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Thursday, 17 Jun 2010

GoSee Jayco Discovery pop-top 16.52 caravan earns respect as easy-towing, comfortable travel companion.

Jayco Discovery Beachside living at its best
Jayco Discovery Beachside
living at its best


The GoSee Jayco Discovery pop-top 16.52 caravan has earned our respect as a well priced at about $A35,000 useful, easy-towing, comfortable travel companion.

After 9,414km travelling in ACT, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania the practical Discovery meets GoSee expectations in all but a few annoying areas which involve the quality of some of the products fitted to it.

The main nuisances, which have resisted our considable combined fix-it abilities, are the manual water pump for the sink which has failed twice and the unreliable latch on the water filler hatch.

The Jayco Discovery's GoSee role is a travelling office for two. For that reason the "Disco" has two single beds but family configurations are available too for the lightweight, single axle, easy towing Jayco design. GoSee decided against a shower and toilet option. But a small Thetford 335 chemical toilet lives conveniently in a floor-level locker in the Disco.
Porta Potti  335 in Jayco Discovery 113
Porta Potti 335 in Jayco Discovery 113


The Theford toilet does not get heavy work in any sense. The GoSee no shower and toilet decisions come from personal preferences based in lifetime camping experience and the entirely caravan park orientated part which the Discovery plays. It also means we have extra space in the caravan and avoid potential moisture and smell problems.

Despite being about 1400kg loaded and only about 100kg on the towball the 16.52 has generous space for its type and is comfortable in all weathers.

The reverse-cycle airconditioning is not too loud and it is possible to sleep with it running. GoSee backs this up with a high quality eco-aware electric convection heater with thermostat control. On its 1000w setting it warms well, uses little power and because it has no fan is completely silent.

The dining area seats three comfortably with a fourth (maybe 5th if they are close friends) sitting opposite. GoSee particularly likes the slide-out pantry beside the triple burner gas stove which also has a big electric plate.
Dinner on the go GoSee Jayco Discovery 048
Dinner on the go GoSee Jayco Discovery 048


The stove feeds off a 9kg gas bottle in the big caravan boot and combined with the big deep sink and generous surrounding bench space allows easy preparation of meals.

But GoSee prefers to cook fish, meat and seasoned meals outside on a separate twin-burner gas stove or the small gas-can powered Spinnifex single burner stove we carry on all trips.

Experience has taught us to avoid strong smells in confind spaces so GoSee prefers this approach.

Eye-level lockers, above the cooking area, house plates, dishes, cups and glasses and draws, storage cupboard and fridge complete a well designed L-shaped kitchen area which is well ventilated as it is beside the Discovery's two-part entry door which has a fold-back flyscreen.

Zippered screened vents front, back and sides in the soft section of the pop-top allow full airflow and lots of light when they are rolled open.

In wet weather they can be opened on the lea-side of the caravan (side away from the wind) to keep condensation at bay in winter and dust under control on hot days.

There is permanent ventilation through the bottom of the Jayco Discovery door. Constant ventilation is essential even in the coldest weather in all RV's. Often "leaks", usually reported by owners new to Recreational Vehicles and boats, are actually condensation droplets. Under matressess is another area to watch particularly in campers.

The Jayco Discovery deals with this by using spaced wooden slats in the locker lid which lift up on a hydraulic arm to reveal massive storage space under both the GoSee single bunks.

Another thoughtful design benefit is that with the roll-out awning out on the left side of the Discovery the screened vents in the soft section of the pop-up roof are fully protected in the heaviest rain.
GoSee Discovery comfortable living 091
GoSee Discovery comfortable living 091


GoSee has also added tent guys with springs and long strong pegs to keep the awning firmly controlled in stronger winds. It is surprising how much wind force this arrangement will handle, but as sailors know any fool can carry sail in a gale. It takes a seaman to know when to take it off.

With the Discovery awning it is wise to furl the canvas well ahead of a gale. Strong winds with sudden higher gusts are most likely to cause damage.

While we are on the subject of caravan awnings be aware that the powerful rewind can cause injury.

