Jayco Optimum IV.28-5: Review
Luxurious and spacious living awaits you in your home-away-from-home, the new Jayco Optimum IV.28-5.
The Jayco name certainly needs no introduction. To say the company is well enmeshed in the Australian RV industry, with a claimed 170,000-plus RVs built over the last 40 years, would be an understatement. And among the manufacturer’s extensive offerings is a large range of motorhomes, which it has been building for around a decade. Their latest offering - the Optimum IV.28-5 – is as luxurious as they come, and a worthy edition to the Jayco stable.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The Optimum is big – there’s no way around that – and with its 5000kg Tare and 7000kg GVM, it requires a Light Rigid license to drive it. But don’t let that put you off. Aside from requiring a little more consideration when it comes to tackling tight corners or overtaking, once underway, its size is not overly noticeable.
Of course, it’s this same quality – its size – that adds to the comfort and convenience of the Optimum once you’re at camp. The 4.2m-long, 550mm-wide offside slide-out adds a fair whack to the internal living space, while the Optimum’s 8.7m length means there’s plenty of room for storing all your camping essentials. And it’s in this regard that the Optimum really excels, with no less than seven big storage bins around the outside and plenty of packing weight to play with. Each storage bin has its own LED light, making fumbling around in the dark less of an issue if you happen to arrive at camp a little late.
On the offside, a rear hatch plays home to the Cummins Onan 3.6kW generator while the adjacent locker gives over some of its storage space to the accompanying fuel tank. Also on the offside is a dedicated hatch for the two 4kg gas cylinders as well as one housing the toilet cassette.
Our review model was fitted out in fairly neutral tones, with two-tone leather on the dinette, wood-finish panelling throughout and a lighter finish on the kitchen cabinetry. Personally, I found the wooden finish a little dark and not necessarily to my taste, but Jayco offers plenty of options on the decor and you can certainly customise the interior to your preference.
The plush leather cafe-style dinette will comfortably seat four people for a meal around the single pole-mounted table. The rear dinette seat has a high back and doubles as seating for two additional passengers on the road. It’s a nice space for relaxing and there is, of course, more storage here – three overhead lockers and a drawer under each seat. Behind the rear seat is a neat shelf with three smallish cavities perfect for books or smaller items.
The position of the Iveco Daily’s handbrake means the cab seats don’t swivel easily, so rather than attempt to combat this, Jayco has chosen to keep the cab separate from the living area. While it’s nice to have the option of additional seating, it isn’t a huge issue in the Optimum as there’s still plenty of living space. One omission I did notice was the lack of curtains across the front to close off the cab for privacy at camp. However, I am told the Optimum comes with a blanket-type cover for the windscreen that is held on by suction caps.
The kitchen is well set up and practical although, given the Optimum’s size, it is slightly lacking in bench space. The lid of the four-burner cooktop sits flush with the bench, though, and you could even get an infill for the sink to create more useable space here.
And while bench space might be limited, storage is certainly not – there are four decent-sized drawers, two narrow shelved cupboards and a wire-basket pantry below the bench, with lockers overhead alongside a Sphere microwave and a cupboard containing the Topray Solar monitor for the 150W panel and fuses.
Most of the cupboards have easy-to-use, self-locking catches, although I found the drawer latches a little more fiddly with a mechanism that needs to be pushed in before pulling the drawer open.
Across from the kitchen and immediately behind the front cab is the 186L Dometic fridge-freezer. Above the fridge is the Fusion stereo and a Drifter by Setec battery monitor while a locker at ground level houses the electrical switches and the battery and generator controls.
THE WRAP UP
Overall, the Optimum’s layout is spacious and practical and, while it might not be designed for the racetrack, it would make a very comfortable home-away-from-home. It certainly hits its mark as an impressive and fully kitted-out, luxury motorhome, albeit with a price tag to match. But long-term tourers would have no qualms packing all the required gear for life on the road, with storage galore and a load capacity to match, and they could do so knowing they will be travelling in true comfort and style.
HITS AND MISSES
- Excellent storage, inside and out
- Great load capacity
- Spacious living
- Carries and sleeps four
- Creaky and noisy when travelling
- Needs LR license
- Minimal kitchen bench space
JAYCO OPTIMUM IV.28-5 SPECS
Weights and measures
- External length 8.7m (28ft 7in)
- External width 2.39m (7ft 10in)
- Internal height 2.01m (6ft 7in)
- Travel height 3.47m (11ft 5in)
- Tare 5000kg
- GVM 7000kg
- Base vehicle Iveco Daily
- Engine 3L four-cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox Eight-speed Hi-Matic Automatic
- Max power 125kW @ 2900-3500
- Max torque 430Nm @ 1500-2000
- Brakes Disc
- Water 3x80L (fresh); 1x80L (grey)
- Battery 2x100Ah
- Solar 1x150W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x4kg
- Cooking Dometic combo four-burner cooktop with grill and oven
- Fridge Dometic RM4605 186L
- Microwave Sphere
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Full-height, fully-enclosed separate cubicle
- Lighting LED
- Hot water 22L gas/electric
- External shower ($378); alloy bull bar ($3200); alloy side step ($990)
Price as shown
- $208,141 (on-road, NSW)
The full test appears in the 2016 edition of Australian Motorhome magazine.