DaOrffo Shqiptar - how to build an expedition caravan in Poland?
Shqiptar is a vehicle with unique off-road properties that ordinary campers, caravans or tents do not have. It was created on the basis of the expedition and tourist experience of its builder. The mini motorhome caravan is distinguished by a unique combination of functional features, efficiency in moving off the asphalt and design.
Necessity is the mother of invention
The most comfortable, especially in difficult terrain, is traveling without unnecessary ballast. However, when we stop away from civilization, it is convenient to have everything that is responsible for our well-being at hand. Waking up in the Fagaras Mountains in the morning, do we dream of coffee from an espresso machine, served with milk froth in a ceramic mug? Or maybe in the evening, in the setting, Provencal sun, we will feel like a rose wine in a glass? Why not? In the past, during an expedition, each longer stop was preceded by dumping the contents of the trunk, putting up a tent, cooking on the grass and then sitting cross-legged around with metal cups in your hands. The table and chairs usually did not fit and many useful items had to be forgotten. Minimalism works well in three-day trips, but packing in the trunk of an off-road car for longer trips with the family is a difficult task. The DaOrffo expedition caravan has become our companion in these closer and further adventures.
This is how we traveled once
We spent our holidays with young children, dragging the loaned Niewiadówka to Croatia with our Land Cruiser. First, with a caravan, and finally with a large two-cabin tent, we visited almost all the Mediterranean islands and Provence. In spring and autumn, an off-road vehicle equipped with an expedition carrier with a roof tent traversed the wilderness of the Ukrainian Carpathians and Romanian mountain ranges from Apuseni through Parang to Fagarasha. We traveled along the eastern wall of Poland from Krakow, through the gorges of the Bug to the Masurian lakes, in a rented motorhome .
A caravan that is heavy and difficult to maneuver, just like a motorhome, forces you to travel on asphalt. Replacing it with a large tent and thus a fully loaded trunk discourages frequent movement from place to place and the related packing and unpacking, folding and unfolding. Both ways of traveling, whether it likes it or not, are limited to moving between furnished campsites. A roof tent helps in wandering outside the frequented routes and spending the night under the cloud. Unfortunately, longer trips with the family require more than that.
I needed a real off-road trailer
I dreamed that the expedition style of traveling by off-road vehicle, the ease of reaching inaccessible to most tourists, often wild places, independence from the tourist base, combine with the convenience of a caravan or motorhome. Looking for inspiration, I found Australian expedition trailers . The concept, proven in the interior, convinced me from the functional point of view. In Europe or Asia, however, you often travel along mountain routes. I have not found a manufacturer that would offer trailers capable of crossing mountain passes. Finally, I decided to design and build it according to my own needs.
The chassis of the trailer has been equipped with a height-adjustable drawbar , which allows to maintain the horizontal position of the frame regardless of the height of the hook, which in off-road vehicles may exceed the scope of EU regulations. Large ground clearance and angles allow you to overcome obstacles. The vehicle was equipped with off-road tires 265x75x16 "with AT tread, just like the Land Cruiser pulling it. For better damping, the suspension was supported by additional shock absorbers . The next step was to build the body. made of waterproof plywood secured with yacht varnish. From the outside, we can operate a roof tent attached to the railing, retractable masts for attaching the tarpaulin roof and a valve for the water tank under the box. The sides are lined with rubber cladding and when opened, they function as worktops.In the middle there are compartments separated by bulkheads, illuminated by diodes: kitchenette with a cupboard - a cabinet with containers for various purposes; technical compartment equipped with tools camping cannons and equipment; Extendable Expedition Crates; shelf for a table and folding chairs; place for a fridge and supplies. During transport, the equipment can be secured in many ways by attaching it to the bulkhead thanks to numerous catches and grips. The low weight and dimensions help to maneuver the detached trailer , especially on mountain climbs when you need to retreat, and turning back without detaching is not possible due to the slope.
DaOrffo Shqiptar is a vehicle born of passion and the need for independence. The name was created while planning our first Albanian adventure and means a native Albanian . The original design was inspired by wooden travel trunks, old suitcases with metal hinges, fittings and locks, covered with stickers from around the world, just like Duduś's suitcase from "Travel for a Smile". This mini motorhome attracts attention, arouses admiration, sometimes with a slight jealousy of off-road and caravanning enthusiasts, and is most conducive to making friends. First the construction and then the test of the caravan were so far one of our most interesting family adventures. We dragged it through Durmitor in Montenegro, the Albanian Riviera all the way to Corfu. From where, on the way back, we made our way through the Albanian mountains over Ohrid and further through Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia to Poland. Traveling with an expedition caravan, the comfort of camping and the freedom of movement thanks to its functionality and off-road qualities allow you to boldly plan further routes, even taking into account daily moving from place to place.
Parameters of the DaOrffo Shqiptar trailer
- Dimensions: about 250x150x150cm
- Weight: 350kg
- DMC: 700kg
- Materials: stainless steel, plywood, yacht lacquer, galvanized and lacquered steel
Openable and removable sides, roof railing, 2 retractable masts attached to the body box, covers for the front side and masts, 4 maneuvering handles, wheel arches with railing, 4 wheel chocks, LED interior lighting on each side, 4 12V outlets, internal partitions ,, handles for securing luggage, rubber mud flaps
Wheels 265x75x16 ", Googrich AT tires, steel rims, adjustable drawbar, axle suspension, front and rear support, 35l water tank with a tap
3-person roof tent 160x220x110 with a ladder, mosquito net and a sponge mattress; 2 additional masts; Axe; cauldron stand; cauldron; shovel; gas igniter; rectifier; 3 kg gas cylinder; gas grill; 4 plastic crates; 230V 30m cable on a drum; fuel canister 10l; quickly unfolding tent for 3 people, 60x120 table, 4 folding chairs, tent shower cubicle, portable shower with a hand pump, 100 meters of string on a spool, 4 quick fist holders for attaching an ax and a boiler stand
I professionally deal with design and interior architecture. In my spare time, I design and build expedition trailers that I test during expeditions.