Jayco Conquest FA.25-3 Review

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: BILL SAVIDAN


Two for the road? Then it’s worth checking out Jayco's Conquest DX FA.25-3 – a roomy, characterful home on wheels, says Bill Savidan

Jayco Conquest
The Conquest’s long wheelbase and short rear overhang make for good driving and a comfortable ride

Now in their 45th year building and selling RVs, Jayco are Australia’s largest RV manufacturing business. Their 2020 Conquest DX motorhome range is a popular choice and offers four layouts, two on Fiat chassis and two on Ivecos.

Under review here is the two-berth Conquest DX FA.25-3. Slightly less than eight metres long, it has a driver’s side slide-out housing the lounge seats and double bed, which extends outwards around 600mm. On entering the motorhome (slide-out retracted) and looking towards the washroom, you wonder, ‘How do I get down there?’ because access is completely blocked. However, press a button, and after a few seconds of whirring and groaning the slide-out extends and the way to the washroom is clear.

Once the slide-out is extended, the interior feels open and spacious. There is no separation between the lounge, kitchen and bedroom; it is just like an open-plan studio apartment.

The cabinetry is dark chocolate, quite a contrast from the pale shades that are currently in vogue. It stands out but doesn’t overwhelm, particularly once the slide-out is extended. Indeed the continuity of the cabinet design from the front to the back of the RV – and the fact you notice it because of its dark colour – reinforces the notion of one big studio apartment, rather than as a series of separate compartments.

Jayco conquest kitchen
The well equipped kitchen has plenty of storage

Kitchen

Amidships, the dining table faces the kitchen bench. Occupying most of the benchtop is a large butler’s sink, so having the dinette table top handy makes meal prep much easier. A large, black synthetic sink cover is provided, which offers more prep space when in place.

Jayco conquest dinette
There is lots of room for two at the dinette. A folding chair or two would be handy when entertaining.

Beside the high-standing tap is a second filtered fresh water tap. To the right is a four-burner cooktop with a smidgen of benchtop beyond. There are seven drawers/cupboards of various shapes and sizes below the bench and three more large cupboards surrounding the microwave above it; plenty of places for pots and pans, crockery and cutlery, and a week’s supply of supermarket shopping. Added to that is the enormous 171-litre Thetford three-way, two door, fridge-freezer.

Overall it is a compact and well-equipped kitchen with ample room to work undisturbed.

Jayco conquest leather
The leather seat covers are artfully stitched

Lounge

While the cook is slaving away, you can be warming the couch cushions opposite and offering advice; if you dare! Actually, it is more likely you’ll have your feet up and will have nodded off, because the cushions are so comfy. Leather-clad, they are embellished with an attractive stitched, diamond pattern on both the seat and back panels, and the seams at the ends are double stitched for good measure.

Jayco conquest sink
It’s not often you see a butler’s sink in an RV

The dining table rotates as well as sliding fore, aft, and side-to-side. The dinette caters for two in comfort, or four at a squeeze.

TV viewing arrangements have been refined on this Jayco. The primary television is wall-mounted on the bedroom side of the cabinet beside the kitchen bench, easily viewed from the bed. By extending the mount arm, it can be seen from the dinette settee and by anyone working at the kitchen bench.

Jayco conquest tv
The TV’s extending arm allows viewing from the kitchen and lounge

State-of-the-art

Technology is playing a bigger part in our TV watching than ever before, and Jayco have stepped up to the plate by fitting Winegard’s Wi-Fi Extenders to their RVs.

They connect to the internet via a data card that is subscribed to an internet provider. More and more new RV owners are choosing this option instead of satellite TV. And you can choose to upgrade your motorhome to include Amazon Alexa as your own personal assistant.

Jayco’s exclusive ‘JHub’ portable tablet can operate electrical features, check battery status, and manage water and power consumption to keep you abreast of your RV’s readiness status.

The slide-out, for instance, can be controlled with JHub. And with upgradable software, the JHub should stand the test of time.

Bedroom

Moving to the rear is the centre-piece of the night-time space, the queen size, eastwest island bed – east-west because it runs across the RV instead of along it (northsouth). This bed pulls out from the wall to make it longer, and a bolster is provided to fill the resulting gap. Even when it’s extended there is still room to walk past the foot of the bed unimpeded.

