On The Road was the first magazine to get an exclusive look inside Jurgens’ exciting little pop-top, the Wallaroo PT1702 Deluxe, which has been specifically built for smaller vehicle touring.
It’s small on the outside, light-weight and roomy, plus it’s very comfortable on the inside. This might sound like the Tardis from Dr Who, however no, it’s the latest release from Jurgens Caravans, the Wallaroo.
This little pop-top is a cracker and when I hooked it up to my borrowed Kia Sorento they looked like the perfect match of car and van for some serious touring. I pointed the nose of the Kia towards Yarra Glen from Ringwood during peak hour and hardly noticed the crush as the Kia hauled the Wallaroo effortlessly through the traffic.
I was travelling in convoy with Terry Steel, MD of Jurgens Caravans, who was towing a J2403 model with a Mitsubishi Pajero, for a few days away testing at Kevington. We both fuelled up in Yarra Glen before a run up the spur towards Kinglake. Rather than stop in the iconic bush town, we kept the right foot part way down on the throttle and headed through Yea towards Mansfield for lunch.
I can’t remember how many times I had checked all the mirrors wondering if the light-weight, roughly 1200kgs tare, Wallaroo was still on the back. It’s not often you can sail up the spur at the legal speed limit with a van and a fuel tank full of juice and still pull away from other drivers struggling up this long winding stretch of black bitumen to the top of the spur and over the other side.
The single axle Wallaroo was well balanced and sat crisply behind the Kia. The road had to be really rough to get any odd feel from the AL-KO suspension system. The brakes hauled up evenly and smoothly and after hours of driving I jumped out of the driver’s seat feeling like I hadn’t towed a thing.
Jurgens have created the Wallaroo to suit small vehicles capable of towing 1500kgs plus. The idea behind the van is that potential vanners won’t have to buy a new vehicle to go towing and touring with. It’s a great concept and certainly one that works.
As an easy van to tow, once we parked the little Wallaroo on the lawns of the Kevington Hotel, I was keen to cast my eyes inside for a good gander. Our Walk Through model was the Deluxe as mentioned however there is a Standard version which is cheaper and can be optioned up as I point out later in the yarn.
The Wallaroo looks neat on the outside and I’ll chat about that soon, however Terry was quite excited to get me inside this cute little pop-top and it offered plenty of surprises once through the door.
The kitchen runs across the back wall and roughly halfway up the driver’s side wall to the lounge bed area which dominates the front of the van. On the passenger side between the bed and the door is a wardrobe-cum-storage area. It sounds bigger than it is, however the design work is such that it offers some very useable interior space.
The kitchen features a 3-burner gas stove close to the door with a rangehood sitting neatly above it. Towards the end of the bench is a deep sink and just to the left of that is a storage bin. Near the corner of the bench that runs along the driver’s side wall is a Dometic 3-way fridge. Next to that is another cabinet section which houses a microwave and an air conditioning unit standard on the Deluxe model tested. The kitchen is open and yet there are cupboards everywhere above and below the bench tops. It’s a smart design that is typical of Jurgens and will work for people who love knocking up a yummy meal!
At the front of Wallaroo is the lounge-cum-dining area which doubles as a bed. There is a slide out table in the centre of the front wall and the seating runs down either side which is comfortable and creates a practical open space. Each seat can be used as a single bed or when a double bed is needed, simply pull out the bottom slats, grab the back seat bolsters to fit on the slats, add some bedding and the job’s done. It literally takes minutes.
Personally I am not keen on a bed that has to be made up and packed away every day however I can definitely see the advantages of being able to tow a small, light-weight caravan with a small car. The bed is a small issue compared to the gains.
The last bit of cabinetry to mention is the last wardrobe-cum-cupboard that fills in the space neatly between the end of the dining seats and the van’s door. Overall this van’s interior is light and bright and very practical to boot. Air flow is not only provided by three widows around the front and sides of the van, it is supplemented by four windows in the heavy duty vinyl pop-top section.
Exterior-wise, the Wallaroo features the standard trademarks of a Jurgens van. These include an engineered galvanised chassis with tough composite walls, moulded front and rear panels and a one-piece roof. Our review model also featured an awning and a travel blanket which will keep the Wallaroo looking good while out and about.
Another trademark of Jurgens is the AL-KO independent rubber suspension system, alloy wheels and electric brakes. This package is one that works and is proving to be very reliable.
Other standard features fitted to the body and chassis include twin 4.5kg gas bottles, a 60 litre water tank with a hand pump system, LED lighting and a battery system. An awning and curtains are standard on the Deluxe model reviewed and are available as an option on the base model. A TV and a gas/electric hot water system are optional in both versions.
All in all, the whole Wallaroo package is a good one and it all rolls up into a weight around 1200kgs as mentioned. I can see why Jurgens are excited about this van and I am looking forward to hear how well it is received in the market place.
Manufacturer: Jurgens Caravans Australia
Model: Wallaroo PT1702 Deluxe
Body Length: 4.561m (15’)
Width: 2.35m (7’9”)
Tare Weight: 1200kg
Price: As shown, $31.000 plus on-roads
We’d like to thank Terry Steel for helping out on the PT1702 Wallaroo Walk Through. The new home of Jurgens is located at 13 Sharnet Circuit, Pakenham, Victoria. Contact them for dealer and range information.
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Phone: 03 5943 7700