Those who regularly follow our blog have been seeing glimpses of our 2019 Jayco Greyhawk 26Y motorhome. You’ve seen our first few trips, a few photos of the interior, and our upgrade to lithium batteries. But we haven’t shared many details about our new home or why we chose this particular make and model. After a year of ownership and 25 nights spent at five different destinations, we’re getting to know the Hawk pretty well. It’s time for some posts that detail why we chose a class C motorhome, what we like and dislike, repairs and modifications we’ve been making, and preparations for our upcoming 8 month trip.
Which Type of RV?
The first thing we needed to decide was which type of RV was right for us. Travel trailer, fifth wheel, camper, pop-up, motorhome (class A, B, or C), etc…everything was on the table. We tried to picture ourselves living in each type. We had vacationed in RVs before, but had never lived in one. What would best fit our life and travel styles? Which would provide the best travel accommodations for Jake and Indy, our cats who will be traveling with us? None seemed to be a perfect fit, but class C motorhomes and fifth wheels stood out above the rest. For weeks we went back and forth and agonized over the decision. We read RV forums and spoke to other RV owners about what they liked/disliked about their RV. And we drew on our previous experiences owning travel trailers and campers.
In the end, a class C motorhome barely edged out a fifth wheel for the following reasons:
1. It allowed us to keep our Jeep Wrangler (the perfect vehicle for our outdoor lifestyle).
2. Class C motorhomes come equipped with an on-board generator and inverter, the fifth wheels we looked at did not (essential equipment since we plan to dry camp a good portion of the time).
3. The motorhome-Jeep combination would give us greater flexibility in size. With a fifth wheel, the RV and truck must be attached while maneuvering into tight spots. The smallest fifth wheels we were finding were 27-28′ long (minus overhang). Add this to a 21-22′ truck and our total length would have been around 50′. The motorhomes we were looking at were 25-28′ long, half the length of the fifth wheel-truck combo. When trying to fit into tight spots, the class C length (minus the Jeep once disconnected) would provide a clear advantage. This is an important consideration for those wishing to stay at national and state parks where sites are sometimes smaller.
4. Easier set up and take down. This point is debatable depending on who you talk to. We talked to RVers who have owned both class C motorhomes and fifth wheels and the majority consensus is that moving a class C motorhome from location to location is quicker and easier. Since we don’t plan to sit in any one location very long, this appealed to us.
5. Easier to drive. I wanted an RV that I would be comfortable driving. I felt very intimidated by the size of a fifth wheel and the prospect of having to back it into places.
Clearly there were disadvantages to the class C motorhome including:
1. Two engines to maintain
2. Increased insurance and registration costs
3. Decreased storage capacity (not a huge disadvantage for us since we are pretty minimalist with our belongings)
4. Smaller living area (no biggie since the whole point of this lifestyle is to be outside, not inside)
5. Smaller holding tanks (again, not a huge disadvantage for us since we plan to move often)
This list of pros and cons is not complete, but it gives you an idea of what things were (and weren’t) important to us. Each person and their situation will be different. What appeals to and works for us may not be the best option for others.
I Want a Mini-Winnie!
A good friend of Jason’s parents always said, “I want a Mini-Winnie!” She was referring to a class C Winnebago motorhome. When we decided to purchase a motorhome, Winnebago was our first choice too. They have a great reputation for manufacturing and service. We looked at dozens of Winnebagos online and probably 20 or more in person. The problem was, we just didn’t like the floor plans or interiors. None of them felt like a livable space for full time traveling.
As our search for a class C motorhome continued, we looked at every brand we could find. For months we went to RV shows and dealers until we saw so many units we could barely keep them all straight. It was difficult to decide. All of the manufacturers were lacking in quality. Many of the salesmen were ignorant about the products they were selling (at best) or downright dishonest and unscrupulous (at worst). And there seemed to be no perfect model. In the end, the Jayco Greyhawk stood out as the winner. The key selling points over other units were the 2 year factory warranty, 7,500 lb. towing capacity, having both the dinette and sofa in a single slide for improved floor space, and the J-Ride Plus package for improved handling.
Stats & Features
Our Hawk is 28’8″ long, 8’4″ wide, and 11’6″ tall. She’s on a Ford E450 chassis with a beefy 7,500 lb towing capacity which is an industry best. She holds 47 gallons of fresh water, 41 gallons of gray waste, 32 gallons of black waste, 55 gallons of fuel, and 56 lbs of propane. She also came with a 2-year warranty—as of June 2018, Jayco was the only class C manufacturer we found that offered this extra layer of protection.
Our home came well appointed with the following features: 4000 watt on-board Onan generator, 1000 watt inverter, electric leveling jacks, electric awning with LED lights, power steps, two slides, backup and sideview cameras, walk-around queen sized bed, tri-fold sofa, 8 cu. ft. refrigerator, AC, LED lights, 3 burner stove with gas oven (it is surprising how many RVs do not include an oven), two TVs, DVD player, two skylights, heated holding tanks, and tinted/frameless windows. The feature we like the best is the floor plan with its nice open space in the living/kitchen area—it feels like a livable area for us and the boys.
Stay tuned for future posts on the Hawk. We’ll show you the modifications and repairs we’ve been making as well as what we find we’re liking and disliking most about our new home.