Five days ago we saw our South African Iveco Daily 4×4 Motorhome for the first time, now we spent the first night and day in our „rolling home“ for the next months (and years to come) after equipping it with most of the necessary (indoor) items in Cape Town. The first impression is very positive, our „Impala“ has a lot of adorable features, but only the next weeks of usage will proof the „test of goodness“ . Offroad enthusiasts will claim, that these extras are negative to the offroad abilities of the Iveco and yes, that’s true. With this used Iveco from 2015 we’ll drive more of an motorhome than an offroad expedition mobile.
Update: After a few weeks of travelling, we start to really love our south african made Iveco Daily 4 x 4 Motorhome. You want to know why? We‘ll update this article during the next month of travel.
An Iveco Daily 4×4 as the chassis for us is the best mixture of a reliable 4 x 4 vehicle and a comfortable living cabin. Your are not driving in a loud and hard truck and your are not travelling in a tiny Landcruiser. The perfomance on dirt roads, gravel roads, tracks, washboards, steep hills or fords is perfect thanks to 3 x differentials and 24 gears (1:1, 1:1,3. 1:3).
Our south African, pre-owned Iveco Daily 4 x 4 of 2015 is incredibly well equipped. If one needs all that luxury, depends on the individual taste, but as we bought the car used and therefore pre-manufactured, we take it as it is and make use of all the „ingredients of an overall tasty recipe“.
+ 3 x solar panels on the roof, 2 x 200 Amph Battery Capacity in the cabin
+ 200 Litres Freshwater
+ extra tank for fuel/diesel to total 220 Litres
+ australian high-quality rims and heavy-duty tires
+ two spare tires
+ roof rack
+ exterior stove (mini-kitchen)
+ fridge (Waeco) plus cooler box (Engel)
+ 5-phase water filtration system
+ tons of storage
+ seperate shower/toilet and outdoor shower
+ ground floor bed for easy access and multiple use
If you want to see, how an African Iveco Daily 4 x 4 looks like, you are invited to watch the following video. We filmed and cutted it very quick in less than 1 h and with no love for details, just to show interested people a first impression, so please excuse any „uuhpps“.
As you see on this website, we travelled in an Iveco Daily 4×4 from Alaska to Mexiko in 2008-2020. So why not shipping this european motorhome to Africa? Several reasons led to the decision:
1. Our private time frame and options to travel are restricted to 2021, so we didn‘t want to loose more time with Covid and Co. as we already did (we had to skip our South America plans in April 2020 due to Covid and shipped back to Europe). So we eagerly want to take advantage of 2021 and do not want to sped precious time in Germany waiting for less border and travel restrictions, that are still not in sight internationally.
2. To ship a european motorhome in January/February this year to Port Elizabeth would have been a very high risk, if not completely impossible. The alternative to buy a car in southern Africa seemed to be the easier and less risky way. If you think now „Wow, they must have money like hell to afford easily buying a motorhome overseas!?!“ , then we answer „No, but we can calculate.“
3. A tour through Africa is intense for every chassis: bad roads, long distances, the potential of damages, theft or accidents is high. So why risking an european motorhome, that is quite a bit more expensive than african models? Better to put the kilometers on a more reasonably priced, good, but not over-the-top-quality-car. And furthermore on a vehicle, that was manufactured for the country you are travelling in! If you use your european motorhome, it will not only cost you the shipment back and forth, but also the loss in value (or repairs either way). Plus the risk of Roll-on-roll-off shipment – our car was broken in and heavily thefted during shipment from Veracruz, Mexiko…
4. To find workshops, spare parts etc. for the Iveco Daily 4 x 4, which is an underdog and still rarely known worldwide, in southern Africa for a model, that was manufactured down south, seemes more logic to us, than to struggle with getting the right parts from Europe to Africa for a european model.
5. We just started travelling, so expectations will have to be proven by time and travel, but we expect, that we‘ll not have import restrictions if we pass through different african countries. We don‘t need a Carnet de Passage and don‘t have to renew it after one year with a south african registered vehicle. So leaving the Iveco in a safe storage e.g. in Namibia sounds very easy, if we can‘t manage to travel over a longer period of time.
6. Why not renting a camper? Possibly it‘s less expensive, if we would rent a camper in South Africa. BUT: We would like to travel several times at least 6 month. Most rental companies don‘t support such long term travels. Plus they put restrictions on the usage of the rented vehicle like excluded roads or forbidden border crossings to neighbouring countries. To travel in our own car gives us a lot more freedom.
7 Why not travelling in a cheaper Landcruiser, that could be shipped in a container? We Overlanders are all very individual characters. Each of us has it‘s own do‘s and dont‘s, that you can try to understand or leave it. For us a Landcruiser-type is definitive too tiny and too less self sufficient (small tanks, minor load etc.) to happily travel for periods like six month in a row in it. We need a bit more for feeling comfortable and safe and as long as we can afford it, we‘ll do it.