Jayco Campervans vs Campertrailers

Submitted: Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 11:32
ThreadID: 7776 Views:4530 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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My partner and I are heading off next year around Australia. Now we only have a station wagon, so we don't/can't tow anything heavy.

We have been looking at campertrailers, O'Briens, Tambo, Hirds and fell in love with them. But....thought we would have a look at a few Jayco campervans (soft push up top, annex style) and now can't decide which one we like more.

I have been sitting here reading everyone's comments on Jayco and the feedback isn't very positive.

Basically we wont be going off road, but may not stay in caravan parks all the time. We have heard you can stay off road where the tracks are made for travelling on.

We love the Jayco Swan and Eagle on road campers. But we also like the campertrailers.

Any feedback on what would be best for a year and which brands would be greatly appreciated as we are in a state of confusion!!

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Reply By: Bazza - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:16

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:16
G'Day Chell,
I've had three Jayco's, of various configurations, over the years and have experienced no major problems with any of them. I car'nt comment on their off-road versions, but their on-road units are as good as any other make and their pricing is better than most. I have also taken mine off-road ( within their limitations ) and never had a drama. I would have no hesitation in getting another one.
Good luck.

AnswerID: 33585

Reply By: flappan - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:17

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:17
Its not so much that Jayco's are bad (in fact in the correct hands they are excellent), its just that some people buy an "offroad" one to tow behind a 4by with the intention of doing places like Cape York etc. Its not the "offroad" bit that will kill them its the corrigations. Because they have full cupboards and interiors, it takes an awful lot of fixing to stop these from falling apart on rough tracks.

Thats were the campertrailers are MILES ahead . . . there's really nothing inside the trailer that can fall apart (obviously except the trailer itself).

Therefore, if you have a stationwagon with the intention of just doing dirt roads etc, then I recon the Jayco would be on the money . . .

The good points on the Jayco style are having a full kitchen, several beds, lounge and storage space. The bad is, your can't really access the kitchen quickly for a roadside "cupper". They are more an off bitumen van, rather then a proper offroad van (that could be argued to a certain degree.).

The good for the Campertailer is it really is an offroad trailer, and will go basically anywhere a vehicle will. Can access the kitchen easily, heaps of storage space. Probably take a tad longer to set up (only marginal though).

Downside, no permanent facilites (lounge etc). Again depending on what trailer, Ultimates etc, then that doesn't count either.

At the end of the day, its your cash, your call, but I would be looking at the Jayco style for your travelling needs. (Jayco seem to be the benchmark anyway).
AnswerID: 33586

Follow Up By: OzCamper - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:27

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:27
Good to hear from you again Flappan. Last we spoke, I was asking about camper trailers and you were a big help then. We have since been sidetracked with the Jayco's!

I certainly do like the set up in them and with the car we have, we wont be doing any cross country rally driving that is for sure :-)

Just wanted to make sure that the Jayco's aren't prone to falling apart even on normal roads. Not when you invest that kind of money into something.

Anyway thanks for the advice guys. Shall take it on board.


FollowupID: 24092

Follow Up By: flappan - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 14:46

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 14:46
No worries Chell.

Even though you might be talking about staying onroad, I still recon the Offroad one would be a better option. Last time I checked (about 12mths granted), the onroaders were still stapled. The offroaders are at least screwed together, and recent reports are they are getting better.

The convenience of the Jayco's ARE hard to beat.

Good luck

FollowupID: 24102

Reply By: Rhubarb - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:49

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:49

If your sticking to the black top and good dirt roads I personally would probably prefer the extra comfort that the Jayco would give over a camper trailer.

If your current preference is for the Jayco then that's what I would be doing.

If one day you think you may purchase a 4by to really get of the beaten track, well maybe then consider the camper.

AnswerID: 33591

Reply By: Andrew - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:57

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 13:57
Since you not planning major trips off road Jayco would be perfect.
We did around Aus trip with 2 small kids ( 2 and 4 years old)
Good points :
Easy to setup for overnight stop on roadside.
Good resale value - You will probably get your money back after the trip.
Opt for on-road model - you will save heaps (everyone seem to be buying off-road version).
Lots of storage .
Bad points:
They 7 foot wide which means drag and higher fuel consumption.
In high winds they could be like a sail specially near coastal areas.
Dust off road
AnswerID: 33594

Reply By: Ian - Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 14:01

Monday, Oct 13, 2003 at 14:01
Chell.... I had a 97 offroad Jayco Flamingo (alternate layout Swan) for 2 years. I purchased it from a family (2adults & 2 teenage boys) that had did the big un around Oz for 12 months. I used it on gravel a lot, some easy tracks in the Vic high country (nothing too brutal), a trip to Carnarvon Gorge up near Rockhampton & more. The guy before me had strenghened the inside frame by screwing extra braces in the woodwork. Nails & staples can't hack corugations. He also fitted a treg coupling, solar panel & deep cycle battery setup, an extra fan & venting behind the fridge to improve air circulation, small roll out awning over the kitchen window (highly recommended as you can keep the windows open during rainstorms/high humidity in the tropics) and canvas awnings over the bed end roofs (a must in wet areas). The rig performed like a charm & was easy to erect & lower BUT I would never consider taking it on any serious off road tracks that the camper trailers you mentioned can go. It's horses for courses.. I reckon the Jayco "Offroader" is good for light duty off road stuff only with plenty of creature comforts for a 12 month stint. I am currently looking at Kimberly, rhino,trek shack etc etc for more serious stuff.

Hope this has been of some help..

AnswerID: 33596

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:19

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003 at 12:19
I concur with all the statements made so far. If you're not going offroad then a Jayco type set-up would be fine. The only problems I've heard about (and repeated on this forum in the past) are with the offroad Jayco's that really aren't up to the truelly rough stuff. This is probably a case of the owners thinking "hey, we bought an offroad version...that must mean we can take it anywhere" when that isn't the case at all.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 33871

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