The "Icarus" camper conversion

South Africa's Alu-Cab offers an innovative and easy way to enjoy the outdoors.
5 June, 2017
Campers and outdoor enthusiasts who own Land Rovers now have a specially designed aluminium conversion "tent" that mounts right on the vehicle and immediately turns the vehicle into a campsite.
The Icarus, offered by the Alu-Cab Company in Cape Town, comes as a kit to install at the roof. Users simply climb out of the vehicle wherever they are, and flip the roof up in a process that the company says takes only a few seconds. At that point, users can access the two-person camper from inside the truck, which, as they joke, can be a real advantage in Africa if you're camping out in lion country.

The aluminium unit weighs just 125 kilograms, and fits in with Alu-Cab's line of outdoor accessories. The company first started making products for "bakkies," the word used for light pickup trucks in South Africa and Namibia, and expanded its commercial business into recreational product lines. The firm continued to trust aluminium because of its strength and durability in harsh wilderness conditions.
"It's a wonderful metal to work with, it's strong but very light, it lasts a long time and doesn't corrode," the company explains. "In many cases our products outlast the vehicle we are building them for." Since it's designed for hard-hitting adventure, the Icarus aerodynamics minimize wind resistance and fuel, too.

The Icarus measures 2,800 millimeters by 1,420 mm, and is 360 mm high. The mattress dimensions nearly match the interior space, at 2,400 mm by 1,300 mm, with a width that's created using two separate mattress sections. The sleeper compartment was designed with a flip-up panel, so that users can stand up in the vehicle when they need to, making it easier to dress or pack up necessary gear.
Images: Mens Gear, and Motor1
There is also a slide-out solar power unit and a foldaway stove. On the exterior of the unit are LED lights and storage spaces, which make some extra room for pots, pans and other kitchen utensils.

The aluminum conversion is available in kit form, and is easily installed. The end result when deployed is a tent that's shaped like a triangle, connecting at the narrow point with the Land Rover roofline at the driver's windshield and rising on an angle to its full height at the back of the truck. The back of the tent runs as a straight line to again meet the truck roof at a 90-degree angle. The system is also compatible with a full-sized awning that extends from the roofline to create a shaded "patio" for meals or relaxing.
Image: Motor1
The aluminium materials make for a product that's consistent with the great outdoors that it celebrates, and Alu-Cab is committed to sustainability and environmental protection. They don't stop with their sales though: At Alu-Cab, customers are encouraged to donate their secondhand camping gear to support the fight against rhino poaching. The company coordinates donations of tents, sleeping bags, cook stoves, flashlights and even cell phones, and makes sure they go to teams protecting rhinos.

While the company has always shipped to anywhere in South Africa, Alu-Cab is growing its markets in North America, Europe and Australia, so Land Rover enthusiasts who want a solution that fits their adventures can take advantage of the Icarus availability, too.
Banner image: Motor1