Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Jayco Eagle HT 24RE. We’ve looked at this rig in the past but there are some things Jayco has done for 2023 that make it worth revisiting. This is actually the smallest fifth wheel in Jayco’s Eagle line and bears the HT designation. But before we go hauling it around with a half-ton truck, know your numbers.
Updates for 2023
While there are certain updates to this trailer that we’re going to look at, one of the biggest pieces of news coming out of Jayco is the fact that they’ve spent a big amount of money on facilities that will fully inspect every single Jayco product coming off the line.
This might sound like something you would expect, but it’s actually quite unusual in the RV industry.
Typically much of the responsibility for doing a full inspection on an RV rests on the shoulders of whatever dealership you choose. This could result in a very thoroughly inspected RV, but this isn’t universally true.
There are definitely dealerships, like the one I worked for, that literally test every system aboard the RV. Then there are some that just do a visual inspection. I read a lot of posts on various social channels where someone buys an RV, hauls it home, and then discovers that something isn’t working when they finally get it to the campground.
The thing is, it’s much easier to solve a problem with an RV before it ever leaves the dealership, so the proactive approach is the best way to get the best RV you can.
Kudos to Jayco
This is even more true when the RV is inspected before it ever leaves the facility where it was built, and also where technicians who know how to address these issues are there to do just that. So kudos to Jayco—not only do they have a really good warranty, but I’m going to predict that fewer owners will have to use that warranty as a result of this.
In a press release from Jayco announcing the 100% PDI of their units, Ken Walter, President and CEO of Jayco, Inc., stated, “Achieving 100% of our units being PDIed has been a true team effort. We know the critical importance of optimizing quality and reducing (Repair Event Cycle Times). These are areas we have committed to focusing our time and investments to further support our dealer partners, reducing their costs and positively impacting the overall customer experience.”
In other words, catching mistakes early means that you’re not sitting with a unit waiting for parts for weeks while the dealership ignores you.
Another thing I noticed on this trailer was something that might seem really minor, but will serve owners well. Like many fifth wheel trailers, there are remote levers for the various holding tanks in this one in a wet bay. Nothing unusual there, but Jayco also put a second gate valve right at the connection point for the sewer hose. That’s a great idea!
Imagine if there’s a failure in the underbelly of the trailer—you have a secondary gate valve to stop the flow. Further, I like that there’s just one connection point for the stinky slinky rather than two, which I’m seeing more and more.
Little stuff like this is what keeps people happy and telling their friends over the long haul.
Another little touch is a switch on either side of the bed that controls an overhead light on the respective side.
In addition to the little touches on this, there are just some things that Jayco does well. For example, I love their JaySMART™ lighting system. This flashes some of the overhead marker lights and side marker lights in tandem with the blinkers.
Assuming you actually use your blinkers. You know who you are.
There’s also a JayPort™ on the side of the trailer. This is effectively a two-inch receiver hitch mount. Jayco includes a system to mount things like the included flat-top griddle into this, but you could also finagle your own whatever to put into this.
Another feather in Jayco’s hat is that this rig is tested and certified for 0-100-degree camping.
I’m certifiable for that kind of camping, too, because if it gets where it’s consistently below about 40° I’m hooking up and heading south. But some of you camp in the colder climes and may appreciate the capability.
Brrr. Not me.
More to like
Like many other RVs, this one has been massaged for 2023. Some of the really great features are still there but, for example, the electric fireplace was moved to the back of the trailer.
I also like the 22” oven with a drawer underneath, plus a very large residential-style microwave.
There’s an angled wall at the back of this trailer and you can open that wall to reveal a big storage space. This is a really good pantry or closet or whatever.
What’s not to like
There are a few things I didn’t like about this particular rig, starting with something that is pretty common in fifth wheels—floor furnace ducts. But Jayco really did a good job of placing these against the cabinetry. So it’s not as bad as in some, where they’re smack dab in the middle of the floor.
They also placed the vent for the kitchen waaaaaay up high. I can’t see anyone not on a ladder reaching this. It’s not something I usually mention, but it’s also common in fifth wheels. Yeah, yeah, I know the kitchen’s up there. But you should latch these things before you head out.
Boondocking and travel access
You can pretty much forget about anything past the kitchen counter extension with the slide room in. Of course, the upstairs is fully accessible, but not the refrigerator or kitchen.
There is now an expanded solar option on these called the Overlander package. This includes two 200-watt solar panels, a 30-amp charge controller, and a 1800-watt inverter operating five outlets.
You can also still get the propane-electric traditional RV refrigerator, if that’s your choice. Further, there is generator prep available. Choosing that option boosts the standard propane storage aboard to two 40-pound tanks.
I really like this floor plan and configuration, as is probably obvious. I also appreciate that there are two interior décor packages in this: the Modern Farmhouse and American Craftsman. The latter is more traditional RV brown, but it’s updated and it’s still fine.
But I think the 100% PDI of all Jayco units is going to make a tremendous difference depending on what all is in the company’s inspection process.
I am willing to bet that there are far fewer warranty claims but also far, far fewer people getting to the campground and discovering some malady that would have been caught by a good dealer but which will result in the camper not being available while the dealership waits for parts.
Which they forgot to order. Again.
One more thing. I wish these RV companies would quit putting anything referencing half-ton trucks in the names of these things. At least Jayco isn’t using the words “Half Ton” in the name, as others have done. But the HT is going to get some dealers to insist that, yeah, you can easily tow this with your light-duty truck. Yes, there are a few unicorn half-ton trucks that could carry this, but I would much rather someone do so with a more capable truck.
Overall, though, a lot to like in a relatively smaller fifth wheel package.
More from Tony
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Our Rockwood fifth wheel was 2.5′ shorter and 1350# lighter than this Jayco. But it still wasn’t “half-ton towable”! The use of “dry hitch weight” is so deceptive for newbies that it should be illegal. Only by using 15-20% of the GVWR can a realistic pin weight be calculated and a capable TV selected. We towed our “lightweight” fifth wheel with a 4wd Ram 2500 diesel and were able to go up and down 10% highway grades without difficulty (turbos and diesel exhaust brakes are fantastic for RVing!).
I looked at one of these at a rv show. To get to the fridge you might be able to crawl under the table. If it’s a rack and pinion slide you could probably open it enough to get to the fridge. I like how the boneheads at Jayco put part of the ladder in front of the rear window. I also don’t see a rear bumper. Don’t remember if the 2022 model had one or not.
Great review, as you said anyone thinking of towing this with the typical half ton is goofy. The average half ton is lucky to have enough CCW to carry your luggage.
I love my ’09 Jayco Eagle. I’m glad to see Thor hasn’t ruined the brand. However when I saw that white kitchen I shook my head good to see they made another colour an option.
Since Jayco is owned by Thor does this mean other Thor Industry products will be “100%” inspected as well?
Surely you jest!
Not at all. Can you imagine anything from Cruiser RV being inspected regularly?
Thor and Forest River encourage their brands to be competitive with others in the industry but also with others under the same corporate umbrella. So Jayco’s policies and procedures don’t reflect on Keystone’s, for example. Or Airstream’s. The various divisions operate fairly autonomously.
I will never understand why we need so many brands and the inefficiencies of doing business like that, but that’s how it’s done. So decisions like this from Jayco aren’t universal to Thor at all.
Love your column Tony. I sure miss your daily RV reviews as I have been shopping for a new one for over a year now.
I miss your daily reviews also.
I do miss seeing them here and the team at RVTravel are outstanding. My daily RV reviews have just changed addresses but I still have a review here on weekends for the time being.
So tell us where your daily reviews can be seen?