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Old 04-08-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Jayco Swift SLX Reviews

Last summer we bought a Jayco Swift SLX 154BH for family camping, and have used it about once a month since then, so I thought I'd share out experiences with it.

It's a full-feature camper that's light enough be pulled with a mid-sized SUV or minivan. We didn't want to have to buy a bigger tow vehicle, so the this was really nice. This trailer is so easy to pull. Being small makes backing up easier too. For towing, we installed a sway control bar, and have never had a problem towing on or off highway.

We have three small children, and although it's a four person trailer, it works very well for our family of 5. My oldest gets the top bunk, and the two smaller children share the bottom bunk, faced in opposite directions. Folding down the dinette into a bed (and putting it up again in the morning) is a bit of a hassle, but it's definitely worth it for us. The table is quite heavy, which makes taking it down and putting it up a challenge. For the 5 of us, the table is big enough to all sit together for meals. The larger 165RB model with the fold-out tent bunk looks really nice, but we wanted to get a trailer that we could use in the winter too, so the 154bh worked best for us. The gray and black water tanks are rather small, but since we don't stay in the same place too long, we've always been able to dump it before it was a problem. If you wanted to stay in the same place for more than a few days, you would need to take the trailer to dump the tanks or get a portable waste-water transporter tank.

Having air-conditioning, heat, and all the kitchen essentials is great. We bought a small electric space heater for the winter so we don't have to use propane, and this heats the whole trailer with no problem. We also bought an electric burner so we can cook without propane too. Everything has worked as expected and nothing has broken or needed repairs. I noticed that some people complained about the plywood under the dinette bench being too thin, but we've never had any problem. True, it is thin, but it seems to be strong enough, especially since we only use it with the cushions on it. In my book, if it's not broken, don't fix it.

It has everything we need while being small and simple. Overall, I couldn't be happier with this camper, and can't wait for the weekend so we can spend more time in it!

I'd be interested to hear others' experience with the Swift SLX series.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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X2 - if there was no 154BH, we wouldn't own a TT. It should also be added these trailers are not for folks over 5-8" or a certain body mass (keeping it real, folks)...We are a smaller stature family of three. We don't have problems with the plywood popping up when we sit on the benches. These are lightweight, compact size, full-featured TTs. It's perfect for us because we spend little time inside (but everything is there if we need it)....we have alternate destinations planned or we are spending time outdoors. That's what it's all about for us....

[ATTACH][/ATTACH][ATTACH][/ATTACH]

CAN YOUR 5-Cylinder do THIS?...I thought not!
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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Like Brian, I don't think we'd have a new camper if I hadn't stumbled onto a Jayco Dealer and walked into a 184BH. We had been looking and couldn't find anything that met our needs OR everything we saw was soooo cheaply made. We got the camper last summer and have only camped in it a couple times.

We just leased a spot in a newly renovated campground so that we'll have it all set up this summer and spend LOTS of time in it!

I can say we are very pleased with it so far-----plenty of space (I'm not tall ---but I do have some ---ahem---"mass" about me!). But considering my other camper is a 1988 Fiberglass Perris Pacer ( think Scamp/Casita). And is 10' x 6' inside----the Jayco is pure luxury!

The things I noticed during my few camping trips last summer ----it did very well in the wind. And I don't mean driving--it was horribly windy one week and I felt very safe and comfortable in and around the Jayco. It was also very HOT last summer and the A/C kept us comfortable.

The tanks are small (keeps the weight down) so we bought a portable tank for dumping. We keep the dinette made up as a bed, but since the 184 has the couch, still plenty of room to sit. Love the bunks for extra sleeping space, storage, whatever. The bathroom has adequate space (remember--I'm not a small gal) and the built in radio is a nice feature.

The 2 things I want to work on this summer is finding a better place for the TV (the 154 has a nice dedicated space for that--mine has been on the counter--argh!). And I'd like to cut access doors under the dinette seat, couch and bottom bunk so we can put stuff in there without lifting seats up.

Bottom line---I'm very excited and happy and can't wait to get it set up on the Missouri River!!!

Vickie
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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I have the 145RB. It's just me and my small dog so plenty of room. The trailer has had some leaking issues all winter but hopefully, now that the a/c opening is sealed and the front cap has been re-caulked, those troubles will be over. I took the table out due to how hard it was for me to horse it around and bought 2 nice closet shelves at Home Depot and cut them to fit. Much, much easier and quicker to make up the bed now. I just use a small folding table to eat at or use the laptop which works just fine for me. I have yet to fill up all the cupboards and storage area even when I camped for 10 days in a row last year! Lots of room for everything I need.

I wish the trailer had an outside cable hookup (bought one of those flat connectors at radio shack and ran it out the emergency window on the drivers side), bigger holding tanks, DSI water heater and auto fridge. All that being said, I am happy with the trailer.

