MaxTraxx VW 4x4 camper van takes leather and tartan to the wild
UK camper van specialist Vanworx goes bigger and burlier with its latest van. Not to be confused with the traction aids of the same name (only one x in those "trax"), the new MaxTraxx package turns a full-size VW Crafter into a well-appointed off-grid exploration machine. The supple leather and vibrant tartan trim inside prove the perfect getaway from the rain-sheeting, mud-splashing chaos outside.
More a flexible package than a specific van model, the MaxTraxx can be built on either medium- or long-wheelbase second-generation Crafters with 4Motion all-wheel drive and locking differential. It can also be built on the Crafter's corporate sibling, the MAN TGE 4x4. Vanworx offers two- and four-sleeper options, keeping things straightforward inside with a very traditional European-style layout (albeit flipped for UK right-hand driving).
The recognizable floor plan has the bed at the rear, fixed high to provide a storage garage underneath. A wet bath is included with the two-sleeper, whereas the four-sleeper swaps out the bathroom for a second bed, portable Thetford toilet and rear outdoor shower. Both models enjoy hot water from a Webasto diesel heater/water boiler combo.
Farther ahead, the MaxTraxx includes a kitchen block just inside the passenger-side sliding door, complete with available dual-burner induction cooktop, sink and Dometic fridge/freezer. The dinette is located on the opposite side, placing a dual-seat rear bench across an expandable tabletop from the swivel driver-area seats.
In the original Prototype 001 featured in many of the pictures, bright-yellow tartan and yellow cabinetry splash the dark gray leather seats and black furniture with serious color. Even the fridge/freezer gets a tartan face panel.
Back out through the sliding door, Vanworx gives the MaxTraxx the proper look and capability of an off-grid adventure van. Managing Director Dave Garnsworthy spent time researching off-road van design in California and Germany before coming back and speccing out the MaxTraxx. The final design leans a little more toward the understated tastes of Europe, with none of the massive lifts, heavy-duty bumpers, face-shielding grille guards or huge rear cargo carriers you'd see in the States.
The exterior upgrade package starts with a suspension lift, skid protection, rock slider and snorkel kit from German specialist Seikel. The MaxTraxx rooftop gets a touch of American flair with its burly full-length rack finished in front with a set of Lazer off-road rally lights, a Thule awning hung from its side. Despite the lack of a rugged aftermarket bumper jutting out like a powerful chin, the MaxTraxx does have a Warn winch embedded neatly in the VW front-end. BFGoodrich all-terrain tires hugging 18-in Delta wheels provide motive traction.
Vanworx supplies only a "price on application" on its MaxTraxx web page, but in introducing the new camper van at the 2019 Motorhome and Caravan Show last October, it announced base pricing at £70,400 with VAT (approx. US$88,725) for a medium-wheelbase Crafter 4Motion MaxTraxx with 138-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and six-speed manual transmission. Prototype 001 was designed as a show vehicle to highlight various upgrades, like the roof rack, winch, Seikel off-road kit, leather and tartan upholstery, and lithium battery upgrade in place of the standard leisure battery, pushing the price up to £100,700 (US$126,900).