Jayco Freedom Review
Author: Peter Quily Photos: Cam Inniss Date Posted: 1 October 2018
Avid and, especially, new, motorhomers aspire to get out there and feel the freedom of the open road that they’ve been longing for. But, as in most aspects of life, they are invariably dictated by budget.
So the growing popularity of ex-rental RVs, as opposed to brand new vehicles, can help motorhomers achieve their dreams more quickly.
The budget-friendly, 6.5m Jayco Freedom from RV Sales Centre in Braybrook, Vic, is a perfect example of this. This motorhome, with around 50,000km on the clock and an enticing $85,000 price tag, is in pristine condition and represents excellent value for money for a buyer wanting to hit the road.
RV Sales Centre’s Dave Boyte says the Jayco Freedom - part of the Summer Fleet of vehicles - is indeed ideal for sun-lovers of all ages destined for Australia’s coastal environments. So it came as no surprise that the Jayco Freedom was in its element, either stationary on the Barwon Heads foreshore or while cruising along some winding stretches of the Great Ocean Road. It certainly helped us gain an early taste of summer, and cut a dashing figure crossing the historic 1927-built Barwon Heads Bridge over the Barwon River estuary.
The Jayco Freedom doesn’t pretend to be top-end, but it’s a functional, practical motorhome, including an easy-to-operate electric lift-up double bed (1.95mx1.43m) that maximises space, and a generous kitchen and bathroom. The driver’s cabin is comfortable and spacious. And ditto, the aluminium-framed dinette smartly appointed in fabric upholstery.
There is abundant storage space, which is invaluable for the extended motorhoming forays its potential owners will doubtless want to enjoy. And the Jayco Freedom also has a slide-out external barbecue - absolutely perfect for making the most of those balmy summer nights al-fresco.
SOLID JAYCO CONSTRUCTION
The Freedom is a quintessential Jayco motorhome in terms of construction, featuring the high-quality, consistent methods that Australia’s largest RV manufacturer is known for. This includes a high-gloss hail-resistant fibreglass exterior; aluminium frame; multilayered, vacuum-bonded walls; and internal high-density polystyrene foam insulation.
The Renault Master vehicle that the Freedom is based on has a 2.3L four-cylinder turbodiesel engine and six-speed automated manual transmission. I was equally impressed with its smooth transition through the gears and the fuel economy that delivered around 11L/100km while out on the open road. And it’s got some grunt producing 110kW maximum power and 350Nm maximum torque. It has the power when it counts! It also has a 100L fuel tank, which is more than handy when diesel stops aren’t as readily available once you leave civilisation behind.
And, once you do, you’ll be supremely comfortable as the Jayco Freedom rises to the occasion in the mod-con stakes. It has a gas cooktop, 185L fridge, microwave, 12V rangehood with LED lights and twin fans, hot/cold pressurised water, and separate shower and toilet. And climate control is covered off with 240V air-conditioning and heating both in the driver’s cab and main cab.
The Freedom also carries 65L of fresh water, 45L of grey water, and has a 120Ah battery and 120W of solar power.
In its standard kit, the Jayco Freedom features anti-lock brakes, four-wheel disc brakes, stability control, driver and passenger airbags, laminated windscreen, power steering, cabin floor carpet, armrests, keyless central locking, and cruise control. It also comprises double-glazed, push-out windows with roller blinds, LED strip lights under the overhead cupboards, Winegard TV aerial, and a lockable 9kg gas cylinder compartment.
This particular motorhome also has the following options fitted: driver’s cab entertainment (radio, aux input, Bluetooth); House cab entertainment (flat screen TV/DVD, Fusion stereo CD/DVD/ radio system); and a fixed awning.
The Jayco Freedom has a 3.15m travel height, which means you’ll require a relatively tall carport to house it, and its 2.31m width means said carport will also need a sizeable girth. Mind you, I’d welcome this motorhome on the home front and wouldn’t hesitate to improvise on its stabling if necessary.
WHY BUY EX-RENTAL?
And once you hit the road with the Jayco Freedom, you won’t want to return it. Which is why buying an ex-rental is a no brainer compared to renting. You’ll no longer have to worry about the availability of booking one for a holiday throwing a spanner in the works - it’ll always be in your carport, ready to go! There’s nothing more convenient than going on a motorhome excursion when and where you want, and to that end owning a RV such as the Jayco Freedom provides the flexibility to better plan your next trip.
Another aspect worth considering with purchasing a preloved motorhome is the decrease in value of a new asset. By that, I mean purchasing a used RV can potentially offer better value for money. You may not going to receive the whole kit and caboodle that a new model can possess, but you’ll still have the time of your life at a fraction of the cost!