Review: Trackabout Dakar SV Extenda
We test and rate the Trackabout Dakar SV Extenda, a contender ($30,000 - $45,000 category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
TRACKABOUT DAKAR SV EXTENDA REVIEW
The Dakar SV Extenda is Trackabout’s elite offering, and is right at the top of the softfloor market. It’s essentially the brand’s Safari model with loads of additional comforts and luxuries spread throughout to lift the profile in a market that expects and demands extras to be included as standard fittings.
The Dakar follows the line of a side-fold softfloor, on a tough hot-dip galvanised chassis with a lengthy 2000mm drawbar for comfortable reversing and plenty of room for added extras.
STRENGTH AND CONSTRUCTION
The coupling is an OzHitch, and there is a roomy front box and a pole carrier accessible from either side. Trackabout hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel, or at least the bits on which they ride, and uses a tried-and-true Cruisemaster trailing arm dual shock suspension set-up.
The deep 520mm-high Zincanneal body is lined with lockers down each side to carry a range of items. All panels are finished in powder-coat for durability.
As reviewed, the trailer comes with a boat loader and a fantastic remote-controlled auto open-and-close function powered by two electric motors with worm drives. This makes for a very easy set-up and pack-up routine, and certainly impressed our judges on the "ease of use" front — particularly the more vertically challenged among them.
At the rear is a swing-away spare wheel carrier — holding one or two spares — which keeps the wheel(s) outside the tent; a bonus feature over the Safari.
ELECTRICS AND FEATURES
This trailer has a well-equipped electrical system, based on two 125Ah AGM batteries, with a 25amp mains charger, 300W pure sine wave inverter and low voltage cut-out to protect the batteries. 130W bosch solar panels running through a 30amp Morningstar regulator keep it all topped up.
There is a Webasto diesel water and space heater, with an 85L water tank (an additional tank is available as an option). For remote living, there is also a second pump to draw water from a creek or billabong for showering or washing.
The kitchen is a laminate-finish ply with stainless sink and mixer tap and three-burner stove. As distinct from the Safari, there is a return wall on the awning at the kitchen which provides extra protection in case of inclement weather, though it could benefit from a clear in the canvas to light the space better.
LIVING AND SLEEPING
It’s an extremely comfortable camper overall: imagine curling up on a cold morning on the queen innerspring mattress after a hot shower, the space heater running, the Fusion stereo supplying some nice background sounds and a good book, or simply keeping an eye on the TV. Is this camping or luxury living? With a camper of this standard, there’s no reason why it can’t be both.
Bed access is via a spacious end walkway. Trackabout says it has considered older campers in the design of this camper, and so has kept the steps to a manageable height. Internally there are privacy screens of full or half height, in canvas or netting, and the hot shower in the ensuite is roomy and functional.
The carrying capacity is an impressive 800kg, with a maximum weight of 2000kg, so you’ll have no trouble getting all the gear in and the tinnie on top, too.
This is Trackabout’s best-selling camper, and it’s easy to see why: it oozes comfort and luxury and every component is of exceptional quality. This would make for an extremely comfortable home away from home for a touring family or couple.
To discover the Trackabout Dakar SV Extenda's final score, be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #73. Why not subscribe today!
TRACKABOUT DAKAR SV EXTENDA RATING
MIKE PAVEY:Like all Trackabout Campers, the Dakar exudes a level of craftsmanship that is hard to ignore, from the quality paintwork and Australian-made canvas, to the considered inclusions that make this such an impressive tourer.
The Dakar scores the full-works treatment you’d expect at this price point, including the Webasto diesel hot water and heating.
But the standout for me is the storage access — there’s no stretching deep in the tub to find that elusive toy for the kids. Rather, the storage drawers in the walk-up, at the side of the camper and in the kitchen at the rear, keep everything organised and easily accessible. The electrical-assist closing mechanism adds a further element to ease of use.
All up, it’s a quality tourer at the premium end of the softfloor market.
EMMA RYAN: This camper represents some serious "no expenses spared" camping; it’s a total glamping machine equipped with all the comforts of home, which always seem just that little bit more comfortable when you’re out in the bush. I’m talking hot water pumping to a spacious, separate ensuite with changing room, an internal heater for chilly nights and mornings, a sound system for playing your favourite tunes, a television so you watch the cricket or put a movie on for the kids, a headboard for comfortable reading in bed and heaps of storage compartments so you don’t feel the need to rip your eyes out every time you want to find something.
The water and power situations are both fantastic, so you can bail on society for a decent stint, and the horseshoe configuration of the kitchen means everything you need while cooking up a storm falls right to hand. And you’ll probably be cooking that flathead you caught from the tinnie you carried in on the Dakar’s roof.
What more could you ask for?
JOHN WILLIS: This is a good display of quality components and ideas. The kitchen is terrific, loved the fold-out bar! The bedhead is a really interesting idea, and not something we’ve seen anywhere else.
The finish is excellent, as is build quality and construction — a trademark of the brand. Very good value for money in a quality product — it will last a long time, take a beating and still get good resale.
I would seriously consider this as being high on my short-list to purchase. It’s a good, honest and luxurious camper for a reasonable price.
STU JONES: This is a luxury softfloor. I’ve never seen that backrest/bedhead before — and what about that remote-controlled opening! Awesome feature on a softfloor, which are not usually known for their quick set-up times. Self- suffciency is good with three jerries and solar, but no DC-DC. keep the TV; for 45k I’d prefer some annex walls and DC-DC included.
Very good offroadability for a trailer of this size. I love the kitchen, very user-friendly and lots of space. An excellent-sized pantry. Value is very good and the trailer has a proven longevity, so very good resale. It’s a really nice unit, and a great overall package.
Call to enquire: (07) 3171 1794
Find: Campers for sale
More on the Best Camper Trailers test
|Best camper trailer reviews||The judging panel||Best Camper Trailers