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.
Caravan & Outdoor Life • April 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.com | www.ramcomtrucks.co.za
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...