Tiny car­a­vans at big prices, but for Jet­stream

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

I WAS re­cently asked to de­fend my state­ment that the bar­gain of the cen­tury in the small trailer mar­ket is sold by Pine­town-based Jet­stream.

Since Wheels broke the story al­most two years ago in 2013, the com­pany led by Barry Olivier and Bren­den Keat­ing has been get­ting steady or­ders and more is to come af­ter sis­ter mag­a­zine

Weg­breek cov­ered this lo­cal marvel. Jet­stream will sell you a teardrop trailer that sleeps two with a kitch­enette in the nose and flat screen TV and ra­dio on the wall from un­der R85 000.

Com­pare this to the re­cently launched Dream Trailer by the Port­land-based Amer­i­can Com­pany.

Their take on the camper-boat-trailer is hardly new, as the idea to make a boat do dou­ble duty as a camper’s roof has been pop­u­lar in the U.S. since the 1950s. There is a sec­ond flat roof be­low the roof-boat to keep the camper dry when the owner is out fish­ing. What is im­pres­sive are the weights. The boat it­self can carry 227 kg — that is two guys and a full cool box, with the usual mo­tor mount for a small out­board en­gine. With the boat in place on the roof the light­weight camper weighs only 295 kg. But its hefty price makes up for what it saves in the kilo­grams — the Dream Trailer is listed for $8 900 (R110 650).

This buys you a boat, a dou­ble foam mat­tress, shelves, oars, oar­locks and cur­tains, but the fold-out ta­ble is op­tional.

In Ger­many, de­signer Daniel Straub will charge you $20 500 (about R250 000) for his am­phibi­ous teardrop, the Sealan­der. And for an es­ti­mated price of €15 000 (R209 070), Ger­man ma­te­ri­als man­u­fac­turer Vohringer will hand-build you their con­cept bike trailer that dou­bles as a cosy car­a­van for two, with a roof that hy­drauli­cally lifts to make space for a mo­tor­bike and a dou­ble bed.


(Left) The boat does dou­ble duty as an aero­dy­namic roof when en route. (Right) The Sealan­der is an am­phibi­ous car­a­van with an am­bi­tious price.


(Left): Vohringer’s bike trailer dou­bles as a com­fort­able car­a­van when the roof is lifted. (Above) Pine­town-based Jet­stream still makes the best bar­gains in small car­a­vans. Read all about it in sis­ter mag­a­zine Weg­breek this month.

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