Crowd pleaser Jayco Outback Camper Trailer among latest RV's at Leisurefest
Jayco Swift Outback pops
front double bed
In 1975 a camper-trailer got Jayco off the mark. In 2006 when the 90,000th RV from the leading Australian Recreational Vehicle manufacturer was built it was a camper trailer.
In 2006 prophetically Jayco founder Gerry Ryan said: "Now 50 per cent of all our camper trailers are built as Outback models, because there has been a real opening up of Australia’s remote regions to tourism, and RV travel is the most obvious and easiest way to enjoy this great nation of ours."
Camper trailers were out in force among long-term crowd pleasers at Melbourne Leisurefest. Bendigo is the next big show from November 22 to 24 so GoSee has completed an evaluation of the latest incarnation of the Jayco Swift Outback Camper Trailer.
It is part of a Jayco range which traces its ancestory back to a Dandenong South shed in a paddock 38 years ago.
The latest in camping, fishing, RVs, boating and 4x4 accessories from leading brands are on show at the Leisurefest.
We put the camper trailer behind two of our GoSee tow tugs, GSA1, our Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 3 litre 5-speed diesel and our 3 litre diesel Holden Colorado LT-R VCDI 4x4 crew cab pick-up.
The Jayco Swift Outback is an easy to know and tow concept and both GSA tow tugs made a snack of the lightweight towing job in expressway cruising to 100kmh and on good to average country roads.
Jayco Swift Outback front bed Hastings Sept 2013 031
Both tugs did it so easy it was possible to forget that the Outback Swift was rolling along behind.
The Jayco Swift Outback Camper Trailer has a Tare of only 930kg with a Tare towball download of 66kg. It should always be born in mind that the Tare and towball weight of any Recreational Vehicle (RV) is a guide only and changes with accessories added and the load placed in the RV.
GoSee regards the unit as an entry level RV designed to cope with Australian dirt roads rather than extreme off road going. To give that comment context extreme off-road ability includes the requirement that the camper trailer can go anywhere the tow tug can.
Jayco aims the Swift Outback range at Australia’s network of unsealed roads, with added strength and clearance, but there are limits.
The Swift Outback is a Camper Trailer with the emphasis on bush camping not extreme off-road. The Jayco Swift Outback is best used as a base station with the 4WD tug heading into rougher terrain without anything under tow.
The Swift Outback has its overall height increased by 250mm over the Touring model. Overall length, including bumper bar and spare wheel, is also increased by 300mm. It has many things in common with an easy going Jayco Dove Touring Camper Trailer we evaluated in 2004. The Jayco Campers continue to be a surprise package in the amount of living space they unfold to provide.
The Swift Outback has a generous roll-out double bed at the front of the RV and a single bed at the rear.
Stove sink and fridge are placed with easy arms-length cooking in mind.
Your correspondent's definition of easy cooking is based in a lifetime of serving up meals in Recreational Vehicles (RV's) tents and yacht galleys. Everything must be within easy reach. There must be sufficient working surface to allow plate and pot space during preparation. Kitchen storage must be handy.
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The RV's table and seating must cope with the crew at feeding time comfortably and be within easy reach of the cook.
In the Swift Outback there is also a small buffet with additional cupboard space under to complete the floorplan.
The storage space under the stove and sink is reasonable for this style of camper and there is enough bench space to handle camp cooking. The campers roof must be raised to gain access if cooking is on the agenda during road touring.
The two-piece entrance door is an acquired skill. This is common to many camper trailers and living with the arrangement gets easier quickly as familiary builds.
But when the camper roof is being wound up and down extra care must be taken to avoid damage to electrical fittings, loose wiring, the bed slides and the soft sides of the camper.
The key is to take the time to check that everything has been unplugged and tucked away. This can be complicated if the job is being done in windy conditions. Air pressure will build up in the camper and the safely tucked away soft camper sides can quickly blow back into harms way. So check and check again as the roof comes down.
Too much effort with the wind-up winch is not good either. Over-winding is not helpful. There is a green check-strap on the left of the entrance door. It must never be too highly strung. A smooth roof down result responds to a level campsite. The final stage when the four corner hyfield lever clips are hauled down often requires firmly applied body weight to complete the task.
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Unfortunately the Jayco Swift Outback GoSee evaluated had its electrics connection plug crushed. It had not been unplugged before the roof was lowered.
A heads-up red lettered sign warning that the electrics must be unplugged before the roof is lowered is beside the campers entrance door.
Well thought out curtains throughout the Swift Outback provide privacy and help block out light for deeper sleep-ins.
The Outback features of the Jayco Swift include:
ALKO outback leaf springs, 150mm x 50mm RHS main chassis members, 125mm x 50mm RHS A frame.Protective aluminium checker plate on sides. Jerry can holder on A frame. ALKO outback drop jacks, 12v internal power point, double step, gas bayonet.
The Swift Outback's diamensions are : Body 2791 mm (9ft 2in.) Open length 4980mm (16ft 4 in.) Travel length 4140 (13ft 6in) Travel Height 1660mm (5ft 6 in), Interior Height 2070mm (6ft 9in) Width including awning 2240mm (7ft 4 in) Front Bed Width 1310mm (4ft 4in) Rear Bed Width 940mm (3ft 1in).
Editors note: GoSeeAustralia has two Jaycos among its RV's, both Sterling caravans, 23 and 21ft, with slide-outs.
The latest in boating, camping, fishing, RVs and 4x4 accessories from leading brands were on show at Melbourne Leisurefest at Sandown racecourse over four days from October 3 to 6. This included notable innovations like Roadstar's approach to weatherproofing its caravans.
GoSee has a six litre thermal DreamPot in our travel kit. It goes everywhere with us. After a day working we enjoy its ability to provide hot meals like a magnificent silverside with vegetables when we are ready to eat.
