T for Terrific - A camper trailer to beat all camper trailers?
My goodness, arent Tvans sexy beasts? They are triumphs of industrial design, carved like gemstones and as tough as diamonds. The Tvans are unique in form and are unique propositions you wont find anything else that quite matches them.
<ul><li><p>A camper trailer to beat all camper trailers?Words and photography by sean Cummins</p><p>ratings</p><p>Legend Poor Fair Good</p><p> Better Best</p><p>eXterior iNterior LaYoUt KitCHeN VaLUe For MoNeY oVeraLL </p><p>TerrificTforcamper reVIeW</p><p>tvan sport trailer</p><p>www.caravanandmotorhome.com.au 155</p></li><li><p>mOTOrHOme reVIeWXCentriX</p><p>If you wAnt pAlAtIAl AccommodAtIon, you cAn hAve It</p><p>My goodness, arent Tvans sexy beasts? They are triumphs of industrial design, carved like gem-</p><p>stones and as tough as diamonds. The Tvans are unique in form and are unique propositions you wont find anything else that quite matches them.</p><p>Track Trailer, the company that makes Tvans, also makes trailers for the military to carry sensitive com-munications equipment. Theyve used this experience well, doing plenty of R&D on trailer and suspension design. Watch the DVD showing their suspen-sion tests youll see the tow vehicles wheels bucking and jumping like a bull-rider, and the trailer floating along behind like a ballerina.</p><p>Track Trailer has 20-odd years of trailer building and testing experience, much of it for off-road use. Once you start to look at how they put together the Tvan, theres an argument to claim they build the worlds toughest and most reliable camper trailers. A tough claim to prove, but one Im sure youll find easy enough to believe.</p><p>For this test we took out the Sport variant Tvan. We towed with a Nissan Patrol, but thanks to a teeny-weeny nominal ball weight of 60kg and an ATM of just 13000kg, there is a huge range of other tow vehicles to choose from. </p><p>EXTERNALThe Tvan Sport is a clever concept. It is a standard Tvan, but stripped of most of its options. This allows you to get yourself a Tvan at a much lower price. Its also a great proposition for those that already have a lot of camping </p><p>Chassis: rigid torque tube hot-dipped galvanisedFrame ConstruCtion: MonocoqueinsuLation: YesCorner JaCKs: N/aWaste Water Common outLet: N/aWater tanKs: 70LWater tanK CoVers: YesCoupLing: Fully articulated do-35suspension: track MC2 asymmetric, 250mm travelCLearanCe: 30 exit anglebraKes: off-road electricWheeLs: Made to match tow vehicletyres: Made to match tow vehicleaWning type & modeL: sail awningboot(s): Yesstone guard: Yes meshgas CyLinder siZe/s: No optionalhot Water: N/abattery: Yesbattery Charger: No optionalinVerter: N/asoLar paneLs: No optionalsoLar proVision: NoentranCe door/FLysCreen: Mosquito nettap on a-Frame: N/a</p><p>EXtErnaL FEatUrEs</p><p>equipment and dont need to double up with a slide-out kitchen, for example.</p><p>Having an engineering background, I get a little weak at the knees when I see beautiful design and manufactur-ing, and the Tvan has both. Each Tvan is assembled from CNC (computer numerical control) precision-cut com-ponents, which fit together perfectly to produce what amounts to a monocoque chassis. Sexy, huh? And even though materials like steel are used, compo-nents are designed to be super light.</p><p>The walls of the Tvan are a combina-tion of fibreglass and sandwich panels. The construction of the sandwich pan-els involved some very large machines that I wasnt allowed to photograph or learn about strictly top secret!</p><p>Track Trailer has gone to the extent </p><p>of putting sensors around its suspen-sion components, much like they do with high-performance cars, to tune the suspensions optimal performance. So others may try to follow by copying Track Trailers suspension set-up, but without the R&D behind it, it can never be as good. The MC2 Asymmetric Link independent suspension, featuring Koni high-performance shock absorbers, cre-ates a soft, flat ride and the trailer will stay straight and true behind the tow vehicle no matter what the terrain. The suspension comes with a five-year war-ranty, no matter where its been taken. </p><p>Fridge: No optionalteLeVision: No optionalantenna: No optionalmusiC system: No optional CooKing eQuipment: No optionalmiCroWaVe: N/aheating: No optionalCooLing: No optionalrangehood: N/aLighting: 2 x 12VsmoKe aLarms: N/agas LeaKage deteCtor: N/aCupboard Finishes: N/atype oF LatChes: stainless steelLounge ConFiguration: tentseating CapaCity: 4uphoLstery: Carpeted interiorsinK: No optionsLeeping ConFiguration: double bedberths: 2mattress: Foamunder bed storage: YespriVaCy sCreens: N/abathroom ConFiguration: N/a see options listpriVaCy door: N/atoiLet: No optionaltoiLet roLL hoLder: N/ashoWer head: N/aWashing maChine: N/aCLothes dryer: N/atoWeL raCKs: N/a</p><p>intErnaL FEatUrEs</p><p>That goes together with a three-year manufacturers warranty.