Monday, December 4, 2023


RV Preview: 2023 Jayco Jay Feather 21MML is a home run

Today’s review is, once again, a preview of things to come and this time it’s coming soon as the Jayco Jay Feather 21MML. This will be the smallest of the offerings in the Jay Feather line at 25’11”, but boy, does it pack a lot into that length. Further, I think the upgrades to the Jay Feather line, as exhibited in this prototype, put Jayco into a spot near the top of my personal favorites. 

New Jay Feather goodness

Jayco has consistently offered a lot in their Jay Feather series, but I think others have caught up and sometimes gone beyond. Jayco trounced that with the upgrades for 2023. 

The first thing I noticed on this preview is something I had seen but was asked not to talk about. But, since Josh did it in his video, here ya’ go. That’s the Lippert Strong Arm stabilizer jacks. These operate differently than the typical scissor stabilizers in that the screw drive pushes much more solid jacks down to the floor. Josh mentioned that the experiential difference was substantial. 

Just based on having seen these in prototype form I would imagine this to be the case. The metal for these is far more substantial than the beer can steel in most stabilizer jacks. 

Jayco has also gone double Azdel in the sidewall construction of this trailer. They now use an Azdel waterproof man-made substrate in the outer wall lamination and in the inner wall lamination. This product is lighter, more water-resistant and more sound-resistant than Luan. 

Jayco has also stepped up their solar game to be on par with Keystone’s SolarFlex. But I like that you can also get a Jayco Jay Feather with no solar. While I’m a solar nut and have a lot of solar in my own rig, that’s because of how I go camping. In fact, as I write this, I am coming to you through the magic of solar power. 

But solar isn’t appropriate for all campers, so the fact that Jayco offers models with no solar just makes sense. Or, go nuts right from the factory if you so choose. Options are always best. 

Lastly, this trailer is prepped for both rear- and side-view cameras. I like this. 

Jayco Jay Feather 21MML

Within the confines of this space there are three seating positions. You can sit on the couch at the front of this model, which features a flip-down armrest. There’s also a plastic table under the couch so you can get that out and now have a dining space as well. 

There are also theater seats in the slide over on the road side of this trailer. 

Finally there’s a proper dinette that sits in the shadow of a big camp-side window. In fact there are three camp-side windows including this one, one in the door and one by the bed up front. Wow. 

The kitchen is along a portion of the rear of the Jayco Jay Feather 21MML, with the sink and some counter space all the way at the back. The stove and refrigerator occupy the rest of the large road-side slide room. You get a choice of either a 12-volt DC compressor fridge or a traditional propane-electric gas absorption refrigerator. Nice. 

In that kitchen you’ll find plenty of drawers, so storage isn’t an issue here. 

The bathroom, too, offers storage and even has doors covering the storage. I’m seeing more and more bathrooms with open storage. Whoever thinks this is a good idea has never towed an RV on the same lousy roads as I have. 

Still a Jayco

While I noted some of the newer features that will be hallmark Jay Feather features, there are a lot of things the company has been doing very, very well for some time now.

One of those is something that I feel should be a legal requirement for all towables. It’s what Jayco calls JaySMART™ lighting. This flashes upper marker lights and side marker lights with the turn signals, making it much more obvious that you’re coming through. Further, this includes backup lights.

Jayco is known for their warranty, and that continues with a two-year overall warranty and a three-year structural warranty on these trailers. I believe that’s still the best in the industry.

There’s also something Jayco calls the JayPort™ on the side. This looks like a standard hitch receiver, but it’s there so you can slide a grill or other things into it when camped. This makes for a nifty place for these.

Lastly, Jayco has been using Goodyear Endurance tires for a good while now, as well. These are, hands down, the best travel trailer tires in the business. Period.

Boondocking and travel access in the Jayco Jay Feather 21MML

The Jayco Jay Feather 21MML could very well be offered without a slide but, even with one, you can still fully access everything inside, including the Murphy bed. That’s not typical—some Murphy bed models aren’t able to access the bed with the slide in. Not here.

Further, with Jayco’s expanded solar options and the availability of either a 12-volt fridge or a propane-electric gas absorption model, you really can tailor this to your own camping style. I love choice—and Jayco offers it.

In conclusion

I am quite excited by this offering and think it’s got a lot going for it. Heck, they’ve even put in a high-performance vent fan over the bed. Be still my heart!

A few things worth noting, though. One of those is the Murphy bed, which is both a bendy bed and also a short queen. At 74” this won’t serve all travelers well. It could be enough reason against this model, for some campers, that it’s unfortunate that it was done like this. 

However, I also can see why it was done like this, as you can fold it down with the slide in. 

Of course, the 16” worthless oven is making an appearance, as well. Lastly, the table for the dinette is mounted on poles. I wish they just offered two portable tables instead, and one of those could raise up to counter height. But they don’t. 

Even with these minor downsides this is one heck of a good design. It offers plenty of seating, plenty of kitchen storage and more options that could really make a difference to travelers. While I’ve liked the Jay Feather series for a lot of reasons, including the fact that they offer two interior design choices, the things I see here really elevate the brand, in my mind. 

