Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations


Roomy and robust, Paul Owen discovers that the Bivouac Kākāpō trailer camper is ready for anything.


Camping trailers have long been part of the roadscape in Australia, but the concept of an easy-to-tow and store, affordable ‘imploding caravan’ is only beginning to catch on here in New Zealand. So, when Tauranga residents Fergus King and Chris Snelson were looking for a business they could run in a semiretire­d fashion, they decided to import Australian-designed, Chinese-made, camping trailers in knocked-down form, and assemble them here.

A $4,500 premium package can be added to the base $23,000 Kākāpō camper. This adds a 44-litre Waeco chest fridge, 240v battery charger, two-way towing hitch for off-road use, portable toilet, gas califont and shower with extra gas bottle, spare mag wheel fitted with a 265/75R16 Goodride all-terrain tyre, and a 120-watt portable solar panel.

The undercarri­age of the Bivouac includes industrial-strength coil sprung suspension and beefy safety chains to prevent the coil springs from popping out should the trailer become airborne.

To the rear there’s the 120-litre stainless steel water tank, surrounded by thick alloy checker plate armour. With the ability to carry 500kg to take the Gross Vehicle Mass limit to 1900kg, there’s plenty of load weight capacity left for other touring essentials.

Inside, taller folk will appreciate that the tent roof is located 2.2 metres above the floor of the camper, while the main bed measures 1.95m x 1.6m. The U-shaped dining area has an adjustable table and seats six. The dining area squabs can be arranged into a second double bed if required. With two 100Ah deep cycle batteries to keep the fridge and the lighting going, the Bivouac can stay parked up in one place off-grid for quite some time. A third room comes as standard with the Kākāpō, to be added outside in the awning area as an ensuite, especially as a pressurise­d shower outlet is located on that side of the trailer.

The Bivouac includes two gas bottles and the 44-litre electric fridge is accessed via a pull-out drawer. There are four stabiliser legs located in each corner of the trailer so that you can get it on the level, as the trailer has a slight tilt forward when hitched up to most vehicles. Assisting Bivouac owners to turn their compressed trailers into canvas palaces are the two hand winches located at either end to help fold things out.

Find out more at bivouaccam­

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