Airstream vs Jayco: Which Is Better And Why?
When exploring the world of RV travel and camping, two brands consistently rise to the top: Airstream and Jayco. Both manufacturers have longstanding reputations for quality, design, and innovation. However, choosing between the two can be difficult as each offers unique benefits and features.
- Construction Quality: Airstream excels with aluminum panels, riveted for durability.
- Design and Aesthetics: Jayco offers a contemporary look and modern aesthetics.
- Interior Comfort: Jayco interiors are often more spacious.
- Price: Diverse models catering to various budget ranges.
- Resale Value: Airstream holds value well due to recognition.
- Towability: Airstream trailers are aerodynamic, ensuring easy towing.
Airstream and Jayco are two powerhouses when it comes to RVs. This article aims to put two of America’s oldest RV manufacturers against each other to determine which is better. Let us begin.
A Brief History of Airstream
As the older company, Airstream was created when Wally Byam began creating trailers in his backyard. Airstream trailers are renowned for their quality and finish.
His design caught the eye of other campers and neighbors, and he began building trailers for them. At this point, he figured this would be an excellent business.
Its designs have stood the test of time, considering that over 40% of all Airstreams on the road at any given time are over 30 years old.
A Brief History of Jayco
Jayco RVs are renowned for their high quality, affordability, and layout choices. The brand prioritizes quality craftsmanship and focuses on providing an excellent customer experience.
Jayco was started 1968 by husband and wife Lloyd & Bertha Bontrager in Indiana. They first began with a prototype camping trailer. The folding trailer came with a unique lifting system, which enabled them to find success in the market.
In 1985, Lloyd Bontrager unfortunately passed in an air accident. However, the firm continued to blossom, focusing on affordability, technology, and connectivity. This proved successful as Jayco was crowned the world’s biggest RV manufacturer held in private hands.
Top Features of Airstream
Airstreams have been created with some of the most durable materials, such as industrial-grade aluminum. The quality is so apparent that a few of the most durable travel trailers belong to Airstream.
The brand is known for creating long-lasting quality, and about 65% of Airstreams are still used today.
Most brands tap out at 15 years so an Airstream would have only used one-third of its lifespan.
Airstreams are generally known to hold their value compared to other brands. However, this depends on a host of factors.
There are quite a few reasons why Airstream travel trailers are popular. For one, they are affordable.
A decently used Airstream travel trailer can be purchased for about $20,000, while older ones can get under $10,000. These old trailers will still have numerous years of little maintenance use
2. Aerodynamics and Low Center of Gravity
These travel trailers are known for having a low center of gravity, ensuring they remain stable while driving, particularly if you need to change lanes quickly.
Its aerodynamic qualities are in full view as its design was one of the first to be aerodynamic long before the environment and fuel efficiency were concerns.
This means that it has better aerodynamics than box-styled trailers, offering owners at least 15% in fuel savings
3. Quality Manufacturing
To show just how much quality these travel trailers have been created with, you need to view an Excella made in 1994 with beautifully finished and sturdy wood cabinets rather than the synthetic wood and pressboard we see in RVs today.
Cushions and mattresses created more than 15 years ago are only beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The moving parts, such as the door and drawers, all function like the day they left the factory.
The way Airstreams are created is reminiscent of airplanes, with panels made of aluminum riveted on top of each other to result in a streamlined and durable structure.
5. Weight Distribution
This brand ensures that its travel trailers are constructed with a large share of weight distributed across the axles to ensure that the trailer is balanced and provides increased control when it is towed.
With Airstream, you have to pack and go; there is no need to work out the proper weight distribution for your things.
6. Autonomous Torsion Axles
these axles come with their very own shock absorbers to ensure that you have increased control over the trailer while towing it.
Which Airstream is Most Popular?
The Airstream Flying Cloud is widely considered the most popular model in the Airstream line. It has quickly become a favorite among recreational vehicle enthusiasts, designed with a perfect blend of space, comfort, and style.
Its high-quality construction and luxury features offer travelers a home-away home experience. The well-planned interiors and its sleek and aerodynamic design make the Flying Cloud a standout product in the market.
Top Features of Jayco
1. Climate Shield
The climate shield built into every Jayco RV ensures that your RV is protected from any weather extremes, be it hot or cold. This gives you all-season weather protection regardless of whether the weather is freezing or boiling.
Every Jayco RV is temperature tested, ensuring that Jayco Climate Shield can keep the interior cabin excellent at 71° while the temperature outside registers 100°.
