This 42-foot floor plan reflects Jayco’s commitment to a bright, new residential interior design, which is available throughout the model line.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
The 2019 model year marks a new direction for Jayco’s popular Eagle fifth-wheel travel trailer. Typically, new model years embody small décor changes to fabrics, upholstery, wood colors, etc. When looking to 2019, Jayco designers sought input from RVers. Many indicated they would prefer an interior décor much more aligned to styling in residential homes. This launched a new way of thinking — and an overall interior design change for Eagle models in 2019.
Taking customers’ comments to heart, the Jayco staff studied current trends in residential interior design and used that knowledge to launch a major redesign for the Eagle fifth-wheel. They went with natural products, rather than faux finishes, and incorporated stone backsplashes; shiplap made of real wood; antique-look light fixtures; rustic floors; and light, smooth cabinets.
Two new “looks” are offered. The more conventional décor, known as American Tradition, retains the stained-wood cabinetry and trim. Modern Farmhouse, a more contemporary styling, is increasingly showing up in residential kitchen designs in particular.
During a visit to Jayco, I met with Chris Barth, senior director of product development, and Stacy Stewart, interior designer. I also inspected a pair of Eagle fifth-wheels with the 355MBQS floor plan; one sported the American Tradition décor, the other Modern Farmhouse. Updated features and improvements were the same in both units, with the exception of the woodwork. I chose to concentrate on the Modern Farmhouse décor for this article.
Eagle fifth-wheels are built on a structural steel I-beam frame. Aluminum-framed, vacuum-bonded, laminated gel-coat fiberglass sidewalls blend into the high-gloss fiberglass front cap. The RV’s 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove flooring rests on top of the steel support sub-frame beneath. Overhead, the Magnum Truss roof is covered with seamless DiFlex II thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) material. Double-layered fiberglass insulation in both the floor and ceiling helps to create a comfortable interior environment in any weather, further augmented by a double-sided radiant barrier in the roof, floor, front cap, and slideout rooms.
Dexter Axles with Nev-R-Adjust brakes and E-Z Lube hubs, plus an upgraded MORryde CRE-3000 rubberized suspension, make for smooth trailering. Upgraded American-made 16-inch Goodyear Endurance load range E tires are mounted on stylish aluminum wheels. Sturdy entry steps rest on the ground and offer rock-solid support when one is entering or exiting the RV; blue LED lighting on the steps further assist. Frameless, tinted windows and a power patio awning with LED lighting complete the exterior.
Rear electric jacks come standard, but buyers can opt for a smartphone-controlled automatic leveling system with an easy-to-use control panel. Backup camera prep is standard on the Eagle.
This particular floor plan featured a standard outside kitchen, which included a grill and a refrigerator placed in a patio-side compartment.
Jayco’s patent-pending JaySMART (Safety Markers And Reverse Travel) LED lighting adds tow vehicle-controlled specialty lighting to all sides of the RV. Turn signal indicators on the front and rear as well as marker lighting on the sides of the trailer alert others to the driver’s intentions, and backup lighting shines brightly when the tow vehicle is in reverse.
At a dry weight of 12,155 pounds, the Eagle will require at least a ¾-ton truck for hauling. A lighter model, the Eagle HT series, can be towed by most half-ton trucks.
As noted earlier, the Modern Farmhouse look is a departure from the traditional décor seen in the Jayco Eagle over the years. Though this look is more contemporary than in the past, it isn’t ultramodern; I predict it will appeal to buyers who want something different but don’t want to go to extremes.
Light, smooth painted cabinets with hand-glazing are offset by rustic floors. The stone backsplash in the bath gives a tasteful, high-end look. Shiplap boards are used as the wood background surrounding the electric fireplace, for the dinette table, and in other places. Traditional valances are replaced with wood trim to further support the residential look. Shaw residential-grade carpeting with R2X stain guard is backed by residential-grade padding to further improve sound deadening and the R-value of the insulation. Wood-plank-look vinyl flooring is used in the lower deck. The palette was purposely kept light so that owners can decorate as desired to personalize the interior.
Creature comforts are abundant in both units. Recognizing the heavy use of electronic devices in today’s RVs, numerous USB charge ports are placed throughout. I counted nine USB ports in the living area alone. HDMI cabling connects the various AV devices such as the TV, DVD player, and satellite receivers or DVRs. Cable hookups are also located at each TV.
The first thing one notices when entering the Eagle with the Modern Farmhouse design is the brightness and residential feel of the main living area. The wide electric fireplace is located on a shiplap panel directly beneath a 50-inch LED TV. Immediately opposite the TV is wall-hugging theater seating. A trifold sofa bed at the rear of the unit offers additional sleeping space.
The standard dinette consists of a freestanding table and chairs, although an optional booth dinette or “party sofa” is also available. As noted, the dinette table surface was fashioned from attractive wood shiplap; it is hinged and opens to reveal a storage area. Similarly, each hardwood-framed dinette chair has a hinged seat that opens for storage. An additional pair of folding chairs in matching décor complete the setup; they store beneath the bed when not needed.
The galley contains an island finished with a solid-surface countertop. One side of the recessed stainless-steel, dual-basin sink is covered with a removable bamboo cutting board insert; the other half features a removable dish-drying rack. This unusual rack is composed of a series of stainless-steel bars, and it can be rolled up and removed when not needed. The sink is equipped with a brushed stainless-steel high-rise faucet with a removable sprayer.
