When I think of Jayco, I think of kind of solid and trustworthy but not incredibly innovative RVs. Now, Jayco has some class-leading features that I’ve written about in the past including some that I think should be standard on all RVs – including their JaySMART™ lighting.
So, I was surprised when I saw the company’s somewhat aggressive marketing message over on LinkedIn for the new Jayco Terrain.
Coming right for the Winnebago Revel, the Jayco Terrain is a new Class B motorhome based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4X4 chassis. The model is absolutely meant for the overlanding van life folks to sit up and take notice of. It absolutely caught my attention.
The first thing that I noticed is the graphics, which are very unusual. They are sort of a candy cane stripe effect but not as silly as that sounds. Embedded in the graphics are mountain scenes. In fact, there is almost no Jayco badging other than a small Jayco logo on the front doors.
As regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of the exterior decor of most RVs. But this is different and tasteful and also fits the branding of an adventure vehicle. Nailed it, Jayco.
Like that Winnebago, the Jayco Terrain features popped-out “bubbles” where you might figure back windows would otherwise be. These add a surprising amount of space for the bed in the back, which is on a lift mechanism.
This lift mechanism enables owners to move the bed out of the way in travel and then use this considerable space for adventure gear such as bicycles and that sort of thing. There’s a surprising amount of space back here for gear with the bed up. When down, the bed measures 49” x 79” – not bad for a van.
Keeping all that gear in place are RAM Tough-Track mounts throughout the interior of the vehicle.
Jayco has really done some nifty stuff with the pantry of the Terrain. There’s basically a flat counter and cabinets above and below, as you might expect. But there’s also a pull-out top at the rear of the pantry and one at the front, as well.
There is no stove, per se, but there are induction cook tops to do the work of heating the eats. This means no propane to mess with for cooking. There is a sink, as well, of course.
A third table/counter extension is on the outside of the kitchen stemming from the portion of the counter that extends into the open space from the sliding van door.
Yet another folding table sits right in front of the second row of seats. They are bucket-style seats to match those for the driver and passenger. Those two front-most seats can swivel around, creating a face-to-face environment for four people. Just to be clear, there is sleeping for just two unless those four really, really like one another.
I like Jayco’s interpretation of the kitchen for the Terrain as well as the interior decor.
As with just about every Class B RV, the bath is a wet bath. But Jayco acknowledges that some of the bathrooms in these rigs just don’t ever get used as such. So there are wooden shelves that go into the bathroom so you can use it as a closet or a giant pantry. Or you can just put wet gear here and have it drip off in the bathroom.
More power to ya’
As with an ever-increasing number of small motorhomes, the Jayco Terrain is more focused on battery power than liquid fuels. For example, there is a Coleman Mach 10 heat pump on the roof. That is more efficient and can provide more heat than the dreary run-of-the-mill Coleman clunker. This one happens to be a 48-volt unit, so I’m very intrigued about it.
Residential AC units have come so far, but RV units are mostly stuck in the 1950s, except from a quality standpoint. To that end they’re as lousy as any other appliance produced nowadays.
Notice, too, that the voltage of the AC corresponds delightfully with the battery. That is also a 48-volt system providing 210 amp-hours of power for a total of 10.2KW. That number keeps cropping up in the specifications chart as there is a second 48-volt alternator as well.
In addition to the alternator, another way to charge up the battery bank is through the 200 watts of rooftop solar.
There’s also a 3500-watt inverter.
There is no propane aboard the Terrain. Heating is done either with the heat function on the AC or through a hydronic heater that utilizes the diesel fuel aboard to heat water as well as the cabin.
I mentioned being intrigued by the exterior paint job on this rig. But that fancy graphics package will set you back $5,250. Otherwise, you get a plain ol’ silver van.
The base price bandied about is also a bit disingenuous because there’s a mandatory Customer Value Package that’ll set you back just shy of $19K. So, really, the base price for the Jayco Terrain is $210,750. Someone at Jayco’s marketing department took an extra dose of bull-feather pills when bandying about the $192K price. But that makes it look more competitive with the Revel, which does have a sub-$200K base price. For now.
Jayco did a super job with the Terrain
Overall, I think Jayco did a super job with this. While I haven’t seen one in the sheet metal just yet, I like the interior design features and the thoughtful touches that are a surprise, to me.
My biggest gripe is that you have to wade through the nested menus of a digital control panel rather than just being able to push a darned button to open the awning. Funny thing – In talking to more and more of you, I have yet to find one person who prefers this type of system to just good old-fashioned buttons.
I think Jayco’s going to have quite a hit on their hands with the Terrain, and this really gives them a strong position in the Class B van market. The (optional) graphics, interior design and thoughtful features along with solid specs of their power system show that Jayco has been watching the market and is stepping in, learning how to dance.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his 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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