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BUYERS GUIDE - 4X4 CAMPERVANS

TRAKKA VW 4MOTION
An off-road capable version of Trakka's Crafter-based Akuna range.

 

Trakka has built the Akuna campervan on VW Crafter medium and long wheelbase vans for some years, but until early 2022 didn’t make a version on VW’s 4Motion model.

 

Two wheel drive, low ground clearance model shown

 

It’s our opinion that the VW Crafter 4Motion, four wheel drive medium wheelbase van is much better value for money than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, although that may change in mid-2022, with the arrival of the latest Sprinter. Check out our tests of both vehicles in the Heavy Duty section of this Buyers Guide.

We asked Trakka why this excellent campervan and motorhome builder hadn’t done a 4Motion version of the Akuna and were told that it’s not as simple as it looks. Unlike Mercedes-Benz, which lifts the 4×2 Sprinter van body above 4WD mechanicals and suspension, VW raises the interior floor level of the Crafter, to fit the 4Motion components underneath its van body.

 

 

That meant that Trakka’s interior fit-out for the Crafter two wheel drive van wouldn’t fit inside the 4Motion model. However, after modifying its interior kit during 2021, Trakka came up with an Akuna 4Motion fit-out for 2022 onwards.

 

Akuna 4Motion

 

Two wheel drive, low ground clearance model shown

 

The latest Akuna derivative is based on the VW Crafter medium wheelbase, single-tyred model. Power of 130kW comes from VW’s two-litre, twin-turbo-intercooled diesel four, with 410Nm of peak torque. Drive passes through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission to a transverse front drive and right-angle transfer to a live rear axle.

Suspension is independent up front and parabolic leaf springs at the rear. The 4Motion kit includes a 3.88-tonnes-GVM upgrade, rear diff lock and hill descent assist.

Optional of-road equipment includes Seikel, German-made raised front and rear suspension, with new springs and shock absorbers, snorkel and underbody protection panels. Also available are aluminium off-road wheels and larger, 245/70R17 tyres.

 

 

The Akuna has high levels of equipment out of the VW factory, including multiple airbags, cross-wind assist., front and rear park distance control, reverse camera, cruise control, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers and front foglights. 

VW options include metallic and two-tone paint, LED headlights, par assist, rear traffic alert, power-folding mirrors, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and AEB (automatic emergency braking).

 

 

The Trakka fit-out includes: swivelling front seats, removable dining table front and rear, cargo storage at the rear, electric induction cooktop, microwave, SS sink, 90-litre fridge/freezer, 140-litre water tank and filtration system, 80-litre grey water tank, window curtains, twin-single beds, convertible to large double, dimmable LED lighting, cookery set, soft-close drawers, overhead lockers, hanging wardrobe, combination shower/toilet, removable vinyl flooring, diesel room heater and 10-litre hot water system, thermal insulation, 12V fan, door and window insect screens, exterior awning, 200 Ah lithium house battery (300-Ah upgrade optional), 200W solar panel and 40A charger (300W optional), 2000W inverter, 40A AC charger, 12V outlets and USBs and 240V system and power lead.

 

 

Additional options are leather upholstery; 240V air conditioner replacing the standard skylight; 2500kg-rated tow bar and electric brake kit and a GSM antenna and smart TV.

Pricing for the two wheel drive Akuna starts around $145,000 and the stock-capable 4Motion kit adds $7700. However, aluminium wheels, larger tyres, underbody protection, snorkel and raised suspension adds nearly another 20 grand.

 

 

At the time of posting this article there was no test vehicle available, thanks to heavy demand, but we’re hoping to get a brief drive on and off road ASAP. 

As you can discern from our on and off road testing of the basic VW Crafter 4Motion, we expect the Trakka Akuna 4Motion with raised suspension and off-road rubber to a be a class leader.

 

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