Is Jayco a Good Brand? (Jayco vs Forest River Comparison)

When you compare different manufacturers and products, there will never be a clear winner in the debate. That is because which one is best is more subjective than objective. But that won’t stop us from comparing Jayco and Forest River RV manufacturers.

Is Jayco a Good Brand? You have heard of Fleetwood and Winnebago, which are top RV manufacturers. Well, Jayco is up there with them. They are a classy outfit and make top of the line RVs which rival and surpass their competitors. Plus, it is family owned which makes it easier to deal with.

To learn which is better Jayco or Forest River RV manufacturers, just continue to read our article. We look at the facts so you can make your own judgments about which manufacturing company is the best.

Is Forest River a Good Brand

It goes without saying that most RV makers like Forest River are good brands. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana or what is known as the RV capital of the world.

The company has grown fast and makes everything from small pop-ups to Class A RVs which allows them to have a recreational vehicle for everyone. They also take risks which explains why certain models appear and disappear rather quickly.

One of the drawbacks to the company is their fast build schedule. Some people think the company builds their RVs too fast and sacrifices quality to make sure the price of their RVs is under their competitors’ prices.

This dedication to speed may not make the company the best RV manufacturer around but it still allows them to be a good company and their products can be trusted for the most part.

Which is Better Jayco or Forest River

This can be a bit difficult to assess but with Forest River’s focus on speed of build and not the quality of build, then it is safe to say that Jayco is the better RV brand. One fact that has Jayco standing out is that they give their RV customers 1 year of road assistance for free while Forest River does not seem to.

Also, because of the lack of quality in Forest River RVs, some of their model’s floors tend to sink after a while. But this may be offset by the fact that some Jayco RVs have a leaking problem.

Another factor that would put Jayco ahead of Forest River would be their 335 dealers across the nation. You can find help quickly if you have a problem. Also, Jayco uses Amish craftsmen to make sure their products are superior to others while Forest River had to pay a multi-million dollar fine assessed by NHTSA.

Jayco vs Forest River Quality and Price

There is a lot of chatter going on over which company is better than the other. Jayco, it seems, receives far fewer complaints than Forest River, probably about 1/10th the amount the latter receives.

The quality of Jayco can be seen in how they employ top craftsmen to produce their RV products, while Forest River does. Also, Forest River may produce more units than Jayco but that would only provide evidence that quantity is more important to them than quality.

As for the price, Jayco’s 2019 travel trailer series is running well under the $50,000 mark with one as low as $39,000. Using the same source and the same TT category, all of Forest River’s prices were labeled TBA or to be announced.

We had to go back a year to get a few prices as many of the company’s models were also labeled TBD or TBA. The models that had a price tag on them were well under $30,000.

Brand Comparison by RV Type:

Jayco vs Forest River - Travel trailers

Jayco puts a lot of quality into their travel trailers. One model which stands out is the White Hawk Ultra Light, and it comes with a great exterior design. Plus, the interior is made with top quality materials put together in a craftsman-like style that is second to none.

If you want to use the bathroom as a guide, the Jayco model comes with a 34-inch shower and a medicine cabinet. That alone is worth the cost of the travel trailer. The TTs made by Jayco are designed to tow well and have many amenities that make it an all-round top TT.

Forest River on the other hand provides the look of a professional TT but the amount of complaints against the company seem to undermine that quality. The company does provide wifi connections in some of their trailers and they have enclosed underbellies for better environmental protection.

The company makes good travel trailers but they may not rival Jayco’s

Jayco vs Forest River - Fifth Wheel

When you go up in class, you may find that both companies offer superior products as well as better warranty service than they do on their lower-class RVs and trailers. Both companies in this class make top quality 5th wheels and they both have very satisfied customers. What may make the difference and tip the competition in Forest River’s favor is the floor plans they offer their customers.

Jayco does not seem to have as many floor plan options as Forest River which puts them at a disadvantage when people are concerned about their living space. Some people were loyal Jayco customers until they saw the Sabre model produced by Forest River and made the switch.

Not only was the floor plan an influential factor but also the cheaper price. A lot of RV owners like what Forest River has done with their 5th wheel units and has them bragging about how they switched to a better trailer

Jayco vs Forest River - Toy Hauler

One innovation that Forest River made with its toy hauler units was to move a well-equipped kitchen to the front of the trailer. They also added a 22 cubic foot fridge to make sure you had enough room for all your food.

