Trakmaster Pilbara: Review

By: Michael Browning, Photography by: Stuart Grant


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Trakmaster’s new Pilbara van is eye-catching, lively, and built for offroad adventures.

Eighteen months ago, Trakmaster surprised everyone at the Melbourne Leisurefest caravan show when it displayed a prototype of a brand new model, the Pilbara. The cause was the eye-catching graphics on the display van, with bright red blotches splashed liberally across the Pilbara’s flanks, nose and tail.

INTERIOR

Wide-opening Dometic S7P windows with integrated block-out blinds and flyscreens combine with the natural ventilation of the pop-top when its flyscreens were unzipped, and an optional Fantastic roof hatch compensates for the lack of air-conditioning. Grey curtains on three sides of the transverse bed help the block-out effect and allow light-free ventilation when the windows are open on balmy nights.

EXTERIOR

The Redarc DC-DC battery management system, now fitted as standard on all Trakmaster caravans, combines several previous systems in one, charging the Pilbara’s twin 100Ah AGM batteries via its roof-mounted (or plug-in remote) solar panel at maximum efficiency, whereas conventional charging systems supply a reduced charging current while in transit.

The same system manages the van’s 240V charge when plugged into mains power, but the best thing about the Redarc BMS (battery management system) is that it will also perform a combination of these functions simultaneously and is quicker and easier to install than the Pilbara’s previous modular system.

On site, the batteries will be charged by both solar and mains and if you’re travelling, you’ll charge them via the tow vehicle and the sun.

HITS & MISSES

I liked...

  • Styling
  • Custom-built design flexibility
  • Extreme offroad ability
  • Uncompromising quality

I would have liked…

  • A Portaloo hatch under the bed
  • True block-out blinds
  • To own it!

Trakmaster Pilbara Specs

Weight and measures

  • Overall length 6.4m (21ft)
  • External body length 4.6m (15ft 1in)
  • External body width 2.14m (7ft)
  • Travel height 2.51m (8ft 3in)
  • Internal height 2m (6ft 7in)
  • Tare 1749kg
  • ATM 2500kg
  • Ball weight 250kg

External

  • Frame Meranti timber
  • Cladding CFP composite with fibreglass front and rear panels
  • Chassis 150x50mm hot-dipped galvanised
  • Suspension Sugarglider independent with twin large-bore shock absorbers per wheel
  • Brakes 12in electric
  • Wheels 16x8in alloy wheels with LT265/75R16 off-road tyres
  • Battery 2x100Ah deep-cycle
  • Solar 1x90W
  • Air-conditioner Optional (not fitted)
  • Gas 2x9kg
  • Water 2x82L
  • ESC Optional

Internal

  • Cooking Swift four-burner gas, grill
  • Fridge 80L Engel SF90 12V compressor

  • Microwave Optional
  • Shower Optional
  • Toilet Optional
  • Lighting LED
  • Hot water Suburban 23L gas/electric

Price as shown

  • $72,000 (Vic)

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The full test appears in Caravan World #536 April 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!