How we designed and built our
mobile camping system
Dave has been camping all his life and thus has seen many different ways to camp. Most of the Kenya luxury mobile camping safaris are very well designed except they are generally heavy which then requires more time to move from one place to the next and hence greater cost.
Using his engineering background, artistic flair and Kenyan "know-how", Dave set out in 2016 to build a light, fast moving, luxurious camping system. The two main objectives were to reduce mass and have a more space efficient packing system. Dave bought an aluminium welding machine and taught himself on u-tube how to weld. He then started building aluminium tables for the sleeping tents as each tent requires 5 tables and also 2 "bed boxes". These two big boxes carry all the internal contents of a tent, once empty they become two beds and are arranged as a "twin" or a "double"
Dave imported light weight fabrics to make the sleeping tents that were custom made by one of Kenya's leading tent makers. Dave made aluminium poles which then further reduced the mass of each tent. The design is a simple ridge pole tent similar to those used in "days of old". They are light and airy in the day and warm and cosy at night with full mosquito net doors making the tent fully insect proof.
The dining furniture was also taken into account by building a one piece "D" ended dining table, again out of aluminium and then sourcing aluminium chairs from UK.
The most impressive of the systems that Dave has put together is the kitchen. Dave bought a small 4 ton Isuzu truck and custom built a body on the truck which carries all the camping equipment but also turns into a fully catering kitchen. It includes an in-built gas oven and stove and three 80 litre Engel 12 volt fridge / freezers which pull on drawer rails to allow easy access. These fridges are powered off a battery system run by the truck, this battery system also converts 12 volts to 240 volts which is supplied to the dining tent to enable guests to charge their cameras / phones etc and also power the drinks fridge in the bar area.
Having built this small compact, light, fast moving system it has opened up many doors for Dave as to what he can now offer. Because the system is light it requires fewer staff to move it and also less time such that now it is possible to move from one campsite / wlidlife area to another all in the same day. The implications of this time saving is ultimately a cost saving to the guest, as now we need less staff and do not need to stop at a lodge when the camp is moving.
The next move .... ?
Dave is now working on converting the truck to 4 wheel drive which is proving to be a slow difficult task, but watch this space :))))
We urge you to join us on a Dave Simpson Safari for an amazing African experience.