The Best RV for Tent Campers
So, you're a tent camper looking to make the big move to an RV? Now you are on the hunt for a great trailer, and you've stumbled across this article. I know of the perfect entry-level trailer for you and your family (if you are anything like us). It's a nice, small travel trailer to get you out of a tent and off the ground, which almost always seems to be covered in condensation.
If you read our article Best Camper on the Planet, you have already know how much we loved our Jayco Jay Flight 184BH, why we would recommend this amazing travel and made the switch to RV camping. After six years of tent camping and making a seemingly almost lateral move to the Jay Flight, what is the reasoning? Jayco took the best camper in the market for simple Rvers like us and made it even better. Check out these significant improvements and what we think of them as long-time former tent campers.
Our first Jayco Travel Trailer was the perfect size as a family of four, with two small children. We originally purchased our 184BH when our kids were three and five years old, and the trailer had plenty of room to move around and the necessary space to do what we needed to inside. Fast forward six years, and the extra space began to shrink when traveling in our original rig as the kids continued to grow. There was still plenty of room inside for our original trailer since we usually preferred to spend most of our time camping outside. However, we knew we would need more room in the future. With the need for extra wiggle room continuously growing, we learned a slide out could provide additional space. The few extra feet added with a slide out makes a world of difference. We now bump into each other much less than in our smaller camper.
Making the Bed
Are you the type of person who likes to sleep on a table? You probably don't mind the hard ground if you are an avid tent camper. We didn't care for years. But as we have grown older, the hard floor is no longer as comfortable. One of the major benefits of the slide out was an increase in interior space, but it forced us to surrender our long, comfortable bench in this location. It was replaced with a dining room/breakfast nook/kitchen table area. This meant that we would no longer have to convert our table into a bed after dinner, and we could now leave our dining area as is. We had to compartmentalize space and were abandoning big city studio apartment living in a way. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst thing to convert our table daily. Alison had become an absolute pro at this transformation and could do it in under one minute, probably while also blindfolded. But it was just the little extra convenience we needed and loved.
We haven't done the research or used a tape measure for this one, but it feels like our 184BS has more storage room than the 184BH. Since the slide out area is now a full-time dining area and elevated, this space now has additional room under the seats for storage. We lost half the storage space under the kid's bed from switching units, but now there is even more room for storage under our bed since the 184BS has a storage space that spans the entire length and width of the bed. We were pleasantly surprised to find a new slot for keys, headlamps and other random smaller items in the kitchen above the prep area. The extra storage has helped cut down on clutter in the trailer!
We love the electric plug placement in this new 184 model. The plugs for the kids' bunks were only located in the bottom bunk in our older RV. There is an outlet located on the slide out wall just around the corner from the bunks. This means our kids can keep their devices charged without having them in their beds, which might worry some parents. It also means we now have electric access when we sit in the dining room area that is more readily accessible in a better location. The electrical outlet under the dining room table/ bed in the 184BS was only usable when the area was used for sleeping. When the table was converted into a bed, we could only access the outlet by crawling under the table. However, this design choice was fixed and upgraded in the newer models.
One of the most overlooked upgrades on this camper is the new roof drainage system. Anyone that has been RVing for a while knows how important it is to protect their rig from water damage. Making sure the seals look good regularly is a minor chore all seasoned RVers know to do. The water on the roof should drain in a way that helps keep moisture away from the seals for added protection. The 184BH has drainage channels with a small spout to allow the water to flow out and away from the camper. This new upgrade is a simple but ingenious way to prolong the life of your travel trailer.
The 184BH now has a couple of new handle upgrades we love! The first handle improvement is the addition of one on the kids' bunks. There is a place for our children to grab when getting to the top bunk safer and without doing complex body movements. This handle is one of our kids' favorite upgrades with the newer model. Another handle improvement we are pleased with is the addition of a handle outside the trailer's front door. The 184BS had a small plastic handle, but it doesn't compare to the large metal handle that swings out and can be closed to provide more security when towing the rig down the road. It feels much more durable and is practical, especially when we need that extra support to get in the camper after an exhausting morning of hiking.
The Rest Remains the Same
For the most part, everything else remains the same in the new 184BH compared to the 184BS. That speaks volumes as to how well designed and popular this smaller entry-level model is. This is why we feel this RV is great for anyone getting into RVing and wants to start with a smaller, more affordable, lightweight and reliable trailer. We love ours!