Paddy McCann finds Jayco’s newest motorhome redefines what buyers can expect at the entry level.
There’s a lovely feeling that comes with paying for a standard hotel room and then on arrival, being upgraded for free. It has happened to me once or twice and it seems Jayco wants to make their new motorhome customers feel that way too. This new offering features such high levels of finish and refinement that you could be forgiven for thinking it is part of Jayco’s premium ‘Optimum’ range. Instead, it is their new 25ft Conquest and Underpinning it is the now near ubiquitous Fiat Ducato fitted with a locally produced, lightweight AL-KO chassis. As the new Jayco weighs in under 4.5t, it achieves excellent fuel economy and can also be driven on a standard car license, quite an amazing feat of engineering given the size of this vehicle.
Gorgeous ambient and direct LED lighting though out is controlled by a new wireless soft touch switch system. One of my favourite features (made possible by the wireless technology) allows you hop into bed and turn off all the lights except for the reading lamps directly overhead with one universal switch. Prior to LED, this might not have been a valid feature but these days, LED has shifted what is possible with ambient lighting and Jayco have cleverly headed off any bedtime arguments with a little forward thinking.
The bed is the hero of this motorhome and takes centre stage with an East West configuration across the centre of the vehicle. There is a short and a long bed length mattress configuration. The short configuration allows a permanent corridor past the bed to the bathroom whereas for taller people, simply activate the slide-out which further widens the vehicle to allow both an 1800mm long mattress as well as generous space between the wall and the foot of the bed.
While the FA25-1 can easily accommodate four adults, most likely, it will be purchased and used by up-market retirees with an eye for value. With that in mind, it will be difficult for even inexperienced adventures to fill every There are extra deep overhead lockers that will swallow up your travelling possessions and just anything you pick up along the way too. There are four lockers on the outside of the motorhome, three smaller but adequate lockers for sandy items and smelly shoes and a larger unit dedicated to either a generator or a slide-out barbecue.
With all that dreaming space, the food preparation area is understandably a little compressed but it’s the kind of space that is completely workable if you have a need. Most likely the people attracted to the Conquest FA25-1 will be dining out as often as not anyway. That said, the refrigerator is a generous 150l three way Dometic AES model and while the bench area is limited, there is a clever cutting board insert for the sink which effectively triples the space available.
For cooking, there is a SMEV 4BG which offers three gas hobs and one 240 hob incase you happen to run out of gas in the middle of dinner. Obviously this only works if you are plugged into 240v however the same clever inclusion of a 240v energy option is included on the 22L hot water service and of course, the three way fridge which will particularly suit owners who love the peaceful security of saying in idyllically located caravan parks.
The toilet is completely separate from the shower and is not dissimilar in size to a compact en-suite in a studio apartment. It is certainly on par with even large coach motorhomes costing many times more. It’s so large that a small washing machine can sit compactly next to the toilet.
The shower is quite spacious and the vanity has almost as much bench space as the kitchen! The huge mirror is sure to be popular and the single lever mixer tap and Euro styled sink is a nice touch. A real estate agent once told me that bathrooms sell houses and Jayco seems to have taken this on board – certainly if it is true, they will not be able to keep up with demand.
The Jayco Conquest FA25-1 packs a lot of value into a 25ft motorhome. The fit and finish is beautifully executed, yet it’s the little things like the nitrogen filled tyres that let you know Jaycois truly committed to delivering a superior package.
Price: $137,500 drive away, NSW
Read the full review in Issue 10 online