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Old 07-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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Shopping for swift slx 154 or 184?

I need advise guys and gals. I have been looking around a bit, and am stuck on a few units. I am comparing the swift slx 154 and 184bh to the sportsman classic/spree escape 16bh and 19bh. I have a 2005 chevy Colorado Z71 Crew Cab which should pull either just fine once I add brakes and WD. I am attracted to the smaller size, ease of use of the 16's, but really like the couch and extra space of the 19's. I have walked through all models, and feel like the jayco is built a little better. I liked the pleated shades most of all, the classics have metal and were way annoying. I am looking for any and all recommendations from those of you that have the jayco versions. I am really leaning toward the 184bh, since I really don't think the extra 3 ft and 400lbs will tax my truck too much more. Things I think about are small tanks/emptying; can I actually mount a small say 19" lcd tv on the wall by the tv hookups? I don't want take up the only counter space. I found a mount that will allow it to come down easily during towing. I am really worried about the small ac units, and how well they actually work in the 184bh's. I was in a few that were sitting in the sun, and they get darn hot. Wondering about WD and what one would work good and allow some sway control as well as ease of backing in. Anything at all that you have learned I would love to learn. Thanks in advance to you all. I have already learned some of the coolest stuff reading around here, and I haven't even purchased mine yet!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to the JOF, jdrphs. I can't help you with your quest but hang in there... others with direct knowledge of those models will chime in.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:38 AM   #3
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We have the 2012 184 and like the extra room that the couch offers. Most of the time it is just the wife and I so the small tanks have not been an issue, but we did by a portable 15 gal tank as well. couple of things we don't like is that there are no drawers in the tt, only cabinets and they are extremely dark. We added puck lights to ours. Also the wood under the couch and table bed is very thin, we have added thicker plywood. Our tv is a2001 Ford f150 with a 6 cyl. and it tows the 184 with no problem, we do have the easy lift hitch and sway control bar. Our favorite campsites in the Sierras are pretty tight to get the tt into, so we really like the size of the 184. Time will tell, but if I had it to do over, I think I would have gone to a two axle tt. I'm sure the single axle really helps to keep the weight down. We have had several people approach us asking to see our tt, as they are looking to down size due to the fact that larger tt can not use the cg that we like. At this point we are having issues with the hubs on our tt, they keep loosening, but the tt is under warranty and is now at the dealer for repair. Overall, we have had ours for 4 months, have made quite a few trips, and must say the tt does everything we had hoped it would do. Good luck with your search...happy camping!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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We just bought a 184BH about 6 weeks ago and we have camped in it twice now for a total of 6 days. I pull it with a Silverado 1500 with the 5.3 V8 and the heavy tow package and I do not use a WD hitch. I do have a sway control and the unit pulls very easily with no sway issues. There are 4 of us and we did use all of the water and fill the gray water tank on a 3 day trip, but, I expected that. I have bought a Barker 22 gallon Gray/Black water tote to use for longer trips. I have not had any problems yet. We have camped in 95 degree weather and the AC worked fine. I did aim a fan back towards the bunk beds to increase air circulation and the bathroom can get a little warmer due to the door needing to be shut. The front end of the camper sits very low to the ground and I could see that being an issue at times as I am not able to back it into our steeper sloped drive way. I looked at the 184BH and the Sportsman Classic 19BH for about 6 months before I could decide which to buy. The wife liked the refrigerator up higher in the Sportsman, but I liked the Jayco quality better with much longer warranty. I have not had a problem with the thin plywood in the Jayco and I weigh 220 pounds and have not broken it yet. It will be an easy fix if it does break, but I don't see it being a problem. I did add scissor jacks to the front corners and that has made a huge difference in stability while parked, I would recommend that. Sorry to be so long winded, but, I went through the same decision making as you and I am very happy with the 184BH. Let me know if you have any other questions. All in all this is a huge step up for us from the pop-ups that we have owned and much more enjoyable.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention that we do use a 19 inch LCD TV on the counter next to the sink. I don't think the wall is sturdy enough to hold a TV as I considered this, but, the wall flexes enough with just turning on the switches by the counter. If you buy one and find a way to mount it let me know, it just seems like there would be too much stress on the thin wall board.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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We got our 184BH last month. Absolutely love it! Tow with a Honda Ridgeline- no WD, just sway bar. Haven't towed very far yet--noticed our hubs were very hot after a simple 20 min. Trip-- but think that was operator error (our first experience with brake controller! Too tight!)

Have camped a total of 11 heavenly days. Was in low 90's, parked under a tree--stayed comfortable. Did use a small fan to circulate air to bunks (this was suggested by salesperson and I appreciated his honesty)! We also had a Fantastic Fan installed-- which is a great thing to have! It's 104 degrees today-- I'm not sure how ANY a/c would function today--in fact, I'm sitting here at home waiting for service man, as my house a/c stopped working!

