I first heard about Safari Vehicles in July 1999 when I was traveling in Alaska and met Michael Sedor. Michael saw my truck while I was refueling in Anchorage, and we began discussing expedition trucks. I was already beginning to see the serious deficiencies with my Pop-up tent camper, and when Michael showed me literature on Safari Vehicles expedition campers, I was eager to learn more.
Three months later on my way back to my home in Colorado, I met the president of Safari Vehicles Manufacturing, David Lam, at his shop in Richmond, BC, Canada, just south of Vancouver.
David Lam is both an engineer and a craftsman, and his campers are best described as functional works of art. Every time I mentioned a problem that I had encountered with my Pop-up camper, David would show me his solution to the problem. He had an amazing collection of catalogs from countries around the world with products that I didn't even know existed. Diesel cook stoves, 12 volt high efficiency refrigerators, honeycomb laminate panels; the list of innovative solutions to my problems seemed endless. After an afternoon discussing expedition camper design with David, I knew that I wanted David to build my new camper.
We exchanged phone calls and emails throughout the winter of 1999-2000, and in March of 2000, I drove my truck to David's shop in Richmond, BC, Canada and Safari Vehicles began construction. David and I reviewed my design specs and roughed out an initial layout. I flew to Vancouver a couple of times during the summer of 2000 to review the progress of my camper and finalize design details.
Finally, my camper was complete. In mid October 2000, I flew to Vancouver, BC, Canada and picked up my expedition truck with the new Safari Vehicles camper installed. My new Safari Vehicles Camper is extremely comfortable to live in and quickly exceeded all of my expectations.
My Safari Vehicles camper will enable me to be completely self sufficient for extended periods. It is completely self contained, and everything is powered by either 12 volt or diesel. High efficiency 12 volt and diesel appliances are used for refrigeration and cooking. A diesel heater and 12 volt air conditioner keep the camper comfortable in both winter and summer conditions. It has a 36 gallon fresh water supply, running hot water, a shower and a built in chemical toilet. The insulated body, 225 amp hours of 12 volt battery power, maple cabinets, efficiently designed interior and quality components all make for an amazing piece of expedition equipment. The camper has been designed to completely eliminate the need for propane, since propane is potentially very dangerous and can be difficult to find in remote areas. With a 220 amp alternator and 170 watts of solar panels, I have plenty of reserve 12 volt power. Marine and high quality hardware are used throughout the camper.
While my camper is a new SVM design, it shares many of the same features as previous expedition campers built by Safari Vehicles. One major difference between my camper and previous campers built by Safari Vehicles is the camper body, My camper body construction is primarily a honeycomb composite that is light weight, well insulated and incredibly strong. I hit a sample piece as hard as I could with a hammer and managed to make only a small indentation.
My Safari Vehicles camper will enable me to travel to the remotest places on the planet with a high level of convenience and comfort. Traveling with my Safari Vehicles camper is the difference between enjoying an expedition and enduring an expedition.