Provan Tiger Bengal Camper


Senior Member
Jan 21, 2014
After a lengthy research, we have decided to go over to the "hard side" and chose the Provan Tiger Bengal Camper. Provan is the company name and is based in South Carolina. Tiger is the line of campers. Bengal is the camper model we ordered and is currently the only camper model available.

Why? We want hard sides and a black tank with a bathroom.

Why? At the end of a mountain road in the Pioneer Mountains of Montana at a NF campground, a trailer arrived in the dark at 9pm and occupied a site near us. They started their generator immediately after arriving. At 9:30pm, they repeatedly tested their chain saw at full throttle but did not cut any wood. When we asked them to turn off their generator at 10:15pm they said "no". We can tell many more stories such as this one.

Vault toilets are ok for us and we have used them in excess of 40 consecutive days but we are not going to start digging "cat holes" for trips reaching 75 days.

Besides rude campers, hard sides will help when we encounter a lot of cold weather in our most valued trip, "The Fall Trip", which covers a lot of western country. The Granby furnace and fabric walls handle cold reasonable well but we find ourselves moving south too frequently because enduring cold takes a lot of effort.

What other choices did we consider?

Our first and only camper alternate to the Bengal Camper was a "clam shell" fiber glass truck camper from either Bigfoot or Northern Lite. These are serious all-weather campers.

Why not?

We put in a lot of work figuring out how to "hold down" our less than 2000 pound loaded-and-wet truck camper and were not interested in making the effort for a 4000+ pound truck camper. The truck camper industry is seriously negligent with almost all camper hold down systems (I have done the research). Also, both Iowa and Minnesota require a truck camper over 10,000 pounds total weight to stop at weigh stations but not RV's with RV registration.

Why Provan Tiger Bengal camper?

- RV registration.
- Camper is attached to the truck.
- Two beds like our Granby, both have a couch which converts to a bed plus the over-the-cab bed.
- Four wheel drive.
- Has a black tank and bathroom.
- Hard side.

These qualities are only met by a Provan Tiger Bengal camper, no other camper.

What about the price?

Our camper will cost less than a 4x4 Winnebago Revel which only has one bed, less storage, no black tank, and very poor window screens. The Bengal will be more than a Granby flat bed camper but the Granby flat bed will still cost around $90,000 everything included and have a very high step-in height, no bathroom, and fabric walls.

What about the height?

The Bengal camper will be two feet taller than our Granby or 10 feet tall. Lets just say, we are not selling the Granby or the Ford F-150 (we love the truck).

What about the width?

Our Granby is 83" wide to the outside of the jack brackets while the Bengal camper is 88". The Bengal is among the narrowest campers with a black tank and less width than hard side truck campers with a black tank.

What about the Bengal camper quality?

Our Granby has the paper covered wood. That is all that needs to be said.

How is Provan, the company, to work with?

Patience is a virtue (a very important virtue).

What options did we order on the Bengal camper?

A lot of deletes: no generator, no AC, no microwave, no TV, no radio, no antenna, no bathroom sink, no awning, no over-the-cab front windows (who wants to look at bug "splats" from the inside?).

A few additions: large solar array, 400 watts with MPPT controller; larger battery pack, 300 amp-hour gross (but not the biggest possible which was 600 amp-hour gross); rear view camera; second power roof vent; propex 2800 furnace.

What truck did we mount the Bengal camper on?

Ford F-350 (1 ton) SRW gasoline regular cab 4x4 with base trim (hand crank windows since you never know when you will fall into a flash flood). We gave up the extra space of an extended cab based on our very positive experience with our current regular cab long bed maneuverability.

How will we deal with such a complex beast?

We are gaining a lot more complex camper than our current no refrig Granby and are hoping to gain a few neurons from learning new tasks instead of losing neurons from the frustration of system failures, such is called "the great adventure".

