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Old 07-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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Jayco 184BH First Impressions and Modification plans

We just upgraded our 10ft 2009 StarCraft pop up to a 2014 Jayco 184BH last month. Last weekend was our first trip out and we had a blast with our our two very young kids! It was nice to not have to pack up a tent trailer in the rain, no more wet canvas! And we were surprised that both kids fell asleep in the bunks, we were expecting some drama from our 2.5 yr old who is still in a crib at home. I found the bed at the front uncomfortable and plan to get a memory foam cover for it. We did have one problem with the camp ground electrical, I got a shock from the metal door frame of the TT, turns out there was 11v on the ground line from the CG 30Amp outlet.

I am towing with a 2011 Kia Sorento v6 LX. I am happy with the way it tows, I had the trailer dealer add weight distribution kit to the TT. I am getting ready to replace my Curt time based brake controller with a Curt TriAxle controller with a gyro. I did not feel safe if I needed to do an emergency stop with the time delay braking. I will installing this weekend. The curt hitch I have is rated for 350lbs tongue weight, but I think that is cutting it too close with the weight distribution kit. Plus curt hitches for the Sorento are not rated to be used with WD, it clearly states not to use them, they will bend. I will be installing my new Reese hitch this weekend also.

I am really impressed with the A/C in this trailer, we have the 8K version. I get a rattling noise from the unit when it starts but after running a few mins it does not seem as bad. Does anyone else get that? I found I can run the A/C on low when connected to 15A power at home, does anyone else do this, and is there much risk to melting wires in the house doing this?

A things we have found work well for us:
  • I keep a USB outlet connected to the small cigarette lighter. One of those ones from vendor swag bags, it just converts a 12v cig lighter plug into usb for the iPhones etc.
  • I have some small adjustable jacks I am using to stabalize the front of the trailer when parked/camping as I found it to be too unstable.
  • I keep a cordless drill with a 19mm socket attached to use for putting the stabalizing jacks up and down quickly. It saves some back breaking work. I just charge it at home between trips.
  • We use the microwave as a breadbox with the added benifit of a light and a clock! The odd time we will use to pop popcorn.

We plan to make a few small additions to the camper, which include:
  • Adding a under cupboard dvd/TV combo for the rainy days (like the one xkuzme1 used). I am concerned about the power that runs through the bottom of this cupboard that feeds the light though.
  • Adding a metal cover to the two burners so that we get the extra counter space
  • I was thinking of adding hook to the wall tot he left of the sofa (that separates the bunks from the main area) to use for light summer jackets we sometimes take (for those sometimes cold Nova Scotian evenings).
  • Moving the electrical outlet that is under the table at the front of the trailer down a bit so that it can be reached easier when the table is setup. Any input on this would be appreciated. I will likely keep the existing one there and add an outlet rather than actually move the existing.
  • Replacing the light bulbs with LED. I can order lots of low cost ones with good reviews from China, but I am concerned about them meeting safety standards (knock offs) and causing a fire.
  • Add a propane outlet with adapter outside trailer near where the fridge exhausts for our small Weber BBQ.
  • Electric jack

Some other things we need solutions for:
  • Curtains for the bunk beds for added privacy and keep the lights from waking kids.
  • Water dripping on the outside from the A/C onto the window. It is not leaking, it just does seem like good practice to leave it. I was thinking a bit of flashing mounted below angled to make the water drip to one side or the other.
  • Small fans that can run off of battery for when we are camping without power.
  • Solar Power to charge batter. I have found 20/30 W panels for $89.99
  • Bedsheets for the bunks and large bed. Memory foam for my back.
  • Shelving for the cupboards, There is wasted space at the top of many of them we could use if there were shelves.
  • Small garbage maybe on inside of a cupboard door.
  • Remove the mirror in the bathroom and replace with a small med cabinet (with a mirrored door if I can get one without glass).

