www.caravansa.co.za

37


Nyati Overland Camper  

TAKE THE BACK ROADS AND BEYOND.MAKE YOUR RETIREMENT DREAMS COME TRUE. The camper body is mounted on a Medium Sized 4x4 Mitsubishi Fuso with...

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you