It’s no secret that we’re an American website promoting the use of American-made products. However, we do keep an eye on product developments overseas because they ultimately affect what’s going on here in the United States. Two recent developments in Germany are particularly noteworthy. Last year Mercedes-Benz released its first pickup truck, the diesel-powered X-Class. This month caravan manufacturer Tischer announced the release of a variant of the Trail Box 230S, a slide-in truck camper made specifically for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup. The two companies provided the public with a peek of this head-turning combo at the 2018 Caravan, Motor, and Tourist (CMT 2018) trade show held in Stuttgart, Germany earlier this month.
The new Trail Box 230S appears to have everything that its American counterparts have. The demountable camper offers a comfortable east-west queen size bed, a small wet bath, a kitchen with a 3-burner gas stove, and a small dinette capable of seating three. The latter, the company claims, can be converted into another bed in seconds. Despite its compact size, the inside is surprisingly spacious with 6 feet 6 inches of headroom and a floor length of 7 feet 7 inches. Other features of this 1,355-pound camper include the Truma Combi 4 water heater furnace, Seitz thermal pane windows, a 25 gallon fresh water tank, a 12 gallon waste water tank, and a Dometic gas absorption refrigerator. With its large, folding bathroom sink and Thetford swiveling cassette toilet, the camper’s wet bath offers enough space to comfortably take a shower. Tischer gives consumers the option for either a rear or side entry. Lastly, the molded, double-walled sandwich design of the Trail Box 230S ensures stability and excellent insulation properties in all kinds of weather.
The new Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup truck is a robust design with excellent off-road capabilities. The mid-size truck features a wide track, coil springs on the front and rear axles, a long wheelbase, and the comfortable spring and damping system typical of those found Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The company is currently offering two four-cylinder turbo diesel engines with either rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive system, but in mid-2018 the company will be offering a high-torque V6 diesel with an all-wheel drive system standard. A differential lock on the rear axle is optional. The truck boasts a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, a fording depth up to 23 inches, and a maximum gradeability of 100 percent. Mercedes-Benz claims that all versions of the X-class will offer a payload capacity of 2,230 pounds, more than enough capacity to safely haul the Trail Box 230S truck camper. The truck will also be able to tow up to 7,000 pounds.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup and Tischer Trail Box 230S makes a terrific pairing. It’s hard to believe that Tischer was able to build a high-quality, self-contained hard-side truck camper for a mid-size truck, but Tischer was able to do it. Kudos to them. I’d like to see an American truck camper manufacturer do the same. Mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Honda Ridgeline seem to be everywhere (Ford just resurrected the Ranger, meaning you’ll see even more mid-size trucks on today’s streets). It will be interesting to see if an American truck camper company steps up to the plate.