Our Trakmaster Gibson
Trakmaster Gibson Offroad Caravan
Since we bought our Trakmaster Gibson van nearly 6 years ago we've done over 60,000km with it taking it to all corners of this great country of ours. I'd hazard an educated guess that we take it on many more 'horror tracks' than what most people would tow a van on. Lets say this, we never see another van on some of the routes we frequent!
Apart from the normal servicing we've done on it the only repairs have been to a stub axle we cracked on the Old Andado-Mt Dare track when we hit a severe bulldust patch while an awning had to be replaced and the roof repaired after I tore the awning off on a track on the Dampier Peninsula. Oh yeah, one other thing, the 240V power inlet socket sits proud on the side of the van (as does the 240V outlet on the other side of the van) and a wayward branch wiped this out on an early trip.
Our Gibson is a compact van, one of the smallest in the Trakmaster fleet at just six metres overall in length and weighing around 1700kg when it is fully loaded with 140-litres of water and all the goodies we take away with us.
Its trailing arm suspension is backed up by 285/75R16 Cooper STT tyres fitted to 8-inch rims with feature more offset than normal to give the tyres clearance in the wheel well.
The suspension has worked extremely well whether we are cruising on the blacktop at 100kph, along a heavily corrugated road at 80kph or crawling along a rocky highly eroded track at 10kph. Apart from the afore mentioned stub axle crack and signs of where a few rocks have pounded the shocks and under carriage the whole suspension continues to work just fine.
We had opted for a Vehicle Components DO35 tow coupling (the latest model), which we've found to be excellent, even in very dusty conditions, where early version of this coupling would bind up.
Being Engel fridge fans we fitted a SR90F, 80-litre unit that has a separate freezer compartment in the space available for a fridge and this has worked a real treat.
Backing up the dual battery system is a Projecta 80-watt polycrystalline solar panel all controlled by a Redarc Battery Manager 30 control unit, which does a great job
The build quality inside the van is first class and best of all we've found, even in the dustiest of conditions, dust ingress has been basically nil! And while we have hammered the rig over many thousands of kilometres of dirt and corrugated roads, not one thing ... not one screw ... has come loose or fallen off.