Bushtracker 14ft: Review
You might scoff at the idea of taking a family of five on the road in a 14ft van, but Bushtracker has figured out how to make it a reality.
Design & Construction
The 14-footer is built very much in the traditional Bushtracker style, with a hot-dipped galvanised chassis that features double rails and a drawbar. Above the chassis, the 2mm/3mm aluminium frame is both welded and double-riveted to support the fibreglass composite body structure. Naturally, it is all fully insulated and the lower sides have protective alloy checkerplate.
One of the characteristics of Bushtracker vans is the chamfered lower rear end that creates an excellent departure angle, and this pop-top doesn’t miss out. Another characteristic is the twin spare wheels that are mounted under the body overhang at the front of the van. Bushtracker reckons that’s a better position for more balanced towing.
Given the spare wheel setup, there is no front boot. Instead, a standard, well-sized tunnel boot has been fitted. In this case, it doesn’t offer quite as much storage space as usual because a fair chunk of it has been taken up by the camper trailer-style slide-out kitchen. This kitchen is very well equipped, with a drawer-style fridge, gas-fired barbecue and a small stainless steel sink. In addition to the tunnel boot, there’s a second storage bin directly behind it on the nearside, which has been designed to act as a pantry for both the indoor and outdoor kitchens.
Setting up a pop-top isn’t much different to a normal caravan, except for lifting the roof. In the case of my review van, that was made even easier thanks to an electric roof-lifter, which is operated by a switch.
Externally there’s an interesting clue (or lack thereof) that a power-operated roof lifter is fitted – there are no external roof clips. That might sound like a strange thing to get excited about but the roof clips in offroad caravans are often out of reach of the average person and you need a step to reach them. The Bushtracker’s roof-lifting mechanism is a neatly designed system which isn’t too obvious on the inside, yet is powerful enough to lift a pop-top roof fitted with solar panels, a power-operated awning and an air-conditioner.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Now, at 4.26m long, this Bushtracker isn’t a particularly large van. Although that results in a layout which doesn’t have much free space, it is easy to tow along both undulating bush tracks and along the beach.
The external kitchen is certainly going to interest those who like the camper trailer-style of living, and annexe walls added to the awning would improve the living area no end. In short, it’s a very compact yet practical package.
- Compact but usable interior layout
- External slide-out kitchen
- Internal/external use cupboard
- Bed with all-round windows
- Great length for bush track towing
I would have liked...
- 12V fans, but I’m sure they are an option
- More standard features
Bushtracker 14ft Specs
Weights and measures
- Overall length 6.4m (21ft)
- External body length 4.26m (14ft)
- External body width 2.2m (7ft 2.5in)
- Travel height 2.6m (8ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2000kg
- ATM 2750kg
- Ball weight 200kg
- Frame Aluminium
- Cladding Aluminium
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Independent airbag
- Brakes 12in electric
- Wheels LandCruiser alloy; 265/75 R16
- Fresh water 3x90L
- Battery 2x120Ah
- Solar 3x140W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Sparrow
- Gas 2x4.5kg
- ESC No
- Cooking External barbecue/stove
- Fridge Danfoss 165L 12V compressor
- Microwave Optional
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Flexible-hose
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Truma 14L
Full ensuite; 12V roof hatch; outdoor shower; 3x90L water tanks; 165L Danfoss fridge; Aussie Traveller Coolabah awning; air-conditioner; 3x140W Kyocera solar panels; 2x120Ah AGM batteries; 40A solar regulator with battery monitor; 20A mains charger; two extra-large cargo doors; 300mm extended drawbar; Fusion Marine CD/DVD player with internal ceiling speakers; external Alpine speakers; 22in LED HD TV package; external AV locker; external wired remote; gas bayonet with 3m lead; external slide-out kitchen with built in barbecue and fridge; airbag suspension.