The Bengal camper will be completed in a little over two months, after our first trip of the year with our Granby. And then commences "the great adventure".
Congrats on your new set up and thank you for sharing your detailed thought process in making your decision. I bet you are excited! We look forward to pictures. :)
That is awesome. You have put some time into the process and thank you for sharing your findings here.

I do know what you mean about pit toilets. Years ago I spent the night in a old stinky pit toilet with both ends opening up. Those were hours of my life I wished I was home with the comforts of a real bathroom. After that we bought a Casita Trailer with a nice bathroom.

But now we are back to a FWC, but it does have a cassette toilet.
Good choice we ordered a 2012 bengal as you have, but ordered a chevy 1 ton work truck chassis.gas.
Ordering the work truck gave us manual windows, manual hubs, and most important manual transfer case,
no electrics to screw up.also ordered a large escape hatch over bed ( i think that item is standard now)
Enjoyed it while we had it but i seem to get bored fast so it went on to the next owner, sold it on the tiger owners
Company was great to work with built and finished as agreed.
I'm sure you will enjoy it.

lqhikers, We read about your camper and your camper was the starting point for our choices. We are looking forward to doing more dispersed camping and camping near trailheads. We have never developed a taste for the rougher roads so the sedate qualities of the Bengal should work if we can manage the taller rig.
Iowahiker, that was one thing we noticed with the taller rig, some narrow canyons
you had to be careful of and found quite a few trails that tree branch overhangs were a
problem ended up carrying good sized pruning shears and hand saw!

one thing i might suggest is to ask if access to battery compartment is easy, i had to redo floor area as it was
not easy to open compartment. even though we had sealed batt's i still wanted to be able to easily access them.
Thanks for the post. I've gone through a parallel thought process, but for a decision we'll likely make in 10 years or so. I hope you'll stick around and provide some updates once you get a few trips in. I know you cover a lot of ground so it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the transition.
Congratulation on your decision to purchase a Tiger. There are several of them touring the world.

When we were looking at which camper to get the Tiger was on our short list. The only reason we did not purchase one was that I already had a F-350 but need to use the truck without the camper occasionally.

There was a guy on Expo who was a retired diplomat (Diplostrat I believe) and generously allowed us to tour his rig. He has been camping literally over the entire world from Ecuador to Mongolia and points in between and he was very happy with their choice.

I’m sure you’ll have many enjoyable nights ahead. Please post pictures when you get it.
Let me add my congrats, and interest in a future review !

Have daydreamed about a Tiger. Great size. Really like the pass thru, floor space and low entry step - and it's a good design for a travel along pet.

If I understood it correctly, you want to get away from rustic CGs to more dispersed/bush camping and with a self contained rig ? Would be interested to read your assessment after a season's travel. :)
Klahanie, We currently move routinely to get away from generators/rude campers in campgrounds and this was a leading reason for purchasing our truck camper originally. Sometimes the campground is too busy to completely avoid generators and hard sides suppress noise better than fabric walls. Fabric reduces "white noise" while allowing bass notes to enter almost unimpeded.

We did scout a dispersed area before camping at Reservoir Lake CG in Montana. When the generator serenade and an audio book being played loudly over their idling V-8 got unbearable (the disc was using the truck sound system), we escaped from the campground to a quiet dispersed site. The dispersed site had a ton of mosquitoes. We swore our next camper would have a black tank. The trail we hiked started in the campground so the campground was worth a try.

Some national forests allow camping at trailheads and so boon docking would allow an early start on the trail.

Places with early (before 10pm) no-generator-hours would be good places to eat dinner at a picnic area and return to the campground after the generators have shutdown. Hard sides would be quicker and easier out and back.

As day hikers, we currently pursue infrastructure: campgrounds, roads, and trails. These routinely occur together but become more disfunctional when campers are rude. Hard sides will either suppress noise enough to stay or hard sides/black tank will expedite our escape to a greater number of choices (dispersed sites...)

