Jayco's Fiat Ducato Motorhome
27th April, 2005
Australia's leader in caravan manufacturing is quickly becoming a major player in the motorised recreational vehicle (RV) sector, with Jayco Fiat Ducato motorhomes outselling all other motorhome models when unveiled at the recent Sydney Caravan show.
By initially entering Australia's motorised RV sector 18 months ago with its Fiat Ducato van conversion Jayco was able to "test" the market and the overwhelming response led Jayco to launch its bigger motorhome version, using a Fiat Ducato chassis. A car licence is all that is required to drive the vehicle.
The experienced gained by Jayco with the Fiat Ducato in campervan mode, proved it had the "grunt" to carry the payload of a motorhome fit-out. Fiat's acceptance in Europe has seen the Ducato used in the manufacture of almost two out of every three motor campers on the Continent.
The outcome has been a spacious, comfortable motorhome of 3,850GVM, allowing for a legal additional payload of almost 550kg of holiday gear for four people. Because of its stylish design, it is a motorhome that does not need additional weighty extras that could encroach on holiday payloads.
Fiat Ducato's power is derived from a direct common rail turbo intercooled 2.8 litre 93.5 Kw diesel engine. Safety features include twin air bags and ABS brakes. Electric windows and mirrors are standard as is remote central locking.
The Ducato is also front wheel drive, making it a much more stable vehicle, especially when there is a need to quickly accelerate. This also means there is no need for dual or tandem wheels at the rear.
Jayco, celebrating its 30th anniversary in RV manufacturing this year has brought to motorhome design the same exacting manufacturing processes that has seen it grow to hold 44 per cent of Australia's RV market for caravans, pop-tops, camper trailers and now campervans and motorhomes.
Likewise, Jayco brings to campervans and motorhomes the same value-for-money philosophy that has helped it grow to market dominance in the "towable" sector. The motorhomes, in two layouts, start at $89,990 plus on road costs. Campervans start at $69,990.
The motorhomes' competitive pricing is such that with a three-year warranty, it challenges prices being paid for second hand motorhomes. Manufacturing costs have been keep low through using high tech state-of-the-art processes, including computer-driven engineering systems.
The look of the motorhome is extraordinary in that it has an automotive finish, developed from using Jayco's Tough Frame construction methods of sandwich panelled walls, that have a high-gloss, almost dent resistant sheer, fibreglass finish. The striping and decals add to the automotive styling.
The vehicle's length is 6.9 metres (22ft 7in) and internally Jayco's experience in layout design provides a surprising spaciousness in two layouts with the double bed in two different configurations - one crossways, the other lengthways.
The height of the beds is around thigh height (approximately 700 mm - 2ft 3½ in) providing an enormous storage locker, accessed easily by raising the gas-strutted bed.
Extra storage is provided in the under dinette seating, in kitchen and overhead cupboards and in a wardrobe.
The shower and toilet compartment, in either layout is easy to access and has its own ceiling vent.
Both layouts offer extra accommodation of a double bed compartment above the driver's cabin with an option of additional cupboards in lieu of sleeping space in the luto-peak (the above-cabin area).
For additional comfort, the passenger's seat can unlock and swivel around to increase seating.
The furniture has that Jayco touch with Euro-styling and smooth, distinctive lines.
Fixtures include a four-burner gas griller with one electric element, microwave oven, large RM4401 Dometic refrigerator, 240 volt-gas Truma hot water system, with 80 litre water fresh water tank and 55 litre grey water tank. There is also a 100 Amp/H auxiliary battery.
A Coleman air conditioner and Majestic 15in flat screen television is also standard, with the TV connected to a wind-up television antenna.
A Fiamma F45 awning extends the living options to the outdoors.
Jayco Fiat Ducato "C" Class motorhome at a