First of all, Badger Caravans has actually been on the camper scene for over 20 years, but for some reason, we're just now starting to see the results of their magic. If you have any friends or acquaintances in South Africa, then you know that this is all very normal; things just move at a different speed down there.
But that's not what's important here; what is essential is the result of their work. For example, take a nice long look at the Extreme and tell me what sort of camper they might remind you of. If you answered a Boler, you know, those Canadian-born travel trailers built from one continuous piece of fiberglass, then we think alike.
Sure, sections and cutouts of the Extreme are seen, but the overall shell, including front and rear caps, roo, and even underbelly, all appear to be one continuous piece. In short, it's the sort of unit that comes across as bulletproof against the elements.
But I'll let you check out the video on your own time. For now, let's ditch the city life, ready the truck or 4x4, and throw around $24K (455,000 South African Rands at current exchange rates) at the most standard of Badger Extremes. Yes, that's all the manufacturer requires before handing over a bare unit.
However, 'bare' means something entirely different in South Africa, especially when we consider the sort of landscape native to the country. For example, each Extreme is set up on a hot dipped galvanized chassis with an independent suspension, the stuff you need to overcome countless obstacles your off-road journey may throw at you.
Once you make it to your destination, be it some camper park, illegally parked on the side of the road, or, if you've got all the right connections, overlooking some vineyard, we'll be able to follow along with the video and expose all that makes the Extreme what it is.
Along the port side of the unit, the door to the camper even includes a little storage bay and tabletop for things like cooking utensils and spices. Why? This side of the unit also houses the outdoor galley, which is found at the rear of the unit. Pop open more air-spring-loaded hatches, ready a cooktop, slide out the fridge tray, and your kitchen is set.
From here, it's onto expanding the interior living space, achieved by unfolding a section of the camper's right side and, in the process, unveiling a wonderful tent shell. Extend some support legs, and it's time to climb inside to bring some rigidity to the whole thing. Throw on a rainfly, and this space is ready for what's to come.
Yet, this happens only once the outdoor bathroom is set up, which is achieved by lowering the shower platform from the rear of the Extreme. Finishing touches include extending a solar panel, maybe an awning, unloading whatever else you brought along for your trip, and enjoying the rest of your stay.
From here, it's up to you how you want to go about things; all Badger does is ensure you have a safe, warm, and comfortable habitat where you can retreat in case the insects are just too much to handle this year.
There's just one catch to the Extreme, and it's been in plain sight ever since I started this article: the fact that this unit is built and sold in South Africa. This means that getting one will include some hefty shipping costs, assuming it's even in line with your local laws and regulations regarding camper construction and use.
Nonetheless, Badger's Extreme travel trailer can very well stand as a clear example of a camper done right, one that includes on-road capability with campsite functionality, all the while never losing sight of what this lifestyle is all about, taking a shower, cooking, and relaxing under god's gaze.