Do not place fingers,hands or arms inside the awnings folding struts when furling a rewind awning on any RV. 

To furl release all strut locks. Slide the awning struts down to the fold position.

Be certain the struts are clipped firmly to the caravan receiver slots. Use the control strap in the leading edge of the awning spar. Set the awning clutch to close and control the rewind carefully by using the strap.

Lock the lever release latches and wind down locks. when getting a pop-top ready for the road drop the pop-top and clip it down.

With the awning clutch set to close the rewind of the awning will be completed. Then double-check that the awning clutch is set to lock before moving off. Read all warnings on the awning equipment and check the owners manual.The Jayco version is particularly useful and there is information about the caravans accessories too.
Red Callistemon, Kings Park Special blooms  brighten Discovery beachside campsite 037
Red Callistemon, Kings Park Special blooms brighten Discovery beachside campsite 037


The Jayco Discovery pop-top roof is an easy lift for any adult of average height and strength. The lift levers at either end of the Jayco Discover provide a fulcrum lift advantage. But check the roll-out awning clutch is in the 'Open' position before attempting to raise the pop-top.

Obviously the lever-action lock clips on the four corners of the pop-top roof outside the caravan must be released first. To lower the roof shift the awning clutch to close and use the pop-top lift levers inside the caravan to reverse the process.

Before heading for the road double check that the pop-top roof lock clips are fully seated in their receiver and the double action lever handle is full locked.

Before raising the pop-top check the roof clearance height. Particularly consider the height the raised TV aerial will need and that it can also be rotated in any direction without tangling in tree branches.

On the subject of the interior TV aerial controls. The aerial winds up via a small rotating handle. Take care not to over-wind either going up or down. The aerial is then rotated via a big knurled control dial to best signal direction position.

As GoSeers prefer professionally run caravan parks the staff will have already indicated the direction of the strongest TV signal. If your caravan park arrival is late and office staff are not on deck use the direction of caravan and cabin aerials already on site as a guide.
Discovery TV aerial down. Note triangular lugs must line up
Discovery TV aerial down. Note triangular lugs must line up


When the TV aerial comes down line up the pointer in the TV direction control with the pointer on the base and wind down gently until the aerial seats in a fully flat profile on the pop-top roof. It will not fold flat unless the twin pointers line-up on the aerial direction control.

The Jayco Discovery has a quality DVD, CD, radio and speakers. The micro-wave above the three-phase, gas, mains electricity and auto battery fridge is handy for quick cooking jobs and both it and the fridge are well ventilated.

The fridge controls use easily understood graphics and most of its functions are automated. But the fridge door lock is a nuisance. Sure it works, but its thumb-up to open design requires considerable pressure. Much more than the GoSee women can manage comfortably.

The piston-style manual water pump over the big deep sink was replaced under warranty soon after GoSee took delivery of the Discovery. Now the second pump has followed the same path and its action has jammed again. GoSee will have it replaced with a reliable lever-action pump.

Editor's Note: Seaford Victoria Jayco dealer Page Bros. has replaced the hand pump under warranty with a completely new model pump. The previous model hand pump has been discontinued.

Mains pressure water to the Discovery works well once air has been cleared from the flow by turning on the tap on the Discovery A-frame to bleed off air.

Editor's Note: Bunnings sells well-priced food quality hose and fittings which prevents plastic flavours.
$2m dollar view at $25 a double a night from Jayco Discovery bunk  029
$2m dollar view at $25 a double a night from Jayco Discovery bunk 029


But hooking up the mains pressure hose involves dealing with the tacky latch on the water attachments lid.The access key slips onto the water hatch lock keyway-style.

GoSee broke the fitting after a few uses. Araldite glue and hardner put it back together.

It is a pity that apparently production line costing considerations can lead to such nuisance value fittings in a well designed caravan like the Discovery.

On the subject of sticking stuff together. Care should be taken when any 'two-pot' glue and hardner is used as some hardners will melt or distort attempts at plastic repairs.

