UK camper van specialist Vanworx goes bigger and burlier with its latest van. Not to be confused with the traction aids of the same name (only one x in those "trax"), the new MaxTraxx package turns a full-size VW Crafter into a well-appointed off-grid exploration machine. The supple leather and vibrant tartan trim inside prove the perfect getaway from the rain-sheeting, mud-splashing chaos outside.
More a flexible package than a specific van model, the MaxTraxx can be built on either medium- or long-wheelbase second-generation Crafters with 4Motion all-wheel drive and locking differential. It can also be built on the Crafter's corporate sibling, the MAN TGE 4x4. Vanworx offers two- and four-sleeper options, keeping things straightforward inside with a very traditional European-style layout (albeit flipped for UK right-hand driving).
The recognizable floor plan has the bed at the rear, fixed high to provide a storage garage underneath. A wet bath is included with the two-sleeper, whereas the four-sleeper swaps out the bathroom for a second bed, portable Thetford toilet and rear outdoor shower. Both models enjoy hot water from a Webasto diesel heater/water boiler combo.
Farther ahead, the MaxTraxx includes a kitchen block just inside the passenger-side sliding door, complete with available dual-burner induction cooktop, sink and Dometic fridge/freezer. The dinette is located on the opposite side, placing a dual-seat rear bench across an expandable tabletop from the swivel driver-area seats.
In the original Prototype 001 featured in many of the pictures, bright-yellow tartan and yellow cabinetry splash the dark gray leather seats and black furniture with serious color. Even the fridge/freezer gets a tartan face panel.
Back out through the sliding door, Vanworx gives the MaxTraxx the proper look and capability of an off-grid adventure van. Managing Director Dave Garnsworthy spent time researching off-road van design in California and Germany before coming back and speccing out the MaxTraxx. The final design leans a little more toward the understated tastes of Europe, with none of the massive lifts, heavy-duty bumpers, face-shielding grille guards or huge rear cargo carriers you'd see in the States.
The exterior upgrade package starts with a suspension lift, skid protection, rock slider and snorkel kit from German specialist Seikel. The MaxTraxx rooftop gets a touch of American flair with its burly full-length rack finished in front with a set of Lazer off-road rally lights, a Thule awning hung from its side. Despite the lack of a rugged aftermarket bumper jutting out like a powerful chin, the MaxTraxx does have a Warn winch embedded neatly in the VW front-end. BFGoodrich all-terrain tires hugging 18-in Delta wheels provide motive traction.
Vanworx supplies only a "price on application" on its MaxTraxx web page, but in introducing the new camper van at the 2019 Motorhome and Caravan Show last October, it announced base pricing at £70,400 with VAT (approx. US$88,725) for a medium-wheelbase Crafter 4Motion MaxTraxx with 138-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and six-speed manual transmission. Prototype 001 was designed as a show vehicle to highlight various upgrades, like the roof rack, winch, Seikel off-road kit, leather and tartan upholstery, and lithium battery upgrade in place of the standard leisure battery, pushing the price up to £100,700 (US$126,900).