That is all that comes to mind, I would love some feedback, ideas, maybe let me know what you have done to modify your 184bh?
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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it's funny how I agree with almost your entire list! The plug under the table is in an awful location I also plan on moving it sometime in the near future.
We pulled our microwave out completely and made it another cupboard to save the weight of an appliance we never use.
The AC does rattle a bit on ours as well, seems to be normal, until it runs for a few seconds. Do you find it reaches the kids in the bunks ok? I'm adding a USB powered fan back there to keep air movement for the baby and so I can use it off a 12v USB adapter when we aren't on shore power.
We also bought a 4" foam mattress to use on the dinette bed as we also found it to be uncomfortable. Made it much more pleasant to sleep on.
I also started using a couple support jacks on the front corners and it really makes a difference on how stable the TT feels now.

Plan on adding a curtain or shade to the roof vent as the early morning sun is pretty bright on that white plastic. With an 8 month old, you don't want to wake up any sooner than he makes you! I'm in the process of getting a power outlet to the top bunk in the back, rather plug in the fan etc. up there than in the lower bunk where the baby is sleeping. Running a wire from the power center up thru the wall where they have all the cables running for the tv and stereo and have it in the enclosed area where the stereo is mounted. Hope to get that done this weekend, 8 days until we head to Oregon!
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Funny, it sounds like a lot of similar observations. Good to hear that the noise from the AC is not unique to my unit.

Do you put the foam mat down over the cushions when sleeping or just right on top of the dinette with the cushions pushed aside?

I have now heard two people mention TV wiring on that wall by the bunks, is that unique to certain model years? I have seen both the 2013 and 2014 and the tv hookups are above the counter by the sink. Does that wall paneling come off fairly easy?
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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We just tossed the foam on the cushions but might take the cushions out since we don't plan on using the dinette for eating at and will probably never set it up.

I saw in the thread http://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...ighlight=mount the picture where the 12v outlet and coax is by the sink but ours is on the opposite side of the trailer under the stereo. Not sure why the change. I'm not going to remove the paneling if possible as I am guessing that the staples holding it all together would make the removal and re-installing very challenging. I'm going to ruin a fish tape through the openings they already have cut in the paneling for the existing cables and hopefully I can pull another cable through.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:28 AM   #5
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Some items we did that helped were

Added 2 scissor jacks to front
Memory foam mattress topper
Led lights from china
Took a thin plastic 3 ring binder and cut one side off. This leaves you with 8x10 sheet of plastic. This slips in siding below ac and prevents water from dripping on window or storage bin.
Also added electric jack.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:43 AM   #6
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Water on the window, leaking window 154BH, 184BH, 145RB.....our dealer installed a drip rail and it was covered under warranty....it works great

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #7
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Wait for your warentee to run out before you do anything big (like the electrical outlet). I'm getting ready to post another topic (read all about it) about my microwave blowing up (for the second time). That the kind reason I've chosen to wait another year on the warentee.

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Old 07-06-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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Jayco 184BH First Impressions and Modification plans

I wouldn't bother running a propane line for your weber unless your going to bypass the trailers regulator. I spent lots of time and money trying to be able to run my weber off the propane connect that came on our trailer. I followed many directions from others on this forum including removing the regulator from the weber. As long as your going through the TT regulator, the weber will never work to its full potential. I now carry an extra propane bottle and use a propane tree which allows me to put my lantern on top of the tree and plug my weber grill, and camp chef 40k btu 2 burner stove and run all 3 without any problems. I was so determined to use the trailer connections, but have decided I like this set up better anyways. I can run more from it and it more mobile, so I can set up my outdoor kitchen anywhere in camp I want.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:00 PM   #9
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XK good point in waiting for warranty to be up before modifying the electric. I think I will also wait.

Judorant thanks for the warning. I think I will just suck it up and carry the small tanks around with me.

Does anyone regularly run the AC on 15amp service (on low) at home? Any issues? Running the 5k unit or 8k?
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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I used to run my popup campers 13,500 btu AC on my 15 amp outlet. I had to be careful nothing else was on, but it shouldn't be a problem. Your 8000 AC should warrant less than 1200 watts, or roughly 10 amps. You are good.
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