Jawa have done it again, this time with their Sirocco, a specced-up five-berth pop-top hybrid offering all of the essentials you need and luxuries you could want, packaged into a compact body and riding on an offroad-ready base. Here’s what the judges had to say about this 2020 Hybrid winner.
We saw Jawa at the previous Camper Trailer of the Year contest, but in the last 12 months the company has changed hands and it’s been a swap that has brought with it a new sense of direction and a determination to up the ante from the marginally priced offerings at the lower end of the price range to something a little pricier but with a whole bunch of new ideas and options. It’s been a change for the better.
The Sirocco comes with some pretty good credentials in the self-sufficiency stakes. There are three 100Ah AGM batteries nestled under the internal sink cupboard, and they’re fed from two 150 watt solar panels on the roof that are interfaced with a Projecta 35 amp charger. As we saw it the Sirocco had a DC-DC charger as an option only, and a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter, but after a little discussion with the team of judges it was decided that maybe they ought to reduce the inverter capacity to something like 1000 watts and make a DC-DC charger standard equipment, something that would also lift the PWM solar regulator to MPPT standard.
If you happen to take your Sirocco into range of mains power there’s a 240 volt circuit, with four outlets along with a bunch of USB and 12 volt cigarette plug points. And the large control panel just inside the door was a gem. We loved its functionality and readability.
Water is stored in one 120L and one 100L tank as well as an 80 litre grey water tank, and gas is supplied in two 9kg or 4kg (adjustable) gas bottle holders. There are no dedicated jerry can holders, and though you could carry them in one of four supplied carpeted storage boxes, this could create issues of awkward access and potentially fuel- or water-soaked carpet.
The Sirocco’s offroad capability would largely be determined by ground clearance. The rock slider bars have reasonable clearance under, except for that step at the rear corner beneath the entry door. For reasons of access the extended bottom step requires a slider bar that is relatively low and this could be a potential hang-up point in rough terrain, though in our testing the camper went wherever we pointed our tow car, even though its overall weight was notable.
The dual shock trailing and fully adjustable suspension performed fine and was well shielded by a wide rubber protector in front. The 3,500kg rated McHitch offered all necessary flex and was mounted on a 150 x 50 x 4mm hot dip galvanised drawbar that ran back to the suspension mounts. The padded vinyl body bra at the front was a good adaptation to minimise stone damage. There were two rear recovery points.
The Jawa Sirocco will make you smile and your kids squeal with joy. The good times start under the four metre awning which shades a highly functional kitchen with external wall pantry. Although the fridge slide sits outside the line of the awning, the kitchen is spread over two further slides around which the chef has ample space to shelter. A welcome inclusion is the split level pantry drawers located on the fridge slide which allows dry goods to be stacked independently for storage. The under-sink slide-out prep bench and external wall shelf are also handy additions.
The four burner stove is functional but looks like it would be happier in a domestic setting than out on the road. Around the back, a hot water shower point ensures that grimy bodies can be dealt with effectively, far away from food preparation surfaces. And, helpfully, the camper’s internal sink is benchtop mounted, rather than located directly within the ensuite cubicle. An impressive internal electrical switchboard will keep ‘Gadget Dads’ happy.
The Jawa Sirocco has night time comfort covered. Kids are catered for by two side-mounted collapsible bunks accessed by folding ladders or (on one side) a small cupboard at the foot of the queen sized bed. To ease stowage, the bunk mattresses are only 70mm thick, so you’d want to be offering mattress toppers or risk the kids joining you on the adult’s super comfy 150mm queen size innerspring mattress!
Internal storage options include a functional drawer and closet unit, as well as under-seat storage and a cavernous void under the bed. A further third bed for a fifth person can be generated from the small dinette, but it could be a pity to lose this seating space if you or your kids expect to spend much time indoors.
In short, the Jawa Sirocco presents as a camper that seems determined to let you spend extended time off the grid, in comfort. With this rig, there’ll be no fighting with canvas, treading on sleeping kids, or scratching around in packing boxes wondering where you left the mozzie coils. In the Sirocco, everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything.
TIM VAN DUYL
As a dirt road and open track, young family-focussed, pop-top camper, the Sirocco is hard to pass up, especially at around $52,000 as tested. It is not a hardcore track-tamer. I doubt you’ll see one scraping under the low-hanging branches along the Old Tele but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value-for-money hybrid to take up the PDR for a long stay at Loyalty Beach Campground and a few off-grid nights around Nanthau Beach.
Imported almost as you see it, the company makes sure they do not leave anything a buyer must have off the showroom stock order form. The only option commonly taken but not seen on our Sirocco was an AC. Should you BYO a fridge for the front slide-out and leave the bunks off, you can get into one for less than $50,000 — outstanding.
