Jayco’s Talon 403T fifth-wheel toy hauler blends a generous-size garage and large tanks with plentiful sleeping space and a home-style living area
Consider, my friends, the spork. What a handy invention that was. It’s not as ideal as either a full-on spoon or fork, but the value of a single utensil that can manipulate both pudding and green beans is incontrovertible.
Similarly, the RV, grafting the tines of home-turf comfort and convenience onto the scooper of outdoor travel is, one might say, the spork of the recreation industry. To our benefit, the makers of these wondrous implements continually strive to increase both purposes’ effectiveness.
In that vein, the 2020 Jayco Talon 403T is engineered to serve as a high-performance toy hauler and luxury fifth-wheel with neither’s presence watering down the other. In fact, Jayco’s goals here are less spork (both instruments but technically neither) and more Swiss Army knife, with one unit containing several task-dedicated implements.
The Talon 403T handily covers fundamental RV needs, and then some. The outside is accented by exterior marine-grade speakers, an electric awning with integrated lights and
blue-lit entrance steps. A rubberized suspension and six-point electric auto-leveling system assist travel and setup. Aluminum-framed, vacuum-bond laminated gel-coated fiberglass walls and a one-piece seamless roof frame the Talon’s steel I-beam foundation, while
solid weather-protection packages provide comfort in either hot or cold extremes.
The interior is peppered with storage space, starting with (very high) cabinets in the garage. Plenty of doors and drawers are found in the main living area, and a dresser and mirrored wardrobe complement nightstands and overhead cabinets in the bedroom. There’s even space for trash cans in every room they’re needed, including a pullout one in the kitchen peninsula.
There’s also supplemental sleeping space aplenty. Tucked above the living room’s door to the garage is a ladder-accessible loft bunk with a fuzzy mattress cover, a light and an air vent. Through the door are double queen bunks formed by folding down the two convertible sofas and deploying the HappiJac drop-down power bunk.
The 13-foot-long garage itself is well outfitted for utility and activity-based escapades. Its 2,500-pound-capacity spring-assist, radius-cornered ramp covers a 7-foot, 9-inch opening that also includes a pull-down screen. The floor inside has 2-inch block-foam insulation and D-hooks anchored to the steel frame, with rubber diamond-pattern surfacing that’s reportedly waterproof and impervious to tire damage.
Post-escapade gatherings can commence at the large cargo table between the sofas with folding armrests and cupholders, and expand onto the ramp with the optional Party Deck package’s folding rails, rear-entry steps and manual awning. If you need even more back there, the Talon 403T has prep for a washer and dryer, a TV, and a backup and rear-observation camera system.
When shooting for a Swiss Army-knife state of being, compartmentalization is the name of the game, so Jayco made the garage as self-contained as possible. To ensure any rough-and-tumble garage activities don’t bleed into the posh bits, a curbside entry door and a half bath allow tail-enders to come and “go” without tromping through the main living area. The aft half can be an open-air, project-dedicated zone while preserving the other end’s controlled climate and noise levels.
Once past that garage door, there’s a distinct ambience shift. Occupants can quietly recline on the three-seat heat-massage SuperSofa in the curbside slideout, power up the swivel-arm-mounted 40-inch LED HDTV and cozy up in front of the electric fireplace with its 5,000-Btu space heater — all are standard features.
Exterior Length 41′ 5″
Exterior Width 8′ 6″
Interior Height 8′ 7″
Exterior Height 13′ 5″
Freshwater Cap. (2) 136 gal.
Black-Water Cap. (2) 87 gal.
Gray-Water Cap. (2) 87 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 12,180 lbs.
Hitch Weight 2,815 lbs.
GVWR 16,900 lbs.
MSRP, Base $69,995
A double-bowl stainless-steel kitchen sink with a pullout sprayer faucet is set into the peninsula’s solid-surface countertop. Under-sink storage faces the refrigerator (the standard 8-cubic-foot or optional 13½-cubic-foot model), microwave, stove and three-burner cooktop with a flush folding cover. An adjacent message-center wall offers more counterspace, outlets and cabinets.
A window in the hallway is a welcome source of extra light on the way to the bathroom. This bathroom is accessed through a pocket door, a new feature for 2020. The triple-pane shower has a skylight and seat, while the outlet and oval sink are surrounded by a generous-sized countertop and mirrored medicine cabinet. The not-as-generous lower cabinet is well-offset with the linen closet next to the porcelain foot-flush toilet.
In the bedroom, RVers will appreciate the spacious area housing the walk-around queen-size bed and the aforementioned storage. Civil unrest over power-access inequality won’t be a concern here, as both sides of the bed have their own outlets for whatever needs plugging in, plus nightstand space. One can’t underestimate this perk, as affirmed by anyone who’s engaged in a bedtime tug-of-war over who gets to use the lone outlet (and who wakes up with a dead cell phone). There are also reading lights and blue nightlights on both sides, a 32-inch TV option and windows on both walls for cross-breeze ventilation.
Easy-to-sweep wood-plank-look vinyl flooring nicely matches other interior-design elements in all rooms, minus a few bedroom-furniture spots where carpeted edges stand vigilant against stubbed toes. The kitchen is dressed in 2020’s new rustic-look Vintage Wash Grey, and the living room and bedroom are draped in a deep, rich wood finish.
Jayco did a good job of pulling some of the best parts of several worlds together in this fifth-wheel toy hauler, whether your preferred activities involve rolling up your sleeves and hanging out in the garage or pulling out your paperback and relaxing up front. If your druthers differ from those of your travel companions, the Talon 403T may be the one to sink your claws into.
A northern Indiana native and lifelong intermittent RVer, Barb Riley uses her news-journalism degree writing for publications such as Trailer Life, Woodall’s Campground Management and RVBusiness, and scripting marketing communications for the RV industry. She enjoys reading, zip lines, roller coasters and finding new things to cook inside pudgy-pie irons over the campfire.