RV Lifestyle Magazine Road Test Report and photos by Norm Rosen
The new Jayco Precept Prestige 36H is a beautiful motorhome, at the top tier of the Jayco models – there are three levels of luxury in the line – the Alante, an affordable entry into class A touring, the Precept, with many upgraded features on a 22,000 lb. chassis, and the Precept Prestige, with all the bells and whistles on a 24,000 lb. chassis.
We visited our friends at Owasco RV in Bowmanville, Ontario to experience the new Precept Prestige 36H. Owasco is a family-owned dealership that has been a leader in the Ontario market since 1972. The dealership recently opened their new showroom in Bowmanville, where they offer 14 service bays with state-of-the-art technology to keep your RV in peak operating condition.
The Precept Prestige is built tough to last for years of trouble-free touring. Jayco engineers use the latest RV components and technology to make this a solid, quiet, and durable coach. Design elements like the Stronghold VBL™ Vacuum-Bond laminated roof, floor, and sidewalls, with high quality bead-foam insulation (R-24 max in the roof, R-9 max in the floor, and R-8 max in the walls), the one-piece seamless fiberglass front and rear caps, and the one-piece seamless crowned fiberglass roof are ideal for a motorhome of this calibre. The smooth finish created by using frameless windows adds to the appeal of the coach and reduces wind noise as you drive.
Jayco engineers their vehicles to give you all the comfort and convenience you need for your RV adventures. The Precept Prestige provides lockable pass-through storage compartments with slam latches, and a dedicated compartment access door for the 83 lb. (24.5 gallon) propane tank. All of your hookups are conveniently positioned, and there is a quick-connect LP fitting for your barbecue.
The motorhome has a winterizing valve, and it is pre-wired for optional solar panels.
The interior of this motorhome features a 7’ padded vinyl ceiling with recessed high-intensity lighting. All cabinet doors and drawers have hardwood facing, with high quality hardware – cabinets have hidden hinges, drawers have ball bearing guides, and everything fits perfectly.
The Precept Prestige features Premium Sikkens full-body paint, with stylish exterior design that flows as smoothly as the motorhome rolls down the highway. Four exterior colour schemes are available in full body paint: Basalt, Feldspar, Quartz, and Sandstone. Interior décor packages are described as Kensington and Addison… frankly, other than the Sandstone exterior paint scheme, you have to visit the website to get an idea of what the colours look like – here is the link: https://www.jayco.com/rvs/class-a-motorhomes/2021-precept-prestige/36h/
Sliding into the driver’s seat of a class A motorhome is like slipping into the captain’s chair of the Enterprise – the panoramic view is spectacular through the large 120-inch windshield and the side windows, and the closed circuit camera system enhances your command of the road – activate your turn signal and your side camera view comes up on the large in-dash monitor… shift into reverse and your rear camera comes on – this makes driving the motorhome as easy as driving a van. Glance down and to your right and you will appreciate the travel-view window in the large entrance door – some say this is for your pets to watch the scenery go by… but it is really designed so you can see the curb as you navigate a winding road. From the softly padded instrument panel to the overhead sun visor, Jayco has provided every convenience a driver could ask for – and your co-pilot has also been well taken care of – there is a slide-out tray in front of the navigator seat, ideal for a laptop.
As an RV manufacturer famous for building quality products since 1968, it is no surprise that Jayco engineers have placed all the controls at your fingertips, and it only takes a few minutes to become familiar with the ride and handling of the vehicle.
The Precept Prestige rides on a Ford F-53 chassis with a 7.3L, 350 HP V8 engine with 468 ft.-lb. torque. The 6-speed automatic TorqShift® transmission with overdrive and tow-haul mode is silky smooth and quiet, and the 210-amp alternator is ideally suited to keep your twin 6V AGM (220Ah) house batteries and all of your electronic systems at their peak operational condition. The house batteries are installed on a slide out tray for your convenience.
Fuel efficiency for this specific motorhome is yet to be determined, but Jayco owners have been reporting figures in the 10-12 mpg range, which would be very good for a vehicle of this size.
We were very impressed with the smooth and quiet ride, and the handling of this motorhome is excellent. This is due, in large part, to the JRIDE® PLUS ride and handling package, a proprietary design engineered by Jayco for their motorhome models. The Precept Prestige chassis has 22.5-inch wheels with 255/80R22.5 Michelin tires, a computer balanced driveshaft, heavy-duty front and rear stabilizer bars, SACHS shocks and variable-rate front and back jounce bumpers. We were surprised at how tight the turning radius is – manoeuvring the vehicle in tight spaces is a breeze – just keep in mind that the rear of the motorhome will swing out a bit on turns, so leave enough room for this as you turn corners.