The standard inclusions are immense and the layout well thought out for a growing family. The optional bunks fold up out of the way and could be used for all sorts of secure storage on the road, say expensive fishing rods or your hunting rifles. The kitchen is Tardis-like with plenty of storage and an intricate system of drawers and shelves that, once set up, make for a fantastically practical and usable space. It has a great volume of power, water and even an 80L grey tank standard.
Astute buyers know there are other similar hybrids being imported at similar prices, so specification comparisons will no doubt play a big part in which will sell the best — but do not be drawn in by the specs alone. Adding to the good value for money, Jawa uses locally sourced shocks, a topnotch ARK jockey wheel, Truma gas hot water systems, stovetop and toilet; a Dometic fridge inside, McHitch coupling and more. These are not replicas but quality gear that carries good local warranties and support, which not only adds a lot of value but defines the Sirocco’s X-Factor.
The standard inclusions packed into the small footprint really impress. The 15 foot body hides what you’d expect to find in a 20+ foot, twin axle caravan. Although it’s not particularly light when loaded (2,750kg ATM) and you need to have your wits about you towing among the trees, the single axle Sirocco is an easy tow, and once the massive awning is out and the kitchen set up, it is a worthy winner in 2020.
The Jawa Sirocco is as close to being a caravan as a camper can get. But a camper it is — with excellent outdoor living and cooking and entertainment space for the four people which it’s purpose-designed to accommodate. The Sirocco is the flagship of the company’s campers and it shows.
Being 15 foot long, there’s a lot of room to fit things in, and a lot of quality detail on show. Apart from the powder-coated aluminium composite board, the camper can come in any colour you can find on a Dulux chart.
It’s little touches like these that stand out for the Sirocco. For instance, the storage bins throughout are lined with carpet to reduce rattles and movement. The fridge-slide is rated to 220kg.
And then there are the things you expect to find, like a solid A-frame hot dipped galvanised drawbar with a sturdy 150 x 50 x 4 mm RHS. But the value-add to this is that the underbody has checkerplate and deadener, and the chassis is sprayed with a bitumen formulation to further resist corrosion.
The roof is made of reinforced fibreglass which lightens the load and is connected to the main body with gas struts. It should be said that the roof may be a little heavy for smaller users to lift comfortably. The good news is Jawa are fitting air-assisted air bag systems as an option to raise the roof.
The pop-top comprises double-stitched vinyl with internal zipped windows with midge proof netting. While the mesh will help keep the bugs out, the PVC will assist in holding in the cool air from the air-con unit on the roof. As a 6’3” bloke it was good to see a head height showerhead!
Last but not least, the control panel warrants a specific mention. We reckon Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins would have liked one similar on Apollo 11, because it looks like you could navigate to the moon and back with it! Drawing on the 300 watts of solar and 300 amp hours of battery, this panel connects you to almost every electrical convenience there is on the market.
This flagship offering from Jawa is set for smooth sailing. It’s well-appointed and a true family camper, purpose-designed to take you and your crew pretty much anywhere you want to go… and stay there.
Ball weight 140kg
Suspension Heavy duty independent coil spring suspension (with dual DriveTech Enduro shocks)
Brakes 12” electric drum brakes
Drawbar 150 x 50 x 4mm hot dip galvanised
Cladding Aluminium composite panel walls, one-piece dome fibreglass roof
Wheels/tyres All terrain offroad tyres 265/75/R16, six-stud steel radial rims
Size 6500mm (L) x 2130mm (W) x 2380mm (H)
Awning size 4m (L) x 2.4m (D)
Gas 2 x adjustable holders (4kg to 8.5kg), gas plumbing
Water 120L (fresh), 100L (fresh) and 80L (grey) stainless water tanks, 2 x water fillers, Truma HWS
Kitchen/cooktop Slide-out stainless steel sink and draining board, four-burner cast iron stove with wind deflectors
Battery 3 x 100Ah deep cycle batteries, 240V compliant power, 240V multi-stage smart battery charger, 2000W inverter
Solar 300W in roof mounted panels
PRICE AS SEEN
$52,500 (but starting at $49,500)
CAMPER STAR RATINGS
|David Cook||Tim van Duyl||Kath Heiman||Scott Heiman|
|1. Fit for Intended Purpose||7||5||8.5||8.5|
|4. Quality of finish||7||4||6.5||7|
|5. Build quality||7||5||7.5||7|
|8. Ease of use||7.5||8||7.5||7|
|9. Value for money||8||7||7.5||8|
Jawa Off Road Campers
Address 1/8 Progress Rd, Maroochydore, QLD 4558
Phone 07 5479 6844