A pop-up electrical receptacle is installed in the countertop. This handy item includes a pair of USB charging ports in addition to two standard electrical outlets. The receptacle can be lowered into the countertop, enabling the entire surface to be used as work space. The island incorporates cabinets, drawers, and wastebasket storage.
The Eagle’s galley also features a large, deep pantry with adjustable shelving. A large over-the-range microwave oven hangs above a Furrion residential stove; the latter features a three-burner gas cooktop and a full-width propane oven. This particular RV came with an optional 13.5-cubic-foot propane-electric RV refrigerator; an optional 21-cubic-foot residential refrigerator also is available. An 8-cubic-foot propane-electric unit is standard.
Classy mason-jar-style overhead lights illuminate the galley island. A multipurpose cabinet can be accessed both from the kitchen and from the area near the entry door. This cabinet could function as a coat closet; or, a flip-down shelf makes it suitable for storing kitchen items.
In the middle of the 355MBQS, a room near the entry door offers various uses: a game room for the kids, a desk or office for adults, a bunk room and entertainment center, etc. On one side is a desk with a 32-inch LED TV and overhead cabinets. On the opposite side is an optional trifold sofa bed with an overhead bunk. The bunk can swing up out of the way or can be lowered when extra sleeping space is needed. The optional hide-a-bed sofa is in place of the standard gaming chairs, which also make into beds.
Immediately above this room is a 64-inch-by-76-inch loft space that, with its lower ceiling height, can be used as another sleeping area for the younger generation. A ladder that folds into a pocket in the sidewall provides access to the loft.
The bath is also bright and cheery, featuring plenty of light colors. A backsplash made of stone and glass accents the solid-surface vanity, with a recessed sink basin. The mirrored medicine cabinet is backlit with LED lighting, while a blue LED nightlight provides a bit of illumination if desired during those nighttime bathroom breaks. A roof vent with an exhaust fan rated at 350 cubic feet per minute removes excess heat and moisture. The fiberglass shower has a built-in seat and a glass shower door enclosure. A skylight is standard.
The Eagle’s Modern Farmhouse bedroom décor really pops. The light-colored walls and bedspread form a nice contrast with the dark trim and cabinets. This unit was outfitted with an optional Simmons BeautyRest 72-inch-by-80-inch king bed upgrade in place of the standard 60-inch-by-80-inch queen bed. The bedding
suggested more of a residential look than one often sees in RV bedrooms. An optional 32-inch LED TV is opposite the bed,
over a chest of drawers. The nightstands that flank the bed are CPAP machine-ready; they also are equipped with USB charging ports and electrical outlets. Smart LED overhead reading lamps are mounted over the head of the bed and have a blue LED nightlight mode as well. The walk-in wardrobe comes with shelving, hanging storage, and also washer-dryer prep.
Heating needs are met by a 35,000-Btu propane furnace; cooling is handled by a 15,000-Btu ducted roof air conditioner. A second 15,000-Btu roof air unit is available as an option, and the unit comes prepped for it in case buyers want to add it later. Jayco’s own whisper-quiet Helix Cooling System includes an insulated duct design, and directional/closeable vents. The 6-gallon direct-spark-ignition water heater can be operated on either electric, propane, or both, with a 17.8-gallon-per-hour quick recovery rate. Propane for the range, refrigerator, water heater, and furnace is provided by a pair of 30-pound tanks with an automatic changeover valve. An external tap for a patio-side propane grill is standard on the Eagle.
The removable 120-volt-AC power cord runs to the Eagle’s 50-amp electrical system; 12-volt-DC power is provided by a deep-cycle battery, with room to add more if needed. A 1,200-watt pure sine wave inverter also is included if the residential refrigerator option is chosen. Generator prep and extra propane capacity are available as part of an optional dry camping package. A digital TV antenna is standard, as are connections for cable TV and for a satellite dish.
Overall, it’s easy to see why the Eagle fifth-wheel is a popular model. In addition to being packed with so many RVer-friendly features, the new design elements for 2019 create a residential, “homey” living environment. The rustic Modern Farmhouse look is bound to be a big hit; the American Tradition interior will win over those who prefer that décor.
SPECS | JAYCO EAGLE FIFTH-WHEEL 355MBQS
Jayco Inc., P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540; (574) 825-5861; www.jayco.com
cambered, structural steel I-beam frame; aluminum-framed, vacuum-bonded sidewalls; Magnum Truss roof
Goodyear load range E; aluminum rims
optional prep only
42 feet 6 inches (total length); 41 feet 8 inches (travel length, center of pin to rear)
12 feet 10 inches (with A/C); 13 feet 6 inches (with optional bedroom A/C)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING
UNLOADED VEHICLE WEIGHT
CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY
double-layered fiberglass batt in floor and ceiling; double-sided radiant barrier in roof, floor, cap, and slideout room floor
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
81 gallons (including 6-gallon water heater)
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 87 gallons;
black water — 50 gallons
(2) 30 pound tanks with automatic changeover feature
6-gallon DSI; electric and propane (17.8 gallon-per-hour quick-recovery rate)
35,000-Btu propane furnace
(1) 15,000-Btu ducted air conditioner; prep for second 15,000-Btu unit
8-cubic-foot gas-electric, with freezer, standard; 13.5-cubic-foot gas-electric, optional; 21-cubic-foot residential, with 1,200-watt pure sine wave inverter, optional
porcelain with foot flush
2 years, limited
BASE MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS REVIEWED