To make room for that fridge, Forest River switched to a full profile front cap and were able to move the clearance up to 6 feet 5 inches. Jayco topped that innovation with a dual entry bathroom which included a walk-in shower. Then the added dual outside entries.

Also, they created a U-shaped kitchen that is right next to the entertainment area of the toy hauler. Behind the entertainment center is a half bath so you do not have to go far when you need to make a pit stop.

Given the design and the amenities, Jayco seems to outdo Forest River in this category

Jayco vs Forest River - Class C

In this category both companies seem t be evenly matched. Especially when you are comparing units that are very close to one another. A matchup between the Jayco Redhawk and the Forest River Forester showed little difference between the two.

They both GVWR rating of 14,500 pounds and both have fuel tanks that hold 55 gallons. The black water tank on the Forester is larger than the Redhawk’s but the latter’s gray water tank is larger than the former’s.

Then both cost about $107,000 which will make your choice a bit difficult. Also, both have large floor plans with the Jayco being a foot longer than the Forest River model.

Which one you prefer will boil down to your brand preference as neither company really has the edge here. The Jayco may come with the better engine which should tip the scales slightly in their favor.

Jayco vs Forest River - Class A

Since we can’t compare all the Class A RVs that are produced by both company’s we have to be satisfied with using one from each. The Forest River entry is the Berkshire XLT, and it comes with a very high price tag of $300,000.

What you get for the price is a Cummins ISL engine, 450 hp and 45 feet by 100 inches of living space. The black water tank holds only 42 gallons, the gray water tank holds 66 and the freshwater tank will hold 103.

The Jayco Embark costs only $200,000 and it provides you with about 40 feet by 101 inches of living space. Its 145 cubic feet of storage space is appealing as is its Cummins B 6.8 Liter engine

Its holding tanks do not hold as much water as the Forest River but it does have 11 seat belts and 2 auto-ignition furnaces that keep you nice and warm

Jayco vs Forest River - Pop up Tent Trailer

This is a situation where the units may be very close to each other once they are manufactured. Both are fine recreational options and they come with some pretty good equipment and components.

Where Jayco may have the edge is in the warranty coverage. Their general warranty is for 2 years while their competitors provide only 1 year of coverage.

Plus, the Jayco firm provides lifetime warranties on select components which makes a lot of difference when you do not want to spend money on repairs. Also, it is said that many options other companies offer are standard equipment n the Jayco.

That is pretty impressive. In contrast, the Forest River dealer at the time was not the best at customer service and the Forest River pop up owner did have some first-year problems they needed to get fixed.

Local dealers may be another top influential factor when purchasing a pop-up. How good or bad they treat you will influence your final decision.

Best Sellers Comparison:

Jayco Eagle vs Forest River Sabre

In this category the Forest River Sabre seems to have a big edge over the Jayco Eagle. While many RV owners liked the Eagle they were overwhelmed by the Sabre and made the switch from being a loyal Jayco customer.

That is saying a lot for the Sabre as Jayco makes a good product and has fewer customer complaints against them. Also, Jayco has not paid a fine as Forest River has. So Forest River either got its act together when they made this model or Jayco had an off day.

One of the things that helped make Jayco owners switch was the Sabre’s floor plan. They said that you ‘got more bang for the buck’ with the Sabre. Also, the Sabre can be about $6,000 cheaper than the Eagle depending on the options of course.

Forest River Salem vs Jayco Jay Flight

Both models cost about the same and as usual, that cost will fluctuate depending on the number of options you want or do not want. The one thing that Jayco did when it upgraded the Flight was to change a lot of standard equipment to option only equipment.

One of the drawbacks on the Salem is that Forest River claims to provide you with a double bed, but in reality, it is a 40-inch twin in comparison to the 48-inch size you get with the Flight.

Also, the Salem does not provide you with a lot of room in the bathroom as well as shorting you out on installed furniture. Jayco seems to have a winner with the Flight despite its downgrading of its standard equipment to option only.

People are not satisfied with the Forest River Salem model

Jayco Greyhawk vs Forest River Sunseeker

One advantage that comes with the Forest River Sunseeker over the Greyhawk is its fiberglass roof. The Greyhawk has a rubberized roof that does not equal the quality you get with fiberglass.

Also, the Sunseeker comes with enclosed piping making it better to use when the temperature dips down. The Greyhawk does have tank heaters but they may not be as effective because their piping is exposed to the elements.