For travel trailer buyers, the 2023 Jayco Jay Feather line really is worth prioritizing. 

More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.



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jillie (@guest_200675)
1 year ago

I love this style but it does not give the full privacy that the 212qb has and it has a better floor plan as well which is why I am going with that model over this one. I mean if you have friends over it would be nice not to wake them when you make coffee in the morning. Just a thought.

Sue (@guest_199438)
1 year ago

The kitchen is a no for me. How are you supposed to wash dishes when there is no space for a dish rack?

Kasey (@guest_199404)
1 year ago

Can we please talk about the led lights they’re putting on the fronts of towables lately? What purpose do they serve? I find them pretty jarring in a campground at night. They don’t seem to benefit the owner at all, since I’ve never seen people hanging out in that space in front of their RV. Maybe I’m missing something about functionality?

Steve H (@guest_199261)
1 year ago

A “high-performance vent fan over the bed” is nice, but what about the much more critical vent fan in the bathroom? Neither the photos nor video show the bathroom fan. If it is a 4″, not 14″, vent fan, it is as cheap and worthless as a 75″ “RV queen” and a 16″ gas oven.

And I agree with Randall. If Jayco has to add 5″ to the length of the trailer to fit a REAL queen bed, DO IT! I’ll pay more just to be able to sleep without my feet hanging over the end of the bed. This is NOT 1950 and the average adult male in most of the western US, where I live, is NOT 5′ 9″ tall in 2022! The Rocky Mountain states, the Dakotas, and Nebraska are among the states with the tallest males, but RV manufacturers based in Indiana obviously don’t care whether their RVs will fit us.

Randall Johnstun (@guest_199247)
1 year ago

I’d have to have a full length queen bed, I would switch places with the stove and refrigerator so you could talk to someone if they were sitting on the theater seats. While I’m changing things, I would remove the dinette and have a free standing table and chairs.

Traveler (@guest_199232)
1 year ago

“Something I’ve seen, but was asked not to talk about”.
Makes me wonder how much I should be taking these reviews as unbiased and informative.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony

Thanks for the explanation, Tony. Mike Sokol has to deal with NDAs, also, when he gets advance information that he can’t disclose to the public until given authorization from a manufacturer, or whatever. If you messed up, you’d be an industry “outsider” instead of an “insider.” Don’t want that to happen! Have a good afternoon. 😀 –Diane

Spike (@guest_199228)
1 year ago

I like the floorplan except for the almost non-existent clothes storage. Those skinny little wards wouldn’t hold much, especially for cool weather. They could have put more storage under the sofa, but for some reason decided a second table was needed and wasted good storage space on it. They didn’t show it, but I assume outside bay storage is limited as it is with most murphy bed units.

david (@guest_199215)
1 year ago

That is one of the best layouts I have seen in a long time. Love the murphy bed, the awesome kitchen layout, the bathroom. All of these great features in a compact size. That’s a grand slam package. And awesome color coordination. Love it. It will sell itself.

My name (@guest_199208)
1 year ago

I wish they would make something without the dinettes/table & chairs for those who eat off of TV trays and use that space for more counter tops and drawers. Or add the flip up tables on the theater seats. That kitchen area looks cramped.

Vic (@guest_199205)
1 year ago

Does Jayco still use holding tanks that if you use them to take water to or from camp site it voids that great warranty. I think it’s malpractice to review any Jayco product without addressing this issue.

Vic (@guest_199235)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony

You review RVs talking about boondooking capability like solar AND holding tank capacity. You have said many times that water limits your stays. How do you get it there how do you take waste away ? Holding tanks ? Jayco got caught trying to void the warranty of someone taking water camping. You should have stated that a Jayco RV is not to be used for boondocking unless you can bring in tanker trucks to bring you water and take out waste regardless of solar capability. And yes REVIEW malpractice.

Snayte (@guest_199196)
1 year ago

Eeww, that white wood horizontal “paneling” needs to just go away now.

Bob M (@guest_199191)
1 year ago

First off, I don’t like the exterior blue lights. They bother my eyes. You think they would have made the travel trailer 6” or so longer and put a regular standard queen bed. I’ve alway heard that you shouldn’t buy a RV with the fridge in a slide. Yet this one has both the fridge and stove in the slide. What’s Tony’s take on that? It’s hard to believe they actually painted and put the decal on the outside storage door. Always felt the way they’ve been doing it is cheap looking and laziness. Seems like the exterior storage door openings are not wide enough. I can’t fit my zero gravity chair even side ways into my storage compartment. Bed is too heavy to lift up with comfortable replacement mattress.

Snayte (@guest_199195)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

I have a trailer with a fridge in the slide and it has not been a problem in the 11 years I have had it.

Spike (@guest_199224)
1 year ago
Reply to  Snayte

Yep…I’ve had multiple RVs with fridges (ice & water in the door), stoves, sinks, even a dishwasher in my current rig. Have not had any issues. I can see there is the possibility for an issue anytime you have moving parts, but hasn’t happened to me yet in 23 years of slideouts with various appliances in them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Spike

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