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When we go to RV shows here in the US, we usually have pretty good success finding models from the mainstream manufacturers. But our ability to find smaller, niche players at the bigger RV shows is hit or miss. Over the years, we’ve been able to get reviews, mini reviews and walk-throughs of rigs for some of these other makers. Sometimes, people bring rigs to us, and sometimes we’ve had to travel to factories. We’ve been able to bag Advanced-RV, SVO Group, National Traveler, and others. But there’s always been one Class B out there that looked very interesting, but we were never able to review: the Safari Condo. So finally, like Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler, we traveled to its native habitat… Canada… and were able to capture one. Behold!
Safari Condo makes lots of different models, on several different chassis. They’re quite customizable with what they allow you to include in each of their models – but we saw the one that was the most interesting to us: the XL Flex, based on the Ram ProMaster chassis. I won’t go into detail here about the things that you’ll see in the review, but I’ll give you a few key take-aways.
1. The Purchase Process
François goes over this in the beginning of the video. Basically, Safari Condo does not have dealers for motorhomes here in the USA. In order to get one, you’ll need to get your own US-Spec van, and bring it to them. Then they’ll outfit the van, and you come and pick it up. It’s do-able, but certainly not as easy as just wandering down to your local dealer. You’ll need to do more of your own legwork to get one.
2. Focus on Reducing Complexity
There are a number of things in the Safari Condo that operate *manually* that on other rigs might operate electrically. Take the running board step. It’s manual. That might seem like a little extra chore the first time you exit the rig, but the benefit there is that those steps will basically never fail to work. Nor will they ever blow a fuse, or use electricity. There’s something to be said for that peace of mind.
3. Don’t want the awning or entertainment system? Fine.
François said it best: “Safari Condo does not wish to force their customers to buy things they don’t like.” When I look at a mainstream RV, I can instantly pick out several things I would delete if it were an option. Usually, it’s not. TV and antenna? Gone. Awning? Bye-bye. Safari Condo makes these kinds of options a reality. You gotta like that.
There are some other interesting choices, (gasoline heater, anyone?) that I’ll let you discover in the video. Sure there are some things we would change (large lithium batteries, eliminate propane, etc.). But most of those things, we could say about almost any Class B out there.
So – we finally bagged this unicorn… I mean, camper van. What do you think of it? Sound off in the comments below!
The inverter is actually 1500 watts. I had to laugh when someone pointed out the error. On the Safari Condo XL Flex specifications page, they list it as 1 500 watt inverter. I forgot they’re French speakers, and interpreted that as “One Five Hundred Watt Inverter”. Lol.