Jayco invented the camper trailer as we know it in Australia in the mid-1970s, so not surprisingly they are the leaders in a market that ranges from fold-over box-trailer-based canvas camper trailers to larger wind-up models with pull-out beds – a style dominated by Jayco.
Jayco’s camper trailer range
Jayco’s current range starts with the 4.0 metre (travel length) long, 740kg Flite, which can be towed behind a medium-sized sedan without trailer brakes and extends through the 4.7 metre (855kg) Finch and 5.0 metre (915kg) Dove – all of which sleep five – to the 6/7 berth 5.3 metre (942kg) Hawk and Eagle and 5.6 metre (1040kg) Swan and Flamingo models.
And for empty nesters there’s the ‘wingless’ Penguin camper trailer, with straight walls, a fixed bed and without extendable ends at 5.6 metres long and weighing 896kg.
All camper trailer models are available with an Outback pack (except the Flite, where this is called a Bushpack), which adds from 140kg to 220kg to their weight, but gives you a sturdier Millennium 150mm x 50mm section chassis, more ground clearance through its underslung axle, 16 inch off-road wheels and tyres, with the spare mounted on a sturdy galvanised rear bumper, ALKO off-road electric brakes, protective aluminium chequerplate finish on the sides and a Jerry can holder, amongst other items.
Options include a 100 amp auxiliary battery and an external shower.
The feature of all Jayco camper trailers is their patented, fully enclosed roof lifting system that today is a lot easier to wind up than it used to be on earlier models.
Which Jayco camper trailer?
The Jayco camper trailer you choose really depends on who you’re travelling with.
The Swan and Eagle are most popular with families; the Hawk and Flamingo appeal to retirees making a longer trip and the Finch, Dove and Penguin are popular with younger couples and empty nesters, who don’t need to accommodate a Brady Bunch.
The Jayco Swan camper trailer is the best seller at around $24,000 (depending on the state you live in and the options ticked) and costs around $24,000, with the Outback pack approximately another $2,000.
As it weighs only around 1 tonne, you can tow it easily behind a mid-sized sedan or a soft-roader 4WD without hurting your fuel economy too much.
• Light weight
• Easy to erect
• Easy to maintain
• Fantastic re-sale value.
• Outback models more ‘physical’ to erect
• Fiddly door design
• No hand-rail on Outback models near step
• Bedding gets wet if you have to pack up in or after rain