Camper Trailer Australia

BULL AT THE GATE

- WORDS and pics SAM RICHARDS

TAKE A GAME-CHANGING ROOFTOP TENT. ADD A LIGHTWEIGH­T TRAILER. CHUCK IN COMPARTMEN­TALISED STORAGE, A UNIQUE SWING-AROUND KITCHEN AND WASH UP AREA, AND AMPLE OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE UNDER A 270-DEGREE AWNING. THERE YOU HAVE THE BUSHWAKKA SAFARI TOURER, PRICED FROM $29,500.

it was a bull paddock until I was standing in it. The owner of the farm, Scott, dropped the fact casually, as if to say: “nothing to worry about”. But I wasn’t so sure. From what I’d seen, growing up as a city boy — little more than shaky footage of Pamplona’s running of the bulls and the disapprovi­ng brow on Chicago NBA jerseys — I figured bulls weren’t exactly the runner up in the man’s best friend competitio­n.

So I was glad to hear Scott had moved the bull to the neighbouri­ng paddock for the day. Instead, another type of bull would be charging around the fields: the Bushwakka Safari Tourer, a nimble and rugged specimen that accommodat­es you in a roof-top tent. Showing us the ropes were the Australian owners and operators of the South African brand, Johnny and Annelize Loots.

You could just about hitch the Bushwakka Safari Tourer to a Yamaha PW50. The camper weighs a tiny 800kg tare, making it potentiall­y lighter than the nearby bull — and a majority of other camper trailers on the market.

The light weight also keeps fuel consumptio­n down and improves performanc­e offroad. And it goes hand in hand with the diminutive dimensions — not that we got to put these to the test in the open field.

The camper has seven heavy-duty leaf springs on each side; the weight is just right to ensure free suspension travel while reducing the bumpiness that can go with springs if load is too small.

Magic mushrooms grow in cow dung. So when the Bushwakka Safari Tourer suddenly materialis­ed in fully set-up mode, I figured I’d consumed a trace of hallucinog­ens while tying my shoe.

Inside it’s pretty lux. There’s six windows with heavy-duty midgescree­n, so you’ll breathe easy and enjoy a radical 360-degree view. On rainy and chilly nights, the insulated roof and waterproof 420gsm canvas will keep you warm and dry.

The 100kg tent, known as The Nest, can be purchased as a separate item from Bushwakka. If you’re in the market for one of these, do yourself a favour and check it out.

In a rooftop tent camper, there’s no internal living space. But the Bushwakka Safari Tourer has a sizeable outdoor living area with plenty of shelter to make up for it. Down the driver’s side, there’s a 270-degree Bushwakka Bush Fan awning, that extends around to create a dining or relaxation area and goes on to cover the kitchen, fridge, and most of the wash-up area.

Still slightly paranoid about having consumed psilocybin, I watched as Johnny pulled a table from under the rooftop tent — like a clown’s handkerchi­ef, it just kept on coming. Four, maybe six, could dine at this portable inclusion with ease.

The kitchen is a swing-around. On it, to the left, is a twoburner with a lid that wisely opens to the side. You’ll have to

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