One of the advantages of travelling with a caravan in tow came home to me on this test of the On The Move Traxx when my normally reliable Landcruiser came to a halt a couple of hours after sunset in the middle of nowhere. The alternator had given up the ghost and we came to the halt on a verge on the side of the road in total darkness.
All wasn’t lost as the RACV were called for a tow into Kilmore, but the wait was to be a couple of hours. Luckily I retreated into the comfort and light of the van while waiting and when we finally rolled into town we parked the van outside the auto electrician for an early start on repairs the following morning. Meanwhile, there was a comfortable warm bed inside the Traxx for the night. Caravanning in a well-equipped van has lots of advantages.
In only a few years On The Move, under the leadership of owner Lennie Misfud, has made a real splash in the local caravan pool, taking out prestigious awards and turning out innovative models. Lennie’s gift for design has been built on his wide background in the automotive industry and his can-do approach to construction.
After years as a successful auto electrician he put his hand to designing and building his own offshore fishing boat and then a unique touring van for his family that had storage under the floor for a small dinghy to fish the big rivers of the Northern Territory. From this first van the On The Move concept was born and has grown into the success it is today.
Part of the appeal in all the vans has been the stylish look inside and as it turns out Lennie isn’t the only talented one in the family. His wife, Jennifer, is an interior designer, bringing a fresh and enduring appeal to the living space.
At 17’6” the Traxx on test is one of their smaller models, designed for couples that still want the luxury, look and amenities of the bigger models in the range.
As hinted in its name, the Traxx is designed to make easy going of heading down rough tracks in search of adventure. A heavy-duty 2.5 tonne single axle Simplicity leaf-spring suspension sits under a 4”x2” Austrail Supergal chassis led by a 6”x2” A-frame while brakes are large 12” electrically operated drums. Since our test the van has been upgraded to use a Cruisemaster independent trailing arm system with twin shock absorbers each side.
Black checkerplate protection around the sides and across the ends sits below raised profile aluminium cladding with black and orange graphics. Set off with 265/75 R16 offroad tyres, black alloy wheels and black accents on windows and edge trim, it looks striking.
A wedge shaped entry assists air flow while the rear is squared off to take full advantage of the van’s length. A full width tunnel boot at the front has hatches both sides, while the A-frame has a single 9kg gas bottle and water tap with stone guard. Other features outside include a rollout awning, LED lights and power for 12V and 240V.
Underneath are two 95L water tank with 12v pump to both external and internal showers as well as the kitchen. Adding to the Traxx’s self sufficiency is an on board 100ah battery and 30amp charger powered by the twin 155w solar panels through a 20amp solar regulator.
A grab handle with light helps entry to the three-way security door towards the rear. Jennifer’s touch is immediately obvious when you step inside. It’s a stylish ultramodern apartment on wheels finished in semi gloss black and ultra gloss white furniture, white walls with onyx marble laminate on the table and benches.
It looks so ultra clean and crisp that my natural reaction was to leave my muddy boots at the door. The quality grey vinyl flooring should be very durable and forgiving though, so don’t be too daunted.
To the rear of the entrance a full width ensuite follows the same colour theme and modern styling with a ceramic bowl cassette toilet, square floating vanity and large cabinet with wide mirror doors. A top loader washing machine is secreted in a corner cupboard and the full size shower with Euro style showerhead has plenty of room to move and ventilation from a 12V fan in the roof hatch.
On The Move have done a good job making the interior of the compact van feel roomy and welcoming. Part of the appeal is the colour choice of course, but I also like the way partitions help divide the bedroom from the living space without an impression of confining either. I have to admit I really liked the colour choice and at the same time recognise it may not be everyone’s cup of short black, so you should be aware that there is a wide range of suggested colour themes on offer.
Occupying the passenger side is a black bonded leather lounge with its L-shape return towards the front. Along with the upmarket marble laminate, its soft touch and quality look lifts the already impressive ambience as well as being a practical and hardwearing covering.
The kitchen is laid out along the other side starting with a power efficient 175L compressor fridge, under a microwave, both set cleanly into their own white cabinet. Further forward is a bench with a stainless steel sink and draining board and a Thetford oven with gas and electric burners. A wide window gives the kitchen a panoramic view and cupboards and drawers fill all available spaces for optimum storage.
In the bedroom a caravan queen has rounded ends for better access to the sides. You get the usual bedside tables and hanging cupboards but having two overhead instead of the more common three seemed to give a more balanced and clean look. I also liked the special touches including the On The Move logo embroidered into the black bedspread and the Ranger roof hatch with integrated LED lighting around its edge.
Big double-glazed windows either side of the bed have inbuilt blinds and screens so, without curtains, they add to the uncluttered, modern style.
During my unplanned overnight stay I enjoyed the 24” television with its easy to tune digital aerial. Both it and the DVD/CD/MP3 player are connected to a pair of roof-mounted speakers. Waiting for the repairs to the Landcruiser I happily settled back into the dinette to do some work on my computer. The unplanned overnight stay in the van gave me a good feel for how its layout made it easy to move around.
The Traxx has a tare weight of 1845kg and a very decent carrying capacity of 665kg still keeping it in the 2500kg range where there is a wide range of vehicles capable of towing it. At $51,500 it would be ideal for a couple who like the On The Move’s level of comfort and want to spread their wings a bit to visit some of the more out of the way places, particularly with the tougher suspension on offer.
Manufacturer: On The Move
Model: Traxx, Single Axle 17’6
Overall length: 7.5m
Travel height: 3m
Tare weight: 1845kg
Gross weight: 2500kg
Ball weight: 82kg
Price from: $51,500
Find Out More
On The Move Caravans
31 Randor Street, Campbellfield Vic 3061
Phone 03 9357 6662