Jayco RV Owners Forum

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Old 02-05-2015, 08:30 AM   #1
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Considering a smaller Jayco for snowbirding....

Hi all,

New to this forum and wanted some input from LT 27.5 RLTS and /or LT 28.5 RSTS owners.

I have been fulltiming for about 2 years in a 19' truck camper. Its a high end model, well made, well insulated with very large tanks and a full wall slide. My significant other will be retire soon so we are considering selling the camper and purchasing a smaller 5th wheel for snowbirding in Florida (where I'm at right now, by the way).

I've done my homework using 2 different consumer guides as I did with the truck camper and now I'm beginning my research on forums.

I've come down to 3 different brands. While the company that made my truck camper does make 5th wheels, I'm not sure we would need such a high end unit for snowbirding. If we were fulltiming it might be a different story.

I like the layout of these 2 Jayco models but have some concern about the quality for long stays of 2-3 months. Any owners out there who are using one of these units for this purpose? What has been your experience? How are your units holding up to the wear and tear of daily living for such long stays?

Your experience, comments and suggestions are most welcome!

Sailor Dave

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Old 02-05-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
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I can't speak for the two FWs that you noted but we have a 2012 HT 26.5 RLS and took at 20-day trip this last spring and found it to be quite enjoyable. We had no problems and averaged around 12 mpg for the whole trip, most of it towing the FW. You should not have a problem towing either of these since you have been fluttering in a 19" truck camper, that TV should tow either of these nicely. They are not heavy duty FWs and the owners' manual will probably say they are not for full-timing, but for snow birding, I believe they will fit the bill nicely. I'm sure others will chime in here shortly.

2012 GMC 2500HD D/A Crewcab
2012 Jayco Eagle SuperLite HT 26.5 RLS
2009 Crestliner Superhawk 1900
2013 Polaris Sportsman 550 EXP
2008 Polaris Sportsman 700 X2
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:06 AM   #3
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Yes, my truck will be a bit overkill for these units. It's a 2012 F350 4X4, DRW with a 6.2L gas engine and a 4.3 rear axle. I put a service body on it for extra storage and a heavier sway bar. I can tow around 16K and my load capacity with the slide in camper package is about 5K.

I will have to have someone look at the bed of the aluminum service body and make sure I can install a 5th wheel hitch. Bed height, length and width should be fine as its the same as a standard 8' bed. Just not sure about the aluminum floor and support structure as it may be different than a standard bed.

But my thinking is the 5th wheel attaches to the frame not the bed.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:26 AM   #4
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We spend approx 100+ days in our rig a year which is some larger but it gets a lot of use compared to those with a 2 week vacation a year. Most of ours is for a week or more. No wear and tear noted after 4+ years.
2011 351RLTS Eagle, Mor/Ryde suspension & pin box
06 F350 Lariat PSD, SRW, LB, CC, EGR delete kit, 16K DrawTite hitch, Timbrens, TST TPMS

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Old 02-05-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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I've spent over 8 months in the past two years traveling around the country and have had no serious problems or issues. I've replaced some things like the water fawcets and thermostat but other than that its been fine. My previous 5er was a 38' full time rig but I got tired of hauling that around and opted for a lighter unit. I don't stay in one spot more than one week (except for a one month stay in Tucson last year) so the RV gets a pretty good work out. Since my rig is smaller, lighter and has fewer bells and whistles than the ones you are looking at, I figured that I would chime in FWIW .

2012 Eagle Super Lite HT 26.5RKS
2005 GMC 2500 SLT HD D/A
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sailor Dave View Post
...snip... Just not sure about the aluminum floor and support structure as it may be different than a standard bed.

But my thinking is the 5th wheel attaches to the frame not the bed.
Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure you'll hear from owners on their opinion of full timing in those 5th wheels. From what I've seen in this forum, 2 to 3 months (or longer) at a time will not be a problem.

Your research seems to quite thorough, so I'm sure you've already considered the height of the sides of your truck's service body. If not, you'll need to check that, too. You are correct about the 5th wheel hitch attaching to the frame. There are a number of trucks out there with a flat deck replacing the pickup bed.

Best of luck in your search.
Sherm & Terry w/rescues Steve (std Poodle) & Eydie (min Schnauzer)
2015 Jay Flight 27RLS (Camped: 102 nights 2015, 90 nights 2016)
2006 Ford F350 6.0 PSD, Lariat, 4WD, CC, LB, SRW, auto., Camper pkg.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:59 AM   #7
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It's a balancing act for sure. Glad you chimed in about having a smaller unit and not having any problems.

One of the advantages of the truck camper is it's smaller footprint. I've stayed in state parks, national parks, Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds, private RV parks and resident owned trailer parks. Never had a problem finding a spot. Easy to maneuver and once the camper was off I had the truck to tool around in.

Now we need something bigger, but not too big. I could tow a larger unit but with just the two of us we don't need that much space. I would really like to stay at 30' or less but having problems finding a floor plan we both like in that size. Very few 30' RV's rated for snowbirding but once you jump to 32-33' the field opens up.

Having the service body on the truck means we don't need a lot of outdoor storage on the RV. What we do need for snowbirding is enough hanging locker space, comfortable seating, counter space and enough kitchen cabinets / pantry.

I really need to get to a dealer so I can see the units in person. There is one near the girlfriends house in Illinois who has a large selection of Jayco 5th wheels in stock so will be stopping there to look.

Feedback here has been positive so far. We will see if any naysayers pop up. LOL
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
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The height of my bed (floor to top of box) is the same as a standard pickup bed (floor to top of rail). The distance between the cabinets is the same as between the wheel wells of a standard pickup bed.

The issue may be the underside of the service body. I'm not sure how its attached to the frame and the distance from the floor to the frame may be different. Will have to have a pro look at it. If things dont go well I may have to consider a trailer instead of a 5th wheel. But I really would prefer towing a 5ver over a trailer.

Sorry if this is getting off topic. Have to get back to my original question of Jayco quality for snowbirding.

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