Acceleration is smooth and peppy, thanks to the six-speed automatic transmission, and the power steering is effortless. Braking is smooth and confident, with 4-wheel anti-lock air-assist brakes – not to be confused with air brakes as found on diesel chassis – you do not require an air brake license to drive this motorhome. If you tow a car or a trailer, you are all set to go – the Precept Prestige has a 5,000 lb. rear hitch receiver with dual connector and a 7-pin plug.
The Precept Prestige 36H is outfitted with eight seat belt equipped locations for you and your passengers – the two seats in the cockpit, four in the dinette, and two more in your guest seating area. This is quite unusual in the RV industry, as all seat belt positions must be engineered for this purpose, and pass safety tests – most RV manufacturers do not undertake this extra effort, but Jayco does, and it is just one of the many reasons why Jayco has earned a stellar reputation in the RV community.
While you are under way, the Precept Prestige provides information and entertainment through the Pioneer® 8” infotainment center with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. We generally prefer systems that give you the data you need, without excessive distractions, and this system seems to strike a happy medium – lots of information without too much visual distraction, and once you become familiar with it, the operations are instinctive and take just a split second… but the controls are a bit of a stretch if you prefer your navigator to make the adjustments.
In The Campground
Once you arrive at your campsite, the setup process is very easy. Your Equalizer automatic levelling system takes the guesswork out of this stage of the operation. You can download the Equalizer app to your smartphone and set up your campsite while the coach is levelling… Once you are level, you can scoot outside to connect the water, sewer, electric and TV hookups, then go back inside to extend the dinette slide, then the passenger side slide, and the rear bedroom slide. We generally extend the slides in that order to balance the weight from side to side, but this chassis is strong, so the order of slide extensions is not an issue.
With the interior layout in the fully extended mode, you are ready to enjoy your deluxe camping accommodations.
The Precept Prestige 36H sleeps six – two in the master bed, one on the sofa / hide-a-bed, one in the dinette, and two in the overhead bunk. This is another area where Jayco has gone beyond what is generally found in the RV industry – the front queen-size bunk is engineered to accommodate two people, with a maximum capacity of 750 pounds… the Euroloft system features a support structure and mattress for excellent comfort, two safety guards to protect children, and a convenient ladder that stores under the mattress.
The passenger side of the motorhome features a 23-foot electric patio awning with LED lights and an outside entertainment centre with outside speakers, LED TV mounted on swivel bracket and single-disc DVD/FM radio. There is another awning over the entrance door, which helps keep the rain off the electric-powered entrance step
Like all Jayco products, the Precept Prestige is created with the skill of Amish craftsmen and women. Fit and finish is excellent throughout the unit, and when you open the cabinets to check interior finish you see the difference that quality construction makes in modern RV. Interior surfaces are finished, smooth, and free of any knots, splinters, or blemishes that you often find in other RV brands.
The decor team has done an outstanding job, with light wood complemented by colour coordinated window treatments, day/night roller shades and wainscotting. The upholstery is top quality, the soft goods (pillows, bedspreads, shams, etc.) are top notch, the main lighting and accent lighting fixtures are well placed and provide a variety of settings and combinations to suit your needs. The countertops feature undermount lighting, which is a very nice touch.
For entertaining, or just for relaxing at the end of a busy day, the lounge provides exceptional comfort, with twin electric recliners positioned perfectly to watch the LCD TV that rises silently from the countertop beside the dinette. Your guests will marvel at the Jayco-exclusive, easy-operation legless dinette table – no more sore knees from banging into table supports!
The 6-way power and swivel captain’s and navigator’s chairs provide excellent comfort as you drive and convenience when you entertain guests. A removable driver/passenger cockpit table is ideal for snacks while you are on the road, or as a dining table when you invite a full complement of friends for dinner.
You can also sit and relax while the electric fireplace provides a cozy ambiance – on chilly days, you can use the electric heater in the Furrion® fireplace instead of turning on the furnace. The front 15,000 BTU A/C unit has a heat pump – the rear 13,500 BTU roof air unit does not – but the combination provides forced air climate control ducted throughout the vehicle. On cool days, the A/C units can warm up the motorhome using electricity rather than LP gas, which is the preferred method for colder weather, when you start up the 35,000-BTU auto-ignition ducted furnace.
