Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Compact, yet spacious

How do you go about choosing a caravan? For ANTON WILLEMSE SNR it’s all about size and convenience and he discovered both with the Outbound Cyclone SB.

Not so long ago I ventured into Kempton Caravans to chat to them about a trip we were doing to Botswana to see if they had something we could tow and review for the magazine. They recommended the Outbound Thunder, a new product that had been developed in conjunction with Outbound Campers. It really impressed us with its size and how well it handled the Botswana sand and dirt roads. So, when I approached the guys at Kempton Caravans for a second product to test, they suggested we try out the Outbound Cyclone SB – SB referring to single beds.

A week later we picked up the Cyclone SB and set off to the Somkhanda Game Reserve close to Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal. I stupidly decided to take the N2 through Ermelo, not realising that I would be putting the caravan through hell on that road. From Ermelo to Pongola the going was slow – the road surface has been destroyed by coal trucks and is riddled with potholes. There are also huge dips in the road, which you only see once you are right on top them. Certainly not ideal towing conditions!

The little caravan bounced and jumped through all of them and corrected itself every time, though. I was genuinely impressed. On gravel it stayed stuck in my tracks, and I barely felt it behind the bakkie. At 4.4m in length, it was easy to manoeuvre around sharp corners and equally easy to reverse with. With a tare mass of only 590kg, it is easy to push around the campsite for that perfect position and with a GVM of 750kg, there is no reason you should be overweight. The GVM can also be increased to 1 230kg for those looking to pack a bit more.

The Cyclone SB has three exterior hatches, one housing the standard slide-out kitchen with a two-burner gas stove. The latter sports a wind shield and there are three drawers below the stove that contain a full cutlery and crockery set for four people. There is space for up to a 90-litre fridge behind the kitchen and a three-point plug and an Anderson plug are conveniently close to provide power. On the same side as the kitchen unit, another hatch opens to reveal a large storage space for dry goods. For added convenience, a microwave can also be installed in this area.

The third latch opens up to the caravan’s electric system, where you will find a deep cycle battery, 8 Amp intelligent charger and the switch to change from mains or battery power. No inverter is installed so the 220V plugs only work when plugged into mains. The large nose cone has ample space for extra add-ons, gas bottles or even an extra tent. A powder coated gas cylinder bracket is already installed.

Entrance to the caravan is gained through a door at the rear. There are ample shelves on the inside, as well as a small cupboard to hang clothes. A bonus is the fact that everything can be closed with canvas covers and durable zippers to keep dust and dirt out.

The clamshell roof ensures that there is headroom for even tall people and on either side of the roof extension there are windows than can be zipped open but are covered with flysheet to keep insects out. A small dinette for two is cleverly incorporated in the interior layout, with the tabletop being stored in the nose cone. Once the chairs for the dinette are folded up there are two single berths on either side of the caravan, each with a sliding window and reading light above it. There are also numerous power points spread along the inside wall.

Under the caravan is a galvanised chassis with a 2 000kg Burquip coupler. The axle, rated at 1 600kg, is paired with a six-leaf spring suspension and 225/70 tyres are fitted to 15-inch wheels to give the Cyclone SB a robust off-road look. A jockey assembly with a 48mm shaft and 230mm wheel and two corner steadies at the rear ensure that the unit remains level.

The Cyclone SB is ideal for couples, but if you prefer a double bed there is always the Cyclone DB (referencing the double bed it boasts). It is also reasonably priced, starting at R260 000. In addition, its compact dimensions make it easy to tow in the bush and easy to manage for those towing a caravan for the first time. The unit we used had a 270-degree awning, which is an optional extra. I would also opt for an inverter to ensure I always have 220V.

Outbound Cyclone SB at a glance

Key specifications

• Overall width: 1 950mm

• Track: 1 950mm

• Overall height (excl. roof rack/aircon): 2 120mm

• Overall length: 4 400mm

• Tare mass: 590kg

• GVM: 750kg/1 250kg

• Axle rating: 1 600g

Main features

• Body construction: Aluminium

• Colour option and finish: Dove grey

• Jerry can brackets: No

• Nose cone: Yes, large volume

• Gas cylinder brackets: One, powder coated and lockable

• Roof rack: No

• Kitchen unit: Slide out, two-plate gas stove with wind shield and three drawers

• Crockery and cutlery: Yes

• Pantry hatch: Yes

• Fridge slide: Yes, slide out – accommodates units of up to 90 litres

• Toolboxes: No

• Stone deflectors: No

• Exterior access hatches: Three

Chassis

• Chassis type: Galvanised

• Coupler: Burquip 2 000kg

• Suspension: Six-leaf spring

• Axle: Solid

• Tyres and rims: 245/70 and 15-inch

• Brakes: Yes

Jockey assembly: One 230mm wheel with jockey assembly (48mm shaft)

• Corner steadies: Two rear drop down

• Pole boxes: No

Optional extras

• Shower

• Air-conditioning

• Water tank

• Gas cylinder

• Sink

• Solar options

• Water pump

• Geyser

• Inverter

• Battery level indicator

• Awning and tent

• Reflective sheets

• Bathroom annexure

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