A teardrop caravan? Do we really need another one? Well yes, possibly. There are some things about the Vagabond Rogue, which made its UK debut at the Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Show in Manchester back in January, that make it worth exploring. Not least its country of origin – South Africa.
Pitch and set-up
Vagabond was established in Durban in 2009, and has already been exporting its trailers to other countries with similarly rugged terrain, including Australia.
The galvanised chassis that the Rogue sits on was built by the firm itself, and includes five-leaf suspension, but for reassurance, it comes with an Al-Ko hitch.
The Vagabond’s shell, a monocoque GRP body, is insulated with polyurethane foam. And if you are looking for something a little different from the traditional white box, the Rogue is available in a choice of five different colours, including canary yellow and burnt orange, as well as the model shown here.
The main section of the caravan has a door either side, with wide running boards that are easy to step on.
From here, even shorter people will be able to reach the load-bearing roof bars, which can carry a canopy that opens out in an ‘L’ shape down the nearside and rear of the van.
This usually costs £983.50, but until the end of August this year, you can get a Rogue with a canopy for £20,000. As an extra on top of that, you can add side walls, too.
Our test model included an exterior gas bottle, although this won’t be on production models, partly because there is no hob fitted as standard in the kitchen. There’s no caravan heater fitted as standard, either. But then, this is a snug small caravan.
Lounge in the Vagabond Rogue
Being a teardrop, the Rogue doesn’t have a conventional lounge, although the mattress that makes up the bed does fold to provide a settee of sorts.
For 2023, the windows and doors will be fitted with canvas covers and flyscreens.
One clever feature that you probably won’t see anywhere else is the adaptable interior and exterior lighting. This can be switched from standard white to an amber colour, a type of light that is thought to be less attractive to night-time critters.
You’ll also find a handy mains socket and two USB ports in the interior.
Kitchen in the Vagabond Rogue
If you go for the L-shaped canopy, the rear kitchen is where the Rogue really differs from many other teardrop caravans, because you won’t need to expose yourself to the elements to gain access to it.
As caravan kitchens in these types of caravan go, it isn’t too bad; as standard, you get a 50-litre Sno-Master fridge (which runs off the mains or the 105Ah leisure battery), a round sink and a wooden chopping board.
There’s a large crockery rack, and the crockery within it also comes as standard. You don’t get a fitted hob, however, but there is a table that can clip on either the side of the van, or the back behind the kitchen, where you could rest a portable gas hob.
This could then be connected to a gas bottle perched on the wheel arch: a bracket for securing a bottle there is included among the list of optional extras. This table could also give you some extra workspace, too.
If you’re wondering about the lack of a hob, it’s because one of the first things South Africans usually do when they go camping is fire up the braai for dining al fresco.
However you cook, with the fabric canopy up, you’ll have all the space you need.
Beds in the Vagabond Rogue
In this 2 berth caravan, the foam mattress folds out to convert from being a sofa to providing a very comfortable queen-size double bed. You should be able to shield out most of the light with those covers on the windows and doors.
There is no washroom as such, but as an optional extra, you can have a hot shower fitted to the offside load bar and an awning cubicle, for your own en suite shower. This system runs off gas, so you’d need to have the gas bottle fitted. The cubicle also doesn’t have a roof. Instead, you might prefer to have the optional 2 x 2m awning fitted here.
Storage in the Vagabond Rogue
Exterior storage consists of a locker over the A-frame, with space to house the battery and fuse box, and still have room for the hook-up lead.
The main living area provides storage in three open cubbyholes and a pair of zip-up compartments over one end of the bed, with two more compartments at the other end.
The Rogue is definitely eye-catching, but you are taking a bit of a punt if you go for this caravan, and not just because it’s a teardrop.
This is a new entrant to the UK market, so relatively untested here, and given its home country, accessing spare parts could take a while. However, this is an innovative caravan, with enough smart design to pique the interest of curious buyers.
Take a look at our review of the rugged Mink Highlander too, a practical micro tourer with a clever design.
Reason to buy:
- L-shaped canopy makes access to kitchen easier; lighting deters critters
Reason to avoid:
- No heater or hob fitted as standard
- Price: £19,200
- Berths: 2
- MiRO: 550kg
- Payload: 200kg
- MTPLM: 750kg
- Interior length: 2.05m
- Shipping length: 4.60m
- Overall width: 2.15m
- Double bed: 2.00 x 1.50m
- LED lighting
- USB ports
- Mains socket
- 60-litre water tank
- 50-litre fridge
Or you could try:
- Saly Carabinata Mini: neat and easy-to-tow, you’ll find this is a surprisingly spacious option.
- Campmaster King: this smart and appealing choice can be towed by smaller vehicles.
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|Interior Length||2.05 m|
|Shipping Length||4.60 m|