Provan Tiger Bengal Camper

Rather than add "discovery" items lower in this thread, I will edit them on to the "discovery" section above to save on thread length.
Our camper along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Shining Rock Wilderness:


Camper interior rear view with the wet bath/toilet behind the mirror door.




Kitchen upper view:


Kitchen lower view with refrig on the right:


Over-the-cab bed, ladder, pass through curtain, and table top:


Cab-camper pass through with the curtain off:

Thanks for posting this. I was not familiar with the Provan and it looks like something I might move to when I get a bit more elderly than I already am. I would have similar requirements as yours.

So from your research, is it the only RV that is built on a 1 ton truck and attached internally? Do they add a flatbed then attach to that? Do they use turnbuckles or something else? And what class RV is it?
Bill, Our Bengal is a class C based on Iowa regulations because it is not on a van chassis. Class A, B, and C are labeled "motorhome" which is a national label. Iowa requires a van chassis for class B. Class C is a camper attached to an OEM cab while class A has the camper manufacturer producing the cab. Some Bengals are registered as class B in some states.

Provan welds a series of "box" steel members across the F-350 frame and attaches the camper to these steel cross members. I do not know what the attachment fastener is from the cross members to the camper but the cross members support the camper floor. These welds void Ford's frame warranty but Provan does provide a warranty on the Ford frame as related to the welds. I would not spend the "rent money" on any camper. Provan has repaired frames but only in a few cases.

More than one company makes F-450 and F-550 class C campers but those cost more than $250,000 and are longer and taller than the Bengal. At least two companies make a class C camper on a F-350 with soft walls or popup designs in the $150,000 range. These lacked the black tank and the second bed (cassette toilets are very popular for "expedition campers" but we want a clean drop and flush into a dump station).

The Bengal is the only 4x4, two bed, fixed camper, hard side, with a black tank (if pushed, under 22 feet long and less than 10 feet tall, no AC).

"Elderly": I would not associate either a Granby or a Bengal with being "elderly" since both require a high degree of dexterity to use comfortably. The Bengal has more room and so works better on long trips like ours. The sound proofing and fixed roof are more expeditious but create height and weight issues. A walk through class A would be a better choice for "more elderly" :oops:.
We completed our second trip in the Bengal through Northern New Mexico and Southwest Colorado during July.

We have no issues since our two hour stop at the factory during our first trip for small fixes.

Our favorite new feature is the indoor shower which uses the hot water heater. The four gallon hot water heater is only used for showers with dish washing water heated on the stove. We use less than a gallon of water for dishes so why heat four gallons (or six gallons on other campers)? We do not heat the four gallons to "set point" (either 120 or 130 deg F depending on model) but instead do timed burns of 5 minutes on a hot day or 10 minutes on a cooler day based on experience. We then shower using only the hot water line. If you take a shower using more than the 4 gallon heater capacity then colder water will encourage finishing. So far, we use around 3 gallons total for our two showers including a second timed hot water heater burn between the two showers.

The battery/solar/alternator power system handles the 4.3 cubic foot refrig easily unless we are parked under full shade for more than two warm days. We used a cooler in the Granby and the refrig requires less effort but at a greater expense, i.e. ice cost less than the large power supply system used by the refrig.

The greater width of the Bengal compared to the Granby has not been an issue and we have passed through some very tight spots thanks to the short wheel base of the regular cab. The greater height of the Bengal, 10' versus 8', was not an issue in the western states because conifers grow up, not out. Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway on a rainy day was challenging at 10' tall since deciduous trees grow across the road.

We traversed the same forest roads in the Bengal as we would in the Granby in New Mexico and Colorado which are maintained dirt/gravel while avoiding high clearance/FWD roads of any significant length.

The Bengal is clearly quieter than the Granby and we were not disturbed by six generators running at the same time in the worst campground but none of the generators were in an adjacent camp site. A generator in an adjacent site still requires relocating to another camp site.

Our trip average fuel economy by the tank fills is 12 mpg and yes we miss the 15.6 mpg of the Granby. We rarely travel above 66 mph.

Is the Bengal worth the expense? No, but neither is a Granby flat bed or a front dinette or silver paint. Such choices are based on financial priorities (we heat our house of less than 1000 sq ft only with wood for decades). The Granby mounted on a heavy duty half ton work truck traveled across the continent constantly for 115,000 miles and over 900 nights without a refrig or roof lifting struts or a water system. Every option beyond the basic rig is "not worth the expense" in my opinion.

Meanwhile, the Bengal camper is a very nice one-of-kind rig which we would buy again.
^ Thank you, really appreciate the continuing reviews :).

Would you comment on how you like the Tiger seating arrangement ? - one thing we imagine liking in a "next rig" is a dinette, with a "fixed" table for tasks and enough seat width for lounging. But that might just be longing... We have a L shape bench now with a portable table.

