Apologies for the long answer, but I believe in doing my homework before I jump in and buy. It took me nearly 18 months before I bought and I am really glad I did my research! On a Land Rover weekend outing in May 2009, we had a Mission accompanying us – well it was set-up as a marketing exercise.
I remember having had a good look at it and here are my recollections”
1. Nicely finished and very neat looking trailer.
2. I like the condensation sheet in the top section “ceiling”.
3. A bit thin where it matters – hinges, locks etc. Look at the catches that hold the sides closed, I only use some of those to keep my gas bottles tight in their brackets, NOT to keep the entire lid closed, locked and in place. The side door / panel hinges are only fixed by those short hinge areas. I have a concern with fibreglass and fatigue cracking stemming from motion and vibration cycles.
4. You are still bound to packing things in ammo boxes, believe me this becomes a pita!!!
5. Personally I am not a big fan of the thin nylon tent construction. Although there are advantages in terms of airyness, coolness etc, particularly during the hot summer. However when I am off the beaten track I prefer the extra sturdiness of the ripstop canvass. One of my previous trailers had a similar roof construction and it was not waterproof in medium to heavy rain conditions. Just have a look at the clearance between the canopy (dark green nylon) and the tent (light khaki). From one of the website images it looks as if the canopy is lying on the tent fabric. If this clearance is not adequate, you are bound to get wet inside the tent!
6. The newness factor scares me a bit. On the overland forum Alfred asked for some feedback on 30 Sept 2009. He asked a very valid question: How does the fibreglass body take to offroad (conditions)? Heinrich Nel asked a similar question 24 Aug 2009 on Landyonline. Neither have had any responses to date. Has the trailer proven itself yet? There is a reason why the established makes are a little more expensive – they have paid their school fees!
7. The towing hitch assembly also does not inspire confidence. I am biased as I have an overrun brake setup that is very sturdy (but also heavy).
8. From one of the images on their website I see that the ladder was located in the entrance to the tent area. This is nice as you are able to fit a double bed / mattress on the floor, however it is impractical for getting in and out of the tent. Just have a look whether it is an issue, can the ladder be shifted in a horizontal plane? If it can, where would you locate it if there was a double bed on the floor?
9. Nice big loadbox in the nose. As long as you never put your fridge in there!!! Or load all the heavy items in the nose! Ask around for guys who have had problems with compressors packing up etc. If I am not mistaken either Gerrit, Koos or Faffa wrote up something regarding this issue. The nosecone is closed during travelling, causing a heat build up inside the box and the vibration is also death to a fridge. Is there space somewhere for a fridge inside the trailer? If the family is going to / has grown, then one fridge in the car will not suffice for extended trips.
10. Have a look at how the watertank is secured on the floor. Does it have a protective layer underneath (carpet, foam etc) and is there a protective layer underneath the metal straps to prevent chafing?
11. The jockey wheel is quite seriously offset to one side as a result of the folding mechanism. It is brilliant for folding it out of the way when towing, it is not so great when you get into the trailer to sleep. You then place quite a strain on that offset fitting and will make the nose unstable. If you are able to find a demo unit, check this out as it is annoying if you turn around in your bed at night and the entire trailer wobbles around the nose. I have 2 jockey wheels – one of the reasons is to prevent that instability. The manufacturers argument is bound to be that they have 2 stabilisers at the back, even so, just confirm for yourself that it will not be an issue.
12. I agree with Gerrit, get a decent gas stove!!! It is really annoying early in the morning when you have killed the previous night’s fire, to battle with a puny heat source in a strong wind just to make that 1st cup of coffee! The one with the better burners works really well and although the flame is also affected by really strong winds (without a wind shield), it still gets the job done whereas the “normal” version is blown out. We have also not yet had a problem with clogging nozzles etc, as experienced by friends with the normal version.
13. I know you have been looking for a while, but beware buyer’s remorse. Carry on doing your homework to reach a decision that will suit not just you, but also those that will use the trailer with you (partner, wife, kids etc). My wife was the deciding factor as she had real practical questions that some manufacturers could not resolve satisfactorily!