We recently upgraded and fitted our customer’s new Toyota Hilux with 4×4 accessories and camping equipment, just in time for his Namibian Go Camp adventure. Read all about Otto’s experience below…
Article and images by Otto du Plessis
Like many people who know Go Camp, I’ve always known it as the place to rent cool camping equipment from. When Dawie made what is usually a massive mission for me (installing and uninstalling rooftop tents and whatever else I needed) look as though it was a relaxing bubble bath for him, I’m a returning customer for life! But when I discovered that their Cape Town branch also sources, supplies and fits aftermarket 4×4 accessories, it made perfect sense to book my new vehicle in for some upgrades.
My list of upgrades included a suspension lift, a Front Runner Roof Rack installation, a new Rhinoman canopy fitment, a battery system with charger cable installation, and I also booked a camping fridge and the Tentco Rooftop Tent from Go Camp’s rental division.
Andrew, Go Camp’s Cape Town branch director, had been pretty patient with me while waiting to hear which vehicle I’d decided to buy so that he could order the right parts for the fitment. The temptation to go for a Land Cruiser ’79 was all too real and tossing between buying that and the new Hilux was somewhat traumatic.
I finally decided that while I still have to endure some city commuting, the Hilux would be a better option. My indecisiveness wasn’t the only thing delaying being able to finally hand things over to Go Camp for fitment…
Toyota’s Chip Shortage (and Andrew’s Patience)
A few days before fitment it became apparent that Toyota’s global chip shortage and the delays to production lines meant that the delivery date of my vehicle had been pushed out until further notice. If I wanted a new Hilux in time for fitment and our trip to Namibia, I’d have to settle for it being a different colour from the one I’d ordered. With so much uncertainty surrounding the estimated timeframe for the arrival of my original vehicle preference, I went ahead with the option for the ‘more available’ silver model, which would arrive in a day or two. Remembering that Andrew was going to colour code the new Rhinoman canopy for me, I needed to let him know about the change. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late. “No problem.” Phew.
Finally, my new Hilux’s arrival day came and when a video call from the dealership appeared on my phone, I held my breath. “Mr du Plessis, I’ve got something very exciting to show you! Not only is your vehicle here, but it’s also the original colour you wanted after all! We’re sending it for rubberizing and then it’s all yours.” I was given a full video view of my new Toyota Hilux, after all that, in Oxide Bronze.
Knowing that the silver canopy had already arrived for fitment, I decided to take my chances with the colour mismatch and spare myself and poor Andrew from any more flip-flopping. Thankfully the canopy/vehicle default colour combo works and it’s really grown on me. I may just leave it as is, but Andrew mentioned that I could have the canopy colour-coded at a later stage if I want to.
Andrew, Dawie and the rest of the Go Camp team had my newly upgraded vehicle ready and waiting in less than a day, and with a friendly and professional level of service, just as I’ve experienced before. There’s still plenty more upgrades that I’d like to do through Go Camp – suspension is one of them – but for now, I’m still reeling from the excitement of the last off-road adventure.
Going Further #NoExcuses
When it comes to who you choose to work on your vehicle, I prefer someone who really understands what I spend most of my time doing with my vehicle, and what I want to be able to do more of. It’s even better when they’re doing the same thing with their own vehicles and can relate to your budget with the understanding of the adventures and places you want to get to. That’s what makes a trip to the Go Camp workshops something to look forward to: the team are always ready with loads of knowledge (and coffee) and their excitement about working on your vehicle for your next trip is a 5-star experience no matter what your budget is.
The advice from Robert (Go Camp’s Marketing Director) to lower my tyre pressure right down from what I had them at for the first bit of the trip, made the world of difference to some of Namibia’s tyre-eating terrains. It also brought out a much better ride quality of the vehicle over those unforgivingly rough and bumpy surfaces and from then on I could enjoy driving my fully-loaded vehicle through 5000 km of epic Namibian terrain.
When I think of some of the crazy off-roading we put the new Hilux through, loaded with everything from camping fridges, battery packs, extra diesel and water, rooftop tent & ground tent, and all our other equipment, I’m really impressed that the only repair work I needed was a windscreen replacement (thanks to a passing vehicle in the Etosha National Park).
Sitting back next to my newly kitted and upgraded vehicle, even when covered in dust the same colour as the tracks behind it, while staring out at some of Damaraland’s unworldly landscapes with a beer in my hand is what makes the prepping and planning all worth it.
WATCH: A look at some of the fitments at the Go Camp workshop
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