Mighty Murranji Tvan
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We upgraded to the latest Murranji Tvan – you can’t get too much of a good thing!
As soon as you see it you know it is a Track Tvan … but just a quickly you realise that there is something very different about this camper that separates it from its older siblings.
The sharp angular profile may look the same and the chassis and that incredible long travel MC-2 independent suspension may have remained completely unchanged, but nearly everything else has been revised, improved or modified in this all-new Mk3 Tvan.
Designed and manufactured in Australia, the body construction is now made using Track's unique frameless aluminium bonded and riveted wall system incorporating high density closed cell foam insulation and a riveted exoskeleton construction which enhances body strength and provides effective impact protection on all wall corners
Interior space has been increased by widening the body slightly by around 50mm each side and observant followers of the Tvan will recognise that in the latest model the body extends all the way to the edge of the mudguard. Improved head room over the bed and interior space has also been gained by increasing the height of the sloping, leading edge of the van.
The bed remains the same comfortable queen size unit and while we have always opted for a foam mattress others may prefer the optional inner spring mattress. Two roof hatches provide ventilation and lighting and these come with retractable blinds and insect screens.
Inside the more roomy interior there's the integrated luxury of a 4-speaker sound system and CD MP3 player with media input. A 360 degree fan helps circulate air on those still warm tropical nights you sometimes get in northern Australia. Four interior swivel LED lights provide ample illumination inside the camper for reading or relaxing.
There's also the safety of independently fused switching for all powered systems, including lights, pumps and all other electric components, complete with an intelligent battery monitoring system, 6-stage battery charger, 50-watt roof mounted solar panel & 240v power inlet and safety switch.
The single 100ah battery (a second is optional) is now located in its own compartment under the floor, behind the axle, improving weight distribution and keeping the battery out of the way. There are eight 12-volt outlets scattered around the camper, two 240-volt outlets inside the camper, while a 240-volt outlet near the kitchen is an optional extra.
Cubby holes for storage are provided around the cabin, from the obvious side wall pockets and internal roof storage to the hidden lockable box which is ideal for valuables. There's also a heap of storage space under the bed, best used and accessed via a few plastic boxes of the appropriate size.
On the outside, the side storage box on each side of the camper at the rear are now fully enclosed. These will fit a standard jerrycan but with the drop down lid now allows anything to be stored in these compartments. On the kitchen side of the van, two hand pumps are also located, these being fed water from the two standard 70-litre water tanks that are underneath the floor of the camper.
On the near side of the camper, at the front, is the stainless steel slide out kitchen with two 10mj burners, which seemed to really work well even in a windy environment. They are the best I've seen on a Tvan in such conditions. The kitchen also gives a fair amount of bench space along with a kitchen drawer, extra storage space and a sink, which is fed water via an electric pump.
On the opposite side of the camper from the slide-out kitchen is a large dust proof storage box. With a longer drawbar than current normal models a large storage locker up front is now a very handy option, although you got to watch how much gear you put in here as it is easy to put too much weight on the towball.
On the kitchen side of the van this large locker houses a 40-litre fridge on a slide-out tray while on the opposite side there is room for up to five jerrycans (or whatever you want), again on a slide out tray. A spare tyre sits on top while two 4.0kg gas bottles are readily accessible underneath.
Chassis and Suspension
Underneath the proven chassis there's 250mm of wheel travel available from the MC-2 suspension. Wheels and tyres are matched to suit our Patrol (285/75R16 Cooper STT tyres) while offroad electric brakes and an efficient park brake are standard fare.
An improved DO-35 offroad coupling (from Vehicle Components P/L in Qld) hooks up easy and gives great articulation of the hitch, but while we've found these to work well in most situations, the earlier versions can be a real pain in dusty conditions as they tend to bind up. We’ve got the latest model on our Tvan but haven’t had it in dusty tracks at this stage. In fact the Tvan is now heading with our stretched Patrol to South America – see Americas Overland.
Earlier, we had a couple of these latest Tvans out in the Flinders Ranges and along the Anne Beadell Highway – suffice to say they worked extremely well – so well we even upgraded to one!
Coming with a 3-year warranty on build and 5-year warranty on the chassis and suspension, this top-of-the-line Tvan - called the Murranji - sells for $49,000 (plus $3,500 for the Storage Upgrade as tested). This includes Victorian registration, dealer delivery and GST. Prices will vary slightly in other states. For more info call 1800 698 826 or check out: www.tracktrailer.com.au.
We shipped our T-van to South America in 2011 for our overland trips through South, Central and North America. It served us well throughout the trips before returning to Australia in late 2012. Here are some of the pictures of it's adventures. It has to be the only Tvan to have travelled these countries and it certainly drew lots of interest wherever it was.
You can contact Track Trailers on 1800 MY TVAN (69 8826), email: email@example.com or see their website: www.tracktrailer.com.au/, 403 Dorset Rd Bayswater, Victoria, 3153.
See you in the bush.
Ron and Viv.