The view from the front porch at Ruth's dad's house in Galetta, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada. Just west of the capital city of Ottawa.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading for Saskatchewan, Canada.

And after that? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Namibia Car Rental 4x4 Camping

Okay, many of you have asked for more info and photos about the camping gear we were using for our self drive camping tour of Namibia. So here it is!

First of all, we had a 2013 Nissan 4x4 Double Cab pickup truck.

We had the following unit from Namibia Car Rental...


You can see the extremely heavy duty steel cap that they put on top of the pickup box. Then, the tent frame is bolted to the cap. If there are four people, they can install another tent over the cab portion of the truck. But our setup was for two people.

Namibia can be pretty barren in places, and so if you break down they give you as much equipment as they reasonably can to help you out of a jam. Two spare tires on rims, an air pump, a tow rope, safety triangle, and booster cables.

Okay, let's look at the camping gear...

Of course you need a fridge. They give you a heavy duty electric fridge. These fridges are made in Australia and they cost about US$1,200 each. They are made for this kind of camping! Ours was a 40 litre size and we always found it had extra room. Of course when there was extra room, we put a couple of extra beers in!

The fridge is quite deep too. Even after a new round of grocery shopping, we always had room.

When closed, it has an insulating cover that easily zips around it.

The fridges operate off 12v electric from your vehicle, or there is a different cord you can use if you want to plug it into household current. Our truck had a separate 12v battery that was specifically for the fridge and it never had a difficult time keeping the fridge cold, even in the baking hot Namibian desert.

And you need cooking gear!

You get a single burner that attaches to a propane gas canister. The gas canister is large enough that we never ran out of cooking fuel for our entire three and a half week trip and we did a lot of our own cooking. It was given to us full.

You also get all the necessary "braii" equipment including a meat grill and stand as well as tongs and BBQ spatula. All we needed to buy was the charcoal, fire started bricks, and matches, all of which are easily available when you do your first grocery shop before leaving Windhoek.

You also get the full range of cutlery and utensils.

Lots of pots and pans, a kettle, a washing tub, and battery operated lantern. The batteries in our lantern lasted the entire trip.

All of the pots and pans fit into each other for easy storage!

Cups, saucers, and plates for four. Oh, and four beer cups! And an empty tub for leftovers.

All of it fits perfectly into this bin.

The cutlery case folds up neatly and includes cutting board, can opener, and of course a bottle opener and corkscrew!

All of that gear, including your propane tank and grill, then fits perfectly into a big green storage chest so that you can easily lift everything out at the same time when you're unpacking to get setup.

Time to look at the tent. The first couple of times opening and closing took a few minutes, but after you do it a few times and get used to the steps it's an easy setup and take down. Let's look at set-up first...

Loosen off the ratchet tie that holds the cover on.

On one side, lift off the cover.

Then go to the other side and pull the cover right off.

Standing on the back bumper, you can release the catches that hold the ladder in place.

Using the ladder as leverage, you then fold open the tent!



Just like that!

Once you have the initial setup done, your sheets, pillows, and sleeping bags remain in the tent and get folded up as you fold the tent up. So most times, you just have to go up and straighten things out a bit and it only takes a minute. Once you get good at it, the entire procedure takes less than five minutes! If you think it might rain, you'll want to install the supports that hold the rain tarp away from the tent, but we found that if it wasn't going to rain we were fine only installing the two near the opening and that only takes seconds.

And then you can get to the important stuff...your first beer of the afternoon!

When it comes time to close things up before you head out in the morning, it's also a fairly straightforward procedure.

Remove the fly supports.

Lift up the entire ladder and use it to fold the tent.

The tent assembly pretty much folds itself, but then you have to kind of stuff the mattress into place so that the cover fits properly.

Slide the ladder into it's bracket.

The most difficult part was making sure that the tent is stuffed in between it's supports. So you have to go to either side and kind of stuff it in. Easier with two people, but Ruth was always busy doing something else to get things ready so I figured out how to do it on my own.

Toss the cover over the top. It helped to be tall!

And then tighten the ratchet that holds the cover on, and you're ready to move on to your next campsite!

We LOVED doing our Namibia self drive camping trip!!




20 comments:

  1. I like the idea that, since you're going camping, they supply you with the gear.
    Not like the RV rental companies over here who give you absolutely NOTHING. Or, they charge you extra for some sort of "kit". Just lame.
    Nice little tutorial.

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  2. Excellent. I really like the system. Probably feel a lot more safe off the ground at night too.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, much nicer being up off the ground. And it was such an easy setup, not sure why they're not more popular in North America. In fact, it's FAR easier setup than any tent trailer I've ever seen!

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  3. Amazing how compact and organized they have been able to make that camping experience.

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  4. Looks like a great setup for tent camping, very efficient!

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  5. You've said what the rental fee is but I've not stored it in my memory bank - one more time, please. I don't think I'd attempt it by myself but I could look for 'friends!'

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    Replies
    1. As a complete setup, including the truck and everything it's about $90 a day.

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  6. Kevin could you give the name [brand] of the fridge. It sure would be handy to have when boondocking in Mexico. Thanks Bill

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    1. You can buy these fridges through the American distributor at https://engel-usa.com/products/fridge-freezers/engel-mt45-ac-dc-fridge-freezer

      Interestingly, they're cheaper than I thought!

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  7. wow 1200.00 for the fridge that looks like a picnic cooler. guess when you are that specialized it costs. great tutorial

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    Replies
    1. As you know, RV fridges are very expensive for what you get as well. If the fridge in our motorhome ever goes bad, I'll be buying one of these!

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    2. You are so right. Even a very small 3 way for an RV is over $1,100

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  8. You make it look so easy...and what fun!!!

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  9. Still not going to convert me from a motorhome or campervan! Did you ever have to put it away wet ???? Hear that is a real pain.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, we like motorhomes as well. Having said that, we enjoyed this experience. Nope, never had to put it away wet although I can't see how it would have been any more difficult.

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  10. Great description of how to use roof top tent, might come handy on my next visit. Would you be kind and compare driving comfort on gravel roads between Nissan and small Daihatsu Bego? Not for camping, of course, the Bego, only driving from lodge to lodge. Thanks, and have a great travel onward. Alex

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    1. Hi Alex, ours is a Daihatsu Terios. I don't find any difference in comfort between the two. Sure wish they had cruise control though! The Terios is definitely better on fuel, plus it's a gasser instead of diesel.

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  11. Howdy R&K,
    Kevin, you make it look so simple; but you did have a month of practice !!!

    Thanks, for showing us how !!!

    Hope y'all have a HAPPY DAY !!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks butterbean. We have happy days every day!

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