On the 2nd trip we had all kinds of weather : hot, gusty winds, storms, sun, and one deliciously cool night. Came through just fine ( we use simple stabilizers under the front--feels nice and sturdy!)

There's just the 2 of us and 2 dogs--I'm learning how to better conserve water /holding tank space. We did get Thetford 18 gal. Portable tote.

We, too, looked at many campers and I was about ready to give up when we saw this one. We went back a second time and still loved it--so we were hooked!

Fridge has worked great for us and I've been quite satisfied with the space. I put drinks in a cooler (which I kept in the tub since it was hot---LOVE having that space!). We keep the dinette down as a permanent bed. I put a 3 inch camping mattress on top of the cushions and sleep better than I do at home!
We prefer to eat outside, but if we can't, we bought 2 tv trays at Walmart that we use.

Hubby sleeps in bottom bunk (I have a replaced knee and need space to bend it and stretch out). At first we had the dogs sleeping on the top bunk, but that's such a great place for storage, they now sleep on the couch.

All this to say we are very happy with our choice!!! Now, if we could just settle on a name for it!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlindsay001 View Post
I looked at the 184BH and the Sportsman Classic 19BH for about 6 months before I could decide which to buy. The wife liked the refrigerator up higher in the Sportsman, but I liked the Jayco quality better with much longer warranty. I have not had a problem with the thin plywood in the Jayco and I weigh 220 pounds and have not broken it yet. It will be an easy fix if it does break, but I don't see it being a problem. I did add scissor jacks to the front corners and that has made a huge difference in stability while parked, I would recommend that. Sorry to be so long winded, but, I went through the same decision making as you and I am very happy with the 184BH. Let me know if you have any other questions. All in all this is a huge step up for us from the pop-ups that we have owned and much more enjoyable.
I also liked the fridge setup in the classic/escape, but don't like that the only counter space you have is split into two levels. I like that I could put the TV on the upper level of the classic 19bh, but it sure would not help for cooking/dishes. I appreciate your input. Long winded is good for me as I need info, I'm light number Johnny five. iinnnnpuuuutt lol. Hope you all saw that movie

The TV mount I have saved on Amazon is one that would put 2 screws into one stud (which I believe I read are 2x2 in the 184) and has a swivel arm. It has a quick connect at the TV so that it could be easily removed when not in use or traveling. I thought maybe the stud could hold the 10lbs or so while sitting still, but was sure towing with a TV strapped to the wall would be bad, thus I looked for one I would not have to remove the 4 bolts out of the tv everytime I was done camping. I am pretty OCD, so I am trying to think of everything. I also thought about beefing up the upper cabinet with thicker wood, and mounting it with an under cabinet mount so it hangs above the counter. Obviously what I am shooting for is having the TV and counter space at the same time. I know, lots of thinking for someone that hasn't bought one yet. I will let you know if I come up with something once I finally get one.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #8
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Thanks to all who have contributed so far to my information collection. Please keep any and all things you think of coming, I was so excited to get home from work today to see I had some hits on here!

I am interested in this tote thing. I think I have seen them, with wheels and all different shapes/sizes. Questions I have..... Is it accepted to put gray and black in it together/seperate? Do a lot of people use these? do you walk it to the dump station or does it hitch up to the truck? I am just wondering if they are common enough that people know whats up, or are they pointing fingers as you roll by waving while pulling a large tank of yer goods by, lol sorry. How do they dump when you get there? I am guessing that the tanks in the TT just gravity feed, but what about these little carts you speak of? Also, how are you all topping off your fresh tank? I would think that one could just ride in the tub while traveling, and then sit outside/in back/ under the TT while camping, so as not to take up any real storage room. Thanks again.

If anyone is annoyed by all of my questions, I am sorry. I am just so excited and want to know everything I can over the next months. I am guessing you all have been where I am, just itching for your very first trailer. I grew up camping, and am now 33 with a wife and 2 kids. Never thought I would be getting into it with my family, and can't wait to watch the kids finally play at our camp site around all of our camping stuff. There will be a lot, I LOVE STUFF
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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The tank I purchased does come with a metal handle that attaches to a hitch so you can pull it with your tow vehicle. You can put black and gray water in it and it drains out the bottom of the wheeled tank when you get it to the dump station. You can then hook it up to a hose and rinse out the tank. I bought aqua tainers which are blue water tanks sold at big box stores and you can add water to your fresh water tanks this way. I haven't needed the waste water tank or the aqua tainers yet, but like I said, if we go for longer then 3 days I am sure we would need them unless we could conserve water extremely well. However, that is hard to do with a 3 year old and 6 year old that love to hear the water pump running like mine do!
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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I've also got a 2012 184bh and could'nt love it anymore ! Great little unit and pulls very good. We are a family of four and fits our needs. I have to agree it makes a difference with the front stabilizer jacks added and lights in the cupoards/storage also does quiet a difference. The build quality is very good. I pull it with a 2005 Equinox 3.4L and no complaints at all. Pulls very good. Sway bar and WD installed.
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