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RV Review: Jayco Eagle HT 24RE: The smallest Jayco fifth wheel

Today’s review is of the Jayco Eagle HT 24RE, the smallest fifth wheel in the Jayco line. Like so many RV manufacturers, having a unit of this size encourages Jayco to sell this as a “half-ton” model. That may work in some cases, as the dry pin weight on this is 1,480 pounds and the gross weight is 9,995 pounds. 

There are, indeed, some half-ton trucks that can haul the Jayco Eagle HT 24RE. For example, I looked at the Ram 1500 and there are models of this rated to tow more than 12,000 pounds with cargo carrying capacities of up to 2,300 pounds. But even at this optimized situation, you’re coming close to your capacities with this truck. I would feel much, much more comfortable towing this with a three-quarter-ton truck instead. 

Highlights in the Jayco Eagle

Many of you have said that you much prefer a fifth wheel to a travel trailer for the towing experience alone. But there are other advantages that fifth wheels have, including higher ceilings, greater cargo space and larger tank sizes. 

This fifth wheel, when attached to whatever you’re towing it with, creates a total vehicle length with the truck and trailer that’s relatively comparable to that same truck towing a pretty average-sized trailer. But then you get a longer overall trailer since, with a fifth wheel, about three to four feet of that trailer is over the bed of the truck. 

In addition to those advantages, the Jayco Eagle features a huge rear pantry at the back, which is sort of hidden behind the TV wall. We’ve seen this before in a few other trailers. It’s a pretty great feature and affords the camper a huge amount of storage space. 

Jayco offers the option of a trifold sofa or theater seats along with a free-standing table and chairs or a booth dinette. I like options. Speaking of those, there is also the choice of either a propane-electric absorption fridge, the traditional RV fridge, or a 12-volt DC compressor fridge. 

A nod to Jayco’s interior designer

I don’t necessarily like to talk colors and style much because these items are so subjective. However, I will mention it if I feel it materially affects the experience of using an RV, such as when all the cabinets are black. But I will give a nod to Jayco’s interior designer, Stacy Stewart. 

The backsplash behind the stove, which is a 22” model, is a nifty material that looks like tile. There’s also a blue cabinet upstairs in the bathroom—showing that she’s not afraid of color. I like the styling pieces of this. But, again, styling is subjective. 

While we’re up here in the bathroom, another nifty feature is the lighting behind the medicine cabinet. It creates good illumination without shining lights in your face. 

There’s also a cabinet here that is rather large that features a hanging rack. You can get to this cabinet from the bathroom or the bedroom—so it’s really useful. Further, you could put a combo washer-dryer in here, or just leave it as a pretty good amount of storage. 

One of the things that’s absolutely a highlight is how Jayco placed the large awning on this trailer. Unlike most RVs, this one also extends to be above the upstairs bedroom window. 

Fifth wheel stuff

One of the things I wondered when first seeing this is the type of power connection. Most travel trailers of this size would likely be 30 amp. But, in true fifth wheel fashion, this one is a 50-amp connection. That means you can opt-in a second air conditioner and a space-heating electric fireplace. 

While not as huge as in some monster fifth wheels, this also offers the advantage of the large pass-through storage in the side, as well as the compartment directly behind the pin box. That compartment can also be prepped for a propane generator. 

On the subject of the pin box, the unit in this Jayco is the Curt Turning Point hitch. I remember that folks either really liked this or absolutely didn’t. But it’s there. There’s also a MORryde CRE 3,000 suspension system and Goodyear Endurance tires. 

Jayco things

There are definitely some things I really like about Jayco products, including the fact that they have a lighting system that they call JaySMART™. What this does is flash a marker light at the top rear of the trailer in concert with the blinker as well as lights on the side. I think this is a safety feature that should be standard in all RVs. 

There is also the option of both rear- and side-view cameras. Further, this one features Jayco’s roofing build—which the company is rightfully proud of. 

Another interesting thing Jayco has is called the JayPort™. Essentially, this is almost like a receiver hitch but in the side of the rig. This enables you to attach things like a barbecue to the side of the trailer (when it’s parked, obviously) and use it there without consuming any space for an outside kitchen. 

Boondocking and Travel Access

This model absolutely takes advantage of being a fifth wheel with 81 gallons of fresh water storage aboard. Yabba dabba do! That could keep me off the grid well over a week, and perhaps up to ten days. 

Regarding travel access, I am only able to guess on this and I suspect that you can get to the fridge with the slide in. But you’ll have to squeeze by the table as the peninsula in the kitchen might be pretty close to the table. But since I wasn’t able to verify this, it’s only a guess. 

However, if this is a priority to you, a screw gun and a couple of beers can solve the problem of the table sticking out and you’ll be able to get to anything you want. 

Observations

There are a few observations I had about the Jayco Eagle which, overall, I really like. One of those is the shower. It is about the same size as a larger travel trailer shower, but not as large as you might expect in a fifth wheel. It’s certainly a good size—but so many fifth wheels have seats in the shower and seem ready for a group.

However, Jayco clearly prioritized that cabinet in the bathroom. I’ve never heard of anybody who said they had too much storage space in any RV, so I concur on this. But it is something you should know.

My biggest gripe

But my biggest gripe is that there are literally zero photos of this unit on Jayco’s website. So the images you see are, once again, photos that I screen captured from a dealership’s YouTube video.

