Sunday, January 29, 2023


RV Review: 2021 Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255

By Tony Barthel
Friends of mine who work at RV dealerships laugh about RV design in one respect – “new” designs. If you have a floor plan you like from a manufacturer you don’t, you don’t need to wait long until the manufacturer you do like comes up with a floor plan that interests you. Honestly, there are few innovative floor plans and part of that has to do with weight distribution and parts suppliers. 

A few years ago, when I was at Quartzsite, I saw the Grand Design Momentum 23G Toy Hauler. I really liked that floor plan. Then, the dealership that I worked at started carrying the Shockwave 24QSGMX, which was basically the same floor plan. And now I see Jayco has the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255. Same floor plan. 

But let’s talk about toy haulers for a moment.

Toy haulers

Yesterday I gave you all the reasons I really like toy haulers. But, actually, toy haulers come in various forms. Some are truly designed for hard-core off-road hauling with serious dirt-pounding toys, have onboard gasoline-filling systems, and often also have onboard generators. These more hauler-focused units also tend to be wider – and this Jayco is a full 101” in width. If you really do want a toy hauler for serious toy hauling, this is the kind you might hone in on. 

But there are also units, like yesterday’s Wildwood, that have more lineage to their travel trailer roots than they do being in the serious toy-hauling business. Oh, yes, they’ll still move those toys around. But they don’t feature as many support systems for that as a hard-core toy hauler would. 

Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255

Relative to the term of “real” toy haulers versus toy hauling trailers, the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255 falls more in the “real” toy hauler category. It incorporates an optional fuel station and you can outfit it with a generator if you choose. It also has a floor plan that seems to be gaining momentum in the toy hauler world. 

What I liked about this floor plan the first time I saw it was that the bedroom was separate and had a full walk-around bed. However, it’s 60” X 74” and in a slide room. It also needs to fold in half for the slide to come in, so if you dream of replacing it with a real queen mattress, you might consider a different floor plan. 

The bedroom is a good use of space

Having the bed in a slide as it is means the front of the trailer on the inside is unobstructed. There’s a bureau, of sorts, along the front as well as a mirror. It’s a good use of space. There’s also a very tall closet on the camp side of the bedroom, which is essentially the top half of an outdoor storage bay. 

The reason the bed has to fold is that the bathroom is on the camp side of the trailer and, being a taller true toy hauler, that means that the shower has a lot of headroom. In fact, this is one of the reasons that I used to sell a lot of toy haulers – we had taller customers in the lumber industry and they liked these for that reason. 

On the subject of the shower, another reason I like toy haulers is that they generally have huge holding tanks. This unit is no exception. It has 106.4 gallons of fresh water storage capacity. 

Unlike the Shockwave or Grand Design versions of this floor plan, Jayco doesn’t put a door in the bedroom of the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255 but uses a curtain instead. I prefer the door. 

The kitchen in the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255

The kitchen sits on the road side of the main compartment with a gas-electric RV refrigerator as the only choice. So no 12-volt option at this juncture. Bummer. 

But there’s the usual three-burner stove with 17” oven, microwave and sink. The taller height of this unit means that the cabinets, too, extend higher. Funny thing, the friend I sold the Shockwave to is not that tall – so she brings a step stool to reach the upper portion of her cabinets. 

Flip-up table with portable reclining chairs

Opposite the kitchen, in similar fashion to yesterday’s Wildwood, is a large window facing the camp side so you can see what’s going on. Jayco had the smarts to put a flip-up table in this unit and also includes two portable reclining chairs that fit under that table if you choose. Since they’re portable, they can really sit anywhere in this coach. That includes on the back deck that comes from the ramp being held in a horizontal position. 

Jayco maximizes the number of sleeping positions in the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255 with two facing couches in the back on a Happijack® power bed lift mechanism that can bring them up to sit against a bed in the back which, in turn, is lifted against the ceiling. If you need to bring in toys that need more height you can leave the couches down and fold them against the walls instead of lifting them up against the bed. 

In all there are four sleeping positions at the back of the trailer. That’s another hallmark of toy haulers – typically they offer a good number of sleeping positions. 

As mentioned, this has an optional gasoline fueling station as well as an optional gasoline-fired 4,000-watt generator. You can, of course, opt for a solar package. Interestingly, the standard exterior is a corrugated aluminum. But you can choose a build with a fiberglass exterior instead. 

Decisions, decisions

I can see people who don’t want a toy hauler, per se, thinking the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 255 might be too much toy hauler and not enough travel trailer. I get that.

But I do strongly dislike the folded mattress as it limits your options if you want to make a change.

If you are using this as an actual toy hauler and bringing along a bunch of toys, I wonder about those recliners and where you’ll keep them, depending on how much else you choose to bring along with you. I have removed the couch in my own travel trailer and replaced it with folding zero-gravity chairs, which are both more comfortable but also fold down to be relatively compact. These miss out on the “compact” side of things. 

But that’s before I think about things that Jayco does well, such as including Goodyear Eagle tires, their Magnum Truss roofing system and, in particular, the JaySMART™ lighting package, which flashes the side and top marker lights with the blinkers and also incorporates back-up lights. I’ve written this before, but I do think that’s a real safety benefit. 

So what’s my choice?

Of the three of these floor plans, which would I choose among the Shockwave, the Jayco and the Grand Design? I think narrowing it down I’d have to more carefully weigh out the benefits and features between the Grand Design and the Jayco. I like the Grand Design interior the best, but I like the safety features and build of the Jayco better. Cop out? Nope – because I also have to ask my wife. 

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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Thomas H Brewer
1 year ago

I appreciate the reviews but start doubting it when description and pictures don’t even come close too each other.

Thomas H Brewer
1 year ago

Tony, pictures don’t match the floor plan. The picture o the shower is not a corner shower. The flip up bar with stools are missing from the pictures. I don’t even think there is enough room for them.

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