Bushtracker 20ft: Review
This purpose-built 20ft Bushtracker is a genuine offroad van with all the bits you need to leave the bitumen behind.
Some manufacturers manage to be different on the inside or outside but not both; but there is also a relatively small number who achieve both. One of those is Sunshine Coast (Qld)-based Bushtracker.
- Tasmanian oak finish
- Good storage in all kinds of places
- Good-sized kitchen
- Multi-use under bed area
- 12V fans
Construction and offroad ability
The Bushtracker comes with a hot dipped galvanised steel chassis with dual 150x50mm (6x2in) rails. It rides on independent, load sharing tandem-axle suspension which uses trailing arms and an inverted leaf spring, rather than coils, and come shod with 16in alloy wheels.
Above the chassis, the body has an aluminium frame which is fully-welded and double structurally welded. The van’s sophisticated stand-alone electrical system has solar panels, lithium batteries and LED low energy light system.
Climbing into the rear entry door of this 20ft Bushtracker van reveals a fairly open plan layout with a full-width bathroom across the rear, leaving the front for the bedroom and the middle for a nearside kitchen and an offside dinette.
One of the more obvious structures in this van is the island bed, because it sits a bit higher than in a conventional caravan. But that doesn’t mean it’s more difficult than usual to clamber into, unless you like to leap over the end, because the floor is built up on both sides. There is good window space all round, which is useful if you like a view from the bed in the morning, but instead of single large window on the nearside, there are two small ones so the awning support arm can be accommodated without a problem.
Raising the height of the bed means that an exceptionally creative storage area can be created under the bed. In this case, there's enough room to fit in three good-sized drawers, a shelf for the dinette table and a top-loading washing machine. That still leaves room for larger-than-usual tunnel storage across the front of the van.
The very comfortable café-style dinette has a small cabinet between the seats for drinks and snacks, while the full-size table can be stored away when not in use.
The kitchen features a four-burner cooktop/grill/oven and stainless steel sink/drainer fitted into the benchtop, and a 220L Danfoss compressor fridge between the dinette and bathroom. There are multiple drawers, so everything you stow away will be easily accessible and, unlike with cupboards, relatively well-contained when you go bouncing along bumpy tracks.
The layout is fairly conventional, with a shower cubicle in the nearside corner, cassette toilet across the rear and vanity cabinet in the rear wall space. But the space behind the shower cubicle has been fitted with several small storage compartments, both in the shower cubicle (water sealed, of course) and above the vanity cabinet.
What you get with this Bushtracker 20ft is a purpose-built van that's designed for serious offroad touring. Naturally, it comes with all the items you need for remote camping but, at the same time, it comes with the expected weight and price penalties. We’ve seen some larger and different Bushtracker designs but this one certainly has enough space for comfortable living, within a van length that is relatively easy to handle.
The full test appeared in Caravan World #527, July 2014. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!