RV life has many facets, and there are so many good reasons why you’d want to buy one. However, the big question remains; which one?
To make the selection process a little easier, let’s compare the performances of two big brands: Airstream vs. Jayco. Both are market leaders who have been around for more than half a century. So this should be real fun!
Airstream vs. Jayco Overview
Airstream and Jayco, are vintage brands that have led the RV market for decades. They’re both prime-quality vehicles that retain their glam for several generations. Airstream is geared towards city life, while Jayco performs exceptionally well off-road. This is the main differentiator between the two brands. The next point is the budget. Airstream is much more expensive.
A Fair Comparison of Airstream vs. Jayco
Wally Byam, the founder of Airstream, spent his early years on a farm, practically living in mule-drawn wagons. The shape and function of that wagon became the inspiration for his trailers later on.
After graduation from Stanford University in 1921, Byam worked as a journalist and got married. He loved camping outdoors with his wife, but she hated sleeping on the ground. She also didn’t appreciate the rain at all.
In 1929, he started working on a solid structure that would protect her. Comfort, elegance, and a sense of nostalgia for the Oregon farm helped in creating the Airstream trailers.
Jayco is a brand that celebrates the 1960s and the dreams of a young couple. Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager started making unique camping trailers in 1968. Their first workshop was in their backyard.
In 2011, Jayco became the biggest privately owned RV manufacturer in the globe. Their product line includes travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, as well as class A, B, and C motorhomes.
Jayco has won a host of prestigious awards repeatedly, like the 77 DSI Awards, 77 times, and it’s been labeled America’s best-selling travel trailer not less than 14 years. This brand has certainly earned its presence in the RV Hall of Fame.
The expensive price of an Airstream comes from the fact that most of its parts are handcrafted. And only skilled workers can do the complex manufacturing processes that go into its making. Approximately 350 hours are needed to make a single Airstream, while other RVs need only around 50.
Around 75% of the Airstreams that were made back in 1931 are still in use in the 2020s. This speaks volumes about longevity and durability.
Jayco takes quality very seriously. Both the exteriors and the interiors are made from top-quality materials and manufacturing. It’s quite rare to see a customer complaining about windows getting unhinged or upholstery falling apart.
Layout and Storage Space
These veterans are well versed in the arts of using tiny spaces. You would never feel that an Airstream is too tight or cluttered. The standard layouts are simply amazing, and you can still make any adjustments or customizations as needed.
Storage spaces are just right if you travel alone or with a small group. Also, if you aren’t bringing a canoe with you. The opposite is also true.
There are tons of options to choose from. And there are no standard designs and finishes, you’ll need to specify every requirement up to the smallest detail.
Typically, the larger RVs come with storage space to spare. And if you have massive luggage, then you should keep this brand on your radar.
Airstream RVs have the nicest views of all, as they have windows everywhere. They also have a rear hatch that could be used for ventilation, or as an awning. You can enjoy the sites that you visit and bathe in the sunlight that’ll flood the vehicle all day long.
However, in the world of RVs, size matters! That’s because it sets apart the ones that can take a large family from the individual travel pods. Also, the ones designed to go off the grid for days on end from the city slackers that can only be out for a day.
That’s why the compact-sized travel and coach Airstreams are best suited for couples or small groups. Additionally, they don’t have a lot of storage space, and they aren’t designed to carry kayaks, bicycles, and similar massive sports gear.
These trendy RVs are quite practical in urban settings and posh campsites. They tend to get a little out of place around rough terrain or Boondocking.
The huge variety of Jayco Rvs allows you to pick and choose the right one for your family size, budget, and intended usage. These vehicles are designed for the tough life, and going off-road doesn’t rattle them at all. Additionally, they’ll carry any amount of gear you might need easily.
The bigger Jayco RVs would definitely come in handy out in the wild. But they wouldn’t fit as easily inside the city roads, campsites, and parking areas.
Additionally, it doesn’t come with too many windows, so enjoying a nice view often means getting out of the car and experiencing it first hand. However, the awesome awning that spreads along the side of the RV makes lounging out there heavenly.
Price and Warranty
These RVs are incredibly expensive, but they’re also incredibly valuable. An Airstream would be running the roads for 15 years and it would barely show signs of aging.
That’s why there’s a huge market for used Airstream RVs, and the owners constantly feel that they made an investment, rather than dumped their money in a vehicle that’s constantly depreciating.
Airstream Touring Coaches are famous for their niche prices. The tags start from approximately $165,000 for the Interstate 19 to around $250,000 for the Atlas, which is the flagship RV and possibly the most luxurious ones in the market.
These vehicles are the beautiful result of legendary cooperation between Airstream and Mercedes Benz.
The Travel Trailers are slightly less expensive, with the tiny Base Camp selling at around $40,000 and the top-of-the-line Classic reaching $165,000. It’s no wonder people are quite keen on buying the used ones.
There’s a standard three-year warranty on Airstream RVs, that extends to new owners right after the purchase.
Jayco prices are among its main attractions. Despite the prime quality of these vehicles, they’re often offered at affordable prices. The grade of the finishes is also completely optional, so you can get an amazing RV within a limited budget.
The 2021 JAY FEATHER MICRO Travel Trailer starts at around $22,000, but you can add a few thousand dollars more and really doll it up. The 2021 EAGLE TRAVEL TRAILERS, these huge RVs go from $75,000 to about $85,000 when equipped with a bunch of luxurious options.
The warranty policy is 2+3, which gets you covered for two consecutive camping seasons. Plus, a 3-year structural warranty.
Renting an Airstream depends on the model you want and the state of the vehicle. Generally, the prices go from $100-$400 per night. You might not find them easily though.
The rental prices of Jayco RVs aren’t too different from the Airstreams, but you’d find more offers around the $100 mark. You could go up to $300 for a night. There’s a wide variety of trailers, and you can pick and choose as you like.
If you’ve been expecting a KO after this showdown, then I’ll have to announce right now that Airstream vs. Jayco is definitely a tie.
The two brands boast of exceptional quality inside and out, durable build, brilliant design, and exemplary customer support. The main points that set them apart are that Airstream is pricey and kind of a city slicker, while Jayco is far more affordable and made for the great outdoors.