I'm thinking the water tank is under the Tiger side bench so alterations are not feasible.
klahanie, The couch is L shaped down the passenger side and half way across the rear with the water tank under a lot of the couch. The best seat in the "house" is reclining in the rear corner of the couch which is VERY comfortable. The table leg is under the couch and the table top is in the pictures attached to the wall behind the cab next to the camper door. The table leg screws into a metal base permanently fixed to the floor centered on the rear "L" section, i.e. rear of center of the couch. The table top slides down on to the table leg. Both attachments (leg-to-floor and top-to-leg) have "locks" which must be pushed to remove the table. The table is described as a "marine" design. Top speed rating for the erect table is 5 mph. One or two people could use the table while another sat forward of the table on the door end of the couch. Using a table in the Granby was tight and we erect the table in the Bengal more frequently but only for playing games (Ticket to Ride). We eat using "backpacking" style bowls and plates. We would rate the Bengal couch as being more comfortable seating than the Granby couch. The Granby couch is easier to convert to a bed because the Bengal couch is larger/heavier and uses a "scissor" style mechanism.

A "U" shaped bench seat could cover the couch area with a seat back at the rear. Adding the front seat back near the door would encroach on the "living space". I have never seen a picture of a Bengal with a side dinette but there is a lot of space to work with. A different water tank shape (taller and concentrated in the rear) would provide more "ergonomic" space for a side dinette.

^ Thank you !

Would be great if we could get just one more of those "best seat in the house"...Though looking at it, and all that space to work with, I'm imagining foot stool or similar for the seat nearest the door. At any rate, haven't quite sold the Mrs on the Provan yet, and still saving...

Glad you are enjoying yours. And good for you guys for making that big step.

Looking forward to a positive, cool weather report :sleep:

Happy Trails !
An update on the Bengal:

Our Bengal is coming up on 4 years, almost 60,000 miles, over 500 camping nights and doing well.

The 2019 Ford F-350 regular cab 4x4 6.2 gasoline is doing well. The OEM starter battery only lasted two years but was replaced prior to any failure. The OEM AT tires lasted 40,000 miles and were replaced with a HD highway tire (Grabber). We were struggling to reach 12 mpg and the gasoline price spike inspired the switch to a highway tire. The highway tires plus switching from synthetic blend to full synthetic motor oil boosted our MPG's to "struggling" to get 13 mpg which was good progress. Our Granby averaged 15.5 mpg over 100,000 miles. We use Mobil 1 or Pennzoil Platinum. We are VERY happy with the regular cab since hiking has taken us to many "tight" places.

The Bengal is doing well. Our dislike for the over-the-cab side windows increased when one shattered on the short drive home from our storage facility four days before our trip departure. Provan assistance and a local glass shop had us on the road one day late with a plexi-glass replacement. Nothing hit the side window and we assume structural stress shattered what we would call thin glass. Hopefully, the plexi-glass will be stronger. Our credit card number was also stolen during those same repair days and so fixing both issues prior to the trip was GREAT!!!!

Maryland scaled our gasoline, regular cab, no generator, no A/C, no awning, loaded and wet camper at 10,300 pounds versus a GVWR of 11,300. A diesel, SRW, crew cab, 50 gallon fuel tank, four people, all the toys might want to skip Maryland which scales everyone over 10,000.

The only other significant issue was breaking a weld on the aluminum spare tire carrier while traversing large oscillating wallows on a National Forest road in Washington. The custom bumper company offered a free repair but the shipping cost exceeded having a local body shop weld and repaint the carrier. The weld was originally reinforced but the gauge of the reinforcement was too thin. We sliced a bevel face on a 2x4 wood shim with the table saw, drilled two holes for tie-downs, and slid the shim between the spare tire carrier frame and the bumper for additional reinforcement.

The Bengal paint is too brittle for our travels and has cracking at some joints but is not a "deal" breaker for us. Provan had reported touching up these points on used campers they resold prior to our purchase so this was a known issue for us.

The 400 watt solar system and MPPT controller have worked flawlessly and maintained our 300 amp-hr Lifeline batteries in near new condition for four years. We routinely cycle the batteries down to 90% and have never gone below 60%. We routinely use only the solar panels in campground sites with hookups and skip plugging in.

The Nova-Kool refrig is trouble free but we keep a thermometer in the refrig and adjust to hold the ideal temperature.

No plumbing, pump, shower, or hot water heater issues. We fill the system with RV anti-freeze every winter and flush every spring.

The Propex furnace (which was our choice, not Provan's) has worked well below 5,000 feet but is not reliable at higher altitudes because of a low combustion air shutdown. Others have reported a similar issue (the campgrounds in the Alps must be below 5,000 feet, sorry 1,700 meters). Our cooking stove is flawless and we only fill our propane tank once each year.

The wood cabinets and flooring are holding up well while the couch vinyl required minor repairs associated with wear from opening and closing the couch/bed every camping night.

We continue to study different campers but our leading replacement camper choice is another Bengal (without the over-the-cab windows...).
Thanks for the update. We are right on two years with our Tiger. Not quite logging as much time as you but not doing bad - 29k miles in those two years. We also are very happy with ours. Our air compressor failed but Jay from Provan was road tripping across the U.S. doing repairs. We were included in that and he swapped in a new compressor for us. Sending service people across country to do repairs... you don't see that from very many manufacturers!
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