Saturday, July 24, 2021
Saturday, July 24, 2021

RV Review Update: 2022 Safari Condo Alto R1713 – Boondocking upgrade

There is a change afoot in the world of travel trailers. RV manufacturers are well aware of the fact that developed campgrounds are filling up fast with all the RVs they’re selling. They’re also aware that as a result, folks are becoming more and more interested in boondocking. As such, you’re going to see a huge number of manufacturers making specific versions of their travel trailers that are ever-better suited for boondocking.

How do I know? Well, I talk to manufacturers. And the first one I’ve seen that has come out with a new model that significantly changes how its travel trailers are suited for boondocking is Canadian company Safari Condo. 

While we’ve looked at the Safari Condo Alto R1713 in the past, it’s time to see what the company is doing to further your ability to camp off the grid. 

We’ve seen these before

Check out the past review of this unique trailer for more specific details about it. But this time we go into depth about its new boondocking options. As such, electricity expert Mike Sokol got one to actually test out in the real world. 

But let’s talk credibility off the grid, shall we? This trailer is equipped with two lithium ion batteries totaling 200 amp-hours of reserve capacity. That is plenty to run anything in the trailer that runs on 12 volt. 

There are also two 200-watt flexible solar panels on the curvy roof which follow the shape of the roof. 

The Safari Condo Alto offers what a lot of buyers might have done to upgrade their own trailers if they were focused on being off grid. Lights, fans and other 12-volt systems will run for days even if the sun never shows its smiling face where you’re camping. Should you get almost any measurable amount of sun, you’re golden. That is to say, you’re all set, as those solar panels will keep things topped off quite nicely. 

There is also an available 2,000-watt inverter that the company says will run everything but the heat pump air conditioner. That heat pump air conditioner is really a great idea as it will generate heat and cold air. 

Furthermore, there is still a propane-fired cooktop, and the fridge is still a two-way gas-electric model. There is a 12-volt fridge available as an alternative at no additional cost, if you choose that option – which we encourage you to do.  

Other features in the Safari Condo Alto

One of the more unique options on these trailers is a remote driving type system. Two electric motors can be operated by remote control, and you can move the trailer around like a remote-controlled car. 

This is an option – but it’s so cool. You can steer and drive the trailer, so hooking or unhooking is incredibly easy. Got a tight space that the trailer needs to fit into? You can just use the remote to guide it effortlessly into place. Hate backing up to the trailer? No worries – stand there and use the remote to drive the trailer to the tow vehicle. This is easily one of the absolute coolest options I’ve ever seen. 

Also added to this model were dimmers for the lights. Seems like a minor detail, but it’s really a nice one. 

Such a unique design

If you’re into saving the planet, which is a good idea since we all live here as it is, another thing to like about this trailer is how little it affects the mileage of your tow vehicle. While Mike is studying this as we write this piece, this design really does reduce aerodynamic drag. That’s really why all trucks get the same mileage when towing. It’s not anything more than simple terrible aerodynamics of almost all RVs out there. 

The future of trailers for boondocking

Safari Condo is the first company I’ve seen really hit the boondocking nail on the head, or at least start to. With two lithium batteries and two large solar panels, you definitely extend the time you’re able to stay out. 

But Safari Condo is also the first I can talk about in this space. There are some travel trailers coming down the pike that offer some very incredible boondocking functionality/ The future is really, really interesting in this area. 

I don’t mean to be cagey about this, but I promise to share the day I am able. Just know that if you love boondocking, you’re going to love boondocking a lot more with trailers I’ve seen coming down the way. 

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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

##RVDT1621

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Light/towable/aerodynamic
Usable top down or up
Build quality
Tiny toilet closet
Small holding tanks

SUMMARY

The Safari Condo Alto R1713 is the first of a number of new trailers coming out for 2022 that will really up the boondocking game. Mike Sokol has been testing this model and he and Tony have this report.

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Richard Taylor
1 month ago

Love the idea behind the Safari Condo Alto with the boondocking upgrades. However, the ground clearance leaves a lot to be desired. Here in Colorado, I don’t know where you could boondocks without potentially damaging the undercarriage, septic pipes, or rear bumper. I understand the emphasis on economy towing, but the poor ground clearance seems to defeat the purpose of having a boondocking ready rig.

Doug S.
1 month ago

My friend from Boise commented on boondockers in the area this past weekend who left scores of trash, feces, and fire rings they had fashioned, filled with bottles and aluminum cans on their departure. The proliferation of vehicles that allow neo campers to squat just about anywhere is ultimately going to spoil the experience for all of us, especially when Bureau of Land Management areas are closed to prevent this type of activity.
Appreciate all of the effort RVtravel is making in educating the public, but we all must take the responsibility to be good stewards both in RV parks, and the wilderness.

Roger Spalding
1 month ago

Tony, you stated that the solar/battery/inverter package was insufficient to run the a/c heat pump. Where then does this rig get the 110V to power it since the 2Kw inverter can’t do it? Generator? Shore power? You stated that the trailer was built for boondocking. I guess the inverter will power the fridge when it’s not running on propane? When the hot weather hits, the campers will have to do without a/c if there is no generator or shore power? PS – Tony, thanks so much for your RV reviews. They stand among the best in the RV/camping press.

Dave Helgeson
1 month ago

Fresh water capacity is rather limited for extended boondocking.

Roger V
1 month ago

Very cool little trailer. Toured one in a Florida campground and was really impressed with the openness and utility of it all. Nice to look at inside and out too. Not ready to give up my lithium equipped Class B, but if we ever do go back to trailering, would definitely consider it.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

This trailer has a lot of cool stuff, some of which I’ve added to our 30′ Arctic Fox. Lithium-Ion batteries, solar, inverter, etc. But (and here’s the customary “but”), these little gems cost MORE than my AF! Granted these can wiggle into spots I can’t, but with 16 gallons of water, the staying power is greatly diminished. I guess the biggest stumbling block for me is the price. However, first time buyers who don’t ‘know any better’ might just figure this is a normal price for a trailer – any trailer.

Nevertheless, you are right about the mfg going after the boondocking crowd with the ‘amenities’ offered up here.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Once we got a boatload of problems fixed (both at the factory AND the now defunct dealer), we are totally satisfied with our “Friday built” trailer. Wouldn’t trade it, even for a new one!

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