As we sadly meander our way back home from our two-month journey, we found ourselves in an RV park for the first time in 11 days. While I have a small travel trailer, next to us is a trailer that looks even smaller – a Safari Condo Alto F2114.
While my wife and I are the only travelers in our own smaller trailer, our neighbors are touring North America with a total of four travelers: parents and their two young teens.
Safari Condo is a Canadian company that I’ve written about in the past. They make some unusual trailers including one electricity expert Mike Sokol is currently testing with an EV as the tow vehicle. Mike’s interest in the trailers is particularly piqued by the fact that his trailer is more equipped for boondocking with plenty of solar and battery reserves.
In Canada you can work directly with Safari Condo on your trailer, choosing from a variety of options and fabric colors and such. For us Yanks in the U.S., we can do the same but we get to work through a dealership. However, you still mostly work with the factory on the options and features that appeal to you.
My neighbors described the process of working with Safari Condo as very pleasant. The smaller company was very accommodating. The neighbors have also really been enjoying the rig. One of their favorite features is the optional Caravan Mover. This is an electric motor at each wheel that allows them to use a remote control to move the trailer around.
They used this to great success at an RV park where the dump stations were in an odd place. They simply turned their trailer completely around and used it that way. Yes, indeed, you know this drew quite a crowd.
I also heard that they use this feature to hook up to their tow vehicle. Rather than jockeying the tow vehicle back and forth, they simply whip out the remote control and align the trailer to the truck. Simple.
The roof and walls are made of a sandwich-type material. They have a plastic honeycomb core laminated with aluminum skin on one side and Alufiber or aluminum on the other. Alufiber combines the light weight of aluminum with the durability of fiberglass. The only materials used in building the Alto are those on which water has little effect. These include aluminum, Alufiber, plastic, Formica and glass. Inside, the furniture consists largely of aluminum and composite materials. Rigid and ultra-light sandwich panels are integrated into the bed cushions. The entire bed structure is made of aluminum extrusions.
The frame, too, is aluminum with an independent Torflex torsion axle suspension at the heart of it all. Since the trailers are ordered from the company directly you can have them set the suspension height. It can be set either to optimize aerodynamics (lower) or optimize the ability to travel on rougher roads.
Water is heated by a Truma Combi system. That also serves to heat the cabin of the trailer by circulating glycol in tubes. This provides a wonderfully even radiant heat. However, it doesn’t heat up the interior as quickly as a fan-forced furnace might.
The Grand Tour
Stepping inside, the first thing you’ll notice is that there’s a dinette at the front which sits below a huge front window. This Lexan dual-pane window can be tilted upwards a full 90° for air flow and features day/night shades with screens. It’s delightful.
On either side of the dinette are round “porthole”-style windows which are fixed. To the left of the front door is the galley. It includes a round sink with a glass cover. Flip the cover up, flip up the faucet and you have a functioning sink. Flip it all back down and you have more counter space.
You can also add more counter/prep space by flipping up the tables at either side of the galley, giving you even more room.
There’s a simple two-burner stove which, like the sink, is recessed beneath a glass cover. Above that is a microwave, but I don’t believe it’s a convection microwave. Without any oven, I wish it were.
Across from the kitchen counter is the refrigerator. This is a sizable unit and operates on three different energy sources: 120vac, propane and also 12-volt DC. It’s unusual to see a three-way fridge any longer. I like these, as you can use the 12-volt option as you’re shuttling down the road without worrying about leaving the propane turned on. Part of the reason you rarely see three-way fridges any longer is that they’re expensive. So it’s nice that Safari Condo went the extra mile on this.
Beds in the Safari Condo Alto F2114
Out back are two twin beds that sit on extruded aluminum and sandwich panels. In fact, the entire interior is comprised of a more metallic-looking substance much like the interior of an Airstream. But this trailer is built very differently from an Airstream.
You can either rock the twin beds like Lucy and Desi did in I Love Lucy, or drop a panel between them to create a large king-sized bed. You could also leave this made-up as a bed if you choose, since you still have the front dinette. Furthermore, you could use this as a dinette and then have seating for eight in here.
If you really want to up the number of people you can accommodate, Safari Condo also offers a second king-sized bed that comes down from the ceiling, giving you two layers of sleeping surfaces. This brings the number of sleeping spots to six.
There is cabinet space overhead throughout the trailer. But the only hanging wardrobe space is at the foot of the road-side bed.
The shower is quite revealing
Next to that closet is the shower and, rather than being in the bathroom, it exits right into the trailer. Considering that you can sleep four people in here, they had better be comfortable with freshly-washed naked folks. This would make more sense if there were curtains or doors where you could more easily segregate portions of the trailer. But you could certainly accomplish that with tension rods and curtains, so it’s not that big a deal.
Next to that is the toilet which has its own room along with a small sink. I was told the large window in the bathroom in the model that I saw was an option.
On the subject of windows, all the windows, except the round ones up front, open a full 90°. They feature day/night shades that also have a screen in them. You could literally cook up something in the kitchen and hand it out the two large windows to people outside.
Lastly I’ve talked about the type of positive latches used in this trailer in the past and I really like them. As someone whose drawers and cabinets have flung open on back roads, having these positive latches would be a good thing.
Safari Condo makes a number of different trailers but all with much the same floor plan and features. One of the features that’s either a huge benefit or a drawback is that they use a small window-style air conditioner that sits under the dinette. When it’s hot, as it is as I write this, the folks sleeping in the dinette are going to hear this thing all night.
But the advantage of that configuration is that there is one fewer hole in the roof. While the entire trailer is made of waterproof materials, for the most part, one fewer potential leak is never a bad thing.
Overall this is a nifty design in a smaller trailer and, if you do get one of these, you’ll definitely want to opt for the Caravan Mover. Who doesn’t love to remote control your trailer around?
Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping, where he also has a podcast with his wife about the RV life.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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