Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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RV Review: Jayco Jay Flight Octane 277, a real toy hauler

The term “toy hauler” is used in all sorts of RVs nowadays—from the smallish KZ Escape E20 Hatch to huge three-axle beasts. But, really, there are predominantly two kinds of toy haulers: real toy haulers and trailers that can haul some toys. 

The difference, to me, is that “real” toy haulers are designed to be able to handle significant toys from the ground up. They generally have wider bodies and taller interiors. There is usually some sort of provision for fueling your toys, as well. Plus, the fresh water tanks in these are usually gigantic. 

I have also shared that once you see one RV company make a really good floor plan, you’ll often see that propagated in other manufacturers’ catalogs. Today we’re looking at the Jayco Jay Flight Octane 277. But the first time I saw almost this exact same floor plan was in a Grand Design Momentum 23G. I also sold this same floor plan as the Forest River Shockwave 24QSGMX to a friend of mine whom I camp with.

Why a toy hauler

The most obvious answer to the question of why you would want a toy hauler is because, well, you want to bring some sort of adventure machines with you. That could be motorcycles, side-by-sides, eBikes, or whatever. Obviously, toy haulers are adept at carting this stuff around. This Jayco has the capacity to do so with 3,525 pounds of cargo carrying capacity. 

But let’s say you’re really not wanting to cart around vehicles or toys but, rather, would like a more flexible use space. Toy haulers are great for that too. The vast majority of the rear of this thing is open space when you fold up the couches and use the HappiJack power lift mechanism to move the bed out of the way. 

In fact I spoke with some folks who use a toy hauler to practice their craft—which happens to be repairing broken playground equipment. There’s another friend of mine who’s an avid quilter who makes use of this space for her hobby. 

But another group whom we sold toy haulers to were some of the taller customers who came through our dealership. In fact, many toy haulers have the advantage of having very tall bodies. The testament to that is the one in the Jay Flight Octane 277, where the ceiling height is 7’ 5”. That includes the shower. So if you’re particularly tall, this could also be a consideration for that. 

What’s inside the Jay Flight Octane 277

Unfortunately, the bed in this trailer doesn’t fully support the taller traveler in that it’s a 60” X 75” mattress. So taller travelers would have their feet hanging over the edge. This owes to the fact that the bed is in a slide room—so the mattress has to be able to fit in the space when the slide is closed. 

This is one area where my friend’s Shockwave had the advantage. That was primarily because the mattress had to have a fold in it so you could close the slide room. 

Interestingly, since the bed is an east-west bed in a slide room, that gives the nose of the trailer some space to house a bureau including several drawers and cabinets. There’s a large mirror over this so you can check to make sure you have helmet hair before you go out riding with your helmet on. Or whatever. 

This floor plan also has another bureau on the camp side of the bedroom, whereas the Grand Design and Shockwave have the bathroom there. There’s a surprising amount of drawer and cabinet space in this trailer. I don’t know why more travel trailers that already have bed slides don’t follow this floor plan. It works really well. 

Living space

The living space is, like all toy haulers, able to go from accommodating a lot of campers to accommodating your gear. This happens with couches at the back that can fold up against the walls. There are also two recliners included that are free-standing. (They’re called Euro chairs. I wonder if people in Europe would just call those “here” chairs?)

When the couches are in couch mode, there’s also a table that can sit between them. You could legitimately feed six people here. Since this table is free-standing, you could also use it with those Euro chairs, adopt a funny accent and tell people you’re a foreigner. 

Of course, feeding all those who can sit at the table is made more difficult with the lousy 17” oven. But the rest of the main living space offers both plenty of windows plus lots of very flexible floor space, and there isn’t even a slide room back here. 

While some have complained about the quality of toy haulers, I would say Jayco maintains what they’ve become known for with things like the Magna-Truss roofing construction, screwed and glued solid wood cabinetry, and solid surface countertops, to name a few. 

Outside the Jay Flight Octane 277

If you really are wanting this to celebrate the outdoors, which seems like a great idea, this trailer also is a great co-conspirator in this endeavor. 

Up front, Jayco has a thing called the JayPort™ (patent pending), which is essentially a receiver hitch in the side of the trailer. What the company does with this is provide a large arm that fits into it and then includes a Blackstone grill to sit on that arm. There’s also a bar-sized fridge here. 

Further, the ramp that you would use to load your wheeled toys in can double as a patio deck. That may be my favorite thing about toy haulers. This seven-foot ramp has a fence that goes around it so you could let your dog or kids wander in and out and still be surrounded by trailer structure. 

Power in the Octane 277

The Octane also features an optional 40-gallon fuel station that will enable you to refuel your vehicles, if that’s what you want. There’s also an optional Onan 4,000-watt generator to use some of that fuel. If petroleum isn’t your thing, or it still is, there’s also an optional 100-watt solar panel and 30-amp controller. But I would like to see Jayco step this up with more solar and battery options. 

In summary

There are a lot of qualitative things about this trailer even if you don’t consider the floor plan. For example, Jayco uses Goodyear Endurance tires, they have the JaySMART™ lighting system which flashes the side and marker lights with the turn signals, and all the keys in this rig are the same key so even if you lose one, you still have more. 

So while some toy haulers have skimped on the regular features while focusing on hauling toys, Jayco has maintained the things that are advantages for the brand. Also, I like this floor plan a lot. 

*****

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 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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Bedroom layout
Ceiling height
Cargo carrying capacity
Jayco features
Small oven
Bathroom fan

SUMMARY

The Jayco Jay Flight Octane 277 offers all the things that make Jayco trailers worth considering along with the aspects of a toy hauler.

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Glenn
4 months ago

With an outside width of 102″ (8.5ft) and an inside width of 7.5 ft, there should be adequate insulation for four season camping.

Tommy Molnar
4 months ago

There seems to be NO food prep area in the kitchen. And if you fill it with 100 gallons of freshwater, 40 gallons of gas, an ac generator, and a couple more options, you’ve almost run out of “carrying capacity”. Not that anyone usually pays any attention to that anyway.

Leslie Schofield
4 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

When I saw the sink I thought ‘no food prep’ area also. I know it’s glamorous to have the big ‘farm’ sinks but very impractical.