I’m surprised at this from Jayco, honestly. How do you not go to the end of the assembly line with an iPhone and just take pictures if there are no other options? This is such a great floor plan and I feel the company is absolutely missing the boat with no video and no photography of this model.

Yes, there’s a 3D “Matterport” of a 2021 model. Whoop de doo.

In summary

This model would make a tremendous amount of sense to a lot of people. As previously mentioned, while this would be about the same size as a truck and average-sized travel trailer when being towed, there’s the additional size and capacity plus the better towing of a fifth wheel. 

If you like these (actually, I don’t, since I did far too many warranty claims on them), there’s an auto level system as well, another advantage over many travel trailers. 

There’s so much right with the Jayco Eagle HT 24RE

Again, I really like the way the interior is designed in this. There’s so much right with this model but I don’t get why any company that builds any product, and especially one that’s many tens of thousands of dollars, doesn’t just take some pictures of it. Further, I don’t get why it’s not more common that RV companies don’t use video to sell these rigs. 

But, overall, absolutely a model that could make a lot of sense for a lot of RV buyers. 

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong 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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John V
2 months ago

Tony,
I had a Jayco Jay Flight before purchasing a 2021 Flagstaff SuperLite 5er. My only complaint about the Eagle line of 5ers is the headroom as I am 6’6”+. Flagstaff/Rockwood is a non issue for me. They both make quality products but I would not compromise on my comfort…

Lila
2 months ago

I would love to have one. I’m too elderly so I cannot drive.

Kyle Petree
2 months ago

It is interesting. My Arctic Fox 27-5 is 10″ longer and weighs a whopping 3000lbs more dry.

Before we bought the Fox, we looked at the smaller Jayco 5ers. Often camping down forest dirt roads and manuvering into “interesting” boondock spots….for us it was a no brainer.

I still just can’t get around the 3k lbs.

Steve
2 months ago

Scamp still builds their 19′ fiberglass “egg” fifth wheel.

Mary
2 months ago

I have the 2018 model and have enjoyed it a lot. Wish we had the extra storage with pantry and bathroom.
Just dewinterized yesterday, ready to go enjoy the great outdoors.
The fresh water tank is Big! But that could get some in trouble with over 650lb of water plus everything else you fill the trailer up with.

Roger Spalding
2 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary, As both a Jayco owner and Rver, I presume you’re a good person. But, sometimes it’s a little difficult for me to hold back on the issue of water tank capacity on the highway. When I was taught how to tow a 5thW or a TT, it was strenuously and repeatedly emphasized that one should never, ever tow a rig with a filled to capacity freshwater tank. It upsets the rig’s center of gravity, plus water sloshing from side to side creates a pendulum effect which can easily spin a trailer or 5thW out of control and into a death or injury spiral. This effect only gets worse as speed increases up to or above 65 mph around a corner on the highway. My instructor told me to carry no more than 15 gallons or so until you get near your final destination; enough for a sink or navy bath and to brush your teeth. Carry drinking water in your tow vehicle. From your computer, call ahead to or find the last spot before your final destination to fill up, if boondocking. The same way you look for gas or diesel. CCC doesn’t matter for a rig at rest at the camp site. Sorry for the sermon. A full water tank on the road is not worth dying for. Have a great RV season.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Spalding

Shortly after buying our first travel trailer, I read a horror story about a filled water tank breaking the two metal straps supporting all that weight while at 65 mph on an Interstate, destroying all the plumbing, wiring (including brake wires,), and insulation on the bottom of the trailer.
The story caught my eye because it happened to the owner of the same brand and model I had recently special-ordered and picked up from the dealer. I immediately checked my tank after only two trips, including one of 1,000 miles from dealer to home. My tank straps were bowed downward a half-inch, so I added another strap. That story, more than anything else, taught me to limit my on-the road fresh water to 10 gallons, black tank to 5, and gray tank to 0. And that goes for that travel trailer, the fifth wheel that replaced it, and our current motorhome!

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

It is not the smallest fifth wheel trailer. Tony, I have crouched in a single axle fiberglass fifth wheel trailer.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

The confusion might be that the title on the video from Vogt RV says “The Smallest Fifth Wheel EVER!” We had nothing to do with the production of the video, or its title, except for inserting it into the article. (Thanks, Vogt RV, for allowing us to use it.) The article is titled, “Jayco Eagle HT 24RE: The smallest Jayco fifth wheel” and Tony refers to it in the first sentence as “… the smallest fifth wheel in the Jayco line.” –Diane

Spike
2 months ago

The design team at Jayco put a lot of thought into this one. A bunch of really nice features for a “small” 5er.

I kind of chuckle at “small” because I’ve been RVing for over 50 years and 29 feet was HUGE back then!

Scott R. Ellis
2 months ago

“The smallest fifth wheel ever”? Are we now supposed to believe anything else that guy has to say?

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

My brother-in-law showed up in our driveway in 1996 with an Aljo 19 foot 5th wheel. THAT was small – but it fit in HIS driveway.

kim paar
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

I had a 1985 20 ft Bigfoot fifth wheel. It was the best little trailer and I sure do miss it.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Hi, Scott. I hope you’re referring to the guy in the video and not Tony, because Tony didn’t say that. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

Scott R. Ellis
2 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

That’s why I directly quoted the video headline, Diane. Thanks!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Thanks, Scott. I saw that it was an exact quote. I just wanted to make sure no one reading your comment would think you were referring to Tony. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

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