Track adds serious off-grid power to gnarly off-road camper trailer
Track Tvan trailers are some of the most rugged towable micro-campers on the planet. Now Track has enhanced the series' off-grid capability by multiplying lithium battery capacity and solar charging to create the all-new Tvan Lightning. The new, aggressively dimensioned squaredrop leaves the LPG tank behind and powers cooking and camp conveniences with the beating sun that's more than abundant across the hot, dry Outback.
At the same time Track Trailer was announcing its push into the American market, it was readying its most advanced Tvan yet. It debuted the Tvan Lightning in mid-February and showed it again at the more recent 2023 Victorian Camping, Caravan and Touring Supershow. The new flagship Tvan model looks to give off-road adventurers more autonomy in powering their own off-grid base camps.
Leaving LPG tanks in the past and going fully electric has been a trend among Australian trailer builders at large, but we've previously noticed it mostly on large caravans with the space and payload to fit oversized power systems. Track trickles it down to teardrop size, more than tripling the Lightning's battery capacity compared to other Tvan models by wiring in a 500-Ah dual-lithium battery system. It also triples up on solar power to keep that battery running, installing a 200-W panel on the roof and a removable 160-W panel on the rear hatch. The batteries also charge from the tow vehicle while out driving on the road or trail.
Track beefs up the size of its inverter from 300 watts to 2,000 watts, ensuring the Tvan Lightning can run inbuilt appliances and supply power to its 240-V outlets for accessories like coffee machines and hair dryers. Redarc's RedVision Total Vehicle Management System centralizes electrical control on an in-trailer display and mobile app.
The Lightning comes with the premium kitchen option available on other Tvan models but swaps in a dual-hob Safiery induction cooktop in place of the gas stove. The sleek cooktop includes one 1,800-W and one 1,500-W hob (limited to 2,000 W combined draw), along with features such as touch-sensitive controls and a child lock. The kitchen also has two 240-V outlets for appliances and accessories and gets rounded out with a stainless steel worktop, slide-out sink, storage drawers and pull-up wraparound wind deflector.
The Lightning's standard front locker includes a lower fridge slide and upper slide-out organizer bin. After reconfiguring the electrical hardware, Track also redesigned the under-bed storage drawers in the cabin. The box-like drawers remove for loading and then slide and lock in place below the double bed.
Track's latest trailer includes its signature jaw-like rear hatch design that splits into a hard floor and roof sandwiching the fabric auxiliary tent. The 30-second setup feature Track added to the fifth-gen Tvan allows campers to bypass full tent setup, leaving the tent stored away while jumping straight into bed. In this way, campers can quickly call it a night or escape bad weather without having to spend time on extraneous setup.
Track doesn't go completely fossil fuel-free with the Lightning, as it still installs a diesel heater for cabin heat and hot water. The new trailer has a dry weight around 2,645 lb (1,200 kg) and offers up to 1,322 lb (600 kg) of payload, leaving roughly 1,085 lb (492 kg) of payload capacity after filling up the 108-L water tank.
The Tvan Lightning is available to order in Australia now, and online camper marketplace and news site Caravan Camping Sales reports that it starts at AU$101,800 (approx. US$67,100). Loren Walker, founder and CEO of Xgrid Campers, Track's US dealer, tells us that work is already underway on a US-spec Tvan Lightning with a Q3 2023 launch target.
Track provides a quick overview of the Tvan Lightning's new features in the four-minute video below.
Source: Track Trailer