Basement Area and Utilities
The basement storage space on the Seneca is nothing less than amazing. Every time I opened one of the side-hinged compartment doors, a spacious compartment made of tough, leak-proof Rotocast composite material was displayed. If you are one of those RVers who never has enough room to store your cargo, you’ll be very pleased with the Seneca. Excellent compartment height and wide swinging doors made it an easy task to load or unload cargo.
A bank of four batteries is located in a forward driver-side compartment. These batteries are mounted on a slide-out tray for easy access when performing battery maintenance. The rearmost driver-side compartment houses an 8,000-watt Onan Quiet Diesel generator while a power cord reel makes quick work of rewinding the 50-amp power cord. A 10-gallon propane/electric hot water heater is located at the driver-side rear of the coach, while the 40,000 BTU propane furnace is located on the passenger side. A 56-pound chassis-mounted LP tank provides fuel for the water heater, furnace, and cooktop.
Basement storage space is...
Basement storage space is cavernous in a Seneca. This particular storage bay features a long pass-through area that reaches to the far side of the RV for storing ladders or other tall items.
The plumbing service bay is spacious, offering plenty of room to store sewer hoses, fresh-water hoses, or a macerator pump. A whole-house water filter feeds the coach’s fresh-water system and an array of valves and controls offers access to operations such as filling the fresh-water tank, bypassing the water heater during winterizing, or operating the water pump. A paper towel holder, outside handheld shower attachment, black-tank flush attachment, and dump valves for the black and gray tanks complete that area.
Driving the Seneca
Driving the Seneca imparted more of a big-rig feeling than in your typical Class C motorhome. The aerodynamically sculptured fiberglass hood tapers down at the front, which makes it easy to judge distances. The 340-horsepower Cummins diesel brought us up to speed rapidly, and the crisp handling of this chassis made the Seneca feel quite sporty for an RV. The hydraulic brakes were adequate to bring this 21,000-pound vehicle to a stop in short order, although it does take a bit more pedal pressure than the air brakes I am used to from driving Class A diesel pushers. This is a front-engine diesel chassis, so you won’t get the quiet sound of a rear engine diesel pusher, but I didn’t find the noise to be objectionable at highway speeds.
The change to the air-ride suspension that Jayco made during the 2013 model year is a welcome improvement. The fully automatic air-ride rear suspension system provided a much smoother ride. This is a big step forward for the Seneca and will probably make for an enticing upgrade to owners of earlier models with rear leaf spring suspensions.
The Seneca fills a sweet spot between typical Class C motorhomes and their more expensive Class A cousins. The Seneca is a great choice for Class A owners who want to downsize but don’t want to lose the quality, amenities, and storage that they are accustomed to. From its solid surface countertops, to its wood floor, to hardwood cabinetry with screwed stile construction, they may even find it exceeds what they were accustomed to. While large in size, most Class A motor-home floor plans aren’t designed to sleep many people. The 37FS Seneca can easily sleep eight, so large families will find this particular floor plan very desirable. For a couple who travels alone, the rear bath 37RB floor plan is another popular choice.
The torque and power of the Cummins diesel combined with a 10,000-pound trailer hitch means you won’t have any trouble hauling anything you need. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Seneca is its huge amount of storage space. With a generous cargo-carrying capacity in excess of 4,000 pounds, you can feel free to load it up.
Jayco has equipped the Seneca with a ton of upgrades as standard equipment. In fact, our well-appointed Seneca only had two options—a larger 8kW generator and the DVD players in the bunk beds. The only other available options that were not selected were a choice of combo or stackable washer-dryer and a front entertainment center to replace the overhead bunk. This pricing method is a plus at resale time because RV dealers generally look at base price without options when determining a trade-in value, so the Seneca should fare well when it’s time to trade up. Jayco backs the Seneca with a two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, which is also a plus when comparing it to other motorhomes and does add a testament to the quality they put into this unit. With all these features packed into an attractive motorhome, the Seneca will be a tough act to beat.
At a Glance
Base Price: $216,720 (MSRP)
• Full-body paint
• Accuride aluminum wheels
• 32-inch exterior LCD TV in galley slide
• 1,800-watt true sine wave inverter
• 32-inch LCD TV in main living area
• 26-inch bedroom LCD TV
• 40,000 BTU LP furnace
• 10-gallon gas/electric DSI water heater
• King bed with pillow-top mattress
Customer Value Package
• 12-cubic-feet refrigerator with ice maker
• Two 15,000 BTU ducted air conditioners with heat pumps
• Backup and side view cameras and monitor
• Convection microwave oven
• Power electric cord reel
• In-motion Minimax satellite dome
• Touch screen in-dash CD/DVD/MP3 sound system with GPS navigation
• Flexsteel UltraLeather driver (powered) and passenger (no power) seats
• Onan 8,000kW Quiet Diesel generator (6kW standard)
• Dual CD/DVD players in bunk beds
Price as Tested $218,779 (MSRP)
2013 Jayco Seneca 37FS
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR): 26,000 lbs
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): 33,000 lbs
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): 4,639 lbs
Wheelbase: 275 in
Overall Length: 39 ft, 1 in
Overall Width: 102 in
Overall Height: 151 in
Interior Height: 84 in
Fresh Water: 81.5 gallons
Gray Water: 41 gallons
Black Water: 52 gallons
Chassis: Freightliner M2 Business Class front-engine diesel
Tires: Michelin XZE2 275/80R22.5 14 Ply Load Range G
Front Suspension: 8,000lb Taperleaf leaf springs
Rear Suspension: 18,000lb Airliner fully automatic air-ride suspension
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, front and rear
Fuel Tank: 30- and 40-gallon saddle tanks (74-gallon total), plus 6-gallon DEF tank
Trailer Hitch Capacity: 10,000 lbs
Engine: Cummins 6.7L ISB with exhaust brake
Horsepower: 340 hp @ 2,800 rpm
Torque: 660 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
Transmission: Allison 2500 six-speed automatic