By Tony Barthel
While the entire RV industry is backlogged, friends working at dealerships and in the industry itself are telling me that bunk models and Class B vans are what people are placing orders for the most. So it was neat to get a peek at the 2021 Jayco Jay Feather 24BH travel trailer.
While the RV industry could be resting on its laurels and just building everything it possibly can, there is still a pattern of creating new floor plans and some nice innovations, which is refreshing to see.
This Jayco is an example of a nice upgrade to a popular model with a number of changes reflected in the 2021 model. For example, the one I looked at featured a sort of two-tone interior where the kitchen itself was a lighter wood and the rest of the trailer was darker. For those who don’t like this appearance, there is a second choice, so fear not.
In that kitchen is a nice L-shaped counter with a good amount of usable space and a pop-up plug with both USB and 120vac plugs on it. As if the counter space weren’t large enough, Jayco also saw fit to put a flip-up counter extension on the end, although this does somewhat block the door to the front bedroom.
Unfortunately, this trailer, like so many others that cater to larger groups, has a tiny 16” oven that’s basically only good for pizza and cookies. I see so many couples’ campers with the larger 22” oven. They should either just put no oven whatsoever or go for one where you can actually make a casserole or something.
What I really liked in this was an optional “L lounge” that is formatted exactly like my couch at home. There’s a long section so you can sit there comfortably with your feet up and then there are two proper seating positions as well. All of this is facing the TV, so it’s a good, comfortable situation.
While there is no dinette, there is a provision for a table that would fit into the front of the couch giving two people a proper table. Considering that this model could theoretically sleep eight people, that’s not a lot of eating room compared to sleeping room – but you’re camping, for Pete’s sake. Go outside and use the picnic table.
While you’re out there you might appreciate the outdoor kitchen, which features a Capital grill on a locking pull-out drawer. The whole outdoor kitchen is metal in construction so you won’t have to worry about putting hot things on it. There is also a metal drawer-type thing that pulls out with a lid, on which you can put stuff, and then a dog bowl sink, which you empty by flipping it over – there isn’t a proper drain.
There’s also a hot and cold faucet there such that you can attach your short sprayer faucet or a longer hose to it so you could wash the dog or your kids or your kayaks or whatever. One thing I’ve mentioned before, there is an outdoor refrigerator but it only operates on 120vac – so it only works with shore power.
Whichever RV company puts a 12-volt bar fridge outdoors is going to win some sort of prize.
Speaking of 12-volt fridges, this trailer comes with a 6-cubic-foot gas-electric fridge standard, but you can opt for a 12-volt compressor fridge, which would be much larger in capacity.
I like to look at these both with the slides out and in. With the slide in, you can fully access the bathroom and the kitchen in this trailer, although you can only barely open the refrigerator door. But it’s definitely good enough for making a sandwich on the road and taking a potty break.
There’s a second door to the bedroom so you can fully access the walk-around short queen bed – so you could get this trailer ready for camping in your driveway without having to put out a slide room.
The slide room in this trailer is completely carpet-less with the flooring on the slide room itself being the same vinyl flooring as in the rest of the interior. This is definitely a kid- and dog-friendly rig. And those kids, and perhaps the dog, will appreciate that Jayco went with the thicker Teddy Bear mattresses in bunks. They’re capable of holding 300 lbs. each.
While admiring those bunks, note that the bottom one flips up. Jayco specifically mentions that you can load kayaks into the area. There’s even a door at the back of the trailer to access this space, but the company had the foresight to put the interior handle below the bunk so that little Johnny the explorer doesn’t go out wandering in the middle of the night.
On the downside, this trailer uses that Dometic thermostat that we replaced so often under warranty and which confused so many campers. This would be the first thing I’d swap out if this were mine.
But a big plus is Jayco’s S.M.A.R.T. lighting, which stands for Signals, Markers And Reverse Travel. Basically, the trailer’s side marker lights and upper marker lights blink with the turn signals – which is a really good idea. This trailer is also prewired for a rearview camera, which is a common thing, but also side-view cameras, which is terrific.
Of course, this is covered by Jayco’s 2+3 warranty which means two years bumper to bumper, three years on the structure. This also incorporates Jayco’s Magnum Truss Roof System which the company mentions frequently with the claim of being the strongest in the industry.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about roof-top solar so it’s worth mentioning that this is prewired for that. However, I’ve been working on some research about roof-top solar and I’m not convinced it’s the way to go. Look for my reasoning on this in an upcoming article.
While you might not think of a bunk model trailer if you’re just a couple, I know a few people who have gone this route even though there aren’t people camping with them. These friends have taken out the mattresses and used the bunk area for storage, which would be even more useful with the back door and flip-up bunk in this model. You also get that outdoor kitchen and the L lounge.
Considering that these are good for lots of folks with kids or pets, or just a few folks with lots of stuff, it’s no wonder bunk model trailers are in such high demand.
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.