For numerous Americans exploring whilst living in an RV has blossomed into its very own culture. There was a time when RVing was solely the purview of baby boomers, however, that has changed over the years with millennials being completely drawn to RVs.
This has resulted in a significant surge in sales. Being part of the RV community means that you have heard of the following two names Starcraft and Jayco. This article aims to provide an answer to quite a simple question: is Starcraft better than Jayco or is it the other way around? RVs can be quite expensive and it can be quite frustrating to know that you purchased the wrong one.
This article aims to discuss things such as features to the companies that offer them and any other aspects that might help you make an informed decision. Let us begin!
Starcraft RV was created back in 1903 with a different name. At the time it manufactured metal farm equipment. in 1915, it was known as Star Tank & Boat creating the first rowboat in its line up becoming a leading steel boat maker by the time the 1950s rolled by.
Lloyd Bontrager, the founder of Jayco created the first lifting mechanism back in 1963 and was in charge of the company’s operations till he left in 1967. It was in 1964, that Starcraft began producing campers with its Star Rambler, Starliner, and Starmaster models.
They then began making travel trailers in 1968, becoming the premier luxury van conversion company in 1977. Fast forward to 1991, Jayco purchased the RV division of Starcraft making it a subsidiary under Jayco.
Jayco RVs are renowned for their extremely high quality, affordability, and layout choices. The brand is one that prioritizes quality craftsmanship and focuses on providing an excellent customer experience.
Jayco was started in 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 focussing on affordability, technology, and connectivity. This proved successful as Jayco was crowned the world’s biggest RV manufacturer held in private hands.
The 2000s saw Jayco RVs become the very first RV company to offer surround sound in every one of its products and by 2006, it had sold 500,000 RVs all over the world.
Just by reading their brief history, it is easy to see that these are two companies that have been in the business of making RVs for years. This has caused them to gain quite a following of long time enthusiasts that have uploaded a great resource onto the internet in form of maintenance tips, manuals, vintage brochures, guides, pictures, and a whole lot more.
Starcraft is an RV company that strives on remaining committed to quality. Its Starcraft Magnum Roof system has been developed to be 50% stronger compared to the roofs of other RVs.
Numerous independent tests have shown that Starcraft has a roof system with one of the highest qualities out there. It also includes its patented TuffShell vacuum-bonded lamination which ensures that the interior walls, floors, and roof are strongly bonded together.
When it comes to the manufacturing of its walls, it utilizes fiberglass walls, metal backers, and aluminum framing. This ensures that any RV created by Starcraft can handle even the toughest conditions.
When it comes to the models available, Starcraft offers a wide range of lightweight trailers, camping trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and full-size trailers. Some of their models include:
- Travel Star
- Toy Hauler RVs
- Autumn Ridge Outfitter
- Launch Ultra Lite
- Lexion S-Lite
- Travel Star
- Travel Star Expandable
Advantages of Starcraft
The brand has an extremely good quality build. There is a reason why Starcraft RVs are sought after. The RVs produced are not only rigid but strong and have been designed to ensure that you remain warm even when the temperature outside is nothing to smile about.
The interior and the finishing while decent do leave a lot to be desired. This is perhaps because of the limited number of options in this regard. Starcraft products have been created on a strong foundation with the overall ride being extremely smooth.
Disadvantages of Starcraft
There is a pervading perception amongst Starcraft faithful that the brand has been relegated to being the cheaper version of Jayco RVs and as such certain finishes, facilities, and features that are present on the Jayco as standard are either not available on the Starcraft or come as an expensive option.
Jayco RVs are created using numerous distinguished manufacturing processes. For one it has different room systems such as the Magnum Truss XL6 and Magnum Truss roof systems, sturdy foundations, Climate shield, and of course, an industry-leading warranty which includes its 3-year structural warranty and 2-year limited warranty.
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 stronger because it is held together with the decking using screws instead of staples that other RV manufacturers use.
It uses larger than necessary nail plate joint fasteners to help keep the roof trusses stable on both sides. This design ensures that it is a much tighter fit producing increased strength and less movement.
- Jay Feather
- White Hawk
- Jay Flight
- North Point
Advantages of Jayco
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.
Jayco has two warranties with the first one being a 2-year limited warranty that covers your RV for 24,000 miles or 2 years. This was then supplemented by the 3-year structural warranty which included structural essential like floors, walls, and the roof. This supplementary 3-year structural warranty was introduced with Jayco’s 2020 model.
Jayco utilizes its Norco NextGen frame in its ultra-light RV models due to its impressive strength to weight ratio. the frames are created using low allow steel which has a high tensile strength rating. The alloy steel has also been coated to help prevent rust.
Important differences between Starcraft and Jayco
Given that Starcraft has been a subsidiary under Jayco since 1991, it is no surprise that they share more similarities than they do differences. For one, some of the floor plans available on certain Jayco models have made their way into the Starcraft line-up.
This amongst other reasons, has caused a lot of ire amongst loyal Starcraft RV enthusiasts, many of which claim that the brand has simply become a more affordable version of the luxury that Jayco offers.
The truth is that this was not the original plan, Jayco had originally purchased Starcraft to be run as its separate brand with its factory and line-up. However, over the years this line has become increasingly blurred with some Starcraft models being built in the same assembly plant as the Jayco models.
When it comes to availability, both of these RVs are available for sale almost anywhere. While Starcraft has its following it has been able to piggyback on the massive distribution network which Jayco has built and solidified over the years. This ensures that any RV enthusiast interested in getting any of the two RV can do so with ease from an RV dealership near them.
New models seem to be flocking in and that seems to be the case for the near future. One thing that makes Starcraft standout is the fact that it has quite a lot of models to select from. There are numerous models, so much so that a prospective buyer can find what they are looking for be it a fifth wheel, travel trailer, toy hauler, or expandable trailer.
Jayco has a decent line-up of model options to select from but it fails in comparison to the number of models Starcraft has. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to floor plans, Starcraft has Jayco beat.
This is not only down to the sheer number of models available in its line-up, but also the fact that there are certain Starcraft models such as the Autumn Ridge travel trailer that has 140 floorplans. This amount of choice is particularly outstanding. On one hand, you can find the floorplan that suits you, on the other hand, it can be quite overwhelming.
Both Starcraft and Jayco have built a community of avid followers thanks to the fact that their RVs cater to just about every taste out there. However, it is hard to pick a fair winner from both options. For one, the share similar styles and facilities. Secondly, Starcraft has been positioned as the cheaper marquee to Jayco.