Succor Creek CG, eastern Oregon, two loop campground which was completely empty when we arrived. We took the best stream side site. A few hours later, the next camper backed in his trailer load of ATV's within 10 feet of our camper. We took the camper roof down and moved to the other campground loop which was completely empty. From 8pm to 9pm the ATV group started playing their music at maximum volume to hear the sound echo off the cliff walls. The road to Succor Creek had plenty of nice dispersed sites but all within 100 feet of the stream. Hard sides make the move in the dark a lot easier.

Our intent is to try a campground located near hiking but we do not believe in suffering. We move. Around 10% of the campgrounds have rude campers unless they are near water (or are NP) where the chances more than double. We avoid campground reservations completely so we can work at picking a quiet site when we arrive.
^ Thanks for taking the time to write that reply. I understand and completely agree with your reasoning. Indeed, I don't be surprised if you've just convinced a few more to move into an RV.

Rarely does the early promise of that perfect, choice CG campsite pan out when "others" arrive. Nowadays we are always ready to break camp and relocate, registration be darned. With the new set up you should be able to skim the best of most situations, the pass thru and lack of set up will assist in that tremendously.

Plus, if it helps spread your trips into the shoulder seasons, all the better !
We picked up our new Bengal camper this week from Provan in South Carolina.

How was Provan the company to work with in closing the purchase?

Patience is a virtue. (a very important virtue)

Was the camper constructed as ordered?

Yes. Our camper included every addition and deletion as ordered without exception.

Was the camper delivered on time?

Yes . We took delivery of our camper within the date range agreed when our order was placed.

Was the camper delivered at the order price?

Yes. We payed the exact total when the camper order was created.

Did the camper have any manufacturing defects?

We have two minor defects and no major issues. All major systems operate without any problems.

How has the Ford F-350 gasoline truck performed?

We are getting around 12 mpg which we expected. We ordered the 3.73 rearend for our transcontinental travel pattern but most people would be happier with the 4.20? rearend with the 6.2 liter engine. Our sticker empty weight is a little over 9,000 pounds and our loaded and wet weight is a little over 10,000 pounds.

How is the regular cab chassis?

Our Bengal camper is 22 feet long tip-to-tip (with the Ford stock front bumper) with a regular cab and we have parked in the car section at rest stops. The maneuverability is as good as expected. The camper has plenty of storage and we do not miss the extended cab space.

What do you miss the most from your Granby?

The counter space. Our Granby had three counter tops while the Bengal has only one.

What do you miss the most from your F-150?

The fuel economy, fuel tank range, and handling stability (from the low weight and height).

How did your electric system choices perform?

We picked 400 watts of roof solar, MPPT controller, no generator, and 300 amp-hours gross AGM batteries. Our Bengal is a beast for current generation because we have an OEM 0 gauge wire from the OEM truck 160 amp alternator plus the large solar array and MPPT controller. The 300 amp-hour gross AGM batteries are not over sized for our 4.3 cubic foot NovaKool refrig which draws 3-4 amps when running plus LED lights/furnace/water pump/roof fans. We did not over-size the batteries to keep our weight down and the 300 amp-hours is "right" sized for us (we are happy). The large current generation system will not get a true test until October when the sun angle is lower.

Is the Bengal camper worth the large expense?

It is too soon to answer the trade-off of expense versus utility. We need to drive/park in back country trailheads and camp in noisy or cold places to decide. The Bengal is a very nice camper in a small package, probably the nicest 4x4 camper in a small package available today. Meanwhile, we had fine tuned camping and hiking in our Granby to an art.

The "Great Adventure" continues.

Pictures will need to be posted after we return home.
Wow... Thanks for asking and answering the questions!! We await further reviews and the most important... Pictures!!! (or else it did not happen).

Thanks for the update, enjoy your adventure on your way home.
Glad to see you finely picked up you tiger.
Do you post on tiger website?
Agree with the counter top shortage first thing we did when we planned our
Ford Transit conversion was to insure counter space sure makes a difference with meal prep.
might be one of reasons we still have our Transit after 3 years!
Curious did you end up with large hatch over bed?
We will keep our eyes open at trail heads for you.