Jayco conquest bedroom apartment
The interior looks like a spacious studio apartment

To the left of the bedhead is a single hanging locker, a small side table and a cupboard below. Across the foot of the bed below the window are four cupboards that are book-ended by floor-to-ceiling lockers. There are overhead lockers at the foot and head of the bed as well as under it: altogether a heap of places for hanging and putting away clothes and other personal items. Windows at each end of the bed and a hatch above provide excellent ventilation.

The FA.25-3 is rated as a two-berth motorhome because it has just two seatbelted seats. While it has a foam mattress over the cab, it is not rated as a bed – though it does make an excellent storage area for bulky items.

Jayco conquest toilet bathroom
Tucked away in the corner of the washroom is a 3.3kg washing machine

Bathroom

Bathrooms sell motorhomes; not glitzy ones with ambient lighting or fanciful faucets. Instead it’s about having the right components, a good amount of space, and good ventilation and lighting to see what you are doing. The Conquest has all of that – plus the bonus of a 3.3kg Sphere clothes washer.

Having the washroom across the end of the RV provides good space and the folk at Jayco have had 45 years to learn how to fit the desired elements into it. To the right is the 650 x 650mm moulded acrylic shower stall and, to the left, the toilet with the washing machine alongside. On the rear wall, a smart-looking handbasin sits on top of the vanity cabinet, with a decent sized mirror behind it.

Jayco conquest bathroom
The sculpted basin adds a touch of elegance to the washroom

Downlights provide good lighting, and ventilation comes from a roof hatch and opening window. Storage is courtesy of drawers and cupboards below the handbasin and a wall-mounted medicine cabinet above it. Time and effort have gone into the washroom presentation to make it look good, and it does.

Ducato upgrades

Up front, the biggest changes to the Fiat Ducato base vehicle cannot be seen. These alterations are to gain compliance with the newest emission standard, Euro 6D. The turbo-diesel engines have been refined even further and the exhaust systems are now treated with AdBlue, an additive introduced into the exhaust gases between the engine and the muffler. This process cleans nitrous oxide out of the exhaust gases.

While not seen, the second change can certainly be felt. The long-serving automated manual transmission (AMT) gearbox has been replaced with a Germanbuilt ZF brand nine-speed torque converter gearbox. Gear changes are imperceptibly smooth and the drivetrain feels a lot more eager to work, especially when paired with the 180BHP version of the 2.3-litre Fiat turbo-diesel engine, as was the case in this vehicle.

Jayco conquest slide-out
Although the slide-out doesn’t move out very far it creates a lot of room inside
Jayco conquest slide-out external
The slide-out is larger than it looks, housing both the double bed and the dinette

Exterior

Externally, the Conquest DX range is quite simple, so there is scope for owners to add personal touches. Along the skirt are four storage lockers, two per side, for small items. Kerbside there is a picnic table and a locker with a slide-out tray for a generator, or maybe a barbecue. An externally mounted gas bayonet fitting is available for the barbecue.

jayco conquest storage
Built to house a generator, this slide-out tray could also be home for a barbecue
Jayco conquest bar
Robust enough to deal with kangaroos, the bar won’t be troubled by supermarket trollies

Overhead is a large electrically powered awning that can accept BlueTooth instructions. And out of sight on the roof is a 160-watt solar panel. The two 9kg LPG bottle locker is on the other side just behind the driver’s door.

Summary

The Jayco Conquest DX FA.25-3 is an appealing motorhome with plenty of character. It is a large RV for two people, but its refreshing appeal will seduce those who would otherwise discount it on size alone.

Floor plan-2.jpg

Jayco Conquest 2020 FA.25-3 specifications

Chassis 

Fiat Ducato

Engine 

2.3L diesel Euro 6. 180BHP

Gearbox

9-speed torque converter automatic

Berths

2

Length 

7990mm

Width 

2390mm plus rear-view mirrors

Height 

3225mm

Height 

600: 2.97 metres
680: 2.84 metres

Fresh/grey/hot water 

125L/125L

GVW

Tare

Payload 

4495kg

3810kg*

685kg*

*Extra equipment installed adds to the tare weight and reduces the payload.

 

Price as reviewed: $174,990

Pros

  • The space, the layout, all that room

  • The kitchen – well-equipped, easy to work in, lots of storage

  • Space over the cab – a refuge on a restless night

Cons

  • I’d like a bigger external locker for golf clubs

 

Find out more at jaycoauckland.co.nz

Find motorhomes, caravans and RVs for sale in NZ

Keep up to date with news by signing up to nzmcd.co.nz's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook