When we left the Kgalagadi, we had the hope to get help in Upington at 4×4 Megaworld. The chain is big, offers many products around 4x4s and has its own workshop. We decided to stay overnight from Saturday to Sunday at Meerkat Sanctuary, 35 km from Twee Rivieren. There we booked a simple double room and got to know the meerkat family there. For a stopover, the address is highly recommended!
On Sunday we drove to Upington and booked a room at the Kalahari Lion’s Rest. The guesthouse is overall recommendable, with very cozy rooms. Only the condition of our shower didn’t quite want to match the rest. We used the rest day to lie in bed, laze around and watch a movie, while outside violent thunderstorms raged and brought new water to the region in June!
The car needs service and we hope for help with the roof
On Monday we made a service of the Land Cruiser at Toyota in Upington. Everything went perfectly and we used the waiting time to visit 4×4 Megaworld and discuss the procedure. When we got the car back from Toyota in the early noon, we drove directly to the workshop of 4×4 Megaworld to find out if they could fix the damage. Unfortunately, it turned out that this was not possible. They were able to weld the bolt again for us – this time in an excellent quality – allowing us to continue our journey. Guido, however, wanted to skip the slow drive towards Cape Town – with the visit of the coastal region in Namaqua Land, the visit of Tankwa Kaaroo and the Cederberg Mountains. Even though everyone, including Sonja, thought that this work would hold, he wanted the problem fixed as soon as possible.
A visit at McNaughtan’s
Hi-Tech Engineering from Swakopmund, the manufacturer of the camper, had no answers or explanations as to how this faux pas could have happened and sent us to their supplier for the gas struts. The McNaughtan’s company knew about our visit and Guido was eager to hear the explanations. The employee there was extremely friendly and helpful. When we found out that the broken components were not theirs, there was an awed silence in the air. Hi-Tech welded a longer bolt to the bracket on their own. Why they did this, no one could quite determine, as there would have been better and, more importantly, more reputable and safe ways. The man at McNaughtan’s apologized to us (unnecessarily, as they are no part of the problem). He gave us another set of shocks as a reserve and agreed with us that our next route should take us to Alu Innovations. The company was built by a former employee of Alu-Cab. They specialize in custom build-outs and solutions for 4×4 vehicles and overlander vehicles.
help at Alu Innovations
When we arrived at Alu Innovations, the yard was full of vehicles being worked on. We asked for Cassiem, the owner, and explained that we were there because of an emergency. He listened to us, looked at the mess together with us and offered us direct help:
Option 1: Repair of the damage
Option 2: Rebuild in a different quality
We went with option 2 and then had about a 3 hour break. When they were done, we had all the add-on components installed in stainless steel and two shocks holding the roof in place. In his opinion, one shock was not enough for the weight of the roof. If you look at the retractable roof market, that approach is common and he is right. We are very grateful to Cassiem for the uncomplicated and quick help and can now continue the journey relaxed.