We tested Trakka’s 2010 Trakkaway 850 over a 1600km journey.
We tested Trakka’s 2010 Trakkaway 850 over 1600km
How do you attract attention in the motorhome fraternity? In this case, we borrowed a 2010 Trakka Trakkaway 850 motorhome and drove 1600km from Sydney to a CMCA rally in Queensland. Onlookers came from everywhere to check it out.
The 2010 Trakkaway 850 was built like the 730 model, on a Fiat Ducato cab attached to an Al-Ko chassis; however, it’s longer than the 790, which is built on a Mercedes Benz or VW base. One of the main differences between this and earlier Ducatobased models is that the Al-Ko chassis has tandem axles.
But this wasn’t the first Trakka with tandem rear axles I’d seen. Many years ago, while driving through Arthur’s Pass on the South Island of New Zealand, I played with a prototype developed in conjunction with Trakka’s NZ arm. That motorhome was built on the earlier version of the Ducato. But this Ducato provides a very different experience.
Apart from anything else, it gives the Trakkaway 850 a GVM of 5000kg, putting it in Light Rigid truck licence territory. Its length of 8.52m ( 27ft 11in) is something to keep in mind when overtaking or turning corners.
I expected some stiffness in the engine and drivetrain as I headed north, but this was not particularly noticeable. But its ability to keep up with the traffic flow was. The 3L, 115.5kW turbodiesel engine delivers the goods, and one of the interesting things about the six-speed AMT gearbox is that it’s actually smoother with larger motorhomes – gear changes are often more hesitant in smaller motorhomes. Fuel consumption came in about 16L/100km, and that was achieved at a respectable pace.
Trakka leaves the driver’s cab mostly as Fiat finishes it, with the swivelling seats, cut-out cab
and airbags for the driver and passenger. Items like power windows, mirrors, remote central locking and cruise control are standard. The only modifications are the leather upholstery, blinds, a reversing camera and reading lights.
The 850 is built very much in the Trakka style using vacuum-moulded panels with a high-gloss finish. The moulded Luton peak makes the 850 appear lower than its 3m ( 9ft 10in) height. I had to carefully manoeuvre it in the car wash to rid the nose of bugs.
There are external bins for items like the Thetford cassette and three 4kg gas cylinders, but the main external storage is at the rear, accessible via the rear door and the two locker doors on either side ( the nearside door reveals the standalone barbecue, which sits on a detachable shelf). You can access this area from inside by lifting the bed, too.
Because it’s based on earlier designs, parts of the 850’s layout look very familiar. The forward section is dedicated to lounging and dining. Behind the lounge is the kitchen, and between that and the rear bedroom is a split bathroom. It’s all done in the Trakka style: leather upholstery, Euro ply and roller shutters.
Up front, Trakka has made best use of the Ducato cab seats. Both have room to swivel and fit in
well with the sideways-facing lounges and the Zwaardvis any-which-way table.
The effective arrangement can be used in many ways. I like how you can sit back in the driver’s seat with your feet up. The all- round halogen reading lights are useful wherever you sit. In one of the storage compartments is a 12V socket, but I reckon that a 240V socket would go nicely there as well. Lockers line the walls above both lounges, and the area above the cab can be used for storage as well as a bed. A flatscreen TV is polemounted on the kitchen bench and can be seen easily from any seat.
The L-shaped kitchen comes with a Cramer three-burner cooktop and Smev oven with grill, and the setup works quite well. The bench cabinet contains three drawers, a floor locker and a slideout, wire basket pantry. I like the elevated shelf above the main bench – it’s great for storing keys and battery chargers.
Above the kitchen bench are two lockers; in between are the rangehood, 12V control panel, and the controls for the hot water, Webasto heater and air-conditioner. The Dometic 175L fridge and Sharp carousel microwave fill the space beside the doorway on the opposite side. The latter is at eye level and can be hidden behind a roller shutter when not in use.
Trakka went for a split bathroom in the 850, with the shower cubicle on the offside and the toilet cubicle on the nearside. The latter cubicle also has a corner vanity cabinet, wall mirror, soap holder, towel rail, a large window, and adequate privacy for changing clothes – especially useful if you prefer to leave the blinds open at night when it’s hot.
The windows in the rear bedroom give good allround vision and ventilation, and the 850’s design and length have allowed for an island bed to be fitted. Other bedroom features include the bedside
cabinets and side wardrobes. Under the mirror is powerpoint on the opposite side with a flatscreen Trakka motorhomes are usually high tech and to make life easier.
THE BOTTOM LINE
and comfortable motorhome.
Words and pics Malcolm Street
Clockwise from top: Roller- shutter doors, leather trim and Euro- style ply are hallmarks of a Trakka interior; a 175L fridge with microwave above sit just inside the entry; a practical kitchen setup.
Top: The elevated shelf on the kitchen bench gets the thumbs up. Above: An island bed is fitted in the rear.
Above: The split bathroom layout works well.