Jawa Mirage JC14: Review
Jawa are raising the roof on family friendly caravans.
Like the rest of the Jawa range, the basics in the Mirage JC14, such as the chassis and body, are built in China to Jawa’s specifications but much of the assembly work is done at the company’s Sunshine Coast premises.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Rising roof vans have many benefits but are particularly great for families who want a bit of living space but don’t want to tow a heavy van. And with a Tare of 1450kg and an ATM of 1980kg (giving a generous 530kg load capacity), and a travel height of just 1.5m (5ft), the Mirage is an easy towing prospect for any number of 2WD or 4WD tow vehicles.
Construction-wise, the Mirage has 100x50mm (4x2in) chassis and drawbar rails, while 50mm (2in) pressed-hole C-section steel is used for the chassis cross members and everything is hot-dipped galvanised. The chassis, at first glance, might appear a bit lightly built but, because there’s less weight above it, less steel work is needed below.
Simple leaf spring suspension and a beam axle are used for the 16in alloy wheels and the 82L water tank is fitted between the chassis rails, directly behind the axle. On the drawbar, things are quite simple with a poly block coupling, handbrake, a 9kg gas cylinder and swing-away jockey wheel. There are wind-down stabilisers on all four corners and the spare wheel is mounted on the bumper bar at the rear.
Above the chassis, moulded and composite fibreglass is used for the body and roof. With its rounded front and rear ends, the van has quite a streamlined look when it’s folded up. The rounded front shape is particularly important because it allows for a spacious front boot, which is necessary, given there aren’t any other storage bins.
One of the reasons I think this van is especially good for a family is the generous seating offered by the dinette and club lounge. While the latter isn’t particularly large there is room for a couple of people to stretch out.
While a family of four can use the dinette quite comfortably, it has been compacted a bit to allow for a large cupboard by the entry door. This is a compromise but the extra storage and benchtop space are not to be sneezed at. Inside the cupboard are a 240V mains powerpoint and a 12V socket, with a hole in the benchtop to feed through the leads, making it quite convenient for charging your family’s devices.
The front dinette seat has been fitted with a drawer underneath, which is quite handy. And if more bed space is needed, the dinette can be folded down into an extra single bed.
HITS & MISSES
- Light weight for towing
- Spacious interior when set up
- Good-sized kitchen bench
- Plenty of seating
- Separate bed areas
- Limited lighting
- Water gauge awkward to look at
- Location of powerpoint at floor level
- Not many 12V/5V USB charger outlets
JAWA MIRAGE JC14 SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 5.8m (19ft)
- External body length 4.1m (13ft 5in)
- External body width 2.21m (7ft 3in)
- Travel height 1.5m (5ft)
- Internal height 2.33m (7ft 8in)
- Tare 1450kg
- ATM 1980kg
- Ball weight 130kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Fibreglass composite
- Chassis Hot-dipped 100x50mm (4x2in)
- Suspension Leaf spring
- Brakes 10in electric
- Wheels 16in Cooper offroad tyres
- Water 82L
- Battery 2x100Ah deep-cycle (one for electric winch power management)
- Solar No (optional)
- Air-conditioner No
- Gas 1x9kg
- Sway control No
- Cooking Dometic combo four-burner with grill
- Fridge Dometic AES 95L three-way
- Microwave No
- Toilet No (optional)
- Shower No (optional)
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water No (optional)
Price as shown
- $34,999 (on-road, Qld)
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The full test appears in Caravan World #550 June 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!