By Tony Barthel
The number of you who have taken your time to write in and suggest RVs for me to take a look at means a lot to me. Knowing that the articles I have here hold value as part of your shopping process makes me very happy. I’m honored to take my experience in the RV industry and use that to write these articles.
That being said, when reader Richard Petrein mentioned that the Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK fit into the cluster of fifth wheels I had reviewed recently, I thought I’d take a look at this model. This fifth wheel, along with the previously reviewed Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 295RL, Keystone Cougar 24RDS and the Flagstaff 524EWS, are touted by some as being half-ton towable. If you haven’t before, take a look at my thoughts on this at the bottom of this article. The Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK is one of the two smallest fifth wheel trailers Jayco makes and is part of their “Eagle HT” series. This means it’s the most affordable series of 5ers the company offers. But that doesn’t mean that it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of features or the quality of components.
The Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK has things standard other fifth wheels don’t offer
Things that might not even be available on some other fifth wheels are standard here. These include Goodyear Eagle HT tires, the JaySMART™ lighting system, and a warranty that covers full-time living. That’s something you don’t usually find until you break the $100,000 barrier. I don’t think owners of this model are giving up a lot of qualitative features despite the sub-$60,000 price tag.
There is also quite a bit of capacity in tanks for boondocking. There’s 81 gallons of fresh water storage aboard, along with a 43-gallon fresh tank and a 32.5-gallon black tank. Also, the front compartment on this unit has a lot of space for batteries, if that’s your thing. And there is prep for solar both on the roof and for utilizing a portable solar panel.
I look at how these rigs fare while on the road with all the slides in. The Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK can be fine, depending on how you configure it. You have a choice of a free-standing table and chairs or a booth dinette. If you have the booth dinette, the table can be moved to let you sneak around the counter extension to get to the kitchen. However, if you choose the free-standing dining table you might spend a bit of time with a screw gun to facilitate passing by with the slide closed.
The grand tour of the Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK
There is an “L” shaped extension of the countertop to your left as you walk in and then two doors on your right with cabinet space inside. The table greets you as the first item in the slide room. Then the second item can either be a jackknife sofa or theater seats. The decision on which to get will depend on if you actually want cousin Bubba to spend the weekend with you. Do you?
This slide room has windows on both sides and along the back, so there is a lot of natural light in here. Cabinets run the entire length of the slide above.
Coming around the back there is an optional electric fireplace and more drawers. There is a desk or counter that could be used for buffets or coffee service. Or perhaps that space is for your blender that you tell your spouse is for smoothies, but actually spends more time living up to the song It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.
It’s always on 5 in Margaritaville!
Some Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK interior highlights
The model I saw had Jayco’s newer lighter interior. This made the cabinets at an angle on the corner of the camp side and rear of the trailer seem almost out of place being such dark wood. There are two different interior choices and this is just one of those. The TV right in the middle of that cabinet faces that couch or theater seats. But it can swivel out so the chef in the family can watch food prep TV shows from the kitchen.
The entire front of that cabinet opens to reveal an almost “secret pantry,” which is pretty spacious.
In that kitchen, like in so many RVs nowadays, Jayco offers the choice of a propane-electric gas absorption (typical RV) refrigerator or a 12-volt compressor refrigerator. Next to that is the three-burner stove with 22” oven. Jayco has put a nice drawer under that whose stainless steel face matches the stove. A little detail, but I like it. Above the stove is a microwave.
The sink and more drawers are on a peninsula. Directly under the sink is a space with a bungee in front of it that sports a USB charging port. Like in the slide, cabinets run the length of this wall as well, so storage is good. But I wonder if the storage above the fridge and the microwave are going to require the use of a step stool.
Upstairs in the Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK
Upstairs, the bathroom features a porcelain foot-flush toilet and a radius corner shower.
There’s a wardrobe slide along the road side which features a cabinet in the bathroom. Then there’s a closet in the adjacent bedroom where a sliding door to the bathroom separates the two spaces. Further down the wardrobe slide are a couple of drawers. There’s a window in the slide, which means you can effect a cross-breeze in the bedroom.
Jayco offers either a queen- or king-sized bed up here, but I can imagine that the king bed would be tight. Either side of the bed has a cabinet overhead. There’s a cubby below the nightstands, but I wish there were a drawer. You know that you’re going to lose something “way back there” and have to hire your young neighborhood contortionist to get it.
Outside on the Jayco Eagle 25.5REOK
One of the things not to overlook is the outside kitchen, which features a Capital Grill and a small 110vac refrigerator. There’s also a spray port there as well.
Some companies really stand out for the things they do consistently, and Jayco is one of those. For example, as I’ve mentioned in the past, they test their trailers from 0-100° F. They also have a great warranty with two years on the overall RV, as well as three years on the structure.
The company makes a lot of noise about their Magna Truss roofing system. But I think their JaySMART lighting system could actually help reduce the incidence of accidents by flashing the side lights and upper marker lights with the blinkers. That’s assuming the driver uses their blinkers… This trailer also utilizes Goodyear Endurance tires and incorporates other high-quality features.
I used this same statement in both reviews last week. If you look at Ford’s Towing Guide document, this is well within the capability of the most well-equipped F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 or 5.0L V8. Those have a cargo-carrying capacity of more than 3,000 pounds and towing capacities of at least 13,000 pounds.
As with any towing situation, you’re going to want to pay attention to how much you’re towing as well as either pin weight or tongue weight, depending on what you’re towing. My feeling about towing is never to go above 70 percent of capability. I always recommend taking your complete RV to a scale to have it weighed so you’re safe.
From the various models we’ve looked at that are, in theory, “half-ton towable,” I think you’ll see enough differences in the floor plans to have distinct preferences. If I had to pick one just based on company reputation and build methodology, it would be either this Jayco or the Flagstaff. But I like the Grand Design’s floor plan the most. But, again, that’s purely subjective.
What’s your favorite of the series?
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. 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.
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