Quality, Luxury and Simplicity – what that means from a Gecko Offroad perspective
At Gecko Offroad, you will often hear us talk about three specific words related to the Gecko Xtreme: quality, luxury, and simplicity. These may be simple and generic words, but they embody the ethos of the Gecko Xtreme and how we work here at Gecko Offroad. To illustrate this in more detail, we got Keith, Alison, Jeff and Chris to sit, drill-down and talk about what these words mean in the context of Gecko Offroad and our caravans.
When we think of the word quality, certain things come to mind such as longevity, durability, and strength. The Gecko Xtreme was built with this in mind, and can be translated into the following elements:
- Quality of materials
At the time of development, we decided to never compromise on quality at the expense of cost. This has translated in the Gecko Xtreme being one of the most robust and strong caravans on the market. This can be attributed to the:
- Structural Quality – All the timber used in the caravan is Marine Ply British Standard 1088. This type of marine ply is highly resistant to cold, boiling water, steam and is extremely durable against the elements. Zero wood rot is guaranteed. The caravan is also built dustproof. There are no vents or fans to pressurize the caravan to keep the dust out.
- Aluminum Structure – All rectangular and square tubing used is a minimum of 2mm thick. The caravan has 240 meters of aluminum tubing, and there are 1330 aluminum welds. All furniture and fittings are bolted or riveted into aluminum to ensure they stay in place across rough terrain.
- Furnishings and Fittings – The sourcing of furnishings and fittings (taps, stoves, pumps and toilet) is critical. We import these fittings from either Germany or the United Kingdom. Our geysers and power management systems are sourced locally and are among the best on the market.
- Undercarriage – Our chassis are manufactured by a local structural engineering company and are galvanized at a SABS approved galvanizing facility based in Gauteng. The undercarriage, axles, coupler, spring packs, shock absorbers etc., are of German origin and are manufactured under license in South Africa.
We have spoken about the quality of the materials now let us talk about workmanship. To guarantee the best possible quality, we manufacture most components and parts in-house. This ensures quality, reliability, and attention to detail on the production line. The Gecko Xtreme goes through 7 workstations. Each workstation has a dedicated craftsman who has the specialized skills to perform the work required at t
hat specific workstation. We also have our very own fiberglass production facility so we can control the quality of the caravan’s fiberglass elements. The facility is run by our lead laminator, who has over 15 years of industry experience. We decided it was necessary to have our own dedicated fiberglass facility to control the quality of the caravan’s fiberglass elements.
- Customer experience
Regrettably, we have a production lead time of around eight months, and we have often been asked by our customers why we do not expand our business to reduce our production time. Our answer to this that our company philosophy has, and always will be, quality over quantity.
Quality for us is segmented into every part of our business from the materials to our employees, suppliers, and our customers.
Luxury for us means comfort, which is why you will find a king-size bed, a shower, toilet, packing space and more. This extends beyond the interior, especially when you take insulation into consideration. Insulation is a vital element for comfort which is why the sides, back, front and ceiling panels are all double skin glass fiber with 26mm thick insulation keeping the caravan cool in summer and warm in winter. The insulation has also proven to be a barrier to sound, so if you are a light sleeper, this would be an advantage. The design of the caravan and roof also enhances comfort, especially if you are tall. Our roof is bigger than most, so there is more space to move and gives the caravan an open and spacious feel. The design of the roof and vents allow for enhanced ventilation.
The kitchen design also enhances comfort. The kitchen work top height has been set at the international ergonomic standard for work tops heights. This means that it is a comfortable medium for all heights, no stretching or bending necessary.
Our team also searched for several different add-on’s and accessories that could further enhance the comfort and luxury levels. These include the Snappy Chef, tent extensions, kettle top, utility bags, solar panels and more.
Each of these elements makes the Gecko Xtreme feel like the home away from home that you could take on all your on-road, offroad and off-grid adventures.
The Gecko Xtreme was designed with simplicity, ease of setup and use in mind. This translated into an ergonomic caravan design, where everything has a place and a spot.
For example, the kitchen pulls out and has a place for your fridge, a stove top, wash up section, veggie draw, and more. This is right next to the pantry section – everything is in one place, making life a little simpler.
The modular tenting solution can be adapted and changed to your unique needs and takes around 3 to 4 minutes to set up and breakdown.
Our caravan design and suspension setup also mean that towing stability is exceptional. The spring pack is mounted on top of the 2.5-tonne axle, which means that the axle, and not the U-bolts, are carrying the weight of the caravan. A further advantage of this is that you get an increased ground clearance of 500mm, which comes in handy when travelling offroad. The Gecko’s wheel track follows in the tow vehicle track. This ensures that the caravan will not create (eco-friendly) new tracks and will be easier to tow through thick sand – making going offroad that much easier.
We have also put in a state-of-the-art power management system. This is positioned in the seating bank for a particular reason, and that is for functionality. You can access all switches, read all voltages, and check that your geyser is on quickly and with ease and as you open the caravan door.
The Gecko Xtreme was built by campers with over 30 years of camping experience under their belts. This has translated into a caravan design and build that ticks all the boxes in terms of Quality, Luxury, and Simplicity.