Track Trailer Tvan MK4 Canning: Video Review
With its unique clamshell hard-lid rear hatch and distinctive profile, the Tvan is still like no other camper on the market and has a following who wouldn’t consider anything else.
In the recently released MK4, the Tvan has seen enough improvements to justify rebranding and another review.
The Canning retails for a base price of $51,490 but, as reviewed, this increases to a total of $59,990 (including $2500 for the Premium Kitchen, another $3,505 for the full front boot and $2500 for the sliding glass windows. However, there’s still nothing quite like it on the market for serious offroad travel in hard-shell comfort.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The new ‘box’ is 30kg lighter than its predecessor and looks an integral part of the Tvan’s design, rather than an add-on. Indeed when optioned, the box’s removable powder-coated front stone shields afford front-line protection, allowing Tvan to supply the concealed nose panel in alloy instead of steel, generating greater savings on the Tare.
Significantly, the lighter box and alloy nose combination, increasing the size of the water tank from 70L to 108L and moving it to the rear, plus other subtle weight-saving and re-distribution measures reduce load on the Tvan’s standard Vehicle Components DO35 hitch from 175kg to around 130kg, as displayed.
This marginally rises with the optional 70L water tank, which then takes fresh water storage to an impressive 178L.
Overall, depending on the spec level, the MK4 has shed 50-100kg on its predecessor, equivalent to an impressive 5-10 per cent.
A big improvement on the Tvan MK4 is inside, in a locker on the right-hand side, with Track Trailer consolidating all the Tvan’s core electrics and associated equipment in an integrated, plug-in module rather grandiosely called the ‘Interior Command Console’ (ICC).
Specs for this ICC vary according to the model and options fitted but, on fully optioned Tvans, can include the master switch for electrical isolation, all main switches for lighting, water pump, fans, a battery monitor, 240V, USB chargers, 12V outlets, a 7A solar controller or Redarc DC-DC controller, water gauges for either a single of two water tanks, an optional 150W or 300W inverter, a Projecta 15A or 25A charger and various stereo options.
The ICC in our test model came with a water gauge for the 108L tank, the 12V 7A two-stage solar controller (for the 40W solar on the roof) and the Projecta 240V seven-stage 15A charger.
It’s a technically elegant solution, with perforated, removable panels allowing room to fit the optional equipment. However, the real benefit is that the entire control module can be removed and replaced in minutes for servicing, or changeover, if required.
The other good news inside is the additional storage space created by Track Trailer when it relegated the 108L water tank to the rear, seen here. The redesign has liberated space resulting in a new under-floor left-hand storage box where a second 105Ah AGM battery can be fitted, if optioned.
Other subtle changes in the Tvan Mk4 that previous Track Trailer owners will pick up on include new, lower exterior storage pods, new pannier door locks, and new fridge box filters now sourced from a common production vehicle for low cost and easy replacement.
The sliding safety glass side windows (a $2500 option, seen here and first available on the last of the Tvan Mk3s) are less obvious but like everything about the Tvan, considerable thought has gone into their design.
Incorporated in the Tvan’s existing fixed glass side windows, they are beautifully made, fit flush, seal securely against dust and water and their inner magnetic midge mesh is removable for opening/closing or cleaning. Importantly, they remain flush with the Tvan’s sides when open, avoiding painful collisions when camped.
HITS & MISSES
- Still the one!
- Superb build quality
- Industrial no-frills finish
- Real offroad capability
I would have liked...
- No hot water in slide-out kitchen (yet)
- Ticking too many options makes it pricy
TRACK TRAILER TVAN MK4 CANNING SPECS
- Tare 1040kg (from 985kg, standard)
- ATM 1600kg
- Suspension MC2 Asymmetrical multi-link, trailing arm independent suspension with Koni dampers
- Brakes 10in electric drum
- Coupling Vehicle Components DO35
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised steel
- Drawbar Hot-dipped galvanised steel
- Body Vacuum-pressed aluminium composite
- Wheel/tyre 16x8in offroad alloy with 265/75-16 offroad tyres
- Style Hard-shell hardfloor
- Box size 2750x1900mm
- Length (hitch to tail lights) 4900mm
- Tent size 2000x1700mm
- Gas cylinders 2x4kg
- Water 1x108L with pump
- Cooktop Three-burner gas
- Kitchen Slide-out exterior stainless steel with sink, cooktop and storage
- Battery 1x105Ah deep-cycle AGM
Price as Shown
- $59,350 (delivered in Vic)
Check out the full review in issue #92 September 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.