The DreamPot recipes which are available on line through the DreamPot enews letter give a touch of difference to meals. The DreamPot approach to silverside is among our favorites.
GoSee sponsor Hayman Reese plays a big part in supporting the free GoSee TravelSmart Members Club benefits.
Over many years GoSee has often been disappointed by gaps in the knowledge and information given to buyers by vehicle makers and distributors. Some models come to the showroom floor with high claims for their ability as a tow tug.
For potential buyers of vehicles which are to be used for towing a major first consideration is the vehicle makers declared (in writing) maximum ball weight. Then the maximum weight the vehicle is rated to pull is just as essential.
This applies to caravans, trailer boats, horse floats and tradie trailers. If these figures are not accurately provided and there is an infringement issue or an accident, safety, insurance cover and the driver's rights under the law are at risk.
GoSee has a Hayman Reese 275kg Medium Duty Weight Distribution System for our 21ft Jayco Sterling caravan. GoSee also hooks up a 23 ft Sterling with a Heavy Duty System Hayman Reese system.
The Medium Duty System is designated "Classic Series" by Hayman Reese and has a traditional welded head. This recognises the often lifetime loyalty Hayman Reese WDH product has earned with Australians who tow.
Also on show at Leisurefest was the EC2 Transcool portable 12 volt air conditioner which is designed and constructed in Australia. It draws only 1.7 AMPS per hour at maximum setting. Fill it with water, plug it into a cigarette lighter socket and enjoy crisp, cool fresh air. It is a cooling solution for camper-RV, caravan, tent, boat, car, or anywhere with 12 Volt power supply.
Battery World's Roger Langham was at the Melbourne Leisurefest. Roger is an expert advisor to GoSeeAustralia. Over the years GoSee has had full briefings on how to get the best from power combination at his Newtown, Geelong, Victoria store. Roger's operational instructions take the mystery out of hooking up power for remote camping. This kind of expertise is certainly Battery World's strength as there is no substitute for dealing with professionals who know and use their products.
New Age Caravans showed the latest addition to their 19ft Manta Ray caravan range. It includes an ensuite option for couples or bunks at the rear for family travels. There is a new front-loading, wall mounted washing machine, additional storage and a queen bed, full kitchen, including gas cooking, grill sink and microwave.
CamperLED Australia came through with bright ideas at Melbourne Leisurefest. They specialise in a fully waterproof, portable, brighter LED light bar for caravanning, camping and boating and unique portable lithium power to go systems that eliminate the need for heavy batteries and big solar panels.
Agnes and Nick from GoSee found the CamperLED a little too bright to use inside their GSA camper when they evaluated it without the dimmer switch, but it is a great product to use outside when barbecueing, socialising and reading.
The metre long strip Cree LED’s puts out serious illumination. Depending on the quality and condition of the battery being used the CamperLed will brighten life for up to two weeks in normal camping use.
This is in the context that you and yours are not night owls and use it for about four hours each night. Turn down the dimmer and your life will be lighter much longer.
Ozpig is camping and cooking in style. Once again Ozpig drew interest as a portable cooking system that doubles as a heater. It is versatile. Easy to use. Light weight and fuel efficient. If there is just one luxury item to take camping with you, this is it.
Ozpig is designed for campers who appreciate the pleasures of the great outdoors and who also like their luxuries.
GoSee puts the well seasoned GoSee camp oven on top and cooks a Number 10 roast chicken and vegetable in 65 minutes.
Keep the kettle hot on the swinging side plates and sit around it for warmth just like a camp fire. They are clean to use and come in a handy carry bag when packed up. Ozpig is not just for camping and caravanning it also makes a perfect wood fired heater on the back patio or apartment balcony.
At 90kmh with 2640kg behind hooked to our Hayman Reese Heavy Duty drawbar and Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) the GoSeeAustralia Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo GSA1 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel is a muscular heavy hauler.
GoSeeAustralia has two diesel Jeeps in its tow team and we are soon to have a third through Bayside Jeep Frankston, who were represented at Melbourne Leisurefest..
With 550Nm available from 1800rpm the 3 litre six-cylinder diesel Jeep reels in long, steep truck buster hills. Jeep has consolidated its No. 1 position as Australia's leading Large SUV with recrod sales in September.
Also among exhibitors was CCIANSW Industry Award winner Registered Training Organisation Tow-Ed. The Tow-Ed course has been developed to create an understanding of the handling characteristics of tow vehicles and trailers.
Their Australian Practical Towing Guide links to Australian Standard AS4177 which deals with light and very light trailers. In combination with a written test, which must be completed before the hands-on element, Tow-Ed provides a thorough skills base for those who tow. GoSee believes that everyone who tows should complete an RTO controlled competency-based course. GoSee thinks the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) factor is essential. Tow-Ed is on stand 5.
The popular Off Road 4x4 Test Track is at Leisurefest once again and gives visitors the opportunity to experience new vehicle test drives and get some hands on off road exposure.
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Editors Note: Here are a run of links to free Information Articles relating to camper trailers in the GoSee free library -
Learn to live with your camper trailer
To Cape Otway by Dove
Learn to live with your camper trailer
Camper trailer marks match past 90,000 RV's built by Jayco
Familes drawn to cost-effective camper trailer, pop-top, caravan and niche RV models holiday option
Jayco Swift Camper aimed at small car owners in Australia and New Zealand
Variety for all reasons and seasons marks GoSee teams camping kit choices
For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Bed slides need care Hastings Sept 2013 036
GSA1 with Jayco Swift Outback Hastings Sept 2013 038
Jayco Swift Outback and GSA Colorado Hastings Sept 2013 006
Jayco Swift Outback top goes up Hastings Sept 2013 015
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