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BUYERS GUIDE - 4X4 CAMPERVANS

JACANA HIKER HIACE BASED CAMPERVAN
A compact campervan from this motorhome specialist company.

Jacana Hiker

Taree-based Jacana Motorhomes is best known for its conversions to 4×4 trucks, but the company is now employing its expertise in smaller vehicles. The Hiker is based on Toyota’s new HiAce van and can be ordered in 2WD and 4WD configurations.

 

 

The standard rear wheel drive HiAce van has diesel or petrol power and comes with manual or automatic transmission, in a choice of long and super-long wheelbases. Jacana does the Hiker conversion on all these variants and Bus4x4’s 4WD conversion can also be fitted to any HiAce variant.

The Bus4x4 HiAce report is in our Buyers Guide, Campervan section.

 

 

Before any work begins at Jacana’s factory, each HiAce is shrink-wrapped in protective plastic sheet. This special sheeting is purpose-designed for painted vehicles and doesn’t leave any residue on the surface.

The sheeting ensures that no swarf or other residue can enter panel gaps, keeping the non-modified parts of the vehicle as-new.

Jacana’s campervan conversion starts with moulded rear window ‘pod’ extensions that increase the width of the van at those points to around 1.9 metres. This width increase allows fitment of a east-west double bed.

All framing for bed and cupboards is fabricated from slotted aluminium square tube that’s purpose-designed to house L-brackets via captive nuts that slide in grooves in the extrusions.

This very strong system allows for some customising without compromising integrity and makes maintenance easier.

 

 

Jacana’s pop-top roof moulding is fibreglass and features a moulded fairing at the front, to streamline it into the roof. The cutout in the original roof is double-painted and the aperture is topped with aluminium framing.

The pop-top opens very easily and raises higher than competitor roofs, by virtue of stainless steel ‘scissor’ hinges at the aft end. This design also allows plenty of room for the  tailgate to lift, without fouling the pop-top.

 

 

Under the memory-foam bed is a folding lounge with seatbelts that can seat two people and double as a kids bed for two. Both beds can be left made-up.

Also under bed is a multi-drawer module that can be accessed from inside the vehicle and through the rear doors. The drawer module, galley and wardrobe are constructed from lightweight marine-grade plywood.

The interior floor plan takes the space-saving advantage of an optional swivelling passenger seat.

The galley sits immediately behind the driver’s seat and features a 65-litre front-opening fridge/freezer, a sink with hand pump and a diesel cooktop. A wardrobe with shelf flanks the galley.

Electrical system inclusions are an external 15-amp socket; 120Ah deep-cycle battery with mains and 12v charging; 150W solar roof panel; power outlets; LED lighting and USB outlets.

 

Water supply to the sink comes from a 55-litre water tank.

Options include diesel room heating; a manual awning; flyscreens; TV with external aerial and DVD player and a body wrap.

The interior fit out is the same for 2WD and 4WD versions, but the Bus4x4 conversion achieves a massive increase in ground clearance, so an access step is provided with the 4WD version!

 

 

 

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