What Should You Look for in an Off-Road Caravan?

Off-road caravans at Kennis

If the claustrophobia of crowded caravan parks has become too much to bear and the desire to migrate to the wild, unexplored corners of southern Africa fills your every waking thought, then you know it’s time to start shopping for off-road caravans.

In your internet searches, you find hordes of options most being advertised as “graded for gravel tracks” and, when you view them, you realise that they aren’t truly rough terrain caravans but merely built for graded and rolled dirt roads. So, what should you look for in off-road caravans? Draw Bars and Couplings Off-road caravans need stiffened drawbars and require more than the standard 50mm couplings (or tow hitches). Top-quality, rough terrain equipment must have 360-degree rotation capabilities with positive locking engagement mechanisms mounted on suitably strengthened drawbars. These new and improved components are engineered to endure the greater stresses of uneven, constantly changing terrain, ensuring that you get hooked up and stay hooked up. Suspension, Chassis and Clearance Manufacturers of great quality off-road caravans will boast about independent suspension systems and strong, durable, anti-rust-treated chassis. They will promote the advanced structure design that provides added ground clearance and smaller turning circles. All of these attributes will assist you to traverse rough, uneven tracks and built-in coil springs and shock absorbers will make the model much easier to tow over unforgiving surfaces. All Terrain Tyres Off-road caravans need off-road tyres. You might be lucky enough to source a unit with its factory-installed, fully all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres still fitted. Should you purchase a new unit, this would be expected, but used units may still be fitted with the ideal tyres. Don’t be alarmed if they’re no longer there, though. A nice set of 4x4 truck (or bakkie) tyres will still minimise the risk of punctures on the trail and they have the advantage of being both lighter and more fuel-efficient.

Textile Strength to Weight Ratio Manufacturers of all harsh terrain caravans share the constant challenge of creating models that need to be extremely strong and able to carry heavy loads, but still light. They are employing more modern designs and strong, light and durable coverings, such as carbon fibre, which solve not only the tare weight problem but adds to its textile strength. This equates to increased holding capacities for water, fuel and provisions.


Alternative Power Supply Units


With the advancements in solar power and wind energy, expect that off-road caravans should have some form of alternative power supply (APS). This allows gas and fuel reserves to be used for cooking and heating, while an APS can provide you with free AMP hours to power lights, refrigerators and other electrical devices.


We Know What You’re Looking For For more than half a century, Kennis Caravans & Motorhomes has witnessed the evolution of off-road caravans. From glorified 20-feet road vans to the sleek, streamlined modern beasts of the wild that they are today. We have been buying and selling these wonderful creatures of nature both new and pre-loved to seasoned explorers and novice boy scouts alike. Get ready for your next adventure! Visit us at our premises in Roodepoort, Gauteng, or simply explore our website and contact us. We’ll put you on the less-often-travelled track!