4EVR operations director manager George Lotz, already quite busy, was at first hoping that Heyn’s caravan project was a joke, but after the shock, he’s enjoying it a lot more now

Int’l design award for EdgeOut camper-trailer from 4EVR

CAPE roto moulder 4EVR took centre stage at the prestigious Red Dot Design Awards in Germany in June when it won a top award for its new EdgeOut camper-trailer.

Designed and manufactured in South Africa, the EdgeOut camper-trailer is a world-first roto moulded solution suitable for use on tar and gravel roads, with just one of its standout features being that it is relatively lightweight – coming in at less than 750kgs – which allows it to be drawn by standard saloon cars.

The Red Dot Design Award programme – organised by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany – is an international design competition for product design, communication design and design concepts which has garnered global recognition, largely due to the success of many of the winning designs it has recognised. 4EVR received the award in the category Product Design category, which attracted 7,900 entries from 60 countries from across the world. With this award, EdgeOut finds itself in the company of global groups such as Ferrari, Philips, Google, Lenovo, HP and Siemens and now has the approval to use the coveted Red Dot seal as an acknowledged and revered international seal of outstanding design quality.

4EVR Plastic Products, one of the oldest Cape roto moulding businesses having been started in 1975, has been owned and run by Vonnie Heyns and Simon Botha since 2008, following which, if anything, product development abilities and efficiencies have been firmly embedded at the Blackheath-based company. The comparatively short three-year development of the EdgeOut trailer and the accolades it has drawn have thus come as no surprise.

Before this latest project, 4EVR specialised in the production of tanks, agricultural containers, marine/aquaculture and jetty parts, Jacuzzis and related large mouldings.

EdgeOut came about virtually by surprise when, on a camping trip to the Cederberg, a friend asked Vonnie, ‘Why don’t you roto mould a caravan?’ He hadn’t thought of that, but a seed was sown, and a dream was born. Heyns researched the basic design, with the basic concept being two seamless pods in a teardrop shaped trailer.

Having worked with Retief Krige on projects before, the Stellenbosch-based designer was the logical choice to cooperate with the design development. The design consists of two separately moulded units, being a sleeping cabin and a compact, well-equipped cooking and entertainment area (kitchen) at the back. The individual units – or ‘pods’ – are seamless (which means no leaks) and aesthetically secured together and mounted onto a galvanized steel chassis. The robust unit sleeps two, but a rooftop tent offers the option to sleep two more.

EdgeOut’s insulated sleeping cabin features an array of cleverly located overhead cabinets and various shelves and cubbyholes that provide an abundance of storage space. The tailgate galley provides for a full-width countertop with two slide-out draws underneath. One drawer accommodates a built-in glass-top dual-burner gas stove, sink faucet and bucket, as well as storage drawers. The other holds a built-in refrigerator or cooler. The trailer also features a microwave oven – rather atypical for a rugged teardrop trailer – and water is stored in a 110-litre tank and distributed via a built-in 12V pump. This, together with the trailer’s built-in LED lighting, is powered by a deep-cycle battery. Included is a charging system which can be hooked up to the vehicle or wired to optional solar panels.

No stone has been left unturned as the 4EVR team and designer Krige have thought of virtually every aspect that is important to the camper and caravanning enthusiast, and there are many, such as fold-away taps, positioning of lights and sliding drawers and storage compartments. And it has opted for top range fittings, which should result in enhanced customer ratings.