What does the rental cost include?
The rental fee includes the rental of the trailer with trailer top tent, the bedding for 2, all necessary equipment listed in the itinerary, gas, a fridge, the comprehensive insurance and cross border documentation where applicable. Also pick up and return after hours and / or on Sundays are free of charge (with appointment). Optional: we charge a small fee for the bedding and linen for up to three more people (children) with either another mattress or stretchers and also for the Lshaped awning (front and kitchen awning with 2 side walls). Also optional are Solar Panels with regulator.
I just need a 4x4 trailer, can’t you take the tent off for me?
No, we can’t. Our trailers are fully equipped camping trailers and not luggage trailers.
How do you look after your trailers?
Every trailer undergoes a strict testing and checking procedure, regardless if it was rented out 4 days, 4 weeks or 4 months. This procedure includes the check of all bolts and nuts at the coupler, at the axle / suspension, the check of the brakes, the gas connection and functionality of the gas cooker, the various plugs, inside lights, wheel play, tyre pressure and trailer light. Wheel bearings are exchanged twice a year and in certain periods in between they are additionally opened and checked. After an overland trip, a wheel bearing check is also mandatory. We track the numbers of days the trailers are en route and we document the whole procedure.
What about the cleaning?
We have German roots and we are as mad about cleanliness as we are it about security. After return of a trailer we take all equipment out, check and clean it, the bed linen is washed, the tent is cleaned. It takes 2 people between 1.5 and 6 hours to clean a trailer and to undertake the mechanical checks to get it ready for the next rental.
During our travels at Lake KaribaWhen must I pay a cleaning fee?
The standard cleaning is included in the rental fee as long as the trailer is not returned in a very dirty condition. Anyway we don’t expect it to come back buffed. Its all relative
When should I book my trailer?
That depends on the time of the year that you need the trailer, during school holidays or not. While our customers book trailers for the school holidays up to a year in advance, you will mostly get a trailer for a weekend on a shorter notice. Also look for our famous Weekend Specials. Generally its easier for you to get hold of a trailer, when you do not rely on travelling during school holidays.
What requirements are mandatory in regards of the towing vehicle?
The South African law looks without exception at the tare weight of your car, not at your vehicles engine capacity. The minimum tare weight must be 1.5 tons at the Echo 3 and 1.5 /1.8 tons at the Echo 4 trailer. You will find the tare weight on your licence disk on the windscreen. Your vehicle must also be rated for the towing of the respective weight by the cars manufacturer.
What drivers licence do I need?
You need an EB, EC or EC1 licence to tow our trailers legally as our trailers are braked. The GVM (Gross vehicle mass) of our trailers is 1.5 / 1.8 tons. We have one unbraked Echo 3 trailer available that you can tow with a normal B licence. As it is unbraked and its GVM is only 750 kg, due to this restriction this trailer is not suitable for overland trips.
What speed do you recommend?
We recommend maximum 90 kmh on tar and maximum 60 to 70 kmh on gravel road.
What is the general difference between the Echo 3 and the Echo 4 trailer?
While the Echo 4 trailer has the fridge build in in its nose cone, the Echo 3 trailer comes with a fridge as well, but the fridge travels in your car. With the Echo 4 one has got more options to travel into remote areas, while the Echo 3 is a lighter trailer to accommodate camper that go more for traditional campsites.
Why can’t I take my bikes with me on the trailer?
Our trailers are simply not made to carry bikes on top of it or above the coupler. This applies for ALL variations of bike carriers. You will damage the trailer / your bike if you transport bikes above the couple and you will damage the trailer cover if you transport a bike (or anything else) on top of the trailer. If you can’t transport your bikes inside or on top of YOUR vehicle, they must unfortunately stay at home.
Why can’t I charge the trailer batteries while I drive?
We disabled this “option”, because it is not really a realistic, efficient option. The charge while you drive option that is provided by the trailer manufacturer is a 16 mm copper lead from the coupler to the trailer batteries, nothing else. On your side, you would need the installation of a 16 mm fused copper lead from you car battery to the rear end of you car, that would cost approx. R 2.000 - 2.500. The reason for the inefficiency is, that the alternator in your car can only produce a certain amount of power and almost 90 % of that power is needed by your car, so only 10 % would go through to the trailer batteries. When driving a full day, the 190 A/h batteries of the Echo 4 would only be charged to about 30 or 40 % if at all. So you would still need to charge the batteries with 220 V or solar panels. Due to these facts we opted for the Solar Panel solution.
How many people can sleep in the trailer / trailer top tent?
Two sleep on top of the load box, two to three more people, usually children, sleep on an extra mattress / stretchers on the ground of the tent.
Why must the fridge at the Echo 3 travel in my car?
You can’t transport the fridge in the trailer, as the Echo 3 is simply not build to take a fridge, the access to the loaded fridge would be difficult and you would also block certain packing space. The back of a trailer is the most inappropriate place to store a trailer as its the bumpiest place at all.
Why do I always need an appointment to see you, pick up or return the trailer?
We don’t have opening hours, as a lot of our work is done in our home office. At many times of the year and at most weekends (due to our very popular Weekend Specials) there is simply no trailer in to be seen. Working on an appointment basis also makes it possible, to meet you after hours.
Where can I go with the trailer?
You can visit all countries up to the equator and also Kenya. We will issue a cross border permission letter and you will receive a territorial letter from the insurance. You need to submit your itinerary during the booking process.
And where not?
You are not allowed Van Zyls Pass, Cunene 4x4 track, Die Hell and similar roads, tracks or trails, also not the track from Nossob to Mabuasehube (KTNP) and vice versa. You are also not allowed to drive any recreational 4x4 trail. Our insurance does not cover these tracks / trails / roads. You will not only loose insurance cover, if something brakes, you will pay the parts and the costs for the repair in full. Please note, that you are allowed to drive most off road/gravel roads up country, as long as they are public roads, during your journey. There are exceptions like the road to Die Hell, which is not allowed, although a public road. Please ask upfront, if you are unsure.
What can I load into the trailer?
You rent a fully equipped camping trailer, a “little house on wheels” and not a luggage trailer. You have 6 of drawers available for your clothing and food + some space at the back of the load box. Please remember that you can buy almost all food and drinks along the road you travel. Driving overloaded will cause heavy damages, increase the chance of an accident and you will also loose insurance cover.
Why must I book a minimum of 4 or more days?
We put a lot of effort into maintaining, servicing and cleaning the trailers. Insurance is also not cheap (we pay +- 10 times more than one pays for a private trailer). Thus economic factors are the reason.
What comes with the trailer?
The trailer comes fully equipped and you don’t need to buy any camping equipment. If you want us to take something out, please let us know about that in advance. Please refrain from loading extra camping equipment (e.g. your ammo boxes with your kitchen stuff) and also from storing our equipment at your house, while you travel. Otherwise you may need to drive to us again or pay for missing items. Porta Pottis are not allowed in the trailer load box for hygienic reasons nor do we offer them for rent. If you want to take your own Porta Potti with you, please transport it in your vehicle.
Must I fill / refill the gas bottle?
The gas bottle/s come full and you don’t need to refill it.