You can certainly learn a lot about an RV by researching online. But, for aspiring RVers and veterans alike on the market for a unit, there’s often no substitute for the walkthrough—exploring the features and space in and around the unit in person. Not only is it exciting to imagine your first campfire next to a brand-new rig or the excitement on the kids’ faces as you set off on the maiden voyage, but the experience can often be the most influential in your purchase decision.
As you examine a unit, you’ll likely have the specs readily available and be able to see designs and spaces. As a smart shopper, you’ll want to take advantage of all your resources. This includes your sense of touch. It’s useful throughout a unit, but in a few spots something as simple as a little nudge can be extra revealing. So, in between visions of babbling brooks and lightning bugs, take a few moments to touch and feel these areas of a unit on your next walkthrough.
Cabinets and drawers – Running your hands along the front and corners of a cabinet or drawer reveals how well they are put together and the quality of the material. The screws, glue and real wood grain we commonly use are superior to staples, miter joints and wood substitutes. It’s also useful to pull the drawers all the way out. Not only will you get a look at how much space you'll have for gear, but feeling how smoothly and sturdily it moves on its guides will give you a good sense of how well the drawer is built; we opt for ball-bearing guides on our drawers.
Walls – Give the walls a knock and a nudge. Especially in the case of laminated walls, this will give you a good sense of how sturdily they are constructed. This especially goes for slide room end walls and/or rear walls as well, which we construct using the same powerful vacuum-bonding process we use on all other laminated walls.
A/C air flow – Unwinding in a well-cooled unit after a day of adventure is often just what the doctor ordered. If you’re in a coach with the A/C on, take a few seconds to feel the airflow. It should be strong and consistent. Most Jayco RVs equipped with A/Cs, for example, are built with our exclusive Helix™ Cooling System, featuring curved ducts for more efficient air flow.
Front cap or plating– in addition to adding to the visual appeal of your RV, a front cap is an important protective feature of any unit. Run your fingers over the cap. The fewer seams and stronger gloss you feel, the more durable the cap, keeping your unit strong and looking sharp adventure after adventure. The same goes for the plating on the front of smaller trailers, ones without full front caps. The more rigid the material used, like our black diamond plating, the better.
Motorhome cabin – It’s recommended to take a test drive before buying—believe us, you’ll want to experience our exclusive JRide® handling package, available on most motorhomes. But, if for whatever reason you can’t, still take a minute to sit in the motorhome’s cabin. You’ll get a sense for what it’s like to sit behind the wheel with the breeze in your hair, turn the music up or take in a view through the windshield.
Wheel wells – Getting you and yours to your destination, and the fun, may take you far and wide. You’ll want wheel wells that are up for the journey. At first glance, it can be tough to tell what material wells are made of. Give them a tug or twist. You’ll get an idea of their strength and quickly realize that metal, or more specifically the galvanized steel we use, is going to stand up to road debris much better than more common plastic.
Shower - What a luxury to have a private shower in your RV. Almost every Jayco RV is available with one, even the super lightweight and compact Hummingbird. Taking a moment to step in the shower and feel around is helpful in a couple ways. First, you get a feel for how much room there is and what it’s like to maneuver. Second, by giving a good stomp you can feel how sturdy the foundation is, even potentially how well the drain is assembled with the tub. This is important considering some of the unit’s key plumbing features reside beneath.
Ready to put some of these tests into practice? Find your nearest Jayco dealer and start exploring some Jayco RVs today.