Trakka's latest VW camper van is a solar-powered city slicker
With the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon all set to begin later this week, it's easy to forget that there are clever, all-new camper vans and motorhomes in markets outside Europe. But the latest camper van to catch our attention hails from Australia. The Trakkadu 450 S becomes the first model in Trakka's stylish, performance-focused Sport range, packing features like a powerful lithium battery and solar charging. This new flagship provides a glimpse into the future of camper vans at Trakka.
The last time we looked in on Trakka, it was focusing on making the VW T6 a burly all-terrain powerhouse with its Trakkadu AT. Now it's pulling focus off the dirt and back onto the pavement with the new Trakkadu 450 S, a model it classifies as "the ultimate city slicker." That doesn't mean 450 S owners won't be able to venture far, far away from downtown, just that the 450 S packs a bit of extra style and more modern conveniences sure to appeal to the new generation of camper van owner.
It starts with a VW T6 base van, which comes loaded with features and extras like 4Motion all-wheel drive, 17-in alloy wheels, LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, a 6.5-in (16.5-cm) infotainment system with Bluetooth and six-speaker surround sound, and a host of driver-assistance technologies, like driver fatigue protection, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera and post-collision braking. Power comes from VW's 201-hp (150-kW) bi-turbo diesel engine and 7-speed DSG automatic transmission.
While each customer will have the final say in terms of colors and materials, the debut 450 S in photos has a dark, industrial-style interior with plenty of blacks, silvers, charcoals and grays – a departure from the lighter, brighter interiors shown on other vans in Trakkadu's advertising materials. That interior sleeps two on the bed created when the sliding rear bench is folded. The pop-up roof adds headroom and built-in storage but can also take the 450 S family-size with an optional bed.
The sleek kitchen block includes a glass ceramic cooktop and 80-L fridge/freezer. Trakka makes things simpler for owners by using a diesel cooktop that taps into the van's diesel tank, rather than requiring a separate fuel tank. When it's time to eat, the adjustable, removable indoor/outdoor table sets up between the rear bench and front swivel seats or secures to the outside of the van.
The big upgrade on the 450 S, as compared to lower-level Trakkadu camper vans like the 400 or 340, is the 125-Ah lithium battery, packing some extra power with less weight. A standard solar charging system helps keep that battery fully charged, and app monitoring makes it easy to check in on the electrical system even when away from the van.
Other standard equipment includes dimmable indoor and outdoor LED lighting, a powered awning, a rear shower, a 12-V fan, a rear door annex and a sliding side door screen. Water is stored in a 55-L fresh water tank, warmed with a standard hot water heater and drained to a 30-L gray water tank.
Trakka announced the 450 S last week and will hold a public launch event for it at the Sydney Camping Lifestyle Expo in late September. Production will begin in the first quarter of 2019, with pricing starting at AU$135,000 (approx. US$99,225). Options include a diesel cabin heater and European leather upholstery. The model in the photos wears an AU$140,700 (approx. US$102,800) drive-away price tag.