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Old 07-30-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
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Hi All - from sunny southeastern PA,

I am new to this site - I found it through google as I am researching my first purchase in the RV space. My wife and our two boys are excited to come to a conclusion on what (if any) camper to buy.

We're new to this. We've never owned a camper at all before (my wife and I had camped with a tent several times before our boys came along, but we've only been once since they were born - they are now 3 and 6). We took our first real look at various types of campers yesterday. I mean, I have been in them before and my brother in law owns a large 5th wheel. But I've never owned even a pop up, let alone stayed in one.

So, we're wondering if it makes sense to jump right in. We have what I think is a pretty decent price on a 2014 Jayco Jay Feather SLX 16XRB, and the affordability seems to be there as far as entry into the market. Our options are limited because our only tow vehicle currently is a Kia Sedona minivan. This may change in the future, but not any time soon.

Anyway, I am sure I will learn a lot in the forum here about what all is involved in owning and maintaining an expandable travel trailer. And I look forward to reading all about it with you all. I would love to hear any tips or tricks/trials or tribulations you can all share in your experiences in owning your travel trailer, but I'd expect to be pointed to the search function. I'll let you all know if we decide to purchase. It's a tough decision for us to be honest. Wondering if the timing is right and such. But it's an exciting time and I always find that forums like these can come in mighty handy in avoiding unforeseen headaches. Thanks for reading!
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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The timing is right, especially with your kids ages. When they get older, they'll get involved in their own activites and camping takes a back seat, or so it seems.

My own personal experience with camping started out with tents. Then when we raised a family, we went with a pop-up. It had A/C, hot and cold running water, port-a potty, and even a combo shower/tub!! Talk about big time, WOW!!

We pulled it all over, Disney World, Smokey Mountains, and even New York (we live in Indiana). It served us well for over 20 years. Then as I got older I decided to move up to a trailer and we ended up with a hybrid, Jayco X23B. This was intimidating to me at first, it seemed so large, especially when it came time to tow it! But now after I've had more experience towing I feel more comforatble with it. There are still things I need to learn about it, but this forum has been a big help and I'm sure it will be for you as well!!

BTW, we still have the pop-up and I gave it to my son and his family...... to be continued.....
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Welcome to the JOF billycuth! If buying new.. click on my signi to help ya save 30% on a new rv. You mentioned 'jumping right in' or when to buy....

jumpin' right in- can you rent something locally that you can tow with your current tv? Consider the fact that if your minivan isn't set up with the different 'coolers' needed to tow, then this may not be an option (ask for specifics in the Tow Forum if you have questions about the coolers). We towed once-upon-a-time with mini-van. You need to prep the van to tow.

Timing... it's toward the end of the camping season. Is there a chance that you don't mind waiting and spending free time reading the different rv forums out there? Purchasing now might still cost you more $$, but if you can wait til the end of the typical 'camping season' you will have had time to research what it is that you can learn on the different rv forums out there and then buy your preferred rv at reduced price. Once you have researched what your tv can tow (if you can upgrade the tv, then definitely wait to buy the tt), then lock in on what your 'wants' are (bunks for kids, tongue weight restrictions, towing capacity, storage capacity, etc etc).

No matter.... as you have questions and you think that Jayco may be your new RV, post questions in the appropriate forums here at JOF. Members here are guaranteed to be friendly and informative (posts are deleted otherwise). Happy shopping
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Members here are guaranteed to be friendly and informative (posts are deleted otherwise). Happy shopping
It puts the nice message in the basket or it gets the hose again!

But seriously, we bought our first ever TT a few months ago after looking online and at a few dealers around town and ended up with a Jayco 184BH because it fit what we were looking for and the price was right. It has been the best thing EVER! I've been tenting ever since I was old enough to be a boy scout and I have to say I don't miss it. No more setting up tents by flashlight when arriving at a destination late.

We found that going to a few dealers and walking through all the trailers gave us an idea what we wanted and needed. Then we just googled every manufacturer and started looking through the galleries and floor plans and decided online, sight-unseen, to get the Jayco. Good luck in your hunt!
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for the info! Seems like I know how to find good RV prices based on your thread, as I followed most of it without reading it. I generally buy my cars the same way. The price I got before tax (but after tags/dealer prep) was 33% off list so good there.

After some research into towing capability of my Sedona, I need to make some adjustments. More specifically, I need a trans cooler, a brake controller (I am assuming the SLX 16XRB has its own brakes but can't seem to confirm that... Jayco hasn't updated its site for 2014s yet) and I am going to do the Timbren SES. I do not want to mess around. I already have a class III hitch that is a stabilizer. I also need to upgrade my 4 pin to a 7 pin.

Best price I found is on the other side of OH. It's an 8.5 hour trek, and unfortunately they can't deliver it.

I am pretty sure we're locked into the SLX 16XRB. We don't get absolutely everything we want, but that's life. In order to get everything we want, we'd also have to get a new vehicle and that's just not realistic for us at this point. We can always trade up when the time comes.

