Caravan review: Legend Trackline 48V Hybrid Standard and Ultimate

John Hughes — 5 February 2024
We compare a pair of Legend Caravans offroad, single-axle couples vans.

Both Trackline models stand out for their 48V, gasless power systems. The Ultimate model boasts the higher specs with a price tag to match, while the Standard makes no compromises on quality to still deliver a strong alternative at a more affordable price.

Recently I spent a few days around Victoria's beautiful Lake Eildon and the foothills of the Victorian High Country with fellow Caravan World magazine journalists John Ford and Tim van Duyl. We all had Legend Caravans in tow, and they were all pretty high-end units. This was evidenced in the fact that all three Legends were ‘gasless’, meaning they do not have LPG on board and all of the power requirements are delivered through a sophisticated 48V electrical system. Having three different vans in the same place at the same time gave us a unique opportunity to compare and contrast models. The big boy in the convoy was the high-end twin axle 21ft 6in Groundbreaker Ultimate priced at $227,000 aimed at spacious living, open road touring. John Ford took a deep dive review into the electric Legend Groundbreaker, which can be found here. John also shared insights into the 15-year-old, family-run company which you may wish to check out. 

In this review, I’ve got the job of doing a double header comparison review on the Trackline 48V Hybrid Standard and the Trackline 48V Hybrid Ultimate. When we went to pick them up from the Legend factory my first impression was these two 16-footer single axle offroad vans were largely the same, as the bodies appeared identical. However, as I got to know them, I learned the differences are far more than cosmetic warranting this side-by-side comparison. 



We spent day one cruising around in perfect sunny conditions without a breath of wind. Lake Eildon was glass smooth making these spectacular locations look as good as they can get for the photos. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it! Day two kicked off with shooting some dawn video content on the big Groundbreaker Ultimate. I am not a big fan of early starts so I skipped this in favour of a sleep-in under the pretext of spending some time studying the two vans up close. After a leisurely breakfast, I did get around to it. 

I think a good place to start is price and weights as it gives a feel for how the value/performance proposition sits for you when reading through the article. The Standard iteration comes in at $112,000 with an ATM of 2800kg and a payload of 745kg. The Ultimate steps up to $152,000 with a 3000kg ATM and 775kg payload.

Undercarriage 

Once I got down on my hands and knees, I realised virtually everything below the floor is different in the two models apart from the shared Cruisemaster DO35 pin coupling. The Standard runs Cruisemaster XT trailing arm independent suspension on coil springs paired with traditional drum brakes. The Standard is shod with Adventure 265/75/16 all-terrain tyres with a fairly conservative tread pattern. The S&M chassis is a traditional box-style construction with a 6in A-frame with 4in main rails and a 4in riser. 

Standard: Cruisemaster XT trailing arm independent suspensionUltimate: ATX independent suspension with air bag springs

The Ultimate sports Cruisemaster’s highest spec ATX independent suspension with air bag springs which enables you to adjust ride height when travelling and automatically level the van on uneven ground. Disc brakes are another point of difference delivering superior stopping power. The Ultimate also has 265/75/16 tyres but steps up to a more well-known BF Goodrich all-terrain with a more aggressive tread pattern. This S&M chassis is truss style which enables weight reduction without compromising strength and also has the advantage of allowing openings for routing electrical and plumbing lines. The chassis is tall enough that all of the floor sits above the wheels eliminating wheel boxes. This chassis also features recovery points at the rear along with skid bumps on the underside of the rails for when the going gets really tough.

Strong, functional body

Like many high-end offroad builders, Legend uses an aluminium frame. Legend opts to use riveting rather than welding in its fabrication process which it believes allows for some movement in extreme conditions minimising the risk of cracking. The wall frames are lock-bolted to the chassis and roof frame to create an integral structure. AIR-CELL Insuliner performs insulation duties and is made up of a closed cell fire-resistant core inside reflective foil to temper heat and cold. Composite aluminium sheets are used to clad the walls and a one-piece fibreglass skin completes the roof. The floor is also a one-piece affair with honeycomb construction which is becoming the go-to material in high-end vans.

Outdoor accessories

The outdoor accessories on the Ultimate are quite a bit fancier. You get a very user-friendly electric awning and nice electric double entry steps. Up the front, a bike rack sitting on top of the toolbox is part of the package. This toolbox has a nice little slide-out shallow drawer in its upper section so you can access small items without digging into the bottom of the box. Access doors on both sides reveal sliding trays which are highly functional for storage but also critical for weight distribution as we will explore later. On the rear bar, the Ultimate also receives a handy wood box to stock up for those must-have campfires.

The Standard is still very serviceable with a manual roll-out awning and manual single step. The absence of a bike rack means the toolbox has a top-hinged lid with a shallow tray for easy access to smaller items. This toolbox also features dual access side doors with internal sliders. 

Both vans have the same really nice external slide-out kitchen including a twin plate induction cooktop. 

Interior

The Standard and Ultimate presented with an equally high standard of fit and finish. The two layouts are basically the same with a front queen size bed, mid kitchen and rear ensuite. The layout meets the measure of a good small van in that Legend manages to fit all the good stuff in and you can still move around with ease. Sure, the bathroom is more compact, and the seating isn’t as big as offered in larger vans, but it just works. Both spec vans have in common a twin plate NCE induction cooktop, a 188L Dometic compressor fridge and a Dometic reverse cycle air conditioner.

You do however get plenty of extras for your money in the Ultimate. It features an NCE wall mount 3kg washing machine, a convection microwave and a Webasto diesel heater. A CaraFan dust suppression unit is another welcomed feature. In contrast, the Standard features a conventional microwave, and you would need to option on the above-mentioned appliances. 

