Family Friendly Compact
This latest compact pop top from Jurgens takes a fresh approach to design and is aimed squarely at families with small children. The Victorian manufacturer takes pride in coming up with innovative ideas and it shows in this iteration of the Jindabyne PT pop top range. This is especially true when you consider that the company has successfully incorporated separate spaces for adults and children into a model with an internal body length of only 16’1” (4.92m).
Against the current trend for bigger, heavier and gadget laden vans, the Jindabyne range takes a more modest and practical approach to caravanning. Their lighter weight makes them easily towed by humble family vehicles and their compact footprint means they are more easily stored and maneuverable in tight spots.
What makes the PT 2270 version of the Jindabyne especially innovative is a scaled down section of the interior devoted to young ones, who will see this cubby house style accommodation as all their own. In the rear driver side quarter of the interior, a high bunk is permanently fixed over a space that converts to either a small café dinette or a second bunk.
At a pinch adults could use the table, as head height is sufficient even though it takes a bit of maneuvering to gain access, and the full-length beds will fit occasional visitors, but the design is clearly intended for children and smaller teenagers.
Layout of the rest of the van takes the lead from other pop tops in the range with a queen bed at the front, a normally sized diner to the rear of the entry door and the kitchen arranged at the rear.
I noted a good helping of 240V power points throughout and readily visible battery monitor, water tank level and fuse/power box. Windows are all Euro style double-glazed with pelmets for a dash of colour, while upholstery feels high quality and comfortable.
Rather than the usual arrangement of windows either side of the bed, the P2270 has only driver side and front windows, while on the passenger side handy storage shelves and a mirror have been installed. Even so, light streams in from the windows and from the openings in the vinyl sides of the poptop. Side cupboards are deep and twin overhead storage bins sit astride a sound system with twin speakers.
More storage space under the bed is shared with the air conditioning unit and water pump but these are neatly partitioned to keep things in place.
The well equipped kitchen has a 90L Thetford three-way fridge/freezer with a compact microwave on top, a Swift Mini Grill Mk3 with rangehood and three gas and a single electric burner. Overhead cupboards, big drawers and cupboards and a deep storage bin should give enough food storage even for hungry kids. Lighting is bright and the windows and opening screens in the pop top provide loads of ventilation.
A bench style dinette can seat two adults and is long enough for one to stretch out for a read or to watch TV. Accessing the seat is easy as the pedestal mounted table swivels out of the way although I’d be careful if it were loaded with dinner as it is a fairly lightweight construction.
The children’s area has a similar style table making it possible for me to sit there comfortably with ample seated headroom to avoid feeling confined. I liked the ladder to the top bunk, which included storage spaces at the lower rungs and a sturdy grab handle with light.
Most families would use the new Jurgens in caravan parks or some of the better national parks but a deep cycle battery charged from the tow vehicle means you could park the van off the grid overnight. Gas power for the stove and fridge means the 12V power is really only needed for lights and water pump.
Outside features include a picnic table with 12V and 240V outlets, a removable timber step and security door. Wheels are 14” black and chrome alloys with 195 section road tyres. Tow hitch is an Al-Ko ball and the A-frame houses a removable jack and water tap.
Hidden away out of sight in the front boot are twin 4.5kg gas bottles and the spare as well as tools and jack, leaving some room for additional equipment.
Anyone visiting the Jurgens display at the recent Melbourne Show might have seen the cut down caravan on show. Clearly not afraid of showing what’s underneath the skin, the display gave an accurate impression of how the van is built including cross sections of the walls, sturdy furniture without staples and well-engineered chassis.
Like all Jurgens vans the Jindabyne is engineered for the best compromise of minimum weight and maximum strength. Unusual amongst its Australian competitors, the chassis is engineered with a bolted C-section frame which is hot-dip galvanized and includes additional strengthening in high load areas. Also unusual is the composite wall construction, which does away with a timber frame found in most traditional local brands.
Add in Al-Ko independent rubber torsion suspension and single section floor and roof and the Jurgens range is a very different beast.
Weighing in at a tare of 1408kg, the Jurgens has a capacity of a little over 320kg for an ATM of 1730kg. That’s a healthy capacity and should mean that even with full water and gas you can take a decent load of personal items and food without going over legal weight.
Towing with a Ford Ranger was a bit of overkill and we easily wound our way through the hills around Emerald in Melbourne’s east with little effort. Both here and on the open road the van tracked smoothly, without and sway or sudden jerking.
It is refreshing to see the team at Jurgens continue their quest for better ways and wider options for those looking to embrace the caravanning lifestyle. The Jindabyne PT 2270 is worth a look for families with younger children. The kids will like their own space and the parents or grandparents will appreciate the economies a smaller van can bring.
Model: Jindabyne PT 2270
Overall length: 6.57m
Travel height: 2.26m
Tare weight: 1408kg
Ball weight: 169kg
Price from: $39,990
Find Out More
Jurgens Pakenham Victoria
Ph: (03) 5943 7700