It’s a testament to the inspired collaboration of the late Alan Mawson and Gerard Waldron that their original Track Trailer Tvan, launched in late 1999, remains one of the best hard-shell camper trailers that you can buy today, despite the increasing number of challengers to its crown.
And now, with the latest-spec Murranji, Track Trailer has re-purposed the Tvan yet again.
Design & Construction
What attracts serious offroaders to the Tvan, as it has for the past 16 years, is its “fit for purpose” design. Despite its extra body width, which in reality only took up the spare space to the outside of the same mudguards and added nothing to its skinny 1920mm girth, the hard-shell “pod” has remained faithful to its original concept. This means providing a totally weather-proof instant bed for overnight stops, combined with a spacious hardfloor, canvas-walled room that drops down from the hinged hard-shell rear hatch.
It allows the Tvan to be a very small trailer on the move, measuring just 4900mm from its DO-35 hitch to its blunt tail and riding just 2050mm high, so it slips into the most remote national parks and bush camps almost unnoticed behind a medium-to-large 4WD like a Prado. Not that you need anything as beefy to tow it, mind you — with the Murranji’s Tare weight of 1100kg (when fitted with the optional full front boot) and payload of a further 400kg, it can be hauled by any compact SUV.
And when you stop, it expands in minutes into a 4800mm two-room home, most of it under a hard-shell cover.
New on the Murranji is a 60W solar panel (instead of 40W), while there are also fixed and sealed (for extra longevity) LED lights for the kitchen, rear tent light and front right-side storage locker. The review Murranji also came well-optioned with a newly developed “tropical roof” for the canvas tent section, a 40A DC-to-DC Redarc charger and solar regulator, plus a newly developed 30-second “stopover” canvas cover for the pod section to save time and simplify travelling stops.
Hitching up the Murranji is a cinch with the Tvan’s standard DO-35 3.5 tonne-rated coupling and swing-down jockey wheel, and with the twin 4kg gas bottles tucked away on the drawbar behind a central vinyl stone shield and the spare wheel mounted atop the extended-nose locker box, the A-frame is nicely uncluttered. Plus there’s a spirit level on the frame to speed setting up.
This nose locker also accommodates all the stuff you might want to take with you on an extended outback trip, with room for a portable 47L 12V fridge/freezer on one side and a generator, or up to six, 20L jerry cans, on the other if you are prepared to wear the extra ball weight. And, there are handy mesh-covered compartments next to the gas bottles to house smaller things like pegs, ropes, hoses, etc, that you might need without needing to unpack.
Inside, the Tvan sleeping experience is even more attractive in the 2015 model. The huge queen size bed with its under-mattress liner, individual reading lights and two of the four speakers of the standard entertainment system, is now even more inviting, with the ventilation from the twin ceiling hatches now supplemented by the breeze through the two sliding windows. And, if that’s not enough, there is a three-speed 12V plastic fan with a timer at the foot of the bed.
Obviously, space in a pod of this size remains at a premium and rewards clever storage of clothes, food and utensils in clear plastic, dust-free boxes under the bed. But the roof-mounted nets on each side of the roof easily cope with your travelling clothes, while the fabric-lined roof keeps those annoying condensation drops from interrupting a good night’s sleep.
The wrap up
As good-looking as ever and still one of the best things you’ll ever hitch to your 4WD for serious offroad travel, the Tvan Murranji has been updated and enhanced in its 2015 incarnation to keep pace with the market.
Hits & Misses
- Groundbreaking, “less is more” design
- High-quality construction and finish
- Rapid set-up — even faster with the “stopover” kit
- State-of-the-art suspension
I would’ve liked…
- Ticking all the tempting option boxes to be less expensive
- Given its unique design, we can’t think of much else that could be improved without a major change to its concept.
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Check out the full review in issue #83 December 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.