Les lqhikers
lqhikers, We do not have the large hatch over the bed (keep in mind, I sleep on the couch down below). We are members of the tiger web site on tapatalk but have not posted. Oddly, most newer camper owners do not post much.
Congrats on your new Tiger. It's great you have shared your decision making process with us. We're of a similar mindset on many issues.

Looking forward to your inaugural TR.
Rather than try to remember things, I decided to post as we "discover" things about the Bengal camper:

- The dark tinted windows on the camper shed heat well and so we do not close the camper shades during the day even on warm sunny days. The camper so far is 5-10 degrees cooler than outside with the OEM curtain closed between the cab and camper and a sun shade on the truck's front window. The camper dark tint also provides lots of privacy though using low inside lighting is best at night with the blinds up.

- Our interior color choices worked for us (others would have different taste). We have maple cabinets which have a light stain, blonde "wood look" flooring, black counter top, and chocolate brown couch fabric. The blonde "wood look" floor brightens the camper nicely and does not conflict with the maple cabinets which have a light stain. The black counter top matches the black trim on the refrig, stove vent, window trim, and instrument panels. The chocolate brown couch fabric was chosen to show less dirt but the next shade paler would also have worked. Pictures we looked at prior to making choices were less helpful because digital color palates varied a lot. The other cabinet color choices were darker cherry or lighter ash. The lighter cabinet color in our Granby showed a lot of dirt and we did not want the dark cherry since lighter colors make small places look bigger.

- So far, the only change we would make to our original camper order (using hind sight) would be to delete all the over-the-cab windows instead of just the front windows. The over-the-cab slider side windows are single pane while the other windows are double pane. Also, the over-the-cab side windows do not add much ventilation while the four louvered windows, screen door, and two power roof vents provide a lot of ventilation. The Bengal camper is very bright and we normally keep the blinds closed on the over-the-cab windows all the time. The over-the-cab horizontal sliding windows have enough vertical free-play to make them difficult to seal and be water tight. ****** update: we strongly recommend deleting all over-the-cab windows to prevent leaks******

- The OEM Bengal over-the-cab mattress and Froli system is very comfortable and the OEM ladder to the over-the-cab works well.

- The most significant camper performance criteria is beer storage: six 12 or 15 packs (Founders Centennial IPA) fit in the cabinet below the stove (if no appliance is ordered for this spot) and two 12/15 packs fit in the refrig (plus food and 3 half gallons of milk) and so the Bengal matches the Granby's under-couch beer locker.

- The MPPT controller is boosting our solar panel amps to the batteries by 15% to 30% which is better than we expected. Hand calculations (13-13.2 charging voltage, 18-19 solar output voltage) indicate these monitor readings are possible. Our Bengal has a Blue Sky MPPT controller.

- We have used the pass-through when we arrived at our destination in a thunderstorm. The cab-camper pass-through works well on our regular cab for us but we are not large people.

- We finally had a chilly morning and used the Propex 2800. The heat output was fine but we chose the Propex for less noise and found little difference. The Propex 2800 used 2.5 amps when operating at maximum output but less noise is not a reason to pick the Propex 2800.


- A series of cloudy/shady/rainy days put a load test on our batteries. We used 150 amp-hours or half our gross during two days and three nights (65-70 hours) with no driving and no solar production because of clouds, shade, and rain with an average temperature in the low 70's. The 4.3 ft NovaKool refrig uses much less electricity with temperatures below 70 and a lot more above 80 deg F but always at a rate of 3-4 amps (mostly 4 amps when it is hot outside).

- The MPPT controller is very helpful early and late each day when the 400 watts of solar panel only produce 3 amps into the MPPT controller but 5 amps to the battery (which stays ahead of the 4 amp refrig draw).

- Our Bengal camper is exactly 10 feet tall with no AC and no vent rain hats.
Sounds great. I have a friend who is on her 3rd Tiger. She has traveled a lot of this country and has some great stories. Looking forward to photos of not only the Tiger but also the adventures you enjoy with it.
Top Bottom