Jabiru Xtra_ Motorhome World - trakkas Jabiru Xtra is a

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					::Trakka ausTralia Jabiru XTra
                                         Words and pics M alcolM street

     E  raecial
      xtSp                   Xtra
                     s Jabiru d,
              trakka’ isticate
              is a sop he-art machin

    n the world of motorhomes, one of the things that the latter
    part of 2006 will be remembered for is the arrival of new
    vehicles from just about every importer of light commercial
vehicles in Australia.
   This has led to a great deal of frenzied activity in just about
every motorhome manufacturer’s design department and new
campervans/motorcampers/motorhomes have been appearing
almost monthly.
   One of the new motorhomes that we have been eagerly
awaiting is the new Jabiru Xtra from Trakka. Our tastebuds were
aroused at the NSW Caravan and Camping Supershow when
the new Jabiru appeared, but further development work and
refinement has meant a slightly longer wait for a serious play.
   It almost took longer than intended – prising the key away
from Trakka’s media and PR man, Richard Robertson, was
difficult. Apparently the Trakka team like to play with their
products as well.
   When we picked up our VW Crafter-powered Jabiru, it was
shiny, clean and ready to go.

Free as a bIrd
The Jabiru is available with either a Mercedes Sprinter or a
VW Crafter van base, with both having the same shape and
dimensions from the driver’s cab back (the VW being mainly
derived from the Mercedes design).
   The new breed of Sprinter/Crafter extra long wheelbase vans
are physically longer than the standard long wheelbase version
– ideal for motorhome converters who need every inch they
can get.
   While the VW is slightly cheaper, the choice of
Merecedes-Benz or VW really comes down to personal preference
when it comes to driving them. We’d take either with a manual
gearbox but, with an automatic transmission, the Sprinter with
its full auto six-speed would win out over the automated manual
six-speed of the VW.
   Around town, the gear changes were more hesitant than
we would have liked. Apart from that, the Crafter, with its
2.5L 100kW turbodiesel, was a fun machine to drive and
very responsive. Fuel consumption came in at an average of
12L/100km. One of the things to be careful of with the longer
van is going over driveways and kerbs with heavy undulations
– the rear step, side step and water tank can scrape if large humps
and dips are not approached carefully.
   Our Jabiru came with the optional VW metallic finish, which
looks good with the satin black window surrounds, but will cost
you extra, as do the equally appealing alloy wheels.
   Trakka-fitted components include double glazed hopper
windows, a Fiamma F65 awning, electric side step, offside
compartments for a gas cylinder, Thetford cassette and power
lead. An air-conditioner, solar panels and rearview camera are
mounted on the roof.
   Trakka is something of a boutique manufacturer in the
motorhome industry, with many of its designs featuring some
trendsetting ideas. The Jabiru is no exception, with laminated
composite furniture (LCF), a switch mode bathroom (SMB) and
a motorised bed combination (MBC), but we’ll get to those.

                                                MOTORHOME WORLD       35
::Trakka ausTralia Jabiru XTra

                                                           Versatile layout that can be utilised
                                                           in several ways
                                                           the VW crafter is a pleasure to drive
                                                           the kitchen is easy to use, compact,
                                                           and doesn’t lack bench and
                                                           storage space
                                                           nicely designed bathroom that works
                                                           well with the ‘disappearing’ loo
                                                           space-saving roller shutter doors that
                                                           are easy to open

                                                           Now i am beiNg picky
                                                           a reading light for the passenger seat
                                                           a lip for the outer edge of the kitchen
                                                           bench may be needed