The twin bunks in the GoSee Discovery use foam matresses. Despite a personal preferance for inner-spring your correspondent finds them so good there is no reason to go to that option.

Lighting and power outlets are well placed in the Discovery. Each bunk has its own flexible well placed reading lamp and power and light to allow full use of GoSee laptops is available on both sides of the Discovery.

There is more draw and storage space than GoSee has found reason to fill. This is because we make a point of taking stuff out of caravans rather than putting it in. This keeps towing weight down as far as possible. Storage is well placed under the beds and seats. The Discovery caravans house battery is under the seat opposite the dining table with its weight near the single axle.
Bed-time aboard the GoSee Jayco Discovery
Bed-time aboard the GoSee Jayco Discovery


The Discovery also has excellent, screened wind-out windows front back and sides. The big front window has a wind-up stone-guard over it which lends itself to another major Discovery design plus.

With the pop-top vents zipped closed and all curtains drawn on door and windows the caravan darkens to such an extent that 'sleeping-in' well after sunrise is all too easy.

For campsites with a view the Discovery again makes the best of it as with the curtains drawn all around each bunk has its own window beside it for enjoyable spine-bashing while taking in the scenery.

Because of its pop-top design there is additional shelving at eye-level all around the caravan. Under this are a string of lockers. There is a useful cupboard between the two bunks with a draw under it and the locker in which the Thetford 335 chemi toilet travels at floor level.

The big caravan boot in front carries the 9kg gas bottle and essential camping gear. This includes a 7m roll of shade cloth which is spread before the Discovery goes onto a campsite to protect grass and help keep the campsite and the caravan interior clean.

Levelled off on a campsite with the four stabilisers wound down on each corner the Jayco Discovery is a particularly comfortable experience.
Seven Mile Beach Tasmania jayco Discovery with guys on awning 039
Seven Mile Beach Tasmania jayco Discovery with guys on awning 039


In towing about 2000km around Tasmania in March GoSee was impressed with the jayco Discovery and its easy handling stability on the Island State's serpentine hilly roads.

 All four GoSee tow tugs have been set up by Hayman Reese. GoSee uses a custom fitted Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Hitch, drop-shank and towball.

The Discovery has been set up to tow perfectly level in relation to the tow vehicle. The bigger GoSee Jayco Sterling 23 which is also part of our touring world uses a custom fitted Hayman Reese WDH with the addition of a Hayman Reese Friction Sway control for added stability with the bigger heavier caravan. GoSee finds real handling benefits in using a WDH.



 
Aircon  and TV 2009 Jayco Discovery
Aircon and TV 2009 Jayco Discovery
Jayco Discovery uses hayman Reese WDH
Jayco Discovery uses Hayman Reese WDH
Cupboard space jayco Discovery 073
Cupboard space Jayco Discovery 073
GoSee Jayco Discovery extra food storage 071
GoSee Jayco Discovery extra food storage 071
GoSee Jayco Discovery handy fridge 066
GoSee Jayco Discovery handy fridge 066
GoSee visits Jayco  Discovery production line 034
GoSee visits Jayco Discovery production line 034
Jayco Discovery awning sloped to best handle rain run off and wind 033
Jayco Discovery awning sloped to best handle rain run off and wind 033
Jayco Discovery boot with 9kg gas bottle 010
Jayco Discovery boot with 9kg gas bottle 010
Jayco Discovery kitchen dining area 090
Jayco Discovery kitchen dining area 090
Slide out pantry Jayco Discovery 068
Slide out pantry Jayco Discovery 068
Weather flap down clears the air Jayco Discovery 050
Weather flap down clears the air Jayco Discovery 050
TV aerial hunts for  a signal jayco Discovery 018
TV aerial hunts for a signal jayco Discovery 018


Editor's Note: GoSee is pleased to acknowledge Hayman Reese, Thetford, Rola and the Cequent group of companies as a major sponsor of this free website. Jayco is also a major sponsor of GoSeeAustralia and has supported GoSee for the past seven years. GoSee also has sponsor support from Caravan Insurance Specialists and Battery World. 

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Email: garth@contact.com.au

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