</p><p>The hot-dipped galvanised chas-sis has a short drawbar that carries virtually nothing on it. This contributes to more accurate off-road touring as well as minimising the ball weight. At most, you can put a spare wheel, gas bottle and battery up the front. Most of the weight, packed or unpacked, is designed to sit over the axle or carried nice and low in the Tvan itself.</p><p>For a camper trailer, the Tvan is somewhat rounded. Thats one of its secret weapons. The shape allows the </p><p>canvas to fold inside the rear hatch and not over the bed. Hence the bed always stays dry, no matter what the state your canvas is in. The shape also means you are surrounded by hard walls where you sleep. Youre better protected, better insulated, and always dry. If the weather gets really wild, you can pack up the canvas and bunker down on the bed. The rear hatch door also provides a hard roof for the can-vas annex on its foldout hard floor.</p><p>To fold away a conventional camper trailer, you first have to pack up every-thing on the inside. Not so with the Tvan theres a huge interior volume, and you can chuck everything on top of the bed.</p><p>A fully articulated Hitchmaster DO-35 coupling is provided, which is very effective and easy to hook up. You get a 70L water tank with the Sport, as well as an external hand pump. There are two side-accessible jerry can hold-</p><p>the tvan has a unique, beautiful design</p><p>You get two side accessible jerry cans</p><p>note all that storage space above the bed unique to a tvan</p><p>Wherever possible, weight is carried low and central </p><p>like the spare wheel</p><p>tvans exceptional MC2 asymmetric Link independent suspension</p><p>www.caravanandmotorhome.com.au 157</p><p>camper reVIeWtvan sport trailer</p><p>www.caravanandmotorhome.com.au 156</p></li><li><p>maKe and modeL: track trailer tvan sporteXternaL body Length: 4500mmeXternaL Width inCLuding aWning: 1920mmVin tare Weight: 780kgVin atm: 1300kgbaLL Weight: 60kgpriCe (as tested): $29,800</p><p>tECHniCaL sPECs</p><p>ContaCt person: Lloyd WaldronCompany name: track traileraddress: 403 dorset rd, Bayswater ViC 3153phone: (03) 8727 6100FaX: (03) 8727 6120emaiL: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.tracktrailer.com.au</p><p>COntaCt/tHanKs</p><p>1. Bed2. Kitchen</p><p>3. tent</p><p>LaYOUt KEY</p><p>2</p><p>3</p><p>1</p><p>I get A lIttle weAk At the knees when I see beAutIful desIgn</p><p>the sport comes with an awning</p><p>ers, and a sizeable locker on each side (which can also be used when you option up to a slide-out kitchen, for ex-ample). The lockers are vacuum-sealed, so you wont need to worry about dust or water getting in. On that point, if you do find bulldust getting in to the van, this is treated as a warranty issue and will be fixed. Thats pretty unheard of.</p><p>INTERNAL Setting up the Tvan is really easy and quick were talking a minute or two. Putting it away is almost as easy, with just a bit of fussing needed to get the canvas to fold. A sail awning comes with the Sport, but its of the pole and rope variety. Still, putting it up didnt require much effort.</p><p>One of the (many, many) options for the Tvan is an annex, so if you want pa-latial accommodation, you can have it.</p><p>Inside there are two 12V lights and 12V power outlets, all powered by the on-board battery. The bed is wide and comfy (an innerspring mattress is an op-</p><p>tion), with room on both sides for plac-ing items. An option youll absolutely want to get is the cargo nets for the roof.</p><p>There are two hatches over the bed space that let in light as well as fresh air. The tinted side windows are nice and big and also let in a good amount of light. Under the bed is space for storage, and at the foot of the bed you can put even more.</p><p>The canvas section has a nice, high roof, and theres a thoughtful little breakfast bar at the far end. The far wall has a good floor-to-ceiling length win-dow, and there is a door on either side.</p><p>WORTH BUYING?For $25,000 less, you could buy anoth-er camper trailer. And it could reduce you to gibbering apoplexy because it is so frustrating, poorly built and badly designed. The Tvan is a superb piece of equipment that will last much longer than we will, and will be a reliable joy to use the whole time. You simply cant buy better. </p><p>camper reVIeWtvan sport trailer</p><p>www.caravanandmotorhome.com.au 158</p></li></ul>