My first trip of the season will be to one of our beautiful Oregon State parks on the coast in a few weeks. I still work full time so don't get to go camping as much as I would like but plan on getting out as much as I can this season.

Happy Camping everyone!

Laura
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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I bought my 184BH towards the end of last season. I was only able to get it out once before winterizing. I love it. It is perfect for my family of four (me, wife, 2 young boys).
If I had to find anything that could be improved:
1. I would say larger waste tanks but a tote fixes that.
2. I would have liked a shore cable tv hook-up. I'll be adding one this season.
3. I wish I had waited until this year's model came out because I really like the window they added at the front of the dinette. I'm sure in the future I can get one installed but not while mine is still so new.
4. My wife likes the new model's seat and bunk fabric better but not enough to change anything about what we have now.
As you can see none of these are big issues. Overall I am very hepy with this purchase.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Love the thread so I guess I'll keep it going.

We love out 184bh as well. Great use of space and a well thought out design, but there are a few things that I would like to see a little differently done.


Cons
- needs to have a more accessible electrical outlet under the dinette. Ours if as far forward as you can get. There needs to be one closer to the back of the dinette.
-it would have only cost Jayco $5 to put in a cable outlet. After the fact it will take me hours and hours of creative engineering to get a cable plug in to the back of the camper.
-bunk with no stairs? Really?
-small tanks (easily solved with a blue tub and an aquatainer)
-it would have been nice to have a drawer for silverware and such
-optional over or microwave/convection option. We have a toaster oven that works well and it fits on the counter nicely.
-a/c condensation drips down the window. It wouldn't be hard for Jayco to have a drip edge or gutter along the bottom.
-height of the grey/black water drain is a little low. It can be hard to use a blue tote. Actually, it can be hard to arrange the sewer hose to drain because it is so low. After my warrantee is out I will be reforming the axel flip. That should give it a couple extra inches
-could use an outdoor speaker

Pros
-great design
-quality components (maybe not the microwave as I've already had that placed)
-can run the entire camper with my 2000watt champion generator. Can run the AC and a some lights with a 1000watt generator.
-for a family of four, it is very comfortable
-great storage.

I love the camper so I obviously have more pros that cons. These are just a few things that should have been better thought out by Jayco.

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Old 04-10-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xkuzme1 View Post
Cons
-a/c condensation drips down the window. It wouldn't be hard for Jayco to have a drip edge or gutter along the bottom.
X
Note my A/C side picture above - the dealer installed a drip rail over the dinette window. It was leaking so they covered it under warranty.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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My window leaked as well. They mixed the leak. I have been "wicking" the condensation away with a piece of cotton rope with a piece of ailing wire in the middle. I wick it away with the bent chord.

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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Smile

Thanks for all the comments!

I love the photo of towing it with a 4-door sedan, Threebutchers!! I'm 5'11'' and find the camper plenty big, but you're right that people above a certain size (highly subjective!) would find it cramped.

We looked at the 184BH as well and were tempted by it. I really liked the extra interior space. It's much more open inside. But you're right about the TV, PugMom. The dedicated space (complete with all the connections) is really nice in the 154bh. I've seen some people wall-mount a flat-screen there and it's perfect! We also like the radio and use it all the time. Being able to easily connect an iPod to it was also really nice.

The electrical outlet all the way under the dinette is true for the 154 too. It keeps cords out of the way when we're using the laptop and such at the table, but it is a bit hard to reach. xkuzme1, You could make it more accessible by adding a short extension cord stapled to bench wall.

We used ours through the winter, even after winterizing. With the sink spigot out of operation, we used 1/2 and 1-gallon water jugs that we stored in the shower. Then we drained the gray and black tanks as usual, making sure to clear out the sink trap. My rather unconventional way of doing that was with a leaf-blower. I opened up the drain valve and then forced air down the drain with the leaf blower. Fortunately we were never in weather too much below freezing, so we didn't have a problem with the gray water freezing. This worked well for us. One of the greatest advantages of a TT for me (over a tent) was being able to camp comfortably on freezing nights. There was frost on the windows when we woke, but we were enjoying a warm cozy morning in our Jayco Swift!
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pswift1965 View Post
Thanks for all the comments!

I love the photo of towing it with a 4-door sedan, Threebutchers!! I'm 5'11'' and find the camper plenty big, but you're right that people above a certain size (highly subjective!) would find it cramped.
Thanks for the comment on my rig pswift1965!....and I'm glad everyone took me "lightly" regarding my "size compatibility" comments. The interior height of the 154BH is a mere 6'-1"..... when I stand in the shower (at 5'-8") my head is almost in the skylight!!!
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