                                                    above left: Many of the cupboards                     has to be opened before the toilet is moved to
                                                    throughout include space-saving roller                the ‘out’ position and the cassette removed.
                                                    shutter doors. left: the toilet slides                   And what about the MBC? In the rear of
                                                    electronically out from beneath the vanity            the Jabiru are two side-facing lounges, the seat
                                                    at the push of a button.                              cushions of which don’t have the usual straight
                                                                                                          sides. They instead have a distinct curve, making
                                                    blinds on all the hopper windows.                     them wider at opposite ends, thus making them
                                                       The use of LCF for all cabinet furniture helps     excellent for single beds.
                                                    to save on weight. It is a light, tough, scratch         But if a double bed is required, a push of the
                                                    resistant material that can be easily formed into     remote sees the offside lounge power across the
                                                    ergonomic curves. Sourced from Europe and             Jabiru. When the rear seat cushions fall into the
                                                    specifically designed by Trakka, it is very strong,   gap, it’s an instant double bed! Sadly, you still
                                                    as MHW discovered when doing a little test in         have to fit the sheets and blankets yourself, but
                                                    the Trakka factory.                                   we are sure that Trakka are working on that!
                                                      So what’s a SMB? The new Trakka bathroom               The rear bed area is well fitted out. It has small
                                                    was roomy and well fitted out, but when               corner shelves on the kitchen and bathroom
                                                    Richard Robertson showed it to us, it appeared        partitions, there are halogen reading lights back
                                                    to be missing a vital component: the toilet, be it    and front on both sides and at the rear there are
                                                    Thetford, Dometic or any other brand.                 two magazine/book holders on the side walls.
                                                      Perhaps SMB stood for Something Missing in             A further advantage of the Jabiru Xtra layout
                                                    the Bathroom? However, press one of the remote        is that the bed can be left made up, because
                                                    controls on the keyring and a Thetford toilet         up front the driver and passenger seats swivel
ChIC stylIngs                                       appears out from under the wash basin – a clever      around and a small table sits between those seats
We reckon the layout of the Jabiru Xtra is pretty   idea that means you don’t have to sit on the loo      and the dinette/passenger seat on the offside,
snappy for a van of this size. It features a rear   every time you shower.                                creating a small dining/lounge area.
lounge/bedroom area, nearside kitchen, mid            A tip from the Trakka crew: should you
offside bathroom, and a front dinette/lounge        happen to be one of those people who lingers          More to add
area that incorporates the driver and passenger     on the toilet, take the remote with you in            Surprisingly, there isn’t a RMK – Remote
swivel seats. The decor has a contemporary look     case someone outside decides to terminate             Controlled Kitchen – but there are all the
about it and includes items such as space-saving    proceedings earlier than you anticipate.              essentials of a good kitchen bench for a
roller shutter doors on many of the cupboards         To empty the cassette, there’s the usual            motorhome of this size.
and lockers, along with separate flyscreens and     external door as well as one on the inside, which        The nearside bench area consists of a Cramer

below and left: the twin lounges form a double bed, thanks to the Motorised
Bed combination function. above: trakka’s Jabiru is a smart looking
motorhome. Inset: the rearview camera is a thoughtful touch.

                                                           MOTORHOME WORLD    37
::Trakka ausTralia Jabiru XTra

                                                                                                           Trakka ausTralia
                                                                                                           Jabiru XTra
                                                                                                           base vehICle:
                                                                                                           VW crafter
                                                                                                           2.5l 100kW turbodiesel
                                                                                                           six-speed shiftmatic
                                                                                                           Max power:
                                                                                                           Max torque:
                                                                                                           disc all round
                                                                                                           tare weIght:
                                                                                                           external length:
                                                                                                           24ft 6in (7.47m)
                                                                                                           external wIdth:
a table can be set up behind the driver and passenger seats, which swivel to create a                      6ft 6in (2m)
dinette or an additional lounge area.                                                                      Internal heIght:
                                                                                                           6ft 3in (1.9m)
three-burner cooktop/stainless steel sink combo      Trakka touch. Two 100Ah AGM batteries                 Cooktop:
with tank water and filtered drinking water,         supply the 12V load and they are charged by           cramer three-burner/sink combo
small bin for scraps, six drawers and, a non         either the vehicle alternator or 15A charger. Solar
kitchen item, a half height wardrobe with a roller   panels are definitely an option. Lighting is all      indelB 130l 12V compressor
shutter door. On the opposite side of the Jabiru,    12V halogens.
between the dinette seat and bathroom, is an
IndelB 130L fridge with a Sharp microwave            suMMIng up
above. The latter is set back to allow shelf space   Despite the fact that the Jabiru Xtra is a smaller    gas:
for hot dishes, but one of our test crew, who is     motorhome, it is packed with features, too many       1 x 4.5kg
on the short side, reckoned it would be easier if    to mention in this article. Suffice to say this is    lIghtIng:
it was a little closer forward.                      a sophisticated, state-of-the-art machine that is     12V halogen
   Conveniently, the microwave has a small shelf     causing considerable interest in the RV market        hot water:
above and can be closed off with a roller shutter    – even among non RVers.                               truma 14l
door when it is not being used.                         We appreciate that, although its size means it     Fresh water:
   We did like the aforementioned front dinette/     is easily handled when driving around town, it is     100l
lounge area. The driver and passenger seats can      still a comfortable camper for weekend escapes
                                                                                                           grey water:
be swivelled without a problem and the rear          and longer term travel, having a good engine
seat is comfortable – it has full height back and    performance, good fuel economy, reasonable
lap/sash seat belts. When not needed, the table      $133,620 price tag and a versatile living space       seCond stage CoMplIanCe:
can be lifted out of the way and stored.             that has been well thought out.                       Yes
   Electrics in the Jabiru have a sophisticated         Trakka gets a big tick for this one. ■             prICe as revIewed:
                                                                                                           $133,620 (including options)

                                                                                                           trakka australia, 9 Beaumont
                                                                                                           road, Mt Kuring-gai, nsW 2080,
                                                                                                           (02) 9472 9000,


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