Travel Trailer Review: Jayco Jay Feather 27BHB
Apply the word “lightweight” to an RV, and listeners could conjure up a dozen assumptions. They might picture a bare-bones shell with few niceties. Or they may figure that ideal is beyond them, especially if they’re bringing kids — not an unreasonable leap for anyone who’s hauled a child’s car seat, folding playpen and 50-pound bag worthy of a weeklong hike in the Yukon, all for one night of babysitting.
The 2020 Jay Feather 27BHB travel trailer, however, ladles out space, comfort and practicality, all while stepping rather daintily on the scale and wearing a modest price tag. Replacing 2019’s 27BH, this single-slideout, midsize bunkhouse has a few upgrades and a lot of upside.
A walk-through clearly shows a handful of places where Jayco invested extra thought and effort into maximizing utility and enjoyment. Windows and awnings are as big as each space will allow, and Jayco carved out holes and doors wherever an empty space could be used rather than sitting idle, regardless of whether it’s small or oddly shaped. Even with those add-ons, the half-ton-towable 27BHB is still surprisingly affordable.
It’s visually pleasant inside and out, from the decor’s rich Bourbon Chocolate wood finish and white birch-bark accent walls to the clean, linear, monochromatic exterior graphics that match any tow vehicle. Check out the camp side and you’ll see a 21-foot lighted power awning over the standard exterior kitchen and two entry doors with foldout aluminum steps. Those with revolving-door kids (and perhaps restless adults) may be prime candidates for an upgrade to extra-hardy MORryde treaded main-entry steps.
Next to the bathroom are the 49-by-73-inch rear bunk beds. They’re functional and comfy, and we’re fans of Jayco’s fuzzy mattress covers. Each level has a curtained window, 120-volt AC outlet, rounded corner shelf and LED dome light, with a large privacy curtain over both. We’re also big fans of the folding-bunk feature with open storage in the base. We hear some folks even use this for a puppy pen or litter boxes.
A quick note here on sleeping capacity. The brochure’s assertion of eight to nine is probably stretching it; sleepers on the cut-angle side of the “double” bunks would have to be pretty short, and one person would be more comfortable sleeping on the convertible dinette than two. Still, with multiple sleeping spots and the convertible sofa, there’s some lodging flexibility.
Through a sliding door to the front is a walk-around 60-by-75-inch short queen (and predictably too-firm) bed. It’s topped with overhead cabinets and reading lights and flanked by mirrored “wardrobes” and side tables with outlets and handy cutouts to stash bedside miscellany. There’s not much room for personal items here, making the rear-bunk storage not just helpful but necessary. Your sweaters might not all fit in the bedroom, but at least they’ll be indoors.
Galley & Storage
Jayco hit a home run by converting a small corner inside the 27BHB’s main entrance into one of my favorite features: a micro-mudroom. A bench-seat cabinet and two coat pegs are crowned by an overhead cabinet, a fantastic way to functionalize that space. I found myself designating the lower cabinets for flashlights and bug spray, which we could grab right from the door.
The streetside slideout houses the dinette, jackknife sofa (theater seating with heat and massage is an option) and night-shaded tinted windows along the length and sides. The booth dinette’s 4-inch-thick cushions are Goldilocks-approved — not too hard, not too soft, but just right — and there’s a power outlet and stable double-pedestal table.
Inside is where the real fun of this layout comes into play. The rear door allows restless kids of all sizes to utilize the loo without tromping through the living area. The corner sink makes for a smooth pass-through. It’s small but soundly made, and designed well with a mirrored medicine cabinet and outlet. A centered ceiling fan/vent is accompanied by a skylight in the shower, with a vinyl curtain in a tracked aluminum frame with six corner ledges inside. (We’d like to see raised edges to help shelf contents stay put.) It’s seated in a mini tub that’s just right for wee ones’ baths, be they human or furry.
An entertainment-center wall includes a swivel flat-screen TV covering hidden media shelves (a thumbs-up extra-mile feature) that pipes through a Bluetooth CD/DVD player with indoor/outdoor zone speakers. Adjacent is the kitchen’s 6-cubic-foot, two-way refrigerator next to the oven and three-burner flush-mount range with hood, microwave, double sink and pop-up power pedestal. Storage is found in low and high cabinets, an adjustable-shelf pantry/closet and several drawers on residential-style ball-bearing drawer glides.
(h3) Materials & Construction
Ie: aluminum, fiberglass, composites? Special suspension? Heated underbelly?
(h3) Notable Equipment & Features
The dual-lit exterior camp kitchen offers a spice rack, paper-towel holder, cube fridge and a welcome square of countertop over the pullout stainless-steel grill option. New this year is an embossed metal base that’s impervious to dew and condensation, an upgrade from wood or other rot-prone counter surfaces.
(h3) Exterior Storage Space
Operation and Ease of Use
How easy is it to use? Good for groups? Good for entertaining? Good for full-timing?
What We Liked
Ie: Tons of storage and sleeping space for large families. Handy rear-kitchen layout. Real porcelain toilet.
What We’d Like to See
Ie: The entertainment center wasn’t across from the couch, making watching TV stressful on the
“Lightweight” here doesn’t equate to spartan, like you’ve been throwing everything overboard before you get to Jonah. The 27BHB is built soundly and outfitted nicely. It could stand to be a bit beefier, as far as its 1,200-pound carrying capacity goes — especially since the numerous nooks and crannies provide a siren’s song of overstuffing temptation and that 6,400-pound unloaded vehicle weight doesn’t include water, propane or other cargo — but if you’re traveling light on gear and deep in passengers, this Jay Feather may just tickle your fancy. www.jayco.com
Exterior Length 32′ 11″
Exterior Width 8′
Interior Height 6′ 6″
Exterior Height 10′ 8″ (with A/C)
Freshwater Cap. 42 gal.
Black-Water Cap. 30.5 gal.
Gray-Water Cap. (2) 61 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 10 gal.
UVW 6,400 lbs.
Hitch Weight 735 lbs.
GVWR 7,600 lbs.
MSRP, Base $38,973