Jayco Swan Camper

Submitted: Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 20:10
ThreadID: 21032 Views:18962 Replies:6 FollowUps:0
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I am looking at buying a Jayco Swan off road van. I have been given several different opinions. I have heard a unreliable story about one "falling to pieces" on the Gibb River Road and a couple of similar stories. Has anyone got anything good to say about these vans.

PS Yes I did search first.
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Reply By: loughma - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 23:03

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 23:03
Algee
Jayco and the like ... these campa vans are NOT built to take the pounding that travelling the Gibb River Road gives. They are simplely a mass produced caravan with some cosmetic strengthing.
Do yourself a favour, do not buy one of these campers and expect it to handle
the shaking and pounding that corrigations will give. The cupboards are not
strong enough, the dust will pour in, stoves & fridges will just shake themselves to pieces.. Structurally the unit is not strong enough.
Be warned ... go down this track at your own peril!
AnswerID: 101519

Reply By: Croozer - Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 23:24

Monday, Mar 07, 2005 at 23:24
G'Day Algee,
My sister in law, her hubby and 3 kids travelled around oz for 9 months a few years back towing a jayco swan outback camper, without any major problems that I recall. They took it to Mitchell Falls, Gibb River Rd, Arnhem Land across the gulf etc. I think you just need to remember that they are not built like a Kimberley or Ultimate camper and if you are careful, take your time and use correct tyre pressure you should'nt have to many drama's.
I have just bought a 2001 model Dove Outback from a couple who towed it around Oz for 12 months (behind a 3ltr GU) and it is still in great condition. The only place they went to and did not tow it to was the Cape, and the only thing that broke was a lower shock absorber mount which was replaced under warranty with a much more robust (thicker steel) mount. They did'nt even get a flat tyre!!!!. They travelled the GRR, went into the Bungle Bungles, towed it over the sand to Steep Point etc etc.
I used to have a Kimberley but with the arrival of 2 little ones it did not suit us any longer and the Jayco campers while not serious off road vehicles like the Kimberley seemed to be the best value units that will be comfortable and go to most of the places we want to go, be it a little slower, if not we'll use the tent.
Cheers,
Stu
AnswerID: 101521

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 01:23

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 01:23
I have a Jayco penguin, which is not offroad spec, but has been lifted a little, and my mate Barry has an offroad hawk. We took ours through the pilbara up to broome, along about 1000 klm of VERY corrugated roads, and yes we did get a bit of dust inside but it was no biggie.

The only hassles I had were self made, eg; driving too fast and breaking a window on the patol from rocks bouncing off the camper, and some wiring damage, which was avoidable, if only I had bothered to tuck the brake wiring up properley.

My camper has been around OZ twice (previous owners), and Barry's camper spent the first 4 years of its life in the kimberley, doing tag along tours.

They do handle quite a bit, BUT NO, they are not "heavy duty".

As long as you are aware of this when you start out, you shouldn't have any drama's. Where people get cought out, is thinking that the words "off road" means take it anywhere you like.

For me, having a fridge, sink, stove, and somewhere to sit or sleep without all that mucking around setting up heavy canvas tents and stuff is a bonus.

When we are on big trips, if we want to stop for a cuppa, we pull over, wind em up, open the door and put the kettle on. SIMPLE.

If you want a go anywhere, unbreakable camper, then don't get a Jayco.
AnswerID: 101532

Reply By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 08:41

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 08:41
Algee
We bought an "Outback" Eagle new in 2000. It expired in 2004. Did about 30-40k on outback roads. Nothing too dramatic, Birdsville, Oodnadatta, Streszlecki Tracks etc. Had to have the suspension repaired/replaced after every trip! I must say that they seem to have got their act together gradually since we bought ours. The current suspension bears no relationship to what was on ours. Little things like a nut working off a bed slide, which took 2 hours to diagnose and fix after a hard day's travelling, before we could set up camp. Had a major problem with the electric brakes - they wouldn't work while the 3way fridge was on 12 volt. Had to have a new heavier earth installed. (met a couple with the identical problem last year and was able to tell them how to fix it, so mine was not unique) But, it was roomy, comfortable and easy to tow. I guess it all depends on how much, what type of "outback" use you intend to do.
Tessa
AnswerID: 101544

Reply By: Member - big bo (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 09:02

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 09:02
Al,
Interested in your choices but no matter what you get, went and saw centrelink the other day and I might even have less than 86 days to go to retirement, just thought you might like to know.
Bo.
AnswerID: 101547

Reply By: pmacks - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 16:05

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 16:05
G Day,
in relation to the off road vans, i have a goldstream goldwing and my mate has the jayco hawke 2003 vintage both of these vans have done a simpson crossing and a cape york trip with out any problem and a stack of out back. The original jayco' outbacks did have a problem with there suspension but this was changed in 2002 ( i think )
and since have not had any major problems both vans are dust proofed as best as we can but you still get a little in and in our goldsream that is near the front lounge but you will never get them 100% dust proof. The key to taking these types of vans anywhere is how you drive and your tyre pressure across the simpson tyres at 20 psi ( on van ) and drive accordingly up to the cape tyres at around 28 psi and take your time normally 80-90 klm where you can or slower. we were on fraser island two months ago and came across a guy bogged with his trak shack so when we stopped to help we asked about his tyre pressure, well he had 40 psi on the car ( nissan patrol ) and 45 psi on the track shack so it is no wonder he got bogged.
so i guess what i am trying to say is you can take this type of van anywhere and i for one would not like to give up the level of comfort they offer.
hope this helps
pmacks
AnswerID: 101589

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