Two pluses for Jayco’s Greyhawk is that the company has installed an on demand hot water heater while Forest River still uses the old traditional 6-gallon model. The second plus that helps Jayco compete in this category is that the Forest River frame is prone to twisting when using the bigfoot levelers.

That is a major minus for Forest River and helps Jayco look a lot better

Forest River Georgetown vs Jayco Precept

The Georgetown is a Class A RV that seems t have all the amenities you would expect in an RV of that caliber. Some of the available options are the sandcastle interior color scheme, outside entertainment center, front overhead bunk and the cherry colored cabinets.

This RV sells for about $139,000 which is a discounted price and regularly sells for almost $200,000. The precept sleeps 8, measures just over 38 feet long and uses a Ford engine.

Some options available are the overhead front bunk, cooktop with oven and the customer value package. It too retails for about $200,000 but you can also get it at the same $139,000 discounted price the Georgetown has.

If you want ‘bang for the buck’ it seems that the Precept has a long list of standard features that make it a little better than the Georgetown unit.

Jayco Hummingbird vs Forest River R Pod

The Hummingbird comes with a choice of 3-floor plans and has a dry weight of about 3000 pounds. Its laminated construction helps it to look good while being quite sturdy and strong. One option you can get is the insulation pack that keeps the underbelly nice and warm when it gets cold out.

The U shaped dining area sits 6 and converts into a sleeping area. The sink slide out makes sure your sink is better than average. Its wet bath provides lots of knee and legroom as well as a nice-sized sink.

The R pod is very aerodynamically designed to help you save on fuel costs. The interior dinette sits 4 people but it folds down into a bed that may be too small for adults to sleep comfortably.

The outside storage area is about 6 feet 3 inches long and the rear kitchen has wall to wall counter space for better meal preparation. The wet bath is small and contains a small sink. This trailer also has several floor plans to choose from

Forest River Wildwood vs Jayco Jayflight

The Wildwood comes with mixed reviews. Some owners really like it and have had a few issues with it. Other owners have found the quality of the Wildwood to be less than desirable as the company seems to have covered up and not fixed some of the problems that have been found on this unit.

Other owners think the comparison between the two is unfair because of the differences in both units. Then RV owners have heard nothing bad about the Jayco. Their opinion is that Jayco is a top manufacturing company that puts out a top-quality product that beats the Forest River hands down.

Where Jayco has the real edge is that it gives you more stuff for the same price. That is a bonus that makes a Jayco unit far superior to the Forest River. While the Wildwood is still a good TT, the Jayco just stands out and is built with better quality

Why Buy a Jayco?

There are a lot of good reasons to buy a Forest River. One is that they produce so many, you can find one you may like almost anywhere. And you will have a good selection to choose from. But because of Forest River focuses more on quantity than quality, you may find their units to be not as long-lasting or as good as a Jayco.

Here are some reasons that have stood out in our minds why we would buy a Jayco over a Forest river RV:

  • It is family-owned- they also treat their customers' dealers and vendors with respect. They also care about their products and their people
  • They control the quality- not only do they build most of their own furniture, but they also have in house seamstresses that lets the company have design flexibility and better quality control
  • They have 335 dealers across the nation- this means you get better and easier access to parts and service. You also have better roadside services
  • They use top craftsman- you may have heard how good the Amish are at making wood products. That reputation brought Jayco and the Amish together to create the best woodwork possible
  • Top appliances- Jayco goes for the best in their installed appliances as well. They use top brand names to make sure you get the best and makes sure your life is a bit easier
  • Top warranty coverage- Jayco offers a 2-year hitch to bumper coverage that is one year better than its competitors
  • The little details- Jayco goes out of its way to make sure that little details are taken care of. These details include a 3rd entrance, a 5th wheel hitch mirror and more
  • More standard features- if you want bang for your buck, then you will get that with a Jayco product. They provide more standard features to make your RV life even better

Some Final Words

Over all, you will find that the Jayco and Forest River debate will have no real winner. There are just about as many supporters of Forest River as there are for Jayco. Each one has their own reasons for their brand loyalty.

To be fair, Forest River produces some units that are clearly superior to the Jayco ones, yet that is not enough as the former seems to sacrifice quality to get the production numbers up.

Jayco goes the other way and prefers quality over quantity which is why their production numbers are smaller than their competitors. If we had a say in this debate, we would go with Jayco because there is so much going for the company.

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