Every RV is also cold tested, ensuring no pipes or attached plumbing systems are affected when the temperature is 0°.
During this time, the temperature inside the cabin was maintained at 68°. Jayco’s Climate Shield includes a heated and completely enclosed underbelly, PEX plumbing, tinted windows, and two-sided flex foil insulation.
If there is one brand that claims to provide its customers with the very best RV warranty, it is Jayco. It does so by proudly displaying the full details on its website.
This way, prospective customers understand what Jayco will restore, repair, and protect before they purchase an RV.
As stated earlier, Jayco has two warranties, with the first one being a 2-year limited warranty that covers your RV for 24,000 miles or two years.
This was then supplemented by the 3-year structural warranty, which included structural essentials like floors, walls, and the roof.
3. Jayco Roof System
The roof system used by Jayco is the Magnum Truss roof, which has been created to handle about 4,500 pounds of weight.
This is 50% over what other RVs can handle. Jayco states that the roof is, in part, more robust because it is held together with the decking using screws instead of staples that other RV manufacturers use.
It uses larger-than-needing nail plate joint fasteners to help keep the roof trusses stable on both sides. This design ensures a much tighter fit, producing increased strength and less movement.
The roof utilizes two by two vertical studs to enable additional room for wires. Jayco uses wooden studs rather than one-inch aluminum pieces typically used by other RV manufacturers. This is done to help lower the chance of electrical shorts.
Each Jayco RV is constructed using a customized frame. A personalized frame is selected instead of a stack frame to ensure that the frame is not manipulated or stretched to accommodate the RV’s size.
Jayco utilizes two frame types: the Norco NextGen frame and the I-class structural I beam. This I-beam frame single molded design piece eliminates the need for seams susceptible to warping and bending over time.
Due to its impressive strength-to-weight ratio, Jayco utilizes its Norco NextGen frame in its ultra-light RV models. The frames are created using low-allow steel with a high tensile strength rating.
The alloy steel has also been coated to help prevent rust. Every Jayco RV and trailer is created on a custom-made laser-sheared one-piece frame, ensuring it has the most efficient weight distribution when the RV’s body is placed on it.
This construction helps lower the occurrence of sagging or vibrational damage, which can cause the RV to age prematurely.
Which Jayco is Most Popular?
Jayco, a renowned manufacturer of RVs, offers a wide range of models, each with unique features and amenities. However, the Jayco Jay Flight has consistently emerged as the most popular model.
This popularity can be attributed to its spacious interiors, ample storage, and innovative design. It is also equipped with modern amenities, ensuring its users a comfortable and convenient experience.
Known Issues of Airstream
While Airstreams are excellent travel trailers, they tend to have a few issues. Most people picture Airstreams in a romantic and perhaps unrealistic way. However, they are not perfect.
They do tend to require additional work compared to the majority of travel trailers and RVs out there.
Airstreams can suffer from issues such as rivets, corrosion, leaks, scratches, dents, a hard-to-replace exterior, difficulty locating replacement parts, terrible battery performance, floor rot, combined wastewater tanks, terrible off-road abilities, faulty window latches, high maintenance, sharp metal edges, to name a few.
Known Issues of Jayco
There are quite a lot of different opinions shared concerning Jayco RVs. While certain RVers are extremely satisfied with the purchase, there seem to be quite a few other Jayco RV owners who have complained about their RVs.
As stated earlier, several features and facilities are built into the Jayco RVs, making them extremely attractive when you see them.
Nevertheless, these things reportedly fail after a while and cause massive maintenance costs. Common problems include incorrectly installed ventilation, water leakage, and missing fixtures.
When comparing Airstream vs Jayco in terms of construction quality, Airstream’s unique design stands out. It is known for its iconic riveted aluminum panels that excel in durability and add a classic touch to its design.
This durable construction ensures longevity and high performance over years of usage. On the other hand, Jayco impresses with its modern aesthetics and contemporary look. Its design appeals to those seeking a touch of modernity in their recreational vehicle.
Regarding interior comfort, Jayco often comes out on top with more spacious interiors. This extra space can make a significant difference for families or groups traveling together, providing ample room for relaxation and storage.
Meanwhile, the price range of both brands is diverse, catering to various budget ranges. Whether you are looking for a cost-effective model or are willing to splurge on luxury, both Airstream and Jayco have models that suit your needs.