Jayco Caravans

Submitted: Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 10:47
ThreadID: 34245 Views:3034 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Hello out there, I am a new member and have, over the last few days enjoyed reading some of these forum topics, as a visitor.
To begin with, I am retiring next month and, after a year (next year) in UK with my wifes family, we intend to become 'Grey Nomads' for a year or so.
I am one to spend a lot of time researching and have my 4wd picked...more on that later but as to caravan, I was dismayed to read all the negative comments about Jayco. In particular, I like the Jayco Sterling 23 footer. As far as I can see so far, the only comparable van in terms of construction is the Golf Linwood/Savannah and they cost in excess of $80K. The Jayco is approx $52K. The construction I mention is aluminium frame /sandwich construction and to me, as an engineer (Electrical), that seems far superior than Meranti timber which is a soft timber. I looked a a few vans at Rosehill and I couldn't deetect any major detail issues and, in fact, I thought the Sterling was superior in detail to nearly all the vans I looked at. Am I missing something??
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Reply By: Member - Don M (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 10:54

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 10:54
Just to clarify, I don't intend taking the van off-road, rather I intend to leave it parked as a base and use my Oz tent for side trips. However, I daresay there are many rutted roads which will shake the hell out of the van and if Jaycos really do fall apart, then I guess I wilol have to rethink my first choice.
AnswerID: 174658

Follow Up By: blackmax11 - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 13:40

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 13:40
I have a 25' Heritage, tow with a Landcruiser Turbo Diesel. Its great, sure we have a few bits fall off now and then, nothing too important. Like you said, the other brands are heaps more expensive. I looked at them all before buying my Jayco and didn't see the added value. In fact many were considered not as good as the Jayco and cost much more.
Looked at the Stirlings at the Sydney Show, they looked great.
Jayco has 46% marketshare if that means anything.
See you on the road sometime.
FollowupID: 430721

Reply By: Grizzle - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:09

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:09
Hi Don,

I have a Jayco Swan Outback which we take off road. Yes they do rattle a bit and bits do drop off. We have never had anything serious drop off but I am always putting little screws back in etc. They are built to a price so if you can accept that (and save $30K) you will be happy. Also being an Engineer you should be reasonably technically adept so small jobs shoudn't be too much of an issue.

Good luck whichever way you go!!

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AnswerID: 174663

Follow Up By: Member - Don M (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:49

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:49
Grizzle,Thanks for that, makes me feel a little better.
One thing that does appeal is the sooth fibreglass finish which, Jayco tell me is hail proof. Is your van that type?
Another issue, the suspension on the Sterling is solid..(I mean solid steel) on leaf springs, although I could specify simplicity independent. I have a friend who travelled arpound Oz several years ago and started with independent but at Cooktown had it ripped out and replaced with solid on leaf springs. He says independent has weak points where the stub axles are welded onto the A frames.
What are your views on that?
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Follow Up By: Grizzle - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:27

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:27

Our van is not that type, although we will be upgrading next year to a Jayco Expanda which is. They use the new technique because instead of constructing a frame the panel IS the frame. You just cut the window and door holes in and I’ts done. Also I think that in the very near future that will be all that is available as it is cheaper to construct. As far as the independent versus leaf goes. Independent will be harder to fix if you are out bush and something serious goes wrong, but most things that fail on suspension are shockers or leaf/coils which both have.

As usual I suppose it comes down mainly to maintenance. Our van has leaf springs but it wouldn’t worry me to have independent. It might be worth asking that question on the forum to get some better feedback from people who have the independent.

Good luck

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Reply By: disco driver - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:28

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:28
Hi Don,
For what it is worth, and that's probably not a lot, over the years I have pulled various makes of caravans over roads ranging from freeway smooth to cap rock track.
Most of the vans stood up reasonably well but, as the previous writer said, you are always running around checking and tightening, or should be. That and a dose of common sense(like "If it looks too rough,it probably is") will ensure that you can do all you want.

