Jayco Dove Outback: Camper Trailer 2015 Finalist
This entry-level family camper offers value for money like no other.
Jayco is a key player in the caravan and camper trailer industry and its latest Dove Outback is testament to its 40 years’ experience in RV manufacturing.
Design & Construction
The underpinnings of this aluminium-frame, plywood inner/fibreglass outer-bodied camper is a traditional 100x50mm steel chassis. On the A-frame is a Hyland hitch, removable jockey wheel and a jerry can holder. A big step-change for Jayco this year is its new JTech trailing arm independent suspension, a design created and built in-house. Combined with Pedders coil springs and shocks, the suspension has also been tuned by engineers from the automotive industry.
The external storage is restricted to the front boot, with access via a gas strut-assisted lockable hatch. Housed in the sizable boot is the 9kg gas bottle and also wheel-changing tools — gear you don’t readily find in most camper trailers.
While it is not strictly speaking external storage, with the roof locked down in travel mode you can still access the internal floor area of the camper via the lower door half. This becomes a whole new world of storage goodness to be exploited, even though you’ll have to clear the space when at camp.
This is the traditional-style wind-up camper for setting-up camp. This is a favourite among some campers and it’s easy to see why. You stop, unhitch, drop down the four AL-KO stabilising legs, wind up the camper roof, slide out the beds, fix the bed supports and secure the canvas hook and loop and you’re good to go.
Step up to the interior and you’re presented with a large, well-finished space. This is just about the "glamping" end of camping, because here you’ve got a well-furnished cabin complete with cooking and refrigeration facilities, plus the dinette and beds at each end.
The bed-ends are curtained and offer three meshed windows that zip up internally. Sealing around the bed bases is not perfect, so the more persistent creepy crawlies might find their way in. The beds are innerspring, the front one just under queen size (1460mm wide) while the rear one is 1140mm wide.
The kitchen provides a mile of bench space — on the nearside and offside — and there is a fair bit of storage in the multiple drawers here, too. Windows are PVC and are curtained in the centre part of the cabin.
THE JUDGES’ Wrap Up
Often underrated, this camper is an extremely well-priced and appointed camper from Australia’s market leader, supported by the biggest dealer network in the country. No matter which way you measure it, you can’t go past this rig for value for money.
Check out the full review in issue #84 January 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.