My name is John. My wife, Sarah, and I have been married six years. We have a three-year-old son, Luke, a nearly six-year-old Beagle, Aubie, and a brand spanking new 2010 Jay Flight 26BH named Jake.
I took a relocation to Las Cruces, New Mexico, last April. Before that, we lived on the Space Coast of Florida. My wife was born there, and I had been there since graduating college, and consider it home. We have always been tent campers, but about three years ago, we started talking about getting a travel trailer so we could have A/C and extend our camping season. Tent camping season in Florida is late October and November, and March. Other advantages were that we could take the dog camping. It's hard to deal with a dog in a tent. It would also be nice to have your own bathroom and not have to get dressed to visit the head in the middle of the night.
We looked around from time to time but weren't ready to make the commitment. Then the move disturb our lives. Then as things seemed to settle, we started looking more seriously back in November.
Sarah identified the Jay Flight 26BH as one model she wanted to see at the first dealer we visited. She liked the bunkhouse design so Luke could sleep separately from us, and we didn't have to convert any dinettes or sofas for afternoon nap time or bed time. Interestingly, the 26BH was in the showroom and was the first camper we went in. We looked at others that day, but just had a sense that the Jayco was a cut above the others. We returned to that dealer and four others. Finally, a couple weeks ago, we header to another dealer to buy a Hideout by Keystone that was in our price range. We took one last look at it, and there were some small things that bothered us. We went back across the highway to the Jayco dealer to look again, even though I kind of wrote them off as being out of our price range. We looked again at the 26BH and a Dutchmen. In short, the dealer showed some numbers, my wife drive a hard bargain (I was impressed with her!), and we signed on the line for the Jayco. We did spend a couple thousand more than we expected to that day, but feel like we got way
more for that extra money.
We were bit overwhelmed looking at the thing sitting on the street in front of the house. It didn't look that large on the lot or in the brochures. Sarah was a overwhelmed with the training about all of the systems. I knew more what to expect, but was a bit overwhelmed by the maintenance required. But I understand that many people experience this. Sarah named it "Jake." I started jokingly referring to it as the white elephant. We had it at home last week to learn to use it and outfit it, and then it will go to storage at the dealer.
We took it on its first trip this past weekend. Only went about an hour and a half away. We spent one night in Deming and the next in the City of Rocks State Park. We really enjoyed it, and it is living up to our expectations. We would not have been tent camping this weekend as cold as it is. And we took the dog along. The worst problem we had was when we tried to flood the camper, but that was minor. I had all of the taps open to winterize it earlier that week. We attached the city water and turned it on. I did a couple other things and opened the door to the sound of running water from multiple faucets, which isn't so bad. The disturbing sound was the splashing of water on the ground. In transit, the stopper in the bathroom sink fell into the drain, and the basin overflowed. We quickly mopped up the water with our only towels. And had to go to Wal-Mart later for more towels!
In the interest of full disclosure, we consider ourselves "campers" instead of "RVers." We are afraid that we have compromised our integrity by getting the camper.
We are trying to view the camper as a tent off the ground that we don't have to set up and a place to run into in bad weather. We plan to spend most of our time outdoors, including cooking outdoors.