The infrastructure involved with being the largest manufacturer of RVs in the country also brings the luxury of choice, seen in the seven major styles of RV offered. The most popular style for Australians has proven to be the full-size caravan, and the Sterling is the flagship of this range.
As the pride of the fleet, this model is well packaged and built with the assurance that comes with decades of construction and longevity. As arguably the most common caravan on the road here, it has the advantage of nationwide support and easy access to parts. This also typically means competitive but sustained value and resale.
The Sterling rides on a 'Millennium' chassis, which is hot-dipped galvanised, the longest lasting form of galvanisation. The design uses 6in x 2in RHS main members, with special members that allow it to be quite flexible and lightweight yet still strong.
The 'tough-frame' wall construction is Jayco's own mix of five components including a welded aluminium frame and insulation, all vacuum-bonded together. The external fibreglass is 150% thicker than aluminium cladding, making it scratch and dent resistant.
Larger caravans are usually considered blacktop tourers, but the Sterling is capable of exploring unsealed roads with AL-KO roller/rocker suspension and off-road electric brake magnets. The Outback range has 16in wheels to better handle rougher ground with the option of Simplicity independent suspension. The bumper is fully galvanised and a spare wheel or bike rack is mounted at the rear.
The experience Jayco bring to hard-wearing caravans comes out in features that are included specifically for this purpose, often without being seen.
The aluminium seat frame and curved corner extrusions on the furniture are examples of build toughness, as are the cabinets that are screwed not stapled with easy-roll big pot and storage drawers. The mattress is innerspring with orthopaedic slats rather than foam, and gas struts support the bed to access the storage suitable for a family's linen requirements.
For family entertainment there is a big 22in LCD high definition 12-volt television with in-built DVD player and 12-volt wind-up antenna. For music there is a Pioneer CD/MP3 player with iPod auxiliary and speakers, as well as two external speakers, a picnic table and auxiliary 12-volt outlet for outdoor entertaining. It often suits larger travelling groups to have separate areas of activity.
One of the new features of the latest Sterling is the European-style cabinets in the kitchen with positive handles and catches. There is a water filter and microwave, and side-mounted kitchens come with full-height splashbacks.
The four-burner gas oven also comes with a 240-volt element for when you are docked, and a good safety feature is the flame failure device. The Dometic 150L fridge is upgradable to a 185L unit for large needs.
The exterior is streamlined for both aerodynamics and appearance, with moulded front and rear designs, moulded one-piece fibreglass (leak proof) roof and recessed front window stone shield. Even the gas bottles are concealed in the front boot.
The jockey wheel is centre-mounted, which is much better for using weight-distribution hitches. The front boot is very large and fitted with a tough one-piece plastic liner.
Inside, the consideration for rugged use continues with the zippered seat covers, which come in five new fabric and four leather colour schemes, and weighted curtains all rubber-backed for greater wear and stain resistance.
The cupboards have positive catches to ensure they won't bounce open, and you have the option of both an electric slide-out lounge for increased living area and electric slide-out bed for better access in the sleeping quarters.
The ensuite has an enclosed, dry shower with circular design available in some layouts. Shower models have an additional water tank, 240-volt/gas hot water and an additional gas bottle. They also use a 12-volt pump for when you are away from power. The room is a good size with large mirrors to appear even bigger and solid doors to ensure privacy. Less private but very convenient on holidays, you can get an external shower for rinsing off those bush and beach adventures.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS
• THE SECURITY AND EXPERIENCE OF THE BIGGEST MANUFACTURER IN THE COUNTRY
• EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY
• PARTS AND SERVICE AVAILABLE AUSTRALIA-WIDE
• COMMONALITY MEANS SUSTAINED RESALE VALUE
MAKE/MODEL: Jayco Sterling
EXTERNAL BODY LENGTH: 21ft 9in (6.6m)
EXTERNAL WIDTH: 8ft 1in (2.5m)
EXTERNAL HEIGHT: 10ft (3m)
VIN TARE WEIGHT: 2189kg
BALL WEIGHT: 205kg
R.R.P: $55,000 + freight – including GST, registration and on-road, dealer charges
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CONTACT PERSON: Claire Keppel
COMPANY NAME: Jayco Head Office
ADDRESS: 1 Jayco Dr, Dandenong VIC 3175
PHONE: (03) 8792 2000
FAX: (03) 8792 2192
Please note that current prices may vary from this review. Please confirm with the manufacturer.