Ready for action

A simple, versatile Tray module from Infanta 4×4 will change the way you camp and travel.

Six years ago when Jurie Wessels needed a camping trailer, he had a look around at what was then on the local market and decided he could build his own. Not only would it cost him less, it would be lighter, tougher and exactly suit his style of camping. It seems he couldn’t hang on to that trailer for long. A local farming friend gave it one look and took it off his hands. So he had to build another, and when that one caught the eye of a fellow camper it was also gone. This was how Infanta 4×4 started.

Having long been in the transport and farming business, Jurie was used to making a plan and getting things done from his storage sheds in Buffeljagsrivier, just outside Swellendam. So what began with the Enkulu 1 and Enkulu 2 trailers (four- and two-sleepers), soon turned into orders for a sturdy caravan. Then, when another friend wanted a camper unit that could fit onto his bakkie, Jurie had to wait for his father to go off camping, as JW (Senior) did not believe this was a good direction to take and might reduce the focus on building excellent trailers.

But that project worked out pretty well too, and JW Snr had to admit, it looked just fine. Before long, he commissioned his own unit, built on a Land Cruiser single cab (79 Series) chassis. This was to become the Inkunzi, or ‘bull’ in Xhosa – a fully kitted camper van with a 270-degree awning, full kitchen and comfortable pop-top sleeping quarters.

This is the premium unit, and you can buy one to fit the most popular bakkies on the market. These are built to a special formula, as Jurie insists that light and strong is the only way to go. They feature a welded aluminium box-section frame, with lightweight polystyrene sheet insulation, and are clad on either side in aluminium sheet bonded to the frame. The doors and roof are made in an equally lightweight and immensely strong vacuum-bagged composite, and everything is then sprayed to a high-quality finish. In fact, Jurie has just invested in a full spray booth, with the ability to offer more custom colour options to customers. Door and window fittings are custom laser-cut from stainless steel, and the trailers rest on galvanized ladder-frame chassis with leaf springs.

Infanta 4×4’s designs, says Jurie, do not come off a CAD machine. They are the product of many years of outdoor experience, and exhaustive testing and re-testing in real-world camping conditions. His father is now the chief tester, and he is a stern task master when it comes to quality.

After a brief factory tour recently, we were able to take a closer look at one of his latest products, called the Tray. Literally, it takes the place of the loadbin of a bakkie, which can weigh in at 150kg or more. Fabricated from an aluminium frame with a single exterior skin of aluminium sheet, for the main structure, it is remarkably lightweight. With large gullwing doors and a solid rear back, the Tray’s major appeal is that it can be customfitted with almost any camping set-up, and this can be easily removed when the tray is needed to carry a load or for some other purpose.

Jurie’s personal unit is fitted on a Land Cruiser V8 diesel double cab, and he’s rigged it for camping duties with a hardshell composite clamshell rooftop tent (another Infanta 4×4 product), which is accessed from the back via a drop-down ladder. The spare wheel is on the solid back, where recovery gear can also be carried, and a wash-up basin fitted. A full kitchen takes up the left-hand side, with compartments for cutlery, crockery, food and a stove, and this sits under a fold-out awning. On the right is the fridge, a 40-litre water tank, a waterheatingunit, a shower cubicle and storage for chairs and other equipment.

Cost & Extras

The base unit for the Infanta 4×4 Tray module is R105 000 for a double cab and R115 000 for a single or extended cab bakkie. And one could drive away with a fully-kitted camper for under R200 000. Extras available include a hardshell composite rooftop tent, easily removable using the Front Runner quick couplers, at a cost of R30 000. The kitchen is R15 000, a plumbing system R11 000, a ladder R5 000, fridge slide R3 000, drop-down shower curtain on door R3 000, and so on. The base prices above include fitment (but exclude VAT) and Infanta 4×4 is able to do the complete installation, including the electrical/battery/ solar system, with pricing based on what the client supplies. Product advice, says Jurie, is free, and sensible, as he’s used and tested products from a wide range of suppliers.

CONTACT: +27 28 512 3663 / +27 82 558 4935 (JW Snr) / +27 82 512 3663 (Jurie)

info@infanta4x4.co.za | www.infanta4x4.co.za

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