CAMPING - CAMPER TRAILERS
Pioneer Campers was taken over by Track Trailer – makers of the famous Tvan – in 2020. The Verve is a derivative of the original 2015 Pioneer Mitchell cross-over van, with input from Track’s engineering.
The Pioneer Verve certainly continues the Pioneer DNA style and colour scheme, but the construction design is typical Track Trailer. The walls and roof are powder-coated aluminium sheets, sandwiching a closed-cell foam insulation and strengthening layer. All individual panels have return folds, meaning there are no exposed ends.
Joining brackets and internal supports for internal furniture are incorporated in the sandwich design.
This frameless bodywork sits on top of a hot-dip-galvanised chassis that is fully welded before dipping, to ensure optimal, long-life galvanic protection. Cheaper, DuraGal chassis have far less zinc coating thickness.
Suspension is Trackmaster Trak-Two, coil-spring trailing arm design, with twin shock absorbers on each side. Standard wheels are three 16×8 – fourth wheel optional – with 12-inch electric brakes and Dexter sway control is also standard.
Tankage is balanced ahead of and behind the axle: 150-litre, front and 100-litre fresh water and 50-litre grey water, rear. Large storage bins are located low down in the bodywork, accessed via large, one-piece, drop-down doors. There’s another storage area, behind the aerodynamic nose cone.
Because all this storage volume is ahead of the axle, great discipline is needed when packing the Verve. The empty ball weight was a plated 215kg on the unit we inspected at Camperact, Narellan in NSW and much of the available 488kg payload could be transferred to the coupling, if care isn’t taken to place heavy items close to the axle and lighter stuff forward.
Various rack options are available for the rear wall, include sand ladders, Jerry cans, bikes and an additional spare wheel.
On the near side is a roll-out kitchen – standard two-burner LPG stove and optional three-burner model with larger prep space – and a roll-out, 95-litre, dual-zone fridge on a slide. A nice touch is an external wall-mounted pantry, close by the kitchen.
Above that area is a standard roll-out awning and awning walls are optional.
Getting aboard the evaluation unit was easy, via an optional Track entry door – Milenco Columbia door standard – with sandfly-proof mesh.
To the right of the entry is a kitchen bench and sink, with optional three-burner cooktop and under-bench fridge. Kitchen and dinette drawers are fitted with a lever-action, central-locking handle, to ensure no drawer can fall open in transit.
The roof-vented ensuite is beside the kitchen and dinette seat, with outward-opening door, find shower rose and cassette toilet. A composting toilet is optional.
Hot water comes from a 240V/LPG system and integrated water heating and room heating is optional.
The display Verve had an optional north-south queen-sized bed that limited dinette seating to four people. The standard east-west bed sees dinette seating for six and there’s an optional folding upper bunk available above the dinette.
In all, there are four different interior layout options and the price haggling starts around the $130 grand mark.
An optional 240V Truma aircon unit was fitted to the demo Verve’s roof, replacing the standard skylight hatch. There were ample overhead lockers on both sides of the van and optional front storage pockets.
The interior is light and airy, thanks to four large windows, fitted with blinds and fly screens.
Electrical power is supplied by two Revolution LFP lithium batteries, controlled by a Manager30 charger.
Two roof-mounted, 160-watt solar panels are standard and all electrical functions are monitored by a Redarc RedVision system, from a wall-mounted control panel.
We’re planning an evaluation trip in the Pioneer Verve in early 2023, so watch this space.