Tested – JB Caravans Dirt Roader Xtreme 22’ Family Bunk Van

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Every seasoned traveller knows the extremes that this big beautiful country and how all of those great campsites seem to be at the end of an unforgiving road. So when it’s time to leave the blacktop then perhaps it’s time to consider the Dirt Roader Extreme from JB Caravans.

JB has a huge range of models, specifications and optional layouts to suit every wondering gypsy, however the 22’ Dirt Roader Extreme Family Bunk Van is the ideal companion for an extended adventure with the whole clan!


Every great construction starts with a solid foundation. JB build their premium Australian steel chassis and combine it with the proven ability of AL-KO Cross Country Enduro Off-Road suspension. Then they add the security of an AL-KO coupling creating a very rugged contender that’s ready to challenge our tough Aussie environment.

JB like to define the Dirt Roader Extreme as a “semi-off-roader,” but from the hiding we gave it at South Australia’s Loveday 4X4 Adventure Park this worthy caravan proved that it is capable any sensible challenge.

The 22’ “Dirt Roader” walked its way over the moguls with ease in an impressive display of ground clearance making it abundantly clear that the AL-KO Cross Country Enduro suspension was more than capable of the rough stuff, this one with dual heavy duty shock absorbers, Australian Made 4×4 style coil springs and automotive grade maintenance free bushes.

The JB completed the deep-water challenge with surprising ease with its high wheel clearance stemming the tide beautifully. We accelerated through the mounds and sand drifts with the big 16” wheels with strong 10 ply AT tyres spreading the weight of the 2650kg tare van exceptionally well and tracking confidently.

Speed over corrugations is the true test of any van, especially when the desert fringes were throwing up veils of red dust as we sped along the lumpy tracks. The combination of a well weighted caravan with AL-KO Electronic Stability Control (ESC) coupled to the heavyweight grunt of the RAM made our excessive speeds over the corrugations safe and painless!

The rig easily scaled the hill climb before racing to the finish line in a nostril filling cloud of dust but internal inspection revealed that she was as clean as a whistle. Back on the blacktop she stuck like glue even over some crumbling edges and potholes.

JB Caravans Dirt Roader Extreme 22’ looks great with a terrific colour scheme, graphics and protective checkerplate sides. JB’s Brendon said that our course, “simulated extreme outback conditions – beyond expectations and far beyond extreme. We went to hell and back with no damage, no water ingress and virtually no dust from this very harsh environment!”


JB proved that being a tough contender doesn’t mean you have to scrimp of creature comforts. The Dirt Roader Extreme has a terrific internal layout jam pack filled with modern luxury and quality appliances. There’s twin 6’2” long bunks as well as the Queen size innerspring master for a travelling family.

Its spaciousness is accentuated with beautiful textures and finishes that made the house an inviting home. There’s a beautiful leather dinette and full size 3 way fridge plus a very complete galley with ensuite to the rear. The large double glazed windows flood natural light and JB have maximised storage throughout without any feeling of confinement.

The finishes include premium laminate benchtops and splashbacks, lightweight doors with piano hinges, faux timber vinyl flooring and chrome door handles all in an optional range of colours and fittings. Then there’s a slatted bed frame on gas struts, CD/DVD Combo with 24″ Smart TV, internal and external speakers plus Wineguard antenna, reverse cycle air-con/heating, top load washing machine, Midi hatch, skylight, two Sirocco fans and a terrific selection of LED lighting for all moods.

The extensive kitchen includes a full oven with 4 burner stove, grill and range hood; a microwave, flick mixer taps, stainless steel sink, and pantry with plenty of water supplied by 2 x 95L Water tanks and a Swift 28L Gas/Electric HWS. The ensuite features a ceramic bowl toilet, vanity with well-lit mirror, large molded shower and continues the theme of polished stone laminate bench tops.

You will have plenty of power for remote adventures from 2 x 135 Ah AGM Batteries with a RedArc 30amp battery management system, 2 x 160W solar panels with regulator and a 600W invertor.
Outside is a fold down picnic table, high checker plate protection, Alucomp cladding, a roll out awning, spare wheel, tap and a tool box, 2 x jerry can and 2 x gas bottle holders, external shower, entertainment hatch and a reverse camera with monitor plus much, much more.

The 22’ JB Caravans Dirt Roader Extreme was carefully designed and constructed to take you to those bucket list destinations far off the beaten track. Its impeccable finish, lush and inviting interior, terrific list of sensible accessories and extremely robust exterior will tempt your whole family to explore our great Australian experience.



John Willis

We call him Bear, and no it’s not just because he’s so cute and cuddly. Bear was the sort of kid that had a model fishing boat in the bath and a Jeep in the sandpit dreaming of great adventures both at sea and on land. He has been lucky enough to follow those dreams and now shares his stories of success and failure, what works and what doesn’t, how to and how not to, and of course where to go in our great country. Bears philosophy is about the joy we get from the journey – not just the destination.

Whilst originally trained as a boat builder Bear’s life has led down many paths but always drawing back on those primary skills. He has experience in irrigation, agriculture, engineering, landscaping and even once owned a playground equipment manufacturing company along with many years in wholesale and retail boat sales and fishing charters before turning his hand to outdoor media. Bear is a skilled writer and photographer, hosted successful radio shows, and nowadays spends a good deal of time in front of the camera creating reviews and features for print, on-line, TV and custom media.


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