Jayco Penguin

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 06:53
ThreadID: 76377 Views:9241 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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This may not be the place, I don't know, to ask but here goes anyway.

Looking to change from off road soft floor camper to Jayco Penguin off road folding van. Does anybody have experience with this unit. How off road is it? do you have enough room? Is power from a single battery enough? How about the Dometic fridge?

Any other comments good or bad

Have found invaluable advice from this site and would appreciate some now.

All the best

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Reply By: OldMike - Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 06:55

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 06:55
Forgot to say for two people only
AnswerID: 406273

Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 08:20

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 08:20
It would be "Outback" model not "Off Road". Jayco don't make anything that is legitimately off road. It will probably cope with most outback dirt roads, but not much more. As far as internal space, they have always seemed a bit crowded inside to me - with the bed inside as against sliding out in their other models. Battery? How long is a piece of string. What do you intend to use it for? Fridge, they are ok as long as you don't intend going to the tropics. I had a 2000 model Outback Eagle which I demolished at 4 years old because I asked it be "Off Road". I don' tknow if you can access the forum pics on my profile as a visitor. If you can, have a look at the ones showing my camper.

AnswerID: 406280

Follow Up By: Member - Terry W (ACT) - Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 08:58

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 08:58
My wife and I had a Penguin Outback which we bought new about five years ago. As has been said, they are designed for outback gravel roads, not off road. For that we found ours was very good.

As far as space is concerned, they do not have the room of a slide out bed model, but then they are much quicker to set up and you don't have to sleep in the little tents "outside". Everything is a compromise. We bought the Penguin specifically because it was much more caravan like, and were not disappointed.

The interior room is adequate for two, and the cafe style dining area is very good.

We cut down the "wardrobe" to be the same height as the bench, and used it for storage of jug, coffee, mugs etc. It made a big difference to the usability of the interior space. We also changed the fixed table to a quickly removable one, so that we could open up the internal space even more for sitting around.

My wife found that the front wall was too cold (we camped in temperatures as low as -6) for her in bed, so we fitted matching padded cloth to the front and near side walls, which fixed the problem and made it look much nicer. I had to shorten the bed by an inch or so so that it would still lift up with the thicker side wall, but that was pretty easy.

We found the factory supplied battery to be adequate.

Compared with a tent it was absolute luxury. The only down side for us was the shortage of space for clothes.

We only got rid of ours because we developed a yearning for a full sized van with shower and toilet which we now have, but we lost virtually nothing in depreciation when we sold the Penguin.

Hope this ramble helps.

FollowupID: 675967

Reply By: briann532 - Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 09:35

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 09:35
We have an outback Hawk and have travelled many rough roads in it with no problems.
Adjust tyre pressure to suit the road and all will be well.
Ours has done plenty of 4wd tracks and is off to the high country in September on our way back from the Great ocean Road.
Fridge works well on gas, but 12 volt only just keeps it cold. Fine for us as we
only have it on 12 volt when driving and turn the gas on when we stop.

One battery is fine, just don't expect to run the fridge on it.
I have changed my lights to LED (not the cheap ebay ones- they don't work well - you get what you pay for). I bought them from brightlight auto parts
They are super bright and use very little power.

We can go over a month without charging the battery.
It only runs the stove ignition, water pump and lights.

If you do intend going "off road" (loose terminology) then I advise dust covers over the vents and stone guards over tank, shocks and gas fittings.

Not wanting to steer you away from this fantastic site, but there is a wealth of info at "myswag.org" pictures and posts all about Jayco's

Hope you end with what suits you best.
Remember horses for courses.
AnswerID: 406289

Reply By: John and Lynne - Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 15:31

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010 at 15:31
We had a Jayco Dove Outback and friends we travelled with had a Penguin. Dirt roads were OK but the interiors did not seem sturdy enough for extended rough travel. We dealt with that issue by just going on day trips in the 4x4 vehicle!
We were all comfortable. We had more internal space and could seat 4 at the table inside in poor weather - their dining area was rather squashed even for two. They were quite keen on TV and had nowhere comfortable to set it up. We didn't take a TV anyway. We had more storage - they were always pulling stuff out from under the bed. We put some plastic drawers from Bunnings on our 'spare' bed to give more storage for clothes.
They could be packed, folded and hitched before we had packed in the beds! This was a great asset when packing up in rain! When we arrived they were set up and having a cool drink while we were still pulling out the beds! Both rigs had awnings that were a pain to erect and so were only used for lengthy stays.
They were more enclosed and drier in cold wet weather. Our Dove tended to leak in the bed corners and we never could really fix it. Some others had the same probem.
Both rigs were purchased as better than the previous tents! We all enjoyed some great trips in our Jaycos.
The 3 way fridges worked fine even in hot weather in the north.
We moved to a full height van as we are now travelling for longer periods and enjoy having more space and storage. Also we are set up instantly and can access the fridge etc for cuppa stops. And we have a roll out awning!
Cheers Lynne

John & Lynne

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AnswerID: 406342

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