This Affordable Off-Road Travel Trailer Puts South Africa on the Off-Grid Map for Good

Everest Camper 12 photos
Photo: Summit Offroad
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What makes a great camper? Well, it all depends on who you ask. But, most of us want a unit that's light, comfortable, has the necessities to sustain life off-grid, handle some off-road use, and, above all, be affordable. Let's see how South Africa's Everest stands up to the test.
Folks, by the time we're done going through all that makes up an Everest camper from Summit Offroad, you could very well find yourself booking a ticket to South Africa. Why? Because this thing is so amazing and, at the same time, so cheap that you'll have the cash to even take a vacation around that continent and then ship it back to your home country and still spend only around $20K on the entire ordeal. How!?

To understand a bit about how the Everest camper can only cost around $13,600 (260,000 South African Rands), we need to take a look at the minds and hands behind the magic. In this case, that crew is Summit, a manufacturer from Pretoria with very little info on their roots. All we're told is that their machines are crafted with "over a decade of field-tested performance."

Heck, their Facebook page has only been active since 2020, so they're rather young in comparison to other industry giants but no less notable. I mean, how often do you find a camper the likes of what we see in the gallery for the price mentioned above?

Everest Camper
Photo: Summit Offroad
Now, to kick things off with the Everest unit, let's start from the ground and work our way up. Upon seeing this camper for the first time, it was clear that it was designed to break away from the tarmac, but one way Summit managed to keep costs to a minimum was by throwing on an 8-layer leaf spring suspension with shock absorbers. Enough to let you veer off the highway onto some dusty old road, and coupled with 345 mm (13.5 in) of ground clearance, you should be fine venturing into the wild.

With the suspension in place, Summit adds a galvanized chassis upon which they craft the rest of this mobile outdoor haven. Folded, that shell also comes in with a height of just 1.36 m (4.5 ft), so it's bound to feel stable as you romp around.

Once you've finally made it to that hidden campsite in the middle of nowhere, stabilize your unit, unhitch it, and take a step back before cracking open the Everest like the Swiss Army knife that it is. It's at this stage that we'll be able to create a fully-blown campsite out of an Everest, including sleeping space for up to four guests.

Everest Camper
Photo: Summit Offroad
We begin by first unfolding the rear tent assembly integrated into the unit's abilities, and after you do, you'll find your bedroom waiting, elevated above the world so that ground-dwelling critters don't take a bite out of you while sleeping. Once storage options, LED lighting, and ripstop fabric are in place, your bedroom is basically complete. But where are the rest of the goodies I've been talking about?

Well, suppose you're up to date with another nation under the equatorial line, Australia. In that case, you may have seen similarities between the Everest and other Aussieland-born machines. One of which is the orientation toward outdoor living, so everything we're looking for is found back outside.

Starting with things like the all-essential kitchen, it's found on the left of the unit, and like other campers of this style, it is accessible via a lockable cabinet and simply slides out from within the shell. Here, we find a complete kitchen with a two-burner top, wash basin, countertop space, and storage for dry and canned foods, not to mention a 90 l (24 gals) fridge. Summit even throws in dishware.

Everest Camper
Photo: Summit Offroad
For the water needed to wash all the campsite's meat and veggies (go ahead, think dirty), the manufacturer managed to add two 80 l (21 gals) water tanks to the chassis, and an outdoor shower is what you'll be using to clean yourself. Grab a tent annex and portable toilet, and enjoy showers under god's ever-watchful gaze.

But what about off-grid use? You already know how much water is at our disposal, but Summit also adds some of the basics we need to tap into the power of the sun, local park grid, or even our own vehicles, ensuring you can live off the land for as long as you can stand your own bodily aromas. This includes a 100 Ah deep cycle battery, solar-ready inverter, and all the inputs you'd need or want.

Further down the Everest story, we start talking about storage options and all the extras you can load up to one of these, but that still doesn't change the fact that all you'll really need to do is grab a portable solar panel and a toilet, and off you go. With $15K, you're set to explore some of the wildest of places, and not a whole lot of manufacturers can say that.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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