Hybrid Review: JAWA Lowdown 13

From the High Country to the highway, the JAWA Lowdown 13 offroad hybrid would be a faithful, compact, companion.


I headed to the JAWA headquarters, based just outside of Caloundra, Qld, excited to test out a new hybrid model that JAWA had just released. ‘Headquarters’ is certainly the correct word to describe this massive space. Not only is this where JAWA’s showroom is, but also its servicing and staff offices. Scott from JAWA was more than happy to show me through the whole building taking me through the manufacturing process from start to finish.

JAWAScott explained that JAWA imported its vans from overseas, like a number of other caravan/camper companies do; however, he was keen to point out that the fitout set them apart. As he walked me through the Lowdown 13 on the showroom floor, he pointed out that aside from the actual chassis and framework of the van, pretty much everything else was fitted by them in the factory using quality products, from the exterior ‘Kickass’ shower tent to the Enerdrive electrical equipment. JAWA even prints its own decals!


This van is quite capable off-grid, with a 2000W inverter and 300Ah deep-cycle battery provided as standard. The Lowdown is ready to disappear when you are.

JAWAWith two 110L water tanks, the Lowdown carries more water than some full-size vans. And how does Jawa fit all this into a van that only measures 5.97m in length and 2.2m in height? Well, this is perhaps the party piece of this van: it has a pop-out extension that adds so much extra room to the rear of the van. It provides space for a full-size queen bed, a lounge, a shower/toilet and another bed up front, which can be converted to storage for solo travellers or couples.

All if this only weighs 2000kg Tare, with an unladen ball weight of 155kg and an ATM of 2500kg, supported by the fully independent Lovells suspension system.

JAWAAnother great feature of the Lowdown is its electric roof, which glides up at the push of a button. As someone who grew up pushing up a pop-top by hand, I must say this was very enjoyable. I may have done it a couple times just for the fun of it. Once inside, the Lowdown 13 feels spacious filled with natural light thanks to the big windows.

Once you step back outside under the huge awning, you then have a full four-burner cooktop at your disposal, a massive slide-out fridge and plenty of storage alongside. If outdoor living is your thing, this van is for you because not only do you have a kitchen with a view but also the option of a shower with a view!

JAWAStorage is not an issue. The Lowdown has plenty of storage space inside and out, including a massive toolbox up front, which safely stores your gas bottles and anything else you can think of. Right in front of that is a DO35 hitch and a nice, big manoeuvrable jockey wheel. 

This leads me to the chassis, which is coated with a protective material to guard against damage from stones and other road debris. There was also a rows mudguards protecting the underbody and water tanks from stones. Protection also comes in the form of rock sliders, which not only protect the underside of the van but look fantastic.


JAWA stands for Journey Australia With Attitude, and you can certainly see that bullish flair all over the Lowdown, from the bright orange paint to its creative decals. With an aluminium frame, not only is the Lowdown light and strong, but it looks brilliant.

JAWAValue for money springs to mind as you walk around the Lowdown. For $69,500 (base price), you’re getting a five-year structural warranty. For that price and such a large list of standard inclusions, it is hard to look past this pocket rocket. A 95L dual zone fridge/ freezer, Dometic reverse-cycle air-conditioning, a grey water tank and a Bluetooth sound system, and so much more, are included in the package.

Whether your travelling solo or with the family, the Lowdown is perfect not only for longer term off-grid living but also those weekend-warrior trips. Because this van should fit in your carport, you don’t have to store it miles away at a storage yard. This in turn means you are ready to leave as soon as you get home from work or the kids get home from school. With the ever-increasing cost of living, a lot of people are doing shorter, more affordable trips, so having something parked in the carport that is light but fully-equipped is important.

JAWAAlternatively, if you do find the time for a longer trip, you would be more than comfortable in this van, with almost all of the same features that you’d get in a larger van. 

On and offroad, the Lowdown 13 towed beautifully. This is thanks to not only the dual shock offroad suspension from Lovells, but the fact that the van is only 2.2m high, hence its name. The Lowdown was originally designed so that it could fit under most regular-sized carports or garages. This has the added benefit of creating a low centre of gravity. The van was put through its paces from gravel tracks to undulating mud pits, cruising through it all with ease.


The JAWA Lowdown 13 is spacious enough to set-up as a long-term base camp yet small and light enough to move spot to spot, stay on the move and negotiate tight tracks. From the High Country to the highway, the Lowdown 13 is a brilliant hybrid option.


FIT AND FINISH – 4 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 5 out of 5 stars


  • I loved the way this van towed; it would go anywhere I personally would need it to go
  • I also loved how spacious it was
  • I personally would like a tad more indoor storage


Overall length: 5.97m

External body length: 3.96m

External width: 2.49m

Travel height: 2.2m

Tare: 2000kg

GTM: 2345kg

ATM: 2500kg

Unladen ball weight: 155kg

Frame: Aluminium

Cladding: Aluminium composite

Coupling: Cruisemaster D035

Chassis: Q345 Steel

Suspension: Independent coil spring with two Lovells shock absorbers per arm

Brakes: 12in electric drum with offroad magnets

Wheels: 265/75/16 10-ply, choice of AT or MT with Koyo bearings

Fresh water: 2x110L poly tanks

Grey water: 1x80L poly tank

External shower: ‘Kickass’ ensuite tent provided

Awning: 4m wind-out awning with anti-flap kit and canvas annexe

Battery: 1x 300Ah Enerdrive Lithium B-Tec battery with Enerdrive Combi 2000W AC transfer inverter with built in 80A charger, Enerdrive 40A DCDC charger, and Enerdrive EPro battery monitor

Solar: 4x150W glass panels (600W total) with Enerdrive 40A MPPT solar controller

Air-conditioner: Truma Saphir

Heating: Eberspacher Airtronic D2L AS3

Gas: 2x9kg gas cylinder holders with additional bayonet on drawbar

Sway control: optional

Cooking: External four-burner gas cooktop

Refrigeration: 95L Evakool Down Under Series II dual zone fridge/freezer

Microwave: No

Shower: Yes

Toilet: Thetford C400 cassette toilet

Washing machine: No

Lighting: LED and external three-way lights

Hot water: Trauma AquaGo instantaneous

Dust reduction: Gusto 12V

Entertainment: Furrion head unit and 24in smart TV

JAWA 270 freestanding awning ($3500)


Base price: $66,000