Comfort and Convenience
For dry camping, the Precept Prestige provides RV system stand-alone capacities that should keep a family of four comfortable for about a week. The Onan® Marquis Gold Genset 5,500-watt generator with auto-gen start is a very handy addition to the motorhome, giving you full independence wherever you roam. There is also a 2,000-watt inverter. Your Precept Prestige is wired for 50-amp electrical service at the campsite. The unit is pre-wired for a satellite dish and has cable TV hookup with RG-6 coax and video selector switch. For the 2022 model year, Jayco has added a 190W solar panel with a dual controller to maintain the house batteries and chassis battery as well as a Winegard 2.0 Connect WIFI/4G antenna.
The JAYCOMMAND® system, powered by Firefly, lets you control many systems from the touchpad in the coach or from your smartphone – you can open slides, awning, level the unit, start your generator – even control the interior temperature, and more. In the event of a glitch, or if you drop your smartphone, all of the systems have manual overrides.
For lounging in the motorhome, we really like the comfort and finish of the Hide-a-bed sofa and recliners.
The Precept Prestige is quite literally a home on wheels, with a galley to delight any campground gourmet. The working space is ample, the appliances are excellent, and everything is sized to keep your friends and family happy on the road. We really like the 21-cu. ft. residential refrigerator, with ice maker and ice water dispenser in the door.
The galley is equipped with a Furrion® stainless steel recessed gas cooktop with cast iron grill, a convection microwave oven, and a powered roof vent with wall switch. There is a water filtration system under the galley counter. We liked the decorative kitchen backsplash and the general ease of maintaining a very well-thought-out galley.
We were also impressed with the quality of the solid-surface kitchen countertops with integrated stainless-steel sink and sink covers, and undercounter LED lighting.
In the Bedroom
The Precept Prestige features a rear master bedroom that is designed by experts who have decades of experience in RV camping. The floor plan in this area is excellent, with lots of room to move around the king-size bed, and easy access to the wardrobe and drawers.
The mirrored doors of the wardrobe are made of real wood, glide effortlessly at the touch of a finger, and lock securely for travelling. Adjacent to the wardrobe there is a compartment pre-wired for an optional washer/dryer, which is a popular item these days when wise campers prefer to have full control over their laundry requirements.
Night lights and floor accent lighting make the Precept Prestige a pleasure to live in… you can see where you are going, and the floor is insulated to stay nice and warm to the touch.
In the Bathroom
The bathroom features a 36” x 42” one-piece, fiberglass shower stall with glass doors, vanity with LED-lit stainless-steel bathroom sink and a large medicine cabinet. The residential style porcelain flush toilet is positioned to give you lots of legroom. The area is bright, thanks to ceiling lighting and a powered roof vent/skylight above the shower, and all surfaces are easy to keep clean.
You may not notice it at first, but this motorhome has a Thetford® Sani-Con Turbo Macerator system, a definite plus when you are on the road for extended trips.
The Bottom Line…
Fit and finish, attention to detail, and the quality of the components throughout the vehicle make this one of the most sought-after motorhome models in the RV industry. Value for your dollar is excellent. While there are several models at each level within the Jayco class A motorhome range, you can expect to see Alante motorhomes on the RV dealer lots starting in the mid- $130,000 range; the mid-range Precept models start in the $150,000 range for the 31’ model, and go to the mid – $170,000 range for the larger units; the deluxe Precept Prestige models, like the 36H featured here, are listed in the $180,000 to $225,000 range, depending on equipment and options.
Watch the road Test video!
Jayco Precept Prestige 36H
Chassis: Ford F-53
Engine: Ford 7.3L, 350 HP V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic TorqShift®
Fuel (Gas): 80 gal.
Exterior length: 38’8”
Exterior width: 101”
Interior height: 84”
GVWR: 24,000 lbs.
GCWR: 30,000 lbs
Fresh water tank: 72 gal.
Gray water tank: 40 gal.
Secondary gray water: tank 50 gal.
Black water tank: 40 gal.
Furnace: 35,000 BTU
2021 model, MSRP as tested, FOB Bowmanville, ON $199,999 CDN
Similar 2022 model with additional features will list at $224,882 US, including freight and PDI.
Pricing is subject to change.