Anybody that has a 2006 and up Kia Sedona minivan and wants more info on towing - here is a great thread I found last night over on Edmunds!

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1e64c2/2
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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Well, in just a short week we were able to find and line up the purchase of our new 2014 SLX 16XRB. Today is the day we pick it up. Luckily, we found a dealer in PA only about 2.5 hours from us, instead of the original Dayton OH dealer that was over 8 hours away. That's huge!

Our local dealer was about $800 higher, for a unit that did not contain the 13,500 BTU AC. Not that the AC is important to us, but as a $300 option, that's more money we're losing. And I figure for resale, it would be good to have...

This unit is just perfect for our family. Looking forward to many years of enjoyment! I'll post pics when I can!
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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New forum member... Soon to be Jayco owner?

Congrats. Make sure the dealer shows you how to work everything and answers all of your questions.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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What a tough day. We paid for our trailer, and waited 3 hours while they tried to get it to hook up to my Kia Sedona.

Apparently the Sedona hitch receiver doesn't leave enough room for a standard 12" drop (that's right, 12 inches to get the height right!) to plug in. It is about 2 inches short from lining up the pin, and hits the bumper. They need a receiver extender and could not find one anywhere locally - have to wait until Monday. So we left, 5+ hours of driving later with nothing to show for it other than a new 7 pin connector in the back and a Primus IQ brake controller under the dash.

Ugh. Now I have to find another spare 5 hours to drive back and get it.

The upside to my patience is that they are now going to put on a sway control for free, which, with labor saves me about $100-125 I guess. Still. Grrrrrr.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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That's like showing you the presents under the tree on Christmas morning and then being told you have to wait for the grandparents to show up before you can open them! (used to drive me nuts as a kid)

At least you get the sway control for your trouble
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:14 AM   #10
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here's as close as we got...

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Old 08-04-2013, 06:17 AM   #11
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Well, it will be nice when you get it! Be campin` in no time....
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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Well, after 8+ hours, we finally got the SLX 16XRB home. It scraped on the way into my driveway thanks to my nasty concrete apron angle. Gotta come up with a solution for that.

Sloppy park job because I got in at 10 PM and was beat. Definitely think I am going to need a WDH...

Here are some pics...







First trip to Cape May this weekend. All 4 of us are looking forward to it!
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:51 AM   #13
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Timbren kit from Amazon will arrive today, so I am going to put that on the car tonight so that it's ready to go for our cape may trip tomorrow. Getting closer!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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Be very careful Billy....it appears you have a lot tongue weight the way the empty travel vehicle is crouching. That cantilevered, cobbled together monstrosity your dealer installed on the rear isn't helping.

Keep your speeds low and safe until you can get weighed at the scales and get a WDH / anti sway solution installed.

Have a great, safe outing!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:34 AM   #15
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Yeah, it's a shame that 8" extension was needed/used. The 12" drop bar is about an inch from lining up with the pin hole without it. Hoping the Timbren kit gets me by until I can get the WDH.

The WDH should fit without hitting the bumper, so I will be able to get rid of the 8" extension which will save some LBS.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:30 AM   #16
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Get loaded (your travel trailer and vehicle - not you personally), get weighed at the scales. Then get with your vehicle mfg and a qualified hitch installer to find out what your installed hitch, TT A-frame and vehicle tongue weight can handle. The hitch installer can match you up safely.

Equal-I-zer is a good brand and it incorporates both WDH and anti-sway.....

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Old 08-08-2013, 08:58 PM   #17
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Success! The timbren kit allows me to eliminate the need for a 12" drop. I can use a 6" drop now, and there is virtually no noticeable sag anymore. We'll see how it rides, but so far so good...
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:41 AM   #18
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I can use a 6" drop now, and there is virtually no noticeable sag anymore. We'll see how it rides, but so far so good...
Once you get the two vehicles fully loaded down.....your tongue weight WILL change!

Good luck - happy, safe camping!
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:44 AM   #19
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I'd imagine so... I will take some pics soon, but it was dark by the time I got the timbren kit installed and the trailer hooked up to the van. It took me **** near 4 hours and a lot of cussing to get some of the old bolts off, and then lining the lower control arm while trying to counteract a spring on both sides was a major PITA!

But you see in my first ever pic where there's no space between the fender and the tire? Well, now I have at least 2" there, and the trailer is as loaded as we need it for now. All that will be going in the car are a few clothing items and of course my 4 passengers! (wife, 2 boys and dog)...

Looking forward to tonight!
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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The trip to Cape May NJ was a success! My tires were surprisingly low on the way down so the trailer felt heavier going than coming. I checked them before we left and added about 10PSI to both tires.

My only issue is the low point drain. It does not work.

The dealer said he thought there was water in the tank when we did our walkthrough and he was showing us the low point drain. Well, the readout on the monitor showed 2/3 tank. I just figured the monitor was unreliable because I don't trust electronics. But I pressurized the system and sure enough there was plenty of water....

So I just ran it through the system and the dump station to empty it. But it sure would be nice if that low point drain worked. Any ideas?
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