Happy Travelling

AnswerID: 174664

Follow Up By: Member - Don M (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:57

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 11:57

Does this mean you drive a Disco??? If so which one and are you happy with it. As I said in my initial post...more on that later...well, I can't find any 4wd that I like better than a Disco3 TDV6. Of course I am a techno freak which probably means I will end up on my haunches in the Simpson when the airbags go down and then I will probably wish I had a L/C or Patrol like 99% of the people on this site.
Over the 90's I had a '93 GQ Patrol and it was unbreakable but very basic. (probably why it is popular out there) and I bought the first V8 LC100 on the Gold Coast in April '98. OK but nothing special and thirsty as hell. I'm sure TD is much more suitable. Ended up as a shopping trolley so got rid of it for a huge loss..!!
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 13:06

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 13:06
Hi Don,
You guessed right.
Currently have 99 TD5 Auto, Have had no probs and yes am very happy with it.
Previous Rovers have been 89 RR Vogue, 78 RR, 79 Series 3 LWB with rover 6 cyl motor, 71 S2A LWB, 62 S2 SWB, 55 S1 SWB.
Also owned 60 series Nissan/Datsun, FJ55 Toyota S/wgn and have driven Hilux,Nissan, Mitzi,Ford, Daihatsu and Mazda 4x4 utes for work.
Still like Rovers, would like a D3 or a RR Sport but economics rule both out,(6 numbers ,no sups would help).


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Follow Up By: Member - Don M (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:32

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 14:32

I looked at buying a new D3 in UK next year, sold ex factory to Aus design standards, but would have ended up costing $10K more by the time I paid all the duties and shipping costs. (Too much to cop even if I have to buy a cheaper car over there and lose on the resale). But, to drive the D3 ON ROAD at least, they are an absolute sensation for their size and weight and the magazines all rate them off road. The TDV6, at 2.7l is incredible. Did you read that they have developed a TDV8 @ 3.6litres, based on the V6?? 200kW and .....620NM???? @ 1800rpm....bring it on....!!! Dear as poison I expect and will only be in RR & RR Sport to begin with. Anybody got any updates on this??


FollowupID: 430734

Reply By: flappa - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:12

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:12
AFAIK , Jayco are the largest Builder of Caravans in Oz. With the number they sell , its only natural that you see a few lemons. They are massed produced and not hand built.

Personally , I would buy a Jayco in a flash. They are excellent value for money.
AnswerID: 174670

Reply By: Member - John R (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:19

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 12:19
Gidday Don,

I bought a Coromal camper trailer as opposed to a Jayco for a few reasons. As Grizzle wrote, they are built to a price (well, all vans are to a certain extent). It wasn't because I thought the Jayco was necessarily an inferior product.

Having said that, I think Jayco's version of sandwich panel sided vans has been out for less than 2 years, so there probably aren't a huge amount (particularly the Sterling) on the road as yet. I took a look in some at the Rosehill show, and thought that they looked quite reasonable for the price. Particularly the Sterling. As a layperson, the quality has improved (IMHO) since the last Rosehill Show. Once I sell my camper, I'll consider the Jayco when I start looking in ernest.

I think Jayco has a club which you might be able to make enquiries of.
AnswerID: 174671

Reply By: Bobdate - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:49

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:49
I am one of those people who poured heaps on Jayco in a previous posting. At the end of my posting, I said “Would I buy another Jayco? – probably yes”. I reckon that Jaycos are as good (0r bad) as any of the other brands and probably represent better value than most of the others. Just don’t expect too much from them.

We have now done about 94000 km with ours, including through SW Qld to Tiboorburra and then out to Broken Hill etc. We have done several trips ‘round the block’ - mainly on blacktop, leaving the van in a central place whilst we go exploring in our Pajero. Even now, bits occasionally fall off but I think we have just about sorted the beast out by now. Like you, I like the idea of an aluminium frame, but seeing what I have of mine, I wouldn’t want to hit a truck or anything for that matter with it because I really don’t think there is much strength there. As for ‘Fully Insulated’ … I think the insulation is mainly air gap between the inner and outer skins.

Go for it, but be prepared and check it out thoroughly because sure as hell, Jayco don’t do adequate quality control in their own patch.
AnswerID: 174717

Follow Up By: Member - Don M (NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:23

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:23
Thanks for that, I think I understand your point. At the end of the day, with $30K odd price advantage over Golf or Boroma..(which I think are overpriced to hell), you could forgive the odd maintenence issue, not that I would be too pleased if it fell to pieces on corrugated main outback roads. I was also keen on Roadstar Voyager 4000, now superseded by Sapphire I believe, but even they are $15 - $20K more expensive than the equivalent Jayco. I looked carefully in as much as I could at Rosehill and frankly, I thought the Jayco was a cut above and again, Roadstar and for that matter, most other vans are made from Meranti frames...anybody out there know why that is other than cheaper to build??

And Bobdate, I have to correct you on what is between the inner and outer skins. Inner is plywood outer is fibreglass and the insulation is polystyrene and the whole thing is vacuum bonded for a fairly strong and well insulated panel. ( I should get a joib selling Jayco!!!) And I wouldn't want to hit a semi in any van!!

Thanks again for your comments,

FollowupID: 430784

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