Track Trailer Tvan MK 5 Murranji: Review

By: John 'Bear' Willis, Photography by: John 'Bear' Willis & Alison Kuiter, Video by: John 'Bear' Willis


Track Trailer has been producing the incredibly successful Tvan for nearly 19 years, spanning four generations.

The fresh new Tvan MK5 from Track Trailer seems set to continue its almost iconic status, ensuring it remains a step ahead in a very competitive and innovative industry. Track isn't in the business of re-labelling an existing product with different options and introducing it as something new. This all-new Tvan is jam-packed with new ideas, combining appealing aesthetics and world-class engineering with more than 250 sheet metal changes, as well as major innovations in tents and awnings.

There’s going to be plenty of used trailers on the market when experienced campers see this new offering!

Track Trailer has reached deeply into its experience as a premium camper manufacturer and coupled this with consideration for customer feedback to create the new MK5.

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Track Sales Manager, Lloyd Waldron said, "It may look similar to the old Tvan, but the MK5 has evolved! The Tvan MK5 is an extraordinary step forward in the off-road camper market, which the previous generations helped shape over the past 19 years.

"This new Tvan range boasts some seriously cool new features driven by customer feedback, product testing, new innovations in manufacturing techniques and an ever-pressing need to keep the Tvan on the top of the rest."

Track Trailer successfully celebrated the 18th birthday of the Tvan with the Firetail special edition and was overwhelmed with more than 100 orders.

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A higher roof in a reconstructed body and 120W solar panel were the first indicators of a fresh new approach. They addressed the head space at the leading end of the trailer by adjusting it to a more desirable level, without increasing the height of the overall unit. Despite this, Track has maintained the structural integrity of the entire shell, which passed muster by some of the world's hardiest travellers, even with the addition of large sliding side windows.

This CAD redesigned fibreglass roof has been manufactured incorporating a CNC-formed foam core for lightweight strength and added insulation.

It has also allowed a significant increase in the standard solar panel from 60W to 120W, thus, doubling the available power to the optional twin 90Ah lithium batteries fitted to our demonstration unit.

MASSIVE CHANGES TO THE REAR

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Track has made a terrific mouse trap even better, with a fully redesigned rear opening for the new MK5 Tvan.

The new tailgate system makes the entire unit more user-friendly with considerably easier day-to-day access. This is the first major re-engineering of the distinctive tailgate design since the release of Tvan in 2000, so it had to be impeccably considered to be accepted in what is a critical marketplace.

The goal was to make the deck easier to use, safer and stronger with the big change being a 'Skyward Lift Up Deck' that allows full rear access at the touch of a button, without having to fold out the base or tent. It must have taken some head scratching in the engineering department, but they got it right, hence, the Tvan is now much easier to use. It supplies touch-button access for full loading ability from the rear, making life so much simpler—whether packing at home, or on the road. The access port is also larger, which suits all.

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The main springs were moved to a more protected position inside the tailgate, and an adjustable torsion spring allows added weight for options such as extra MaxTrax (up to 4).

Track changed the overall construction to a reinforced sandwich panel, similar to the walls, creating a lower, yet stronger profile that now features integrated, easy-to-use deck legs which, till now, have had to be stored elsewhere. They have fitted substantial bump stops on the hinge mechanism, meaning you don’t have to assemble the legs every time you want access from the deployed base.

The base is finished with non-slip powdercoat for greater safety and easy cleaning. Aesthetically she looks a treat with new enclosed LED lights and a big Track logo proudly defining its identity.

LET’S GO CAMPING

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Track has brought new magnetic technology to age-old annexe construction with the MK5 Tvan. This new tent is quicker and easier to set-up and pack-down, no longer relying on awkward bungy cords for securing to the base. I loved the new self-locating magnetic catches around the verges of the deck, as well as on all door and window straps, replacing fiddly tabs.

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These self-locating magnetic catches are terrific for those with limited mobility in their fingers and combine with a fully-redesigned tent structure that simplify camping life. Even the internal brekkie bar that tensions the rear wall has been updated. There are new storage pockets—and there’s even a small internal clothes line to complete the new tent.

QUICK COVER AWNING

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Let’s be honest, most awnings are a pain in the backside. However a few dedicated manufacturers, including Track, have spent considerable resources trying to make our lives easier. The MK5 Tvan now features the Quick Cover™ awning that can seriously be completely deployed in two minutes (I know— timed him!)

This new Quick Cover has pivoting arms both front and rear of the unit, spreading the unique shell-like awning out in a bat-wing style. It provides shade over the kitchen, front box (fridge compartment) and side of the Tvan—and can even be used if the rear deck isn’t unfurled, allowing shade for a road-side cuppa. With the rear door open, there is an additional awning providing full protection over the entry. There are no poles to worry about in calm weather and the construction features nylon pivot points, alloy poles, a lightweight waterproof material and a hardy vinyl bag.

THE ESSENTIALS

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To accompany the added 120W solar panel on the roof, plus the twin 90Ah lithium batteries fitted to our demonstration unit, Track has upgraded the electronics to include a 25A DC/DC charge from the Tanami model upwards, as you cannot mix charging rates from other sources with lithium.

The advantages of lithium include capacity equivalent to twin 126Ah lead acid batteries and save a massive 15kg per unit. They aren’t cheap, but service a much longer lifespan—a quoted 8000 cycles for 30 per cent depth of discharge compared to about 1800 for typical AGM. In layman’s terms, this may extend service life from say, 3-4 years, out to a possible 12 years, and includes a three year warranty.

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Underneath, the Murranji included a 108L water tank as standard, plus a further 70L tank up front. The MK5 includes a pump that allows you to draw water from an external source, which is great for those riverside showers. All of these options, storage and accessories can add weight, hence Track have upgraded to a 1.8T military-conceived MC2 asymmetrical suspension. This suspension has served Track well for over 20 years and its success is unquestionable. Plus it allows at least a 550kg payload to most Tvans.

THE WRAP UP

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There are a million new features to consider in the fresh new Tvan MK5. There are improvements to internal storage, lighting, and a sleek new modern style with a range of colour options. It comes with a five-year suspension and three-year build and body warranty for peace of mind.

I love the fact that the Track Tvan is designed, manufactured, sold and serviced in Australia and comes with a reputation of exceptionally high regard.

Premium products such as the Tvan command high retention value on the second-hand market, improving the value of your long-term investment. As a good friend of mine often says, "the poor pay twice, so do it right the first time!"

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • More headroom
  • Easier to use
  • Quick awning
  • Kitchen and storage weight

Cons…

  • I didn't take one to Big Red!

SPECS

Trailer

  • Tare 1200kg
  • ATM 1800kg
  • Suspension 1.8T military conceived MC2 asymmetrical suspension
  • Brakes 12in electric
  • Coupling Vehicle Components Hitchmaster DO35
  • Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised 125x75 mm
  • Drawbar Hot-dipped galvanised 100x50mm
  • Body Fit for purpose materials which are all custom designed, manufactured and 3D modelled
  • Wheel/tyre  17in Wrangler all-terrain
  • Style Hardtop hardfloor

Price as shown

$76,900 excluding lithium and sliding glass windows and 1.8T suspension

Check out the full review in issue #117 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration

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