Staying off-grid

Both Legends are powered with impressive EcoFlow 48V electrical systems. They are fully integrated and modular, so there is not a whole bunch of exposed wires and connections that are seen in some systems. The EcoFlows can be monitored and controlled via a touchpad screen and of course a Bluetooth phone app. If you want to know a little more background about EcoFlow, again check out John Ford’s coverage of the company in his Groundbreaker review. 

Perhaps the biggest contrast between the two vans is the amount of electrical power at their disposal. The standard comes with a 2kWh battery, a 2600W inverter, 600W of solar panels and a 1600W DC to DC charger. The Ultimate jumps up to a 5kWh battery, a 3600W inverter, 800W of solar panels and a 1600W DC to DC charger. If that’s not enough, you can double your storage with the addition of a second 5kWh battery.

Both vans feature two 95L freshwater tanks and a 110L grey water tank which is pretty regulation configuration for this style of van. 

Towability

Short, single-axle vans are known to be nimble in tight places and both of these vans are no exception. The Ultimate is 170kg heavier than the Standard, but both are very nice weights for 3500kg rated tow vehicles with 3000kg and 2800kg ATMs, respectively. The Ultimate has an unladen ball weight of 130kg and the Standard 140kg yielding a ball to tare ratio of 5.8 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively. This means it will be important to put those nice big toolboxes to good use and fill them up with some weighty items to get the ball-to-van weight ratio to around 10 per cent to achieve stable towing dynamics.

The Standard The Ultimate

The bottom line

The Legend Trackline in Standard and Ultimate variants are both highly desirable vans well suited to tough road touring. Both share a strong body design, well-pedigreed undercarriages and high-end 48V power systems. There is no difference in the quality of the two vans. The Ultimate simply raises the bar to a higher spec. Which van might be right for you comes down to your budget and just how far you want to push your offroad or off-grid adventure. 

HITS AND MISSES

Hits

  • High-end 48V integrated power systems
  • Premium build quality
  • A choice between two great vans

Misses

  •  The price tag, even on the lower-cost model, will be out of reach for some

LEGEND 16 TRACKLINE HYBRID RATINGS

VALUE FOR MONEY 
The Ultimate has all the bells and whistles, but I think many could come up with a great set-up using the Standard as a base and cherry-picking a few of the options to meet their needs

TOWABILITY
Both are nimble and light enabling 3500kg towing vehicles to have plenty up their sleeve. Packing some weight up front will be important for towing stability

SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
Very well-appointed vans up to the task of tackling tough roads and extended travel

BUILD QUALITY
High-end build quality to match the price tag

LIVEABILITY
Legend does a great job of making the best use of the space for a highly liveable van

SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Given these are gasless vans, the 5kWh and 800W solar panel configuration of the Ultimate inspires more confidence for staying off-grid

CUSTOMER CARE
Two years on the body and fittings and five years on the chassis and suspension. Extended warranty and customer care are options

INNOVATION
Legend is among the leaders of the 48V, gasless revolution

X-FACTOR
Having two such great vans to choose from makes the Legend line-up very exciting

Legend Trackline 48V Hybrid Standard and Ultimate Specs

Weights and measuresTrackline Hybrid StandardTrackline Hybrid Ultimate
Body length
4.877m (16ft)
Overall length
7.32m (24ft in)
Width
2.495m (8ft 3in)
Travel height
3.1m (10ft 2in)
Internal height
1.965m (6ft 5in)
Tare
2055kg
2225kg
ATM2800kg3000kg
Payload745kg (calculated)775kg (calculated)
Ball weight at tare140kg130kg
Ball to tare ratio6.8% (calculated)5.8% (calculated)


External  

Weights and measuresTrackline Hybrid StandardTrackline Hybrid Ultimate
FrameAluminium
CladdingComposite sheet
ChassisS&M 6in A-frame, 4in rail with 4in riserS&M Legend Truss
SuspensionCruisemaster XT CoiCruisemaster ATX, Wireless Airbags
CouplingCruisemaster DO35
BrakesElectric 12in drumHydraulic discs — ventilated
Wheels16in alloy rims, 265/75/16 AT16in alloy rims, 265/75/16 MT
Water2 x 95L freshwater, 1 x 110L grey water
BatteryLithium 2kW/h (48V)Lithium 5kW/h (48V)
Solar3 x 200W4 x 200W
Air-conditionerDometic FreshJet reverse cycle
GasN/A
Sway controlOptionalN/A with disc brakes
CookingTwin induction hot plates


Internal

Weights and measuresTrackline Hybrid StandardTrackline Hybrid Ultimate
CookingNCE twin Induction hot plates
MicrowaveConventional microwaveSphere 25L convection
Fridge188L Dometic compressor
BathroomFull ensuite
Washing machineOptionalNCE 3kg wall mount
Hot water ElectricWebasto diesel heater


Legend Trackline 48V Hybrid Standard price from $112,000

Legend Trackline 48V Hybrid Ultimate price from $152,000

More information

Legend Caravans
2 Florey Court
Somerton Vic 3062
P: 03 9308 9550

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RELATED ARTICLES:

Caravan review: Legend Groundbreaker Ultimate 48V

Caravan review: Legend 16 Trackline Hybrid 

Watch the review of the Legend Tracklines here: 

Tags

Legend Caravans Trackline 48V Hybrid Standard Trackline 48V Hybrid Ultimate Gasless Couples vans Single axle Offroad

Photographer

Capture Factory