Review: FMCA Examines Jayco’s ‘Precept 31UL’
Editor’s Note: The following review of the Jayco Precept 31UL Class A motorhome appeared in the Family Motor Coach Association’s March eNewsletter. Author Mark Quasius took the 31-foot coach on a test run and evaluated performance while detailing the Precept’s features and overall construction. For the full report click here.
Jayco Inc. continues to expand its offerings in the Type A motorhome market. After a foray into this segment back at the turn of the century, the company returned to the Type A marketplace in 2008 with the purchase of the assets of Indiana-based manufacturer Travel Supreme. This marked the beginning of Jayco’s phenomenally successful Entegra Coach division. The lessons learned in producing those high-end diesel pushers now have been passed along to the Jayco line.
The Precept 31UL is the first in a series of Type A motorhomes built on a gasoline-powered chassis. I had an opportunity to examine one of these units recently. A 29-foot version has since been introduced, with plans to build longer floor plans in the Precept line.
The effort needed to bring the Precept to production appears to have been well spent. Designed as an entry-level motorhome, this model offers much more than expected while still keeping the price down to a reasonable level.
It all begins with the basic Ford F-53 chassis that is common to most gasoline-powered Type As currently being built. The Precept’s chassis has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 18,000 pounds and utilizes the 6.8-liter 362-horsepower Ford V-10 engine, producing 457 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled with a five-speed TorqShift automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, which drives through a 4.88 ratio rear axle.
The Precept is equipped with an 80-gallon fuel tank, front and rear antilock disc brakes, and 19.5-inch 245/70R tires. A Power Gear automatic hydraulic leveling jack system is installed, as is a 5,000-pound towing hitch receiver. Jayco then upgrades the chassis by installing its JRide suspension, which includes dual sway bars, front and rear track bars, and custom-tuned Bilstein shocks.
My test coach came with Champagne high-gloss fiberglass walls and the optional red exterior trim package; a blue trim package is also available. The one-piece fiberglass roof and molded front and rear end caps complete the sturdy and attractive design. Frameless deep-tint windows give a sleek appearance and allow the airflow to silently glide by when the coach is in motion. The roof is insulated to R-24 levels, while the sidewalls incorporate R-8 insulation and the floor R-9.
The Precept sports a one-piece panoramic windshield, the same one used in the high-line Entegra coaches. The windshield’s deep forward-control design allows the dash to curve down to the lower edge of the windshield; this improves close-up visibility when maneuvering in tight spots. Front and rear clearance lights are flush-mounted for better protection against damage and for smoother airflow. Every exterior light incorporates LED fixtures to minimize power consumption and maximize durability.
The Precept makes outside entertaining easy. A power patio awning affords plenty of shade when extended, and a bank of those LED lights provides extra illumination when outside after dark. An optional 40-inch LED TV is located in an exterior enclosure, which also houses a CD/DVD player and an FM radio with a pair of excellent-sounding speakers. The TV is recessed into the compartment to help shield the screen from sunlight glare. Nonetheless, the compartment is designed to allow comfortable viewing from multiple angles.
For the full report click here.